Friday, November 26, 2004

katsu katsu! A Sure-Win Meal: Chicken Katsudon

Katsudon & Miso Soup
♥ chicken katsudon with miso shiru
This was our dinner last night.

My first encouter with this simple Japanese rice dish was from a tiny Japanese stall tuck away almost at the corner of a food court in Adelaide. For Aud$5.50, you get a generous serving of katsudon with a bowl of miso soup and a side dish of japanese pickles. I got hooked ever since then.

Katsudon or tonkatsu donburi is one of the most popular type of Japanese rice dish (donburimono) served with deep-fried breaded pork cutlet (tonkatsu) on top of egg and onions on a bowl of rice.

Why is katsudon so popular in Japan?
Reason is simple. The word "katsu" rhyme with "win" in Japanese so katsudon is usually a must if you have an important day coming up the next day like exams, interviews, competitions etc.

*katsu katsu* Pinkcocoa must ganbarimasu!

I have always thought only deep-fried pork cutlet (tonkatsu) was used in katsudon but I have seen quite a lot of Japanese restaurant here serving chicken katsudon. Personally, I still favour the pork katsudon better than chicken for no other reason: my mind has stereotyped katsudon as a pork only rice dish!

Healthy Katsudon
♥ low-fat chicken katsudon
This is low fat because I baked my supposedly deep-fried chicken cutlets.

  • Season the chicken cutlets with salt and pepper.
  • Give it a light coating of flour.
  • Dip it in beaten egg mixture.
  • Then a generous (but not too thick) coating of Japanese breadcrumb (panko).
  • Place in a lightly greased baking pan and spray with some more cooking oil over the top.
  • Chuck it into a preheated 225c oven for about 20min then reduce the heat to 200c and bake for another 30min.
The chicken cutlets had very crunchy crust, to my surprise. It wasnt too bad except that the crust had trouble sticking to the chicken. Room for more improvement here.

Another thing would be to bake the chicken on a roasting rack so air could circulate to the bottom. The bottom of the chicken cutlets wes soaked in juices from the chicken so it was soft and soggy. Well, this wasnt much of a problem in my case because I was going to put it into a mixture of dashi stock, soy sauce, sugar and mirin.

Almond Miso Asparagus
♥ Asparagus in almond miso
I didnt have any japanese pickles on hand nor do I have ingredients for pickles so I stir-fried asparagus in almond miso paste. The almond miso paste was very appetizing. I have liked all the dishes I made using the paste.

The outcome was not too bad. Not bad for first attempt I guess. I kinda overdid on soysauce too. Overall, it was good. I like the crunchy crust. Next time I might do a vegetarian version using mushroom for myself. I wonder how it would taste like :-)

We felt like we were in Japan last night. (=^-^=)//
Continue Reading katsu katsu! A Sure-Win Meal: Chicken Katsudon


Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Long Over-due Hari Raya Celebration!

A cut-up section of the cake
Okie, my apologies! Once again, my mind had slipped off the date of Brunei's most important celebration for the year: Hari Raya Aidilfitri, the day of celebration. This is celebrated by Muslims all around the globe at the end of fasting month known as Ramadhan. It usually lasts for a month so I guess I am still not too late?

happy belated hari raya!
selamat hari raya aidilfiltri!
em..I wonder if this greeting is appropriate? It does seem a bit weird.

Anyway, I was reminded by Renee on her hari raya post that Hari Raya Aidilfiltri fell on 14th of November this year. To save me typing (yes, I am lazy) , please visit her post to get some culture background to Hari Raya celebration in Brunei!

That extremely-rich and wicked looking chocolate fudge-like thingie in the photo above is kek batik (batik cake), a very rich chocolate-milo cake that is relished during Hari Raya celebration in Brunei. This cake is a to-die-for for both of us. It's one of the gourmet yummies from Brunei that still have us lusting after even years after we have left Brunei.

We had been musing about how this rich and luscious milo cake is made and Renee has come up with her own version of kek batik. Very very well done, lady! *smooch*

The ingredients of the cake are easy to get. I am sure most of us would have most of the ingredients at home. I actually have all of them sitting in my pantry! So chop chop I went and got myself busy in the kitchen to make this yummilicious nolstagic cake!

The liquidy Chocolate batter
♥ chocolatey batter
This is how the batter looks like after all ingredients are combined. It's quite liquidy that has a consistency similar to thick cream. Now now, warning to all chocoholics out there: you need to have very strong self-control to not start pigging out on this chocolicious cream! It's hard. Very hard.

I actually think this recipe is great for children because it is simple and easy enough to follow: measure, add then mix and fold. Simple as that! What's more the kids would love to lick off all the left-over chocolate batter.

The Choc Fudge Almost Done
♥ thick chocolate fudge after about 30min cooking
After about 30minutes of stirring in the non-stick pan, the liquidy chocolate cream becomes darker and very thick. I actually stopped cooking my batter here but later found that this consistency is still a tad too liquidy. I would guess another 5 to 10 minutes would be better so as to give a dryer dough and I would have a more brownie-like chocolate slices.

ps. the stirring gives very good exercise to tone up your arm muscles! and I had so much fun scrapping off excess cooked dough from my pan. *big wide grin*

Folding Into Cake Tin
♥ folding in biscuits
I used Weston's Marie Biscuits which I found is a tad too soft and crumbly.

Pressing Into Cake Tin
♥ Pressing the chocolate dough into my 6-inch cake tin
I was supposed to used a rectangular or square pans but I had none of those. I only have a 6-inch cake tin and a muffin pans. I was contemplating whether to use the muffin pans to yield cute little kek batik or not used a cake tin at all and used a rectangular plastic container instead.

And then I found out I didnt even have grease-proof paper in my kitchen! (*shucks* there are just so many stuff I still need to stock up on) To make for easier removal, I opted for my 6-inch cake tin with a removable base. As you can see, I used plastic wrap instead. It looked quite ridiculous, dont you think?

My Cute 6-inch Kek Batik
♥ 6-inch kek batik!
Here's my 6-inch kek batik! The recipe is just right to make a 6-inch cake. It was just too hard to resist the temptation. I mean here you are sitting about 10 metres away from the fridge that holds a lusciously rich chocolate cake inside, is it not hard to surrender your self-control and give in to temptation?

We couldnt wait and grabbed the cake out of the fridge after about 7 hours.

Wrong move.

The cake was still a bit too soft. Anyhow we cut the cake and licked off the chocolate bits that stuck to the knife. *Warning*: this action shall not to be done without adult's supervision. Oops. What the heck am I saying here. I mean do NOT try this at all.

Kek Batik
♥ a rich and luscious slice of kek batik
This kek batik slice pic was taken 2 days after I made the cake. The cake has become denser and firmer and is easier to slice up, though a warmed knife is still needed.

The cake is very chocolatey-rich. Surprisingly, it's not powerfully sweet probably because half the sweet milo powder had been replaced with unsweetened cocoa powder. The after-taste headache probably stems from the super rich chocolate fudge.

Side of Kek Batik
kek batik from the side
My kek batik is soft and fudgy, not the cake-like or brownie-like texture that I was seeking after. It still took a bit of hard work to slice up the cake. If the dough had been cooked a tad longer, it should be easier to slice without bits of chocolate fudge clinging onto your knife.

I will just have to make sure I would stir my chocolate batter longer the next time I make this. Speaking of which, the stirring process actually reminds me of making custards! It's very similar, really! Except that we are stirring chocolate custards! *yummo* ^-^

Top of Kek Batik
♥ a piece or rather 2 pieces of nolstagic gourmet: kek batik
We are just gluttons. We pigged out on one large slice of kek batik each. In Brunei, kek batik is cut into bite-size slices and usually 2 pieces of the rich chocolicious slice are enough to give you a massive haedache. We probably had triple of that quantity at one go. No wonder my waistline is expanding so fast this week!

But no complains! I am over-the-cloud that I now know how to make kek batik. Ha. No more self-pity during Hari Raya anymore because I can enjoy this whenever I want now. *yay*

Right. Maybe not whenever I want afterall I have to watch my waistline. :-p

One last thing, kek batik has a fair bit of resemblance to Manna's from Heaven's Chocolate Crunch!
Continue Reading Long Over-due Hari Raya Celebration!


Sunday, November 21, 2004

Value Thai Grub: In Chan Thai Restaurant

In Chan - TakeAway Pad Thai Chicken
♥ Pad Thai Chicken $7
No, I did not grab this take-away pad-thai chicken from a food court. This take-away pad thai is probably at the top-most of our most wanted lunch take-away list. Why is it that we drool over a normal looking pad-thai in a take-away box? I, myself, am not sure too. But when it comes to my lunch meet-up with k (a friend who wishes to remain anonymous ;-D) or ShinChan in the city, this pad-thai is the most requested take-out food order I receive and need to deliver to them.

This pad-thai comes from a Thai restaurant along the Kingfords strip of Anzac Parade; a notable cheap eats territory in Sydney. It's near the University of New South Wales, so I guess that explains the large serving with a low price index.

Oh, sorry. I havent mentioned the name of the restaurant yet. It's In Chan Thai. They have very decent priced lunch box specials, all for $7! We have tried most of the item on the lunch menu and there are a few that have us drooling over now that we have moved out of the area.

♥ tabeshimashita on 21 Nov 2004
In Chan Thai, Kingsford
In Chan - Pad Thai Chicken
♥ Pad Thai Chicken $7
We were in the area today so we stopped by at In Chan Thai for lunch. We were worried there wont be any lunch box special because it's Sunday today. Luckily, the lunch box special is on everyday of the week except for monday when the restaurant has its day off.

Again, we had pad-thai chicken. There's just something about the wonderful balance of sweet, salty and sourness that have us constantly craved for. But the quality actually varies from time to time. I am not sure why. Sometimes the pad-thai is really good (like today), sometimes it's not so. A different chef, maybe?

You can also choose to have pad-thai beef, pork or vegetarian too if chicken is not up to your fancy. FYI, the same pad-thai costs $12 during dinner!

In Chan - Thai Beef Noodle Soup
♥ Thai Beef Noodle Soup $7
k craves for this always. She talks about this beef noodle soup every time the topic of Thai food came up. The beef broth is thick and has a very strong herbal aromatic hint. The beef serving is very generous and there are also two small beef-balls. We suspected the crunchy looking yellow thing on top is deep-fried pork skin but we are not sure. (Does anyone have any idea?) The thin rice noodles are very soft, silky and a little bouncy in your mouth. I wonder if there is anywhere we could grab fresh thai noodles here in Sydney.

ShinChan had this for the first time today and he couldnt stopped marvelling about how good it tasted. If you like heavily flavoured food, then this beef noodle soup is for you. For those with a light palate, this might be a tad too strong. I had to dilute the soup with water.

Also on the lunch special menu is green curry fried rice with chicken. Sorry, no pics today. This is one of my favourite fried rice in Sydney. Note that this is not fried rice with curry on the side. This is actually green curry sauce stir into fried rice. There are also the more common thai dishes like basil chili chicken, red and green curry. These are all served with rice. Another notable lunch special would be the shrimp-paste fried rice with pork slices and fried egg on the side.

One last thing, this beef noodle soup isnt available during dinner. Nor is the green curry fried rice and shrimp-paste fried rice. Now that's really some lunch box specials! If you want to try, you would have to come during lunch. This is probably the downside to it.

In Chan Thai Restaurant
482 Anzac Parade
Kingsford NSW 2032
ph. +61 2 9663 3356
tues-sun: lunch & dinner
Continue Reading Value Thai Grub: In Chan Thai Restaurant


Thursday, November 18, 2004

Spring Picnic
Part II: Sweets and Snacks

There was a need to satisfy our sweet tooth after filling up our tummies with all the savoury yummies at the GFM Spring Picnic.

Pariya: Choc-coated turkish delights
♥ Pariya Chocolate-coated Turkish delights $3
Pariya was actually the first stall that we visited. I was bewitched by these scrumptious-looking turkish delights. Not hard to tell which one I bought.

yup. That's right. The pink one. It's pistachio turkish delights coated in strawberry chocolate. There were also almond turkish delight (in dark choc only) and macadamia turkish delights (in white choc only).

The strawberry chocolate was really toothsome! The turkish delights was soft and chewy. yum~

My Little Cup Cakes
My Little Cupcake
I just love this stall. It's so enchanting and fairy-like. I stood there for a long time just marvelling at all the gorgeous colourful cupcakes.

My Little Cup Cakes
♥ Pretty scrumptious little cupcakes
Just look at these! And the cute pink flower teapot and strawberry teapot. I couldnt stop saying kawaii~

My Little Cup Cakes: Lime Friand
♥ Lime Friand Rose $3
Then I spotted this beautiful rose. I thought it was cupcake too but it was a lime friand.

To tell the truth, I have never had a friand in my life before. I always opted for muffin. This friand was rather dry with a strong hint of lime and coconut. Ah. C-O-C-O-N-U-T. It's on my to-avoid food list. I only managed to gulped down 2 bites and left the rest to ShinChan. Who would expected there be coconut in such pretty rose?

RoseBay Bakery
♥ Dinky-di Pies & Patisserie
We bought an apple slice here for $2. The pastry was puffy and crusty. Very very nice.

The guy who served us was really funny too. When asked which slice he would recommend, he went:
I personally like the apple slice. Oh. Hang on. Actually the pear slice is nice too. So is the apricot slice. How about some linzer slice? It's really yummy too. I usually have a slice of the apple one everyday and oh! and that pear slice too. and that too. this too. that too. (pointing at everything)

Funny guy! The stall also has mini quiches. I cant remember how much they were though. We regretted later after we had the apple slice for dessert that night. *shucks* Should have bought more!

Shepherd's Bakehouse Sweet Breads
♥ Shepherd's Bakehouse Sweet Breads
We headed back to Shepherd's Bakehouse just before we were to head home to stock up on some sourdough. I was excited to spot their sweet breads.

from left to right:
custard tart
assorted muffins

Shepherd's Bakehouse Sweets
♥ Shepherd's Bakehouse Sweet Things!
I couldnt have opened both my eyes and mouth bigger at the same time we saw their sweets section! The slices just looked so inviting! There were almond slice, apple slice and linzer slice if not mistaken.

And what's that chocolatey spikes on the right?

Shepherd's Bakehouse Three Sisters
♥ Shepherd's Bakehouse 'Three Sisters' $3.50
It's called The Three Sisters. You must be wondering why. It's actually named after the famous rock in Blue Mountain here. Shepherd's Bakehouse is from Blue Mountain. You go figure!

The Three Sisters has a base of shortbread topped with 3 peaks of soft creamy chocolate fudge (or is it chocolate ganache?) with a thick layer of chocolate ganache. This was my dessert.

It was just so wholesome. Scrumptious. Luscious. Heavenly. Divine. Enticing. One of this is enough to shut a chocoholic up for a day. hm. Maybe two if you are a serious chocoholic.

Shepherd's Bakehouse Lemon Mrytle Sourdough
♥ Lemon Myrtle Sourdough $5
We grabbed the aromatic sourdough at the same time. We had the lucky last! *yippe*

Shepherd's Bakehouse Fruits buns
♥ Shepherd's Bakeh0use: Fruit Buns 50c ea. or 6 for $2
I had been eyeing the fruit buns ever since our lunch visit there. We were only going to buy 2 fruit buns but these guys had really good sales tactic. All they simply said was the more you buy, the more discount you get. *gees* I should have figured this out earlier.

They offered us 6 buns for $2 and we took the offer. They gave us an extra one for free! *yay* What a lucky day.

The fruit buns are really tasty with chunks of dry fruit pieces almost every mouthful. (fyi: I usually take really small mouthful when I eat so that explains how much fruits were inside the bun!) These needed to be served warm with butter else it's a little too dense to chew on.

*note: You can find Shepherd's Bakehouse at all the organic food markets in Sydney.

Sweet Potato Chips
♥ Sweet Potato Chips $2 a bag
We love sweet potato (also known as kumera). How could we let go of the chance to grab some sweet potato chips? The aluminium pack is original sweet potato chips. This has a natural sweet flavour. I like this better but ShinChan likes the spicy chips in the brown paper bags.

Maggie Beer Burnt Caramel and fig Ice Cream
♥ Maggie Beer's Burnt Fig Jam and Honeycomb & Caramel Ice Cream $3
We didn't know Maggie Beer actually has an ice-cream line! Apparently these tantalising ice-cream is served in business class on all Qantas flight!

The ice-cream was very creamy with a very natural caramel flavour. I like the honeycomb inside. *darn* Once again, why didnt I buy more home? argh. Regrets regrets!

Though I mentioned I was a little disappointed with this year's Spring Picnic, I still enjoyed the event as much as last year. It must be the good weather and the green leafy environment in Centennial Park that's alluring! We had a thoroughly good and relaxing time especially after a hectic week of moving houses!

I can't wait to for the next spring picnic to come next year!

♥ dinky-di pies & patisserie
525 Old South Head Road
Rosebay NSW 2029
ph. +61 2 9371 6715
fax. +61 2 9371 6306

My Little Cupcake
for enquiries contact:
- Andy 0412 957 173
- Cath 0413 230 441

pariya food
12/566 gardeners rd
Alexandria NSW 2015
ph. +61 2 8338 9536
fax. +61 2 8338 9537

♥ Shepherd's Bakehouse
Shop 19, Blaxland Arcade,
150-155 Great Western Highway,
Blaxland NSW 2274
ph. +61 2 4739 9966
fax. +61 2 4739 2708
Continue Reading Spring Picnic
Part II: Sweets and Snacks


Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Spring Picnic
Part I: Savouries and Drinks

We had such a good time at Sydney Good Food Month (GFM) Spring Picnic last year so I was really excited when it's finally October. To think a die-hard sweet-tooth like me wouldnt have minded at all if we missed all the sugar hits in GFM but the Spring Picnic is a must else the girl would whinge, thundered, scream, nudge, wail until she had no breath. Now, that's a scary thought but that's how much I have enjoyed spring picnic last year.

The Spring Picnic was postponed to a week later due to rain. I was rather disappointed because I had longed for this day to come. Then again I was glad it was postponed because it was such a fine day, just perfect for picnic!

♥ tabeshimashita on 31 Oct 2004 @ Centennial Park 11am - 4pm
One Fine Day At Centennial Park
We arrived at Centennial Park around midday. There were already many families (mainly with little kids) enjoying the blue sky and bright sun. We were a little surprised though with the small crowd at the spring picnic venue. We wondered if it was to do with the daylight saving and it indeed was. The park was getting rather joyous with more and more people turning up when we were about to leave at 3pm (which was really 2pm if we hadnt switched our clock).

To tell the truth, we were quite disappointed with the spring picnic this year. The stalls were considerably less than half of last year's. I was so looking forward to grabbing Yulla's pita with their yummilicious hummus. There was also Luke Mangan from Salt serving Aussie barbie! Not to mention gorgeous ice-cream from Grace, yummy cakes from Manna from Heaven. I remembered there was also Certo and this yummy almond miso paste from Kei's Kitchen.

Heart-breakingly, Pinkcocoa hereby declared that none of the stalls mentioned above were at this year's spring picnic. *sigh* It might have been due to the postpone.

Eumundi SmokeHouse
♥ Eumundi Smokehouse
There was a really long queue in front of this stall. It was serving the very typical sausage sizzle. I think it was around $6-$8 for a sausage on breadroll. We decided to skip this. We wanted to see if there was something special to try.

Oh yes. We love to try new thing. ;-)

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♥ Formaggi Ocello: Italian Goodies
The next stall that caught our eyes was this. They served yummy Italian snacks. It's probably a little hard to see in the picture but there were arancini (deep-fried crumbled risotto ball), focacia (i think) and some italian sweets.

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♥ Arancini: Crumbled Risotto Ball $4
This was what lured us to Formaggi Ocello. We had a mini-version of crumbled risotto ball at a friend's wedding the other day and we were enchanted by how delicious it was.

Parker's Organic Juices
♥ Parker's Organic Juices: glass $4, 750ml bottle $7
It was a hot day and juices were just perfect as refreshment! I was thrilled to see Parker's Organic Juices. Type of juices include apple, orange, mandarin, blood orange; and raspberry.

our first bite: arancini & blood orange juice
♥ Blood Orange Juice and spinach ricotta lemon arancini
So we grabbed a spinach, ricotta and lemon arancini and a glass of blood orange juice. The juice was really refreshing. It seems blood orange is a hottie this year down under. I am seeing it everywhere.

The arancini was delicious but a tad too big though it doesnt look that big. It would have been nice if it was warm too. We were already filling full halfway eating through the arancini. It was really filling. I suspected it must be the cheese and the fact that it's deepfried that makes it so filling. I reckon the arancini would be good to bring home. All you have to do is heat it up, toss some salads. Ta-da. Instant meal!

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♥ south east asian delights
next stall up is this south east asian delights serving stir-fried rice noodles (char kuey tiao) $8 and satay. Here you see the chef cooking up a large batch of char kuey tiao and the young lady was grilling satay.

Not hard to see why we skipped this stall. (-_^)

Italian Flat Bread: Piadina
♥ Mondo Piadina
After surveying all the stalls, I decided to grab this Italian flat bread called piadina. It looked a little like pita bread.

Mondo Piadina
♥ Assembling Piadina
I ordered a piadina with proscuitto, bocconcini, rocket salad and extra mushroom piadina @ $8. It was served warm with a drizzle of basil oil. There were many different self-served flavoured oils and dry herbs. Choose one that you like and drizzle as much as you like. The basil oil was recommended so we had a generous sprinkle of the fragrant oil.

The piadina was yummy! I love the flat bread. Thinking back about it, I regret I didnt grab a few of plain piadina to go home with me. It was really nice with the smoked trout dip I bought at the picnic too (sorry no pics of the dip).

Shepherd's Bakehouse: Melts
♥ Shepherd's Bakehouse: Melts $3
We also grabbed one of shepherd's bakehouse melts. We had smoked bacon, tomato on lemon myrtle sourdough. The sourdough had an intense citric aroma. It was so nice that we decided to grab a loaf of lemon myrtle sourdough to go home.

We had been immensely lucky at the Shepherd's bakehouse. We had the lucky last of both the melts and the sourdough! *yay*

Speherd's Bakehouse: Pies and Sausage Rolls
♥ Shepherd's Bakehouse: Pies & Sauage Rolls
We couldnt decided whether to go for the pie or the melts. We had the melts in the end. :-)

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♥ Phoenix Organics: Feijoa & Apple Juice
We grabbed another juice. Reason why we grabbed this juice was because we didnt know what a feijoa was. The guys at the Phoenix Organics stall tried to explain to us but soon after gave up.They said it's really too hard to explain.

The juice was sweet and really refreshing. It went well with my piadina and ShinChan's melts.

Stay tuned tomorrow for sweets and snacks at the spring picnic!

What is Feijoa
What is Piadina
What is Arancini
What is Blood Orange
Continue Reading Spring Picnic
Part I: Savouries and Drinks


Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Milky Way on My Toast
Chinese Dry Milk Custard Spread

pinkcocoa's milky way toast
I was tired of the usual spreads on my breakfast toasts: peanut butter, strawberry jam and even nutella! I would love to have kaya (coconut spread) but I am concerned about the high fat content and cholestrol level. Gotta watch my diet, you know.

And then I was craving so much of the Chinese dry milk custard (nai shu). I was dreaming all day about nai shu mian bao (dry milk custard bun) or even better qi shu nai shu mian bao (dry milk custard bun with a puff-pastry topping). I know I can get similar nai shu in ji wei bao (mandarin) or gai mei bao (cantonese. It is hong kong dry custard bun, it literary means the tail of a chook) but somehow I really miss the super thick toast with dry milk custard spread from Taiwan.

Darn. I should have bought a bottle of the nai shu spread the last time I visited Taiwan. But alas, lucky pinkcocoa. I found a recipe of nai shu spread in one of my cookbook!

nai shu: chinese dry custard spread
Ingredient A
80g icing sugar
1tsp salt (omit if using salted butter)
100g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature (I used low fat margerine)

Ingredient B
20g yolk (1 large egg: 55g)*
100g milk powder

To Make:
1. Mix ingredient A together until well combined.
2. Mix in the yolk and then followed by the milk powder
3. Store in fridge** and use like normal spread!

* Add more yolk if a more liquid consistency is desired.
** The spread will actually become quite solid and hard when stored in fridge. The spread will melt if spread on toast. If you want it on plain bread, simply bring the spread to room temperature and it should be spreadable.

nai shu: chinese dry milk custard spread
♥ milky way toast
oishii desu ne~
I have been in Heaven in the past whole week: I had nai shu toast every morning! I named this toast milky way toast. Oh, it has nothing to do with the milky way spread! I reckon mine is so much better. *grin*
Continue Reading Milky Way on My Toast
Chinese Dry Milk Custard Spread


Pinkcocoa is back from choco wonderland..........not!

Right. Where shall I begin with my enchanting chocolate adventure in choco-wonderland?

It was a bright sunny afternoon and I was sitting under a tree, reading my copy of smh good living while sipping on a large skinny hot chocolate. *hop hop hop* A chocolate kangaroo (remember, I am down under) came hopping my way. How could I let go of the chance to pig on a chocolate kangaroo? So, I followed the kangaroo down this chocolate mud-slide inside the tree.......well you know the stories that follow: Pinkcocoa in Choco-Wonderland, a cross between Alice in Wonderland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. :p

I wonder how many of you would believe this story of mine? *cheeky grin*

Anyway, I shall soon be back in regular food-blogging. If you really want to know how soon, it's as soon as my dearest desktop companion is back in action. It's in the hospital right now. *sigh*

I so so miss foodblogging but I love chocolate better, hahaha \\(=^-*=)//

Continue Reading Pinkcocoa is back from choco wonderland..........not!


Tuesday, November 02, 2004

anpan man in sydney: Apple Tree Pastry

*admendment (added 17 Nov 04):
To my horror and disappointment, the Apple Tree Pastry has closed its door on 3rdNov!
noooooooooooooo..............................I had yet to try out the ichigo musume! *sob**

Pinkcocoa is back (once again)! Never have I been so happy and relieved to finally have my new phoneline connected. Silly Telstra, they mixed up our number with another address. Alright, enough of nudging.

We had some yummilicious pan (bread in Japanese) the other day for tea-time snack.

original sweet biscuit bun
♥ japanese sweet biscuit bun aud$2
Doesnt this pan looks like "pineapple bun" (polo bao in Cantonese) from the Chinese bakery? In fact, I think this is actually polo bao. It tasted the same too except that the sweet dough topping is much crunchier.

This pan is huge, by the way. At least, it is huge to my standard. I was comparing it with the normal size polo bao from Chinatown. There is also a smaller version of this particular bun for aud$1.

chocolate sweet biscuit bun
♥ japanese sweet biscuit bun - choc flavour aud$2.10
A chocoholic could never ever resist a chocolate bun! I had no idea this was chocolate-flavoured sweet biscuit bun. I just thought that this was probably a darker version of the original flavoured. You know, like it was purposely baked to have an attractive caramel crust.

But the addition 10c got me interested. If the two were the same, why is this priced higher? Turned out that this was a chocolate bun. I was lucky enough to have the last one for the day. I was really worried when this chinese lady came with her son and cut our queue. She was actually going to grab this chocolate one. Luckily she didnt. Phew~

plain bun inside sweet biscuit crust
♥ plain bun inside the sweet biscuit crust
The sweet biscuit buns are plain, with no filling or whatsoever inside. I was hoping they would have dry milk custard (nai su) inside. Yup, I was and still am missing the yummy Taiwanese nai su mian bao (dry milk custard bun). If only I can find a decent and reasonably priced Taiwanese bakery here.....

Anyway, back to where we were. I found the bun a little on the dry side. The chocolate crust was yummy. I could have more of that. I wouldnt mind if they sold only the chocolate crust. The bun was alright. I guess I was a little disappointed because I was expecting a very soft and tender texture: typical and distinctive character of Japanese bread.

yomogi daifuku
yomogi daifuku aud$2
The Japanese bakery were having a daifuku (Japanese sweet glutinous cake) carnival week so there were quite a few different types of daifuku. I decided to grab a yomogi one. Yomogi is Japanese mugwort, a herb with medicinal value. This daifuku receives its unique greenish colour from the leaves of yomogi.

I actually bought this daifuku and forgot about it until two days later. I had to examine this sweet cake really carefully to make sure it wasnt mouldy at all. It's a little hard to do so with the greenish and whitish colours.

anko inside yomogi daifuku
anko inside daifuku
Inside the daifuku is a generous amount of anko (red bean paste). I like this anko very much. It wasnt as sweet as the Chinese one that I had. And I also like how there is still chunky bits of red beans inside the paste.

oiishii desu ne~

Sorry, I cant quite remember how the yomogi skin tasted like. I think the red bean paste was a little over-powering. It's either this or the skin had dried up a little since it was left on the kitchen bench for over 2 days.

I am going to visit the bakery again soon. I cant wait to try out their curry pan and yakisoba pan (fried noodles on bread roll)!

♥ Apple Tree Pastry
shop 219a mandarin centre
65 albert ave, chatswood nsw 2067
ph: (02) 9412 2171
fax: (02) 9411 1241
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