Friday, October 19, 2012

Mount Dandenong

 I've raved about different food places, but this blog post is not a rave unfortunately.

Last week, my family and I visited Mount Dandenong to visit a tulip farm! Very pretty, but I don't have a huge interest in flowers so I was like meh. There were some sculptures around and the price tag/value of them are ridiculous. One thing I will never get: why art is so expensive. I'm just not an artist or into art-sy things.

The weather was pretty bad that day. It was raining!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Macaron madness

Sometimes, I wonder why I eat so much and it's not necessarily always healthy. Take for instance, one day I might just have a really bad craving. The next thing you know, I'm rummaging the pantry looking for some milk chocolate. And then finishing the whole block.). It's actually quite scary if you ask me.

You should even see me during breakfast time. I basically eat breakfast like a queen.

I made some quiche with my mum for dinner and I ate so much AND one of my mum's lemonade scones. Her scones are literally the best scones I've ever tasted. Of course, filled with whipped cream and jam! What is a scone without whipped cream and jam?
This was taken last year. I can't be bothered taking pictures now.
The other day, my second sister brought home some macarons from my favourite macaron shop, La belle miette! They are absolutely the most perfect macarons. I obviously couldn't eat the whole tube (though I'd like to) because my sister bought it for my whole family but I ate a raspberry one and a blueberry one. I loved the blueberry one. There was a sudden burst of blueberry jam in the middle.

They have the cutest boxes!
C'est parfait.
Macarons aren't exactly the cheapest baked goods you can buy, pricing typically at $2.50 AUD per macaron. So I am always so appreciative of my sisters.

La Belle Miette on Urbanspoon

  So, remember how a few months ago (REFER), I said that I wish I could master the macaron? Well I'm not exactly a master at macarons, BUT I can make decent ones!! Turns out, they are not impossible to bake.  Now I have sort-of-successfully made them twice! One was green tea and I just recently did pistachio ones.But they're just not that pretty.

Hello Ugly Macaron that tasted delicious. 

- The stiff peaks of the egg whites. You whip the egg whites until you have glossy, stiff peaks. To make sure, you hold the bowl upside down, and nothing should move.

- Leaving the macarons for about half an hour to harden their shells. I cannot stress how important that step is. The first two times, I didn't leave my macarons out to harden their shells long enough, and it completely failed!

I got the recipe off Tartelette. Helen from Tartelette is known as the 'Queen of macarons'. I've used her recipe twice, and her method and tips are excellent!

I know these macarons don't look pretty, BUT LOOKS CAN BE DECEIVING! I haven't got the technique just right, but I'm on the path.
UGLAY. Compare it to La belle miette... 
Pistachio macaron recipe but I used chocolate ganache instead of whipping up the buttercream. Chocolate ganache is seriously so easy to do!

And for heaven's sake, IT'S A MACARON NOT A MACAROON. I saw a Women's weekly recipe book at a bookstore that had the title "Macaroons and biscuits." #facepalm

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Cupcake central

One of my favourite baked goods to eat are cupcakes. Cupcakes are somewhat special and meaningful to me; they were the first things I baked. I remember excitedly running the kitchen mixer, making a vanilla cupcake batter from scratch. I remember I used to put some sort of runny, glaze sugary icing. I used to like that but now my tastebuds have changed and I find it way too sweet, and I much prefer a fluffy buttercream or my favourite: cream cheese frosting!

My oldest sister gave me a voucher from her Entertainment book (this kind of coupon book), for Cupcake Central. She said "I'll give this to you if you buy us cupcakes one day." and so I agreed. The coupon is 50% (up to 10 dollars value) off any cupcake purchase. I could get the boxes 50% off! 1 box of 4 regular cupcakes is normally 16 dollars and 1 box of 10 babycakes is normally 20 dollars. I decided to go with the babycakes because I wanted to try a variety of flavours. 1 big cupcake is $4 and 1 babycake is $2.

My sisters have brought home cupcakes from Cupcake Central numerous times, but I've never tasted some of these flavours before. I love their cupcakes because they are not overly-sweet, and the cupcakes are very moist.

I bought French vanilla custard, dulce de leche, cookies and cream, salted caramel, nutcase, cookie dough, vanilla vanilla and devil's food chocolate.

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Baked brownie

I don't bake brownies often because I've always had the trouble with getting the texture that I like. I've either ended up with way-too-cakey brownies or a hot fudge mess.

I've been eyeing on this recipe for months. I haven't been able to do so because

1. I always run out of good quality chocolate.... My family eats them up.

2. The recipe is very rich and indulgent, not to be made regularly (unless if you have an extremely high metabolism but I would still probably not recommend it hehe)! This recipe calls for five eggs. *here comes the bad type of cholesterol, aka LDL * 

But enough about how this recipe is not so good for health, let's talk about how your tastebuds will feel.

Apparently Baked is superb, renowned for their cookies, granola and of course brownies. According to Oprah, it is one of her favourite brownies, and when something gets Oprah-fied, that something becomes real famous (companies that sponsor her giveaways, Dr.Phil, Rachael Ray, Dr Oz etc).