Friday, April 30, 2010

Goodbye winter, hello spargel...

Now that we can finally hang up our winter coats (for 5 months at least) I thought I would share with you a little snapshot of our final wintery walks in downtown Munich (and surrounding area) with the essential stop off or two for hot chocolate to warm the soul and also warm the frozen extremities.

Le Pain Quotidien - a great discovery during winter. As they say, it's an organic bakery, it's coffee, it's tea, it's hot chocolate, it's a patisserie, its a restaurant. What ever it is, they make THE best Belgian waffels! And they do a pretty good hot chocolate served in what I considered a bowl - so, so good when you have been wandering around a frozen city all afternoon! 

Too cute, had to buy one to take home with me! 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sweet Belem - Portuguese Egg Tarts

Since moving to nearby Leichhardt, I was given a 'seek and digest' mission in Petersham to find the local Portuguese community's favourite local cake shop and eliminate a Portuguese egg tart with extreme prejudice.

Sweet Belem, named after the 'suburb' of Lisbon where these tasty treats originated, produces an array of pastries and cakes, but it is the traditional egg tarts that has everyone flocking here. Inside the shop, reminders of the motherland are abundant, including photos and paintings of Belem tower. I instantly recognise the tower, and to my horror, realise that on a trip to Lisbon years before, I had failed to locate and sample a tart from its original source.

I scan the cake display for the tarts and there is only two left on display. There is a lady in front of me and I start to get anxious. Will I miss out again? Thankfully, she is a regular and knows that there are still plenty more cooking out the back. She orders a dozen! The new batch arrives with the top layer of tarts stacked face down on top of the bottom layer.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Standing in the way of [self] control

Shop. Boon. Chocolates. Belgian. Hand-made. Handbag. Clutch. Gold clasp. Unbranded. Orange. Packaging. Screen printed. Chocolate. Made of. Pencil. Plaque. Letter. Customisation. Hole. Heart-bites. Chocolate. Made of.
Marrakesh. Violetta. Janne. Truffles. Ganache. Squares. Buttons. Screen printed. Glossy. Pretty but pass. White. Euww. Milk. Meh. Dark. Ooh. Almond. And? Rocher. Gasp! 100 grams. $9.95?! Still sold.
Open. Taste test. Bite. Dark. Yum. Bite. Crunch. Tiny bubbles like Aero bars. Hmm. Wafer? Macaroon? Wow. Unsweetened. Smooth and no tongue coating. More. Excellent chocolate to filling ratio. Still no coating. Impressed. Much. Observe. Last one. What is that crunch? Passer-by. Offer? Motion denied. Packet closed.
Work. Tough meeting. 4pm. Hungry. Just one. Mmm. Not enough. Stop. Stop!!!
Finished. One fell swoop. Tongue still no more coated or sweetened than a Lindt ball. Crunch even in crumbs. Almonds eliminated. Almond rocher goodbye. Boon Dark Almond Rocher chocolate. Converted. Addicted? Like someone who has made a choice.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Crazy/Wacky/Dump Cake

This one's for the allergy crew!

Our family seems to suffer from lots of allergies .. Allergies to eggs and dairy being too common which is unfortunate, as it rules out quite a few sweet things and I am all for the sweet things! Sadly that means less cake for the afflicted - though not necessarily more cake for me.

Since sharing is caring, I went in search for a cake recipe that someone with these allergies could eat and came across the recipe below. Alternately called crazy/wacky/dump cake, this cake was thought to have been developed either around World War I or perhaps the Depression, when households were subject to rationing and ingredients such as eggs and dairy were rare. Not quite sure why the cake is crazy/wacky but dump cake kinda makes sense because mostly the recipes call for the dry ingredients to be 'dumped' and mixed in the tin the cake is supposed to be baked in.

There are lots of versions of this cake on the internet - some have the occasional egg or dairy - but the recipe listed below has neither.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Two snacks - one great big SNACK FOOD HOAX!

I can be very forgiving when it comes to snackfood - well look at all the flavour enhancers I end up eating! But how could I resist such attractive packaging?

These were perched at the top of the rack containing the usual array of garlic seasoned pumpkin seeds, BBQ prawn crackers, etc. They didn't even deserve their own hook. I should have heeded the warning!

There was hardly any english on the pack and I could only wonder having been pleasantly surprised by the authenticity of black truffles in a potato chip at what delights awaited me!

The pack looked mouth wateringly good, very colourful and had some varieties of sushi that I had never seen in the fresh variety!

I fully expected the contents to be crispy - and I was excited to see if the variety I saw on the pack would be repeated with the contents.

How would they replicate the taste of tofu or roe, egg or pickle?

Similarly the other pack promised a lot:

I pictured these as little sweet Cheesel-shaped rounds dipped with icing, hopefully with the different colours as represented on the pack.

Here is what came out of the sushi pack:

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I got 99 problems, but a b!tch [session] ain't one. Hit me!

When it's now 5:50, you're 30 mins away with seatings only available at 6 or 9 pm and the latest your party will accept is 7pm, what would you do?

a) Try locate another restaurant open this long weekend.
b) Book the 9pm service and have a snack in the meantime.
c) Book the 6pm service and turn up anytime after 6:30.
d) Stay home and eat baked beans instead.

As the 9pm session was out of the question, the troupe end up heading to one of the locals - hesitantly I might add since on my previous and first visit, it took a solid 2 hours before mains arrived (with no starters either!). Oh well, they were open during Easter weekend and had a table before 9pm.

Having had a seafood box at the fish markets a mere 4 hours beforehand, it had to be light. Starters consisted of:

  • tasting platter of swordfish, kingfish and salmon
  • garlic and herb pizza
  • cured tuna and basil oil
  • octopus carpaccio

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tag Team @ Taste of Sydney

Editors note: Before anyone gets over excited, this is not a blog of The Taste of Sydney 2: the Encore Event. Yes the Taste of Sydney was 3 weeks ago but it was so good we thought people would love to revisit the event that was so eloquently reviewed by many other bloggers. So enjoy this walk down memory lane and prepare to salivate again. Lobo.

Taste of Sydney 2010, Centennial Park

It's the first time Yaya's Yumyums is attending Taste of Sydney. To try and cover most of what the menu had to offer Lobo, Bisycl, La chouquette sucree and I formed an eating tag-team. With crowns (the events currency where $1 = 1 crown) in hand we were unleashed into the realm of Sydney's finest.

Team Shanks didn't start off too well. My inner city navigation skills are not as good as they used to be - man I'm so suburban these days!!

Plan B's Wagyu Beef Burger (12 crowns)

After a quick scout of all the stalls our first stop was to try Plan B's infamous wagyu burger. I had been warned that it cost $2 more than what it normally would in the cafe, but I just had to try it. The legends are true... the wagyu was super moist, juicy and bursting with flavour. The sauce and cheese blended well on the crispy bun. Of no fault of Plan B's I inhaled a rogue sesame seed off the bun choking and gasping for air for the next 2mins, knocking the rest of the bun out of the W's hands. I painfully resisted the 30 second rule, and left what I tried of the legendary burger as a blissful memory in my belly - mmmm!!

Friday, April 2, 2010

MiniB turns One ... and Two!

As the good Doctor says, it's all "wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff..." which is how we come to be posting MiniB's first and second birthday together! For some reason we didn't get around to posting the little one's first birthday last year but the cake and the food was so good and inventive that when we recently celebrated her second birthday we decided to do it all together and promise to be more organised in future!

Who's on First?

Playschool's Jemima and generic Butterfly Cakes

Mini Hotdogs and Mini Hamburgers