Spiced Red Wine Poached Pears

Spiced Red Wine Poached Pears

… on a bed of Pistachio Crumble with a Quenelle of Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream drizzled with a Red Wine & Orange Reduction *drools*

Hello Everyone! I’m really bad at this, and I sincerely apologise. I know I said that I would get back on track with Amcarmen’s Kitchen until the end of the year but once again I have fallen slack and behind for God knows how many weeks now. The truth is that I have been super busy towards the end of last month and into early November with a hectic and stressful event that definitely took a toll on my high blood pressure for sure. Though the past 2 weeks have been quiet, I spent most of it recovering and relaxing from that hell of an event.  I worked at least 15 hours a day from 8am until almost midnight on most nights. I’m just glad that it’s all over… For now.

But anyway, the recipe that I will be sharing tonight is one that I actually made waaaaaay back somewhere in June when I was left home alone (my mom and my sister flew out to Singapore to visit my other sister), during a long weekend too, and I had no plans of stepping out of the house unless I had to *cheeky grin*. So why didn’t I upload the recipe for this back then? Simple – it didn’t comply with the theme I had set out to accomplish for this year on Amcarmen’s Kitchen. So then why now? It’s still 2017. Stop asking so many questions! Haha! I amuse myself sometimes. Well, this is actually part of a special recipe that I will be posting (hopefully) next week, which will also most likely be the last recipe for the year unfortunately. I’m going to use the rest of my time before the year ends to plan and prepare recipes for the upcoming year. I already have a theme in mind to tackle for the whole year and I’m already excited for it!

Spiced Red Wine Poached Pears

Moving on, sorry that introduction went on way longer that I thought it would (as always though right?). If I can recall, I decided that I wanted to practice my dessert-making skills, you know to a MasterChef quality level worthy of a place in the competition ONE DAY. I have to say that I’m quite impressed with how this dessert played out in my head, to paper, and to the actual deal. The pears were soft on the outside, but still had a nice bite and a bit of crunch to it on the inside; beautifully spiced and contrasted well to the mild sweetness of the vanilla bean ice cream. And everyone loves pistachios, or at least I hope they do so throw that onto the plate for another added texture to the overall dessert dish.

You may want to get a head start on the ice cream so that it’ll have time to set in the freezer. You can either make it the day before, or early in the morning so that it’s ready for dessert time after a hearty dinner.

Spiced Red Wine Poached Pears Ingredients

PREP TIME 4 HOURS* | COOKING TIME 25-35 MINS | SERVES 6

*Includes the minimum freeze time for the no churn vanilla bean ice cream; see below for the freeze time range

INGREDIENTS

For the spiced red wine poached pears

  • 6 large pears, peeled and keeping the stems intact**
  • 1 bottle (750ml) red wine
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 10 cloves
  • 3-inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • Juice and zest of 1 orange

For the no churn vanilla bean ice cream

  • 2 cups thickened cream
  • 1 can (300g) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 vanilla bean pod
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

For the pistachio crumble

  • 1/2 cup roasted and salted pistachios
  • 3/4 cup plain flour
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt

**Make sure that you use fairly large pears for this recipe. I found that using smaller pears overcook easily as they need a while to absorb that beautiful red wine colour as well as the flavours.

METHOD

  1. No Churn Vanilla Bean Ice Cream: Using a mixer, beat the thickened cream on medium speed until heavy peaks start to form. Add the can of sweetened condensed milk and beat further. Be careful as to not over whip the mixture. Add the vanilla beans into the mixture along with the pure vanilla extract and gently stir it into the ice cream mixture. Place the ice cream mixture into a container and freeze for a minimum of 4 to 6 hours or overnight.
  2. Spiced Red Wine Poached Pears: Add all the ingredients for the poached pears into a large pot or any that’s a suitable size. Cut out a piece of parchment paper and place it directly on the pears so they remain submerged in the liquid, or alternatively you could also use a small plate.
  3. Bring the wine mixture to boil and then turn it down to a simmer and cook until the pears are soft on the outside are still a little crisp in the middle instead of soft all the way through (about 25 minutes); cooking time will however depend on the size of the pears. For softer pears, cook for a further 10 minutes.
  4. Once the pears are cooked through, use a slotted spoon remove the pears and set aside to cool. Keep cooking the liquid until it reduces to a syrup. Then, strain the wine reduction and discard the spices and zest. If you find the sauce too sweet, add some lemon juice to it to cut through some of that sweetness.
  5. Pistachio Crumble: Preheat oven to 180C (350F or gas mark 4) and line a rimmed baking tray with parchment paper. Process the pistachios in a food processor until roughly chopped. Add the flour, sugar, and salt; processing further just until combined. Add the unsalted butter, and continue processing until the mixture is thoroughly combined and forms pea-size crumbs.
  6. Spread the pistachio crumble mixture on the prepared baking tray. Press gently with damp hands, flattening the crumble to about 1/2 inch thick and bake in the preheated oven until the crumble starts to brown at the edges, about 15 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven, and, using a flat spatula to lightly crumble the mixture. Return to oven, and bake until the crumble is golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes further. Once done, transfer to a wire rack, and set aside to cool on the baking tray completely, about 20 minutes, before roughly crumbling.
  8. Assemble your dessert by spreading the crumble onto the middle of each individual serving plates. Place one pear on top of the crumble and drizzle with the orange and wine reduction syrup. Quenelle the vanilla bean ice cream and place atop the crumble on the side of the pear.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

Spiced Red Wine Poached Pears

BON APPÉTIT

Ps: speaking of desserts – this is completely unrelated by the way, but I just thought I’d share this because it’s hilarious! A week ago or so, my friend asked a question on our whatsapp group chat and the question was: if you were a dessert, what would you be? Without hesitation, my other friend quickly replied “cactus” and to her hasty realisation, she retracted and said “oh I thought you meant desert” and everyone went spiralling down into a pit of undignified laughters – well I couldn’t stop laughing out loud and looking like an insane freak in front of my colleagues at work during that time. God bless her.

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

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Milo French Toast

Milo French Toast

Hello Everyone! Anyway, so it’s week 4 of Breakfast/Brunch month and this week I will be sharing with you my now-favourite french toast recipes. I say ‘now-favourite’ because this is the very first time I’ve attempted these recipes. I’ve had and made french toast before, but the recipes I’ll be sharing with you this week are beyond than that of the classic french toast – they got a certain twist to them that will make you fall in love with french toast all over again.

Today’s recipe is one that I came across on Facebook as I was scrolling through my newsfeed. BuzzFeed Australia posted a video recipe for Milo French Toast. If you love milo and fancy some french toast to go with that, then this recipe was made for you, only that, you get to combine milo together with your french toast – how cool is that? You can top them off simply with some butter and syrup, or you can make it a bit more interesting by topping them off with some of your favourite fruits – I topped mine with some strawberries, crushed pistachios, honey, and a bit of powdered sugar.

I remember growing up, even up until now, my mom would make a classic french toast for breakfast at least once a week. When I came across this recipe and talked to her about it, we decided to try it out. It was a great success in my opinion and I loved it, so did my Mom and sister Angela. Original video recipe can be found on BuzzFeed Australia‘s Facebook page.

Milo French Toast Ingredients

PREP TIME <5 MINS | COOKING TIME 8-12 MINS | SERVES 2-4*

*Depending if you want one or two slices of french toast per person; recipe is for 4 slices of bread

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 thick slices of bread
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup milo
  • 1 large free range egg
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract

Optional:

  • 1 punnet (250g) strawberries, hulled then halved
  • Handful of pistachios, shelled and lightly crushed
  • Honey
  • Powered sugar

METHOD

  1. Heat a bit of oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium.
  2. Combine the milo, milk, egg, and vanilla extract in a bowl. Mix until well combined.
  3. Dip both sides of a bread slice to soak up the wet mixture; do not soak it for too long.
  4. Place the soaked bread slice into the frying pan and cook until done, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  5. Once done, transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up any excess oils. Repeat for the remaining bread slices.
  6. Serve up this Aussie twist on a French favourite with some honey and butter if you like, or with some fresh fruits and crushed nuts and enjoy!

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BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Auguest 2015: Jialng Mew

Polvorón Pops (Popvoróns)™

Hello everyone, it’s Jialing again, with my second/final recipe for this week. It’s been a pleasure sharing my recipes with you, and I hope to do it again in the future, but in the meantime, feel free to add me on Instagram – @jialingmew. Also, check out Tuesday’s Chicken Pastel Mini Pot Pies if you haven’t already 🙂 Today’s recipe is another one of my Filipino favourites, but this time based on a sweet treat called Polvorón, which is made with powdered milk and toasted flour and wrapped in colourful cellophane.

Polvorón Pops (Popvoróns)™

I’d previously tried to bring packs of polvoron back to Sydney with me after a trip back to Manila so that my Australian friends could try it, but was told at Sydney Airport Customs that it was on the permanent confiscation list, because of the powdered milk. But fortunately, Australia is not doomed to a polvorón-less fate! The ingredients are actually all very easy to find, and had I realised at the time that they were so simple to make, I wouldn’t have had to go through all that trouble with Customs.

Polvorón Pops (Popvoróns)™

To be quite honest, although I had made polvorón before, a very long time ago, I sort of had to make up this recipe as I went along, adjusting the proportions using some educated guesswork. Traditionally, polvoron is shaped with a special metal tool – that I did not have access to. So I was stuck with the option of cookie cutters, which of course, were nowhere to be found (and probably would not work out at all, looking back in retrospect), and finally, shaping them by hand. I then had one of my pressure and stress-induced moments of genius, and polvorón cake pops happened! Luckily it worked out (better than expected, actually), so I didn’t have to come up with a different recipe, and I can quietly sit down to calmly write about this experience. The recipe can easily be adjusted to make more (or less), which is a bonus! So we all lived happily ever after ❤

Polvorón Pops (Popvoróns)™ Ingredients

PREP TIME 20 MINS | COOKING TIME 15 MINS | MAKES 16-20 POPS

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup chocolate chips or melts (I used 1 cup each of dark and white chocolate)
  • 1 cup plain flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup powdered milk
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • Additional toppings (i.e. crushed nuts or cereal, desiccated coconut, sprinkles, cocoa powder, etc)

METHOD

  1. Using a frying pan or wok, toast the all purpose flour gently on low-medium heat, stirring the flour constantly until it is very lightly browned throughout, about 10-15 minutes. You should notice a change in the aroma of the flour, though the colour change will be very slight, so keep a watchful eye on the pan! Do not overheat, as the resulting taste will be bitter (a helpful tip is to keep a small bowl of all-purpose flour nearby so you can keep checking the colour difference). Once flour is toasted, remove from heat and pour into a large heat-safe mixing bowl.
  2. Make the polvorón mixture by adding the powdered milk and white sugar to flour, stirring until well combined. Add the melted butter and continue to stir (or use hands) until the mixture resembles wet sand, and holds when pinched. At this stage, you can eat some of the polvorón mixture (highly recommended – it’s divine) and add more sugar or powdered milk to your liking. If the polvorón mixture is too dry, add a teaspoon of melted butter.
  3. Using your hands, firmly pack a small amount of the mixture into a 1-inch ball, rolling in between palms to shape. Set completed ball aside on a baking paper-lined plate or small tray, and repeat until the rest of the mixture is used up (should make around 16-20 balls).
  4. Using toothpicks or BBQ skewers (I used BBQ skewers, and cut them in half), very slowly and carefully insert pointed end about 2/3 of the way through each ball. If the ball cracks, gently press around cracked areas and reshape around the inserted skewer. Place the polvorón pops in the fridge to harden while preparing the next step.
  5. Melt chocolate using a double boiler method, being careful not to allow any steam into the chocolate. Alternatively, place into a microwave-safe bowl and heat in the microwave on high for 15 seconds at a time, stirring between intervals, until chocolate is fully melted (please note that you may need to adjust intervals according to your microwave).
  6. Place bowl of melted chocolate on a clean surface, and pour selected toppings separately into small bowls or dishes arranging work surface so that all the bowls and dishes are all adjacent to each other.
  7. Remove polvorón pops from the fridge, and dip one at a time into the melted chocolate mixture (the chocolate will start to set once removed), then immediately into the toppings. Transfer back to the tray and continue dipping and coating the remaining pops.
  8. Serve immediately, or store in a container and keep refrigerated until needed. I’m not exactly sure what the shelf-life of these is, but I’d recommend eating them within 2 weeks – if you can even resist eating them for that long #polvoronparty #theend

Polvorón Pops (Popvoróns)™

Polvorón Pops (Popvoróns)™

Recipe Copyright © 2015 | jialingmew

ENJOY YOUR MEAL!

Jialing.

myTaste.com

Layered Pistachio Cake with Honey Vanilla Buttercream

Layered Pistachio Cake with Honey Vanilla Buttercream

Hello Everyone! Today I have a special post for you as today is my not so little sister’s 19th birthday! Today is also the first time in 4 years that I have been home to celebrate with her and the rest of the family. If you have been following my blog since September last year, you would know that I started getting into baking cakes. I never really liked baking cakes to be honest, only because I find it very time consuming and my level of patience does have a limit. Since I started baking cakes, my Mom and sisters now prefer a homemade birthday cake instead of an expensive and cliché store-bought cake. So on Sunday, with the help of the birthday girl, we baked her birthday cake together. We baked it on Sunday even though her birthday is today. Why? Well only because tomorrow we’ll be off for a 1-month vacay to the Philippines, and if we had baked it today, leftovers would be sitting in the fridge until April.

Layered Pistachio Cake with Honey Vanilla Buttercream

Today’s cake recipe has been slightly adapted from, and can be found on Joanne Eats Well With Others. As you have already read from the title, it is a 3-layer pistachio cake with honey vanilla buttercream. I decided to add the strawberries and crushed pistachios on top to bring some life and colour to the presentation of the cake. I substituted some ingredients, such as instead of using cream of tartare, I used lemon juice instead. I barely use cream of tartare in my baking and buying a jar of it didn’t seem very economical as I know it’ll just sit in the pantry waiting for its expiry date. Also, instead of cake flour, also because I barely use it, I used plain flour combined with cornstarch instead. The easiest way to do this substitution is to put 2 tablespoons of cornstarch in the bottom of a 1-cup measuring cup, then fill the cup as usual with plain flour and level the top. In addition, I lessened the amount of sugar and butter in this recipe and it still turned out fine for me! I am not a huge fan of overly sweet desserts, and also I had to take into consideration my Mom who is a diabetic.

Layered Pistachio Cake with Honey Vanilla Buttercream

Before I move on to the recipe, I HIGHLY recommend that you buy shelled pistachios. We went to four different grocery stores and could not find any and so we decided to buy the shelled ones. It took forever to shell just over a cup of pistachios – thank goodness I had my Mom and my sisters to do the tedious job while I worked on the batter. Also, have a food processor handy, but if you’re like me and don’t own one, then all you need is a motor and pestle to bash it all up as well as grinding it. It takes time but it gets the job done. I think that’s why towards the end of this cake I was starting to lose a little bit of my patience because everything took longer to do! But hurray for a gas oven! I cannot stress how much I hated using the oven at the Doncaster Lodge. Everything took at least double or triple the normal time to cook!

Layered Pistachio Cake with Honey Vanilla Buttercream Ingredients

PREP TIME 30 MINS | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR | SERVES 8-10

INGREDIENTS

For the cake
  • 3 & 1/4 cups plain flour
  • 1 & 1/2 cups ice water
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 cup shelled pistachios, plus extra for decorating
  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 large free range egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 large free range egg
  • 5 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp lemon juice
For the buttercream
  • 300g unsalted butter, soft, cut into small pieces
  • 1 & 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1/3 cup plain flour
  • 1/3 cup thickened cream
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 160C or gas mark 3. Grease three 8.5-inch cake pans with a little butter.
  2. For the Cake Batter: Using a food processor, pulse the pistachios until coarsely chopped. Remove half of the pistachios and transfer to a small bowl. Pulse the remaining pistachios until they are an almost powder-like consistency.
  3. Transfer to a large bowl and whisk together both the roughly chopped and fine pistachios with the plain flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside
  4. Cream the butter using an electrical mixer on high speed for about 3 minutes. Add in the sugar and vanilla and beat until fluffy for about another 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and then add in the egg, mixing until just combined.
  5. Turn the mixer to low and add the flour+pistachio mix to the butter mixture in three additions, alternating with the ice water, mixing each time until just combined. Scrape down the bowl and mix on low speed for a few more seconds.
  6. In a medium, clean bowl whisk together the egg whites with the lemon juice until soft peaks form, about 3-5 minutes. Fold the egg whites into the batter.
  7. Divide the batter evenly among the cake pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 40-45 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  8. Transfer to a cooling rack and let them completely cool.
  9. For the Buttercream: Meanwhile, as the cakes are cooling down, whisk together the flour and sugar in a medium-sized saucepan. Then, add in the milk and cream, and cook over medium heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture comes to a boil and then thickens, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  10. Transfer the hot milk mixture to a large bowl and mix on high speed until cool, about 9 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter, a few pieces at a time, until it is full incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy for a further few minutes. Then add in the vanilla and honey, and continue mixing until combined. If the frosting is too soft, chill it in the freezer for a while and then mix again.
  11. Assembly: Place one cake layer top side up on a serving platter. Use a long serrated knife to cut the top so that it is flat and even. Spread a little over a cup of frosting on top. Add the next later and, again, trim so that it is flat. Top with another cup of frosting. Add the remaining cake layer and trim the top again. Spread cake with a very thin layer of frosting for the crumb coating. Put in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes. Spread the sides and top of the cake with the remaining frosting and decorate as desired.

Layered Pistachio Cake with Honey Vanilla Buttercream

Happy Birthday Alyssa!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Pastabella - PRIMI (PASTA): CARBONARA

Pastabella

Hello Everyone and hello to an all new Review Sunday! I’ve visited Pastabella twice now; the first time was for Marissa’s birthday dinner at the beginning of this month, and the second time was two nights ago when I caught up with my friend Rowena from back home. Both times did not disappoint; the food was absolutely amazing and the dining experience was taken to the next level with great company.

Pastabella is an Italian restaurant that is all about fresh house-made pasta and wood fired pizza. Now it may not have the best looking ambience in comparison to the other cafés and restaurants on the same street, but it had a homely feel to it. The inside space was like sitting down in your own dining room, while the outside space felt like your backyard or patio area.

There is this man, a cheerful guy he is, who I believe may quite possibly be the owner of Pastabella, greeted us with a smile, a cheeky joke and a laugh, which I thought was quite pleasant because it set the mood for us. I absolutely hate it when you’re greeted with snotty and unpleasant waiters/waitresses, but no, none at Pastabella! You could easily joke around with this man as well and he even returned the favour. When he served us, he asked “who ordered the spachatella?” I raised my hand and he placed the dish in front of me. He then asked “and who ordered the gamberi?” I mean, I was with one other person at that time so it was obviously Rowena’s dish. Nonetheless I responded by saying “I think someone inside ordered this” while I tried to point through the glass windows at a table inside. He the responded by saying “oh okay” and took about two steps away from our table, then quickly turned around, laughed, placed the dish in front of Rowena, and said “she’s a cheeky one isn’t she?” Golden. There were many other funny encounters but I’ll end up writing a whole paragraph or two more about that!

Pastabella - PRIMI (PASTA): BOSCAIOLA
PRIMI (PASTA): BOSCAIOLA
House-made fettuccine pasta with mushroom, bacon, and shallots in a fresh creamy sauce ($18.00)

This dish was quite similar to their carbonara, minus the mushrooms of course and add the egg. I had a little taste of this from my friend’s plate and I quite enjoyed how the cream sauce was nice and relatively thin, but still very flavoursome.

Pastabella - PRIMI (PASTA): CARBONARA
PRIMI (PASTA): CARBONARA
Famous Italian dish of house-made spaghetti pasta with bacon, shallots, egg, and cream ($18.00)

Carbonara is like a classic favourite of mine, but I always try to stray away from ordering it for two reasons mainly. The first is because I can make my own carbonara and secondly, for me I find that carbonara anywhere is the same. When this came to our table though, I have never seen anything like it! When I say that, I am actually referring to it’s presentation. I’ve had my fair share of carbonara’s and never have I seen it being served with a raw egg yolk sitting on a bed of pasta. It tasted amazing! The sauce was rich and absolutely divine, but I probably would struggle to eat a whole plate of it just because the richness and creaminess gets to you at a certain point.

Pastabella - PRIMI (PASTA): CHILLI CON GAMBERI
PRIMI (PASTA): CHILLI CON GAMBERI
House-made fettuccine pasta with tiger prawns, rocket, garlic, and olive oil, cooked in a white wine sauce with a dash of chilli ($22.00)

I had a little taste of this off Rowena’s plate – the tiger prawns were cooked to perfection. Plump, juicy, and soft; nothing of that rubbery texture that I’ve had at a fair share of other places. This dish here was perfection. The pasta was cooked well and I remember Rowena saying that she gets skeptical when dishes say ‘chilli’ but they don’t live up to that level of spice that she expects. This dish did not disappoint her tough! To quote her, “they used legit chillies”. I felt though that those who cannot take the heat will complain about the ‘dash’ of chilli – did not feel like dash! But I’m not complaining; I love the spicy kick!

Pastabella - PASTABELLA SPECIALS: RISOTTO MARINARA
PASTABELLA SPECIALS: RISOTTO MARINARA
Traditionally cooked risotto with mixed seafood in our traditional napolitana sauce garnished with fresh parsley ($26.00)

This for me tasted really good; the seafood was cooked to perfection and flavours were on point. But like other marinara dishes that I’ve had, I feel like they all taste the same.

Pastabella - PASTABELLA SPECIALS: SPACHATELLA, PISTACHIO E PANA
PASTABELLA SPECIALS: SPACHATELLA, PISTACHIO E PANA
A traditional Sicilian style pasta cooked with fresh cream, sprinkled with roasted pistachio nuts, and topped with pecorino cheese ($25.00)

I was intrigued by this one because never have I ever had a pasta-pistachio combination before. I love pistachios, and I know they have a very distinct taste to them as well. This pasta tasted so great! The pistachios really enhanced the flavour of the dish and was finished off nicely with pecorino on top. It was something that I’ve never tasted before, and I couldn’t even compare it to any other dish in terms of flavour.

In my opinion, the pizzas that we ordered were nothing really special that would make me want to go all the way back here for more. Don’t get me wrong, the pizzas were good, but it’s more like there are other pizza places that are nearer to where I live that are just as good.

Pastabella - PIZZA: ITALIANA
PIZZA: ITALIANA
Napolitana & mozzarella cheese base with eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, artichokes, olives, and garlic ($23.00)

Pastabella - PIZZA: PASTABELLA
PIZZA: PASTABELLA
Signature Pastabella sauce, grilled chicken, mushrooms, and olives ($20.00)

Pastabella - DOLCI (DESSERTS): PIZZA ALLA BANANA
DOLCI (DESSERTS): PIZZA ALLA BANANA
Banana and custard pizza, drizzled with a delicious caramel sauce and lightly sprinkled with icing sugar ($14.00)

After a filling feast, we just had to have dessert, and we definitely made the right choice. Wood fired dessert pizza with a custard-base sauce, fresh bananas, and caramel sauce – what a combination! Though I love the taste of fresh bananas, I probably would’ve loved them to be fired in the pizza oven for a few minutes to caramelise. I bet that would be AMAZING.

Pastabella - DOLCI (DESSERTS): PASSIONE DI FRUTTI
DOLCI (DESSERTS): PASSIONE DI FRUTTI
Banana, passionfruit and custard pizza, sprinkled with icing sugar ($15.00)

I know, you’re probably thinking that this is exactly the same as above but with passionfruit instead of a caramel sauce. Well you are totally right! But this was supposed to be a dessert pizza with peaches and passionfruit instead of banana. To my dismay, they had run out of peaches that night, and they asked if banana was okay. Well, I couldn’t do anything about it, so I just agreed to it. Not disappointed on the taste though because it was just as good as the last time I had their pizza alla banana dessert!

I definitely recommend this place if you want to spend a quiet date night with friends or even your special someone. There’s just something about ambience that makes you feel right at home, and eating great traditional pasta and pizza with good company that makes Pastabella a great dining place.

So based on all that, I’d say that this place is a definite 9.5 for food (just a slight disappointment that they didn’t have peaches for the passione di frutti dessert pizza we ordered), ambience probably 8, and service an easy 10. Value? I’d probably give it an 8.5? The portions were decent for the price in my opinion!

Pastabella
89 Glebe Point Road,
Glebe, NSW
Australia, 2037

– Ally xx

Cranberry & Pistachio Cookies

Cranberry & Pistachio Cookies

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16 ESV)

Image


Happy Easter everyone! I spent my day eating, shopping, walking, and eating some more with my food buddy Jialing and her boyfriend Zargham. It started off with lunch at the newly opened Roadside Café in Kingsford, then we made our way to the city to do some unnecessary shopping. Most of the stores in Pitt Street and the Westfield were closed because of the Easter holidays but as you walked towards Market City, stores were opened and busy with insane sales. We made this conclusion: “Asians” not that we were being racist being Asians ourselves, just pointing out the obvious stereotypes.

Anyway, on our shopping trip, we stopped by a store called General Pants Co. along George Street. I met a saleslady and her name was Shannon (apologies if this isn’t how you spell your name). We talked about what we’re up to for the Easter long weekend, and she mentioned that she was wanting to do some baking today. I mentioned to her that I recently started a food blog and gave her my link. Shannon, if you’re reading this, hope you enjoy my blog! Feel free to share with your family and friends 🙂

We ended the night having dinner at Chinese Noodle House, and about $80 poorer from food and shopping today.

Cranberry & Pistachio Cookies

I wanted to make something special for Easter but I didn’t get around to being out all day. So nevertheless, I pulled out an old recipe as requested by one of my friends, Miss Yvonne Wang. She has had these cookies many times and always gave it a big thumbs up. So just for her, and of course everyone else, today’s recipe as titled: Cranberry & Pistachio Cookies

I originally followed this recipe and tweaked it a bit, so please do check out the original as well by the BBC GoodFood

Cranberry & Pistachio Cookies

PREP TIME 1 HOUR 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 12-15 MINS |
MAKES 
2 DOZEN COOKIES

INGREDIENTS

For the cookie dough

  • 175g unsalted butter, cut into chucks
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1/3 cup pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped

For the pistachio paste

  • 1/4 cup pistachios
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • 3 tbsp cold water

METHOD

  1. Combine the pistachio paste ingredients in a blender and blend until pistachios are roughly chopped and combined (does not have to be smooth in texture). Set aside until needed.
  2. Toss the butter, sugar and vanilla extract with a spoon. Add the flour, pistachios and cranberries into the mix and stir – you might need to use your hands at this stage to bring the mix together as a crumble mix. Add in the pistachio paste and stir it in to combine as a dough.
  3. Half the dough and shape each half into a log. Cover in cling wrap and chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour before baking, or alternatively, the dough can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180C. Slice the logs into about 1cm thick rounds and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on the tray.

Cranberry & Pistachio Cookies

Cranberry & Pistachio Cookies

BON APPÉTIT!

– Ally xx

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