For over 25 years Lyndey Milan has a trademark style of summer baking and what a perfect way to share her exciting secrets on the Lyndey Milan’s Summer Baking Secrets on Channel 7. Lyndey’s six week delicious adventures begin with mouth-watering baked goods, all which can be easily re-created at the heart of your own kitchen, then comes with a fair few of time-saving tips, baking secrets, and her personal insights. Not only does she make the most simple recipes look heavenly rewarding but so does her first-ever bakeware range, the culmination of 30 year’s experience and a two-year collaboration with Margaret Butler, founder of Anasazi.
That summer themed high tea spread at Lyndey Milan’s Bakware Launch.
You’d want a slice or maybe the whole cake in your stomach as the chocolate naked cake is filled with outer layer of buttercream. It’s not your traditional cake as it has a colourful texture of smooth creamy chocolate cream and oh the fresh flowers and leaves adds a nice floral surprise.
Eyes on this Chocolate Naked Cake prize decorated with fresh flowers
That inner shot of the layered cake…HMMMMMMmmmm…
The Mexicans are in town with these adorable child size jalapeno mini muffins. These sweet, crumbly muffins are unbelievably easy to finish and might I say would be perfect compliment to any soup. I didn’t have portion control for this as it was a nice spicy kick to my tastebuds.
Jalapeno Mini Muffins
With the success of Summer Baking Secrets Tv Series, it’s only right for Lyndey to release her first-ever bakeware range. If you’ve been secretly watching Lyndey Milan’s top tips about baking and easy peasy recipes then you would have easily noticed her bakeware ranges. It’s hard to forget where you’ve placed each piece of these products as there’s a variety of modern cream ceramic-coated tinware, new-age silicone bakeware, clever double seal storage containers and let’s not forget Lyndey’s signature hot-pink baking accessories.
Truly the new-age silicone bakeware
The TV series is based around Lyndey’s collection as it brings the best out of every home cook even if you’re clueless about cooking. It’s definitely your bake range heroes. All Lyndey’s Bake Range is available to purchase in store from Blueprint Retail in Potts Point. Better get those silicon heart shaped chocolate mold, it’s too sweet to resist in your kitchen.
Now I need this and this and that in my kitchen. OH AND that knife as well 😀
If you’re a cheesecake fan then you’d wouldn’t want to miss out on this. It is dainty and light topped with honeycomb caramel crumbles.
Now now before I start telling myself I need to control my sugar diet these orange and lime marmalade trifle filled in a cup screams summer more than a bright citrusy dessert.
Cute cups filled with Orange and Lime Marmalade Trifle
Now if you don’t like eating veggies then why not hide them in a cake? The gluten-free carrot and zucchini slab cake knows how to disguise it’s healthy looks and taste. There’s a great scent of ground cinnamon and orange grind. By the way you wouldn’t miss it for the world that lemon icing and to garnish the toasted fragrant of sunflower, pumpkin seeds and pine nut mix.
Gluten-Free Carrot and Zucchini Slab Cake
Who needs assistance to eat the simple chocolate fudge cake topped with fresh rasphberries when you can certainly have it all to yourself. This cake is delicious on its own but even better topped fresh pieces of rasphberries. This might be one of the most heavenly bakes to devour and with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream on the side, it would be 110% perfect.
Simple Chocolate Fudge Cake topped with fresh Raspberries
Thumbs up for tasting so good!
A selection of bite-size cakes. Now which one should I eat first? 😛
Simon from SimonFoodFavourites says “Take a selfie with Tetsuya”
Had to join the Tetsuya Wakuda selfie line
Oh who is this CUTIE PIE?! Baby Noah and Jackie M and also HELLO Christine from Cooking Crusade
This extraordinary dessert, made Simon from SimonFoodFavourites eye on it for an hour at least before it was time to cut. Made with crisp hazelnut meringue and whipped cream then topped with fruit pieces, I had leverage over Simon. Teehee.
Perfect Layered Hazelnut Meringue Cake splashed with fresh fruit pieces.
Now that’s one crazy meringue cake I wouldn’t mind taking home.
You’re my five spice plum and almond crumble pie. It contains a rich taste and that hit of salt balances out the sweetness of the stone fruit with some luscious plums in between.
That long log of Five Spice Plum and Almond Crumble Pie
Like Lyndey’s vibrant personality, it’s only right her collection is warm and inviting with each baking piece featuring her recipes. With inspirations from her friends and family, she explains it’s important we don’t waste our time washing and cleaning in the kitchen after a long days work cooking and baking, so every piece is dishwasher safe. For her silicone non-stick and the utensils have eco friendly, sustainably sourced bamboo handles.
Say goodbye to grey coloured bakeware ranges.
Need this in my kitchen cabinet, please.
With all the flavor of a traditional tomato pie, these tiny tarts was a big hit at the party. It was a lovely stylish starter and an appetising savoury. Made with ripe cherry tomatoes and fragrant herbs, this tart is both delicious and beautiful.
It’s the Vanilla verison of the Naked Cake topped with beautiful fresh flowers
OH MY! Pink show bags to take home.
Such a pleasure to finally meet Lyndey Milan
It was a fun floral high tea filled with gorgeous fresh flowers all scattered around the cakes and mini tarts. I just couldn’t quite point out which slice of cake I heart the most, but I do know I wanted it all to myself. It was lovely to finally meet a Lyndey as well a few surprise guests like Jackie M and Tetsuya Wakuda. Till then keep baking more sweet treats!
Lyndey knows how to HIGH tea!
Photos by Vanny Tang
Opinions are however, Nessy Eater’s own.
Like to know more about Nessy Eater food adventures?
HAPPY 2015 FOODIE FRIENDS! Can you believe it’s mid of January already?! By now you may have noticed Nessy Eater’s been busy indulging desserts and summery meals on Instagram. The Food Gods knew that they’d needed new volunteers to take up the festive Christmas feast and so they immediately decided to choose me. OH the pain I had to endure and retire my typewriter during the holiday season. But sometimes when you’re giving a task during Xmas by the Food Gods and it involves your stomach and gingerbread man, it’s automatically a food hall pass. This hall pass was cherished and used judiciously for it is not an easy thing to obtain. The hall pass is something to be prized and by verbal consent from the Food Gods and Santa, Nessy Eater has permission to share great foods with you kids. What are you waiting for? Let’s begin!
It’s my second visit to Crossroads Bar at Swissotel Sydney and just before I had retired my typewriter and crisp white paper, I managed to spot a really good deal on Groupon. For $79 for two people, you get Christmas Weekend High Tea plus a cocktail for each person. Before treating your tummy to savoury foods and sweet delights, I wanted to quickly inform you that this deal was ALL YOU CAN EAT high tea. I repeat High Tea BUFFET. DON’T PANIC IF YOU’VE MISSED OUT! After a quick investigation like a detective I found out through the Swissotel’s website the high tea buffet is still on but not Xmas themed though. I’m sure it would be still as good and it is normally $79 per person. That’s CRAZY! I saved $79! This by far was the best deal that I’ve ever purchased from Groupon.
Are you drooling?
Before thunder and lightning strikes to my typewriter I think it’s now time to share the Christmas spirit with you. Within a 5-star luxury hotel the Swissotel does get a thumbs up for their modern and elegant interior, however their service and overall management did not make it to a two-star. We were disappointed by the lack of service and management skills. For example when we arrived, staffs at the Swissotel looked like they wanted to wrestle with guests in UFC style. You could see it in their eyes they were very frustrated and sad, especially when there was one main bartender, a supervisor and three waitresses serving around fourty five plus guests. Waitresses responded with a robotic tone and left unhappily after we made our beverage orders. I guess Santa’s been overworking his helpers. Anyways moving on to rainbows and unicorns.
Our festive fare started with Christmas pudding. This traditional pud is made from vine fruit and butter, eggs and a splash of vanilla custard. Each handmade pudding was the size of a baseball and half a tennis ball. What does it taste like? Think fruitcake. It’s not everyone’s taste as it’s an acquired taste, it’s cream sauce with dried fruits in it. I think it err needed lots of cream to tone it down.
Strawberry cream caramel kept vanishing every time I was forced to return to the dessert bar. Lightly greasy but it’s wrapped around a creamy center that won’t disappoint. The half sliced strawberry made this dessert refreshing. I like the chance to play around with the wobbly jelly like texture of the cream caramel before I devour it. It gives me time to mingle before I say good-bye to it for the second time. If you’re craving for that caramel sauce to take home then you need to ask Executive Chef Thomas Heinrich for a favour.
Strawberry cream caramel
I managed to somehow not shatter the blackberry pavlova into a million pieces before it made it back to my table. The fun sized pavlova looked like snow ball meringues. It was extremely light and airy. Being able to taste it for the third time, it was one of those fabulous treats to go along with a cup of tea.
As Christmas traditions go, starting a marvellous high tea with a shot of eggnog is another great way to celebrate the festive season. The shot was very satisfying as there was an egg-rich dairy punch flavour. It can be very boozy and super rich if there’s more eggs added, but thankfully not.
Festive must haves were the fruit mince tart. Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without buttery pastries and fruity mince pies. These delectable star shaped mince pies simply provided a moment of self-indulgence for me. The outside butter-enriched pastry is stuffed with chunks of moist fruit and topped with heavy sprinkles of icing.
Fruit star tart
Oh hot summer days means we need to thank the bartender at Swissotel for making us the strawberry cocktail. Though we were half way feeding our inner cravings, we still managed to wash this beverage down. The sweetness of the strawberries was a real crowd pleaser and off course the rum. It wasn’t sickly sweet, which is good news coming from the syrup. The texture kicked ass as it felt like a strawberry slushy rather than a classic cocktail.
Me thinks the strawberry panna cotta was carefully crafted. The strawberries makes a great companion with the panna cotta for bright, sharp summer fruit. The taste was somewhat cream-heavier but that didn’t matter too much because I was mildly annoyed at the casual sophistication of the presentation for this dessert.
Strawberry panna cotta
Just look at how this chocolate fountain GLISTENS! It brings a smile to everyone’s face including the grumpy cats. Stop making me smile chocolate fountain! STOP IT!
I simply couldn’t get enough of the salted caramel and jam lamingtons. The lamingtons were sandwiching the sweet jam. I tried burying evidence of me eating this, but the shredded dried coconuts around my mouth gave it away.
Salted caramel and jam lamingtons
This chilled blueberry panna cotta in a miniature plastic cup was simply impressive. The fresh blueberries and pipped cream married so well with the silky smooth vanilla bean gelatine.
Blueberry panna cotta
With our voucher package, we were treated with selections of tea or coffee. All teas are from T2.
English breakfast by T2
Tempt the tastebuds with smoked salmon tartar with pipped cream cheese on waffle cone. It’s so easy to eat and I didn’t notice I ate five till I started counting the gold wrappers. Oh Whoops!
Smoked salmon tartar cone
Not sure if sandwiches are meant to look like they’re all swirled up but hey I’m loving it. This smoked turkey, pickled raspberry jam and rocket on harvest grain was juicy with that jam spread across the bread so evenly. The thick pieces of turkey was zomg crazy ass delicious.
Smoked turkey swirl sandwich
Making my way back to the buffet bar and look who do we have here…cocktail prawn station with Crystal Bay Australian reef prawn cocktail with lemon and cocktail dressing.
Cocktail prawn station
The fire roasted red capsicums with green olive and goat cheese baguette was my least favourite. It was an interesting take on for me in terms of flavours. It has that sweet sourness from the olive and cold texture of goat cheese which I didn’t favour.
Wicked, decadent and sinful was hardly the best description for these dreamy little masterpieces. I took my time connecting with the Christmas profiteroles. Glazed with milk chocolate atop and sprinkles of crushes chocolate pieces, I think it was the perfect addition to the buffet bar.
Wait there’s MORE DESSERTS?! I became very full from stuffing my belly with trying a bit of everything, but noooooooo the pastry chef had to bring this blackberry and white chocolate mousse just before I was about to pack my fat body and go. My belly was crying on the inside but because this mousse cake was beautifully presented, I had to cut a seven inch width slice of cake.
Blackberry and white chocolate mousse
I spy with my eyes….. is that a full plate of Christmas macarons? A sensational dessert that always alwAYS ALWAYS pleases! Hehe.
We had to arrange a little bit more stomach space for the spring berry tart. Glad we did because that tart had just came straight out of the pastry headquarters looking all innocent and sweet.
Spring berry tart
Woohoo our Christmas Afternoon Tea finally came to an end, however I’m sorry I’ve missed out taking a few photos of some desserts and savories. Overall I loved skipping my way to the buffet bar and thank goodness majority of the desserts and savoury tasted magical so I could forget about their below average service. Totes heart every single desserts presentation. Swissotel is a great spot for afternoon tea whores, for example like me, although it’s a tad pricey but it’s ALL YOU CAN EAT sugar. To my disappointment I couldn’t walk out of the hotel like a Victoria Secret Model in high heels. Instead I left waddling out like Mumble from Happy Feet and swore to myself that I ain’t gonnabe eating dinner…
Top view of spring berry tart
Photos by Vanny Tang
Like to know more about Nessy Eater food adventures?
Did you know you can put mustard on everything from scrambled eggs to seafood? If you knew that already, then you got me. Then let me ask you another question, did you know there is one type of mustard that effectively cuts calories in half? Bet you didn’t! In Mosman’s Bridgepoint Shopping Centre, Maille has just recently opened up their first la maison boutique in Sydney with the collaboration of an Australian local supermarket, IGA. Maille strongly emphasis on creating a “community” atmosphere, which makes it ideal for Australian market.
Maille’s intimate high tea
The venue was at Boronia Tea House
The most extravagant of mustards will be available in Sydney and Melbourne and will house 24 varieties of mustards, vinaigrettes, vinegars and including the world’s most EXCLUSIVE MUSTARD, Périgord black truffle from Provence and Chablis from Burgundy. A small 100g pot retails for $100 a pop and I’ve been secretly informed, Maille is offering 5 x 500g jar of this extravagant mustard for $500 each pot in Australia. Help, i’m hyperventilating so hard right now. This is without doubt exclusive as the mustard emporium has supplied the European royal courts centuries ago and truffles are only available in France between November to March. Want to get your hands on the 500g black truffle and Chablis mustard? Then lucky you, I found out that Not Quite Nigella is running a competition that ends 31st of August, 2014. GOOD LUCK!
This is just a small portion of Maille products.
Mustard is indeed such a fine, exquisite taste that I never had the opportunity to appreciate it, until now. There’s so many applications for mustard for instance they have a special kind of characteristic in them including a richer, creamier consistency and flavours of spice. Being invited to attend a very intimate high tea with guests like Regional Mangers and CEO’s of IGA supermarket, Manly Daily, The Telegraph and my favourite food blogger Lorraine Elliott aka Not Quite Nigella (which I had cold feet and missed my chance to flirt with her by being too shy) because I was so blown away she was standing metres away from me. This also brings a very special guest who flew into Australia from Paris and is one of the world’s ten mustard sommeliers, Elodie Charlotte-Cleria.
Be surprised for some Maille mustard tasting.
To be impressed by Maille mustard, Elodie Charlotte-Cleria expertly guides us through 15 different flavours of mustard. You should first smell the aroma of the mustard and then evenly spread it on a natural ingredient such as bread stick, a slice of bread (preferably white) or neutral crackers. After this, it is important to place the mustard on the tip of your tongue which is the most sensitive spot.
He was having fun pumping $$$$ Périgord black truffle and Chablis mustard.
Our intimate mustard tasting was followed by a specially designed mustard-inspired high tea. The experience was so authentic, in terms of mustard wise. I’ve decided to copy their recipe when I DIY my own high tea at home. Various mustard flavours have their own pairing. You should of seen my eyes as they were open wide throughout the mustard tasting. It was like each mustard flavour knew how to seduce you.
- House made scones with fresh cream infused with Maille Cognac Mustard
Second level: assortment of finger sandwiches
- Double smoked ham on multigrain bread with Swiss Cheese and Maille Honey Balsamic Mustard
- Smoked salmon and cucumber on white bread with Maille Parmesan Cheese and Basil Mustard
- Rare beef served on rye bread with rocket and Maille Chablis White Wine Mustard
- Roasted beetroot on rye bread with Maille Blue Cheese Mustard
Maille mustard-inspired high tea
English Breakfast from T2 Tea.
Can you imagine vinaigrette in your dessert?
Soon after, assortment of desserts arrived and they offered a very unique flavour. Some desserts really surprised me that it contained vinaigrette and I liked it. It’s amazing how one ingredient can change everything.
You should of seen my face when the assortment of desserts arrived.
It was my duty to start dessert with Coconut mini gelato drizzled with Maille Passionfruit and Mango Vinaigrette. I am convinced this is one ingredient you’d want to concentrate on. It utterly impressed me that Maille nailed it. You wouldn’t be able to taste the vinaigrette as real fresh ingredients are added and the fruity flavour is just overpowering. It was completely flawless.
Coconut mini gelato drizzled with Maille Passionfruit and Mango Vinaigrette
Maille Passionfruit and Mango Vinaigrette
Classic macarons with Maille Sauternes White Wine Mustard wasn’t what I expected. In my opinion, looks don’t count, it’s what’s inside that counts. The mustard did bring the white wine flavour forward and overall not overbearing in any way.
Classic macarons with Maille Sauternes White Wine Mustard
Fresh mini strawberry tart with Maille Aged Balsmaic Vinegar of Modena was perfectly integrated into this dessert, though it may not be a favourite for some, as there was an intense complex sweet vinegar flavour but the vinegar slowly oxidizes under the influence of the tart.
Fresh mini strawberry tart with Maille Aged Balsmaic Vinegar of Modena
I think I had the best view in the house.
Time to cut the ribbon with IGA CEO and French Mustard Somelier, Amelia and Elodie Charlotte-Cleria .
HOORAY! Maille is open.
Having not tasted as much mustard before, my experience with Maille is unforgettable. I am salivating over the idea of so many mustard flavours that I never knew and I have Elodie Charlotte-Cleria and Maille to thank. I definitely have learnt a lot in the space of 3 hours, though there is a lot more to learn from Maille and it is fantastic they continue to educate those who have or haven’t been exposed to mustard. Its exclusive ‘mustard pump’ dispensing fresh mustard is a unique experience only available in its boutiques and we are very lucky Australia gets to enjoy this tasting experience. Overall, Maille French mustard has catapulted the world of condiments during cooking to add flavour or texture to the food and brought forward a whole new level of extravagance. It’s shocking I only discovered this now, but it’s never too late. You have to take every opportunity to exploit such an exotic condiment as it adds a subtle flavour.
Like to test your tastebuds with Maille?
The highlight of the high tea is not just experiencing the mustards but taking some home. We were each given an empty Maille gift bag with an empty black box. Our job was to fill it up with any Maille products we desired most. This is what I picked. I absolutely adore each mustard flavour as all the delicate flavours remain perfectly balanced and you’re able to appreciate it.
Excellent range of gifts from Maille.
Not only did we receive an awesome gift pack but EVERY GUEST received a 100g pot of Maille black truffle and chablis mustard as a gift. UH-BOH-LIEVABLE! That’s freaken $100!!! At the time, I was actually considering to hire two safeguards to protect me from getting truffle mugged. Teehee. Truffle is the most exquisite ingredient to have and it’s very rare to find, hence it’s expensive. Some say truffles are the culinary equivalent of sex, one whiff and the aroma will automatically turn you on. More importantly, it smells musky, earthy and pungent. The smell is so overwhelming that it infuses any meal. This truffle mustard certainly will be the golden crown on ANY dish, but in my opinion the perfect way to jazz it up is just eat it by the spoonful, a BIG SPOONFUL.
The world’s most EXCLUSIVE MUSTARD, Périgord black truffle and Chablis mustard.
Photos by Vanny Tang
Opinions are however, Nessy Eater’s own.
Like to know more about Nessy Eater food adventures?
Sydney’s fascination with Chinese New Year eateries are becoming far more wacky and interesting . I honestly don’t know think that’s a bad thing, given that my taste buds HEART to try new flavours and my eyes like to capture that moment of “love at first sight“. Indeed to celebrate the Lunar New Year, Four Friends have sourced many chocolate recipes from all over the place and have come up with introducing something delightful and different. High tea with Katze, the owner of Four Friends Cafe in Crows Nest decides to take a leap in faith to try out something that they have not partaken in before, their Monthly Multicultural High Tea. A family business that illustrates the definition of courage, hope, love and happiness is kind of a BIG contributor to creating this cafe. With respect to this Spring Festival, Katze takes the opportunity to design Asian fusion flavours to the table. I have to admit, I didn’t know what would be installed for us, but I knew it would be beyond original. She did however state “Bring a plate of Asian food and tell me why you picked it…”. Unfortunately on my end I failed to bring a dish as I didn’t want to upset peoples stomachs. Teehee.
Asian themed high tea
Let’s see up close what Katze and Jimmy whips up…
Our bamboo steamers arrive with dry ice flaring at the bottom to look dangerously cool. For what it’s worth, that’s pretty rare and impressive for presentation wise. Brownie points for dry ice magic. As we take the top lid off, I hear a bit of ” WOOOOO and AHHS”, I believe this is a positive sign that Katze and Jimmy has done an excellent job challenging their minds to make such complex delights to satisfy our tummies. This Asian fusion collaboration has got me crooking one pinkie finger and sipping fine sparkling tea. It is not your typical high tea, that’s for sure. Rather it is delicately made with meaning behind it. Almost each sweet section represents some sort of luck or happiness.
The sweet tier includes:
It was very generous of Katze and Jimmy spending their New Year’s Eve preparing our tea party. I secretly enjoyed the Deep fried cheese wonton not because it represents red pocket, but it was VERY crunchy and wrapped with melted cheese. The cheese overpowered the spring roll wraps, but I liked it like that.
Deep fried cheese wonton
I managed to take a quite snap of the dry ice before it got covered in smoke. Just closely look how quick it freezes the silver bowl. Dry ice can be fun and can create tasty results.
Add H2O + dry ice and you get magical steam flowing out.
Roses tend to be always perfect for every occasion, including afternoon tea. So the Egyptian rose tea is inspiringly aromatic with medium flavour of roses with a hint of fizziness to create a refreshingly experience. It’s unlike anything I’ve seen on the market-fragrant. A very enjoyable tropical fruit and deeply feminine drink that I really wanted to ask the other guests if anyone didn’t want their cup of tea then I’ll take one for the team. Haha.
Sparkling Egyptian rose tea
Frozen carbon dioxide makes quite an interesting substance to use for science experiments and don’t forget observation. But did you know dry ice can make really good ICE-CREAM?
Let’s bring science to the table.
Can you believe Jimmy’s whipping up ice-cream for us using dry ice?!
Jimmy and Katze creating a potentially dangerous delicious ice-cream.
Whilst we engage on eating Jimmy and Katze decides to deconstruct their kitchen and bring appliances upstairs but also a large white foam box and contain it was dry ice. It didn’t take long till we pause nibbling on our treats and move closer to them and observe with our eyes wide open and our mouths gasping every few seconds as the dry ice smokes out of the bowl and onto the table. All of the guests including myself were thrilled and excited to see what they were making. I mean thick pink gloves, a box of dry ice and a silver mixture. Nuff said. Finally, Katze starts scooping chunks of Jasmine ice-cream onto the empty plastic cups that was provided in our sweet tier. At first we looked like guinea pigs sniffing the cups and doing little teaspoons with our spoons to identify the flavour. Luckily, Amy from Milkteaxx managed to guess this one right, otherwise her blog name wouldn’t be still standing here today. ONLY KIDDING AMY! 😛
We were quite fascinated to how this Jasmine ice-cream managed to not melt as quick compared to N2 Extreme gelato and the answer was simple, Katze uses cream rather than milk. Though I didn’t ace my chemistry subjects back in high school but you don’t need much koalification to make dry ice ice-cream, do you?… 😛
Dry ice Jasmine Ice Cream
Sweet olive jelly
Wooohooo this Vegan Salad managed to get in my belly twice! This salad isn’t boring and is one heavens of a delicious tasty savory cup worth sharing. It contains spaghetti strings of vegan tofu made from soybeans, chopped cucumber and a hint of sweet and sour dressing. It’s pleasant on the palate for light and fresh taste.
Oolong tea ganache truffle
It was time to show off some of the guests who brought homemade goodies! And first up Hilda’s homemade pork spring rolls. Look how evenly golden brown these rolls are! Yes, I ate quite a few….just a few….TEE-HEE
Hilda from The Chronicles of Hilda makes homemade pork spring rolls.
Move over homemade savory because Deepa’s Chocolate Dumplings are in town! I am a HUGE FAN of CHOCOLATE and DUMPLING…Why didn’t I think of this?!
Deepa from One Small Pot creates Chocolate Dumplings.
Back to homemade savory and Annie brings to the table Vietnamese Spring Rolls, fancy some of that? Or ALL OF THAT? Yes, I do, I do!
Annie from The Random Foodie wraps up a traditional homemade Vietnamese spring rolls.
No wait, there is one more guest who brings something sweet and it’s Stephanie. A mix of seaweed, sweet potato and coconut milk. It’s a simple Chinese dessert that can be served either hot or cold.
Stephanie from A Little Bit of Tang brings Sweet potato soup from home.
Rare to see an Egyptian rose in a cup. Fingers crossed Four Friends can put this in their beverage menu.
We were near towards the end of our high tea and Katze prepared a special lucky dip. She told us to all write our names down on a piece of paper and she will collect it then draw a lucky name out and that person can claim their prize. I remember telling Amy to write my name because I didn’t have a pen, guess that’s a sign of bad luck but who would of guessed my dear friend Amy gave me luck and I managed to receive 50% Group Dining. Hip Hip HOORAY! Guess who will I be bringing ? :p
Before we left, we all ended up downstairs staring at the clear glass and on the other side it was filled with handmade chocolates that Katze makes for Four Friends. No way was I going to skip chocolate, just NO WAY!
Four Friends chocolate box
A selection of Four Friends chocolates. Chocolates range from ($2 – $2.50(cat, robot, spoon, teddy lollipop) ) per piece.
Four Friends also offers a selection of tea leaves to take home for ($8) a jar and guess who decided to take THREE home? 2 x Berry fairy and 1 x Celebration. Tea leaves are CALLING.
Berry fairy fruit infusion tea jar ($8)
Celebration infusion tea jar ($8) (Please note: Celebration tea leaves are not for sale, however if you nicely ask Katze, I am sure she wouldn’t mind. Don’t tell her I you! :P)
If you are keen for high tea and love something different then Four Friends is the place to be. There is a range of delicious handmade chocolate to decent macarons but if you’re after Asian high tea then you better get here quick! Because next month is a new country theme. Did I forget to mention the price… well it’s $45 for TWO PEOPLE including a cup of tea each. That’s ridiculously a bargain for all of that! And you get dry ice jasmine ice-cream. Hello…what are you waiting for?! GO GO GO
Four Friends High Tea (To celebrate February is Asian theme. Guess what country Four Friends is doing for March?) 😀
Photos by Vanny Tang
Like to know more about Nessy Eater food adventures?
It’s not every day you hear miracle stories such as the ability to overcome a life stopping and threatening disease called Scleroderma. It was the presence of her unexpected third child that gave her the strength and love to fight through this rare disease. Katze, the owner of Four Friends Cafe, who before opened an organic cafe in Artarmon for over five years decided to shift to something much more sweeter, handmade chocolates after surviving Scleroderma.
What is different about Four Friends Cafe and the rest of the chocolate shops? Well, from a traditional Buddhist story about four animals (elephant, bird, monkey and bird) that shares a common interest in working harmoniously together towards a happier life. Katze recommends not eating sweets every day, but making time to put a bit of sweetness in your life once or twice a week. Overtime Katze has learnt to be an enthusiast of natural ingredients and organic growing products such as Fair Trade Cacao. She personally enjoys local goods as she has learnt to support small businesses during her struggle with her illness.
Mighty Tall Macaron tower
Staying true to her values to organic ingredients, this self-taught chocolatier makes everything in her tiny kitchen using the finest ingredients, even though shelf life is short, however her determination is what makes Four Friends Cafe. It is upsetting Katze mentions how some people believe her products are not genuine Belgium chocolate and instantly assume her handcrafted chocolates are made from China because Katze is from a Chinese background, therefore less likely to purchase. It’s hard enough for a small business to keep running these days due to economy but to add discrimination and negativity, that’s SOOOO WRONG. It is disappointing there is humans out there who jump into conclusion without giving it a try first. Luckily, Katze managed to turn my frown upside-down by telling me about a 89 year old lady who caught 2 buses on a rainy day just to visit Four Friends after reading an article in the local paper.
Did someone say CHO-COLATE?
This year for Christmas, Four Friends Cafe has announced they will be donating chocolates to 4 shelter homes. Though Katze really REALLY wish that one day she can donate to every single homeless homes and I wish the best of luck in accomplishing this goal.
Organic Tea Leaves can be purchased in individual jars at Four Friends.
Display of Organic Tea Leaves
Round #2 of Organic Tea Leaves Display
Berry Fairy Teapot suppose to be served hot, but the sun blasting its shine that day. So the lady suggested she can serve my teapot with ice. MY OH MY! There is an EXPLOSION of BERRIES in this teapot. This is a well -balanced drink that truly refreshes.
Ice Berry Fairy Teapot ($4.50)
Hot Rose Teapot ($4.50)
This delightful The Planet Tasting Plate ($28) including a pot of tea is completely OUT OF THIS WORLD, no doubt a generous tasting plate for one. Yes, for ONE PERSON. It offers 11 bite-size sweets including:
- Green Tea Pistachio cake
- Cherry Pistachio tart
- Popping Kitty chocolate
- Almond Truffles
- Coffee Puff
- Chocolate Mousse with Hazelnut
- Liquorice Macaron
- Dark Chocolate Macaron
- Almond Caramel with Coco Dust
- Gingerbread Chocolate
- Blackcurrant Macaron
The Planet Tasting Plate ($28) including a pot of tea
This plate is perfect addition to your sweet tooth list as it contains only the finest and freshest organic ingredients with a HUGE hint of sweetness. Katze tells me The Planet Tasting Plate represents a multicultural partnership and to positively get along with one another because we all in ONE UNIVERSE. Let’s start with Chocolate Mousse with Hazelnut – This mousse sure shows the meaning of the word nutty. You have to experience the unforgettable combination of chocolate and hazelnut. Its a sweet treat that can truly go along with a cup of coffee or tea.
When I first laid eyes on the Liquorice Macaron, I was very skeptical and I already pictured in my mind that this wasn’t going to disappointing for my tastebuds as I am not a huge fan of liquorice. Boy I would of been a sore loser if I hadn’t give this a go. Let me tell you this silver glittery coated liquorice macaron was the ONLY LIQUORICE I’ve EVER FINISHED. It’s odd to believe I’ve become a fan of a good liquoirice macaron. The liquoirice flavour isn’t overwhelming and contains plenty PLENTY of sweetness. I personally LOVE the presentation as it contains silver GLITTER.
For the classic, the Dark Chocolate Macaron is always a sensational flavour that can never go wrong. A smooth rich ganache filling which is made with the finest Belgium ingredients. Now moving on to something fruity is the Blackcurrant Macaron – Flavours of blackcurrant take center stage in this creation.
When I started diving my fork into the Green Tea Pistachio cake, Katze jokingly tells me how another blogger described this cake to be a smooth soft souffle and let me just point out, it is not soft. Because of the premium flour she uses, this cake’s texture crumbles. If you are a green tea enthusiast, like me, you’ll relish every spoonful with intense flavour of green tea bursting out. In between the impeccable taste of this cake, a crunch you will look forward too is the pistachio.
Green Tea Pistachio cake
Coffee Puff-A light puff pastry crust is filled with flavourful pipped swirls of coffee cream.
I wanted to savor every bite of my Almond Truffles – A nutty kind of treat that can make you go instantly NUTS on your first bite. FYI, every single almond piece is covered chocolate truffle.
ALMONDS gone wild! This Almond Caramel is HEAVILY dusted with Coco and is a perfect triumvirate of flavours.
Almond Caramel with Coco dust
When I first saw the Popping Kitty, this automatically reminded me of Maneki-neko aka lucky cat figurine, however this one is completely edible. Teehee. I highly recommend you to eat this last as it comes with a twisted surprise. I can really detect the chocolaty flavours as well as the fizzy fireworks that constantly pops every single second in my mouth. A winning treat of mine as it reminds me of back in the days…Wizz Fizz Sherbet Candy use to be a popular demand in the 90’s. Next an interesting take on Ginger Bread chocolate entails a taste you’ll have to try to believe with a unique flavour of gingerbread and chocolate experience. To celebrate Christmas, the chocolate on top stamped with printed Santa Clause.
Popping Kitty and Ginger Bread chocolate
Popping Kitty’s back
Wasn’t so much a fan of Cherry Pistachio tart as I believed it to be a tad sour however fresh cherry flaours accented by accents of cherry and a buttery shortbread biscuit base with sprinkles of pistachio on top.
Cherry Pistachio tart
I have yet to try the Head Barista Jimmy coffees, who earlier this year won 3rd place in Pura Dairy Famers Latte Art Championships. I am extremely keen on what kind of art will be presented to me.
Inspirational things I’ve taken away from chatting with Katze, the owner of Four Friends :
- Enjoy every moment of your life and be grateful about it
- Support small businesses, you’ll be surprised what they offer
- Slow down and take things one step at a time
- Appreciate what is in your food and go for organic
Have a sweet tooth after reading this? Why not drop by Four Friends to relax over a cup of tea and before I forget, CHOCOLATE.
Photos by Vanny Tang
Like to know more about Nessy Eater food adventures?