Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Roo Recipe: Persian Delight Doughnuts with Pistachio and Rose Petal Toffee

It's that time of year again.  It's Bake Off Season.  My workplace holds a Charity bake-off every year and it's highly competitive.  Last year I made redneck Breakfast Cupcakes and placed third.  This year I am baking two entries and looking forward to eating some of the delicious baked goods my colleagues are baking!  I cam second this year with my Persian delight doughnuts.  I was super excited about this dish.

This first dish I have been thinking about for a while.

Persian Delight Doughnuts
A baked cardamom doughnut with white chocolate rose ganache and pistachio crumb, rose petal and pistachio toffee and pistachio pashmak.

There are a few components but fairly easy to put together.

Baked cardamom doughnuts


2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
⅔ cup granulated sugar
2 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp salt
4 Tbsp butter, softened
½ cup milk, bring to a scald but not boiling
½ cup light Greek yogurt
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, lightly beaten


Preheat the oven to 160°C. Lightly grease a doughnut pan with melted butter.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, cardamom, and salt.

Add butter and rub through dry ingredients until crumb like texture. Add the hot milk, yogurt, eggs and vanilla and stir until combined but do not over mix.

Transfer batter to a piping bag.  Pipe into greased doughnut pan to about 2/3 full. Bake in oven until doughnuts spring back.  Approx 12 - 14 minutes.  Let cool for a few minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Pistachio and rose petal toffee

1 tbsp rosewater
1 cup of sugar
¼ cup of water
dried rose petals
60g pistachios, chopped finely


Line baking tray with baking paper. 

Chop pistachios to small pieces.  Sprinkle pistachio onto lined baking tray.

Place 1 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in a pan over low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium.

Do not stir! Cook for 5 minutes until a medium golden caramel.

Pour toffee over nuts  and sprinkle rose petals over the top.  Set aside to cool completely before snapping into shards. Toffee can be made a day ahead and stored in an airtight container.

Rosewater and white chocolate ganache


100g white eating chocolate, chopped coarsely
2 tbsp thickened cream
A few drops rosewater,  to taste


Stir chocolate and cream in a small bowl over a pot of simmering water over low heat until melted and smooth. Add rosewater to taste. Cover and refrigerate until mixture is spreadable.

Pistachio crumb
100g pistachio, crushed

To assemble

To put altogether, ice cooled doughnuts with the rosewater and white chocolate ganache, sprinkle with pistachio crumb, top with a shard of pistachio and rose petal toffee and a pinch of pistachio pashmak!

Tell me what you think?

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Stable Talk @ Kensington

Kensington has long been a University area, diverse, cultural and a long list of cheap and cheerfuls, offering to all the Uni students and locals looking for tasty eats. With upcoming developments now and in the near future, the area needs a few more options for those that want something a little more upmarket.
A casual cafĂ© by day to tapas and wine bar by evening, cozy Stable Talk is a warm welcome to Kensington. Opening their doors 5 months ago they are offering some tasty delights and great wines.  As the name suggests, yes there is a lot of horse race theming throughout the restaurant.
Dining with friends, because you know tapas is best shared, the wine plentiful and food is delicious and of course the company is wonderful too! We definitely had very enjoyable evening.  The staff are friendly and welcoming.
There is a kick ass cocktail list with some fresh new cocktails and the wine list runs with international and local wines (some by the glass) but mostly by the bottle. We have arrived early so a little tipple to start the evening is a must along side a bowl of warm marinated olives. 
These plump, briny kalamata olives are addictive!

Our dining buddies arrive and a bottle of Lost Turtle, Sauvignon Blanc from, the Marlborough region is opened. The passionfruit notes are crispy and fruity.

The menu is quiet extensive with a few specials thrown in.

We decide to do one of the specials, the fresh spanner crab with tomato tartar.

Fresh chunks of crab were swiftly forked up. This was a fresh and light starter.
Fried calamari slider with salad of rocket and lemon aioli and a chorizo slider.

The fried calamari sliders were pretty good. The slider bun were soft and fluffy. However I think it was the chorizo slider that one person had that was a winner.

Potato Bravas
I can never go pass a serve of potato bravas. I mean they are fried potatoes!!! These were crispy and fluffy and a generous serve.
Salt cod croquettas with lemon aioli
The salt cod croquettas were crispy and hot but I didn’t think there was a lot of fish flavour. I think I was expecting something saltier. That being said they were tasty enough, just not what I was hoping for.
Beetroot, kale and goats cheese salad with coffee salt.

The girls like the salad, the boys wouldn’t touch it. What is the aversion to kale? I really liked this salad. The beetroot had bite and the nubs of goats cheese offered a salty, creamy texture with hints of coffee salt granules.
Slow cooked beef and pork meatballs in rich tomato sauce
We ordered two serves of the meatballs, mainly because we knew the boys would like them. They were a decent size swimming in a bowl of tomato sauce.

Braised chicken in Olarosso sherry and cinnamon

The chicken would have to be the winner of the night. A serving is half a (small) chicken served with puree sweet potato. The sherry really shines through this dish. It was delicious.

Pan con tomato garlic bread

Still feeling a little peckish we finish off with some of the garlic and tomato bread. It’s crusty with hints of garlic and a light fresh tomato topping.

But you quite end a meal without dessert. So we share a serve of the Churros with hot chocolate

The churros are hot and cinnamony sweet and dunked into the spicy Mexican style chocolate these are the perfect ending to our meal.

If you are looking for a restaurant where you can have a long leisurely dinner sharing plates and sipping on lovely wines, then this is the spot for you. 

Stable Talk has been a long awaited and much needed addition to the dining scene in Kensington.  It's the Tomato Sauce Odds!!!
Stable Talk Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Ajisen Ramen @ Hurstville

I feel I am slowly gravitating towards that level of Ramen addiction!  Remember way back in the day when I just didn't get what the fuss was all about.  Over time I think my taste buds are evolving!
Last Saturday I suggested we use a voucher that had been sitting around and head up to Hurstville to test out Ajisen.  I have always walked past this little casual ramen place but never got around to dining here.
The 3 of us grabbed a table and the waitress handed over laminated menus.  After much to'ing and fro'ing we made our choices. 
Note that you can also buy a couple of bottles of Japanese beer to go along with your ramen.
I settled with a bowl of the Spicy Karaage Chicken ramen.  The broth is a surprising light yet creamy and the chicken is crispy and hot and doesn't get to soggy in the soup.
The 'little' bro has the tonkatsu ramen (hold the mushrooms).  yeah he hates them with a passion.  He is so not a fung -I (fun guy)!!!  Excuse the pun I couldn't help myself.  I can't take credit for that though,  I heard this the other day on the telly and have been waiting to use it since!
the boyfee , who is now quiet partial to the ramen goes the Special, which has karaage, ribs, chasu and egg.
The usual condiments are on offer along with an awesome pot of fried garlic powder that we all liberally sprinkle on!!! I wonder if you can buy that stuff anywhere?
The restaurant has a few students, young locals and mostly people just wanting a quick and easy dinner before heading off on their Saturday night.  It's a decent bowl and quiet hearty.  Definitely would visit again if I was wanting a bowl of quick ramen.
Ajisen Ramen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Travel Photo of the Month - May 2016 - On the Road to Gundagai

On a recent EPIC road trip around NSW and Victoria I stayed over a night in Gundagai and stumbled across the old train station. 

Left just the way you would have rode the rails back in the day. 

It's a beautiful old building and station and wandering around I could only imagine what it was like.