A Porky Christmas: Murray Valley Pork Rolled Loin

With Christmas only a month and a bit away, we thought we would share one of our Christmas dinner plans with you.
We have a tradition in our household of celebrating Christmas with decadent comfort food, all washed down with plenty of wine.

This year, we have a “crackling” pork recipe that is sure to impress. 

Roasted Pork Loin with perfect crackling
Serves 6

3.06 kg Murray Valley Pork Rolled Loin, rind on
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons sea salt
boiling water
  1. Pour boiling hot water all over the pork.
  2. Dry the pork with paper towels.
  3. Rub and massage liberal amounts of olive oil into the skin.
  4. Sprinkle salt all over the surface of the skin.
  5. Place the pork on a roasting trivet.
  6. Roast the pork at a temperature of 220 degrees celcius for the first hour.
  7. After an hour, reduce the temperature to 185 degrees celcius and continue cooking until the pork is ready (e.g. for a further 30 minutes).
  8. Transfer the meat to a warm plate. 
  9. Remove the strings from the pork.
  10. Serve!

The pork came out of the oven looking absolutely perfect. Fragrant, sweet and succulent, this roast pork was winter comfort food at its best. Golden brown, blistered and crunchy, the pork crackling had us fighting for the last piece.

Get your hands on some Murray Valley Pork -> Find your nearest stockist here!
Or if you would like to find other porky recipe ideas, check out our posts about Murray Valley Pork's Rindless Scotch here or Murray Valley Pork's Cranberry & Almond Loin Roast here.

Gastrology bloggers tried the Rolled Pork Loin courtesy of MVP.

Byron Bay Cookies | Recipe: White Choc, Macadamia & Blueberry Cheesecake recipe

Gastrology received the products courtesy of Byron Bay Cookies.
Byron Bay Cookies came from humble beginnings. They were originally baked on an old farmhouse stove in the hills of Byron Bay, a small coastal hamlet on the most easterly point of Australia.
With the region famous for its fresh ingredients and unique flavours one of the original cookie flavours, White Choc Chunk & Macadamia Nut is still one of their most popular flavours (and one of our personal favourites)

With hundreds of thousands of cookies baked weekly, Byron Bay Cookies now supply cafes and gourmet food stores across Australia.
Byron Bay Cookies have been supplying Qantas since 2003. They recently celebrated 10 years of being served on board Australia's most iconic airline. I recall journeys on Qantas flights when I was young eagerly devouring some delicious Byron Bay Cookies on board.
Today, Byron Bay Cookies are also available on board Jetstar and Virgin Australia and have widened their reach internationally to include Sainsbury's and Selfridges in the UK. 

Recipe: White Chocolate, Macadamia & Blueberry Cheesecake
Serves: 12


300g Byron Bay Cookies White Choc Chunk & Macadamia
100g Byron Bay Cookies White Choc Chunk & Macadamia for mixing.
125g butter, melted
3 teaspoons gelatine powder
1/4 cup boiling water
2 x 250g packets cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
300ml thickened cream, whipped
250g white chocolate melts
300g fresh or frozen blueberries
50g fresh bluberries for decorating


  1. Lightly grease and line the base of a 22cm spring-form pan with baking paper. Place cookies into a food processor. Process until fine crumbs form. Add melted butter and process until well combined. Press mixture into the base of pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Stir gelatine and boiling water in a cup until gelatine dissolves. Set aside. Melt chocolate in a bowl over boiling water until just melted. Stir and set aside.
  3. Using an electric hand beater, mix cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in gelatine mixture, melted chocolate and cream. 
  4. Crumble the remaining 100g cookies stir through mixture and fold in the blueberries. Spoon mixture onto biscuit base. Decorate cheesecake with blueberries. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  5. To serve cheesecake, release from spring-form pan and transfer to a serving plate.
Byron Bay Cookies are available in David Jones stores nationally, as well as Harris Farm, Bunning's Warehouse Cafes, Healthy Life, Woolworths and selected IGA supermarkets. 

Winter Dinner - Murray Valley Pork Half Netted Shoulder

Gastrology bloggers tried the half netted shoulder courtesy of Murray Valley Pork.
Winter is the perfect time for decadent comfort food. With winter well and truly here, we thought we would share one of our favourite winter warming dinner recipes with you.

Roasted Half Netted Shoulder
Serves 6

2.04 kg Murray Valley Pork Half Netted Shoulder
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons sea salt
boiling water

  1. Pour boiling hot water all over the pork.
  2. Dry the pork with paper towels.
  3. Rub and massage liberal amounts of olive oil into the skin.
  4. Sprinkle salt all over the surface of the skin.
  5. Place the pork on a roasting trivet.
  6. Roast the pork at a temperature of 220 degrees celcius for the first hour.
  7. After an hour, reduce the temperature to 185 degrees celcius and continue cooking until the pork is ready (e.g. for a further 30 minutes).
  8. Transfer the meat to a warm plate. 
  9. Remove the strings from the pork.
  10. Serve!

The pork came out of the oven looking absolutely perfect. Fragrant, sweet and succulent, this roast pork was winter comfort food at its best. Golden brown, blistered and crunchy, the pork crackling had us fighting for the last piece.

Get your hands on some Murray Valley Pork -> Find your nearest stockist here!

Or if you would like to find other porky recipe ideas, check out our posts about Murray Valley Pork's Rindless Scotch here; Murray Valley Pork's Cranberry & Almond Loin Roast here; or Murray Valley Pork Rolled Loin here.

Barilla's Italian breakfast with Sammy & Bella @ the Melbourne Good Food & Wine Show | Recipe: Seadas (traditional Sardinian fritter)

Gastrology bloggers attended courtesy of Barilla. 
Today, Gastrology joined Barilla and My Kitchen Rules’ Sammy and Bella for an exclusive pre-show breakfast event at the Melbourne Good Food & Wine Show.
We were transported straight to the Italian Isle of Sardinia, where we prepared and cooked delicious Seadas – a sweet and savoury breakfast pastry typical of the region. 
It was a hands on class that was interactive and a lot of fun. 
We also left the delicious cooking class with a generous goodie bag from Barilla, which included some of Barilla's delicious pasta and sauces.

Recipe: Sammy and Bella's Seadas
The traditional Italian breakfast is very different from what we're used to in Australia. Brekky is often sweet and always accompanied by a coffee. Seadas (or sebadas) are a regional speciality from the land of Sardinia. They are fried pasta filled with fresh ricotta cheese and drizzled with honey. These local treasures are eaten at any time of the day, including breakfast.

Ingredients for dough

3 cups "00" flour 
1/3 cup semolina
2 free range eggs, plus 1 yolk (set 3rd egg white aside for below)
80 to 100ml water
80g salted butter, softened (or lard)

Ingredients to fill, cook and finish

extra flour for dusting
1 egg white from above
350g fresh ricotta 
50g pecorino sarda, grated
zest from 1 lemon
zest from 1 range
olive oil to fry
1/4 cup (250g) honey

  • In a stand mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook, place plain flour, semolina, whole eggs plus yolk, 80ml water and softened butter. Mix until well combined and add a touch more water if it is too dry. Allow the machine to knead for 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Wrap in cling film and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
  • On a floured work surface roll out the dough to 2 or 3 mm thick. Using a 4 inch fluted pastry cutter (or a glass) cut out 24 disks. Using a pastry brush or your fingers, brush 12 of the disks with egg white.
  • Grate the pecorino and mix with ricotta, lemon and orange zests.  Distribute this mix evenly across 12 disks, cover with another disk and press down firmly on edges to seal.
  • Heat 1 inch of olive oil in a frying pan until hot (or in a deep fryer to 180 degrees celcius). Fry pastries, in batches, until lightly golden. Drain excess oil on paper towel.
  • Serve immediately, hot and drizzled with honey. 

Mùa Đông @ Ba'get | Recipes: Bo Kho (spicy beef stew) + Chai Dreaming Cocktail

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Ba'get.
Ba’get celebrates Mùa Đông (winter), with an array of warming winter Vietnamese dishes.

This week, we got out from the cold and into Ba’get’s warm kitchen where exotic spices and hot hearty stews were bubbling away.  
Owner of Ba’get (and our host for the evening), Duy Huynh shared his recipe for Bo Kho (spicy beef stew) as we took a first look at what is new for the season at Ba’get. 

Recipe: Bo Kho (spicy beef stew)

2 kg Gravy beef cubed
1 tb soy sauce
Spice salt:
3 tsp salt
4 star anise
1 cinnamon quill
12 cloves
10 cardamon pods
½ tsp Chinese five spice
3 Onions, coarsely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 lemongrass stalks, bashed
1 thumb sized knob of ginger, bashed 1 chilli (or as desired), halved
3 tb tomato paste
4 carrots, peeled & in large chunks % mandarin peel, pith removed

4 cups of beef stock
Fresh coriander & Thai basil to garnish

  1. Make spice salt: Toast spices in a dry pan on medium heat, and grind to a fine powder with salt
  2. Combine beef, spice salt with soy sauce and marinate for 30 mins
  3. In a wok, stirfy onions, garlic, lemongrass, chilli and ginger so they just take some colour. Add the beef and stiffly for 15 minutes. Add tomato paste, carrots and mandarin peel & continue to cook for another 5 minutes
  4. Add beef stock and cook for 30 mins in a pressure cooker or on a gentle simmer for 2 hours or until tender. Serve garnished with Thai basil and coriander.

Serving suggestions

Bo Kho is traditionally served with a freshly baked baguette.

Our thoughts

The stew was delicious. We loved the mix of spices which made the broth both aromatic and moreish. Hearty, well-seasoned with beautiful flavours, the stew is winter comfort food at its best.

Cocktail Recipe: Chai Dreaming

1 heaped teaspoons of Chai Spices (such as Prana Chai) 
1 tsp honey
Hot water
150 ml Soy milk
A shot of brandy
Fresh Ginger wedge Cinnamon stalk
Cinnamon sugar


Add enough boiling water to cover Chai tea in a flask. Allow to infuse for 2 minutes.
Add honey and soy milk and heat with a steam wand or on a stove top to 75c
Add shot of brandy and pour into a mug garnished with ginger, cinnamon and ground cinnamon sugar.

Our thoughts

The Chai Dreaming cocktail was a stunner. A winter warmer that will knock the chill from your system this season, it had a lovely warmth from the use of fresh ginger that was soothing and comforting.

The Bo Kho and Chai Dreaming (albeit a non-alcoholic version) is available on Ba’get’s new winter menu. 

Find more Ba'get recipes and read about the amazing Ba’get banhmi here.

Ba'get - Russell Street on Urbanspoon

Recipe: Maggie Beer’s Crispy Skin Salmon with Pea Puree | Tips from Aussie Farmers Direct: 10 good reasons to eat seafood this Easter

Gastrology bloggers sampled the new range of seafood  courtesy of Aussie Farmers Direct.

This Easter, Aussie Farmers Direct is working to put the ‘good’ back into Good Friday by partnering with Maggie Beer to release a collection of Easter seafood recipes as part of a move to encourage Australians to include more seafood in their diet this year. We thought we would share our favourite recipe with you...

Recipe:  Maggie Beer’s Crispy Skin Salmon with Pea Puree


Aussie Farmers Direct Salmon fillets ($13.79 for two 180g fillets)
1 tbspn unsalted butter
4 thick salmon steaks, skin on
To taste salt flakes
1 tbspn Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 wedges lemon

Frozen pea salsa
1 1/2 cup frozen peas
15g unsalted butter
2 tspn Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 golden shallots peeled and chopped
3/4 cup Chicken Stock
1 sprig chervil
1 tbspn lemon juice
To taste salt flakes


For The Frozen Pea Salsa:
  1. Spread peas on a tray to thaw for 10 minutes.
  2. Place a large frying pan over medium heat, add the butter and melt with the Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Add the chopped shallots and sauté until soft.
  3. In another small sauce pan, bring the Chicken Stock to the boil.
  4. Add the peas to the shallots along with chervil and lemon juice.
  5. Pour the hot Chicken Stock over the peas and quickly bring up to the boil again, then remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  6. Pour the pea mixture into a blender or mouli and process until fine. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.

For The Salmon:
  1. Heat a large frying pan over a moderate heat with half the butter.
  2. Season the salmon on the skin side with sea salt.
  3. Once the pan is hot, add a dash of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and place the salmon steaks skin side down in the pan. Cook for about 2 minutes or until the skin is crisp. Putting the salmon aside, quickly wipe out the pan with a paper towel.
  4. Return salmon to pan, add the remaining butter and return to heat.
  5. Once melted, turn the steaks over with tongs and almost immediately take the pan off the heat and allow to sit in the hot pan. The centre of the fish should be a little rare.
  6. To serve, pile a layer of salsa on to a plate and place the fish on top. Squeeze a wedge of lemon over each piece of salmon, sprinkle the herbs on top and dress with a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Aussie Farmers Direct brings back Fish on Fridays

Aussie Farmers Direct is working to put more 'good' back into Good Friday by offering Australians ten good reasons to eat seafood on Good Friday...or any Friday!  Traditionally, seafood was consumed on Good Friday in place of other meat. Though over the years this seems to have fallen by the wayside. Fish and other seafood are highly beneficial to our health, so perhaps it’s time to revisit the tradition and bring back fish on Fridays. 

Essentially, here's why we should bring back fish on Friday:
  • Low in unhealthy saturated fat and high in protein
  • High in Omega-3 fatty acids which are great for heart health
  • Prevents inflammation and reduces the risk of conditions like arthritis
  • Assists in proper foetal growth and development during pregnancy
  • Associated with positive brain health
  • High in iron and vitamin B12
  • It's easy to prepare and cost effective
  • And most importantly, it's deliciously versatile!

Aussie Farmers Direct has launched a new range of Australian seafood including Natural Calamari, a Half Side of Huon Salmon, Honey Soy Flathead Fillets, crumbed White Fish and Lemon Myrtle Blue Grenadier Fillets, which will soon join Aussie Farmers Direct’s existing range of Aussie prawns, salmon and barramundi. 

This Easter, Aussie Farmers Direct will be delivering a range of freshly caught seafood including:    
  • Natural Calamari, $7.99 for 300g
  • Half Side of Huon Salmon, $19.99 for 500g
  • Honey Soy Flathead Fillets, $14.99 for 300g
  • Crumbed White Fish, $8.99 for 250g
  • Lemon Myrtle Blue Grenadier Fillets, $8.99 for 300g
  • Salmon Fillets, RRP $13.79 for two 180g fillets
  • Barramundi Fillets, RRP $12.99 for two 180g fillets
  • Smoked Salmon, RRP $6.69 for 100
  • Plain Unmarinated Prawns, RRP $10.99 for 300g

To enjoy a wholly Australian Easter this year, visit AussieFarmers.com.au 

Banh Mi Masterclass @ Ba'get | Recipe: Vietnamese Pickles

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Ba'get.
Location: 132 Russell Street, Melbourne
Phone: 03 9988 4130
Link: http://www.ba-get.com/
Cuisine: Sandwiches/Subs, Vietnamese
Overall Impression: 8/10
Melbourne's love affair with Asian street food continues to grow with the opening of a new traditional Vietnamese Banh Mi establishment, Ba'get in the heart of the CBD.

Ba'get brings together crusty, fresh baked bread with authentic house-made charcuterie, grilled meats, pickled vegetables, pate, Asian herbs and fresh chillies to create an all-encompassing flavour and texture sensation.
Ba'get is the brainchild of Duy Huynh and his family who have been in the Melbourne food industry for over 21 years.
Ba'get is the real deal – Vietnamese street food with its heart firmly located on the banks of the Mekong Delta. The banh mi are made using age-old family recipes that have been perfected over several decades.
We loved the freshness, balance and authenticity of Ba’get’s banh mi. 

We were also given the opportunity to make our own Ba'get baguettes...
Baked hourly, the baguettes are consistently delicious and ingredients are carefully selected to achieve the perfect texture and flavour balance.
Ba'get’s menu featues a wide array of authentic Banh Mi including: traditional Classic hams, Grilled Lemongrass Pork, Pulled Chicken, Buddha's Tofu, Rich Tomato Meat Ball and Grilled Lemongrass Chicken as well as more modern flavours such as leg ham and salami; all lovingly made to order to ensure uncompromising freshness. Ba'get also offers Vermicelli bowl versions of Banh Mi flavours as a gluten free option.
Lovers of caffeine will not be forgotten - they will also be serving up potent quantities of cà phê sữa đá - traditional Vietnamese coffee as well as hot, flaky pork puffs, Vietnamese sesame donuts and a selection of tantalising pastries including Cassava Cake, Coconut and Durian Buns.

Bata's interior is also reflective of Banh Mi's origins, resembling a Vietnamese streetscape; complete with overhanging power lines, splashes of luscious red and turquoise complete with French architectural finishes, referencing its colonial past.
Scrawled in calligraphy across the store's feature wall is an ancient Vietnamese poem; a mantra to the authenticity that Ba'get aims to achieve which rougly translates to:
“Half-truths are never true, nor can true love ever come in halves”

Recipe: Vietnamese Pickles 

1 x large carrot
1 x daikon
peeled and cut into matchstick battons
Pickling liquor
1 cup of vinegar 1/2 cup of water 1 tb sugar
1 tsp salt
1 clove of garlic sliced
1 bird's eye chilli split in quarters 8 pepper corns

  1. Sterilise a jar by placing in a 100c oven for 10 mins, or rinse with water and place in microwave for 2-3 mins, or on a hot dishwasher cycle
  2. Peel and cut vegetables into match stick battons — set aside in a bowl
  3. In a saucepan, heat the pickling liquor ingredients until boiling, and remove from heat.
  4. Pour the pickling liquor onto vegetables and combine well.
  5. Transfer to sterilised jar and store in the fridge for up to 4 weeks
  6. Always use clean chopsticks to serve pickles
Serving suggestions

Serve with grilled lemongrass pork on rice, in vermicelli bowls, in salads or as an accompaniment to meat or curry dishes where you want to add freshness and zing. Great served with crispy roasted pork belly, and hoi sin. And essential of course, in Banh Mi.

Ba'get Russell Street on Urbanspoon

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Ba'get.

Product Review: Jalna Sweet and Creamy

Jalna has just launched a new ‘Sweet and Creamy’ range of yoghurt which is based on Jalna’s Natural Greek Yoghurt recipe. 

The yoghurt is velvety smooth in texture and lightly sweetened with fruit juice which makes it less acidic than Jalna's traditional Greek yoghurts.

There is nothing artificial in any Jalna products (i.e. no gums, starches, gluten, gelatine, stabilisers, preservatives, colours or acidifiers, no numbers in the ingredients list or words you don’t understand) and this is the same with their new ‘Sweet and Creamy' range. 
Jalna has also recently launched a snack size Citrus Splice, another dessert alternative that is a throwback to that famous 1980’s pairing of citrus and cream that conjures up memories of walking to the corner store on a hot summer’s day!

Jalna’s new addition to its pot set yoghurts are perfect for summer. We loved that there are no artificial additives, contain all the goodness of yoghurt (e.g. contain 3 million+ ABC probiotic cultures per 100g) and proudly Australian made and owned.

For recipe ideas visit www.jalna.com.au.

Gastrology received the product courtesy of Jalna.

A Porky Christmas: Murray Valley Pork Rindless Scotch

After the success of cooking up Murray Valley Pork’s Cranberry & Almond Loin Roast, we decided to be a little more adventurous. 
This time, we used Murray Valley Pork’s Rindless Scotch (also known as collar butt) which is rindless and boneless. 
We had just received some good news and we were in the mood to celebrate!
To start, we made a few home-made dips and a loaf of rosemary bread.
The pièce de résistance was our slow cooked Murray Valley Pork Rindless Scotch which we served on a bed of quinoa and spinach. We tweaked a Gordon Ramsay Pork Belly recipe (which you can find here) and the results were absolutely stunning!

Here is the recipe for it:

Slow-cooked Pork with fennel recipe
Serves 6


Black pepper
3 baby fennel bulbs, trimmed and roughly sliced
4 fresh bay leaves
3 garlic cloves, peeled and bashed
1 tsp cardamom pods, bashed
4 star anise
1 tbsp fennel seeds
Olive oil
500ml white wine
1l chicken stock (depending on the size of your pan/slowcooker)
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  1. Put the fennel, bay leaves, garlic, cardamom, star anise and half the fennel seeds into a hot roasting tray on the hob with a little oil and heat for about 2 minutes until aromatic. Push to the side of the tray, then add the pork and cook for at least 5 minutes until turning golden brown. Turn the pork over, season the skin again with pepper and sprinkle with the remaining fennel seeds
  2. Pour in the wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up the bits from the bottom. Bring to the boil, then pour in enough stock to cover the pork and allow to boil again.
  3. Transfer the contents of the tray into a slowcooker  and cook on “low” for 7 hours.
  4. Transfer the meat to a warm plate and set aside to rest. 
  5. Reduce some of the liquid contents from the slowcooker to make a sauce and add the mustard. Mix in with a whisk, then taste and adjust the flavours as necessary. Strain and pour the sauce into a jug. 
  6. Serve the rested pork with the sauce alongside.
The pork was sensational. We loved the fact that is was so lean, fresh and healthy. 

Fragrant, sweet and succulent, this pork was absolutely delicious. The meat was incredibly tender and just melted in our mouths. The accompanying sauce had a lovely depth of flavour. It was perfect for celebrating a special occasion. 

Get your hands on some Murray Valley Pork -> Find your nearest stockist here!
Gastrology bloggers tried the Rindless Scotch courtesy of MVP.

Dairy Farmers Thick & Creamy gourmet yoghurt launch @ Collingwood Children’s Farm

This post is Sponsored by Nuffnang.
Location: Collingwood Childrens Farm, St Heliers Street, Abbotsford
Phone: 03 9415 6581
Dairy Farmers and Nuffnang hosted an exclusive brunch at Collingwood Children’s Farm to celebrate the new Thick & Creamy everyday gourmet yoghurt. Gastrology bloggers enjoyed a delicious brunch which was prepared from fresh local ingredients and inspired by the exciting new range of Dairy Farmers Thick & Creamy gourmet yoghurts.
Nestled on a bend of the Yarra River with acres of paddocks, gardens, orchards, rustic buildings and shady trees, Collingwood Children's Farm was the perfect venue for trying the range of exciting, newly launched, gourmet flavours. 
Dairy Farmers Thick & Creamy has been re-formulated to truly deliver on its “Thick and Creamy” promise. The result is an even better, truly gourmet yoghurt experience that Australians can enjoy every day. 
The re-formulated yoghurts come repackaged in gorgeous premium packaging, which uses hand-drawn illustrations and romantic typography and comes in two sizes: a 150g tub and a 600g tub. 

There are 8 exciting new gourmet flavours to choose from: Field Strawberries, Original Sweetened, Field Blueberries, Mango & Passionfruit, Lemon Cream, Yellow Box Honey, Caramelised Fig and Raspberry & Coconut. We loved the delicious authentic flavours. 
We were spoilt with as much yoghurt as our hearts desired. There were also an array of treats that were made from Dairy Farmers Thick & Creamy gourmet yoghurt.
A world of difference from the “gourmet” yoghurts that have saturated the market which taste like confectionery and are far too sweet, Dairy Farmers Thick & Creamy has the perfect level of sweetness and had true fruit flavours. 
The yoghurt has a full cream taste and mouth feel but contains a mere 8% fat and has no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives (they even exclude standard yoghurt nasties like gelatine!). Using a well-formed, gentle yoghurt process means the thick & creamy texture is accentuated. The fruit flavours have gone through a rigorous selection process where the best fruit are sourced – and the difference is obvious! 
The fruits in the yoghurt were a good size and looked as good as they tasted. We loved how much fruit there was in the yoghurts which made the yoghurt deliciously fruity without compromising the creamy, indulgent taste profile of the base yoghurt. 
The afternoon ended with a cooking class by Alana Lowes (from Series 3 of MasterChef Australia) where we were shown how to recreate the delicious Farmhouse Layered Cheesecake which we were privileged to indulge in as part of the lovely brunch (scroll down for the recipe!)

 Farm Cafe on Urbanspoon

Farmhouse Layered Cheesecake Recipe
Makes 12 
Preparation time: 15 mins 

Biscuit base 
4 crumbled digestive biscuits
1 cup toasted muesli 
2 tsp brown sugar (optional) 
Large pinch cinnamon powder 
35g melted butter 

2 cups Dairy Farmers Thick & Creamy Lemon Cream Yoghurt 

Citrus topping 
150g fresh citrus fruits eg. orange, lime 
1 tsp cornflour 
2 tbsp lemon juice 
2 tbsp caster sugar 
  1. Combine all ingredients for citrus topping in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes until the fruits break down and release juice (if the sauce is too syrupy, add a little more cornflour to thicken). Remove from heat, and set aside to cool. 
  2. Combine the crumbled biscuits and muesli, along with the melted butter, ground cinnamon, and sugar. Spoon into four serving glasses, and press nicely to the base. 
  3. For filling, divide the Dairy Farmers Thick & Creamy Lemon Cream Yoghurt between the four glasses. 
  4. Spoon over the cooled citrus topping.

What would be your dream yoghurt flavour?

Christmas Recipes

Highpoint has just released a selection of Christmas recipes with ingredients that can be freshly sourced from their new Fresh Food Market...

Cranberry  and  Balsamic  Glazed  Ham  
Serves  12  
275  g  jar  cranberry  sauce
1/2  cup    (125  ml)  balsamic  vinegar
1/2  cup  (100  g)  firmly  packed  light  brown  sugar
1  tablespoon  Dijon  mustard
4  kg  half  leg  cooked  ham,  on  the  bone  
Whole  cloves,  to  decorate  

Preheat  the  oven  to  180°C.
Line  a  large  roasting  tray  with  baking    paper  and  set  a  rack  on  top.  
To  make  the  glaze,  heat  the  cran berry  sauce,  balsamic  vinegar,  brown  sugar  and  mustard  together   in   a  small  saucepan  over  low  heat,  stirring  occasionally,  until  the  sugar  dissolves.  Strain  through  a  fine   mesh  sieve,    discard  any  lumps  and  set  aside  to  cool.      

To  prepare  the  ham,  cut  through  the  skin  around  the  shank.  Slip  your  fingers  between  the  skin  and   the  fat  and  peel  off  the  skin.  Trim  the  fat,  leaving  an  even  layer  over  the  ham.

Score  the  fat   diagonally  at  approximately  3  cm  intervals   in  one  direction  and  then  the  opposite   direction,  to  create  a  diamond  pattern.  Press  cloves  into  the  fa t  in  the  centre  of  each  diamond,  to   decorate.  Place  the  ham  on  the  rack   of  the  prepared  tray.  Pour  the  glaze  over  the  ham  and  brush  to   coat.       

Cook  the  ham ,  glazing  every  15  minutes  with  the  pan  juices ,  for  1  1/4–1  1/2  hours,  until  caramelised   golden  brown .       
Remove  from  the  oven,  cover  loosely  with  foil  and  set  aside  to  rest  for  10  minutes.             Slice  to  serve.     Serve  hot  or  cold.     

Roast  Pork  with  Pistachio  Stuffing       
Serves  6-­‐8     
1.5  kg  boned  pork  leg     
sea  salt         
olive  oil,  for  drizzling     
Pistachio  stuffing     
30  g  butter   
1  tablespoon  olive  oil   
1  large  onion,  finely  chopped   
1  clove  garlic,  finely  chopped  
2  cups  (120  g)  fresh  breadcrumbs   
1  cup  (140  g)  pistachios,  coarsely chopped   
1  small  handful  flat  leaf  parsley,  coarsely  chopped   
finely  grated  zest  of  1  lemon  
 sea  salt  and  freshly  ground  black  pepper     

Score  the  pork  skin  at  2  cm  intervals.       
Set  the  pork,  skin  side  up  on  a  colander.  Scald  the  skin  with  boiling  water.  Pat  dry  with  paper  towel.   Generously  season  the  skin  with  salt,  rubbing  it  into  the  cuts.       Place  the  pork,  skin    side  up  on  a  tray  and  refrigerate  uncovered  for  2  hours ,  to  dry  out.       
Meanwhile  to    make  the  stuffing,  melt  the  butter  and  oil  together  in  a  small  frying  pan  over  low  heat,   add  the  onion  and  garlic  and  cook  until  softened.  Transfer  into  a   medium  bowl,  add  the  breadcrumbs,   pistachios,  parsley  and   lemon  zest  and  mix  well  to  combine.  Season  with  salt  and  pepper.     

Preheat  the  oven  to  220°C.     Lay  the  pork  skin  side  down  on  a  clean  kitchen  surface.  Cut  half  way  down  the  centre  of  the    meat  and   then  horizontally  half  way  across  on  either  side  of  the  centre  cut,  to  create  two  flaps.  Fold  the  flaps   out,  to  open  like  a  book.  Spread  half  of  the  stuffing    down  the  centre  of  the  pork  and  fold  the  flaps   back  over  to  enclose.   Secure  at  intervals  with  kitchen  string.  Drizzle  the  skin  with  oil  and  season  with  a   little  more  salt.  Place  the  pork  skin  side  up   in  a  large  roasting  dish.       

Shape  the  remaining  stuffing  into  a  fat  sausage ,  wrap  in  aluminium  foil  and  set  aside.       Cook  the  pork  for  25  minutes  at  high  heat.       Decrease  the  temperature  to  180°C.     Add  the  stuffing  log  to  the  roasting  dish  and  cook  the  pork  for  a  further  45  minutes,  or  until     the  juices   run  clear  and  the   skin  has  crackled.  If  using  a  meat  thermometer  the  pork  is  cooked  when  the  internal   temperature  reads  75⁰C  when  inserted  into  the  thickest  part.     Remove  dish  from  the  oven ,  transfer  pork  onto  a  hot  tray  and  set  aside  in  a  warm  place   to  rest  for  15   minutes.       
Remove  and  discard  the  string.  Remove  the  crackle  to  carve  the  meat.     Serve  meat  with  crackle  and  additional  stuffing .   

Turkey,  Prawn  and  Pomegranate  Salad     
Serves  6       
2  kg  turkey  breast     
1  small  onion,  halved   
2  bay  leaves   
4  black  peppercorns   
1.5  kg  cooked  prawns,  peeled  with  tails  left  on     
1  large  handful  baby  spinach  leaves     
1/  2  pomegranate ,  seeds  removed     
1  small  red  onion,  finely  sliced   
1  small  handful  flat  leaf  parsley,  coarsely  chopped     

Lemon  dressing       
2  tablespoons  lemon  juice   
1  clove  garlic,  crushed   1  teaspoon  
Dijon  mustard   
1/2  teaspoon  caster  sugar   
1/3  cup  (80  ml)  extra -­‐virgin  olive  oil     
Sea  salt  and  freshly  ground  black  pepper     

Lemon  mayo  drizzle     
1/4  cup  (60  ml)  whole  egg  mayonnaise   
1  tablespoon  lemon  juice  
1/2  teaspoon  Dijon  mustard     
Sea  salt     

Remove  and  discard  the  skin  and  any  sinew  from  the  turkey  breast.  Place  the  turkey,  onion,  bay   leaves  and  peppercorns  in  a  large  saucepan  and  cover  with  cold  water.  Gently  simmer  for  45  minutes   or  until  cooked  through.  Set  aside  to  cool  slightly  in  the  poaching  liquid.  Transfer  turkey  onto  a  large   plate  and  refrigerate  until  completely  cool.  Meanwhile  to  make  the  lemon  dressing,  combine  the  lemon  juice ,  garlic,  mustard  and  sugar   in  a  small   bowl.  Gradually  whisk  in  the  oil  and  season  with  salt  and  pepper. To  make  the  lemon  mayo  drizzle,  whisk  the  mayonnaise,  lemon  juice  and  mustard  together  in  a  small   bowl.  Season  with  salt.       

Shred  the  turkey  into  small  chunks.  Combine  the  turkey,  prawns,  spinach,  onion,  half    of  the   pomegranate  seed s  and  parsley  in  a  large  bowl.  

Pour  over  the  lemon  dressing    and  toss  to  coat.   Arrange  onto  a  serving  platter  and  sprinkle  with  the  remaining  pomegranate  seeds.   
Drizzle  with   lemon  mayo.

Summer  Christmas  Pavlova     
Serves  8  
6  large  egg  whites ,  at  room  temperature  
1  1/2  cups  (300  g)  caster  sugar  
2  tablespoons  corn  flour
2  teaspoons  white  vinegar  

1  1/2  cups  (375  ml)  thickened  cream
1  tablespoon  icing  sugar   
250  g  strawberries ,  hulled  and  halved   
125  g  blueberries     

Preheat  the  oven  to  120°C.       Draw  a  23  cm  disc  on  the  underside  of  a  piece  of  baking  paper  and  place  disc  side  down  on  a  baking   tray. Whisk  the  egg  whites  using  an  electric  mixer  with  a  whisk  attachment,  until  soft  peaks  form.  Gradually   add  the  sugar,  one  tablespoon  at  a  time,   whisking  continuously  until  the  meringue  is  thick  and  glossy   and  the  sugar  has  completely  dissolved.       

Spoon  the  meringue  into  the  centre  of  the  marked  disc  and  spread  out  to  an  even  thi ckness,  creating   decorative  waves  around  the  edge.       Bake  for  1  1/2  ho urs,  or  until  slightly  crisp  on  the  outside,  but  not  coloured.  Turn  the  oven  off  and   leave  the  pavlova  in  the  oven,  until  cooled  completely.       

To  decorate,  whisk  the  cream  and  icing  sugar  together  using  an  electric  mixer  with  a  whisk   attachment,  until  soft  peaks  form.  Spread  the  cream  over  the  top  of  the  pavlova  and  scatter  the   strawberries  and  blueberries  over  the  top.       
Slice  to  serve.          

Making Christmas a Highpoint

Our Christmas celebrations started early this year.
With two of our closest friends planning an overseas trip over the Christmas period, we decided to have an extra early Christmas dinner with them last weekend.
Roast turkey
Roast potatoes
Roast pumpkin, Meredith goats cheese & rocket salad
Chocolate mousse with brandied berries

Gastrology were invited by Jess from MANGO to visit Highpoint’s new Fresh Food Market and were generously provided with a $50 voucher to use at the Fresh Food Market and a $25 voucher to use at Melbourne Fresh Meats which we put to good use (along with quite a few extra dollars from our own hip pocket) to purchase all our Christmas dinner ingredients.

Thankfully the dinner was a huge success. We were very pleased with the quality of the produce from both the Fresh Food Market and Melbourne Fresh Meats. Here are the recipes we used to prepare our Christmas dinner. They are all very simple and easy to follow. Enjoy!

Recipe: Roast pumpkin, Meredith goats cheese & rocket salad

  • ¼ pumpkin (from the Highpoint Fruit and Vegetable Market)
  • 6 'squares' of Meredith goats cheese in extra virgin olive oil (from Go Vita)
  • 200 grams of rocket (from the Highpoint Fruit and Vegetable Market)
  • 1 small red onion (from the Highpoint Fruit and Vegetable Market)
  • 2 tablespoon good quality extra virgin olive oil (from Yes It's Fresh Deli)
  • 1 tablespoon good quality balsamic vinegar (from Yes It's Fresh Deli)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees celcius.
  2. Place chopped pumpkin on a baking tray lined with baking paper, drizzle lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk good quality extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar until combined and season to taste.
  5. Very thinly slice the red onion.
  6. In a large bowl toss the pumpkin, sliced red onion, rocket and crumbled goats cheese together gently. Drizzle with the dressing.

Recipe: Roast turkey and gravy


We bought a fresh turkey that was ready to cook. So all we did was lightly brush the turkey skin with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and pop it into the oven, following the instructions on the pack.

For the gravy, we saved the turkey juices and turned it into a lovely gravy by reducing the liquid in a pot and adding rosemary, a spoonful of butter, dissolving one tablespoon of corn starch and lastly, adding salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe: Roasted potatoes

  1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees celcius.
  2. Remove leaves from the rosemary sprigs and chop finely.
  3. Place chopped potatoes on a baking tray lined with baking paper, add rosemary sprigs, drizzle lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden.

Recipe: Chocolate mousse with brandied berries


The recipe says that it is for 2 people but when we doubled it for our party of four, it was far too much! I would recommend halving this recipe for two, or using it as is for four.

Instead of the raspberries that Donna Hay uses in her recipe, we served the chocolate mousse with brandied berries which were very easy to prepare. We mixed icing sugar and brandy to taste, then allowed the berries to soak in this mixture for about 4 hours.

Recipe: Matcha (Green Tea) Frozen yoghurt


2 cups homemade yogurt or plain yoghurt
3 heaped teaspoons of matcha (green tea) powder
1/2 cup icing sugar


In a bowl, mix a few spoonfuls of yoghurt with the green tea powder and icing sugar. Once there is a smooth consistency, pour in the rest of the yoghurt and mix it well. If your yogurt mix is quite cold, you can pour it straight into your ice cream maker. Otherwise, chill it for a few hours in the fridge first. Churn it in the ice cream maker according to the machine instructions.


Recipe: Good Vanilla bean ice cream

We finally got to use Snowy, J's brand new ice cream machine. J finished work a little later than he had hoped but we both decided that we would push on and make ice cream last night. It turned out to be a late night but it was well worth it. The following is the recipe for the delicious vanilla ice cream we made.

  • 2 vanilla beans
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • yolks from 3 large eggs
This recipe makes about 1.5 litres of ice cream

1) Place cream and milk into a pot.

2) Halve the vanilla beans lengthwise. Scrape the seeds and put them in the pot.

3) Bring the mixture almost to a boil but never let it start boilling. Stir it occasionally and remove it from heat.

4) In a large bowl, beat the yolk of the eggs with the sugar until it forms a thick custard.

5)  Pour the cream, milk and vanilla mixture slowly into the large bowl, stirring continuously. This will form a custard.

6) Cook the custard over a low heat until the consistency of the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon.

7)  Pour the custard into a clean bowl and leave it to cool for at least 3 hours or until cold (maximum of 1 day).

8) Switch on the ice cream machine. Pour the cooled custard into the ice cream machine.

9) Wait for it to churn for 40 minutes.

10) The ice cream should be ready at this stage. Transfer the ice cream into an airtight container and put in freezer to harden.
Vanilla pods
Custard being poured into Snowy.
Little Snowy churning away...

 And soon Snowy had made us a delectable Vanilla bean ice cream
 Good job, Snowy!

Recipe: How to make a giant cupcake

 Giant Red Velvet Cupcake Recipe
I decided to bake J a giant cupcake for his birthday because he loves things that are the wrong size but to scale! E.g. A Jeroboam (double magnum) from Yering station:
So I thought a giant cupcake would be a good idea. The only problem is my lack of skill in the kitchen but I really tried my best and after lots of trial runs, here is the recipe I came up with. Because I didn't want to buy a special giant cupcake maker, I used an oven-safe bowl for the dome-shaped upper tier of the cupcake and a regular round cake tin for the lower tier. Make sure that the bowl fits nicely on top of the cake tin. Happy baking!

Makes 16 servings.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups self-raising flour 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 cup greek-style yoghurt
1/2 cup milk
30ml Red Food Colouring
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


250gms butter
2 cups icing sugar
juice of 1 small lemon
2 "triangles" of Happy Cow cheese
Lollies etc to decorate your giant cupcake. (I used mini marshmallows)


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour an oven-safe bowl and a round cake tin. Sift flour, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside.

2. Beat butter and granulated sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Mix in yoghurt, milk, food color and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until just blended. Do not overbeat. Pour batter into prepared pans.

3. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean in both the cakes baking in the oven-safe bowl and the round cake tin. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire rack.

4. For the Frosting, beat cheese and butter in large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in icing sugar until smooth.

5. Cut the top bits of the two separate cakes from the oven-safe bowl and round cake tin.

6. Spread frosting on the bottom part of the dome shaped cake.

7. Place the dome shaped cake on top of the round cake.

8. Frost the dome shaped (top tier) part of the cake with frosting until it looks like a giant cupcake!