Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Cumulus Inc. and Beer Deluxe, Melbourne.

Last month I spent a long weekend in Melbourne with my two besties for my birthday.. nay, OUR birthday. Yes, one of my best friends and I share the same birthday. Highly convenient. I can't even begin to tell you how much I love Melbourne. The culture, the food, the people, the city.. everything about it is fantastic. I would move to Melbourne in a heartbeat. Anyone know any good jobs going down there? Hit me up. I have awesome skills.

Our weekend was predominately made up of eating and drinking. After a hideously horrible and exhausting flight through sever thunderstorms late on Friday night (I have a shocking fear of flying), we were in need of some serious sustenance on Saturday morning for our first official meal in Melbourne. Having received glowing praise from a few co-workers, we decided to head to Cumulus Inc. for a late brunch. Thankfully we didn't have to wait too long for a table, and the seating hostess was extremely friendly and helpful (we nicked named her 'the fox' cause she was so great at her job!)
Soy mocca for the ladies, while I opted for a chai. I made the wrong decision. Bitterly dissapointing, this chai tasted like watered down milk. 
Rebecca, however was very impressed with her coffee choice. I was not amused.
After a good 45 minute wait, and two separate attempts to chase up our food, we finally received our breakfast.  Rebecca opted for the Wagyu corned beef & gruyere cheese toasted sandwich with tomato relish, $14.  The relish was extra tasty, but the cheese was slightly over powering.. tough dish to finish.
Lauren, aka the other birthday girl, aka the vegetarian, ordered the Shakshouka - baked eggs with roast peppers and marinated Persian feta, $16. Seriously, put feta in anything and guaranteed Lauren will order it. She's all about the cheese.  I don't remember trying this, but it resulted in squeals of delight from Lauren. A little on the oily side towards the end, and definitely requires more toast on the side for mopping up the peppery goodness. 
I had read and heard great things about the Grilled lyonnaise sausage, smoked hock, braised beans and 65/65 egg.. I just couldn't resist. And it was perfect. The gooey egg was poached to perfection, the smoked hock was smattered throughout the beans, and the generous slab of sausage and toasted sourdough was the perfect vessel to hold it all together. If I could have licked the plate clean I would have.
Bellies full, we ventured out into the Melbourne laneways for a spot of vintage book shopping,  sunshine and posing in front of street art taking photos like the good lil hipsters we are! I am not ashamed. 
It was well past midday, which meant we were already behind on our drinking so we stumbled into Beer Deluxe at Federation Square for a cheeky drink.. actually, a Cheeky Rascal Strawberry and Apple cider, $9. We drank A LOT more of these throughout the weekend. Super yummy, perfect for a warm Melbourne weekend! 

Cumulus Inc.
45 Flinders Lane
Melbourne, VIC

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Beer Deluxe
Federation Square
Corner of Swanston and Flinders Streets
Melbourne, VIC

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Drum Cake: Tutorial

Yo kids. Here is the Drum Cake tutorial. Enjoy!
You will need
1 round ganached cake
Rolling pin/corn flour
Fondant (1 batch coloured, 1 batch white for top of drum and accessories)
Tooth picks
Edible silver paint - available from all good cake decorating stores. You can use a luster dust, but I find this must easier to use and results in a better colour.
Paint brush

This cake is pretty straight forward, but a tad bit fiddly at times. Take your beautifully ganached cake and cover it in your chosen colour fondant. Next, take your white fondant and roll out large enough to cover just the top of the cake - this will be the ‘head’ on your drum (also known as a drum skin).
Trim the edges of the white fondant - it doesn't need to look perfectly neat as we are going to add another ring of fondant.

Here is where it gets tricky - roll out a piece of white fondant the same diameter as the cake, about 3cm high (the height is dependent on the size of your cake.. measure a small bit and hold it up to your cake to get a better idea). Wrap this piece of fondant around the base of the cake, attaching it with a small bit of water applied with the paint brush.
Roll out a second piece of white fondant the same size.. this is where it gets tricky. You need to attach this piece to the top edge of the cake, while allowing it to edge above the top of the cake. I didn't do this, but in hindsight I would have measured out a ring of toothpicks that I stick into the cake for the strip of fondant to sit on top of. As I mentioned, this bit is tricky and a bit fiddly as the fondant is still soft. Once you are happy, and the fondant has had a little bit of time to dry and stiffen, paint it with the edible silver paint.
Now that you have the top and bottom ring of fondant attached, it’s time to add the accessories.. also known as the drum lug!
Roll out white fondant nice and thin.. approx 2mm, and cut out rectangles. Mine were approx 2cm x 4cm.. again, this is dependent on the size of your cake.  Using your toothpicks, add two parallel indents in the rectangle (see photo). Paint with edible silver paint and allow to dry before adding to the cake. Also paint a bunch of toothpicks with the same silver paint and allow to dry.
Spacing your lugs evenly around the cake (I used 7.. not actually sure if this is factually accurate for a snare drum??), first attach the toothpicks. Simply slide the pointy end under the rim at the top/base of the cake, with a tiny bit of water. Then place the rectangle over the top. Simple!

I also added a logo/my brothers initials to the cake. I used a template to cut these out of white fondant and attached with water.
(Don't forget to remove the toothpicks before eating the cake!)