Tag Archives: Chocolate

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!

Up In The Woods – Piggery Cafe

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

Piggery Cafe

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

20140914-IMG_2620

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

20140914-IMG_2598
We chose one of the best afternoons to go, as it was lovely weather not too hot or cold and we managed to grab a nice table outside. Ashley and I took a walk inside the cafe and was immediately mesmerised by the table full of scones, mini tarts, cakes and other sweets! I was in dessert heaven!

Piggery Cafe1

Lemon Tart

Lemon Tart

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

Valrhona hot chocolate

Valrhona hot chocolate

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

Piggery Cafe

Savoury platter

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

Scones with jam and whipped cream

Scones with jam and whipped cream

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

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

Chef's selection of sweets

Chef’s selection of sweets

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

20140914-IMG_2610

 

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

Apple Danish and Lemon Merengue Tart $9

Apple Danish and Lemon Merengue Tart $9

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

Piggery Cafe on Urbanspoon

New Friend Leaving – Lucy Liu

Lucy Liu

Mr Bao laughed and rolled his eyes, when I told him, “I’m going to start my blog post with the following statement – I am a social butterfly”. I’m not sure what’s so funny about this statement, because it’s very true! I love socialising, meeting new people, making new friends:) Fellow Wong (that’s our nickname for each other since we have the same surname haha)  is one of these new friends I have made, we met through another friend last year and have kept in touch since then. If it wasn’t because of a busy work/life schedule and distance of where we live, I’m sure we would met up more. 

Lucy Liu

Anyhow, the sad news is Fellow Wong is relocating again, he is originally from Sydney, this time he is moving to Singapore. It’s a great move for his career and he’s definitely someone who likes a new challenge so we’re very happy for him, however, at the same time it’s sad to see a new friend leave. There’s a few more weeks before he moves, but we wanted to catch up a few more times. That’s how we ended up having lunch at Lucy Liu Kitchen and Bar, which is the new venture from Michael Lambie (The Smith, Circa), Smith Borg and Zac Cibbes. 

Kirin Apple Cider

I had a look at the menu before booking, and it gave me the impression of so modern Asian with Thai and Korean fusion. It seems to be on the rise with the number of modern Asian restaurants in Melbourne. The boys both shared a Kirin Apple cider, I didn’t know that Kirin produced ciders because I’ve always associated them with beer hehe I had a sip and found it to be quite crisp, but not too dry. 

Koh Tao Cooler - Apple, honey, apple juice, crushed ice top with soda $8

Koh Tao Cooler – Apple, honey, apple juice, crushed ice top with soda $8

I got a mocktail the Koh Tao Cooler with Apple, honey, apple juice, crushed ice and topped with soda. Really enjoyed this refreshing drink and paired quite well with our dishes with such rich flavours.

Freshly shucked oysters with red nam jim sauce $4 each

Oysters with red nam jim sauce $4 each

As a little starter we tried a freshly shucked oyster with red nam jim sauce. Haven’t had it with nam jim sauce before, found the slightly sourness helped bring out some of the sweetness from the oyster.

Barramundi & Scampi Dumplings with chilli, ginger and spring onions $14

Barramundi & Scampi Dumplings with chilli, ginger and spring onions $14

We then shared these Barramundi and scampi dumpling with chilli, ginger and spring onions. I’m usually sceptical of fish dumplings as they’re often quite fishy, but I was very impressed with these dumpling. They had a decent amount of filling and was actually quite tasty! Especially with the chilli sauce!

Crispy Pork Bun $8

Crispy Pork Bun $8

We then ordered a couple of buns to share, this is the Crispy Pork Bun with spicy kimchi and kewpie mayo. It’s so nice to see that Kewpie mayo is used more widely now and not only available in Japanese groceries. I’m addicted to it haha :) The bun itself was soft and fluffy, however, I found the crackly wasn’t as crispy as we would have liked and found the pork to be slightly bland.

BBQ Lap Cheong Hot Dog $8

BBQ Lap Cheong Hot Dog $8

This was my favourite! BBQ Lap Cheong ‘Hot Dog’ in a toasted milk bun with wombok coleslaw. A yum cha you can find Lap Cheong buns but they’re definitely not as indulgent as this one with that wombok coleslaw which I’m pretty sure has egg and more kewpie mayo! I really enjoyed this and would recommend you trying it!

Rare Breed Sticky Pork Belly $20

Rare Breed Sticky Pork Belly $20

This reminds me very much like that signature pork dish they have at Taxi Kitchen . I did find $20 for only 2 pieces of pork belly to be on the dearer side. It was also served a young coconut salad and red chilli. Unfortunately, we were a little underwhelmed as the pork was a little tough and once again under seasoned and not very sticky.

Koren Fried Chicken Ribs $14

Korean Fried Chicken Ribs $14

But then I was blown away again by the Korean Fried Chicken Ribs with kewpie mayo :) The ribs were not greasy with the flesh still tender, it was slightly spicy probably because of the marinate, and dipped into Kewpie mayo perfect!

Korean Style Crispy Pork Hock $38

Korean Style Crispy Pork Hock $38

Just in case I forgot to mention, the menu here is designed for sharing as most places are now! We’ve had a fair amount of food, so we decided to only get one dish from the ‘Larger’ section of the menu. We decided on the Korean Style Crispy Pork Hock with apple kimchi salad, pancakes and hoisin sauce.

Lucy Liu2

I would describe this dish like it a peking duck, but instead you replace the duck with pork! It’s quite simple, you hack into the pork hock, rip pieces off it, wrap it into the pancakes add a bit of the salad. Here comes some action shots for you!

Lucy Liu

Step 1

Lucy Liu

Step 2

Step 3

Step 3

Oh yeah last step is to wrap it and put into your mouth!!! We all really enjoyed this, the pork hock was tender with great smokey flavour, with a drizzle of hoisin sauce to give it some sweetness and the green apple for crunch! It’s also a very generous serving that could easily feed 3 to 4 people! I also liked the super thin paper like pancakes which means it’s less filling and you can eat more of it :)

Chocolate Dulce De Leche with blood orange foam $15

Chocolate Dulce De Leche with blood orange foam $15

If I had it my way, I would’ve forced the boys to have 3 desserts! But they were too stuffed, so I settled for only 2! Starting with the Chocolate Dulce De Leche with blood orange foam. I’m a little perplexed because I really liked the bottom layer with the dulce de leche, how sweet and rich it was. But then I’m really not a fan of blood orange, while it was the opposite for the boys they liked the foam more because it wasn’t as sweet :P

Crispy Banana Fritters $15

Crispy Banana Fritters $15

To make it easier for sharing, we got the Crispy Banana Fritters with coconut ice-cream and syrup. The batter in which the banana was coated in was thicker than I expected and not as crispy. Felt like a modern take and wasn’t as oily as the traditional one. Coconut ice-cream was creamy and nice with a sprinkle of toasted shredded coconut.

It was such a great catch up with Fellow Wong and as a side story, I’ve already introduced him to my good friend Ms S who will take care of him when he lands in Singapore. See I’m such a good friend haha I go to great lengths to take care of them. Back to Lucy Liu, I think it had some hits, but also some misses. I think some dishes they executed so well, however, lacked some flavour in some others. However, if you’re looking for a new place to have lunch or dinner with friends who take bookings, I think Lucy Liu is a good option. Plus the name is quirky :P

Lucy Liu Kitchen and Bar on Urbanspoon

That Beef Brisket – Meatmaiden

Meatmaiden1

My Dear Readers, do you remember the short lived restaurant Little Hunter? It had some great success but after only what felt like 6 months, it closed its doors due to financial issues. This great space was then forgotten for a while but it has been brought to life again! It has been taken over by the same owners as Meatmother in Richmond and now transformed into Meatmaiden.

Meatmaiden2

Meatmaiden is on the basement of a commercial building, and since it’s Little Hunter days, it has changed a little with more seats at the bar, not as dark and I love those dark grungy photos of girls holding a knife haha that’s the evil side of me when I don’t get what I want :P

Meatmaiden3

To celebrate the opening of the restaurant, Meatmaiden decided to organise a bloggers/media night, which I thought was very generous as all guests were also asked to bring a plus one. Even though it was a large event, we were all placed our own tables and I had Shellie (Iron Chef Shellie), Michelle (The Bakeanista), Katey (TinkPR) and Mr Bao on our table, so it was still intimate.

Negroni

Negroni

So what if it was a Tuesday night, it was going to be an awesome night filled with food and catching up with my fellow blogger friends so I was determined to drink! Plus Mr Bao was driving haha so lets start with a Negroni! Definitely not for the light drinkers it was quite strong indeed!

Beef Jerky, Pickled Heirloom vegetables and Kipfler chips

Beef Jerky, Pickled Heirloom vegetables and Kipfler chips

Ok now we’ve got drinks covered let’s move onto the starters, here we have beef jerky, pickled heirloom vegetables with chilli and goats cheese and Kipfler chips. The beef jerky with their homemade BBQ sauce was delicious! Then we also had the insider joke that Shellie pickled her stomach that night with all the pickled veggies she ate haha they were a great to prepare us for all the food that was coming!

Oysters with Smoked Fennel Dressing

Oysters with Smoked Fennel Dressing

Next was the freshly shucked oysters with smoked fennel dressing, I’m pretty sure these Oysters were from Tasmania and had a creamier texture. I haven’t had smoked fennel dressing with oysters before and found it very refreshing.

Southern fried chicken with tequila mayo

Southern fried chicken ribs with tequila mayo

I think I forgot to mention that Meatmaiden focuses on American BBQ so it also makes sense that they would have Southern fried chicken and to make things more interesting it was served with tequila mayonnaise. I couldn’t really taste the alcohol but it had all the rich and creaminess expected from mayo and the chicken ribs had such great flavours! I think more places should do Chicken ribs instead of wings, it’s easier to eat and more meat!

Lobster Mac and Cheese

Lobster Mac and Cheese

Some of the bloggers have visited on another event before, and they haven’t topped telling me about the Lobster Mac and Cheese, so I was very excited to see it on the menu. We all agreed that we could all have one serve each, it was very rich but was actually quite light on the cheese. The lobster just made it even more indulgent.

20-hour Rangers Valley Wagyu Brisket with Native Tassie Pepper Berry Rub

20-hour Rangers Valley Wagyu Brisket with Native Tassie Pepper Berry Rub

Now this is the BEEF BRISKET I am going nuts about, it’s Wagyu brisket from Rangers Valley and takes 20 hours to make paired with that aromatic Native Tassie Pepper Berry Rub. It is the most tender piece of beef brisket I’ve ever had! I’m going to be pushy and recommend you go and try for yourself :)

O’Connor Pasture-fed Flat Iron Steak

O’Connor Pasture-fed Flat Iron Steak

This flat iron steak from O-Connor was another winning dish that night, it had such intense buttery beef flavour. It had such good flavours no condiments or sauces were really required.

Lamb ribs

Lamb ribs

Last savoury dish we tried was the Lamb ribs, I don’t eat lamb so I skipped and gave my piece to Mr Bao. He commented that it was so succulent with great smokey flavours, we also got a variety of nods from the other people on our tables ~

Sundae with Peanut Brittle

Sundae with Peanut Brittle

All good meals must end with dessert! This was the Ice-cream sundae with chocolate and vanilla ice-cream, chocolate sauce and peanut brittle. A simple American classic dessert, just needed more chocolate sauce hehe

Chocolate Bar with Raspberry Sorbet

Chocolate Bar with Raspberry Sorbet

Something a little fancier was the chocolate bar with raspberry sorbet, its like a chocolate fondant with a soft gooey centre. I found the raspberry sorbet a little too tart for my liking and would’ve proffered something like butterscotch ice-cream but I’m sure you all know the way I like my desserts ~

I enjoyed the meal here at Meatmaiden and found it more refined than Meatmother but still retaining that casual bar type atmosphere. Their prices are also reasonable with a $49 meal with so much food my friend had doggy bags to take home with her last time she went with her hubby. Definitely recommend Meatmaiden if you’d like a place to visit with friends and trust me you must order the beef brisket and lobster mac and cheese!

Meatmaiden on Urbanspoon

Mr Bao and Daisy@Nevertoosweet dined here as guests of Meatmaiden and TinkPr

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.

20140913-IMG_2559

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?!?

20140913-IMG_2580

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.

20140913-IMG_2588

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

20140913-IMG_2590

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.

20140913-IMG_2594

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

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.

IMG_9033

 

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

IMG_9830 copy

 

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

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,387 other followers

%d bloggers like this: