Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lemon Curd Tarts

One of my favourite lemon curd tart is from The Bourke Street Bakery... I was super happy when knowing that they published the baking book.

I adore this flaky, buttery and absolutely delicious shortcrust pastry and always want to make one. When I looked at the recipe, I was wondering whether I can do it like the shop.

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
(adapted from Bourke Street Bakery’s new cookbook) can make ten 8-cm tarts.

200 g unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1.5 cm cubes
10 ml white vinegar, chilled
50 g caster sugar
85 ml cold water
335 g flour, chilled (I didn't chill)
1/2 tsp salt
(I don't have the food processor so I just used rubbing method by hand)

1. Put the vinegar, sugar and water in a bowl and stir well until the sugar dissolved.

2. Place the flour, salt and butter in a food processor and pulse in 1 second bursts about 3 or 4 times to partly combine.

3. Tip this over in a clean work surface and sprinkle the sugar/vinegar mixture. (I didn't finish the sugar/vinegar mixture, just sprinkle and mix until it seems alright) Use the palm of your hand to smear the dough away from you and then gather together again and repeat the smearing process. You may need to do this 2 to 3 times more. You should still be able to see streaks of butter marbled through the pastry.

4. Wrap the pastry and refrigerate 2 hours to overnight.

5. Remove the pastry 20 minutes prior to using. Sprinkle a little flour on the bench and rub some as well on your rolling pin. Working from the center of the pastry, gently roll the dough away from you then turn the dough about 30 degrees and roll out again.

6. Repeat the process until you have a flat round disc, about 3 mm think. Sprinkle extra flour as needed but try to use a little as possible.

7. Brush the tart tins with melted butter. (I didn't and it turned out fine)

8. Cut the pastry into the shape you need for the tart tins (eg. if using 8 cm, cut the pastry using an 11 cm cutter – the trick is to cut 2 cm larger than the diameter of the tin).

9. Again, as mentioned earlier, no need to be too fussy – you are going for that rustic look.

10. Set the pastry cases aside to rest for at least 20 minutes in the freezer so that the gluten relaxes and holds it shape. (my pastry did shrink a lot cuz I didn't rest after line the tins)

11. You are now ready to use the pastry, blind bake the tart cases in a preheated 200 C oven for 20 - 25 mins., or until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Bourke street bakery VS Beansprouts' cafe

Lemon Curd Filling

(make 10 tarts)

5 eggs
100 g caster (superfine) sugar
125 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
150 ml pouring (whipping) cream (35% fat)

1. Put the eggs, sugar and lemon juice in a stainless steel bowl. Use a whisk to mix together for 2-4 mins., or until the sugar dissolves.

2. Pour in the cream and mix well to combine.

3. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and use a whisk to stir continuously for about 10 mins, or until the mixture is smooth and thick.

4. Have a rubber spatula on hand to scrape down the sides of the bowl as you work. The curd should transform as it cooks, starting off as a very thin cream with froth on top that will then become thick with bubbles. These bubbles will disappear altogether about 5 mins. before cooking is complete. Most importantly, keep stirring at all times or you may end up with a grainy texture in the finished curd.

5. When the mixture is cooked, remove from the heat, stir for about 1 min. longer to cool a little, then place plastic wrap directly onto the top of the curd and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. or overnight.

6. Using a piping bag fitted with a small plain mozzle, pipe about 2 tablespoons of the lemon curd into each tart shell and serve.

(about cooking lemon curd, I cooked it directly in the pot on top of the stove since we always do this and it has no problem at all in the kitchen at workplace... but this time, the curd was grainy (no lump but grainy).. it might be because it is small amount? and it was a bit runny not as thick as the one I had from the shop. (I might cook not long enough?)

Bourke street bakery VS Beansprouts' cafe II

The shortpastry definitely satisfied me. It was flaky as it should be. About lemon curd, even it was grainy (disappointed T_T), however, taste was delicious. I still have some leftover shortpastry in the freezer, next time I will try their other recipe :D

Saturday, October 24, 2009


One Friday night we went for another good deal dinner at Kazbah (the SIFF promotion)

At 6.30 pm., we were the first table in the restaurant. The decoration is so beautiful and charming.

3 courses for $25, the dishes were served in a "share style". All the food name is so difficult to pronounce or remember, I knew just a few dishes. When we sat down, the friendly waiter served us the table water from the very nice jug followed by Turkish bread with olive oil and dukkha.


There were Oohh and Aahhh when the first dish came. The presentation were so impressive. It consists of :

Fried Cauliflower, Eggplant Jam, Pinenuts & Yoghurt Tahini

Only thing I remember is it was nice starter.

Ras el Hanout Kataifi Prawns & Muhamara Sauce

This were so nice. The rice noodle outside were crisp but not too oily at all. The prawn were super fresh, and a little bit spicy from the sauce...

Char-grilled Quail & Pomegranate Sauce

The quail were cooked beautifully. Ping and Ta really like it so much. The pomegranate sauce was a bit sweet and sour, made the dish interesting.

Dips : Hummus, Taramasalata, Babaganouj

I love it all, even Taramasalata was a bit fishy but all was very yummy.

When we finished the dish, we were so excited about the coming main.

Happy meal, happy girls !

The plate was so pretty..hehe

Main 1 : Casablanca Royale Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder, Braised Vegetables, Sultana Jam, Steamed Couscous

THIS WAS AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL DISH ! We all love it, and still dream about it everyday. It was really nice until I wanted to give it my tears (of happiness...hahahahha)

Condiments : Chillis, Preserved Lemon and Yoghurt

I like the lemon, when eat the lamb with all condiments, tasty ! (having it alone also very nice already)

Super tender and delicious.

Main 2 : Pan Fried Duck Breast with Falafel, Honey Baked Quince & Sweet Potato Chips

First time I saw the dish, it looked like nothing special but Kazbah is not disappointing, the tasty juicy meat and crisp skin satisfied us.

We were talking that they made a great job with entree and main. Let's see the dessert.


Fig & Halawa Bisteeya with White Peach Sorbet
Sahleb - Middle Eastern Milk Pudding, Fresh Berry Compote
Quince & Almond Tart with White Peach Sorbet

All were great again, I really like the peach sorbet, super refreshing !


The service is very friendly and the food was absolutely wonderful. It is the place I would love to take my family, friends or visitor to try. Such a memorable meal. Definitely come back for thier famous breakfast and more dinner.

379 Darling St., Balmain NSW 2041
Tel : (02) 9555 7067

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Oscillate Wildly

I made the booking at Oscillate Wildly about 2 months in advance after reading Foraging Otaku . The degustation menu, 9 courses for $95 is very interesting... and finally it's the time !

6.30 pm. was our booking time.. We were the second table in the restaurant.

Ping & P'Ta

Ja & Ping

Warm sour dough.. We were really enjoy eating this... At the end of the meal, I felt like eating it again.. haha

We brought our own white wine. Only $8 per bottle for BYO. very reasonable.


It is very small restaurant about 8 tables. That is why they said it might take about 1 month in advance for weekend booking :D

Cheers !

1. South Australian King Prawn with Tofu cooked 2 ways (Silken & Fried) and Eggplant 2 ways (pureed & deep fried)

One of my favourite dish. The hi light for me was the tofu & eggplant. The eggplant puree was creamy eating with the silken tofu.. so smooth and melt in my month. We all thought that the deep fried eggplant looks like deep fried banana in Thailand. lol

2. Scallops, Picada, Foie gras mousse

The scallops were a bit overcooked, the foie gras mousse was very subtle in flavour... The garlic flavoured bread crumbs & hazelnut on the side was interesting. Overall, this dish was a little too dry for my liking.

3. Bantan egg (Sous-vide method), Ortiz anchovies, Rye

The egg from the small chicken was cooked in 62 degree celcius for long time using the sous-vide vacuum cooking method. This method is about meat, seafood, poultry and more is placed in a vacuum-sealed bag and left to cook in a low-temperature water bath. The result, especially for meat, is incredibly soft, buttery and pink flesh.

The crispy rye and parsley powder on top were so interesting. The super rich egg yolk and perfect texture egg white (I love this texture) mixed all with the noodle and salty anchovies (in a good way)... perfect !! (I just found the noodle was a bit strange).

4. Mulloway (Jewfish), Black sesame pearl, speck, fennel foam & braised fennel

The fish was cooked perfectly. The fennel underneath was delicate and went well together with fish and speck. The black sesame pearl... taste so black sesame ! hahaha

The next course.

5. Chicken, celeriac, puffed grains

My first thought, chicken sounds so normal but then it was tasty. It smelt Asian for me... like soya sauce or that kinds. The chicken (sous-vide method) was beautifully pink and juicy. We also like the crisp skin with a sprinkle of sea salt. The puffed grains consists of buckwheat and quinoa giving the dish very fun crisp texture.

6. Pork, Katoffel knodel (have no idea what it mean), Kale

which was Pork belly with Cabbage cooked 4 ways : Red cabbage Jelly, Sauteed Canovo nero, Cabbage puree, Dehydrate Kale. This dish was also my favourite ! From starter which was very light until this hearty and rich dish, the flavour was very strong. The pork belly was as great as it should be. I like all condiments except the red cabbage jelly.. too weird.

7. Sichuan Marshmallow, Mandarin sorbet, Meringue, Straweberry, Raspberry powder and Lychee foam

I am not a fan of marshmallow but this one was not bad. Mandarin was a bit too bitter for me. I like the Lychee foam the most.

8. Pear, Celery sorbet, chocolate crisp, Chantilly chocolate and Basil seeds

The waitress warned us the the chantilly chocolate was very rich. And yes, it gave us a kick of bitterness and rich of chocolate. I have no idea why they called it Chantilly chocolate but it was another very interesting thing. I don't mind celery sorbet, it did clean my palette, however, it was not my dish.

Ping said that the Basil seeds doesn't make any flavour to the dish, maybe chef just put it for giving the fun texture. I do agree.

Petit four : Chocolate lollipop, Nougat and Blood orange jelly

The chocolate lollipop was disappointed and I prefer the Blood orange jelly at SWEETNESS the patisserie to this one. But the nougat was delicious.

Ping's green tea with cute sugar cubes.

Flate white & Macchiato

The coffee were great.

very full by now (not drunk..hoho)

For my experience dining here, I do think it did worth money for the great creations ... Every savoury dishes pleased me just that their desserts were not my cup of tea.

Oscillate Wildly
275 Australia Street, Newtown
Tel : (02) 9517-4700

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Happy (Birth) Day !

Another year passed.. Today is my second birthday here in Sydney. One thing I always tell myself is I am super lucky that people around me is all beautiful people. In my school and university, I have good friends who love to study and never to bad things. Since I graduated, my first (and only 1) work place ( if not include the part time job, WAT program in USA) is just like my second home. I worked there for 5 years and I do love them as my family.

When I came to Sydney, I have known nice people and can't be luckier to work at SWEETNESS and especially Bacco. I have never thought that my birthday this year would be this great. Started around first of a month, one old friend sent me 7 discs of songs from Thailand (I called it my first present of the year). Follow by last friday, I was so so touched by my chefs at Bacco, you can see how wonderful there are.

Today, my great friends, all people I have known in Sydney gave me a great time. P'Ta, Tan, Ping, June and I went to Hurricane's Grill for lunch as they know that I have to work early on Monday (cant have dinner cuz I need to sleep before 10 pm. lol)

Long time never been here, my first time was last year.

Ja, June and Ping.

Warm wholemeal bread with my favourite butter.

P'Ta was cutting and looking at another camera :P

Grilled Calamari $17.70 : Calamari, flash grilled with lemon butter served with rice.

We all prefer rice than calamari. Rice was well seasoned and just nice in texture. Calamari was not so bad though.

Caesar Salad $20.00 : Combination of cos lettuce, bacon, croutons & anchovies, tossed in our own Caesar dressing then topped with shaved parmigiano

I know you may think it is the boring salad.. but it was delicious and went well with ribs... that's why we keep ordering the same dish we normally like.

Full rack of Pork ribs $37.90

Huge tender and flavoursome ribs... We love it, just I thought they should give us more sauce :P

Full rack of Lamb ribs $37.90

First time I tried rack of lamb this style.. The sauce was very tasty. I was think it should be the same sauce as the pork one.. but I still think it is more rich in flavour... The lamb itself was quite nice just a little bit dry.

Before my fingers were full of sauce...haha

My lovely P'Ta... My life in Sydney might not be this happy without her.

Tan, Ja and Ta

I used the fork since this is the first photo of ribs I took, my fingers were still clean..haha

After we all were stuffed with food, we headed to another cafe in World square to have some coffee... and !!!

Tada !!!! My birthday cake from P'Ta

Tiramisu cake.. The mascarpone cheese flavoured baileys layered with sponge soaked with coffee syrup... Wow, P'Ta is not just an amateur anymore :D

Thanks everyone for my super Happy (Birth) Day !

Presents from Ping (Guy) , June and Ping

Last but not least, okey, I think I have to call my mum now ...hahahaha

** update**

Today Monday 19 Oct after work, around 3 pm. Seok called me and said that he was on the way to the city, wait for me... He remember my birthday T^T

He came with a piece of cake and little magnet thing from Korea.

Thank you very much.. I was thinking of you that whether you can remember my birthday... and you do !