Monday 2 January 2012

    Berry pavlova with limoncello cream


    It’s birthday time for two of my friends.

    To celebrate I am making this devour-able pavlova from Donna Hay’s Christmas magazine, and

    will use limoncello from my Italy sojourn.

    Berry pavlova with limoncello cream

    300ml eggwhites
    2 cups sugar
    2 tsp white vinegar
    3 cups of pouring cream
    1/2 cup icing sugar
    1/4 cup limoncello
    350g mulberries
    250g blueberries
    Preheat oven 150C. Place eggwhites in an electric mixer and whisk on high until stiff peak form. Add sugar a little at a time whisking for 30sec bef adding another tablespoon. Once all the sugar has been added, whisk for a further 8 mins or until the mixture is stiff and glossy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the vinegar and whisk for a further 2 mins or until glossy and combined.
    Draw a 22cm circle and a 15cm circle on sheets of non stick baking paper and place 2 baking trays. Divide meringue mixture between the circles. Bake the 22cm pavlova for an hr and the 15cm pavlova for 50mins. Remove the 15cm pavlova fm the oven and allow to cool. Turn the oven off and allow the 22cm pavlova to cool completely in the oven.
    Place the cream, icing sugar and limoncello in a bowl and whisk until stiff peaks form. Top the 22cm pavlova with 3/4 cream and berries. Top with the remaining pavlova, cream and berries. Dust with icing sugar to serve. Serve 8-10.

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    Sunday 25 December 2011

    white chocolate and raspberry brownies


    The joy of giving sweet treats :: a lovely sweet start to Christmas!

    On Christmas Eve two Irish girls knocked on my door in need of some weighing scales to make white chocolate and raspberry brownies for their Christmas Day celebrations.

    When returned the scales it was filled with three delicious brownies!

    White chocolate and raspberry brownies


    150g butter, chopped
    200g dark eating chocolate, chopped
    1 cup (220g) caster sugar
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    3 eggs, beaten lightly
    ½ cup (75g) plain flour
    ½ cup (75g) self-raising flour
    100g white eating chocolate, chopped
    150g frozen raspberries

    Method: Preheat the oven to moderate (180°C/160°C fan-forced). Grease a deep 19cm square cake pan, line base and two opposite sides with baking paper.

    Melt butter and dark chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.
    Stir in the sugar and vanilla, then the eggs, sifted flours, white chocolate and raspberries.
    Spread the mixture into prepared pan; bake in a moderate oven for about 35 minutes or until just firm.

    Cool in pan. Turn out; cut into squares.

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    Thursday 10 November 2011

    Como grazing :: {Italy la dolce vita}


    The pleasure of food and wine was a part of my time in Como, and here are my gourmet discoveries in the old part of town, within the walled city.

    Caffè Pane e Tulipani {or as locals call it cafè fleur} was my favourite!

    A “coffee of the artists” was born from a flower shop

    and is a delightful place for a coffee or lunch and at night it is a popular bar.

    Softly fragrant with from the flowers, the  french decor features beautifully displayed collections

    of old tin watering cans, glass jars and large wicker baskets.

     My fungi & truffle lasagna was deliciouso.

    Pane & Tulipani Cafe Fleurs :: via Lambertenghi 3, Como Visit website.

     The owner and his daughter in front of Verde Salvia.

    Verde Salvia :: Ristorante Vegetariano

    After a long day in Milano, I returned to Como and stumbled upon the lovely Verde Salvia ristorante with its simple white interior.  The Risotto alla Limone & Prosecco was bellisimo! This simple dish was a sensory sensation. It tasted delicous and the lemon aroma was intoxicating. The uncomplicated dish of Prosecco (a fizzy wine) and lemon was one of those dishes that I would order again despite wanting to try another dish on the menu. A delightful find with delicious food that is very reasonably priced.

     Verde Salvia ::  via Muralto, 11, 22100 Como

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    Tuesday 11 October 2011

    The world’s most expensive salad at the Naked Garden


    Hydroponic urban gardening was spectacularly demonstrated by David Domoney’s “Naked Garden”. 

    The hydroponically grown lettuces and tomatoes are the ingredients used

    to create the world’s most expensive salad, costing $637.

    … the plants are incredibly expensive because they are grown hydroponically. They are grown without soil and water and nutrients are sprayed direct to the roots. But also this means that the plants on display are all kept alive right till the point they are put in the salad so this is the freshest green salad you will ever eat. Unfortunately it is also the most expensive as the growing of the plants like this is very labour intensive.

    “The plants are ‘in the nude’ as there is no soil and you can see all the roots – they are growing in glass.

    I wanted people to be able to see the secret side to plants.”

    His idea was to expose the beauty of naked roots and to promote soilless culture.

    The transparent garden furniture was well chosen to fit with the clear containers.

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    Tuesday 7 June 2011

    Bompas & Parr – The Jelly Architects


    What happens when you merge food, architecture and art?

    You get Bompas & Parr,

    a genius double act of kooky-foodie architects that believe that anything is possible.

    Edible Incredible :: Return of the Jelly Knights!

    Bompas & Parr ~ the jellymongers

    Oh, wibble, wobble jelly ~ I love the creativity of their jelly designs

    and I want to have a jelly bar at my party!

    On a mission to resurect Jell-o from the abyss of long-forgotten novelty fare, this two-man team has pushed the jiggly dessert to its furthest limits. From painstakingly rendered architectural models to color-coordinated, multi-tiered displays, they have elevated it from forgotten food to an attention-grabbing work of art. One you can not only touch but also consume and–with flavors like Elderflower Jelly with Strawberries and, Courvosier and Blackcurrant Jelly – you’ll be more than excited to do so. Carolinelooks good to me.

    Sam Bompas and Harry Parr are London based 27-year-olds who have become famous for their ‘jellies’ food art using gelatin desserts, their parties, and their wackiness. The ‘architectural food-smith’ duo design spectacular food experiences often working on an architectural scale with cutting edge technology and using bespoke jelly moulds. You can also read the full info here – WebDesign499 for more info.

    St. Paul’s Cathedral, London in gelatinous form.

    To celebrate the royal wedding Bompas & Parr created the Buckingham Palace jelly mould for Selfridges. Some of the most memorable moulds in history have been created for royalty. The Brunswick Star and the Alexandra Cross, complex moulds with inner liners were designed to commemorate the 1853 marriage of Edward Prince of Wales to Princess Alexandra of Denmark.

    Yummo. I don’t even like jelly that much, but this table looks delicious.

    Decadent black jellies and trifles dusted in gold ~ collaboration between Fiona Leahy (party planner extraordinaire) and Bompas & Parr. This black banquet was hosted as part of the London Design Festival.

    Funeral Jelly Installation – “At the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Bompas & Parr created a glow in the dark funeral jelly installation. Guests were served glowing sherry jellies designed with motifs found at the San Francisco Columbarium. A jelly funeral march accompanied the jellies.”

    With no formal training in catering (Bompas studied geography and Parr studied architecture), they decided to “do something fun for the summer”, which was initially going to be a jelly stand at Borough Market in London. When they submitted an application to sell their jellies, “They turned us down,” says Bompas, “but we managed to pull in a couple of jobs making fresh fruit jellies for parties. [But] after the Sunday Times included us in an article about the renaissance of traditional English food, business took off.”  yellowtrace

    It took off quickly, with their striking architectural jellies featuring at parties and events. But finding moulds to create the complex, striking designs was the tricky part. “We soon found that we couldn’t afford to buy decent antique moulds: the market has been cornered by collectors who like to put holes in their moulds and hang them on their kitchen walls,” Bompas explains. “But Harry (Parr) soon realised he could use the techniques he learnt as an architect to help us design our own moulds. Now we’ve created bespoke moulds for all occasions.”From vast glow-in-the-dark jelly installations to a cloud of breathable cocktail to an “occult jam” infused with a strand of hair from the late Princess Diana, Sam Bompas and Harry Parr’s gastronomic experiments have been wowing London’s party scene for the past three years.

    Childhood friends, Bompas and Parr initially made their mark by inviting leading architects, including Lord Norman Foster, to design a building-inspired gelatin mold as part of 2008’s London Festival of Architecture.

    When the whole thing ended with an all-out food fight and architects wrestling in jelly,

    we knew we were onto something,”

    Since then their projects have included a walk-through dining experience spanning 730 years of food history, an Architectural Punchbowl (for which they flooded a stately Robert Adam building with four tons of punch), and, after a food fight erupted at one of their first major events, the Architectural Jelly Banquet, the company introduced payment for its events. Most recently, they have invented a Willy Wonka style flavor changing gum that changes flavour as you chew.

    “We’re particularly keen on the idea of micro encapsulation in food right now,” he says. “So with many of the chewing gums, it was about sneakily hiding one flavor within another.”

    The guys have also created ‘Alcoholic Architecture’ from a experience they saw at – a walk in cloud of breathable G&T at a pop-up bar in Soho (gold!), scratch and sniff cinema, 2000-person architectural jelly food fight, a bowl of punch big enough to row a boat across and a massive glowing jelly installation for San Francisco MOMA. Bompas & Parr also claims to be the first group to ever record the sound of jelly wobbling. They first made Jelly Ronson, a glow-in-the-dark alcoholic jelly for Mark Ronson‘s 33rd Birthday Party.

    Next up are two of the pair’s most ambitious works to date: a hothouse, located at an international airport (they can’t say which one just yet), filled with poisonous plants from which they plan to make and serve nonpoisonous cocktails; and a floating banquet hall, shaped like a pineapple and big enough to accommodate dozens of people, in the middle of the River Thames. W magazine

    Every day is a joy for us,” says Bompas. “We basically make all our dreams come true

    {Images via yellowtracethe fictitious life of elizabeth black; Sources Broadsheet Melbournelooks good to me, yellowtrace, TrendlandW magazine}

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    Saturday 4 June 2011

    Red Velvet Cake with Beet Juice


    A rich, moist layered chocolate cake of a dark red colour with either cheese or buttercream frosting. While foods were rationed during World War II, bakers used boiled beets to enhance the color of their cakes. A resurgence in the popularity of this cake is partly attributed to the 1989 film Steel Magnolias.

    Red Velvet Cake


    207 g cake flour (To substitute plain flour, simply subtract two level tablespoons of flour for each cup of flour used in the recipe OR mix plain flour and some cornflour ~ Stephanie Alexander uses a ratio of just under 1 part cornflour to 3 parts plain flour.)

    113 g butter (melted)

    250 g sugar

    4 eggs (separate egg yolks and whites)

    2 egg whites

    9 tbsp beetroot juice

    1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

    1 tsp vanilla extract

    ¾ tsp salt

    180 ml buttermilk

    Cream Cheese-Mascarpone Frosting

    180 ml heavy whipping cream or crème fraîche

    114 g cream cheese (room temperature)

    114 g mascarpone cheese (room temperature)

    ½ tsp vanilla extract

    a few tablespoon beetroot juice

    55 g icing/powdered sugar


    Preheat oven at 175°C (350°F – gas mark 4 ). Lightly greased 2x 22 cm cake pan, lined the bottom with baking paper.

    In a small bowl, mix well the cake flour together with the cocoa powder. Set aside.

    In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks together with sugar, vanilla extract and buttermilk until it is light and double the volume. Slowly beat in the cooled melted butter and beetroot juice. Fold in the flour mixture into the batter until combined.

    In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites with a dash of salt until the peaks are stiff. Gently fold it into the batter until all is combined. Divide the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool on the wire rack for 10 minutes before inverting it. Once the cake is cooled completely, spread a layer of cream cheese-mascarpone frosting on top of the 1st cake. Gently placed the 2nd cake on top of the 1st cake, spread a layer of frosting on tope and the sides.

    Cream Cheese-Mascarpone Frosting

    Process your cream cheese and mascarpone cheese either in a food processor or handheld mixer until smooth. Add beetroot juice, vanilla and icing sugar until smooth. Add in the whipped cream, whisk until stiff peaks form. Your frosting is ready to be used.

    {Image via Lost at E Minor}

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    Saturday 21 May 2011

    a most fashionable gala


    A glimpse of the Temple of Dendur being setup for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute opening night gala for “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty”. The very chic party was thrown by Vogue.

    {Images photographed by Mimi Ritzen Crawford via Vogue}

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    Saturday 21 May 2011

    Breakfast Interrupted


    An artistic take on the meal that begins the day.

    This short video was shot primarily with a Phantom HD Gold at 1000fps, and was created by Alchemedia Project to ‘showcase food in a beautiful and unusual way’.

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    Tuesday 10 May 2011



    Such a beautiful book that I bought one as a present for a gorgeous friend and couldn’t resist one for moi! It’s a personal scrapbook of memories, recipes and collected artifacts

    - with proven recipes that have been finessed over time and generations. This book is a study of collections; collected recipes and collected images – it takes the old and reworks them into something vibrant and new. The bowerbird in me loves it!

    Keepsakes by Frances Hansen, who is Fleur Wood’s sister.

    This book grew out of the wedding present scrapbook Frances gave Fleur.

    It’s full of handwritten notes and recipes passed down through the family.

    And how beautiful is their mum on her wedding day….

    Fran is an artist and lives in New Zealand. She has collected recipes from family ~ mother, great aunts and grandmothers and assembled them in a whimsical and nostalgic manner. Each page is a collage that has been painstakingly put together and then photographed, so it literally is a work of art that you can have on your book shelf or, preferably, on your coffee table. It’s reminiscent of the cobbled-together cookbooks and magazine cuttings that our mothers and grandmothers might have hidden in their kitchen cupboard.

    Ok, I’m inspired to bake!  xoxo

    {Images Keepsakes by Frances Hansen (Hardie Grant). via Mrs Press & Food Fashion Friends}

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    Friday 29 April 2011

    Crown & Cake


    {Image Elizabeth Messina, Kiss the Groom via snippet and inkElizabeth Messina via Green Wedding Shoes}

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