Monthly Archives: November 2014

Cool food for hot people – not pets

This week animals have been ruling the roost at The Zin House.

Milli and Vanilli, our orphaned twin lambs, have been taking farm to table to ridiculous new levels by crash tackling diners at the restaurant door and trying to push their way inside.


Albert, the adolescent peacock, thinks he’s a chicken except that at night he roosts on top of the Chook Palace and by day he makes commando like raids on winemaker Morgan’s car.

albert final

A very fat Blue Tongue lizard has also taken up residence with the hens and Albert, necessitating some very judicious and prompt egg collection techniques.


Dont even start me on the donkeys, I just came home to Cahill,Tulip and Yasser hanging out under the clothesline. If only they could fold and iron.

The weather has been horrific; air con is going in the restaurant and a watering system for the garden. Around us the unirrigated vines are hanging in, just. Last nights rain will have saved many of them from dropping their crop. Fig trees and geraniums prove themselves to be the cockroaches of the plant world.

The kitchen has been hitting about 50 and we have to find pockets of cool late or early to churn the ice-cream and roll the puff-pastry. I promise Lindl I won’t charge her gym rates for the weight she’s losing in our sauna.

Sorry if that bursts the ‘Life’s so wonderful in the country!’ bubble. We are however very much looking forward to introducing Friday Night Tapas – a bit of a breeze, icy cold craft beer, outside tables, Tinja sunsets and my favourite kind of food. This ice-cream with seasonal fruit and biscotti will make it on the first nights menu and we promise to keep Milli & Vanilli off the barbecue.   Albert however we have less control over and Morgan may yet try to compost him and bury his bones with the cow horns.

friday night tapas

Kim’s Ice-cream Neapolitan Cake

One batch of vanilla or honey ice-cream base (see previous blog or use your favourite recipe)

Raspberry sauce (puree fresh raspberries with enough icing sugar to sweeten)

1 packet sponge or Savoiardi finger biscuits (about 400 grams)

Espresso coffee





Make the ice-cream base and cool.

Make a syrup with one cup of very strong espresso coffee, three quarters of a cup of icing or castor sugar and two heaped tablespoons of dutch cocoa. Pour this over the sponge biscuits and toss to coat evenly. Leave to soak up any extra liquid.

Divide the ice-cream base into two. Churn one half with a tablespoon of raspberry sauce for every cup of custard. Churn the other half as is.

Line a pudding or mixing bowl with baking paper or cling wrap. Cover the base and sides with the soaked biscuits.

Add a layer of plain ice-cream over the biscuits, top with raspberry and then plain. Finish with a topping of the biscuits.

Cover and freeze.

Serve with whatever fresh fruit is in season – at the moment we are using mulberries and cherries.









Mulberries all upside down

We have a number of Mulberry trees on the farm but the season has been really dry and the BEST mulberries are growing in our bookkeeper Julie’s garden. She has been very kindly providing for our needs.


The addition of this lovely fruit to a tarte tatin adds just the right amount of tart-ness and colour. Add our house ice-cream – Honey

and it is just about as perfect as an old-fashioned dessert can be.

Don’t let anyone bluff you into thinking that this classic French dish is difficult because it simply is not. If you like pastry work make your own, if you don’t, just buy it (and the same goes for the ice-cream). There’s a brand called Careme – comes from the Barossa and is almost as good as that Lindl makes at The Zin House (but not quite).

We’ve been making a caramel, coating the bottom of small non-stick pans with this, adding a few layers of thinly sliced apples (core, and skin intact), a smattering of berries and topping with a thick lid of our house made puff pastry. Then it’s baked at about 200 degrees until the pastry is nicely brown and you can tell the bottom is getting gooey because there’s a bit of ooze up the side of the pan.

Don’t be scared about flipping it, that’s the fun bit.

The other great thing about this dessert is that even as the sixth course on our menu, it never comes back. Somehow there’s always just that little bit of extra room. It also passes the most testing test of all – we always bake enough for everyone on staff to eat at the end of service with a big dollop of Dubbo cream.