Well hello 2019!

NYE at Relish - Dessert Buffet

Our NYE 'Drinks and Dessert' party buffet. Thanks Cathy for your yummy Lemon and Cream Sponge too - just delicious!

For us it was quite a busy Christmas and New Year period. A couple of trips to Cooma for in-law visits, squeezed in with a couple of beach visits to enjoy a lovely cleansing swirl around the waves in the zillion degree heat. NYE was a perfect night, except for the downpour of course, but we hosted our wonderful neighbourhood friends in the best possible way, with a 'Drinks and Dessert' Party!

It all seems a bit of a blur now with the beginning of our 2019 classes kicking off this weekend, there has been no time to rest. This weekends one-off 'Hand Crafted Pasta' class is going to be great. It's a shorter 3 hour class which will have our participants kneading and rolling dough to their hearts content, before they enjoy their very own pasta feast. If all goes well, we may just be able to pop a few of these classes on in the evenings mid week. See what comes!

Back to our NYE Dessert Party...

Manjari Chocolate Cake, Lemon and Cream Sponge Cake, Strawberry and Vanilla Cream Tarts

Manjari Chocolate Cake (left), Cathy's Lemon and Cream Sponge cake (centre), Strawberry and Vanilla Cream Tarts (right) - just delicious!

I made lot's of little things (I really love baking), but my most favourite was a Manjari Chocolate Cake, which was a recipe from the infamous Flour and Stone Bakery repertoire. For those of you who don't know Flour and Stone, I first discovered them at the Carriageworks Farmers Markets in Redfern after devouring one of their signature Panna Cotta Lamington's, ok and maybe a Salted Caramel Eclair (oink oink!). From that day on, whenever I get a chance, I visit their tiny bakery in Woolloomooloo to see what they have on offer. They have just released a cookbook too, so I guess I'll have to wait for my birthday for that one to arrive in my hot little hands. Probably gives me a little time to shed these Christmas kilos anyway.

On a lighter note, I thought I'd share my 'Pina Colada' Panna Cotta recipe with you as it's a nice one for this time of year. It's inspired by summer and of course there is no better time to enjoy a Pina Colada than now, so let's do it with a twist and enjoy the flavours as a dessert.

Pina Colada Panna Cotta

Pina Colada Pana Cotta

Toasted Coconut, Mango and Strawberry Eton Mess (left), Pina Colada Pana Cotta (right)


500ml coconut milk

250ml thickened cream

1/3 cup caster sugar

8 kaffir lime leaves

2 1/2 tsp powdered gelatine

juice and zest of 1 lime

3 tbsp white rum (like Malibu), optional

1/2 cup fresh pineapple, finely diced

mini cocktail umbrella's to serve, optional but very cute!


  1. Over medium heat bring coconut milk, ½ of the cream, sugar and kaffir lime leaves until just coming up to boil, stirring (careful not to boil over). Remove from heat and set aside for 20 mins to let lime leaves infuse.

  2. 5 mins before your coconut mixture has infused, ‘bloom’ (hydrate and soak) your gelatine by placing 3 tablespoons of cold water into a small bowl and sprinkle gelatine evenly over water. Wait for a minute or two, or until there is no dry powder remaining.

  3. Using a slotted spoon, remove lime leaves from coconut mixture, then return mixture back to the stove and heat again until just about boiling. Remove from heat and add bloomed gelatine and remaining cream, stirring until gelatine has dissolved.

  4. Set mixture aside for 20 minutes or until at room temperature, stirring occasionally.

  5. Gently stir mixture before pouring into 6 (125ml capacity) of your favourite serving classes. Cover and refrigerate for 5 hours or overnight.

  6. Just before serving, mix lime juice, zest and rum (if using) together with the pineapple. Spoon evenly over the Pana Cotta's. Top with a mini cocktail umbrella (if you have them) and serve.


  • If your gelatine has any powder areas that have not soaked up the water, drop some extra water onto those spots to make sure it is all completely hydrated before adding it to your coconut mixture.

  • Make sure your coconut mixture is at room temperature and you give it a gentle mix before pouring into your serving glasses to set, as the mixture can split.

  • Carefully pour your coconut mixture into your serving glasses so you don't hit the sides as it is quite difficult to clean the inside of the glasses prior to serving.

  • If pineapple and lime aren't your thing, please just add your favourite berries or fruit as there are so many beautiful ones in season at this time of year.

Classes Update

We are just about full now for the remainder of our classes until we take our extended break after the 31st of March. Thanks everyone for booking in early, it's going to be a really fun and very busy, few months.

Here is all we have left, so if you have been putting off coming along to a class, there's no time like now to make your booking.

  • 2nd February - 4 spots Italian Long Lunch (this was originally a Thai but has now been changed to Italian)

  • 23rd February - 3 spots Italian Long Lunch

Please email or phone me if you would like to join us on either of those dates.

meryl@relishcookingschool.com.au or 0410 499 072

What's happening after 31st March 2019

After 31st of March we are taking some time to reconfigure things here at Relish. We would ultimately like to move the school out of our house (need to give my poor husband a break) and our neighbours are renovating so weekends will become increasingly noisy. My wonderful helper, Mum, is also heading away with Dad in their van for a 7 month holiday.

I still hope to be able to bring you some exciting adventures whether it be some 'Shopping Road Trips' into some of our great inner Sydney neighbourhoods, some 'Secret Pop-Up Dinners' and certainly some wonderful classes, so please keep us coming to your inbox as we will continue to blog and send you newsletters and recipes as we trundle along. Meryl and Barb

Photo by Fi Wrighton

Love Your Food Moments

#Summer #DessertParty #PanaCotta #PinaColada #cookingclasses #Coconut #ChocolateCake #FlourandStone

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