The Rugby Pantry...

The Rugby Pantry...

I have to say that my quest for the perfect Chocolate Brownie recipe is over.....  the Triple Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie has beaten all the others I have painstakingly tried (no real hardship has been suffered here, mind).

The time (2 days I think) between buying the ingredients and making the brownies I suffered the loss of the white chocolate chips - no amount of interrogation between the junior and senior males of the house could provide answers (I think it may have been collaboration..) So I went ahead without.....  The result left the boys stunned - nothing from the entire batch of brownies made it to the baking tin.  I was lucky even to get the photos - because of the intoxicating smell - when you add the peanut butter to the warm chocolate is like a Snickers Bar has given your kitchen a warm hug, utterly irresistible!

Triple Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie

1 cup dark chocolate melts
1 cup milk chocolate melts
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 cup castor sugar
4 large free range eggs
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla essence

1/4 cup white chocolate melts
1/4 cup dark chocolate melts
1/4 cup milk chocolate melts
1/4 cup salted peanuts

Preheat the oven - 170C  Line a 20cm square tin with baking powder.
Put the dark and milk chocolate in a microwave-proof dish and gently melt, stirring every 30 seconds, with a metal spoon.  When cooled slightly stir through the peanut butter.
Place the caster sugar in a bowl and add the eggs one at a time.  Beat, until light and creamy (1 - 2 minutes on high).  Fold the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture.  Sift the flour and the cocoa into a bowl, stirring to combine and fold through you wet mix with the vanilla essence.
Pour the batter into the lined tin. Roughly chop the 'Topping' chocolate melts and scatter them, along with the peanuts, pushing them gently into the top.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until the mixture has cracked on the top and is no longer liquid in the middle.  Remove the baking paper with the brownie in it, and cool on a wire rack. 


As I loaded the pictures onto my blog  (I always do this first as it kind of gets me into the spirit of writing.. )  I noticed that my addiction to chocolate may not be giving you a well rounded view of the book.....  oh well....  never mind.

Pineapple Lump, Coconut & Macadamia Nut Slice.....

250g packet malt biscuits
1 cup macadamia nuts
1 cup shredded coconut
70g pineapple lumps
120g butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 free range eggs
1 tbspn vanilla essence
Place the malt biscuits in a whizz and blend until almost smooth (not too perfect - texture is good). Transfer to a large mixing bowl.  Place macadamia nuts in kitchen whizz and blend until broken up, then add to the biscuit crumbs.  Add three-quarters of the shredded coconut, saving the rest for sprinkling on the top later.
Cut the pineapple lumps into small pieces and add to the mixture.
In a pot, melt the butter over a low heat and add sugar.  Stir until dissolved and then add the cocoa.  Mix together and remove from the heat.
In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and vanilla essence together and add to the butter mixture.  Beat together until smooth and add to the dry ingredients.  Mix until well combined.
Line a baking sheet with baking paper, spread the mixture out evenly on top and flatten.  Sprinkle over the rest of the shredded coconut, then place in the fridge to set for 2 hours.
Remove from the fridge and cut into small pieces.....


I made this recipe for rugby mad teenage cousins, and sold it as Izzy Daggs' personal favourite. It really didn't need a 'sales pitch' in fact, on opening the tin, I don't think they could hear a word I said any more!!!  It was best described as a Pacific 'flavour' Lolly Cake..

Koko Araisa

I often like a recipe that I have never tried or made before, especially when it is traditional to someone else's heritage - I always have such a great experience with these sorts of recipes, as you are taken on a little journey, into another culture and get to imagine for a moment what life is like - Victors breakfast, was given a whirl in our house (we usually do porridge, or eggs and/or toast - never cereal) so announcing a new breakfast was met with intrigue....

2 cups medium-grain white rice
4 cups water
2 cups grated koko Samoa
(or ground cacao nibs)
3 lemon leaves, quartered
300ml coconut cream
white sugar to taste
Wash the rice well until the water runs clear.  Put in a medium-sized pot with the water and bring to the boil. When it boils, add the kook and the lemon leaves.
Turn the heat down low and leave simmering for 5 minutes.  Add the coconut cream and cook until it reaches the desired consistency. You can add extra hot water if you prefer a more soupy mix or leave it as is, for a thicker texture.
Remove the lemon leaves from the pot and discard.
Add sugar to taste and serve hot in large bowls.


Verdict - well obviously the chocolate component won the hearts of the 'judges' at my place, and it could easily pass as a variation on rice pudding dessert (adding sugar is optional, but it really does add, so worth to do that)  On thinking when I made it - I have a lemon tree in my yard - as do a lot of NZ yards - but if you don't (buying lemon leaves could prove difficult) - I think lemon zest would work very as well as a substitute, but don't leave it out altogether, as the chocolate with a little lemon was a lovely flavour.

Rice Bubble Prawns

2 cups rice bubbles
4 tbspn plain flour
1/4 cup water
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp Cajun seasoning
1 cup vegetable oil
15 king (or large prawns)
    shells removed and de-veined
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper
1/2 cup mayo
Place the rice bubbles in a small bowl.  In another small bowl, mix the flour, water, garlic salt and cajun seasoning to make a batter, ( you are aiming for a fairly thick, heavy pancake-like batter that coats the prawns well. Adjust with water or flour as necessary)
Heat the oil in a frying pan to deep-fry.
Dip each prawn in the batter, and then in rice bubbles.  Cook for 30 seconds each side in the hot oil.
When all the prawns are cooked, place on a platter, drizzle with lemon juice and a sprinkle of salt and pepper, serve with a dipping bowl of mayo.

I made this for a weekend lunch - and was super simple and super tasty.  It is really less 'Saturday lunch' and more 'dinner party tapas' .  Although Amber and Daisy suggestion is a big screen footy snack - I would entirely agree. 


2 1/2 cups sec-raising flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup warm water
chopped fresh coriander and garlic (optional)
2 tbsp butter or oil (for cooking)


Place the four and salt in a bowl and mix in the vegetable oil.  Add the Warm water slowly, gently stirring as you go until the dough forms a ball.
Place on a floured bench top and knead - then cover with a damp tea towel and rest for 10 mins.
Roll out the dough into a large circle, about .5cm thick, spread about 1 tsp of vegetable oil over the circle of dough and roll into a log.  Cut the log into 8 pieces and roll each piece out about 15cm in diameter (quite thin) leave it to rest again for about 5 mins.
Cook in a pan with butter or oil - 45 seconds or so per side, brush with butter....
how easy is that!!!


This was unexpected little find at the end of the book - very simple straight forward recipe, in the 'From Scratch' section.  'From Scratch' has some little gems - no pictures - just neat, easy little recipes - the Mint Honey Dressing - mint, olive oil, honey and lemon - sounds like a perfect Spring salad dressing and is begging to be shaken up in a little jar!!!!

I have had fun reviewing this book from Upstart Press - I had difficulty choosing which recipes to try out - and have several more 'tagged' to try in the coming weeks - The Green Curry Mussels is next up, and the Mint Honey Dressing.....    'well played' Amber and Daisy.  I hope you have more of these little gems for another book.

I have been following them here - Instagram:

 Daisy: and Amber: 



Text © Amber Vito & Daisy Dagg. Photography © Tam West. Extracted from The Rugby Pantry, published by Upstart Press $44.99RRP, available now.

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