Tag Archives: Cheese

First Attempt – Hummingbird Cake

Thanks everyone ;) For letting me whinge, I’m feeling much better now ~ my back is recovering, manager seems better today and as for the rest I’m just trying to learn to forgive and forget :D


Last month, I was extra organised and had planned two things I wanted to bake for Alphabakes :) This month’s host is Caroline Makes and even though she’s already done the round up ~ I still wanted to share this recipe with you because it’s a recipe that I’ve been waiting to make for such a long time and I finally got the perfect excuse to make it hehe!

I made my first ever Hummingbird Cake ~

Hummingbird Cake

For those who haven’t heard or had Hummingbird Cake before, its an American cake and was first published in Southern Living by Mrs L.H. Wiggins in 1979. Unless you’ve tried it, it’s quite hard to explain the taste as it’s got a combination of pineapple, banana and coconut with a cream cheese frosting. It’s got a very similar texture to carrot cake, but in my opinion it’s even softer and MOISTER :)

I had it for breakfast, lunch and dinner the next day :)

I was really happy with how the Hummingbird Cake turned out, however, it would’ve been better if it had spent 5mins more in the oven hehe I have to admit it was ‘slightly’ undercooked but still SO delicious with the cream cheese frosting my favourite!

Recipe – Hummingbird Cake adapted from Good Taste 

Ingredients (serves 10)
Olive oil, to grease
20g (1/3 cup) shredded coconut
265g (1 3/4 cup)  self-raising flour
200 g (1 cup, firmly packed) dark brown sugar
45g (1/2 cup) desiccated coconut
1 teaspoon bi-carb soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 x 440g can crushed pineapple in natural syrup/juice
3 small ripe or 2 medium bananas, mashed
185 ml (3/4) extra light olive oil
2 eggs, light whisked

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 x 250g packet, cream cheese soften
100 unsalted butter, soften
450 g (3cups) icing sugar
3 teaspoon milk


Method
1)  Preheat oven to 160°C. Brush a round 22cm (base measurement) cake pan with olive oil and grease well. Line the base and side with non-stick baking paper. Spread the flaked coconut over a baking tray. Bake for 5-8 minutes or until toasted.
2) Combine the flour, sugar, desiccated coconut, bicarb soda and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add the pineapple, banana, into the prepared pan.

3) Bake in oven, covering the cake with foil if it browns too quickly, for 1 hour 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave in pan for 10 minutes to cool before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
4) To make the cream cheese frosting, use an electric beater/stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter in a bowl. Add the icing sugar gradually and beat until well combined. Add milk and beat to combine.

Hummingbird Cake

5)  Place the cake on a plate. Spread the cream cheese frosting over the top and side of the cake. Sprinkle with toasted flaked coconut and serve.

Hope you like the Hummingbird Cake and will try to make it sometime, because it’s simply one of those addictive cakes :D Oh before I go I thought I’d share with you a funny story, while making the cake, I realised we didn’t have a can opener which I needed to open the crushed pineapple with. I was freaking out, and even resorted to knocking on our neighbours doors, but unfortunately she didn’t have one either…but at least I now know a lovely couple live across us and I’d promised to bring her a piece of cake ~ I was so close to giving it all up…but then I decided to Google it…and there were actually lots of Youtube videos teaching you how to open a can without a can opener :P

So that’s exactly what Mr Bao did LOL

Thanks Mr Bao ~

Thanks to Mr Bao, he opened my can of crushed pineapple and I was able to finish making the Hummingbird Cake :) WOO HOO! Please excuse the messy kitchen benchtop hehe I haven’t had time to clean up~ That’s it for today, hope we all have a wonderful week!

Second Chances – The Swiss Chalet

I like to think of myself as a forgiving person and I usually give people and restaurant second chances :) Because sometimes restaurants are actually good, just it was bad luck that one time I went ~ That’s why when Win Win suggested that we go to The Swiss Chalet again, I immediately agreed. But I remember our last visit wasn’t great and we weren’t that happy with the food, but it was such a long time ago, that neither of us remember when we visited.

The Swiss Chalet in TST

Win Win and I met up during her lunch break one day ~ I think they had just opened, because we got there at around 12:15pm and it was empty.

Decorated nicely with ornaments ~

We were immediately led to our table in the back of the restaurant, and looking around, for a few moments, I thought I was transported to a restaurant in Switzerland, because of all the authentic ornaments :) I miss Geneva been a long time since I’ve visited ~

I liked the paintings ~

I liked all the ornaments hanging on the wall, but I particularly liked the paintings they had around :) Win Win only has an hour and half, and had to rush back to Central, so we immediately studied the menu and quickly decided we’ll get a 3 course set lunch for $170HKD ($20.50AUD) plus 10% service charge and also a traditional fondue set for one.

Once we placed our orders, another waitress rushed up to our table, with a bread basket in her hand and offered us a piece of bread.

Soggy microwaved bread!

I don’t usually take pictures of the bread, but this one was horrific! It was limpy and soggy and judging from the warmth of the bread, I’m pretty sure they had just put it in the microwave. This really is unacceptable to me! Neither of us even touched the bread.

For the appetizer, we were allowed to change it to a small portion of the Raclette cheese ~ instead of deed fried mozzarella or potato gratin with chicken leg mushroom.

Hot Melted Raclette Cheese a la carte $60HKD($7.2AUD) for a taster portion

Win Win doesn’t really like raclette cheese and thinks this dish is always too ‘salty’ ~ but I really liked it, I haven’t had this dish for a long time and missed the rich and savoury taste of it :) I didn’t really like the pickle though…I think that’s more of a personal preference ~

Pan-friend Pork medallions with escargot and herb butter

Because it came with the lunch menu, I don’t have the price of this main sorry! The pan-fried pork medallions was cooked reasonably well, as personally I think it’s quite hard to pan fry pork chops, it’s so easy to overcook or undercook them. However, the medallions were SO salty! Win Win and I shared the two pieces, but neither of us could finish it. The escargots on top were flavoured with a herb butter, not bad, yet nothing too exciting. The pasta on the left was undercooked and then placed into the oven, so they weren’t really cooked properly :(

Traditional Cheese Fondue $198HKD ($24AUD) per person

At The Swiss Chalet, they had a wide range of cheese fondues like cheese with fresh mixed mushrooms and herbs or Vacherin Fribougeois with sliced garlic accompanied by sautéed beef tenderloin cubes. We were getting so confused with the different types of fondue’s, because we’re use to having the cheese fondue at Chesa and they only had the one type. So we stuck with the traditional fondue which was a mixture of cheese with dry white wine and served with bread.

The cheese fondue itself wasn’t too bad, but we couldn’t taste any white wine or kirsch. We’re not sure if they’ve put less in to accommodate HK people’s tastes, who may not like the taste of wine in their fondues. Win Win and I are used to having traditional cheese fondues with a decent amount of white wine. This was a major let down, because we really came back just to try the cheese fondue :(

Stale bread :(

To make things worse, the bread cubes used to dip into the cheese fondue was SO stale! I say it’s probably 2 to 3 days old…it was so tough and hard to chew. I really can’t accept the quality of bread here…I can understand if they don’t make their own bread…but they should at least put the effort into sourcing better quality bread and should never serve stale bread to customers!

Wild Berries baked with Vanilla Custard

The lunch menu also came with a dessert which was a wild berries baked with vanilla custard and vanilla ice-cream. It was obvious that the vanilla custard came out of a package and frozen berries were tossed in without any sugar. It was exceptionally sour. The vanilla ice-cream was nice though, and thankfully we could see the ‘little black dots’, which I assume are seeds from a vanilla pod, meaning that it was a high quality store-bought vanilla ice-cream and not ones made from vanilla essence.

Once we had finished with our meals, we were surprisingly given a little tray of petit fours.

Complimentary petit fours

But honestly, Win Win and I would’ve preferred if they didn’t give it to us, because it was basically store-bought goodies cut into miniature pieces and placed on a sliver plate. We’re pretty sure these have been lying out in the open for a while, as the pastry was getting so hard and tough. Sighhh major disappointment again :(

So even though we’re both forgiving and willing to give second chances, The Swiss Chalet was definitely not worth it. We’re definitely going back to Chesa when we need our cheese fondue fix ~

If I’m slow at responding I’m sorry, I’m still away but will be back tomorrow :)

The Swiss Chalet
 12-14 Hart Avenue,, Tsim Sha Tsui

尖沙咀赫德道12-14號地下
PH:2191 9197 

Hidden Surprise – Gioia By Chi

I’m so excited about sharing this post with you today :D I just visited this amazing patisserie in my local area – Gioia by Chi! I don’t know how I missed it, even though I’ve been in here for the past 3 months~ And I only found out because it was recommended by Gregoire Michaud’s blog – the Four Season Head Pastry chef do check out his blog when you have time :)

My new favourite place!

But in my defence ~ it’s quite easy to miss Gioia By Chi because it’s tucked in a small street in Kowloon City and its surrounded by pet stores and mechanics…it took Win Win and me, a good 5 minutes to find it, even though we’re quite familiar with this area :) Gioia By Chi don’t have a website (I know it’s strange) only a Facebook page, so I wasn’t able to find much information about them, but Gregoire’s post mentioned that Roy Chan is the master behind the new store and that it opened last year in April ~

It was really quiet when we got there yesterday at 3pm, I immediately felt at home looking around at all the pretty cakes in the cabinet hehe

Selection of cakes ~

They don’t have a large selection of cakes or pastries, but it was enough for me, they had a couple of  ‘large’ cakes for sale and the rest were little individual pieces :) Perfect for me! I wanted to try everything ~

Lemon Tart $23HKD($2.8AUD)

We started with the Lemon Tart and I thought it was an absolute bargain because it was only $23HKD, most patisseries in HK are charging over $35 for a lemon tart. As for the taste, I really liked it, the shortbread pastry case was made well, not too crumbly. The lemon filling was a little tangy and a little sour for Win Win, while I liked it ~ Maybe not as good as the one at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, but considering the price and the convenient location it’s probably one of the best lemon tarts you can find in Kowloon :)

Raspberry Cheesecake $38HKD($4.6AUD)

The next was the Raspberry Cheesecake, because Win Win and I love cheesecakes ~ and we were both surprised at how rich and dense this cheesecake was ;) I’m sure you’ve heard me complain before that cakes in HK are usually lighter and uses less sugar. While this wasn’t a really sweet cheesecake, for once we could actually ‘taste’ the cream cheese! Well done Gioia for taking the risk and making a rich cake :D we thought it was so good, that it was close to the Mandarin Oriental New York cheesecake, which is well-known in HK for their cheesecakes – a post about them coming soon :)

Hazelnut Chocolate $38HKD($4.6AUD)

I’m nuts about NUTS lol if you know what I mean :P One of my favourite would have to be hazelnuts, so I insisted that we try this ~ the bottom layer was a hazelnut sable, quite nice but would have been better if it had more crushed hazelnuts to give it a crunch. The middle layer was a dark chocolate ganache, yummy even though Win Win thought it was a little ‘rich’, then it was a thin layer of milk chocolate and topped with hazelnut flavoured whipped cream. Only thing I didn’t like about the cake, was the whipped cream, I find it a little unnecessary and I couldn’t really taste the ‘hazelnut’ flavour.

They also have cookies and chocolate for sale :)

Cookies in a jar $98HKD($12AUD)

Valrhona 16 truffles $328HKD($40AUD)

You can’t buy these individually, which is a bit of a pain ~ but once again I think they’re priced reasonably compared to others like La Maison Du Chocolate and Godiva :)

Oh and last but not least they sell Chocolate Pops!

Froggy Chocolate Pops $40HKD($4.8AUD)

They’re so cute! You don’t see many of them in HK and I don’t even think I’ve seen cake pops on sale here before ~

Gioia by Chi was definitely a hidden surprise for me and has immediately become my new favourite place to hang out :D, I highly recommend it to everyone in the area or those who like a ‘rich’ piece of cheesecake :D

Gioia By Chi
G/F, 35A Nam Kok Road , Kowloon City
九龍城南角道35號A地下
PH:2718 6618

 

 

Guilty Pleasure – Chesa

Dear Readers, as you are reading this post, I will be on my way to the BIG BIG APPLE – New York!!! I am SUPER DUPER EXCITED! It’s been a good 6 months since Mr Bao and I first decided to go, and now we’re finally going!
I would like to say a HUGE thank you to – Catty, Faith, KewpieLovesYou, Katiemakescake, MissPiggyEats for helping me plan my trip and giving me all their tips!

But before I go on a brief hiatus :) I’d love to share with you one of my MOST favourite restaurants in Hong Kong, I can never leave without coming here at least once and that’s Chesa at the Peninsula Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui.

Beautiful hotel :)

Source: Luxury Travel Advisor

The Peninsula would have to be one of the most famous and recognised landmarks of Hong Kong.  The hotel has had a long history established in 1928, was once taken over by the Japanese and then restored by the British in the 1940′s. But no matter how much time goes by it remains as a beautiful hotel.  It is particularly special to me, because Win Win my dearest sister, got married and had her wedding banquet here back in 2004 :)

Chesa is a Swiss restaurant and they serve a range of authentic Swiss dishes… but Win Win and I basically come for the Cheese Fondue! That’s why I call it my guilty pleasure…because apart from desserts…my biggest weakness would have to be CHEESE! I absolutely LOVE it! But because it’s so rich and heavy…we try to have it periodically .

Cheese Fondue $218HKD ($28 AUD) +10% service charge

Fantastic cheese fondue! Basically the best fondue we’ve had, apart from the real deal in Switzerland! I have no idea what cheese they use but it’s SO damn good, I don’t think I can describe it any better than that :D. For some, the alcohol (Kirsch)  might be a little strong, but we’ve had cheese fondues with very little wine and it just didn’t taste quite right ~

How can you say 'no' to this?

Just look at it! How could anyone resist it, soft bread all covered in that gooey, delicious cheese!

We also ordered a lunch set each, for $318 HKD ($40 AUD) plus 10% service charge we got the following:

Entrée - Beef Tartare

Lovely! I liked the flavours but didn’t really get the two little pieces of toast though…it was a little unnecessary

Main - Salmon with cream sauce and vegetables

I’m so sorry, I forgot the name of this dish, it had a much more glamorous name than this. It tasted very nice! I really liked the cream sauce with the mashed cauliflower.

Dessert - Chocolate marquise with orange marmalade and cocoa sherbet

I wrote the name down for the dessert :) See they all have pretty names hehe! Amazing dessert, loved the marquise full of chocolate but wasn’t too rich ~ Win Win particularly liked the Sherbet with a strong dark chocolate flavour.

Petit Fours

By the time, the petit fours arrived…I thought my stomach was going to explode after eating so much hahaha the one on the left is Chesa’s take on a Hazelnut Praline, it tasted 95% like a Ferrero Rocher just doesn’t look like one. While the one on the right is a piece of orange rind covered in chocolate, Win Win and I love Jaffa flavoured desserts, so we were happy with both of these.

Iced Lemon Tea

The meal ended with a complimentary tea or coffee, we got the Iced Lemon Tea, needed something refreshing after all that cheese.

It was definitely a satisfying meal! I highly recommend anyone who’s a cheese lover like me to go to Chesa, because I guarantee you the cheese fondue with not disappoint you :)

While I’m in New York, I’ll have limited access to the internet, so I’m really sorry if I’m a bit slow at updating and replying any comments or emails. Promise to reply as soon as I can ~

Take care everyone :)

Chesa – The Peninsula
Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
尖沙咀梳士巴利道香港半島酒店
Ph: 2315 3169  

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