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Friday, 19 July 2013

Rockpool on George @ The Rocks, Sydney

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My 21st Birthday Celebrations continued, even after a month. As a part of one of my birthday presents, some of my girl friends invited me to a 3 course lunch at Rockpool on George. Due to exams, it was post-poned to July.I have tried Rockpool Bar & Grill, and now lucky enough to have tried Rockpool on George.


Rockpool on George, is now a 3 chef hat restaurant (2013), after being a 2 chef hat restaurant for the past 3 years (2010-2012). They have also won awards in all different areas over several years. The wall of awards shows a commitment to good food, and wine. We were seated at the table that was at the front of the restaurant and front of the kitchen, allowing lovely natural light and a view of the kitchen staff doing what they do best. 


We we able to choose from the lunch menu, or have the set 3 course lunch ($65 on Friday). We all chose from the lunch menu, where some people had one course, others 2, and myself 3.

Awesome crunchy bread, and a petal iced tea

Sushi: Chirashi zushi of kingfish, trevally, tuna, octopus, prawn and squid

I thought I would take advantage of the seafood available on the menu, so I chose the entree of sushi.  The element of sesame in the rice added a lovely taste and smell. The accompanying sauce was not your usual wasabi-soysauce mix, it was spicy and tangy. It was a fresh and tasty dish.

Goat's cheese lasagne, apples, lavender scented kiplers, 
pangrattato and broccoli sauce

2 of my friends ordered the lasagne, and with a little sample, it would have been a tasty dish to consume all to myself. The goats cheese was soft and creamy. The hint of lavender added an extra taste and aroma.

Pigeon with corn, scallops, eggplant, black mushrooms and coriander

This was my dish, pigeon. It was infused with Asian flavours with a lovely aroma and great taste. The pigeon had a slight caramelisation, which accompanied the eggplant well. I was able to get all the meat off the bone, as Rockpool provided a warm hand towel to clean my hands =).

Beef sirloin with celeriac, onions, grated daikon and sauce vierge

Another 2 of my friends ordered the beef sirloin. The presentation was clean. In terms of taste, there was nothing extremely exceptional about the dish.

Lamb from South Australia, rolled saddle, bo ssam shoulder, celery, wheat infused soybeans
and tea smoked muscles

I tried some of my friends lamb dish and it was delicious. The beans and muscles with the lamb was a combination I would have never thought would work. The sauce accompanied with the beans added a great taste. A lovely warm hearty dish for a winters lunch.

Complementary salad

Now for dessert, 4 of us opted for desserts, as they just sounded too enticing. 

Passionfruit Souffle

The passionfruit souffle was perfect. It was perfectly risen, with an intense yet balanced passionfruit flavour. The extra scoop of passionfruit ice cream, when dolloped on top of the souffle melted, and added to all the passionfruit goodness.

Toffee Apple: Roast apple and hazelnut parfait, puff pastry, cognac and
rosemary sabayon

This is not what you expect your normal toffee apple to be, especially in terms of presentation. The bits of apple were encased in the centre, underneath the caramel shell. The best part was the rosemary sabayon which they provided plenty of.

Vacherin: Pandan custard, coconut parfait, jasmine sorbet, lime granita and meringue

My choice was the Asian inspired dessert. I was completely wowed by the presentation. All the flavoured were encases in the smooth meringue ring. When digging into it, I was overwhelmed with the wonderful flavours. The sweetness of the coconut parfait, and pieces of young coconut. Then there was the fresh lime granita with jasmine sorbet. However, when all combined in one spoon, it was definitely a spoonful of goodness.

On top of the normal dessert, I was also provided with a special dessert because it was my birthday. It was a chocolate mousse cake, encased in sugar cage. They also provided a lovely candle, it was a great gesture.




We were also provided with petit fours, my favourite of them was the nougat and chocolate ganache with  popping candy!
Petit fours: Nougat, pineapple jelly, chocolate ganache with popping candy
and madeleines

If anyone has seen the movie No Reservations, and know the truffle scene, the same thing happened at Rockpool. The chef was smelling and testing the truffles to purchase. One of the wait staff whispered to us that the truffle delivery has come, and it is an exciting time of the year.


The service at Rockpool on George was exceptional, and food exquisite. The wait staff catered for every need and were also conversational. Our main waiter, even decided to jump in the photo with us. Definitely somewhere I plan to dine there once again!


Good food, good times!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Chocolate and Olive Oil Mousse

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Bertolli Olive Oil has launched an online campaign to educate food lovers around Australia on the benefits of using the correct type of olive oil for cooking. With that campaign, I was sent some of their products to use to try. I thought I would try something sweet, and made a chocolate an olive oil mousse. 

Each Bertolli Oil can be used for different things. A great guide is:
• Classico: Best choice for barbequing & roasting.
• Extra Light: Best for baking and frying.
• Extra Virgin: Best for salads, pasta sauces & dips.

For more information, visit the Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/BertolliOliveOil?fref=ts




Chocolate & Olive Oil Mousse (8 Servings). Recipe adapted from taste chocolate & olive oil mousse.
300g dark chocolate (chopped)
250ml Bertolli extra virgin olive oil
8 eggs, separated
250g caster sugar
Pinch of salt
1tbsp Hazelnut extract or Frangelico


Optional

Whipped cream
Praline
Crushed nuts


Method:
1. Using a double boiler/bain marie method, melt the chocolate. Once all the chocolate is melted, slowly add the extra virgin olive oil until all combined. Remove from heat.

2. Add 125g caster sugar to the egg yolks, Using an electric mixer, mix until pale and thick. Add in hazelnut extract or frangelico.

3. Add melted chocolate and mix until well combined.

4. Using clean beaters, whisk egg whites until soft peaks form. Add salt. Once peaks form slowly add in sugar and thoroughly mix after each addition. The end product should look like meringue.


5. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold egg whites into chocolate mixture.


6. Spoon into 8 cups/bowls and chill for atleast 4 hours or overnight. 

7. Top with whipped cream, crushed hazelnuts or praline and serve.

I used paper ice-cream cups for the chocolate mousse.When I made it, I didn't add the salt. This resulted in the mousse to be quite sweet. Also, I used a dark chocolate that was 47%. Next time I would use a chocolate with a higher percentage coca content, and add the salt. However, it was a great textured mousse, and one to keep in my recipe book.

Praline from Morish


Good food, good times!

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Harry Potter Cake + 4th July Birthday Celebrations

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Even though I am not American, American culture is a part of my life especially with films and tv shows. One of my closest friends loves the American Culture, and she has always been bugging me to celebrate an American Holiday. Therefore, as a group we decided to take advantage of Independence Day, and threw her a surprise 21st, American Independence Day Party.

 
We created a last minute American themed setting by all things red, blue and white. 

Hagrid Harry Potter Cake

The Feast

Independence Day Menu
- Mexican styled corn
- Fried Chicken
- Candied Yams (Sweet potato)
- Garden Salad
- Hagrid Harry Potter Cake with passion fruit ganache layers


Mexican Styled Corn
Corn on a cob
Japaneses Mayonnaise (Kewpie Mayonnaise)
Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Lime
Chilli Powder
Chopped coriander

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. 
2. Peel the skin off the corn and wrap in aluminium foil.
3. Place on a tray in the oven for 15-20. (on the middle to top rack)
4. Allow to cool for 2 minutes, and peel off aluminium foil.
5. Apply a drizzle of mayonnaise, pinches of parmesan cheese, coriander, squeeze of lime and sprinkle of chilli powder. 


Fried Chicken
1kg chicken tenderloins
2 cups Panko crumbs
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
3 eggs
2 cups of flour
salt
pepper
cayenne pepper

Method
1. Heat oil in a pan enough for a shallow fry, to 350 degree Celsius.
2. Combine flour, salt and peppers in a large bowl.
3. Mix eggs in a separate medium bowl.
4. Combine panko crumbs and parmesan cheese.
5. Coat a piece of chicken in the flour mix, then the egg mixture and then the crumb mixture.
6. Once oil is heated, place chicken in the pan (no more than 3 pieces at a time). Allow one side to brown, once browned, flip the chicken and cook. 
7. Place the cooked chicken on a paper towel.



Candied Yams (Sweet potato)
3 medium to large sweet potatoes
50g butter
1 packet of mini marshmallows

Method:

1. Boil a pot of water on the stove with a pinch of salt.
2. Peel sweet potato and cut into even sized chunks.
3. Once water is boiled, at the potatoes and place on the lid. Leave until potatoes are cooked through. They are cooked through when a fork or a chopstick can go through the centre of the potato.
4. Drain the water and begin to mash the potatoes and add the butter.
5. Preheat oven to 200 degree celsius.
6. Place mashed potatoes into an oven proof dish, evenly spread out. 
7. Evenly spread the packet of mini marshmallows.
8. Place in the oven for 10-15 minutes until marshmallows have browned


Hagrid Harry Potter Cake

The Harry Potter Cake was made because the birthday girl loves Harry Potter. I first came across the Harry Potter Cake on Diamonds for Dessert. When I showed her, she said that one day I would have to make it for her, and that day had finally came.

I used the Thunder Cake Recipe for two 20cm round cake tins for the cake. As for the buttercream frosting, I followed Diamonds for Dessert recipe. 

To take advantage of the lovely passionfruit that are currently in season, in between the cakes was passionfruit ganache. The recipe was guided by Heston Blumenthal's chocolate gateau recipe

Passionfruit Ganache
175g thickened cream
Pinch of salt
Pulp from 6 passion fruits
110g of dark chocolate (broken into pieces)
50g milk chocolate (broken into pieces)

Method:
1. Combine cream, salt and passionfruit in a saucepan over medium heat until it comes to the boil. Remove from the heat and allow to stand for 5 minutes.
2. Place the chocolate in a bowl and melt until smooth. (I used microwave at 15 second intervals)
3. Strain the infused cream and add to the bowl of melted chocolate a third at a time. Making sure to completely incorporate the cream with the chocolate after each addition.
4. Allow the ganache to cool to room temperature and refrigerate until read to use.

Processes
- Split the butter cream to a majority in one bowl (colour pink), and a few spoonfuls in another bowl (colour green).  
- When the two cakes were cooled, I levelled them and then cut them in half. 
- I filled each layer with the passionfruit ganache (the levels weren't as uneven as the picture looks haha)
- Applied a crumb coat of vanilla butter cream
- Top coat of vanilla buttercream. The top coat doesn't have to be that neat since it is supposed to be made by Hagrid =D
- Final touches

The HAPPEE BIRTHDAE HARRY was supposed to be written with green tinted buttercream, however too much red food colouring was added to the split batch, therefore the rest of the white was used for the pink. I then tried to use white chocolate, and tint it with green food colouring which DIDN'T work at all.

Therefore, I ended up using white writing fudge from the tube, which I coloured green. I put that in a ziplock bag, and created a make shift piping bag for the writing. 

This became an issue when presenting the cake, as I did the piping several hours before consumption, the colour began to separate from the writing fudge. However, if you plan to serve the cake straight away, this way of colouring will work.

Just another birthday message for M. Happy 21st Birthday M! I hope that you and the girls enjoyed the dinner and dessert!

Good food, good times!