Tag Archives: Salted Caramel

Easter’s Over – Cacao Easter Egg Masterclass

Greetings everyone :) Hope you’ve all had an amazing Easter and have indulged in too much chocolate (if that’s even possible!). I didn’t have time to blog during Easter because my parents and sister (Win Win) was here to visit. But unfortunately, Win Win had to leave after a week, while my parents are still here for another 2 months yay!

Humpty Dumpty displayed used over 40 kgs of chocolate!

Humpty Dumpty displayed used over 40 kgs of chocolate!

Even though Easter’s over now…I still wanted to blog about the Cacao Easter Egg Masterclass I was invited to by Cacao and Tink PR a week before Easter ~ It was like a mini reunion for us bloggers because most of us had attended the Pizza Competition at Grosvenor Hotel a couple of weeks before. At this event I was joined by Shellie, Cherrie, Ashley, Lianne, Peach Water, Brunch Addict Agnes and Amy. So good to see everyone again :) Special thanks to Lianne for letting me use some of her photos xox

The class was held at the Cacao store in St Kilda, which is actually their first store and everything use to made here until the demand outgrew the capacity ~ I’ve driven past this store many times but never visited and was surprised to see that they did not have their delicious macarons and chocolates, but also a range of cakes. I’m definitely going to come back and try them sometime soon.

Dark Hot Chocolate

Dark Hot Chocolate

Cacao was very generous and offered us a drink to start the night ~ After seeing photos of the ice-cream chocolate Shellie and Cherrie had, I was so tempted to get it. But it was getting a bit chilly that night so decided to go for the dark hot chocolate instead, it was deep, rich and smooth everything I imagined ~

Canapes

Canapes

They were also very thoughtful and provided us with some savoury canapes such as mini quiches and mini salmon rolls :) Great as most of us had gone straight from work and hadn’t had the chance to grab dinner, while I had been working from home and grazing on snacks all day ~

Julia then introduced us to Tim Clark one of the co-owners and creator of Cacao Fine Chocolates along with Laurent Meric. I was quite flattered when Tim actually recognised me as I have visited the Cacao store in Doncaster before and had tagged him in my Instagram posts ~ he immediately said “You have a sweet tooth don’t you?” LOL how awkward…everyone knows!

Tim Clark

Tim Clark

We were then led into the kitchen where it had a large marble bench, Tim explained that we were going to make a very special Easter egg that had a tiny sphere inside that was filled with salted caramel and chocolate. Even thinking about it makes my mouth water :D

Spread spread spread ~

Spread spread spread ~

First things first, tempering the chocolate which it an incredible shine and also that ‘crack’ sound when breaking into it. To temper the chocolate Tim melts the chocolate, then spreads it over the marble bench top and uses a bench scrapper to push it back into the middle and then spreads it out again.

Swish Swish Swish

Swish Swish Swish

He repeats this a couple of times until the chocolate cools to around 28 degrees. Tim said the best way to check this is with your lip as it is around body temperature or with a thermometer if doing this at home :)

Easter egg moulds & salted caramel crystals

Easter egg moulds & salted caramel crystals

Once the chocolate has been tempered it is now ready for use and can be used to make the egg shells AKA molding. Note it’s important to polish the molds with some cotton pads before using them to ensure it gives a shine to the eggs shells. Using a ladle fill the molds to the brim and then using one swift move tip it over and scrap it clean with the pastry scraper.

Before it sets, we sprinkled the Salted Caramel crystals Tim had previous made for us ~ so pretty like brown diamonds hehe

Now that the shells are done, we had to make the salted caramel chocolate spread that will be used to fill the chocolate spheres also going into the Easter Eggs. I have bought this salted caramel spread before and still have a jar at home, it is so delicious and addictive, I’m warn you not to make it unless you have very good self control. I clearly don’t hahhaa :P If you’d like the recipe let me know and I’ll email it to you ~ Tim said it’s ok to share if not I will try and blog about it soon ~

Once the spread was made it was time to pipe them into the pre-made chocolate spheres, we first filled it with salted caramel, then topped it with melted chocolate then closed them together. This keeps getting better!

Tim had placed our Easter eggs into the fridge to help them chill and set, but he said that ideally it should be left in room temperature for 24 hours to allow it to set naturally to create the shiniest finish ~

Rub Rub Rub :)

Rub Rub Rub :)

Once the Easter eggs were removed from the molds, we placed one of those salted caramel spheres and placed it in the middle of one shell. Then this step surprised me, I had always wanted to know how the egg shells stuck together, and it’s actually done by placing a baking sheet into the oven and warming it. Then gently rub the egg shells onto the warm baking sheet and as the edges have slightly melted, gently place on shell on top of the other. And if all works well…they stick together :D

Assembling the Easter Eggs

Assembling the Easter Eggs

There you go! That’s our finished product! Milk Chocolate Easter egg with a secret salted caramel surprise! I am so proud of us :D Team work! Also I am never ever going to take an Easter egg for granted ever again! It’s a long process and requires a lot of skill, which I don’t have yet :D But I have promised myself that I am going to practice and next year I am going to make my own Easter eggs to give out to my family and friends!

Finished product

Finished product

Unfortunately, I don’t think you can buy this Easter egg anymore since but you can still buy Cacao’s other chocolate goodies and if you haven’t tried their macarons, you definitely have to go try! The pisatchio flavour is my favourite.

Cacao's macarons

Cacao’s macaronsl

I would like to thank Tim and everyone else at Cacao as well at Julia for inviting me to such an interesting, fun and chocolate-filled class :)

Daisy@Nevertoosweet attended this event as a guest of Cacao Fine Chocolates and Patisserie and TinkPR

Macaron Maddness – Ladurée VS Pierre Hermé

I think it would be a crime if I went to Paris and didn’t try the macarons from Ladurée and Pierre Hermé :D I have heard so much about these two patisseries and even though I have tried macarons from Laduree quite a few times as they recently opened in Sydney and Hong Kong. It’s the first time I tried macarons from Pierre Hermé so excited! Just wanted to do a little comparison between the two macarons masters :)

Laduree in Paris

Laduree in Paris

Starting with Ladurée, I’ve had their macarons from their store in New York, Sydney and also Hong Kong. Even though their macarons are quite delicious, I found there to be inconsistencies with the texture of their macarons.

Laduree macarons from NYC

Laduree macarons from NYC

Laduree from NYC

Laduree from NYC

Like the macarons, I had in New York to be more on the softer side, with a softer shell and the ganache in the middle was also creamier. I really enjoyed these macarons from the Laduree in NYC, I think they’re the best ones I’ve had even better than Paris :(

Laduree from NYC

Laduree macarons from NYC

I was very excited when Laduree opened in Sydney and when I found the chance to visit I was over the moon :) But then I realised the macarons were very expensive $3.2 take away and $4 dine in wow…

Laduree prices in Sydney

Laduree prices in Sydney

But then I found these macarons in Sydney to have a much tougher texture and very very chewy. I have heard that this may be because, they freeze the macarons and import them from Switzerland. I’m not sure if this will change the consistency, but I wasn’t too impressed with them. Even though flavours were fantastic especially their salted caramel and pistachio macaron.

Laduree in Sydney

Laduree in Sydney

I’m not sure if this will change the consistency, but I wasn’t too impressed with them. Even though flavours were still good especially their salted caramel and pistachio macaron. They are my all time favourite!

Laduree in Sydney

Laduree macarons from Sydney

I have heard from HK Epicurus that only the macarons in the Paris Laduree is actually made there, the rest are made from a factory in Switzerland and both HK Epicurus and Tina both agreed that their macarons are best in Paris. So I was quite excited to finally get to try the ‘real’ deal :P I actually didn’t get to try that many Laduree macarons this time, as I was going around too many patisseries hahaha but I did get to try a few when I visited their Laduree restaurant on Champs-Élysées.

Laduree in Paris

Laduree macarons from Paris

My sisters and I tried these macarons as part of the Brunch set we had there, which I will blog about another time :) We could choose 3 macarons of our liking, so we got the salted caramel, chocolate and dark chocolate flavour. I immediately found a difference once again in the texture in the macarons, they were definitely softer and more delicate than the ones I got in both Sydney and HK. But they were slightly firmer than the ones in New York. In terms of flavours they were slightly sweeter and probably the best, I really liked their salted caramel it was sweet, salty and just heavenly! I suspect its the use of the French butter :P There wasn’t a vast difference between the chocolate and dark chocolate macaron, except one tasted slightly more bitter.

Pierre Herme in Paris

Pierre Herme in Paris

Now moving onto Pierre Hermé macarons, there are quite a few Pierre Hermé stores around Paris, but I failed and only got to their store in the Galaries Lafayette deparment store on our second last day. I was slightly disappointed as it was a rather small store with only macarons and other dry packaged goods such as chocolates.

Pierre Herme macarons

Pierre Herme macarons

From memory I think Pierre Hermé had a more diverse range of flavours for their macarons and ones that I found most interesting was the chocolate and foie gras :P Yup I tried it and I’m not sure whether I like it or not lol it had a rich chocolate ganahe but then the foie gras flavour. The rest of the macarons I chose more traditional flavors such as dark chocolate, salted caramel, rose water and of course pistachio :)

Pierre Herme Macaron

I found flavours of the ganache simply too hard to resist, once again just like the macaron shell they had the perfect consistency and also balance of flavours. I think it is safe to declare ‘Pierre Hermé’ makes the best macarons I have tasted! Now I just wish I could take a whole cargo ship full of them back with me…and I really wished that they would last longer so Mr Bao could try :( Oh wells… I guess that’s just a good excuse and reason to go back to Paris don’t you like?

Pierre Herme Macarons

Pierre Herme Macarons

Clearly in this battle ‘Pierre Hermé’ has won just everything about them size, texture and flavour was all spot on! While Laduree had some good flavours, overall, I was quite disappointed by the ones I have had in Sydney and Paris and surprisingly found the ones in New York to be better. Now my lovely Readers I would like to ask have you tried Laduree and Pierre Hermé before? Which one do you like more? :)

Laduree 
75 Champs-Élysées 75008 Paris, France
PH: +33 1 40 75 08 75

Galeries Lafayette
40 boulevard Haussmann 75009 Paris
PH: +33 (0)1 43 54 47 77

Galette or Crepe – Roule Galette

Bonjour! I have some exciting news to share with everyone today :) I am going to PARIS with my sisters Win Win and Anonymous Sister in JANUARY 2013! I am so excited… I can’t even use words to describe it! Then I started getting crepe cravings :P Because they are  one of my favourite French desserts. Then I remembered I bought the Roule Galette voucher from Living Social which entitled us to 2 crepes and 2 drinks of our choice. Perfect!

I was gonna go with Mr Bao but he was a bit busy, and the coupon was expiring, so I asked Yue my awesome colleague, we went on a Friday while our manager was on leave so we could take a longer lunch break :P We drove to Flinders Lane and walked into Scotts Ally where Roule Galette was situated, but as soon as I showed them my coupon, they told me that it was only valid for their other store located on ‘Rebecca Walk Ave’. Bummer…we didn’t want to drive there, so decided to stay and get crepes anyway :)

Scott Alley

Our Lunch

For a second, I really thought I was transported to the little cafes in Paris, as Scotts Ally is so small, and all staff at Roule Galette spoke English with a thick French accent and spoke to each other in only French ~ very cool! I have always wanted to learn French…but haven’t had the chance yet.

Complete Galette $10AUD

Feeling quite hungry, I immediately ordered the ‘Complete’ with egg, ham and Emmental cheese which is one of the oldest and most traditional types of galette. I actually didn’t know the difference between galette and crepes until I did some research , and apparently galettes are a type of crepe made with buckwheat so I assume it’s healthy. I loved everything about this galette how thin it was and then the ham with the melted emmental cheese and topped with the ooey yolky egg! Its such simple flavours but so good!

Raspberry Puree Crepe $6AUD

I was really surprised but Yue wanted a ‘sweet’ crepe :P He doesn’t really have a sweet tooth, but I guess he had a late breakfast and wasn’t feeling that hungry. We both liked the thin soft texture of the crepe, while I found the raspberry puree to be a little too tart, Yue really enjoyed it. I think it would have been even better with some hot chocolate fudge or ice-cream but that’s just me ~

Banana and Salted Caramel $9AUD

I couldn’t leave without getting another sweet crepe, I was confronted with the issue of waiting banana and Nutella or salted caramel. The waitress helpfully suggested a ‘salted caramel with banana’. Problem solved! I was very happy with this crepe, once again soft and thin texture with the perfect amount of salted caramel and then sliced bananas, I don’t think I could have made this crepe any better!

Roule Galette on Urbanspoon

Rebecca Walk

Mr Bao got a little jealous, that I got crepes for lunch so a couple of days later, we decided to use my coupon and this time went to the Roule Galette at Rebecca Walk. For those who are not very familiar with the area, it can be a little hard to find. Basically, it is on Flinders Street, facing the Yarra River and right opposite the Crown Casino facing South Bank, it’s a quiet little area with some shops and seating area. I actually wouldn’t mind having lunch here sometime :)

Not many shops here

The Roule Galette store here is much bigger with seating outside as well, it was quite busy outside, but tables were still available inside. We liked the retro-ambiance it had inside with the yellow and brown colours and booths along the side.

Saint Jacques $20AUD

Saint Jacques $20AUD

With the coupon we could order any crepe of any value, so Mr Bao decided to be extravagant and got the Saint Jacques which was a galette with leek and scallop. I haven’t had seafood on my galettes before so it was a new experience. Even though we liked the flavours especially the leek, the scallops were slightly overcooked and it was very salty. It would have been much better if there was some cream or sour cream to counteract the saltiness.

Crepe Suzette

I’ve heard lots about Crepe Suzette but never had one, because I always have Nutella with my crepes. I was looking forward to seeing the crepe be on fire hence the name ‘flambe’ hehe, the waitress brought over a normal sweet crepe, then poured some Grand Marnier and lit it in front of us.

The Suzette $13AUD

The Suzette $13AUD

Not sure why but the fire died down very quickly…as for the taste, I was a little disappointed because I think there was too much Grand Marnier it was very strong and it tasted very bitter. Hence, I didn’t like it very much and think I much prefer to stick to my sweet crepes :P

Chicken du Chef $12AUD

Chicken du Chef $12AUD

Of course Mr Bao wasn’t full with just one savoury galette hahaha so he decided to pay and get another Chicken du Chef a buckwheat crepe with chicken and French mushroom and cream. We both enjoyed it, can’t go wrong with cream and mushrooms, but found the chicken to be slightly overcooked.

Iced Mocha $6.50 AUD

Iced Mocha $6.50 AUD

We washed the food down with some cold drinks :) I got an ice mocha, can you see the amount of chocolate at the bottom of the glass exactly what I like ~ I was impressed that there was a strong coffee taste and not just chocolate sauce and milk, like some other places. Only thing is… I don’t really like that much cream >_< my fault for not telling them, next time.

Iced Coffee $6 AUD

Iced Coffee $6 AUD

Mr Bao got an Iced Coffee ~ he was also impressed with the intense coffee flavour and the vanilla ice-cream, not something we expected from Roule Galette hehe once again only issue was too much cream but other than that it was great.

I would recommend Roule Galette for anyone who has crepe cravings in Melbourne and want to have a little taste of Paris and remember to get the salted caramel one :D

Roule Galette on Urbanspoon

Ice-cream Tour – Messina, N2 & Royal Copenhagen + Little Aussie Trip

Hello everyone :) I’m back!!! Did you miss me? I managed to write a couple of posts before I left, so I hope you’ve enjoyed them while I was gone hehe ~ I wanted to blog as soon as I got back, but unfortunately… I got very sick with food poisoning… and that has got to be the worse for foodies like myself… Anyhow, before you get too excited I’m actually leaving again :P Because this weekend, I’m going to the Eat Drink Blog in Adelaide where I will get the chance to meet the other amazing food bloggers around Australia YAY!

Just wanted to share a few photos from our little Aussie trip ~ would you be interested in reading about some of my traveling adventures too? Or would you like me to stick to talking about food? :) our itinerary was Melbourne -> Sydney -> Brisbane then drive to Gold Coast :) We managed 3 cities in 5 days! I’m pretty impressed with our planning hehe. I know it may seem like a mad rush to most people, but we found it to be quite relaxing and I’m not one to spend 3 hours in on place :P

We actually traveled with Mr Bao’s cousin Little Luk but he was by no means the 3rd wheel because he’s the friend who introduced Mr Bao to me and I was friends with him before we went out :)

We were very lucky the weather in all 3 cities was beautiful! Couldn’t ask for better weather, it was sunny but not too hot with a light breeze :) Being a foodie I dragged Mr Bao and Little Luk all over the place just for good food, we went to so many cafes/restaurants and took over 2500 photos! So my loveliest Readers please bare with me as I go through the photos and pick out the best ones so I can blog about it ~

Today, I’ve got a relatively short review of the ice-cream/gelato places I went to during this trip :) starting with the famously delicious Gelato Messina in Sydney ~ I’m sure all Readers from Sydney or have visited will know about Messina ~ They have been open since 2002 and have since been churning out the most delicious Gelato in Sydney or even Austalia :D

Messina has 3 retail stores one in Surry Hills, Darlinghurst and The Star Casino…and unintentionally and intentionally I went to all 3 stores :P but only got gelalo from 2 as the Darlinghurst one wasn’t open when we walked past :( I was so so so upset…because that was the only store that sold the mini gelato cakes especially that little mushroom gelato cake everyone keeps telling me about ~ Oh wells next time!

We walked into the Surry Hills store and I was confronted with so many gelato and sorbet flavours, I seriously did not know what to order! I was so tempted to get the Misto Plate which is 5 scoops of gelato, but Mr Bao stopped me because we had already had so much food before hand and were going to get even more food afterwards…sooooo being good, I only got 2 scoops.

Pistachio and Milk Chocolate with peanut butter $5AUD 2 scoops

Pistachio gelato is like the benchmark for me, if they do this well it usually means their gelato is yummy ~ and Messina did a fantastic job with their pistachio :) It had a genuinely strong pistachio flavour and nothing like that fake flavouring some places use. I particularly liked the texture of the gelato too it was creamy and smooth but not too rich or milky.

Moving on to Mr Bao’s milk chocolate with peanut butter, it had the same delicious texture but this time it was a lovely sweet milk chocolate gelato laced with peanut butter. Now I’m not a PB fan…so this wasn’t my favourite flavour ~ but I know all my PB loving friends and Readers will LOVE THIS!

Dulce De Leche and Hazelnut $5.5AUD 2 scoops

I didn’t know Little Luk loved ice-cream so much, he doesn’t really seem to have a sweet tooth, but he has a soft spot for ice-cream. Just before we went Sydney we visited The Star Casino, and hence went to the Messina there ~ I noticed that ice-cream there was slightly more expensive. I was tossing between the dulce de leche or the ‘Rethink Banoffee Pie’ which was caramel gelato with banana jam.

I eventually chose the dulce de leche and so glad I did ~ it didn’t have that burnt caramel taste, instead it was the sweet milk caramel taste :) while the hazelnut was definitely Little Luk’s favourite, he said I quote “I’m in heaven!” lol he loved the hazelnut flavour and creamy texture of the gelato.

And yes we are crazy because on the same day we had Messina lol we also went to N2 Extreme Gelato in Chinatown. I’ve seen so many bloggers review N2 and I had been intrigued of the idea of making ice-cream with liquid nitrogen and instead of the traditional method of churning.

The only other time I had heard of using liquid nitrogen to make ice-cream was when I was watching Heston Blumenthal’s TV show and reading his book Heston at Home :)


Upon walking in N2, it really did feel like a science lab with everyone wearing lab coats and a large gas cylinder full of liquid nitrogen ~ it was strange to see bottles of ice-cream mixture in large test tubes, and the experienced ‘scientist’ would pour it into the KitchenAids and quickly freeze it with liquid nitrogen. Mr Bao was very excited about trying too being a scientist, he couldn’t stop telling us about the chemical reactions lol *rolls eyes*

The names for the gelato was also quite unique, I don’t think I would want to try the ‘cigar smoked Hainanese chicken rice’ and after much deliberation, we decided we’ll all get a flavoured we liked.

No surprise Mr Bao got Sleazy Strawberry, what a name eh? It was a mixture of freeze dried strawberries with Shiraz and milk gelato. Unfortunately, this sleazy strawberry did not have a strong strawberry flavour, it was actually quite bland and tasted more like tangy strawberry yoghurt instead. We did like the melt in your mouth, creamy texture of the gelato though.

Sleazy Strawberry $6

I got the buttered popcorn because I had heard it’s quite popular, this time it was aged milk gelato infused with buttered popcorn. It has the same creamy texture and rich milk flavour which complimented the tiny bits of buttered popcorn very well ~ Definitely our favourite!

Buttered Popcorn $6

Little Luk is officially my favourite ice-cream partner because he likes all the flavours I like as well :P He chose the milky caramel with Murray River salt gel. We had mixed feelings about this flavour, once again we liked the texture but we didn’t find the flavours pronounce enough, it was a very light flavoured caramel and we couldn’t taste any salt in the caramel either.

Milky Caramel with Murray River Salt Gel $6

As I was taking photos, I noticed that the gelato was melting much quicker than regular gelato. Mr Bao said it’s because the liquid nitrogen doesn’t freeze the gelato like ice-cream machines. Our verdict – great smooth and velvety texture, but we didn’t think the flavours came through as much as we would have liked. There is actually a N2 store in HK too ~ so we’re hoping to try that one and see if the flavours are better :)

Last ice-cream stop – Royal Copenhagen at Surfers Paradise :) It was a warm night and we were able to leave the Gold Coast and drive back to Brisbane. I had been relatively good that night lol and we didn’t really order desserts, so as we were walking back to our car…I spotted Royal Copenhagen and couldn’t help but grab myself some more ice-cream :P

I was particularly impressed when I saw that they really do make their waffles cones fresh on premises :) I wouldn’t mind having one of these machines at home hehe then I’ll have fresh waffle cones whenever I want them :P

I’ve had Royal Copenhagen before and quite like their buttery and strong milky taste of their ice-cream, it reminds me very much of Dairy Bell we have here in Melbourne ~ even better quality hehe.

They don’t have nearly as many flavours as Messina or as unique as N2, but it’s the traditional ice-cream store with honest yummy flavours and most importantly FREE toppings!

Dutch Chocolate Chip and Wildberry $6AUD 2 Junior scoops

I don’t usually choose chocolate flavoured ice-creams, because not many places produce a deep and rich chocolate ice-cream, but I tried the Dutch chocolate chip and immediately knew I wanted it. Mr Bao wanted something a little more refreshing and chose the Wildberry ~ I obviously said ‘yes’ to free toppings so got caramel sauce and crush macadamia nuts! YUM! My favourite! This was very yummeh ~ I just wished we had Royal Copenhagen in Melbourne too…so I wouldn’t have to fly interstate all the time lol

Hope you liked my first post about our Little Aussie Trip :D Until next time, let us all eat more ICE-CREAM!

Gelato Messina Surry Hills on Urbanspoon

N2 Extreme Gelato on Urbanspoon

Royal Copenhagen Ice Cream Co
Cavill Ave
Surfers Paradise Queensland 4217
(07) 5570 1780

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