AUSSIE BUSH SPICES
TAKE THE GAMBLE AND PLAY AROUND WITH RECIPES INCORPORATING AUSTRALIA’S INDIGENOUS SPICES. START WITH A FAIL-SAFE LEMON MYRTLE CHEESECAKE.
I’m really only scratching the surface when it comes to using indigenous spices. To be honest I’ve always been in awe of them as I know they are pretty strong and over-spicing is easily done. Yes, the internet has helped me out a bit, but like any recipe that you get off the internet, it’s a 50/50 gamble on how it will turn out. But playing with food is what I do best and what’s the worst that can happen? It tastes yucky and you have to start over. That’s all. No one gets hurt and there is no emergency! So what are Australian native bush spices? The most common ones I use are lemon myrtle and wattleseed. Lemon myrtle is native to Australia and is grown on the East Coast of Australia from northern NSW right up through the Queensland coast. It has a lovely lemongrass-like flavour (and can be substituted as such), and can be used in stir-fries, marinades for meats, dressings and sweet dishes. I have a fail-safe recipe for a lemon myrtle cheesecake. I have to confess it’s not mine but this one really works. The last couple of times I substituted the ground lemon myrtle for lemon myrtle oil. It worked a treat and I only needed a couple of drops. Another native spice of Australia is wattleseed. When roasted, it has a nutty flavour with slight coffee aromas. It marries really well with chocolate, believe it or not, and you may have seen chocolate and wattleseed ice-cream around, which, in my opinion is quite palatable even though I’m not a big fan of wattleseed.
Lemon myrtle cheesecake
Base: 1 cup plain biscuits, crushed 1 cup toasted macadamia nuts, crushed 125g melted butter Filling: 125g melted butter 250g cream cheese, softened 1 cup castor sugar 2 tsp vanilla essence 2 tsp powdered gelatine 2 tbsp ground lemon myrtle
Base: Mix macadamia nuts, crushed biscuits and melted butter in a food processor until done Press into base of dish and refrigerate while making the filling Filling: Place butter, cream cheese, castor sugar, vanilla essence and ground lemon myrtle into a large bowl or processor and cream Dissolve gelatine in about 50-60ml of warm water and when cool, gradually add to the filling mixture Beat until light and fluffy Pour on to biscuit base and place in fridge overnight or until set. Visit Vicki at Red Hot Chilli Pepper, 9/65 Bulcock St, Caloundra