Monday, January 31, 2011

Take One Cup of Flour ...

 ... and you have the basis of a very versatile biscuit!

I've been in a baking mood for a while. I had perfected my gingerbread biscuits (the hottest and most flavoursome according to those who tried them) and tackled espresso biscuits sandwiched with chocolate ganache. I was feeling adventurous and wanted to come up with an original recipe. Because the espresso biscuits had used real coffee grounds, I reasoned that real tea leaves might work in a buttery biscuit and loving the way mixed peel crystallises when baked, I decided Earl Grey might be a good match so I did a google search and lo and behold, I discovered that someone had got there before me. (Actually, several people had but this recipe was the first one I looked at and it sounded really simple so I chose to try it.)

As with all my baking, I couldn't just follow the recipe, I had to add my own touches, experimenting until I came up with a biscuit that is so fragrant that it is undeniably more-ish. One of the special ingredients is Herbie's Fragrant Sweet Spices. A blend of coriander, cassia, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, poppy seeds, cloves, cardomom and rose petals and available from specialty stores, it's the perfect addition to most baked goods. I've resorted to ordering it in bulk direct from the online store - where you can learn all about culinary and spice expert Ian Hemphill and the story of this supplier of all spices.
Linda's Earl Grey Tea Biscuits

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


This should have been my inaugural post considering my nom de plume, but I had some difficulty in finding a recipe to work for me - better late than never right?

I was introduced to these sweet treats by my husband who was living in Paris at the time. Chouquettes were his favourite morning coffee/afternoon snack and depending on the boulangerie, were usually really cheap (a couple of euros for a bag of roughly ten chouquettes or sometimes they are sold by weight).

Chouquettes are really just egg-y, light choux pastries, usually covered in perle sucre - really more-ish as the only sweet taste comes from the little crunchy bits of sugar on the outside.

Since coming home to Sydney, I haven't been able to find these delightful little pastries anywhere! So I had to work out a way to make them myself ... With the help of Google of course! :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Yabba Dabba Doo Man-Chops + Easy Tomato Chutney

Remember the opening intro to the Flintstones where they get drive-thru giant brontosaurus ribs that almost tip the car over. I so would have tackled this back in the stone ages and would love giant fries to match. Well my recent encounter with the "Man-Chop" reminded me of this very scene.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Vanilla bean Panacotta with Cumquat 3-ways & Matcha Soil

Happy New Year!!

Hope you all had a fantastic festive season and I trust you all ate well - As you can see we sure did from Gummi Baby's latest posts.

A new year arises, we slowly get back into the routine of eat-sleep-work, but the streets are quiet and you're still working only half pace. This void in time within the blogasphere only means one thing to us bloggers....we open the flood gates of backlogged blogs.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Let the Fireworks Begin!

New Year's Eve Lunch at Ad Lib Bistro - Pymble
If you've been following our food adventures, you could be forgiven for thinking that we'd eaten quite enough by the time 2010 came to an end. But given an opportunity to eat out again, how could we resist?

Not only were we celebrating the belated Christmas Day birthday of our dear friend Lol, I'd promised her Mum a fancy meal out as she'd been very kind when I was ensconced in a hospital earlier this year where she works part time.

Ad Lib was nearby and had received rave reviews.
The innovative menus at this French influenced restaurant, (for the stationery hounds amongst you, narrower than A3 but longer and wider than Foolscap), were printed on brown paper stock and folded into a neat packet which sat on our bread plates. Head Chef, Dietmar Sawyere, declares on their website that this is a restaurant which is "looking less to surprise with unexpected flavours but rather to satisfy with delicious ones, sensual pleasure rather than intellectual pleasure ..."  (Poking a tongue out at molecular gastronomy perhaps?!) We firmly believe they delivered on that promise.

There were so many great sounding dishes that it was difficult to choose but there were four of us and we all chose something different so that we could try as many dishes as possible.

Les Hors D'Oeuvres Classiques - ranging from $10 for the Soup of the Day to $85 for the Oscietra Caviar,
Lol had: