Pauline’s Blog

mushroom sauce
26 10, 2017

Mushroom Sauce


1 x onion finely chopped

2 x cloves garlic finely chopped

150g unsalted butter

4 tblspn olive oil

500g mushrooms, sliced

1 tblspn flat leaf parsley chopped

½ cup dry white wine

2 x tins crushed Italian tomatoes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

300ml cream (or stock)



  • Heat the butter and olive oil in a fry pan and saute the onion and garlic until softened.
  • Add the sliced mushrooms and sauté until they begin to give off their liquid.
  • Turn up the flame and pour over the dry white wine and tomatoes and boil for 3 minutes or until the sauce has reduced a little.
  • Mix in cream (or stock) salt, pepper and parsley.
24 04, 2017

Pasta Dough

Ingredients (to serve 8 people)pasta-making-yarra-valley-pauline-leonard

800g continental flour, fine grade

8 large eggs



  • Place flour on work surface in a mound (or in a large bowl) and add salt to taste.  Make a well in the centre of the flour.
  • In another bowl, lightly beat the eggs and pour them into the centre of the flour.
  • Gradually mix the flour into the eggs, either with your hands or a fork until all the flour is combined and a firm dough is formed.
  • Knead the dough for at least 5 minutes or until elastic and smooth.  Dust dough well with flour and cover with plastic wrap.  Set dough aside for 1 hour
24 04, 2017



350g  walnuts, finely chopped

100g   caster sugar

3 tsp   ground cinnamon

200g  butter, coarsely chopped

1 x packet filo pastry

Honey syrup

300g   caster sugar

125g   honey

1   lemon, finely grated rind and juice only (or to taste)

1   cinnamon quill


  • Heat oven to 180°C
  • Combine nuts, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.
  • Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat, set aside and keep warm.
  • Brush a 3cm-deep 24cm x 34cm lamington tray with butter. Cut filo sheets to fit tray snugly and cover with baking paper and a damp tea towel.
  • Layer one-third of the filo pastry in the tray, brushing butter between each layer.
  • Scatter evenly with half the nut mixture, then top with half the remaining pastry, brushing butter between each layer.
  • Scatter over remaining nuts, top with remaining filo, brushing between each layer with butter.
  • Refrigerate until firm (15 minutes), then cut through all pastry layers into 4cm diamonds with a sharp knife.
  • Bake until golden and cooked through (45 minutes-1 hour). If pastry is browning too quickly, cover loosely with foil half way through baking.
  • For the honey syrup, combine sugar, honey, lemon rind, cinnamon and 300ml water in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat to low, simmer until infused (20 minutes).
  • Remove from heat, strain through a fine sieve, stir through lemon juice to taste and set aside.
  • Cool baklava slightly (2-3 minutes), pour over syrup evenly, set aside at room temperature to cool completely (overnight if possible). Baklava will keep in tray, covered, for 3-4 days.
9 02, 2017



3 x cups plain flour

2 x tblspn caster sugar

3 x eggs, lightly beaten

1/4 cup Marsala

1 tbspn white wine vinegar

Cannoli tubes

1 x egg white


  1. Mix the flour and caster sugar together in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. 
  2. Pour in the eggs, Marsala and vinegar and combine together. Add enough water to make a firm dough. 
  3. Knead for a few minutes until smooth. Cover in plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for 1 hour. 
  4. Lightly knead the dough again and either roll out very thinly or put the dough through a pasta machine to the thinnest setting. 
  5. Cut the dough into 10cm square, dust lightly with flour and roll around the cannoli tubes with two points meeting. Secure the points with a little egg white. 
  6. Heat a small pan with vegetable oil until very hot. 
  7. Using tongs, place two tubes into the hot oil and cook until golden brown (1-2 minutes). 
  8. Remove, place on kitchen paper and allow to cool. 
  9. When cool enough to handle, carefully remove the cannoli tubes and repeat with the remaining dough. 
Torta della Nonna
9 02, 2017

Torta della Nonna

Ingredients - Pastry


 125g Butter (at room temperature)

 125g Caster Sugar

 2 x Eggs

 350g Plain Flour

 1 tspn Baking Powder

 Slivered Almonds and Icing Sugar to finish

Method - Pastry

  1. Set oven to 180°  
  2. Lightly grease a 23cm fluted tart tin with a removable base. 
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. 
  4. Add the eggs and beat the mixture well. Mix in the flour and baking powder to form a soft dough. 
  5. Divide the dough in half, form into two rounds, cover with cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 
  6. Roll out both rounds of pastry. Line the base of tart tin with one piece, pressing into the sides. 
  7. Cover with the pastry cream (recipe follows) – piling it up in the centre a little. 
  8. Place the second piece of pastry over the pastry cream and seal the edges. 
  9. Bake the pie for 40 minutes and allow to cool. 
  10. Cover the top with almonds and dust with icing sugar. 

Ingredients - Pastry Cream

5 Egg Yolks

 150g Caster Sugar

 1/3 cup Plain Flour

 2 x cups Milk

 Grated rind of 1 x lemon

 Vanilla Essence

Method - Pastry Cream

  1. Beat the yolks and sugar together until they are very pale and creamy. 
  2. Stir the flour into the egg mixture. 
  3. Bring the milk to the boil in a saucepan and then remove from the heat. 
  4. Slowly stir the hot milk into the egg mixture a little at a time, stirring continually. 
  5. Place the saucepan over low heat and continue stirring until the pastry cream thickens – stir in the lemon rind and vanilla essence. 
  6. Pour the cream into the bowl to cool and place cling film directly over the surface to prevent a skin forming. 
9 02, 2017



2 egg whites

125g almond meal

1 cup caster sugar

¼ cup sifted plain flour

Vanilla essence

Whole almonds for decoration


  1. Heat oven to 180C
  2. Place all ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat together for 5 minutes.
  3. Allow mixture to rest for another 5 minutes.
  4. Place the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a wide nozzle.
  5. Pipe small mounds onto trays lined with baking paper and place an almond or cherry in the centre of each biscuit.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned.
  7. Remove from oven and cool slightly before placing on racks.


Summer Berries with Meringue and Balsamic
11 02, 2013

Summer Berries in Vodka with Meringue

This dessert was made by our friend Aggie which makes the most of the short lived summer berries and looks spectacular.

Marinate your favourite mix of berries in a little vodka and sugar.

On a platter, arrange chunks of meringue and in between place tablespoons of vanilla icecream and/or luscious cream, scatter over the marinated berries and their juice and lastly drizzle over a little aged balsamic.

Zucotto recipe
29 11, 2012



  • 1 x cup liqueur (eg Marsala )20121110_1337461 x  unfilled sponge cake
  • 600ml thickened cream
  • 1 x tablespoon sifted icing sugar
  • 150g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 150g hazelnuts, chopped
  • 100g dark chocolate, in pieces for melting
  • Icing sugar for dusting


  1. Line a 1.2 litre round bottomed bowl with cheesecloth, leaving the edges hanging over.
  2. Moisten the cheesecloth with a brush dipped in Marsala.
  3. Cut the sponge into 1.5 cm slices and brush with Marsala.
  4. Line the bowl with the sponge, making sure all gaps are filled in making a solid shell.
  5. Beat the cream with the icing sugar until stiff peaks are formed and put one third of the mixture into a separate bowl.
  6. Place 100g chocolate pieces and the remaining liqueur in a bowl over a saucepan of hot water and stir while the chocolate melts.
  7. Allow the chocolate to cool and then fold through the smaller quantity of cream and spread over the sponge cake to create an inner lining.
  8. To the remaining cream fold through 150g chopped chocolate and hazelnuts and fill the zuccotto.
  9. Create a lid with the remaining sponge dipped in liqueur.
  10. Fold over the cheesecloth, cover the top of the zuccotto with baking paper and place a plate over the paper.  Put weights (cans of food is ideal) and refrigerate ideally overnight.
  11. To serve, invert the zuccotto onto a serving plate and carefully remove the cheesecloth.