Monday, 20 August 2007

delicious cake shop @ lane cove

Those who know me well would know that my major weakness is cake. I love pretty cakes and moreso, I love eating pretty cakes. This weekend, my aunty took me to a cake shop she discovered whilst in the Lane Cove area. She gave me a week's notice that we were going, in which time I perused their website to check what cakes they had and to decide what cakes I would be getting (For those interested, visit Again, those who know me well would know that I'm highly indecisive. When it comes to cakes in particular, I end up getting a piece of everything all because I can't decide. So anyways, that's just a bit about me.
Back to the cake shop, called 'Delicious Cake Shop' claims to be Japanese. It's not really Japanese (as much as their cakes strive to look like those Japanese cakes), you'll find that the people working there are Chinese looking, and then when you look closely at the packaging, you'll discover that you're in a Taiwanese bakery. Honestly, I think the Taiwanese do an awesome job with their cakes (for e.g. Savoy is one of those places I constantly go back to) and definitely, this little place in Lane Cove will become another one of those ones which I'll visit when I can.
So it was with great difficulty that I settled on 7 slices of cake plus some cookies and friands. The cake slices included: Black Forest, White Forest, Chocolate Lover, German Cheesecake, Oreo Cheesecake, Ferrero Rocher Cheesecake, and Blueberry Pie. I'm a big cheesecake lover and settled for all their cheesecake slices. They actually have a wide selection of mousse cakes on offer if mousse is your cup of tea. As for my aunt, she bought a full chestnut cake and a coffee roll.
On the whole, expect some intense flavours. Can't say I'm 100% happy with all the cakes but they've definitely done a good job with the cheesecake slices! Presentation is superb and whilst not actually 'Japanese', they've still won me over in their own ways. Will go back soon to order their hamburger cake. Check it out on their website!!

Sunday, 19 August 2007

the gluten free expo @ olympic park

A couple of weeks back, I saw an ad for this in Superfood Ideas or it could've been Australian Table. Anyway, I did my best to ask my closest foodies (Mandy and Amz) to join me but with no luck (a sms from Mandy and an unreturned call from Amy), I ventured over to Olypmic Park with J. Probably the first time we've driven to Olypmic Park and unbeknown to us both, we ended up parking in a carpark (which was a long way away) and then to realise there was actually 2 hours free street parking closer to the hall. Ah well, at least the admission to the show was free!

The website for the show had been quite vague as to its actual location. It simply said Olympic Park and as most will know, Olypmic Park is actually quite spread out. With a bit of common sense that involved following the direction where people with bags were walking towards us from (of course any food show is incomplete without the bags of goodies!), we found the Show in 'The Showbag Hall of the Easter Show'. Definitely well hidden away and at first sight, seemed rather deserted. This was certainly not the case as we ventured inside.
The main entrance.
People crowded each stall. We started off with some Gluten free Honey Cereal Loops, then progressed to gluten free bread, then there was gluten free chocolate, gluten free cakes, gluten free chips, gluten free pies, assorted gluten free snacks and might I add, Belgian chocolates from Leonadis in Chifley Square (are they gluten free?). Gluten free foods are generally identified by their dense texture (given gluten gives food it's stretchy/chewiness). I actually didn't mind what was on offer and what I saw, definitely made me appreciate the companies out there who are catering their products to those that are gluten intolerant. Thumbs up from me!!
And well, as you can imagine, I'm not gluten intolerant. When I got home, I actually spent some time reading about what it meant to be gluten intolerant and was quite surprised that some of the symptoms were quite normal. At some point, I was thinking even I could be displaying those symptoms when J commented 'You eat too many cakes, there's no way you have a problem with gluten'. Well, it was just a thought.
J with our loot of gluten free chips, crackers and sausages!!
J trying to look pissed off.

All in all, it was a nice day out at Olympic Park! J & I have possibly ODed on the Chipman Corn Chips which we brought back from the show. And well, I seem to have mistaken gluten free for 'fat free' in the space of the day. Hmmm....

Sunday, 12 August 2007

chocolate banana bread

Today, I had J shake his head at me when I answered his question of 'Do you have a chocolate cupcake recipe?' My answer went along the lines of 'Yeah I do, I just need to look for it'...and there, on my severely leaning tower of a bookshelf was not one...but 9 cupcake books (plus another still to be shelved sitting on my desk). Grabbing the pink '500 cupcakes', J asserted 'It's sure to be in here' and well, yeah it was (all catalogued and indexed) but unfortunately, my pantry was short on half the ingredients owing to the chocolate banana bread I made earlier this morning. Anyway, we didn't get to making those chocolate cupcakes.

Introducing Julie le Clerc's 'Chocolate Banana Bread'. The recipe called for Dutch processed cocoa powder which the recipe claimed would improve its taste. In the absence of this, I stuck with Nestle's cocoa powder (though not perfect) has seen me through one after another chocolate recipe. Does anyone know where I can get said Dutch processes cocoa powder? Let me know if you do.

My loaf could've probabaly done with a few more minutes in the oven but given I'll be toasting the slices when I eat it later, 45 minutes was more or less about right. Man, I loved those specks of melted chocolate running throughout the loaf. Absolutely yum!
The slice I cut for mum and put on a plate. That half chewed piece on the rack is mine :P
For your interest, Julie le Clerc is another one of my favourite cookbook authors. As with Donna Hay, I love the simplicity of her recipes and the fact she makes cooking so beautiful and aesthetically pleasing. I'm in the process of hunting down two of her other recipe books (again, let me know if anyone sees any of her recipe books). Anyway, take my word for it, you can spend ages drooling over the pages of her recipe books. The awesome thing about Julie is that she has actually owned a number of cafes in the past. This insofar guarantees most of her recipes will be good but also, you'll find all your favourite cafe recipes accessible in that one book. Might I add, I'm still getting through it...
And whilst uploading photos, I came across this one. Good luck guys when you start Superior Patisserie. Wish I was there with you!
Gosh, I miss LCB!

Sunday, 5 August 2007

pancakes @ darling harbour

It's definitely been awhile since J&I have been out eating. Not too sure why...just busy? Anyhow, after weeks/months of staying in and eating, we managed to find some time today to visit Pancakes @ Darling Harbour. It's probably nothing new for most people, given that it's been open for awhile now. We were clearly new to it all and could barely contain the excitement that this Pancakes is actually a lot more convenient to get to compared to the one at the Rocks! Woohoo!

Anyways, en route to Pancakes, we saw this. A carpark...albeit for some nice, shiny and probably expensive boats. J started daydreaming about retirement and owning an expensive, flashy boat.
Just in time, we grabbed the last booth at Pancakes and watched the queue form at the door. Can I say, it was a massive booth for two, and J was close to reclining on his side as soon as we were seated. Time to peruse over the menu and decide what to eat!

I do not recommend the Lemon Ice Tea.
We were both ravenous and decided on savoury meals, with the intention of sharing a sweet pancake at the end. J had the Ribeye (yum but tastes dry at the end cause it doesn't come with any sauce) and I went for the Beef Ribs (I've had it a number of times now but still not quite sick of it. Possibly the best beef ribs I've tried and consistently good!)


A steak and a beef rib later, we didn't manage to get to the sweet pancake. Darn, and we had the entertainment voucher also!! Sigh, a trip to Pancakes really isn't complete without a sweet pancake. The Jaffa Chocolate pancake looked so good too!!