Sunday, April 30, 2006

Coca Cola Cupcakes

Friday night was my workmate Alex's birthday, and we went to see Ice Age 2 in the beanbag cinema at work. Fun, fun fun! I asked Alex what he wanted, and he replied, "something homemade"...

What else could I make but cupcakes? These are the coca-cola cupcakes from Nigella Lawson's How to be a Domestic Goddess. Ordinarily I'd choose something more rich and decadent, but I had all the ingredients for these at home, and the absence of double cream or dark chocolate in the ingredients list meant it was cheap to make! Bonus!

So it's just an easy melt-and-mix dealy. You sift the dry ingredients into one bowl, and set it aside. Next, you mix buttermilk and an egg in another bowl. Then, you melt butter, cocoa and coca-cola in a pan. Mix it all together, and pour the batter into muffin tins. A word of warning - the batter is extremely wet. Like, so wet that I thought it would soak through the muffin papers. But, I chucked it in the oven nonetheless, and they turned out fine.


cupcakes


icing

Here's the icing. It's pretty simple too, just cocoa, icing sugar, coke and butter, melted and stirred together. In the recipe, Nigella instructs you to ice the cupcakes while warm, but I'd advise against this. You see, the icing was very sticky, and icing the warm cupcakes resulted in a big, sticky (but delicious) mess.


gimme gimme

They were really nice - very light, moist and sweet, and a million miles away from the rich, dense chocolate cakes I'm used to. I think they'd go down really well at a kids' birthday party.


one cupcake

Yummy! But I don't know if it was a good idea to eat sticky and moist cupcakes in a cinema full of beanbag cushions. Whoops....

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Happy Birthday Daniel!

For my brother's 24th birthday this year, we went to one of our favourite restaurants, Kenzan in the city. I haven't been there since I was a young girl. Aah.. how I love it.

Kenzan Japanese Restaurant
Collins Place
45 Collins Street (56 Flinders Lane)
Melbourne 3000

We started with delicious edamame (beans), which are given FOC when you sit down.


edamame

And started, as usual, with the massive assorted sushi/sashimi platter. DELICIOUS.


sushi sashimi moriawase

For mains, Mum and Dad both had tempura and rice.


tempura

I was disappointed that they no longer have tonkatsu on the menu, now that I'm back on pork. But I was more than happy with my choice of mains (2 entrees, really)... Smoked tuna with eggplant...


eggplant and smoked tuna

..and salt grilled ox tongue. Ox tongue is one of my favourite foods on the planet. Here it was served with Cupie mayonnaise, my other favourite food on the planet. Wow. (However, I have to admit, as great as this one was, I prefer the late great Oobata-san's version from Asukatei).


gyuu tan

Daniel had salmon teriyaki.


sake teriyaki

And for dessert... Daniel had green tea and vanilla ice-creams.


green tea and vanilla ice-cream

Mum and Dad shared green-tea ice-cream with red-bean (I couldn't find the photo, sorry)...

But my dessert was the best!


White sesame mousse, filled with redbean and a whole chestnut, with black sesame sauce


inside of mousse

It was absolutely divine.... I love the Japanese spin on Western desserts!

And yes, after all that, we still came home and found room for cake. It was a Laurent hazelnut chocolate mousse cake, it was rich, it was sweet. It was almost like eating a stick of butter, but much tastier.


cake


cake slice

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DANIEL!

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