Harmony Week Recipe Exchange

Harmony Week is about celebrating multiculturalism, diversity and inclusion

The water sector is working hard to improve diversity and continues to celebrate the things that make us different. This year VicWater chose to celebrate Harmony Week with a recipe exchange. We can’t be together at the moment, so rather than having a virtual Taste of Harmony event, we decided to share a recipe that means something to each of us.

Peter Morison

"My grandmother, Nan, grew up working in a cake shop in Lawson on the blue mountains in NSW. Later, during WWII, Nan ran a shop with one of her sisters while their husbands were away. I think it was here that she perfected the sponge cake. As kids, we could choose the shape of our birthday cake - heart, round, etc. - and expect to be served a wonderful creamy sponge cake lined with cachous and stylish candles. This is best served with creaming soda spider, as I recall well."

Peter Morison, CEO

Sponge Cake


4 free range eggs at room temperature (I recommend Wyandotte, Dorking, Plymouth Rock or Sussex because they lay such beautiful eggs!)

3/4 cup caster sugar

1/2 tsp real vanilla essence (no imitation essence please!)

2 tsp plain flour

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp cream of tartar

1/2 cup cornflour (wheaten variety)

Pure cream for whipping


Preheat oven to 160C fan-forced or 170C. If your oven is typically hot, reduce to 150C to avoid shrinking the sponge. Grease and line 2 x 20 cm springform cake pans.

Beat eggs and sugar at high speed till well mixed (over 5 minutes).

Add plain flour, bicarbonate of soda and cream of tartar to a 1 cup measure, then fill up with cornflour. Sift together several times.

Fold vanilla essence lightly into the egg-sugar mixture.

On lowest speed of mixer, mix in the sifted flours for a minute or until just combined.

Divide the mixture between the tins and bake for 20 minutes or until cake springs back when touched and is coming away slightly from sides of pan. This is the critical bit!

Fill the sponge using freshly whipped pure cream. Decorate the old school way with good icing and chachous.

Please save me a piece; I'll bring the Berts creaming soda and Streets ice cream!

Jo Lim

"This is my mum’s recipe for Quiche Lorraine, which she learned as a schoolgirl in England. We used to have it a lot when we were growing up, served hot for dinner and then cold for school lunch the next day."

Jo Lim, Operations and Strategic Projects Manager

Quiche Lorraine

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For the pastry:

125g soft cream cheese

125g softened butter

1 cup flour

For the filling:

250g block of Gouda cheese, sliced

6 bacon rashers, cooked

1/2 white onion, diced

3 eggs

600ml thickened cream


Mix all the pastry ingredients into a dough and refrigerate for 30 mins.
Press the dough into a loose-bottomed quiche/flan dish. Roughly layer the cheese and bacon and scatter over the onion.
Mix the eggs and cream together, add salt and pepper to taste, then pour into the quiche base.
Bake at 210C for 10 mins, then turn down to 180C and back for a further 40 mins until cooked and golden.

Serve hot or cold with a green leafy salad.


"This recipe always reminds me of my Nanna’s house. As a former owner of a cake shop, it was one of the many treats she would prepare whenever we came to visit."

Fee Boucher, Member Experience Manager

Jelly Slice

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250g plain sweet biscuits

175g melted butter

Pinch ground cinnamon

395g can sweetened condensed milk

½ cup (125ml) lemon juice

¾ cup (180ml) boiling water

2 teaspoons gelatine powder

85g red jelly crystals


Grease and line the base and sides of a 20cm x 30cm slice pan, extending paper 2cm above the sides of the pan.

Process biscuits in a food processor to fine crumbs. Add butter and cinnamon and process again. Press biscuit mixture into the base of prepared pan. Chill for 30 minutes or until firm.

Combine condensed milk with lemon juice in medium bowl.

Combine boiling water and gelatine in a small jug. Stir until completely dissolved, then stir into the condensed milk mixture. Pour over biscuit base and return to the refrigerator for 1 hour or until set.

Meanwhile, prepare jelly according to packet instructions, using 100ml less cold water than directed. Wait for jelly mix to cool to room temperature. Pour jelly mixture over set milk filling. Chill for a further 1 hour or until jelly is set.

Carefully remove slice from pan, slice into squares to serve.

James Cleaver

James loves a good curry and shares his favourite recipe from Matt Evan’s The Gourmet Farmer. Saag Paneer is traditionally a Punjabi recipe, but this particular one was perfected in the restaurant scene in London.

James Cleaver, Manager Policy & Regulation

Saag Paneer

James' saag paneer

500 gr fresh spinach, kale, beet tops, or even better, a mix, well washed and tough stalks removed

¼ cup ghee (or butter with a dash of oil), plus 2 tbsp extra

2 large onions, very thinly sliced

4 large garlic cloves, grated or crushed

4 cm piece ginger, grated

1fresh green chilli, seeded and thinly sliced or ¼ tsp chilli flakes

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp salt

1large tomato, chopped (or 2-3 tbsp passata)

2 tsp garam masala

2-3 tbsp cream, yoghurt or a little extra ghee

150 g paneer, cubed


Put the greens into a large saucepan of lightly salted boiling water and cook for 1-2 minutes or until just wilted. Drain well and squeeze out any excess water. Finely chop the stalks and coarsely chop the leaves.

In a separate frying pan, heat the extra ghee over medium-high heat. When hot, add the paneer and cook until golden on all sides. Set aside.

Heat ¼ cup ghee in a large frying pan over low heat. Add the onion and cook until light brown. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and cook for another 5 minutes or until lightly browned.

Add the turmeric and cumin and stir for 30 seconds or until fragrant but not scorched. Add the tomato and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the greens and 2-3 tbsp water and cook until tender.

Add the garam masala and cook for 5 minutes, then season to taste with salt, pepper and extra spices if necessary. Stir the paneer into the saag and serve immediately. Stir in the cream or yoghurt to enrich it a little.



"This is my Mum’s recipe for no-bake lemon cheesecake. She made it for my siblings and I for every birthday celebration. Now I make it for my own children’s birthdays."

Collette Beck, Communications Coordinator

No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake

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2 cups (200gr) crushed Marie bisuits

½ a cup (125gr) butter, melted


1 cup (250gr) cream cheese

½ cup (125 ml) lemon juice

1 can (395 g) of condensed milk


Crush biscuits in a food processor and add melted butter. Press into a springform cake tin. Beat cream cheese, gradually adding condensed milk, then lemon juice. Poor in to crumb casing and refrigerate until set.

Lauren Vines

"This recipe is one that my mother taught me, who learnt it from my Nonna and so on as our favourite family recipes have passed down through each generation, this is one of my favourites and I plan to teach this recipe to my girls when they get a little older."

Lauren Vines, Events Coordinator

Spagetti Bolognese

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500g minced pork/beef

1 brown onion

1 carrot

2 celery stalks

4 garlic cloves

1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs

1 can tomatoes

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 bay leaves

1 cinnamon stick

1 beef stock cubes

2 tablespoons cream


Sauté onion, garlic, carrot and celery in 1 tablespoon of olive oil

Brown the mince then add cream and simmer for 20 mins

Turn up heat and add tomato paste, stir through

Add wine, can tomatoes, herbs & stock and season generously with salt & pepper and simmer for 45 mins.

Serve with pasta of choice with shaved parmesan


Harmony Week 2021