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I love to cook, I've always loved to cook.

As a young girl, my time was spent reading the cookbooks that mum kept in the bottom kitchen drawer. Always looking for a new recipe to try, a new food idea. Many weekends were spent making rainbow cakes with as many colours as possible – have you seen my Instagram, not much has changed, and looking for recipes that I could cook using what was available in the cupboard or from the vegetable garden.

At the aged of about 16, I remember stating that I wanted to leave the farm and travel the world. This would be followed by retiring by about 30 and moving back to South Gippsland to grow vegetables and cook. From 16 fast forward 20 years and I returned, starting Jacican Food Studio in Mirboo North, Gippsland where I grow vegetables and cook. This blog is where I share my food adventure.

Jaci

We make this recipe in my Cooking Class - Macarons, as well as macarons, appearing on the High Tea menu.

strawberry bubblegum macaron

Let's make the pink macaron shells first. To learn how to make your pink shells visit the Macaron - How to make pink shells recipe.

Strawberry Bubblegum filling

Ingredients

20 grams white chocolate

50 grams popping candy

150 grams strawberry puree

30 grams Hubba Bubba bubblegum

250 grams white chocolate, finely chopped

100 grams unsalted butter, finely chopped

Method

Melt 20 grams of white chocolate to 30oC. Add popping candy and mix to combine.

Spread the mixture out onto non-stick baking paper. Allow cooling to harden. This will be the surprise center of the macaron.

Heat strawberry puree and bubblegum in a small saucepan over a medium heat and cook until the bubblegum softens.

Blitz with a stick blender.

Put 250 grams of white chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Pour the hot strawberry/bubblegum mixture over and set aside until melted.

Mix well to combine.

Cool to 50oC and pour into a bowl with the finely chopped butter.

Use the stick blender again to blitz the ingredients together.

Put mixture into a piping bag with a 7 mm nozzle.

Refrigerate until needed. It is a good idea to have made this filling yesterday for today.

Jaci

PS I would like to knowledge Adriano Zumbo for his help with the base for this recipe.

On the back of the great success and fun we had at the Thorpdale Potato Festival's “Hessians on the Field,”  this year we are bringing 4 dresses  to the competition.

Jaci outfit for Potato festival

(pictured: Jaci's big reveal for the Thorpdale Potato Festival)

Outfits must be made from new or recycled hessian or potato bags and are judged on “Most Creative Outfit” and “Most Creative Design” in both over 16 and under 16 events, on Sunday 12 March 2017. The Thorpdale festival had been a highlight of the local area since 1977, and was revived after hard work by the locals to re-launch in 2015.

 

We have had 4 individual dresses designed using Hessian by Melbourne Designer, Moz Corrie, who has also been heavily involved with Leongatha's Lyrical Theatre in the past.

 

Not to give away too much information, the four outfits have been designed to flatter each of the ladies form, all are very different but quite dressy, including day wear dresses, evening dress and formal wear.

 

jaci website potato festival

(pictured above: last years catwalk entry)

 

I will also have a special stand at the festival, where I will again have my famous potato macarons, white chocolate (clean spuds), dark chocolate (dirty spuds), and dark chocolate vodka (very dirty spuds). All macarons are made with real potato of course!

 

All of us will then make a mad dash over to the “Hessians On the Field,” at 12pm, where you can see us in all our finery.

 

The Thorpdale Potato Festival will be held on the Thorpdale Recreation Reserve on Sunday 12th March 2017. It will be a fun filled day, with many attractions including potato picking and stacking competitions, sheep shearing, sheep dog trials, vintage machinery, historic car displays, CFA road rescue, professional wood chop, fashion, dance, photography, free kids activities, live music and over 100 food and market stalls.

This recipe was given to me by Jannette from Traralgon, as she had had no luck with her hot sauce. The recipe was passed on to her by her husband's Aunt - Mrs. Olive Scott when she was farming in Wickliffe, Western Victoria. Mrs. Scott now lives in Ararat.

This hot sauce is similar to a "Worcester Sauce" which is a fermented sauce that usually contains anchovies. Anchovies don't grow on trees in Gippsland, for that matter Victoria, so someone learned to make Worcester Sauce or hot sauce as I am calling it, using plums. I have also made a similar sauce before with apples. As this recipe contains no fish (or other meat products for the case) it is suitable for vegetarians.

Ingredients

1.8 kilograms Plums

1.2 kilograms Treacle (if you can't get treacle golden syrup will work)

25 grams ground black pepper

15 grams ground ginger

30 grams salt

900 grams brown sugar

3.3 liters of white vinegar (you could use apple cider vinegar if you wish)

7 grams cayenne pepper

110 grams garlic, crushed

plum hot sauce prep

Method

Put all the ingredients in a large saucepan and boil until the stones fall away from the plums.

Strain to remove all the plums and return to the saucepan.

Boil for 1 hour more, until the sauce thickens to the consistency you like.

Bottle and seal.

This recipe should make about 7 x 250 ml bottles

Enjoy!

Jaci

This is one of the many things I use my Beetroot relish for.

Beetroot Dip

Ingredients

250 grams of cream cheese

60mls of whipping cream

250-gram jar of beetroot relish

 

Method

Place everything in the bowl of the food processor and whip until combined. Serve alongside bread, crackers and vegetable croutons.

 

Enjoy!

Jaci

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