Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Statistical analysis of monetary spending

Theory: That the relentless purchase of scrapbooking supplies has a positive effect on creativity.
Analysis: As the graph below shows, there is some correlation, but not in the anticipated direction.
Spend is trending in a positive direction while Creativity trend is slight negative with a tendency towards an indefinite plateau.
Action: Spend more. Creativity has to go up eventually…

It hasn’t all been bad, though. In a rare one-night window of artistic imagination, I made a page with a photo taken at the KISS concert. I tried to make it a little bit grungey and rough, in keeping with the event (or, rather, the crowd), but I couldn’t get away from being kind of naturally neat and structured.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

They’re a weird mob, those patissiers

Cinque terre. What does it mean**? 5th earth was my attempt at translation but it doesn’t make sense? Why do I have to be so literal? These strange names for gateaux – it’s probably some psychological ploy by a patissier to have some fun and confuse his customers.

Anyway, cinque terre is flourless chocolate biscuit, citron crème, raspberry crèmeux, candied vanilla olives and chocolate cinnamon mousse topped with meringue. The mousse is deliciously chocolatey and rich but tempered by the bitter tang of the citron. The surprise of olives is embedded in the chocolate mousse. The bf commented, ‘Nice, isn’t it?’. ‘Ur mmm erhnmm’, I replied (translation: oh gosh, this is divine).

And speaking of weird names, what’s this? First, Ed is flavour of the month, with all sorts of proposals being thrown at him; now this. Tsk tsk, Ed. Knocked up, indeed!

** I did look it up, and cinque terre (as most people know, except me) are five coastal villages in the province of La Spezia in the Liguria region of Italy. Hence the olives in the cake!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

If kids can do it, so can I

I don’t know what it says about me that I sometimes prefer recipes that have been written by/for children. Maybe it’s the simplicity of the recipes, or the fewer ingredients. Or maybe it’s because I feel so bleah after a day at work that simple is best?

In any case, this zucchini slice was adapted (via delicious magazine) from the Artarmon Public School 2002 Cookbook. Those kids are onto something, because this is a very tasty, easy slice that is quick to make. The bacon can be omitted and other veges such as corn kernels, capsicum pieces or chopped mushrooms added to make it healthier. And the leftovers are scrumptious the next day.

Zucchini Slice

5 eggs
150g (1 cup) self-raising flour, sifted (I used about ¾ cup for a less floury taste)
375g (about 3 smallish) zucchini, grated
1 onion, finely chopped
200 rindless bacon, chopped
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
60ml (1/4 cup) vegetable oil

1. Preheat oven to 170 deg C. Grease and line a 30 x 20cm lamington pan.
2. Beat the egg in a large bowl until combined.
3. Add the flour and beat until smooth.
4. Add zucchini, onion, bacon, cheese and oil and stir to combine.
5. Pour into the prepared pan and bake in oven for 30 mins or until cooked through.

Makes about 10 slices (depends on the size of the baking pan).

Recipe from delicious. February 2003

And check out the old copy of delicious that it is from (remember when it used to be $4.95 a copy!).

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Alright, if you insist

On a bit of a cake roll with the new Adriano Zumbo range.

This one is called 'You name it', but with that yellow pate and comb-over, 'Homie' is much more suitable, don't you think? It has Homer J Simpson written all over it...

The selling point for me with this creation was the lychee jelly (love love love lychees). The jelly sits atop some mango mascarpone creme and is inside caramel mousse embedded with choc mint bits.

Tabitha gave it a once-over but thankfully left it all to me...

Stop press update: Given that there is a Homie, then shouldn’t Storm Cloud be renamed ‘Marge’?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Three new cakes, one uninterested cat

Had a mini crop at my place on the weekend, so it was a chance to sample the new Adriano Zumbo cakes for afternoon tea (as if I needed an excuse?).

Doesn’t the new range look spectacular, all lined up in the glass case; it’s sensory overload, so be patient on the poor indecisive customers who can’t make up their minds when confronted with such Beauty.

I got 3 cakes, mainly based on their appearance.

Epice is pistachio cheesecake with whole morello cherries and lime and cardamom mousse and pistachios. It is apparently very reminiscent of Indian desserts (according to Mandy, who knows these things).

Next is a new Charlotte, Guadeloupe, though I’m not sure where the Mexican connection is. She is made of dacquoise, chocolate bavaroise, caramelised pineapple with a choc macaron fence around it. I thought I detected ginger in the pineapple as well, but that could be my imagination. I love the AZ ribbon around it as well.

Then, another cloud, Stormy. Filled with tangy lime crème, it is topped with soft Italian meringue. The blue dust on top has glitter sprinkled through it as well. Spectacular, as the young punters around the display case will agree…(lots of ‘awww mum, I want that one??’)

I have to say that the cakes went down a treat. Tabby was apathetic though she looks kinda interested in the photo.

And thanks, Lin Mei and Mandy for coming over. Our crop was real fun (and delicious)!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Scenes from the mall

Hasn't Rhodes (near Homebush, NSW) changed a lot? At least, I think it has. I remember only 10 years ago when there was nothing there. Now, it houses NSW's only IKEA, as well as a shopping centre and thousands of snazzy apartments. And for us, it's a destination in itself, with a semi-express train from the city getting us there in about 30 mins.
The other reason for going there is another in the Phoenix yum cha chain.

For this yum cha, we tried some new dishes - a fried eggplant-prawn dish that contained about 12 million calories, and a great watermelon and grass jelly dessert that was served out of a carved watermelon, yummy.
And they had one of my personal favourites, a sago 'thing' filled with red bean and egg yolk. The bf thinks it looks like something laid by an alien.

And here are some wonderfully graphic fabrics in IKEA. That place is massive, though I rarely buy anything because I don't want to queue at the checkouts (a bit 'princessy', am I).
The floating grass balls were hanging in the shopping centre. I thought they looked cool.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Last call for old tarts

This is the last cake (and chocolate) I had from Adriano Zumbo. Last one from the old range, that is, because the new range is out now. Vale Maxiadz.

And, no, I don't usually eat the cake off the floor, I just wanted to see what Tabs would do with it. And she does what she always does - nothing.

For something different, here is something from Emperor's Garden cake shop in Chinatown. It was very nice, and for $1.80, excellent value. We can't worship at King Adriano's altar all the time, so the emperor is just as good...almost.