Q&A: 4 Ingredients cuisine queen Rachael Bermingham

4 Ingredients hosts Rachael Bermingham (left) and Kim McCosker 

The busy Queensland cuisine queens behind the massively successful 4 Ingredients cookbooks return with a second series on The LifeStyle Channel. We catch up with Rachael Bermingham (left) to learn why 4 Ingredients is all you need.

Why 4 ingredients?

It’s as refined to the bone as we could get without compromising on taste and quality. If we could have written a book called 2 Ingredients we would have.

Who do you think 4 Ingredients appeals to?

Every busy person on the planet! It is for food fanatics who love food and who are inspired by interesting ideas. It shows people how they can quickly whip something up in a fast and fabulous way without breaking the bank.

How do you explain the success of the show?

It’s lots of fun, it’s light-hearted. It makes getting in the kitchen a fun experience rather than a chore.

Why should people watch the show and not just buy the book?

You can walk past the telly and see how to make mushroom risotto and think ‘I’ve got those ingredients in my cupboard I might do that now’. It’s just for that spur of the moment stuff which is fantastic.

What will be different about the second series?

There’s a lot more cooking, there’s a lot more recipes per show which is fantastic. And we’re covering recipes from both our books and our new one which isn’t even released yet.

What are your top 4 ingredients?

Definitely rice, because that will go with any vegetable. I love using sour cream, it’s really versatile. And I like to have some self-raising flour or plain flour. And the fourth ingredient is whatever vegetable you’ve got living in the fridge.

What do you like about the show?

I’m a really visual person. I love the show, because you can see these recipes being put into action. I mean, you hear about how to make a fruit cake with three ingredients, but you can’t believe it could be done until you’ve see it.

Here’s how to make a classic sponge cake, the 4 Ingredients’ way:


4 eggs (room temperature)

3⁄4 cup caster sugar

3⁄4 cup self-raising flour, sifted 5 times

Dash vanilla essence


Preheat oven to 210C. Beat eggs and sugar with an electric beater for 15 minutes, add vanilla just before beating completes.

Gently fold in flour with a spatula until combined.

Line a lamington tin with baking paper and place in oven, bake for approximately 14 minutes.

Remove, cool, cut in half and serve with jam and freshly whipped cream either as a single layer or double. (Hint: During the cooking of a cake, if the top starts to over-brown, cover loosely with aluminum foil.)

This article first appeared in OPTUS magazine, May 2009