Monday, August 11, 2008

Sweet White Sauce

This basic Sweet White Sauce is inexpensive to make and can be easily adapted to complement your favorite dessert. Why not try these quick and easy Orange and Lemon variations? Recipes make 1/2 pint (300 ml).

Basic Sweet White Sauce


3/4 ounce (20 g) butter
3/4 ounce (20 g) flour
1/2 pint (300 ml) milk
1 tablespoon sugar
4 drops vanilla essence


1. Melt the butter, add the flour, and cook for 30 seconds to make a roux. Off the heat, stir in the milk until smooth, then return to the heat. Add sugar and vanilla. Bring to the boil and stir until thickened.

Tip: You can use cornflour instead of a roux. In a pan, mix 2 teaspoons cornflour with a little milk taken from 1/2 pint (300 ml). Stir in the remaining milk, add the sugar and vanilla, and stir until boiling and thickened.


Orange Sauce

Infuse the milk by gently heating with the thinly pared rind of 2 oranges before straining into the roux. Just before serving add 3 tablespoons cream and 1 tablespoon Orange Flower water, available from Chemists.

Lemon Sauce

Add up to half a jar of lemon curd to the Basic Sweet White Sauce once it has thickened.

Spicy Ginger Loaf

The warming flavors of ginger and mixed spices enhance this family tea bread. Recipe serves 10-12.


5 ounces (155 g) unsalted butter
1/2 cup golden syrup
1/3 cup treacle
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
5 fl oz (150 ml) milk
2 large eggs, beaten
2 cups all-purpose (plain) flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup coarse oatmeal
1/4 cup stem ginger in syrup, drained and chopped


1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Grease and line a 2 pound (1 kg) loaf tin.
2. Put the butter, golden syrup, treacle and sugar into a saucepan. Heat gently, stirring constantly, until melted. Remove from the heat and add the milk. Stir in the eggs.
3. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger, mixed spice and cinnamon into a mixing bowl and stir in the oatmeal and chopped stem ginger.
4. Make a well/hollow in the middle of the flour mixture. Pour in the melted mixture. Beat well with the back of a wooden spoon to a smooth consistency. Pour into the tin.
5. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until the loaf is risen and firm to the touch. Stand in the tin, on a wire rack, to cool for 20 minutes, then turn out onto the rack to cool completely.

Tip: The loaf may be baked in an 7 inch (18 cm) square cake tin. For a special treat, slice the loaf, spread with light cream cheese and drizzle a little honey over the surface.

Egg Salad Sandwich

Firm tofu works the magic here. Combined with egg whites and just one whole boiled egg, it makes a rich, creamy sandwich spread that is high in protein and lower in cholesterol than the usual egg salad sandwich. Recipe makes 4 sandwiches.


5 ounces (155 g) firm tofu
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1/4 cup water
1 large hard-boiled egg, roughly chopped
2 large hard-boiled egg whites, roughly chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1/3 cup finely chopped red pepper (capsicum)
1/4 teaspoon each ground turmeric and paprika
Black pepper, to taste
8 slices wholegrain or rye bread


1. In a food processor or blender, blend the tofu, mustard and water for about 30 seconds or until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a medium-sized bowl and add the egg, egg whites, onion, red capsicum, turmeric, paprika and black pepper. Toss to mix.
2. Spread each of 4 bread slices with 1/2 cup of the egg mixture. Top with the remaining slices of bread and cut in half.

Tip: For variety, you can add some finely chopped capers, finely chopped black or green olives or toasted sesame seeds, or season the spread with dried dill instead of paprika and turmeric.