Sunday, 28 February 2016

Butternut Pumpkin Soup

pumpkin soup food photography

This is by far one of the easiest health conscious meals I have created in my cooking life to date. I made sure to use good quality organic stock and no added salt as I also planned to serve this to Baby Noor. For the velvety smooth consistency, a hand blender is this soup's best friend. It really makes it so easy and less mess than using large blender. This soup is actually my husbands favourite, which is a bonus for me as its so simple to make. A win win all round!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 medium size butternut pumpkin
  • 3 medium size brown onions
  • 1 Kallo organic onion or vegetable stock cube (or you can use homemade stock)
  • generous pinch of pepper
  • generous pinch of turmeric
  • cream or yoghurt to serve
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (preferably organic)
  1. Peel and slice the onions into 1/2 inch thick rounds. Peel and cut pumpkin into chunks. You don't need to be too neat just make sure they are all around the same size.
  2. Heat the olive and coconut oil in a medium size pot and once hot, throw in the onions. Let the onions reduce in size slightly and then add the pumpkin. You want to get a nice golden edge on the pumpkin if possible.
  3. Add the stock cube and turmeric and stir to combine. Then add enough boiling water so that it just reaches the top of the pumpkin. I used just under 1 litre. If you are using homemade stock, you can add this in instead. 
  4. Simmer over gentle heat until pumpkin has softened. Turn off heat and use a hand blender to create a smooth soup. Season with salt and pepper to your liking. 
  5. You can serve this with a dollop of double cream and with some homemade garlic bread. 
Next time, I think I'll attempt a Thai flavour with coconut milk and some fresh red chilli! 
I hope you like this recipe! Leave me a comment below or tag me on Instagram with your lovely soups! 

Friday, 12 February 2016

Chocolate Tart & Vitamin Water

Chocolate tart with fresh figs, summer dessert done right.

Today we had a very special guest! We invited some friends over, ate lots of delicious food and enjoyed each others company. I was also finally able to try out this new way of decorating that I've seen popping up on Pinterest and Instagram lately. I think it turned out rather pretty! Here is the recipe, as well as some more topping ideas and a perfectly feminine DIY vitamin water!

INGREDIENTS

  • 200g pack all butter biscuits/disgestives
  • 100g unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 100g milk chocolate
  • caviar of one vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200ml whipping cream
  1. Prepare the base of your tart but crushing the biscuits using a rolling pin or a food processor. Melt the butter together with the golden syrup and combine with biscuit crumbs. Press into a greased tart tin and chill. You could also use a prepared biscuit base as well as any tart tin you have. I've used a round shape but the classic rectangle would also be great (especially the ones with the removable base!).
  2. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler (you can use the microwave but be sure to stop and stir the chocolate every 30 seconds so it doesn't burn). Once melted, set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Whip the cream together with the vanilla until stiff peaks form. Keep a close eye on the cream, it can very quickly turn into butter! 
  4. Fold the chocolate into the whipped cream gently. Once it is combined, pour the chocolate mixture into the prepare biscuit base. 
  5. Refrigerate for a minimum or 2 hours or overnight if possible. 
NOTE: decorate however you wish. This time I used fresh figs, blueberries, creme fraiche and almonds but in the past I've used dollops of double cream and fresh raspberries. I think it'd also be wonderful with some fresh tangy passionfruit! 

I also made this refreshing homemade vitamin water. It's SUPER simple! Just get a pretty glass pitcher, pour in filtered or mineral water, add raspberries, strawberries and fresh mint sprigs and allow to sit for at least 1 hour before serving. It will turn pink and lovely, perfect for girly lunches and baby showers!


Monday, 8 February 2016

Banana Cake with Lemon Buttercream

Fall cake, Banana cake with lemon buttercream

Here is a great Banana Cake recipe that is perfect to use up those overripe bananas you have laying around the kitchen waiting to be eaten. The lemon buttercream is the perfect tangy accompaniment to the fluffy banana cake beneath. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 125g butter
  • 3/4 c caster sugar
  • 3 bananas mashed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 + 2/3 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Handful of chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp milk
LEMON BUTTERCREAM
  • 60g butter, softened
  • 1 c icing sugar
  • Juice of half a large lemon- Beat butter until light and creamy. Add icing sugar gradually and beat until thick and smooth. Add lemon juice. Please note that the measurements for the frosting are guesstimates. Feel free to add more/less of the lemon and as with the icicng sugar as needed.


  1. Preheat oven to 165C (fan assisted). Prepare a loaf tin with baking paper.
  2. Using a electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add eggs one at a time. Add banana and stir to combine. 
  3. Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture, combine. Add the milk. The consistency should make a thick ribbon when lifted.
  4. Pour into prepared loaf tin and bake for 45-50 mins when cake bounces back when touched.
  5. Make buttercream by following instructions listed above. Only ice the cake once the cake is completely cool (otherwise your buttercream will melt!).
Get in touch with me via my Instagram @melanie.eman and tag me in photos of your delicious cakes! I'd love to hear from you, leave me a comment below! 

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Home 2016

Welcome to Hobart!
 Where the sweets are plentiful...
 and afternoon tea is often.
 Home is where you wake up to freshly stewed fruit,
 and have friends over for tea, cheese & bread.
 Picnics are lavish,
and the eggs are fresh.
 The Salamanca market makes it perfectly acceptable to eat mini pancakes with ice-cream for breakfast,
 and then with berries for dessert.
 The fruit is picked right from the tree and sold directly to me, making it the most fresh in the world!
 Where friends open their hearts and homes and cook you the most delicious lunch,
Where mother and daughter share secrets to the fluffiest pancakes,
 and eat Flathead by the pier.
 Where you take long, scenic drives to relish this view,
 and return home to your Mum's for a comforting lunch.
 Bond over cookbooks,
 watch your Mum make scones and then eat them warm with jam & cream...
not forgetting her famous roast chook!
celebrate, family.
The time is never enough.