About Me

Food is one of my many joys in life. It is a common bond I share among my friends and family. Combining food and travel makes it all the more interesting. I enjoy going out for a good meal with friends and family. The array of various cuisines and our fantastic array of produce really makes Sydney such a great city to live in. Blogging is my hobby and my posts on restaurant meals I have had are paid for and not gratis. Any gratis provided to me will always be stated beforehand.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Chocolate, Cherry and Sour Cream Muffins

I recently celebrated the purchase of my new stove by attempting to bake some muffins. Bearing in mind that I have not baked in over 14 years (not having a working oven was part of the problem), I was a little anxious at how the muffins would turn out.

I found the recipe in the latest issue of Better Homes & Gardens March 2012 and the recipe was a Bulla Advertising Feature courtesy of George Calombaris. I made only a couple of minor adjustments to it but the recipe source is from Bulla and George Colombaris.

The muffins - sorry the picture is not pretty!

275ml Bulla Premium Sour Cream (note that I used lite sour cream)
350g plain flour
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
1 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp baking powder
250g caster sugar
4 eggs, beaten (note that I used free range)
180ml extra virgin olive oil
150g dark chocolate buttons (55% cocoa) (Note that I could only find 43% cocoa)
1 x 450g can pitted cherries, drained and cut in half

1. Pre-heat oven to 180C fan-forced.
2. Line two 6-cup Texas muffin pans with paper cups.
3. Sift flour, cocoa powder, salt, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and caster sugar into a large bowl.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, extra virgin olive oil and sour cream until smooth.
5. Gently fold wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined.
6. Fold dark chocolate buttons and cherries into the mixture. Spoon mixture into paper cups.
7. Bake muffins for 25-28 minutes. Remove from the muffin pans and cool onto a wire rack.

Make 12 large muffins

Note: As this was my first baking experince in years, I found out that the lower tray cooked faster than the top tray. Eventually it all worked out but on average my baking time was more like 35 to 40 minutes. I did forget to sprinkle some icing sugar but the verdict from my work colleagues was 'yummy', 'delicious' and there were requests for 'more please'. So I guess I did well.

I hope you enjoy these too if you decide to try the recipe out. Thanks George C and Bulla!


Saturday, 18 February 2012

Burnt Orange

It was an absolutely glorious day to have lunch at a scenic cafe such as Burnt Orange. It is a cafe located on Middle Head Road in Mosman. This summer has been quite strange weather wise. It hasn't felt like the hot summer that us Sydney siders are used to. But today, summer stayed true to form.

I met up with 2 other friends whom I had not seen for 1 1/2 years so I was looking forward to seeing them again. It was so nice to catch up with them after all this time. ER and SZ are some of the ladies that I met when I went to Vietnam more than 2 years ago. We have been trying to stay in touch since then. Lovely ladies to know!

Burnt Orange is located in a historic cottage (formerly the golf clubhouse for the Mosman Golf Club) and has a rather cool store next to the cafe. We had a great view of the water out towards Obelisk Bay. There were so many people at the cafe and my friends were very happy with the suggestion I made to come here for lunch.

Burnt Orange

View from our table!

Our lunch menu was:

Superfood Salad of broccoli florets, asparagus, sugar snaps, quinoa, feta, spinach leaves, blueberries and toasted seeds with a Champagne dressing. SZ ordered this for her main dish. It looks nice and healthy. She enjoyed it.

Superfood Salad

Salad of seared kingfish with sesame seeds, sugar snaps and edamame beans served with pickled ginger and a yuzu dressing. ER ordered this and she enjoyed it too. It did look delicious.

Seared kingfish salad
Burnt Orange fish pie with a selection of fresh fish fillets in a creamy leek & white wine sauce topped with fluffy potato mash and a side of green leaves. I, of course, ordered the least healthy dish of the three of us. The potato mash was light and fluffy and the fish was cooked in a lovely creamy sauce.

Fish pie

For dessert, we had a Cleansing Tipple (Campari and grapefruit/Gin and tonic sorbets), Passionfruit tart with vanilla cream and passionfruit caramel and Moroccan orange and almond cake with sugared almonds and citrus syrup. We decided to share all the dessert among us so we could have a taste of the dishes.

Champage Tipple and Passionfruit tart

Moroccan orange and almond cake
We then browsed the retail shop. There were some funky clothes on sale and SZ bought a shrug for a 'song'.

I really like the ambience of the cafe. It is located in the beautiful surrounds of Middle Head. What more would you need but have a nice and relaxing lunch with friends and a gorgeous view. This is the life!

Burnt Orange on Urbanspoon

Burnt Orange
1108/1109 Middle Head Road