Monday, March 31, 2008

...a teensy little waist (not on me though)

The wonderfully named ‘charlotte o’hara’ consists of ‘Biscuit cuillere, ginger and vanilla bavarois, lime crème, fig. basil and pistachio jelly’. Other variants of this have had a ring of raspberries rather than the meringue garland shown here. The combination of flavours is amazing.

I was dying to try this one but it was always sold out. When I finally got it, I had to wait till 9pm because the lights were out for Earth Hour and we couldn’t see what we were eating.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

…I’m getting inspired again

I used to be able to whip up a handmade card or something imaginative in no time at all. These days, it takes a couple of hours to even come up with an idea. Yes, I’ve lost my creative groove.

Luckily, my friend
Lin Mei has become a Stampin’ Up demonstrator and has introduced me to a whole range of goodies via some colourful catalogues (online shopping is great, but poring over catalogues with a cup of tea can’t be beaten).

As a result, I managed to put together a couple of scrapbook pages with some old photos that have been lying around. Can’t wait to order some new supplies so I can take advantage of this creative streak! LM, get out your order book!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

…who’s the lucky boy?

Written on the box that contained this cake were the words ‘Marry me Ed’. Followed by ‘cofe (sic), walnuts, apple, raisins’.

The bf might have crappy handwriting but I’m sure he knows my name, and it’s not Ed. But that’s the name of the cake, and it is made of those ingredients, just like an inverted strudel.

Except for the ‘cofe’ (coffee), which gives a really nice taste to the cake.

And apparently it is named for Ed from the Marionette café. Lucky Ed.

…old rockers keep on rocking on

And now for something completely different!

Amazingly, I’ve never been to a KISS concert before even though I’ve been a fan since school (aaaages ago). So there we were, with the Kiss army and fans, 20 or so rows from the front on their 35th anniversary tour. Can you believe it, 35 years!!!
I wore my KISS t-shirt (actually it was sesame street but no-one else had the same one!)

I thought the crowd would be full of oldies, but it was a mix of middle agers, 20s, teens and a couple of kids who couldn’t have been more than 12, with their dads. The opening act was Vanessa Amorosi (what the?), and she was okay, with a slimmed down look and a new album to plug. But we were there for one thing only…

KISS were worth the money – the show had pyrotechnics, smoke machines, paper exploding down from the ceiling, drum and guitar solos and fab costumes and platform boots. OK, so Gene Simmons looks a bit frightful in closeup with all that makeup, but the band are real performers. Paul Stanley is very lispy and was gushing about how Sydney was his fave place (apart from the US, obviously), and the new Ace Frehley (some guy named Tommy) looked exactly like Ace, right down to the hair. I think they must wear wigs.

They played all the hits, thank goodness, closing with ‘I was made for loving you’, etc. I felt like a teenager again, like, totally. Pretty good considering it’s been years since I used to rock and roll all niiiite and party ev-er-y day.

Here are some pictures I took during the concert.

To top off a brilliant evening, we tried to find somewhere for late supper. Surprisingly, most of Chinatown is closed at midnight (or I didn’t know the right places to go to). Golden Century had a queue as usual, and Superbowl also had a wait. There’s no way I’d go to BBQ King, but we did find Super Meal opposite that satisfied my craving for congee. It was good and cheap and just right.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

...tick tick tick

This Zumbo creation is so aptly named! Covered with shards of chocolate and filled with hazelnut and chocolate mousse. From the centre, when the timer goes off, an explostion of sweet gooey caramel oozes out...(that's enough of the blowing up metaphors for now)

PS: You need a super-sweet tooth for da bomb, or at least a cup of green tea or something to go with it!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

...more chocolate than you can poke a stick at

As a change from all that cake, a friend and I decided to do a chocolate course (what else?) It was held at Kimberley chocolates in Lilyfield.

Whenever I mentioned I was spending a couple of hours at a chocolate shop, everyone went ‘Ooh, imagine all the chocolate you’ll be eating’. But in fact, that’s the last thing you want to do because you’re surrounded by it.

It was heaps of fun. We rolled our own truffles (mine were coffee flavoured – yum) and used the chocolate coating machine to put 2 layers of chocolate over little balls of ganache.

In the picture below, I made all the chocolates except the colourful ones in the top row. They were so cute coming off the conveyer belt! Remember that Lucy episode where she is packing the candy and ends up stuffing them all in her mouth…

I only managed to eat 3 chocs during the course and I’m slowly getting through the 30 or so that we brought home. Between mouthfuls of cake, that is.

Monday, March 10, 2008

…And there’s more (yet again)

Just when you thought there were no more…

Apparently this and others were made by a clever lady at Zumbo. My lovey told me this when he brought home this cake with the Sunday paper and a chorizo bread for breakfast. I went back to the shop later to photograph the labels. And there were 5 other new ones (‘charlotte o’hara’ had fig, basil and pistachio jelly!!!!). This is getting too heavy. I need a Bex and a good lie down.

Gem has a base of ginger cake (‘indonesian tree cake’?), with ‘mint chocolate chip mousse, coconut marshmallow and strawberry compote jelly’. That doesn’t do it justice because it is a lot more complex than that, with the soft mousse encased in a coconut-dipped shell.
Even though the sheet of shiny white chocolate perched on top is a bit like a Kraft Single (cheese!).

Manky cat found it a little more interesting…

Friday, March 7, 2008

...a Sweet surprise

‘I saw a new one and couldn’t resist’. My loved one has been saying this quite often, and of course he is referring to new Zumbo cakes! I rush to the refrigerator and give a little squeal when I see the glossy pink and black box.

Opening the box is always fun, because the contents are always so amazing.
How about this one? It’s a crepe cake! A fat French crepe is filled with maple sugar mascarpone, fresh strawberries and orange segments. Sitting on top is a lacy toffee disk that looks like the hat Eliza Doolittle wore to the races in My Fair Lady.

The filling is creamy, rich and yet refreshing because of the fruit. And the toffee (which is reminiscent of school fete toffee) is not that sweet at all, just brittle and so brilliant atop this creation. Maybe someone should actually make a hat out of toffee so that you could nibble on it if you got peckish at the Autumn Carnival? Sorry, just a train of thought going there...

Edit: This cake is called 'Miss Marple' (strange to name a French crepe after an English stickybeak!)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

...There's more!

Just a teaser, but there are in fact more than 3 new cakes at Zumbo. There's another 3 on top of those as well! Photos coming soon...drool, drool.

And I know there are more worrisome things in the world, but if you can't find joy in the everyday - a sunny day, an old song on the radio, a pretty cake - then you aren't looking hard enough!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

...New cake #3

Here is the 3rd new offering from Adriano Zumbo. I was peering at the crates of just-arrived cakes in the shop this morning, like some auntie looking at chickens at a street stall. But this one (and there was only one) was already in the glass case (‘sleeping beauty’ connotation somewhere).

The scent of cherries is pervasive, as is the sweet clear residue that is oozing from the bottom of the cake. When I finally got round to eating it (after Thai takeaway, what a lazy Saturday it’s been), wow! That cherry perfume is even stronger, and quite alcoholic, kirsch, maybe? The meringue is super sweet, and the cherries inside are wrapped around custard and almond.

This one’s a winner.
PS: No name as yet. Though 'cherry bomb' sounds good, I think.

Manky cat was not so impressed: