Behind the scenes

Smooth Festival of Chocolate & Australian Patisserie Academy

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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.

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (0)Don’t know where to start…

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (1)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.

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (2)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.

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (2B)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! 😀 ❤

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (2C)Impress Australian Patisserie Academy chocolates

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (3)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… 😀

APA_Nessy Eater (13)Excited and ready for APA’s cooking class

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (4)Impressive showpieces by Australian Patisserie Academy

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (5)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!!!

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (6)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.

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (7)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 strawberryraspberry, blueberry and orange slices.

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (8)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

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (9)Perfection on a plate

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (10)Cameron Daddo in the house!

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (11)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.

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (12)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.

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (13)Insane presentation by Chef Angelo Roch

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (14)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.

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (15)Chef Joseph and Chef Angelo Roche

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (16)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.

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (17)CHOCOLATE JEWELLERY BOX by the Australian Patisserie Academy

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (18)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.

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (19)Happy Adriano Zumbo with science beakers filled with candy.

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (20)Working in progress to eat all the chocolates in the world!

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (21)Tim Tam Temptation Tent Instagram Wall.

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (23)Adriano Zumbo with family memebers at the Tim Tam Temptation Tent

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (24)Löwenbräu HOT Pretzels

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (25)Löwenbräu Keller hot dogs

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (26)OH MY GOD Chocolate Cronuts

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (27)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.

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (28)Spread of sweet SWEET chocolate TREATS at BAR 100

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (29)And there was MORE MORE MOREEEEEEE!!!

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (30)Chocolate cocktail

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (31)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.

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (32)Tim Tam Lady

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (33)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.

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Photos by Vanny Tang

Disclaimer: Nessy Eater plus guest attended Smooth Festival of Chocolate  thanks Nova Entertainment, SmoothFM and The Society Group

Nessy Eater attended Smooth Festival of Chocolate Blogger Cooking Class‏ thanks to Nova Entertainment and Australian Patisserie Academy

Opinions are however, Nessy Eater’s own.

Like to know more about Nessy Eater food adventures?

You can follow Nessy Eater on Instagram / Facebook / Twitter or feel free to leave a YUMMY comment 😀

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My Food Bag- Weekday Meals Made Easy at Home

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“What’s for dinner tonight?” seems like the most important question on everyone’s mind every night. Dinner ideas can be really frustrating especially when you just finished a stressful long day at work. When you finally figure out a dish you want to cook (usually the same idea: chicken and broccoli or steak with chips), then comes the chore of having to purchase the ingredients and lining up in the supermarket queue. By the time you finish unloading your groceries onto the kitchen table, you’d be ready to jump into bed. Rewind everything you just read and let’s just order seven days of take-out food for dinner. Luckily there is a solution for this and here is how: My Food Bag. Full stop!

My Food Bag was born in New Zealand in March 2013. After a huge success and support from their kiwi fans, it hopped on to a plane to Australian soil and launched in Sydney, Melbourne and soon to launch in other Australian cities. What My Food Bag offers is a selection of healthy recipes, AND EVERYTHING you need to whip up to make a 5-star dish (minus a fraction of pantry staples that you may already have at home e.g. egg, salt and or pepper).

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Food rainbow 

There are three different Food Bags to choose from to suit different households and tastebuds, unfortunately this does not include pets if you count them as family, sorry. Delivered on a Sunday so you’re all prepped for the week ahead:

  • The Family Bag, designed for a family with 2 adults and 2-3 young children ($169 for 5 people for 5 days)
  • The Classic Bag, designed for a family of 4 with 4 adults or 2 adults and 2 older children ($129 for 4 people for 3 days)
  • The Gourmet Bag, designed for two people ($149 for 2 adults for 4 days)

The first thing I noticed about My Food Bag is that they are great with communicating with their hungry customers. For instance we received an email on Friday informing us what recipes we’d be cooking the following week. I must confess all recipes for my week looked MOUTH-WATERING. On Saturday they send us a text telling us time slot for our delivery. And on Sunday it felt like Santa popped by because as promised My Food Bag-Classic arrived right on our doorstep. As we unwrapped our presents, everything seems to be top notch. The organic meat and free range chicken to spices and brown rice was meticulously labelled. Fruits, vegetables and herbs smelt ridiculously healthy. Totes give My Food Bag a HUGE TICK of APPROVAL for freshness.

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What’s in the My Food Bag Classic?

For your first delivery My Food Bag gifts you with a mini folder where you can store your deepest darkest secrets of your favourite recipe cards. All recipe cards are seasonally based and are created by their top dog Head Chef, Miguel Maestre (from Channel 10’s The Living Room), as well as Zoe Bingley-Pullin who co-host of Channel Ten’s Good Chef Bad Chef and 2011 MasterChef New Zealand winner, Nadia Lim.

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Time to unwrap the recipe bag…what’s cooking good looking.

Get ready to be rescued from starvation in your own home! What are you waiting for…keep scrolling for more healthy home cooked meals.

Day 1: SALMON WITH SALSA VERDE, SMASHED POTATOES AND SPINACH

Taste: Great start to a Monday with a fat piece of salmon that smelt like it just had been caught from the ocean before it was then pan fried. I loved how the salsa verde from The Cooking Room made the warm salad much more tastier. The downside of this dish was the salmon flavour seemed to be super strong in freshness that it didn’t blend so well with the salad. Maybe I should have marinated the fish with the salsa verde….note to self for next time.

Verdict: I was absolutely stuffed eating this dish and had half a plate of leftovers. It was a fantastic warm-up exercise to get started in the kitchen. I noticed there was vegetables on my plate and I cooked it (GASP).

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OH EM GEEE! What am I cooking?

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Salmon with salsa verde, smashed potatoes and spinch

Day 2: ZA’ATAR CRUSTED CHICKEN WITH LEBANESE FATTOUSH

Taste: This dish was pretty darn addictive. The Lebanese fattoush was enough to send me running to the nearest farm and pick up the same ingredients to make it again. I did not know mint and parsley can go so well together with salad, it tasted refreshing. The chicken was so flavoursome like it had been marinated for hours but really it was max 10 minutes, so applause to za’atar. As for the pieces of Lebanese bread I made a new batch right after demolishing this dish. So much goodness in this recipe!

Verdict: To my surprise I now know how to make a fattoush salad using herbs and learnt how to use za’atar spice with chicken thighs. Also what an excellent idea of substituting deep fried chips with baked Lebanese bread and it’s served hot. Great for winter snacks that’s just around the corner and doesn’t increase your waistline.

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Gonna make the most delicious dish on the planet! Can you guess?

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Za’atar crusted chicken with Lebanese fattoush

Being oh so childish as always and pretending to be creative in the kitchen, I thought it would be fun to make a fattoush boat. This would be great for the kids as it was served in a small portion. Do you like my work of food art?

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Nessy Eater’s fattoush boat (Please don’t judge me!)

Day 3: PORK STEAKS WITH SWEET POTATO ROSTI, MANGO SALSA AND CURRY MAYO

Taste: There was plenty of vegetable element in this dish and all ingredients married so well together even the curry mayo. Life’s too short to just have one serving. Teehee. The pork steak bathed in curry powder was beautifully paired well with the salsa and had the perfect sweet/salty balance as well as a bit of tanginess from the dressing. LIP SMACKING DELICIOUS RECIPE!

Verdict: I am gobsmacked that I made a sweet potato rosti. Never knew sweet potato can be used like that before and that’s why I never buy sweet potatoes at the supermarket, but that’s going to change from now on. Besides the rosti the salsa was screaming summer all over the plate. Not only did this dish bring happiness to my belly but it kept me dreaming about it the next day.

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I think I can smell a healthy meal coming soon…

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Look how fabulous my sweet potato rosti looks before pan frying it.

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So weird to admit I made this…

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Pork steak with sweet potato rosti, mango salsa and curry mayo

Day 4: ZOE’S LAMB, TAMARIND, PUMPKIN AND YOGHURT CURRY WITH BROWN RICE

Taste: Get punched in the mouth with Zoe’s lamb with flavours of modern India. This curry was easy to make and sang with flavour, I wish it was a never ending pot. The lamb was tasty enough with the curry and wasn’t overpowering. I may have had a bigger appetite than Zoe with this dish, so thank goodness for leftover Lebanese bread.

Verdict: The curry was seriously amazing because well I cooked it. Haha. However I failed to cook the brown rice accordingly to the recipe card, but that didn’t stop me from eating it. On a much happier note I now can make lamb curry. This pot of curry would be pretty high up on my list for winter meals. To my shock I used curry leaves, tamarind puree and Bombay curry powder for the very first time in one dish. I think I’m ready to apply for the next MasterChef.

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Need curry in a hurry? Make this!

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May need to work on cooking brown rice a little bit more…

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Zoe’s lamb, tamarind, pumpkin and yoghurt curry with brown rice

Day 5: VIETNAMESE BEEF SALAD WITH RICE NOODLES

Taste: The rice noodles was fully coated with fish sauce and there was completely no sign of lack of flavour. I quite enjoyed the slices of beef sirloin steak that combined so well with the super refreshing salad. It was very juicy and tender that it was pretty impossible to share. Pretty impressed with using Thai herbs and eating 3 vegetables. Can be easily served hot or cold because that sweet sour flavour doesn’t vanish.

Verdict: This was so easy to make that I could do this blind-folded. Most of the time spent was chopping up my vegetables into different shapes. Again I am still overwhelmed of using herbs in any of My Food Bag recipes.

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Bring on the next My Food Bag recipe!

My Food Bag_Nessy Eater (9B)

Vietnamese beef salad with rice noodles

Aaaand that’s a wrap up of My Food Bag Classic. I have definitely gained a lot of skills during these 5 days and instead of eating my beloved steak and fried repeatedly during the weekdays, I have now got 5 recipe cards to use. It was great that every day was a mix of vegetables and meat so it wasn’t boring at all for me to be in the kitchen. There was plenty of left over spices and herbs that can be used for other recipes you can try at home. I love the idea of having not to use my brain to plan ahead of what to eat for dinner and go to the grocery store to buy each ingredient. My Food Bag is super duper convenient for families.

Top 5 Reasons to Try My Food Bag

  1. The ingredients you pull out of the paper bags is 110% fresh, you can smell it from miles away. All My Food Bag produce is organic and free range that is straight from the farmers. There is definitely a difference to the taste when it comes to organic vs. purchasing at a supermarket.
  2. Delivered straight to your door for FREE. This means fewer trips to the shops. No need to battle the supermarket queue on weekends- I know how frustrating that can get!
  3. Don’t need to menu plan because My Food Bag has already planned 5 days of delicious recipes for you and the family.
  4. Great family activity and bonding time with kids and or loved ones.
  5. You’ll be eating healthy for dinner. There are at least 2 vegetables or greens for each recipe without you even knowing!

Final Thoughts about My Food Bag

  • Felt like a 5 star chef in the house
  • Never knew I can use spices and herbs in my own kitchen
  • Had leftovers = YUM
  • Never ate 2-4 vegetables on one plate in one night before
  • Great family activity
  • Learnt a few new tricks

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 Photos by Vanny Tang

Disclaimer: Nessy Eater received a trial of My Food Bag-Classic, thanks to Porter Novelli and My Food Bag.

Opinions are however, Nessy Eater’s own.

Check out other My Food Bag post I did. Click here.

Like to know more about Nessy Eater food adventures?

You can follow Nessy Eater on Instagram / Facebook / Twitter or feel free to leave a YUMMY comment 😀

NE’s 2nd Blogiversary – Homemade Hamburger Cupcakes

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A couple of weeks ago it was Nessy Eater’s 2nd Blogiversary. “OMG! It’s Nessy Eater’s 2nd Blogiversary” And to celebrate this may be the closest you will ever get to see two of our favourite foods; burger and cupcakes mashed up in one. Get excited readers because there are some seriously good discoveries and tips to making that homey hamburger cupcake. No! This is not a drill folks. BUT FIRST I would like to say THANK YOU to you readers out there, yes you cyber friends for your continuous support. We honestly wouldn’t be here if it hadn’t of been for you readers or maybe we’ve been engaging with trolls…who knows. Teehee. We know we might be mild-mannered and unpopular on the social media world or in public, but thanks anyways. You’ve helped us build our confidence and ego and allowed us to show you our FOOD PORN BLOG. STRICTLY FOOD PORN *wink wink*. It’s been a fabulous journey and to EXERCISE your brain cells we’ve put together a savoury and sweet treat for you.

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This homemade hamburger cupcakes may be a bit of a mouthful, so buckle up your sparkle belt and read on! 😀

To begin the hamburger making you will need the following ingredients:

1 Box X White Wings Chocolate Chunk Brownies

1 Box X White Wings Vanilla Cupcakes

135grams of Milk

12 X Darrell Lea Pineapple Liquorice

1 Box X Coles Vanilla Icing Mix

240grams of Butter/ Margarine

3 Tablespoons of Apricot/ Marmalade Jam

3 Tablespoons of Sesame Seeds

1 Bottle X Queen Food Colouring Red 50ml

1 Bottle X Queen Food Colouring Green 50ml

NE’s 2nd Blogiversary_Hamburger Cupcakes_Nessy Eater (2)Gather the hamburger cupcake ingredients 

Utensils:

Food Mixer

Measuring Cup

Measuring Spoon

Rolling Pin

Pastry Brush

Spatula/Spoon

Mixing Bowls

Cookie Cutter (Round)

12 Cup Muffin Tray

2 X Icing Pipping Bags

Baking Tray 5cm deep x 20cm square cake pan

Preheat oven to 180C and line up vanilla cupcake mix and chocolate brownies mix. Follow the instructions on the box. Tip: When filling the baking cups make sure you evenly distribute it by 3 tablespoons for each cupcake.

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OH NO! We had a bit of a difficulty grabbing the cupcakes out of the tray. Unfortunately these bad boys were too spongy for us to continue our next step, however still good to eat with ice-cream.

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Hooray the White Wings Vanilla Cupcakes saved the day for our hamburger cupcake buns. Make sure the cupcakes have a light golden surface and the center is spongy, not the other way round.

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If you’re spider sense tells you that the cupcakes are not evenly perfect use a round cookie cutter, but if you like to add that extra homey baking then just leave it as it is. Tip: Make sure you use baking cups so it holds the shape of a hamburger. Otherwise it will turn out flat cupcakes and you don’t want that, trust me.

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Now to save time I baked the cupcakes and brownies together. Leaving the brownies to cool down after 30 minutes or till it’s cool enough for you to touch it, it’s time to use the round cookie cutter to highlight the meat patties aka chocolate brownies. I bet you didn’t think of that eh? 😛

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After a arm workout for cutting 12 meat patties aka chocolate brownies place them on a baking paper. Tip: Place brownies into the fridge so it doesn’t change shape. When it’s time to construct the hamburgers take it out of the fridge. That way the brownies are still nice and firm for you to mix and match when constructing the burgers.

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It’s crazy what a cookie cutter can do! Just imagine chocolate chunk brownies…Sorry for the spoiler alert 😛

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By now I was so baked but “Life is what you bake it” so I quickly moved onto the Coles Vanilla Icing Mix instructions, it’s time to add a bit of lettuce and tomato sauce colours in our lives by using Queen Food Colouring Red and Yellow. I used about 8 tablespoons for each colour, but if you think it requires more concentration feel free to keep adding.

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After measuring the colours of lettuce and tomato sauce place the icing into a pipping bag and into the fridge. Tip: Use a spatula to scrap out the icing out of the mixing bowl rather than a spoon. This easily removes all icing from the bowl. I learnt it the hard way. Haha. Another tip: use a rubber band to tie the pipping bag at the top so icing doesn’t leak out when pipping. Another tip: Put icing into the fridge until it’s slightly firm before making the hamburgers. Otherwise overtime the icing will be very watery and it will be harder to shape the lettuce and tomato sauce.

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So when it came to the decision of making this awesome hamburger cupcake I pretty much wanted something crazy for the cheese component and guess what I discovered at the supermarket…Darrell Lea Pineapple Liquorice. So you will need 12 liquorice if you are making 12 cupcakes. Such perfect timing these liquorice are new products. It’s meant to be! 😀

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This may require some baking muscles to evenly roll each liquorice. Teehee. With a rolling pin roll horizontally and vertically for every 30 seconds or until it looks flat. After rolling the pineapple liquorice, cut each liquorice into a square, but make sure it’s big enough to show off the cheesy side when construction the hamburger. IF NOT slice it into 2 rectangles.

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THIS IS UNBEARABLE!!! It’s time to construct the burger cupcakes. It’s time to get the meat patties (chocolate brownies), tomato sauce and lettuce (icing) out of the fridge and gather the burger buns (vanilla cupcakes) also the cheese (pineapple liquorice).

NE’s 2nd Blogiversary_Hamburger Cupcakes_Nessy Eater (14)Let the hamburger cupcake construction begin!

What a better way to show you readers of how I constructed the hamburger cupcakes is by filming it, off course. I think my knees are feeling weak after replaying a few times. Haha.

Easiest way to show you Nessy Eater’s hamburger construction.

If that short clip wasn’t helpful at all for you peeps out there then follow these steps to constructing that perfect hamburger cupcakes:

  1. Cut in half the vanilla cupcakes and place the bottom cupcake on a plate
  2. Place pineapple liquorice (cheese) onto the bottom of the cupcake (make sure the cheese is noticeable on the side of the cupcakes)
  3. Place a chocolate brownie (meat patty) on top of the cheese
  4. Pipe green icing (lettuce) Tip: Pipe icing outside of the meat patty so it can show so signs of lettuce
  5. Pipe red icing (tomato sauce)
  6. Place the top half of the vanilla cupcake on top of the tomato sauce
  7. Use pastry brush and brush some apricot jam on top of the top half of the vanilla cupcake
  8. Sprinkle some sesame seeds

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Is this attractive or what? Now lettuce be together forever burger cupcakes.

Somebody pinch me. I can’t believe Nessy Eater’s kitchen lab didn’t burn down yet. Teehee. Making the hamburger cupcakes can be time consuming, however it’s heaps of fun and great family activity for the kids and BIGGER KIDS. Pleasantly surprised these hamburgers turned out to look like a real burger 😀

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Have to admit top view does look good.

To wrap things up Nessy Eater and I would like to say thanks again to our followers, readers, cyber-stalkers, media agencies, cat, dogs and chefs for supporting us these last two years. We look forward to writing more yummy food and travel posts this year. Tell us what you think about our homemade hamburger cupcakes.

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Nessy Eater’s SUPER tiny Homemade Hamburger Cupcakes. 

Photos by Vanny Tang

Like to know more about Nessy Eater food adventures?

You can follow Nessy Eater on Instagram / Facebook / Twitter or feel free to leave a YUMMY comment 😀

Behind-the-scenes look at Wonderland

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Last night FremantleMedia Australia was hosting an exciting event to celebrate the return of their Channel Ten drama Wonderland, starring Jessica Tovey, Tracey Mann, Glenn McMillan, Tim Ross, Brooke Satchwell, Ben Mingay and Logie-nominee Anna Bamford. I joined the cast for some drinks and canapés. I had a one on one set tour with Brooke, Jess and Tracey, where each celebrity showed me their own character’s world. For those who haven’t yet watched Wonderland, it focuses on four couples at different stages of life. The show lures you into all sorts of scenarios of love and friendship.

Wonderland

Wonderland cast

We had just enough time to make our way through each set. But before we get started, let the bartender’s refresh us with a glass of bubbly.

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Well hello there bartenders!

The show is very food-centric, with one of the recurring themes being a weekly cooking competition known as FAT Night (AKA Food Appreciation Time). What I like about FAT Night is that this show treats it as a “extreme sport”. Glenn McMillan mentions FAT Night can be quite chaotic as most of the characters are all in the one scene. There’s properly an average of 100 takes to shoot this scene. It means that the actors and actresses would  eat better food! This over eagerness to feed the cast does have its upsides, for example it brings people together. It doesn’t harm anyone if you are willing to give up a bit of online interaction for some more face-to-face connection.

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This is where FAT (AKA Food Appreciation Time) night happens.

We were encouraged to feed our stomach with ‘The Queen of Rice Paper Rolls’, Miss Chu’s catering. So much competition to grab a piece of skewer. YUM!

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 Satay chicken and beef from Miss Chu

Being the big kid at heart, I was so excited to start the tour when I first walked in. Jessica Tovey welcomed us by introducing her character Dani Varvaris and we landed in her world in Wonderland at her place. You may have recognised this photo in season 1 of Wonderland. If not, then here you go Wonderland Fans! You don’t need to thank me 😛

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 Guess who’s this couple from Wonderland?

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So much detail in Steve and Dani’s living room.

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 Steve and Dani’s kitchen

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 Guess which characters bedroom is this?

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 The famous Miranda Beaumont bathroom scene.

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Dani and Steve’s bedroom

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 Spotted on Steve and Dani’s fridge

There was no missed opportunity to see Maggie Wilcox home and who better to show me around. Duh! The actress who plays Maggie and that’s Tracey Mann. Tracey had something interesting to say about her acting as Maggie. When it came to filming Maggie, she mentioned it was important that she doesn’t just waffle around the living room and requested to extend the background. With the producers and script writers agreeing, they soon added Maggie’s kitchen.

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 Maggie Wilcox living room

You’ll never believe where this kitchen bench came from! For about $200 Australian Dollars, this beautiful retro bench was bought on Gumtree Australia. Tracey then discussed about the products that’s on the shelves and surprisingly most of the products have been donated. It was highly recommended not to eat any of the foods or use the bowls because majority of the items are for decoration purposes only.

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 Maggie Wilcox’s kitchen

We headed straight back to the main FAT kitchen scene for a preview screening of an upcoming episode of Wonderland and some behind the scene wardrobe with Brooke and Jessica. Did you know? The cast of Wonderland spend about 17 hours on set each day just for make-up and costume. That’s CRAZY!

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 Chilli prawn salad from Miss Chu

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 Mind-blown! There’s no natural sunlight. LOL

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 Dessert of the day from Miss Chu

This is one distinctive set background that convey the nuances of each and every character. It was such an honor to be standing there. This is the scene where Maggie usually has a deep and meaningful quick chat with other characters before she leaves the home.

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 Famous stair scene on Wonderland

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 Colette Riger and Rob Duffy’s home

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I bet you haven’t seen this before on Wonderland. (Colette Riger and Rob Duffy)

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Colette Riger and Rob Duffy’s bedroom

This is the genuine photo of the Wonderland apartment building. I’ve been told by the cast that it was challenging from a time perspective to recreate this apartment, particularly trying to film it from outside but it was creatively fun.

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 Image of Wonderland apartment

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The Wonderland hallway

It is important not only did Wonderland had to show each character’s individuality, but it’s essential how they relate to one another. Each place indicates the history of relationships and throughout the series a few items gets moved from one apartment to another.

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 Dani Varvaris and Steve Beaumont’s home

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 Spotted a photo of Jessica Tovey when she was young.

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  Dani and Steve’s photo on the fridge

There were lines of people eagerly trying to get a photo with the casts, and I took the Wonderland crew’s advice by inviting myself to them. Tracey Mann really needs no introduction to Wonderland series. She is of course the woman that plays Maggie Wilcox. It was a reward for Nessy Eater to be invited and get the opportunity to experience this Media City. Throughout the entire evening the crew of Wonderland encouraged us all to take photos and have a chat with the celebrities. With a smitten look on my face, you know I enjoyed my night at the set tour of Wonderland.

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 It’s Tracey Mann known as Maggie Wilcox on Wonderland.

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 Michael Dorman known as Tom Wilcox on Wonderland.

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 Glenn McMillan known as Carlos dos Santos on Wonderland.

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 Ben Mingay and Tim Ross just taking some fries from my iphone.

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Say hi to Les Hill.

I get a tap on my shoulder to take a CD home and what do we have here…the next episode of Wonderland and the special part is that it’s not released yet until this Wednesday. The less knowledge you know about this episode the better. I don’t want to spoil any Wonderland Fans, but if you must know…except some interesting news coming from Dani Varvaris.

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 Very lucky to be watching the next episode of Wonderland before it goes on air.

The show Wonderland sure share their knowledge about life and experiences between four couples, which inspire every day people. The show is not just about the food, it is about the people that they are with, the atmosphere that they create. The cast of Wonderland work very hard and they represent life values worth note taking. I truly admire the cast because every single one of them are so down to Earth! So tell me readers, would you be nervous meeting the Wonderland cast? And who would you be the most nervous to meet? For me, it was Jessica Tovey and Brooke Satchwell. 😀 :D<3

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Casually smiling with the Wonderland ladies plus Simone.

Photos by Vanny Tang

Disclaimer: Nessy Eater attended as a guest to the “Behind the Scenes-Wonderland”, thanks to Fremantle Media .

Opinions are however, Nessy Eater’s own.

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