Easter Egg Masterclass By Cacao

Easter Egg Masterclass by Cacao

It’s the time of the year when you start indulging in chocolate eggs and bunnies and the only aisle you want to walk at the supermarkets is where all the deliciousness is located. Walking the aisle actually feels like I was partially in the chocolate factory of Charlie! The smell of chocolate is unbeatable and just inevitably puts a smile on my face. I have to say this is one other time of the year that I love and have lots to be thankful for.

Just a week back, I was invited to a Easter Egg Masterclass by Cacao Fine Chocolates & Patisserie and TinkPR with a few other awesome food bloggers (Iron Chef ShellieI’m So HungreeBrunch AddictSweet Cherrie Pie, Off The Spork, Melbourne Food Snob Peach Water & Never Too Sweet For Me ). Was so good to see everyone from the Pizza challenge and also put faces to some whom I’ve followed since I’ve started blogging! hehe Needless to say, this was one educational and fun class! hehe Do be warned that this post will definitely make you hungry and possible make you crave for some chocolate & salted caramel! hehe

Cacao Fine Chocolates & Patisserie

Address : 52 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda

Phone : 03 8598 9555

Website : http://www.cacao.com.au

Hot chocolate

When we got there, we were asked if we wanted a cup of their signature hot chocolate, and I don’t know how anyone could resist such an offer? It was my first time having their hot chocolate and I have to say, it is one of the best ones I’ve ever had! And it was perfect for the cold windy night. Their hot chocolate is made from Belgium chocolates and it’s so rich and definitely chocolatey! I just couldn’t stop picking my cup up and sipped continuously! hehe

Canapes

Canapes

Canapes

We were also served some delicious canapes and they were perfect with the hot chocolate. It was good to fill us up before the class so we don’t gobble all the Easter eggs we were going to make! hehe (:

Tim Clark

Tim Clark who is the mastermind behind all the delicious chocolates and macarons introduced himself and led us to his kitchen which had a beautiful marble top which I’ve always dreamt of having in my kitchen! And we got down to business immediately!

Tempering chocolates

Tim taught us the art of tempering chocolate and the importance of doing it – so that we can get smoother and shinier chocolates! hehe We also learnt that different types of chocolate temper at different temperatures. Tim made it look so easy spreading the chocolate out and scraping it back again. It’s like second nature to him! He could do it with his eyes shut! hehe Once the chocolate was tempered, it was ready to be used for our Easter Eggs!

Ashely @ I'm So Hungree did really well at tempering the chocolate too!

Ashley of I’m So Hungree gave tempering chocolate a shot and I have to say, she did a marvellous job! hehe She looked like a pro doing it! hehe and while she was tempering, and us watching, the beautiful Julia of TinkPR came around (like an angel) offering us macarons and chocolates! How pretty is this box of macarons? I wanted to steal the whole box! hehe

Macarons

I tried the cookies and cream one and it was SO GOOD! Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The ganache was not too sweet as well! Really enjoyed it and was so tempted to go for seconds, but had to control myself! hehe

Tim Clark showing Daisy and us how to fill the shells

The time has come when we learnt how to make the shells of Easter Eggs! Miss D stepped up to give it a shot! hehe Before filling it up with the luscious chocolate, we first have to make sure the shell moulds are polished and shiny. This can be done just by using a cloth or paper towel! hehe

Filling the mould up

Then we fill the mould up all the way to the top!

Tapping the air bubbles out

Then tap the side to make sure there are no air bubbles in between and then scrape the top.

Making chocolate shells

Then comes the fun part : flip, tap, allow it to drip and scrape the access off! What you get in the end are some nicely covered egg shells!

Salted caramel chocolate egg shells

To make it extra special, we sprinkled some salted caramel crystals before covering and sealing them with another layer of chocolate! Yummo! Next up, Tim showed us how to be the best salted caramel EVER.

Tim Clark making salted caramel

We all stood around him and all you could hear is the Ooos and Ahhs as the salted caramel is being made. We were big fans of the salted caramel and just couldn’t wait to taste it! hehe

Almost done!

A pot of gold just about completed!

sifting the salted caramel

The pot of salted caramel is then blended before going through a fine sift and there in the big metal bowl is magic. Just thick and delicious. You just want to lick the whole bowl and any drips around it. haha

when it's cooled

Once it’s cooled, all is left to do it to dig a spoon in and ENJOY!

spoonful of salted caramel

And we did just that of course! hehe We each were given a (tea)spoon to try and OH-EM-GEE! It was super yummilicious! Wish we could have more, but no double dipping! 😛

Filling the small shells with salted caramel

We piped the salted caramel into the small egg shells that were made prior to our arrival and they were sealed with even more chocolate before capping it with the other shell. This small chocolate ball of goodness was going to be placed within our large chocolate egg!

Shiny chocolate egg shells ready to go!

Our chocolate shells were popped out of the moulds and getting ready to be filled and sealed too! (: We each did one after Tim demonstrated how it should be done. We never knew how it was sealed and it’s always great to learn something new everyday! hehe

sealing the easter egg

Just lightly heating the egg shells, then placing the small egg filled with salted caramel then sealing it! VIOLA! An easter egg is formed!  Or some would say, this is how the baby egg is formed. haha

Completed shells

Take home box

We were lucky enough to take an egg back at the end of the class and there was nothing but big smiles on our faces! hehe Thank you Tim Clark from Cacao & Julia from TinkPR for this wonderful opportunity to learn how to make beautiful Easter eggs and irresistible salted caramel! I definitely enjoy every single bit(e) of the class and will be back for more macarons and hot chocolate! Mmmm (:

Happy mid week everyone! Just one more day till the long weekend! Remember to always cook and bake with love!

PS : Did you see the Humpy Dumpy display at the top? Do head to Cacao at St Kilda to have a closer look! Everything is made with chocolate and each Humpty Dumpty used 40kg of chocolate! Happy Easter everyone!

Disclaimer : I was invited to this Easter Egg Masterclass as a guest of  Cacao Fine Chocolates & Patisserie and TinkPR.

Bring It On : Pizza Fight At The Grosvenor Hotel

The Grosvenor Hotel

Don’t worry dear readers, this was not a physical fight! hehe It was more of a challenge. One that involves creating the best pizza and be crowned the champ! (: Thanks to the Grosvenor Hotel and Tink PR, some food bloggers and I had the chance to get flour all over our fingers and learn the art of making a good pizza dough. I was definitely looking forward to creating my very own pizza! To be honest, I didn’t realise how serious the competition was until everyone was tweeting about bringing their own secret ingredient! And when I went empty handed, only one thing was on my mind ” uh-oh, I’m in big trouble ” haha. It made me super duper nervous! In addition to that, it was my first time meeting most of the people invited for this challenge – Iron Chef Shellie, I Eat Therefore I Am, I’m So Hungree, Brunch Addict, Sweet Cherrie Pie & Ms D (Never Too Sweet For Me). But I have to say, I really didn’t need to be nervous, cause everyone was so friendly (with their game face on hehe) and we had so much fun from the start to the end! Definitely a night to remember! (:

Passionfruit, lime and basil cocktail

When everyone arrived, we were brought to our table by the gorgeous Julia (From Tink PR) and introduced Chef Emile to us! In the midst of all the introductions, the table was filled with a spread of chicken liver parfait & hot bread, antipasto and some arancini balls.

Chicken liver parfait & antipasto

The chicken liver parfait was my favourite! It was so smooth and just perfect when spread on the bread. YUMS!

Arancini balls

The arancini balls were the perfect bite size, and had bits of chicken in them! After filling out tummies, we headed towards the kitchen to learn about making the dough.

Ingredients for the pizza dough

We each had our own dough to work on, and boy was it a work out to just get the dough right! I was standing next to Thanh and we just couldn’t stop laughing as we went along! We were lucky enough to have Chef Emile and Stefano there to give us a hand and to make sure we are on the right track!

Chef Emile & Stefano giving us a hand or two!

My own pizza dough

After what felt like hours, our dough was finally ready to be cling wrapped and proofed!

Stefano distributing the dough

While our doughs were proofing, Stefano took out a whole tray of perfect looking doughs so that we could learn how to stretch them by hand! The right hand stretches while the left hand rotates the dough! Definitely easier said than done, but I had so much fun! It was like playing with playdough haha

The pizza base is formed by hand

All stretched out!

It was even an art to place them on the wooden boards before putting the ingredients on!  And at this point, everyone had their game face on and were all ready for the challenge! 

Thanh and I with our

(Photo credits : Thanh from Instagram)

I stole this photo from Thanh cause it shows exactly how prepared we were with our “ping pong” bats! From the grin on our faces, you know how much fun we’re having! hehe

All getting ready to create our pizzas in groups

We all gathered around the table and Julia starts explaining how the challenge will be carried out. We were split into three groups so that the wood oven pizza won’t be over crowded. So off went the first group of savouries!

Bakkwamon by Ashley of I'm So Hungree

The first was Bakkwamon by Ashley of I’m So Hungree and it was inspired by her dad! Her secret ingredient was homemade bak kwa! Plus her pizza base was the gluten free one! hehe It was so delicious! I could just eat the bak kwa all night long! (:

Banhmigeddon by Shellie of Iron Chef Shellie

This was one of my favourites of the savouries for the night! It was Shellie’s (Iron Chef Shellie) banhmigeddon! The lemongrass chicken was SO GOOD! I was super tempted to go for seconds but had to control myself cause I had alot more to taste through the night hehe

The Karaage Kid by Thanh of I Eat Therefore I Am

Thanh (I Eat Therefore I Am) made the karaage kid – He brought in pieces of crispy karaage (fried chicken) and drizzled yummy roasted sesame sauce! That’s pure magic and was also one that I really enjoyed for the night! (:

Second round includes :

Fiddle to the Fennel By Scott of Brunch Addict

Fiddle to the Fennel was created by Scott of Brunch Addict! How cute is the name? I’m not a but fan of fennel but this was so good and the sweetness of the caramelised onions just stood out with every bite! Noms!

Baa Baa's Delight by Sabrina of Brunch Addict

Sabrina of Brunch Addict made Baa Baa’s Delight and how pretty are the beets on the pizza? With the classic combination of lamb and minted yogurt, this was also really good! In fact everyone’s pizza were awesome creations and it was so difficult to rate them!

After all the savouries, of course up comes the sweets! Even though we were all quite full by then, there is always room for dessert yes? YES! Cause I decided to walk on the sweet side that evening, together with Miss D (of course!) and Cherrie! We were spoilt for choice for the ingredients and ended up using almost similar things with slight variations of each! So it was definitely a close fight!

Bananas about Dulce de leche and bacon by Cherrie Moore

Cherrie made hers with a dulce de leche base, mashed banans, almond flakes and her secret ingredient, bacon! The combination of sweet and savoury was just brilliant! Almost reminded me of the Elvis sandwich which I LOVE! hehe

Sweet Attack by Daisy of Never Too Sweet For Me

Our dearest queen of sweets, Daisy (Never Too Sweet For Me) of course created a dessert pizza for the night! hehe Her was called ‘Sweet Attack’ and it had dulce de leche as the base, with almond flakes, almond crumble, honeycomb and nutella! It was deliciously sweet! hehe Everyone loved it! Noms!

Banana Nut Cracker by Me!

Last but not least, it’s my creation : Banana nut cracker ! I was thinking about breakfast cereals for some reason, so I decided to do a breakfast inspired one with butterscotch sauce, bananas,  almond crumble, flaked almonds, walnuts and sprinkled with some cinnamon sugar. Of course, I’m biased and I did like mine! haha I think just cause it’s everything I love on a plate! Especially the subtle hit of cinnamon with every bite. Reminds me of cinnamon sugar churros! NOMS! hehe

Once everyone had scored their peers (including our own creations), Julia and Chef Emile went into another area to add up the scores and after 20 minutes, the winners were announced! There was a tie in the first place and it was none other than the Banhmigeddon (by Shellie) and Sweet Attack (by Daisy)! Congrats girls!! And to my surprise, I came in second! WHEEEEE! (: And our pizzas went on as their specials the following day and will be on their specials for the next week for everyone to try!

Specials menu at Grosvenor Hotel

So I need your help dear readers! Please head to the Grosvenor Hotel’s Facebook page and vote for my pizza! Every single vote counts! Plus if you are around the area, or feel like a pizza for dessert, do head down to Grosvenor Hotel to get some. You can either dine in or takeaway and for just $17 (and $12 on Tuesdays!). Every pizza you order is considered a vote too!

Vote for me please! (:

So do click on the link above or just head to https://www.facebook.com/grosvenorhotelstkilda and search for the picture of my pizza and “like” ! Your help and support is greatly appreciated! (:

Facebook page

Thank you all once again and especially those who have already voted! One more week and the winner will be announced! hehe Fingers and toes crossed! (: Thank you Grosvenor Hotel, Chef Emile and Julia for organising such an awesome event!

Disclaimer : I was invited to this pizza making event as a guest of Grovenor Hotel and Tink PR.