Lady of Leisure – High Tea Sofitel Melbourne

I think it was last year or year before was when I first heard of this term ‘LOL’ but not the average ‘Laugh Out Loud’, it has another meaning and it is ‘Lady of Leisure’. How cool is that! I’d love to be a lady of leisure, not have to work and just spend my husbands money (no no I’m not getting married anytime soon) hahaha but I would still like to be this type of ‘LOL’.

Sofitel Melbourne

So even though I’m not quite a full time ‘Lady of Leisure’ yet, I sure know how to be one on the weekend, I ditched Mr Bao and Cupcake for day. First I had brunch with a girlfriend then I organised to have High Tea with another girlfriend Kaylee. We are both High tea fanatics, when we were both in Hong Kong we use to go all the time, I’ve lost count the number of times we’ve gone to high tea.

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I’m pretty sure this is the first time we’ve had High Tea in Melbourne together, so I decided to choose something nicer and came across Sofi’s Lounge at the Sofitel Hotel. I’ve heard mixed reviews about their high tea so wanted to try for myself. They have 4 options during the week the Devonshire and Afternoon Tea option which is the standard 3 tier tower. On the weekends they have the Morning Tea which is the standard in this photo and also the High Tea full buffet which is the one we did. It is $69 per person with a class of complimentary champagne and unlimited tea and I think she said coffee.

Sandwich station

Sandwich station

Kaylee and I actually weren’t expecting a full buffet, so I think we were quite impressed with the two large sandwich stations and also the mini quiches and pies. Thanks for being such a great hand model hehe your pink jacket gives the photo some colour :)

Scones - Vanilla whipped cream, strawberry jam and honey lemon curd

Scones – Vanilla whipped cream, strawberry jam and honey lemon curd

There are of course scones, plain and fruit ones served with vanilla whipped cream, strawberry jam but what caught our eye was the honey lemon curd. It wasn’t tart and loved that honey flavour through it. Also how cute is the presentation with the scones in a ceramic bowl, it’s like having high tea in a garden outside.

Dessert buffet!

Dessert buffet!

And of course there was the Dessert buffet section with a good selection of mini cakes and tarts, I would say there were a total of at least 12. Which is a really good variety and I could tell that they were freshly made and not pre-made and have been left outside for a long period of time.

More cake!

More cake!

The sticky date pudding cake on second from the right was definitely my favourite!!! It was moist, sweet and sticky, but I know many will probably say it’s too sweet and rich for them :P

Sofitel high tea

So this is how we did it, first we got some sandwiches and mini quiche, then we moved onto the scones, pistachio pana cotta and also that lovely strawberry cheesecake with a strawberry jam filling. But we very quickly moved onto the desserts, and there you can see that delicious sticky date cake on the right again!

Crepe and pancake station

Crepe and pancake station

In between the two sandwich stands, there is also a crepe and pancake station where a chef is there to reheat some pre-made crepes in caramel source and also some freshly made mini pancakes. The salted caramel sauce was delicious, however, I would’ve preferred freshly made crepes and pouring some sauce on top with some ice-cream. Nom Nom!

Crepe and Mini Pancakes

Crepe and Mini Pancakes

We didn’t have ice-cream so served it with some whipped cream and more salted caramel sauce ~

Chocolate fountain

Chocolate fountain

Any high tea, buffet or restaurant that has a chocolate fountain with gain brownie points in my books! Now ready for the action shots?!?

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First its putting the strawberries on the skewers, I’m glad Kaylee did this and not me, as I’m rather clumsy and would’ve made a mess and not have been too elegant.

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Then it’s the KODAK moment! This is actually my favourite shot!

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Question time, what do you like dipping into chocolate? I’m actually a huge fan of dipping bananas into chocolate but I guess that would make the chocolate unclean as bananas are quite sticky and turn brown very quickly.

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I really enjoyed the High Tea here at Sofi’s Lounge and it definitely exceeded my expectations. Something I really liked was that the whole experience didn’t feel rushed and that we had to be out by a certain time. Even though the High Tea is only served from 2:30pm to 5pm, no tables were asked to leave or that they must finish in the next half hour. I’ve experienced some other high teas in Melbourne and they have very strict timings, which sort of takes the fun of out sitting around hours on end chatting with friends. We did find the tables to be a little small and it was difficult to fit all our plates, tea pots and cutlery. Thankfully, there was space next to the tables and put our bags there. At $69 per person, it may seem pricey, but I actually used the discount from the Entertainment Book which bought it done to $50 per person which I thought was more reasonable.

Sofi's Lounge on Urbanspoon

Fried Chicken & Waffles – Mr Big Stuff

Mr Big Stuff

My sister Win Win and I are very close, but given that we live 9 hours away from each other by plane it’s not easy for us to catch up and have a girl’s night out. I have been quite lucky and saw her a couple more times this year, and even though she was 5 months pregnant she still came back to visit me and meet Cupcake for the first time :) Now that’s what I call #sisterlove hehe Anyhow, I got an invite to visit Mr Big Stuff a new American Soul inspired restaurant on Meyers Place. I ditched Mr Bao and decided to bring Win Wing with me.

Mr Big Stuff

I’m a granny eater meaning I like to eat early to give myself enough time to digest and eat two rounds of dessert. We arrived at just past 6pm and it was good, because there was ample street parking and also a large parking station right across the restaurant. As soon as I walked in, I really like the atmosphere with a live DJ playing music in the background playing music that wasn’t too noisy you had to scream on top of each other’s voices to hear.

Wicked Watermelon (Non Alcoholic) $8.5

Wicked Watermelon (Non Alcoholic) $8.5

The menu is designed for sharing with drinks on the first two pages, then entrees, medium dishes and larger and finishing with desserts. We were recommended the cold pressed juices, which can be mode with non-alcoholic or alcoholic. We both ordered the non-alcoholic drink so we can share and try. I chose the ‘Wicked Watermelon’ with cold pressed watermelon, fresh lemon juice and soda water. Usually I steer away from watermelon juices, because they’re always grainy and have a lot of added sugary which makes it taste artificial. However, this one was different, it was fresh and refreshing and tartness from the lemon.

Soarin Strawberry Lemonade $8.5

Soarin Strawberry Lemonade $8.5

Win Win got the Soarin Strawberry Lemonade which is the same with me, however, replaced cold press watermelon with strawberry. It was just as thirst quenching and we both enjoyed it. I think I prefer the watermelon but for strawberry lovers you must try this~

Cheers to girls night out!

Cheers to girls night out!

Cheers to a girl’s night out!!! We should definitely try and do this more often :D

Jumbo Prawns $6

Jumbo Prawns $6

We then shared a couple of small stuff from the menu, this is the Jumbo Prawn dusted with corn meal, cajun spiced and prawn head mayonnaise. The prawn was cooked until tender and I completely understand why people say the flavour is all in the prawns head now! The mayonnaise was so delicious, Win Win asked the to leave it even after we’ve finished so she can use it for other things lol

Grilled Corn $5

Grilled Corn $5

I only recently realised I like corn so much hahaha I probably eat it every day or at least every second day, we tried the Grilled Corn here with garlic and black pepper butter. Let’s just say I regret sharing and wanted one whole cob to myself.

Pork Slider $9

Pork Slider $9.5

*palm face* I had to explain to Win Win what sliders were she couldn’t get the concept of mini burgers haha we shared the Pork Slider with braised pork shoulder and pickles. I felt the pulled was a little under seasoned and would have been better with some more salt and perhaps pepper.

Hot sauce!

Hot sauce!

I added some of the Hot Stuff hot sauce on the table and that really helped bring out the flavour of the pork.

Fried Chicken and Waffle $19

Fried Chicken and Waffle $19

It was then time to move onto the more substantial dishes and I knew I absolutely HAD to order the Fried Chicken and Waffles dish. I have heard and seen this dish in so many American TV shows, it’s always intrigued me, how does it work waffles which I associate as breakfast or dessert with fried chicken.

Mr Big Stuff fried chicken and waffle These waffles were also served with spiced maple syrup so it was definitely a combination of sweet and savoury. So how did my virgin fried chicken and waffle experience go? It was awesome! The fried chicken was crispy and juicy, but what really impressed me was the waffles! It had the perfect texture which I look for in waffles, where it feels light as a feather on the outside, but still retaining its slightly doughiness inside. Highly recommend anyone who would like to pop their fried chicken and waffle cherry to come here!

Tongue & Cheek $34

Tongue & Cheek $34

From the Big Stuff section of the menu, we tried the Tongue & Cheek – veal grilled tongue, braised cheek, sweet potato puree. This was a dish Win Win and I both enjoyed, the braised cheek was melt in your mouth type tender and I really liked the sweet potato puree which added some sweetness to the overall dish.

Corn Bread $6

Corn Bread $6

I know this is a little strange to rave on about the corn bread, and trust me I am no expert but this corn bread served in a little skillet really impressed me.

Mr Big Stuff corn bread

It was so moist that it felt like a freshly baked oven muffin and because I love the flavour and smell so much, I could honestly eat a whole one by myself. Win Win didn’t really understand why I made such a fuss about the cornbread but it’s good! Please try and let me know what you think!

Buttermilk Caesar $12

Buttermilk Caesar $12

My sister will never pass on the chance of ordering a Caesar salad, I’m pretty sure it is the only salad she eat…the rest she calls bird food. Yes we’re very similar yet different haha! The Buttermilk Caesar salad had crispy bacon, white anchovy and buttermilk dressing topped with what I assume to be parmesan cheese. Worked as a good palate cleanser for the other richer foods were consumed, and I liked the lighter how the white anchovy wasn’t as pungent.

Quince & Rhubarb Cobbler $10

Quince & Rhubarb Cobbler $10

They don’t have a large dessert selection here at Mr Big Stuff, which is a shame because I would’ve loved to see a sundae or a cheesecake on the menu. They only have two desserts, first was the Quince and Rhubarb cobbler topped with Vanilla ice-cream. I haven’t had many cobblers but this one felt more like a pudding with not much of a cobbler topping.

Apple pie $10

Apple pie $10

Can’t get any more American than Apple pie in my opinion and these had spiced rum and also cinnamon sugar dusted all over it.These were shaped like little dumpling which I found that they’re called hand pies.

*Warning* Super HOT!

*Warning* Super HOT!

Warning everyone!!! These were super piping hot inside so because when eating them, I couldn’t really taste the spiced rum in the filling but it was warm and comforting none the less. They were also a good sized not too big or small, a good bite size.

Mr Big Stuff 2

 

It was a fun night catching up with my sister, chatting about bags, clothes and random things :) We enjoyed most of the dishes we tried. I think if you’re looking for a place for casual dinner with friends or your partner, Mr Big Stuff is a great place. It’s relaxed and chilled where you can let your hair down, have a drink, enjoy the music and most importantly the fried chicken and waffles!

Mr Big Stuff on Urbanspoon

Daisy@Nevertoosweet and Win Win dined at Mr Big Stuff as their guest. 

New Venture – Stagger Lee’s

There seems to be an endless list of new cafes always opening up in Melbourne, I do understand because Melbournians love their brunch meals and I’m definitely one of them :) This time Stagger Lee’s a new venture by Proud Mary  a long standing favourite cafe of mine and arguably one of the most popular cafes.

Not far from its sister cafe, Stagger Lee is located on the busy Brunswick Street in Fitzroy becoming a new neighbour of Naked By Satan, N2 Gelato, Babka and many more eateries.

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Mr Bao and I caught up with the always beautiful Sarah (Sarah Cooks), we organised to meet up at 12pm, I expected a super long wait but it wasn’t too bad if we wanted a table inside it might’ve been a 10 or 15 minute wait. We got a little impatient and thought it was warm enough with our big jackets so we took a table outside.

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I could definitely see some similarities of the menu between Stagger Lee’s and Proud Mary, there appears to a few more Asian inspired dishes on the menu here though. Either way, I was hungry and excited to try French Toast! So glad Sarah has a sweet tooth too and we decided to share it after our savoury brunch dish.

Latte $3.8

Latte $3.8

We’ve always liked the coffee at Proud Mary, so we knew we wouldn’t be disappointed here. I ordered a Latte using their house blend flavours were quite subtle with fruity notes.

Magic $3.8

Magic $3.8

Mr Bao’s usual a magic with I’m pretty sure one of the single origins, however, I’ve completely forgotten the origin (sorry fail blogger!), but he does remember the tasting notes to overall be nutty with notes of grape.

Fat Bacon Toasty $14.5

Fat Bacon Toasty $14.5

Sarah ordered the Fat Bacon Toasty which had apple wood smoked bacon, gruyere fondu, fried egg served with winter greens and chutney. Great choice because I was eyeing this dish too, I tried a little bite and was really impressed with all the flavours and have mentally noted that I want this next time I come.

Stack & Billy Burger $16.5

Stack & Billy Burger $16.5

If there’s burger on the menu, Mr Bao is more than likely to order it! This time it was the Stack & Billy burger hehe really liked this quirky name. The patty was made from Black angus shin, topped with bacon, American mustard, catsup, aioli picked and cheddar served with bacon croquettes as opposed to chips. I wasn’t a fan of the patty as I found it to be a little gamey for me, however, Mr Bao seemed to enjoy it and liked the fattiness beef flavour. Instead I really enjoyed the bacon croquettes and think more places should replace their chips with these ~

Buttermilk Fried Chicken $18.5

Buttermilk Fried Chicken $18.5

Recently I’ve been really into fried chicken so couldn’t pass the chance of trying their Buttermilk Fried Chicken with cauliflower rice, jalapeño, lime mayo and kimchi.  The fried chicken was covered in a light batter and deep fried but wasn’t too greasy, I think it was a tad underseasoned, but the cauliflower rice was actually a highlight for me, crunchy and spicy. I’d love to replicate this at home and it into a salad I can take into work for lunch :)

Coco Pop and Salted Caramel French Toast $15.5

Coco Pop and Salted Caramel French Toast $15.5

Who said Coco Pops were only for kids? Now us adults can have Coco Pops as part of this lovely French toast dish :D It sure made me smile and bring back good memories, I remember maybe once a year my mum would let me buy a box of Coco Pops and eat that for breakfast. Going back to the French Toast it consisted of a large piece of brioche bread toasted, covered in salted caramel sauce, vanilla ice-cream and crushed honeycomb and raspberry. This has my name all over it, so I highly recommend you trying!

I really enjoyed our visit at Stagger Lee’s service was wonderful all staff friendly and helpful. Mr Bao seems to enjoy Proud Mary more but I think that’s just because that’s his all time favourite and has that emotional connection. For those who have visited Proud Mary and like their style of coffee and food, I think it’s worth giving Stagger Lee a go, they have their similarities without the crazy long queues, but not sure how long this will last, so get in and try before it gets too busy! Thanks again for catching up Sarah, I had an awesome time and can’t wait to do it again soon!

Stagger Lee's on Urbanspoon

Lobster, Oyster & More – The Bostonian

My Dearest Readers, are you a huge fan of seafood? Let you in on a secret, growing up I wasn’t really a fan, I’ll eat most seafood like fish, scallops (I actually love), prawns and crab. Oysters was a whole different story, I would only eat them cooked but the it all change a couple of years ago when I went to Tasmania, I had some super freshly shucked oysters and now I really like them :) However, Mr Bao is the one who is nuts about oysters he’ll order then whenever they’re on the menu and can’t get enough of them! I think his record was 3 or 4 dozens in one seating.

The Bostonian

The Bostonian

Anyhow, I’m getting side tracked with today’s post! The reason why I brought up the topic was oysters is because I wanted to share with you our recent seafood feast at The Bostonian at the The Langham Hotel in Hong Kong, where we got to sample a wide variety of oysters. An overview of The Bostonian mainly focuses on seafood and steak and is located in the basement of the hotel, underneath Main St Deli. I haven’t had the chance to explore much of America, but the decor and atmosphere of the restaurant sort of reminds me of a underground secret restaurant for the rich and famous in the 1960s :P Or maybe that’s just my imagination hehe

Oyster Bar

Oyster Bar

I recognised the manager Brendan from my last visit to the Langham and we chatted like old friends, he led us to a quiet table at the back and introduced us to their menu. When we visited they had a lobster themed menu and also a 3 course lobster dinner set. I couldn’t wipe the smile off Mr Bao’s face as he walked past the oyster bar, there were at least 30-40 different kinds of fresh oysters imported from around the world. I had no idea there were so many kinds of oysters in this world! I let Mr Bao pick the ones he wanted, while I focused on choosing the wine.

Chardonnay

Chardonnay

Sorry for my bad memory but I don’t quite remember the name of the Chardonnay we had but I do know it’s from Spain and it was recommended as it would compliment our seafood dishes very well. Even though I found it to be a little dry, Mr Bao really liked how well it went with the lobster.

Fresh bread

Fresh bread

While Mr Bao was still choosing the oysters, a board of bread – white with olives, rye and multigrain was placed on our table. But I had my eyes on the mini crab cake instead.

Maine Crab Cakes

This was the complimentary start, a mini version of their signature Maine Crab Cake served with spiced avocado aioli. After having this bite sized treat, I regret not ordering more, it had a crispy toasted texture on the outside but it was the intense crab flavour that really got me.

La Perie Blance, Tsarskaya and Royale Cabanon

La Perle Blanche, Tsarskaya and Royale Cabanon per 6 $208HKD ($28.5AUD)

We didn’t want to go overboard with the oysters as there was so much food on its way, Mr Bao chose 3 types of oysters for us to try from – La Perle Blanche, Tsarskaya and Royale Cabanon correct me if I’m wrong my Dear Readers, but I’m pretty sure they’re all from France, please don’t take my word for it because I’m no expert ~ Brendan explained to us that you always eat the oysters from the right of the lemon, reason being the oysters are organised from the lightest tasting to the strongest flavour towards the back. It was also served with vinegar and cocktail sauce.

La Perle Blanche oysters

La Perle Blanche oysters

My favourite were these large La Perle Blanche oysters which had a a firm texture, decent seawater flavour but still remained some sweetness.

Pan-fried Foie Gras $258HKD ($35AUD)

Pan-fried Foie Gras $258HKD ($35AUD)

Some how I really wanted Foie Gras that night, and felt that more restaurants in Hong Kong serve foie gras compared to Melbourne. This was the pan-fried Foie Gras with Port-raisin spinach, raisin-pear chutney and sour chicken natural jus. Not much I can fault about this entree, since it’s hard to go wrong with foie gras anything and thought the raisin-pear chutney was perfect to cut through some of the richness.

New England Chowder

New England Chowder

Brendan highly recommended the New England Chowder claiming it to be one of their signature soups. I loved the presentation of the soup in a round sourdough roll, I don’t think I’ve had a soup served like this before! I only recently found out there are so many different types of clam chowders, but the New England is a milk creamed based and this one had a generous amount of seafood – clams, scallops and prawns.

The Bostonian Lobster Bisque $138HKD ($19AUD)

The Bostonian Lobster Bisque $138HKD ($19AUD)

Another recommendation from another waiter was The Bostonian Lobster Bisque with Canadian jumbo scallop and Maine Lobster. I really wonder how many lobsters were used to make this bisque, it was wonderfully fragrant and tasty.

Lobster Bisque

Lobster Bisque

Moving onto the mains, we both ordered from the Lobster menu. This is the Lobster Two ways I got, half of the lobster was baked with vine ripe tomatoes, while the other was baked in garlic butter and Cep mushroom. Both were delicious, but I think I prefer the garlic butter one more because the butter accentuated the flavour of the lobster.

Lobster Two Ways $638HKD ($87.5AUD)

Lobster Two Ways $638HKD ($87.5AUD)

Mr Bao ordered the Casserole of Lobster and Cherry Stone Clam with penne pasta and lobster sauce. Even though it was summer in Hong Kong, I think this would be the perfect dish for the cold winter nights we’re currently experiencing in Melbourne.

Casserole of Lobster and Cherry Stone Clam $648HKD ($88.75AUD)

Casserole of Lobster and Cherry Stone Clam $648HKD ($88.75AUD)

Look at the lobster claw :D The shell had been removed so all we had to do was put it in our mouth ~ We also liked the penne pasta was al dente and not too soft which helped scoop up the lobster sauce.

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My meals always end with a sweet note, Hazelnut crunch and chocolate mousse with caramelised hazelnut ice-cream. Brendan told me this recipe was from a French Michelin star chef who had gave the recipe to chefs at The Bostonian last time he visited. It’s definitely my type of dessert, I love anything with hazelnuts and that crunchy base was lovely!

Hazelnut Crunch and Chocolate Mousse $98HKD ($13.5AUD)

Hazelnut Crunch and Chocolate Mousse $98HKD ($13.5AUD)

It felt wrong for me to leave without trying the Boston Cream Pie since we were at the BOSTONIAN :P Believe it or not, it’s actually the first time I’ve ever nada a Boston Cream Pie before. Sure I’ve seen it in recipe books and heard about it, but never come across it. I blame that it’s because I live in Australia hehe Even though it called a pie, it’s actually vanilla sponge cakes with cream and custard filling with chocolate frosting.

Boston Cream Pie $98HKD ($13AUD)

Boston Cream Pie $98HKD ($13.5AUD)

I’m sure this is a fancier version using Valrhona chocolate and gold flakes on top. The sponge cake was light and still remained quite moist. Brendan mentioned their plans to add more desserts to their menu which would be awesome, and I’m looking forward to coming back and trying them!

If you would like to experience some Boston inspired dishes in Hong Kong, I would definitely recommend The Bostonian. Keep an eye out on their specials too, they recently had a Man VS Steak challenge which I found really interesting too. Customers were asked to finish a 1.5kg steak with 2 sides and chips, valued at $1980HKD ($271AUD) and if they could finish all the food in 1.5 hours it was all free! I wish I had known about this offer earlier because I’m sure Mr Bao would be able to do it! Would like to say a huge Thank You to the Langham, Hong Kong for having me again, it’s always a pleasure coming back as everyone is always so nice and friendly. Will definitely come back and visit next time I’m in town!

The Bostonian
The Langham, Hong Kong 
8 Peking Road
Tsimshatsui
Kowloon
Hong Kong
PH:+(852) 2375 1133 

Daisy@Nevertoosweet and Mr Bao dined at The Bostonian as guests of The Langham Hong Kong Hotel 

RSPCA Cupcake Day – Chocolate Marshmallow Cupcake

Facebook_Cover_ImageHello Readers :) I’m really excited to tell you that I’ve been asked to be one of RSPCA’s Online Ambassadors for their Cupcake Day this year ~ I’ve always wanted to participate in Cupcake Day, but it makes it even more meaningful now that I have a dog and his name is conveniently Cupcake! It’s pretty simple I was basically I was asked to make a cupcake and share there recipe to help them promote their event.

For those who aren’t familiar with Cupcake Day you can read more about it here, but to give you an overview, on the 18th of August you can get together with some family, friends or colleagues and organise your own Cupcake Day event. Make some cupcake sell them for how much you would like to, and donate the money paid for the Cupcakes.

Chocolate Marshmallow Cupcake

Chocolate Marshmallow Cupcake

I’ve made a couple of cupcakes and looking forward to sharing them with you guys ~ The first one is this Chocolate Marshmallow Cupcake. I was going through all my books, blogs, websites looking for a cupcake recipe I wanted try. Eventually, I decided to ask my pregnant sister to see if she had any cravings and she said ‘marshmallows!’ So that’s when I made these Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow frosting.

Chocolate Marshmallow Cupcake

Chocolate Marshmallow Cupcake

These cupcakes are relatively easy to make, the only tricky part would be the marshmallow frosting which requires a sugar thermometer but if you follow Not Quite Nigella’s recipe like I did, it shouldn’t be too hard ;)

Before I give you a recipe, there’s a little surprise in the cupcakes, I not only decided to make marshmallow frosting, I decided to put a marshmallow inside the cupcakes too! It gave it a little more texture and flavour. My sister lives in Hong Kong so

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Make sure you put the marshmallow in while the cupcake is still warm so it will melt slightly! Mr Bao, some friends and colleagues have done the taste test and they give me the thumbs up. I hope you’ve convinced you to make these cupcakes and perhaps have your own little Cupcake Day even on the 18th of August with some friends and family to raise some money to help those animal in need ~

Recipe – Chocolate Cupcake with Marshmallow frosting from Hummingbird Bakery and Not Quite Nigella 

Yields – 10 Cupcakes 

Cupcake
100g plain flour
20g cocoa powder
140g caster sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
40g unsalted butter, at room temperature
120ml whole milk
1/4tsp vanilla extra/paste

Marshmallow frosting – From Not Quite Nigella 
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup cold water
4 egg whites (about 120g)
A pinch of cream of tartar

Method
Cupcakes 
1) Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F).
2) Put te flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter into an electric mixer with the paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat on slow speed until it reaches a sandy consistency and everything is combined.
3) Gradually pour in half of the milk (120ml) and beat until the milk is just incorporated.
4) Whisk the egg, vanilla extract and remaining milk (120ml) together in a separate jug for a few seconds, then pour into the flour mixture and continue beating until just incorporated (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a spatula). Continue mixing for a couple of minutes until the mixture is smooth. Be careful do not over mix.
5) Spoon mixture into cupcake until it is about 1/3 full and bake for 20-25 minutes, test by using toothpick if it is clear it is cooked.
6) Once cooked remove from oven and let them sit for 5 minutes, then carefully using a spoon scoop a little whole in the cupcake and place a marshmallow inside, and cover with remaining cake to make it smooth for piping.

Marshmallow Icing

1) Place egg whites and cream of tartar into bowl of an electric mixture with the whisk attachment.
2) Place sugar and water into small saucepan without string and make a syrup, cooking until 114C/238F use a sugar thermometer to check precise temperature.
3) When sugar syrup nearly reaches temperature, whisk the eggs on the highest setting until you get soft peaks. Once sugar syrup reaches 114C, with the whisk still on, slowly add to egg whites and continue whisking until thick and stiff.

When cupcakes are cool, you can now pipe the marshmallow icing on top :)

Happy Baking everyone!

Chocolate Marshmallow Cupcake

 

International Ice-Cream Month – Let’s Party!

My Dearest Readers, it’s now July and it’s getting seriously cold in Melbourne…on Tuesday when I went to work it was only 4 degrees! But that won’t stop be from eating ice-cream and guess what it’s actually International Ice-Cream Month! Yup it actually exists :) I didn’t know that myself, until Harry’s Ice-Cream and Keep Left PR contacted me and asked if I was interested in hosting an Ice-cream party with everything provided, ice-cream (of course) and all the different types of toppings I wanted!

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I most definitely could not turn this offer down :D Now you all know I can eat ice-cream for dinner, but I’m not sure Mr Bao or my friends would appreciate that, so I decided to double it up and make it a dinner party followed by an ice-cream party! So for dinner we decided to have a Shanghainese themed pot luck and we all made a dish.

Shanghainese Themed dinner

We made pork and vegetable wontons, not sure if it’s really Shanghainese but they some how felt like they fitted ~

Pork and Veggie Wonton

Pork and Veggie Wonton

I’m not sure if anyone is interested in the recipe, it’s one that Mr Bao’s grandma uses and we love it! I love eating it with chilli oil the hotter the better! Let me know if you’d like the recipe and we will post it ~

Lion's heat meatball

Lion’s head meatball

Our friend Momo made Lion’s head meatball, they got their name because of their shape which resembles a lion not really sure where that came from but haha anyhow these are not just any lion’s head, these have a secret inside! If you follow me on Instagram you will already know hehe, Momo put quail eggs inside! Which made it extra tasty!

IMG_9073Ok now lets move back to the main reason for our dinner party and that was the for the Ice-Cream Party! Let’s start with the toppings, I was a little selfish and got all my favourites. Mini Oreos, chocolate chips, marshmallows, sprinkles, assorted M&Ms, desiccated coconut, Nutella and Gingersnap cookies :) What’s some of your favourite toppings?

Sticky Date Pudding and Pavlova Ice-cream

Sticky Date Pudding and Pavlova Ice-cream

We all started with a scoop of Sticky Date Pudding and Pavlova with passionfruit and was free to add any toppings we wanted.

Whats your favourite topping?

I dressed my ice-cream with mini Oreos, I reckon their better than the original ones, crispier hehe assorted M&M’s and of course some 100s and 1000s to finish off ~ I think all the toppings worked really well with the ice-cream not overpowering the flavours.

Double Sticky Date!

Double Sticky Date!

Very lucky to have friends who are chef ;) was half persuaded and half forced to make her famous sticky date pudding paired with Harry’s Sticky Date Pudding Ice-cream plush that amazing butterscotch sauce. And that’s how we ended up with Double Sticky Date pudding dessert, and trust me it will not be the last time I do this, I loved the intense date flavour and surprisingly it wasn’t actually that sweet, Mr Bao agrees too.

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Thank you Harry’s Ice-cream and KeepLeft PR my friends and I had so much fun with the ice-cream party at home and we can’t wait to do it again, perhaps by then it will be warmer and we’ll have a barbecue and the part outside ~ If you haven’t tried Harry’s Ice-cream before they are currently sold at Woolworths, Foodland and IGA for all stockists refer to this link.

Daisy@Nevertoosweet and friends was sent Harry’s Ice-cream and Keep Left PR to try and review. All opinions are my own and honest. 

 

Seasons and Sunraysia Farmers Market – Mildura Part 2

Took me a while but there’s part 2 of our Mildura trip and I’m definitely missing our time there, we had so much time to relax and rejuvenate from our usually busy schedule. Anyhow, I emailed Visit Mildura the tourism board for some tips and recommendations for places to go, they kindly invited me to dine at Seasons’ restaurant to try their dishes with a focus on using local produce.

Seasons

I soon realised that most restaurants were located on Langtree Ave and Ninth St in Mildura, which can make parking a bit of a hassle, but other than that, we had no troubles finding Seasons which is actually part of the Mildura Grand Hotel where Stefanos is downstairs in the basement.

SeasonsWe arrived a couple of minutes late and was greeted by the owner and operator Andy Williams, he jokes “how can a food expert be late for their own meal?” hahaha that is true… I really need to work on being more punctual and not being late all the time :P I noticed that there was another restaurant on the left which Andy explains to me is The new Spanish Bar & Grill which they also operate.

Somerby Cider

Somerby Cider

Andy offered us a drink to start of with and I immediately went the Somerby Cider on tap as it’s one of my favourite ones, light and crisp is how I would describe it ~

Double Press Dry Cider

Double Press Dry Cider

Mr Bao chose the Double Press Dry Cider which we haven’t seen before, and we could definitely taste the difference, much stronger in flavour and not as sweet. Wonder if I can find this in liquor stores in Melbourne.

Rich spicy prawn with local buttermilk pumpkin soup $18

Rich spicy prawn with local buttermilk pumpkin soup $18

To start of our meal, Mr Bao surprised me by ordering the spicy prawn with buttermilk pumpkin soup, because he’s never voluntarily ordered or ate pumpkin. He has nothing against it but simply isn’t a fan of it. I on the other hand, love pumpkin so I was thrilled he ordered this otherwise I would have hehe. The soup was more like a very thick puree with with spicy prawns, dollop of cream and also cayenne pepper which provided the spiciness. And I’m warning those who can’t take spice to reconsider before ordering this soup, I thought it was perfect because I love spicy food and the prawns were so big and so flavoursome.

Local Zucchini Fritters $14

Local Zucchini Fritters $14

I went for a lighter starter and chose the Local Zucchini fritters with garlic yoghurt tzatziki, the fritters were lightly coated and deep fried, giving it that crispiness on the outside but still remaining warm and fluffy inside.

Tasmanian Atlantic Salmon $30

Tasmanian Atlantic Salmon $30

I ordered the Tasmanian Atlantic Salmon for my main and it had all my favourite on one plate The salmon was grilled to perfection with a great crust but still keeping it lightly pink in the middle. It also came with cauliflower puree, green bean and cherry tomato salad and also a little creamed horseradish on top. It was another lighter main but still feeling which meant I still had lots of room for dessert :)

Fillet Mignon $39

Fillet Mignon $39

Mr Bao is a true meat eater, so he got the Grass-fed eye fillet, wrapped in bacon with a potato croquette, crouton and a creamy mushroom sauce with also a bed go green beans. A very hearty dish with a generous cut of meat, the bacon was a simple addition, however, provided so much more flavour! We both agree we should try copying this idea and adding some bacon to our steak next time we have it at home ~

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Sticky Date Pudding with Sesame ice-cream $14

I’m a huge sucker for all puddings especially sticky date! Quite unique for them to pair it with sesame ice-cream, surprisingly worked quite well and gave it a more Asian twist to a very traditional English dessert ~

Chocolate almond cake $14

Chocolate almond cake $14

We also tried the Chocolate Almond Cake with poached Quince on top. These are relatively new fruit to me, because growing up my parents never bought quince, it’s quite interesting to know quinces are actually yellow in colour and have a similar texture to pears. But when they’re poached for a period of time, they slowly turn into a reddish orange colour. The cake was wonderfully moreish and I really enjoyed the thick layer of chocolate ganache.

Owner Andy and Mr Bao

Owner Andy and Mr Bao

Mr Bao and I had a chat with Andy the owner and he said that they use to work at Stefanos before opening his own restaurants and even though it gets busy and tough he really enjoys what he does. Andy and his wife Mandy decided to name their restaurants Seasons because they want to change the menu according to seasons and use as many local produces as possible. I think they’ve done a great job in showcasing local produce. We thoroughly enjoyed our meal at Seasons and we’re looking forward to returning on our next visit.

Seasons on Urbanspoon

Daisy@Nevertoosweet and Mr Bao dined as Guests of Seasons Restaurant and Visit Mildura. 

After all that food, we got back to our cottage to a very excited puppy and we were soon in a food coma. I made sure we set our alarms to get up early because I wanted to visit the Sunraysia Farmers Markets that held at Jaycee Park, 1st and 3rd Saturday of every month starting at 8am to 12pm.

Sunraysia Markets

Sunraysia Farmers Markets

We arrived at just past 9am and it was already quite busy and it took us a while to find parking, Mildura was colder than I expected so I was glad we had all our big jackets and scarfs on. The market was separated into two sides, one was where all the food stalls were and in the middle were table and chairs. Other side had more art and craft such as handmade paintings, jewellery and some antiques.

Thai Pumpkin Soup $3

We must have arrived at a busy time, there were long queues everywhere, so we decided to walk around the market before we decided what we wanted. We stopped by a stall which sold pre made soups and got a Thai Pumpkin Soup each.

Thai Pumpkin Soup $3

Thai Pumpkin Soup $3

The soup was very smooth and creamy with fresh chives sprinkled on top. If we weren’t leaving so soon, I would have definitely bought a package or two of the soup home with me :) It was the perfect to warm both our stomach and hands.

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The stalls sold a lot of local produce and most Australians would remember the advertising effort in the late 80s and 90s which promotes Mildura for its oranges. So being the tourist that I am, of course I bought a bag back with me hehe

I was also told that Mildura produces the largest quality of almonds in Australia so I stopped by to grab a bag of almond flour and some very addictive smoked almonds which taste like they have been coated in bacon. I also picked up a couple of handmade cookies for our little puppy Cupcake which he appreciated.

Sunraysia Market Doggie

And just in case you were wondering, Sunraysia Farmers Market is 100% dog friendly as long as your dog is on a leash and remains calm I assume :) Cupcake has such a good time sniffing around and making new friends with every dog and person he came across.

Buddhas Hands

Budhas Hands

I also saw some interesting vegetables that I’ve never seen before such as these Budhas Hands. Has anyone cooked or seem these before? I’d love to know what they taste like!

We then wondered back to the main food stall and Mr Bao queued up, while I stayed back to mind our table. For about $9 you can get a full plate of breakfast and a whole table full of condiments mainly homemade chutneys and jams to choose from.

Big Breakfast $9

Big Breakfast $9

I don’t exactly remember how much the big breakfast was, but I’m pretty sure it was under $10 which is very affordable. It came with bacon, pork sausage, baked beans, fried egg, some broccoli and toasted bread. A very a homey and delicious breakfast, we particularly liked the pork sausage.

Muesli with poached quince and yoghurt $8.5

Muesli with poached quince and yoghurt $8.5   Freshly squeezed orange juice $4

I got a toasted muesli with poached quince and creamy Greek yoghurt. Another simple breakfast, but the poached quince was so beautiful so soft and sweet. Mr Bao also got us some freshly squeezed orange juice which wasn’t as sweet as I expected but I guess that’s because it’s 100% juice and no sugar added  ~

All three of us – Mr Bao, Cupcake and myself all had a wonderful time at Sunraysia Farmers Market and would recommend it to anyone who wants to experience life as a local Mildurian :D And don’t forget to bring the little furry kids!

1st and 3rd Saturday every Month
Jaycee Park, Mildura
Telephone: 0439 252 342
Email: info@sunraysiafarmersmarket.com.au

 

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