Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Adriano Zumbo

Lucky for me, my husband is a total sweet tooth and was more than happy to drive all the way to Balmain to pick up some treats from Adriano Zumbo Patisserie. I was really disappointed that by the time we got there (11am Sunday) the "Upside Down Cloud" and "Escape from a Columbian Rainforest" (a small cake shaped like a cola can, how ingenious!) was already sold out. So we had to pick some other goodies instead....not easy because everything was so tempting.

Let's start off with the macarons....we had these after lunch....mmmm...very good.

Clockwise starting from the top left: Salted Butter Popcorn (this was a little weird for me, but a clever concept), Rhubarb Crumble (Very nice), Rice Pudding (Definitely my favourite and the surprise of rice grains in the filling. Love it!) and the purple one I got because I liked the colour was Blackcurrent. I really enjoyed this one and wasn't expecting to. There was this sweetness but also a tartness which really worked nicely.

Next was the Toffee Apple Macaron.
This was too cute to resist.
First bite started off well, but as I kept chewing, it got harder. And my teeth stuck together. Taste wise it was nice, but the whole teeth sticking together thing....not good. My two year old was not impressed....see below

Hhahahahah! Sorry Mr Zumbo, I really wanted him to love your cakes and macarons as much as I do, but unfortunately not this time.

We were way too full by this stage and decided to save the 2 cakes after dinner.

First of the cakes was the "F", a chocolate ganache with caramel tart. This was gooooooooood. Take a look at the dissection photo in all it's oozy gooey goodness. Oh my.....

And the second cake was the "W" and described by the Adriano Zumbo site as: Decadent layers of flourless chocolate sponge, almond praline feullitine, salted popcorn disks, pop rocks, dulce de leche and
vanilla almond chantilly.
I would have just said it's chocolate sponge with oozy caramel, chocolate and sprinkled with popcorn. Ha! This is why I EAT it, not make it LOL!
Hmmm makes me wonder how wrong I got the chocolate tart description.....
Anyway, this was another winner. Both cakes were really decadent and rich but so delicious. I'm definitely going back for more (seems like everyone knows about this place now, yet he still hasn't moved to a larger premises - part of the charm perhaps).
If you haven't tried Adriano Zumbo, you must go. He is a creative genious!
The Patisserie:
296 Darling St Balmain
Ph 02 9810 7318 Open 8 to 6 Monday to Saturday and 8 to 4 on Sundays.
The Cafe:
Shop 5, 308 Darling St Balmain
Ph 02 9555 1199 Open from 8 to 4 Monday to Friday, 8 to 5 on Saturdays and 9 to 5 Sundays

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mud Crabs - Ginger & Shallot

I'm not much of a seafood person, but when it comes to mud crabs...hor hor hor....I could eat a whole one to myself. In saying that, it needs to be cooked a special way. I don't like it just boiled and then eaten cold. No. It has to be cooked in a ginger and shallot sauce. And preferably with E-Fu noodles underneath to soak up all the sauce and juices. Like how my dad makes it. He makes the best mud crab in ginger & shallot sauce. Check it out...

Starting with the raw crabs....ewww.....they were live and he just chopped them up into pieces....I didn't take photos....luckily I was too late to catch that.

Next up, dipping them in cornflour and then throwing them in hot oil

All fried up

And the end result....
My dad is my hero!!!!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Chocolate Cupcakes

What to make when it's a friends farewell / girls get together / house warming? Cupcakes of course! You can't go wrong there. And even better, I get to trial my mothers day present - Wilton 3 in 1 cupcake carrier - woo hoo!

Look at them all snug in there. And after a 40min drive they were still all perfectly intact so I'm very happy with it.

Now the cupcakes themselves.....little on the dry side. So the second batch I made a couple of days later I added extra milk - much better.
Bon Voyage Jo! I know you'll have an awesome time but do stay safe ; )
And Nina, congratulations on the new home, it looks beautiful!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Happy 1 Month Maddy!

We went to Wing's, a restaurant inside Five Dock Soccer Club to celebrate Maddison (my neice) turning one month old. It's in our culture to hold a special party for a baby who has reached one month and in a lot of cases people invite the WHOLE family, extended and all. But I think these days there isn't such a big fuss. So my mum and dad decided to have a smallish gathering with just close family.

Sorry, I was so busy eating I forgot to take photos of all the food. But believe me, it was goooooood. Tofu and beef soup to start off with (it doesn't sound appetising but it was very nice), mud crabs in ginger and shallot sauce with E-Fu noodles underneath to soak up the sauce, crispy skin chicken (a favourite for the night), prawn and scollops with snow peas stir fry, fried fish with sweet corn sauce (we always get this coming to Wing's). And I'm sure we had more dishes but I can't remember. But for dessert....mmmm one of my favourites - Fried Ice Cream (the only photo I managed to take). My dad makes a better version because he uses crumbled sponge cake (he cheats too and sometimes buys Sara Lee pound cake from the frozen section...sshhhhhhh I didn't tell you that!).

A really enjoyable dinner fit for a queen - Maddison : )

Happy one month Maddy!!!
May you be blessed with good health, happiness and fortune

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mothers day 2009

I almost cried when I got this first thing on Mothers Day.

A hand made card from my gorgeous son (with some help from my wonderful husband). It says "To My Mummy
Happy Mothers Day
Love your wonderful son Keane 09" awwwww.....cue the tears LOL!

After breafast I was driven to Peters of Kensington to pick out my own gift. I just wanted that cupcake carrier he he he....and there was one left! I'll be putting it into use this Saturday for my friends farewell. Can't use the cupcake carrier, not for my friend to leave....better note that just in case I get abuse later from her.

I also had my family round to my house for dinner that night. We had homestyle Korean BBQ. Wow. Not only was it fun and entertaining, it was really delicious too. See for yourselves.

Mushrooms on the grill

Tongue - don't knock it till you try it!

The spread (from top left going clockwise: mushrooms on the grill, cubed beef, mushrooms, lettuce, chilli shallots, potato noddles, tongue and in the centre was bugolgi).

I bought the already sliced meats from the local Korean butcher where I work and marinaded it myself. The noodles I bought at a Korean food store near my house and the chilli shallots were made by the amazing Amra. She also made the special chilli sauce for us to dip into. Oh my god, YUM!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Bento Box Set

My husband is buying me this bento box set for mothers day, he just doesn't know it yet : )

I was looking online for a bento box and came across this whole package which includes a rice mould, soy sauce container and a flower shaped vegetable cutter, plus other little bits and pieces. I can't wait to buy it, I mean, for him to buy it (on behalf of Keane that is).

Also on my wishlist is the cupcake carrier (to transport cakes or cupcakes to my friends house or picnic), some new cake tins, a facial, new shoes, and one day hopefully a KitchenAid mixer. But for $725 at Peters Of Kensington, it's going to be a long while before I get one (if ever...)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Banana Cake

I had 3 over riped bananas and the only thing you can do with over riped bananas is to make a cake. I don't have the recipe for this because I looked it up on my laptop and after I was done baking, shut the lappy down and walked off. Too bad, this cake turned out pretty well too.

Here are the ingredients:

And here was the end result. Mmmmm it was good.

We couldn't finish all of it so I gave some to my dad and he ended up making a Bomb Alaska with the left over banana cake. I should have taken photos! He first cut up the banana cake into a dome shape, then layered ice cream over it, layered beaten egg whites over it so it looked like a massive meringue (making sure to leave a little hole at the top to put a small saucer full of brandy to light up...yeah flames!!). Then he popped it into the oven for about 5mins on the highest setting. Once done, he took it out, put the little saucer up the top and tried to light didn't work. I think he should have used metholated spirits, that would definitely have worked. So yep, next time I'll get the flames. For now this was his inspiration when we were in Macau (to give you a rough idea of what the heck I'm on about)

Oh and this was Keane enjoying his slice...I laugh everytime I see this picture