Desserts


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The Lindt Cafe is a haven in a city of bustle and business. Not as ‘cozy’ as Max Brenners or San Churros, but polished and well matched to the suits which cue up for coffee and hot chocolates, it is a place we frequent often. My trip with Ms Music was the first time I sampled any of the cakes on display, though truffles, delices and drinks have all found a happy home with me. 

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Passion – A dark chocolate caramel mousse & a zesty passion fruit mousse layered with chocolate sponge that has been soaked in passion fruit puree. $11.00

My pick. I love this particular flavour combination, and would love to try to recreate it. I was disappointed with the chocolate shards around though, too obviously refrigerated and flavourless compared to what I expect of Lindt chocolate, and the value…well…definitely to be a rare treat, I think.

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Celebration du Chocolat – Layers of dark chocolate cake & fine milk chocolate mousse, encased by a chocolate ganache and ribbons of milk and dark chocolate. $11.50

Ms. Music’s pick. Apparently surprisingly light and un-rich, she seemed quite pleased with this pick. 

Level 1, 53 Martin Place 
Sydney, NSW, 2000.

Phone (02) 8257 1600

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I’m not having a particularly good run of cooking recently. Perhaps it is the maternal figure continually nagging me to go learn how to do things properly, or the numerous ‘I told you you should have done this’ (and not from my own head, I’ve long learned to block that out).

Anyway, this sad attempt looks pretty, and the strawberries were awesome – heady scents, and sweet, straight from the farm. On the downside, the genoise was dense, with large rough crumbs and eggy, while the mousseline…well…where to begin with the mousseline.

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My first attempt at making the pastry cream flopped. It resulted in a pastry cream so bouncy and thick, I could imagine it talking back. Yes, it had that much attitude. I tried salvaging it by adding milk a little at a time, and it eventually smoothed out again. Which made for a decent pastry cream, but didn’t come together as a mousseline upon adding butter the next day.

The second attempt looked reasonable, but was possibly undercooked, and ended up too runny, and not setting. So, it went into the freezer so I could get a reasonable shot, but someone tilted it before it had frozen, so that the surface wasn’t smooth anymore.

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Once out of the freezer, it melted really quickly, and was too sweet for my liking (which says a lot, seeing what a sweet tooth I have).

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I don’t want to give up, it’s such a beautiful cake, so I’m putting a call out – Any suggestions, recipes, tips and hints to make this work?

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Adriano Zumbo’s new collection was released yesterday, so we made a quick(ish) trip to Balmain to check it out. The haul was quite extensive, with ‘lunch’ at the Cafe being an extra splurge.

Instore Goodies:

We managed to get a list of most of the goodies that will be appearing at the counter this season, but these are so new that most of them don’t even have names or labels yet! The staff were very helpful in describing them to us. 

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Well, more like the hidden depths of Glebe. The last stop on our day at the Glebe Street Fair, by this time, we were full, tired, and sore. But there’s always room for chocolate, and we felt the need to do our foodie duties…;)

The interior is a little similar to Max Brenners, albeit with a distinctly aged Spanish theme – warm and comforting, padded seats (bliss!), wooden furniture and dimmed lighting. Didn’t quite have the polish of the Lindt cafes, but welcoming none the less.

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It’s such a relief to put aside all thoughts of law for a year, beyond the odd debate about suing dangerous drivers on the road. And what better way to celebrate than with a day of cooking and cleaning (okay, so that wasn’t that much fun) for a family dinner? On the menu, we had some gorgeous bread from the famous Victoire Bakery in Balmain, to go with aioli, garlic butter and tzatziki (all of which I will learn to make myself one day), tortellini boscaiola, beef stew, and these lovely chocolate mousse cups. I wanted to try something new with presentation, so Tim bore with me and tried not to get too annoyed at my over-the-top bounciness.

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First, cut some circles from pre-made sponge cakes, whether homemade or store bought – we used store bought, seeing as we were low on time. Use a cutter, or use a glass and cut around it with a serrated knife nice and neatly.

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This was the fun and messy part – Measure out strips of baking paper, about 7-10 cms high, and the circumference of your cake circles, plus 1-2cm (for a handle) wide. Remember in highschool? Circumference = pi x diameter. Fold the 1-2 cm handle backwards. Melt some chocolate, and spread an even layer across the baking paper strip on the side where the extra handle isn’t folded over. Confused? Good. Lick your fingers and try again with a fresh strip 😉 Do this one strip at a time, trust me on that one.

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Pick up your lovingly coated chocolate strip, and wrap it around the cake base, so that the chocolate faces inwards and sticks to the base. Try to stand the ends up so they join together, handle side on the outside. It takes a little practice, but the chocolate won’t go to waste…(at least, you shouldn’t let it…). If any bare patches appear, patch them up with excess melted chocolate and a knife.

Let the chocolate cups set in the fridge. When completely set, carefully peel the baking paper from the outside, fill with desired level of freshly-made mousse, and refrigerate until mousse is set.

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Yum? You betcha. It’d be even better if you knew how to temper the chocolate to have a crispy exterior, but who cares? Our favoutite mousse recipe follows.

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I have to apologise for the prolonged awkward silence, life has been rather hectic lately. I’d attempt to cram it all in one post, but I think that would make for a very long post (not that our posts don’t tend to be too long sometimes anyway). I’m not sure I should try to play catch up: It won’t end up being in order anyway.

The latest venture though was a 21st birthday, for which Tim and I made cupcakes. It was a fantastic night, that strange mix of fun, seriousness, emotions and social flitting. Hopefully the birthday girl had a ball, I hear things settled down sometime around 3 in the morning…

The birthday cake. I think the top layer was taro filled, the bottom one was chocolate. The sponge was so light and fluffy.

Cocktail slushies. No, your eyes don’t deceive you, that really does say “Rock Hard Melon”. I didn’t try the alcoholic one, but the Strawberry Seduction was rather nice. It seemed to have the effect of red cordial on the kids.

An agar jelly cake. Isn’t it pretty?

There were a few hundred profiteroles lying around on the tables, homemade (and handmade at some points). Very yummy!

 The assortment of cupcakes on offer. The larger ones, as well as the butterfly cupcake above were made by Tim and I, the butterfly topped mini cupcakes were made by the birthday girl’s sister. Apparently they were all very popular. I’ll need to do a post on the making of at some point…

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…One makes a lemon tart, of course!

Unlike many of my friends, I find that the longer holidays go on for, the higher the likelihood of my descent into insanity. I first noted this phenomenon in highschool, where I would begin dreaming about going back to school by about the second week of the break, persisting as an almost-nightly occurence until the holidays finished. I simply cannot stand being left alone, at home, with nothing to do but eat, sleep, and chat to friends online.

It has helped that I’ve become interested in cooking for myself – that typically means I’ll spend half the day looking up recipes to attempt, an hour or two cooking, and more time cleaning up (although that probably hasn’t helped my waistline…). And so, in the last few days of the uni holidays, and spurred on by the lovely citrus cremes from Adriano Zumbo, I decided to try my hand at a somewhat time-intensive lemon meringue pie.

My family does have a lemon pie recipe, lovingly copied from a TV show years ago, but I really wanted a softer, more meltingly smooth cream. I decided to try a recipe adapted from Dorie Greenspan and Pierre Hermes (the macaron king) by Fanny at Foodbeam, but halved the recipe so that I’d only end up with one tart.

While long, the recipe isn’t difficult to follow, and the creme came together rather well. The only hitch with the making of the filling came with the blending, as I don’t have a handheld blender. If you read regularly, you would also be aware that I have…issues…with using the blender. I chose to simply strain the creme, and hoped that that would be enough, but as the evening wore on, I realised it probably wouldn’t work. So I enlisted Mum’s help and used a small blender.

At my family’s request, I made a simple whipped cream topping rather than the meringue. I don’t think that made too much of a difference, it was just sweet enough to balance the sourness of the lemon creme.

The recipe for the creme was fantastic, halved without a hitch, and was utterly lemony. It’s not quite as ‘easy’ as the tarts you just put into the oven to bake, but I’m not complaining, it has meant I’ve leveled up – I can now use a double boiler! *game music plays in the background* If you want to do a little less work, then, like me, use a pre-made tart shell. You can buy them pre-baked, or frozen and bake them yourself.

I’d like to try making the tart pastry and meringue next time, but for now, I have a gorgeous lemon creme recipe to play with… And I think next on the list will have to be lemon meringue cupcakes! =)

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