Orange Chocolate Madeleines for a high tea.

As a person who is always working, it is hard to find time for family and friends. I have dedicated quality time with my husband and my children. For readers who follow me on twitter and Instagram, you will know I have the hash tags #mummyanddaughtertime and #familytime where we go to the park or do some baking together.

When possible, I try to make time for friends, though it can be hard sometimes. I've missed on a lot of feasts and celebrations. So when I had the opportunity to host an afternoon high tea, I jumped at the chance and planned straight away.

The usual gang of food bloggers came along and brought their treats with them. I am so lucky to have friends that know and CAN bake. Needless to say, there was sugar overload and had great conversations about all things, including the ingenuity of the whoopie cushion.

Here's some of the goodies that we ate that day.

I made some sandwiches and the infamous hotdog and cheese :)
Macaron tower and Guinness gingerbread by Shellie. Gorgeous!
Lemon drizzle cake by Adrian. Stunningly decadent.

Eclairs and profiteroles by Thanh. A good bake:)

Coconut & mango friands and spicy cheese biscuits by Agnes. Perfect combinations.

I made mini chocolate cakes

I also made the orange and chocolate Madeleines. I got the recipe from women's weekly cookbooks but I added the orange zest and dipped them in dark chocolate for that extra decadence.

Recipe:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbs caster sugar
  • 2 tbs icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 1/4 cup self raising flour
  • 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 75g butter, melted
  • 1 tbs hot water
  • zest of an orange
  • Melted dark chocolate

 

  1. Preheat oven to 200degC (180degC fan forced)
  2. Grease 2 Madeleine pans with a little butter
  3. In a small bowl, beat the eggs, caster sugar, icing sugar and vanilla paste until thick and creamy
  4. Meanwhile, sift flours twice. Sift the third time over the egg mixture. Add the orange zest and pour combined butter and water down the side of the bowl then fold together.
  5. Drop rounded tablespoons of mixture into pan holes.
  6. Bake for about 10 minutes.
  7. When cooked, tap the pan firmly onto baking paper covered wire racks to cool
  8. When cooled, dip one end into the melted chocolate. Place onto baking paper for chocolate to set.

Bon appetite,

Cherrie

 

Lindt Chocolate Creation Class

Last year hubby and I were lucky enough to attended a Lindt chocolate Creation Class.  The class was hosted by Maitre Chocolatier Thomas Schnetzler, where he teaches you everything about chocolate and we got to decorate our own chocolate blocks and fill in macarons to take home. It was a delicious and informative night full of chocolate tasting and learning. It was a delight to attend.

Upon arrival we were treated to iced chocolate topped with chocolate shards.  Smooth and creamy.

Before starting the class we dug into a chocolate mousse.  It was silky and decadent.
Thomas went through the different stages of the the chocolate process.  From the cocoa pod to the finished product.
We also got to taste a few samples. Delish!
We decorated our own Lindt chocolate blocks with lots of different toppings.
Our finished decorated blocks ready to be taken home.
We also filled and decorated macarons to take home.  They were delicious too!
Lindt Chocolate Creation Class are held monthly at their Chapel street Cafe in Melbourne and Martin place cafe in Sydney.  The cost is $110 per person and bookings are essential as places are limited.
Hubby and I were invited to attend the Chocolate class by Entwistle PR.
Bon Appetite,
Cherrie

Sydney Holiday in Pictures

During Easter this year, we (Hubby, myself and the 2 munchkins) spent a few days in Sydney. Hubby and I have driven to Sydney many times before but this was the first time we took the 9hour drive with two small children.

We left home Thursday evening and arrived in Sydney on Good Friday. The kids were very good during the road trip and slept most of the way there.

The trip was mostly about eating and children-related activities.

As soon as we checked into our motel, we unpacked the car and headed out again. We had lunch at the famous Bourke street Bakery in Surrey Hills.
We had: chorizo pizza (top left), roast beef, chilli and coriander jam sandwich (top right), pork and leek sausage roll (middle left) and a honey roasted ham, cheddar, onion pickle, parsley mayo and rocket sandwich (bottom).
We also had the chocolate tart. Soooo good!
Next, it was onto to Gelato Messina for dessert. The highlight was the mini me ice cream dessert (bottom right)
As if that wasn’t enough, we headed off to Chinatown for the Friday night market. I couldn’t really eat much as we were so full already.

Next day (Saturday) we headed to Westfield Sydney as I have heard yummy things about the food court there. However, we were there too early for any of the cafes or stores to be opened so we wondered downstairs and I found this delicious grilled beef salad. It was a great find.

We then went to the aquarium where the children enjoyed and learnt about the different fish and sea creatures.
Before heading back to the motel for a much needed rest, we drove up to Manly for the essential visit to Zumbos. I bought his macarons. One of each, of course. In Zumbos these are called Zumbarons! Also got one of the infamous V8 cake and the citrus cake.
For dinner that night, we went to Chef’s Gallery. I found out about this place through instagram where I saw many wonderful photos of their food.
We had: Top: shredded peking duck roti.
Bottom left to right: wok fried rice and shredded pork and lettuce. Mini pork fillet burger. Boneless pork ribs topped with pork floss, corn cereal and roasted garlic. Handmade noodles with BBQ pork and soy sauce.

This was the reason why we went to Chef’s Gallery. This dessert is so popular that you have to pre-order when you make your booking. It is their signature “piggy face” sesame bun with marshmallow bunnies set in an edible garden served with berry and mango ice creams. Not only delcious but also very cute.

Every Saturday night, darling harbour holds spectacular fireworks. Darling harbour looks so pretty at night.

Sunday was another busy day for the family. We spent most of the day at Taronga zoo where we arrived by ferry.

My favourite animal at the zoo.

Lunch was Pad Thai at The Rocks.

Deanna and I shared a corn on the cob at The Rocks weekend market.

We thoroughly enjoyed our holiday in Sydney even though it was a short stay. Thank you Sydney for your hospitality. Hope to see you again very soon.

Bon Appetite,

Cherrie

 

A Sweet Mother’s Day Breakfast at Luxbite

I must be the last food blogger to try out Luxbite.  I have heard many good things about Luxbite and have been wanting to go for a long time.  Hubby finally took me on Mother’s day weekend.  To be honest, the decision to take me was due to the reason pictured below.

 

They recently started serving breakfast and this dish was the special for the Mother’s day weekend. It is called Sweet Benedict.  It consisted of donuts, bacon, burnt butter maple dressing and white chocolate hollandaise.  It was also dotted with fresh kiwi and decorated with a chocolate heart.

When we ordered it, we were not expecting it to look this beautiful.  It was hard to eat it because we didn’t want to destroy the look of the dish.  However, it only took a few seconds of that thought before we plunged right in.

The donut was crunchy and delightful.  The saltiness of the bacon worked really well with the sweetness of the rest of the dish. The fresh kiwi gave it the freshness it needed.  Personally, the best part of the dish was the pork crackling and lemon crumbs.  This added a savoury element to the dish.   All in all, this weekend special was delicious and I hope this makes it back onto the menu on a regular basis.

We also ordered the waffles.  The texture was more bready than the usual skinny waffles you would normally get and together with the spices, it had a  more substantial feel and made it moorish.  The Heilala Vanilla roasted plums were sweet and tangy at the same time. Deanna happily ate the waffles with lashings of the whipped honey butter.

Now, how can I write about Luxbite and not mention their macarons.  They are much talked about. They have many unique flavours.  I wanted to try them all but I let Deanna choose what she wanted to eat.  So she chose watermelon and yoghurt, strawberry, passion fruit and the chocolate sprinkles.

 

I loved my first experience at Luxbite and I will happily go back again.  In fact, I am planing to going back again real soon.  After all, I have to try every macaron and cake they offer, don’t I?

LuxBite on Urbanspoon

Luxbite
38 Toorak Rd
South Yarra
http://www.LuxBite.com.au

Bon Appetite,
Cherrie

Macarons and Food Bloggers

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Looks can be deceiving. 

Nowadays, blog events and meetups all start over a conversation on twitter.  This is how our macaron session  was conjured up.  A few of us were tweeting our fear of THE Macaron.  I had made them before but they have never come up perfect.  This is when we decided that we will form a Macaron Support Group and have a mac tweetup session where we will, together make the perfect macaron.  The Mac support group consisted of myself, Thanh, Liz, I-Hua, Penny, Agnes and Kat

Hopes were high, that day.  We all turned up with positive attitudes, determined to make the elusive perfect macron and to be able to bring home some edible ones to our partners and families.

Before getting into it tho, we fed our tummies.  We all brought a dish each and we were all full after lunch.


Kat brought Sping rolls


Thanh made lamb chops


Liz made chicken wings
I-Hua also made chicken wings


Agnes brought along lamb Biryani

Penny made beef empandas


For dessert, Agnes made custard tarts

and Liz brought along pineapple tarts.

I also brought along my daughter.  She loves to bake and she even made new friends.  **cough. Agnes. cough**  

Below are a few photos of us getting busy in the kitchen.













As you can see from the above photo, we didn’t get the results we were hoping for.  After many speculations, we had a few reasons on why they didn’t turn out.  We didn’t mix the egg whites to the right consistency or we added too much of the liquid flavourings which made the mixture too wet or we didn’t know the oven well enough that we couldn’t control the temperature.  So, all or none of these could be the reason and we were disappointed but truth be told, in the end, we enjoyed ourselves and there was probably more laughter and joking around than cooking and baking. 

Having this failure hang over my head, I didn’t wan’t to be defeated.  The next day I decided to make more macarons but at home and with an oven I was familiar with.



I made coconut macaron shells.  One filled with pandan (top pic – filled with pandan buttercream) and the other, I called monte carlo. (bottom pic – filled with vanilla butter cream and triple berry jam).  They turned out better than the day before but as with my previous attempts, they are still not perfect.  So, I forecast more attempts in my future. 

Recipe :
Coconut Macaron shell:
4 large egg whites
120g ground almonds
220g icing sugar
40g fine caster sugar
1/4 cup dessicated coconut
2 tsp coconut essence

To make the shells
1.  Preheat oven to 150degC.  Finely grind the dessicated coconut, almonds and icing sugar in a blender or food processor.  Sieve the mixture over a baking tin lined with baking papar and cook for 5-7 minutes.  Let cool.

2.  In a mixing bowl, beat the egg whites till soft peaks using an electric mixer.  When it starts to stiffen, gradually add the caster sugar, beating constantly.  Add the coconut essence.  Mix to combine.  Sieve the almond-sugar mixture over the egg white and fold carefully.

3.  Fill a piping bag using a round piping nozzle.  Pipe out 4.5cm circles onto a baking tray lined with baking paper.  Let it stand for about 30minutes or until a crust forms on the surface.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Let the shells cool, then remove using a small palette knife.

For the butter cream, I used 1 cup of unsalted butter and 1/2 cup of icing sugar.  Mix to combine.  For the pandan one, add a few drops of the pandan essence and for the vanilla one, add the seeds from a vanilla bean (or 1/2 tsp of vanilla paste)

When the shells cool, spread the filling over half of the shells, then top them with the remaining shells.  Chill for 1 hour before serving.





Macarons

Bon Appetite,
Cherrie