Tag Archives: dessert

Black and white whoopie pies

Whoopie pies

One of the recipes I’ve been meaning to try for the longest time, is for classic Black and white whoopie pies – chocolate and vanilla cake meets biscuit. They’re sized for one, cute to look at, and delicious to eat.

I’d been putting off making them, until I saw the Baker’s Secret whoopie pie tray ($16.95). It’s a non-stick tray with twelve individual wells for whoopie pies. The tray is also promoted as a macaron tray, but honestly, they’d be massive, so I’d steer clear from using it for that purpose!

I don’t know why I put off this recipe for so long, as it was surprisingly easy. I’m now thinking this tray would also be ideal for making Powder Puffs (the super-light sponge cakes sandwiched with cream), or even mini breakfast quiches.

Whoopie pies

Black and white whoopie pies

Cakes

Ingredients

115g butter, softened
200g dark brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
280g plain flour (I used plain cake flour, which is low protein flour)
50g cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
a pinch of salt
225ml buttermilk (or same quantity regular milk, with 1tsp white vingegar or lemon juice added)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees celsius (fan forced), or 190 degrees celsius (standard, no fan assist). Grease the wells of whoopie pie tray with baking spray.
  2. Sift flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
  3. Cream butter, sugar and vanilla extract in the bowl of an electic mixer until pale, light and fluffy.
  4. Add the egg, and beat thoroughly.
  5. Add half of the sifted ingredients to the bowl of the mixer, and half of the milk. Beat on lowest speed until combined. Follow with remaining sifted ingredients and remaining milk. Mix on low until all ingredients come together (don’t overmix).
  6. Fill wells of greased whoopie pie tray with heaped tablespoons of mixture.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until risen and firm. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool.

Whoopie pies

Buttercream filling

Ingredients

113g butter, softened
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 – 3 tbs milk

Method

  1. Using an electric mixer, beat the softened butter and icing sugar until pale and fluffy.
  2. Add vanilla extract, continue beating and enough little milk to loosen mixture. Filling should be thick, but easily spreadable.
  3. Keep cool until ready to use (but not in fridge).

Assembling the whoopie pies

  1. Match similar sized cakes in pairs.
  2. Sandwich together using a generous amount of buttercream.
  3. Eat immediately, or refrigerate in a sealed container if not eating immediately. Keeps not long (as I’m assuming you’ll scoff the lot in no time).

Whoopie pies

Thanks to Kitchenware Superstore for providing me with the Baker’s Secret whoopie pie tray to test! I’d say it was a success :)

Disclosure: Product provided by PR for review purposes. All opinions provided are my own, and I have received no other compensation for this post.

Sweet treats from Maison Saint-Honoré

Sweet treats from Maison Saint Honore

A quick update, to bring you the perfect Canele: with a sweet burnished exterior that’s chewy and slightly crisp – thanks to the addition of beeswax. The centres are soft and yielding; delicately vanilla fragranced and almost custardy, with just a tiny kick of rum.

Sweet treats from Maison Saint Honore

And two crisp little macarons – honey and thyme; striped with green and a classic salted caramel. Maison Saint-Honoré uses an interesting butter cream filling, that’s different to others I’ve sampled. It’s a little more solid than creamy in this chilly weather, but still carries the flavours beautifully.

Although honey and thyme are perfect partners, I found the savouriness of the thyme a little unsettling! I think the salted caramel is really more of a “me” flavour. But with so many others to sample, I think I’d be tempted to stray from my favourites in search of other interesting delights.

Maison Saint-Honoré  on Urbanspoon

For more information, visit the Maison Saint-Honoré website!

Restaurant Amuse Dessert Degustation

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On Wednesday night, I joined a group of fellow food bloggers at Restaurant Amuse, for their much talked about, much anticipated, dessert degustation.

Some of us hadn’t met before, but it didn’t take long for us to get settled in, chatting about recent eating experiences, cameras and all things food related.

Have I ever mentioned how great it is to dine with fellow food bloggers?
Reasons why I love it:

  1. No one blinks when you say, “wait, can I take a photo of that?”
  2. You’ve always got somebody (or in our case, several somebodies) who is willing to hold up an iPhone ‘torch’ to illuminate your plate
  3. Sharing food and drinks is not only accepted, but encouraged!

Restaurant Amuse Dessert Degustation

Golden scream, $10, pineapple mocktail

Our menu for the evening was strictly dessert – but I’m not going to say strictly sweet, because, as we discovered, the team at Amuse have a thoroughly creative view of what constitutes dessert.

We were treated to an insight on what was in store for the evening, from wife of the Chef, and front of house manager, Carolynne. She explained the menu for the evening would feature some classic Amuse dessertsfrom the archives, in addition to some experiments developed over the last couple of weeks.

Restaurant Amuse Dessert Degustation

We began with Caramel, white chocolate and wasabi. The pale golden spheres which were presented to us immediately made me think of birds’ eggs.

Biting into the creamy white chocolate shell revealed a cold and creamy caramel parfait. We were all pleasantly surprised by the sharp wasabi kick to the palate which followed.

Restaurant Amuse Dessert Degustation

Our next course, Chimay 2011, gets its name from the Belgian beer used in the sorbet. Brewed by Cistercian monks, this flowery beer was originally brewed as a ‘festive’ specialty.

I’m glad it’s not a once-a-year thing any more, as even I, the most anti-beer person I know, found the rich caramelised notes of the beer sorbet really pleasant.

Set off with a barley foam, salted cashews and a thick, wheaty pretzel, this reminded me of all the salty accompaniments we all crave with a cold beer.

Restaurant Amuse Dessert Degustation

I think it was Bon Viveur who said, ‘who doesn’t love a good G and T?’ and I have to agree.

Though it resembled no G and T I’ve ever seen, I’d be happy to indulge in this pillow of deliciousness any time!

Rounds of fluffy, caramelised marshmallow encased a layer of gin and tonic jelly over a ‘drunken sponge’ cake. I loved the burst of lime oil from the finely grated zest.

Something about the smell of limes for me, just screams summer, and immediately conjures images of gin and fizzing tonic water, with ice cubes clinking in a glass.

Restaurant Amuse Dessert Degustation

Lychee, banana and finger limes caused a bit of a stir amongst us, as we marvelled at the presentation of lychees three ways – as mousse, gel and freeze-dried. The freeze-dried lychees had me guessing at first, looking very much like puffed pork rinds.

A sweet banana puree and coconut creme patissiere were also joined by fresh finger lime from Marvick Natives Farm, just north of Perth. The finger lime ‘caviar’ was a favourite, adding a burst of acid tang to every mouthful.

Restaurant Amuse Dessert Degustation

Looking back at the description of this stunning dish reminds me that not all desserts are created equal.

Mike Thompson [Galapagos, Mana Lucie, Snow White, Thai Pink Lady, Green Grape, Orange Cherry, Princep Borghese, Marmande, Pale Purple and Black Plum], featured a diverse range of unusual and heirloom tomato varieties, most of which I’d never heard of, sourced from local WA grower, Mike Thompson. I love that the dish was named after him!

The medley of tomatoes was turned into a sweetly umami sorbet, and complemented beautifully by the sweet-sour verjuice and balsamic ‘pebbles’. The addition of hyssop added a minty, astringent flavour to this dish. It was quite strong, and even now, I’m not sure if I can call myself a fan.

Restaurant Amuse Dessert Degustation

Bee pollen and crunchie was a delightfully retro treat from Amuse’s 2008 menu. The bee pollen milkshake was strangely addictive, reminding me a little of the malty-sweet milkshakes I adored when I was young.

We all enjoyed Amuse’s take on the Crunchie, which featured thick chocolate around homemade honeycomb. More please!

Restaurant Amuse Dessert Degustation

Capturing the beauty of Hay, blueberries and cocoa just wouldn’t have been possible without the helping hands of my food blogger friends :)

Restaurant Amuse Dessert Degustation

As the wafts of hay smoke cleared, we found fresh blueberries piled over a sweet hay custard, blueberry syrup and a tumble of slightly sweet coffee and cocoa crumbs.

Digging into this was an absolute pleasure, revealing more (and more!) with every bite. I loved the creaminess of the custard, and how well it was offset with the sour-sweet flavour of the blueberries, and texturally by the cocoa-coffee crumbs.

Restaurant Amuse Dessert Degustation

Sidenote: at this point, Gastromony and I simultaneously ‘ooh-ed’ at the beautiful ceramics which our dishes were presented on. Though it never contributes to the flavour of a dish, I do love a beautiful dish, and I was thoroughly impressed with the selections used by Amuse!

Restaurant Amuse Dessert Degustation

Beetroot, pistachio and raspberries featured a thirty second beetroot sponge, pistachio sorbet, crushed milk biscuit and fresh raspberries. I loved the play on textures – from soft and spongy to crisp and crunchy.

Restaurant Amuse Dessert Degustation

A definite favourite of the night was Return of the 2007 Snickers, one of Amuse’s early desserts from their first year of business.

Two cubes of creamy mousse were the standouts for me – flavoured with peanut butter and chocolate, and topped off with a slightly salty soft peanut caramel. A quenelle of creamy nougat ice cream completed this salute to the Snickers bar.

I don’t think I have adequate words to describe how much I loved this. Let’s just say – a lot.

Restaurant Amuse Dessert Degustation

Chef Hadleigh joined us for our next course, Apricot and Anglaise, to top each individual apricot souffle with a silky sweet vanilla anglaise.

Though I loved the delicate flavour of this souffle and the creamy vanilla custard, I have to confess I was struggling to finish at this point. The sugar rush hit me hard. Oh boy.

Restaurant Amuse Dessert Degustation

We ended our evening with a sweet (but slightly less sweet) finish, enjoying a perfectly executed coffee macaron and rich Baileys Irish cream truffle.

The creamy coffee flavoured macaron and rich Baileys truffle worked perfectly for me as a replacement for the usual post-meal coffee. I’d be happy to go without on a regular basis for treats like these!

Though you’d have to work seriously hard to convince me to give up the savoury component of any degustation, this valiant effort from the team at Restaurant Amuse certainly grabbed my attention and held it.

And though I originally thought I would need a salt-fix in the form of late night junk food after our meal, I can report that no post-dego chips, burgers or cheese were consumed ;)

And shout outs to my fellow food-fans, and eaters in crime:
Bon Viveur, Gastromony, Blue Apocalypse, The Strawberry Thief, Eat Meets West and Carolanne’s Kitchen. We should do this again some time :)

Restaurant Amuse on Urbanspoon

The-Star-19

Things I love Thursday: The Star Edition

Monoffee (Banoffee Pie) and Pandan Coconut Gelato from Gelato Messina

Cold, creamy and smooth. Possibly the most wonderfully pandan-flavoured ice cream I’ve ever had. The Monoffee was just right – flavoured with fresh banana, with a fantastic deep caramel, which had me dreaming of butter bubbling in a pan of ochre-toned gooey sugar.

Water my melons and ping pong show … cue immature giggling.

The lilliputian-looking dessert train…

We ate…

Zumbarons – clockwise from top left: cola, watermelon and orange, caramelised pumpkin seed and the mystery macaron (the flavour totally escapes my memory!)

Violet crunchie. I loved the sticky sweet honeycomb.

Watermelon yoghurt. Featuring orange custard, a very underrated custard flavour!

Adriano Zumbo Pâtissier on Urbanspoon

Hawkers-Cuisine-5

Hawker’s Cuisine, Northbridge


Hawker’s Cuisine is a gem of a place, hidden in the alleyway behind The Shanghai Shed (officially called The Old Shanghai Food Court) in Northbridge. It’s not far from Perth’s favourite destination for all night eats – Billy Lee’s.

I imagine there must be lots of people around who haven’t heard of it, even though it’s been around for a number of years.


Step inside, and you’ll be greeted by a glass-fronted chiller, filled with fresh fish, individually wrapped soft-shelled crabs, and large banana prawns.

Business is bustling. The waitstaff are quick on their feet, ferrying hot plates to waiting tables, and clearing away dishes from groaning diners.


I personally love the bright orange walls and the fruity decorations hanging from the ceiling.

TFP, Jac, J and I arrived on a busy Saturday night. After quick deliberation, we settled on some dishes – a mix of old favourites and things we’d never tried before. It’s been at least a couple of years since I last ate at Hawker’s, so I was very keen to sample some of the dishes I loved so much the first time around.

The drinks menu at Hawker’s includes all the Malaysian and Singaporean favourites, from iced tea to Horlicks. We went with Iced Lychee (TFP), Iced Lemon Tea (Jac), Iced Longan (J) and Iced Teh (me).

In my previous post, a visit to Mak’s Place for Malaysia Kitchen Summit, I mentioned my love of super-strong Teh. This one from Hawker’s was a cracker – perfectly brewed to a deep brown and sweetened with the addition of condensed milk.

One of my personal favourites is the hotplate tofu. Though I’m not sure if it’s strictly Malaysian, this popular dish seems to appear on the menus of a number of Chinese-Malaysian restaurants around town.

Soft, pillowy pieces of Japanese egg tofu are lightly floured and deep fried, placed over a hotplate-fried egg and covered in a thick sauce flecked with pork mince.

This was the dish that changed my mind about tofu. Sure, I wouldn’t call myself a fan by any means, but we’ve come to an arrangement now. If served like this, then we definitely get along. It’s perfect served over hot steaming rice which soaks up the flavoursome sauce perfectly.

Top row: Marmite Chicken, bottom row: Salted Egg Yolk Soft-Shell Crab

Marmite Chicken is a favourite in Singapore and Malaysia, featuring – you guessed it, Marmite! In this dish, the addition of Marmite enhances the sticky, savoury, salty and sweet sauce. The chicken pieces, which had been coated in a light batter and deep fried, were tender and juicy despite the two-step cooking process. A triumph for chicken fans!

As a kid, I used to regard Salted (duck) egg yolks as a total food fail. Inserted into my favourite Moon Cakes, they created a clash of sweet and savoury that my ten-year-old tastebuds could not handle. The slightly sandy, usually crumbly texture of the yolks was also weird. Who wants a dry yolk? Not I, sir.


Now, almost 15 years later, the presence of salted egg yolk dusting crunchy deep fried crab is a total delight. The golden crumbs which coat each piece only add to the deliciousness. They’re really only delicately salted – most of the salt which the eggs are ‘cured’ in seeps into the egg white, leaving the yolk with a hint of salty tang.

The yolk which the fried soft-shelled crab was tossed in was both pretty and delicious to eat, adding (more) richness to the dish. These soft-shelled crabs were lovely – nicely tender and meaty.

In the interests of eating a more balanced meal, we also ordered the stir-fried vegetables of the day with garlic. Saturday’s offering included crunchy kai lan, sweet bok choy and tender choy sum. Even the stringy-vegetable fearing Jac and J were able to eat this, with only a few pieces rejected on the grounds of being a little too stringy. J remarked that it was definitely the generous addition of garlic which helped him enjoy the greens.

The fresh leaves and crunchy stalks had been helpfully sliced into perfect bite sized pieces; the ideal when wielding chopsticks.

To top things off, we had also ordered the Sarawak Pork. I’ve never visited East Malaysia (where the state of Sarawak is located) and I’ve never heard of this dish before.

Strips of poached pork belly in a sweet soy-based sauce were swaddled by fried firm tofu and perfectly cooked hard boiled eggs. The sauce was flavoured with star anise, cloves and cinnamon.

It reminded me very much of my Grandma’s favourite one-pot dish, pork and chicken in soy sauce. She used to cook it for the family most often on a Saturday night, a dish she could cook earlier in the day and serve for dinner, usually with hard boiled eggs, dried bean curd sheets (foo chok) and dried Shiitake mushrooms. It was nice to be reminded of it! :)

Jac found the pork too fatty for her liking. The meat was rippled with fat, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I love the combination of the spices used in the sauce – they really complement meat well.

Ice Kacang is a technicolour shaved ice confection, usually eaten as a snack or dessert. Kids love it – I know I did, and it’s obvious why. Covered in sweet rose syrup and usually evaporated milk, the shaved ice sits over a mound of black grass jelly, creamed corn, attap chee (palm seeds soaked in syrup), and mashed sweetened red beans.

Hawker’s serve a slightly different version to my old favourite, instead including red beans, creamed corn, canned lychees, jelly bits and black grass jelly, with the ice well covered in rose syrup and coconut milk.

You’ve got to eat it fast. We decided to share – TFP speedily dished out our portions into smaller bowls. As you can see from the photo above, it really is eat or you’ll miss it, as your once beautiful snowy pile of ice and syrup turns into slush.

I was pleased to find a good mix of classic Malaysian and Singaporean favourites on the Hawker’s menu. From drinks to mains, there’s plenty of things on the menu to satisfy the purists and Malaysian food newbies alike.

I’m so glad that the food is just as good as I remembered at Hawker’s Cuisine. I’ll try not to let two-years come between me and the next visit!

Hawker's Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Open for dinner Tuesday to Sunday

Juji Chews dined at Hawker’s Cuisine as a guest of Malaysia Kitchen.

If you enjoyed my post, please visit Malaysia Kitchen Blogger Summit and vote by clicking like!

Dinner with A & T

It’s been really cold in Perth lately. Of course, I mean cold by Perth standards – but when it involves nights below 0.1 degrees, as I’ve said before, all I really want for dinner is something warm and hearty.

The beef pies and orange mash made a special (re)appearance, after a special request from A.

I switched it up this time, and made it beef in red wine (instead of beer), with chunky carrots and celery.

Here’s A being my pie-model (left).

To go with the pies, I made orange mash and quickly blanched some broccolini and green beans (the beans were from our garden)

After eating our pies and veggies, and drinking a few glasses of wine, we moved on to dessert, which J and I picked up from Dolce and Salato, the pizza and pastry shop next to Charlies.

D&S really make some great cannoli. They make three varieties – chocolate, vanilla custard and traditional ricotta. T & I both agreed the vanilla custard version was our favourite, especially as you didn’t really miss out on the chocolate element (as D&S so thoughtfully brush melted chocolate inside!).  They were the perfect end to our meal.

If you’re ever in Morley or South Freo I’d highly recommend sampling them. I might be there later today … I hear some arancini and cannoli calling my name :P

Dolce & Salato
Unit 9, 47 Douro Road, South Fremantle, 6162
497 Walter Road, Morley, 6062 (inside Charlies Fresh Food Market)