“Who doesn’t like sticky date pudding?! It’s one of the top desserts on many menus around the world and a regular recipe in my own kitchen. I’ve been testing a vegan recipe for catering and have realised this is better than the version I used to make. With the addition of banana to replace the eggs you do get and extra flavour in the mix but it compliments the traditional flavours so well. Enjoy!”
“This is one of the most popular cakes I’ve made in ages. The recipe I adapted seemed too weird not to try it, but the combination of soft sweet potato and white chocolate makes for an amazing texture. I also love the rustic drizzle of the warm ganache flavoured with apricot jam. Very Moorish! Enjoy”
(Photo by Gary Donald Corbett)
For the cake
400g peeled sweet potato
300g white chocolate
300g dark brown sugar
100g golden syrup or molasses
100g Greek yoghurt
2 tsp vanilla essence
375g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
For the ganache
150g white chocolate
70g apricot jam
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
Peel the sweet potato and cut into 2cm cubes. Place in a steamer for 15 minutes or until the sweet potato is soft. Remove from steamer and allow to cool.
Melt the butter and white chocolate over a low heat, stirring regularly until combined. Allow to cool.
In a mixer beat the eggs, sugar and golden syrup until combined.
Add the yoghurt and vanilla and beat until combined.
Mash the sweet potato or process in a food processor until no lumps remain.
Add sweet potato to wet ingredients and beat until combined.
Add the flour and baking powder to wet ingredients and stir through until combined.
Grease and line a 25-30cm springform pan. Pour in cake batter and bake for 40-50 minutes. I found I needed to cover the cake with aluminium foil for the last 15 minutes to prevent burning the top.
Remove cake from oven and allow to cool slightly before removing from the cake tin.
For the ganache
Bring the cream to a light simmer and add the jam. Stir or whisk until the jam has dissolved into the cream. Add the white chocolate and stir until smooth. You may need to put the pan back on a low heat if the cream has cooled down too much.
Allow the ganache to cool slightly. While the ganache is still runny our slowly over the cake. I applied a thin layer first and allowed it to cool on the cake before drizzling the rest over.
“Who doesn’t like chocolate brownies? Well, from the speed these flew off the plate, I’d say no-one! I’ve made so many different versions of the humble brownie: date, white chocolate, GF with almonds, the list goes on. This was one of those fortuotous moments when I had a container of diced dried figs sitting on the bench from a previous recipe and only a short amount of time to cook something. So my brownies got a healthy dose of figs at the last minute. I love the extra texture and flavour they impart. I’ve also found that grinding my own almond and hazelnut meal gives me more control over the texture. I like to process the nuts with the skins on and mill to a slightly bigger grain than the store bought versions. Finally, the trick in getting a really good brownie is having the courage to take them out of the oven before they feel totally cooked. You just have to trust your own judgement and get used to your oven. But even if they’re slightly underdone they’ll still taste amazing. Enjoy!”
(Photo by Gary Donald Corbett)
300g dark chocolate
1/4 tsp flaked salt
150g dark sugar
150g white sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
175g Self raising flour
130g almond or hazelnut meal
25g cocoa powder
150g chopped dried figs
Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees C.
In a medium saucepan on medium heat melt the chocolate and butter, stirring regularly. Once melted stir through the salt. Leave to cool slightly.
Mix together the sugars with the eggs and vanilla until combined.
Add the flour, almond/hazelnut meal and cocoa and mix until combined.
Pour in the chocolate mixture and figs and stir to combine.
Spray a 20cm square baking dish with baking spray and line with baking paper.
Transfer the brownie mixture to the pan and bake for 40-50 or until the brownie stops wobbling in the pan and a seeker comes out with a few crumbs on it.
Allow to cool to room temperature or eat warm with ice-cream. Brownies also freeze really well, so make another batch to keep for later!
Hello, my name is Craig.
Craig Allister Young is a cellist, orchestrator, arranger, singer and song-writer who works with the QLD Symphony Orchestra in Brisbane.
Over the past 20 years he has orchestrated music for most of the major orchestras in Australia, composed music for the Sydney 2000 Olympics,
toured a cabaret ensemble around QLD and for the past three years has been a musical director and cellist for the QLD ballet. His passion for cooking
saw him embark on his latest adventure as a top 24 contestant in the hugely popular TV sensation Australian Masterchef 2011. It is from this that the idea of
"Musical Menus" materialised as a way of combining his love for music with his passion for creating imaginative culinary dishes. Bon Appetite!