Chocolate Fudge Cake with Milk Chocolate Buttercream and Fresh Strawberries

Today, I am going to tell you a story….my love story!

6

I met Sam while at college. To be more specific, while doing my graduate programme in lab sciences. I was an extremely gawky, nerdy looking, fresh out of school teenager with a funny hairstyle and thick glasses that drowned out my eyes. And he was this stick thin, equally gawky fresh out of school teenager who thought a bit too much of himself. And we became friends.

It was an easy friendship. Though we appeared to be very different people outwards, we had very similar views on relationships and life in general. For me, he was this guy who was easy to talk to, non-judgemental and someone who truly respects women. So time went on…..with a lot of studies and a whole lot of fun too and before we knew it, four years had passed and it was time to say goodbye.

The goodbyes were difficult since we were a close knit class of 12. But with the promises of keeping in touch always, we parted ways to embrace life the way it takes us. For me and Sam, it meant working for mission hospitals for the next two years. We did keep in touch as promised…..those were the days of beautiful handwritten letters unlike the instant chat messengers of today. And over those two years and innumerable letters, we became best buddies.

Destiny crossed our paths again when both of us became classmates once again when we decided to pursue our Master’s. Perhaps we were meant to be together because there is no other explanation on how we ended up in the same institution. A completely random event that changed our lives forever.

Somewhere along the first year, we both realized that our relationship had changed. It was more than a friendship now; it had become a desire for happily ever after.

It became increasingly difficult to keep our true feelings hidden but yet we were so scared of the changes that this admission would bring. We valued our friendship much more than anything, even more than being together as a couple. But one fine day, the beautiful lyrics of an English song paved the way to finally admit what we were hesitant to say out loud to each other all along.

Every love story has hitches and we had our fair share too but here we are today. Married for close to ten years with a beautiful precious boy who is the living testimony of our love.

And ofcourse you would have guessed the reason I am sharing this story….it’s a Valentine’s Day dedication!

2

Frankly, I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. Chocolate and roses are not really my thing too. But this year, I wanted to dedicate a post to my beautiful readers who have asked me over the past two years for the same.

So here I am, taking the classic route with this intensely rich Chocolate Fudge Cake with Milk Chocolate Buttercream and Fresh Strawberries – saying ‘I love you’ to my precious little family and to each one of you too for being there for me unconditionally.

3

Let me admit, it’s not a perfect looking cake; I am not a baking pro and you guys know it by now. But it more than makes up in the taste department even though not by looks. It’s fudgy, chocolatey, rich with that silken, even more chocolatey buttercream and finally the refreshing sweetness from the strawberries.

I had these heart shaped baking tins which is why I ended up using it but you can a regular round tin. Again, this cake works great as a single layer too but making it two-tier or three-tier makes it extra special with all that buttercream that gets layered in between.

The fresh strawberries are essential to cut through the richness of the cake and make sure you get ones that are sweet and not too tangy.

1

4

So here we go – my Valentine’s Day special Chocolate Fudge Cake with Milk Chocolate Buttercream and Fresh Strawberries.

Recipe for Chocolate Cake adapted from Sugaretal

5

Ingredients:

For Chocolate Fudge Cake:

(Makes 2 medium and 1 small heart shaped cake. Makes 2, if using regular circular tin)

  1. 200 gm unsalted butter, at room temperature
  2. 1 cup firmly packed powdered brown sugar
  3. 150 gm dark chocolate (70% cocoa); melted and cooled
  4. 2 eggs, at room temperature
  5. 280 gm self raising flour; sieved
  6. 100 gm almond meal
  7. ¾ cup buttermilk
  8. 35 gm cocoa powder

For Milk Chocolate Buttercream:

  1. 125 gm unsalted butter, at room temperature
  2. 300 gms icing sugar
  3. 50 gm milk chocolate; melted and cooled
  4. ½ tsp cocoa powder
  5. 1 tbsp milk

To assemble:

  1. 1 cup fresh strawberries
  2. Chocolate shavings; for garnish

Method:

For the Chocolate Fudge Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 140°C (fan forced); line the base of the tins with baking paper and grease well with butter.
  • Beat the butter and sugar till pale and creamy using an electric beater.
  • Pour in the melted chocolate and eggs; beat till combined and creamy.
  • Fold in the flour, almond meal, buttermilk and cocoa powder till well combined. The mixture is slightly thicker than regular cake batter.
  • Pour into tins and smooth the surface. Bake the medium tins for 35 minutes and the small one for 20 min or until a skewer inserted in the thickest part of the cake comes out clean.
  • Slightly cool before transferring onto a wire rack. Cool completely before applying the buttercream.

Note – If using a conventional oven, you will need to increase temperature by 15-20°C. The timings may need to be changed to suit the mould and size of cake you are making. So keep an eye once in the oven.

I have used only 2 cakes to assemble though I made 3.

For Milk Chocolate Buttercream:

  • Using an electric beater, cream together butter and half of the icing sugar. Once creamy, add the remaining sugar and beat till fluffy and creamy.
  • Add the melted chocolate, cocoa powder and milk; beat well till a thick, creamy consistency is obtained.
  • Add more milk if the mixture feels too thick.

To assemble:

  • Once the cakes have cooled completely, apply an even layer of the chocolate buttercream on the larger cake.
  • Then place the smaller cake on top and cover it with an even layer of buttercream.
  • Cut some of the strawberries into halves. Decorate the top surface of the smaller cake with both whole and halved strawberries.
  • Garnish with chocolate shavings.

7

8

Have you got any plans this Valentine’s Day?

 

Prawns with Tomatoes (Burmese Style)

I have absolutely no idea about Burmese cuisine or Myanmar cuisine, as it is known today. So this recipe is a borrowed one from Chef Luke Nguyen, a celebrity chef I admire a lot, both for his recipes and his travel cooking shows.

6

I watch a lot of travelogues especially if it revolves around food. A couple of my top favourites are Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, Chef Luke Nguyen and Chef Peter Kuruvita, Food Safari, Spice Route etc….For me, a good cooking show is one where the presenter has a real respect and fascination for the culture, lifestyle and food of the region.

I hate shows where the presenter or host walks around eating anything and everything going ‘mmmmmm delicious’. I mean, seriously….

So while watching one of Chef Nguyen’s shows, I came across this recipe for Burmese style Prawns with Tomatoes. Now I have no idea if this dish is traditional or has he put his own twist on it (he says it’s a traditional one). But what I know for sure is that it is damn delicious!

8

It’s a basic one, a handful of everyday ingredients that works magic in a wok. The cuisine of Myanmar is slightly on the fiery side with big and bold flavours. So if you are not a fan of chilli, just reduce it a bit. Make sure you get shallots; it would taste way better than with regular onions. And also pound the aromatics in a mortar and pestle if you have one; little things that make a lot of difference to the overall taste.

Though Chef Nguyen used king prawns for his version, I used the regular prawns; much more affordable. But if you are in the mood to splurge or want a bit of drama, get the king prawns and cook with the head and tail bit intact.

1

7

This recipe is also a part of my seafood project with Supreme Seafood; so you will need to hop over to their Facebook page for the complete recipe. And as always, do remember to tag me #thespiceadventuress so that I can see if you have cooked this recipe or any other from the blog.

Cheers!

Ingredients:

  1. 600gms prawns; deshelled and deveined
  2. 6 large shallots (if small, use 8-10)
  3. 3 garlic cloves
  4. 3/4th inch ginger

Read the full recipe here.

9

Hashbrown Muffins with Ham, Cheese and Sundried Tomatoes

Hashbrowns!

Who doesn’t love a good hashbrown….crispy, golden goodness that make our mornings brighter and delicious.

But what could be better? Oven baked hashbrown muffins generously endowed with ham, parmesan and sundried tomatoes. Now we are talking….

4

I have been wanting to make some savoury muffins for a while now but pushed it off till the school term began again. It was #backtoschool today and these hashbrown muffins seemed like the perfect treat to welcome my boy home after his first day in Grade 2.

The idea for a hashbrown muffin came from the blog ‘Recipe Tin Eats’; she used bacon in her recipe but I wanted to create a flavour that Adi enjoys. So it had to be ham and cheese! For that extra flavour punch, some finely chopped sundried tomatoes did the job. And a generous sprinkle of parsley for that refreshing, herby goodness.

A simple and easy to make recipe, these savoury muffins are excellent for parties or when you need to feed a crowd. Also freezes well, so you can make a batch ahead and re-heat it when necessary. And of course, a great lunch box recipe. Do not hesitate to experiment adding flavours that you or your kids enjoy. For a vegetarian version, I am thinking a hashbrown with ricotta and spinach.

1

2

 

Do you make savoury muffins? I would love to hear about your recipes, so please drop in a comment below. And if you do make these hashbrown muffins, make sure you tag me using #thespiceadventuress so that I would not miss it.

So, let’s get on to the recipe;

Ingredients:

(Makes about 20 muffins)

  1. 100gms ham; chopped finely
  2. 1.2 kg potatoes (any starchy variety); grated
  3. ½ cup sundried tomatoes; chopped finely
  4. 2 tbsp parsley; finely chopped
  5. Salt, to season
  6. Freshly milled black pepper; to season
  7. 1 cup mozzarella; grated (or any melting cheese)

Method:

  1. Sauté the ham on low heat till lightly browned. Keep aside.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C fan forced (180°C for conventional).
  3. Wash the grated potatoes once or twice in cold water to remove excess starch. Squeeze out the excess water in small batches and place in a bowl.
  4. Add the ham (reserve a bit for garnish), cheese, sundried tomatoes and 1 tbsp parsley to the potatoes; season with salt and pepper. Mix well to combine.
  5. Oil the muffin tray well (even if it is nonstick); scoop about ½ cup of the potato mixture and place in each muffin well. Flatten the top lightly with the back of a spoon.
  6. Oven bake for about 20-25 minutes or till the top has taken a golden brown colour.
  7. Garnish with the remaining ham and parsley; serve warm.

5

3

 

January Favourites

I had been thinking of starting a monthly favourites and top picks post since last year. But since the idea struck towards the end of 2015, I decided to wait till the new year to introduce this new series.

I have always enjoyed similar posts on other blogs. It is a wonderful way to know what’s happening in the blogosphere, get inspired and learn about new blogs, recipes, products etc… and share it with all of you.

Naturally, its more food related for me but I would also post anything that catches my fancy or piques my interest. Hope all of you have a great time reading these as much as I did;

I need to practice this more often:

a14df73c4ae7fc484d35808bfc41ef67

Image Courtesy: Pinterest (quotes-love-life-wise.blogspot.gr)

 

  1. Spices, as captured by this amazing food photographer
  2. I should definitely put to practice these iPhone travel photography tips
  3. This pasta dish is going to be a part of my winter menu
  4. Need to make this popsicle before summer slips away
  5. I am not really a breakfast girl, but this list makes me want to be one
  6. How I wish I could attend this photography workshop
  7. These meatballs are fingerlickin good!
  8. This pretty lady is my newest blogging buddy
  9. This papaya relish looks heavenly!
  10. Citrus love; soda love…can’t wait for my new Sodastream to arrive.
  11. This chickpea salad hits all the right spots

 

 

Kube Sukkhe (Mangalorean style Spicy Clams Sukka)

Clams – my new seafood craze!

1

Every week I visit my local farmer’s market and every single week, I need to buy seafood. Yes, my love for it is something all of you have become accustomed to. So this week, I decided to venture a little out of my comfort zone and buy clams.

Out of my comfort zone because I have not cooked these ever before. But there was this delicious recipe that I have been wanting to try out and so came home with some amazingly fresh clams. And a couple of Google search and YouTube videos, I realized that clams are the easiest to clean and cook with.

I got this recipe for Kube Sukkhe or Mangalorean style Spicy Clams from Shireen who runs the really delicious blog Ruchik Randhap. An amazing blog you need to follow if you want to learn more about the food of Mangalore, a beautiful little (well, not so little) town in Karnataka, South India. And especially more, if you freak out over seafood like I do.

8

The Kube Sukkhe is a traditional and very popular way of cooking clams among the Protestant Christians of Mangalore. Clams are cooked in its shell in a spicy coconut mixture and the dish is best paired with rice and a simple dal. Cooking the clams in its shell imparts a lot of flavour to the dish and also increases the nutrient value of the dish.

This recipe would work well with oysters, mussels and other types of clams too. There is a similar dish in Kerala which uses prawns, so that’s another option if you are not too keen on clams.

9

So let’s get cooking the deliciously, spicy Kube Sukkhe or Mangalorean style Clams!

Ingredients:

  1. 1 kg clams (with shells)
  2. For the coconut mixture:
  • 4 tbsp grated coconut
  • ½ onion; roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • ¾ tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • ¼ tsp black pepper powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ – ¾ tsp tamarind paste
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • ½ inch ginger
  1. ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  2. 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  3. ½ onion, finely sliced
  4. 2-3 sprigs curry leaves
  5. Salt, to season

Method:

  • Clean the clams thoroughly under running water. If the shells are tightly shut, the best way to open it is to leave the clams in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Bring to room temperature and place in warm water for another 15-20 minutes. Most clams open up after this time; any tightly shut ones should be discarded.
  • Open each clam shell and scoop the entire contents into one shell and discard the other. (This is an easy task but if you do not have enough time, get your fishmonger to do the job for you).
  • In a non stick plan, dry roast the grated coconut and onions till the raw smell has gone off and the coconut has taken on a light brown colour. Make sure that you do not burn or else the dish will taste bitter.
  • Next, add the spice powders, mix well and sauté on low heat for another 30 seconds. Cool the mixture.
  • Grind this mixture along with the garlic, ginger and tamarind paste adding just a little water. The ground mixture must be coarse in consistency.
  • In another pan, heat oil and crackle mustard seeds. Then add the curry leaves and sliced onions; sauté till the onions turn light brown.
  • Then add the ground masala and fry lightly on low heat for about 2minutes.
  • Add the clams and season with salt. Remember that clams tend to be on the saltier side so be careful.
  • Cook on low heat covered for a couple of minutes; add a bit of water if too dry. Clams cook relatively fast so keep an eye on the dish.
  • Serve hot.

10

11

Smash Box – a Product Review + a Recipe for Mushroom Bacon Wrap

Another two weeks to go for the school to re-open!

Little Adi is excited and so is his mom. I mean it was great spending time with each other, having play dates, workshops and a whole lot of fun but seriously, both of us need a break from each other.

Most of you would have begun the Back to School shopping. Luckily, no need for uniforms but have to get everything else, especially new shoes (they cost a bomb!). While thinking about a new lunchbox, I received a mail from SMASH asking if I would like to review their brand new lunchbox products launched for the season. Yay!

What got me even more excited is their new lunchbox range for the grown-ups. The hubby is forever complaining about the lack of choice for adults, especially men. So I decided to review both the products and read on to know what I think.

And yes, there is also a recipe – delicious mushroom bacon wraps. Easy and ready in a jiffy!

1

A bit about the brand…Smash Enterprises is an Australian brand! And this speaks volumes to me as I am a great believer in promoting local brands and products. The products are not just reliable and durable but the brand also focuses on reducing wastage and is BPA free.

The coolest thing about the new ‘Smash Box’ is that it comes with an insulated jacket for the lunch box. For me, this is an extremely important feature. Adi loves his ham and cheese but it’s always a worry packing it for his lunch box especially during the hotter months. So this insulated jacket is great when I need that extra chill factor. The jacket can be removed easily so great while washing or for days when it is not required. Insulated bags are also available for the office range – a beautiful blue for the guys and a vibrant green for the ladies (it can easily pass off as a handbag).

8

7

Made from durable plastic, the Smash box is sturdy and designed to be a great companion to your child’s school meal times. I loved the fact that the design is well thought of; the twin compartments make it easy to segregate the different food items. There is even a sandwich belt to hold those unruly ones in place (how much I need that!). A special yoghurt container which will definitely be used a lot and also plenty of room to hold other nibbles like cheese, biscuits, fruits etc… Individual containers of varying sizes and shapes are also available for multipurpose use.

A practical yet simple design, the lunch boxes are easy to clean and dishwasher safe.

4

6

Smash products are sold at most of the big retailers like Coles, Woolworths, Officeworks, BigW, David Jones, Masters and Target. The new Smash Box is sold only at Coles and the adult range (pictured in this review) can be found at Officeworks; these are a limited release so make sure to get your hands on it before it is sold out.

There are also several other designs and styles, so make sure you take a look at the website for more details.

And to inaugurate the brand new Smash box, I decided to make a mushroom bacon wrap – a recipe I make quite often for Adi’s lunch. It’s easy, high on protein and delicious; the filling can be made ahead of time so assembling the wrap is the only job for the morning. The filling is so robust and delicious but I add that extra bit of nutrition in the form of baby spinach, cucumber and tomatoes. For the adult lunch boxes, I bulk up with a mixed salad on the side.

If you are a vegetarian, replace the bacon with paneer (Indian cottage cheese) or tofu.

2

3

Ingredients:

  1. 150 gm bacon; diced
  2. 7 brown mushrooms; diced
  3. ½ onion; finely chopped
  4. 1 tbsp chives; finely chopped
  5. ½ tsp paprika
  6. Salt, to season
  7. Black pepper, to season
  8. To assemble:
  • Whole meal wraps
  • Baby spinach
  • Lebanese cucumber; sliced
  • Ripe red tomatoes; sliced
  • Aioli/tomato sauce

Method:

  1. Add the diced bacon to a pan; cook on low heat till the bacon pieces are beginning to brown. (No oil is added as the bacon fat gets rendered down).
  2. Once the bacon pieces start to brown, add the onion and sauté for another minute or two. Then add the mushrooms along with the spices. Season with salt and continue to sauté till the mushrooms get cooked. Remove from heat and mix in the chives.
  3. To assemble, place a few baby spinach leaves on the wrap followed by sliced cucumber and tomatoes. Then spoon the bacon mushroom mixture on top. Finish off with the aioli and tomato sauce. Wrap into a roll tightly with a foil.

5

How are your ‘back to school’ preparations going? Would love to hear your stories…..

 

Disclaimer – This post was bought to you in association with Smash. All the products were sponsored but the opinions and remarks are entirely mine. 

 

 

 

 

Roasted Spicy Golden Trout with Arabian Rice

Well, this was originally meant to be the first post of 2016 but I just couldn’t find the time to sit down and write it. But finally it’s here – my special Roasted Golden Trout with Arabian Rice.

It is special because of a wonderful experience we had late 2015. Many of you would have seen this picture of me with a huge golden trout on my fishing line. Early December, we went out on a fishing picnic to the Australian Rainbow Trout Farm, located in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges.

6

Diverting off topic here…..one of my goals for 2016 is to have more enriching experiences. I am not a ‘New Year resolutions’ like of person but I do constantly make small but achievable goals and this happens through the year and not just at the start. I want to consciously incorporate small experiences like this fishing one with family and friends. I want to travel more but more locally than internationally. The beauty of this is the amount of meaningful time you spend with family and loved ones because that is the only constant in this ever changing world.

Getting back to the Australian Rainbow Trout Farm, it is a place you must visit if you live in Victoria. There are many similar farms across the state where a species or two are farmed in a sustainable manner. The farm has a small picnic area with barbeques where you can prepare your fish after you have caught it. Rainbow trout, golden trout and salmon were the ones farmed here and we caught all three. The good part is that, since it is a farm, you will definitely catch a fish which is great to avoid disappointment especially for novices like me.

While everyone else was busy fishing for rainbow trout and salmon, I wanted to bring home a golden trout because I have never tasted or cooked with it before. And I did catch a really huge one as you can see in the picture; I almost fell into the water trying to keep it on the line. A really huge and slippery fellow!

7

I had been experimenting with a new marinade and so took it along for our picnic lunch. The whole rainbow trouts we caught were marinated using this and barbequed; turned out amazing so I decided to use the same for this golden trout.

What makes this marinade slightly different to most traditional Indian ones is the addition of tomatoes to the spices and aromatics. A richer and deeper flavour profile is the result which works brilliantly with any kind of seafood. I am sure it would work great with chicken, tofu, Indian cottage cheese, mushrooms and potatoes too.

It is also a freezer-friendly marinade, so make a large batch and freeze in small portions for quick weekday dinners.

2

1

3

I served this roasted spicy golden trout on a bed of Arabian rice resplendent with saffron and nuts; add a minty yoghurt raita and you have a delicious meal.

4

Ingredients:

  1. 5 kg golden trout
  2. Salt, to season
  3. Juice of 1 lemon
  4. 1 lime, sliced
  5. 4 tbsp spicy marinade
  6. 2 sprigs fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped for garnish

Spicy marinade:

(Makes approximately 1 cup marinade)

  1. 6 large garlic cloves
  2. 2 inch ginger
  3. 1 large red chilli
  4. 1 tbsp red chilli powder
  5. 1 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  6. ½ tsp turmeric powder
  7. ½ tsp cumin powder
  8. ½ tsp fennel powder
  9. ½ tsp black peppercorns
  10. ½ tsp coriander powder
  11. 2 sprigs coriander leaves
  12. 3 mint leaves
  13. 1 medium ripe tomato; chopped
  14. 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Method:

To prepare the spicy marinade:

  • Blend all the ingredients into a smooth paste. (Water is not necessary if the tomatoes are ripe enough, but add a few drops if you need to).

To prepare the fish:

  • Clean the insides of the fish and also de-scale. (I got this done at the Trout farm itself; not an easy feat cleaning this big fella in an apartment kitchen).
  • Score the fish on both sides; season with salt and rub with lemon juice.
  • Liberally apply the spicy marinade on both sides and also the insides of the fish. Allow to sit for at least 4-6 hours, overnight is preferable.
  • Bring to room temperature before roasting in the oven.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (fan forced); line an oven proof tray with baking paper. Line the fish with lime slices and place in the baking tray.
  • Roast in the oven for 35-40 minutes or till done.
  • Serve on top of the rice and with a side of pickled onions, lemon wedges and garnished with fresh coriander leaves.

Note – The amount of marinade to be used and cooking times will vary according to the type and weight of the fish used.

5

 

7

 

Rococo (St Kilda, Melbourne) – a Review

The first post of 2016 is a restaurant review, though I had wanted it otherwise. But a lot of eating out has happened in the last couple of weeks and very less cooking.

One of the restaurants we tried out late last year was Rococo, located in Acland Street, St Kilda.

1

St Kilda can get a tad bit overwhelming when you aren’t sure of where to eat. Well that was exactly how we were feeling too. In spite of knowing a couple of good places, we wanted to try out a new place and so once again went with our intuition. And Rococo turned out to be a good find indeed.

Rococo serves simple yet good Italian food and this is pretty obvious from the quality of ingredients and the taste and texture of the dishes we had. It is always crowded so making a reservation ahead would be a great idea.

There is an al fresco dining area but being a balmy night, we preferred the cool interiors which were done tastefully with low lighting, plenty of mirrors and comfortable seating. We were seated near the bar area which again was a beautifully done up space and had a lot of cheerful vibe.

2

I love antipasti and Rococo’s menu has plenty to choose from apart from salads, pizzas, pasta, risotto and Paninis. The drinks menu is also quite elaborate and ofcourse, the wine list is impressive being an Italian resto.

(Please excuse the low quality pics; I wasn’t carrying my camera and had only my poor old phone to click with).

We were not in the mood for any alcohol or just ordered a couple of lemon lime bitters to refresh our parched throats and went straight on to the food.

Since there is a large selection of antipasti, it is best to order sharing plates of a couple of these before progressing to the mains. The ones we tasted were;

Pan fried Saganaki with lemon, tomato, red onion, grape and parsley – totally delicious and we absolutely loved it. I even decided to include pan fried saganaki for my NYE party inspired by this experience. A must try for the cheese lovers.

5

No Italian meal is complete without a traditional Caprese salad so we ordered a plate of really good vine ripened tomatoes, mozzarella di bufala, basil, olive oil and balsamic. The flavour was really good but I would have preferred a tad bit sweeter tomatoes.

6

And of course the Bruschetta which was absolutely fantastic at Rococo. Warm, crispy bread topped liberally with freshly chopped tomatoes, goat’s cheese, pesto di casa, garlic, basil and olive oil. Children would totally love this, well adults too!

8

We fell in love with Italian meatballs at 400 Gradi and wanted to see if these guys did a good job of it, so we ordered the slow-cooked classic Italian meatballs. Tender, melt-in-your-mouth meatballs smothered in tomato sugo, pesto di casa and parmesan. It was delicious and comes a close second to the one at 400 Gradi.

7

I was craving for some more rich comfort and for mains, ordered the Gnocchi Bolognese – delicious and pillowy potato gnocchi with a generous helping of the bolognese sauce topped with parmesan and fresh herbs. Loved it; I usually can never finish a gnocchi dish but this one was wiped clean.

9

The hubby tried out the Tasmanian salmon risotto. He has quite high standards when it comes to a risotto and it did measure up to it. Creamy and flavourful, perfectly done risotto with flaky Tasmanian salmon, artichoke, leeks, fresh peas, lemon and black pepper. A winner especially for the risotto lovers.

10

As we had plans for a gelato, we decided to skip dessert at Rococo.

Overall, a great experience. The food was fresh, delicious; a tad bit expensive but worth it for the price. Next time, I have to try out some wines for sure. The staff were attentive and doing the needful, especially being a busy night. Definitely going back.

My rating – 8/10

Rococo
85-91 Acland Street
St Kilda,
Victoria 3182
Phone no: 95253232

Rococo has another branch at Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn.

Website: http://www.rococo.net.au/

Timings:
Everyday – 8.00am to late

 

Rococo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclaimer – All the food and drinks were paid for by me.

Crumbed Prawns with Desiccated Coconut and Spices

Why not one last recipe before 2016 arrives, especially when we love seafood so much!

Prawns are indispensable for our summer parties, and one of our most favourite foods to throw on the barbie. But today we are having crunchy, crumbed prawns with a difference. Bye to breadcrumbs and welcome to desiccated coconut to crumb these beauties.

6

I made a batch of these crumbed prawns for a small get-together at home and everyone loved it, especially the kids. And ofcourse spices are integral to any recipe of mine, so I used a basic marinade for the prawns which boosts the flavour quotient. Not much of heat, but definitely more flavour.

2

3

This is an extremely simple recipe, very few ingredients. The prawns can be pre-prepared and kept in the refrigerator till your guests arrive. I oven baked these with absolutely no oil as the coconut releases a bit of oil which is enough to get a crunchy exterior. But if you wish to shallow fry, you may do so but again, very less oil.

Served with sweet chilli sauce, these crumbed prawns with desiccated coconut and spices make an absolutely delicious starter.

4

Wishing all of you a fantabulous 2016 and a year ahead of joy, happiness and abundant blessings.

Ingredients:

  1. 500gm prawns; shelled and deveined (retain a bit of the shell at the tail end)
  2. 1 ½ cups desiccated coconut
  3. Salt, to season

View the full recipe here.

5

7

 

Recipe developed, styled and shot for Supreme Seafood. 

Strawberry Jelly (with Chambord Liqueur) and Vanilla ‘Semifreddo’ Custard

2015 has been an incredible year so far.

The first post of the year was this berrylicious semifreddo and in all likelihood, today’s semifreddo might be the last post for this year. Not at all planned and a big irony that both the dishes turn out to be desserts.

A fellow foodie recently asked me, ‘aren’t you making any cakes or cookies for Christmas? The entire blogging fraternity seems to be doing so.’ I am quite un-Christmassy in that regard! But I still wanted to make a dessert that is reminiscent of the season, something light and refreshing after a heavy meal, especially keeping in mind the soaring temperatures here.

It must have been the crates and crates of strawberries at our local market that sparked off the thoughts of a strawberry jelly.  Also the fact that I wanted to master homemade jelly after years of eating the packet ones.

After much internal debate along the lines of strawberries and cream, here is what I came up with…….Strawberry Jelly (with Chambord liqueur) and Vanilla Semifreddo Custard.

3

The strawberry jelly is really easy to make, a tad bit time consuming though. But the good part is, it can be made much ahead of time especially if you are making it for a party. I added a dash of Chambord liqueur to the jelly for that hint of raspberry flavour. But it is entirely optional or you can add any liqueur of your choice.

And to accompany the jelly, a delicious and creamy Vanilla ‘Semifreddo’ Custard. Well, who am I kidding! It’s not really custard but a semifreddo which is not completely frozen. We tried both the frozen and semi-frozen semifreddo with the jelly and the unanimous decision was that the latter tasted better.

There’s so much you can do to personalize this recipe. Use any berries in season; raspberries would be great! Can’t bother to make semifreddo? Just get a tub of your favourite vanilla icecream, I bet it will be as delicious. Or add a bowl of chopped summer fruits…..perfect if you are hosting a lunch party!

1

I set the jelly in a flat tray to cut out some stars for the kiddos and the rest in shot glasses. After a heavy meal, most of my guests hardly have any room for dessert and these shot glasses are the right size. But you can use any type of mould, glass or bowl to set the jelly in.

2

4

Strawberry Jelly (with Chambord Liqueur) and Vanilla ‘Semifreddo’ Custard – my kind of Christmas in a plate shot glass!

Merry Christmas folks!

Ingredients:

Strawberry jelly:

(Adapted from delicious.com)

  1. 1 kg strawberries; hulled and halved
  2. 1 tbsp lemon juice
  3. 60ml Chambord liqueur
  4. 70g caster sugar
  5. 15 g gelatin leaves

Vanilla Semifreddo:

  1. 400 ml full cream milk
  2. 400 ml condensed milk
  3. A pinch of salt
  4. 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  5. 250ml heavy cream

Method:

Strawberry Jelly:

  1. Place the strawberries in a large heat proof bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place over a pot of simmering water and allow to cook for 1 ½ hours to extract all the juice from the fruit.
  2. Line a sieve with muslin or cheese cloth and place over a large bowl. Pour the cooked strawberries with all the juice into the cloth and allow to drain for 30-45 minutes. Do not press the fruit as this will make the jelly cloudy. Discard the pulp.
  3. Soak the gelatin leaves in cold water to soften.
  4. Pour the drained juice into a measuring jar and add lemon juice and liqueur. Make up the volume to 600ml with water and transfer to a pan. Place over heat and add the caster sugar, stirring to dissolve. Remove from heat.
  5. Add the gelatin leaves to the warm liquid and stir until completely dissolved.
  6. Pour into moulds and allow to cool for about 15 minutes. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until set.

Notes:

  • Buy the ripest strawberries you can find; don’t go looking for the perfect, beautiful ones. The lightly mashed up ones are the best.
  • As mentioned, use any liqueur of your choice. If you do not want to use any, make up the extra volume with water itself.
  • Add half the quantity of sugar, taste and keep adding as all strawberries might not have the same sugar content.
  • Rinse the moulds before pouring the jelly, helps it come out easily.

Vanilla Semifreddo:

Method:

  1. Place the milk, condensed milk and salt in a pan and bring to boil; stirring continuously. Reduce heat and add the vanilla paste.
  2. Continue to cook for another 10-12 minutes, stirring often, till it reaches the consistency of a thin custard. Allow to cool and then chill in the fridge.
  3. Whip the cream into soft peaks and then fold into the chilled milk mixture.
  4. Line the tin with baking paper and pour the mixture into the tin. Freeze for at least 3 hours for a semi-frozen texture or 4-5 hours for a frozen one.

Serve the jelly along with the vanilla semifreddo and garnish using a baby basil or mint leaf. Enjoy!

5

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,715 other followers

%d bloggers like this: