Monday, May 30, 2011
Mum: "We could put a piece of cherry on top of each one?"
Me: "I don't like my food looking like a boob."
Mum: "But it's the Cancer Fund and we could make two big ones."
Me: * Groan. * "It's Australia's Biggest Morning Tea, not Pink Ribbon Day."
My Mum's such a dork but I was a great bonding session. What have you learned to cook from your parent/s?
Thursday, May 26, 2011
The apple and water was then brought to boil. I then reduced the heat to a simmer, covered the saucepan for approximately 10 minutes. The halved apple slices should be slightly softened. Drain the apples and then add 1 teaspoon of lemon rind and 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Leave the mixture to cool.
In a bowl combine 2 cup plain flour, 1 cup self raising flour, 1/2 cup cornflour, 1/2 custard powder, 2 tablespoons of caster sugar and 200g of cool coarsely chopped butter. Rub the butter and the flour between your finger until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Then add two egg yolks and 1/2 cup of cold water (use your judgement as you may need more water) and knead until smooth. Halve the dough, roll and then smooth the pastry into a 25cm pie dish. I decided to use a flan tin.
After the 30 minutes had pasted, I then brushed the case with egg white, filled the pie with the apple mixture, rolled the remaining dough out to create a lid. I brushed the lid with more egg white and sprinkled it with sugar. I made a small cross in the center before popping the pie into the oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes passed, I reduced the oven to 180C/160C fan forced and continued for 25 minutes or until golden.
Here is the finished pie and I was tell you it is delicious. It's the perfect winter warmer and smoothing balm for my soul.
As we walked through the door our eyes were delighted by the giant cup cake. It was just awesome ... but my hips objected so I decided to select from their range of delightful full size ($3.50 each) and bite size ($2 each) options.
This is only a sample of what you will encounter at the store and I can highly recommend the visit. The Oreo Cupcake is incredible but I also spotted a Cherry Ripe topped one that looked delicious. If anyone has sampled it, how did it taste? Caring is sharing the experience verbally. :)
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
I decided to order a rare Petite Eye Fillet, with mushroom sauce, traditional coleslaw, bread roll and an idaho potato. The steak was just perfect, fresh, cooked perfectly and I enjoyed it immensely with a dab of mushroom sauce. The traditional coleslaw, however needed a little more dressing. Though it wasn't a bad experience, I didn't view the Spanish Garden Steakhouse as a highlight either. If you want to enjoy this icon, then the Staghorn Beer Garden is the way to go.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
Address: 2 Kingsford Smith Drive, Albion, QLD 4010.
Open: 7 Days a week. Licensed hours: 10am - 2am.
Phone: (07) 3262 5988
Price: Entrees: $6.50 - $29. Steak: $32 - $40.50. Desserts: $7.50
The special of the night was roast pork belly and this was a generous dish with large chunks of pork, golden potatoes and velvet aioli. The crackling and the potatoes were beautifully crisp but this dish was a little too fatty for my palette. However it isn't spoil my evening as each dish was beautifully fresh, the service was prompt and the warm atmosphere inside the establishment was pleasant. She isn't a peasant, she's a lady.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Address: 61 Petrie Terrace, Paddington, QLD 4000.
Open: Tuesday - Friday: 10am - 9pm. Saturday: 11am - 9pm. Sunday: 12pm - 9pm.
Phone: (07) 3367 8066
Price: Tapas: $6 - $26. Shared Plates: $25 - $32. Desserts: $12 - $22.
Friday, May 20, 2011
500g field mushrooms (stalks removed) and 500g swiss brown mushrooms thinly sliced.
After sauteing the mushrooms, I added them to the large bowl containing the finely chopped porcini. I then chopped 60g prosciutto, 50g truffle paste and 3/4 cup of chopped flat leaf parsley. I then set the oven at 180C and turned my attention to the white sauce. The white sauce was made in two parts. In one pan add 750ml milk, 250ml cream, 1/2 cup of porcini liquid, 1 bay lead and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. Bring to almost a boil on medium heat. In another pan melt 100g butter and 100g plain flour. Cook until grainy. When both items are ready, gradually whisk the milk mixture in and it will soon thicken. Cook the sauce for another 5 minutes or until it thickens. Pour half the sauce into the mushroom mixture and reserve the rest.
Finally top with a lasagne sheet, the remaining white sauce and a layer of parmesan. Cook in the oven for an hour or until golden.
Cool for ten minutes before slicing and you can then tuck into your gorgeous piece of Lasagne Vincisgrassi.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Take a large mixing bowl and add one egg, six tablespoons margarine (I used butter), 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and one cup Greek yoghurt.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Sunday, May 15, 2011
One of the tests of a good Yum Cha Restaurant is the quality of their Har Gao. Haoke's Har Gao has a gorgeous translucent skin and generous chunks of prawn.
The standard of their Sui Mai is also good and topped with a prawn. This would have been one of my picks.
Lean pork and century egg congee. Century eggs are an acquired taste and are made by preserving eggs in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, lime and rice hulls. This mixture raises the PH of the egg over several weeks or months and leaves the egg with its distinctive texture. It is a common congee ingredient as it compliments the smooth rice. Unfortunately the congee was the worst offering at Haoke. It was extremely floury and lacking in flavour.
The egg tarts were a good size, the pastry was flaky and the egg was silky smooth. Cheong Fun is also another Yum Cha favourite and they traditional come in three variations, cha siu (barbecue pork), prawn or You Zha Gui (translates as fried ghosts. This is a fried dough that sometimes is served with congee). The one pictured is cha siu, it arrived cold.
The final selection was the Shark fin dumplings. Though the spine of the dumpling appeared dry, they were passable. So in summary, the quality of the dim sum was passable, the atmosphere and service within the restaurant was lacking. If it is your local then it is passable, but if you have to make the trip, don't bother. Head to Landmark when you will have the selection and the brisk pace you would expect.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
Address: Shop 36/223 Calam Road, Sunnybank Hills, QLD 4109.
Open: Monday - Friday 10am-3pm. Saturday and Sunday 9am-3pm. Dinner daily from 6pm.
Phone: (07) 3273 4900
Top left to right: Crème chantilly with vanilla water gel. Macaron layer added with a tiny smear of toasted vanilla brulee. Toasted vanilla brulee layer added. Bottom left to right: Vanilla chiffon cake brushed with vanilla syrup and then topped with vanilla ganache. Vanilla almond crunch. Vanilla dacquoise base with added vanilla crème chantilly to fill any spaces. The good news is despite my fears the cake turned out better than expected. Without any pressure and no distractions the experience was extremely pleasant and a great challenge. Here are some photos of the finished product. The final image on the end is the Facebook thread, mapping the progress.
26 years ago my Mother pressed the eject button and I was spat out into the world. To celebrate this, I decided to undertake the huge challenge of baking the Adriano Zumbo V8 Cake. This cake first appeared in the 2010 season of Masterchef and it quickly captured the imagination of the nation. It also captured mine with its layers of vanilla crème chantilly, toasted vanilla brulee, vanilla water gel, vanilla ganache, vanilla macaron, vanilla dacquoise, vanilla chiffon cake and vanilla almond crunch, vanilla syrup enclosed in vanilla glaze. Normally I would photograph every piece and talk you through it but this cake had 20 steps and took me close to seven hours of preparing, baking, cleaning and constructing. So here are some handy tips I've learnt from this experience:
Bottom left to right: Vanilla chiffon cake brushed with vanilla syrup and then topped with vanilla ganache. Vanilla almond crunch. Vanilla dacquoise base with added vanilla crème chantilly to fill any spaces. The good news is despite my fears the cake turned out better than expected. Without any pressure and no distractions the experience was extremely pleasant and a great challenge. Here are some photos of the finished product. The final image on the end is the Facebook thread, mapping the progress.
The good news is despite my fears the cake turned out better than expected. Without any pressure and no distractions the experience was extremely pleasant and a great challenge. Here are some photos of the finished product. The final image on the end is the Facebook thread, mapping the progress.
Sunday, May 1, 2011
You begin your journey at Tosakan Thai Restaurant with your very own Tosakan's heart box in the form of a bright yellow napkin, folded like a lily. This brightly coloured decoration was lovely behold and both Amy and I were pleased to note the interior was modern, offered a direct view into the kitchen and utilised warm brown tones. I know, a Thai restaurant where you weren't suffocated by pastel mauve! You're probably as shocked as I am.We started with entree size serving of Tom Yum Goong. This is a traditional spicy Thai soup with prawns and flavoured with chili, lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves. The prawns were fresh, deveined and cooked to perfection. The soup was flavoursome but we felt had been slightly over seasoned with salt.
However if there was an outstanding dish this evening, it was the Massamun Beef Curry. This dish had generous chunks of potato and butter soft beef, immersed in creamy coconut milk based sauce and delicate strands of caramelised onion. It was gorgeous.
Our third selection was a Chicken Pad Thai. The thin noodles had soaked up the flavour of the peanut based sauce. The chicken was moist and the dish contained a good balance of egg, ground peanuts, bean curd and bean sprouts.
By this point Amy and I were both feeling rather full but we couldn't leave without trying a dessert and we decided to share the Black Sticky Rice with Coconut Cream and Vanilla Ice Cream. The rice a gorgeous texture which was complimented by the coconut cream. So Tosakan Thai Restaurant? It offers a beautifully appointed space, presents you with a story, provides you with friendly service and best of all the food delivers.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Address: 23 Playfield Street, Chermside, QLD 4032.
Open: Monday - Friday. 11am - 10:30pm. Saturday - Sunday. 5pm - 10.30pm.
Phone: (07) 3350 5371
Price: Entrees: $7.00. Main: $14.90 - $25.90. Dessert: $7.00.