Sunday, December 6, 2009

Girly lunch and strange event - too many desserts

There was movement in the blogosphere 'cos word had got around that... Ellie from Almost Bourdain was organising a girly lunch!

So, with no boys allowed, we congregated on a sunny weekend at Ellie's place for an afternoon of food and hospitality.  Each of the 15 ladies who attended brought at least one dish, and Ellie provided some delicious food as well.  There was lots of laughter, meeting of new faces, and ... sixteen (count them, 16) desserts.

Here's a rundown of what we had:

Ellie is a fabulous cook, as evidenced by her beef rendang, which has also been featured on her blog.  To accompany this Malaysian specialty, there was sambal ikan bilis (made by crushing dried anchovies) and side dishes of fresh pineapple and toasted peanuts with salty fried mini fish.  Trissa brought a tasty dish of chorizo with capsicum.

Other Malay dishes that stood out were the chicken kapitan (with coconut milk, chilli and lemongrass) that was served with coconut rice.  Teresa brought a jar of risoni and beans that, when upturned into a bowl, magically transformed into a colourful salad (sprinkled with goat's cheese).

Karen had prepared the plump little profiteroles for a croquembouche beforehand, then she and Linda boiled up some sugar, and while we watched in amazement, they spun the caramel into an intricate yet delicate nest which would surely win any MasterChef challenge.  And look at the shiny cachous pressed into the sugar.

After eating the savoury dishes, there were faint cries of "I'm so full.." heard around the room.  But don't you know that there are desserts still to be had??!!  I suppose it's telling, and typical, that when you get that many girls together, the sweets have to outnumber the savouries, and we did not disappoint.

Get ready for the onslaught.

Linda had prepared a light-as-air lemon tart that was served with an amazing honeyed cream.  Lisa's lemon tart also stood out for its brilliant colour and flavour.  Ellie proved that she's a whiz not only at the mains by providing a fudgey brownie studded with Reese's pieces, and there was also a hazelnut chocolate tart that her daughter helped to decorate.

Can't get over the brilliance of the croquembouche.  It went well with Trisha's green grass jelly (nice and refreshing after the rendang).  Ellie had also scored some tubs of Ben and Jerry's ice cream, and I tried Chunky Monkey for the first time in all its banana goodness.

Helen's popcorn cupcakes were a winner with me - the cake was smooth and moist, and the icing was amazing - salty is the way of the future, my friends!  Speaking of amazing, Suze's chocolate bowls, moulded using a balloon, were filled with brownies and fresh berries. They looked almost too good to eat.

Would it surprise you to hear that there was a lot of dessert left over.  No matter, all the more for us to take home!  It just goes to show that too many sweets can be enough for 15 lady bloggers.

Thanks to Ellie for her hospitality, and these lovelies for a great afternoon:
Suze from chocolatesuze
Karen from Citrus and Candy
Linda, Minh and Teresa from eatshowandtell
Helen from grabyourfork
Betty from The Hungry Girl
Jen from Jenius
Leona from pigged-out
Steph from raspberri cupcakes
Lisa from Spicy Icecream
Trisha from Sugarlace
Trissa from Trissalicious

And thanks to Trissa for being my brilliant chauffeur - the GPS lady needs a lesson in directions, though.


  1. LOL actually I brought profiteroles to be, well, profiteroles and it was only turned into a croquembouche due to peer pressure! But thank goodness Linda joined in!

    It was a lovely afternoon but aww, no photos of your cupcakes and Christmas cookies? They were so good :)

  2. Wow girls, this is mighty impressive. Belle, I'm actually eating a cupcake as I type this and the photos are STILL making my mouth water! Maybe I need another cupcake.

  3. Great wrap up Belle! Even though I was clutching my stomach after the lunch, I still went on to have a mexican feast for dinner! Except no desserts! hehe. Karen actually only brought profitteroles with no intent to make a croquembouche, but she was pretty much pressured into doing it! LOL. It turned out great though :) Nice to see you again!

  4. Thanks so much for your biccy present! I am currently snacking on them and NOT sharing them with ANYONE! :)

  5. Woah i didn't realise there were 16 desserts, that's insane! Thanks so much for the lovely cookies, they were the perfect morning tea snack!

  6. Great coverage Bel, I don't think you've left out anything. Thanks so much for your cookies, I actually had it for breakfast, it was so good =D
    You are right, Ellie is such an all rounder, she managed to whip up some awesome savouries and desserts. Karen was such a class baker, somehow turning her profiteroles into a some what beautiful croquembouche with all eyes on her =D It was a great day indeed.

  7. It was a great lunch and thanks for coming. I am happy to finally get to meet you (we met once in a huge blogger meet up at suze's birthday) and talk to you for the first time. Are you posting up your cupcake and biscuits recipes? They are great :)

  8. Looks amazing! And yes, it does look like you guys weren't short of desserts!

  9. your salted caramels were so freaking awesome! i managed to eat 5 in a row and am now crying on the inside because i want more hehe

  10. What a superb spread though, considering the company, not the least bit surprising.

    With that wonderful food and great desserts, the Ben & Jerry's ice cream seems almost redundant.

  11. You girls sure know how to have a good time!! I am sooo jealous right now haha

  12. No wonder you took that shot! I was wondering why you wanted a pic of the bridge. Thank you for coming with me - it was great to finally meet you and thank you for helping me NOT get lost!

  13. Looks like a great day! All of those delicious cakes! So sad that I was overseas for this! :(

  14. OMG! All that food and so good that it girl's only... heh

    EVerything looks so good and delicious. Missing out in Melbourne.

  15. dang! You girls ate heaps! Can you guys send the leftovers to the boys?! hehe

    I'm drooling over the amount of tartly sweets...

  16. Wow! It all looks gorgeous! what a feast.

  17. your salted caramels were so delicious and thanks so much for the little goodie bag. Ooh-look! Biscuits! :)

  18. That's really a lot of gorgeous food and so much fun. Hard to take my eyes away from the beef rendang and ikan bilis sambal. I wish I was there. I think there's a different fun without guys around, right?

  19. It looks like so much fun. I missed out big time. Maybe next time. I cant wait to get a thermometre so I can try your salted caramels.

  20. hi Karen - you did really well for an impromptu dish. A real pro!

    hi VeggieGirl - it was a fun fun fun afternoon (with food!)

    hi Conor - you'd think that all those desserts would make us feel all sugared out. No way!

    hi Betty the Hungry Girl - it was good to see you too! I can't believe you went and had another meal. All that food doesn't show on you, lucky thing!

    hi Teresa - you're welcome. Biscuits are a good treat to give (and receive!)

    hi Steph - glad you like the cookies. I had fun making them!

    hi Linda - so many girls are good cooks, including yourself. I feel a bit in awe of you all! Lovely to see you there.

    hi Ellie - thanks so much for putting up with us all. We appreciated your organising it!

    hi Forager - it was a fantastic afternoon. And as you said, so many desserts...

    hi chocolatesuze - you are so funny - I'm glad you liked the caramels and hope you get to make some yourself soon!

    hi Simon - actually, the B&J ice cream went down a treat as well. A bit of cake, a scoop of ice cream, a bite of brownine, a scoop of ice cream...

    hi Here Comes - girls and food go together. Fact.

    hi Trissa - you are not a bad driver! Just be aware that the GPS isn't always right!

    hi Lorraine - sad you weren't there, but I think Austria is a nice compromise!

    hi Penny - I think there are enough bloggers in Melbourne to have one of your own? Or maybe you could come to Sydney for the next one!

    hi Adrian - no, hands off, hehe! The girls managed to take all the leftovers home, so nothing went to waste.

    hi Anita - 'feast' sums it up perfectly!

    hi Helen - ooh, look, Helen's cupcakes were even more incredible!

    hi MaryMoh - Ellie's rendang was amazing. Yes, there's something about a roomful of ladies...

    hi a cupcake or two - hope you can try out the caramels recipe. It's easy and the results are so worth it!