A weakness of mine is a trip to Haberfield for cheese, salami, prosciutto, olives, passata, Italian bread – that’s the official list; and then there’s those few items that always seem to make their way into my bag, sometimes for sharing, sometimes not. Custard filled doughnuts, amaretto-soaked cherry-filled almond biscotti from Sulfaro, cheesecake from Pasticceria Papa… but the doughnut has to be my favourite.
That’s why I was so excited to find a feature on doughnuts in my newly favourite magazine, Feast. Love the food features and the background stories. There’s so much info, it seems like a bargain. I had to try their version of custard doughnuts, Bola de Berlim, from Portugal, but I’ve twisted it slightly. The dough I’ve made the same as the recipe but for the creme patissiere I used Stephanie Alexander’s version which uses cornflour instead of plain flour, and I used tonka bean instead of vanilla bean for something different. Yum. You can buy tonka beans at Herbie’s Spices in Rozelle. Credit goes to Olivia Andrews and Jerrie Redman-Lloyd for a flawless recipe that’s easy to follow.
This seems dangerous, to be able to make doughnuts on a whim. 🙂
I’m off to Marrickville organic markets tomorrow to check them out. Maybe I can ease my conscience with some nice fresh produce.

I’d been looking forward to a week at home, starting each day with a coffee from my Rancilio Sylvia before venturing out into the world; and then Sylvia went and got sick and I had to take her to the vet.
While at the ‘vet’- Dibartoli coffee centre in Bondi Junction, we got to chatting about great cafes near St Peters and one of the guys there recommended Coffee Alchemy, a coffee house in Marrickville who roast their own beans. I went there the next day and had a delicious coffee and was determined to go back. I did read on their website that they close at 2pm but somehow in my caffeine deprived state the next day, I forgot. So I found myself coffee-less. Luckily I took a wrong turn on the way home and found the Petty Cash Cafe, whose coffee rivals that of Coffee Alchemy, or was that just to do with the sunshine on Enmore park and the balmy smell of summer in the air? Either way, I’ve found just two of what I’m sure are many more great local cafes to discover…
Oh yeah, and Sylvia is all better too 🙂

I’ve just finished reading Shark’s Fin & Sichuan Pepper by Fuchsia Dunlop; A sweet-sour memoir of eating in China.
I have been somewhat obsessed by the tongue numbing tingly effects of the sichuan peppercorn for sometime now and am learning how best to cook with it. I have picked up a few tips from Kylie Kwong who advocates making a sichuan pepper and salt mix, filling your kitchen with its alluring aroma as you toast the two together in your pan.
I have enjoyed it as a spice rub on tiny succulent quail at Non La in Surry Hills. I have been overwhelmed at Spice Temple by Neil Perry’s heavenly facing chillies and sichuan pepper fish where the waiter scoops away ladles full of chillies to reveal a broth swimming with sichuan pepper.
So if you have any curiosity about sichuan pepper or the food history of China’s regional cusines, in particular the region of Sichuan and the city of Chengdu then pick up Fuchsia’s book, it’s fun and will have you running to Chinatown for your next meal, or indeed for the sichuan pepper and salt in your own kitchen.
If you’re looking for a wide range of cookbooks, check out The Cookery Book in Northbridge, or Kinokuniya opposite the QVB in the city.