Category Archives: Food

Test kitchen

I think this is only my second cooking post. Probably because by the time I think to photograph something, I’ve eaten half of it.

So, I said I’d post the recipe when I made the plum pudding vodka and brandy butter ice cream. The vodka I made on Saturday. Recipe can be found here, but it’s very easy: put brown sugar, dried fruit and spices in a bowl and pour a bottle of vodka over it:

Plum pudding vodka

Plum pudding vodka

Leave it for a week, then strain it into a bottle. The dark brown liquid doesn’t look very good, but is very tasty. You can stir the vodka-y fruit into ice cream, although I’ve been known to have spoonfuls of it for breakfast. Functioning alcoholic, moi?

We’ll have the vodka as a shot over brandy butter ice cream, because, really, who actually likes Christmas pudding? The only reason people have it is because a bowl of brandy butter for dessert looks bad. And since brandy butter on ice cream is good (almost as good as my childhood favourite, yoghurt on ice cream), why not combine the two?

I started with this recipe. It’s egg-less, so that makes it an American-style ice cream and not a French-style ice cream, or something. But this recipe has one major flaw: it’s backwards. Beating softened butter into whipped cream doesn’t work – you end up with over-beaten cream with lumps of butter in it. Then, of course, once you put the mixture into the frozen ice cream machine to churn, the lumps of butter just harden. I say “of course”, but this didn’t occur to me until it had been churning for a while.

So, ignore the order in the recipe. Whip the cream and milk and set aside. Cream the butter and icing sugar, then add the brandy and vanilla, then fold in a bit of the cream mixture, and then the rest:

Ice cream mixture in the mixer

Ice cream mixture in the mixer

I know that this photo is unnecessary because combining eggs, sugar, milk and cream ain’t rocket surgery. And it’s possibly also of the first, lumpy, effort. But I noticed – from the container in the background – that I always cook in the same spot on the bench. That’s not very interesting either. Sorry.

So, put the mixture in the ice cream machine. Then make a cup of tea. Perhaps your machine is better than ours, but I always have to put it in the freezer to finish the job. But not in the machine – that will make it freeze solid.

This is just the test batch. I reckon it could use more brandy and more sugar. But that could be because my taste buds are a little off, since I burned them on my magic soup for lunch.

I haven’t included a photo of the frozen ice cream because you know what ice cream looks like. So here’s a photo of our oven mitt, because I was in the kitchen with the camera:

oven mitt

Silicone oven mitt. Also good for getting ManFriend's bottom.

Cooking soundtrack: Wide Open Road (the best of The Triffids), followed by In bocca al lupo, by Murder by Death.

Update: DO NOT MAKE THIS ICE CREAM RECIPE. When it freezes, little lumps form in it. A bit of internet research reveals that this is because the fat content is too high. I’m going back to the normal custard-style ice cream.

The way to my heart

Have I done a cooking post? I don’t know, but it’s probably time. I love cooking and I love eating and I’ll never understand people who don’t. I’m not a fancy cook like my friend Lady A who creates the most amazing dinner parties, but I’m a “rustic” cook.

Lexy and I have been going to Flemington markets, which is why – despite one of us being a full-time PhD student who doesn’t earn a lot – ManFriend and I have fresh borlotti beans, avocados and kipfler potatoes.

Last night we made this:

garlic prawns, kipfler potato salad and whiting

The night before we took this:


I need to work on my food photography composition

And made this:

borlotti bean, prawn and chorizo horneado

borlotti bean, prawn and chorizo horneado

We swapped passata for the cherry tomatoes to make the fresh borlotti bean, prawn and chorizo horneado a winter dish. After taking the photo I put more parsley and rocket on top because you can never have too much green in a meal.

Now, what to cook for Saturday lunch with the in-laws…