Sunday, 27 January 2013

Sweet Sydney Part 1

The start of  2013 has seen us travel to Sydney for a little break! As Sydney basically stomps all over Perth in terms of cupcakeries, I had to try these cute little things when I accidentally stumbled upon the cute little shop while I was self-medicating with retail therapy along Sydney's shopping strip on George Street.

The weather was pretty bad, as you can tell from the photo, so I didn't spend any time standing in the downpour outside trying to take a photo of their window cupcake display, but you'll have to trust me when I say that it was everything a cupcake display should be: cute, colourful and gorgeous! You're spoiled for choice, to say the least. 

After having a breakdown facing the fact that no, I couldn't, in fact, have all the cupcakes in the shop because they would be impossible to bring back home on the plane (literally, that was the only thing stopping me from rolling around on the floor of my hotel on a pile of cupcakes - plane impracticalities), I chose four flavours which I thought would make me weep with joy.  Clockwise from the top left I bought a chocolate, vanilla strawberry, the classic red velvet, and a chocolate chilli cupcake - all up I spent something like 16 dollars (Australian) on the four cupcakes.

We were eager to tuck into these cupcakes as we'd seen the bakery's website and once spent hours wishing that we had something similar in Perth.  

First up, the red velvet cupcake. I loved the icing swirl on top and the little red heart was adorable! Though I kinda wished they had crumbled some of the cake on top of the white icing. I love that about red velvet cakes, having the bright red velvet cake crumbs set off against the white icing is just stunning to me. The red velvet was really yummy, made better by the great crumb of the cupcake and the icing was to die for - smooth and full of flavour.

Unfortunately my love for the rest of the cupcakes wasn't as strong.  I found the vanilla cake of the vanilla strawberry cupcake lacking in flavour and too dense.  The centre of the cupcake had a little spot of strawberry jam which really added to the strawberry hit of the cake, which I really liked. The frosting was the saving grace of this cupcake, smooth and delicious with a pretty sprinkling of pink sugar on top.

The chocolate cupcake looked absolutely decadent with its rich chocolate frosting and mud-cake like texture.  I adored the swirl of frosting and its chocolate shavings, and they tasted incredible. The cake though was less impressive, lacking in flavour and a kick of salt, there wasn't enough of a chocolatey hit.  Whilst eating it I was just waiting for this massive bash of chocolate but it never came which made me sad. You were left wishing for more. The frosting can't speak for the cake, they both have to be strong on their own and I thought it wasn't the case.  That being said, I do think people who like their desserts not too rich would enjoy this.

The chocolate and chilli cupcake was much the same story with the lack of chocolatey hit in the chocolate cake, but the frosting was really yummy again.  Taking a bite out of the cupcake you're left wondering where the chilli comes in until you swallow and your mouth starts to burn.  The tingle of heat from the chilli made me smile, I really loved it! The chocolate chilli combination has always been a favourite of mine.

And it wasn't a trip to the eastern states without a Krispy Kreme doughnut hit, of course! I wish these could be a part of everyday life in Western Australia like they are over there but alas...

My brothers chose the strawberry glazed, two original glazed and a chocolate glazed doughnut, which all were freaking delicious. No doughnut can ever compare.

The strawberry glazed one was devoured instantly upon opening this box.
Stay tuned for more Sydney sweetness!

Friday, 18 January 2013

Ice Coffee with a twist!

Whilst browsing the internet machine this morning (or stalking Adam Liaw's Twitter), I stumbled across his weird little trick to whip up an iced coffee in record time.  Seeing as we've been having an absolutely ridiculous heat wave for the past week and a half, with temperatures reaching around 42 degrees Celsius (108 degrees for you Americans and others using Fahrenheit) at four in the afternoon some days (and reaching a maximum in the forties the rest of the time) we are in serious need of an ice cold glass of deliciosity to make sure we don't die.  Because a tall glass of cold water's overrated. Everybody drinks it, and we're way too subcultural to conform to the norms of mainstream society. 


This was the perfect time to try out this recipe. It's so delicious and refreshing and it just makes you want to cry because all the stress and the hot-and-botheredness from the past ten days is just gone with this coolness-in-a-cup. Make sure you chill a tall glass in the freezer beforehand.  The frosty glass makes it even more refreshing.

The best ice coffee ever? 

2 shots of espresso
1 teaspoon of vanilla sugar (you can buy this in the shops or you can make your own, simply by infusing some caster sugar with a vanilla pod in an airtight container)
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 teaspoon of your favourite liqueur - we used Baileys 
2 tablespoons of condensed milk - this gives it a wicked foam on top 

Chuck everything into a cocktail shaker or blender and shake it all up until delicious.  Then pour it into an ice cold glass. It's that easy. If you're feeling daring, add a scoop of good-quality vanilla ice cream.
This is also the perfect time to feel awesome whilst using the cocktail shaker.  You can imagine you're in a James Bond movie, "one ice coffee, shaken - not stirred," as you proceed to do some skillful shaking, chucking it up in the air, rolling it down your arms and across your shoulders. Dropping it onto the ground, getting shocked back to reality once you realise mid-trick that you're incapable of that level of coordination and now because you were overly ambitious the only way you'll be able to judge if this is - in fact - the best ice coffee will only happen if you lick it off the walls or squeeze it out of your clothes. Yum.

Just stick to shaking it up like a normal person. I'm 100% sure you'll find this way to be much more rewarding.

Enjoy not dying from the heat and lack of fluids! (You're welcome.)

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Breakfast @ New Norcia Bakery


Breakfast at the cosy New Norcia bakery/cafe in Mt Hawthorn. I tried the eggs benedict ($15.95) with a cappuccino ($4.00). The food was fresh and homely and the hollandaise light and lemony. I have to mention the fabulous staff. Possibly the warmest and friendliest I have come across in a while, providing service with a smile. The bakery/cafe has a seriously tempting selection of freshly baked pastries and bread. If only I had room left for a slice of their lemon and polenta cake. I guess I'll be visiting again soon...

Hope you're having a lovely morning xx