Category Archives: Australia

Flavours of Asia Market – Caulfield Racecourse + GIVEAWAY *Winner Announced*

Dearest Readers, did you know the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival is on from the 27th of February to 15th of March :) As a foodie it’s always an exciting time look at the events calendar and pick a couple to go to, food is always good and generally so much fun. Talking about events, I have one you might be interested in going this weekend and that is the Flavours of Asia Market Festival on the 28th of February (Saturday) at Caulfield Racecourse.

Flavours of Asia

 

This Saturday it’s not only going to be the Blue Diamond Stakes Day at Caulfield, but they are also going to host a Flavours of Asia market with a range of Asian food stalls which include, Wonderbao, Hammer & Tong and Hoy Pinoy :) Mr Bao and I were lucky enough to be invited to the preview even last week and we were very impressed with everything.

Flavours of Asia

The night started with the lovely bartender making us the market’s featured cocktail named ‘Market Mule with a Kick’ cocktail which is a combination of vodka, ginger ale, lime & chilli.

'Market Mule with a Kick' cocktail

‘Market Mule with a Kick’ cocktail

I quite enjoyed the cocktail and found it to be quite sweet (the way I like things) and the hint of chilli made it even more refreshing. It probably could have had a little more vodka in it to give it that extra kick, but given my low tolerance in alcohol this was good for me.

Lechon Kwali - slow braised and crispy fried pork belly

Lechon Kwali – fried pork belly

We were then offered some canapés from Hoy Pinoy which is a Filipino BBQ and Street Food stall, I’ve had some of their skewers at the Queen Victoria Night Market, before so I knew this would also be amazing. This is the Lechon Kwali slow braised & crispy fried pork belly with buck, chilli and yemma sauce. It had one of the best crusts on pork belly I’ve had, but the meat itself remained soft and tender! Highly recommended dish!

Red and Black Rice Salad

Red and Black Rice Salad

Moving onto a palate cleanser, this is the Red and Black Rice salad from Hammer & Tong, which had green peaches and also pomegranates. It was probably a little too green for Mr Bao’s liking but haha I quite enjoyed it and think this would be perfect to take to work for lunch.

BBQ Pork Bao

BBQ Pork Bao

You should always except to see Bao (Buns) at an Asia food market haha so there was definitely Pork Bao’s from Wonderbao. It’s been a while since I’ve visited Wonderbao the dough was still just as fluffy and filling was equally tasty.

Pork Bao

Pork Bao

Mr Bao was the photographer that night and he wanted to take a photo of the filling to show you ~ As you can see has generous juicy BBQ Pork filling.

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Hoy Pinoy

While we were enjoying the canapés and cocktails, we started smelling charcoal and saw on the far left corner of the racetrack was a lovely lady from Hoy Pinoy making their famous skewers. Can’t wait to devour these!

Wouldn't it be nice to have a skewer grill at home?

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a skewer grill at home?

I’m not sure I would use this skewer grill much at home…but just the look and smell of it made nudge Mr Bao and tell him we should buy one and have a skewer party hehe :)

Inihaw na Baboy - Pork Belly Skewers

Inihaw na Baboy – Pork Belly Skewers

We started with the Inihaw na Baboy – Pork Belly Skewers with a banana ketchup glaze, it can get messy eating these skewers but it’s worth it. I’m slightly addicted to that sweet sticky banana ketchup glaze and those crispy bits.

Inihaw na Manok - Chicken Skewers

Inihaw na Manok – Chicken Skewers

Even though we enjoyed the pork belly skewers, the Inihaw na Manok chicken skewers in traditional soy glaze I think it’s very similar to chicken adobo and was the clear winner for me. Not sure if it was the succulent chicken or simply the soy glaze but it was fantastic.

Braised Pork Belly Gua Bao

Braised Pork Belly Gua Bao

I have to admit I was already getting a little full by this stand, but there was more food coming, next we moved inside and were each given a Braised Pork Belly Gua Bao and another bao with fried tofu. It also came with picked mustard, coriander, cucumber, picked carrots and crushed peanuts. The gua bao’s already had hoisin sauce and all we had to do was add the condiments ourselves. I really liked this idea as I don’t like it when there’s too much picked mustard.

Andrew from Hammer & Tong

Andrew from Hammer & Tong

We then met Andrew Ward from Hammer & Tong, we weren’t allowed to just sit and wait for our next course :P we were asked to get up and learn from the Master how to make their ever popular Soft Shell Crab burger!

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I have always enjoyed the soft shell crab burgers at Hammer & Tong, the crab was always crispy with a very light batter and not covered in heavy dough. I found out that night the secret was actually tapioca flour as opposed to wheat flour! Andrew said they can make up to 10 burgers in 3 minutes at the night markets!

Soft Shell Crab Burger

Soft Shell Crab Burger

End result is this delicious brioche burger with freshly fried soft shell crab, salad and some mayo delicious! Another highly recommended dish you must try at the Flavours of Asia market or at their cafe in Fitzroy.

 

Ice-cream Gua Bao by Creame Supreme

Ice-cream Gua Bao by Creame Supreme

Creme Supreme is the new bao venture by Wonderbao where they’ve decided to come ice-cream and baos together to make dessert buns. I didn’t expect the gua bao (buns) to be deep fried to a nice golden colour, sandwiched in-between is black sesame ice-cream, crushed peanuts and drizzle of syrup. It reminded me of a fried donut which essentially is fried bread dough :)

I really enjoyed the preview event and wished we didn’t have other commitments so we could go again! To enter Caulfield Racecourse it will be $20 admission fee for adults, $10 for Concession and free entry for kids 13 for more information check out their website here. I’ve recommended my manager and colleague and they’re both going so hopefully they’ll enjoy the food as much as we did!

UPDATE UPDATE! I’ve just been notified I can offer 1 Reader two VIP Tickets to the Flavours of Asia Market with your own Picnic Suite!

To enter this giveaway
- Leave a comment and tell me have you tried Ice-cream Gua Bao (buns) before? 
– For more entries please ‘Like’ me on Facebook and Follow me on Twitter ~ If you’ve already done that please let me now! Thank you!
– Giveaway ends on the 27th February (Friday 5pm) 
– You may reenter daily, one entry per day
– Winners will be chosen by me personally and announced on this blog and notified via email on the 27th February and tickets emailed to winner.
– Open only to all Melbourne residents (Sorry International Readers!)

WINNER ANNOUNCED!

Congratulations Gary James, I have emailed the VIP Tickets to you!

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Daisy@Nevertoosweet and Mr Bao attended Flavours of Asia as guests of Melbourne Racing Club and Haystacc PR

Pre-Valentine’s Dinner – Superior Gold Salmon

Valentine's Day Hamper - Superior Gold Salmon

Valentine’s Day Hamper – Superior Gold Salmon

Love is in the air!!! Valentine’s Day is just around the corner less than 48 hours!! My Dearest Readers are you prepared to spoil your loved ones? I know many say it’s a very commercial day and everyday should be Valentine’s day but… I really love the excuse to dress up and go out for a date lunch or night :D Thanks you Superior Gold Salmon and Keep Left PR, Mr Bao and I had a Pre-Valentine’s Day dinner at home last weekend.

Happy Pre-Valentines day!

Happy Pre-Valentines day!

We were so spoilt with the hamper with the smoked salmon, bread, champagne and even champagne glasses hehe For those who are not familiar with Superior Gold Smoked Salmon, they use Australian seafood and source the salmon responsibility and is easily available at local supermarkets :) The ever lovely Sarah from Keep Left gave me a couple of recipes and given my cooking skills aren’t too great… I definitely chose one of the easiest to make and impress Mr Bao.

Superior Gold Mango and Avocado Salsa

Superior Gold Mango and Avocado Salsa

I chose the Superior Gold Mango and Avocado Salsa which is very easy to make, no cooking involved, only some chopping and assembling then it’s done! Mr Bao was certainly impressed with it and thought the smoked salmon on top looked like a rose haha I will be sharing the recipe below for you guys to try too!

As for our mains, I handed the cooking back to Mr Bao and he decided to keep it simple and make steak with greens served with a bubbly glass of champagne. He swears by the Heston method where he flips the steak every 3 minutes, its always perfectly medium rare!

Chocolate fondue at home

Chocolate fondue at home

I once again cheated for dessert haha I bought a little chocolate fondue from Paris, basically it’s a pot of 70% cacao chocolate in a ceramic pot you can head it up in the microwave, bain marie or oven. Funny story is I didn’t realise all instructions was in French so I had to go to Facebook for translation help :P I used the microwave method, because I’m lazy haha super easy, just microwave it in 30 seconds, take it out and mix keep repeating 3 to 4 times until its all melted.

I served it with strawberries, banana and to make it extra special and sweet white chocolate Kit Kats :D Strawberries are still the classic and my favourite hehe what’s your?

Recipe – Superior Gold Mango and Avocado Salsa from Superior Gold

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Yield – Serves 4
Preparation time: 45 mins

Ingredients
200g Superior Gold Smoked Salmon
2 ripe avocado, diced
1 tbs shallot, chopped
2 tsp fresh coriander, chopped
2 limes, cut into wedges
2 ripe mangoes, diced
1 tsp red chilli, de-seeded finely chopped
Season to taste with salt and pepper
A 6cm X 6cm cylinder mould

Method
1) Mix avocado, shallots, coriander and juice from 1/2 a lime into bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
2) Place avocado mix into cylinder, firmed press down.
3) Place mango and chilli into a bowl and mix together.
4) Top avocado with mango mixture, place smoked salmon on top to serve.
5) Remove cylinder, sprinkle with sea salt and pepper and serve with lime.

Daisy@Nevertoosweet received this Valentine’s Day hamper from Superior Gold and Keep Left PR 

Jam Tarts & Fig Maple Syrup Scones – Hanks Jam

Berry Tarts

Berry Tarts

 

Happy New Year my Dearest Readers :) We have officially started the new year! I’m not sure what 2015 is going to be like for me…but I have set some New Years resolutions and one of them is to hopefully place more focus back onto the blog and be able to post regularly again! It can sometimes be quite difficult to work full time and also find the time to blog, I am very lucky to have Mr Bao help me. But sometimes he’s busy too. That doesn’t matter, because I have some exciting news my awesome friend Kaylee has agreed to help out part-time and be Food Stylist and Creative Director!

Fig and Maple Syrup Scones

Fig and Maple Syrup Scones

Super excited to have Kaylee help! She has an eye for pretty things and grasps the idea of less is more much better than I do :) Just before Christmas I was sent some Hank’s Jam from Wordstorm PR to try and create some recipes. That become the first project we did as a small team of three :) Mr Bao was photographer and chef, Kaylee was styling and I was errr Director and food taster oh yeah and the writer!

Hank's Jam

A little background about Hank’s jam, it was first created 21 years by a chef named Hank in Bronte a beach side suburb in Sydney. It became very popular and local cafes started stocking it and now it is easily available at Woolworth, David Jones and many gourmet delicatessens. I’m sure I’ve seen Hank’s jam before but haven’t had the chance to try.

Strawberry Hank's Jam

Strawberry Hank’s Jam

The jams are quite thick and concentrated and had a good variety of jams and marmalade :) I was particularly intrigued by the fig and ginger jam as it’s quite rare to see this flavour of jam. That inspired me to make fig and maple syrup scones as I think it would pair very well with the jam. Kaylee on the other hand suggest jam tarts and decorate them with fresh berries to give it a super Christmassy feel! Both ideas were great so that’s how we ended up making both jam tarts and the scones!

Jam Tarts

I have to admit these should be called Cheat’s jam tart, because I completed cheated and used store-bought tart shells and simple filled them desiccated coconut, strawberry jam and fresh berries. In my defence though, Christmas and New Year is a very busy time so a little cheating is absolutely acceptable! The tarts can be a little sweet because of the jam, however, the tartness from the fresh raspberries and blackberries balanced it out wonderfully.

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We had a few issues when making these scones haha we sort of burnt the first batch! They were very dark looking! So we had to quickly make another batch and not sure why they didn’t raise as high as we expected so I apologise they may not be the ‘best’ looking scones but I promise you they taste fantastic! Plus I think Kaylee has done such a good job in styling them can’t wait for our next ‘project’! Very happy for you to join the Never Too Sweet blog :) We hope you will like these recipes and I highly recommend the fig and ginger jam on scones, toast, cake anything :D

Recipe – Jam Tart (Cheat version) original Never Too Sweet recipe
Yield – 12 mini tarts

Ingredients
1 packet of store bought Sweet Tart cases (Used Pampas here)
1 jar Hank’s jam of your choice (Used strawberry here)
60 grams desiccated coconut
3 punnets of fresh berries (e.g Raspberry, Strawberry, Blackberry, Blueberries)
Icing Sugar to garnish

Note – Feel free to adjust the amount of desiccated coconut and jam accordingly to personal tastes :)

Method
1) Bake sweet tart cases according to package usually for 10-15mins until golden brown. Set aside to cool.

Kaylee in action :)

Kaylee in action :)

2) Once the tart are cool, place a teaspoon of desiccated coconut into each tart and place a tablespoon of Hank’s jam and spread evenly.
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3) Set the tarts aside for 10 minute to let the jam set, alternativeluy you could put them into the fridge for 5 minutes. This will make it easier for the fresh berries to sit on top of the jam and not move as much.

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4) Arrange the fresh berries on top of the tart and again let it set for 5 minutes and sprinkle icing sugar.

Ta-da! They’re done :D How easy was that?! We were chatting while making these so it probably took half an hour but I think you could easy make these in 20 minutes or so! Easy to make and can easily impress anyone!

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Recipe – Fig and Maple Syrup Scones adapted from Macheesmo
Yield – 10-12 scones depending on size
Ingredients
525g (3 1/2 Cup) plain flour
180g (3/4 Cup) caster Sugar
1 Teaspoon salt
1 Teaspoon baking powder
1/2 Teaspoon baking soda
225g (2 sticks) unsalted cut into cubes
1 cup dried figs (chopped)
3/4 Cup buttermilk (shake well)
1/2 Cup thickened cream
1/4 Cup maple syrup
1 egg beaten (used for egg wash)

To Serve
Hank’s Fig and Ginger jam
Whipped Cream

Notes – Key to making good scones is not to over knead or work the dough, once everything comes together quickly roll/cut up and bake :)

Method
1) Preheat oven to 200C (400F). Mix all dry ingredients (flour, sugar etc) together in a large bowl, add unsalted butter and rub into flour using fingers.
20150102-Hanks jam scone

2) Once the mixture resembles bread crumbs and butter is mixed well, add wet ingredients – buttermilk, thickened cream, maple syrup. Quickly mix using a wooden spoon or I was told two butter knives, once the mixture comes you can add the dried figs and mixed until just combined.

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3) Once the mixture has been combined you can pinch ping pong sizes and roll them gently or roll it into a large 1 inch sheet and use a cookie cutter to cut round pieces. Around them on the baking try, it’s ok for them to be touching. Using a pastry brush, dip into beaten egg and brush over unbaked scones.

4) Place into over for 12 – 15 mins until golden brown and have risen up. Serve with whipped cream and Hank’s fig and ginger jam to make it even more figgy (if that’s even a word) hehe!

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Daisy@Nevertoosweet received these Hank’s Jam as a gift from Hank’s Jam and Wordstorm PR 

Last post for 2014 – Addict Food and Coffee

Can you believe it my Dear Readers? It’s already the last day of 2014! I’ve started to reflect back on the things that have happened this year and realised it has been such a turbulent year with so many highs and lows. The highs include getting our little puppy Cupcake, the birth of my niece (name has been confirmed as Valerie) and achieving some new goals at work. While the lows have been an emergency trip back to Hong Kong for my sister, moving houses and some personal issues.

Best Gift of 2014

Best Gift of 2014

Anyhow, it all doesn’t matter because the year is ending and I am grateful for all the experiences, failures and success!

Magic $4

Magic

Enough talk moving on to the actual post, brunching has always been a tradition of Mr Bao and I on the weekends and now we bring Cupcake along ~ I’ve seen Addict Food and Coffee come up in my Instagram feed quite a few times and knew I had to come try. Mark Boyd and Steve Hogan are the masterminds in the kitchen, they previously worked at St Ali and now it was their time to shine :) Mr Bao ordered is usual coffee and really enjoyed his single origin magic and commented on the overall nuttiness flavour.

Ice Coffee $6

Ice Coffee

Sorry I forgot to take a photo of the menu, so I don’t have the price for the coffee or food here, but I promise to update it once I’ve revisited and have it ~ It wasn’t a very hot day, but we were sitting outside and the sun was out so I felt like an ice coffee. I really liked the presentation of the coffee in a little milk bottle and also a chilled glass with more ice.

Addict Food and CoffeeEven though the colour looks quite milky, it actually had good coffee flavours. However, I would recommend drinking it quickly otherwise the ice will melt and dilute the coffee or drink it from the milk bottle ~

Southern pulled pork burger with Parmesan fries

Southern pulled pork burger with Parmesan fries

The menu here has a good balance between the traditional breakfast dishes with eggs and bacon, yet also caters for vegetarians and also vegan options. But being Mr Bao… he decided to try the Southern pulled pork burger with Parmesan fries. It was more like a sub to me with the long bun instead of the round burger bun ~ The pork was soft and flavoursome, however, what really caught our attention was the Parmesan fries, they were freshly made thin and crispy but not oily. We ended up fighting over who will get the last piece!

Chargrilled corn with poached eggs, polenta bites, yellow beet purée

Chargrilled corn with poached eggs, polenta bites, yellow beet purée

My choice was this is my vegetarian dish Chargrilled corn with poached eggs, polenta bites, yellow beet puree and also roasted beets. Now you see this was a vegetarian dish but Mr Bao decided to ask for a side of bacon without consulting me, simply because he didn’t want a veggie dish haha not that I really mind but I see no issue with eating healthy somedays!

hargrilled corn with poached eggs, polenta bites, yellow beet puréeThis dish was beautifully plated and I really liked all the different colours. Even without the bacon there was enough flavour and texture, I was particularly fond of the polenta bites (I’m a huge fan of polenta!) it was crispy on the outside but still stayed warm and fluffy inside. I’m not usually a fan of beetroot but because it was roasted it was very sweet and I guess… the bacon did complete the dish but then bacon always does :D

Buttermilk Pancakes with Mascarpone and raspberries.

Buttermilk Pancakes with Mascarpone and raspberries

So far we’ve enjoyed all the drinks and food at Addict Food and Coffee, but honestly nothing beats these buttermilk pancakes with poached pear, mascarpone cream and fresh raspberries! Sure pancakes have become a staple on menus across Melbourne, but there’s something about these warm fluffy pancakes. It was a generous serving of two thick buttermilk pancakes, that are slightly dense which is the way I like, paired with mascarpone and poached pear! Even Mr Bao was impressed and ate more than half of these pancakes! I was close to ordering another serve just for myself :D

We really enjoyed Addict Food and Coffee, staff were very friendly and efficient and most importantly they have those buttermilk pancakes and very dog friendly which is important to us now.

Addict Food and Coffee on Urbanspoon

 

 

And that ends my last blog post of 2014 on a sugar high! I would like to say how grateful I am for those who have loved and supported me this year. That includes many people but of course Mr Bao (I admit I am hardwork!), my sister Win Win, my family and friends! But I also also grateful for your support my Dearest Readers, thank you for always being here and supportive loyal even when I haven’t had time to blog, I know you’re still here waiting for me!

With that I would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year and may 2015 bring you more joy and happiness :)

Merry Christmas!!! – Cookie Love + Giveaway *Winner Announced*

Merry Christmas everyone :)

Merry Christmas everyone :)

My small little family (Mr Bao, Cupcake and myself) would like to wish all my Dearest Readers a very Merry Christmas and Happy Boxing Day :) Hope you’ve been enjoying this wonderful festival of overeating, overspending but more importantly spending time with loved ones.

I know I am once again guilty for disappearing and not posting for a few weeks. I really apologise for that, however, I simply have not had the time do very much with work being so busy, working until early hours of the morning and also moving houses. We haven’t found our new place yet, so for the interim we’re back at my parents ~ But hopefully in the New Year we’ll find our new home! Wish me luck :)

Farmhouse direct

Because I feel bad for not blogging for such a long time a have a gift for one special Reader :) Keep reading and scroll down to the bottom for details how to enter this giveaway. Christmas a time for giving and also receiving. And although we tend to spoil ourselves during the holiday season, I think it’s important to remember to give to those who are less fortunate than ourselves. That is the reason why I was keen in trying and reviewing the new website ‘Where Your Heart Is’ website. This is a new website created by both Farm House Direct (a website which supports and helps sell local produce) and Good Spender (a website that sells products from Australian social enterprises).

Cookie Love from Teresa :)

Cookie Love from Teresa :)

The concept of Where Your Heart Is, is to give consumers the options of purchasing products which not only help local producers but also help give back to those in need. I think it’s a great idea and definitely makes Christmas shopping a lot easier! So save the link for next year! I was sent some beautifully packed baked goodies from Cookie Love a local artisan baker from Phillip Island in Victoria.

20141219-IMG_5250Teresa the founder and artisan baker of Cookie love wrote me one of the nicest Christmas cards I’ve ever received explaining how she came up with the idea of selling her gorgeous cookies and moreish panforte. Oh by the way, if you haven’t noticed that’s not my hands haha I recruited Miss D to come help me devour some cookies!

Christmas Cookies

Christmas Cookies

I opened the first box and squealed to see a range of talented decorated Christmas cookies, I particularly like the Santa Claus because he has the most adorable little face. Miss D and both tried a little gift box cookie, as we wanted to save the bigger ones for later ~ I was particularly impressed with how soft the cookies remained and had a nice texture. These cookies would put a smile on anyone;s face!

Gingerbread Men

Gingerbread Men

Underneath Christmas cookies were another layer of Gingerbread men! Once again delicately made with the cutest faces! I’ve made them once before… and lets say some of my gingerbread men we’re definitely not as happy or cheerful looking! They had the same soft texture as the butter cookies, however, these had a subtle ginger and cinnamon flavour through them.

Panforte Noire

Panforte Noire

We then moved onto the other two boxes which were Panforte. For those who are not familiar Teresa explained in the Christmas card that panforte are very traditional Italian fruitcake with lots of nuts. Some may mix chocolate through it to make it a ‘Nero’ a dark version of Panforte.

Panforte Bianco

Panforte Bianco

The serving suggestion is to sprinkle with a little icing sugar, cut into slithers and enjoy with a cup of coffee or I would suggest champagne.

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The panforte bianco has white chocolate mixed through, a variety of nuts and dried fruit. I’m not sure I’ve had panforte before so I’m probably not the best judge, but Miss D and I really enjoyed the chewy texture and crunchiness of the nuts. Compared to the dark chocolate (nero) panforte, we found that this wasn’t as sweet and tasted more fruity.

Panforte Nero

Panforte Nero

Moving onto the Panforte Nero which is exactly the same as the Bianco except it has dark chocolate (Lindt) mixed into it instead. It still has the roasted nuts, glace fruit and also honey for sweetness. I think the dark chocolate one looks more like a regular chocolate cake ~

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Once again severing suggestion is icing sugar (which I forgot oops!) and cut into slithers which mine are also too big…what can I say I’m a greedy person :D I must say the texture is very similar for both panforte but my personal preference would be the nero as it is sweeter and has a more intense chocolate flavour. I would have loved to have this with a glass of latte, unfortunately my life is in boxes right now so I don’t even know where my coffee machine is hehe.

The panforte were quite large and could easily feed 6 to 8 people depending no the sizing of the pieces as it is quite filling. I’ve enjoyed all the products from Cookie Love and really enjoy supporting products made in Victoria. You can also order these Cookie Love products from this Farm House Direct link and be sure to check out the other products they have. It’s like a local farmers market online without having to wake up early the products are directly sent to you :)

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Now thanks to Teresa (Cookie Love), Where Your Heart Is and Farmhouse Direct I have one set of this Christmas pack to giveaway. I’m sorry that it’s after Christmas but it’ll be more like a New Years present :)

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To enter this giveaway
- Leave a comment and tell me have you tried Panforte before? Will you like the Bianco (White chocolate) or Nero (Dark chocolate) more?
– For more entries please ‘Like’ me on Facebook and Follow me on Twitter ~ If you’ve already done that please let me now! Thank you!
– Giveaway ends on the 4th January (Sunday) 
– You may reenter daily, one entry per day
– Winners will be chosen by me personally and announced on this blog and notified via email on the 5th January
– Open only to all Australian residents (Sorry International Readers!)

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My little Reindeer (Cupcake) would like to wish everyone good luck in this giveaway and also have a safe and Happy New Year!

WINNER ANNOUNCED!!!

Congratulations CC you are the winner of this Cookie Love giveaway!

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I will be emailing you and sending you the gift pack very shortly.

THANK YOU EVERYONE who entered!

Sydney Foodie Getaway – Club Carlson

Source: Google Image

Source: Google Image

Sydney is one of our favourite cities to visit in Australia. Mr Bao and I try and visit once a year if not more, however, this year we haven’t had the chance to make the trip up…but we’re planning to do so very soon. We’re itching to go back :) Coincidentally, I was invited to participate in a competition where I detail my ideal weekend in a blog post and if I am lucky enough to win, I will get an all expense paid for trip worth $3000 for 2 people! So wish me good luck my Dear Readers!

Source: Radisson Blu

Source: Radisson Blu

This competition is ran by Club Carlson which is the records program of the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group which own the Radisson Blu, Radisson, Park Plaza, City Inn to name a few. I assume as a club member the more you visit, the more benefits you will receive and be able to redeem free nights which would be a great excuse to travel more and save money on accommodation! So my ideal weekend would start off with a 9am flight from Melbourne and arrive in Sydney just after 10am. This will give me more than enough time to catch a taxi and get to the Hotel. I would book a foodie getaway Bentley Package at the Radisson Blu Hotel.

Source: Radisson Blu

Source: Radisson Blu

Hopefully my room will be ready and we will be able to check into our room, put our luggage away and head out for brunch! Whenever I go to Sydney I go a little crazy and do as many food stops as I can!

Flour and Stone

Flour and Stone

First stop, I will definitely go visit Nadine Ingram owner of Flour and Stone! I simply cannot get enough of her Panna Cotta lamingtons! I’ve been annoying her for the past 2 years to please deliver them to Melbourne! I will also bring my own little esky to take a couple more home to Melbourne!

After two food stops, it’s time to do some exercise and what I mean by that its SHOPPING :)

Even though I live very close to a Westfield in Melbourne, I love shopping at Westfield Sydney. There’s a good variety of stores from the high end brands such as Prada, Miu Miu through to the more casual and affordable shops like Dotti. Let’s not forget about the food! They have Din Tai Fung (love their Xiao Long Bao), Ipuddo and more importantly Laduree!

Laduree

After some exercising I will definitely take this opportunity to sit down at Laduree and have a macaron or two will a cup of tea. Perfect way to spend and afternoon if you ask me!

I’m probably pushing it…because we’ll be stuffed by then…but I still want to make ONE more food stop before we head back to the hotel! That’s a quick dash to Bourke Street Bakery for their Ginger Brûlée tart.

With a large box of goodies from the bakery, we will head back to the Radisson Blu hotel. Remember how I said I’ll book in the Bentley Package, well it’s called this for a reason. It’s because this package includes one night’s stay in a Premier Room and also 2 tasting menus at the renown two hatted restaurant Bentley. I knew the restaurant was moving from Surrey Hills to a new location, however, I didn’t know it was into the Radisson Blu. It will be two birds one stone if I stayed at the hotel and also save on travel time ~

I’ve just had a look at the tasting menu and every thing sounds amazing what do you think of this dessert Violet Ice-Cream, Cocoa Honeycomb and Blueberry? hehe I think after a 7 course degustation dinner we won’t be hungry so we’ll head back to our room and relax! I’ll most definitely be using the free wifi to Instagram all the things we’ve ate that day!

Source: Radisson Blu

Source: Radisson Blu

We’ll leisurely wake up at 9am the next morning and order breakfast from Bistro Fax and delivered to our room, because I love the idea of breakfast served in bed! It’s a plus because it’s also included in the package without having to pay anymore ~

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After breakfast we’ll slowly get changed and pack everything and prepare to check out, we won’t rush because it’s Sunday and we should enjoy the time left we have in Sydney. We’ll leave our luggage at the hotel so we won’t need to carry it around with us. We will then make our way to the Sydney Fish market for some fresh salmon sashimi, baked lobster and cheese. This photo above was taken a couple of years ago when we visited the fish market :) I’m sure I’ll be doing the same when I go this time!

Wasting no time after a delicious round of seafood, I’ll drag Mr Bao to Blackstar Pastry a patisserie that has been on the top of my list for the longest time! Can’t believe I haven’t had this Strawberry Watermelon and rose water cake before!

Source: Radisson Blu

Source: Radisson Blu

Since we’ve left our luggage at the hotel, I thought we should try the High Tea at the Radisson Blu as you all know how much I like high teas ~ It appears to be a traditional afternoon tea set with a good range of savoury and sweet items.

And that will take us to the end of our foodie getaway weekend in Sydney. I will be so sad to leave Sydney so soon! I hope you liked reading about my ideal weekend away. I got so excited writing about this post, I’m already looking at tickets to Sydney! I really hope I will win and we will be visit Sydney very soon :D

Daisy@Nevertoosweet was not sponsored to write this post, however, this is part of a competition run by Digitaslbi and Carlson Rezidor/Club Carlson.  

Up In The Woods – Piggery Cafe

Piggery CafePiggery Cafe, Shannon Bennett’s newest venture up in the Dandenong Ranges. I visited in late September with Sarah (Sarah Cooks), Sandra and Ashley (I’m So Hungree) and have been meaning to write about the event for the longest time.

Piggery Cafe

Sarah visited Piggery Cafe a couple months ago and has been raving about the cakes and also the $25 afternoon tea. So we promptly organised a girls day out and Sarah kindly offered to drive which is probably a great idea, as I am horrible with directions :P

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Piggery Cafe is only one part of the Burnham Beeches a historical mansion built in the 1930s and is now divided into different area such as the Burnham Bakery and also an Emu enclosure. There are also plans to open a Burnham Beeches hotel and steakhouse.

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We chose one of the best afternoons to go, as it was lovely weather not too hot or cold and we managed to grab a nice table outside. Ashley and I took a walk inside the cafe and was immediately mesmerised by the table full of scones, mini tarts, cakes and other sweets! I was in dessert heaven!

Piggery Cafe1

Lemon Tart

Lemon Tart

I honestly couldn’t take my eyes off all the baked goodies! I wanted to try EVERYTHING the scones, lemon tart, mini chocolate cake! I’m practically had to drag myself out back to the table and waited patiently for the waiter to take our order. He explained to us that for $25 per person, includes a selection of savouries, sweet and unlimited flow of coffee, tea or hot chocolate.

Valrhona hot chocolate

Valrhona hot chocolate

They use Valrhona chocolate to make their hot chocolate here, so Ashley and I decided to get one each. It had great chocolate flavour, however, wasn’t the thick European type and was rather light and came with a little house-made marshmallow.

Piggery Cafe

Savoury platter

Next up was a large platter of savoury items, it was a huge shock the amount of food on the board. From the left was a puff pastry filled with mushroom, smoked salmon, seeded sourdough with some addictive garlic spread and also a little quiche. Everything was great and I enjoyed it all but the mushroom pie was definitely a winner with the super flakey and buttery pastry!

Scones with jam and whipped cream

Scones with jam and whipped cream

This was followed by these dainty scones half fruit (dried cranberries) and plain served with jam and whipped cream. I am determined to make my scones smaller at home next time they just look so much more refines and so damn cute when they’re small like this!

I slathered a very generous serving of whipped cream and I think it was apricot jam with a light citrus flavour which may have been orange. Scones had a good crust, but was still moist and fluffy inside thumbs up from me!

Chef's selection of sweets

Chef’s selection of sweets

The food doesn’t stop coming, it was then a full plate of Chef’s selection of sweets! A wide range of cakes such as pistachio canele, almond cake, mini macarons, chocolate tart and macaroon. The cakes did not only look good they tasted fresh and nothing was dry or felt like it has been left out for a long time.

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We then finished up with another round of coffee and tea. The afternoon tea here at Piggery Cafe is such a great value for money and I still can’t believe we got all this food for only $25! I guess it is a great way to attract patrons to visit in the afternoon which is usually quieter for the Dandenong Ranges when people are making their way home. I heard that Shannon Bennett wanted to create a space where he would like to visit with his kids on the weekend. He’s definitely done a great job to make Piggery Cafe very kid friendly and also pet friendly which is very important to me :)

Apple Danish and Lemon Merengue Tart $9

Apple Danish and Lemon Merengue Tart $9

Before I left, I went back inside to grab an Apple Danish and also Lemon Merengue tart for Mr Bao as he got quite jealous he wasn’t invited to come hehe I can’t wait to take Mr Bao and Cupcake with me next time and I’m tempted to try the Burnham Beeches picnic basket next time :)

Piggery Cafe on Urbanspoon

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