Middle Eastern Baked Eggs


There’s something about the rain that makes you crave comfort. Soft blankets, hot tea and a terribly bad but oh so good romantic comedy. And maybe something to satisfy your belly as well. Last night the rain was torrential. I find it rather peaceful and soothing when it rains, especially when you can watch the droplets fall from the comfort of your dry, warm home. But some people don’t find it so comforting. Take my two dogs for example. Something inside them stirs and they turn into highly-strung, barking maniacs. So sadly, my moment to enjoy the rain was short lived last night. Instead I went to bed feeling rather annoyed at my cute but crazy canines. To make up for such an uneasy night I decided to comfort myself with these Middle Eastern baked eggs for breakfast this morning. And they seemed to do the trick.

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This recipe is quite similar to shakshuka. I made it once at home when the pantry was rather sparse and it turned out to be a rather tasty dish. The main difference is that shakshuka contains capsicum and my dish does not, instead I use chickpeas. The spices too are quite similar. The lemony, citrus flavour of the freshly ground coriander seeds, the pungent earthiness of the cumin, the sweet paprika and hot dried chilli. I also add a little cinnamon for the beautiful aroma it provides and that spicier sweetness.


This dish is so simple and quick to make but still satisfies comfort food cravings. It is important to sauté the onions and garlic until they are translucent so that the sharp, slightly bitter taste subsides and the sweetness starts to shine through. The tomatoes adore this sweet garlic and onion mixture and once it is reduced further the dish turns a dark, velvety red and the sauce becomes rich. To finish the dish coriander is a lovely accompaniment, but sadly I had run out this morning. However I normally do add a little and it gives the dish that nice fresh hit to balance the rich tomato sauce.

 Middle Eastern Baked Eggs 

Serves 2


  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 400g diced canned tomatoes
  • 125g canned chickpeas
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • ⅓ tsp chilli flakes
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp sweet paprika
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Place the onion and garlic in a skillet pan or small frying pan. Sauté over a low heat until they start to become soft and translucent in colour.
  3. Add the canned tomatoes and cook over a medium heat for about 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Add the cumin, coriander seeds, chilli flakes, cinnamon, paprika and chickpeas and stir. Season generously with salt and pepper. Continue to cook for about 4 minutes or until the sauce starts to reduce and thicken.
  4. Crack the two eggs into a bowl. Make a well in the centre of the pan and pour the eggs in. Leave to cook on low heat for about a minute and then transfer to oven to cook for 12 minutes. Serve.

Rich Chocolate Mousse



Does chocolate mousse really need an introduction? It’s well loved by millions for the simple fact that it’s delicious. It’s light and airy but at the same time rich and decadent. I think it really is the texture that does it for me. The egg whites perform little miracles in this dish. They produce the creaminess, the fluffiness and the lightness. When you fold the egg whites through the mixture it looks like a simple chocolate cake batter, but leave it in the fridge for a few hours and it’s transformed into the delight that is chocolate mousse – no gelatine required.


I had cravings for this because as I said in my last post, it has been very hot here in Sydney of late. And this sort of weather suppresses your appetite a little and leaves you wanting things that are fresh. No beef bourguignon on a 30 degree day for me thank you. So while I’d had a light dinner I couldn’t help hankering for something sweet, you see my sweet tooth knows no bounds. And then it hit me; chocolate mousse. This is chocolate mousse in it’s purest form – no gelatine, no butter, no espresso or other odd additions, just chocolate, cream, sugar and egg whites. This recipe is slightly different to the bulk of chocolate mousse recipes as it doesn’t use the egg yolks. I can’t really give a reason for this, it’s just the way I’ve always made it and to me it’s absolutely delicious like this. And egg yolks or not, it most definitley cured me of my sweet tooth cravings that night.

Rich Chocolate Mousse

Serves: 6


  • 250g dark chocolate, broken into chunks (I used Callebaut)
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 3 egg whites


  1. Place chocolate and cream in a saucepan over a low heat. Stir with a spoon until chocolate is melted, careful not to let the bottom of the pan burn.
  2. Transfer chocolate mixture to a metal bowl and leave to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, place egg whites in a metal bowl and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add the caster sugar until stiff peaks form.
  4. Gently fold the egg white mixture through the chocolate.
  5. Spoon into glass ramekins and leave to set in fridge for at least 2 hours.
  6. Garnish with strawberries or raspberries and serve.

Watermelon and Feta Salad



Spring has definitely sprung here in Sydney. Leaving the house early in the morning on the way to work you can already feel the warmth of the sun on your back. If you’re lucky enough to leave the office on your lunch break, it’s the sort of weather where you head to the nearest park and laze barefoot on the grass with a good book and soak up the sunshine. It’s warm enough to spend your weekends lying on the beach, running to the water’s edge when the sun starts to get a little much and then retreating back to your towel to dry off again and repeat. And if there is fruit that screams summer and sunshine it would have to be watermelon. Biting into a juicy slice of watermelon is supremely satisfying. The juice runs down your face; it’s cool, refreshing, but most of all sweet. Watermelon’s are delicious on their own as the perfect summer snack, but there are so many different uses for them. You can make popsicles, sorbet, granita, juice them, fill them with vodka for a summer BBQ or make a savoury salad as I have done.


This salad is ridiculously simple but oh so satisfying when you’ve come home after a day at the beach and you’re hot and tired and just want to make something easy. The sweet, refreshing taste of the watermelon is balanced with the salty, creamy texture of marinated feta and the freshness of mint. All these flavours are then married together with a basic vinegar dressing that just gives the salad a hint of tang. Sometimes I can overcomplicate things, and this sort of salad makes you remember that sometimes simple is best because it really does let the ingredients shine through.

Watermelon and Feta Salad

Serves: 2-3


  • 1 kilo watermelon, chopped into small pieces
  • 100 g marinated fetta
  • 5 sprigs mint, leaves only and torn.
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp seeded mustard


  1. Arrange the watermelon on a serving dish. Crumble the feta over the top. Sprinkle the mint on top.
  2. To make the dressing: combine oil, vinegar and mustard in a jar and shake. Spoon dressing over salad and serve.

Raspberry and Goat’s Cheese Ripple Brownies


The weather in Sydney has been playing hard to get these past few weeks. One minute the sun is poking its beaming head out from behind the clouds, the next a sudden downpour appears out of nowhere. This leaves you cursing to yourself on the street for not bringing the umbrella you glanced at but decided you wouldn’t need because you were running late. Inevitably you arrive to work looking like a drowned rat. I know, because sadly this was the predicament I found myself in a few days ago. Traipsing into the office a sodden mess, I rushed myself off to the bathroom to find the emergency hairdryer a.k.a the hand dryer and stood with my head bent down awkwardly trying to dry my disheveled mane. Thankfully, I was not spotted. But such a traumatic start to the day did leave me feeling a little defeated and by the time I came home I was in need of something comforting. And that is where these delicious brownies came to my rescue.


These brownies are little pieces of heaven and the addition of goat’s cheese and raspberries makes for a slightly more grown up version of this perennial crowd pleaser. Many people are under the impression that brownies are essentially small chocolate cakes but they are most certainly not. Brownies are supposed to be gooey and fudgy, not light and airy. This is achieved by using a small amount of flour and a rather large amount of dark chocolate and butter – although this shouldn’t warrant too many complaints from the lucky few who get to be taste-testers.



If the idea of goat’s cheese makes you a little apprehensive, please hold your judgment until after you’ve had your first bite. The sharp edge of the goat’s cheese is softened by a healthy addition of cream cheese and icing sugar, and this in turn helps to cut through the rich, decadent brownie.


The scent of these wafting over as you loll on the couch has a very soothing effect. I can attest to this because that is precisely what I was doing. Once the brownies are cooked and out of the oven, try and leave them until the following day as the flavours develop and marry well into one another. I say ‘try’ because sometimes such self-control is beyond us, in which case eating them straight out of the pan is always a good option too.



Raspberry and Goat’s Cheese Ripple Brownies:


For the brownies:

  • 200g 70% dark chocolate
  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups raw caster sugar
  • ¾ cup wholemeal plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

For the goats cheese ripple:

  • 130g cream cheese
  • 40g goats cheese
  • 1 tablespoon icing sugar
  • ½ cup raspberries (frozen is fine)


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C and grease and flour a square cake tin.
  2. Melt the butter and chocolate in a saucepan over a low heat, stirring occasionally. Set aside and leave to cool down.
  3. In a separate bowl beat the eggs and sugar until pale and creamy using an electric mixer.
  4. Sift over the flour and baking powder and stir until just combined.
  5. Add the chocolate mixture and gently fold through.
  6. Pour into cake tin.
  7. To make the goats cheese swirl topping mix all the ingredients together (except the raspberries) in a bowl. If the mixture looks a little thick, add some milk to make it easier to work with.
  8. Using a teaspoon place little dollops all over the top of the brownie batter.
  9. With a knife or skewer run the knife through the batter in a straight line (echo the lines you would make when cutting cooked brownies).
  10. Keep making lines through the batter until the goat’s cheese is swirled all over the top.
  11. Finally, scatter over the raspberries.
  12. Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes (you want them to be set but still soft in the centre, otherwise they will be dry).
  13. Leave in the pan for 15 minutes then invert onto a wooden board or drying rack to cool completely.