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

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.

• 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)

• Varies

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

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

• 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

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.

• 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)

• 10 people

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

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

• 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

• 12 muffins

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

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.

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

• 1 person per cup/mug

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

• 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

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

• 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)

• 10 friands

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

• Varies

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

• 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)

• 50 meatballs

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

• 8-10 people

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

• 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

• 12 people

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

• 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)
• Silver Cachous or White Pearls
• Lolly sticks
• 3-4 red sour straps
• Chocolate icing pen

• 15 people

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!!!