Archive for the ‘Feature cakes’ Category

It’s Sydney International Food Festival this month (previously called Good Food Month, which frankly was a lot easier to say), and one of my favourite events this month is the Sugar Hit. A Sugar Hit is a dessert created by an excellent restaurant, served with a glass of dessert wine (or something similar) – all for $20.

So last night I went to Azuma Kushiyaki for their Sugar Hit, which is an East-meets-West dessert platter. Unfortunately, when it arrived it looked so delicious that I ate it before realizing that I forgot to take a photograph. So I photographed the remains for a post-meal blog analysis. Here it is:

azuma sugar hit

  1. Cheesecake. This was a light and creamy vanilla cheesecake with vanilla ice-cream in the middle and a sponge cake base. The texture was so light, it was heaven. It was served with three raspberry halves and a blueberry arranged in a delicate pattern.
  2. Chocolate mousse cake. There was a very rich chocolate mousse cake here, cut into a square and served with half a sliced strawberry fanned on top. It filled me up so much that I was unable to finish eating the cheesecake.
  3. Nori biscuits. There were two wafer-thin vanilla biscuits with flecks of nori (seaweed) baked into them. It sounds strange, but it was actually really delicious. And not in an “acquired gourmet taste” way, just in a normal “wow that’s really delicious” way.
  4. Green tea roll. You can probably tell by the remains that I didn’t like this one so much. It was like a regular sponge roll, but with green tea powder integrated throughout. The cream was very rich and the sponge tasted like green tea powder.
  5. Syrup. This was a small glass of syrup to pour over the rice cake shot, so that you could adjust the syrup amount depending on how sweet you liked the dessert. A nice touch.
  6. Rice cake shot. This was a shot glass with vanilla bean ice-cream (partially molten), seedless grapes and small rice cakes – the sticky paste Japanese kind. Husband found the flavourless rice cakes a bit strange. I really liked it – I liked the texture of the rice cakes and the sweetness of the ice-cream and syrup. The fresh grapes balanced it really nicely.
  7. Dessert wine. This was a Brown Brothers Orange, Muscat and Flora. I’ve had it before and it’s a really nice dessert wine with a pleasing aftertaste. There was an option to have cognac instead of dessert wine.

Overall, I loved the presentation and the tasting platter idea. It was a fun meal to eat, exploring the different desserts. On top of that, it was very delicious and filled me up even though I hadn’t had a proper dinner. Great value for $20.

For more information on Sugar Hits at Azuma Kushiyaki, go to the Sydney International Food Festival website.

Wedding cake

Glorious, no?

This was my wedding cake. It was made by the amazing Welsh Lady (Brisbane). When I started planning my wedding, the cake was the first thing I planned. People kept asking me about the dress and rings and stuff – to hell with that! I knew what was important. The design went through a few incarnations and I worked with a few different bakers, and finally Gwen (aka The Welsh Lady) and I came up with this amazing design. When I saw the finished result, I couldn’t stop looking at it. There’s a picture of me telling my bridal party to rack off because I’m busy looking at the cake.

I wanted a wedding cake made of cupcakes, but I didn’t want it to look like a kid’s birthday party. The cupcake wrappers and the roses really helped to make the cakes elegant. The cupcake wrappers were from Fancy Flours, but I recently found a place in Sydney called Alfresco Emporium that also sells them, which is great because shipping to Australia from the US costs heaps. And for any Aussies cursing all the good stuff being in Sydney, the good news is that you can order the wrappers from Alfresco Emporium online.

Each cake was a delicious chocolate mud cake with chocolate mousse piped into the centre. This was topped with fresh cream and a fresh rose on top. One of the guests was sure that the rose was edible too, and he proved it by eating one. Yes, I guess technically they are edible, but….yeah don’t eat them. When it comes to event cakes, edible flowers made from sugar are beautiful and impressive, but you can save heaps of money by using fresh ones instead.

The top tier of the cake hid a lemon cake covered in fresh cream, with a white chocolate pattern on the outside designed to match the cupcake wrappers.

I knew that the guests would be stuffed after the rest of the meal, so I provided decorated noodle boxes when the cakes were served so that guests could take their cakes home for later if they wanted to. This seemed pretty popular with the guests, although some guests couldn’t wait. One guest even received a cupcake to the face from her fiancee, much to her confusion. Although she did tell me later that it was delicious.

Here it is, in all its glory.

The chocolate mousse cake from the series Masterchef Australia. If you're associated with channel 10, please don't be mad at me for taking your image. I just want to share the glory of the mousse cake with as many people as possible. But if you insist, I shall of course take the image down.

The chocolate mousse cake from the series Masterchef Australia. If you're associated with channel 10, please don't be mad at me for borrowing your image. I just want to share the glory of the mousse cake with as many people as possible. But if you insist, I shall of course take the image down.

For those who didn’t see it, this was the most awesome cake ever. It has about 6 or 7 layers of cake, apple, caramel, biscuit, blackberry mousse and chocolate mousse. It’s freaking incredible. The recipe is also there if you follow that link, by the way, in case you want to try making it at home. Ha!

Yes, I laugh at this idea because I saw them make that cake on the show. It took them THREE HOURS and they needed a blast freezer (a freezer that freezes things very, very fast) and a giant chocolate spray gun. This spray gun looked like it should be used for spraying cars, not cakes. But I want one.

After I saw this cake on TV, my thoughts were consumed by it….the blackberry mousse layer…the salted caramel…the apple tatin… Then I realised that the cake’s creator “Adriano Zumbo” sounded familiar. Turns out I had a business card for his patisserie on my fridge for over a year now and had been meaning to drop by sometime. Excited, I told my husband. He said “excellent, let’s save it for a special occasion”. I said “WHAT?? I can’t go on like this, knowing that the best cake in the universe is only TWO SUBURBS AWAY FROM ME. We’re going there THIS SATURDAY”.

So we did, but we’re not early risers, so by the time we got to the patisserie at 3pm, all of the cakes were sold out. All of them. I’m not even talking about the famous mousse cake. I mean there were no cakes left in the patisserie *at all*. Luckily he had a cafe a few doors down and as it turned out, they were auctioning off not only the chocolate mousse cake, but also Adriano’s famous croquembouche. The croquembouche was posing for a photo shoot. I could see it through a window. It wore an aura of toffee like a delicate golden halo. It looked delicious.

To be honest, I couldn’t be bothered sticking around for an hour to bid on a cake that I probably couldn’t afford. And I was hungry, dammit. The cafe was full, so we went for whatever was able to be taken away, which was chocolates. There was a dark chocolate pyramid filled with rasberry gel and vanilla creme (that means something creamy that isn’t actually cream, I don’t know what it was, it was delicious). There was a saffron chocolate with a very subtle flavour. There was a “fried egg” chocolate that was white chocolate and toasted coconut with a jam “yolk” on top. It reminded me of that “white christmas” slice that you can get around Christmas time.

This quest isn’t over. Adriano Zumbo, I shall return! Later, when your shops aren’t so busy! Incidentally, my husband did actually see the man himself “walking around like he owned the place” (well, he did, so fair enough). I was too busy looking at cake and chocolate to notice. No offence Mr. Zumbo.

This morning I heard on Nova’s breakfast show that Kate Richie got a chef from a bakery to make the cake from the recipe. This is inspired! I must do this! However, the chef said that the recipe on the website doesn’t match what they did on the show! Ooh those sneaky devils! No matter, it is a means to an end and that end is a cake…

An endless stream of cakes
The French House, Waterloo

The French House, Waterloo

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