It Just Has To Be Delicious

Archive for January, 2014

Chocolate Caramel Pie – made with ingredients from The Herdsman

I have blogged this recipe before, but when I saw the good quality chocolate and cream at the Herdsman, I was inspired to make it again. I made the caramel using the Dulce de Leche method.

Chocolate caramel pie

I used Gippsland cream (which is the closest thing to Clotted cream that I have seen in Australia, so thick and luscious) and Hachez 77% chocolate. It is important that the chocolate is a high percentage cocoa because it needs to contrast with the sweet caramel.

choc and cream choc


1 1/4 cups or 190g of plain flour

1/4 cup or 40g self raising flour

1/4 cup or 50g caster sugar (I use brown sugar and pass it through a sieve)

90g unsalted butter

1 egg

Pinch salt

1. Sieve the flours and sugar into a food mixer.

2. Cut the butter into small cubes and add it to the flour/sugar. Start the food mixer and mix until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs (you can rub the butter in using your fingers if you like, but I have warm hands, so I use a food mixer).

3. Pour the mixture into a bowl and add the egg and a pinch of salt. (My photo shows a double quantity which is why there are two eggs). Mix with a spatula or wooden spoon until it comes together, then using your hands, lightly knead and shape it into a round (keep handling to a minimum, and if you have warm hands like me, rinse them in cool water first so that you start off with cool hands).

4. Roll the pastry out into a round and use it to line a flan tin or dish. Put the pastry lined flan dish in the fridge for approx 30 mins if you have time – this will stop it from shrinking away from the edge in the oven.

5. Cut a circle of baking parchment slightly bigger than the middle of the flan dish, and put some ceramic baking beans in the middle. Bake for 10 minutes at 190 deg C, then remove the baking beans and bake for a further 10 minutes. (The baking beans just stop the middle of the tart case from rising too much, you can get away without using them, but you will need to prick the base with a fork, and you may find it will rise a little).

6. Remove the dish from the oven and leave the pastry to cool to room temperature.

The caramel (dulce de leche method):

1 tin of condensed milk (must be condensed – not evaporated) Check that the tin is in good condition, do not use if dented – the lid must be unopened and not damaged.

1. Using an old saucepan, place the unopened tin of condensed milk in the saucepan, cover with water.

2. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 3 hours. You can cover it with a lid to stop the water from evaporating too much. Check it every hour to make sure that the water is not boiling dry – top the water up as necessary.

3. Carefully remove the tin from the water and leave it to cool thoroughly – it can be stored in the fridge until needed. Do not attempt to open it while it is still warm – I have heard stories of some tins exploding when opened, but I have never had a problem – be sensible just in case – cover it with a cloth when opening.

Regular Caramel:

300g golden caster sugar

175g butter

200ml double cream

1. Place the sugar in a pan with2 tablespoons water. Heat until it dissolves but do not stir.

2. Boil until amber.

3. Stir in the cream – add a pinch of salt if you like salted caramel.

4. Stir in the butter and simmer for a further 3 minutes.

Chocolate Mousse:

200g good quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons icing sugar

1 1/2 cup (375ml) of whipping cream, whipped with the icing sugar

1. Place the chocolate  in a bowl and melt by placing the bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water (the base of the bowl must not dip into the water) – or use a microwave if you are confident that you can melt it perfectly. Personally I use the saucepan double boiler method – I am not a fan of microwaves.

melt the choc

2. Cool the mixture for 5 minutes.

3. Fold in half of the whipped cream/icing sugar mixture – it will look claggy at first but keep folding with a spatula, then add the rest and fold again.

whipped cream

To assemble:

When the pastry case is cooled, you can add the caramel to the base of the pastry case. If you like salted caramel you can add a few scant flakes of sea salt on top of the caramel (if you have not already salted it).

pastry case

Put the caramel coated pastry case in the fridge so that it is completely cool before adding the mousse. This will help to keep the layers nice and separate.


Top the cool caramel with the mousse mixture and leave to set in the fridge. 3-4 hours should do it.

Chocolate caramel pie


Prawn Ravioli on Butternut Squash Puree with Crab Meat and Prawn oil – inspired by my visit to The Herdsman

When I came home from the Herdsman with my basket of goodies, I set to work cooking, newly inspired by what I had seen and sensed in the shop. My first recipe was a home made prawn ravioli on a butternut squash puree, with crab meat and prawn flavoured oil. This is based on a Gary Mehigan recipe but has my own personal twist.


Prawn ravioli with crab and pumpkin puree

Large tiger prawns Swimmer crab

The amount that I made was enough to feed 3 people comfortably or 2 greedy people ! I bought a ready cooked swimmer crab from the Herdsman and used a crab pick to remove the meat, but you can cook a raw crab if you prefer. Once the crabmeat is prepared, you need to get the ravioli filling ready, and the oil infused with flavour.

For the oil you need :

6 large tiger prawns (approx 200g)

200ml of good olive oil

Extra virgin olive oil

2 bay leaves

1 star anise

1 teaspoon of tomato paste/puree

1 small fennel bulb


I had 6 huge prawns, which I de-shelled and removed the black food canal from (you do this by gently running a knife along the back of each prawn and easing the black tube out with the knife tip). I then sliced a fennel bulb thinly (you need about 30g but the exact quantity doesn’t matter too much). I placed the prawn shells in a pan with approx 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the sliced fennel, 2 bay leaves, and a star anise. When the fennel is soft, add more oil (up to 200ml) and a teaspoon of tomato paste/puree. Put the lid on and continue to heat gently for 20-30 minutes to infuse the flavours into the oil. Keep the prawn meat for the ravioli filling. When the oil is done, pass it through a sieve to remove the shells and spices, discard the shells.

Prawn oilPrawn infused oil

For the filling you need:

Prawn meat as above (approx 200g)

1 egg white

a pinch of cayenne pepper or smoked paprika

the zest of half a lemon

1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon of salt

100ml cream

Whizz up all of the ingredients in a food processor, adding the cream last as you may not need all of it. Try 50mls of cream first and check the texture – it should be soft but not runny. We want the filling to hold together inside the ravioli.

Ravioli filling

To make the ravioli, you can either make fresh pasta or buy lasagne sheets. I bought lasagne sheets both for convenience and because I wanted to test the quality of the Herdsman’s produce. You can make your own pasta dough by mixing 200g of ’00’ flour with 2 beaten eggs, a tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt in a food processor. This dough should be left to rest for a while at room temperature before passing it through a pasta machine.

Lasagne sheetsPrawn ravioliPrawn ravioli in the pot

To make the ravioli, cut a rectangular piece of dough approx 6cm x 12cm. Place a small spoonful of filling in the centre. Brush some milk around the edges and fold it over, making sure that you push out all of the air while you are sealing up the pasta. If the edges look uneven you can trim them with a knife or a wavy pasta cutter. The ravioli take approx 5 minutes to cook in boiling salted water.

For the butternut squash puree you need:

Butternut squash Grated squash

300g of grated butternut squash

60g butter or dairy free spread

80ml milk

Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the butternut squash. When it starts to soften, add the milk, cover and cook for 6-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then use a stick blender to puree it. You can also sieve the mixture if you want it to be really smooth. This can be made in advance and reheated while the pasta is cooking.

Butternut squash puree

To assemble the dish, place some butternut squash puree on the plate, the ravioli on top, and some fresh crab meat on top of the ravioli. Drizzle some of the flavoured oil around the dish.

I served this with one of the Herdsman’s pre-prepared garden salads and the olive and onion bread.

Garden saladOlive and onion bread

Linguine with Meatballs made with ingredients from the Herdsman

Linguine with meatballs

When I visited The Herdsman I chose some ingredients that would make it easy to prepare a quick midweek meal.

With the array of fresh pastas and sauces, it was hard to choose, but in the end I settled for linguine, meatballs and a puttanesca sauce.

The meatballs were quite large and took approx 8 minutes to cook. Meanwhile, I boiled the kettle ready for the pasta.


Once the meatballs were nicely browned on the outside, I added the sauce along with some chopped mushrooms and onion. You don’t have to, but you can add anything you like to pimp up the sauce, like chilli, garlic, bacon, peppadew peppers, fresh tomatoes etc.

Linguine and sauceLinguine with meatballs

The pasta took approx 4-5 minutes in boiling salted water, and I served the dish with the rest of the Herdsman’s garden salad and a sprinkle of parmesan. The whole dish took less than 20 minutes. Ideal for midweek and delicious too.

Raspberry and Peach scones made with ingredients from the Herdsman

Peach and raspberry sconesRaspberry scones

Recently I have made some very successful blueberry scones and I had the idea to try a kind of melba scone using raspberries and peach icing. The Herdsman had some lovely raspberries on display, so I made sure that they went in my basket. The recipe is very similar to the blueberry scone recipe.


2 cups (approx 250g) self raising flour – if you only have plain flour, you can add 2 teaspoons baking powder

half a teaspoon of salt

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder (even though it is self raising flour, I added a little extra boost)

5 tablespoons (70g) butter or non-dairy spread

1 cup of raspberries (this is approx one small 150g punnet)

1 cup (250ml) of double cream

For the glaze – approx 1 cup (140g) of icing sugar and half a fresh peach

1. Heat the oven to 200 deg C and line a baking tray with some baking parchment.

2. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl or food processor i.e. the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.

3. Either rub in the butter or use the food processor to blend it in until it is like fine breadcrumbs.

4. Stir in the raspberries.

5. Add the cream and very gently fold it in without crushing the blueberries, then pat the mixture together to form a soft dough. Treat it very gently, it does not have to be perfectly smooth.

6. Roll the dough out into a long rectangle approx 12 inches by 3 inches. It will be quite a thick layer of dough (1-2 inches thick) Cut this in half, then cut each piece in half again so that you have four pieces approx 3 inches square. Cut each piece diagonally so that you have 8 scones.

7. Brush each scone with some cream (or milk) and place on baking tray. Bake for approx 25 minutes.

8. To make the glaze, sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Peel the peach and puree it using a stick blender. Add the puree to the icing mixture a little at a time until you get a soft glaze which isn’t too runny.

9. Spread the glaze over the top of each scone.

Did my idea work ? Well it was 50% successful. The raspberries were delicious in the scones although they are not quite as robust as blueberries, so they spread and bleed into the mixture a lot more. The peach icing tasted very sweet and not particularly peachy. If I were doing this again I would maybe include some peach chunks in the scone mixture and use a lemon glaze as before, or maybe no glaze. The scones did taste lovely, it’s just the glaze that needed some refinement. Again I was very impressed with the quality of the Herdsman’s ingredients.

The Herdsman – Churchlands – Fine produce store

The Herdsman is a grocery store which sells fine produce. It is quite a large store and has a good selection of fresh fruit and vegetables, oils, cheeses, fresh pasta, bakery goods, fresh meat, fresh fish, dairy produce. It has everything that you could possibly hope to find, especially if you are looking for unusual ingredients or planning a special dinner party.

It is located in Flynn St, Churchlands, not far from Herdsman Lake. If you like Boatshed Markets, you will love The Herdsman.

As you walk in, you are confronted with an array of fresh fruit and vegetables, I chose peaches and raspberries for a ‘peach melba scone’ recipe that I invented in my mind. I also chose a lovely butternut squash and some nice fresh basil and oregano. I haven’t seen fresh oregano in Perth before. The quality of the fruit and veg is clear.

Herdsman 2Herdsman 3Herdsman 1Herdsman 5 Herdsman 4   Herdsman 9

There is also an array of ready prepared salads, pies and quiches to make it easy for busy customers. I chose a garden salad (which stayed fresh for quite a few days after purchase), but was tempted by all of the other salads – Greek, Italian, Beetroot etc. There is also a selection of salads on the deli counter and colourful fresh fruit platters are available.

Herdsman 7 Herdsman 6

The condiment shelves are stacked with oils, sauces and dressings, and there is a section of fresh pasta and sauces which makes it very easy to prepare a quick midweek dinner. I chose the linguine and a puttanesca sauce.

Herdsman 10

There are delicious chocolate mousses and desserts which are a feast for the eyes.

Herdsman 8

A very comprehensive cheese selection containing over 400 cheeses and also great accompaniments. I like a cheese board with contrasting flavours and textures to go with the cheese such as honeycomb pieces, quince paste, fig paste, sour cherries, muscatel grapes. The Herdsman has everything that you need to create an impressive cheese platter – I was pleased to see my favourite Roquefort on the shelf as well as Brie, Camembert, Cheddar, Stilton – all the great international classics alongside Australian cheeses.

Herdsman 11

Herdsman 13

The delicatessen section is amazing with fresh olives, pies, salads, and the fresh meat section supplies both marinated meats and fresh meat. Items included satay, curry, marinated ribs and chops, lamb souvlaki and honey soy chicken. The meats are sourced from quality local farmers and include a majority of free range organic options guaranteed to make your dinner party main course a success.

Herdsman 17 Herdsman 16 Herdsman 15 Herdsman 14

Sausages galore:

Herdsman 18

The fresh fish counter had some beautiful raw tiger prawns which I chose along with a cooked blue swimmer crab. The fish all appeared to be fresh and the selection was excellent. I had an idea for a recipe, and the selection allowed me to adapt my recipe so that I could include the freshest of the ingredients. I was impressed with the fresh tuna, snapper, barramundi and emperor on display.

Herdsman 19 Herdsman 22 Herdsman 21 Herdsman 20

The bakery section has a stunning array of delicious cakes, pastries and breads, most of which are baked on the premises. I chose a gluten free olive and onion bread, but was very tempted by the muffins, brioche. croissants, cookies, scrolls and savouries that were on display.

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The Herdsman is one of those stores where I wanted to buy everything, the produce is good, fresh and inspiring. I could enter the store without any idea of a recipe and come out with everything that I needed to make a great dinner party standard dish. There is a very impressive selection of pre-prepared food to make life easier for time-challenged people, and the pre-prepared foods are of a high quality so that your ready meal can be nutritious as well as delicious. I love how everything that you need is together in one store – I do tend to travel from one shop to another to get the quality that I like – the Herdsman certainly eliminates the travelling time.

In this blog I haven’t covered all of the products available here, there are also fresh flowers, good quality confectionery, baking products, spices, vinegars, oils, flowers – everything that you could need under one roof.

Will I be going back to the Herdsman regularly ? I certainly will, whether it is for something special for entertaining, or something ‘ready to eat’ for convenience – this store has it all – selection, quality and taste.

Herdsman website

Public House Kitchen and Bar

Public House Kitchen & Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Public House opened in November 2013, serving South American food in Perth. It is quite a large establishment on the corner of Adelaide Terrace and Victoria Avenue with alfresco tables as well as indoor dining.

Public House Public House Public House

The drinks menu is fairly comprehensive and includes cocktails. I chose the Lichi Sueno which is gin, cointreau and lychee – absolutely delicious.

Lichi Sueno

Lichi Sueno

All of the dishes are served so that you can share them. There are small, medium and large dishes, and the large dishes are quite generous.

We chose 3 smaller dishes and one large dish with a side vegetable.

To start we had a tomato and avocado salsa with coriander and pink salted chips

Avocado and Tomato salsa

Avocado and Tomato salsa

This dish was very nice, however the salsa would have been better served in a bowl – the quirky jar was top heavy and kept tipping over. The salsa was chunky and tasty.

We also chose meat empanadas – nice short pastry filled with a lamb ragout.



There was a choice of two ceviches, we chose the sword fish with lime, coriander and chilli. I did not like this dish – it was drowned in hot chilli sauce. I would have preferred a citrus marinade with small pieces of cut chilli. I ate the fish but scraped most of the sauce off.

Sword fish ceviche

Sword fish ceviche

For the main course we chose slow cooked pork with crackling, pineapple and guava. This dish was very nice and tender, the crackling was lovely and crisp and the fruits added a nice contrast. My only criticism would be that maybe it had been cooked a little too long and was therefore not quite as succulent as it could have been.

Slow cooked pork

Slow cooked pork

The side dish to accompany this was corn puree with charred corn salsa and chilli salt. This was really delicious and I would have liked a bigger portion.

Corn puree

Corn puree

All in all it was a very nice meal and with a few minor improvements it could have been outstanding. If you want a meal with new and exciting flavours and a good cocktail list – this is a place that you will enjoy.

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