Monday, November 16, 2009

Treats of Chidlhood

Brownie Indulgences....

I recently was planning a trip down to my mother’s (she lives in Venus Bay, Gippsland) and I asked her if she wanted me to bring her anything from Melbourne. Her request for a Paterson’s Brownie brought back memories of visiting the shop as a child. We were not there often during work hours during our younger years- it was a big, busy place and Dad was always too preoccupied to keep an eye on us.

We did go in after hours if Dad had to drop in to do any odd jobs on the weekend. It was for us a and vast mysterious place- our very own Chocolate Factory (minus the Oompa Loompas) just on a smaller scale, it was magic. I saw this excitment again recently when my then 3 year old nephew, nearly tripped over himself getting his shoes on so as not to miss out on the visit to "Grandpas work shop".

Just like the Chocolate Fctory we were encouraged not to touch with out permission. We were were allowed to use icing piping bags to decorate cardbord discs -fake cake tops, play with the PA system and to help Dad as requested. If we were well behaved (and nagged just a little!) there was a treat of a Chocolate Brownie- chewy, chocolaty and laced with meaty walnuts, they were delicious and never big enough!

Here is the recipe...

Brownie Base

150gm Walnuts
3 (55gm) Eggs
390gm Sugar
195gm Chocolate
195gm Melted Butter
195gm Plain flour

Line A 20cm x 30cm -4 cm deep Baking tray with baking paper.

In a bowl mix walnuts, eggs and sugar with melted chocolate and mix well, but don’t beat until light.

Mix in the melted butter and lastly the flour. Combine well and spread evenly into the baking tray.

Bake at 190°C for approx 35-40 minutes until the cake is set – remove from oven and cool


40gm Unsalted Butter
160gm Melted Chocolate

Combine melted chocolate & melted unsalted butter.

Spread onto the brownies & sprinkle with chopped walnuts.

When set cut into pieces and remove from tray

NB: Will keep for a week in a cool place or 2 weeks refrigerated

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Food Fashion

We all want to know what is fashionable right now! It maybe a dress, hair cut, a place to live, a movie star or gadget but when it is in we want it and want to have it first

Old School, , Retro , Vintage, Nostalgia – all words used to let us know that what wasn’t cool last week is back, so dust of your 80’s fluoro and get on with it- defiantly do not stop to question whether you should ( the answer will often- but not always, be NO NO NO!!!! )

The food industry is no different. Deliha Smith was dumped for Jamie Oliver. We turned our backs on Jamie for Nigellia Lawson. Now poor Nigellia is licking the bowl on her own while we obsess over the three master chef amigos.

In the world of pastry chef’s we now have “rock stars” of our own. Adrian Zumbo (also of Master Chef fame) and Burch and Purchese (British expats) are doing simply amazing things in the world of dessert & pasty. The way they play with flavours and their stunning presentation is inspiring. While the rest of us are squeezing everything we can out off the cup cake craze, Zumbo & co are already working on the next big thing- macaroons! You heard me MACAROONS are the next big thing and with flavours like bacon & maple syrup, sticky buns and Passionfruit Adrian Zumbo is leading the way.

The result of changing culinary trends and fashion is that many great new things have been introduced to that Australia table- flavours that younger generations take for granted. There are also many that have consequently been left behind- some that should never be revived (curries made from “curry powder”, pre mixed mashed potatoes and greens boiled until they smell of a mouldy old chux). There are a few that deserve another look, they prove that while we should always be looking for something strange and new, classic and simple is good too!!!

Paterson’s is a place for Nostalgia. While we keep up with current trends ours is still the place to come for the teats of your childhood. Observing trends in children’s Cakes and party orders can be a fascinating social study. We can tell you the most popular children’s names (no research grant needed) and what the latest themes are. I have seen them come and go, Teenage Mutant Ninger Turtles, My Little Pony, Transformers, Princesses, Cars, The Wiggles, Dorothy the Dinosaur, Dora the Explorer, Ben 10 and Iggle Piggle....................... This week I noticed a few cakes for children that may signify a return to some of the retro themes.

Two cakes in the shape of Rocket Ships and one for Mr Tickle!!! Simple, Classic and surprisingly effective.

Hopeful prediction –“Where the Wild things Are” is going to go off (possibly for as many nostalgic adults as children).