One of the best things about being a food blogger is sampling ALL of the amazing chocolates thanks to Smooth FM. Last Saturday we had the pleasure to celebrate decadent desserts and chocolate designs from the best patisseries, chocolatiers and ice-creameries when the Smooth Festival of Chocolate had returned to The Rocks.
Don’t know where to start…
Spread of “CHOCOLATE GOODIE BAG”
Pssst… I have a whole stash of these Tim Tams. Who doesn’t like Tim Tam O’cloak?! Put those Tim Tams in my bag and nobody gets hurt. For the first time Arnott’s Tim Tam joined the festival at the Arnott’s Tim Tam Temptation Tent allowing chocolate lovers like me to experience Australia’s favourite indulgences.
Taking on the TIM TAM CHALLENGE!
It was a pleasure seducing La Renaissance chocolate tart. Garnishing this tart with chocolate included fresh raspberries, sprinkles of pistachio and a gold leaf gives this dessert a truly luxurious finish.
Beautifully smooth La Renaissance chocolate tart
We looked forward to trying some authentic handmade chocolates from Australian Patisserie Academy. We indulged each heavenly chocolate pieces. DAT CHOCOLATE SCENT! 😀 ❤
Impress Australian Patisserie Academy chocolates
Wag-Anna’s Wagon Wheel by Anna Polyviou.
Right before we attended the 2015 Smooth Festival of Chocolate, we were invited to attend the Smooth Festival of Chocolate Blogger Cooking Class at the Australian Patisserie Academy. We had not clue what to expect other then it involved something like chocolate… 😀
Excited and ready for APA’s cooking class
Impressive showpieces by Australian Patisserie Academy
Loving the selection of fine ingredients
Whilst Chef Angelo Roche from the Australian Patisserie Academy discusses ideas for our Tim Tam dish …we couldn’t wait to share our plates with you guys and here’s a hint…it involves TIM TAM BABY!!!
A great pastry education leads to great pastry!
We were a little obsessed with plating our dishes and felt a little tension coming from other bloggers such as *cough* Joe from 2 Hungry Guys *cough*. But this guy sure deserves two thumbs up for the creativity that I couldn’t possibly have. I ended up letting him win so I could eat more…that’s right. Teehee.
Made with love man…can’t you see?!
We had so much fun creating wicked sweet treats. I don’t remember the last time I’ve ever had so much fun creating and eating at the same time. There was so much chocolatey flavour in my dish and to balance it out I HAD to add some fresh fruits like strawberry, raspberry, blueberry and orange slices.
How amazing are these little babies?
OH and I couldn’t resist making my very own “Tim Tam Ferrari Car“. Totally everyone that night suffered from major envy that I made this baby. Cameron Daddo and Chef Angelo Roch was pretty impressed with my work. #nonotreally
Perfection on a plate
Cameron Daddo in the house!
Perfection by Joe from 2 Hungry Guys
You don’t need a map to figure out that Chef Angelo Roch is super talented. This born Sri Lanka and raised in India chef committed to sharpening up his patisserie skills in France and America to complete his professional development pastry courses at Ecole Lenôtre France, Ecole Gastronomique Bellouet Conseil Paris and the Callebaut Academy Chicago.
Chef Angelo Roch
A sneak peak of one of the dishes Chef Angelo Roch created. I couldn’t bring myself to eat this especially when it looked so special and delicate. It was everything I imagined, but BETTER.
Insane presentation by Chef Angelo Roch
Smooth FM’s Host Cameron Daddo and Nessy Eater Girl
We got to work with the most talented pastry chefs in Australia at Australian Patisserie Academy. And not just because these two chefs are brothers but they are both skilled, thoughtful and original chefs who are able to concentrate solely on patisseries.
Chef Joseph and Chef Angelo Roche
If only I could add smell to these photos!!
Got another sweet surprise to take home that night at the Smooth Festival of Chocolate Blogger Cooking Class, I call it the “CHOCOLATE JEWELLERY BOX”. The harmony of sweet flavours starts with the white chocolate pieces. Teamed with the milk chocolates and dark chocolates, this box packs a punch when it comes to flavour and texture.
“CHOCOLATE JEWELLERY BOX“ by the Australian Patisserie Academy
Another gift bag and I don’t think I can ever refuse chocolate.
It was SATURDAY 12th September and we started our Smooth FM journey at the Tim Tam Temptation Tent and guess who was in my camera screen looking all happy with candy…ADRIANO ZUMBO of course.
Happy Adriano Zumbo with science beakers filled with candy.
Working in progress to eat all the chocolates in the world!
Tim Tam Temptation Tent Instagram Wall.
Adriano Zumbo with family memebers at the Tim Tam Temptation Tent
Löwenbräu HOT Pretzels
Löwenbräu Keller hot dogs
OH MY GOD Chocolate Cronuts
Bumped into Adriano Zumbo AGAIN!!
Fast forward two hours and we were inside BAR100. The solid sandstone building at 100 George Street in the Rocks was built as a mariners’ church more than 100 years ago. Our jaws dropped when we noticed a long table filled with…you guessed it chocolate. While I tried my hardest to try everything…I kinda failed but that’s okay I knew 15+ packs of Tim Tam were waiting for me to eat them. HAHA.
Spread of sweet SWEET chocolate TREATS at BAR 100
And there was MORE MORE MOREEEEEEE!!!
I had a bit of this and that and this and that…
We arrived fashionably early that we managed to spot this elegant lady dressed in 1910’s style. She was hovering with her table filled with Tim Tams. It sounds crazy but she graciously moved around better than I can.
Tim Tam Lady
I was so tempted to take this GIGANTIC TIM TAM home.
Well that’s a wrap! It was freaken awesome to experience a taster of the amazing talent in this year’s Smooth Festival of Chocolate. There were truly some extraordinary chocolatier’s such as Adriano Zumbo and award winning Chocolatier Jodie Van De Velden. How can we forget Shangri-La Hotel Sydney’s Executive Pastry Chef Anna Polyviou punked up the kitchen at the Callebaut Test Kitchen. By the end of the day I realised I have a condition that makes me eat when I can’t sleep. It’s called insom-nom-nom-nom-nia.
Photos by Vanny Tang
Opinions are however, Nessy Eater’s own.
Like to know more about Nessy Eater food adventures?
Fancy baking in a bakery? How about an evening making a loaf of gluten-free bread and shortcrust pastry? At Brasserie Bread, they have come up with one of the best gluten-free slumber baking party ideas ever. It’s a rare chance to spend 3 hours with an artisan baker and learn the technical skills from starter to finish. For ($160 per person) max 10 students per course, this intimate workshop allows you go create and bake an amazing gluten-free bread loaf, a foccacia-style cornbread and a smoked trout & goats cheese tart with natural ingredient. In 2013 the Brasserie Bread has won sourdough loaf and Gold Medal at the RAS Sydney Fine Food Show Awards and in 2014 winner of champion sourdough & organic bread at sydney royal fine food show. The bakery is always occupied with a variety of hot fresh baked breads and pastries. For those who like to attempt making gluten-free bread, Brasserie Bread offer evening classes. You wouldn’t want to miss out breaducation, if you happen to like bread.
Gluten-Free Baking Workshop at Banksmeadow Bakery.
At 1:30pm sharp, the breaducation door was wide open and whilst we wait for other guests to arrive, I go do my Nessy thang. Wandering around with my camera and trying snoop around and see how a bakery looks like. This crazy large kitchen has a lot of personality and I am talking about GIGANTIC mixer and LARGE oven, it’s a dream baking kitchen alright. We were almost ready to begin, but it was nice of Artisan Baker Jo to let us introduce ourselves. Just a few centimeters to my left, I happen to be standing next to Go Bake Yourself! Urvashi is incredibly an awesome baker and you’d want her to bake you something everyday! Also standing next to Urvashi, Grab Your Fork’s cousin, Yvonne happens to be in the house. What a small world! This woman is seriously a baking enthusiast as she mentioned this would be her second class. SUPER KEEN BEAN!
Baking 3 Hours of gluten-free bread is fun for everyone.
Enough of me waffling and we start off with our starter ingredients to make Gluten-Free Bread Loaf. This includes organic gluten free flour, organic buckwheat flour, organic besan flour, river salt, raw sugar, fresh yeast, extra virgin olive oil, milk, water, xanthan gum and biga. Jo mentions that in the gluten free flour, there is a mixture of organic gluten free flour, 75% organic brown rice flour, 12.5% millet, 12.5% buckwheat. Top secret tip: For every 500grams of this mix, add 1tablespoon of gelatine, so this let’s the bread mingle well together. With the mix of these organic flours and gelatine it helps create a better tastier characteristics, especially the tendency of the bread is quite strong. For the gluten free enthusiast, Jo recommends Eating Gluten Free and Bette Hagman’s recipes. After Jo introduces us to gluten-free ingredients and our schedule, we hop to it with our mixing. We blended our fresh yeast, raw sugar, salt to our cup of milk, then poured it straight into our bowl and mixed thoroughly together till it looks sticky.
This is not so hard! Gluten-Free Bread Loaf here I come.
Next, we add water and oil, then continue mixing thoroughly till you get a nice mushy texture.
Adding 40ml of extra virgin oil plus 80ml of water into the mixing bowl.
After a nice arm workout with mixing, add 200 grams of biga into the mixing bowl. Did you know? Biga is a natural fermenting dough that is used to create a breads characteristics of flavour.
That’s 200 grams of Biga.
Mixing all ingredients together.
Well that’s a wrap for Gluten Free Bread Loaf. Just kidding! We had no choice to say farewell to these babies for about an hour so they can bulk ferment in a warm place. We all had to make sure our bowls were covered in clean wrap, so no flavours dissolve out in open.
Placing these Gluten-Free Bread Loaf mixture into the refrigerate room before baking.
Eagerly waiting for a next activity, Jo introduces us to Lupin. Lupin is a fantastic ingredient as it contains LOW GI and HIGH in PROTEIN (up to 40%) and great health benefit for those participating high content of dietary fibre. It is made from dehulled leguminous lupin kernels, not maize. From an Artisan Baker’s perspective, Jo suggest Kialla Pure is an excellent choice to making gluten free products, however if you don’t have that then use whatever that best fits you.
Jo talks about the ingredients we were using.
For making our Gluten Free Focaccia, it was exactly the same steps to making Gluten Free Bread Loaf. However slight difference with ingredients: organic gluten free flour, river salt, raw sugar, fresh yeast, organic Lupin flour, extra virgin olive oil, milk, water, xanthan gum and biga. After combining all ingredients together, cover it with clean wrap and store in a warm place. During the waiting process, six lucky guests including myself got the opportunity to go behind the scene and witness Brasserie Bread baking world. Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to take photos, but let me point this out, it was FREAKEN INCREDIBLE EXPERIENCE! It felt like Willy Wonka Wonderland, except this one’s for the bread fanatics. We stopped at the croissant pastry room and endless trays of croissants were waiting to be baked. We even witnessed bakers who had no gloves on taking out hot crisp sourdough bread straight out of the oven. That’s unbelievably insane!
Excitingly waiting to place the mixture into that tiny tray.
I know! Time flies and our Gluten Free Bread Loaf mixture was ready. I am going to make sure this bread is going to look attractive to eat. But first, let me out scoop 250 grams of Gluten- Free Bread Loaf mixture to take home and test it out in my own oven.
We were allowed to take home 250g Gluten-Free Bread Loaf mixture.
Jo suggests we should sprinkle nothing but sesame seeds to add that additional flavour to our loaf of bread. Hmmmmmm I can smell it already!
Get ready to get baked Gluten-Free Bread Loaf.
Can’t wait to see how these bad boys will turn out.
Once these adorable tins are in the oven, get your hands dirty cause it’s time for Gluten Free Shortcrust Pastry. Each guest gets one piece of already made mixture that has been refrigerated for at least 1 hour before ready to use.
Excited to make Gluten-Free Shortcrust Pastry.
Closely listening and examining Jo’s method of placing the shortcrust onto the tin seemed super easy, but when I done it, it was a bit of a struggle. Luckily, a great tip Jo mentioned is use your roller to evenly shape the edges of the crust. Once you have enough confidence with the mold of your crust, add baking beans to hold the shape before place it in the oven.
Baking beans are used to get the shortcrust pastry to hold their shape before putting it in the oven.
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees, then push the tarts into the oven for 10 minutes until slightly golden brown. My tart almost looks golden brown, but don’t forget I need to add a few things then back in the oven again.
Hey! My gluten-free shortcrust pastry turned out not so bad for a first timer.
Jo offered us smoked trout, goats cheese, caramelised onion, ricotta and pesto to fill up a lovely tarts. Once all guests were finished showing-off their presentation talents, tarts went straight back in the oven again for about 10 minutes.
The best part about making gluten-free tart is filling it with smoked trout, goats cheese, caramelised onion and pesto.
What do you think? The crust was perfectly baked and texture was very nice and crumbly with a hint of buttery flavour.
TA DA! My work of art 😀
Fruit flavour refreshments : Frou Frou Cordials is a must try! Taste very fancy without any preservaties, colouring or artificial flavours.
Back to the bakery lab and our Gluten Free Focaccia is ready for us to mold. Before that Jo gives us some helpful hints to create the perfect flavours to our focaccia and that’s adding extra virgin olive oil. Once we’ve completed shaping our Focaccia, it’s ready to get baked!
Allow the mixture to ‘bulk fermet‘ for at least 1 hour in a warm place.
Jo demonstrating how to decorate the gluten-free focaccia.
Time to top the Gluten-Free Focaccia with desired ingredients.
Can’t believe I made my own Gluten Free Bread Loaf!!! I like I am one step closer to becoming the perfect future housewife 😛
Our Gluten-Free Bread Loaf is ready!
Ok ok, I confess and Urvashi can be my witness that most of the time I was the kid in this class. Everyone elses Gluten Free Focaccia turned out to be a normal, except mine and Urvashi. Haha! You see Urvashi focaccia and my Franklinstein focaccia got married in the baking room. They were baking it out for 15 minutes in the oven and they look perfectly happy with a nice golden crisp tan face. They make an excellent couple because they both have wonderful red sun dried tomatoes and sprinkles of rosemary smile and oh, can’t forget dusted cheddar cheese to add that extra personality.
Haha! Urvashi and I may of decorated our Gluten-Free Focaccia in a different manner.
Before we left, it was my duty to go for a BREAD-ING SPREE with Yvonne and Urvashi. Can you imagine how much bread and danishes one can take home and eat? Brasserie Bread have an enormous supply of bread, cake and pastries. It honestly didn’t take us long to decide what bread to take home because everything smelt so delicious, my body was ready for it.
WOW! Is this bread heaven or what?! ❤ ❤ ❤
Ready to eat Olive & Rosemary Loaf
Love to whack someone in the head with the Rustic Loaf. KIDDING! Or am I ? 😛
All the French Pastry one could ever ask for!
This is where beautiful breads and pastries are made.
I only have one sentence to sum up my BREAD-ING SPREE feelings. DAMMMMMN GIRL!!!! Mama’s bringing home the bread. 😛 I apologise to you readers in advance that your eyes will have to witness a few disturbing photos and maybe some side effects include craving for bread and pastries.
Just doing my BREAD SPREE with Urvashi at Brasserie Bread Bakery store. No biggie!
Let me introduce you to some unique breads that Brasserie Bread has to offer!!! You won’t be bored from this bakery. Behold! Organic Sourdough – Large Bakers Round that’s the size of my face and BIGGER.
French Mountain Bread – Large Bakers Round-It’s TWO TIMES BIGGER than my FACE.
Granary Toast Loaf packed with variety of 6 grains.
The Kalamata Olives & Fresh Rosemary Boule ($7.50) is great with soup.
Walnut & Fig Loaf ($7.50) contains chock-full of walnuts and dried figs and is the ultimate fruit sourdough.
Ready to take on the world with my my French Mountain shield and Rustic sword.
(Excuse my messy Nessy hair, I just came back from a battle).
I am not ashamed of myself for not being that typical girl who enjoys shopping spree at a shopping center ( don’t get me wrong, I love that too), but I rather get some carbs in my system and go all bread-ing bad at the bakery.Teehee.
Nessy Eater girl clearly brings home the bread. Haha!
Photos by Vanny Tang
Opinions are however, Nessy Eater’s own.
Like to know more about Nessy Eater food adventures?