Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Cupcake Bakery, QVB Sydney

It’s been a long time since I’ve visited the QVB. It really is a great shopping location, and I always loved how you can hop straight off the train and you’re in the shopping centre! Talk about convenience.

A very welcome addition to the QVB is The Cupcake Bakery (which happens to be located next to T2.. another of my favourite shopping destinations). Chain cupcake stores are growing at a rapid pace, and I often think the thrill and excitement generated by a gorgeous cupcake is wearing off because of this. Remember the good old days of fairy bread and fairy cakes? You’d head to a friend’s birthday party in anticipation of a soft little cake filled with cream, or if you were really lucky you’d score a huge vanilla cupcake with a thick layer of butter cream on top. You’d be buzzing for days because of the sugar fix!

(The Maxi Cupcakes. $55-$70)

Ahhh, a simpler time. But these past memories didn’t stop me from getting excited over the treats on offer at The Cupcake Bakery. The first thing you notice is the size. Unlike some other chain cupcake stores, these bad boys are big. And if they’re not big enough for you then there is always the maxi cupcake! These monsters can feed up to 12 people, and will set you back between $55 - $70 depending on flavour.

(Box of four $15)

I opt for a box of four – Strawberry vanilla, choc peppermint, banana and lemon meringue.
I was very excited for the choc peppermint and lemon meringue. I think I set my expectations too high with the latter, as the lemon curd was very bitter and I thought the meringue would have a bit of crunch to the outside, similar to a Pavlova. But alas, I am disappointed.

Next up – choc peppermint. It’s possible that my continued disappointment was my own fault with this one, but at the time of purchase I was assuming the cupcake itself was also peppermint choc flavour. Turns out the choc part is the cupcake and the peppermint is the butter cream part. Don’t get me wrong, it was still nice but I am a HUGE fan of peppermint and was just expecting a little bit more of it in this cupcake.

This was followed by strawberry vanilla. Cupcake was good, buttery and moist but not too soft. Butter cream was also good. But where is the strawberry? This was supposed to have a strawberry filling, but I couldn’t find it?

Lastly, we have the Banana cupcake. The cupcake was great, somewhat reminiscent of that banana cake your Grandma would make, lovely and moist with plenty of real banana! It was then topped off with a cream cheese butter cream. I have two very strong beliefs in life – 1. Anything would taste amazing if it is covered in chocolate ganache. 2. If the ganache doesn’t work, try cream cheese butter cream. And the final, unanimous decision from the entire family was that the banana cupcake was hands down the winner on the night.

(Custard tumble. This is on the top of my list for next time! $4.50)

The Cupcake Bakery

Shop 2-4, Lower ground 2 QVB

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Krispy Kreme Burger

In yesterday’s MX newspaper I read the most amazing article about the ultimate in fusion food. The Krispy Kreme Burger. Would you like me to repeat that, because I didn’t believe it when I first read it either. I said The Krispy Kreme Burger. Otherwise known as the Craz-E Burger. So once you’ve picked your jaw up off your chest I’ll tell you a little bit more about it.

This burger made its recent world wide debut at the Big E Fair in West Springfield, USA (where else but America!). However, urban legends tell us that this burger was possibly created by late singer-songwriter and record producer Luther Vandross. A suburban bar in Decatur, Georgia still serve the burger named after its biggest fan, and possible creator, ‘The Luther Burger’. To check out more about the Luther Burger click here.

Yesterday on the way home from work, reading this article on the train I was shocked and amazed. Only problem.. there was no accompanying picture. I had to see this monstrosity with my own eyes. And I’m pretty sure you want to see it now too, huh!

Well folks, here it is. The amazing Craz-E Buger..

Photo from The Big E website, describing the burger as ‘classic fair food’.

“No single ingredient dominates the burger. They all complement each other with artistry expected from a celebrity chef. The glaze smoothes over the burger and oozes into a foreign but delicious combination with the crisp of the bacon. The donut is butter grilled and quite a change from the burger roll you are accustomed to. It transforms the ordinary into the delicious.”
Direct quote for the Big E website. Check out the full article here.

And just in case you get a hankering for one after a huge drinking session, as I feel this could possibly become the new 2.30am kebab, the Big E has supplied us with the recipe.

Craz-E Burger Recipe

One beef patty
American Cheese
Crisp bacon
Butter grilled glazed donut

Carefully slice the donut in half, lightly butter and grill. Add cooked burger, top with cheese and crisp bacon. Place in between the donut halves. No condiments are needed.
Recipe from the Big E.

Now I need to know, who seriously out there would have a go at one of these bad boys? At a whopping 1500 calories would you go for it? And if anyone does have a go at the recipe, do let me know your verdict. And also let me know that you didn’t immediately die of a heart attack, I don’t want to be sending any of you to an early grave!

Monday, October 5, 2009

French themed engagement cake and cupcakes..

Paris, the most romantic city in the world. Just imagine, wandering through the streets of Paris, finding yourself under the Eiffel tower hand in hand with the man of your dreams. And then he drops down on one knee and asks the one question most girls wait their whole life to hear. Then there are tears, congratulations from strangers and a gorgeous ring. Romantic, huh! And no I’m not currently reading a Mills & Boon novel; this is how events actually played out for my ‘sister in law’ on a recent trip overseas. Lucky girl! And very well done Rob Dog!!

And then comes the engagement party, French theme. Lucky me was asked to make the cake! Now, because I am among friends here I’m going to be perfectly honest. While I was thrilled and honoured to help with the party I was also crapping myself. For the first time ever I would be making a cake that would be seen and eaten by people other than my family, who by law must tell be how excellent, amazing, great, lovely and exceptional my work is. I had to get this right, for fear of screwing up the whole night with a crappy cake!

Four weeks out I started on the Eiffel Tower topper for the cake. All went well. Three weeks out, start the cupcake stand. Two weeks out I started on the cupcake toppers. Again, all went well. Four days out, start the cake. One day out, make the cupcakes. All good. Until the day of said party. Cakes packed and in the car, Eiffel Tower topper in its box ready to be assembled at the venue. Jump in the car, head down the street, take one last peak at the tower topper and.. it snapped. Holly crap. Back home, grab royal icing, attempt to glue back together, jump back in the car, head out again, get on the M5.. it snaps again. There are now three pieces to the tower. F##K!!!!

(Cupcakes. I hadn’t told the bride-to-be about these and as luck would have it she had decorated the venue with the word ‘Love’ and their initials ‘N&R’ aswell. Everything matched! Now that’s women’s intuition at its best!)

My worst fear had come true. Not a word was spoken during the car ride, except for when my gorgeous boyfriend looked over at me and said “It’s ok, you can scream if you want, I won’t tell anybody”. What would I do without him! But for some reason the cake gods were smiling down on me that night, and I managed to glue the damn thing back together. Phew!

It was a great night, lots of socialising, photo taking, and eating, drinking and general merriment.
Big congratulations to the gorgeous couple, Nads and Rob Dog. And here’s to a life time of happiness together!