Cake, Bake and Sweets Show – This weekend!

March 19th, 2014
The biggest names in the world of baking and cake decorating are coming to Sydney in March for the ultimate baking and dessert expo!!  The Cake, Bake and Sweets Show is happening this weekend 21 – 23 of March, at the Sydney Showground. I kinda think of it as the Easter Show – without the boring animals and their smells.   With a pavillion filled with every baker’s dream wares, celebrity cooking theatres and workshops, I’ve already downloaded the program and have a number of clashes I have no idea how I will manage to see it all!  Fans of Ace of Cakes will probably already know that Duff Goldman will be putting on a demo, and although he’s incredibly busy, our very own Willy Wonka, Adriano Zumbo will be showing us the ropes and signing books as well.   See you there!  xx

Home made bagels

June 4th, 2012

These boiled circles of bread have been on my “to do” list for a number of years – I have a VERY long to do list by the way, which is why it’s taken me this long to do it.  But having seen Alice do it on Masterchef, I thought hey maybe today’s the day.  I have to admit… i didn’t start off well – the bread mix I had was 7 months past its use by date, and the yeast was 3 YEARS past (LOL – shows how often I make bread ;) ).  But you might know that once you’re committed, you’re committed, and I thought too bad it’ll have to do.  I tested the yeast to see if it activated (frothed) in the warm sugar water mix – it did – so I took that as the go ahead.

I used this recipe:

As I didn’t obey the instructions fully where it said to not use ALL the flour, I did – and as a result, the dough was quite dry.  I thought – great… this ain’t going to work, and I was pessimisstic the whole time.  Nevertheless, I kept kneading for the full ten minutes – great upper body workout – and the dough gradually became softer and more malleable – but still not soft like bread dough should be.  I attributed this to the fact that I’ve never made bagels before, and also to the fact that I didn’t follow the instructions and used old yeast.  Well, put it in a warm spot to rise – it didn’t rise much, and at the punch down stage, it was still very solid :(

Still wasn’t looking good, but hey , this far down, might as well continue.  I had fun making the hole  - spinning it around a wooden spoon – and let it rise a bit more – which it sort of did.  The moment of truth came when it came time to boil the bagels. I always wondered how on earth that worked – they kinda just floated to the top and still felt hard.

Drained, sprinkled with sesame and poppy seed, they went into the oven.

Not really caring, I went back to check – WOW!!!  They WORKED!! I was ssooooo amazed that they grew!!!!  I tapped the bottom – hollow – awesome!!!!

The moment of truth – I cut it in half and the texture was also akin to the ones I’ve had in the shops. SO happy :)

And yes, they tasted amazing too. Will definitely become part of my repertoire!!  Give it a go guys!  I cut them in half and froze them and I can confirm they’re still good toasted :)

Home Made Caramel Popcorn recipe

May 15th, 2012

Winter is soon upon us which means for me at least, extra kegs :(   So I’ve tried to stop buying snacks.  The problem is – my proficiency at cooking means that even if  I don’t buy junk, I know how to make it – arrggh!  And so my intentions of having corn kernals to pop for a low fat snack, have been thwarted as I googled “caramel popcorn”.  *sigh*.  With but 4 ingredients (sugar, butter, honey and popcorn) a.k.a. calories, fat, calories and carbs, you can turn what could have been a healthy snack into well I guess a  home made non-processed snack.  Here’s the result:

Best eaten the day it’s made and best eaten with friends so you don’t scoff the lot!  Here’s the recipe too:

Quick and easy and dirt cheap too.  If only it could also be fat free!

Jiro Dreams of Sushi – Ticket giveaway!

May 9th, 2012

I have to admit, I’m just but a lowly office worker, eating and dreaming of an escape – this blog serves as my little time out of my life where I can fantasise that I work with food!  So naturally, I totally admire people whose lives do revolve around eating, sleeping and breathing food.  There are so many food legends I admire – Peter Gilmore, Ferran Adria, Heston Blumenthal of course.  Not everyone has had a smooth ride but the common thread is dedication and perseverance.  And so enter Jiro.  A sushi master – the godfather of sashimi, revered by all who know him, with many desperately seeking to eat food that has been cooked under his watch.  So if you haven’t been so fortunate to experience his cuisine, there is now a film made about his passion – Jiro Dreams of Sushi.

Here is a link to the trailer to whet your appetite:

I have four double passes to give away to the first four people who comment on my facebook page about who their food idol is! Note, the passes are only valid at Chauvel Cinema, Palace Centro, Palace Nova Eastend, Cinema Paradiso or Greater Union Manuka.  Entry is open to Australian residents.  FoodieChat has sole discretion to determine the winners, which will be the first four comments following the post titled “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”.