Food & Drink


Cooking Challange

By Isabella Chua

Our Griffith University intern Isabella loves to cook. She shares some of her favorite recipes that she wants to try and make during COVID 19 lockdown. We are spending so much time at home, so what better way than to try and create new skills. Maybe Isabella will become a super chef after all this! Isabella dares you to try some new recipes out. Either way new skills and yummy food! Nothing to lose.

Spinach, Mushroom and Feta Quiche

Description:
A savory dish made with spinach, mushroom, and feta cheese. Delicious in taste, this quiche is best served hot or cold for any occasion, like brunch, lunch, or dinner.

Ingredients:
• 3 eggs
• 100g feta cheese (crumbled)
• 125g spinach
• ½ cup self-raising flour
• 1 ½ cups skim milk
• ½ cup cheddar cheese (grated)
• 1 onion (thinly sliced)
• 200g mushrooms (sliced)

Servings:
• Varies

Method:
1. Sauté the onion and mushrooms until just cooked.
2. Mix the flour, eggs, cheddar cheese, and milk together in a bowl.
3. Add the feta to the spinach and combine with the onion and egg mixtures.
4. Cover a quiche dish (if available) with non-stick spray oil.
5. Pour the mixture into the dish and bake in an oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 30 min. Remove dish from oven afterwards.
6. Dig in and enjoy!!!

Apple Crumble

Description:
Apple crumble is a dish made in a sweet version, which usually contains stewed fruit (in this case, apples) topped with a crumbly mixture composed of butter, flour, and sugar. Widely considered a simplistic alternative to pie, this dessert is perfect for many families everywhere and is usually served with sweetened foods like cream, custard, and ice cream.

Ingredients (for the filling):
• 4 apples
• 2 heaped tbsp brown sugar
• 1 cup water
• 2 tsp vanilla essence
Ingredients (for the crumble):
• 1 cup castor or brown sugar
• 1 cup self-raising flour
• ½ plain flour
• ½ desiccated coconut
• 30g butter

Servings:
• Varies

Method (for the filling):
1. Peel and core the apples. Chop them into bite size pieces afterwards.
2. Put a saucepan on the stove at medium heat and add in the apples.
3. Next, pour in the saucepan the water and sugar, and stir together.
4. Cover the pan and simmer until the apples are soft.
5. Remove pan from heat and add vanilla essence. Mix well.
Method (for the crumble):
1. Put the self-raising flour, plain flour, and desiccated coconut in a bowl and add the butter.
2. Rub together until the mixture is crumbly in texture.
3. Add sugar afterwards and mix well. At this point, you can either include cinnamon or coconut essence for better taste.
Final Step/s:
1. Put filling into a pie dish and cover with crumble.
2. Cook in an oven for about 30-40 min at 160-180 degrees Celsius. Afterwards, remove the pie dish from the oven and allow apple crumble to rest.
3. Dig in and enjoy!!!

Creamy Cheesecake

Description:
Creamy cheesecake is a sweet dessert consisting of one or more layers, with the main and thickest layer containing a mixture of soft, fresh cheese, and sugar, and the bottom layer containing a base made from crushed biscuits. Chilled in texture and sugary in taste, this dish is best served unbaked (and refrigerated) and makes for a perfect yet entertaining treat during the Easter holidays.

Ingredients:
• 1 ¼ cups sweet biscuit crumbs
• 80g butter (melted)
• 500g PHILADELPHIA Lemon or Strawberry Block Cream Cheese (softened)
• ¾ cup caster sugar for lemon or 1 cup for strawberry
• 3 tsp gelatine dissolved in ¼ cup boiling water
• 1 cup thickened cream (softly whipped)
• Candied lemon slices or strawberries (for decorations)

Servings:
• 10 people

Method:
1. Combine the biscuit crumbs and butter, then press into the base of a greased and lined 20cm round springform pan. Chill.
2. Beat the PHILLY and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Stir in the gelatin and fold through the cream afterwards. (Tip: For the perfect chilled cheesecake, mix the gelatine with the boiling water and set aside for 5 min before adding it to the PHILLY mixture. Never add hot gelatine to a cold mixture as it sets into stringy lumps.)
3. Pour mixture over the prepared base. Refrigerate for 3 hours or until set.
4. Decorate the cheesecake with slices of lemon or strawberries before serving.
5. Dig in and enjoy!!!


Chocolate Marble Muffins

Description:
Deliciously delectable muffins made from a delightful mishmash of both dark chocolate and white chocolate batters.

Ingredients:
• 2 cups plain flour
• 4 tsp baking powder
• 1 cup sugar
• 2 eggs
• 100g butter (melted)
• 1 cup milk
• ½ cup white choc bits
• ¼ cup baking cocoa
• ¼ cup milk
• ½ cup dark choc bits

Servings:
• 12 muffins

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius and lightly grease muffin pans.
2. Sift flour, baking powder, and sugar into a bowl. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients.
3. Whisk eggs and stir in melted butter and the 1 cup of milk in another bowl.
4. Pour liquid ingredients into well and stir until dry ingredients are just dampened. Divide mixture in half and transfer one half of it into another bowl.
5. In one bowl, gently stir in the white choc bits. In the other bowl, gently stir in sifted baking cocoa, the ¼ cup of milk and dark choc bits.
6. Spoon 1 tbsp of dark mixture into each muffin pan, followed by 2 tbsp of white mixture and finally top with remaining dark mixture.
7. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 15-20 min. Allow to cool in muffin pans before removing.
8. Dig in and enjoy!!!

Cake in a Cup

Description:
Cake in a Cup is, according to its title, a cake literally baked in a ceramic cup or mug. Perfect as a late-night snack or an occasional dessert, this particular recipe is made with delectable ingredients like cocoa powder, which also gives the cake its distinctive dark brown colour. Sweet in taste and moist in texture, this chocolate cake recipe is also simple and relatively easy to make, taking about 2-7 min preparation time.

Ingredients:
• 3 tbsp self-raising flour
• 2 tbsp brown sugar
• 2 tbsp cocoa powder
• 3 tbsp milk
• 1 tbsp canola or vegetable oil

Servings:
• 1 person per cup/mug

Method:
1. Combine all the dry ingredients in a large mug. Next, add in the milk and oil, and stir well until the mixture is devoid of any lumps.
2. Microwave mug for roughly min. Allow the baked cake to cool.
3. Serve with ice cream of your choice (optional).
4. Dig in and enjoy!!!

How to make Marzipan

Ingredients:
• 6 oz icing sugar
• 6 oz caster sugar
• 12 oz ground almonds
• Juice of ½ lemon
• ¾ tsp orange flower water
• ¾ tsp vanilla essence
• 1-2 egg yolks

Method:
1. Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and mix with the ground almonds and caster sugar. Add the lemon juice, essences, and enough egg yolk to bind the ingredients into a pliable yet dry paste. Knead thoroughly by hand until smooth.

NOTE: A whole egg or egg whites may be used instead of egg yolks. Egg yolks give a richer and yellower paste, whilst egg whites give a whiter, more brittle paste. Economically, the yolks can be used for the marzipan and the whites can be used for royal icing.

2. Depending on your preferences, add food colouring to the marzipan to give it some colour. Note that this quantity of paste is sufficient to cover the top and sides of an 8” cake.
3. When you have finished covering the cake with marzipan, leave for a few days to dry. Cover with a clean cloth to protect it from dust. Do not put the cake into a fridge afterwards as this will cause the marzipan to crack.
4. Dig in and enjoy!!!

Chocolate and Cherry Friands

Ingredients:
• Butter for greasing
• ½ cup plain flour
• ½ cup Dutch cocoa
• 1 ¼ cups icing sugar
• 1 cup or 100g ground hazelnuts
• 5 egg whites
• 1 tsp vanilla essence
• 180g butter (melted)
• 525g pitted black cherries canned in syrup (drained)

Servings:
• 10 friands

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Brush 10 friand moulds with melted butter and place on a baking tray. Sift flour, cocoa, and icing sugar into a large bowl. Stir in hazelnuts.
2. Put egg whites into a medium-sized bowl and whisk with a fork until frothy, then fold through dry ingredients. Stir through vanilla and melted butter until just combined.
3. Spoon batter into prepared moulds. Press 2 cherries into each friand, covering with batter. Bake for 15-20 min or until friands pop up in the middle and spring back when lightly pressed with finger. Allow to stand for 5 min before turning out onto a wire rack. Serve with remaining pitted cherries.
4. Dig in and enjoy!!!

Chocolate and Coffee Fudge Cake

Ingredients (for the cake):
• Butter for greasing
• 250g butter (cut into cubes)
• 200g good-quality dark chocolate (roughly chopped)
• 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
• 1 cup strong black coffee
• 1 tbsp vanilla essence
• 1 ½ cups self-raising flour
• ¾ cup cocoa
• 3 eggs
• 125g ground almonds
Ingredients (for the chocolate ganache)
• 300ml thickened cream
• 200g dark chocolate
• Gold leaf

Servings:
• Varies

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Brush a 22cm deep round cake tin with butter and line with baking paper. Place cubed butter, chocolate, sugar, coffee, and vanilla into a medium-sized pan. Stir over low heat until melted and smooth. Pour into a large bowl and allow to cool slightly.
2. Sift flour and cocoa. Add to chocolate mixture with eggs and ground almonds. Combine using a large metal spoon. Pour into prepared tin. Bake for 55-60 min. This cake will not be firm. While cooling, it tends to become firmer.
3. To make ganache, put cream and chocolate in a small pan and stir over low heat until smooth. Refrigerate, stirring every 10 min, until desired consistency. Pour or spread over cake, and finish with gold leaf.
4. Dig in and enjoy!!!

Party Meatballs

Ingredients:
• 1 large potato (peeled and chopped)
• 1 small apple (peeled and chopped)
• 1 large onion (chopped)
• 2 bacon rashers (chopped)
• 1 egg (lightly beaten)
• 500g minced meat
• 250g sausage mince
• 1 tsp curry powder
• ½ tsp ground ginger
• ½ tsp ground mustard
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
• Oil (for shallow-frying)
• Tomato sauce (to serve)
• Fresh herbs (to garnish)

Servings:
• 50 meatballs

Method:
1. Combine potato, apple, and onion in a pan; barely cover with cold water. Bring to boil; simmer until tender, removing lid towards the end of cooking time so most of the water evaporates. Drain and mash.
2. Combine mash, bacon, egg, minces, seasonings, and sauce in a bowl. With wet hands, roll tablespoonfuls of mixture into balls.
3. Shallow-fry meatballs in hot oil in a pan until golden and cooked through; drain on absorbent paper.
4. Serve with tomato sauce and garnish with fresh herbs.
5. Dig in and enjoy!!!

Caramel Chocolate Cheesecake

Ingredients (for the base):
• 1 cup plain flour
• 3 tsp baking cocoa
• ¼ cup caster sugar
• 80g butter (cut into cubes)
• 1 tbsp iced water
• Dutch cocoa (sifted, to decorate)
Ingredients (for the filling):
• 2 x 250g blocks cream cheese (softened)
• 2 x 300ml tubs whipping cream
• 380g can caramel
• ¼ cup brown sugar
• 2 tbsp corn flour
• 3 large eggs
• 1 tsp vanilla extract

Servings:
• 8-10 people

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease a 22cm springform tin and line the base with baking paper.
2. To make base, combine flour, cocoa, and sugar in bowl. Rub in butter to form clumps. Add water and bring mixture together to form a soft dough. Press evenly into base of tin. Bake for 15 min. Remove from oven and place on baking tray. Reduce oven to 160 degrees Celsius.
3. To make filling, process cream cheese in a food processor until smooth. Add 1 cup cream, caramel, brown sugar, corn flour, eggs, and vanilla, and process until smooth. Pour over base. Bake for 50-55min, until golden and centre just set but still very slightly wobbly. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours, until cold.
4. Beat remaining cream and spread over cheesecake. Return to fridge until ready to serve. Dust lightly with cocoa and cut into wedges to serve.
5. Dig in and enjoy!!!

Easy Gluten-free Marmalade Nut & Cherry Biscuits

Ingredients:
• 200g packet almond meal
• 2 tbsp corn flour
• ¼ cup caster sugar
• ¼ cup marmalade, plus 1 tbsp extra (to glaze)
• 1 large egg white
• ½ x 130g packet pine nuts or ½ x 110g packet flaked almonds
• 12 red glace cherries

Servings:
• 12 people

Method:
1. Preheat oven 170 degrees Celsius. Line baking tray with baking paper.
2. Process almond meal, corn flour, sugar, marmalade, a tiny pinch of salt and egg white in a food processor until mixture is sticky and just comes together.
3. Place pine nuts or almonds in small bowl. Roll 2 tsp of mixture into balls then roll in nuts to lightly coat. Place on tray, evenly spaced, and push a cherry into centre of each. Bake for 18-20 min, until firm and pale golden. Allow to cool on tray.
4. Heat extra marmalade and brush over biscuits to glaze.
5. Dig in and enjoy!!!

Kids’ Milk Chocolate Fruit Fudge Pops

Ingredients:
• 125g plain, uncoated chocolate biscuits
• 395g can sweetened condensed milk
• 375g packet milk baking melts
• 50g butter
• ½ cup desiccated coconut
• ½ cup craisins
• ½ cup sultanas or raisins (chopped)
Decorations:
• Silver Cachous or White Pearls
• Lolly sticks
• 3-4 red sour straps
• Chocolate icing pen

Servings:
• 15 people

Method:
1. Grease a 20cm square cake tin. Line with baking paper. Crush biscuits with rolling pin or in a food processor, leaving some texture.
2. Stir condensed milk, chocolate, and butter in med saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat, mix in biscuits crumbs, coconut, and dried fruit. Spread mixture in tin. Sprinkle over cachous or pearls to decorate. Refrigerate 2-3 hours.
3. Trim edges, cut into 5 lines. For each line, cut 3 triangles with two longer sides and a small base to make Christmas trees. Insert lolly stick into base. Cut stars from sour straps and stick to tops of trees using icing pen. Chill.
4. Dig in and enjoy!!!


My Family Recipes

By Isabella Chua

Isabella shares some of her favorite recipes from growing up in a Filipino family. She loves learning about her heritage by simply cooking these meals with her mother. Food can be a powerful and tasty way to connect with family! Enjoy these yummy traditional meals.

Philippine Adobo

Description:
Adobo is a popular Filipino dish that has occasionally been considered the unofficial national dish in the Philippines. Its rather simple cooking process involves meat like chicken and/or pork, seafood, or vegetables getting marinated in soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, black peppercorns, and bay leaves, which are then browned in oil, and simmered in the marinade. During my youth, adobo was one of my favourite dishes to eat and the easiest one to prepare, according to my Filipina mother. To this day, I like to cook this meal on special occasions (with Mum’s loving supervision) to enjoy and share with my whole family.

Ingredients:
• Chicken pieces
• Pork chunks (optional)
• Light soy sauce
• White vinegar
• 5 large garlic cloves (peeled)
• 5 tbsp brown sugar
• Crushed pepper
• Water
• Bay leaves (optional)

Servings:
• 5-6 people

Method:
1. Fill a measuring cup three-quarters with light soy sauce. Then, fill the remaining one-quarter of the measuring cup with white vinegar.
2. Crush the garlic cloves and add to the mixture along with the sugar. Combine with crushed pepper afterwards and stir well.
3. Fill the measuring cup almost to the rim with water, mix, and set aside.
4. Next, lightly drizzle a large pan with canola or vegetable oil and set over stove at medium heat.
5. When the oil starts to bubble, place the meat in and around the pan and fry until golden-brown.
6. Pour the adobo sauce from the measuring cup into the pan; covering all the pieces of meat. (Tip: Pour from and stir the measuring cup simultaneously so you would not miss any remnants of sugar.)
7. Add in bay leaves (optional) and cover pan with lid. Allow adobo to simmer at a slightly higher temperature until the sauce is slightly thickened. Keep turning over the meat while doing so.
8. Remove the pan from the stove and divide the meat into plates of 5-6. Serve with rice.
9. Dig in and enjoy!!!

Ube-Macapuno Cake

Description:
Ube-Macapuno cake, or Ube cake, is a Filipino sponge cake or chiffon cake made with ube halaya (or purple yam). Like most ube dishes in the Philippines, it is distinctively and vividly purple in coloration, and is usually topped with a buttercream, cream cheese, or whipped cream frosting flavoured with coconut. Typically served at Pinoy birthday parties, this particular recipe was personally sent from one of my honorary aunts, Jackie, and is, according to her, a great Filipino purple yam cake.

Ingredients:
• 2 ½ cups cake flour
• 3 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 cup ube/purple yam (cooked and finely grated)
• ¾ cup milk
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• ½ cup corn syrup
• 7 egg yolks (lightly beaten)
• ½ cup vegetable oil
• 7 egg whites
• 1 tsp cream of tartar
• 1 cup white sugar
• 6 drops red food colouring
• 6 drops blue food colouring
• 12 ounce or 1 jar macapuno (coconut preserves)

• 1 cup evaporated milk (chilled)
• ¾ cup white sugar
• 1 cup butter (softened)
• 1 drop violet food colouring

Servings:
• 12 people

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 165 degrees Celsius. Line bottoms of 3–9-inch pans with parchment paper, but do not grease. Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt, then set aside.
2. Place grated ube in a large bowl. Mix together the milk and vanilla, and gradually blend into ube until smooth. Blend in corn syrup, egg yolks, and oil. Beat in flour mixture until smooth and set aside.
3. In a large metal or glass mixing bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy. Gradually add sugar, then red and blue food colouring, continuing to beat until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the whites into the batter, then quickly fold in remaining whites until no streaks remain. Pour batter into prepared pans.
4. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-36 min, or until the centre of cake bounces back when lightly tapped. Invert pans on a wire rack and let cool upside down. When cool, run a knife around the edges to loosen cake from pans. Fill between layers with coconut preserves, then frost top and sides with butter icing.
5. To make butter icing, combine evaporated milk and sugar, then set aside. Cream butter until light and fluffy, before gradually adding sugar mixture, and continue beating to desired spreading consistency. Add violet food colouring, one drop at a time until desired tint is achieved.
6. Dig in and enjoy!!!

Filipino Spaghetti

Description:
Known as a Filipino variant of Italian spaghetti with Bolognese sauce, this dish is notable for its distinctive sweet sauce, which is made from tomato sauce sweetened with banana ketchup or brown sugar. Relatively cheap and easy to make, this particular dish also uses minced beef instead of meatballs and is usually topped with sliced hot dogs and/or grated cheddar cheese. Nowadays, Filipino spaghetti holds great cultural significance for Pinoy people due to its popularity as a comfort food and is typically served on multiple special occasions, especially children’s birthdays.

Ingredients:
• ¾ spaghetti noodles
• 5 large garlic cloves (peeled)
• 1 brown onion (peeled)
• 1 pack of minced beef or ground meat
• 1 whole bottle of Bolognese sauce
• 1 ½ tsp chicken powder
• 5 full tbsp brown sugar
• Crushed pepper
• 1 medium-sized block of cheddar cheese
• ½ red or green capsicum
• 3 hot dogs

Servings:
• Roughly five people

Method:
1. Fill a pot three-quarters with boiled water.
2. Set on stove at high heat until the water bubbles.
3. Add spaghetti noodles and cook until al dente (roughly 8-12 minutes). Remove pot from stove afterwards.
4. Using a colander, strain the noodles over a sink and allow them to rest.
5. Next, fill a saucepan with a tablespoon of either canola or vegetable oil and set on stove at medium heat.
6. Crush the garlic cloves and place the contents into the saucepan. Spread around the pan using a spatula or cooking spoon and fry for roughly one minute.
7. Mince the onion and add to the saucepan. Fry until slightly brown.
8. Add beef mince to the pan and chop finely into tiny pieces using the spatula/cooking spoon. Cook until the meat is predominantly brown.
9. Pour the Bolognese sauce all over the beef mince. Combine and add chicken powder, sugar, and crushed pepper. Stir well.
10. Adjust and lower stove to moderate heat and allow sauce to simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, grate the cheddar cheese and set aside in a bowl.
11. Next, mince the capsicum into tiny pieces. Then, peel the skin off the hot dogs and slice vertically into small, circular shapes.
12. Add more crushed pepper and a handful of cheddar cheese to the sauce. Stir well and mix in the capsicum and sliced hot dogs.
13. Continue alternating between stirring and adding crushed pepper until the taste and texture of the sauce is to your satisfaction. Remove saucepan from stove afterwards.
14. Divide the now cooled spaghetti noodles into plates of five. Spread each equally with four large scoopings of the spaghetti sauce.
15. Sprinkle a large pinch of leftover grated cheddar cheese on top of each plate.
16. Microwave each dish for 1 minute to melt the cheese.
17. Dig in and enjoy!!!

Kutsinta

Description:
Kutsinta (or cuchinta) are Filipino steamed cakes composed of flour, tapioca flour, and brown sugar. Soft, chewy, and topped with grated coconut, kutsinta is perfect as a delicious dessert or snack for sugar lovers everywhere.

Ingredients:
• 1 ½ cups plain flour, or alternatively, 1 cup plain flour and ½ rice flour
• ½ cup tapioca flour
• 1 ½ cups dark brown sugar
• 3 cups water
• 1 tbsp atsuete powder
• 1 tbsp lye water

Servings:
• Varies

Method:
1. Combine flour, tapioca flour, sugar, and water into a bowl. Stir well until the ingredients are dissolved and the mixture is smooth.
2. Pour in suete and mix until it is well dispersed and the desired colour is achieved.
3. Add in lye water and stir some more.
4. Lightly grease the insides of silicone molds (if available) with melted butter. Fill molds with mixture to about ¾ full.
5. Add water to a steamer (if available) and bring to simmer over medium heat.
6. Steam kutsinta for about 30-35 min or until the mixture is set. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
7. Gently remove each kutsinta from the molds and serve with grated coconut.
8. Dig in and enjoy!!!


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She discovered a wealth of advice and traditional cooking tips. Bellissimo! Read more »


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