For A Berry Pink Cause – Ski Yogurt & A Giveaway ! {Winner announced}

Lemon & Berry yogurt mini loaf with cream cheese and yogurt icing

Paying it forward. I always feel that we should always count our blessings and do what we can for people around us. As many of you know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and I was approached by Keep Left PR to be involved in it. Without any hesitation, I agreed!

Ski Yogurt turning pink

If you’ve walked the yoghurt aisle in the supermarkets, you’ve realised that Ski yoghurt has turned pink! In fact, they have pledged a three-year commitment to the McGrath Foundation and have promised a $350,000 donation to fund a McGrath Foundation Breast Care Nurse in the community. How amazing is that? I’m so honoured to be ask to be part of this Pink event!

lemon & berry mini loaves

Yoghurt has become part of my daily breakfast and morning tea routine, so I was really glad that I was asked to come up with a recipe that incorporates Ski yogurt!

So as I stood in front of the different flavours in the supermarket, my ideas were just popping up!

Close up

As I got a new mini loaf tin, I decided to make some yogurt mini loaves! Just too cute! But to give it a little bit of ZING, I added lemon zest to it! Mmmm.. berries and lemon do make a really good match! The best thing about incorporating yogurt in your cake is that it makes it really moist!

Lemon & berry yogurt mini loaf with a cream cheese yogurt icing

In all honesty, the icing didn’t quite turn out the texture I wanted. I wanted to be able to pipe rows. hehe I tested it out, but it went everywhere! haha So i decided to go with the flow (literally) and let it have some free form! It worked out well, don’t you think so? hehe The addition of the fresh raspberries just made everything pop, giving a subtle tinge of pink reflection on the icing. Without trying to over do the self-praise, I have to be honest and say that this was one of my best cakes I’ve made to date!

mini loaves - light reflection

So here’s the recipe and my humble contribution to the Breast Cancer Awareness Month! (: Hope you all enjoy!

Lemon & Berry Yogurt Mini Loaf with Cream Cheese Yogurt Icing (an original recipe of Food Made With Love)

Lemon & Berry Yogurt Loaf :

1 1/2 cups plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

300g Ski Wild Strawberry yogurt

1/2 cup castor sugar (plus 1/4 cup for syrup)

3 large eggs

Lemon zest  of 2 lemons

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/2 cup frozen mixed berries

10 mint/basil leaves, washed and pat dry

Steps :

1) Preheat oven to 170 degrees celcius. In a clean bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

yogurt, sugar and lemon zest

2) In a mixing bowl, combine the yogurt, 1/2 cup of sugar, lemon zest and vanilla bean paste. Mix till well combine then add the eggs, one at a time, making sure each one is well incorporated before adding the next.

3) Add the dry ingredients slowly, 1/2 cup at a time, and make sure it is well combined. Be careful not to over mix.

4) Pour the olive oil into the mixture, and using a spatula, slowly fold it in until everything is combined. Add the frozen berries and fold them in. Don’t worry if they start to “bleed”, just gives the batter a nice swirl of pink/purple!

5) Coat the mini loaf tin with olive oil (I used the olive oil spray) and dust with plain flour. Carefully fill the tin 3/4 way up. Drop them a few times on the bench to even the top and place them in the oven. Bake them for 25 mins, turning them half way to that they are evenly coloured.

6) While the cakes are baking, pour the lemon juice and add the 1/4 cup sugar into a small saucepan. Add the basil/mint leaves into the pot and allow it to come to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 5 mins. Take it off the heat and allow it to cool slightly.

Pouring the lemon mint/basil syrup on the cakes

MIni loaves cooling and soaking up the lemon syrup

7) Once the cakes are done, allow them to cool in the baking tin for 10 mins. Slowly and carefully pour the lemon syrup on the cakes and allow them to absorb completely. Let it cool in the tin completely before taking them out.

Cream Cheese and Yogurt Icing 

1 block of Philadelphia cream cheese, cold

2/3 cup Ski Wild Strawberry yogurt

1-1 1/2 cup pure icing sugar

1 tsp lemon juice

Fresh raspberries, to garnish

Steps :

1) In a mixing bowl, whip up the cream cheese till smooth, then add the yogurt and mix till they come together. Don’t worry if it looks clumpy. Add the icing sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, and taste as you go (YUM!). Stop adding when you feel the sweetness is right! Add the lemon juice and mix until smooth.

2) Using a tablespoon, drop the icing in the middle of the loaf and allow it to flow down. You could use the back of your spoon to help shape it the way you like. Garnish the loaves with fresh raspberries. ENJOY!

Finished product

I had mine with a small glass of intense berry smoothie! hehe and I thought I would share with you my favourite smoothie recipe since it also uses yoghurt! (: So bear with me. The giveaway is up next!

Intense berry smoothie

Intense Berry Smoothie

150g Ski Wild Strawberry Yogurt

150g coconut water

100g frozen mixed berries

Step :

Place all the ingredients in a blender and whizz it up! Easy peasy!

GIVEAWAY TIME!

And now for the part you all have been waiting for! So sorry for the super long post and thank you for being so patient! Keep Left PR has very kindly offered a giveaway! It’s a set of super pretty and cute pink silicone Scullery kitchen utensils worth $47.73! How can you resist?

giveaway

Giveaway

Yes! All 7 items! How awesome is that? I love the striking shade of pink! Ladies, start commenting. Men, start commenting too so you could win these for your loved ones! hehe

How do you get these you ask? Easy!

  • Leave a comment and share with me your favourite way of having yogurt, and what part of the day do you usually have it?
  • This giveaway is only open to Australian residents! (Sorry international readers!)
  • Please join me on my journey! Follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!
  • You may re-enter daily! One entry a day! (Oh yeah!)
  • Winners will be announced on the 31st of October, Thursday at 8pm!
  • Winners will be picked via random.org and notified on this blog post and via email.

Disclaimer : This post is sponsored by Ski Yoghurt & Keep Left PR. I tasted the Ski’s D’lite Wild Strawberry yoghurt  with compliments of both sponsors, however, the review, opinions are honest and based on my personal taste and preference. The recipe is a Food Made With Love original.

Ski Pink

Remember to always bake and cook with love ! Till the next post, xx

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The winner is…..

TINA! Congrats dearie! (: I will be contacting shortly through email!

winner- random org

Winner

Hope you like your pink kitchen utensils!!! xx

Famish’d : Salads and More !

Famish'd

Due to work, it’s almost impossible to have lunch anywhere besides the staff room haha. Thankfully it was the holidays when the newly opened Famish’d celebrated their opening! I couldn’t wait to head down for lunch as I’ve always wanted to try their salads! Their first store was just behind the Mr’s work place, so I used to meet him for coffees and cakes when I get to head down to the city.  So I was super excited when I received the invite!

Famish'd interior

Beautiful interior, neon signs that pop, warm and friendly staffs. Everything that you would love and look forward to for your mid day delight! And although they specialise in salads (a huge range!), they do hearty soups as well as spuds (both potatoes and sweet potato for a healthier option).

famish'd

There is definitely something for everyone! I know many of you would be thinking – how can a bowl of salad be filling? Trust me, their salads are HUGE and you definitely will be filled by the time you finish.

St Ali's coffee beans

Of course, you can’t skip having a cup of St Ali’s coffee as well while you’re there! Beautiful, robust flavours, definitely a pick-me-up when you need one!

latte

And still my favourite part of their coffee – the chocolate chip meringue!

chocolate chip meringue

It’s really quite magical. Every bite feels like you’re eating a teaspoon full of chocolate chips! Comes with every coffee, dining in or taking it away!

Salad bar

So let’s begin our salad adventure shall we? Since Daisy was there too, we decided to divide and conquer : I was going to choose the salad and she was going to choose the sweet potato spud !  You are allowed to choose the base of either a selection of fresh salad leaves, or their famish’d favourite salads that changes everyday! They also have a huge selection of ingredients to mix into your salad and you are allowed to choose up to 5 different ones!

Explaining how to design our own salads

Don’t worry if it’s your first time at Famish’d cause you would be well taken care of! Everyone working at Famish’d is friendly and is more than happy to explain to you how to design your own salads and spuds! Every one in the Famish’d family works together so well, it’s just amazing! They don’t have specific jobs, they just do anything that is presented infront of them! Like one big happy and loving family! Love it!

Making my salad

When it was my turn to design my own salad, I have to admit, I was like a kid in a lolly store. haha So many fresh and vibrant ingredients to choose from, I almost wanted more than 5!

my salad

My colourful salad! After selecting what you want, you can choose from an extensive range of home-made dressing! All the dressing is made by the owner, Georgia, herself! AMAZING!

All tossed and ready to be enjoyed

My salad had pumpkin, chickpeas, corn, artichokes and roasted capsicum! I asked what dressing is recommended and mine has a mix of dijon balsamic and mayo! They do have other dressings for the more adventurous ! I am actually regretting not trying them! Have to head back to try! hehe

My salad and Daisy's sweet potato spud

The portion was huge and I had to take away half of mine home! A slice of bread is also given to mop up any of the delicious dressing left!

Daisy's sweet potato spud

Daisy did equally well with her choices for her sweet potato spud! She had cheese (of course, a must with spuds!), mushrooms, corn, bacon, spring onion and salsa! It was so amazing! I’m definitely gonna have this in my next visit!

Sweet potato spud

Hidden under all the delicious ingredients is a roasted sweet potato spud! So tender and super sweet! Not sure about you, but I prefer sweet potatoes to potatoes anytime! hehe Somehow, it feels healthier! hehe

Sweets by Sweet By Nature

Next to the salad bar sits a beautiful array of cakes and slices! It’s supplied by Sweet By Nature and how good does everything look? After being good and having a healthy lunch, it’s surely okay to have something naughty (and delicious) for dessert right? hehe DEFINITELY! Miss D will agree with me for sure! And of course, we got to try one of each they have!

Sweets

When this board arrived infront of us, wide smiles appeared on our faces almost naturally. haha How good does that look? Don’t you just want to dive into it and just take a bite of everything? We did. haha

Dessert

The orange poppyseed cake is still my favourite! And the rocky road was really rich and decadent! Only needed a small bite to make you feel happy and contented!

By no means am I a healthy eater, but I do enjoy having a healthy meal once in a while. This is definitely a place to come to if you are on a health fix too! You can create your own salads and spuds to your liking and I can vouch that you will love every mouthful of it! So if you’re around the city or you work in the city, head down to Famish’d for lunch and I’m sure you won’t regret it! Have a sweet (or two) while you’re there too! hehe

Famish'd Salads & Stuff on Urbanspoon

Disclaimer : I was invited by Famish’d as guests to have lunch. All thoughts and opinions are based on my experience at the time of the visit. 

Hero – New Kid On The Block

Hero Soft Launch

Good evening dear readers. Hope you had a good weekend! Sorry for the long pause in between posts! Been a little busy and finally have the time to sit down and share with you a new place in the city! Are you a student who studies in the city and need lunch on-the-go? Do you work in the city and need a quick and delicious bite? Then you’re in luck! I’ve got a perfect place for you to go to!

Hero

HERO!  Inspired by the hero-style sandwiches made famous in and around Brooklyn-Queens, New York, Elena & Michael decided to open this Brooklyn-style sandwich store behind RMIT in the city! They may sound familiar to some, as they are the same people behind the Reading Room and the Grain Store.

The menu

I was lucky enough to be invited to the soft launch to try their subs with the mr and sis-in-law! As there were 3 of us, Elena suggested that she would make for us 6 different half-size heroes and a side of chips! It was perfect, as we got to try almost all the subs on the menu besides one!

Our six half subs

When it arrived, the first thing that hit me was the beautiful colours that just pop! hehe Of course, soon after the smell of the delicious subs filled my nose and I couldn’t wait to tuck in! So these are the 6 that we tried :

#BRKLYN

#BRKLYN : 10 hour pulled lamb that just melts in your mouth goes perfectly with the tartness of the pickled beetroot. I have to admit, I’m not a lamb fan, but I still gave it a try! The Mr really liked it and finished the whole thing! hehe Great flavours in the lamb too!

The mr eating the sub

I just love bringing the Mr to events, cause he loves food as much as I do! hehe

#bythehour

Next up, #bythehour ! When everything was brought to the table, this was one that caught my eyes immediately cause of the colourful corn salsa! hehe The 12 hour bbq pulled pork was just amazing and soft, which went perfectly with the crunchy corn salsa and apple cabbage slaw!

#bythehour

This was one of my favourites of the day, but it was a little difficult to eat cause all the salsa fell off with every bite! Don’t worry I picked all the corn up and still ate it all! haha

#paradise

#Paradise was like a caesar salad in a bun! hehe If you love your caesar like me, you will love this!

#catcher

The #catcher had panko crumbed shrimp with slaw and thousand island dressing. This didn’t stand out as much as the others, just cause the prawns were a little small compared to the big buns! Having said that, the shrimp were fresh and have a light batter! I would love a whole bowl of those crumbed prawns hehe Omnomnom!

#throwback

#throwback would definitely be a crowd pleaser. Wholesome veal & pork meatballs in a homemade sauce. Can’t really go wrong with meatballs can you? The buns takes the place of the usual pasta, and goes really well as a whole! It was definitely my second favourite for the day.

#kidroyale

This my dear readers was the winner of the day! The hero of the day if you would like. The #kidroyale was the favourite for all of us! The slow roasted beef had a smokey hickory rub and was so tender and absolutely tasty! Went perfectly with the sweetness of the onion jam and the subtle kick of the honey dijon. And the piece de resistance were the crispy fried onion rings on top! AMAZEBALLS! A definite must try when you’re there!

Shoestring fries with hero secret spice

The shoestring fries with hero secret spice was so addictive! We couldn’t stop eating it! Really crispy and fried to perfection! Mmmmmm!

Hero cookie

After all the savouries, of course we needed some sweet to balance it out. There’s 2 dolce on the menu and we wanted to try both! First up was their homemade cookie! It was huge! almost as big as my hands hehe Love how they imprinted their logo on the cookie! and they were fresh out of the oven, and we all gave it two thumbs up! There were chocolate chips with every bite! And I took the one with the X cause for those who don’t know, my name in mandarin is Xin Lian hehe So i deemed the cookie mine! haha

Hot ball donuts

Next, Elena gave us 3 freshly made hot ball donut! Love how the filling was oozing out of the donut. Couldn’t wait to try them!

jaffa chocolate hot ball donut

I took the chocolate jaffa one and it was so damn good! I usually am not a fan of jaffa, but the orange flavour wasn’t overpowering and the main thing I tasted was still chocolate! Which I LOVE! hehe The donuts were soft and fluffy and oh-so-delicious!

hot jam ball donut

Melissa had the hot jam donut! It has a bit more dough but it was still soft and fluffy! It took a while before she found (or bit into) the jam, but when she did, it was good! But I preferred the chocolate one! hehe

Hero subs

So the next time you’re thinking of where to have lunch, head to Hero and give their subs a try! You won’t regret it!

PS : They are having a special lobster tail sub at the moment and they only make 6 a day! So get in early and quick so you don’t miss out!

Disclaimer : We were invited by Elena and Michael as guests to have lunch at Hero. All thoughts and opinions are based on our experiences at the time of the visit. 

Hero on Urbanspoon 

Silks Mid-Autumn Festival Banquet

Just a couple of weeks back, I was invited to a Mid-Autumn Festival banquet at Silks Crown by Chef Tsang, and it brought back lots of fun memories! Being away from home, I rarely get to celebrate mid-autumn festival anymore. But it was a yearly event in my family when I was much younger. We used to have lots of food, endless mooncakes and after all the feasting is done, we would light up a paper lantern and walk around the neighbourhood! Just thinking about it brings a smile to my face! hehe

8 course dinner banquet

I love love love when I get my own personal place card. hehe I know it’s a small thing, but just makes me feel important haha Just for the night (: The banquet menu included 8 delicious courses and I couldn’t wait for it to begin!

steamed scallop  and vermicelli with garlic

The first dish was the perfectly steamed, plump and juicy scallops with vermicelli and garlic. This was so so good and one of my favourites of the night! There’s just something about chinese cooking where it looks simple, but the balance of the sauce is what’s critical to the dish. This was a perfect balance of sauces and was delicate enough to go with the scallops. Amazing!

Double boiled chicken consomme with dried scallops and mushroom

The second dish for most chinese banquets is soup. No ordinary soup, it’s soup that has been simmered for a long period of time to extract every single flavour from the ingredients. Every sip was just so flavoursome and I could just have a huge bowl of this for the night and I would be a happy camper!

Giant coral trout enrobed in minced shrimp

This third dish definitely wowed my sense of smell, sight and taste! I was definitely intrigued and super excited when it was placed in front of me. A crispy prawn head and tail, and in the middle is a piece of coral trout enrobed in minced shrimp! How amazing is that?? I was sitting next to the amazing Zeboy & Ms I-Hua and we were saying how difficult that must be to do!

inside the enrobed coral trout

See how the layers were so distinct? The best part was the crispy skin of the fish! I seriously wanted more and wished the Mr was there with me, so the prawn head didn’t go to waste! Any prawn head lovers out there? This was fried till every bit of it was crispy, but I still couldn’t bring myself to eating the shell! haha

Sauteed lobster with black bean sauce and pine nuts

This brought smiles on many faces! The lobster pieces were all cooked perfectly – still tender and juicy and went so well with the black bean sauce. It’s not usual that pine nuts are used in chinese cooking, usually it’s cashews or peanuts. But pine nuts worked equally as well, and it’s good for u too! hehe There’s always a huge packet (from Costco) in my pantry cause I love to add them in my sautéed vegetables (cauliflower, Jerusalem artichokes) ! hehe

diced beef tenderloin with mixed mushroom in gravy sauce

The fifth dish was melt-in-your-mouth beef tenderloin with mixed mushrooms in a terriyaki sauce. A little sweet for my liking, but I absolutely loved the texture of the beef. Not sure how Chef Tsang did it, but the beef was juicy and really tender!

chicken fried rice with XO sauce

The last savoury dish was chicken fried rice in XO sauce. Every rice was coated with egg and you could see the glorious yellow grains in the bowl! It had a chilli kick to it as well, from the XO sauce. I could never fry rice like this, never turn out to be this delicious. Think I need to invest in a wok! hehe

Sweetened walnut soup with glutinous rice ball

After 6 savoury dishes, I was so stuffed. But there’s always room for dessert, yes? Absolutely! When I saw what we were going to have for dessert, I was a little apprehensive, cause I never had walnut soup before. Plus the only other nut-soup I tried (and didn’t like it much) was almond soup. So I was a little worried about how it would taste. But I was so wrong. This was so smooth and delicate and absolutely divine. For a cold night, it was really comforting as well! Perfect winter warmer! I would head back just for another bowl of walnut soup. hehe

black sesame glutinous rice ball

Within the soup was a hidden treasure – a glutinous rice ball with black sesame. Absolute love! How sexy is the black sesame oozing out from the middle after a bite? hehe Rich but not overly so. Did I say it’s perfect? Cause it was!

Wing Wah white lotus seed mooncakes with double yolk

To end our banquet on a even sweeter note and what is seen as a symbol of mid-autumn festival – Mooncakes! This one is the famous Wing Wah mooncake from Hong Kong! The white lotus seed paste was smooth and not overly sweet and had two salted egg yolk! While I grew up opting for the no-yolk mooncakes, I have to say the combination is starting to grow on me. But I still like mine without yolk hehe

After the amazing banquet, Chef Tsang came out of the kitchen to say hi to us and answer some of our questions. It’s no wonder his food was absolutely delish cause he was from the two Michelin stars, Ming Court in Hong Kong! He’s been in Melbourne and Silks for 6 months now and is still working on a in-house recipe for mooncakes. hehe

So if you’re want to take part in some Mid-Autumn festivities, Crown is holding one from 9th to the 22nd of September, and there is something for everyone! Do check out their website for details of the events as they will be converting the Atrium into something spectacular!

Wing Wah moocake

We were so lucky to receive a box of mooncakes from Wing Wah to bring home! The Mr and Melissa couldn’t be happier when I took it out of the bag! hehe And yes, they finished one whole mooncake that very night! heh

Thank you so much Silks Crown, Chef Tsang and Media Moguls for organising this scrumptious banquet! Great food and was so good to meet and catch up with everyone! So do head to Crown and check it out and try some mooncakes if you haven’t had any yet!

Lianne @ Food Made With Love attended the Mid-Autumn festival banquet as a guest of Silks Crown and Media Moguls. Thank you so much for this yummy opportunity! 

Silks on Urbanspoon

Yarra Valley Chocolaterie : Hot Chocolate Festival

Yarra Valley Chocolaterie

I have a love-hate relationship with chocolate. More love than hate of course. But after scoffing down too much chocolate, that’s when the hate sets in. But it doesn’t last for long. My love for it is overpowering. haha So you can imagine my face when I walked through the glass doors of the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie! Yeap! You guessed it right! Wide grins, round eyes and I marched straight to the huge bowls of chocolate that are for free tasting. How generous! But just so I don’t look greedy, I just took a (heap) tablespoon full of the dark chocolate buttons and stepped away.

Hot Chocolate Festival

It wasn’t my first time at the chocolaterie, but this time I was really lucky to be asked to the Hot Chocolate Festival by Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Q Strategies to try 8 out of the 31 limited edition flavours they’ve come up with for the month of August! I went with the blogging gang (Shellie, Daisy, Thanh, Agnes & I-Hua) and we were allowed to bring our partners (and Melissa!) along, so it was like a fun road trip with a whole huge foodie gang!

8 flavours that we tried

These were the 7 + 1 flavours we tried that morning. Yes, we had hot chocolates for breakfast! hehe What could be better yes?

Josh - Head barista

We were introduced to Josh, the head barista at the chocolaterie. He’s the one who comes up with all the different flavours! Amazing! From the moment we gathered infront of him, pots and pots of hot chocolate arrived and were served! We were definitely in hot chocolate heaven!

toppings

Each cup (thank goodness they were mini ones!) had a different topping to match the flavours!

Pouring the hot chocolate

So without further ado, here comes the hot chocolates! I’m introducing them in the order that we were having them! Of course, I have my top three choices of the morning and you’ll see them next to their flavours! hehe So, first up….

Gingerbread

Gingerbread (2nd place)! This was made using their milk couverture chocolate and had quite a strong cinnamon and ginger taste to it, which I love! It was served with some gingerbread crumbs which gave a slight crunch to the drink.

Mint madness

Next up was mint madness! This was also made with their smooth milk chocolate and served with a fresh mint! I actually quite enjoyed this, as it reminded me of an After Eight chocolate! hehe and I absolutely love those thin pieces of chocolate! hehe

Cookies & Cream

Cookies & cream was somehow known as the King Kong of all flavours made with smooth milk chocolate and topped with crushed oreo cookies! This was delicious but it kinda of tasted like normal hot chocolate, and nothing too special. Though the crunch of the cookies added a good texture!

pina colada

I’ve been into coconut everything these days, so I was quite excited when I saw Pina Colada (3rd place) on the tasting menu! It had a strong coconutty flavour made with white chocolate and topped with toasted coconut! DELISH! hehe It was quite a favourite among us that day to be honest!

Indian Chai

When the next flavour was indian chai, Shellie and I were smiling at each other, as we both love our chai! Unfortunately, the dark chocolate was a little overwhelming and I couldn’t really taste the chai spices. Sad face! I really thought this would make number 1 on my list!

Snickers

This, ladies and gentlemen, is SNICKERS! The champion of the day! It was so delicious, and it really felt like you were having a snickers bar. It was nutty and chocolatey. Everything a hot cup of hot chocolate needs! Topped with roasted slithers of almond – A perfect cup! I secretly wanted another cup! haha But had to safe some space for the two more to come!

Lemon myrtle

If you’re a fan of lemony and citrusy drinks, this would be the one for you! I never thought that lemon would go well with chocolate. But after drinking this, your mouth is left with a subtle taste of lemon, kinda refreshing! Each cup is topped with a candied slice of lemon.

Jaffa

Our last cup for the morning was Jaffa. It was a special addition to the tasting menu we had! Before we could taste it, Josh grated some orange zest and the aroma of oranges just filled the air!

Handmade marshmallows

After all the hot chocolates, we were also introduced to some handmade marshmallows! There were 4 flavours (from top) : tropical, vanilla, strawberry & chocolate ! They were all so FLUFFY (imagine me saying this in Agnes’ voice, from Despicable Me! haha) !!! Loved it and they weren’t overly sweet! I had to stop at one though, cause I definitely reached my sugar quota for the day! hehe

Chocolate freckles

After the private tasting session, we walked around the chocolaterie and it was like being in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! Every where you walked to, you would see chocolate of all kinds!

Rocky road

So do go and visit the chocolaterie before the end of August and taste all the different flavours of hot chocolate they have to offer and hit a sugar high! (: You’ll definitely enjoy it as much as we did!

chocolate cups stacked

So what flavour of hot chocolate would you love to try? I really want to try the popcorn flavour that’s coming up next week! hehe What are you waiting for? Head over there asap!

Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery on Urbanspoon

Lianne @ Food Made With Love attended the hot chocolate festival as a guest of the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Q Strategies. Thank you so much for this yummy opportunity! 

Grain Store – Grand Opening

Grainstore1-1Grainstore2-1-1

There’s many things I love about Melbourne. One of which is how new cafes and restaurants pops up everywhere and there will always be something new to try!  Slightly more than a month back, I was invited (with many food bloggers too!) to the grand opening of the Grain Store. Before I got the invitation, I was wowed by the pictures of their interior decoration. So I was super excited to try their food! hehe I do apologise if my photos are a little yellowish! I’m still learning hehe

photo-9-1

I wasn’t sure how they were going to fit so many of us, as we were allowed to bring up to 3 guests with us! But the place was really spacious and had tables all well spread out. The serving style of the evening was tapas which was perfect, so we got to try alot more things in a much relaxed environment! hehe

couscous and quinoa salad on red witlof

The first thing I had that night was a couscous and quinoa salad on red witlof. The freshness and crunch of the salad went really well with the subtle bitterness of the witlof. I definitely wanted more of this! hehe So so so good!

Black pudding on puff pastry

Next was the black pudding on puff pastry. Although I’m not a big fan, the black pudding went really well with the buttery puff pastry!  I have to admit, when it first arrived, I thought it was on a pikelet! hehe Kinda reminded me of bellini (mini pancakes), right? hehe

Potato fondant

This, my dear friends, was one of my favourite of the night. What could be better than a combination of spuds and cheese? Spuds, cheese and cream! hehe These golden and crispy potatoes are cut into cylinders and hollowed and stuffed with cheese! There were DELISH! Definitely wanted more!

Polenta chips

When the polenta chips arrive, I was grinning! One of the my favourite things ever! I’ve been addicted to it since the mr made them! hehe These were really good! Super crispy on the outside, soft and pillowy on the inside! Definitely wanted more than one!

Prawns on Crustini

These prawns were so sweet and succulent and went perfectly with the crispy crustini.

Small masterclass

In the middle of our nomming session, we were invited to the back of the kitchen, where all the magic happens! hehe Chef Ingo was going to give us a mini masterclass of how to make beef tartare! Straight away, I turned to look at Melissa (my sister-in-law who was my plus one for the night) and her face immediately lit up! She’s a huge fan of beef tartare, so I knew she would be thrilled!

Beef tartare

Chef Ingo used tenderloin, parsley, capers, french shallots, chives, gherkins, light mayo, dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, a touch of cognac and seasoned with salt! For a small dish, it sure has lots of ingredients! hehe It’s no wonder it’s so tasty and it just melts in your mouth! Of course, Melissa had 2! hehe Everyone knew she liked it so they allowed her to have another! So nice of them! She was definitely a happy girl that night (:

smoke salmon on potato crisp

The house smoke salmon  was beautiful and went so well with the crisp and the slight bitterness of the witlof. Yummm!

Ginger Beer

As I was the designated driver of the night, I ordered organic ginger beer. I love ginger beer. It’s my choice of a fizzy drink (as well as lemon lime bitters)! So refreshing and just the right amount of ginger kick! hehe

Pork fritters

Just before we left, they came around with some delicious and mouth-watering pork fritters! OMGNESS. These were just to-die-for! They just melt in your mouth and the crumbs were golden brown and crispy! I’m so glad I stayed long enough to try them! YUMMEH!

Just want to thank the Grain Store for inviting me to their grand opening! I had such a good time and it was great seeing familiar faces too! hehe Absolutely loved the food and I can’t wait to try their breakfast & lunch menu! Definitely have to head down soon!

Disclaimer : I was invited and dined with compliments of The Grain Store for their launch party. 

Bosch Masterclass with Chef Ian Curley

Bosch Masterclass with Ian Curley

Good evening dear readers, hope you had a great weekend and you’re all pumped up for the new week! Time really flies, and it’s already mid-week! Before you know it, it’s the weekend again! How good is that? hehe A few weeks back, I was fortunate enough to be invited by PHD media agency and Bosch Home Appliances to have a Bosch Masterclass led by top chef, Ian Curley! If you’re thinking that Ian Curley looks familiar, that’s because he’s appeared on numerous TV shows – Masterchef and Conviction Kitchen (just to name a few). I was so so excited when I read that he was going to run the Masterclass, especially cause he’s the Executive chef of The European, a place I’ve been meaning to try! So glad I get to have a first-hand taste of some of the dishes they serve in the restaurant! Up close and personal! (:

Beautiful table setting

We were chauffeured to the venue of the Masterclass and they transformed their showroom into a beautiful dining area! I was mesmerised by all the kitchen appliances that was around me! The state-of-th-art cooking tops, range hoods and the built in … (wait for it)… coffee machine that grinds the coffee beans and makes the froth for you all in a press of a button! Of course, I couldn’t go past the different types of ovens they had to offer! I wanted all of them! hehe

Before I share the amazing night I had, be warned that there are heaps of photos to come and mostly would make you very hungry! hehe Might need to eat after you finish reading this post! hehe But hopefully you’ll enjoy it as much as I did that night! Here we go! (:

Filleting a John Dory

We got into the kitchen (at the back of the show room) and was introduced to Chef Ian Curley! I have to say, he looks so fierce but he’s actually really nice and funny! Insisting we take nice photos of him and make him look skinny! hehe Straight after a short introduction, Chef Ian got straight down to business! He decided to cook us a pre-dinner meal of John Dory with cauliflower puree and braised witlof!

Joh dory with cauliflower puree and braised witlof

Of course, in true chefy fashion, Chef Ian filleted the Joh Dory infront of us, in the matter of minutes might I add! Just amazing!

filleting the John Dory

ingredients used

Lucky for us, everything was prepped so we don’t have to do the chopping, but just the cooking, plating and of course, eating! hehe The best part of all!

Seasoning the fish

The fish was seasoned just before it’s being cooked in a hot pan!

Plating the dish up

While the fish was pan-frying, Chef Ian started to plate the dish up : the cauliflower puree with cauliflower florets, pine nuts, muscatels and capers. I love how it could do that with his eyes closed and it still turned out looking like an art piece!

work of art

How amazing does that look? and that’s just the beginning!

the favourite ingredient of the night : bottarga

To add extra oomph to the dish, bottarga was grated onto the dish! It’s Chef Ian’s current favourite ingredient at the moment! hehe I could definitely understand why! When I saw the bottarga, the only person that I thought of was the Mr, cause he LOVES fish roe! hehe

We were then split into groups to cook different dishes and lucky me was grouped with Miss D (Never Too Sweet) and Agnes (Off The Spork) to make some amazing Beef Wellingtons! By no means was this dish quick and easy, but all the components of the dish just made this dish TO-DIE-FOR! We girls definitely did a great job! hehe Although most of the hard work was already done for us. haha

ingredients for beef wellington

We were introduced to the ingredients needed for the beef welly and look at how beautiful those eye fillets were! The rest of the ingrdients are : dijon mustard, proscuitto, salt, mushroom duxelles.

sealing the eye fillets

sealing the eye fillet (both sides)

The eye fillets had to be seasoned with salt and coated with olive oil before putting into the hot pan to get sealed on both sides! It was important to oil the meat instead of the pan so that it doesn’t smoke out the kitchen! hehe A very good tip when you cook your steaks at home too! (:

Eye fillet sealed

Once the eye fillets are sealed (nicely golden brown too!), allow them to rest on a tray and then smear a thick layer of dijon mustard and a whole heap of mushroom duxelles!

eye fillets smothered with dijon mustard and topped with mushroom duxelles

wrapped with proscuitto

It’s then wrapped with a beautiful piece of proscuitto and then instead of the usual puff pastry, the European uses brioche instead as it gives a lovely soft texture! The brioche was then brushed with egg yolk to give it a nice colour!

Wrapped with brioche and egg washed

Beef wellingtons about to go into the convection and steam oven!

The beef wellingtons were then placed in the convection and steam oven! How awesome does that sound?? The oven has a steaming function that would bake the brioche as the usual oven function bakes/steam the beef so that it will be juicy and tender! I definitely want one!

Baking in the combi steam oven

The combi steam oven doing it’s magic for 12 minutes! While it’s baking, we went over to the other groups to have a sticky beak! hehe Boy was I glad we did, cause the smell that was filling the kitchen was making my tummy grumble!

crab linguini

One of the groups made crab linguini and we were just in time to taste the dish! One of the tips that were given to us was to only add the basil leaves just before serving the pasta just so it is able to have the added freshness!

Chef Ian plating the crab linguini

Topped with bread crumbs and shaved bottarga

Before serving, they crab linguini was topped with breadcrumbs and shaved bottarga! Love the addition of the bread crumbs. It added an element of crunch to the dish! (: So so tasty! My belly was definitely happy after I finished a whole plate!

Crab linguini

After being satisfied by the bowl of deliciousness, my greedy belly led me to the next group. They were cooking saffron seafood paella!

Rice absorbing all the goodness

The short grain rice are absorbing the goodness of the stock, capsicum, saffron and chorizo. hehe I couldn’t wait to dig in to this dish!

All the seafood going in!

Especially after I saw the amount of seafood that is going into the dish! I’m sure you would want some of this too! Just at this time, the beef wellingtons were ready to come out of the oven and be plated!

Beef wellingtons done!

While they were resting, we made the button mushroom garnish.

mushroom garnish

It was a delicious mix if button mushrooms, fresh peas, pearl onions, lettuce, brussel sprouts leaves and bacon! YUMMERS!

Slicing the beef wellington

Within a circle of pea puree lay the button mushroom garnish, a teaspoon or two of mushroom broth and some mushroom froth. Then the beef wellingtons were sliced into half and served!

Beef Wellington

Fresh horseradish was grated onto the finished beef wellingtons just before being served! hehe How pretty does that look? So many components and trust me, everything works magically together! The eye fillets were cooked perfectly  medium as well. hehe I have to say though, I do prefer the flakey puff pastry but the soft brioche was a delightful difference! hehe Just like my buttery puff! hehe

Saffron Seafood Pealla

Next up, saffron seafood paella! (: Don’t you just want to dive into this pan of deliciousness?? When it was placed on our table, everyone just went “WAH” simultaneously! There was so much seafood, the rice wasn’t even visible at first look! hehe Our kind of paella. haha

close up shot of the seafood paella

We quickly snapped some shots and dugs our (clean) spoons in it! The flavours just burst in our mouths! It was so good and the seafood were all cooked really well! Plump and juicy! (: individual portions

I was already stuffed by the time I finished my wellington. So I only had a small portion! Had to leave some space for dessert! hehe For a moment, I sound like Miss D! haha

Pinot Gris Cold Pressed - Yering Station

After having the paella, we were invited back into the kitchen to have some dessert! Of course, there was a sweet dessert wine to go with it – Yering Station’s Pinot Gris Cold Press! SO SO GOOD! Really need to head to the vineyard to buy some of these to stock up! I personally love sweet wine that’s why Moscato or Reisling is usually my choice of wines. hehe I took the smallest sips so that it could last longer! hehe

plating the desserts

While we were busy enjoying our meal, the chefs were busy plating the dessert : olive oil polenta & ricotta trifle! To go with was a stick of puff pastry (YAY!) and some candied walnuts (I wanted to sneak the whole packet home haha). It was my first time having a polenta cake and I loved it! Wasn’t too sweet and added a bite to the dessert. I’ve been a huge fan of olive oil cakes of late, so this was definitely making my belly happy! hehe

Olive oil polenta ricotta trifle

I just kept digging and digging into the glass and it felt like it was never ending! At this point, I knew I was filled to the brim and definitely a happy camper!

Chef Ian making pasta

Before the night came to a close, Chef Ian wanted to show us how easy it was to make pasta from scratch and also how quick and simple a spaghetti marina could be! He whipped out the Bosch MUM86 Professional with a pasta maker attachment and started rolling out the pasta dough that he’s made prior.

Cooking spag marina

In a matter of minutes, he was able to fire up and plate an amazing bowl of spaghetti marinara! Too bad we were all really stuffed, or else I would have loved to have a taste!

spaghetti marinara

I definitely had so much fun during this masterclass! All the different techniques learnt and the delicious food we got to try and attempt cooking. Definitely a night to remember! (: Thank you so much Bosch and PHD agency for this amazing opportunity! Would also like to extend my thanks and appreciation to Chef Ian Curley and his team for holding such a fun masterclass! I enjoyed every minute of it!

take-home goodies

To make the night end on a even sweeter note, Bosch has generously given each of us a goodie bag filled with amazing gifts! One which I have been eyeing for the longest time : the stick blender! WOOOHOO! (: Now I can make soups, mayo and sauces in a whizz! Thank you so so much Bosch Home Appliances for everything and for the beautiful night! Couldn’t ask for more!

Hope you enjoyed the post! Sorry about the photo bomb hehe I’ve got the recipes of all the dishes that we tasted that night, so if you would like any of them, please feel free to drop me a comment with your email and I will send them through to you asap! (: Have a wonderful night ahead and I hope that your Thursday would be a happy one!

Always remember to cook and bake with love!

Disclaimer : I was invited to this Bosch Masterclass with Chef Ian Curley as a guest of  PHD agency and Bosch Home Appliances.