Yearly Archives

2011

In Cake, Recipe on
December 25, 2011

Mango Mousse Chocolate ‘Gingerbread’ House Cake

It’s finally Christmas!

I’d like to wish everyone a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS! Stuff yourselves silly with food, wrap your selves in tinsel, belt out as many Christmas carols as you can possibly think of…… and have a great time 😉

Can you sense my excitement??

To celebrate, I finally made a Christmas-themed gingerbread house cake!! The design was intended to be a little more elaborate, but I’ve been extremely busy over the past week and have only managed to just finish the cake so this’ll have to do…. Read more

In Cookies and Bars, Recipe on
December 20, 2011

Cigar Cookies

As I write this post now, I have the smell of coffee stuck in my nose. You see, I’ve recently purchased a coffee machine and have been busy coming up with coffee-like concoctions and forcing them down my family’s throats.

Just kidding. My coffee isn’t that bad (I don’t think).

I don’t really like coffee (nor do I drink it), so it may seem a little strange that I have a coffee machine, especially since there are about a billion kitchen appliances which I really wish I had. But I’ve always fancied the idea of making my own frothy milk, even if I don’t like froth, and making cute pictures on coffee……though it may be quite a while til I figure that out.

But because of this machine, I now proper coffee in the house, for the first time ever. And this means that I will no longer have to take pictures with empty coffee cups in the background- or even as the subject, as I did with these photos.

Woops? 
Read more

In Asian, Dining on
December 18, 2011

Sushi wow, Parramatta

Fried Moneybags $3

The last time I ate out at a sushi train with my friends was at J.J Sushi, more than two years ago- a day I remember quite well because we were supposed to be studying for exams, but instead spent shopping and eating. Though I happen to be in Parramatta a lot, I don’t frequent this area much, so by the time I found out that J.J Sushi had been replaced, it had already been old news.

We decide to drop in here one afternoon, to see what the new restaurant is like. The whole restaurant has undergone a considerable amount of renovation, making its interior a lot more modern looking, though we notice the conveyor, the kitchen and plates are still the same as they used to be.

Seaweed Salad Sushi $2.50

It’s also considerably busier, and by the time we arrive, the place is
packed, making it difficult to seat our group of 4, especially as the
restaurant is quite small in the first place. After a bit of waiting, and much apologising by the friendly staff, we eventually get to sit down on the sushi train,which is filled with plenty of choices. We start with the seaweed salad sushi, a simple favourite of ours, which is done well.

Chicken Katsu and Avocado Nigiri $3.50

With the amount of people eating here, the sushi conveyor is constantly refilled with new dishes, so that most of the fried foods are still warm when you get them, like the chicken katsu and avocado nigiri. The generously large piece of chicken katsu is nice and crispy and tastes great with the avocado and slightly sweet and tangy sauce.
 

 

Croquette $3
I’ll be honest- I’m not completely sure what this is (which also happened to be the reason I took it), but since it’s fried, made out of potato and veggies (mostly onion), croquette is the only thing I can think of 😉 The croquette was quite soft, but was a little on the bland side, though that was easily fixed by pouring over the barbecue-like sauce over it!

 

Prawn Tempura Udon $6.50
 
 Whilst the prices are quite cheap for a sushi train, I’m one of those people who needs to eat a whole pile of dishes before getting full so I turn to the menu for something a little more satiating. Their a la carte menu is quite small but very reasonable priced, with most items under $7.
 
My friend orders the prawn tempura udon, which comes in a cute clay pot and is also served with a vegetable tempura, mainly made up of onion slices. Unfortunately, the prawn tempura came already sitting in the broth, making the skin very soggy.

 

Terriyaki Chicken Don $6.90

 

 

 There is no terriyaki chicken sushi on the sushi conveyor so my friend chooses the terriyaki chicken don instead, which she enjoyed. All the rice dishes on the menu also come with a miso soup, so it was pretty good value.

Karrage Chicken Don $6.90

I order the Karrage Chicken Don, freshly fried chicken with a squiggle of mayonnaise-like sauce, served with rice and salad. The chicken deliciously hot and crispy, and I loved the combination of tasty chicken with the tangy sauce. Karrage Chicken is available on the sushi conveyor (from memory, $3.50 dish), but I prefer eating it with rice.

I am a little disappointed that the restaurant doesn’t serve Japanese cheesecake like the previous one, and the only dessert option is ice-cream, of which there are three different flavours (green tea,sesame and mango). We decide to head elsewhere for dessert, but I was quite satisfied with our cheap(ish) lunch!

Sushi Wow on Urbanspoon

In Pastry, Recipe on
December 12, 2011

Chocolate Macarons

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Is there ever a time when time doesn’t pass faster than it seems?

It’s been a almost a month since my holidays started. A whole month.

I know I always say time passes too quickly, but I can’t help it when I look at the calendar and it’s been another month but there’s still about 10 things that I was meant to do that month which I didn’t even get time to think about (for instance, blogging more than twice a month?).

Before I know it, it’ll be Christmas!

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I feel like I should be doing more in preparation for Christmas since it’s my favourite time of the year- like listening to more Christmas songs, starting to make Christmas themed foods or going to more Christmas events. Instead, I’m spending my holidays doing what I normally do- going out with friends, baking (and blogging), watching TV and just relaxing. It’s quite busy actually!

Ever since the beginning of the holidays, there has not been a day when there has not been a bowl of left over egg whites, yolks or cream in the fridge. I’ll admit that I do tend to leave stuff in the fridge for longer than they should be in there (I don’t bake that much) but I am baking a bit more than usual, in hopes of catching up on my lack of baking this year and to get through my list of ‘to try’ recipes.

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Like most bloggers, I usually attempt a recipe only once or twice, not because they don’t turn out great, but because I simply don’t have enough time, nor the stomach space, to try all the new recipes I want to and to make things over and over again. Macarons are something I’ve only attempted once, but they don’t completely fit in this category because the reason I haven’t made them again is not because I had other things to make, but rather, out of laziness (of having to age the egg whites and making almond meal) and fear of failure.

If anyone has been following my blog for long enough, you may remember that the last (and first) time I made macarons was a whole two years ago, when I first started this blog- a rather surprisingly successful attempt too, which I have always considered a fluke. I didn’t know what a macaron really was or how it was supposed to taste, so I had my second surprise when my sister bought me a macaron and we found it tasted exactly the same as the ones I’d made!

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I’d expected my second attempt to be a failure, so I was surprised again, as they actually turned out macaron looking- I’m thinking it’s more because of the recipe than my ‘skills’ 😉 They’re far from perfect though, especially since they’re lumpy and not nice and round, due to my lack of piping bag and piping tip. But they still tasted great though, which is, of course, the most important thing!

Chocolate Macaron Recipe

The original recipe can be found here

3 egg whites (preferabbly ‘aged’ egg whites)
50 g granulated sugar
200 g icing mixture (minus 2 Tb)
110g almonds
2 Tb cocoa powder

1. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam, gradually add the sugar until you obtain a glossy meringue. Do not overbeat your meringue or it will be too dry and your macarons won’t work.
2. Combine the almonds, cocoa powder and powdered sugar in a food processor and give them a good pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Pass through a sieve.
3. Add them to the meringue, give it a quick fold to break some of the air and then fold the mass carefully until you obtain a batter that flows like magma or a thick ribbon. Give quick strokes at first to break the mass and slow down. The whole process should not take more than 50 strokes. Test a small amount on a plate: if the tops flattens on its own you are good to go. If there is a small beak, give the batter a couple of turns.
4. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip with the batter and pipe small rounds (1.5 inches in diameter) onto parchment paper baking sheets.
5. Preheat the oven to 300F. Let the macarons sit out for an hour to harden their shells a bit and bake for 8-10 minutes, depending on their size. Let cool. If you have trouble removing the shells, pour a couple of drops of water under the parchment paper while the sheet is still a bit warm and the macarons will lift up more easily do to the moisture. Don’t let them sit there in it too long or they will become soggy. Pipe or spoon some ganache on one shell and sandwich with another one.

Ganache
1 cup milk chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream

In a heavy saucepan over medium high heat, bring the cream to a boil. Remove from the heat, drop in the milk chocolate and let stand a couple of minutes. Gently stir the chocolate into the cream until smooth. Set aside until it cools down and thickens a bit (a trip to the fridge is ok)

In Café, Dining on
December 8, 2011

Platform 7 Cafe, Sydenham

Platform 7 Cafe

My experience with cafe breakfasts is minimal not only because I can never wake up on time, but also because I tend to go for the lunch menu items than the breakfast ones! So when the lovely people from Food Morning invited me to try out the all-day breakfast menu at Platform 7 cafe, I was only too happy to take on the offer.

The cafe is small and cosy, and by the time we arrive, it’s already half full, making it a little difficult to seat our table of three (I’ve brought my parents along). The service is great though, and table is quickly cleared for us.

 
Platform 7 cafe

Caffè latte

I’m told that their coffees (Allpress) are great, and to be honest, I was a little afraid that I wouldn’t have much to comment on, since I probably can’t tell the difference between a good coffee and a bad one. My mum is not much of a coffee drinker either, but she enjoyed her caffe latte very much, claiming it to be one of the best coffees she’s had.

Mocha
 
My mocha is quite a sight, with its beautiful drizzle of chocolate sauce over the top (which happened to end up all over my fingers!). Since I’m not too fond of coffee, I tend to like my mochas on the sweet and chocolatey side. This mocha was not particularly sweet or chocolatey, but the coffee wasn’t too bitter and was actually so good that I managed to enjoy it without the need to add extra sugar like I usually do!

 

Orange Juice

We are also served orange juice, which are beautifully coloured (my mum thought it looked like mango juice). It’s deliciously light and fresh, not surprisingly since it’s freshly squeezed.

 

Spinach and Fetta Scrambled Eggs and Toast $10.50

 

It doesn’t take us long to decide what to order, since the menu is not too extensive. We go for the Spinach and fetta scrambled egg, which are deliciously creamy and fluffy. We didn’t really notice the taste of feta. though that’s just as well as my parents aren’t too fond of cheese. I was a little bit disappointed with their sourdough toast, as I would have preferred thick cut.

 

P7 breakfast $13

But the star of the show is definitely the P7 breakfast which easily wins over the scrambled eggs with its ginormous portion size, leaving us very satiated- and quite satisfyingly so. The double fried eggs are done perfectly, as are the field mushrooms, which are incredibly tasty. Our favourite component of this breakfast was definitely the bacon, which had a good amount of fat, wasn’t too salty and best of all, fried until very crispy- we usually cut away the fat of bacon before eating, but we had to make an exception this time and did not leave a single bit behind!

 

If all cafe breakfasts are as good as this, I really need to get out and eat more breakfasts!

Von dined as a guest of Platform 7 Cafe and Food Morning

Platform 7 on Urbanspoon