Months & Recipes

January   KOHI-TĀTEA 

Korean fish tacos

with a quick ‘kimchi’ slaw


Fish tacos are such a fun way of incorporating more fish into your diet. I like to make all of the components and set everything in the center of the table so that everyone can help themselves and build it the way they like it.


Preparation 20 minutes  |  Cooking time 15-20 minutes  |  Serves 6 (3x tacos each)


For the kimchi slaw, in a large bowl add 1 tablespoon of gochugaru paste (2 tablespoons if you like it extra spicy!), the rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, brown sugar and crushed garlic and mix well to combine so that the sugar dissolves.


Add the sliced napa cabbage, sliced red cabbage and carrots on top of the chili paste mixture, and with clean hands toss well and gently massage the vegetables together.


Add the coriander and sesame seeds, and then taste and season with salt and pepper. Set aside for now.

For the fish, in a large bowl, combine the flour with a good pinch of salt and pepper.


Cut each fish fillet in half and toss in the seasoned flour.

Heat two large skillets or frying pans over a medium/high heat and add enough oil to the bottom of each one so that the fish can shallow fry. (Alternatively you can also oven bake the fish).


Cook the fish for around 2-3 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillet, or until golden brown and then flip and cook for a further minute.

To make a taco, top a warmed tortilla with some of the quick kimchi slaw, then a pan fried fillet of fish.


Finish with a squiggle of kewpie mayo, a good squeeze of lemon or lime, some coriander leaves and a few sesame seeds.


For the kimchi slaw

1-2 tablespoons gochugaru (Korean chilli paste)

2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar

2 teaspoons sesame oil

2 teaspoons brown sugar

1 clove of garlic, crushed

1/2 napa cabbage (or cabbage of your choice), thinly sliced

1/4 red cabbage, thinly sliced

2 large carrots carrot, thinly sliced

1 small bunch coriander, chopped

2 teaspoons sesame seeds

For the fish

9 medium white fish fillets, anything like Hoki, Tarakihi or Gurnard

⅔ cup flour

Oil for shallow frying

To serve

18 tortillas, warmed

Kewpie mayonnaise

Fresh lemon or lime juice

Coriander, leaves plucked

Extra sesame seeds

February   HUI-TANGURU 




This salad is such a quick and easy one to put together and it’s perfect for summer BBQ’s, sharing at potlucks and for packing up and taking on a picnic or to the beach. You can adapt it by adding extras like leftover Christmas ham, cooked chorizo, olives or other vegetables such as fresh peas or sliced capsicums. If you would like to make this even quicker, simply buy your favourite store bought pesto instead - you will need 2 x 130g tubs.


Preparation 15-20 minutes  |  Cooking 10 minutes  |  Serves One large salad for sharing


1 cup Israeli couscous (often found in Alison’s Pantry)

1 heaped cup, tightly packed basil leaves

1 cup grated parmesan

1 small clove garlic, chopped

1/2 cup roasted pine nuts (or chopped

walnuts or cashews)

1/4 cup olive oil

400g (about 3 cups) cherry tomatoes, halved

1 small red onion, finely diced

25g feta, crumbled

100g baby rocket

Olive oil for finishing


Israeli couscous is much like pasta, rather than regular couscous, and needs to be boiled to cook.


Put a large pot of water onto boil, and once it is at a rapid boil, salt the water well and add the Israeli couscous.


Cook for 9-11 min or until al dente. Once cooked, drain and put back into the pot.


For the pesto, put all of the ingredients into a food processor (basil, parmesan, garlic, nuts and olive oil) and pulse until you have a texture that you like. I like it a little chunky.

If you don’t have a food processor you can finely chop everything by hand and mix together in a bowl. Taste, and season.


To bring the salad together, add the pesto, cherry tomatoes, red onion and feta to the couscous and stir well to combine.


Add the rocket and fold through.


Taste and season then drizzle with a little extra olive oil before serving



with grilled corn puree

and crispy chorizo


This is a twist on classic flavours that pair so perfectly with scallops. You get the sweetness from the scallops, and the corn - but by grilling them, you get a lovely slightly charred, smokey flavour, and the little chorizo bits not only give an amazing texture, but also spice and saltiness.


Preparation 45 minutes  |  Cooking 30 minutes  |  Serves 6


The corn takes the longest to cook and prepare for this dish, and if you have a coal BBQ this is the best way to cook it, as it will impart such a wonderful smoky flavour into the corn. If not, you can do this in a large pan on the stove top.


First, fill your sink up with water (about ½ way up) and add 1 tablespoon of salt.


Put the unshucked (still in the husk) corn into the salted water and soak for 15 minutes.


Once soaked, cook over a hot BBQ until completely charred on the outside, about 15 minutes.


The corn should be bright in colour on the inside. Allow to cool so you can peel the corn and discard the husks and silks. Using a sharp knife, remove all of the kernels from the husk, and put the corn into a blender.


Add a good pinch of salt and pepper with just enough milk to get the blender going, and blend until smooth. 


Taste and check seasoning. Next pass through a sieve to remove the kernels so that you are left with a smooth a creamy puree. Set aside for now.

For the scallops, rinse and dry and then season with salt and pepper.


Set aside for now while you cook the chorizo. For the chorizo, heat a large skillet over a medium/high heat with the olive oil.


Once hot, fry the chorizo until crispy and drain on a paper towel.


In the same pan, add the butter and cook the scallops for about 1 minute and then flip and cook for 30 seconds more - or until cooked to your liking (and depending on size and thickness).


To serve, add a big smear of the charred corn puree to the plates, then top with the scallops, and the crispy chorizo.


Add the microgreens on the side and dress with a good squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of nice olive oil. Eat immediately!


4 cobs of corn

2-3 tablespoons milk

100g chorizo, cut into small pieces

2 tablespoons olive oil

3-4 scallops per person,

depending on the size (24 in total)

50g butter

To Serve

Microgreens or soft herbs such as parsley

Lemon juice

Good olive oil for dressing


Salted pretzel

rocky road

Rocky road is a great recipe to do with the kids and also makes a lovely homemade gift, especially around Easter time. The salted pretzels give such a good crunchy texture and a balance to the sweetness in this chocolatey treat. You can adapt the recipe to suit your tastes with almonds, walnuts or peanuts in place of the hazelnuts, and you can also choose the type of chocolate you like, milk, dark or a combination. For this recipe I used 50% chocolate.


Preparation 15-20 minutes  |  Setting time 3-4 hours  |  Makes 15 squares or 30 small rectangle slices

- depending on the size you cut them


1 x 75g packet Pams hazelnuts

3 x 250g blocks of chocolate, broken into small pieces

2 tablespoons coconut oil or canola oil

1 ½ cups mini pretzel bows

15 pieces of natural red licorice, cut into small slices.

180g bag of marshmallows, OR I used 18 large white only marshmallows found in ‘Alison’s Pantry’



½ cup pretzels, chopped


Pre-heat oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 18cm x 27cm slice tin with baking paper and set aside.

To roast the hazelnuts, place on a tray with sides and roast for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown.


To remove the skins, place the hot nuts in a clean tea towel and roll them back and forth until the skins come off, they come off much easier when they are hot.


The few hazelnut which have more ‘stubborn skins’, you can rub these off with your fingers. Discard skins and set aside.

To melt the chocolate, do this in a bain marie so that the chocolate does not burn or split. To do this, place a pot with a little water in the bottom onto a medium high heat, and place a bowl over top of the pot.


Place the broken chocolate and the oil into the bowl and let the heat will gently melt it, stirring every now and then. (The coconut oil is used to give the chocolate a nice shine after melting). Once completely melted, remove and set aside.

In the prepared slice tin, add the hazelnuts pretzel bows (not chopped), chopped red licorice and marshmallows. Give it a good mix together and then evenly distribute around the tin.


Pour over the melted chocolate and give the tin a good few bang on the bench to remove any air pockets and to get the chocolate settled in and among the ingredients.


Garnish with the extra chopped pretzels on top, and set aside until the chocolate is hard.


To cut, pull the rocky road slice from tin and cut into your desired portions. I find a ruler helps to get even amounts, and if you are having trouble slicing through, try using a knife which has been heated under hot water, then dried well before cutting.


Store in an airtight container until ready to eat or gift.



baked eggs

These harissa baked eggs make for a perfect breakfast in bed situation or any weekend brunch. It has a spicy harissa tomato base which is loaded flavour and the eggs are baked in the oven in and amongst this sauce. Seve with toast, coffee or your favourite breakfast sides.


Preparation 10 minutes  |  Setting time 10-15 hours  |  Serves 2


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 red onion, finely sliced

4 cloves garlic, crushed

1-2 tablespoon harissa

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1x 400g can chopped tomatoes

2x red capsicums, finely sliced

4 free-range eggs

To Serve


Feta, crumbled

Fresh herbs (flat leaf parsley or chives), chopped


Pre-heat oven to 200°C

For this recipe you will need a large frying pan that can be used on both the cook top and in the oven (ie no plastic handles) - a cast iron skillet is perfect.

Heat the oil over a medium/high heat and cook the onions with a good pinch of salt until translucent, stirring often, about 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic, 1 tablespoon of harissa (2 tablespoons if you like it extra spicy!), the cumin, turmeric and brown sugar and cook for a further 1 minute.

Add in the can of chopped tomatoes and capsicum and cook until the sauce thickens slightly and the capsicums are al dente.

Taste and season. Make little pockets in the sauce for the eggs to sit in, and crack in the 4 eggs.


Place frying pan in the oven and cook for around 6 minutes or until the eggs are cooked to your liking.

While the eggs are baking, prepare the toast and the toppings. When the eggs are done, top with feta and fresh herbs, then dish out onto plates and serve the toast on the side.



Beef cheek chilli

This is a perfect winter meal that lets a slow-cooker do most of the work for you - great to prepare and turn on before you go to work! If you can not find beef cheek, any cheap and secondary cut of beef would work well. There are a few ways you can serve this once cooked, on rice or in tortillas with salads, sour cream and/or guacamole or tossed through pappardelle pasta finished with parmesan cheese and herbs. So versatile!


Preparation 10-15 minutes  |  Setting time 7-8 hours on low in a slow cooker + 10 minutes to reduce sauce at the end.  |  Serves 6


1kg beef cheek cut into two portions

2 large carrots

2 celery sticks

1 onion

4 cloves garlic, crushed

1 cinnamon quill broken

1 teaspoon cumin

1 bay leaf

1x 200g can chipotles in adobo, chopped (sauce kept)

1-3 dried chillies, optional (if you would like extra heat)

1x can chopped tomatoes

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1-2 cups beef stock

1x 420g can hot chilli beans (leaving out if serving with pasta)

1 tablespoon cornflour

2 tablespoons cold water

Fresh lime juice to season


To Serve

Fresh herbs (parsley or coriander)

Rice or tortillas (or pasta)

Sour cream



Fresh lime wedges


Place the beef cheek in the slow cooker then prepare your vegetables.


The vegetables are there to flavour the beef and will get discarded at the end, so with the carrot, celery and onion, simply do a large rough cut and add these to the slow cooker with the garlic, cinnamon quill, cumin, bay leaf, chopped chipotles (and sauce), dried chillies (if using), canned chopped tomatoes, brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper.

Pour over just enough beef stock to cover and give it a good mix, ensuring the beef is covered with liquid. Take a piece of baking paper and screw it up and then open it back out and sit it directly on top of the ingredients - this is to help retain moisture.


Cover and cook for 7-8 hours or until the beef pulls apart with ease

Once cooked, remove the beef and keep warm. Next you need to thicken the sauce on the stove top. You will have more liquid than you need, so remove 2-3 cups for now (saving in a bow in case you want to add any back later on) and discard the celery, carrots and bay leaf.


Pour into a large saucepan, with the can of hot chilli beans, and bring to the boil over a high heat. Mix the cornflour with the cold water together and add to the sauce and reduce until it has thickened slightly.


Taste and season with fresh lime juice and salt and pepper if needed, then remove and set aside. ‘Pull’ the beef into chunks and fold through the sauce and garnish with fresh herbs.

Serve on rice or in tortillas with your choice sides, or tossed through cooked pappardelle.



Rice pudding

This warm and comforting pudding is cooked with coconut cream and just lightly perfumed with rose water and topped with crushed pistachios for texture and a bright fresh colour. This pudding can be adapted to use any seasonal fruits (tamarillos, poached rhubarb or persimmons), or just as good with a couli made from summer frozen berries.


1 cup arborio rice

1x 425ml can coconut cream

1x 425ml milk

1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract

1-3 teaspoons rose water to taste (optional)

To Serve

6 tamarillo

3-4 tablespoons brown sugar

⅓ cup pistachio kernels, chopped

Edible flowers (optional)


1 hour for soaking the rice  |  10 minutes preparation  |  15 minutes cooking  |  Serves 4


Place the rice in a bowl and cover with cold water and soak for 1 hour, or up to over night. This gives a creamier texture to the rice and also, makes the cooking time faster.

While the rice is soaking, prepare your fruit topping. Peel the tamarillos and cut each fruit in half long wise, and then in half again so you have 4 wedge shaped pieces, then cut each wedge into thirds.


Place in bowl and fold in brown sugar, taste and add more if you need to. As this sits, it will macerate with the brown sugar giving you a lovely sauce along with the fruit to serve at the end. Set aside for now.

For the rice pudding, put the rice into a large sieve and rinse under cold water until the water goes from cloudy to clear.

Put rinsed and drained rice into a medium sized pot with the coconut cream and milk (the coconut tin is used to measure the milk) and the vanilla and heat over a high heat until almost boiling.


Just before boiling point, reduce the heat to medium/low and then cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring often so it doesn’t stick, until the rice is cooked through. If using the rose water, stir through little by little to until it suits your taste. The brand and the strength of the rose water will determine how much you use.

To serve, spoon into bowls and top with the tamarillos, the pistachios and edible flowers if using.



Bibimbap is a Korean dish and is typically good for using up rice and different vegetables you might have in your fridge. I’ve used brown rice here so it’s even healthier, and you could also use other grains such as quinoa or millet. Bibimbap is always served with a spicy chilli sauce to bring the dish together, and you can even make double the sauce - it keeps well in the fridge and is good with eggs on toast, or where ever you like to use a chilli sauce.


Preparation 25 minutes  |  Cooking 45 minutes  |  Serves 4


1 cup brown rice

2 teaspoons cornflour

500g mince beef

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon salt + pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

For the chilli sauce

¼ cup gochujang (Korean chilli paste)

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

2 cloves garlic, crushed

To Serve

1 large bunch of spinach, washed and sliced

2 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, crushed

8 medium portobello mushrooms, sliced

4 free range eggs

Mung bean sprouts

Sugar snap peas

1 large carrot, julienned

Radish, finely sliced

Purple cabbage, finely sliced

Sesame seeds for garnish


Brown rice takes much longer to cook then white rice, so get this on first. Cook the rice according to the instructions on the packet, and once cooked, keep warm until serving.


For the beef, in a large bowl first mix the 2 teaspoons of cornflour with a little cold water until it has fully combined, then add the minced beef, brown sugar, sesame oil and salt and pepper and mix well. Set aside for now so that it can marinate, during this time you can cut all of the vegetables and make the chilli sauce.


For the chilli sauce, add all ingredients - the gochujang, brown sugar, water, vinegar and garlic in a jar and shake well to combine. Taste and check to see if you want a little more sugar or acidy (vinegar). Set aside for now.


To cook the beef, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a high heat until the beef is cooked through, making sure that you break the mince up with a wooden spoon as it is cooking.


Taste and check seasonion and then cover, and keep warm.For the spinach, cook in a large frying pan and season with a little salt and pepper over a high heat until it wilts. The water left on the spinach from washing it will be enough for it to cook in.

Remove from the pan so that you can cook the mushrooms next. For the mushrooms, heat 1 tablespoon of oil to and when hot, add the mushrooms, crushed garlic and season.

Cook until browned and then remove and set aside. For the eggs, add the remaining oil and gently fry the eggs to your liking.


To serve, divide the cooked rice between four bowls, and in sections around the bowls add the beef, the spinach, mushrooms and the remaining vegetables. Place the fried egg in the center, garnish with sesame seeds and serve with the chilli


Put rinsed and drained rice into a medium sized pot with the coconut cream and milk (the coconut tin is used to measure the milk) and the vanilla and heat over a high heat until almost boiling.


Just before boiling point, reduce the heat to medium/low and then cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring often so it doesn’t stick, until the rice is cooked through. If using the rose water, stir through little by little to until it suits your taste. The brand and the strength of the rose water will determine how much you use.

To serve, spoon into bowls and top with the tamarillos, the pistachios and edible flowers if using.

September  MĀHURU

Crispy skin Tarakihi

in miso broth with

spring vegetables

This dish is light, carb-free and super healthy. It is fully of savoury umami flavour from the miso, and I’ve used courgette ‘noodles’ but feel free to substitute that with soba noodles if you like.



Preparation 15-20 minutes  |  Cooking 15 minutes  |  Serves 4



For the broth

1.5 litres chicken or fish stock

3-4 tablespoons miso paste

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 small piece of ginger, sliced


8 courgettes (or courgette noodles)

250g mushrooms (I used pink oyster mushrooms)


½ cup peas

Fennel leaves for garnish

For the fish

4 medium fillets Tarakihi, skin on (or your favourite white fish)

2 tablespoons olive oil

A knob of butter

Lemon wedges


Preheat oven to 50°C. - To make the broth, in a large pot, combine the chicken stock, miso paste, crushed garlic and sliced ginger and heat over a medium/high temperature until boiling. Taste and season.

While the miso broth is coming up to heat, use a spiralizer if you have one to cut the courgette into ‘noodles’, then set aside. (You can also buy courgette noodles in the chiller section at some New Worlds.


Alternatively, you can thinly slice the courgette on an angle so they are nice large, thin pieces). Once the broth is boiling, drop in the broccolini and cook for 2 minutes, then remove and divide among bowls for serving.


Next cook the courgette ‘noodles’ in the miso broth for 1-2 minutes or until just cooked, but not soggy.


Divide these between bowls also. Next cook the peas and the mushrooms, and poach for a minute until just tender, then add to the bowls.


Place the bowls in the preheated oven to keep warm while you cook the fish. Keep the broth hot over a medium/low heat. This will be poured over just before serving at the end.

For the fish, heat a large cast iron skillet on a medium/high heat with the olive oil and butter. Season the skin of the fish with salt, and once the butter is melted and has begun to bubble, add the fish.


Place in the pan skin side down and hold the fish firmly down (with a the back of a fish flip, or your just use your hands) so the fish doesn’t curl up, and hold there for 30 seconds or until the fish no longer wants to curl when the pressure is released.


Cook for approx. 2-3 minutes until you can see the edges underneath start to go brown and the fish around the outside turns white. Flip and cook for a further 1 minute.


To serve place the fish on top of the vegetables and ladle the hot miso broth around the bowl (being careful not to get any on the fish skin). Garnish with fennel leaves and serve.


Brown sugar cinnamon Shortbread with chocolate and hazelnuts

These biscuits are so moorish and make for perfect homemade gifts, especially good when coming into the holiday season. The biscuit itself is not too sweet, so it is perfectly balanced when dipped in chocolate, and the hazelnuts give a great texture and flavour too.


225g butter, softened

1/2 cup, tightly packed, brown sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon

2 1/4 cup flour

250g chocolate (I used 50%)

75g Pam’s hazelnuts

For the fish

4 medium fillets Tarakihi, skin on (or your favourite white fish)

2 tablespoons olive oil

A knob of butter

Lemon wedges


20 minutes preparation  |  1 hour chilling time  |  15-20 minutes baking  |  Makes 20 biscuits


Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy and pale, then add the cinnamon and mix to combine. Sift over the flour and fold in, being careful not to overmix - I do this step by hand.


Turn the dough out onto a clean surface and gently knead together. Form the dough into a 18cm x 8cm rectangular shape (with rounded edges) or you can also roll into a cylinder for circular shaped biscuits. Wrap and chill in the fridge for at least an hour (or up to a week).


The reason for chilling the dough, is that the butter will re-harden and this will help the biscuits keep their shape and also give it a lovely ‘short’ texture.

Before you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 150°C. Note: this is much cooler than the normal baking temperature and this is to help keep the shape of the biscuit and also so they do not over brown, shortbread are typically quite pale. Line two trays (one for baking, one for decorating) with baking paper and set aside.

Once the dough has chilled, slice into ½ mm slices. Place on a baking tray with a space between them, and bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly coloured but not brow around the edges. Cool on the tray for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

While cooling, melt the chocolate (I used a double boiler method) and finely chop the hazelnuts. Once the biscuits are completely cooled, to ‘half dip’ the biscuits into chocolate - I used a small spatula to apply the chocolate, remove excess and help smooth off around the edges.


Once ‘dipped’ in chocolate, place the biscuit on the lined tray and immediately sprinkle with hazelnuts. If you leave it too long, the chocolate will set and the hazelnuts will not stick. Repeat with remaining biscuits and store in an airtight container once done.


Greek Lamb

served with pita

and salad

This is recipe is such a fresh way of serving a roast lamb and is perfect for feeding a large group of people. Put everything into the center of the table and let everyone help themselves!


1.7kg leg of lamb

1 bulb of garlic, each clove peeled

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 lemon, zested and then sliced

2 large onions, sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

Yoghurt sauce

1 cup thick Greek yoghurt

1 long red chilli, finely diced

1 small clove garlic, crushed

1 small handful of mint, thinly slice

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 teaspoon runny honey

Pickled red onions

1/3 castor sugar

1/3 vinegar

2 small red onions, halved and thinly sliced


To serve

Pita breads

Salad greens

Sliced cucumber

Your favourite store bought hummus



Preparation 30-40 minutes  |  Cooking time, approx. 2 hours  |  Resting time 15-20 minutes  |  Serves 8


Preheat the oven to 160°C.

For the lamb, make several small incisions around the meat and fill with garlic, a little oregano and some of the lemon zest. Take a large roasting tray and on the bottom, put the lemon and onion slices, then place the lamb leg on top.


Drizzle with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Cook uncovered for 1 ½ - 2 hours, and to test the lamb is done, use a sharp knife and pierce the thickest part of the meat.


Hold the knife there for a few seconds and if the juices run ‘clear’ it is ready, but if they are ‘bloody’ or ‘pink’ it will need about another 15 minutes. If you prefer your lamb medium/rare, then a little pinkness in the juices will mean it is ready.

Once the lamb is cooked it will need to rest so the meat can relax. To rest the lamb, cover tightly with two layers of tin foil and a tea towel, then set aside in a warm area of the kitchen for 15-20 minutes.

Once rested, slice and put onto a serving plate.


While the lamb is cooking and resting, you can prepare the rest of the components. For the yoghurt sauce, combine all of the ingredients; the yoghurt, diced chilli, crush garlic, mint, olive oil and honey in a bowl and mix well. Taste and season.

For the pickled onions, combine the sugar and vinegar together in a medium sized bowl and stir until the sugar had dissolved. Add the onions with a good pinch of salt and mix well. Set aside until serving.

To serve, put everything into the center of the table, the carved lamb, yoghurt dressing, pickled red onions, warmed pita and all of the sides. Let everyone dig in and make their own stuffed pita breads.

December  HAKIHEA

Pavlova wreath

Pavlova is so traditionally December here in New Zealand and what makes it even more festive is shaping it into a wreath before baking. Loaded with cream and seasonal berries, this is a perfect showstopper for your Christmas day meal. A few tips when making pavlova - older eggs and/or eggs at room temperature are better to use because the whites whip up better, giving you lots of fluffy volume. The addition of cornflour is used to help stabilizes the egg whites and vinegar gives the pavlova that soft center while still keeping the outside crisp.


4 large free range egg whites, at room temperature

200g castor sugar

1 ½ teaspoons cornflour

1 teaspoon vinegar

To Serve

500ml cream

1 tablespoon vanilla paste or extract

2 tablespoons icing sugar (optional)

Berries or kiwifruit


Preparation 20-25 minutes  |  Baking 1 - 1 1/4 hours - At least 2 hours for cooling and drying out, but for best results, bake the day before.  |  Serves 8-10


Preheat the oven to 160°C and place your oven rack on the lower part of the oven. Line a tray with baking paper and trace out a 21 cm circle onto the paper - I used a cake tin as my stensil.

To make the pavlova, you need to do this in a stand mixer or with a handheld electric whisk. First ensure the bowl is completely clean - any traces of oil etc and the egg white will not whip up.


Beat the egg whites on a medium speed for 3-4 minutes until soft peaks have formed. Next increase the speed and gradually add the sugar one tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition until all the sugar has been used and has dissolved into the egg, this step should take around 8-10 minutes.


To test that the sugar has dissolved, rub a little of the mixture between your fingers - you shouldn’t be able to feel any of the sugar grains. As soon as it has incorporated, stop beating, overbeating can alter the texture of the pavlova and also cause a sugary syrup may leach out during cooking.

Take a little of the mixture and use it to stick the baking paper down in the four corners on the tray, then spoon the mixture on and around your drawn out stencil to create your wreath shape.


Smooth out the sids and create a little indentation on the top with the back of a spoon - this will create a cavity for the cream and fruit to sit in later. The pavlova will spread and widen slightly put in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 140°C. Bake for 1 - 1 ¼ hours.

Turn the oven off and then leave it to cool and dry out in the oven, overnight if possible.

To serve, whip the cream with the vanilla and add the sugar to taste (if using).


About Unna

Unna Burch (AKA The Forest Cantina) is a cookbook author, self-taught home cook and self-taught food stylist and photographer. She is based in Wellington, New Zealand where she lives with her husband and two boys. 


Find her on Instagram @the_forest_cantina or her website 

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