Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Be My Valentine....

At the end of last year I jumped on board with the talented Kelly Searl from Pony Rider and we did a bunch of recipes for the festive season to showcase the Pony Rider collection and to give everyone some inspiration for the parties that were to follow at that time of year, I thought I'd share a few recipes here to celebrate Valentines Day.

Going with the pink theme we have the Rose Water Lemonade, Oysters with Ruby Granita, Buffalo Mozzarella salad and of course my Rosewater Marshmallows from my latest project Black Pantry.


Sparkling rosewater lemonade

1 ½ c caster sugar
2 c boiling water
2 c lemon juice, strained
3 tsp rosewater essence
2 drops red food colour, optional
Fresh mint leaves and ice cubes to serve

Place sugar in a large heatproof jug or bowl
Add boiling water, stir until sugar dissolves, chill fro an hour or until cold
Stir in lemon juice and rosewater
Add 5-6 cups sparkling mineral water, adjust to taste, refrigerate until chilled
Add food colour to create rose colour, if desired
Add a handful of fresh mint and ice cubes to serve

Buffalo mozzarella, heirloom tomato and sumac salad

2 c wild rocket
4/ 5 ripe heirloom or regular tomatoes, thickly sliced
250 g buffalo mozzarella, roughly torn
½ c basil leaves, freshly torn
¼ c pomegranate seeds
Extra virgin olive
Good quality red wine vinegar
Good pinch sumac
Sea salt and cracked black pepper

For this salad you can add extra mozzarella or tomatoes depending on your size crowd, this quality will serve around 4 people.

 On a serving platter, sprinkle with washed wild rocket, then scatter tomatoes over
Add torn buffalo mozzarella, then basil leaves
Toss pomegranate seeds on top and sprinkle with sumac
Season with salt and pepper to your liking

Ruby grapefruit granita with oysters on the half shell

12 freshly shucked oysters
2 ½ cups ruby grapefruit juice, room temp
1c boiling water
1/3 c castor sugar
Mint leaves to garnish

Combine juice, water and sugar
Whisk until sugar has dissolved
Pour liquid into 13 x 9 inch baking tray
Freeze 3-4 hours
Remove from freezer and scrape with fork until you have about 12 tsps granita
 Place oysters on a serving tray and spoon 1 tsp granita on each oyster, sprinkle with mint leaves and serve

Photos thanks to Chris Searl, Flowers by The Flower Drum, gorgerous talent, Captain and The Gypsy Kid.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Jamming NY style

This is a post from a few years ago when I spent an amazing summer in NY city, tick the box, cooking for a private home and living in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, with a couple of crazy people that turned out to be great friends.
I thought this would make a great 'just before christmas' post as home made jams in cute jars make a great gift and also everything that tastes great in jam is actually in season, peach, strawberries, rhubarb ect.
Here we made strawberry jam and rhubarb jelly. The later is not so popular in Oz but is very similar to jam and popular in the states. The following recipe is the one we used for the strawberry jam, from a great book on conserves and preserves by Christine Ferber, a legendary French cook, the book is Mes Confitures.

Gariguette Strawberry
1.1kg Gariguette strawberries
4 cups granulated sugar
Juice of 1 small lemon

Rinse all the strawberries, drain and hull them. Let the strawberries macerate overnight with the lemon juice and sugar in a ceramic bowl in the fridge, cover with a sheet of parchment paper.

Next day, bring this preparation to a simmer in a preserving pan. Pour it into a ceramic bowl and cover with parchment paper, refrigerate over night.

On the third day, pour this preparation into a sieve and bring the collected syrup to a boil in a preserving pan, skim and continue to cook on a high heat. This will be concentrated at 105 degrees Celsius. add partly cooked strawberries, return to a boil. Skim and continue to boil for 5 mins, gently stirring. Check the set. When ready put the jam in jars and seal immediately.

Ready to give to family and friends as a little stocking filler strait from the heart!

in these pics, we are also making the rhubarb jelly from the same book, so clear and beautiful wih our gorgeous friends Yossy and Ellie!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Black Pantry...

Black Pantry 
I have the great pleasure of introducing a new business of mine, Black Pantry.
Our first product we have decided to launch the brand with is our fluffy, soft as air marshmallow range, featuring vanilla bean, orange blossom and rosewater flavours. We are also lucky enough to be stocked in Manyara Home, a beautiful home wares shop on Sydney's northern beaches. 
These little beauties launched there at the weekend for Newport market day and I am happy to report they were selling like hotcakes! 
The flavours are really subtle and fragrant in beautiful soft tones and are fat free, handmade and hand cut by myself and my team. Once you have tried one of these mallows you will find it very hard to return for the pascal variety, well this is how a friend of mine Kelly Searl has described them whilst we were shooting them for an up and coming Christmas food feature shot for her journal on Pony Rider.
Another northern beaches label that is perfect for all your Christmas pressies, you can check out our shoot at, and come and try out mallows at manyara or through my email, we will soon have a web page and be able to order from there also, we can also take orders through my email at also for your sweets bar at your wedding or for favours. Heaven! Pantry, Marshmallow, Pony Rider, Manyara Home, rosewater, vanilla bean, orange blossom, better than pascal, Christmas food ideas, gifts, Sophie Daley photography.

Friday, June 14, 2013

North Avalon Birthday Lunch

A few weekends ago we catered for  a ladies birthday lunch at a very creative house at North Avalon on Sydney's Northern Beaches. There was so much style and inspiration in the surroundings I was a little worried the food would be much attention to detail at this fabulous house, it was hard to keep my focus on the task at hand! But all went well and another succesful lunch was had. Thanks for having us Miss Crowe! 

North Avalon, Northern beaches private catering, ladies lunch, vintage inspiration, beautiful home, nautical theme, house inspiration, pomegranate and quinoa salad, goats cheese tortellini, creme brulee, chocolate fondant

Monday, April 15, 2013

North coast seafood birthday lunch.

Nothing says summer beach lunch like a bunch of beautiful local lobsters and huge juicy freshly shucked pacific oysters. this is what we experienced on the weekend at talented chef, Amanda Gale's birthday lunch on the NSW north coast.
We had local caught lobster, marinded in a chilli, preserved lemon, garlic and olive oil marinade. Grilled to perfection on the large outdoor grill, then frehly shucked pacific oysters that were so large it would almost take two bites to finish them....almost!
Then to begin there was the snapper carpaccio, with ruby grapfruit, shaved fennel, wild rocket and rucy grapefruit dressing. Heaven. This is showcasing the world class Australia produce avalible to us on a daily basis. My type of birthday gathering. Cheers and Happy birthday!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sophie & Nick

So to set the scene, Saturday 16th February, stormy summer afternoon, pouring with rain our team heads over to Rodd Island on Sydney harbour to cater for 75 guests with all the gear loaded on a water taxi, to cook in a gazebo thinking how are we going to pull this one off. 

We arrive and trolley everything over the little hill and start to get set up, drenched. 
The island has no electricity but a beautiful little hall that the groom and groomsmen have set up like a festive picnic, praying for sun. 

Three  beautiful cocktail dispensers,vintage ball glasses to hold the beverages,  ice buckets brimming with beers and plenty of food to feed the hungry guests, if only the rain would ease. So the count down was on, the guests start to arrive and the bride putts by in a gorgeous little boat to set the scene. We are starting to dry out and the ceremony has begun. 

As if they have had a union made in heaven, the rain departs, the summer sun beams down on us all, dries out the catering team and a magical day was had by all! they even got to play the shuttlecock and boules that had been organised prior to the crazy summer weather. All in all a success! so here a a few pictures to prove we made it and celebrate the vintage tea houses on the islands dotted through the harbour, highly recommended for a wedding venue, even if the weather doesn't agree! 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Laura & Josh Palm Beach wedding

Such a beautiful wedding Laura & Josh held at Palm Beach last November. It was a pleasure to provide the food in such a chic but relaxed setting. Laura did an amazing job styling the event and was also so relaxed at the time of the ceremony I was amazed at how she pulled it off! So a few snaps of the food, cocktail style canapes then a buffet style main meal and a beautiful dessert bar to finish.
The menu read like this...cocconut prawns with mango and baby corriander, crispy pork wontons with chilli soy, peach iced tea, lamb kofta with pomegranate, molasses and yoghurt, seared ocean trout with lemon and pomegranate, roast whole chicken with salsa verde and slow roast lamb shoulder with tatziki. Although the menu was simple it suited the crowd with alot of guests coming down from the country to attend the event. It covered all bases for a nourishing feast then it was dessert and dancing!