Level 1 Savour Chocolate and Patisserie school
Flavours include: Chocolate macarons, Raspberry macarons, Chilli chocolate (fidel castro), citrus macarons caramel macarons and bucks fizz macaron.
I’ve gone home to test these recipes given and they work fantastically if you can follow them directly. Macarons can be tempermental and difficult to make because of the exact procedure required but if you follow the recipes closely and understand where you went wrong, making macarons becomes much more fun after that! Be careful and have lots of patience with these because I had three failed attempts before consistently being able to make yummy ones.
The course goes through three methods of macaron making, the Spanish, Italian and French method. And there is quite a difference in taste texture and procedure for them. Making the perfect macaron definitely requires a lot of skill. During this course we were supervised scrupulously and with good reason! They all came out lovely rising slightly with perfect footing and height. The Spanish looked the best with perfectly smooth dome, but the feet were slightly splayed at times. The Italian was definitely one of the easier methods, and the feet were perfect, however they seem to have that little pocket of air inside some of them. The french method i think has too much sugar for me, we always had a seemingly stronger filling for the french method macarons to cut through the sweetness of it. Both the french and spanish had good texture.
Stick around for macarons level 2!
Gr 2 River level
A snazzy restaurant facing the river on Southbank, The restaurant is in a great location, mainly harbouring clients more of a corporate background despite having the potential to reach out to a bigger market with its great affection for good produce fairing quite locally. As we dined as a couple we were more or less the minority amongst them with most still being in their suits (afterwork) and others inviting business partners out for a sharp dinner. The nice location and ambiance of the place had a special allure and if dining wasn’t so slow I would definitely be heading back there on a less busy time.
On the menu:
Freshly shucked oysters (these were very fresh!)
Roasted seared pork belly, potato cream sauce, poached apple and radish salad
Lamb cutlets, pomme puree and hazelnut jus gras
Pork steak, caperberries, roasted mushrooms and pear.
The food is is good but, we certainly weren’t game for dessert seeing as dinner finished around 10:30pm.
Kueh is a nyonya term for their form of pastry/cakes. This is a Malaysian dessert is eaten on birthdays and New year. Its usually coloured red for luck but is now sold in several different colours. On my recent trip to Penang, I saw many different moulds for this type of cake. I’ve got a wooden one bought from ebay, haven’t tried the plastic ones to comment yet but the wooden one worked well. When dusted in flour properly the dough shouldn’t stick to the intricate carving inside at all.
This is the sweet filling. Includes split mung bean, sugar, pandan leaves or pandan essence if leaves aren’t available.
This what it looks like coming out of the mould. I made three different colours, red, blue and green. The recipe called for one portion of the skin covering the filling, but I ended up making almost three portions. If you have ever made Che Xoi Nuoc, the chinese tong sui, or mochi dumpling, the skin of this is very smiliar except it required oil to reduce stickiness to the base. Its chewy and sticky and placed on banana leaves for fragrance. It was then steamed, the banana leaves shrank after steaming so make sure they are the right size.
These steam for about 4 minutes with the lid on and then 6 minutes with the lids off to help define the shape of the skin more. Once its done it needs a brush over with oil to make sure it doesn’t stick to each other.
This is one of my attempts at east meets west style foods. Westerners would all agree the steak with herb butter is classic pub meal. That would have gone well with some pomme puree (mashed potatoes) or other vegetables. I have opted for korean vegetarian noodles to compensate for the carbs and some fresh vegetables stir-fried through.
254 La Trobe St
Melbourne VIC 3000
Korean Restaurant located across from Melbourne Central. This restaurant has a very nice atmosphere and pretty lights. Its set on the slope of La Trobe street and is a very busy restaurant during dinner times. We had the classic korean dumplings for starters, you can actually buy very similar tasting dumplings and cook at home yourself from the korean shops about 100 metres down. I’m a big fan of Bi Bim Bap especially made the “dolsot” way. Which basically means it a heated stone bowl, only order if you like a little bit of crunch to your rice. One up-side is that your meal stays hot throughout dinner! I ordered dolsot Bi Bim Bap with flying fish roe, and all the dishes come with the standard side dishes, although I am slightly disappointed they don’t have the acorn jelly, as that is one of my favourite traditional side dishes.
From my kitchen comes: Almond Macarons with chocolate ganache (reference to Adriano Zumbo) and Malteser cake (courtesy of Nigella Lawson)
Both recipes have been tweeked by me a little bit to accommodate personal taste and presentation. This is my first attempt at macarons and possibly the third time I’ve made this wonderful cake.
13A Victoria St, Melbourne
03 9639 1747
This is a large albeit mess hall style restaurant hidden on Victoria st. It had incredibly cheap meals. However I am a huge korean food fan, the only recommendation I have for this restaurant is close to authentic jajang myun, which are black bean noodles. The other dish I tried was fish egg soup, which wasnt as tasty as others I have had, probably a bit too sour and lacking a lot of flavour.
The side dishes were a great accompaniment, and they kept refilling it for us too, which showed good service and manners.