Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Sorry the description is so vague - it didn't last long after I took it out of the box.
PS: Don't know the name either. Very mysterious.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Saturday, February 23, 2008
So, in the absence of a moniker, I dub this one ‘Pinky Tuscadero’, in honour of the supercool Happy Days girl.
Pinky reminds me of those creamy Chinese cakes from places like Helen’s and St Honore in Chinatown. It has a sponge cake base filled with strawberry mousse that is more tangy than sweet, so it isn’t too rich. I love the curl of choc on top as well. Rock on!!
Thursday, February 21, 2008
It only takes 3 hours to get there from Sydney. Not bad except you have to endure the worst airline food. I had the ‘baked pasta’ which was olive green broccoli and cheese pasta. The best part of the meal was the bread roll. I ate it because I had to (we were arriving after 10pm). Why can’t they make up a bento box with some sushi rolls and katsu chicken or something? Not aussie enough, probably, though most people would gobble it up.
Because I was at work all day, I felt I had to take some pictures of the little bit of Auckland on the walk from the hotel to the office. Here it is. Also had lunch at a really nice place, Divan Café, which is in a laneway off Queen St (next to Louis Vuitton). The hotel left some complimentary chocolates because they thought we were return customers (we weren’t!).
Dinner on night 1 was at Merlot Wine Café in O’Connell St. When in NZ, have lamb. Lamb cutlets, which were delicious (no photo because it was too dark).
Friday, February 15, 2008
It’s also delicious spread with passionfruit curd before serving.
1 cup Arnotts Scotch Finger or Nice biscuit crumbs (about 9 Nice biscuits – crush in food processor)
6 tablespoons melted butter
3 tablespoons sugar
375g cream cheese
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla essence
1 cup light sour cream
To make the base:
Line a 20cm springform cake tin with aluminium foil, leaving an overhang to lift out the cheesecake. Combine all ingredients and press firmly into the base.
To make the filling:
Beat the cream cheese a little until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth. Stir in sour cream and mix well. Spoon into the crust and bake in the centre of a pre-heated 120 deg C oven for 35 minutes or until the filling is set.
Remove from the oven and cool in the tin on a cake rack.
Serve at room temperature.
Adapted from Vogue Entertaining Oct/Nov 1989. So last century, but so good.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Sunday, February 10, 2008
The food is also different, with lots of mama’s homemade meatballs, pasta, and a fantastic orzo salad.
Sitting on the counter today were Italian donuts, just like ‘normal’ ones, but double the size and with no hole. Had one split, spread with Nutella and toasted. Results below.
What a great surprise it was. I’d forgotten about the creamy, toffee bit (‘caramelised palm sugar mousse’) and the really tasty biscuit base (‘sable breton’). The rest is ‘mango and coconut jelly with pineapple pieces’, and it’s sprinkled with pistachios. Yummo.
First tasted in Sept 2007. Revisited in February 2008
Saturday, February 9, 2008
The peaks of meringue are just kissed by a blow torch and the lemon/passionfruit base is nice and tangy.
There is a mango version out at the moment called.… ‘Summer Cloud 9.75’.
First tasted in September 2007.
The pipes of chocolate ganache lie between slender chocolate sheets that have salt flakes embedded underneath. This is especially delicious (like a salted caramel effect).
But it’s the touch of Chili in the ganache that really gives you a kick in the teeth and scorches your tongue. Cha cha cha….Sssssss….ouch!!
First tasted in November 2007.
Monday, February 4, 2008
They even tasted fine after I forgot to put in the egg! I mean, how do you forget something like that?
The muffin liners are by Donna Hay.
Macadamia and Pineapple Muffins
2 1/4 cups (335g) self-raising flour, sifted
1/2 cup (110g) raw sugar, plus 1 tbs extra
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts (use food processor)
125g unsalted butter, softened
2 tbs honey
1 cup (250ml) buttermilk
440g canned crushed pineapple in natural juice, well-drained
1 egg, lightly beaten
1. Preheat oven to 190°C (not fan-forced).
2. Line a 12-hole muffin pan with paper cases.
3. Place flour and sugar in a large bowl with half the macadamias, then set aside.
4. Melt butter with honey in a small saucepan over low heat. When melted, remove from heat and add the buttermilk and pineapple.
5. Stir to combine, then add egg. Make a well in centre of dry ingredients and pour in buttermilk mixture. Fold in to just combine, then pour mixture into muffin pan.
6. Combine remaining nuts with extra tablespoon of raw sugar and sprinkle over the muffins. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden and cooked through.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Recipe adapted from delicious. (issue October 2004)
Saturday, February 2, 2008
I’ve been into cardmaking for years, but imagine my surprise at discovering the mouthwatering designs that paper and embellishment companies have come up with. Lincraft was my second home for a while. Then I discovered photoshop. Beginners like me can have a field day/week/month trawling the www in search of tips and tricks.
As usual, US sites and magazines seem to have the best ideas and elegant designs. So far, I like creating keepsakes, simple scrapbooks and hero arts. Any others? I’m sure there’ll be another new magazine at the newsagents next week.
This is my first scrapbook page, before realising that digital was the way to go (for me at least)...
Of course it has to be of a cake! Macaron Marie - c'est magnifique!
Friday, February 1, 2008
The lovely Amanda and Anna Maria showed us the intricacies of cutting icing and creating cute kids’ cupcakes that grownups would have no problem devouring as well. You have to work fast, though, and not just because the icing can harden before you finish with it – if you fall behind, you’ll miss out the details on the next cupcake design to be worked on.
My report card says that I am a bit slow at the decorating (it comes with practice), but I am very proficient at ganaching. Can I live with that? Sure.