Showing posts from March, 2012

Saffron & Rose Cupcakes

When I was 16 years old my sister and her boyfrfiend took me for dinner at a restaurant called Zorba The Buddha. I was utterly thrilled with this outing as it was in the city, to be specific, it was in Darlinghurst which was in my opinion, edgey, and it was on a school night! Zorba The Buddha was in fact run by Orange People. Or to be precise, the followers of the Bagwan Rajneesh who was at the time embroiled in some kind of sex scandal.

His followers dressed in robes dyed the same saffron colour as that of the Hari Krishnas and ran the restaurant presumably to raise money for their cult. Whatever the Bagwan was up to, it had no effect on the food served at the restaurant, or the jazz music played by the saffron clad staff. I can still hear the strains of the trumpet today.

But recently when I watched a documentary about the origins of saffron, it wasn't the Bagwan and his cult that immediately came to mind. It was whether or not saffron could be incorporated into a cupc…

Coconut Biscuits

When I applied to appear on Masterchef a couple of years back, there was a question in the extremely lengthy application which asked who my cooking influences were. I listed several women in my family, including my mum and my nana. Nana really was the epitome of the country cook, only I don't think she was in "the association" which has achieved so much notoriety in the past few years. She was a master of very good ordinary cooking, and her specialities stretched from roast dinners to pies, cakes and of course to biscuits.

At home with my little son last weekend, I decided I wanted to cook the most traditional cookie I could think of. I flicked through my Women's Weekly Bake cookbook and found nothing but fancy schmancy cookies that all looked a bit complex for my liking. So I rang my mum and asked for her coconut bickie recipe. This is one that figured heavily in my childhood. It was cooked with regularity throughout the year, but was also trotted out at Ch…