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Archive for August, 2007

Mummaluka

We recently went Mummaluka for CY’s birthday dinner. Our original plan was to go to The Drunken Admiral, but unfortunately it was fully booked. Krys’s been here with her pharmacy friends, whereas it was a first for the rest of us. We weren’t exactly sure what type of cuisine they serve. I thought African perhaps since the name sounds African..haha!

The atmosphere in the restaurant was ok, nothing very special. The most interesting thing was the pepper stand on our table. It was some sorta statue in the shape of a woman carrying something above her head, and in that “basket” piled ground black pepper. It was the first time any of us had seen something like that so it was pretty amusing. Other than that, I personally felt the place was a bit too crammed. Maybe because we were seated near the entrance and not inside. Oh well…

They’ve got quite a wide selection of food here. It was only after the meal, when we were leaving, did we realise it was because the place specialises in cuisine from all over the world! No wonder there’s pasta, tom yum, stew, mexican etc on the menu! The set dinner offered is definitely value for money. You get an entree, a main and a dessert for $34 on Saturdays and $29 from Tuesdays to Fridays. Alan and CY went for it while the rest of us opted for mains. Everyone but Alan and I had the BBQ Ribs. I decided on the Braised Lamb Shanks, whereas Alan went for the Seafood Tom Yum. We all go a shock when our meals arrived – the portions were huge. Mine was the biggest stunner of all – it was a huge, deep platter simmering with lotsa sauce, vegetables and 2 gigantic chunks of lamb shanks! You should’ve seen my face…everyone was laughing as they all knew what a small eater I am!

My first couple of bites of the stew was really good. It was obvious the amount of time and effort that went into preparing the braised lamb shanks was long. The meat was tender and juicy, and the sweetness of the vegetables were assimilated with it. Maybe it’s just me, but after the initial 5-8 mouthfuls, I felt a bit nauseated. Like beef, lamb has a very strong and overpowering taste. The smell eventually got to me and I just couldn’t bring myself to finish it. Alan’s tom yum was your typical Caucasian style Asian dish – too much coconut milk and not spicy and sour enough. The pork ribs were definitely the best and everyone cleaned their plates out. As for dessert, CY had the Cadbury’s Top Deck Chocolate Pot and Alan the Pistachio Ice Cream. The choc pot was really very sweet whereas the ice cream wasn’t. So if you take one mouth from the choc pot followed by one mouth of the ice cream, that would be perfect! :)

All in all, the food in my opinion was just mediocre. Let’s just say I’ve had better. But feel free to visit their website (http://www.mummaluka.com.au/) to get an idea of what is served. Then go try it out for yourself and let me know what you think.

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Sugarpaste



sugar paste, originally uploaded by pearlyn83.


Engagement Cake 1 (Experiment), originally uploaded by pearlyn83.

Here comes the recipe for the sugarpaste I made for my experimental engagement cake. Like the marzipan, I thought I would flop horribly. Before making both the marzipan and sugarpaste, I spent nights wondering how was I to cover the cake? All the book said was to roll it out on an icing sugar dusted work surface and lift it over the cake then press it down. That didn’t make much sense to me. In my mind, all I was focusing on was the fact that my cake was a round cake and wouldn’t the edges just overlap and cross over each other? Doesn’t that mean my cake will not have the smooth look? All these and more worries of mine were a waste of time! :p I realised as long as you’ve kneaded your marzipan and sugarpaste into a smooth, pliable texture, when you roll it out and lift it over the cake, it’ll just fall nicely and the edges won’t crease over each other. Once done, gently press the sides down and trim off the edges. You should have plenty of leftovers for you to colour and make designs of all sorts.

Ingredients:

  • 5 tsp gelatine
  • 125ml liquid glucose
  • 1 tbsp glycerine
  • 1 kg icing sugar

Method:

  • Sprinkle gelatine over 3 tbsp of water in a bow and leave till it is spongy in texture.
  • Bring a kettle of water to boil and fill it in a pan. Place gelatine bowl in pan and stir till dissolve. Add the glucose and glycerine and stir until melted. Leave to cool for 1 minute.
  • In the meantime, sift 750g icing sugar into a big bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour the gelatine mixture in. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine.
  • Knead until icing has a dough-like texture. Make sure your hands are dry and use the remaining icing sugar to dust your hands and work area so as to prevent sticking.

Note:

  • This recipes makes approximately 1 kg of sugarpaste which is enough to cover a 9 inch cake.

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Marzipan



marzipan, originally uploaded by pearlyn83.


marzipan 2, originally uploaded by pearlyn83.

This is my first attempt at making marzipan. Over the years, I’ve bought a couple of cake decorating books and have always been fascinated by the exquisite cakes displayed. I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making marzipan figures and flowers etc. but time and again, procrastination overpowered my wants. By accident, I stumbled upon ready-made marzipan at Coles and was sorely tempted to buy, but it’s always been my policy: “Why buy when you can make it yourself?”. Only when it’s been proven that it’s more costly to make it yourself, will I buy.

My opportunity finally came when Terence told me he was engaged. I offered to organize an engagement party and bake the engagement cake. Me and my big mouth! :p The journey itself was tiring but fun. Now, I know how much effort goes into making wedding cakes. Just my experimental cake itself took about 4 days before it was ready to be decorated and served! My recipe below is from Jane Price’s “The Home Guide to Cake Decorating”. I highly recommend it as the guidelines are simple and easy to understand, ideal for beginners and those in the intermediate level.

Ingredients:

  • 750g icing sugar
  • 200g ground almonds / almond meal
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp sweet sherry
  • 2 tsp glycerine
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Almond essence

Method:

  • Sift about 500g icing sugar into a big bowl. Mix in the almond meal and make a well in the centre.
  • Mix egg yolks, sherry, glycerine, lemon juice and almond essence together in a bow.
  • Pour into the well and stir with a knife until stiff.
  • Knead until smooth and pliable. Use the remaining icing sugar to dust your hands and the work surface to prevent sticking.

Note:

  • I used raw almond meal that’s why my marzipan has got brown specks in it. If you use the normal almond meal you get from the supermarket etc., it’ll come out light yellowish-brownish in colour.
  • If you don’t have sweet sherry, try a sweet based alcohol – I used port.
  • This recipe is enough to make approximately 1 kg marzipan, which is enough to cover a 9 inch cake.

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