Apr 15, 2014

Choc Raspberry Vegan Mousse

Those of you who are familiar with my baking know I am pretty heavy handed with the butter, sugar, eggs and flour. But I LOVE getting creative in the kitchen, and have been tweaking and creating new recipes lately to make them gluten or dairy free, or even vegan, for friends and family with intolerances or personal beliefs. It’s a great challenge to create a dessert that is as rich, creamy and flavourful as its original counterpart.

Some of my favourites include my Gluten-Free Banana Caramel Pancakes, Vegan Raw Cashew and Coconut Protein Balls and my Dairy and Gluten-Free Homemade Nutella.

I’ve also been experimenting with dairy substitutes lately, rotating between soy, quinoa and rice milk in my morning smoothies. I had yet to try baking with them and the kind folks at Vitasoy sent me a few cartons to play with!

vitasoy

Vitasoy’s organic soymilk range is made from organic whole soybeans and are Australian grown. It’s higher in protein than other plant milks and contains all the essential amino acids. Personally the biggest advantage for me is that Vitasoy is made from whole soybeans rather than highly processed soy isolate powder, setting it apart from most other soymilks on the shelves. It comes in several varieties including original, reduced fat and unsweetened.

vegan-mousse

This chocolate and raspberry mousse I created is rich, thick and creamy and it’s almost embarrassingly easy to make – the main component is only 2 ingredients! I experimented quite a bit with the soymilk and chocolate ratios to achieve the perfect texture. I had a lot of fun eating the “mistakes”!

The best dairy-free chocolate I have come across is by Sweet William and is available at all major supermarkets in Australia. You can include any berries you like in this recipe, or leave them out altogether – personally I think they provide a nice tart contrast to the sweet and creamy chocolate.

vegan-mousse2

I found some edible flowers at Harris Farm Markets and thought it was the perfect decoration! Otherwise you can top your mousse with more berries, chocolate curls and a dusting of icing sugar.

Choc Raspberry Vegan Mousse
 
Prep time

Cook time

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Author:
Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 cup Vitasoy soymilk
  • 1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips (I used Sweet William)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 punnet raspberries
  • Edible flowers for garnish (optional, but pretty!)

Instructions
  1. In a small saucepan on medium-low heat, combine the soymilk and chocolate and stir constantly until the chocolate is completely melted. Remove from heat.
  2. Over a medium heat, stir ¾ of the raspberries with a tablespoon of water, crushing the berries as you go into a thick sauce (you may add a teaspoon of icing sugar if you like it sweeter). Remove from heat
  3. Push raspberry mixture through a strainer to separate seeds from liquid.
  4. Stir raspberry sauce and chocolate mixture together.
  5. Pop a few raspberries in the bottom of each serving vessel (I used small glasses but you can use ramekins, tea cups, whatever you like!) and pour chocolate mixture over the top.
  6. Allow to set in the fridge for 2-4 hours.
  7. Serve with edible flowers.

These set beautifully after a few hours in the fridge, and your guests will never guess they were dairy-free and vegan!

vegan-mousse1

If you want to give this recipe a try for yourself, I am giving away a Vitasoy hamper worth $150! It includes:

- 3 x 1 litre Vitasoy milk cartons
- 4 x Vitasoy recipe cards
- 1 x ‘Healthy Every Day’ cookbook by Pete Evans
- 1 x T2 coffee mug
- 1 x KeepCup
- 1 x 250g Global Cafe Direct organic coffee
- 1 x $65 Coles gift card

To win a Vitasoy prize hamper please leave a comment on this post telling me your favourite way to use soymilk.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This post was sponsored by Vitasoy

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Apr 13, 2014

Travel Guide: Port Arthur, Tasmania

Port Arthur Historic Site

Port Arthur is a small town located on the Tasman peninsula steeped in history. Historically as a former convict settlement and more recently as the scene of a devastating massacre. It provides a unique insight into colonial history in Australia and is, in my opinion, an unmissable stop when visiting Tasmania.

port-arthur2

It was the destination for the hardest of convicted British criminals, sent here by boat from 1833, until 1853. We heard tales of punishing labour, disease and the conditions they lived in and treatment endured during this period in Australia. It’s probably of little surprise, given its history, that this site is famous for ghost sightings, and you can’t help but feel an eerie presence when exploring the historic buildings.

port-arthur1

port-arthur-montage2

We set aside the better part of a day to explore this historic site, which has over 30 buildings, ruins and restored period homes, set in 40 hectares of landscaped grounds. I highly recommend taking a guided walking tour, and for the brave, a ghost tour at night (I was not brave).

port-arthur-montage1

port-arthur3

For an extra fee, you can get on a cruise to the Isle of the Dead and take a guided tour of Port Arthur’s island burial ground (pictured), or visit Point Puer Boys Prison, the first reformatory built exclusively for juvenile male convicts.

isle-of-the-dead

Stewarts Bay Lodge

After a big day of exploring, learning and reflecting, we drive to our nearby accommodation - Stewarts Bay Lodge. Nestled snuggly between a beach, a forest, the ocean, a national park and Port Arthur, it sounds like the perfect destination to unwind.

stewarts-bay-lodge-cabin

bedroom

Stewarts Bay Lodge features five fully self-contained cabins, from 1-3 bedroom cottages, to deluxe spa cottages. This was the view from my bed :)

view-from-bed-zoom

Before dinner we head off on a walk through the forest to the beach as dusk fell.

walk-by-beach2

walk-by-beach3

On our way back to the lodge we came across this little fella! Any ideas what species? I initially thought he was a Pademelon, however after further Googling, I believe this is a Potoroo (aka the rat-kangaroo!) We actually saw a LOT of Potoroos in Tasmania, alas this was the only live one. Potoroos are not good at crossing roads it turns out.

a-creature

Taylor’s Waterfront Restaurant

Our tummies now hungry from our big walk, we arrive at Taylor’s Waterfront Restaurant, attached to Stewarts Bay Lodge, for dinner. We enjoy a glass of wine and look over the water as the sun sets.

stewarts-bay-lodge-restaurant

We peruse the menu for a while, choosing from a selection of modern Australian dishes using locally sourced ingredients. Highlights included the Tasmanian Scotch Fillet Steak with Herbed Mash, Roasted Beetroot and Red Wine Jus ($33) and the Rannoch Farm Quail, Vanilla and Parsnip Puree with Wilted Greens ($18).

stewarts-bay-lodge-dinner

We finished off our meals with a slice of Limoncello Infused Curd Tart ($16) and a Vanilla & Honey Panna Cotta Berry Compote ($16). We return to our lodge for the evening and fall asleep to the sound of nature.

stewarts-bay-lodge-desserts

This is the 3rd instalment of my guides to Tasmania. Find Hobart here and Bruny Island here.

Love Swah + 1 travelled, ate & stayed courtesy of Tourism Tasmania 

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Apr 9, 2014

Hot Cross Bun Cupcakes

I LOVE Hot Cross Buns, it’s definitely one of the highlights of Easter for me. And I’m not one of those Hot Cross Bun purists either – choc chip, caramel, dried fruit, it’s all good to me!

I was in Woolworths recently and noticed they had produced a Sticky Date & Caramel Hot Cross Bun. That got my mind whirring (as I am always thinking about food). What if I created a salted caramel Hot Cross Bun… in cupcake form?

hot-cross-bun-cupcakes-final

I started with a spiced cupcake filled with nutmeg and cinnamon and studded with fat juicy sultanas. We were already off to a good start!

My next mission was to create a caramel topping that was more of a ganache in texture than a frosting, as I wanted it to sit flush to the cupcake to replicate the shiny, domed top of a Hot Cross Bun.

And the finishing touch? 2 generous stripes of white chocolate to make the cross! Traditionally, Hot Cross Buns are crossed with a mixture of flour and water before baking. Looks good, tastes bad. You will love the white chocolate version, guaranteed.

hot-cross-bun-cupcakes2

Hot Cross Bun Cupcakes
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Author:
Serves: 24

Ingredients
Spiced Cupcake
  • 230g butter, softened
  • 1¾ cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup milk, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups self-raising flour
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • ½ cup sultanas
Caramel Topping
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 75g butter
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup icing sugar
White Cross
  • 150g white chocolate melts

Instructions
Spiced Cupcake
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 24 muffin tins with cupcake papers.
  2. Cream the butter with an electric mixer until smooth in a large bowl.
  3. Gradually add the sugar and beat for 3 minutes until fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Sift the 2 flours and spices into a separate bowl.
  6. Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. Stir in sultanas. Do not overmix!
  7. Fill cupcake liners about ¾ full with mixture and bake for 15 minutes until lightly golden brown.
  8. Allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.
Caramel Topping
  1. Put the brown sugar, butter and salt in a saucepan over a medium heat, stirring often.
  2. Bring the mixture to boil and add in milk and vanilla.
  3. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Take the saucepan off the heat and add in the (sifted) icing sugar stirring until the icing is thick and smooth.
  5. Spoon a generous teaspoon of caramel onto the middle of each cooled cupcake, the icing will spread out evenly and set as it cools.
White Cross
  1. Melt the white chocolate in short bursts in the microwave on a medium setting.
  2. Spoon the melted chocolate into a piping bag with small nozzle attached and pipe crosses on the cupcakes.

An easier way to adorn the cupcakes with crosses quickly involves lining the cupcakes up and doing long lines all at once, instead of individually crossing each cupcake. Once the white chocolate hardens, you can gently separate the cupcakes.

hot-cross-bun-cupcakes

And the verdict? My housemate shouted “THESE ARE AMAZING. CAN WE LIVE TOGETHER FOREVER?” I take that as a good sign.

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Apr 2, 2014

Easter Baking Inspiration

I think Easter has to be one of my favourite holidays – an excuse to eat lots of chocolate, laze about the house (as it always seems to rain) and bake up a storm! I’ve been brainstorming  a few fun ideas for Easter-themed recipes and I can’t wait to give them a try and show you the results! But for now, I leave you with some cute and quirky ways to celebrate Easter through dessert.

♥ Cheesecake-filled Easter Eggs by Raspberri Cupcakes

cheesecake-egg

♥ Coconut Macaroon Birds Nests by Love Swah

coconut-macaroon-birds-nests

♥ Lamb Cake by Handmade Charlotte

fluffy-lamb-cake1

♥ Chicken and Bunny Sugar Cookies by Bakingdom 

Easter-Chick-and-Bunny-Cookies

♥ Carrot Cupcakes by Hostess with the Mostess

carrot-shaped-cupcakes-1

Aren’t these ideas cute and clever?

What will you be baking this Easter?

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Mar 21, 2014

Travel Guide: Bruny Island, Tasmania

It was our second day in Tasmania (read about Day 1 in Hobart here) and we were off to Bruny Island! Known as a food lovers paradise, it is home to numerous local producers and includes a cheese factory, oyster farm, vineyard, smokehouse and much much more. Bruny Island is made up of a North and South Island which are separated by a narrow strip of land called “The Neck”. Access to the island is by car ferry departing from Kettering, taking around 15 minutes.

It was about a 30 minute drive to Kettering from Hobart, and we arrived on a gorgeously sunny day at the wharf to make the Bruny Island Ferry crossing.

boarding-ferry

Once on dry land, we start our drive to foodie stop #1, taking in the gorgeous scenery around us.

bruny-island1

view-from-get-shucked

We arrive at our first destination, Bruny Island Smokehouse, still a bit full from breakfast but ready to taste up a storm!  Located at 360 Lennon Road, North Bruny, the Smokehouse resides in a beautiful stone building, made with timbers and stone from the property.

smokehouse-building

A tasting board was presented to us on the most gorgeous slab of engraved Tasmanian wood. We sampled a selection of smoked trout, salmon, quail, chorizo and wallaby (which was delicious!) along with an array of tasty chutneys.

smokehouse

Our next stop on our island food journey was Get Shucked, located at 1735 Bruny Island Main Road, Great Bay. The owner, Joe, kindly sat down with us and told us about the history of his business and his passion for locally sourced food is evident.

He offered us a huge selection of oysters, including Oyster Wontons (wrapped in wonton pastry, deep fried and served with wasabi cream), Mother in Laws Kilpatrick (cooked in the shell and topped with Marie T’s worcestershire sauce and Bruny Island Foods bacon) and Asian Fusion (a panko crumbed oyster sitting on a nest of rice noodle salad, topped with a tasty dressing).

You can sample all these and more on the Get Shucked Platter ($45).

oysters-get-shucked

I think I died and went to heaven when I arrived at Bruny Island Cheese Co, 1807 Bruny Island Main Road, Great Bay. The walls are lined with condiments, cheese and wine, and the bench is laid out with a delicious array of cheeses to sample.

bruny-island-cheese

This artisan cheese maker makes and matures their cheeses from both cows’ and goats’ milk using traditional techniques.

bruny-island-cheese2

We ummed and aahed over the lunch menu for quite a while, finally settling on the highly recommended Baked Otto served with sourdough bread and pear relish ($24), which is a simple fresh cheese wrapped in locally made Prosciutto and then baked in a hot oven for 15 minutes until oozy and delightful.

Our second selection was rumoured to be “the best toasted sandwich you’ll ever have”, so we had to try the sourdough toastie with traditional ham, raw milk cheese and good mustard ($8.50). It definitely is up there with the best!

cheese-bruny-island

We took a well-deserved waddle through the bushland after our cheese-filled lunch in search of The Neck lookout at the game reserve. As it turned out, the signage was wrong and we were in fact nowhere near the lookout! At least we got a nice walk. The weather forecast had predicted high winds and storms, and as we stared up at the impossibly perfect blue sky and felt the hot sun against our skin, we assumed they had gotten it wrong.

bushwalking

(And I was, of course, dressed inappropriately for bushwalking.)

inappropriate-bushwalking-outfit

We eventually made it to The Neck lookout. See those grey clouds overhead? Ok, so maybe the weather bureau knew what they were talking about. The Neck is a narrow strip of land that connects the North and South parts of Bruny Island, offering 360 degree views of the water. The Lookout is very high up, and very exposed. And that is when we got hit by the storm.

We foolishly thought we could beat the looming clouds, running up those timber stairs as fast as our legs could carry us, so we could take a few snaps before the rain started. We arrived at the top, huffing and puffing. We could actually see the rain quickly approaching us over the water, lightning forking into the sea below. It started to get close, really close. I was worried about my freshly blow-dried hair. And then suddenly, all of us on the viewing platform were hit with such a force we were thrown against the handrail.

RUN! Go go! I remember a man near us shouting. I tried to run down the stairs, but the force of the wind was so strong I was pressed up against the handrail. Sand blasted against our bodies painfully and soon hail belted us too. Every few seconds I managed to take another step down the stairs before the wind got too strong and smashed me against the handrail again. We were soaked to the bone within 30 seconds. It felt like an eternity but we eventually made it to the bottom of the stairs. There were several people at the bottom, worriedly checking we were ok. We had lost the two people behind us (they were small, we think they must have laid low until the storm passed).

the-lookout

Naturally I had to take a selfie when we were back in the safety of the car. And yes, my hair was ruined.

wet-from-storm

Cold, wet and shivering, we drove to the nearest cafe for shelter and warmth. But oh, a giant tree had fallen across the road which was the only way off the island. Thank god for handy Tasmanian men, their ropes and large vehicles. 15 minutes later they had dragged the tree off the road and we were moving again!

Unfortunately all the power had been cut to the island due to the storm. The winds were still strong and we were nervous about the debris flying everywhere. We had to abandon plans of visiting the lighthouse and drove to the ferry to leave early.

after-the-storm

On our approach to the ferry terminal, we noticed a line of cars. A very long line. We sat in our car, unmoving, for over 2 hours. Something was definitely wrong. Eventually a raincoat-clad lady approached our car, explained the roof of the cafe had been blown off and landed on the jetty, meaning no one could get on or off the ferry. I was starting to feel like we were on an episode of Lost. The island didn’t want us to leave.

Fast forward another hour, we’d made it onto the ferry and arrived back on the main land safe! The news that night was dominated by storm news, with winds being clocked up to 150km/hour. And we just happened to be in literally the worst place to experience it. But what a great story we had to tell!

Love Swah + 1 travelled, ate & stayed courtesy of Tourism Tasmania 

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Mar 14, 2014

Discover Tasmania’s South with Love Swah

I used a Go Pro for the first time during my fantastic trip to Tasmania and here is the result! It’s a great little video that sums up the gorgeous scenery, delicious food and near-perfect weather (except the storm… more on that later) that we experienced in Southern Tasmania.

Part 1 of my Tasmania guide is here featuring my Guide to Hobart. Stay tuned for my Bruny Island guide next week!

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Mar 5, 2014

Win a double pass to the Cake Bake Sweets Show!

Do you like cake as much as me? Well then I think you need to head on down to Australia’s first ever Cake Bake & Sweets Show - the country’s biggest live event dedicated to everything baking. Sounds like heaven, right?

Make Taste Shop- Choc

Cake Bake and Sweets is a 3 day event that takes place from 21 - 23rd March 2014 at Sydney Showground, Olympic Park. There will be something for everyone – each day is packed full of celebrity demos, competitions, classes and interactive workshops.

I’m super excited to be attending the Sunday session, and hope I get to rub shoulders with the likes of these special guests:

♥ Duff Goldman, star of Ace of Cakes on Foxtel’s LifeStyle FOOD Channel (USA)
♥ Eric Lanlard, star of Baking Mad on Foxtel’s LifeStyle FOOD Channel (UK)
♥ Adriano Zumbo, patissier extraordinaire

plus many more!

All Star Talent

Highlights of the show include:

- Delicious kitchen by Kitchenaid
- The Walk of Wedding Cakes
- Cake Decorating Theatre
- Bakery Theatre by Devondale
- The Australian Cake Decorating Championships
- The Taste of Chocolate
- Dessert Table Showcase
- The Marketplace
- The Expo
- Hands on classes (fees apply)
- The Classroom
- Take and Make classes (fees apply)

And I have a double pass to giveaway for the Cake Bake Sweets Show to a lucky reader! You must be available on one day between 21-23 March and able to get to Sydney.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and I hope to see you there!

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Mar 4, 2014

Banana Caramel Pancakes

My nickname for these pancakes is “Faileo Pancakes”. Why? Because I started off with a paleo pancake recipe and then covered it in caramel. Just because. And it’s DELICIOUS. Plus it’s super easy and gluten free! Forget the usual flour, milk and sugar – the base recipe uses just 3 ingredients – bananas, eggs and baking powder.

And why am I making pancakes? Because it’s Shrove Tuesday (aka Pancake Day) of course! Pancakes are associated with the day preceding Lent because they were a way to use up rich foods such as eggs, milk, and sugar, before the fasting season of the 40 days of Lent.

I had such a great response to my single serve Lonely Girl Pancakes that I created another single serve pancake recipe. You’ll be making this, a LOT.

banana-caramel-pancakes

Banana Caramel Pancakes
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Author:
Serves: 1

Ingredients
  • 2 medium bananas, ripe to overripe
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅛ tsp baking powder
  • Butter, to fry
  • 3 tbsp caramel sauce (I used Bonne Maman caramel spread)
  • 1 tbsp shredded coconut (optional)

Instructions
  1. Mash 1½ bananas in a bowl, then crack 2 eggs in and whisk until combined. It doesn’t have to be super smooth, I like the batter quite chunky.
  2. Add ⅛ teaspoon of baking powder and coconut (if using) to the mashed bananas and egg mix and stir to combine.
  3. Pour approx 1 tablespoon of batter per pancake into the frypan and cook over medium low heat.
  4. Flip after bubbles appear across the surface, cook for about one minute more until golden on both sides.
  5. Heat a little more butter in the frying pan and fry the slices of banana with a spoonful of caramel spread until golden.
  6. To assemble, stack pancakes and smooth a teaspoon of caramel between every second pancake.
  7. Top with pan fried bananas and a little more caramel.

If you want to make these pancakes truly paleo, skip the caramel and throw in a handful of berries before you cook them. Very delicious and healthy too.

And thanks to Australian Eggs, I have a special pancake-themed prize pack to give away!

pancake-competition

This giveaway pack (RRP$50) includes:
- Mixing bowl
– Spatula
– Pancake Rings
– Eggs Easy As apron
– Recipes

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enjoy the recipe and good luck!

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Feb 26, 2014

Travel Guide: Hobart

I visited Tasmania once as a child. I have vague memories of staggering up Cradle Mountain at my parent’s request, blinking back tears at Port Arthur and trying, in vain, to spot Tassie Devils. Roll the clock forward many years, and with Tasmania’s booming foodie scene, my new appreciation for “getting back to nature” and the recently opened MONA (the Museum of Old and New Art), this destination was suddenly high on my radar again.

welcome-to-hobart

We landed at Hobart Airport, bright eyed and bushy tailed and excited to explore some of what Tasmania had to offer. We hired a car at the airport, definitely the easiest and most flexible way to get around Tasmania.

hobart-airport

Only a 15 minute drive later (god I love small destinations) we arrive at our hotel, Somerset on the Pier, which is literally on the pier with gorgeous views of the harbour.

pier-view

Our spacious room was split level, with kitchen, bathroom and living areas downstairs, and our beds upstairs. I could easily have spent a week here!

sommerset-apartments

Salamanca Market

But alas there was no time to continue enjoying our quarters – we had “work” to do! First stop, Salamanca Market. Salamanca Market is of Australia’s best known outdoor markets, and is home to over 300 stalls selling fresh produce, arts & crafts, fashion and an array of tasty snacks.

salamanca-market

Our tummies were rumbling, so we started off at the crepe stall, purchasing several savoury crepes (the salsa they serve them with is delicious) and of course a Nutella crepe, as it would be rude not to.

crepes-salamanca

It would probably be of no surprise to you that my favourite stall at Salamanca was the succulent store! These mini succulents planted in egg shells were my favourite (and what a great idea!) as well as the settings planted in vintage boxes, complete with mini mushrooms and a ladybug.

There was also a huge array of homemade clothing, ceramics and wood work, and beautiful, fresh produce for sale.

plants-salamanca

misc-salamanca

veges-salamanca

MONA - Museum of Old and New Art

Our next stop was what I was looking forward to most – MONA! MONA is Australia’s largest private museum located on the Berriedale peninsula, a 30 minute ferry ride from Hobart.

mona-sign

Even getting to MONA is fun – we board a ferry painted in camouflage and ride along on deck with sheep and cow figurines. Graffiti graces the walls and I admire the birdcage (with live bird) as we sip our drinks from the on-board cafe/bar.

mona-ferry

The view from MONA was spectacular and we were treated to lovely weather. Thank you Tasmania!

mona-from-water

mona-view

MONA houses a huge array of ancient, modern and contemporary art presented in a stunningly-designed building – for example the lowest floor at the Museum is 14 metres below ground and was carved out of a 240-million-year-old sandstone quarry!

mona-inside

mona-inside2

Some of my favourites included Tessa Farmer’s “The Depraved Pursuit of a Possum” which features insects and arachnids set upon a skull. Beautiful and macabre.

depraved-pursuit2

data.tron by Ryoji Ikeda was another of my favourites, featuring a huge darkened room lined with projectors with moving text.

data-tron

And last but certainly not least, possibly MONA’s most infamous installation – “Cloaca Professional” by Wim Delvoye. An installation that accurately reproduces the human digestive system step-by-step and produces… yep you got it, poop. It did not smell great. However, it was fascinating and the machine was quite beautiful to look at.

cloaca-professional

After several hours of checking out the fascinating exhibitions in the dark rabbit warren of MONA, we break for air at the top and locate the MONA Wine Bar. It features a deck with a nice view, Moorilla wine, Moo Brew beers plus a selection of other craft wines, ales and spirits.

mona-winebar

mona-wine-bar

The Wine Bar has a great range of tasty snacks to enjoy, including oysters, charcuterie and wood-fired pizzas. We enjoyed a cheese plate and some olives with parmesan biscuits, washed down with a glass of prosecco.

mona-snacks

The Mill on Morrison

We arrive back on dry land in Hobart and head to dinner, which is just around the corner from our apartment. The Mill on Morrison is a tapas and wine bar, and our hungry tummies eagerly await.

mill-on-morrison

Feeling pretty tired after our big day, my friend mentioned she felt like an espresso martini, and lo-and-behold, they have an entire menu dedicated to them!

I stuck with the classic, an Original Sin, whilst my friend braved the Devil’s Elixir with contained house infused chilli vodka, Cointreau, chilli infused sugar syrup and espresso. We were awake!

espresso-martini

There is a LOT to choose from on the menu, and we go with the $45pp tapas banquet option (there is also a $35pp lighter option, or a $65pp more extensive version).

Highlights of the huge array of food we snacked on included the artichoke and pyengana tasty cheddar pinxtos ($3 each) and corn chips topped with shredded paprika chicken ($5 for a serve of 2).

entrees-mill-on-morrison

The arancini balls of the day ($4 each) were chorizo and onion – I loved their flavoursome filling and crunchy outside, but I found the breadcrumbs were over seasoned. The pork belly and apple slaw ($16) was another standout, with the slaw being a nice reprieve from the rich and fatty pork belly. And that crackle, oh that crackle.

tapas-mill-on-morrison

We also enjoyed other tapas including croquettes, zucchini flowers stuffed with ricotta and pesto, char-grilled chorizo, chicken wings and a goats cheese semolina gnocci.

Our only problem was a huge portion of the banquet menu was deep fried with little fresh vegetable accompaniment. Whilst everything was absolutely delicious, next time I would choose the dishes myself, including some lighter options and a salad to break it up. We were so full I couldn’t even make the most of the extensive sundae menu! Looks like I’ll have to return :)

The Mill on Morrison on Urbanspoon

Jackman & McRoss

We arrive at Jackman & McRoss the next morning for breakfast, which is located in Battery Point, one of Hobart’s oldest and most historic areas. This gorgeous bakery is chock full of delicious pastries, breads, desserts and much much more, and I spend a good amount of time staring into the display cases.

jackman-mcross jackman-mcross-inside

Service was super friendly and attentive and our well-priced coffees and food were swiftly delivered. I went for the asparagus, brie, potato & red pepper frittata ($9) whilst my friend ordered the scrambled eggs wrapped in salmon on Danish pastry ($11). Hello decadence! We are starting to notice a “large portion” trend in Tasmania, and once again we fail to finish our delicious meals.

jackman-mcross-breakfast

Jackman & Mcross Bakery on Urbanspoon

Smolt

I’ve heard good things about Smolt being one of Hobart’s top restaurants and was pleased to check it out. All the staff were so friendly, our waiter even offering to move us to a different table when we were cold and offered a sweater when we politely declined (it’s meant to be summer, Tasmania!!)

smolt

We started off our meal with 2 salads which induced much umming and ahhing with delight. On the left we have the jamon serrano, local pickled pear, smoked almond and shallot vinaigrette ($19.90). On the right was the roasted beetroot, asparagus, artichoke, caramelised pumpkin puree, Kettering grown hazelnuts and goat curd salad ($19.50). Both dishes were stunning and a great start to our meal.

smolt-entress

On to mains now and I had the locally farmed lamb leg primal, seasonal spring vegetables, smoky eggplant puree, chilli, garlic and anchovy dressing ($36.90). The lamb was cooked to perfection and the crisp roasted vegetables made a perfect accompaniment. I’m not a huge fan of anchovies but that flavour was subtle in the sauce. My friend had the house made pappardelle with lamb ragu, tomato, garlic and reggiano ($28.90). I know this is a weird thing to say, but I don’t really like pasta. However this pasta was honestly, absolutely delicious. The meaty sauce was chunky and flavoursome, the pasta cooked to perfect al dente and it avoided the temptation of being drowned in cheese.

smolt-mains

Smolt on Urbanspoon

Machine Laundry Cafe

It’s our final day in Hobart (sad face) and we head to Salamanca Square which is full of rows of sandstone buildings and contains numerous restaurants, galleries, craft shops and offices – and our breakfast location!

salamanca-place

Machine Laundry Cafe is located in the corner of Salamanca Square and is bright and colourful – you can even do your washing whilst you eat breakfast if you so please. We got there early, but the place quickly filled up which indicated the great meal we were about to enjoy.

machine-laundry-cafe

Our coffees arrived in colourful mugs and saucers, filled with strong and flavoursome liquid that helped us conquer the lengthy and tempting looking menu.

machine-laundry-coffee

We fortunately made very good choices and this is possibly going down as one of my favourite breakfasts… EVER (big call, I know).

On the left we have the “Fat Boy” ($17) which is the weirdest, most wonderful breakfast concoction ever invented. It features a roti bread wrapped around grilled chicken, bacon, tomato and iceberg lettuce, then drowned in spicy peanut sauce. I am drooling just thinking about it. It was a great Eastern twist on a classic Western breakfast dish.

Our other delicious breakfast option was “The Old New Egg Dish” ($14 + $3.5 for crispy pancetta) which included scrambled eggs with fetta on garlic sourdough with beetroot relish and wild rocket. Once again both dishes were too big to finish, but god we tried, and remembered at the end there is actually an option on the menu to request a small serve of any dish for $2 less. What a great idea! I wish more places would do this.

machine-laundry-breakfast

Machine Laundry Cafe on Urbanspoon

And so that amazing meal concludes my whirlwind tour of Hobart. I definitely feel like I need to return, yet again, to discover more of what Hobart has to offer, but it’s already knocked my socks off.

Stay tuned for more Tasmania posts featuring Bruny Island, Port Arthur, Richmond and Swansea!

Love Swah + 1 travelled, ate & stayed courtesy of Tourism Tasmania 

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Feb 17, 2014

Chocolate Joys – A Chocolate Crackle x Honey Joy Hybrid

I love reminiscing about the childhood treats from my youth – fairy bread, chocolate crackles, Australian Women’s Weekly Birthday Cakes, honey joys and more. This month’s Sweet Adventures Blog Hop is hosted by the lovely Sophie from The Sticky and Sweet with the theme Childhood Favourite. Today I will be sharing with you two of my favourite childhood sweet treats, reinvented into a tasty hybrid treat with an adult twist.

SABH_14-02-childhood-300x300

So I present to you… the Chocolate Joy. A Chocolate Crackle x Honey Joy concoction that has been given a very adult dress up. For overseas readers, a chocolate crackle is traditionally made of rice bubbles, copha, cocoa powder and desiccated coconut, whilst a honey joy is caramel in flavour and made of cornflakes, butter, honey and sugar.

choc-crackle-honey-joy

I took the concept of a basic chocolate crackle and swapped out the rice bubbles for cornflakes. I used a mixture of 70% dark chocolate and butter to coat the cereal instead of cocoa powder and copha, and made a salted caramel topping to echo the flavours of a honey joy.

choc-crackle-honey-joy-hybrid

Chocolate Joys – A Chocolate Crackle x Honey Joy Hybrid
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Author:
Serves: 20

Ingredients
  • 300g 70% dark chocolate
  • 50g butter
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 3 cups cornflakes
  • Store bought caramels (like Werther’s Caramel Chews)
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Instructions
  1. Melt the dark chocolate and butter together in the microwave in short bursts on medium.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the cornflakes and coconut together.
  3. Pour the melted chocolate mixture over the cornflakes and coconut, and stir until each piece of cereal is coated.
  4. Transfer the mixture into mini baking cases arranged on a tray – I use about a heaped teaspoon of mixture per case.
  5. Put the tray in the fridge to set whilst you make the cheat’s salted caramel.
  6. Melt around 15 Werther’s Caramel Chews (or similar caramel lolly) over a low heat. Add in sea salt and stir.
  7. Drizzle caramel over each Chocolate Joy. Tada!

choc-crackle-honey-joy2

And the result? A rich and chocolately crunchy treat that isn’t too sickly – with a nice salty and sweet drizzle to top it off. Bring these to your next birthday or fete and the adults will go wild! Thank you Sophie for thinking of such a fun theme!

What’s your favourite childhood treat?

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