Yee sang

yee sang

So it’s that time of year again, Chinese New Year time!! Now as many of you do (or maybe you don’t) Yee sang is a traditional dish we have every year to celebrate the new year symbolising goodluck. The food is arranged on the plate, and everyone in the table gets to mix together the dish ( it is also the one time mum lets you play with your food as a child!).

Anyway I find this dish mmmdelicious! and I look forward to it every year, hope you enjoy it too.

Prep time: 30 minutes(can be longer if you chop slower) Cook time: 5 minutes (its all cooked already)

Ingredients

  • 3 carrots
  • 2 lebanese cucumbers
  • 1/4 lettuce
  • 2 nectarines
  • 500g smoked salmon
  • 300gm ham
  • 1 orange
  • 1 pomelo
  • peanuts- around a handful
  • won ton skin
  • 1/4 cup plum sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • water

Method:

  • Grate the carrot and arrange on one section the plate, repeat with the cucumber. Shread the lettuce and arrange on the plate as well.
  • slice the smoked salmon and place on the plate, slice the ham and also arrange on the plate
  • dice the orange, and nectarines and also place on the plate. spread the pomelo and add to the plate
  • slice the wonton skin into strips and fry them in a pot of hot oil. Be quick to remove them as they turn from golden to burnt very quickly. Place them in a bowl at the side
  • Crush some peanuts and place in a bowl
  • Mix the plum sauce, 1 tsp of sugar and a tsp of water together to make the dressing and mix until combined.

The Yee sang is now ready for consumption!! Remember to pour the wanton skin, peanuts and dressing on right before you all mix it together.

thought I’d share a picture of our CNY feast!!

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Dark chocolate and caramel fudge

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So I recently went to Tasmania and sampled a lot of fudge, and I just couldn’t shake the craving for some more when I finally got home. So I’ve decided to make some fudge, but as per usual I couldn’t just settle for one single flavour fudge so I made two flavours, and I also added some salted peanut butter chocolate covered pretzels in as well. I did make everything from scratch for this recipe so it did take a bit longer then the times below, so if you do make the caramel sauce and pretzels from scratch add an extra 45 minutes in.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

for the dark chocolate fudge

  • 400g dark chocolate
  • 395g condensed milk
  • 25g butter
  • 75g icing sugar

for the caramel fudge

  • 400g white chocolate
  • 395g condensed milk
  • 1/3 cup caramel sauce

to make the caramel sauce

  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 4 tablespons butter
  • 1/4 cup thickened cream

for the pretzels 

  • 1 bag of pretzels
  • salt to sprinkle on top
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 200g dark chocolate

Method:

to make the dark chocolate fudge

  1. place all the ingredients in a pot and heat over medium low heat until everything is combined
  2. pour into a tin lined with alfoil, and spread with a spatula so there is an even layer

to make the caramel fudge

  1. place all the ingredients in a pot and heat over medium low heat until everything is combined
  2. pour over the chocolate fudge layer
  3. then press the pretzels into the fudge and then leave in the fridge for a couple of hours. Then remove and serve

to make the caramel sauce

  1. Place the sugar and water into a saucepan over medium low heat, stir with a spatula until dissolved, and dissolve any crystals of sugar that have formed at the side of the pan with a wet pastry brush.
  2. Now turn the heat to high and watch it bubble! Do not stir the mixture anymore, just occasionally swirl the pan so the mixture doesn’t stay stationary.
  3. Watch the liquid change colour from a  light amber to a medium amber and then a reddish brown colour  (this should take around 3-4 minutes). When the mixture starts giving off smoke add the butter and cream, the mixture will bubble extensively now, and stir to combine everything. Once combined turn off the heat and let it cool.
  4. Note that the longer you let the caramel cook the harder it will be once cool, and for a more caramel flavour let the mixture smoke for longer before adding the butter and cream.

to make the pretzels

  • beat the peanut butter and butter, then add the sugars and beat until combined. If the mixture is too sticky and won’t come away from the side of the bowl add more icing sugar
  • roll the mixture into balls and sandwich between two pretzels, and place on a tray lined with baking paper. Repeat until all the mixture is used.
  • sprinkle a little salt on each pretzel then place in the freezer for 30 minutes
  • melt the chocolate over a double broiler, and remove the pretzels from the freezer. Dip half of the pretzel in the chocolate and place back on the tray
  • Refrigerate until chocolate is solid and mmmenjoy!

 

 

The Lark Distillery

Lark Distillery

Tasting Selection at Lark Distillery

You may not know this but we (AJ and CN) are huge whisky fans. We may not know how to decribe whisky like those experts but we sure know how to enjoy them. Having recently read about amazing Tassie whisky, we decided to give Lark Distillery a shot(Muhahahaha). It was conveniently located in the city right next to the wharf.

We got to taste 4 for price of 15 dollars which we split between 4 of us(Umm saliva backwash whisky). While the first two were okay, the third which was the Single Malt Cask Strength which was mmmdelicious. So mmdelicious that CN gulped it down before AO even got a sip.We would have loved to take some back home but unfortunately at 55 dollars for a 100ml, it was a tad too dear for our student budget(Can’t wait to actually earn money)

AJ and CN

 

Lark Cellar Door and Whisky Bar on Urbanspoon

The Drunken Admiral – Hobart – Review

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The Admiral’s Smoky Fish Stew

 

Rating: 4.8/5.0 stars

Rating: 4.8/5.0 stars

 

Ahoy mateys!! Exams are finally over and we find ourselves in Hobart celebrating food, wine, cheese and of course lots of chocolate. We have a couple of new bloggers to introduce. We have Chocolate Ninja(CN), Agent Orange(AN) and some random commenters who are with us here in Tassie.

So after seeking out the best seafood in Tassie, we came across the Drunken Admiral which well lived up to expectations. What is it with cool place names in Tassies. Aka Sleepy Bay, Hazards Beach, Wineglass Bay, Break-me-neck hill. So amusing!

As we found ourselves approaching the entrance of the restaurant, we were bemused by the nautical themed exterior with life size pirates, cannons and all-round awesome ship stuff. It was a cosy restaurant with plenty of nooks and crannies for tables and the decor suited the theme perfectly. With the epic music, it created quite the festive and intimate environment. Although it doesn’t quite feel like it, it was rather spacious and we managed to book a table quite late on the day that we decided to pop by.

There was a fantastic menu on board(Couldnt help it) with appropriately whimsical Tassie names(Hook line and sinker, The Chocolate Merchants Mistress, The Captain’s Tart etc spring to mind.

Being in prime seafood country we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to sample the Oysters Served Traditionally with lemon on a mountain of sea salt(CN and AJ were amused). The oysters were incredibly fresh and mmmdelicious! I would love to come back and try the other flavoured ones.

Funny story: The oysters were SO FRESH that one of them had a worm still wriggling on it. Unfortunately we spotted this only after we swallowed them down and AJ turned green. We called over one of the crew members(Again couldnt help it) and voiced our shock. The waiter was also surprised and called over the manager who proclaimed that it was quite normal for worms to slip by as they were super freshly shucked. Cue confused faces and a free oyster for our 6 man crew.

We also tried the Sea salt and peppercorn squid which was quite scrumptious with a lovely thin batter that showed off the squid.

But the best dish of the day hands down was the Seafood chowder which can only be described as a painfully small scoop of heaven. 6 people were swordfighting with spoons to wolf down what they could with AO wanting to lick the bowl like the dog he is. Definitely my number 1 rated seafood chowder and it has definitely ruined seafood chowder everywhere else for me.

Now on to the mains

Pictured above at the top is the Admiral Smoky Fish Stew which was a delicious broth that had us ordering 2 freshly baked Vienna loaves to shamelessly soak and devour.

We also had the Port-Starboard Main which consisted of everything in the sea bar a boat. Yes we had Octopus, Raw tuna, crackers salmon pate, delicious scallops(Cue round 2 of swordfight), cocktail prawns and the shooter of bloody mary with an oyster. Off all the mains that we ordered, this was the least impressive but it was still pretty damn good.

Last but not least, we had the White Star Line First Class Spaghettini(which sunk us into a food coma). A tad oily perhaps but amazing flavors with perfectly cooked prawns.(This has changed AO’s seafood favourite from scallops to prawns)

Desert seemed a necessity to complete an otherwise epic meal and we quite quickly settled on the The Chocolate Merchant’s Mistress with its Tasmanian whisky chocolate sauce and macadamia nut ice cream. It was a good ending to a great meal but we thought the fudge was pretty average.

All in all, this was a fantastic dining experience and we are already conjuring up excuses to return to the good Admiral’s abode. Hopefully there will be more posts in the coming year.

Signing Off,

Ana John(AJ), Chocolate Ninja(CN) and Agent Orange(AO)

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Drunken Admiral on Urbanspoon

Pancakes, quick and easy

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Ok so into the glamorous life of a med student, I have finally changed rotations and have time to cook again!!! So to kick it off I have made some delicious pancakes to celebrate the end to the sleep depriving gen med rotation!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • mixed berries and sugar
  • butter, maple syrup and icing sugar to serve

Method:

  1. Whisk milk, egg and vanilla together.
  2.  Sift flour and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl, stir in the sugar then make a well in centre. mix in the milk mixture until just combined.
  3. Heat a teaspoon of oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat.  Pour 1/4 cup mixture into frypan and cook until bubbles appear on surface then flip and cook for 3 minutes or until cooked through. Transfer to a plate. Cover loosely with foil to keep warm and repeat with remaining mixture (If you want to make chocolate chip pancakes sprinkle the chic chips on top of the batter once it has cooked for 1 minute in the pan, this is before you have flipped it. This stops the choc chips from touching the pan and burning.)
  4. heat the berries either in the microwave or on the stove top and add sugar as needed.
  5. Plate up the pancakes with butter,  berries, maple syrup and icing sugar and mmm enjoy!

 

Lemon meringue pie

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mmmlemon meringue pie! I’ve been craving it for a month and finally had the time to make it. It’s been crazy busy the last couple of weeks and my cooking time has sadly been decreasing. Too many lectures!!! Oh well, its not too bad, better busy then bored :) anyway here’s the recipe hope you enjoy.

Ingredients:

for the crust

  • 250g plain flour
  • ¼ cup (35g) icing sugar mixture
  • 150g cold butter, chopped coarsely
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1-2 tablespoons iced water, as necessary

for the filling

  • ½ cup (75g) cornflour
  • 1 ¼ cups (280g) caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 lemons, zested and juiced (3/4cups)
  • ½ cup (125ml) water
  • 60g butter, chopped into 1 cm cubes

for the meringue

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup (220g) caster sugar

Method:

for the pastry

  1. Process the flour, icing sugar mixture, butter and zest until they resemble breadcrumbs. Add yolk and 1 tablespoon of the water; process again until pastry begins to come together into a ball (you may need to add more water) . Tip onto a lightly floured work surface and knead briefly until smooth. Shape into a flat disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 40 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 220°C or 200°C fan-forced. Roll out pastry between 2 sheets baking paper until 3mm thick. Press pastry into 24cm loose bottomed flan tin. Trim edges and dock base (to dock means to prick base using a fork). Line with baking paper and fill with baking beads (I use rice). Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove paper and beans; return to oven. Bake a further 5 minutes or until pastry is lightly golden brown all over base. Allow to cool.

for the filling

I recommend starting this step straight after you put the crust dough in the fridge

  1. Combine cornflour and sugar in medium bowl. Gradually beat in the eggs, yolks, zest, juice and water.
  2. Place mixture in medium bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until thickened – about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, and whisk butter into lemon mixture. Cover closely with plastic wrap and cool in the fridge for an hour, or until room temperature

for the meringue

  1. Place egg whites in large bowl. Beat until soft peaks form.
  2. Then while beating slowly add in the sugar.

to combine

  1. Spoon lemon mixture into the pre-baked pastry case. Level top with a small palette knife. Pile meringue mixture on top, ensuring lemon mixture is completely covered. Return pie to preheated oven (220°C or 200°C fan-forced) and bake 10 minutes or until top is golden brown and crisp. Stand 5 minutes before serving.

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Coffee and Walnut Cake

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mmm coffee!! This is a coffeeholics dream cake! There’s coffee in the cake, there’s coffee in the buttercream, and there’s coffee in the icing. Now I know that may sound a little overboard, but its really not, for some reason it all just flows so nicely together (i think we have walnuts to thank for that!)

Anyway I’m writing it up now in this annoying lecture where the slides don’t make sense (like it says its inactivated by acid, then the next point is it’s activated by acid!)grr.  So I’ve given up and decided to play with my blog pictures instead.

Here’s the recipe, I hope you enjoy :)

Prep time: 20 mins

Cooking time: 30 mins

Ingredients:

for the cake

  • 175g unsalted butter,
  • 75g walnuts
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 50ml cold espresso

for the filling

  • 125g butter cubed and softened
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 40ml strong expresso, cooled

for the icing

  • 100g icing sugar
  • 20ml strong expresso

Method:

for the cake

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Grease and line 2 round 20cm tins. In a food processor blitz 2/3 of the walnuts.
  2. Cream the butter in a bowl  with the sugar until light and fluffy, beat in the eggs  then add the blitz walnuts and stir through
  3. Fold the flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt through with a metal spoon until just incorporated. Roughly chop the rest of the walnuts (leave a couple to decorate the top with) and stir through the cake mixture with the espresso. Divide the mixture between the two cake tins and bake in the oven for 20-25mins until golden. Allow to cool

for the filling

  1. beat the butter and icing sugar until fluffy, then beat in the espresso.

for the icing

  1. mix the icing sugar and coffee in a bowl to make a smooth filling

all together now :)

  1. place one of the cakes on a plate or cake stand.
  2. Spread the filling on top and place the other cake on top
  3. pour the icing on top. Allow the icing to slightly drip over the edges, use a palatte knife to help this along. Add the last walnuts on top to decorate with
  4. cut, serve and enjoy!

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Cherry Ripe Chocolate Mudcake

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Ok so finally got around to posting this one. This is my recipe to one of the easiest chocolate cherry ripe mud cakes that I’ve ever tried. Hope you enjoy :)

  • Preparation Time:20 minutes
  • Cooking Time:2 hours
  • Makes:12 slices 

Ingredients:

  • 200 g dark eating chocolate, chopped
  • 250 g unsalted butter
  • 380 g caster sugar
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
  • 120 g plain flour, sifted
  • 110 g self raising flour, sifted
  • 30 g cocoa, sifted
  • 80 g desiccated coconut
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 170 g glace cherries, chopped coarsely
  • 150 g dark eating chocolate, chopped quite finely
  • 1/2 cup thickened cream (35% fat)

Method:

To make the cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 150C and grease a 22-23 cm cake tin. Line the base with baking paper.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat. Add the 200g chopped up chocolate, caster sugar, coconut milk and coffee powder. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, the chocolate has melted, and the mixture is a smooth, uniform brown colour. Remove from the heat and let it cool for about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Stir in the sifted flours and cocoa, then the desiccated coconut. Stir in the eggs one at a time (if the batter is too hot the eggs will cook, so make sure it is warm not hot when you add them in), making sure everything is well incorporated. Finally, stir in the chopped glace cherries, ensuring they are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
  4. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for about 1 ¾ – 2 hours. It varies depending on the temperature of the oven. When a skewer inserted right into the middle comes out fairly clean, take the cake out of the oven and allow to cool.

To make the ganache

  1. Place the cream and chocolate in a saucepan. Heat on medium low and stir with a metal spoon or whisk until well combine.
  2. Spread over the cake. Pipe a shell border if you want, or add some swirls on top. Add a few cherries if you like, and serve.

Gourmet Star -Review

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1.5 stars

Rating: 1.5 / 5 stars

Well this place was just such a let down. I really was tempted to give it a fail rating but then it is still a new place and the char kweh trow was not bad. But jeez it was just terrible. The location of this new restaurant was the old Satay Mu, a place that our family recently used to haunt as its on the way from where I live to Perth. We normally call by this restaurant and this time we had found it changed owners and was now the Gourmet Star Restaurant. It actually had a lot of customers, my only reasoning was that it was cheap, it had a good location, or the day I went it was just an off day. It served dim sum, in which we ordered a wide variety of dumplings, and the usual chicken feet and char siuw pow. They were awful, the dumplings especially, they had obviously been frozen dumplings. The dumpling skin was thick and chewy and not fun to eat, the filling was tasteless, and there was no delicious freshly cooked smell. The combinations were actually gross, I didn’t even finish mine, one bite was enough, I even gave it the benefit of the doubt and tried a bite from each of the dumpling types we ordered and they all were awful. The chicken feet was ok, the car siuw pow was not brilliant, with more covering then actual filling and their “chinese donut rice flour roll” had a badly balanced sauce, and for some reason was really really oily. The lunch menu however was better, the char kway teow was good and the noodles was not too bad, so hopefully they either really improve the dim sum menu, or just scrap it completely and focus on a good, fresh lunch menu.

Either way I won’t ever be back, and will mourn the loss of Satay mu.

Gourmet Star on Urbanspoon

Baked cheesecake

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mmmcheesecake this is my favourite recipe for cheesecake as it makes a delicious light and fluffy cheesecake, not the usual heavy cheesecakes that most recipes are. Hope you like it :)

Preptime: 30 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes + refrigerate over night

Ingredients:

for the base

  • 250g bkt sweet biscuits
  • 125g butter, melted

for the filling

  • 500g cream cheese at room temperature
  • 165g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 lemon, rind finely grated, juiced
  • 4 eggs separated
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) thin cream

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius, brush a spring form pan with melted butter

to make the base

  1. process biscuits in a food processor until finely crushed, add i the melted butter and process till combined
  2. transfer mixture to cake tin and press down with the back of a spoon until it is spread evenly over the base of the pan and 2/3 up the side

To make the filling

  1. beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla essence in a bowl until creamy. Add lemon rind, lemon juice, egg yolks and crew,. Beat until well combined and light and fluffy.
  2. Clean the beaters and whisk egg whites in a separate bowl until firm peaks form. Add to the cream mixture and use a large metal spoon to fold it in.
  3. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake in oven for 40 minutes or until set in the centre.
  4. Remove from oven to cool completely. THen cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  5. Remove 30 minutes before serving. Cut, serve and enjoy.

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