Barilla Cooking Class for Seadas at Sydney Good Food & Wine Show 2014

Oh what an amazing day: a couple of cooking classes with Mr J, infinite glasses of wine, cheese, cheese and more cheese and endless hours of walking around the Good Food and Wine Show all makes for a really productive day!

I was indeed ecstatic when I was invited by Barilla to attend their cooking classes at the show, in particular the special pre-show class to make Seadas and taught by MKR’s Sammy & Bella. Now I wasn’t an avid watcher of MKR or any of the reality shows, but I have to admit that they were friendly and gave a pretty good class.

Seadas are traditional Sardinian pastries filled with cheese, deep fried and drizzled with honey. Our version today was a citrus mix of ricotta cheese, grated pecorino with orange and lemon zest. I must say I’m not familiar with this dish, but was pleasantly surprised at how light, tasty and perfect these little bundles of cheesy pastries are for breakfast. It was the perfect way to start our absolutely busy and hectic day, especially when paired with a cup of coffee thanks to De’Longhi further down the hall at the show.

The work station

Deep frying isn’t so bad…

You can still go to the Sydney Good Food and Wine Show tomorrow – tickets are still being sold for Sunday 29/6/14 at

Patricia & Mr J attended the cooking class and the Good Food and Wine Show as guests of Barilla. Thank you for the generous invitation and hospitality. 

Sammy and Bella’s Seadas, for the Barilla Bloggers Breakfast

Recipe from Sammy & Bella’s Website

Serves 6 (makes 12)

For the dough:

  • 3 cups “00” flour
  • 1/3 cup semolina
  • 2 free range eggs, plus 1 yolk (set 3rd egg white aside for below)
  • 80 to 100 ml water
  • 80g salted butter, softened (or lard)

To fill, cook and finish:

  • extra flour, for dusting
  • 1 egg white, from above
  • 350g ricotta
  • 50g pecorino sardo, grated
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • zest from 1 orange
  • olive oil, to fry
  • ¾ cup (250g) honey
  1. In a stand mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook, place plain flour, semolina, whole eggs plus egg yolk, 80ml water and softened butter. Mix until well combined, and add a touch more water if it’s too dry. Allow the machine to knead for 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Wrap in cling film and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
  2. On a floured work surface, roll out the dough to 2 or 3 mm thick. Using a 4 inch fluted pastry cutter (or a glass), cut out 24 disks. Using a pastry brush or your finger, brush 12 of the disks with egg white.
  3. Grate the pecorino and mix withricotta, lemon and orange zests. Distribute this mix evenly across 12 disks, cover with another disk and press down firmly on edges to seal.
  4. Heat 1 inch of olive oil in a frying pan until hot (or in a deep fryer to 180C). Fry the pastries, in batches, until lightly golden. Drain excess oil on paper towel.
  5. Serve immediately, hot and drizzled with honey.

NOTE: The dough was already pre-made before the cooking class, so all we had to do was roll, slice, fill, deep fry & eat.

White Cake with Ombre Buttercream & Double Row Bunting

There are a lot of things in the world that fill my heart with so much joy and happiness. Being part of a celebration is definitely one of them, may it be with strangers or with the people closest to my heart. Being involved, in this case making the christening cake for my dear friends’ little bundle of sunshine, I’m just overwhelmed with so much love and pride as I made this beautiful cake for an equally beautiful little girl. She is indeed sunshine and rainbows, bringing joy to those around her.

Her mum, my dear friend, has requested for a yellow theme to go with her namesake which means sunshine – and oh how she does light up the world around her! My inspiration for this ombre buttercream frosting white cake is the sunrise: orange at the bottom, turning into a lovely yellow reminiscent of a new day.  The bunting adds a colourful and fun take on this equally festive occasion.

My dearest sunshine, may you bring love and joy to your parents, and a blessing to all that your heart and soul will touch.

White Cake with Ombre Buttercream & Double Row Bunting
Makes approximately 20 small slices

*The white cake recipe was adapted from Add a Pinch

300g unsalted butter, softened
5 eggs
3 cups granulated sugar
3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Preheat the oven to 175 deg C. Grease and line a 7″ baking pan with baking paper. Set aside.
  2. In a mixer, beat the butter in medium until soft and fluffy (about 1 minute). Add the sugar. Beat again for another minute.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, to the butter and sugar mix.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  5. In a jug, mix the buttermilk and vanilla.
  6. While slowly mixing the butter mix, add about 1 cup of the flour mix and alternate with about 1/3 of the buttermilk mix. Continue mixing the rest of the dry and wet ingredients to the butter mix, alternating from dry to wet.
  7. Beat slowly until the batter is well combined.
  8. Divide the batter into 3 pans.
  9. Bake each pan for about 20 minutes, or until a skewer or knife comes out clean.
  10. Set aside to cool.

Vanilla Ombre Buttercream

*You will need quite a lot of buttercream for this cake, as it is a 3 layer cake with lots of buttercream for the layers. You will also need to apply a crumbing buttercream first, and top it up with the ombre buttercream.

250g unsalted butter, softened
500g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp milk

  1. Beat the butter in medium to high until soft and almost-pale in colour (about 2 minutes).
  2. Add the icing sugar, a few tablespoons at a time in between beating (about 1 minute per few tablespoon). Make sure you beat on medium to almost high to reach that almost white (off white/pale) colour. This will also add volume to the buttercream.
  3. Add the vanilla extract and milk, and beat until well mixed.
  4. Divide the buttercream into 3 bowls (I chose 2 colours and kept 1 uncoloured). Make sure you get the proportions right: leave more plain, uncoloured buttercream and only set aside about 4 large tablespoons per colour of the coloured buttercream. You will use alot more of the plain buttercream than the coloured ones for this design.
  5. Yellow: I used about 4 drops of Queens’ food gel in yellow for the yellow buttercream.
  6. Orange: I used about 4 drops of Queen’s food gel in yellow and 2 small drops of the Wilton icing colour gel in red.

Constructing your ombre cake

  1. On a cake board or a normal cake stand, add a small dollop of plain buttercream in the middle. This is to keep the cake in place by “gluing” it on to the board/stand.
  2. Once the cakes have cooled, place one layer on top of the buttercream on the board/stand. Add a dollop of the plain, uncoloured buttercream, spread evenly on the cake, and stack another cake until all 3 layers are on top of each other and divided by buttercream.
  3. Cover the whole cake with a thin layer of the plain, uncoloured buttercream. This is your crumbing buttercream and will help you frost later with the ombre colours without any loose crumbs. Put in the freezer for about 15 minutes to set.
  4. Now you’re ready to add the ombre colours! I started with the darkest (orange) buttercream as I wanted the sunrise effect – apply the orange buttercream to the bottom 1/3 sides of the cake. I used this tutorial as a guide, and it was easy peasy using an offset spatula.
  5. Overlap the orange buttercream with the yellow buttercream. Again, only about another 1/3 of the cake.
  6. Add the plain, uncoloured buttercream from the top 1/3 side of the cake. Continue with the plain, uncoloured buttercream on the top of the cake.
  7. For a little bit of “design”, place the tip of the offset spatula in the middle of the cake (on top). Slowly turn the board/stand as you create a swirly, ribbon design on the top. For the sides, place the tip of the offset spatula  at the edge (top part) of the side of the cake. Slowly turn the board/stand as you create another ribbon on the side until you reach the bottom part of the cake.
  8. If you’re decorating with sprinkles/dragees, sprinkle them now while the buttercream is soft.
  9. Place in the freezer for another 15 minutes to set again.

Double Row Bunting

Washi tape in any colour
Kitchen twine
Bamboo skewers
Paper straws
White cardboard
Alphabet stickers

  1. Stick the small strips of washi tape longitudinally on a white cardboard, ensuring there is some space between each tape. Only stick 1 side of the washi tape on to 1 side of the cardboard. I wanted to use the white cardboard as it has “weight” and can hold the tape down. I used this tutorial.
  2. Turn the cardboard on its back. Place the twine on the side of the cardboard where you have the other unstuck side of the washi tape. Secure the the twine by sticking the other side of the washi tape on the cardboard.
  3. Carefully cut the tape on to triangles. Create enough triangles if you’re trying to spell a name. Note: Make sure you leave enough room for the alphabet stickers later.
  4. Add the alphabet stickers. If making a double row bunting, repeat the process but make sure that you have enough space for more triangles if the second row has more letters. I made my second row of triangles smaller to fit
  5. Tie the ends of the buntings to the paper straws. Set aside.
  6. Place skewers on top of the cake in an angle so there’s more space at the top than at the bottom. Insert the straws with the bunting on the skewers.