Plus our cook’s notes and privacy notice.
Measures & equipment
• All cup and spoon measures are level and based on Australian metric measures.
• Eggs have an average weight of 59gm unless otherwise specified.
• Fruit and vegetables are washed, peeled and medium-sized unless otherwise specified.
• Oven temperatures are for conventional ovens and need to be adjusted for fan-forced ovens.
• Pans are medium-sized and heavy-based; cake tins are stainless steel, unless otherwise specified.
• When seasoning food, we use sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
• To blanch an ingredient, cook it briefly in boiling water, then drain it. To refresh it, plunge it in plenty of iced water, then drain it.
• We recommend using free-range eggs, chicken and pork. We use female pork for preference.
• Makrut lime leaves are also known as kaffir lime leaves.
• Unless specified, neutral oil means any of grapeseed, canola, sunflower or vegetable oil.
• To dry-roast spices, cook in a dry pan, stirring over medium-high heat until fragrant. Cooking time varies.
• Non-reactive bowls are made from glass, ceramic or plastic. Use them in preference to metal bowls when marinating to prevent the acid in marinades reacting with metal and imparting a metallic taste.
• RSPCA Australia’s advice for killing crustaceans humanely is to render them insensible by placing them in the freezer (under 4°C) until the tail or outer mouth parts can be moved without resistance; crustaceans must then be killed quickly by cutting through the centreline of the head and thorax. For crabs, insert a knife into the head. This process destroys the nerve centres of the animal.
• All herbs are fresh, with leaves and tender stems used, unless specified.
• Eggwash is lightly beaten egg used for glazing or sealing.
• Sugar syrup is made of equal parts sugar and water, unless otherwise specified. Bring the mixture to the boil to dissolve sugar, remove from heat and cool before use.
• Acidulated water is a mixture of water and lemon juice.
• To sterilise jars and lids, run them through the hot rinse cycle in a dishwasher, or wash them in hot soapy water, rinse well, place on a tray in a cold oven and heat at 120°C for 30 minutes.
• To blind bake, line a pastry-lined tart tin with baking paper, then fill it with weights (ceramic weights, rice and dried beans work best).
• To test whether marmalade, jam or jelly is at setting point, you’ll need a chilled saucer. Remove the pan from the heat, spoon a little mixture onto the saucer and return it to the freezer for 30 seconds, then draw your finger through the mixture – it should leave a trail, indicating that it’s reached setting point. If not, cook for another few minutes before testing again. If you prefer, use a sugar thermometer to measure when the mixture reaches 105°C; once it does, start testing.
• To clarify butter, cook it over low heat until the fat and the milk solids separate. Strain off the clear butter and discard the milk solids. You will lose about 20 per cent of the volume in milk solids.