Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Floating Glass Island Wedding

Flowers at Wedding Reception
♥ Beautiful Flowers on our table
We have been waiting for this special day to come for so long and I didn't think any of us could have waited any longer. It's been 7 agonising years and finally the day has come for us to attend a lovely wedding, Sydney-style, on a floating island that brought us around for a night harbour cruise!

ShinChan's best friend finally wedded his very pretty fiancee of 7 years. Many of us were amused at how long the pair had been engaged for so long and were we glad that we all lived to see this special day. Er, okie. I just realised that wasn't a very nice sentence to say, was it? Anyhow, what I mean was we were all happy for the lovebirds.

♥ tabeshimashita @ The Pontoon on 06 May 2005
Pontoon - Flower Girl & Boy
♥ Cute Flower Girl and Handsome Ring Boy
Just before I go on and write about the food we ate at the reception, I couldn't resist the temptation at all to show you this very kawaii (Japanese meaning cute) picture of the flower girl and the ring boy! The little kids were getting a little bored and fed-up after the wedding ceremony by the harbour side at the Botanical Garden. We had to try so hard to get the two to sit and pose for a nice photo shot. There were probably around 10 or more adults running around (or more like chasing) and shouting to try to get them in actions.

Now back to the main topic, the wedding reception was held on The Pontoon, which is in fact a water vessel with glass all over so we could enjoy panoramic view of Harbour Sydney. And of course, how could we not have an exclusive cruise of Sydney Harbour while on board! The vessel was decorated so very romantic with white and pink flowers all around and not to forget the candles that add extra ambience. I don't have photos of the vessel nor do I have interior shots but if you are interested, check out The Pontoon's photo gallery. The reception was just as similar as that in the photos there.

Wedding Reception at the Pontoon - Pre-dinner Drinks
♥ Pre-dinner Drinks
Most of us were already rather dizzy and probably a little nauseous before we even got through the first round of pre-dinner drinks. Not because we had a bit to drink before boarding the cruise but because it was a very windy night!

Wedding Reception at The Pontoon - Chicken Satay
♥ Chicken Satay and White Wine
We were served quite a few canapies. The chicken satay was pretty good, I heard. No comment from me since I didn't have this. I was basically grabbing any person coming my way with food in their hands so I could snap up some foodie shots. And how come I didn't have any of the canapy myself? I was too nauseous to eat anything. >.<

Wedding Reception at The Pontoon - Mini Meat Pie
♥ Canapy of Mini Meat Pie
Beside chicken satay, there were also tiny bite-size meat pies. Ohh this is so very Australian!

Wedding Reception at the Pontoon - Seafood Platter
♥ Seafood Platter
We were served a table buffet - dishes brought onto table and shaved by everyone on the table instead of one dish per person. The first dish was a seafood platter of smoked salmon, sydney rock oyster and king prawns served on a bed of salt. The seafood was pretty fresh but this plate wasn't touched much at all since everyone was starting to get under the effect of seasick.

Wedding Reception at the Pontoon - Ceasar Salad
♥ Ceasar Salad with cos lettuce, poached egg, bacon, croutons & anchovy dressing
However, the ceasar salad was much liked and the table cleared the salad in just a short while. I think everyone was hungry but the seafood was little too much and rich for our slighly-off appetite.

Wedding Reception at the Pontoon - Steak & Onion
♥ Roasted pepper beef fillet with caramelised onions & red wine jus
I didn't have this dish. Sorry for sounding picky here but the beefy taste proved a little too strong for me. Even the onions were strongly flavoured by the beef jus! Unfortunately, the beef wasn't all too tender. ShinChan had a hard time chewing.

Wedding Reception at the Pontoon - Eggplant & Zucchini
♥ Medleys of Mediterranean Vegetables
Okie, not all veggies were well received here. While the salad was cleared, this particular veggie dish was hardly touched at all. I think the appetite was finally coming back for everyone so instead the beef was much loved instead.

Wedding Reception at the Pontoon - Pasta
♥ Warm Pasta Salad
I missed out on this dish so I am not sure how it tasted like. In fact, I missed out on quite a number of dishes because it seemed that I was always walking around and doing something. The reception was really a very casual occasion. It was more like a slightly formal (everyone all dressed up) party so it was not strange at all to see many people walk around while the dishes were being served.

Wedding Reception at the Pontoon - Tandoori Chicken & Papadamus
♥ Tandoori Chicken served on Saffron rice with Cucumber riatta & pappadams
This was the most loved dish on our table for the night. Everyone was fighting for the pappadams. I love the minty cucumber riatta. *yum*

Wedding Reception at the Pontoon - Wedding Cake
♥ Wedding Cake!!
Of course, how could I have missed out on the most important element of a wedding reception, the wedding cake. Not a tiny-teeny chance. This beautiful three-tier centrepiece came from the crafted hands of pastry chefs at La Renaissance Patisserie.

Wedding Reception at The Pontoon - Renaissance La Patisserie Cakes
♥ Wedding Cakes Couplet
For desserts, we were served the wedding cakes - tiramisu (left) and chocolate mousse cake (right).
According to wedding tradition, the two cakes on the bottom were served to guests while the cake on top (usually a fruit cake) is for the bride and groom to keep. The two pieces of cake look to me like the newly wedded couple standing by each other.

Wedding Reception at the Pontoon - Fruit & Cheese Platter
♥ Fruit and Cheese Platter
There was also a fruit and cheese platter, served with crackers (not shown in pics). I heard the cheese was yummy. I didn't have any cheese though. I was pretty much stuffing myself with the cakes, especially the chocolate one! :-D

The night was a very fun, casual and memorable night with the groom doing an old-skool hip-hop performance on the dance floor and some very hilarious moments from guest speakers. How did we end the night? Ever heard of nao dong fang - (the act of pestering and not letting the newly weds rest or have a moment to themselves in their suite on their first night together! Yes, we were one evil bunch. :p

♥ ♥ May you bathe in the river of love, H & E!! ♥ ♥ *cheerssss*
Continue Reading Floating Glass Island Wedding


Sunday, May 29, 2005

EoMEoTE #7 - Pinkcocoa's Cincai Chinese Egg on Toast

uh oh! I completely forgotten it is the limerick edition this time round for EoMEoTE! *yikes* Forgive me, people. For not having any limerick. To tell the truth, I have never ever ever ever written a limerick and not a single poem in my life! Yes, even in primary, I had not done so! Gosh, I hope my entry counts!!

I am dedicating this post to our very dear AugustusGloop. Why? If not for the events reminder AG has kindly and very sweetly composed, I would have missed out on another EoMEoTE again!

EoMEoTE #7 - Cincai Chinese Mixture with Sweet Spicy Sauce
Cincai Chinese Mixture with Sweet Spicy Sauce
So yup, here is my first ever End of Month Egg on Toast Extravaganza (EoMEoTE) entry and what have I got here? It's Pinkcocoa's Cincai Chinese Egg on Toast. Please excuse the use of my er silly South East Asian slang here. Cincai is a Hokkien (one of the many Chinese dialects, very commonly used in South East Asia) term with a general meaning of anything can do or doing something casually. In Mandarin, it is termed sui bian 隨便. Because the same term can bear different meaning when used in different situation, cincai in this case means putting or making up something along as you go without the assistance of a recipe.

♥ tabeshimashita @ pinkcocoa's kitchen on 29 May 2005
EoMEoTE #7 - Pinkcocoa's Cincai Chinese Egg on Toast
♥ Pinkcocoa's Cincai Chinese Egg on Toast
I was in fact lusting after a breakfast of Taiwanese Egg Roll (dan bing) this morning but I had also wanted to do an egg on toast. Hmmm the egg element is there. What is missing is just the toasted bread. So there I was in the kitchen, couldn't decide what to cook for breakfast or more like brunch. Argh, what the heck. I might as well just use the toast like a dough. Good. Dilemma solved.

I was getting my bread and eggs from the fridge when I noticed a bowl of my leftover chinese stir fry mixture that I had cincai put together for an experiment in making chinese rice cake. And *ding* came a light-bulb moment, and so I proceeded to do this cincai version of egg on toast which bears a slight resemblance to Roti John.

EoMEoTE #7 - EoMEoTE #7 - Cincai Chinese Mixture on Toast wrapped around with Egg
Cincai Chinese Mixture on Toast embedded in a fried egg
First I toasted my bread, spread them with some butter (optional) and then pressed some of my cincai chinese mixture onto the toast. Beat up an egg (one egg for each slice of toast) with a pinch of salt and a tiny amount of water. Melt some butter or heat up some oil in a fry-pan, swirvel the egg mix around the pan so it forms a circular shape like that of a crepe. Quickly pop the toast with the filling side down onto the centre of the fried egg before the egg sets. Squash the toast a little if you like. Then simply bring the extra bit of egg over to the centre so the egg actually wrap up the toast. Don't worry if the toast cannot be fully wrapped. Fry until the egg is set then turn the toast over and fry for another minute or so. Serve warm with some Taiwanese sweet spicy sauce (tian la jiang) or eat as is.

As for the chinese mixture, I simply chopped up some eshallots, garlic, tiny bits of ginger, chinese pickled radish (cai poh), chinese waxed sausage (lapcheong) and some chinese mushroom. Then stir fry them in some sesame oil and a little soy sauce until fragrant. Remove from heat before adding a handful of chopped spring onions (scallions). You can also add some mince pork if you like or omit the sausage to make it a vegetarian version. There is really no correct proportion of each ingredient, simply adjust the amount of ingredients to your liking.

EoMEoTE #7 - Pinkcocoa's cincai Chinese egg on Toast
♥ Simple and Delicious, er, Chinese on Toast
Let me assure you the slices of toast are really there, barely visible underneath the massive amount of chinese mixture. I think I squashed my toast a little too much when I added them to the pan. This cincai egg on toast has quite a different taste . ShinChan was quite taken back by this egg on toast at first (I told him brunch was "chinese french toast") but decided he quite likes it.

Oh well, I just wanted to use up the leftovers. Luckily my cincai (here, this would mean something similar to a whatever or anything attitude) experiment was not too bad. I mean what can possibly go overly wrong with a slice of bread and egg on top, right? :p
Continue Reading EoMEoTE #7 - Pinkcocoa's Cincai Chinese Egg on Toast


Thursday, May 26, 2005

Gelateria Caffe 2000

Gelateria Caffee 2000 - Gelato Cup
♥ Very very more-ish Gelato Cup
Pinkcocoa is once again on her Sydney gelato expedition. This time she ventured to the area of Rozelle and *yay* she found some yummilicious gelato that are simply stunning and very very more-ish. There we stood on the street in a very chilly very cold windy saturday afternoon eating mouthful after mouthful of rich creamy Italian ice-cream. The strong wind and cold weather didn't dither our determination to buy the biggest size - 3 scoops of gelato (A$5.50 for takeaway).

♥ tabeshimashita @ Gelateria Caffe 2000 on 14 May 2005
Gelateria Caffee 2000
♥ Gelateria Caffee 2000
We were at the legendary Gelateria Caffe 2000 in Rozelle where gelato are made from scratch by owner, Tonino Lo Iacono. My tastebuds seem to have been so very well pampered by artisan gelato in Sydney now that I am extremely picky when it comes to gelato which can be a good or bad thing.

Gelateria Caffee 2000 - Creamy Baci
♥ Creamy Baci
We stood in front of the comparably small gelato display stand. There were only about 10 or so flavours but it took us about 15minutes to decide no what we wanted, all thanks to a nice lady who told us to try out pistachio (she said it's simply stunning) and if we likes hazelnut and chocolate, try the baci. So we took her advice and ordered baci (choc & hazelnut), boysenberry, and pistachio. Other flavours that we didnt order include tiramisu, milk, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, lemon, strawberry and a few others that I couldn't remember.

Gelateria Caffee 2000 - tantalizing boysenberry!
♥ Rich Creamy Velvety Gelato
All three flavours were very rich, smooth and so very velvety. The boysenberry has got quite a zesty kick to it and is surprisingly very tantalising especially when a cream-based gelato can get a little too rich sometimes, particularly when like us who decided to go for 3 cream-based flavour. The boysenberry seems to help us to clean our palate a bit.

The baci is very chocolatey yet very hazelnutty. *yum* It's like killing two birds with one stone - two flavours all in one! And gosh, when we got to pistachio, we were stunned and just stunned. It is just so pistachio-ey. You feel like you are eating fresh roasted pistachio! This is by far the best pistachio we ever had.

*yay* Pinkcocoa has found yet another yummilicious gelateria in Sydney. *yay* *yum*

♥ Gelateria Caffe 2000
650 Darling Street
Rozelle NSW
ph. +61 2 9555 6032
Open Mon-Sat
Closed Sun

Continue Reading Gelateria Caffe 2000


Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Northside Produce Market - May

Northside Produce Market - May
♥ Pretty Autumny Northside Produce Market
*yay* It's once again the third saturday of the month and where would you find Pinkcocoa and ShinChan? Where else but the Northside Produce Market!

It's now May and autumn seems to be finally settling in Australia with streets are so beautiful with redish, orangy and yellowish trees. And look at the cute little baby in the pics, she's just so photogenic and I bet she's a natural model. She couldn't take her eyes off my camera!

♥ tabeshimashita @ Northside Produce Market on 21 May 2005
Northside Produce Market - Wagyu Beef
♥ A little taste of Wagyu Beef
As it's rather chilly, the man in the house seems to favour more of a meaty feast. ShinChan had a tiny taste of wagyu beef and exclaimed dreamily that this tiny little bite of beef was just oh-so-tender and oh-so-yummy and oh-so-more-ish and oh-can-we-buy-please. He was in a really dreamy state for a while until I had to drag him over to another stall. And no, we didn't buy any. It's still out of our budget. Maybe for special occasion...

Northside Produce Market - Tandoori Chicken on Grill
♥ Tandoori Chicken on Grill
The Indian stall was selling really yummy looking tandoori chicken wrap with crunchy lettuce and yummy minty yogurt.

Northside Produce Market - Eumundi Smoke House
♥ Eumundi Smoke House
We are loving the chorizo from Eumundi Smoke House - free of preservative and water. They were having special at the moment: 3 continental sausages @ A$12 (or A$4ea). We love their spanish chorizo and hot salami.

Northside Produce Market - Banana Flowers
♥ Banana Flowers
We saw this massive banana flower at the banana stall. The owner explained that you could cook the banana flower - the bit inside the large pointy petals at the bottom. Sorry for the bad description here. How would you describe the large pointy bit at the bottom? Let's not worry about the proper term. I am hoping you guys understand what I was saying. Have any of you tried eating banana flower? I wonder how it would taste like.

Northside Produce Market - Rosy Glow Apple
♥ Rosy Glow Apple at Roche Bros Orchard
And yes we saw something new this time too - Rosy Glow Apple. It is quite tarty and very crunchy. I just love how Roche Bros decorates their stall at the market. The autumn leaves are just gorgeous and so attractive.

Northside Produce Market - Parker's Coconut Juice
♥ Parker's Coconut Drink
When we walked into the market, we saw a couple of people holding these cute little coconut in their hands and I thought we were back in Asia! The coconut drinks were from Parker's Organic Juices. They also have a new range of sparkling juices (see top right corner)!

Northside Produce Market - Fruit Soda
♥ Fruit Soda
And once again, we discovered something new at the market. It's Fruit Soda, fruit cordial made from whole Australian fruits and are preservative-free with no artificial colour and flavour. And oh! Check out the cute guy selling Fruit Soda ;-)

Northside Produce Market - Fruit Soda Flavours
♥ Fruit Soda Cordials
There are 6 interesting flavours including blood orange & cardamon and available in 1.5L bottle or if you want them all, buy the small bottles. We particularly like the pineapple & star anise. We were told these fruit sodas are wonderful in wine spritzer. Unfortunately, they didnt have pineapple & star anise in the small bottle so we made do with Just Mango. The calories and sugar content is much lower than real fruit juices and soft drinks too so now I can have cordial without much guilt. *yum*

Northside Produce Market
Every 3rd Saturday of the Month at:
200 Miller Street
North Sydney NSW 2060
ph. 02 9922 2299

Continue Reading Northside Produce Market - May


Sunday, May 22, 2005

A wild passion with Cookie Man!

Plateful of Cookie Man Cookies
♥ Cookie Man on my plate
I used to dream of having freshly baked cookies with milk right after school. I was always hoping that Mum would invest in an oven and started baking cakes and cookies, just as the typical Mums in American movies would. But Mum was always swamped with work and even busier when my little brother was born so she never did really get into cooking much.

Not that we weren't able to get cookies in Brunei; oh yes! we could get Chips Ahoy and Oreo easily, but it's just not the same as the goodness of freshly baked cookies. So you can imagine my excitement when I arrived in Australia and found Cookie Man!

♥ tabeshimashita @ Cookie Man on some time in May
One Plateful of Cookie Man Cookies
♥ And more cookies!
It looks like my Paddington Bear is having a wild passion with Cookie Man at the moment. They looked so loving and inseparable (see, bad Cookie Man is trying to hide dear Paddington Bear from me. grrrrrr) until Mummy Pinkcocoa came and took Cookie Man away! Wahahaha *evil pinkcocoa*

The first time I had Cookie Man cookies was at David Jones (DJ) in Adelaide. I immediately fell in love with these crunchy cookies. You had no idea how much weight I gained in just a short 2 months. I would buy a pack of cookies each time I visited DJ. And how many times I visited David Jones each week? Let me count..1..2..3.....Er, actually almost pretty much everyday! So you see, I gained so much weight that my parents could hardly recognise me!

Cookie Man
♥ Bagful of Cookies
I haven't had Cookie Man for a long while now, especially since I started to get into baking myself. I have been feeling lazy these few months with my adventure in baking and was craving for some cookies for afternoon tea. Naturally, I headed to Cookie Man.

Apparently Cookie Man has had a whole new image. It has turned from a bright colourful and cartoony design to this clean, cool and very sleek design. Looks like Cookie Man is growing up! This particular bag came from the Cookie Man store at DJ Food Hall. I don't know about you but I somehow think that the Cookie Man at DJ is much better than the other Cookie Man chains. They are crunchier, richer and smell much buttery too.

Cookie Man Cookies
♥ One plateful of Cookie Man Cookies
These are fresh baked cookies @ A$3.35 per 100g. There are many many varieties and flavours for you to pick from. Sometimes it can be hard to decide what you want. I was standing right there staring at all these delicious cookies, all screaming for me to take them home, probably for 10minutes. Argh. It was so hard to pick. In the end, I got a bit of every flavour. :-D

clockwise from bottom right:
♥ Chokky Rock
♥ Sesame
♥ Anzac
♥ Choc Jewel *yum*
♥ Triple Choc

More Cookie Man Cookies!
♥ Two plateful of Cookie Man Cookies
clockwise from bottom right:
♥ Smiley Face
♥ Wild Passion *yum*
♥ Choc Drop *yum*
♥ Shortbread *yum*
♥ Coffee Walnut

The Wild Passion is probably the most well-liked in the family, with every mouthful a tingling zingling passionfruit burst! I also love how it is shaped in lovely heart. My cousin was hooked on the wild passion when she visited Sydney years ago and she would get me to buy her bagfuls if ever I visited Taiwan.

My favourite is actually Choc Jewel and shortbread. The cute colourful little jewel on crunchy chocolate cookie is simply stunning and more-ish. The shortbread is rich and buttery with an almost melt-in-your-mouth texture. Besides these fresh baked cookies, Cookie Man also has other yummy little sweets such as brownies, slices and cream-filled cookies. For the health-conscious, there are also 97% fat free cookies!

Was I ever tempted to try the 97% fat free cookies? Nope. Not a chance. I love my cookies rich and buttery. I am loving cookies so much at the moment!

ps. I know there is Cookie Man in Singapore too. Saw it at Taka the last time I was there :)

Cookie Man
DJ Bondi Junction Cookie Man
David Jones Department Store
Westfield Bondi Junction
500 Oxford St
Bondi Junction NSW 2022
Ph: (02) 9619 1118

DJ Market St Cookie Man
David Jones Department Store
Ground Floor
Market St
Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: (02) 9266 5230
Continue Reading A wild passion with Cookie Man!


Friday, May 20, 2005

SHF#8 - Lemony French Toast

Lemony French Toast
♥ Lemony French Toast
I still had some lemon syrup leftover from the old-fashioned lemon tea cake I made earlier this morning. Originally I intended to use the left-over lemon syrup to make a cuppa hot lemon tea for the cold winter morning. But the idea was quickly scrapped after seeing a few slices of stale bread sitting on the kitchen bench and I thought what's better than a hot yummy french toasts drizzled with the thick lemony syrup on a cold winter morning! Oh this makes for a bonus entry for SHF#8 - Pucker up with Citrus too! hehe

♥ tabeshimashita @ pinkcocoa's kitchen on 20 May 2005
French Toast drenched in yummy lemon syrup
♥ French Toast drenched in tangy lemony syrup
French toasts are just so easy! My first memory of french toast was that of my dad, who seldom cook (I've been told he was a good cook), went into the kitchen straight after watching this Japanese cartoon where there was a robot cooking french toasts for the kids. It looked easy enough in the cartoon and I think we little ones must have mentioned that we wanted to eat french toasts too. So dad walked into the kitchen and started making french toasts for us! Dad said the french toast was sup sup shui (Cantonese meaning easy as a piece of cake or no big deal) but er hm, seriously I started to doubt if dad was a really good cook when we were served some overly brown french toasts!

For every 2 slice of toast, I whisk 1 egg with some milk. Basically I employ the agak-agak (estimation) method and add however much milk to my fancy. I have also added a teaspoon of sugar which is optional. The toasts are then dipped into the egg mixture so it's fully coated with the egg mixture. Heat up a dollop of butter in a frypan. Once butter has melted and started to turn bubblery, add the toasts. Fry both side until brown. Serve with a dollop of butter and honey or maple syrup. I simply substituted the honey or maple syrup with my leftover lemon syrup. I had also sprinkled some cinnomon powder onto the toast. I reckon cinnamon sugar would be a much better complement to the citrus syrup.

Buttery Lemony French Toast
♥ Buttery Lemony French Toast
Our breakfast this morning was absolutely yummy. The tangy zesty goodness of the lemon syrup gave us an instant boost. It must be the cinnamon in the syrup along with the zestful flavour helps to revitalise our still-half-asleep body. What better way to start my day with something so sinfully delicious!
Continue Reading SHF#8 - Lemony French Toast


SHF#8 - Old-fashioned Lemon Tea Cake

Old-Fashioned Lemon Tea Cake
♥ Pucker Up with Citrus!
It was almost 7.30am when I shrieked and basically scrambled into my tiny kitchen. What had caused such a stir was AugustusGloop's Lemon Sour Cream Cake post. *yikes* I didn't realise it's time for another Sugar High Friday! Hosted by Alice of My Adventures in the Breadbox, the theme for this month's Sugar High Friday (originally created by Jennifer) is Pucker up with Citrus!

I seriously had no idea what to make. The first thing that popped into my mind was serving a layered dessert of lemon curd, ricotta cheese and some toasted muesli. But dear oh dear, it was a chilly morning and I didn't fancy a cold start for the day. I was thinking of a hot lemon pudding but hmm, I don't have a recipe on hand and it's too late to start searching on the net now. It just happened I borrowed a copy of baker from the library last night and hoorayyyy! There is a recipe of this gorgeous looking old-fashioned lemon tea cake in the book.

♥ tabeshimashita @ pinkcocoa's kitchen on 20 May 2005
Old-Fashioned Lemon Tea Cake
♥ Old-fashioned Lemon Tea Cake
So I quickly sprung into action and started to check up on the list of ingredients:
Lemons. Check. Plain flour. Check. Eggs. Check. Sugar. Check. Natural Yogurt. Uh-oh!
No worries. Maybe I could just substitute with milk instead but hey! Wait, I have a small tub of buttermilk in my fridge. Great! All equipments out and Pinkcocoa was all set for yet another baking session!

♥ Old-fashioned Lemon Tea Cake
from baker: the best of international baking from Australian and New Zealand professionals, by Dean Brettschneider & Lauraine Jacobs
This particular recipe is from Peter and Pamela Schneider of Patterson's Cakes in Melbourne's Chapel Street. I didn't actually follow the instructions from the book because I made the fatal error of not reading the recipe properly before proceeding. I had used the creaming method instead. Anyhow, the cake turned out fine. I am including the original recipe for your reference.

Lemon Syrup
lemon rind strips (made by peeling 1 lemon with a potato peeler)
1 cinnamon stick
250ml (1 cup) water*
150g (3/4 cup) sugar

  1. Place lemon strips, cinnamon stick, water and sugar in a saucepan and gently bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer.
  2. Simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Allow the lemon strips to sit in the sugar syrup to infuse with the cinnamon.
  4. Cover and reheat when required.

Cake Batter
85 g butter, softened
85 g plain flour
10 g lemon zest from one lemon (about 2 teaspoons)
110g (2) eggs
170g caster sugar**
65 g natural yoghurt***

  1. In a mixing bowl fitted with a beater, on medium speed beat the butter, flour and lemon zest until well blended. The colour and consistency of the batter should be light but not too light and fluffy (this should take approximately 3 minutes on medium speed). Be careful not to over-beat the mixture as this will result in a dry cake.
  2. Using a wooden spoon mix the eggs, sugar and yoghurt together in a separate bowl and then add to the butter and flour mixture. Beat well but do not beat too much - approximately 1.5 minutes on medium speed.
  3. Divide the mixture into two empty fruit cans (100mm or 4 inches diameter)**** lined with baking paper on the bottom and sides. Alternatively, use greased springform tins.
  4. Place both cakes in a preheated 190c (375F) oven and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a cake skewer comes out clean.
  5. As soon as the cakes are removed from the oven, pour approximately 75-100ml (1/3 cup)***** of the hot syrup onto each cake. This must be done immediately otherwise the cakes will become soggy.
  6. Once the cakes have cooled, carefully remove from the tins.
  7. Glaze the top of each cake, if desired, with a thin layer of apricot glaze (see recipe for Mediterranean Orange Cake, use half the amounts) and immediately place strips of lemon rind on top (from the infused lemon syrup) or dust with icing sugar and place a lemon twist on the top.
  8. Tie a wide lemon-coloured ribbon around the cake for extra eye appeal, if desired.

For the cake batter, I creamed butter, sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy. Add in half of the flour. Mix. Add in half of liquid. Mix. Add in remaining half of flour. Mix. Add in remaining buttermilk. Mix. Add in remaining flour. Mix.
* I substituted with a mixture of lemon juice and water by juicing 2 lemons and add water to make up to 250ml of liquid in the syrup for a more sharper zesty flavour.
** I halved the sugar and added about one tablespoon of honey at step 2.
*** Substituted with buttermilk.
**** I used a 17cm removable-bottom cake tin, greased and base-lined.
***** I used about 150ml of syrup and found that the cake was basically drenched in the syrup when I removed the cake from the tin. So I guess round about 100ml would be enough and I can save up leftover syrup for other uses!

Lemon Twist & Flower Confetti on Lemon Tea Cake
♥ Lemon Twist & Flower Confetti on Lemon Tea Cake
For a quick and easy way to decorate cake, I cut out a paper template, placed on cake and sprinkle with icing sugar. I also added flower confetti for a cute finishing touch! And I didn't forget about the lemon twist! Ta-daaaaaa, a delicious lemon tea cake for a friday afternoon. *yay*

Old-Fashioned Lemon Tea Cake
♥ Shiny Zesty Tangy Flavoursome Lemon tea cake!
I was worried at first that the cake might be too soggy because I didn't pour syrup immediately onto the cake when the cake was done. There was also the fact that the cake seemed to be overly-soaked in the syrup. I had lots of syrup dripping out of the cake tin when I removed the cake from the tin.

A slice of Old-Fashioned Lemon Tea Cake
♥ A slice of Old-Fashioned Lemon Tea Cake
The cake was in fact a little wet from the lemon syrup on the outside, and dense and slightly sweet on the inside. The tangy lemon syrup adds a zesty zing to the cake, making it perfect for afternoon tea. I feel like it's summer with every mouthful of the cake! I bet it would taste so much better with ice-cream!

♥ Coming soon:
Check out on a wrap-up of mouthwatering citrus entries from around the world at Alice's!

Continue Reading SHF#8 - Old-fashioned Lemon Tea Cake


Thursday, May 19, 2005

Hey look, it's kumera & QQ in my teacup!

There we were, two girls in Chatswood, looking for a place to sit and have a drink. There really isn't that many of a place that we could head to especially since the shopping centres were already closed. And we were picky, very picky in fact. So that was no thanks to both Starbucks and Gloria Jeans. No thanks to the usual cafe too. We were after something hot that's not coffee. And no Hong Kong Tea Restaurants too.

With everything outed, there was only one place we could head to: Cha for Tea, a tea house chain of the famous Taiwanese tea merchant - Ten Ren. Cha for Tea serves everything makes with tea.

♥ tabeshimashita @ Cha For Tea on 14 May 2005
Ten Ren Cha For Tea - A Glass of Kumera & Pearls (QQ)
♥ Kumera & QQ in my teacup!
It was indeed hard to pick from the menu which has an extensive list of tea-related items. There were the proper chinese tea, milktea (hot/cold), fruit/fusion tea, tea noodle, tea puddings, tea jellies, basically just tea-everything. We decided to order a pot of kumera (sweet potato) QQ milk tea. The reason for the choice was simple, we were just curious about how the shop would serve QQ (or commonly known as pearls, which in actual fact is a type of starchy balls) and kumera in a tea pot ie. how can you pour kumera and QQ out from the tiny opening of a tea pot.

Ten Ren Cha for Tea - Kumera QQ Milk Tea
♥ A pot of Kumera QQ Milk Tea (A$9.50)
I was thinking something like serving the kumera and QQ on the sides with a pot of hot milk tea (half-sugar) and I was pretty much right about it except that the kumera and QQ were not served on the side. They were placed in the teacup.

The kumera was very sweet and the QQ were too soft for my liking. Lucky we ordered the milk tea half-sugar else the whole thing would be overly sweet. I was really tempted to order it without sugar which I usually do when I order bubble tea. Many would look at me with a "are-you-sure-this-is-nice" face when I made the order. To be honest, I have never really fancy Cha for Tea. I guess people come here for the novelty side. At least I do. And I am not liking the high price tag at all. A$9.50 for a tiny pot of milk tea!?

And you think the high price tag is because we are having bubble tea in Australia? You are absolutely wrong. Cha for Tea or more like Ten Ren is the Chanel/LV/Prada to the tea drinking world, at least in Taiwan it is. I had been to Cha for Tea in Taipei and a large takeaway Taro (yam) QQ milk tea cost almost just as much as it does in Australia. It was NT$90, about A$3.80. You think this is cheap? No way! Because you can get a large (750ml) of QQ milktea for as cheap as NT$20 (A$0.85).

I have to admit though, the milk tea (in Taipei that is) was nice and smooth with a aromatic fragrant. But I didn't enjoy the service. I ordered QQ milk tea without sugar (FYI, their QQ was overly sweet) and the man serving me was really sarcastic by talking loudly to his other customers that those who ordered sugarless milktea were silly because all the fats and calories were in fact in the QQ themselves so it would be useless and stupid to order sugarless QQ milktea. Gosh, I was so surprised at what I heard and it was aiming directly at me too! Geez, some people just don't get that it wasn't the calories but the sweetness that's causing the problem!

Oh. Oops. Sorry for the small whinging session up there. Back to where I was, I had also had Cha For Tea shaved ice (A$7.50) long time ago and we all thought that the shaved ice we made ourselves at home beat Cha for Tea's shaved ice both on price and on taste! I do have a pic of the shaved ice but I kinda misplaced it somewhere. I will post the pics up when I found it.

Cha For Tea
389 Victoria Avenue
Chatswood NSW 2067
Tel: +61 2 98847668
Fax: +61 2 98847686

Continue Reading Hey look, it's kumera & QQ in my teacup!


Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Legendary Biscuits from Pearl of the Orient

It was a tough time deciding what to write next following my seem-to-be-endless easter show posts. There are in fact many many many food I would love to share with you all, most of which are food I had eaten in the past few months or even from the past year! Sorry guys, not much adventure for the months of April and May here though. We were so busy that we hardly appreciate the food we eat. Now this is bad thing for a foodlover to say, don't you reckon?

Penang Tau Sar Pneah
♥ Gorgeous Looking Pastry
So where was I again? Oh, right, that I didn't know what to write about. So what I did was started looking through my photo album. There I noticed I had these gorgeous looking pastry photo sitting in my 2005 January album.

♥ tabeshimashita @ pinkcocoa's kitchen on some time in Jan
Top of TSP
Tau Sar Pneah
For those of you who are from Malaysia, you probably know by now that the two cute little pastries are the ever-famous pastry from Penang - Tau Sar Pneah (pronouced tao sa pia). When the name of Penang (also known as Pearl of the Orient) is mentioned, one would immediately thought of Penang Assam Laksa and Tau Sar Pneah, these are the two food you definitely couldn't have missed out on if you were visiting Penang.

I believe the term tau sar pneah is in Hokkien, meaning bean paste (tau sar) biscuit/cake(pneah). These slightly savoury biscuits are a type of traditional pastry originated from the province of Fujian, China.

Where did these yummy little pastry came from, you ask. If my memory served me right (doesn't this phase sound familiar, hehehe), I did mention a long while ago in January that ShinChan had a 2 weeks holiday in Malaysia (yes, without me! grrrr) and to compensate for my lost (?), he came back from Malaysia with my favourite pastry: Penang Tau Sar Pneah.

Ghee Hiang Tau Sar Pneah
Ghee Hiang Tau Sar Pneah
ShinChan was staying with a family of his Penang friend and the cute Dad of his friend brought him to Ghee Hiang, a Malaysian brandname built over a long history of 150years, and ShinChan was told that the tau sar pneah here are the best of the best on the island.

What we got here on the left are a box of normal sized tau sar pneah (RM$10 for 8 packs of 3 biscuits in each pack) and on the right a box of mini tau sar pneah (RM$9 for 8 packs of 4 mini biscuits in each pack). We all think it's a great bargain for the price and quantities. Look at the colouful drawings on the box, don't you think it's just lovely and adds to a touch of nolstagia?

The Penang biscuits have won our hearts over its distance relatives from Taiwan which can easily cost us more than double the price of these yummy little biscuits.

Inside of Big TSP
Tau Sar Pneah
Of course, it's not only the price that had won our hearts over. It's the combination of the sweetness of tau sar (bean paste) together with the savoury of lard and fried shallots that makes the little Penang biscuits so toothsome! Not to forget the fluffy and flaky pastry on the outside too.

I could barely remember the first time I had Penang tau sar pneah. I was probably still a tiny little primary school girl who has a thing for anything that is not main meal. It was only in high school that I fall in love with these sweet-savoury biscuits. An ex-student from Penang had given the college's overseas-student coordinator a big box of tau sar pneah and I was lucky enough to sneak one or two biscuits down! Ever since then, I could not forget the unique "bang" that got me so hooked.

The last time I had a Penang tau sar pneah was about 4 years ago when my best friend urged (or more like nudge/nag) her sister to bring her boxes of Malaysian mooncakes on her trip to Sydney. The sister brought her one large box and the few lucky ones were each given a piece of tau sar pneah and not more even if you asked for it. So you can tell how good these little Penang tau sar pneah are - so good that it won precedence over friendship!

Inside of Small TSP
♥ Mini Tau Sar Pneah
The mini tau sar pneah are made for people, particularly the ladies with a smaller appetite or those who prefer a smaller bite size. It's just perfect for me not because I prefer smaller bite size nor was it for my small appetite but because the fact that I feel like I get to eat more with the the smaller size. :p

The little black bits in the fillings are fried shallots. The fried shallots are hardly visible in the normal size version and I did find the mini version has a more distinct shallots flavour than its bigger brother.

Tar Sau Pneah in different sizes
♥ Penang Tau Sar Pneah
Even though tau sar are usually taken to mean red bean paste, the Penang biscuits are made with green bean (mung bean) paste together with sugar, a pinch of salt, lard and fried shallots. There are also tau sar pneah made using white bean paste. To cater for vegetarian, vegetable oil is used in place of lard. Apparently there is also a halal version.

And yes, the tau sar pneah from Ghee Hiang are made with green bean filling and lard, which is what gives the biscuits a very unique fragrant and flavour. The pastry skins are light, fluffy, flaky and very very delicate. I had to handle the biscuits with extra care when cutting the biscuits in half. I, er, actually damaged quite a few tau sar pneah before getting to the neat cut-edges you see in the picture. *Oops*

And you do need to eat the biscuit with a piece of serviette or a tiny plate underneath because the pastry is just so flaky. Now you don't want to make any of the fluffy flakes to go to waste, do you?

♥ Ghee Hiang
No.95, Lebuh Pantai 10300
Penang, Malaysia
Tel: 604 262 0635 / 4471
Fax: 604 263 5158

216 Jalan Macalister
10400 P.Pinang
Tel: 604 227 2222
Fax: 604 227 2522

Continue Reading Legendary Biscuits from Pearl of the Orient