Merricks Creek Winery

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Sipping a glass Chardonnay on a warm Summers day. Blue sky as far as the eye can see. Sitting next to Hubby on his birthday weekend, enjoying a child free day to relax and unwind from the busy week.

We spent the afternoon at Merricks Creek Winery. A family run winery.  After two decades of wine making, they have set up their own cellar door.  We sit on low casual seating with ample of cushions to make it feel homely. I instantly love the open space and the beautiful view of the vineyard.

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We chat with Peter, the owner.  He tells us that his wife is in the kitchen, his son is the front of house staff that also greeted us when we arrived and his daughter was the lovely lady that first contacted me to invite us to check out their newly open cellar door.  They offer Pinot Noir, Pinot Noir Close and just last year made their first Chardonnay.  It’s a family run business.  I love that!

The day we visited, they had only opened a couple of weeks before, however a lot of people have already found them.

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They offer a variety of share plates ($11 and $15) which are generous portions.  All their ingredients are fresh and are of great quality.  I can taste it with every bite. Hubby and I thoroughly enjoy the share platters

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Rare eye fillet, caper vinaigrette and ciabatta

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Crispy thins with pistachio, hazelnut, fetta, mint

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20 month aged Italian prosciutto di Parma, Shaw river buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes and basil with ciabatta

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White chocolate mousse mini pots with fresh passion fruit

They are open every day up till January 31st, then only weekends after that.

44 Merricks rd, (corner of Yal Yal rd)

Merricks

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James and I dined with compliments of Merricks Creek Winery

Bon appetite,

Cherrie

Black Forest Swiss Roll

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I like to try to get creative in my kitchen.  I love to bake for my family.  It helps that my family loves to eat.

I like to bake every weekend trying new recipes and new ingredients. I am fortunate at times when I get approached to try new products.  Sometimes the products have been around for a while however, a new range have been launched.

Like this one.

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The new Anchor cream range is made with 100% Australian dairy and is designed with foodies and cooks in mind.  The bottles come in unique sizes. 1 cup (250ml) and  2 cup (500ml) and has markers on the side of the bottle to ensure precise pouring.  This all helps following a recipe be hassle free.

Anything that makes my baking easier is always welcomed in my kitchen.

To mark the launch of the new Anchor range, I have come up with a recipe that I want to share with my readers.

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Recipe:

Sponge:

  • 3 eggs
  • 100g caster sugar plus extra for sprinkling
  • 75g plain flour
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 15ml hot water
  • 250g cherries, pitted and halved
  • 60ml Kirsch
  • 1/4 cup chocolate buttons, melted

Filling:

  • 1 cup (250ml) Anchor thickened cream
  • 2 tbs icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven 200degC (fanforced) and line a swiss roll tin (33.6cm x 22.5cm)
  2. Whisk the eggs and 100g of the sugar until light and creamy and thickened slightly
  3. Sift half the flour and cocoa powder over the mixture and gently fold in with a metal spoon well before adding the rest of the flour and cocoa powder.
  4. Mix ensuring it is combined well and there are no lumps.
  5. Stir in hot water
  6. Pour mixture into the prepared tin and smooth it over.  Bake in oven 7-9mins until well risen, spongey and has slightly shrunken away from the sides
  7. Meanwhile, prepare baking paper by sprinkling some caster sugar.
  8. When cake is baked, turn out the cake onto the paper with the top of the cake facing the down. Place another sheet on top of the sponge and roll it up loosely.  Have the short end facing you and roll.  Leave for 5 minutes then unroll.  Leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
  9. Whip up the Anchor thickened cream, sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form.
  10. When the cake is cool, brush on the kirsch and then spread the cream onto the cake, leaving around a 5cm border at the edges.  Sprinkle the cherry halves over the cream and then re-roll ensuring the seam is at the bottom.
  11. Melt the chocolate buttons in the microwave for about 30 seconds.  Drizzle the melted chocolate across the swiss roll

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Platter and 3 tiered cake platter used in this post are Maxwell and Williams blush range. 

The New Anchor cream range can be found at your local Woolworths.

bon appetite,

Cherrie

Eating out: Coco & Thyme

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Lately, I have not been eating out for the purpose of reviewing. However when I was asked to check out a friend’s new cafe in Fitzroy, I just had to. I am really interested in checking out cafes that are popping up all over Melbourne. It seems there is a new one that opens up everyday.

To succeed, you need to not only serve great food, have fantastic service but to also have a unique concept.

Coco and Thyme in North Fitzroy, hits all points.  I met Carol, the co-owner of Coco & Thyme.  Not only is she such a lovely woman, she is passionate about food.  After chatting with her, I got the sense that her passion stems from family.   A few members of her family is in the hospitality industry.  So owning her own cafe is in her blood.  Their concept is easy. Pure, wholesome food that can be made gluten free and vegan.  Nothing gets onto the menu without her approval.

I took the family along to try out their menu. Having already checked out their menu, I knew exactly what I wanted to try.

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To start off we ordered drinks. I already knew I wanted to try the Coffee Thyme. Wow! This was a amazing. Loved it. It’s a shot of espresso blended with avocado, coconut milk and condensed milk. I could’ve had 5 glasses of that. And because I needed more caffeine, I also had a single origin cold drip coffee served over ice. It slow drips for 20 hours .  Hubby had  blend of banana, mango, Almond milk and honey. Thomas had a freshly made apple juice and Deanna had Watermelon, cucumber and mint. Refreshing.

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St. Benny. Pulled ham hock, egg and apple cider hollandaise sitting on crumbed potato choux. I’m a sucker for eggs Benedict. The eggs were poached beautifully, and the hollandaise was light and velvety at the same time. The winning component though was the potato choux. Why have I not have deep fried crumbed potato in my eggs benny before?!

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Hubby ordered the meatball cupcake. I think the name alone was what made him order it. It’s wagyu and veal meatball with mash icing served with broccolini, broad beans, snow peas and bois boudran. Hubby said the meatball was moist and tender and the vegetables was fresh and was just cooked so they still had their crunch.

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Coco and Thyme also cater for kids. That’s a winner in my books.

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Thomas ordered the brekkie Jaffel. Scrambled eggs, bacon and tomato sauce. It was served with pretzels.  To be honest anything with bacon gets Thomas’ two thumbs up. It was perfect portioning for him.

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For Deanna, she ordered the mini wagyu burger and fries. She scoffed it down within minutes which meant that she enjoyed it.

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We also ordered the mini pancakes and ice cream for the kids to share. This is the mini! The normal sized one was a stack of pancakes with fairy floss.  The table next to us ordered it and we gawked at it as the server walked passed.
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The cafe was light (a food blogger’s dream), airy and spacious. I can see customers coming here after a hectic morning of Christmas shopping for a break.  When I visited, they were in the process of doing up the back room making it into a private function area. Perfect for birthdays or Christmas parties.

Friends or not, I totally recommend you visit Coco & Thyme.  Food is delicious. The staff are cheery and its family friendly.

 

Coco & Thyme

203 St.Georges road

North Fitzroy

 

The Moore Family ate their meal with compliments of Coco&Thyme

Bon appetite,

Cherrie

Giveaway: Cake, Bake and Sweets show 2015.

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The Melbourne Cake Bake and Sweets Show is back!  It will take place at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Center on the 23rd to 25th October 2015.

If you have a passion for baking, like myself, or just eating sweets, like Hubby, then you’ll want to head to the event which is devoted to all things baking and the art of baking.  Guests will get the chance to see a line up of some of the best international and home grown baking stars.  Guests like the star or Ace of ckaes Duff Goldman and many of Australia’s favourite patissiers will have live demonstrations.  You can learn all the tricks of the trade. And oh, don’t miss out my friend Thanh Do’s workshop on how to be an expert on Social Media.

Ace of Cakes star Duff Goldman

Ace of Cakes star Duff Goldman

At the show you can shop till you drop, taste till you’re full and watch demonstrations or take part in workshops to become an expert.  For tickets and more information visit their website http://www.cakebakeandsweets.com/melbourne/

I went last year and had a ball.  I left feeling more inspired about baking.  I was also fortunate enough to meet one of the greatest cake bakers I know, the Cake Boss himself Buddy Valastro.

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I’m happy to announce that I have a  double pass to give away to this fantastic event and it’s easy to enter.  I will choose the winners randomly and contact the successful reader via email so please make sure you provide a valid address.

To enter just follow these 2 easy steps:

  • Leave a comment at the bottom of this post stating why you would love to attend the show this year.
  • Share this post on Facebook and Twitter.

Please note:

  • The competition is open to all readers who can attend the Melbourne event between 23-25 October 2015 (flights and accommodation will not be provided)
  • Competition ends midnight Sunday 18th October.

I’m excited!

Cherrie

Spiced apple crumble cheesecake

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I love social media.  Everyone is on it nowdays in one form or another.  I use my Instagram to share what I’ve been up to in the kitchen and I use my Facebook to share family moments with my family and friends.

It has helped me to make new friends and to re-connect with the old.  It allows me to share my passion for baking and food in general with everyone.

This is how this recipe came about.  A friend reached out to me on social media and asked me about how I can incorporate Twinings Teas into a recipe.  After some thought, (and a current craving for cheesecakes), I came up with my spiced apple crumble cheesecake.  This is a no bake cheesecake making it light and perfect for the warmer weather.

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I soaked the tea bags in cream overnight.  It flavoured the cream making the taste of the apple prominent in the cheesecake.

Recipe:

cheesecake

  • 300ml thickened cream
  • 5 teabags of Twinings Chamomile and Spiced apple
  • 3tsp gelatin powder, dissolved in 1/4 cup of boiling water
  • 500g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 395g can of condensed milk

caramelised apples

  • 3 medium sized granny smiths, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 60g butter
  • 60g brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

crumble

  • 110g plain flour
  • 90g rolled oats
  • 60g desiccated coconut
  • 180g brown sugar
  • 100g butter, melted

Butterscotch sauce

  • 75g brown sugar
  • 75ml cream
  • 50g butter, chopped
  1. Warm up the cream in a small pot.  Do not let boil.  Add the tea bags and leave to soak overnight in the fridge.
  2. Make the caramelised apples.  Melt the butter and sugar together in a small pot. Add the apples and vanilla extract.  Simmer till the apples are nice and tender and taken on a little colour from the sugar.  Set aside to cool completely.
  3. Prepare a 20cm springform tin by greasing and lining the bottom.
  4. Make the crumble.  In a bowl add the dry ingredients and mix well to combine.  Add the melted butter and stir to ensure all the ingredients are well combined.
  5. Set aside 1/4 cup of the crumble then press the mixture into the tin then place in the fridge for 30mins.
  6. Make  the cheesecake.  Beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth then add the condensed milk and gelatin.  Beat until well combined.
  7. Take out the tea bags out of the cream.  In a separate bowl, pour the tea infused cream and whip till soft peaks.
  8. Fold the cream into the cream cheese mixture.
  9. Pour half of the cheesecake mixture into the tin then carefully spoon all but 4 tbs of the  caramelised apple. Pour the rest of the mixture on top.  Smooth out the top.  Place in the fridge to set for about 4 hours.
  10. Once set, garnish the top with the left over crumble and caramelised apple.
  11. Make the butterscotch sauce.  Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan, bring to the boil and cook for 5 minutes.
  12. To serve, drizzle with butterscotch sauce on slices of the cheesecake.

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Bon Appetite,

Cherrie

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream (arctic roll)

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July is ice cream month.

Even though it’s the middle of winter here in Melbourne, I can’t resist a large bowl of ice cream, especially if it’s Harry’s Peanut butter fudge or triple choc brownie.

After chocolate, ice cream was voted as one of Australia’s top comfort foods that makes us feel better.  Australians like to turn to comfort food to forget about the bad day they just had or to temporarily forget the daily stresses they face.  For me, I like to wind down after a long day at work by sitting under a cozy blanket on the couch in front of the TV while eating my way through a tub of ice cream.

To celebrate ice cream month, Harry’s ice cream sent me a few tubs to create something delicious.

Harry's ice cream

Firstly, the Knickerbocker Glory.

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This was Hubby’s idea.  He used to have these growing up in England.  I have to say, it wasn’t a thing here in Australia but it should’ve been!

It’s easy so you don’t really need a recipe for it.  You can layer anything you like.  I set some jelly at the bottom of the glass and also set the remaining in a separate bowl.  When ready to serve, I layered a scoop of vanilla ice cream, strawberry and chocolate syrups, meringue, more jelly and of course, Harry’s ice cream triple choc icream.  I topped with whipped cream (from a can, I know, the horror!).  Garnished with a glace cherry, a wafer and a Flake.

Next I created the peanut butter and jelly arctic roll.  This is another ice cream dessert that I didn’t know much about until my adult years.  An arctic roll is a British dessert, traditionally made of vanilla ice cream wrapped in a thin layer of sponge cake, which has raspberry sauce spread onto it.  I chose to use Harry’s peanut butter fudge ice cream.  You can use any ice cream flavour you fancy, really.

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Recipe: (inspired by Paul Hollywood)

  • 475ml tub of Harry’s Peanut butter fudge
  • 125g strawberry jam

Swiss roll

  • 3 medium size eggs
  • 100g caster sugar plus extra for dusting
  • 100g self raising flour
  1. Preheat the oven 200degC (180degC fan forced)  and line a Swiss roll tin (22cm x 32cm)
  2. Take the ice cream out of the freezer to soften a little, enough to be able to mould.  Put on a piece of baking paper and shape into a thin sausage 25 to 30cm.  Wrap in the baking paper and put in the freezer until solid.
  3. To make the Swiss roll, whisk the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl for several minutes until pale and triple in volume.  The mixture should hold a tail when the whisk is removed.  Sift the flour over the egg mixture and fold in lightly.  Fold in one tablespoon of warm water.
  4. Pour the mixture into the tin and smooth it out and make sure it reaches all the corners.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Cut a piece of baking paper a little larger than the Swiss roll tin and lay it on the bench.  Sprinkle with caster sugar.  Turn out the cooked sponge onto the baking paper, base upwards.  Carefully peel the paper from the base of the sponge.  Leave to cool completely.
  6. To assemble the roll, trim the long edges of the sponge so it’s neat.  Spread the jam over the sponge, leaving a 2cm gap along the edges.
  7. Unwrap the ice cream and place lengthways across the sponge. Use the baking paper to help you roll the sponge around the ice cream.  Use a bread knife to trim each end of the roll.  Place on a plate and serve straight away.

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To celebrate ice cream month, Harry’s ice cream co is delivering ice cream to people who are in need of an ice cream emergency.

DAILY PRIZE: 10 Tubs of ice cream delivered right to your doorstep!

Tell Harry’s Ice cream Co why you’re screaming for ice cream and you could find an emergency supply of Harry’s Ice Cream delivered to your doorstep.

To Enter: Write on Harry’s Facebook wall or upload a photo to Harry’s wall describing your ice cream emergency and hashtag with #HarrysIceCreamCo and #IceCreamEmergency

Check out their Facebook page here for more details.

Bon Appetite,

Cherrie

A chocolate heaven cake and a giveaway to the Melbourne Good Food and Wine Show

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It’s nearly time for the Good food and wine show in Melbourne again.  I have gone almost every year. I love to get new ideas and inspirations from well renowned chefs and new produce I am introduced to.

This year Melbournians will get the chance to see popular UK chef Ainsley Harriott.  He has been appointed the face of this year’s Good food and wine show in Melbourne.  He will be present all 4 days during the show 5-8 June .  Ainsley will share tips and handy ticks during his live cooking demonstrations.

I have followed his career for many years and have collected a lot of his cook books.  I have also managed to cook many recipes from his books.

In celebration of  his appearance in this year’s show I have decided to share one of my favourite recipe of his.  The chocolate heaven cake.  This cake is to die for.  It really is heavenly.  Hubby says it’s light, fluffy and rich all at the same time.

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Recipe:

  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 150g softened unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  •  1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 225g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarb soda
  • 2 tbs cocoa powder
  • 200ml sour cream , at room temperature

Frosting

  • 350g dark chocolate
  • 225g unsalted butter, softened
  • 400g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 225ml milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 180degC (160degC fanforced)
  2. Prepare 3x 20cm round baking tins
  3. In a heatproof bowl, break the chocolate into pieces and melt over a pan of barely simmering water. Remove from the heat, stir until smooth and cool slightly.
  4. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.  Gradually add the eggs, mixing well after each addition.  Add the vanilla extract and melted chocolate and mix until smooth.
  5. Sieve together the flour, baking powder, bicarb soda and cocoa.  Fold into the creamed mixture in alternate batches with the sour cream.  Mix well between each addition.
  6. Divide the mixture evenly between the 3 tins and bake for about 25 minutes, until the cakes are springy to the touch and a skewer inserted into the middle of one of them comes out clean.  Cool for 5 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Once the cakes are completely cold, make the frosting.  In a large bowl, melt the butter with the chocolate chunks set over a pan of barely simmering water.  Melt until smooth, stirring occasionally.  In another bowl, whisk together the icing sugar, vanilla extract and milk until completely smooth.  Add the melted chocolate and butter and mix until combined.  Set aside for about 30 minutes to thicken slightly.
  8. Place one of the cakes on a serving plate and spread with a little frosting.  Cover with another cake and more frosting.  Top with the remaining cake and lightly press all the cake layers together.  Use a palette knife to spread the remaining frosting evenly over the top and sides of the cake.

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Would you like to attend the Good Food and Wine show in Melbourne?  I have a double pass to the show to giveaway to one of my readers.

It is simple to enter.  Just leave a comment below and share this post on Facebook and twitter.  This competition is only for readers who are able to attend the show in Melbourne.  The competition does not include flights or accommodation.

Competition ends midnight 24th may 2015.  I will contact the winner via email.

For more information on the Good food and wine show click here

Good Luck,

Cherrie