AUSSIE BUSH SPICES

TAKE THE GAM­BLE AND PLAY AROUND WITH RECIPES IN­COR­PO­RAT­ING AUS­TRALIA’S IN­DIGE­NOUS SPICES. START WITH A FAIL-SAFE LEMON MYR­TLE CHEESE­CAKE.

Life & Style Weekend - - TASTE - WORDS: VICKI TAY­LOR

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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

Serves 8

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS

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

METHOD

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

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