Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Lindt Cafe

Even Tim enjoys a trip to the Lindt Cafe. This was the first time we'd been to the Cockle Bay cafe...the hot chocolate is the best - a little jug of molten Lindt chocolate (I always choose milk) and a a pitcher of perfectly frothy hot milk...mmmm!!!! The cakes are always sheer perfection and have that silky Lindt-ey texture....I would tell you the names of the cakes but I got a bit distracted with organising the kids' ice-creams, taking pics, eating etc and totally forgot to jot them down!!!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Elephant Boy

We just love Elephant Boy cafe in Bowral - we went there for lunch with the kids today...Ever since the Bowral Cafe with it's ever-so-cosy atmosphere, plush round velvet booths and jazz music, not to mention the Mississippi Mudcake with Raspberry Coulis closed down we have hardly ever enjoyed lunch in Bowral...

Anyway, I made sure I didn't order the salmon cakes again today (they are so fantastic that I've had them everytime we've been!!) The coconut passionfruit cake (pictured) was wonderful - the cakes at elephant boy are never disappointing (I am such an incredible cake snob, I don't like chocolate cake unless it has chocolate in it and I usually don't eat packet mix at all)...but these taste so fresh and the frosting, if they even have frosting, is always something special.

...And today I found out that there is one other Elephant Boy in the suburb of Manuka in Canberra where we ate out several times a few weeks ago with a friend who has just moved nearby! Very exciting!

The White Chocolate Cream Cheese Cake

Mum made this cake for my birthday - she tries a new recipe each year. This one is from a Christine France book - and definitely makes it into my top ten favourite cakes...Mum even had to make a special sort of lemon butter to put in the actual cake mixture...mmmm!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Our 11th Wedding Anniversary...

For our 11th wedding anniversary we had a lovely lunch in the city at The Waterfront on Circular Quay West...and we had to go and check out the Sydney Harbour Bridge afterwards...Tim is very into bridges at the moment...
The kids went to stay at Nanna and Pop's place for the night so we we were able to go the the movies and see I Am Legend in the evening (a great movie but pretty scary!!)

ROASTED PUMPKIN & SUN-DRIED TOMATO RAVIOLI with Wilted Spinach, Tomato & Basil Coulis (Just exqisite!)

Sarah: LOBSTER BISQUE with Lobster Pieces & Herbs

CRISPY SKINNED TASMANIAN SALMON with Braised Fennel, Tomato & Olive Salsa
GRAIN FED RIB EYE STEAK, Potato Galette with Truffle Oil, Baby Beans & Red Wine Jus

Tim: Trio of Chocolate Desserts - Chocolate Mousse, White Chocolate Pannacotta and Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Coulis (Ranging from Excellent to Disappointing, left to right)
Sarah: Bittersweet Chocolate Tart with toffee sauce and orange confit (the toffee and the orange were the highlights of this near perfect dessert)Overall I would give the food a solid 7/10 (my dessert would be closer to an 8.5), the location 9.5 and the service a 6. We had a fantastic day for our 11th anniversary (although it did have to compete with a pretty spectacular trip to Fiji for our 10th!!)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

High Tea at Impassion

We bravely took the kids to High Tea at Impassion in Camden... It was pretty good - Tim thought the scones were his best ever - but I liked the Hydro Majestic scones more! (Tim doesn't think a scone should be cake-like at all.)

We sat on lounges which was a bit tricky with the kids but the only accident when Tim spilled Emmy's bubbacino!!

Finger Sandwiches:

Smoked salmon and cucumber

Chicken, celery and pinenut

Salami, tomato and olive tapenade


Warm pistachio & plain scones with strawberry jam and fresh cream


Butterfly cupcakes

Strawberry tartlettes (Excellent!!)

Chocolate Marquis (Tasted very much like Mississippi Mudcake)

White chocolate dipped strawberries

(Sadly the photo was taken in a hurry and most of the sweets are hiding behind the butterfly cakes!!)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Yesterday Tim and I went to Canberra (without the kids)... We had lunch at Artespresso in Kingston as recommended in the Gourmet Traveller 2006 Australian Restaurant Guide. There are no two or three star rated retaurants in Canberra and this was one of the only three one star rated places. It was lovely - and we did some celebrity spotting (or rather, 'ex-politician spotting')...

Our mains were:
Confit duck with shiraz reduction and Arthur’s olives (Me)
Crispy skin snapper with roast beetroot, speck, garlic and aged balsamic (Tim)
Caramelized meringue with strawberry shake and passionfruit sauce (Me)

Cinnamon pannacotta with poached rhubarb and brandy snaps (Tim)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Strawberry Mousse Cake

From Marcel Desaulniers' book, Death By Chocolate (undoubtedly my favourite and most used cookbook), The Strawberry Mousse Cake. I made this a few years ago for Tim's Mum's 50th and learnt that it creates a lot of washing up!! I also found out that it: (a) is my favourite mousse cake and; (b) requires absolutely perfect strawberries. I wanted to make it when I had consistently shaped (not to mention tasty) strawberries - not too big or small.

I was very lucky to find some perfect punnets right before Mum's birthday and was able to make this wonderful cake. The ganache is the same one which I always use on my regular chocolate cake (the Death By Chocolate Brownie Layer Cake).

One day I'd love to go to Williamsburg to try the real thing at The Trellis!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Rockpool - Chef's Tasting Menu
Oh wow!!!!! The best dinner ever - Rockpool's (in The Rocks, Sydney) Chefs' Tasting Menu - 12 courses by Neil Perry!!! Each was bite totally over the top amazing!!! Tim took me out fior my birthday...Some courses came with their own special cutlery, otherwise we kept getting fresh entree cutlery until the 'main' course.

Mussel, Saffron, Lemongrass and Galangal Soup with Toast and Aioli (the toast was melt-in-your-mouth perfection!!!)

Sterling Caviar with Tuna Tartare and Ginger Jelly (My favourite savoury course - and I don't usually like ginger!!)

Squid, Iberico Ham and Parsnip Salad with Nitro Black Pearls
- Inspired by Heston Blumenthal (Rockpool's signature dish - we read about the nitro pearls in the newspaper a few weeks ago - the frozen pearls are sprinkled on the salad by the waiter at the table and melt fairly quickly) (Tim's favourite savoury course)

Salad of Abalone, Mussels, Clams and Tea Smoked Oysters with Truffle Oil and Mushroom Soy Dressing

Grilled Quail, Pork and Prawn Pie, Sichuan Pickled Vegetables and Red Curry Sauce

Stir Fried Lobster with XO Sauce and Fine Noodles

Crisp Snapper with Cafe de Paris Butter and Spinach Sauce (I was a bit excited about eating this one and forgot to take a photo until after we had started eating - it was sooooo tasty!!!!)

Chinese Roast Pigeon with Prawn Stuffed Eggplant
with Black Vinegar Dressing

Whipped Brie de Meaux with Pear Salad and Almond Straw

Vanilla Pannacotta Cream Cup with Strawberries and Rose Granita and Dried Strawberry Garnish (Palate Cleanser - I loved the rose!!) (Tim's favourite sweet course)

"Mandarin" - Mandarin sorbet, mandarin 'cloud', and a white chocolate mousse and mandarin marmalade sugar tube (My favourite sweet course - the white chocolate mousse in the sugar tube was sensational!!!)

Birthday Cake (Chocolate Mousse and Cake encased in dark chocolate) surrounded by spun toffee (which melted as the birthday candle inside burned!) A surprise!!!

Coffee with Sweets - We couldn't believe the 'sweets'!!! Passionfruit marshmallow (the best marshmallow ever), home made toffees, little mandarin chewy biscuits, chocolate cherry jelly truffles (which even Tim raved about!!) - not to mention awesome coffee (or in my case, a 'strong' hot chocolate....Wow!!!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Calvin's "Hulk Cake"

I made this white chocolate mudcake for Calvin's 5th Birthday - he had wanted a 'Hulk Cake' for months - so I had the cake toppers sent over from the US...

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Elizabeth's Bridal Shower

For Elizabeth's bridal shower Mum did a fantastic lunch and made cheesecake and pavlova for dessert. I did my Death By Chocolate cake and Mum made party packs of little chocolate coconut biscuits with white chocolate icing to take home...mmmm...

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Em's Birthday Cakes

On Em's 2nd birthday she had a delicious Baskin Robbins ice-cream cake with my favourite ice-cream - Chocolate Mousse Royale - and Cotton Candy ice-cream cones on the top...she also had little butterfly cakes and cupcakes for afternoon tea...

Monday, March 26, 2007

Handmade Belgian Chocolate in Katoomba...

We had lovely hot chocolate here made by The Blue Mountains Chocolate Company...the Belgian chocolatier who is making the chocolate has won lots of awards since opening in Katoomba last year...they also make ice-cream!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Dinner at the Hydro Majestic...

The dinner itself was perfect - the only pickle being that the restaurant was quite understaffed...

I love it when restaurants have their menus online...

For Entree:
On a won-bok, crisp noodle salad
with a orange saffron dressing

Served with Celeraic Remoulade
and Lilypilly jelly


HERB CRUSTED LAMB RACK (Tim & Sarah - and - no, we didn't share!)
With Eggplant Parmigiano, parisienne potatoes
& Port Wine Reduction


Served with Bourbon mousse
and Berry Compote

BUTTERMILK PANACOTTA (Tim - this one was the winner - absolutely excellent!!)
served with Orange Caramel Glaze


The 'make your own' waffles at breakfast are highly recommended - but watch out for the maple syrup drips!!