Koko Black Sydney

For many years now, I have been a huge fan of Koko Black and every time I visit one of their stores I always ask when are they going to open up a store in Sydney. Luckily for me, two stores opened up in Sydney a few months ago.

Considering I have been waiting a long time for Koko Black to open up a store in Sydney, you would think they I would one of the first people to visit these stores, but strangely I only managed to make a visit last week. (I blame the fact that I have a baby lol).

Koko Black has opened up two stores, one is located inside the QVB and the other in the Strand Arcade. I have not been to the QVB store, but I did manage to find time during my lunch break to visit the Strand Arcade store. The Strand Arcade store is located where Bon Bon Chocolate used to be.

The Strand Arcade store has two glorious levels, the top level is where they sell their chocolate and downstairs is the café. The café downstairs is not as big as the Melbourne or Canberra stores, but it still has the same sort of menu.

IMG_5986

IMG_5987

IMG_5982

When I walked down the stairs to the café, the room smelt like hot chocolate. The service is quite efficient and friendly. Luckily when I went it was not busy.

IMG_5980

I chose a seat and looked at the menu, there was so much to choose from. I was feeling quite full after devouring a burger and chips from Mary’s, so I ended up only ordering a piece of Chocolate Alchemy Gâteau cake. The Chocolate Alchemy Gâteau cake is described as “our signature chocolate cake layered with Madagascan chocolate creme, dark chocolate mousse and a chewy chocolate caramel”.

IMG_5984

The Chocolate Alchemy Gâteau cake was absolutely divine, it tasted quite chocolatey and rich. I did not end up eating the whole cake which certainly unusual for me. I was especially quite fond of the chocolate soil that was scattered on the plate.

Unfortunately I only had time to have a quick look at the chocolate upstairs and I bought 50 grams of the marshmallow Madagascan vanilla bean chocolate from the inclusions range.

Hopefully one day I will have time to also visit the QVB store, my sister in law said the QVB store is a lot smaller.

I cannot decide if having Koko Black in Sydney is a good or bad thing, my waist line suggest it could be a bad thing lol.

Koko Black’s website: 

http://www.kokoblack.com/

QVB store:

Shop 3, Ground Floor, Queen Victoria Building

445 George Street Sydney NSW 2000

Strand Arcade store:

Cnr of Pitt Street Mall and Strand Arcade, Sydney NSW

Strand Arcade, 412 – 414 George Street Sydney NSW 2000)

Chocolate Chip and Oat Slice

I have found a new recipe to obsess over, I am obsessed with baking chocolate chip and oat slice and it is semi healthy right?

The other day whilst shopping at Coles, I noticed that these chocolate chip and oat slice bars were half price, so I bought a packet. Over the next few days I could not stop eating them and consequently I ran out of supplies, at this moment I decided that I would find a recipe and make them myself.

I ended up finding a easy recipe and I made them straight away. The chocolate chip and oat slice ended tasting so good and slightly healthy and I ended up baking them for quite a few days afterwards. I was addicted!

IMG_5026

I ended up changing the recipe a few times, I ended up adding more chocolate chips and I also used shredded coconut rather than desiccated coconut.

The recipe actually suggests you add dried sultanas, but I skipped this ingredient because I do not liked dried fruit.

The chocolate chip and oat slice can be found on this website:

http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/2706/choc+chip+and+oat+slice

Revealed: My Baby’s 1st Birthday Cake

Sorry I have not be around here much, I have been so busy planning my Baby’s first birthday.

I am not sure if you remember, but I was finding it so hard in deciding what sort of birthday cake to make for my Baby’s first birthday. I finally decided upon a Batman themed chocolate and nutella piñata cake. I ended up sourcing ideas from the internet and used two websites to help me make the cake.

I will admit that I was slightly scared of making this cake, I had never used fondant before and silly me only decided to work with it on the day I was planning to make the cake. Luckily my husband volunteered to help cut out the shapes, because I knew that I would be very good at doing this.

The cake part was pretty straight forward, I used the Triple Chocolate Layer cake from Sally’s Baking addiction and then added a piñata twist to the cake.

The fondant part of the cake was really frustrating to make and at times I thought I would never get it done, thankfully I did. I also found trying to place icing on the cake perfectly to be an impossible mission.

Here is my cake…

IMG_5390

In typical clumsy me style. I had a cake accident before we got to the venue, the cake tipped off the cake stand and some icing landed on my dress! I almost died… lucky the damage was not major.

The piñata part of the cake worked out really well when it was cut. I wish I had brought my own sharper knife, because the restaurant’s knife was not sharp and it made it hard to cut the cake,

FullSizeRender (21)

Sorry about the photography.. I blame my brother

I also got told by everyone that the cake tasted really good and this made me feel so happy, there is nothing worse than a cake that looks good but tastes dry.

So there you go, I successfully made a birthday cake!  (big sigh of relief)

The instructions on how to make the Batman cake decorations can be found on this website:

http://domesticfits.com/2012/10/31/super-simple-batman-cake-with-free-printable-templates/

Easy Chocolate Glazed Cronut™ Recipe

I may have gotten a tad overly excited with my discovery of the cronut™ recipe, that I decided to see if I could make variations to the recipe. I decided to keep it simple by adding chocolate glaze on top of the cronut™.

The idea of adding a chocolate glaze onto the cronut™ was derived from the Brewnuts that I have eaten from Brewtown Newtown and it was so easy to do.

To make the chocolate glaze for the cronut™, all you have to do is dip the cooled cronut™ into melted chocolate. The melted chocolate is made by putting chocolate melts into a bowl and melting the chocolate for 1 minute and 10 seconds on 50% power.

Voila! chocolate glazed cronut™ goodness

FullSizeRender (19)

The chocolate glazed cronut™ tasted so good, the combination was perfect! The addition of the sprinkles made the cronut™ look pretty.

My friend suggested that I try adding cream or chocolate inside the cronut™, this might be my next experiment.

Chocolate and Nutella Cake

Once again I have been experimenting with making a variety of cakes, one in which may be the cake for my baby’s first birthday. I decided to try and make a chocolate and Nutella cake.

For this cake I used the same recipe I used for the double chocolate layer cake, but I instead made a Nutella filling and icing for the for the cake.

This chocolate cake has become a real favourite of mine, the cake is always so moist, chocolatey and delicious and when Nutella is added, it tastes even better.

The chocolate and Nutella cake was quite easy to make, the Nutella filling was made quite randomly by adding as much Nutella as I wanted so I got the right consistency for the filling and icing. The Nutella icing turned out to be quite creamy which was perfect for this cake.

IMG_3429 (1)

When it came to deciding how I should decorate the cake, I decided that I would pipe rosettes on top of the cake and not put icing on the whole cake like I did previously. The cake ended up looking really nice.I was so happy with the outcome of the decorating of the cake that I did not cut a piece of the cake to try for at least an hour (yes I must be unwell).

IMG_3436 (1)

I eventually had a taste of the cake and I was so impressed, once again the cake tasted really moist and chocolatey and the Nutella icing and filling gave it a nice creamy taste. The combination was perfect.

Next time I may add another cake layer.

I think I have found the cake I will bake my my baby’s first birthday.

The base recipe can be found on this website:

http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/04/08/triple-chocolate-layer-cake/

Nutella filling/icing

250 gram block of softened butter

2 1/2- 3 cups of icing sugar

1 tablespoon of milk

a couple of tablespoons of Nutella

Mix the ingredients together and then decorate the cake.

Simple x

Double Chocolate layer Cake

My baby’s 1st birthday is rapidly approaching and to save money I thought I would make his birthday cake myself. For the last few weeks I have been Googling recipes and baking new cakes to experiment with. I found a fabulous chocolate cake recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction Blog and I decided I would try making it.

The recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction Blog is actually for a triple chocolate layer cake, but I wanted to change the decoration. I thought I would pipe rosettes onto the cake instead and therefore this cake ends up being a double chocolate layer cake.

This recipe required two 9 inch tins, I ended up buying some new Wilton 8 inch baking tins from Spotlight when they had a 30% storewide sale and I used those tins (I wanted a smaller cake).

The double chocolate layer cake was once again a really straight forward and easy recipe to follow. The only problem for me with the recipe is that it required the use of a mixer and I did not want to make any noises that may wake my baby and quite frankly I felt too lazy to go get the mixer out of the cupboard. I ended up mixing everything by hand and it worked out well.

I ended up finishing making the double chocolate cake over a few hours in between my baby’s naps.

The double chocolate layer cake looked so gorgeous when it came out of the oven and the cake also smelt so divine. I allowed the cake to cool down and then I decided to fill the cake centre with the icing. This time I used my Wilton piping tip because using a spatula ended up being too messy. I piped the cake filling into a circular snail shape so the filling looked even when the top part of the cake was placed on top.

After this step, I worked on decorating the cake with the icing. I found icing a round cake was so much easier than the heart shaped cakes that I have been baking lately. I started off with icing the cake with the chocolate icing and then I piped rosettes on the cake, dusted it with rainbow dust and then placed cachous balls on top. I did not like the finished product and thought it looked too dramatic for me, so I ended up removing this decoration. I also accidentally cut a slice of the cake before I took the photo.. oops!

IMG_3053

After removing the rosette decoration, I smoothed out the chocolate icing and left it bare.

IMG_3060

After all this drama, I decided to have a taste of the cake slice that I had cut out.

I really loved the taste of the double chocolate layer cake, I thought it tasted very moist and chocolatey. I was so happy that for the first time in my history of baking whole cakes, the whole cake turned out to be all moist and not dry in any places.

I was so pleased with this recipe that I decided to add this cake to my repertoire of favourite cake recipes. I think I may have found the cake that I will bake for my baby’s 1st birthday.

The double chocolate layer cake recipe can be found on this website:

http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/04/08/triple-chocolate-layer-cake/

Easy Glazed Cronut™ Recipe

For a while now, I have been obsessing over all of Dominique Ansel’s innovative creations and I have always dreamt of re-visiting NYC so I could visit his bakery. I was feeling bored with baking the usual things, so decided that I would use Dominique as my inspiration for my new baking adventure, so I decided I would try to make his signature Cronut™.

I have of course never eaten a Cronut™, but I have eaten a Brewnut from Brewtown Newtown which is technically the same thing as a Cronut™. I used the Brewnut as my comparison for this recipe.

Okay, so you all know me well and of course I would never spend hours making Dominique’s signature Cronut™ , as if I have time being a mum of a 10 month old baby, so I of course Googled and found the easiest recipe that I could find.

When I was Googling recipes, so many of the recipes suggested using Pillsbury Crescent Rolls Dough and of course living in Australia it meant it was not sold here, I then found a recipe that stated that using puff pastry and I was happy.

Making the Cronut™ was a lot easier than I had imagined. The Cronut™ did not take time to make, I was all finished in about 45 minutes. The only problem that I had was that I did not have a doughnut cutter, I ended up using my egg rings and the bottom of one of my Wilton piping tips.

When I was making the Cronut™ , it was hard to imagine that such a flat piece of pastry could turn into a flaky delicious Cronut™ , thankfully it worked out well.

IMG_2818 (1)

When the Cronut™ was ready, I let them cool down and I made the glaze. I ended up adding 1 or more extra tablespoons of milk so that the glaze had the right consistency. Once the Cronut™ were cooled down, I dipped them in the glaze and let them set on my wire rack. As soon as they were ready I ate one.. or maybe two..

FullSizeRender (18)

I was so impressed with this version of the Cronut™ . This version of Cronut™ tasted really good, it was flaky like a Brewnut (Cronut™) but it had a more crispier texture to it. The glaze was a perfect edition to the Cronut™ . I really thought that this version of the Cronut™ was on par with the other Brewtown Newtown’s Brewnut.

IMG_2828

So delicious, yet so naughty…

I think I might make these again and will experiment with other types of glazes or flavours.

Easy Cronut™ Recipe

adapted from http://bsugarmama.com/puff-pastry-donuts-cronuts/

2 sheets of thrawed puff pastry

1 egg

vegetable oil for frying

Glaze

1 1/2- 3 tablespoons of milk (start off with the minimum amount of required milk and then add more until you get the right consistency)

2 cups of icing sugar

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

Method

1. Using a pastry brush, brush whisked egg onto the pastry

2. Fold the pastry into thirds like .you are folding a letter and place the pastry in the fridge for 15 minutes.

3. Turn on your deep fryer and set it to 170 degrees Celsius. Make the glaze.

4. Take the first sheet of pastry out of the freezer. Do not open the puff pastry sheet. Using your egg rings or doughnut cutter, cut the large circles from left to right on the pastry. Cut a smaller hole in the centre of each circle.

5. As soon as your deep fryer indicates that it is hot, carefully place the cut pastry Cronut™ into the deep fryer. The Cronut™ will eventually rise by itself to the top of the oil.

6. Using a slotted spoon turn the Cronut™ over in the oil until they are golden brown. I did this for 2.5 minutes per each side or longer if I wanted it more crispier. Total cooking time is approximately 5 minutes.

7. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the Cronut™  from the oil and place it on a plate lined with paper towel. Allow to the Cronut™ to cool.

8. Once the Cronut™ has cooled down dip one side into the glaze and lay it down on a wire rack and allow the glaze to set.

9. Take the other sheet of prepared pastry out the freezer and repeat processes 4-9.

Enjoy

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 353 other followers