Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Salted caramel cookies

This salted caramel cookie has been inspired by a Land O Lakes recipe. The cookie is short, the caramel sweet and creamy and the salt brings a nice balance. Plus Mr Bball loves salted caramel so he loved them!  


  • 2/3 cups unsalted butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour

Caramel filling:
  • 125g sweeten condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons of Greek yoghurt
  • Salt to taste


  • Mix butter, sugar, egg yolks and vanilla with an electric beater until creamy
  • Add flour and mix in thoroughly
  • Refrigerate for 1 hour
  • Meanwhile, heat oven to 200 degrees fan forced
  • Shape cookies into small bowls – the cookie dough is very crumbly. Don’t worry – handle with care though
  • Once all the cookies are rolled out place your thumb (or the bottom of an egg) in the middle of each cookie to make a well – the cookie may crack.
  • Cook for approximately 8-10 minutes or until brown
  • Let the cookies cool.

Caramel filling
  • Heat the sweeten condensed milk until it thickens and starts to darken
  • Take the hot caramel off the heat
  • Quickly mix in the yoghurt to avoid it splitting. Use a hand whisk and mix it quickly.
  • Add salt to caramel to taste – really depends on how much salt you like. So add slowly until the desired taste has been reached
  • Place some yoghurt caramel in the centre of each cookie.
  • Enjoy!

A somewhat two faced cookie with the sweetness of the caramel and hit of salt, the crumbly cookie brings it together to make a surprisingly light little treat.

Farewell fun yoghurt fact, “According to the Wall Street Journal, more than a third of yogurt in an average (American) grocery store is now Greek”

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Best yoghurt Europe had to offer...

Hypothesis: Not all yoghurts are made equal.

While I didn’t fly to Europe to prove this hypothesis, I sure did use our 4.5 week European honeymoon as a chance to test it.

Across 14 European cities, in nine different countries, I tasted 17 different yoghurt varieties. All varied in flavour and texture. It all started in Amsterdam, where on a rainy day I tried Zuivelhoeve Boer’N Yoghurt, while sitting on a wet bench pining for the summer I was cruelly promised but so far denied.

The tart creamy yoghurt was balanced perfectly with the sweet strawberry compote and just enough granola muesli to provide a textually pleasing crunch. All in all, my first yoghurt was a winner.

The second yoghurt in Amsterdam wasn’t as successful because it wasn’t a traditional yoghurt. Thick, incredibly sweet, with no tartness in site, I was somewhat confused by this Danone Danio Vanilla yoghurt. That was until a lovely Dutch Instagram follower kindly informed me that the photo I had posted was not traditional yoghurt, but most likely quark. Closer to a sweet cream cheese than yoghurt I was kindly told. Honest mistake – who doesn’t like something that resembles cheesecake for breakfast (when trying to be healthy)?

The next 10 were a little, while delicious, uneventful. That was until I reached Positano, on the Amalfi Coast. With its blue water, tantalising smells and narrow paths, Positano delivered my third favourite yoghurt – frozen yoghurt with fresh strawberries. Wow, it was delicious. Tart, creamy and refreshing with only one flavour – natural. None of this New York cheesecake, chocolate and coffee stuff, this was proper frozen yoghurt.

The runner up was another frozen variety, this time from Yiaourtaki in Athens. A little creamier than Positano, this frozen yoghurt had the perfect balance of tart and sweet and almost caused a rift between Mr Bball and I – we got one to share. HUGE mistake.

And the winner was…Fage Total 2% Greek Yoghurt, which I had in my Mum’s home village, Gennadi in Rhodes. Every spoonful of this creamy, perfectly tart yoghurt conjured up memories of my childhood. It was in Gennadi that my love of yoghurt showed itself. I have convinced many family members and friends to eat Fage mixed with Greek honey and cereal for breakfast when visiting Gennadi. They became as hopelessly in love with it as I, messaging me their withdraw symptoms when returning to Australia.

So there you have it. The ultimate winner was Fage Total 2%. Now if only I could get it in Adelaide. Any ideas from where? 

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

European food adventure – krokets, cheese, pizza and yiros

A different kind of post because it’s not about yoghurt! Mr Bball and I recently went to Europe and I wanted to share three of my favourite meals. So let the story begin….

On 31 July 2016 my now husband and I packed our bags, ate all the food in our fridge (yes I almost ate an entire tub of yoghurt because I didn’t want to waste it) and started our honeymoon adventure.

With a list of ‘things to do’ in all fourteen cities we were visiting, each list topped with what local food and drink to indulge in, we jumped on our Emirates flight with relief. The last few months had been hectic with the wedding, a quick trip to America for Mr Bball’s work 6am after the wedding and a lot of work to wrap up, so getting on that plane filled me with this calmness I hadn’t felt for a long time.

A 13 hour, followed by 7 hour flight, we finally made it to our first city Amsterdam. Greeted with a free glass of bubbles to celebrate our honeymoon, we ventured out to experience the canals, the smells (yes…the smell of pot did radiate through the air) and the food. It was there we found a small pub along the canal, The Engelbewaarder, known for its traditional pub bites and bonus…it wasn’t touristy!

Eager to start ticking off our food list, we ordered krokets, bitterballen and of course cheese. A snack we thought, but what we were delivered was a meal for three with enough cheese to meet my calcium needs for a week. The krokets were crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside with small pieces of prawn intact. The bitterballen was crunchy and the smooth and meaty centre made my centre melt. The cheese was subtle, smooth and just beautiful. All dipped in mustard, which provided a pleasant bite that cut through the oily, creamy and rich flavours that made me salivate. I quickly began to fall in love with mustard and wanted it on everything for the rest of the trip. Who would have thought a piece of cheese dipped in mustard would be so heavenly. Honestly…try it.  

Our ninth city was Naples. While we only stayed in Naples for two hours, it was time enough to run to a small pizza store and order the best pizza I have ever eaten. Picture this…a small shop amongst the many ‘salesmen’ trying to sell me five selfie sticks, with a front counter for pre-made items. The small place was called Pizzeria Da Mimi. As you walk through the small gap to the left of the counter, you see another counter that couldn’t have been more than 1m wide. Next to that is this wood oven beautifully decorated with blue tiles. The chef looked at me blankly and I managed to squeak, pizza margherita per favour. With a few twists of the hand, some sauce and cheese and 90 seconds of theatre in the wood oven, where he placed it in, picked it up and twirled it, he presented to me an evenly cooked box of absolute perfection. With a thicker crust, rich and vibrant sauce and just the right amount of cheese, this simple humble pizza activated every one of my senses. Delicious.

Interesting pizza note - Napoli pizza is thicker than Roma pizza, because it is proofed in warm temperature and has more yeast. Whereas Roma pizza is proofed in the fridge and uses less yeast.

After Italy we went to my family’s homeland Greece. We saved the best European country to last and there in a small 600-person village on the Island of Rodos called Gennadi, we visited my Mum’s childhood home. I have visited Gennadi seven times and when I was five I spent two months there. I have so many fond memories of Gennadi from the perfect temperature beach to the small local bakery with the most amazing bougatsa (custard parcel). 

Together with my Mum, Dad, Sister, Brother-in-Law and nephew (also visiting Gennadi), we walked 50m up the narrow road from my Mum’s childhood home, to a window with pork rotating and cooking to perfection…round and round for hours until it’s just right to shave off and make a melt in your mouth Greek icon – the Yiros. And Nick's in Gennadi is the best. Whether called gyros, yiros or souvlaki; this meat, chips, salad and tzatziki filled pita bread delight is heavenly. When done properly, the meat melts in your mouth, the tzatziki cuts through the richness of the pork and the chips add this nice salty, crispy surprise.

Contrary to popular belief, the most common yiros meat in Greece is pork (chicken a close second). Not lamb. Even if you don’t traditionally like pork please do yourself a favour if you visit Greece, try the pork yiros. It is moist, juicy and salty (when done right). Plus it’s smaller then you’ll get in Australia, so you don’t have meat sweats or a food hangover straight after you finish it.    

In addition to trying the local cuisine I also tried yoghurt in each country to see what European yoghurt reigns supreme. Results in my next blog post…until then, keep eating.