snacks and stuff
snacks and stuff- grape fanta, donut chips/biscuits, corn candy, kinako milk candy, butter & salt candy
So. I was wandering around in Miracle supermarket in World Square and couldn’t make it out of the candy and chips section without buying some stuff… Take this grape Fanta for instance. It was just sitting there looking at me. A split second later and the 4 pack of sugary sweet fizzy happiness sat in my grocery basket. I <3 all things grape and can remember the day I found out my beloved grape Skittles had changed to blackcurrant. I was absolutely shattered but hey that's a story for another day! The grape Fanta is all kinds of awesome if you like sweet artifical grape flavoured stuff.. which I do.. and not surprisingly it has more sugar than a normal can of coke. I had issues drinking it with foods tho cos it made everything taste like grape which was disconcerting because at the time I was eating a burger.
I got suckered into buying this shiny pretty packet of what looked to be donut biscuits after Carly told me about them (also, sidenote- i went to that supermarket with the intention of buying the mochiyaki but they wouldn’t make me a fresh batch boo! but on the plus side i found Sook lurking in the aisle haha)
Sadness is finding non colourful donut shaped chips inside. They had the crunch and consistency of a Cheezel but none of the flavour. Instead there was an odd savoury peanut butter taste but with a weirdly sweet aftertaste. They were ok but I’m not sure I could eat the whole packet in one go.
I picked up this packet of “Corn flavor soft candy” KNOWING it would be gross. It’s best not to have high expectations when eating corn ‘flavoured’ stuff…
Cute right? Unfortunately that’s all its good points. The corn was squishy but borderline rubbery and while it smelt corn-y the taste was bland almost as if you had boiled some corn for a week and you’re left with a flavour that tastes kinda familiar but not really resembling corn. It’s making my mouth taste funny hmm bet it’s gonna be as undigestable as real corn…
I chose the ‘Kinako Milk Candy’ after loving the kinako powder sprinkled on mochi at last year’s sugar hit at Azuma. The candy was a hard round ball that tasted a bit like a milky White Rabbit candy but is thickly coated with kinako powder and also in the center. It has a nutty flavour and is tasty although it makes me crave for a whole mug of kinako and milk. Yeah nfi on the prices of everything cos I lost the receipt haha my bad
Ok this wasn’t from the supermarket but Helen had brought me a packet of ‘Butter & Salt Candy’ from Japan and I figure now is a good time as any to write about em. The slogan really made me chortle: “I am sorry that I cannot tell this deliciousness in a single word.” BAHAHAHAHA wouldn’t deliciousness BE the single word? Oh Japan how you crack me up. When I asked Helen if she had tried it she replies with “it tasted like butter. And sugar” lol it does indeed. It’s a hard round candy that tastes like super concentrated butter but oddly not salty. Or maybe my tastebuds have been so overloaded with sugar from trying the other stuff that I can’t taste anything. I think i was expecting it to taste more like Werther’s caramels? Anywho’s that’s enough junk food for the week!
sydney winter festival 2010, cook and phillip square
The Sydney Winter Festival is baaack! Held at Cook & Phillip Square (opp Hyde Park) the ice rink has made a comeback and has grown in size. Entry is free and tix are still available for the ice skating sessions. The festival is running until the 4th July 2010
OH HAI! It’s that time of year again! The mercury drops, the days get shorter, and everything is gloomy how about a nice mug of hot chocolate! And some ice skating?
The Sydney Winter Festival is baaack! Held at Cook & Phillip Square (opp Hyde Park) the ice rink has made a comeback and has grown in size. Entry is free and the tents surrounding the rink are more spread out compared to last year and the boy and I have arrived early to beat the crowds.
The rink is a beauty and it is oddly relaxing watching people zoom around, or, in most peoples cases, stumble around. The sessions are split up with figure skater routines set to the music of happy pop music or little mermaid songs no doubt aimed at the kid family crowd. Our stomachs are rumbling and we head off in search of food. But it seems arriving early was not the best idea as half the stalls had yet to start cooking! After wandering around the area I couldn’t find the poutine or the raclette or the baked brie which made me so sad for I was in much need of warm gooey cheese.
But I settled for my mug of hot chocolate ($8 – $5 for the mug) and the roasted chestnuts ($6 – ouch!). This year they’re using normal money and not the plastic snowflake tokens thank goodness I hate always having too much or too little leftover tokens!
The chestnuts look like brains. Um. Tasty chestnut brains!
Regular paella ($12) looked deceptively small but was about the right size for someone snacking their way around the festival. It was piping hot and chock full of mussels, prawns and calamari. Sadly the food stalls have high stall fronts so I couldn’t take photos of the food being cooked. Guess it’s for safety reasons as I remember the paella pans being dangerously close to passerbys last year. There’s less food stalls too but there is the Alpine Ski Hut which was warm and cosy with a fireplace and serves a buffet type of meal with beer for $15 but wasn’t ready when we arrived at 12 (??) (edit: lol not a buffet, you get a plate and choose stuff from the bain maries)
And of course I couldn’t go past a curly deep fried potato on a stick ($6 – ohgawd)
A sprinkle of chicken salt, a squirt of tomato sauce and nom nom nom
Every now and then a burst of ‘snow’ showers down, covering all who are in the immediate area.
Last shot of the rink from the steps of St Mary’s Cathedral. Tix are still available for the ice skating sessions but if you’re going for the food I’d suggest arriving after 12 so everything’s set up. The festival is running until the 4th July and if anyone is going let me know if you managed to try the poutine!
Brasserie Bread, Banksmeadow – Baking with Brioche
Brasserie Bread, Banksmeadow – Baking with Brioche. There’s nothing I love more than the smell of freshly baked bread (um except the smell of hot chocolate) and when Mei told me about a new Brioche class at Brasserie Bread I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
There’s nothing I love more than the smell of freshly baked bread (um except the smell of hot chocolate) and when Mei told me about a new Brioche class at Brasserie Bread (1737 Botany Rd, Banksmeadow) I couldn’t stop thinking about it and Helen and I dropped everything to attend the first class. The Ninja has also come along for the ride and super props to him for taking all the photos cos I was covered in flour. I’m a messy baker.
I’d never been to the store before so we made sure we arrived early to have a wander around.
The dudes on the night shift are working hard preparing the bread for the next day’s orders ready to be delivered all across Sydney.
Our baking instructor and Brasserie Bread CEO, Michael Klausen introduces himself and chats to us about the origins of brioche while slicing some uh slices for us to try. The brioche is warm and buttery and our group grin at each other with anticipation. The classes are small around 5-10 students per session which is great cos the class is hands on so Michael and Instructor Don Parsons are able to chat to each person and show them techniques without slowing the class down.
Michael slices some dough off a brioche dough that has been prepared earlier, grabs a segment and expertly rolls it into a smooth looking ball in seconds.
Just roll it into a ball he says! I start muttering as my lump of dough goes more cube shaped than spherical. Can you tell it’s my first time baking bread haha but never fear for Don will come to the rescue!
The balls (some more round than others) are popped into oiled tins, the middle bit stretched a bit into a pear shaped lump and then twisted so a smaller ball sits on top. Yeah I didn’t explain that well but tadah!
Plaiting the brioche is addictive and I wish i could make a super giant plait.
My goodness that’s alot of butter. No wonder brioche is so tasty. I love butter. Mini buns were also created with half an apricot stuck in the middle as well as ‘boats’ filled with either jam or chocolate or um both. Some of us went a little overboard in the filling (heh geddit? Overboard?).
Mah tray of brioche about to be baked. The sticky buns were particularly messy to create but the sugary cinnamon mixture was oh so worth it in the end!
The coulibiac is next- a French take on the Russian kulebiaka, a hot pastry pocket that traditionally holds salmon, rice, mushrooms and hard-boiled eggs (thanks Helen!). With our version the salmon is layered with a mushroom duxelle, a layer of mustard and some hard boiled egg slices.
The salmon is wrapped in the crepe and then in the brioche mixture so it won’t be soggy and then shallow cuts into the dough are made using scissors for the scales
If wishes were fishes we’d all cast nets in the sea…
While our trays of brioche are proofing and the coulibiacs are in the oven we try a selection of Brasserie Breads sourdough, baguette and quinoa & soy loaf served with taramasalata, olive oil and provolone cheese.
Here fishy fishy fishy… With our freshly baked coulibiacs we go next door to the cafe and sit down for dinner with a glass of wine and enjoy our creations
After dinner we return to the kitchen to create our own brioche dough. Flour, fresh yeast, sugar and salt are combined in a bowl and then milk and eggs are added to create a wet goopy looking dough. After scraping the mixture out onto the work bench we pull, scrape, stretch and slap the mixture, working our frustrations of the week into the rhythm of brioche creation. A crapload of butter is worked into the dough and we continue with our brioche
The Baking with Brioche Workshop runs for three hours on selected Thursday nights and costs $130. The next scheduled classes are July 1, July 22, August 12 and August 26. Bookings: 1300 966 845. Website here
Chocolatesuze attended the Baking with Brioche Workshop as a guest of Brasserie Bread
2010 Iron Chef Dinner, Sydney
Iron chef dinner event sydney 2010. Iron Chef French Hiroyuki Sakai and Iron Chef Chinese Kenichi Chen were in Sydney for the 5th annual Iron Chef Event. Allez cuisine! I was able to sneak backstage and into the kitchen in between courses and stare at amazement at the incredible teamwork and efficiency as the chefs plated up.
HAI! Heh heh I couldn’t help myself! The Japanese cooking show Iron Chef is legendary. On each episode a challenger is pitted against one of the Iron Chefs (Japanese, Chinese, French, Italian) from Chairman Kaga’s Gourmet Academy and they have one hour to cook and improvise a multi-course meal around a theme ingredient. For me the highlight of the series is the incredibly over the top super cheesey dubbing and the intro where Chairman Kaga bites into a capsicum and chomps away merrily..
The lights dim in the Hilton Sydney Grand Ballroom and the sounds of the Iron Chef (and also Backdraft) theme song begins..
Iron Chef French Hiroyuki Sakai and Iron Chef Chinese Kenichi Chen make their way onstage, standing in spotlights and holding a pear and cleaver respectively. The cheers and squeals in the room was deafening and so the night begins- Allez cuisine!
Menu amidst a large array of shiny cutlery. At $385 a pop the ticket price for this event would have been waaay outta my price range but luckily I was invited as a guest of Hilton Sydney (Thanks Gail!)
I was able to sneak backstage and into the kitchen in between courses and stare at amazement at the incredible teamwork and efficiency as the chefs plated up
Me and Iron Chef Sakai! Their costumes are so very shiny and apparently has only been worn for the 5th time since the show ended!
Iron Chef Sakai: Chilled seafood on cauliflower mousse with mango dressing. The smoothest cauliflower mousse evahhh topped with sweet Crystal Bay prawns, a cube of salmon, thin slices of abalone and nubbins of crunchy vegetables hide under the layer of mango sauce.
Rise Chef Okazaki and me (Hi Hideki!)
Chef Okazaki: Tuna tataki, asparagus and lemongrass tomato salsa, tuna rice paper roll, tuna tartare with spicy miso in wanton cup. Tasting plates make me happy- I love the feast for the eyes of well presented morsels of food and the slight pause for debate as I figure out what to eat first. The wonton cup wins and is devoured with a loud crunch, the thin crispy pastry a perfect vehicle for holding the cubes of slightly spicy uber fresh tuna.
Waiters zoom around super fast managing to not collide into anyone
Plate presentation photos
Writings on da wall
Chef Haru demonstrates how he makes his signature spatchcock dish, covering the spatchcock in a salt and herb crust
40mins later is a beyootiful golden bird
The salt crust is removed and the juicy spatchcock remains.
Chef Haru: Spatchcock en croute de sal a la Haru. Lol hello rosemary tree! Crazy garnish aside the dish was perfect. Spatchcock so juicy and tender and surprisingly not super salty atop a bed of smooth buttery mash.
Between courses there are games and lucky seat prizes but I’m uh much more interested in the kitchen.. Iron Chef Kenichi is engulfed in a plume of steam as he cooks the lobster for the entire room of hungry diners. The camera crew are melting as they zoom their cameras to catch every moment of the creation of the lobster masterpiece which is streamed live into the ballroom.
Platters awaiting the lobster
Iron Chef Chen: Lobster with chili sauce Szechwan style. The lobster balls are perfect and swimming in a spicy sweet chilli sauce. Soft mantou buns are served on the side and it pained me to use a knife and fork to eat it cos mantou is meant to be eaten with your hands! Ripped into pieces and dunked into the heavenly sauce!
Me and Iron Chef Kenichi
Chef Gary: Braised Wagyu Veal Cheek on green pea and wassabi mash with cabernet jus. Fall apart tender just doesn’t even begin to describe the softness of the veal! Had the plate been placed down hard on the table I reckon the whole thing would’ve collapsed into a quivering pile of juicy tender shreds of meat. I think my eyes rolled back into my head at the incredible flavour. Seriously. It was awesome. The mash didn’t have much of a wasabi burning taste which was good for me as I can’t deal with spicy pain.
Quick snap with Simon Thomsen as he and Joanna Savill were taking a break backstage from MC’ing duties
Row of desserts waiting for the finishing touches
Chef Saeko: Smoked chocolate and “Delamain X.O. Fale & Dry 25 year old” mousse, with agar agar of milk, chocolate anglaise sauce. I have to admit I wasn’t a huge fan of this dessert. At first I enjoyed the smokey taste in the chocolate but after a while I started to crave something salty. Like bacon. And then the chocolate became a bit too cloying for my liking which was sad. The wafer was a tad bitter but was perfect when eaten with the disc of white chocolate.
The night is coming to a close but not before Iron Chef Sakai has a go on the Taiko drums
Chefs on stage for a final bow. The crowd roars and then chases after them as they pose for photographs outside. It’s been 11 years since the end of Iron Chef and still the people want more!
Chocolatesuze dined as a guest of Hilton Sydney
harbourkitchen&bar, The Rocks
Vivid Sydney is back spreading the fabulous light through the city and the best seat […]
Vivid Sydney is back spreading the fabulous light through the city and the best seat in town to watch the ever changing colours of the opera house is at harbourkitchen&bar (Park Hyatt Sydney, 7 Hickson Road, The Rocks). The boy took me to dinner for my birthday a coupla weeks ago so i could return and eat some glorious burrata with someone who doesn’t work for a magazine and sneers at foodbloggers haha
Warm bread rolls arrive and is magically replaced all night.
Local cow’s milk burrata with Ox heart tomato and ‘Lakelands’ olive oil ($24). New fave cheese oh gawd burrata is so freaking awesome!
A mozzarella shell with mozzarella and cream innards oh baby! I was so tempted to order this for my mains too…
The boy ordered the tuna but it wasn’t as awesome as the burrata. The tuna seemed like such a waste being cut into cubes
‘Rangers Valley’ 400 day grain fed F1 MS7+ Wagyu beef rump 250g ($48). Mmm meat so juicy and flavourful and cooked medium rare as ordered.
Duck fat fried potatoes ($9) was a bowl of never ending golden fat fries that would’ve been awesome had we not had an entree or um a main oh gawd so tasty but so very filling
Cauliflower gratin ($9) seemed a bit lacking in the flavour department. I think i like my gratins with a whole lotta cheese and toasty crunchy breadcrumbs and a sauce that isn’t too thin.
Hazelnut Dacquoise with chocolate ganache and milk gelato ($19). It’s great when your stomach magically expands to fit in dessert! Crisp meringue layer with a layer of smooth chocolate and i think mousse? It was a dessert worth scraping the plate clean.