Jul 17, 2013

Banoffee Cupcakes

There has been a lot of different takes on Banoffee Cupcakes. Frankly, I thought it meant banana and coffee instead of banana and toffee. So I figured, why not incorporate all 3 components into one cupcake?

Banana Cupcake
adapted from Shockingly Delicious
makes about 16 cupcakes

1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
3 medium-sized very ripe bananas, mashed
200 ml sour cream
2 tsps vanilla essence
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour

  • Preheat oven to 180˚C. Line a muffin tray with cupcake liners.
  • In a medium sized bowl, whisk together brown sugar and vegetable oil. Next, whisk in eggs.
  • Add in mashed bananas, sour cream, vanilla essence and salt. Mix until just combined.
  • Fold in the self-raising flour until just combined.
  • Divide the batter equally among the cupcake liners, filling each liner until 2/3 full.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  • Let the cupcakes cool completely.

Coffee and Baileys Whipped Cream
Disclaimer: This is going to vary with each individual, depending on how much coffee or Baileys you would want to incorporate into the cream.
Brewed coffee, cooled
300 ml whipping cream

  • Whip the cream until stiff peaks are formed. Gently fold in coffee and Baileys into the cream. Do not over-mix.
  • Place in the fridge if you are not going to assemble the cupcakes immediately.

Caramel topping

Caster sugar

  • Line a tray with baking paper.
  • Place sugar and water into a saucepan, making sure there is just enough water covering the sugar.
  • Place the pan over a medium-heat and let the sugar caramelize.
  • Once the sugar becomes amber gold, pour a thin layer of the caramel onto the baking paper. Let it cool and harden.
  • Break the caramel into chunks or place it into a food processor to grind it up into smaller pieces.
  • Sprinkle a fair amount on top of the cream.

Jul 3, 2013

Buttermilk Scones

Grandparents were down here in Melbourne the other day and I wanted to bake a little something for them. So I made my grandpa's favourite, scones. And yes, I got his seal of approval from using this very simple, easy recipe.

Buttermilk Scones

4 cups of self-raising flour
3 tbsps caster sugar
4 tbsps of butter
1 3/4 cups of buttermilk

  1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar and butter into a milk and knead it together until you get a breadcrumb consistency.
  3. Pour in the buttermilk and gently mix it until a soft dough is formed. Continue to knead the dough until it all comes together.
  4. Roll out the dough onto a floured surface until it is about 3 cm thick.
  5. Using a cookie cutter, cut out your scones and place it on your baking tray.
  6. Bake for about 15-20 minutes until it is slightly golden on the outside.
  7. Serve with jam and whipped cream.

Jul 2, 2013

Monsieur Truffe aka East Elevation

So... It has been awhile. I blame my assignments. :)
Recently, my friend held her 24th birthday at Monsieur Truffe, which I later found out was actually called East Elevation. Confusing no? Monsieur Truffe is actually this smaller chain at Smith Street that focuses more on selling their chocolates while East Elevation is where it all starts, where they create all their lovely chocolates and even do breakfast and lunch. However, when you get to East Elevation, you will be looking for the sign Monsieur Truffe and not East Elevation. I know what you are thinking. Stick to one name damnit! But in any case, just remember that these two cafes are somewhat the same but make sure you pick the correct street!

Seeing how there were about 15-18 of us, my friend called up to book a table and at the same time, settle on a menu. I have heard and read a lot of good reviews about this place so my expectations were pretty high and I definitely wasn't disappointed.
We had 2 options for each course, 3 for the main as there was a vegan option. I did manage to try everything (except the vegan option) as I was sitting next to one of my friend, so we just decided to share everything.

For the starters, we had coconut tapioca with rhubarb, strawberries and pistachio and cauliflower soup. At first I thought the tapioca dish was going to be cold, but turned out to be warm. Also, I never had rhubarb so I was a little skeptical. But overall, it wasn't too bad. Our other starter was the cauliflower soup and this was amazing. If I had the chance to go back and change my order, I would definitely pick this. It was well-seasoned and creamy but not overly rich.

For the main, we had smoked salmon crepe and shepherd's pie. Between the 2, I would definitely ask for the pie again. The lamb was well-cooked and the potato mash on top was cooked beautifully. There was a nice slight crust to it but still soft and smooth on the inside.

Now, the best for last, the dessert. We had a choice between chocolate fondant and bread and butter pudding. Both were delicious! Not too sweet and not too rich. But I felt they were a bit heavy-handed with the cinnamon in the bread and butter pudding. Luckily the ice-cream and extra chocolate sauce was able to mask it.
Overall, it is safe to say that we had a very pleasant brunch experience. Food was good. Coffee was hot and nutty. Welcoming and friendly service. I will definitely go back soon!
351 Lygon Street
Brunswick East
3057 VIC
(03) 9380 4915
East Elevation on Urbanspoon