Tag Archives: Pistachio

Christmas treats

In Sydney, Christmas falls in the middle of summer; this also happens to be when cherries are at their best. My recipe this week uses dried cherries, which I managed to track down at a local health food store, and pistachios, for their green christmasy colour. This recipe makes  a lot of fudge, so it is perfect for sharing and / or giving as home-made gifts to friends and family. I ended up making a double batch so that I would have plenty to go around. I wrapped squares of fudge in clear cello gift wrap then placed them in gift bags and boxes as presents.

With the salt quantity specified below, this is specifically for salt flakes, if you are using regular table salt proceed with caution and only use 1/4 of a teaspoon or less.

What I was cooking this time last year: Raspberry, Goat Cheese and Pistachio Salad

Chocolate Fudge with Cherries and Pistachios


  • 75g butter
  • 395g tin condensed milk
  • 250g brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt flakes
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 220g dark chocolate
  • 100g pistachios
  • 125g dried cherries
  • Cooking oil spray to grease your tin


  • Pre-heat the oven on to 180°C.
  • Transfer the pistachios to an oven proof dish and roast in the oven for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool.

Pistachios shelled green nuts

  • Line a tray with grease-proof paper and spray with cooking oil.
  • Add the butter, condensed milk, vanilla, salt and brown sugar to a saucepan.

Fudge ingredients


  • Stir the saucepan of fudge mixture over a medium heat until the butter is melted and the fudge starts to thicken.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the chocolate. Stir to combine.

Chocolate caramel fudge

  • Add the cherries and pistachios to the chocolate fudge and stir to combine.
  • Pour the fudge into the lined tray and refrigerate until cool.

Chocolate cherry pistachio fudge

  • Remove the fudge from the tray and peel off the grease-proof paper.
  • Cut the fudge into serving size pieces. Your fudge is ready to serve or wrap for gifts. Enjoy.

Chocolate cherry pistachio fudge

What are your favourite christmas flavours? Has this post inspired any new ideas?


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Filed under Berries, Caramel, Chocolate, Dried Fruit, Nuts, Pistachio, Recipes, Sweet, Vegetarian

Hey pesto

Last Saturday morning I discovered a new farmers market at Bondi Public School (5 Wellington Street  Bondi NSW 2026). It was only the second week the market had been running, so there wasn’t a heap of stalls competing for attention, but the stalls that were there had excellent produce. There were fresh pastas, a mushroom guy, cherries, a few fruit and veggie stalls and a very reasonably priced flower and potted herbs stall. I hope it continues to grow in popularity and more stalls are attracted along. I couldn’t walk past the enormous bunches of basil being sold by one of the stalls, with roots intact. I love the smell of a fresh bunch of basil, and it inspired me to make a batch of pesto.


There are unlimited variations on the pesto theme, I have made a pistachio and lemon pesto, but you could substitute walnut oil and walnuts, or any other flavoured oils, nuts or herbs to come up with new twists on the classic.

You will never want to reach for the supermarket shelf version after you make your own pesto and see how easy and delicious it is. I tip with pesto that I have found very handy, is that it freezes really well, so when basil is at a good price I make a large batch and freeze any leftovers I’m not using straight away in small containers, ready to defrost and use as needed in the future. If you don’t have a food processor, you could use a pestle and mortar or even finely chop the ingredients minus the oils, then add to the oils.

If you are not sure what to do with your pesto once you have made it, the options are enormous, some examples that spring to mind include tossing it through pasta, added in a sandwich, mixed in with scrambled eggs or used to make a potato salad.

Pistachio and Lemon Pesto


  • 50g shelled pistachios
  • 1 large bunch of basil
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • 50g grated parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons of pistachio oil
  • 3 tablespoons of lemon infused olive oil
  • zest and juice of 1 small lemon


  • Heat oven to 180°C and toast your pistachios for 10 minutes.
  • Allow the pistachios to cool.
  • Pick your basil leaves and add to your food processor bowl (don’t worry if some of the younger tender stalks make their way into the bowl).

Pistachios and basil

  • Add the pistachios, garlic, parmesan, pistachio oil, lemon olive oil, lemon juice and zest to the food processor bowl.
  • Blitz the food processor until everything is just combined. Your pesto is ready to use or transfer to containers for later use. Enjoy.

Pistachio and Lemon Pesto

What is your favourite use for herbs? Has this post inspired any new ideas?

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Filed under Cheese, Dip, Lemon, Pasta, Pistachio, Recipes, Savoury, Vegetarian

Spring salad

The weather in Sydney is warming up (apart from some freaky weather last week that resulted in snow in the Blue Mountains), and with the warmer weather I tend to prefer lighter meals.

There is such a wide variety of oils and vinegars available, that salad ideas are really only limited by your imagination (and perhaps your budget).

Dressing ideas include walnut oil & white balsamic vinegar, pomegranate molasses, and ideas for salad greens include watercress, rocket, baby spinach, herbs such as parsley, mint.

Goat cheese or chèvre is a lovely addition to a salad, it’s creamy crumbly texture and tangy flavour adds an extra dimension.

There were no fresh raspberries available this week at my greengrocer so I used frozen raspberries.

The recipe below provides quantities for one, it can be easily scaled depending on how may people you are catering for.

Raspberry, Goat Cheese and Pistachio Salad


  • 20g shelled pistachios
  • 50g goat cheese or chèvre
  • 1/2 a bunch of watercress or other salad greens
  • 20g or 1/2 a punnet of raspberries
  • 2 teaspoons pistachio oil
  • 2 teaspoons raspberry vinegar


  • Heat oven to 180°C and toast your pistachios for 10 minutes.
  • Allow the pistachios to cool.
  • Pick your watercress into sprigs, discard the excess stalks, and add your sprigs to a bowl

  • Add the pistachio oil and raspberry vinegar to the watercress sprigs and toss to coat everything in the dressing
  • Crumble the goat cheese into your salad
  • Add your raspberries and toasted pistachios. Your salad is ready to serve. Enjoy.

What is your favourite salad recipe? Has this post inspired any new ideas?

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Filed under Berries, Cheese, Pistachio, Recipes, Salad, Savoury, Vegetarian

Choc malt brownies

My post this week has been inspired by a recipe that caught my eye on The Little Loaf blog for chocolate fudge brownie bites. This recipe got me thinking . . . I had recently purchased a tin of malt extract by mistake, meaning to buy malt powder. When I opened the tin I encountered a sticky dark syrup, very similar to golden syrup. I love choc malt flavoured things including choc malt milkshakes and maltesers, so thought choc malt brownies would be a hit.

I used a square muffin tray to make my brownies, you could use any muffin or cupcake tray you have available, or you could make one large lamington / baking tray as brownies are traditionally made. If making one large tray or brownies in a mini-muffin tray you may need to adjust the cooking time. Make sure you spray your muffin tray very well, my first batch got stuck and weren’t coming out intact for anybody. I ended up with brownie tops (similar to muffin tops) and had to scrape the remaining sticky brownie out. Pistachios are optional, I baked some with, some without.

Choc malt brownies


Makes 12 brownies

  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 75g butter
  • 3 tablespoons malt extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 175g raw sugar
  • 1 tablespoon coca powder
  • 75g plain flour
  • generous pinch of salt
  • Cooking spray oil to grease muffin pan
  • 100g of pistachios (optional)


  • Add chocolate, butter and malt extract to a heat proof bowl.
  • Place the bowl over a saucepan of hot water so that the bowl is not touching the hot water but is suspended above it.
  • Stir the mixture occasionally until the chocolate and butter are melted and everything is incorporated.

  • Allow the chocolate mixture to cool slightly, so that you don’t end up with cooked eggs when you add them to the bowl.
  • Heat oven to 170°C.
  • Grease your muffin tray.
  • Sift the coca powder and flour into the blow.
  • Add the salt, sugar, vanilla and eggs.
  • Stir to combine everything.
  • Spoon the mixture into your muffin pan.
  • Top half of your brownies with pistachios (if using).

  • Cook your brownies for approximately 25 minutes, they should spring back when you touch the middle of a brownie but still be a bit sqwidgy.
  • Remove brownies from the oven and cool in the tray.
  • Once your brownies are cool, they are ready to serve or store in an air-tight container. Enjoy.

What is your favourite chocolate recipe? Has this post inspired any new ideas?


Filed under Baking, Chocolate, Malt, Pistachio, Recipes, Sweet, Vegetarian