Tag Archives: neil perry

Neil’s Three Milk Cake

A dessert I’ve been unable to resist at visits to Spice Temple is the three milk cake.  So I was excited to see that it was included in Neil Perry’s Spice Temple Cookbook.  I tried to make it and my first attempt was pretty good.  You’ll feed a big crowd with this, at least a dozen.  The cake needs to be made the night before so there’s less prep to do on the day of serving.  If you’re not a fan of meringue or don’t have time to make it I think it is still a really lovely dessert without it.  Here’s the end result

threemilkcake

And here’s the restaurant original – I didn’t do too bad for a first go, though I didn’t quite have enough of the garnishes on hand as no quantities were specified.

027_marked

Three-milk cake (make day ahead)
300 g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of fine salt
6 eggs, separated
275 g caster sugar
125 ml milk
30 ml rum
1 tsp vanilla extract
375 ml pouring cream
550 ml evaporated milk
500 ml condensed milk

Preheat the oven to 180°C and butter and flour a 30 cm × 20 cm Pyrex dish or cake tin.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, then set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks, then whisk in the sugar. Add the egg yolks one at a time, ensuring each is well incorporated before adding the next. Alternately fold in spoonfuls of the milk and the flour mixture, mixing to a smooth batter. Finally, fold in the rum and vanilla. Pour into the prepared dish or tin and bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven, but leave it in the dish. Use a skewer to prick the cake all over.

Mix together the pouring cream, evaporated milk and condensed milk, then gradually pour over the cake, letting it gradually absorb before pouring on more (if you just try and pour it all at once it will go everywhere!). Leave the cake to cool, then cover with cling film and refrigerate overnight.

Meringue (make when ready to serve)
100 ml water
2 tsp lemon juice
300 g caster sugar
180 g egg whites (from about 4–5 eggs)
3/4 tsp cream of tartar
2 tsp rose water

Place the water, lemon juice and all but 3 tbs of the sugar in a small non- reactive saucepan. Place over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cook the syrup without stirring until it reaches 120°C on a sugar thermometer.

Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks, then whisk in the remaining sugar and the cream of tartar to make a meringue. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour in a quarter of the sugar syrup and whisk to combine.

Continue adding the syrup in this way, whisking well each time, until it is all incorporated, then add the rose water and whisk on medium speed for a few minutes until smooth and glossy.

Three-milk sauce (for serving)
280 ml evaporated milk
240 ml condensed milk
140 ml pouring cream

Combine all three ingredients in a jug

To serve
Finely grated lime zest
Roasted flaked almonds
Roasted unsalted pistachios
Freeze-dried raspberries

Cut the cake into squares and place a square on each plate, then pour some three milk sauce around the cake. Scoop a large spoonful of the meringue onto the top of each cake square and garnish with grated lime zest, flaked almonds, pistachios and raspberries.

Spinach hotcakes and greens with almonds

This is another Good Food recipe that I tried out by Neil Perry.  He originally used feta in it, but I swapped it for ricotta wanting that creaminess of texture to contrast the almonds (and also because I’ll use any excuse to introduce ricotta); there was also originally a mixture of silverbeet and kale (I used all silverbeet), as well as some chopped olives which I skipped.  If you don’t want the hotcakes, the greens mixture itself is great with a fried egg or on a nice chunky piece of sourdough, or as Neil suggested, with some smoked salmon. You’ll get 8-10 hotcakes from the recipe.

hotcakes

Ingredients
Hotcakes

250g baby spinach leaves
3/4 cup self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 whole egg, whisked
50g unsalted butter, melted; plus extra for frying
3/4 cup milk
3 spring onions, finely sliced
1 egg white
1/4 cup ricotta, to serve
lemon wedges, to serve

For the greens
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large or 2 small leek, sliced
1 tsp sea salt
1 red capsicum, small dice
2 cups shredded silverbeet leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp chopped dill
1/4 cup toasted almonds, chopped

Making them
1. For the hotcakes, wilt the spinach in a hot pan. Place in a colander to drain and squeeze out any excess liquid. Allow to cool and coarsely chop.

2. Place flour, baking powder, pepper and salt into bowl, then add the whole egg, melted butter and milk. Whisk until smooth. Add spinach and spring onions. Gently stir through.

3. Whisk the egg white until soft peaks form, then fold into the batter with a large metal spoon.

4. For the greens, heat 3 tbsp oil in a large pan over a low heat. Add leek and 1/2 tsp salt, then sweat for about 8 minutes. Add capsicum and cook for 2 minutes, then add greens with remaining salt. Increase heat and sauté for about 4 minutes until greens are starting to wilt. Remove from heat, add pepper, then stir through the dill and almonds. Cover and keep warm.

5. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat, brush with remaining oil and melt a small amount of butter. Drop about 1/4 cup of batter to form round hot cakes with a diameter of about 10cm. Cook for 2-3 minutes until coloured underneath and bubbles form on top. Turn and cook for 1-2 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter.

6. Serve hotcakes topped with greens, dollops of ricotta and a wedge of lemon.

Missy French, Potts Point

A friend from Melbourne is in town and we’re catching up to discuss various First World Problems (what size handbag she should buy, where to find camisoles for suits, when am I ever going to buy an iPhone and the like) and a few more serious ones (food security, educating our children about good health, how to get our husbands to do more housework). And Josephine Perry’s recently opened Missy French is the right place for a girly meet, sophisticated with a decidedly feminine touch. There is no sign of the building’s colourful former occupants, among them a Japanese brothel and an illegal gambling house.

A real live Missy French is at the door to greet me – “alors, I ‘ave a lovely banquette for you” – and it is indeed lovely and the perfect spot to see what is going on in the rest of the pretty room. The Perry commitment to good service is obvious – when water is bought to the table, I ask for some ice which is bought promptly. But another staff member whisks it away, saying “we should put it in a prettier glass than that”, and returns with some gorgeous cut crystal.

The menu has a good mix – I’d be quite content with any of the dishes on it in the unlikely event I’d actually allow someone to order for me – and we are given a debrief and presented with a short but well considered wine list. So here is where we end up

Chicken liver parfait with brioche and cornichons. Classic and rich, I’m glad I decided to walk the two kilometres here from the office.missyfrench (4)

Prawn bisque with corn custard. Perfectly cooked prawns, silky custard but alas the bisque is underseasonedmissyfrench (3)

Parisienne gnocchi with pumpkin and sage. These are different to your Italian version, creamier is the best way to describe them, and they are damn deliciousmissyfrench (6)

So too is the pithivier – which I completely mispronounce, but it’s essentially a very fancy French pie – with succulent pork, peas, a very tasty jus and flaky pastry.missyfrench (5)missyfrench (7)

We are quite full by now and decide to share a dessert, the Lemon and Lime Eaton Mess – a chilled and refreshing combination of sweet and sour.missyfrench (8)

We leave content, First World Problems largely resolved; the husbands and housework issue may however need a follow up session. “Bonsoir” says the live Missy French, “see you again”.  She may well.

Missy French, Rothwell Crescent, Potts Point
http://www.missyfrench.com

missyfrench (1)missyfrench (2)

Missy French Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Qantas First Class Lounge, Los Angeles

Whenever we go to the US, we typically fly out of Los Angeles. The lounge offering to date in the States has been somewhat, well, awful compared to what we are used to in Australia (yes I know, spoilt, first world problem and all that). But late last year Qantas opened a dedicated First Lounge at LAX for its Platinum frequent flyers & First Class passengers. It doesn’t have all the glitz and glamour of the Sydney lounge, but it is a vast improvement on what was previously available. Our flight was leaving at 10pm so it was nice to sit in peace and quiet – in the evening it was nice and serene in there – and have a very decent meal before boarding.

qantasLAlounge (1)

As with other lounges, the menu is designed by our own Neil. There’s a short cocktail list and some good wines on offer.

qantasLAlounge (3)

You’ll find a few Sydney favourites plus some others. The boys will always hoover a minute steak or two whenever we go to the lounges.

qantasLAlounge (8)

While the Marito enjoyed a very nice piece of halibut with some nice sides (creamed corn was delicious).

qantasLAlounge (9)qantasLAlounge (11)

I went for a frangrant Spice Temple-y pork dish

qantasLAlounge (10)

The classic salt and pepper squid was tasty and nicely done

qantasLAlounge (7)

And the hamachi was fresh, but the presentation was a little uninspiring

qantasLAlounge (6)

Finish off with a little cheese

qantasLAlounge (12)

…and a trifle

qantasLAlounge (13)

And you’re ready to take off

qantasLAlounge (2)qantasLAlounge (4)qantasLAlounge (5)

Qantas First Class Lounge, Airside, Level 5, LAX
http://www.qantas.com.au

Zucchini Parmigiana

zucchiniparma1

I saw this Neil Perry recipe in the Good Weekend magazine last weekend and knew it was something my vegacquarian husband would love. I did modify the recipe slightly though, as it used 1kg of fresh tomatoes, which I substituted with tinned, and I reduced the quantity of cheese from 400g to 300g.   I think some ricotta crumbled through the layers would also work beautifully. The breadcrumbs are a must, they add a wonderful texture to the dish. Aforementioned vegacquarian loved it.

Ingredients
Sauce
2 x 400g tins of whole peeled tomatoes
Salt
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 brown onion, diced
½ tsp raw sugar

Zucchini
6 large green zucchinis, sliced lengthways 3mm thick
1/2 cup milk
4 eggs
Salt and pepper
1 cup plain flour, seasoned
Oil for shallow frying (I used canola)

 
100g parmesan, grated
200g mozzarella, grated
1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves, torn
1 cup stale sourdough bread, roughly chopped

 

Making it
1.  For the sauce, in a frying pan, heat the olive oil on a medium heat. Add onion and salt and sauté until soft. Add the tomatoes and the sugar, and fill one of the empty tins with water and add. Simmer gently for about 30 minutes, using a wooden spoon to break down the tomatoes if necessary. Set aside.

2.  For the zucchini, whisk together milk, eggs, a pinch of salt and a grind of pepper. Place flour in a shallow bowl. Heat some oil on a medium heat in a large frying pan for shallow-frying. Working in batches, lightly flour the zucchini slices, then dip in egg mix and fry each side until golden (about a minute each side). Drain on paper towel.

3. Preheat oven to 180°C. Using a 2 1/2-litre baking dish, layer some of the tomato sauce mix on the bottom, top with a layer of zucchini, then with layers of parmesan, mozzarella and basil. Repeat until all ingredients are used, finishing with a layer of cheese. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden.

4. Meanwhile, process bread to form coarse breadcrumbs. Heat 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan and cook crumbs over a low heat until golden and crisp, set aside. Once the parmigiana is cooked garnish with the breadcrumbs and serve.

zucchiniparma2

Burger Project, Sydney CBD

Burgers. Fries. Milkshakes. They aren’t part of my normal diet, maybe something I have two or three times a year. But a Neil Perry burger for under $10? I’m going to take part in that. Also, Google Maps kindly informs me that it is 1.6km from my office and I figure the 3.2km round trip will offset it, well partially anyway. It has only been open 5 days when I get there and a plethora of other food bloggers (we are cyberfriends, one day we really should meet in person!) have already been. Feedback has been mixed, and despite Neil’s very hands on best efforts, there have been a few teething issues. Today, for example, there were no wings, and that was one of the things I really wanted to try. I wondered how they could be sold out of wings already at 12.30pm, but apparently none at all had arrived that day. “No shipment” we were advised.

The queue was long, but not horrendous, and it moved reasonably quickly.

burgerproj1

Its a simple and efficient ordering process, take a buzzer and take a seat if you’re eating in. There’s a good amount of seating, indoors and out.

burgerproj2

We tried the cheese burger which contained grass fed beef, cheese, onion, pickles, tomato, lettuce and “secret sauce. For $8.90, I thought it was pretty good. My beef was well flavoured, the burger held together well, and unlike a lot of the brioche burger buns around these days, it didn’t taste like it was full of sugar.

burgerproj4

The pork burger had pork belly, salted chilli, pickles, pickled slaw, and lettuce. There wasn’t enough pork on this in my view and you didn’t get enough of a taste of it.

burgerproj3

The chips were crispy and easy to eat. The salted dulce de leche milkshake was disappointing though, it just tasted like watery milk with a hint of flavour, I had hoped it would be more pronounced being a big d.d.l fan.

burgerproj5

Versus other burgers I have tried in the last couple of years – it was certainly better than Parlour Burger, and I thought Chur was overhyped. I did recently have a good cheeseburger at Bowery Lane which comes with chips and is sit down table service for only a few dollars more.

So I think yes, there are a few teething issues but that it will come together in time. Mr Perry isn’t one to do things by halves and he will listen to feedback. And hey, this is a “project” right? It takes time to get them just right.

Burger Project, World Square Shopping Centre, Sydney
http://www.burgerproject.com

Burger Project on Urbanspoon

Ricotta Gnocchi with Spring Vegetables

I saw this Neil Perry recipe in last week’s Good Weekend and thought it was perfect for this warm weather. The original recipe called for 350g of ricotta salata (salted ricotta) and 350g normal ricotta, but I didn’t have ricotta salata on hand so just used all normal ricotta, and drained it in a colander for a few hours in the fridge. It also used a burnt butter, but wanting to keep it fresh and light I went with a drizzle of top quality olive oil instead. Roll on summer!

ricotta gnocchi2

For ricotta gnocchi
700g fresh ricotta, well drained
2 eggs
2 yolks
260g type 00 flour, plus extra for kneading
1/3 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp sea salt

For spring vegetables
1 tbsp olive oil
2 small zucchini, sliced into rounds
8 asparagus spears, diagonally cut
1/2 cup fresh peas (or frozen, defrosted)
80g baby spinach leaves

Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
2tbsp finely chopped parsley
Grated parmesan to taste

Making it
1. To make the gnocchi, place ricotta, eggs and yolks in a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until just combined, then sift in flour, nutmeg and salt. Gently combine then place the mixture on a generously floured benchtop. Using the back of your hands, push the mix until it just comes together. Divide the dough into four portions, roll each into a thin log. Using a knife, cut the logs into 2-centimetre pillows.

ricotta gnocchi

2. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add a good handful of salt. Cook the gnocchi in batches for 2 minutes or until the gnocchi float to the surface, then scoop them out with a slotted spoon. Drain well and keep warm.

3. Heat the oil in a pan on a high heat and add the zucchini and asparagus. Sauté until they are golden-brown but still holding their shape. Add the gnocchi, peas and spinach and cook until the leaves have just wilted.

4. Divide the gnocchi and vegetable mixture between four plates. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle the parsley and parmesan on top