Porcini powder: your secret ingredient

The Essential Ingredient’s Porcini Powder, made from the highest quality dried porcini mushrooms imported from France, is the key to adding a sophisticated flavour and richness to many dishes.

Dried mushroom powder is a secret weapon in your spice arsenal. Add it anywhere you add spices or dried herbs; stews, marinades, sauces, soups, dressings and more.

Bring out the flavour of your …

Playing with fire- the many uses of the kitchen blowtorch

Becoming a better cook often means mastering new techniques and tricks, and many of these tricks can require an investment in some new kitchen equipment.

Many such pieces of equipment make their way into your kitchen for a single purpose. In the case of the kitchen blowtorch, it’s probably to perfect the crunchy toffee top of your crème brûlée.

Of course, once …

Recipe: Alvin Quah’s Ma Po Tofu, with black pig

This recipe, by Masterchef Top 5 finalist Alvin Quah, from his recent Essential Ingredient Cooking School (Rozelle) class, includes ‘minced black pig’. Black pig, also known as ‘heritage’ breeds, is a more densely marbled pork with a richer flavour. It is most commonly available directly from the producers, but try asking your local butcher. If you have no luck, substitute regular minced pork (though the flavour won’t be as complex).

The Macaron Obsession

Remember the cupcake invasion of a few years ago? It seemed no café or bakery was legally entitled to operate without stocking highly decorated cupcakes in dazzling flavour combinations. Weekends in home kitchens were spent making batches of cupcakes, and it was almost impossible to have a wedding, birthday, baby shower or gathering of friends without a selection of toweringly …

Cooking without fire: the safety of induction stoves

Anyone with even limited experience in the kitchen knows that it can be a dangerous place. A lapse in concentration or sudden rush to manage fifteen tasks at once can easily result in a burn, cut or worse.

Safety should never be out of your mind when in the kitchen, which is one reason behind the increasing popularity and use of …