Thursday, 27 September 2012

Rainbow Checkerboard Cake

Almost forgot to take a photo!

A week ago it was my colourful, bubbly friend's birthday. So what better to do than make the brightest cake I could?

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Zumbo at The Star, Sydney

I finally made it! I have been waiting to try Zumbo's macarons for as long as I knew about them. At The Star, Zumbo goes one step further by having a dessert train! It's awesome! Think sushi train but with dessert ;)

If you're lucky enough to be around from 6-8pm Wednesday to Saturday you can attend 'Sugar Daddy' ie happy hour! During Sugar Daddy pink and white plates are $4, while black plates are $8.

There are two ways you can go about eating the macarons on the dessert train, you can pick a random plate and try and guess the flavours which is a fairly amusing game, or you can go and select a plate from the cabinet. I went for the latter and chose salted butter popcorn, rum & coke, vegemite and pancakes with maple syrup.

Clockwise from back left. Vegemite, salted butter popcorn, rum & coke, pancakes with maple syrup.

I LOVED the salted butter popcorn, as did everyone else who tried it. My second favourite was the vegemite as it was not so sweet. Rum and coke was interesting (in a good way), however I did not really like the pancake one as it was super sweet. Actually in Zumbo's defence I never order pancakes so it was unlikely it was going to be my favourite!

Other macarons available that day included blackened vanilla, salted caramel, malted milk custard crunch, peach iced tea and dark chocolate.

Now I couldn't just sample the macarons so I chose one dessert from the train. It was a splice and it was pretty good, although I preferred the macarons. Most of the desserts that night were chocolate based which isn't really my thing. I think in total there were 5 desserts going around which I thought was a little on the meagre side however it was a Thursday so I guess not super busy.

Of course there are still all the other amazing Zumbo cakes and pastries on offer in addition to soft serve. You can also get takeaway.

All in all I loved it! The shop itself is amazing! It's the closest i'll ever get to Willy Wonka's! In terms of the dessert train I guess it's something fun to do with a group of friends but the selection isn't all that great.

If only there was a Zumbo Patisserie in Melbourne!

Sarah xx

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Zucchini Soup

Last week I spent the week in Sydney at the International Congress of Dietetics. Not only was the conference amazing, Sydney turned on the loveliest weather. I have slight weather envy! Spring is definitely here!

I was dreading coming back to the dodgy Melbourne weather. Thankfully it has been beautiful ever since I got home. Finally the weather is getting warmer, the sun is shining and strawberries are back! Give it a couple more weeks and hopefully eating outdoors will become the norm.

I have been frustrated at the price of fruit and vegetables lately - everything is so expensive! I guess it is due to the fact that we are in between seasons. However a couple of days ago I managed to pick up zucchinis for less than $1/kg. Perhaps an indication that spring vegies are coming in?

Anyway this soup is great. It's based on a recipe by Neil Perry. You don't need to be a fan of zucchinis to enjoy it as it tastes more like the garlic, parmesan and basil that are blended through it. It can be eaten either hot or chilled.

Zucchini Soup
Serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil
1kg zucchini, roughly chopped
4-6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 small bunch basil
1.5L vegetable stock
50g parmesan cheese
Freshly cracked pepper

In a large pot, heat olive oil. Add zucchini, garlic and basil and saute for 10 minutes or until zucchini is translucent. Add stock and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Add parmesan cheese and stir. Blend soup in a blender/with a stick blender until it is smooth. Liberally add cracked pepper and enjoy!

P.S. This entire recipe is very easily done in a Thermomix. You don't need a different recipe - I'm sure you can figure it out!

Sarah xx