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I love sticky date pudding. It’s my safety net dessert on a restaurant menu. When I go out for dinner, I check out the dessert menu first. I look for the sticky date or something similar first. It’s my back up plan. If I don’t see a dessert that appeals to me, I go to my back up… the sticky date.
I found a recipe that turns the sticky date pudding into a baked tart. Serving it with toffee sauce and ice cream makes it a crowd pleaser. Who doesn’t love a good sticky date?!
For the pastry:
- 150g chopped butter
- 190g plain flour
- 1tbs light brown sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tsp chilled water
For the filling:
- 240g pitted dates, chopped into small pieces
- 150ml milk
- 1tsp bicarb of soda
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 100g plain flour
- 2 egg, lightly beaten
- 2 tbs golden syrup
- 100g brown sugar
For the toffee sauce:
- 200g brown sugar
- 50g unsalted butter
- 250ml thickened cream
- In a food processor, combine the flour, butter and sugar. Pulse until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. With the motor running, add the yolk and water until it forms a dough (add more water if needed).
- Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly until smooth. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30mins.
- Meanwhile, start the filling. In a saucepan over medium heat, place the dates and milk. Bring to just below boiling point, then remove from heat. Stir in the bicarb of soda, then stand for 30 mins or until dates have softened.
- Lightly grease a 36cm x 12cm loose bottom rectangle tart tin.
- Roll out the dough to 5mm thickness. Ease into the tart tin and trim the edges. Chill for another 10 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180degC (160degC fan). Blind bake the tart shell with weights for 8-10 minutes. Remove the weights and bake for a further 3-5 minutes until golden and dry.
- Reduce the oven to 160degC (140degC fan)
- Place the dates and milk in a food processor with the vanilla and pulse to combine. Transfer to a bowl and fold in the flour, eggs, golden syrup and brown sugar until just combined. Set aside.
- For the toffee sauce, place all the ingredients in a saucepan over low heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Cook for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened.
- Pour 1/3 cup of the toffee sauce into the tart shell, then spread the date mixture on top.
- Bake for 20-25mins until just set. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes.
- Serve warm, sliced with the remaining toffee sauce and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
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.
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.
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
They are open every day up till January 31st, then only weekends after that.
44 Merricks rd, (corner of Yal Yal rd)
James and I dined with compliments of Merricks Creek Winery
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.
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.
- 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
- 1 cup (250ml) Anchor thickened cream
- 2 tbs icing sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven 200degC (fanforced) and line a swiss roll tin (33.6cm x 22.5cm)
- Whisk the eggs and 100g of the sugar until light and creamy and thickened slightly
- 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.
- Mix ensuring it is combined well and there are no lumps.
- Stir in hot water
- 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
- Meanwhile, prepare baking paper by sprinkling some caster sugar.
- 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.
- Whip up the Anchor thickened cream, sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form.
- 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.
- Melt the chocolate buttons in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Drizzle the melted chocolate across the swiss roll
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.
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.
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.
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?!
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.
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.
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
The Moore Family ate their meal with compliments of Coco&Thyme
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.
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.
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.
- 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.