Super Easy Toffee Apples

29 February 2012, 21:01

Comment [28]

I loved toffee apples as a kid! I mean, most kids never even reach the apple part and our faces would just get schmeared in sticky toffee. Toffee apples fall in the same category for me as carnival or festival food which equals to sugary happiness. Over the years my festival candy of choice has been fairy floss and it’s been ages since my last toffee apple.

And then I stumbled upon a bag of teensy tiny apples at Costco and oh they sure were cute! Perfect bite size apples they were! A quick google hit brings up this recipe which is said to coat 15 normal sized apples. Obvs I wanted multi coloured apples so I did quarter batches at a time with diff food colourings.

15 small apples
4 cups caster sugar
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon food colouring
Paddle pop sticks

Wash and dry the apples and shove in paddle pop sticks into the middle of each apple. Make sure the paddle pop stick is wedged in securely.

Combine the 4 cups sugar, 1 tsp vinegar and 1 cup of water in a small heavy based pot and bring to the boil

Stir in the food colouring and leave the syrup to simmer for about 20mins until temperature reaches 150C or until a small amount of syrup dropped into cold water reaches crack stage – it should set hard and be hard to crack with fingers.

Remove the pot from the heat and stand in a baking dish of water until the mixture stops bubbling. When the mixture has stopped boiling, hold an apple by its stick, dip into the syrup, tilt the pan (and the apple) till the whole apple is covered.

Place toffee coated apples on baking paper and leave to harden.

Woohoo rainbow!

Alternative to giving candy flowers hehe

Aaand here’s my puddle of leftover toffee. If the toffee hardens in the pot just heat it up till it melts again to make cleaning simpler. Also, quadruple dipping an apple into different coloured toffee definitely doesn’t work :P

Comment [28]



Sit 'n' Chats Cafe, Westmead

26 February 2012, 23:24

Comment [18]

Edit: CLOSED So like, I LOVE Instagram. Calling everyone in the world who has an iphone: go forth an install the app now! And add me (chocolatesuze) hehe it totally makes me rage less than Twitter. So anywhos, I’ve been following julianvc on Instagram and drooling at all the gorgeous cakes and macarons that he makes and knew I had to get myself over to his family run cafe stat.

Sit ‘n’ Chats (151-155 Hawkesbury Road, Westmead) is located across the street from Westmead hospital and is a mere 2min walk from the station. They’re only open M-F, 7am-4pm so it was only a chance day off that I managed to get myself over there for a quick bite to eat.

Helllooo delicious baked goods! Everything is made on the premises, from the colourful macarons to the loaves of buttery brioche and chocolatey muffins.

The mothership has come along for lunch and orders the Roast Duck on Brioche ($15) and gets quite a kick at the sight of the chips placed jenga style on the plate. She gives it the thumbs up and I managed to sneak bites to have a taste- the duck is roasted in house and is tender and flavourful. Good stuff.

I have zeroed in on the Pulled Pork on Brioche ($15) and it is amazing and incredibly juicy, like, bathed in porky juices. I’m not a big fan of coleslaw in general but surprisingly loved it on the burger and kept lunch from feeling too heavy.

I return for breakfast with the intention of only ordering something small like a macaron or two but Julian convinced me to get the brioche with berry mascarpone and fresh strawberries ($12) which is so beautifully presented and tastes even better than it looks. The brioche is buttery but not heavy thanks to the secret of swapping the milk out with water in the recipe and the quenelle of mascarpone is creamy and rich and is soon slathered everywhere with glee.

Of course I had to grab a box of macarons ($2.50each)! The salted caramel has me in raptures, there’s just something about salted caramel in anything that makes me weak at the knees.

Hehe board of awesomeness.

Sit 'n' Chats Cafe on Urbanspoon

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You Sunk My Battleship (with shots)

22 February 2012, 23:20

Comment [28]

Muahahaha did you guys ever play the board game Battleship? Until the other day I hadn’t and played against the boy but um online lol and the gist is pretty simple- you arrange your ships on your 10×10 grid and then you take turns and try and guess where your opponent’s ships are. If a ship occupies the square on the grid that has been called then it takes a hit, when all of the squares of a ship have been hit then the ship is sunk. After all of one player’s ships have been sunk, the game ends and the other player wins.

I’m sure everyone’s seen the trailers for the movie Battleship and Noods was in charge of a drinking game for his mate’s bucks party so we set to work on recreating the game but with alcoholic beverages in the ships :D

First the 10×10 grid.

And then with the folding of the boats we used this pattern tho I guess if you cbb folding the boats you could always just places the shots directly on grid but hey where’s the fun in that!

To make things interesting Noods was gonna use a combo of pre mixed shots (we got em at Choice Liquor), shots of vodka and shots of water so you couldn’t tell what you were getting haha

You sunk my battleship! Haha don’t forget to print off smaller versions of blank grids so you can mark where you’ve already hit/missed. And remember, drink in moderation!

Comment [28]



Lex's Chef's Table of Awesome

20 February 2012, 01:23

Comment [24]

This is Lex. Aka super awesome chef that has returned from the land of ice hockey, maple syrup and mounties. So anyways according to him he was bored one day and decided he wanted to cook an epic meal for some friends. Well hey now I hope you’re bored more often mate!

We sit and find ourselves faced with the decision of which to eat first- the freshly baked brioche or baguette with Pepe Saya butter and Schmaltz (rendered duck fat) that we gleefully schmear on our bread.

“I gotta shuck the oysters so uh drink some wine while you wait!” No worries Lex. Shuck away.

Mmm hello fresh bivalves!

Ooh and a second lot of oysters with Belvedere Black Vodka, creme fraiche and ocean trout roe. I love the pop of ocean trout roe when you squish them with your tongue yup I’m all class here.

Bacon foam oysters. YES YOU SAW THAT RIGHT- BACON FOAM! Someone asked Lex how he made it cept my eyes glazed over after hearing words like emulsion and stabilisation and all I could think of was ohmygawd how I heart bacon.

I would’ve been fine with the amount of food so far and managed to plow thru the kingfish and scallop ceviche with ease until Lex plonked the biggest bowl I had ever seen of the excess guacamole right in front of me as well as the remaining bag of spinach chips and my eyes must’ve looked like 0_0 seriously guys guacamole makes the world go round.

Duck wontons were fried to crispy golden perfection, the wonton skin bubbly from the hot oil and encasing juicy duck nubbins. Oh and they were fried in duck fat- be still my artery clogged heart! Orrr drag the wonton into the crazy awesome aioli ohhh yeahhh that’ll hit the spot!

Woah mama look at that paella! Look at all the yabbies! Look at how they are all staring! Also, when Lex portions out his food it’s like he’s trying to feed a giant who hasn’t eaten in weeks. My bowl was filled waaay to the brim with freaking tasty rice and slabs of chicken and sausage and a whole yabbie! Stomach totes at explodey point!

While we were slowly making our way thru the paella Lex had chucked the biggest hunk of steak I have ever seen on the charcoal bbq and had finished it in the oven. The smell of that steak had us all sniffing the air and drooling as if we hadn’t just devoured 5 courses. When it finally made it’s way in front of us we attacked it like there was no tomorrow, it was the best steak I have ever eaten and by golly I am a fussy one.

A lil pre dessert- frozen kiwi fruit on sticks that had been coated in brown sugar, these was just damn addictive.

Bubur Ketan Hitam aka glorious black sticky rice has the perfect bite and consistency and while the mango bullseye is cute we all smash that in seconds and reach for extra slices of mango hehe

But of course the best is saved for last, with a rich and chocolatey brownie, sweet raspberry coulis and the most incredible peanut butter ice cream that was just so light but intensely peanut buttery thanks to a lucky accident of doubling the peanut to cream ratio haha mega thumbs up!

Lex and his helper apprentice Lael, thanks heaps guys!

Muahahaha table is demolished. Awesome foods and awesome peeps love you guys and here’s to many more dinners to come!

Comment [24]



Super Easy Peanut Butter Cup Fudge Brownie

15 February 2012, 00:46

Comment [33]

I LOVE BROWNIES! And this recipe is totally worthy of the capital letters. Oozy, gooey and packed choc a block full of Reese’s peanut butter cups, this is one brownie that’s perfect to eat straight out of the tin.

Hellooo oozy innards! I first tried this awesome brownie waaay back in ’09 here and it was only a recent trip to Costco that I found myself in possession with an extremely large bag of Reese’s peanut butter cups. The brownie recipe is originally from the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream & Dessert Book which I stumbled upon over here and chuck on a handful of pb cups and you’re set for deliciousness!

115g unsweetened chocolate
115g salted butter
4 large eggs
2 cups caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup plain flour
20-25 miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

Preheat the oven to 175C. Line a 13 × 9-inch baking pan (I used a 9 × 9in square pan). Melt the 115g butter, add the 115g chocolate and stir until melted. Chuck in fridge to cool while doing next part but make sure it doesn’t solidify.

Beat the 4 eggs until very fluffy. Gradually beat in the 2 cups of sugar and 1 tsp vanilla. Fold in the cooled chocolate mixture. Add the 1 cup flour and fold until just combined.

Cut 20 of the peanut butter cups in half.

Pour the batter into the tin and place peanut butter halves evenly on top of batter. Bake for 30mins.

But hang on, you reckon that’s enough pb cups in there? I think not! Add the rest of the pb cups to top of the almost finished brownie. I decided to halve them but hey feel free to add whole ones! Lightly push cups into brownie and bake for 2mins or until tops of the cups are melty.

Let cool in the pan completely before cutting.

Mmm yeah baby

Eat with a spoon and down the brownie with a large glass of milk :D

Comment [33]