Sunday, February 27, 2011
Apologies for the radio silence here on Spicy Icecream for the last few weeks, I was extraordinarily busy finishing up the design on the second issue of GourmetRabbit! The good news is that it’s in the capable hands of our printers now, and will be on shelves in newsagents around the country from March 7th! Stay tuned for a sneak preview over the next few weeks, Denéa and I are so proud of this one, and think it may be even more beautiful than the first issue. I can’t wait to show you! :)
One of the things that Sydney does exceptionally well is stunning, waterfront dining. With one of the most beautiful harbours in the world for a backdrop, it’s no surprise that both locals and tourists alike want to soak up a quintessentially Sydney experience. Until recently, the only time I had been to Bungalow 8 on King St Wharf was after dark when the venue was packed and the music was pumping, but its daytime ambience is much more laid back and absolutely stunning.
I took the family out for my Mum’s birthday, back in December on an absolutely stunning day for a long, lazy lunch. We take a seat under one of the giant umbrellas, and after a quick visit from my cousin who works in the kitchen, we order a glass of wine and a serving of pork dumplings ($13 for 4), to share. While I’ve definitely had better dumplings before, it’s still a nice start to the meal.
Choosing a main was a hard task, with the menu consisting of a great variety of salads, steaks, and fresh seafood. Mussels are a specialty here, and every Tuesday they host All You Can Eat Mussels.
The birthday girl picked the Crispy Skinned Atlantic Salmon Fillet, which was served with a roast corn salsa and Asian salad ($26.50). The salmon was perfectly cooked, and the corn salsa was a great accompaniment giving the dish a nice fresh flavour. I almost wish I’d ordered it for myself!
Dad chose the red meat option, of course, the Prime Sirlon, served with bacon and potato rosti, kai-lan, grilled field mushrooms and miso butter ($26.50). The steak was served at an almost-bloody rare, as requested, and he really enjoyed his meal. The potato rosti was a nice alternative to the usual chips or mash you usually see served with a steak.
My sister picked the Crispy Skin chicken with green papaya salad, Szechwan salt and chilli caramel ($25.50). The chicken was delicious and the skin was beautifully crispy however Beth wasn’t a huge fan of the salad that accompanied it.
I chose the Milanese style Crumbed Veal with potato salad ($25.50). I really enjoyed it, especially the awesome potato salad. It was a very filling dish, however and I couldn’t finish it all!
After a nice break, enjoying the sunshine and enjoying the awesome blast-from-the-past 80’s music, we decided to order dessert. I mentioned to the staff that it was mum’s birthday and the Double Chocolate Tart ($13) came out with a sparkler while we sang happy birthday. The tart itself was decadent and rich, served with a quenelle of double cream and hazelnut biscotti.
But my favourite dessert was the Passionfruit Pannacotta served with tropical fruit salad spiked with Caribbean rum ($13). I was actually a little surprised at how much I enjoyed this dessert, but for me it was the highlight of the day! I hope Mummy had a lovely birthday! There are so many more dishes on the menu that sound absolutely delicious so I think another visit is in order soon!
Bungalow 8 - No 8, The Promenade, King St Wharf, Sydney
Friday, February 4, 2011
I’ve been documenting my cooking adventures here for almost four years now. I can’t believe how quick it’s all gone, but still, being a typical Gemini, that’s a jolly long time for me to stick to a hobby. Which is why I almost can’t believe that it’s taken me this long to write about the dish that might just be my favourite dessert in the whole wide world – lemon meringue pie. I just absolutely love them, so much so that even a bad one is usually awesome. But this particular recipe is something special indeed.
It starts with a buttery, crumbly pastry that must be handled with care. In fact as I was taking it out of the oven, perfectly golden after blind baking, I accidentally put my thumb through one corner and had to start from scratch! The filling is also interesting and beautiful, spiked with passionfruit juice which makes it just a little more special. Finally, it’s topped with lashings of meringue and torched. I like the blowtorch method (FIRE!) but you could also use the oven or grill.
The recipe made one large 23cm tart and four small ones, which I brought along to my Nanna’s birthday lunch over the weekend. They were quickly demolished without a crumb left over. I liked this particular recipe because it uses whole eggs rather than just yolks in the filling, and therefore doesn’t add to my growing collection of egg whites in the freezer. If you prefer a lemon tart without the meringue you could also brulee the top (as in the original recipe) for an impressive dessert.
Lemon and Passionfruit Meringue Pie
Adapted from Delicious UK
• 175g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
• 50g icing sugar
• 100g lightly salted buter, chilled, cubed
• 1 medium egg, separated
• 3 ripe passionfruit
• Juice of 2 large lemons
• 6 medium eggs
• 250g caster sugar
• 140ml thickened cream
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 4 egg whites
• ½ cup caster sugar
For the pastry, place the flour, icing sugar and a pinch of salt into a food processor. Add the butter and whizz briefly until crumblike. Mix the egg yolk with 2 teaspoons cold water, add to the flour mixture and pulse until the mixture comes together in a ball. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly until smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.
Roll out the pastry to a large circle and use to line a greased 23cm loose bottomed tart tin (I also had enough to make 4 smaller individual tartlets). Dock the pastry base with a fork and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (390°F). Line the pastry with baking paper and baking weights or rice and blind bake for 15 minutes or until lightly coloured. Remove paper and weights and bake for a further 5-10 minutes or until golden.
To make the filling, halve each passionfruit and scoop the pulp into a sieve set over a measuring jug until you have about 50ml juice. Discard seeds. Add enough lemon juice to make up to 175ml.
Break the eggs into a mixing bowl, add the sugar and whisk lightly. Stir in the juice mixture, cream and vanilla. Pour through a sieve into a measuring jug. Pour into the prepared pastry case and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the filling is just set but slightly wobbly in the center. Set aside to cool but don’t chill.
To make the meringue, beat eggwhites in an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add sugar 1 tablespoon at a time and beat until mixture is stiff and glossy. Spread meringue on top of lemon tart and torch lightly with a blowtorch or place into the oven or grill until golden.