Monthly Archives

November 2011

In Cake, Cute Food, Recipe on
November 26, 2011

Bear Cake

Sometimes I’m just too good at putting things off…..

….and completely forgetting about them.

Replying texts, facebook messages or emails is the first thing which comes to mind, closely followed by  chores which I promise my mum I’d do (sorry mum!). And it’s not just things I don’t particularly like doing- this bear cake is a rather embarrassing example of this, as I’d promised my sister I’d make this cake for birthday…………..2 birthdays ago!


I’ve been thinking of the reasons why it’s taken me so long to finally get around to making this cake and I still can’t completely explain why. It’s not because I didn’t want to make this cake, or that I had better things to make………….. it just never ended up happening

I’m thinking that it may have partly been because of the effort I know it would require- though the design is quite simple, it’s still more complex than just baking a cake and eating it as is (hence the lack of iced and decorated cakes on this blog). I’ve been quite lazy this year, and have often found myself ambitiously planning to bake some time consuming things over the weekend, only to give up from lack of motivation when the weekend comes rolling around.

I guess it’s sort of like the reason I don’t blog that often- though I love it, it takes a lot of effort for me  to write up a post. I was never any good at writing anything, and it takes a lot of deleting, writing and deleting before I can come up with something I wouldn’t mind sharing with others.

Sometimes I think of how much easier it would be if I just posted pictures and a recipe. I’d certainly have a lot more posts on my blog right now.

But that wouldn’t’ be as fun, would it?

Despite my slow progress, I have finally reached the milestone of 100 posts today. Ok, so maybe I may have cheated a little bit and also included my first ever ‘hello’ post (which consists of 3 sentences) in the count. And, it may come after 2 years and 3 months of blogging (yes, I’m well aware that most people reach this milestone before, or within close proximity of their 1st blogiversary). But hey, I got there 😉

And like my second blogiversary, I’m celebrating with chocolate cake. From the exact same recipe, to be exact. This delicious beetroot chocolate cake has become my go-to recipe for chocolate cake- it’s moist and chocolatey like mudcake, but with the subtle, underlying natural sweetness of beetroot. I know everyone already has their favourite chocolate cake recipe, but if you’re ever looking for a new one to try, I’d strongly recommend this one.

The design for this cake is taken from the ‘naughty bear’ cake at 85 degrees cake shop. It caught my attention, not because I thought it was particularly interesting design (when compared to the other beautiful cakes the bakery produces), but because of its simplicity- I was pretty sure I could pull off something like this at home.And so I showed it to my sister, who liked it as well and promised her I’d make it for her birthday………

The original cake was sponge cake and was covered in chocolate shavings but I thought my sister would like this cake better. I couldn’t be bothered making chocolate shavings to cover this cake, so I covered it with cake crumbs instead- an idea I got from  Zoe’s blog (my cake looks quite similar to hers….don’t you think?). I personally think it looks better than the chocolate shavings because it makes the bear look more ‘furry’…..or is that just my imagination?


Well, it’s still months from my sister’s next birthday (I guess I’ll
have to try harder to be on time next time!!), but I think all was
forgiven once this cake was made- my family thought it looked and tasted
great! I immediately received requests to make it again, since the 15cm
cake was quickly devoured, and my sister even wanted me to teach her
how to make it 🙂

And in case you were wondering, we couldn’t bear to cut its face into pieces…..

So we took its facial features off first!!  😉

‘Naughty Bear’ Chocolate Cake Recipe

For the cake
adapted from Veggie Belly
Original Recipe from Ross Burden

makes a 15cm cake

60g dark chocolate
2 medium eggs
200g sugar
100ml sunflower or vegetable oil
60ml milk
200g cooked and pureed beets
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
20g cocoa powder
130g flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Pre heat oven to 350 f.

2. Melt the chocolate (for the cake) over a double boiler. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and oil. Slowly add the cooked milk, beet puree , the melted chocolate and vanilla into the egg mixture. Beat just untill combined.

3. Sift the cocoa, flour, baking soda and salt. Add this to the beet batter. Fold just untill everything is combined. Dont over work or over mix the batter.

4. Spread a teaspoon of butter or oil over the surface of a 15cm cake pan. Sprinkle some flour all over, and tap out the excess. Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake tin. Bake for about 45 minutes, or till a tooth pick or skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Baking time may vary depending on the pan and oven you are using. (mine took around 1.5 hours)

5. When the cake is done, cool it on a wire rack.

For the chocolate ganache
150g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
150ml heavy cream

1. Place the chocolate in a bowl. Heat the cream in a sauce pan, just till
it starts to barely boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and
whisk till it forms a smooth sauce. Chill in the fridge until spreadable.

1. Slice off the top of the cake using a knife, to create a flat surface
2. Using the cake scraps, process them in a blender to create fine crumbs.
3. Place the base layer on a plate and cover with ganache. Cover with the second layer and spread the remaining ganache over the top and sides of the cake.
4. Sprinkle the cake crumbs of the top and sides of the cake to completely cover the icing
5. Place chocolate decorations (eyes, mouth etc) onto the cake 😛

Note: For the eyes, I used chocolate buttons and spread some (melted) white chocolate onto them.
For the nose/mouth, I used an egg ring to mould a white chocolate disc, a chocolate button for the nose and piped the mouth onto it.

In Cute Food, Recipe on
November 17, 2011

Panda Sushi

Panda Sushi

Hello there! 😉

Can you believe that it’s almost christmas?

My uni exams stole a whole chunk of my November, so I was pleasantly surprised to find Christmas decorations everywhere when I came out of my studying shell and entered the real world! Christmas and New Year is by far my favourite time of the year- there is something indescribably joyful about hearing the sounds of Christmas carols and seeing beautiful Christmas trees and other decorations everywhere!

With so much Christmas spirit in the air, I can’t quite get it off my mind and have been making plans for a Christmas themed cake….but it’s probably a bit early for that!

Panda Sushi

Meanwhile, I’m here tackling my list (of things to make) which you may remember me talking about. Since I realise that it is unrealistically long, I’ve brought it down to two main things ‘skills’ which I hope to master improve on before the end of the year:

1. Cake decorating- not with fondant and everything but just making them look nicer or more presentable.

2. Sushi making- which is of course, the subject of today’s post.

I’ve been terrible at making sushi for as long as I can remember. Whilst I’ve had practice from helping my mother out since I was young, my rolls have always been much too loose, lop-sided and pretty much terrible no matter how much effort I put into making them. Even my friend’s first attempt at sushi was better than mine!! Read more

In Asian, Dining on
November 15, 2011

Let’s Meat BBQ

Uni exams have finally finished for me, meaning that my first year of uni is officially over! It feels so good!! (although my leg, which I hurt whilst running to uni for my psychology exam because my train was half an hour late does feel so good……) I haven’t been baking much lately so I haven’t got much to blog about now, but I’ll be making my way through my enormous list of things to make soon so that should be fun 🙂 I have been eating out a lot though and in particular I’ve been itching to blog about this dining experience.

That’s because this was our second experience with group buy vouchers- and yet again, we chose a restaurant that was long drive from home (1.5 hours this time!). We couldn’t resist though, because the deal was for a Korean BBQ buffet at Let’s Meat for $39- and we love our buffets.

The reviews online are mostly quite negative, and to be honest, I wasn’t too sure what to expect when I called up Let’s Meat to make a booking for our family of four. The voucher was valid for any day of the week, so naturally we wanted to make a booking for the weekend, when they had their ‘Ultimate Buffet’ (normally $41) instead of their weekday option of ‘Smart Choice Buffet’ (normally $32). The person on the phone sounded a little annoyed when I kept asking if there were any vacancies for any weekend (turns out that they’re booked out until after December….) but was a little nicer when I finally decided to visit there on a Tuesday night instead.

Pickled Radishes, onion and mashed potato
We arrived to find the restaurant quite empty (though the surrounding restaurants were also very quiet) but service was great, and we were quickly taken to a table- though it was a designated ‘voucher holders’ table. We were given an A4 sheet, stating all the terms and conditions of the voucher including that they charge a service charge for changing the BBQ plate and that there is a limit of 10 dishes per voucher (i.e. 2 people) which I thought were a little unnecessary and off-putting.Before you all think that this place is terrible, I’ll point out that the service throughout the night was excellent. Though there were only two people serving the diners (one of which I’m pretty sure was the owner), they were very friendly and attentive. The owner spent the night walking around from table to table, making sure that everyone was enjoying their meal and chatting about just about anything!


This is what happens when you have a dish limit and have to keep reusing the same dish
The selection of hot foods was quite limited, and it didn’t help that the food did not get refilled much during the night. This might have been because we did come a little late, since voucher holders could only come at two specific times (6 and 7:30pm). The foods they had available weren’t amazing, but good enough to satisfy our hungry stomachs whilst the meats were cooking.The stir fried noodles were quite tasty but unfortunately a little dry. The fried rice was a little less exciting but probably the better option- the rice was nicely fluffy and delicious. They also a couple other hot dishes like fried chicken, but by the time we arrived there were only one or two left.


Spring Rolls
The spring rolls were probably the only thing which came out of the kitchen in the time that we dined there, so we quickly grabbed almost all of it (there wasn’t much to begin with!). They were delicious though- a nice crispy skin with a soft slightly sweet interior of veggies. Shame they didn’t have more!



They had a good selection of cold dishes, including the usual kimchi and pickles (onions and radish). I don’t really eat much kimchi, so I have no comments on that, but I liked their potato dish which was marinated in a similar spicy sauce- it was quite a surprise because we didn’t realise that it was potato at first! My favourite of all the cold dishes was probably their korean/japanese mashed potato which was incredibly soft and smooth- almost like whipped cream!


The highlight of Let’s Meat is definitely much more on the meat (hence the name? lol) than the already cooked foods- and thankfully, the meats did not disappoint! The selection of meats was again, quite limited, but we found that all the choices of meat were ones which we enjoy so it doesn’t bother us. Most notable amongst their meats would be their cubes of wagyu (which we only noticed existed after we had finished eating!) and their marinated pork, with a delicious marinade which brought about a slight hint of sweetness- making it taste a little like char sui but without the stickiness, and less sweet. I also loved the ox-tongue slices, which were a little thin for my liking but I think that’s how ox tongue is usually served for Korean bbq’s.

We were pretty pleased with the meats on offer here, and I’ll go so far as saying that of all the Korean BBQ buffets we’ve had in Sydney (we haven’t really been to that many) if meat was the only criteria, this would definitely rank as one of our favourites.

One thing that we found quite annoying was that the BBQ grill had pretty much only 2 settings- so hot that all the food burnt before being cooked or too cold that the meats took forever to cook, which wouldn’t have bothered us, except that  there was a 1.5 hour time limit! They also stated that if we wanted to change the temperature of the grill, we should ask the staff, so we spent the night asking the waiter to switch between the hot and cold setting…..luckily he was extremely nice and didn’t mind helping us every time!

They didn’t have much of a ‘desserts’ selection, but their website doesn’t mention any desserts in their Smart Choice buffet anyway so we weren’t too dissappointed. Other than some fruits, there were some cute jellies on offer- I don’t usually like jelly anyway but I thought it’d be nice to finish with something sweet.


Ice Cream

They also had ice cream in their freezer, and I loved that they froze the ice cream cups as well as the ice cream 🙂 They only had vanilla flavoured ice-cream with a couple of toppings, but it was a nice way to end the night.

Overall, I thought the experience was pretty good, though I think one of the reasons why it wasn’t as bad as most other reviews was that I was expecting worse. I might not be back again, but that’s more because the food and the price together aren’t quite enough for the 1.5 hour trip, but if they had the deal again, I’d definitely buy it!

Let's Meat Korean Charcoal BBQ & Buffet on Urbanspoon

In Bread, Recipe on
November 1, 2011

Coconut Rolls



Hope you all had (or are having..) a great Halloween and did not spend the day like me, at home supposedly ‘studying’ but of course, not getting much work done 😉 It’s at these times of the years (right before exams) that my list of things to bake suddenly grows exponentially- and I’m not even kidding, I’m filling out pages of my notebook with ‘things to bake after exams’. And I’m not even including the things that I might like to bake!

The list itself doesn’t consist of much bread this time around. This is probably because I haven’t been to an Asian bakery for a while now and lack a bit of inspiration- I love walking into Breadtop, looking at their overpriced buns and just imagining how easy it would be for me to make the same thing at home!!

I’ve said that I’m getting back into bread baking, but since I haven’t been to an Asian bakery for a while now, these buns are taken from my second source of bread inspiration, cookbooks. I was surprised to find a recipe for baked coconut rolls in my mum’s Chinese yum-cha recipe book, though a lot of the recipes in the book were for things you don’t normally find at yum cha

 I was pretty happy with the bun dough I used last time, especially since the dough was quick and easy to make so I stuck with that recipe and used the book for the shaping method. The cutting and twisting creates thin layers of bread, coated with a sweet coconut mixture which are similar to that of the coconut buns I normally make. These layers are thinner though, and so the texture of the bread doesn’t really shine though as much which means you don’t really need to go to all the effort of making very smooth bread, but may not be the perfect recipe for people who like the balance between the soft texture of bread and the  sweet coconut filling (like my parents). I personally prefer this version, as I love the crispiness and stronger taste of the baked coconut- and I think it looks prettier too! 😉

Coconut Twist Rolls

Recipe for bread dough from Køkken69

6gm Active Dry East
160gm Bread Flour
40gm Plain Flour
50gm Sugar
2gm Salt
50gm Water
1 Egg
40gm Butter

3 eggs, beaten
1 cup dessicated coconut
1/2 cup sugar

1. Mix water roux ingredients together in a bowl. Cover bowl with cling wrap and store in fridge for 12 hours.
2. In a mixer fitted with a bread hook, add flour, yeast, sugar, egg and water. Start mixing at slow speed for 2 mins. Add salt and continue to knead until dough lifts from the wall of the mixing bowl.
3. Add (1) and continue to knead for 3 mins.
4. Add butter and increasing kneading speed to speed 4.
5. Continue kneading for 15 mins on speed 4 until dough is no longer sticky and does not break when pulled to perform window test.
6. Place dough in a slightly oiled bowl. Cover with cling wrap and leave to proof in a warm area for 45mins.
7. Divide the dough into 10 portions and then roll them into small balls. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes, then roll them into a long oval shape and let rest for another 3 minutes.
8. Fold the relaxed dough pieces in half and cut 4-5 slashes with a bread knife into strips (I didn’t bother with the folding in half, I just cut 4-5 lines on the dough).
9. Lightly whisk together the 3 eggs into a bowl. Stretch the dough and dip the dough in the egg until fully covered.
10. Sprinkle the coconut and sugar onto a dish and place the egg coated strips into sugar and coconut mixture. Cover both sides of the dough with the mixture.
11. Stretch the strips gently and roll in an anticlockwise direction. Do not roll too tightly.
12. Tie the rolled strips into knots. The knots should be loose rather than tight.
13. Place the rolls one a tray and let rise for ~1 hour
14. Bake at 230C for ~8 minutes or until golden in colour

* The dough stretches itself very easily, so you don’t really need to put much effort into pulling the dough
* The original recipe was for much smaller rolls (for a total of 20 rolls) so the amount of coconut/sugar/eggs is a bit too much for the amount I made- you probably want to use a bit less.
* I realise the instructions aren’t all that great, so I tried doing an illustration on paint here. I have not touched paint since primary school…don’t laugh!

In other news, Vondelicious! now has a facebook page!
So if you like my blog, feel free to hop over there and give me a facebook like! Thanks for your support!  🙂

To be honest, I’m not quite sure what it’s for, or what I can do with it, but I figured it might be useful someday since everyone else has one 😉