Category Archives: Reviews

Paris in Melbourne – Entrecote

Good morning my Dearest Readers! I wish you all a very belated Happy Easter and hope you’ve all been well. I wish I didn’t have to apologise all the time for not blogging but life has just been getting in the way but this time I hope my excuse is valid and you will forgive me again. And that is because we’ve been moving into our new apartment which is a two bedroom apartment meaning more room for my baking goods and props! Hopefully will be able to share with you more baking recipes :)

Entrecote1

Anyhow, I have been wanting to blog about this new restaurant for the longest time since the first time I visited for breakfast. But I knew I had to wait until I tried their famous steak and fries before I did! So you see Entrecôte has recently opened up on Domain St, South Yarra. If you remember, I posted about the Le Relais de L’Entrecote in Paris a few years ago. Well Melbourne now has their own version, with a little more variety on their menu they serve breakfast until noon, and then offers steak and fries along with a few more items for lunch and dinner.

Newly Adopted Bro :)

Newly Adopted Bro :)

The first time I went with my newly adopted Brother (Richard) and friend Q for breakfast. He was acting all shy when I asked if I could take a photo of him and post it on my blog haha So of course I started with a latte as I clearly needed caffeine to wake me up :)

Latte $3.8

Latte $3.8

Bro had a quick look at the menu and decided to get the Croque-Monsieur with hand carved Bill’s ham, three cheeses and thyme béchamel. I most definitely tried a little and thought it was lovely and actually not as rich as I thought it would be.

Entrecote

Croque-Monsieur $16.9

Q had trouble choosing what she wanted so I suggested the Le Petit Dejeuner which is the Parisian continental breakfast. For $19.9 it included many items such as orange juice, tea, coffee or hot chocolate, croissant and baguette with Bonne Maman jams, 63c egg, brioche and bacon ‘crumbs’.

Le Petit-Dejeuner 'Continental' $19.9

Le Petit-Dejeuner ‘Continental’ $19.9

I think the 62c egg with the bacon crumbs looked wonderful and I can’t wait to come back and try myself. Just the feeling of sitting outside on the patio with a croissant just makes it feel like you have been deported to Paris.

20150302-IMG_6545-2

I decided to go for the omelette of fine herbs and Gruyere and soft leaves, it was exactly the way I imaged it to be, soft and fluffy with just the right amount of Gruyere cheese oozing out. If I was to be really picky I would add a little truffle oil to it :P

Omelette of fine herbs & Gruyere $16.9

Omelette of fine herbs & Gruyere $16.9

Brunch wouldn’t be complete without dessert so I forced Bro to share the French toast with lemon curd ice-cream, lemon verbena poached etches and buttered almonds. This dessert reminded me of bread and butter pudding as it was very soft, it wasn’t very sweet and I thought the poached peaches were actually quite tart.

French toast with lemon curd ice-cream $15.9

French toast with lemon curd ice-cream $15.9

We all had a great time having brunch at Entrecôte but I think the happiest would have been Cupcake as it is such a dog friendly cafe with the large patio and the fake grass. He got many pats and compliments too from the waiters and other patrons :)

20150302-IMG_6535-2

 

A couple weeks later, after rescheduling 3 times, I finally managed to drag Mr Bao out for a date night back at Entrecôte. I wanted to get there between 4-6pm as this is when they had their happy hour, with $2 oysters and $7 champagnes.

House red $8

House red $8

We started our early dinner with a house red for Mr Bao which was a dry shiraz and complimented the steak to come very well.

Hot Chocolate $4.5

Hot Chocolate $4.5

I was feeling a little under the weather, so I stuck with a stomach friendly drink, a hot chocolate which was warm and comforting and exactly what I wanted. We bought Cupcake with us again and he got himself a dog bowl for water :)

Freshly shucked Oysters $4ea (happy hour $2ea)

Freshly shucked Oysters $4ea (happy hour $2ea)

We started off with a dozen of shucked to order with ‘Mignonette’ sauce and lemon, I’m not quite sure where the oysters are from, but they were quite salty and was great with a few drops of lemon juice. Mr Bao was so happy, he ordered another dozen and immediately devoured them.

French onion Gougere $5ea ($3ea)

French onion Gougere $5ea ($3ea)

Ash (Im So Hungree) recommended the French Onion Gougere which is essentially a profiterole with French onion and cheese filling. The choux pastry was made very well and the filling was so wonderfully cheesy and paired perfectly with a dry red.

Steak Frites with soft leaves $39.9

Steak Frites with soft leaves $39.9

The reason why I come back to Entrecôte and visit again before I could do a blog post is because I simply HAD to try the Steak Frites with soft leaves and see how it compares with Paris. The steak is from Hopkins River and we ordered it to be medium rare, just looking at the dish it looks very similar to Le Relais de L’Entrecote.

Steak Frites

I found the béarnaise sauce to look more limey and didn’t taste as strong. The shoe string fries comes with complimentary refills so forget about calories and eat till your hearts content.

20150401-IMG_2560-2

 

The steak itself was cooked to medium rare, keeping a pink centre and even though it was a very big piece with the creamy sauce and the fries I found it to be a good serving. Compared to the Le Relais de L’Entrecote in Paris, I found the steak itself to be of better quality, thanks to our great Aussie beef :D

Soft leaves with radish, walnut, Dijon vinaigrette

Soft leaves with radish, walnut, Dijon vinaigrette

It also comes with unlimited soft leaves with radish, walnut and Dijon vinaigrette, admittedly not as exciting as the steak and frites, but the tangy Djion vinaigrette does make it a little more interesting.

Entrecôte cheese burgher with frites $22.9

Entrecôte cheese burger with frites $22.9

I wanted to try something different and since we were siting out on the patio we had more options, I ordered the Entrecôte cheese burger with frites. A black angus beef patty with melted cheese and the same Paris bearnaise sauce on the steak. Even though I found the patty to be slightly under seasoned the cheese and sauce definitely made up for it.

20150401-IMG_2570-2

Been a while since I’ve posted a photo of myself haha and Mr Bao insists this is a good photo of me just before I was going to shove the burger into my mouth :P

Lemon Tart, creme fraiche $16.9

Lemon Tart, creme fraiche $16.9

I honestly wanted to try all the desserts – creme brûlée, apple tart tat in, mille-feuille and profiteroles. But we settled on the Lemon Tart because I had cravings and once again Ash recommended it and I trust her judgement. It was one of the best lemon tarts I have had in a very long time, with a sweet shortcrust pastry and that luscious lemon curd filling that had the right about of tartness and paired with creme fraiche. Personally I think I would have preferred vanilla ice-cream but both are fine by me.

No doubt Entrecôte has become a new favourite of Mr Bao and I with its great dishes, friendly staff and most importantly for us dog friendly. I think it’s also a great brunch spot for a brunch of girls to try to be Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl…ok sorry I got carried away haha I’ve been rewatching the series. Anyhow, we will be revisiting for sure! Have a great weekend!

Entrecôte on Urbanspoon

Quick & Easy Barbecuing – Heat Beads® Chimney Booster

20150317-IMG_0302

Australia is definitely a nation who loves their barbie (barbecuing) especially on weekends and special occasions, it’s part of our culture :) I worked in a team of all middle aged men (I hope none of them are reading this blog post haha) and it’s become a habit for them to come to work on Monday and discuss  their success or failure stories on the weber over the weekend. I usually just smile and secretly roll my eyes. I’ve never understood how it all works…because it always took us more than an hour to light the BBQ briquettes.

Headbeads® 1

That’s why when Heatbeads® asked if I would like to try their new Chimney booster, which can light the BBQ fuel in 12 minutes I was very intrigued how it all works! Headbeads® was very generous and sent me a brand new Weber kettle which you can find in most hardware stores. They also sent me a Headbeads® Chimney, the new Chimney Booster, BBQ briquettes, firelighters and everything else I needed to create a recipe.

Heatbeads 1I never thought I would get excited over a new Weber but it was so shiny and it was quite entertaining watching Mr Bao build it. Cupcake kept stealing the nails and parts and we had to chase after him, such a naughty puppy!

Heatbeads3Anyhow, moving onto using the new chimney and chimney booster, I had my usual helpers Mr Bao and our ever so eager puppy Cupcake who just walked around and sniffed everything. But I still needed some professional help, because I honestly don’t know what to make on a weber, so I recruited my manager AKA Annoying Uncle to help me :) He did a great job explaining to me how the Chimney and also the Chimney booster works and recipe ideas that were quick and easy.

Annoying Uncle this is what  REAL Chimney LOOKS LIKE!

Annoying Uncle this is what REAL Chimney LOOKS LIKE!

I have to rub this photo in his face, because he showed and lent me his very very rusty looking chimney so I wanted to show off my spanking new one!

Heatbeads® Chimney Booster

Heatbeads® Chimney Booster

I’m going to send you to the Heatbeads® website for more information about there new Chimney Booster and how it works. But I’ll try and give you a simple explanation here, the chimney starter is used to light the BBQ Briquettes quicker and because the air circulates inside. Generally, that takes about half an hour to light them. However, the Chimney Booster has batteries and accelerates as airflow is being directed up the chimney from the Booster to heat the BBQ Fuel quicker.

20150317-IMG_0336

As you can see it’s quite easy to use, just light the firelighters, place the chimney full of Heatbeads® over it and let it works it’s magic! I was really impressed at how quickly the BBQ briquettes became ashes all over which Annoying Uncle said it means they’re ready to be used.

Direct Heat

Direct Heat

20150317-IMG_0347

The first recipe I tried was a super simple grilled Kingprawns, so it required direct heat. So we plead the BBQ briquettes, into the baskets and into the middle of the weber. We then placed the grill over and waited for the king prawns to cook about 4-6 minutes one each side depending on the size of the prawn.

Grilled Prawns on the Weber

Grilled Prawns on the Weber

Once cooked and they’ve turned a gorgeous orange colour, sprinkle with salt and pepper, parsley and lemon. We also paired it with a simple mango salad :) They were so easy and quick to make and kept Mr Bao very happy! I didn’t write a recipe because it was so simple I’m sure you’ll be able to it too, however, if you want a recipe leave me a comment or shoot me an email!

20150317-IMG_0350

Next up is the quick and spicy BBQ Chicken wings, it only takes about 35-40 minutes to cook on the weber, which is still pretty quick given that you brine it at least 4 hours or even overnight. The spicy flavour also comes from the dry spice mix that is rubbed onto the chicken before being cooked.

Quick & Spicy BBQ Chicken

Quick & Spicy BBQ Chicken

Recipe – Quick & Spicy BBQ Chicken adapted from DJ BBQ

Serves: 4-5
Preparation Time: 1 hour plus 4-more brining

Ingredients
4 Chicken Thighs*
4 Chicken Drumsticks*
For the Brine:
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoon onion granules
2 teaspoons garlic granules
4 tablespoons sea salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
375ml water plus 250ml cold water

For the spicy rub: 
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon onion granules
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon of chilli powder*

Notes: *
– Annoying Uncle advised not to use chicken breasts as it will dry out too quickly so stick with thighs, drumsticks and perhaps wings
– I like my chicken really spicy so that’s why I used one tablespoon, if you’re feeding the little ones or those who can’t take chilli, perhaps reduce the amount to 1 teaspoon

Method
1) Make the spicy rub first, mix all ingredients into bowl and set aside, you can do this well in advance as the mixture will stay fresh in an airtight container in the fridge.
2) Now move onto the making the brine, in a large saucepan heat up 375ml of water, store in all the other ingredients and stir until the salt and sugar dissolves. Turn off the heat and pour the liquid into a heatproof bowl and stir in 250ml of cold water and set aside. Once cool enough place into the refrigerator for an hour before adding the chicken into the brine and return to the fridge for 4 or even overnight.Heatbeads4
3) When its time to cook, drain the chicken and discards the brine, remember to pat the chicken dry and let them return to room temperature before cooking.
4) Rub the spicy mix all over the chicken and place it over the weber using an indirect heat method, where the BBQ Briquettes are placed on each side.

20150317-IMG_0381

5) Cover weber with the lid and cook for 35-40 minutes, turning every 10 minutes. Remember to check whether chicken has cooked through before eating, poke the thigh to check if the juice runs clear it is cooked and ready.

20150317-IMG_0385

We had a run around the garden with Cupcake and within no time the chicken were ready. I accidentally burnt the skin of a few of the drumsticks but I promise it was still moist and succulent inside :D

20150317-IMG_0398

Sticky Pork Ribs

Last thing we made that night were these Sticky Pork Ribs, they were another easy recipe simple marinate them over night and cook them on the weber. It takes about 45-50 minutes or even longer depending on the thickness of the ribs.

Recipe – Sticky Pork Ribs adapted Taste.com.au

Serves: 6 people
Preparation time: 1hour please marinating

Ingredients
2.4kg Pork ribs racks (American Ribs)
For the marinate 
125ml (1/2 cup) beer
80g (1/2 cup lightly packed) brown sugar
60ml (1/4 cup) Worcestershire sauce
120ml Golden Syrup
1 tablespoon mustard powder
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
Few drops red Tabasco pepper sauces

Sticky Pork Ribs

Sticky Pork Ribs

Method
1) Combine beer, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, golden syrup, mustard powder, paprika and tabasco in a bowl, add pork ribs and coat all over. Cover and place in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight to marinate.
2) When ready to cook, drain the ribs and put the marinade a side. Poor marinade into a saucepan and place over low heat and simmer until mixture thickens.
3) Oil the grill or hot plate well, cook the ribs making sure you turn and bast very often to avoid it from drying out or burning (every 5 to 10 minutes). Cook through and until its sticky and golden, now enjoy!

Headbeads® Chimney and Chimney Booster

Headbeads® Chimney and Chimney Booster

Overall, we had so much fun playing with our new BBQ toys and I can finally understand a little more why the guys at work are so obsessed with barbecuing and also their chimney. With the Chimney booster it really cuts the time of lighting the BBQ briquettes by a lot which is great as I am a very impatient person and get hangry (hungry x angry) all the time! Now I can’t wait to show off to all my colleagues what I’ve made and make them jealous of my new Chimney booster!

For more information on Headbeads® product visit their website :)

Daisy@Nevertoosweet received the BBQ Set as a gift from Headbeads® and Keepleft PR 

Janice Wong High Tea – Aria, Langham Melbourne

Janice Wong High Tea

Janice Wong High Tea

I think I will describe myself as a High Tea Addict! If there’s a high tea I will be there :P That explains why I have been a repeat offender and gone back to the Aria Bar at the Langham Hotel in Melbourne so many times. This time Shelle (Iron Chef Shellie) kindly took me to try out the Janice Wong High tea as part of Melbourne Food and Wine festival. For those who don’t know Janice Wong is the executive pastry chef for the renown dessert bar 2am in Singapore which I was lucky to try a couple of years ago when I visited.

20150303-IMG_6581

Let’s jump right into the high tea, Shellie and I are both tea drinkers so we got the usuals. Yes that is English Breakfast for me (can’t be classic tea) and Earl Grey for her. I really liked the china they use too, if I remember correctly it is specially designed for Langham by Wedgewood.

20150303-IMG_6630

We got there quite early on a Tuesday so it didn’t take long for the 3 tier stand to arrive. We started from the top with freshly made sandwiches, and I’m usually quite picky because it’s always a disappointed when they are pre-made and the bread is try. But these sandwiches were perfect, with a good selection of fillings – egg salad, tuna, chicken, cucumber and smoked salmon.

Matcha desserts!

Matcha desserts!

Then moving down were two plates of desserts designed by Janice Wong. And I’m not sure if I can describe to you in words HOW excited I was to see so much GREEN on this plate! Because the green means MATCHA (Japanese Green Tea) and those who know me will know how obsessed I am about it. Let me quickly go through, there was a petite chocolate cake very moriesh reminded me a little of the Opera cake, matcha fanciers and also the warm matcha tart.

20150303-IMG_6631I will repeat that it’s a Warm Matcha tart meaning the centre is not set and I could feel the liquid inside wobble as I picked the tart up. The waiter suggested we started with this first as it’s best eaten when still warm. So here I go!

Warm Matcha Tart!

Green liquid gold!

I took one bite and quickly snapped this photo! Were you can see the green liquid gold as I liked to describe it flowing out! It was have to be one of the best matcha tarts and possibly desserts I have had. The tart case was still warm, with great buttery flavour and crumbly texture. But the filling was simply the best, it had such intense matcha flavour and wasn’t bitter at all! I would go back to this high tea just for this tart again.

20150303-IMG_6604

 

Continuing with the desserts, we moved onto the Singapore inspired choux the green and yellow puffs. The green actually had a kaya custard filling and for anyone who enjoys kaya would have really liked these. The chocolate tart with golden pop rocks was another impressive tart and even the caramel popcorn with freeze dried raspberries were delicious. I definitely had trouble pacing myself and kept popping them into my mouth.

20150303-IMG_6620

This is a short post, not many photos because I was too busy chatting and catching up with one of my favourite girl Shellie and I really enjoyed everything! Thanks again girl for taking me as my birthday present! Before I forget the tea set also comes with scones (fruit & plain) butter, clotted cream and jam :) The Janice Wong High Tea is still available for $65 per person until the 13th of March (2 days left) so if you’re quick you might be able to score table.

Aria Bar & Lounge on Urbanspoon

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.

20150219-20150219-IMG_6215

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!

20150219-20150219-IMG_6283

20150219-20150219-IMG_6293

 

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!

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 11.55.12 pm

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

20141221-IMG_5580

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.
20150102-Untitled

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.

20141221-IMG_5480

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!

20141221-IMG_5546

 

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.

20141221-IMG_5434

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!

20141221-IMG_5592
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.

20141219-IMG_5279

 

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 ~

20141219-IMG_5285

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 :)

20141219-IMG_5255

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 :)

20141219-IMG_5267

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!)

IMG_3309

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!

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 10.42.23 pmScreen Shot 2015-01-05 at 10.42.33 pm

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

THANK YOU EVERYONE who entered!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,407 other followers

%d bloggers like this: