Monday, 24 January 2011

Guest Writer Reviewing LuxBite

Yes. It's Mister doing this blog entry.

After these years of blogging and the amount of food we had eaten, this is my 1st entry in wifey's blog. I am doing it because i have encounter something's call Luxbite.

Before i start, be warn: this is my 2 cent review of the food from LuxBite. It's honest, genuine and it's how i feel everytime i had their desserts.


It all started with wifey's twittering...' l wanna go try this dessert place called LuxBite'
@ LuxBite @ 38 Toorak Road South

@ LuxBite @ 38 Toorak Road South

@ LuxBite @ 38 Toorak Road South

So one fine sunday, we went to Luxbite and fell deeply and madly in love with the macarons...and the every desserts they make!

LuxBite @ 38 Toorak Road,South Yarra.Best Macaron ever!

First up, we had the FerreRoll Rocher and 3 macarons, Kaya Toast, Watermelon Yoghurt and Raspberry & White Chocolate. The ferreroll rocher was soft, great texture and fulls of nuts and flavour. Compared to burnetti's cakes Luxbite's win hands down. The cake's flavour was perfectly persevered and not overly spongy , likely due to Luxbite's storing and fridging of their cakes.

Honestly, l haven't tasted a macaron prior to LuxBite's although l do come across them before. Luxbite had a huge variety of macarons on offer...too many for us to try on 1st go. so, we got another 8 to go..that was how good it was.


Luxbite's variety of macarons got us hooked and wanting to try all of them. Their macarons, take for watermelon one tasted just like watermelon! It's amazing that the taste can be so preserved in such a condition. i am never a fruity taste person as l often opt for stronger tastes such as chocolate, vanilla in whatever l eat (l am such boring and old style foodie)

But LuxBite's fruit macarons (such as passionfruit, rose & lychee, blue berry, raspberry & white chocolate) are so refreshing, you wouldn't feel having 3 macarons by itself being too filling nor starchy. The macarons was not too chewy or hard, just right with an equal amount of the filling to match. A perfect dessert to end your already filled or empty stomach.

Do not be deceived if u think Luxbite's all about only macarons.

Carmel slice with a salted caramel macaron. thick caramel with nice coconut underneath.

Green Tea Cream Brulee. U gotta be really creative of think of this flavour! The brulee was well done with a fairly strong taste of green tea (wasn't too strong for us although we did read it wasn't for the faint-hearted!). The cream was very fluffy but firm thanks to the solid glass.



OK. THIS IS MY FAVOURITE: Mango TriLova! oh my god! i cannot describe how it actually tasted but it would do so much injustice to it! i begin such a mango-hater this actually got me hooked i had this 3 times already in a span of 1 month speaks volumes about it. You can distinctively taste the mango, macadamia nut and the fresh coriander in there and it all so well compliment one another. What a superb dessert it was!


The apple crumble. Definitely separate from the type of apple crumble u eat outside..this crumble is without a hard crust but make up with lotsa crumble and apple.


Our latest was the mango cheesecake. The cheese-cake is really fluffy and that mint added added another level of taste testing your palate. This combination make this cheese-cake so refreshing to unlike those that make you bloat at the end..this tasted guilt-free...seriously!


Ok..this 4 maracons is the Australia day's special. Kudos for thinking of such filling, vegemite, rocky road, caramel and chocolate freckles ....the level of creatively by Yen and Bernard, the mind behind LuxBite (besides happy!) is so amazing..however though we think the vegemite tasted slightly funny..maybe it's weird to have vegemite macaron?? Out of so many macarons, vegemite comes last for us..not sure what you all think? rocky road caught us by surprise! It got the most refreshing taste of the 4.

Nevertheless you get to appreciate the level of creativity LuxBite offers. Their dedication to decorating the place, storing of their macarons and cakes to the nice container for their macarons, speaks volumes about them trying it make their macarons and cakes a great experience. it is hard to find such high end quality hand made desserts in Melbourne.

Luxbite is now truly my favourite place to satisfy my craving for desserts compared to my older favourite 'The Dessert house' in Boxhill....l wouldn't mind driving that will be worthwhile in the end and so is this blog entry.


Pineapple Tarts Revisit

Wow looking thru the blog entry, I already had 2 entries about CNY goodies, pineapple tarts.
Twice in 2008 and once last year. But I didn't make any in 2009, too lazy and trying to control my diet. Well it didn't really works isn't it?

This year is no surprise, I baked a very small quantity compared to last few years. But the number of pineapple I used was actually the most! How did that happen? *scratch head*

For the pineapple jam, I'm back to the traditional granting method, drained it on a sift and follow by cooking it on the stove. When I did it on friday night, the end product was so little that I was shocked. I can't even produce 30 pineapple tarts with that amount. Is it because the pineapple I chosen were too ripe?

The next morning, I went pineapple shopping again. This time round I ended up with another 2 pineapples which looked ripe but they were not when I cut into them. But they were more easier to grant and produced more.


I wasn't required to stand in front of the stove stirring for a long period this time round because each batch of pineapple jam wasn't big quantity. As for the jam, I only added raw sugar when it's almost ready. That's how Granny, Aunt and Mummy used to do it.

From memory, Aunt's recipe for the pastry is 1:1 ratio of flour and planta (Malaysia margarine) with a few tsps of water to bring everything together. I haven't being using planta for years! Anyone know is it available in Melbourne?

This time, I'm trying The Little Teochew's recipe. The only different I made to the recipe was the amount of icing sugar. I used 4 tbsp instead of her 6 tbsp as I'm afraid it will end up too sweet.


I'm very happy with the end result. Mr. loved it. It's not too sweet overall, jam cooked till dry enough and the base is "melt in the mouth" pastry which I'm being hunting! I will definitely make it for my family if I got the chance. I always specially made them for my sister who's a pineapple tart lover like me when I was still staying at home.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Gaswork Farmers Market and St Ali

This weekend was a weekend well spent! 1st stop, Gaswork Farmers Market. I heard about it but never being there. Since we running low on fresh food, decided to pop in and take a look.

Find that Gaswork Farmers Market is very different from Nunawading Whitehorse Road Farmers Market. Gaswork space area is a lot bigger, more variety of different stuff. Looks like the stall holders are totally different too. Thought it will be almost the same and stall holders just go around to different location each week.

Anyway we did mange to get quite a bit of food : eggs, baby carrot, white radish, tomatoes, cucumber, Australian garlic <3, 2kg bag of royal blue potatoes (used for last night mash potato, yum!!), 1kg of cherries (used for cookbook challenge), 2 pack of steak (nice) and also 3 bags of dried fruits.


After marketing, both of us were hungry and Mr asked where should we go for breakfast. I suggested St Ali since we were already in that area. We never being there but I heard about it very often and was 1 of the place I always wanted to try. Lucky I had the address handy in my iphone.

We got there before 10am and there was already a queue. Mr. was surprised! He always thought only Asian will queue for food. Plus we had never actually queue for breakfast but we decided to wait hoping it won't be too long.
We were 4th in the line when we arrived but the couple in front of us decided to give up in less than 5 minutes and the 1st group was being served. Which means we were 2nd in the queue and got informed we should be able to get a table in 10-15mins. It wasn't long before my name got called :-)

We started off with coffee as usual. It was a good cup of coffee! Pretty too. Well St Ali is known for their coffee isn't it? I even got a pack of house blend, chompy for my stovetop. Coffee at home was running low as well. I haven't tried it yet, maybe tomorrow morning but it smell really fragrant.


The breakfast menu was different from the usual cafe. We had a bit of difficulty deciding what to try. Mr. chose Poached eggs on sourdough, beetroot and red cabbage relish, smoked salmon, rocket and dukkah.


Mr. loves the combination while I love the beetroot and red cabbage relish. It's slight sour but very appetising. The poached eggs looked overcooked but once Mr. cut into it, I know it was actually cooked to our liking.


I decided to go for something sweet which is Sweet french toast with pepper spice rum, pineapple and coconut. I was craving for french toast and was glad I sticked to it even though I'm not keen on coconut. The french toast was crisp on the outside but very soft and fluffy on the inside! When I first saw the dish, I had doubt it will fill me up but I was definitely wrong! But it's so nice I could fitted in a 2nd serve :-p. But I find it too sweet for me but the pineapple does help to equalise the sweetness.

We definitely enjoy the breakfast but no idea when will be our next visit. Opps just realised I haven't write about Three Bag Full which we visited on Melbourne Cup Day and also Hardware Societe which we <3 <3 <3

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Cookbook Challenge (Stonefruits) - Cherry Tart

After being active in Twitter, I being following my favourite food bloggers on twit. It has definitely increase my interaction with them :). I also learn about the 2011 The Cookbook Challenge when the organiser are twittering about it. Decided to join when I learn about it.

The 1st Challenge theme is Stonefruit. I'm slightly behind as the 2nd theme just started yesterday. Hope I'm able to catch up and finish all 26 themes for my 1st blog event challenge.

Without planning, I went to Gaswork Farmers Market yesterday with Minister to do some marketing. Bought a kg of cherries which is fresh and sweet! Both of us are not a huge fan of cherry but just couldn't resist of getting some after tasting. It occurs to me I could do something with it for my cookbook challenge. With quite a few cookbooks I had in my collection, I knew I won't have any problem finding a recipe which involves with cherry.

Presenting to you, Cherry Tart from Bill Granger Holiday


This is definitely a dessert which I will not try if not for this challenge. It's also my 1st time making tart and instead of making 1 big tart to 8-10 people, I divide all the ingredients into 3 and make 2 small individual tart.

IMG_0488 IMG_0489

See the strips of baking paper under the pastry base? I seem it being done on some cooking program and tested it. It really make it so much easier to remove the tart from the baking tin.

Mr. loves the pastry and me too especially it's so easy to make! No food processor involve, no cutting in method, just a big bowl and wooden spoon. As for the cherries, I pitted it using a chopstick which I learned from Not Quite Nigella. It works very well! Thanks for sharing NQN!
The tart didn't even manage to cool totally before Mr. and me started digging into it.

Cherry Tart
Serve 8-10

125g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
90g caster sugar
175g plain (all-purpose) flour
a pinch of salt
2 tablespoons almond meal

170ml cream
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons plain (all-purpose) flour
550g cherries, halved and pitted (fresh are best)

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and grease a 24cm round loose tart tin. To make the pastry, stir together butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the flour and salt and stir to make a soft dough. Transfer the dough to the tin and press evenly into the base and side of the tin with your fingertips. Put the tin on a baking tray and bake fore 12-15mins, or until the pastry is slightly puff. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the almond meal over the base.

Meanwhile, to make the filling, whisk together the cream, eggs, vanilla extract and sugar. Add the flour and whisk until well mixed. Arrange the cherries, slightly overlapping, over the pastry base and pour the cream filling evenly over the cherries.

Return the tart to the oven for a further 40-50mins until the filling is firm. Leave to cool and serve with cream or ice cream.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Going Healthy - Salads

Work being crazy for the past month. That's why I gone missing after the Bake A Difference event. Long hours, no weekend, no public holiday, night shift, dealing with shitty people etc. I almost throw in the white flag due to stress level and now I just can't wait to be over and never to deal with those unreasonable people again.

Enough of my complains, back to FOOD!
Minister and I started on salad diet again. We started beginning of last year and kinda of stop when the weather got colder.

Hope to gain some advantage thru the salad diet
  • Maybe lose some of the weight we gain during our 6 weeks vacation
  • Save $ for 2011 vacation
  • Make full use of the "Salad" recipe book which I bought from SG
  • Save time coz it's suppose to be simple and fuss free
As I haven't had the time to cook much for the past few weeks, a lot of the fresh food I bought got wasted. During the last marketing trip, I only bought what's required for the 3 different salads I planned to reduce wastage. Guess this will be something I hope to be better for 2011.

I got Minister to pick out 4 salads from the recipe book. That's going to be his work lunch and dinner for the next 2 days.

1st was Marinated Chicken Salad which I had for dinner at work. While I was mixing the dressing, I find that the recipe required quite an amount of red wine vinegar. I couldn't even test taste the dressing without choking! Lucky I manage to remind Minister not to pour all the dressing in one shot as I know he didn't fancy his food being too sour. It was prepared the night before. I packed the fresh mixed green, dressing and dressing all separately and chilled in the fridge. Don't like soggy salad. I actually heat the dressing and chicken before mixing everything together.
I'm rather surprised by this salad. In fact, I think I like it. It's slight spicy, sour and sweet. Plus it's a hot salad instead of cold.

Next was Mixed Seafood Salad. Got some fresh mussels and cooked prawn (was on special) from Coles. Used the squid rings which I had in the freezer. Cooked everything, mixed in dressing and chilled in the fridge. This salad take a bit of time and effort in preparation as I insists on getting mussels in shell, scrub and clean before cooking them in white wine. I could have gone the easy way out, getting cooked mussels or raw but without shell. I did wanted to get raw prawn as well but the cooked ones were on special.
I just had this salad this morning with some cos lettuce. I was doubting the amount whether will it actually fill my tummy up. But it did and I had a banana just to last me thru the afternoon.

Dinner for tonight was Salmon and Lentil Salad. Does anyone know whether am I able to find tinned cooked lentil? No idea why at the back of my mind, I thought I'm able to find cooked lentil in tin. But I definitely didn't have any luck finding them in Coles. In the end, bought a packet red and green lentil each. Read the instruction on the package and only soaked the green lentil overnight.
Boiled both lentil, pan-fried the salmon, mix them together with some cos lettuce. Mixed the dressing and packed them separate. This is a cold salad and it's pretty refreshing. Down side is the dressing actually contain mayonnaise which I try to avoid. But it did cut the fatty, oily taste of the salmon.

I got lots of entry which I need to catch up on! I haven't even write about my experience at Taxi, Maze, Charcoal Grill on the Hill and LuxBite!!! I haven't being cooking anything new nor trying out new recipe except for trying to make macarons which I fail terribly. Should I blog about it???