Apr 22, 2014

Travel Guide: Swansea and Richmond, Tasmania

We arise early for our scenic drive to Swansea, about 2 hours and 15mins drive from Port Arthur. Swansea is a small town located halfway between Hobart and Launceston on Tasmania’s east coast and overlooks Freycinet National Park

driving

Kate’s Berry Farm

Before we arrive in the heart of Swansea, we take a pitt stop at Kate’s Berry Farm. Located 3 km south of the Swansea township, you couldn’t ask for a more scenic position – her shop overlooks rows of berries to breathtaking views across Great Oyster Bay!

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kates-berry-farm-view

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Kate warmly greets us and her passion and enthusiasm for her business is immediately evident. She began her berry farm in the late 80s, seeing an opportunity to make the most of Tasmania’s cool climate berries (at the time the only berries sold on the East Coast were imported from interstate). It wasn’t always smooth sailing for Kate due to being regarded as an “outsider” by the close knit community (she was originally from Victoria), a fair dose of sexism (a female farmer?!) and budget issues, but her Berry Farm is the result of hard work, perseverance and a lot of business savvy

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Her original store was a fraction of the size it is today, and she initially sold only jams and ice creams. Today she creates a huge array of jams (with sugar-free options), chocolates, sauces, jellies, sorbet and desserts including freshly baked hot scones, waffles and fruit pies.

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Here I am looking very happy with my jar of Mingleberry Jam – it’s one of her bestsellers and contains raspberries, strawberries and blackberries.

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Kate's Berry Farm on Urbanspoon

We continue our drive to the heart of Swansea, taking a quick photo stop at The Spiky Bridge. Constructed in 1843 by convicts, this bridge’s unique spiky design is allegedly to stop cows from falling off the bridge into the gully below. So there you go.

spiky-bridge

Swansea

We explore Swansea’s township on a gorgeous sunny day, and thoroughly enjoy poking through its’ shops and spending up a storm!

swansea

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I had a great time in Posh Garage, and came out with a vintage set of kitchen scales, teacup and apron.

shopping-swansea

We also discovered lovely local arts and crafts at Onyx Providore, and I bought a beautifully handcrafted Huon Pine rolling pin. And before we knew it, it was lunch time.

onyx-interios

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The Ugly Duck Out

We are greeted warmly by Robyn, who explains The Ugly Duck Inn serves fresh local produce, offering a menu full of globally-inspired cuisine made with organic, GM free, fair trade food.

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My friend selects the Fish of the Day ($19), and despite it being lunch time, I can’t go past their famous all-day breakfast. The Quesadilla ($20) features local bacon, egg, cheese and chilli beans between two tortillas. It’s fried until crispy hot and served with sour cream and smoked chilli salsa.

We also got to sample some amazing local Tasmanian ice cream from Pyengana – the flavours were bush pepper, wattle seed, lemon myrtle, chocolate and red berry sorbet. So unique and so quintessentially Tasmanian! Alas there was no stomach room for Robyn’s amazing-looking apple pie :(

ugly-duck-out-montage

Rocky Hills Retreat

We drive out of Swansea to check into our accommodation, Rocky Hills Retreat, for the night. We nervously drive our hire car 2 kilometres up a gravelly dirt driveway, wondering where on earth we’re heading, and if our car will actually make it to the top.

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The ocean gets further and further away until we are on top of the mountain, surrounded by bush.

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Eventually a structure appears in the distance and we whoop with joy. It also looks like a compound and we curiously open the front door to see what lays inside…

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…and it’s nothing short of amazing. Windows wrap around 3/4 of the building, showing off its’ gorgeous views of 250 acres of Tasmanian bush and the ocean in the distance. The bed is a plush king size bed with a curtain hanging from the ceiling to separate you from the open plan layout if need be.

rock-hill-retreat-bed-shots

There is a large dining area and modern kitchen filled with thoughtful provisions such as tea, coffee, muesli with yogurt, fresh fruit, eggs and bacon. The lounge area is perfect for relaxing and enjoying the stunning scenery, but if you get bored of that, there is a carefully curated selection of books and music to keep you entertained.

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rock-hill-retreat-decorations

We also got a complimentary bottle of champagne! We popped the cork and then assembled ourselves a cheese board to indulge a little before dinner (as clearly we hadn’t done enough eating or drinking on the trip…)

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We took our glasses of champagne outside and filled the custom built Huon Pine bath tub with water outside on the deck to splash our feet in. This is the life!

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We then head to our private fully equipped art studio (yes, really) set in an old church, located just 300 metres away.

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It has stunning stained glass windows, chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and is decked out with equipment for you to draw, paint, sculpt, knit, read or simply just relax.

church-montage

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I awoke the next morning to watch the sunrise from bed, it was truly spectacular.

sunrise

I also got to practice some morning yoga, thanks to the yoga mats thoughtfully provided. It truly was the most incredible and indulgent place I have ever stayed at. Next time I need at least a week!

rocky-hill-retreat-yoga

The Banc Restaurant

Dinner tonight is at The Banc, a Modern Australian restaurant offering up dishes based around local produce from Tasmania’s East Coast.

banc-interiors

The food was outstanding, we started off with a prawn and minted-pea risotto with charred lemon snow pea tendrils ($14.50) to share, and I swear I could have eaten 4 plates of this. Both our mains were similarly impressive, with a 220 g Eye fillet steak with twice-baked goat’s cheese soufflé, red wine glazed shallots, asparagus spears and jus ($32) and the pan-roasted chicken breast with honey truffle pistachios, parmesan herb custard and glazed Dutch carrots ($28).

We were full and could barely finish our mains, but I soldiered on and ordered dessert. The strawberry cheesecake ($9.50) was heavenly, not too sweet and with crunchy pieces of white chocolate throughout.

banc-montage

We were treated to a lovely sunset on our last night in Swansea.

sunset

Banc on Urbanspoon

Felicity’s Antiques, Vintage & Tea Room

We go to Felicity’s for a late breakfast the next day, and arrive at a gorgeous house with panoramic views of the ocean.

felicitys-tearooms-building

felicitys-tearooms-view

The house is stuffed full with antiques, vintage fashion and bric-a-brac to poke through. Felicity’s is run by a lovely couple, and while we didn’t get to meet Felicity herself, her husband was more than happy to take care of us. The homemade food is superb and he was very friendly.

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As we were approaching morning tea time, we order rare beef sandwiches and a ham, cheese and tomato toastie. Both are simple and delicious and hit the spot. I can never turn down a scone, and soon tea arrives, along with jam and cream served in seashells!

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Richmond

We get back in the car and drive 1.5 hours to our final destination, Richmond. Richmond is regarded as Tasmania’s most important historic town, famous for its Georgian architecture. We explored galleries, teashops, boutique stores and museums and indulged in some local food and wine (of course).

Apparently Gollywogs are now a thing again (at least in Richmond), we saw them in quite a few stores! Sweets and Treats is an old school lolly store packed full of nostalgic delights.

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My favourite store was Ally and Me, and it was filled to the brim with Funkis, terrariums and jewellery strung from tree branches. It was like a little bit of Paddington in Richmond.

richmond-shopping

We then walk to the iconic Richmond Bridge. Built in 1823 by convicts, Richmond Bridge is Australia’s oldest bridge still in use. The bridge is picture-perfect and framed with purple agapanthus plants.

richmond-bridge

We finish the afternoon off at Richmond Wine Centre, enjoying a few glasses of wine and a tasty meal in the outdoor dining area. We ate bruschetta topped with tomato salsa ($9), Barilla Bay oysters (½ dozen for $17.00), a fresh garden salad with chicken ($17) and fries ($6). We then head to the airport and sadly bid Tasmania adieu!

richmond-wine-centre

This Tasmania adventure was one of the most amazing and memorable trips I’ve ever taken and I hope I’ve inspired you to check out this beautiful state as well! There is still so much I want to experience in Tassie, and I am sure I will be back soon.

Make sure you check out my guide to Hobart, Bruny Island and Port Arthur and watch my video too!

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

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Apr 20, 2014

White Chocolate Easter Bark with Popping Candy

This is a super easy and fun Easter recipe that makes a great present. It was my first time marbling chocolate and I must admit I over mixed it in excitement and it ended up looking slightly like a psychedelic acid trip. With edible glitter!

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It’s an incredibly flexible recipe that you can tailor to suit your tastes. But popping candy makes a VERY fun addition to this Easter treat. Don’t like white chocolate? Use dark or milk. Like the salty contrast? Smash up some pretzels and stir them in. For a more decadent twist, swirl in some salted caramel or throw in a handful of chopped Cadbury Creme Eggs. Heaven.

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White Chocolate Easter Bark with Popping Candy
 
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Author:
Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 375g white chocolate melts
  • Powdered chocolate dyes (see notes)
  • 1 packet small Easter eggs
  • Popping Candy
  • Any edible decorations of your choice

Instructions
  1. Line a baking tray with grease proof paper.
  2. Separate your white chocolate into 3 bowls – I left 60% as plain white chocolate and dyed 25% pink and 15% green.
  3. Heat each bowl of chocolate individually in the microwave in short bursts until melted and smooth.
  4. Gradually add in the powered dye and stir well until you have achieved your desired colour(s).
  5. Pour the white chocolate onto the lined baking tray and smooth out with an offset spatula.
  6. Drizzle the coloured chocolates over the white chocolate and swirl with a skewer until you achieve a nice marbling effect.
  7. Quickly sprinkle over your Easter eggs, popping candy and any edible decorations you like before the chocolate starts to cool.
  8. Wait until the Easter bark has completely hardened before snapping it into pieces.
  9. Enjoy!

Notes

* I used this powdered dye from Robert’s Confectionery to colour my chocolate.

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Did you make any of your Easter presents this year?

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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.

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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
 
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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!

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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 :)

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

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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).

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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.

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Hot Cross Bun Cupcakes
 
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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

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♥ Coconut Macaroon Birds Nests by Love Swah

coconut-macaroon-birds-nests

♥ Lamb Cake by Handmade Charlotte

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♥ Chicken and Bunny Sugar Cookies by Bakingdom 

Easter-Chick-and-Bunny-Cookies

♥ Carrot Cupcakes by Hostess with the Mostess

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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.

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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.

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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!

love_swah_sig

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!

love_swah_sig

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