The famous Pasticceria Papa Ricotta Cheesecake now available at Petit Espresso

I feel it is my duty as a dessert lover to inform the community that Pasticceria Papa’s famous Ricotta Cheesecake and various other Pasticceria Papa cakes are  now on sale at Petit Espresso.

I did not know that Petit Espresso was selling Pasticceria Papa’s Ricotta Cheesecake,  I only found out when my Twitter friend @ramenraff tweeted the important news. I was so happy, because I never seem to find time to go down to Haberfield to buy the cake.

Of course after I heard the news, I ventured down to Petit Espresso to check it out. When I saw the delicious Pasticceria Papa Ricotta Cheesecake in the display, I think I drooled. I was so overly happy, that I think the shop assistant must have thought I was crazy.

IMG_6484[1]

IMG_6485[1]

I ended up buying one slice of Pasticceria Papa Ricotta Cheesecake. One slice costed $5.90. You can also buy a whole one too.

IMG_6486[1]

I am actually not sure if Petit Espresso selling Pasticceria Papa Ricotta Cheesecake is a good or bad thing. My waistline says bad, but my taste buds says good.

Petit Espresso is located at:

Lower Ground, Shop 11, Queen Victoria Building, 455 George Street, Sydney NSW 2000. (shop is next door to Travelex)

Advertisements

Hot Cross Buns from Valeries at the Galeries

Happy Easter. I hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend. I have started this long weekend off by eating lots of hot cross buns and chocolate. Actually, I am lying, I started that weeks ago. I could not help myself.

Every Easter, my work has a Easter morning tea. In the previous years, they have always purchased cheap Woolworths hot cross buns or other terrible tasting hot cross buns. This year, I was determined to change things.

My friend was in charge of purchasing the food for the morning tea. I suggested that this year, we get some tastier hot cross buns. Unfortunately for us, Baker’s Delight was too far away from our workplace. My friend and I were trying to think where we could find some tasty hot cross buns. My friend and I were walking through Town Hall concourse, and we noticed that Valeries at the Galeries were selling hot cross buns and were also offering samples for anyone to try. We were indeed quite sceptical, but decided we should give them the benefit of the doubt. My friend insisted that I try the sample, because she thinks I am a food snob. I tried a sample of their chocolate chip hot cross buns and I was amazed, they tasted so good.

My friend and I headed over to the counter and purchased 8 x 6 packs of hot cross buns. We bought four of the traditional and four of the chocolate chip hot cross buns. They looked so delicious in the packaging. The man working there told us that the hot cross buns were made in the morning.

My friend and I took the hot cross buns back to the office, and our work colleague prepared the morning tea. I went to the kitchen to “monitor” the preparation and were delighted at how delicious the hot cross buns smelt and how nice they looked.

IMG_6510[1]

The morning tea commenced and everyone started eating the hot cross buns. Everyone kept saying how great the hot cross buns tasted. Everyone seemed very impressed and wanted to know where we bought the hot cross buns from. I thought the hot cross buns tasted amazing, I even thought that the chocolate chip hot cross buns tasted better than the ones at Baker’s Delight. Admittedly, I only tried the chocolate chip hot cross buns, because I am not a fan of the traditional ones with dried fruit. The chocolate chip hot cross buns were not overly sweet, the bun texture was soft and delicious. I was also  so impressed at how great they tasted.

Hopefully next year Valeries at the Galeries will sell the hot cross buns, because our office will definitely be back to buy their delicious hot cross buns.

Valeries at the Galeries is located at:

Lower Floor, Shop A07,  Galeries of Victoria, 500 George Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Phone: 02 9283 0813

Home Made Coconut Rice

Whilst growing up, rice was always a compulsory part of dinner. My mother used to cook rice with every single meal, no matter what is was. My mother even cooked rice when we ate sausages for dinner. I have always admired how my mother could cook rice so perfectly, whether she cooked it in a rice cooker or in a pot. I never had the same sort of luck.

When I cook rice, I prefer to cook rice in a rice cooker. I can never cook rice successfully in a pot. I always seem to burn the rice, or the rice tastes gritty and hard. For these reasons, I really love my rice cooker.

One day I discovered a rice recipe on the internet, that looked quite simple. The recipe was for coconut rice. I have always loved coconut rice, but never ever got around to trying to cook it myself. I always found it easier to just go buy the coconut rice from a Thai restaurant.

The coconut rice recipe was so simple, all you needed was coconut milk, water and rice. Too easy.

I started to make the coconut rice and so far it went well. But honestly, how could one fail the process of boiling coconut milk and water.

Next I added the Jasmine rice and nervously watched it boil.

IMG_6416[1]

After the rice, coconut milk and water boiled, I gave the mixture a stir and put the lid on. During the waiting period, I must have lifted the lid off the pot ten times. I was so scared that it would not turn out well.

Twenty minutes later, the rice was cooked. I fluffed the rice with a fork and it was now time to see how it tasted. The coconut rice tasted great and the smell was divine. The coconut rice was cooked perfectly and was not gritty or hard. I was so happy, that I wanted to call my mother to tell her the good news.

IMG_6424[1]

D thought it tasted like the coconut rice that we ate at Sitney Thai in Parramatta.

I was so happy that I succeeded in cooking coconut rice in a pot. I can now cross one cooking goal off my list.

The Coconut Rice Recipe can be located on this website:

http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/13201/coconut+rice

Peanut Butter and Banana Bread

I find my husband to be a strange creature, because he does not like eating sweet things or dumplings. Honestly, who could not love sweets such as cakes and chocolate and xiao long bao dumplings.

The only sweet thing that my husband will eat is Banana Bread. My husband loves banana bread. Tonight he asked me to cook him banana bread with peanut butter. I was quite intrigued about how  this would taste, especially because I am not a huge fan of peanut butter.

I decided to use the same banana bread recipe that I had used previously, because it was so easy to follow and then added 1/2 a cup of organic smooth peanut butter. I also changed the recipe a bit and did not add any salt to the recipe and I put a little less sugar.

Whilst the Peanut Butter and Banana Bread was cooking in the oven, the house began to smell like peanut butter.

Thirty minutes later, the Peanut Butter and Banana Bread was ready.

IMG_6412[1]

My husband immediately had a slice of the Peanut Butter and Banana Bread straight out of the oven, and he was very impressed. He said that the combination of peanut butter and banana was a match made in heaven. The amount of peanut butter was also quite perfect too. My husband declared the Peanut Butter and Banana Bread to be his favourite banana bread that I have ever cooked.

I must admit that I was tempted to try a slice, but decided not to.

The banana bread recipe can be found on this website:

http://food.ninemsn.com.au/recipes/ibanana/8336571/best-ever-banana-bread

I added 1/2 a cup of organic smooth peanut butter to the recipe.

White Chocolate Mud Cupcakes

Today I was in one of those moods, whereby I just wanted to bake. I felt so energetic and wanted to bake as many things that I could. I started off baking two loaves of banana bread, one for D and one for my Mother In Law. For the next baking project, I decided I would try to bake white chocolate mud cupcakes.

To be honest, I am not a huge fan of white chocolate. I usually find that white chocolate taste too sweet. However, today I thought that I would continue my recent mud cupcake experiments and try to cook White Chocolate Mud Cupcakes. I did a Google search and found the easiest recipe that I could find.

I ended up finding a recipe for White Chocolate Mud Cake, and I decided that I could instead change the recipe and make cupcakes. The recipe was quite easy to follow and similar to the Mississippi Mud Cupcake recipe that I love so much.

The White Chocolate Mud Cupcakes were quite straight forward to make, however the amount of sugar and butter that was required was insane. Nevertheless, many of the tastiest recipes are full of sugary and fatty goodness.

When the White Chocolate Mud Cupcakes were done, I was quite happy at how levelled they were.

photo

Whilst I was waiting for the White Chocolate Mud Cupcakes to cool down, I made the white chocolate ganache. The white chocolate ganache tasted so sweet, that I was unsure if I should made a different type of icing. In the end I decide to stay true to the recipe.

It was then time to spread the white chocolate ganache on the White Chocolate Mud Cupcakes. The ganache was so thick. The end result of the White Chocolate Mud Cupcakes was quite pretty.

photo (1)

I finally took a taste of the White Chocolate Mud Cupcakes, and I thought the cake part was very delicious and moist. The white chocolate ganache was however too sweet for my liking.

Next time I will try to use a different icing. My brother in law suggested a cream cheese icing or butter cream icing. I think a different and less sweet icing may make the White Chocolate Mud Cupcakes taste perfect.

The White Chocolate Mud Cupcakes recipe can be found on this website:

http://www.aww.com.au/food/recipes/2010/8/white-chocolate-mud-cake/

The Most Delicious Banana Bread I Have Ever Baked!

I have an confession to make, I am a lazy baker. When I choose a recipe, I usually choose the recipe that involves the least amount of work and steps. I do not have time to use an electric mixer or to wait hours for a cake to be baked. When it comes to baking, I always believe in the marketing principle K.I.S.S (keep it simple stupid). So, when D asked me to bake Banana Bread, I went searching for the easiest Banana Bread recipe possible.

I ended up finding this Banana Bread recipe on the Nine MSN website. The recipe said it was the “Best-Ever Banana Bread” and there were only six ingredients. I honestly could not believe how good it looked and I was suspicious, it looked way too easy to make.

This recipe seemed like child’s play, I swear it only took minutes for me to mix and prepare. I ended up putting the mixture into a loaf pan and put it into the oven. Unfortunately, my nerves were getting the better of me, so during the 30 minutes of the baking time, I must have opened the oven four times to check that the Banana Bread was looking okay.

In less than 30 minutes, my Banana Bread was ready. The Banana Bread looked so golden brown on the top, and it smelt divine. I cut off a slice and gave some to D to eat, and lucky for me, he loved it!

IMG_6324[1]

IMG_6327[1]

 

I ended up trying a piece of the Banana Bread for myself, and I was also quite impressed. The Banana Bread was so moist and tasty, the top of the Banana Bread was moist too. I was so excited with the outcome of this recipe, that I decided that I would bake another loaf.

For the second loaf, I added pecan nuts to the mixture. The pecan nuts in the Banana Bread were a perfect addition.

IMG_6332[1]

 

 

I could have easily baked another loaf of Banana Bread, but sadly, we ran out of bananas..

Next time when I bake this Banana Bread, I want to try to add chocolate chips or other nuts. I am so excited to have found a Banana Bread recipe that is so easy to make and tastes great too. I am now one very happy lazy baker!

The Banana Bread recipe can be found on this website:

http://food.ninemsn.com.au/recipes/ibanana/8336571/best-ever-banana-bread

 

Caramel Mud Cupcakes

I had one of those weird incidences this morning, when I woke up and suddenly decided I must cook Caramel Mud Cupcakes. It was so weird, because I barely had my eyes open, and the idea popped into my head. Whilst still in a post woken up daze, I yelled at D and said “I need brown sugar and white chocolate”.

Minutes later, I was officially wide awake and decided to reach for my iPad to look up a recipe. There seemed to be so many recipes to choose from, but lazy me wanted a recipe that involved very little work. I finally found one on The Australian Women’s Weekly’s website. The recipe was actually for a whole cake, but I figured that I could tweek the recipe and make them into cupcakes.

Finally D arrived with my ingredients from the supermarket, and I launched into making the recipe. Initially, I found myself quite shocked at how much sugar was in this recipe, but I managed to talk myself into believing that brown sugar was not as evil as white sugar.

The recipe was actually quite easy to make, it was quite similar the the Mississippi Chocolate Mud Cupcakes that I had made before. Admittedly, the only thing that scared me about this recipe, was the caramel frosting, it involved using my dear old enemy icing sugar. So why is icing sugar my enemy you ask? It is because I can never properly sift the lumps out of the icing sugar successfully and can never can perfect any part of the icing process.

The only changes I made with this recipe is the cooking time and of course how the Caramel Mud Cupcakes are cooked. Rather than the usual 2 hours to bake it as a cake, you only need 30 minutes in the oven. I also found the mixture to be a bit runny, but do not let that alarm you, it is normal.

Anyway, after 30 minutes in the oven, this is what happens after the Caramel Mud  Cupcakes  are cooked. The Caramel Mud Cupcakes look so moist straight out of the oven. The smell from the oven was tantalising.

IMG_6202[1]

Whilst the Caramel Mud Cupcakes were cooling down on the cake rack, I commenced work on the caramel frosting. Luckily, I had just the right amount of icing sugar left in the pantry.

After what seemed like hours of whisking the frosting and many incidences of at yelling at the icing sugar, the caramel frosting was ready and the Caramel Cupcakes had cooled down and were ready for icing. The caramel frosting tasted a tad too sweet and not as caramel as I would have liked, but  were still quite tasty. Looking back now, I realised that I should’ve let the frosting mixture simmer on the stove for longer, but I was getting way too anxious to wait for the timer to ring. I was so scared of burning the mixture.

To finish off the Caramel Mud Cupcakes, I added a few chocolate sprinkles.

IMG_6205[1]

The Caramel Mud Cupcakes ended up looking very pretty. But of course, the true test is how do they taste.

The Caramel Mud Cupcakes were very tasty. I really liked the dense and moist cupcake part. The cupcake was also not too sweet and the caramel flavouring was not too intense either. I did however think I could have improved on the caramel frosting. I really think those crucial extra minutes on the stove, would’ve made the difference.

IMG_6203[1]

Overall, I was quite happy with this recipe. It was easy to follow and it did not take too much time to make either. Next time I may try to improve on the caramel frosting and cook it on the stove for longer.

The Caramel Mud Cupcake recipe link:

http://www.aww.com.au/food/recipes/2007/1/caramel-mud-cake/

Cheesecake from Lorraine’s Patisserie

I was going to wait to try a few more things at Lorraine’s Patisserie and then write a post, but I could not wait to rave about their Cheesecake.

Today silly me decided I was going to walk through the rain in my Hunter gumboots so that I could finally visit Lorraine’s Patisserie, but of course I forgot my umbrella. When I finally realised I forgot my umbrella, it was too late and I was too lazy to go back to work. So here I was walking through the rain, drenched and getting poked by people’s umbrellas, all just because I was determined to try the Macadamia Chocolate Tart that I heard so much about.

Finally I arrived at Lorraine’s Patisserie, I was so relieved to finally be there. I walked inside and looked in the cabinets for the Macadamia Chocolate Tart. I could not see it in the cabinet, so I looked again thinking maybe my eye sight is failing me. Nothing. My heart cracked, I really had my heart set on trying the Macadamia Chocolate Tart. I asked the lady at the counter and she told me that the Macadamia Chocolate Tarts will not be ready for an hour. My heart then shattered into tiny little pieces. I was devastated.

Despite my devastation, I decided that because I had battled my way all through the rain just to get here, I had to buy something. In the end I decided to get the Cheesecake, because it seemed like a safe choice. The Cheesecake costed $9 and it looked very delicious, I could not wait to take it back to work at eat it.

When I finally arrived back work, I immediately opened the cake box up. Unfortunately the cake had fallen apart, but of course it still looked edible.

IMG_6174[1]

With such apprehension, I took my first bite. The Cheesecake was surprisingly delicious. The Cheesecake was so light and not heavy like other Cheesecakes, yet still full of Cheesecake flavour. The thick biscuit base was so buttery, delicious and perfect. I was so impressed, that I could’ve easily licked the box if no one was looking. (but I did not). I even  ended up telling half the office how good the Cheesecake was.

So, I have decided that I want to go back to Lorraine’s Patisserie to try everything else in store, I have even convinced my friends to come too. Honestly, if the Cheesecake was so awesome, imagine how good the Macadamia Chocolate Tart must taste.

Lorraine’s Patisserie is located at:

Shop 5, Palings Lane, 320 George St Sydney NSW 2000

Phone: 02 9254 8009 (To avoid disappointment, I suggest calling to make an order before you visit)

Website: http://merivale.com.au/lorraines/menu/