Winter Warmer Recipes with Dani Venn
Delicious, simple and budget-friendly recipes the whole family will love!
Published 02 June

You may know her as The Wholehearted Cook or a familiar face from the kitchens of MasterChef Australia, but for the winter weeks ahead Dani has teamed up with Grand Central to become our resident foodie queen! 

Sharing her whole food recipes that not only warm the soul but keep healthy, fresh and whole food ingredients at its core - a curated series of easy-to-follow and budget-friendly recipes are coming straight to your kitchen.

Every three weeks, a new step-by-step videos will be released, so mark your calendar and get your best apron ready for some MasterChef-quality cooking in your own kitchen this winter! 

Dani shows us how to make delectable Salted Peanut Butter Double Chocolate Brownies, then next up is Carbonara Risotto a mix of two classics in one warming dish. 

Get all the ingredients to make these great recipes from The Market Room, located on Level 1. 


Salted Peanut Butter Double Chocolate Brownies

Recipe by Dani Venn

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes, plus cooling time.

Serves: 12


130g natural peanut butter

200g good quality dark chocolate

200g unsalted butter, cubed

200g brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 eggs

150g plain flour

100g dark chocolate buttons 

1 teaspoon salt flakes


For this recipe you will need a 20 x 20 cake pan. Line the cake pan with baking paper and pour in the peanut butter, spreading it evenly across the base of the pan. Place baking pan in the freezer and freeze butter for at least 4 – 8 hours, or until completely frozen.

Preheat fan-forced oven to 150 degrees.

Create a double boiler by placing a saucepan filled with a few cups of water over low – medium heat and place a stainless steel or glass bowl on top of the saucepan.

Add chocolate and butter into the bowl of the double boiler. Gently stir occasionally until the butter and chocolate melt and are glossy and smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the brown sugar and vanilla essence.

Whisk in eggs one at a time into the brownie mixture so that the mix comes together and is smooth. Sieve the plain flour into the mixture, gently fold in the mixture and stir in the dark chocolate buttons. Do not overwork the mixture.

Place half the amount of brownie mix into the same sized cake pan as the frozen peanut butter, smooth out the batter so its evenly spread. Top with a layer of frozen peanut butter and sprinkle with sea salt flakes. Pour in the remaining brownie mixture and evenly spread.

Place in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes so that the sides are cooked through and almost cake like but the centre is still a little soft and fudgy. Remove from oven and allow brownie to cool in the cake pan for 15 minutes then remove from cake pan and allow to cool completely on a wire cake rake.

Slice to serve.


Carbonara Risotto

Recipe by Dani Venn

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 2 – 3



2 tablespoons olive oil 

½ brown onion 

2 rashes long bacon, rind removed, finely diced 

1 ½ cups risotto rice (Aroborio, Carnaroli

1/3 cup dry white wine 

1 – 1.5 litres of good quality chicken stock, ensure stock is hot

1 egg yolk 

1/3 cup pure cream 

½ cup grated parmesan cheese 

½ teaspoon cracked black pepper 

1 teaspoon salt flakes

20g chilled unsalted butter, cubed 

Shaved parmesan, to serve 



Place a medium sized frypan over low – medium heat, add olive oil when hot, add onion and sauté for about five minutes until onion is translucent. Add diced bacon and cook for a further few minutes so that the bacon fat has rendered and the pan is nice and oily. 

Add a layer of risotto rice into the pan and stir well to coat the rice in the oil. Cook the rice for about three minutes, stirring occasionally, until the rice is semi translucent. Increase the heat of the pan to medium – high heat, when hot, add the white wine. The pan should sizzle. 

Stir well, then add a few ladleful of hot stock to the pan and swirl the pan, return the pan to medium – low heat. When rice has absorbed the stock, add a few more ladelfuls of stock occasionally swirling or stirring the pan. Repeat this process until the rice appears creamy and cooked through, it should retain some of the rice’s “bite” and not be too soft. This process should take about 25 – 30 minutes. 

When the risotto is almost ready, combine egg yolk, cream and grated parmesan cheese into a bowl, crack in black pepper and stir in some salt. Whisk together with a fork then pour into the risotto mixture. 

To finish off the dish, add in some chilled butter, stir well to combine. If risotto is looking too dry, add in a little hot stock to loosen. Serve immediately and garnish with a few shavings of parmesan and extra black pepper and sprinkle of salt. 


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