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Posts from the ‘Muriwai Cooking Class’ Category

Raspberry & White Chocolate Ganache Lamingtons & my POP UP Patisserie

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They say every cloud has a silver lining and redundancy from my full time employment this month was just that. I decided it the opportune time to do what I have not been brave enough to do for some time and go into business for myself. I am opening a POP UP patisserie! Why POP UP you might ask? Well it is financially a lower risk and it also give me the opportunity to test the market in our neighbourhood. There was also an existing coffee and juice bar looking for some yummy food so we were the perfect match, two small businesses under the same roof complimenting each other. Our opening day will be 2nd July, 2013 … just over a week away! This is our address and opening hours:

9D Factor Road, Waimauku, Auckland (sharing premises with The Daily Squeeze) – Opening hours; Tuesday – Saturday, 8am – 3pm


Menu selection changes daily but here is an idea of what mouth watering treats are on offer.

Homemade pies; Beef Stroganoff, Moroccan Lamb, Thai Chicken
Homemade Soups; Piri Piri Chicken & Corn Smokey Ham & White Bean
Sweet Potato & Blue Cheese Galette Roasted Tomato & Halloumi Galette
Rueben Sandwiches, BLAT
Savoury Tarts
Pain au Chocolat & au Raisin
Eccles Cakes, Scones, Shortbread
Portugese tarts, Palmiers
Vanilla Custard Doughnuts
Raspberry & White Choc Lamingtons
Blueberry Danish
Lemon Drizzle, Gingerbread Loafs

Also stocking artisan bread by Pukeko Bakery

…and lots more

And yes you will be able to buy some of these delicious homemade Raspberry & White Chocolate Ganache Lamingtons if you pop in!

For those who would like to try making their own here is the recipe below.

I’m also submitting this recipe to our monthly Sweet New Zealand blogging event which is hosted this month by my dear friend Sue over at Couscous & Consciousness.  If you pop across to her blog you will find a few more Kiwi bloggers and their sweet creations.



Sponge base here,  plus 1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries.

100ml whipped cream for filling & 4 Tbsps raspberry jam for filling

 200ml whipped cream for ganache

200g white chocolate for ganache

1 Tbsp raspberry jam for ganache

200g coconut thread


Sponge method here, plus add the raspberries after the flour and stir through only a few times so raspberries don’t break up.

Instead of using two round cake tins like in the victoria sandwich cake recipe, use two square. this will make the top and bottom piece of the Lamington.

Bake as per recipe, allow to cool before filling sponge cake.

Spread the jam over one sponge layer, then spread the cream over the jam. Place second sponge on top of jam & cream.

Before cutting the sponge into square I find it better to let it rest in the fridge for a few hours.

Cut cake into approximately 8cm square pieces.

To make the ganache, place the cream & chocolate into a plastic bowl and heat in the microwave for 1 min. Stir and continue to microwave in 10 second blasts, stirring in-between until chocolate has melted.

Add the 1 Tbsp of jam to the ganache.

Now for the messy bit! Pour the coconut thread onto a tray.

Dip all 4 sides of each individual cake square into the ganache, using a spatular to scrape of too much excess ganache. Roll cake in coconut thread. Place on a tray the spread a bit of ganache ontop of square and sprinkle with coconut.


Custard & Raspberry Jam Doughnuts

DSC_0017I’m afraid I am going to torture you with a photograph only today and no recipe. The pictured doughnuts are rapidly becoming the most popular item on my patisserie list so I am being mean and not sharing it’s secret, not just yet anyway. Well I don’t want you all making your own and no longer visiting me at my stall do I? That would be sad to not see your faces every Saturday or Sunday.

The end of the week is a crazy one, making all my own pastries for all the goodies to sell on Saturday and Sunday; puff, shortcrust, hot water, croissant, brioche dough and bread. It’s very rewarding though as it comes out the oven and the neighbours knock on the door when they get a waft of the sweet and savoury aromas.  As well as the market stall on Sunday I have a growing list of orders from Muriwai locals who stop by my kitchen on Saturday and collect their weekend treats.

So instead of a recipe I leave you with this weeks menu, in hope some of you Auckland locals reading this will pop Hobsonville Point Market by and say hello! Happy weekend!

Savoury Pastries

Seasonal Galettes – Leek,Walnut Pesto, Halloumi & Roasted Tomato. Roasted Beetroot & Feta. Caramelised Onion, Halloumi & Field Mushroom

Handmade Traditional Pork Pies

Cornish Pasties – Beef & Mustard. Chicken, Leek & Tarragon
Large Croissant Cheese Twists/Stick
Bacon & Egg Pies

Pork & fennel Sausage Rolls

Multigrain loaf (500g) – $5 (please order

Sweet Pastries
French Caramel Apple Tart
Eccles Cakes

Crisp Palmiers

Apricot Danish

Pacific Panforte– Mango, Macadamia, Coconut

Vanilla Custard & Raspberry Filled Doughnuts

Cheese & Smoked Paprika Croissant Twists


It’s been a whirlwind start to the year…looming redundancy, starting a patisserie stall at a local farmers market and now looking to expand. Most day’s I don’t know whether I am coming or going let alone take photos of food I am making and sharing them with you.

Hopefully I will have news soon about our new business venture but I will wait until we have something signed and sealed and then I will share all our plans with you. I can say though that I hope to be cooking every day.

I have bought a commercial dough mixer this week,  how exciting is that? It’s been a chore as demand grows making croissant dough, puff pastry, shortcrust – sweet and savoury, special pork pie and Cornish pasty pastries en-mass by hand. This week should be a breeze with the new machine and I will be dabbling with an Easter loaf recipe too.

I introduced these cheese & paprika twist to the market last week and sold out! Here is the recipe below.


1 and 1/3 cups luke warm water

1.5 tsp instant yeast

450g flour

200g butter

2 Tbsp sugar

200g cheese, grated

1 heaped tsp smoked paprika


Pre-heat oven on fan bake 200C and line 4 baking trays with baking paper.

Place the luke warm water into a small bowl and add the yeast. Let it dissolve.

In a large bowl add the flour & sugar then mix in the water and dissolved yeast. Bring everything together to a soft dough (tacky but not sticky). Knead dough for 3 minutes.

I use commercial slabs of butter which make it easier so I suggest you slice the butter block into 6 if you can.

Roll the dough to approx 20 cm x 60cm. Lay 3 slices of butter at one end and fold it over towards the middle so butter in enclosed.

Lay the other 3 slices of butter ontop of folded dough and bring the opposite end over to cover butter. Press around edges to seal butter in and turn so open ends face you.

Gently press down along the dough then roll to existing size 20 x 60cm.

Rest in the fridge until butter it cold and hard ( several hours)

Remove dough from fridge and repeat the process 2 more times, resting in fridge between both rollings.

Cut dough in half and roll each half to approx 20 x 40 cm.

Sprinkle with grated cheese and paprika.

Longways, cut 6 strips. Roll each strip up enclosing the cheese and put onto a baking tray covered in baking paper.  4 to a tray so they have plenty space.

All twist to prove till double in size (this will depend on how warm your kitchen is).

Bake for 12-15 minutes


A Pacific Wedding Cake

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This little cake is going on a flight today with friends who are attending their son’s wedding. A short flight thankfully to the Great Barrier Island which lies just off the East coast of Auckland (20 mins by plane maybe, I have only been by boat). It’s a beach wedding and the request was for something ‘untraditional’ to match the mood and venue.  Looking at the weather forecast for the next few days it will be Pacific sunny days too.

The cake has a chocolate fudge base and lemon yoghurt top, no recipe today sorry just a pic. As I started to place the flower motifs onto the cake I thought..OMG, it’s going to look awful, nothing like the picture they showed me but once all together I think it looks pretty good. It’s a gift from the parents of the groom and the wedding couple haven’t seen it yet, I hope they like it.

Home Made Feta, Bean Herb Salad and Stuffed Pesto Feta Mushrooms


If you had read the previous post you will know that I have been making cheese over the Christmas break and you can find a recipe for Feta Cheese here.

As well as a simple Greek Salad I turned my feta into this lovely bean, herb salad which was the perfect accompaniment for a summer BBQ, albeit our summer at the moment is quite questionable. We also enjoyed stuffed field mushrooms with pesto and feta for breakfast one Sunday morning and definitely a dish I could eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

I am also very excited about my Camembert which is maturing nicely and look forward to introducing you to that soon. What shall I make with it or should I eat it au natural? It was made with un-pasturised milk so I am convinced it will be special, very European I hope as the Kiwis do not yet make un-pasturised cheese even though it is now permitted to produce here. Correct me if I am wrong and you have found an New Zealand un-pasturised cheese, I will gladly hunt it down.

Makes enough for 4 side salads
2 cup broad beans, frozen
1 cup garden peas, frozen
250g Feta cheese, chopped into squares or crumbled
Handful parsley and mint, finely chopped
Tbsp capers, chopped
Zest of one lemon
Juice of half a lemon
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to season

Blanch the broad beans as per instructions on packet and then drain and plunge in ice water. Drain completely.
Rinse the garden peas in cold water only, they don’t require cooking.
Add all the ingredients to a large bowl and combine.
Serve chilled.
Goes well with fish, chicken or just on its own.


I have given the approximate ingredients per portion for a guideline on purchasing but it’s really a recipe where a bit more or less of one thing will not matter, it’s all about preference and tasting as you go.

Ingredients per portion
2-3 field mushrooms
1 tsp of pesto per mushroom, recipe here
1 tsp feta cheese per mushroom, crumbled
1 tsp olive oil per mushroom
Cracked black pepper

Combine the pesto and feta together in a bowl.
Place the mushrooms on a baking tray, I used my individual oven proof frying pans.
Spoon pesto/feta mix over the mushrooms.
Drizzle with olive oil
Bake in oven for 20 minutes
Place mushrooms on serving plates and garnish with cracked pepper.

Homemade Mozzarella & Slow Food Waitakere Group


A Sunday doesn’t get much better than having a group of foodies over for a mozzarella making workshop at the Gourmet Gannet. Making Mozzarella is fun at the best of times but that increased ten fold with the bunch from the Slow Food Waitakere group. For those local to Auckland and interested in locally produced food its a great group to get involved in, our next outing we will be visiting Kazuyo and Eri (Eri is a Japanese chef) and the menu is based on Japanese high Cuisine as make in Nara.

So how do you top a fun morning making mozzarella? Well you all pop along to the newly opened Tasting Shed on State Highway 16 for leisurely lunch. There we enjoyed dishes such as rolled pigs head, braised lambs neck on a bean puree, roasted quail, cauliflower fritters with cauliflower a la Greque and for those of us who had a sweet tooth a churros con Chocolat and a citrus rice with brûlée crisp top. I’m glad it’s my local since there is so many dishes I would like to try.

Here’s the recipe for mozzarella in one hour. The key is to use pasteurized milk, it doesn’t work with ultra pasteurized or homogenized.

makes 3 medium balls
2 litre milk
1 tsp citric acid
½ tsp salt
½ tsp rennet (Renco brand from supermarkets) or 1/4 Mad Millie Vegetarian tablet
1ml calcium chloride

1. In a pan add;
2 litres full cream milk (Meadowfresh farmhouse, A2, NOT homogenized)
½ tsp salt (not iodized salt)
1ml calcium chloride
1tsp citric acid (dilute with 1 tsp water)
2. Gently heat to 32C, use a water bath if you are not confident with the milk.
3. Add;
½ tsp rennet or 1/4 tablet of veg rennet (diluted with 1tbsp water)
4. Stir well and leave for 20 minutes to allow curds to form.
5. Cut curds into 1 cm cubes with a knife.
6. Heat gently to 41C slowly forming the curd into a ball with a slotted spoon. This should gradually come together into a ‘milk brain’ shape. Do not force or squeeze the curd together. Do not over heat. Remove from heat.
7. In a small pan heat some sterilized water to 70C.
8. Place a ball of curd into the hot water (inside a sieve for ease of lifting out) to cook & stretch the curd. Roll around with a wooden spoon. It should start to become stretchy/sticky.
9. Take the ball out of the hot water and stretch (do not pull, let gravity do the work) then fold, then shape into a ball shape.
10. Plunge into a bowl of ice cold water. This helps cool the cheese quickly and retain its shape.
11. Eat immediately or it can be retained in the fridge in a sealed container for a few days only. Remember, it has no preservatives!

(note; To acidic will be too stretchy. Not enough acid, will snap so use exact citric acid offered)

Afternoon Tea and meeting a few other Food Bloggers

It was a balmy afternoon in Muriwai, not quite the temperatures I had expected for the afternoon tea planned but we still managed to sup several pots of tea between us.

I have not met another food blogger before so after two years of blogging it was quite exciting to be meeting Plum Kitchen, Sasasunakku and Mairi-Toast who were all popping out to Muriwai for afternoon tea with me a the Gourmet Gannet. It was great to meet the girls behind the blogs I have been following and share a few stories with them in person.

We were all introduce to some new teas I had discovered this week from a local distributer in Kumeu, Harney and Sons( ) We started with their White Earl Grey, progressed onto a Valentines tea which had hints of chocolate and roses and finished with their Tower of London with hints of bergamot and honey.

On the menu was; cucumber sandwiches, asparagus and feta canapes, fennel & onion tarts, lavender shortbread, scones, strawberry jam & cream, chocolate fruit christmas cake, chocolate mousse cake and strawberry tarts, all homemade of course!

We hope to hold a few more afternoon teas next year so let me know if you would like to join us and I will keep you posted!

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Moroccan Spiced Lamb Sausages

It’s almost BBQ season here in New Zealand and Oktoberfest month in Bavaria so what better way to celebrate both than with homemade sausages and sausage making workshops. With two workshops coming up this month and our own Oktoberfest at the Gourmet Gannet I have been busy creating new recipes as well as stocking up on German style sausages for 20 guests. Pork and Caraway for the traditional Nuremburger style and a not so traditional German sausage with the Moroccan Spiced Lamb on this post. I will also be dabbling with a beef and smoked paprika this weekend too. It’s really satisfying producing your own sausages and having complete control over what goes into them. Since leaving Germany I rarely eat sausages, the majority here only have 60-70% meat content whereas the Germans have sausage regulations and are not allowed to adulterate them with either fillers or additives. We might think that is a bit pedantic but they are proud to produce quality sausages and I have to say they certainly do make some of the best in the world.


  • 1kg lamb (shoulder or leg with a good bit of fat on it)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp tumeric
  • 1/4 tsp cinnmon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • zest of one lemon
  • handful fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 metres of natural sausage casing


  1. Slice the onion in half and put in a pan of boiling water and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from meat and allow to cool.
  2. Put lamb and fat (but no skin) through the mincer. You want to use the fat so the sausages do not become dry.
  3. Feed the parsley and onion through the mincer also.
  4. Place the cumin seeds into a frying pan and heat over medium heat for 2 minutes until aromatic.
  5. In a large bowl place the lamb, onion and all the spices.  Using clean hands work the pork mixture for 5 minutes until very sticky – the mixture should stick between your fingers.
  6. Heat a little oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Roll 1 tbs mixture into a ball then flatten into patty and cook 2 minutes each side until cooked through. Taste the meat and adjust seasonings if required.
  7. Clean the casing by running cold tap water through the sausage casing 3 times.
  8. Cut a length of wet casing and slide onto nozzle of sausage maker, leaving a little un-tied hanging over the edge.
  9. Feed the mince through the machine, sliding the casing off of the nozzle as the mince comes out.
  10. Run your hands over the sausage to expel the excess air. Tie one end in a knot then twist the casing to for 12 sausages. Place onto a tray, cover and refrigerate overnight if time permits, this helps prevent the sausages from splitting while cooking.
  11. Heat a little oil in a large non-stick frying pan over low heat, add the sausages and cook slowly for 10 minutes or until golden and cooked through

Quick Ricotta Gnocchi Recipe & a Workshop

It was a wet and cold Saturday morning, the type of day you just want to stay in doors all cosy and warm eating comfort food, the perfect weather for a cooking workshop which is exactly what happened last weekend. I have always loved gnocchi but often it can be a be ‘gloopy and starchy’ from the potato, that’s why when I found this recipe I fell in love with immediately. The dough is made from only 4 main ingredients; ricotta, parmesan, egg and flour, with not a potato in site and because there is no pre cooking of potatoes it is incredible quick to make, about 15 minutes if you are buying the ricotta. Since ricotta is so expensive here in NZ to buy I make my own and have added the recipe for this also, yet another incredibly quick recipe with only two ingredients and two stages to making it.

We served our gnocchi that afternoon with two very easy to make sauces, sage butter with parmesan and a blue cheese sauce, both of which went down very well with a local NZ Shingle Peek Sav Blanc and made for a very cheerful afternoon despite the weather.


  • 300 g Ricotta
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 30 g Parmesan (or Pecorino), freshly grated
  • 75 – 100g g all-purpose flour, extra for dusting the dough/board


  • Discard any excess liquid that the Ricotta’s packaging may contain, or if you make your own you might also have to blend it a little till smooth.
  • Combine the ricotta cheese, egg, salt and freshly grated Parmesan into a large bowl.
  • Add the flour and stir in briefly until just combined, the dough should still be sticky.
  • Generously flour a board and split the dough into three. dust one piece with flour and roll the dough out into a sausage shape about finger thickness.
  • Cut into 1 inch pillow shapes as in photo with a sharp knife, flouring the knife if needed.
  • Place the gnocchi pillows onto a floured tray and repeat process with the rest of the dough.
  • Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a generous pinch of salt and reduce heat to a simmer.
  • Add the gnocchi and stir once, so they don’t stick to the bottom – they will start floating once cooked which takes about 2 minutes.
  • Once cooked add to the sauce and serve immediately.

Sage Butter & Parmesan Sauce

  • 100g butter
  • large handful of fresh sage leaves
  • Shaved parmesan for serving
  • Cracked black pepper for seasoning


  • Place butter and sage leaves into a large frying pan on a low heat.
  • Cook till butter starts to turn golden brown.
  • Add cooked gnocchi to the butter and ensure each piece is covered in butter.
  • Serve with additional grated Parmesan cheese.

Blue Cheese Sauce

  • 50g blue cheese
  • 150ml cream
  • Cracked black pepper to season


  • In a large frying pan add the butter and blue cheese.
  • Cook on a low heat until the cheese has dissolved and the sauce has thickened.
  • Add the cooked gnocchi to the frying pan and coat with cheese sauce.
  • Serve and season with black pepper.

Ricotta recipe

  • 2-3 litres of pasturised full fat milk (it must not be homogenised milk as this in my experience doesn’t work)
  • 4-6 tblsp white vinegar
  1. Put the milk in a solid bottom pan to prevent burning of the milk.
  2. Heat milk to almost boiling point over a medium heat, stir now and then to prevent burning, then turn heat off.
  3. Add the vinegar 1 tablespoon at a time and gently stir the milk in between each spoonful. Once the milk starts to curdle into a lot of lumps stop adding vinegar, this should happen at about 4-5 tablespoons.
  4. Allow to rest for 10 minutes and then scoop curds out into into a clean tea (or muslin cloth) towel inside a colander.
  5. Place colander and contents into a large bowl or pan so the whey can drain freely and leave for several hours or over night.
  6. And what is left in your cloth is the ricotta.
  7. I find homemade ricotta needs a bit of a whiz with the blender to make it smooth for this recipe.

Fig & Walnut Grana, Blue Cheese Shortbread & Seeded Lavash

This weeks class was all about crackers; Italian, English and Middle Eastern. Although I have to confess even though I love the Grana with a bit of blue cheese I do keep sneaking them with my cup of tea also. It’s such a give away of my heritage eating biscuits with a cuppa, it’s just not the same without them!

All the recipes are easy to make, but the grana and lavash do take more time because of the double baking or proving. Saying that six girls got a batch of each made and baked in a three hour class.

Seeded Lavash


  • 1.5 cups Strong Flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp instant yeast
  • 1 tsp castor sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup luke warm water, at room temperature


  1. Pre heat oven 180C
  2. Place all ingredients except olive oil in a bowl and knead for 10 minutes.
  3. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and leave in a warm area to prove till double in size.
  4. Divide into balls, using a rolling pin roll into paper thin pieces.
  5. Place on baking tray and dock to prevent dough from rising.
  6. Brush dough with olive and sprinkle with whole or ground spices of your choice.Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Cool on wire rack.

Fig & Walnut Grana


  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 cups (190g) flour, sifted,
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • ½ cup figs, remove stalks


  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade and line a baking tin.
  • Whisk eggs and sugar until creamy.
  • Fold in flour, walnuts and figs, gently. If you over mix the dough will become too dense.
  • Mould mixture into a loaf form and bake for 35 minutes or until lightly coloured.
  • Cool on a baking rack and then rest in fridge.
  • Once the loaf is cool slice thinly and arrange on baking trays lined with greaseproof paper.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Cool on a baking rack and serve!

Blue Cheese Shortbread


  • 6 oz/170g Four
  • 4 oz/113g Butter (soften but not melted)
  • 30g blue cheese, crumbled


  1. Preheat oven on bake (not fan bake) to 180 degrees centigrade and line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper or use non stick tray.
  2. Sift flour into bowl.
  3. Add butter and rub into flour, season with salt & pepper.
  4. Add the cheese and gently bring ingredients together to form dough. Do not over mix otherwise dough will become tough.
  5. Lay dough onto a large piece of cling film and wrap dough. Once wrapped roll dough to form a cylinder shape about 2 inch diametre (this will be the size of the biscuit diametre before cooked).
  6. Put wrapped dough into fridge for 30 mintues to cool and firm.
  7. Once dough is firm, remove from fridge and slice 1/2 inch thick rounds and place onto prepared baking tray.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden on edges.
  9. Cool on a wire rack then serve with additional cheese, dips or chutney.
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