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Basics to Brilliance by Donna Hay

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Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Pappardelle with slow-cooked brisket

    • raybun on October 22, 2017

      The ragu is excellent, the brisket just falls apart after 3 hrs in the oven and the sauce is rich and very flavourful. I made my own pappardelle, it had been ages since I made pasta. I'd forgotten that homemade tastes so much better! (photo).

  • Roast chicken with crispy sage and bacon lattice

    • Zosia on March 13, 2018

      I turned this into a sheet pan supper by adding small potatoes at the start of roasting and green beans towards the end. The mustard-bacon-sage flavours were very good - the vegetables benefited greatly from this combination - the bacon was nicely crisped, and the chicken was juicy and tender. Unfortunately, the chicken skin under the bacon did not crisp in my oven.

  • Miso-glazed roast chicken

    • raybun on March 07, 2018

      This was very good, the spatchcooked bird cooked quickly so would be ideal for a midweek meal. I used red miso (hence the dark colour) and served it with steamed bok choy & roasted sweet potatoes. The sesame oil and seeds added great flavour & crunch.

  • Spicy green curry prawns with noodles

    • raybun on March 07, 2018

      Don’t be put off by the long ingredient list, if you have time make the curry paste ahead and that will cut the cooking time drastically. Great flavour but we found it a little too spicy so I’ll scale the chillis down next time.

  • Crispy roast pork belly

    • KarinaFrancis on December 26, 2018

      The pork was meltingly tender, but the cracking didn’t happen for me. If I did this again I’d leave out the lemon it doesn’t contribute to the flavour of the meat and gives the pan juices a bitter edge.

  • Pork belly rice bowls with chilli caramel sauce

    • raybun on March 07, 2018

      This was my first time roasting pork belly, definitely not the last. The sweet & sour caramel sauce is fantastic, I added a little tamarind paste to replicate the sour note from the red sorrel leaves that I couldn’t find anywhere. Served with rice & steamed bok choy.

    • Macnclaire on September 03, 2018

      This was my first time making pork belly too, it always seemed daunting to me. This recipe was simple and straight forward. Made for a sinfully delicious meal!

  • Ginger and sesame chicken noodle bowls

    • raybun on March 07, 2018

      The chicken is poached ahead of time, the broth is so flavourful (freeze any leftovers for risotto or soup). Delicious spicy, the toasted sesame seeds add a nice crunch & the ginger could be increased. Definitely a keeper.

  • Herb, ricotta and cherry tomato gnocchi

    • raybun on March 07, 2018

      I’ve eaten a lot of heavy, stodgy potato gnocchi in my time but these are so different. Light & fluffy, and so easy to play around with the flavourings. I’ll definitely be making my gnocchi this way from now on.

  • Mexican pulled pork tacos

    • raybun on March 07, 2018

      I adapted the pulled pork recipe to make it in my slow cooker and we had enough to make the tacos & the burgers. Loved the flavours, served with fresh corn, jalapeños & avocado.

  • Southern-style pulled pork and slaw sliders

    • raybun on March 07, 2018

      The bourbon/maple syrup/malt vinegar sauce is just fantastic. Paired really well with the fennel/cabbage slaw to which I added slices of apple for extra crunch. I used some chipotle aioli I had in the fridge too for an extra flavour boost. This was VERY popular with the family.

  • Chicken schnitzel banh mi

    • raybun on March 07, 2018

      I made a double batch of this so we had the banh mi and parmigiana for two meals. The banh mi were very popular, we loved the crunch veggies in their tangy apple cider vinaigrette paired with sweet chilli sauce in fresh baguette.

  • Chicken Parmigiana

    • raybun on March 07, 2018

      I served this to the children at a recent dinner, and it went down so well. Chicken schnitzel covered in melting mozzarella and dolloped with basil pesto and roasted cherry tomatoes alongside.

  • American-style sticky pork ribs with fennel and apple slaw

    • raybun on March 07, 2018

      Made these for super bowl Sunday and all that was left was a tidy pile of cleaned bones. That bourbon glaze is fantastic and the ribs paired well with the slaw.

  • Sticky pork ribs with sweet potato chilli fries

    • raybun on March 07, 2018

      The bourbon glaze is definitely a keeper. I made my sweet potato fries into wedges as I was pushed for time. Served with chipotle aioli.

  • Mini prosciutto and cheese soufflés

    • raybun on March 07, 2018

      Absolutely loved these, would look great on a brunch table (Easter?). The prosciutto was very salty so next time I’ll reduce the salt in the soufflé. Served with steamed asparagus and arugula.

  • Slow-roasted lamb shoulder

    • lou_weez on March 07, 2018

      We really enjoyed this dish. It was easy to throw together and the finished result was delicious and succulent.

  • Crunchy potato rostis with pulled lamb, yoghurt and mint

    • raybun on March 07, 2018

      This is definitely getting 5 stars. I rarely buy lamb shoulder as it’s so pricy here but couldn’t resist it when I saw this recipe. The potato rösti is just divine, topped with the mint & malt vinegar tossed pulled lamb it turned into a feast. The three of us ate this in one sitting, definitely filed in the Favourite File.

  • Pea and mint risotto with crispy chorizo

    • NikkiPixie on March 09, 2018

      This was fabulous, so fresh and light. Even reheated well. One of the best risottos I've made - although I did cut down on the butter and cheese. :o)

  • Lemon and asparagus risotto with maple-glazed pancetta

    • raybun on March 07, 2018

      A great fresh tasting risotto, full of spring flavours from the asparagus to the lemon zest. Add maple basted bacon and a fistful of freshly grated Parmesan and you’ve got yourself a delicious dinner.

  • Essential mince mixture

    • Zosia on March 13, 2018

      I used this to make the book's spaghetti and meatballs. The mixture was easy to shape and the meatballs were soft, moist and flavourful (the lemon was particularly noticeable).

  • Spaghetti and meatballs

    • Zosia on March 13, 2018

      With a passata-based sauce and lemon zest in the meatballs, this ended up as a relatively light, fresh tasting dish. The quick cook time means the flavours don't really have an opportunity to meld so make sure to use a good quality/your favourite passata. The meatballs were made from the book's essential mince mixture.

  • Roasted pumpkin, marjoram and blue cheese frittata

    • raybun on March 07, 2018

      This is actually a hybrid, I couldn’t decide between this one and the goats cheese kale one so I combined them using roasted butternut squash, blue cheese, goats cheese, garlic sautéed mushrooms & thyme. Delicious!

  • Chinese barbecued duck

    • raybun on March 07, 2018

      I bought a huge local 6lb Lac Brome duck for this and followed the recipe to the letter. We ate this for Chinese New Year, it was absolutely delicious. The star anise, cinnamon & ginger really diffused their flavours and the orange juice and zest added a lovely citrus note.

  • Asian noodle stir-fry with barbecued duck and greens

    • raybun on March 07, 2018

      I used the roasted duck breast for this dish (see duck note). A fabulous array of flavour from the spicy orange flavoured duck to the sesame oil drizzled steamed bok choy and cashew nuts.

  • Slow-cooked beef Madras

    • raybun on March 07, 2018

      I didn’t love this as much as I though I would. The beef definitely needed a boost in the flavour department, we added curry paste and harissa in generous amounts to enjoy this dish fully.

  • Creamy chicken and corn chowder

    • raybun on March 07, 2018

      This was most enjoyable. Loved the texture & flavours, the corn, potatoes and chives definitely added some necessary bulk. Perfect for a cold winters day.

  • The perfect Pavlova

    • BasicStock on August 01, 2018

      I've never used my kitchen aid mixer to whip egg whites! Fool! This was food fit for celestial beings!

  • Chocolate meringues

    • raybun on March 07, 2018

      These were great, crispy on the outside and gooey and sticky on the inside. I will make them smaller next time as they were very filling.

  • Chewy chocolate chip cookies

    • raybun on March 07, 2018

      Great choc chip cookie recipe, they spread quite a bit so I’ll make them slightly smaller next time. Used to make the s’mores with (amazing!!!).

  • S'mores

    • raybun on March 07, 2018

      These are fantastic and SO decadent. A meal in itself, and definitely not for the faint hearted. Clear your calendar for the day, expect a sugar rush then a carb coma.

  • Apple tarte Tatin

    • raybun on March 07, 2018

      This is one of the best tarte tatins I’ve ever made. The caramel is divine, I served it with salted caramel ice cream.

  • Molten chocolate puddings

    • raybun on March 07, 2018

      This is as good as a lava cake can get, made for Valentine’s Day. Just the right amount of ooze, baked for 10 mins in my convection oven.

  • Molten choc-chunk brownies

    • raybun on March 07, 2018

      These are fantastic, they rival my regular brownie recipe (David Leibovitz-ready for dessert). I added fresh raspberries to cut the sweetness slightly, absolutely loved the combo. Five stars!

    • lou_weez on July 25, 2017

      Super easy and delicious. I really liked the variations to the recipe - add caramel fudge, marshmallows or raspberries. Next time I might add Mars Bars and nuts to the mix, just to be crazy!

  • Sweetheart biscuits

    • raybun on March 07, 2018

      I had ordered a little handmade rolling pin inspired by another EYB member and was so thrilled the pattern came out on this dough.

  • Banana bread

    • raybun on March 07, 2018

      A good banana bread recipe that uses 4 mashed bananas and 1 for decoration. I added sultanas, cardamom & ground ginger to jazz it up a little.

  • Banana bundt cake with caramel icing

    • raybun on March 07, 2018

      This combo is insanely good! The banana flavour comes through strongly (4 bananas) but the star of the show is the caramel icing poured over. YUM!

  • Raspberry and white chocolate muffins

    • raybun on March 07, 2018

      This is a good muffin recipe, I used semi sweet dark chocolate chips instead of white chocolate as that’s what I had on hand. Lovely with a cup of tea.

  • Carrot cake and cream cheese muffins

    • raybun on March 07, 2018

      We really enjoyed these. I adapted these slightly by making cream cheese frosting instead of baking cream cheese inside the muffin. I added some raisins to the mix too.

  • Light and fluffy pancakes

    • leahorowitz on January 14, 2018

      These pancakes really are light and fluffy. However, they were a little sweet for my taste - especially if you drizzle them with maple syrup to serve... Next time I’ll try with 50 g sugar. The online recipe says 1 tsp baking powder, the book (at least the german edition) calls for 2 tsp. I used 1 tsp and the pancakes came out fine. In my opinion the pancakes need a pinch of salt in the batter to balance the sweetness.

  • Blueberry pancakes with whipped ricotta and lemon curd

    • raybun on March 07, 2018

      These were made for a delicious weekend brunch. I loved the tangy lemon curd with the creamy ricotta. The pancakes were very light & fluffy.

  • Mini pancakes in cinnamon sugar

    • raybun on March 07, 2018

      I couldn’t make these fast enough, they kept disappearing off the plate. Definitely on the regular brunch menu now.

  • Vanilla heart cakes with rosewater icing

    • raybun on March 08, 2018

      I made these in a silicone muffin tin rather than cutting hearts out of a sheet cake. The rose water icing was lovely, not too strong as it can taste like soap. I’m still on the fence about the edible rose petals, I felt like I was eating pot pourri! But they are pretty...

  • Monkey bread

    • raybun on March 08, 2018

      This was my first time making monkey bread so can’t compare, but this was fantastic! I didn’t get much of a rise for the second rise, but it puffed up magnificently in the oven. Loved the caramel crust.

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  • ISBN 10 1460751426
  • ISBN 13 9781460751428
  • Published Sep 19 2016
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 400
  • Language English
  • Countries Australia
  • Publisher Harper Collins Australia

Publishers Text

Australia's bestselling cookbook author returns with a stunning new book, Basics to Brilliance - and a TV series tie in. Australia's most trusted and best-selling cookbook author, Donna Hay, wants to take you from basics to brilliance. Donna believes that, just like anything you want to be good at, mastering the basics is how you build confidence. So, in this book, she's sharing all her favourite, tried and true recipes - think the perfect tender steak, golden roast chicken, crispy pork belly, her nan's sponge cake, and of course the fudgiest brownies! Each basic recipe is followed by clever variations and simple flavour change-ups, so one recipe becomes many and your repertoire naturally grows. Take Donna's 'no-fail meringue mixture' - once mastered, this basic recipe can be tweaked to be turned into the perfect pavlova; divinely flavoured salted caramel, chocolate, rosewater and pistachio, and raspberry meringues for an elegant afternoon tea; or a silky smooth and tangy lemon meringue pie for a divine dessert for a dinner party. This is your ultimate guide to being brilliant in the kitchen! Basics to Brilliance is a luxurious hardback, featuring beautiful photography and featuring over 200 recipes. This is a book you will want to treasure forever. In 2011, Donna's first television series - fast, fresh, simple - premiered on LifeStyle, garnering her a 2012 Astra award for Best New Female Personality and went on to air in more than 17 countries worldwide. In 2016 , Donna is returning to Foxtel with a brand new eight part show, Basics to Brilliance, based on this book, which will go to air in late May and be on repeat rotation as the book goes on sale.

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