Simmone Logue and her kitchen team ice hundreds of cakes, bake tens of thousands of pies and stir more than a thousand casseroles of beef bourguignon a week. But this consummate professional hasn't lost any of the passion or forgotten any of the secrets that made her a great home cook in the first place. In her new cookbook, In The Kitchen, every recipe has a special place in Simmone's heart.
Here's an excerpt from the book and Simmone's favourite recipe for a flourless chocolate cake.
I grew up in a small Australian country town called Muswellbrook, in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales. I had an amazing childhood. My twin sister Joey and I were always off on one adventure or another. If there was a tree with fruit on it, we’d be climbing it. If there was a watering hole or bubbling creek, we’d be in it. Picking, fishing and fossicking, gravitating to the fruits of the land, always so curious about nature and fascinated by what it brought to the table.
Both my grannies were amazing cooks, so it seems only natural that we inherited their interest in all things edible and that a love of food quickly started to flow through our veins.
Read more about 'A Life in the Day of Simmone Logue' in her book, In The Kitchen.
Flourless Chocolate Cake
Makes 1 x 23 cm (9 inch) cake; serves 12.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes
With so many people intolerant to flour these days, it gives me great pleasure to bake and serve this flour-free cake seven days a week. I really love how it’s crunchy on the outside, and all gooey and yummy on the inside. We almost always serve it with fresh plump raspberries and thick cream.
250 g (9 oz) unsalted butter
300 g (101⁄2 oz) best-quality dark chocolate, chopped
5 free-range eggs, separated
250 g (9 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
125 g (41⁄2 oz/11⁄4 cups) almond meal
sifted good-quality unsweetened cocoa powder, for sprinkling
fresh raspberries, to serve
unsprayed rose petals, to garnish (optional)
thick (double/heavy) cream, to serve
Preheat the oven to 160°C (315°F). Grease a 23 cm (9 inch) spring-form cake tin and line the base with baking paper.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer for about 3–5 minutes, or until the butter has clarified; you will know it is ready when all the solids have cooked off, and you are left with a nutty, deep-golden oil. Add the chocolate and mix until the chocolate has melted. Remove from the heat, then whisk in the egg yolks.
In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites using an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
To the chocolate mixture, add the sugar and almond meal, mixing well. Fold the egg whites through, then pour the mixture into the cake tin.
Bake for 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin, then refrigerate until required. This cake has a great life span — it can be made up to 1 week in advance.
Just before serving, dust with cocoa powder, then garnish with raspberries and rose petals, if desired. Serve with thick cream.
Meet Simmone Logue
Meet Simmone Logue in person at the David Jones Market St store in Sydney for a book signing and cupcake tasting to celebrate her newly released book, In the Kitchen.
When: 15 April 2016
Time: 11am - 3pm
Where: David Jones Foodhall, Market Street, Sydney