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Showing posts from 2010

Cupcake Gallery 2010

2010 in a cupcake!

Here's a pictorial record of the best of the cupcakes I have tasted in 2010.  It's long, and therefore a bit scary when you add the calories, but worth every bite.

I've only recorded the best here - those that were not worth the calories have been discarded.

Over 40 cupcakes for your viewing pleasure.

Inspired by Steph's comment at the end, I'm asking you to select your fav from the list and guess mine!

Christmas Day dessert

I'm a big fan of the traditional plum pud with extra ice cream, cream and custard, did I say more cream and custard?

My grandmother Ruby was a great cook and always made the plum pudding properly with the threepences baked in.  Sadly, she's no longer with us so over the years we have been known to fake it by pushing the money in after cooking or even (hope you are not reading Ruby) into a bought plum pud. But my Dad said it was never the same and of course he was right.

But a recent calorie count comparison has made me suggest a mango mousse for Christmas lunch this year.  I don't want to spoil your Christmas by telling you how many calories are in each mouthful of Xmas pud but don't go back for seconds.  To make things even worse, Mince tarts (another fave) are top of the calorie list.

So it's mango mousse trifle, which includes a liberal dose of my favourite Bundaberg Rum this year and here's the recipe! Enjoy. Mango Mousse Trifle

Shopping for Christmas goodies

It was one of those days that we Brisbanites describe as a 'stinker'. Hot and sweaty - with not a breeze in sight.

Luckily I spent the morning on an air conditioned bus touring Brisbane's foodie haunts with a group of fellow food lovers.

Organised by The Courier-Mail food writer Natashca Mirosch, the tour took us around inner Brisbane in a whirl wind of tasting. 

Christmas in a box

What better way to start the weekend than with a delivery of gourmet goodies?

When a Friday in a Box arrived on my doorstep full of Elixir Coffee, Limar Nougat, This Relish, Dukkah, Coolanuna Olive Oil, Suncoast Limes Lime Salt, a flash linen tea towel and topped with a Singapore orchid I thought it was Christmas!

Tasty bits from bmag December 14

What's in season

Brisbane Produce Market fresh produce report: 14 December 2010

There are plenty of sweet tasting peaches, yellow fleshed nectarines and apricots on the shelves this week but eat them quickly if you want it to be the best quality.

Wilson plums are also tasty but nearing the end of their short season.

Sake Explained

Sake Restaurant & Bar, Eagle Street, Brisbane.

There’s a warmth and a simple wooden elegance about Saké, one of the new additions to the Eagle Street Pier dining precinct, which is both inviting and relaxing.
Established only a year in Sydney, Saké has attracted a coveted Chef’s Hat and loyal fan base. Now Brisbane has its own Saké with a chic designer setting modelled on its Sydney sibling and an outstanding à la carte menu created by Executive Chef Shaun Presland.
Head Chef Shinichi Maeda drawing on his extensive knowledge of regional produce to deliver a sensational bar menu and seasonal additions to the main menu. Shinichi spent seven years as Executive Chef at Wasabi, Noosa.

Bavarian Bier Cafe, Eagle Street, Brisbane

"Das is sehr gut!" is the only appropriate comment regarding the latest addition to Brisbane's newly revamped Eagle Street Pier.
Upstairs, with a view over the river that would make even Aria's patrons slightly green, the Bavarian Bier Cafe offers office workers and those looking for fast and hearty food a very pleasant place to consume it. 

Ave Cucina & Café, Eva St, Coorparoo

We cheered for them on “My Kitchen Rules” and now the dream has come true.
Veronica and Shadi Abraham have opened their own restaurant in suburban Coorparoo, showcasing their family style food which encompasses their Italian/Lebanese heritage.
Just as it was on the show, family is very important in the restaurant with everyone lending a hand. Normally an ocean of checked pants and white jackets, the kitchen on opening night was full of women decked out in their finery for the opening, putting the finishing touches on the food before it hit the floor.

A Brisbane market Christmas

If you'd rather buy your veggies straight from the source or just purchase something different than you see on the shelves at the big chain stores Jan Power’s Farmers Markets will have lots to interest you, especially for Christmas.

The marketeers at Mitchelton, New Farm, Queen Street Mall and Manly are gearing up for their best Christmas ever.

“This year market shoppers seem to be going for a simpler, old fashioned festive season,” said Jan. “The emphasis is on a few high quality products presented beautifully rather than a big over the top feast.”

Cat poo coffee in Bali

That got your attention –didn’t it! 
It’s not as bad as it sounds and I can say that from personal experience.  Yes, I’ve drunk and enjoyed kopi luwak on several occasions, in both Australia and Bali.
What’s it like? Well very smooth with a well-rounded flavour, certainly easy to drink.  If it was cheaper I am sure I would have lined up for more. 

Who wants chocolate for Christmas?

Christmas is one of those times of the year when it's sorta healthy to let go a little, forget counting every calorie, and just enjoy the good life.

And if you are going to enjoy the good life, do it in style with chocolates that really are worth every calorie from Bittersweet.

Bittersweet have been creating handcrafted chocolates to entice and indulge Brisbane’s foodies for over 25 years. Sadly, the power house behind the brand, Ann Atkinson, lost her battle with pancreatic cancer in March this year leaving behind a devastated family and an iconic chocolate boutique.

Treacle, Grange

I’m a golden syrup girl but I have been known to expand my repertoire and dip into the dark sticky sweetness of treacle when required. 
Treacle tart with Queensland roasted macadamia nut vanilla ice cream caught my eye from my first quick perusal of the menu at Treacle on Days Road at the Grange.(Yes, you caught me; I was reading the desserts first!)
Treacle is the brain child of executive chefs and owners Richard Gardner and Shenyia Laverack.Their menu takes advantage of seasonal and local produce offering a modern Australian flavour with a few innovative twists. The wine list features both Australian and New Zealand wines. 

Mango Mousse Trifle recipe

Prawns, mango, barramundi and bugs, it's hard to get any more Queensland than that according to the members of the Taste for the Love of Cooking Cooking Club.

It's a group that meets regularly and shares recipes on a theme. November's theme was Queensland and I was one of the judges.  My pick was Coral McKillop's Mango Mousse Trifle on three counts - it's a dessert (I love dessert), it includes mango and Coral included Bundaberg Rum - another favourite!

Here's the recipe -


2 large or 3 medium ripe mangoes grated rind 1 lemon and 1 orange
2/3rd cup sugar
1 Tablespoon gelatine
1/3rd cup water
1 cup cream
1 egg-white
1 20cm sponge cake
1 to 2 Tablespoons rum mixed with 1/4 cup milk
1 extra mango
passionfruit pulp (optional)
extra whipped cream

Peel mangoes and put fruit and juice into blender/processor; blend to a puree or mash until smooth. Place in bowl and add orange and lemon rind and sugar; stir until sugar dissolves.
Sprinkle gelatine over…

Cupcakes at Comfort At My Table, Milton

The search for the perfect cupcake took me back to Comfort at My Table this week and I was lucky enough to find what I was looking for.

Tasty bits from bmag December 1

Join the Rosé Revolution

Long hot summers and rosé go hand-in-hand throughout Europe and the Mediterranean coast so why, in Brisbane where the climate is similar, is rosé considered an odd choice?

Try to get a group of friends to share a bottle next time you are out at dinner and you'll see what I mean.

Light and cool, rosé is a great choice and a wonderful match with many meals but it's hard to break old patterns.

In season this week - Nov 30

It’s been the longest season for strawberries for many years with Stanthorpe, South Australian, Victorian, Western Australian and even New Zealand fruit on the shelves.

Flamingo, Fortitude Valley

When it comes to quirky decor, Flamingo hits all the buttons, but it's the food as much as the ambience that will make you return.

We ventured out on a Sunday morning and found the laneway buzzing with the Winn Lane markets (10am - 4pm).  After brekkie, V Diddy bought a little black lace number that's perfect for work for just $40 from one of the stalls.  She was lusting after earrings as well and has vowed to return.

Off the Eaten Track - new Qld food tv show

Mark your diary, set your record function, do whatever you need to do to make sure you don't miss a moment of 'Off the Eaten Track' - Channel 7's new local food program.
From the opening sequence which has a cartoon Alastair McLeod running through the wilds of Queensland (hope your personal trainer was watching that Alastair!) searching for produce to the mud crabs, mangos and avocado ice cream he discovers, this is a foodies delight.

Maggie Beer's Farm Shop,

‘Maggie has left the building’ were the first words that registered as I walked into Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop in South Australia’s beautiful Barossa Valley.
“She was here all morning”, her staff bravely shared to my disappointed face.
If it hadn’t been for the rich and varied wines that we tasted after walking through Langmeil Winery and enjoying the story of the vines, I would have been severely disappointed. But more important things – lunch awaited.

BTS, Pirie Street, Adelaide.

Are cupcakes really BTS (Better than sex)?

If popularity rules, Adelaide's BTS cupcakes might make more than a few think about the question.

This pretty-in-pink cupcake shop has all the right elements - over the top decor, prompt friendly service and quirky cupcake names.

In season this week - Nov 23

Brisbane Market reports that -
Sweet new season lychees are starting to arrive on the shelves in larger numbers from this week, right on cue for the start of the festive season.

Tank Restaurant & Bar opens in CBD

My friend Jodie dined at Tank last week and emailed me raving about the 'to-die-for' mustard-crusted wagyu.

With only one stomach and a fiscally challenged wallet I haven't eaten at Tank yet but I think you should give it a go - here's what I know.

Fancy a gourmand Tasmanian escape?

Small though it may be, inch for inch Tasmania is packed full of treats for the gourmet traveller.

Their latest promo is take a New Year holiday and include a cooking class - Sounds good to me!

Hands on cooking sessions are held around the state celebrating the island's top provenance with many conducted in some of the most breathtaking and spectacular locations Tasmania has to offer. A renowned destination for fine food and top quality produce, Tasmania's cooking schools are an enriching way for visitors to connect with the quality, authenticity and purity of the destination.

The following are a selection of cooking schools and classes that are being held in Tasmania from January to April 2011:

Cupcake lover's treat -individual cupcake carry case

This is the cutest thing!

When you've just spent hours decorating your cupcake the last thing you want to do is throw it into a lunch box.

Most carry cases cope with multiples but when you are restrained enough just to have one cupcake (good on you!) what's the answer?

In season this week - Nov 16

It’s another week where vegetables will be more expensive than in previous months but despite the short supply of some lines in the Brisbane Produce Market, watch out for specials on cauliflower and broccoli.
In season now -

Tasty bits from bmag November 16

Win a copy - 'The Making of a Chef' by Luke Mangan

An unquenchable thirst for new experiences, expensive wine and a good photo opportunity seem to be the secrets behind Sydney chef Luke Mangan's success.

His new autobiography is described as a candid 'tell-all' of how he came to be one of the country's top chefs and an internationally renowned restaurateur.

There's calamitous mistakes along with culinary and business successes, partnerships both professional and personal and according to the book's promo - a few tales that will get fellow chefs and even a critic hot under the collar.

Piaf, South Bank

I'd heard a lot about Piaf before I ventured through the door, especially from those who proclaim it their favorite restaurant! (Thanks Princess Zoe!)

Located on busy Grey Street, it's simple, clean decor is an appealing respite from the street, but quite open and airy.

Learn to cook like a master chef

Budding chefs can learn some of Spicers Clovelly Estate’s culinary secrets in a series of cooking classes to be hosted by head chef Cameron Matthews.

Cameron runs The Long Apron restaurant at Spicers Clovelly and will show you how to prepare wonderful French and Italian style dishes two Saturdays a month from 10am to 3pm. Cooking lessons cost $165 each and cater for six to eight guests and include lunch, wine, full recipes, tips pack and a branded apron to take home.

Planet Cake cupcakes workshop

"Did you REALLY make these?" were the words that bounced of the walls when I walked in the door with a box of cupcakes.

"They are so good", they both said in amazement.

Humbly, I had to confess that the others in the class made much more spectacular and realistic penguins and scarier monsters than moi. However I was still proud of my efforts, completed in a little over an hour and a half.

Moo Moo's summer menu

While there's nothing like a 400gm steak, as thousands of suits will attest, from a female point of view a good steak is often something quite a bit smaller.

Moo Moo have taken the female point of view on board and their new spring/summer menu uses seasonal produce with a combo of traditional offerings and lighter dishes.

Brisbane's Budget Bites 2011

If you are serious about food in Brisbane this is a book you really shouldn't be without.

This independent guide produced by respected foodie and frequent tweeter Mei Yen Chua, now in it's third year, will lead to places you might never discover on your own.

Mei Yen has found lots of interesting ethnic eateries, providores and this edition also includes a special guest bakeries chapter where you'll discover the delights of Scandinavian, Chinese, French and Italian bakeries.

Win a copy of the Queensland Food and Wine Touring Atlas

Want to do a tasting journey around Queensland?  The Queensland Food and Wine Touring Atlas can be your guide!

First up I'm going to tell you this book occupied my head space and computer for many weeks at the start of the year. My job was to enhance and edit the pages of information collected by the Queensland Government, and there was a lot to sort through!

And the winner is...

Three master chefs...
15 cupcakes...
a huge assortment of lollies, nuts, sprinkles and icing..
and 10 minutes to decorate.

The rules were clear at the Sunbeam Academy cupcake decorating competition, Brisbane Good Food and Wine Show, held at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre from November 5 - 7.

Each chef was issued with cupcake decorating equipment, ingredients and cupcakes - no secret weapons were allowed. Chefs had to stay behind their benches at all times but friendly sabotage was encouraged. Bribes were allowed at the judges' discretion.

In the firing line were Manu Feidel, Matt Moran and George Calombaris.

The judges were Dominique Rizzo, Emily Jade O'Keeffe, Lizzie Loel, Briana Cicchelli, Angela Muscat and yours truly.

And the result - well you can see for yourself!

Tasty bits from bmag November 2

Win a copy of Mini Chef by Sheridan Rogers

Looking for some tips on combining kids and kitchens?

Has Junior Masterchef fever taken over your household?

All day breakfasts around Brisbane

If you are one of those people who doesn't surface till late or even later, (you know who you are Mishel) but still crave breakfast, you'll constantly be searching for cafes and restaurants that do all day breakfasts.

When nothing less than bacon and eggs will do, here's a list of Brisbane eateries that offer breakfast all day so when your fave haunt is full you'll have some alternatives. In your sleep induced/deprived state, please remember to check with the cafe before you rock up as some only offer these breakfasts on weekends.

And please tell me what's missing so we can share all day breakfast love! Leave a comment below!

Inner city
Denim & Co, South BankLittle Larder, New FarmAu Cirque, New FarmSymposium, New Farm - all day breakfast Sunday and a breakfast degustation! Rics, Fortitude ValleyCaffe di Moda, Stones CornerFlamingo Cafe, Fortitude Valley
Inner West
Milk Bar, Ashgrove Pandemonium, PaddingtonSimpatico, Paddington - SundayComfort At My Table - Saturd…

Dandelion and Driftwood, Hendra

Brisbane's coffee scene has taken a huge leap forward with the opening of Dandelion & Driftwood on Gerler Road at Hendra.

Here coffee and tea making has been turned into a science with so many add ons it's hard to know where to stop.

First there's the opportunity to try their special coffee blends brewed seven different ways including cold drip which I am definitely going back for. All the coffees and teas come with cupping and tasting notes. I'll be making notes of my own in the handy little book - a commemorative coffee journey - that's free to Dandelion and Driftwood customers.

And there's a selection of cupcakes from one of my favourite cupcake makers, Judy C. I sampled passionfruit and an apple cinamon creation - both very good.

There's the old fashioned hot pressed sandwiches made with premium ingredients - classic ham, cheese and tomato for me!

Xanthe's lolly trolly is another blast from the past.  Think of all your faves - musk lollies, st…

Win a copy of 'At Home with Ben' - Ben O'Donoghue's latest cookbook

'At home with Ben' is an interesting concept for a chef who runs a busy restaurant and is heavily involved in television.

And Ben O'Donoghue laughed as he admitted he doesn't actually cook that much at home now, but he has plans to change that once his kitchen is renovated.

Nutella cupcakes, Couture Cupcakes, Bardon

When I got the breathless call from V Diddy's friend Tash, it was the best sort of emergency.

"Nutella cupcakes - you've got to try them!"

We dropped everything and drove up the hill to Couture Cupcakes at Bardon for a coffee/cupcake fix.

Designer cupcake classes

It’s raining cupcakes this week on Eat, drink and be Kerry!
I’ve just been invited to a special cupcake workshop for the launch of Paris Cutler’s new book Planet Cake Cupcakes.

Boutique Markets, Portside

Last time I went to the Boutique Market at Portside Wharf I came home laden with the best muesli from Therapeutic Gourmet.

We’ve heard it all before - a chocolate breakfast cereal that’s good for you – but Nick Grivas’s Wake me up b4u coco really does tick the boxes. Nick has developed muesli made from whole food ingredients that is gluten free, preservative free, free from refined sugars and, surprise, actually tastes good. I'm keen on Wake me up B4U Cocoa but Get up and Goji also sounds a treat.

It's on again on Sunday (October 24) and this time it's a Pink Ribbon market supporting the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Win tickets to Good Food & Wine Show cupcake classes

If you like cupcakes as much as I do, you'll be keen to refine your skills at the Sunbeam Academy Cupcake Making class held at the Good Food and Wine Show, 5 -7 November in Brisbane.

I've got two tickets for the Sunday Nov 7 class at 10.30 am, valued at $30 each, to give away. Just leave a comment below and I'll draw a name at random.

Also includes two tickets to the Good Food and Wine Show. The Good Food and Wine Show will fill the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre with produce, both local and from around the world, there will be plenty of wine, boutique beer, and a long line up of celebrity chefs giving live cooking classes.

UPDATE:  Thanks to a random number generator, comment number 7 from Marg has won the tickets! Congratulations Marg. Competition closed.

Tasty bits from bmag October 19

Conviction, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane.

Well, what was one of Brisbane's worst kept secrets has morphed into one of the city's better restaurants!

Last night I dined at Conviction and, as I tweeted, it would be easier to get into jail than get a booking. For a restaurant that's only been open a week that's very good news. Pity they'll only be around for six weeks. I'd suggest getting on the phone now if you want to dine there.

High Tea Party Kit

Who would have thought there was such a thing as the High Tea Society?

Lots to explore at Brisbane's South Bank

Four markets in one day - what a way to spend a Sunday!

We started at the organic markets at Downy Park, Windsor which was not such a good idea. Why? Well we took the dog and the place was full of puddles - he's a corgi with very low legs - it all ended up being very messy.

Also, these markets definitely finish up on their advertised closing time of 10.30am.  Call me slow or just plain lazy but I find it hard to get out and about early on a Sunday morning. We arrived primed for breakfast at 10am just as everyone was shutting up - they had even run out of bread for French toast!

However, this market was just the first on our list. Next, we drove to South Bank Parklands to explore the Young Designers Market and the Granite Belt Flavours Market - both on the same day.

Several designer/clothes/jewellery purchases later, K2 subdued his inner male and agreed to look for the Granite Belt Flavours market which was not in its usual spot.  On the way, we walked through the regular South Ba…