What we ate in 2015: Food trends and popular recipes

The secret to a perfect poached egg

Poaching eggs is sometimes viewed as a dark art best left to the cafe, but Jill Dupleix shows you how easy it can be.

Nutella. Australians couldn't get enough of the stuff in 2015. We wanted it in hot cross buns, in doughnuts, in frappes and even in doughnut milkshakes. Of the top six most-shared stories on Good Food's social media channels this year, five were about the hazelnut chocolate spread - including (somewhat fittingly) - a story about how our obsession had caused a shortage.

Recipe: Get your Nutella fix at home with this beaut' toastie

But what was trending on our dinner tables in 2015? The fact we live in a relatively warm climate isn't obvious going by our recipe searches. According to Google, Australians looked for pancake recipes above all others (and 'how to cook pancakes was the second-most 'how to' question punched into the search engine this year after 'how to tie a tie'). Pancake recipes were followed in popularity by recipes for slow-cookers, chicken, Thermomix and lasagne.

Savoury

Comfort foods were also the biggest hit on goodfood.com.au where the most-viewed recipes were - for the main - meaty. Neil Perry's chicken cacciatore took on a life of its own with nearly 350,000 views while Adam Liaw's classic roast chicken with bread 'n' butter stuffing came in at No. 2. 

How to?

But what caused us a cooking headache in the year that was? According to Google, Australians still don't know how to poach an egg (watch our video above for some great tips) and we're still baffled by quinoa - it was the top 'how to cook' search ingredient in 2015. Quinoa was followed in the bafflement stakes by rice, salmon, asparagus, pork belly, kale, beetroot, brown rice, steak and cous cous. 

If it had Nutella in it, it was sure to sell in 2015 (pictured, the cronut version at The Factoria in Sydney).
If it had Nutella in it, it was sure to sell in 2015 (pictured, the cronut version at The Factoria in Sydney). Photo: Sahlan Hayes

Pork belly was the surprise hit of 2015. A pork belly recipe from Melbourne restaurant Red Spice Road, after they won this year's The Age Good Food Guide People's Choice award, currently holds the title of best recipe according to goodfood.com.au readers, with an approval rating of more than 4.5 out of 5 stars, while Neil Perry's pork belly curry recipe was the 11th most viewed recipe this year with nearly 120,000 views - although it did prompt one reader to make a plea: "Stop this pork belly hipster madness! Stop it!"

Also popular among our home chefs was Adam Liaw's street food classic Singapore chilli crab.

Sweet treats

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On the sweet side, Jane and Jeremy Strode's heart-shaped biscuits were given a kiss of approval by Valentine's Day bakers (4.5 stars).

Other popular sweet recipes in 2015 were:

Katherine Sabbath with her caramel layer cake.
Katherine Sabbath with her caramel layer cake. Photo: Edwina Pickles

Dan Lepard's chocolate date layer cake inspired home bakers to vote, while Neil Perry's Italian apple cake with Grand Marnier was goodfood.com.au's most pinned recipe on Pinterest. Cake decorating sensation Katherine Sabbath shared her spiced caramel layer cake recipe with us, and our readers shared it with their Facebook friends.

Meat-free

As ever, creative vegetarian dishes struck a chord. Neil Perry's whole roasted cauliflower was shared widely on Facebook, as were his Turkish zucchini fritters, plus Bryan Martin's towering nacho cake and Emiko Davies' beautiful gnocchi alla sorrentina. Hellenic Republic's Cypriot grain salad made a welcome return to goodfood.com.au's hit list as this year's fifth most-viewed recipe.

Meat-free: Whole-roasted cauliflower (see recipe in gallery above).
Meat-free: Whole-roasted cauliflower (see recipe in gallery above). Photo: WILLIAM MEPPEM


Top Australian recipe searches on Google 2015

1. Pancake Recipe
2. Slow Cooker Recipe
3. Chicken Recipes
4. Thermomix Recipes
5. Lasagna Recipe
6. Chocolate Cake Recipe
7. Quiche Recipe
8. Paleo Recipes
9. Pizza Dough Recipes
10. Banana Bread Recipe

Source: Google Australia