LAST DAY TO WIN A FREE CAKE!!!

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The giveaway ends at 12am on Friday, 19th September. ;)
Click here to go in the running to win a whole Millè & B crêpecake!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Fat Friday #1 - Finn Cafe

TGIF! Every week I look forward to Friday.

It's the last day of the working week; we get to put our hair down, relax a little and look forward to the weekend.

Fridays in the office is usually rather casual, and not as busy, which is a great way to end the week. Plus, it's also Fat Friday!! Yay!! :D

I have started a Friday Lunch Club with my colleague, Shell, who is rather pleased with having a food blogger as her co-worker (if I may shamelessly say so myself). ;)

We have decided that we'd head out for lunch every Friday and I have been tasked to find a new eatery around our work place in St. Kilda each week so we could both explore this area together.

I also mentioned that I'd introduce a Fat Friday post series on my blog, so here it is! The very first FF post on our first FF spot - Finn Cafe.

Finn Cafe opened its doors in July this year on Carlisle Street, right opposite the St Kilda Town Hall.

It is easily accessible via public transport, and there are plenty of street parking along Carlisle Street for those who wish to drive.

We were greeted with big, warm smiles as soon as we stepped in. Great service to start is always a plus point. I also loved the fit out of the cafe - bright, clean, and minimalist.

I had already scanned the menu before arriving and had my eyes locked on the open omelette with mushrooms, taleggio, truffle oil and rye crisp. Finn Cafe did well, I was not disappointed.

It was beautifully presented and taste absolutely tasty to boot. It was a very generous portion which filled me up just right.

The truffle oil added a nice extra touch of fragrance, and I think I had Shell in food envy.

Shell, on the other hand, opted for the slow-cooked pulled lamb shoulder, polenta bricks, swiss chard, preserved lemon, dill & creme fraiche.

"Beautiful flavours that worked really well together," Shell replied, when I asked how her dish fared. Portion was a tad small, but at least it won't put you to sleep at work. ;)

When we were done , we walked up the counter to pay for our meals, only to be greeted with this - an array of sweet treats, calling out your name and tempting your sweet tooth.

Finn Cafe bakes their cakes and pastries fresh every morning, and they often have something new to offer their patrons.

With a display as beautiful as this, it's very difficult to just walk out without getting anything.

We obviously had to get some to try. Amongst the sweet treats that we picked to share were the kiwi danish, berries tea cake, salted caramel brownie and beetroot chocolate cake.

They were all divine, especially that salted caramel brownie! So moist and delicious! Definitely a great way to finish up.

Finn on Urbanspoon
So what can I say? Finn Cafe is a great addition to St Kilda, especially to the locals. Relaxed atmosphere, great friendly service and good food. I can definitely see myself coming back again.

I hope you enjoyed my first Fat Friday post. Happy Friday, y'all!! Have a fabulous weekend ahead. And maybe, if you're coming down to this end of town, you can visit Finn Cafe during the weekends ;)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Blueberry & Greek Yogurt Cake

I love baking with yogurt. Yogurt gives cakes a really soft and moist texture which I really really like.

I have always used flavoured yogurts, but have never tried baking with Greek yogurt. I always end up finishing my Greek yogurt in my daily overnight oats before I have the chance to bake.

Last week though, I had a new tub of Greek yogurt sitting in my fridge and decided I wanted to bake for work, so I looked up recipes and came across this Blueberry & Greek Yogurt Cake recipe.

Julia used a 9×3 springform pan but I much prefer a square pan as it's easier to cut up and share, so I used a 8-inch square pan.

The cake came out at just about the same height as it would a 9-inch round pan, I believe.

The batter might look very little, but fret not as it rises a fair bit. It's just not a very tall cake, but I read that's how it's supposed to be.

This cake is really beautiful and moist. But what I like best about it, is that it is really quick and easy to make. 

If you do try this recipe, I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did! :)

Blueberry & Greek Yogurt Cake
Recipe adapted from Julia's Album

Ingredients
  • 1 cup plain flour, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 60g butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Method
  1. Preheat oven to 190°C with rack in middle. Line the bottom of 9 inch round or 8 inch square cake pan) with baking paper. Grease the side of the pan with butter or cooking spray.
  2. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into a medium bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg and continue beating until very creamy and light in color.
  4. Keeping the mixer speed low, mix in the flour in 2 batches, adding 1/2 cup Greek yogurt in between the 2 batches to the cake batter until combined. Do not overmix.
  5. Transfer the cake batter to the pan. Scatter blueberries evenly on top.
  6. Bake until cake turns golden, and the tester comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes, depending on your oven.
  7. When the cake is done baking, let it cool (still in the baking pan) for 40 minutes on a wire rack.
  8. After cake has cooled for about 40 minutes, invert cake onto a plate. 
  9. Sprinkle icing sugar, and serve warm, if you like. Otherwise I transferred them into an airtight container, and they lasted me up to 5 days.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Millè & B Crêpe Cakes + Giveaway :)

"Never let the odds keep you from doing what you know in your heart you were meant to do." - H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

As many of you already know, I love baking and I dream to one day open my own bakery.

I have time and again contemplated to take up a pastry course either in the UK or Paris, but due to personal commitments, I still find myself here in Melbourne, in the media advertising industry.

But there's a girl out there, living my dream.

This girl goes by the name Bee.

Bee loves baking, and she finds joy in creating beautiful and delicious cakes. It puts a smile on her face to see others enjoy her creations.

Unfortunately though, like many Asian parents, her father told her that she had "to get a stable job" and that's how she ended up with a Bachelor of Commerce degree.

It didn't take long for Bee to land herself a job in a bank, but alas, she wasn't proud nor happy; she didn't get that job satisfaction all of us yearn for and she knew deep down inside what the problem was.

So, despite disapproval from her parents, Bee decided to take the leap of faith to chase her dreams, and brazenly founded Millè & B.

To keep her parents happy, Bee now juggles between baking to orders whilst maintaining her job at the bank, with a dream to one day open her cake shop in Melbourne.

This, my readers, is what I call dedication.

For that, I give Bee my utmost respect and as you can see, I'm doing my best to support her by spreading word of mouth about Millè & B.

Millè & B as you would have guessed, is an online cake shop specializing in the classic French cake known as Mille Crêpe Cake.

Each cake is handmade to order using fresh ingredients, and consist 20 even layers of delicate, paper thin crepes with each layer filled with luscious pastry cream of various flavours.

There are 8 delectable flavours available now at Millè & B and I've had to honour to try 4 of them thus far. You may view the menu here.

My absolute favourite was definitely the Oreo Oreo! Chocolate crêpes layered with Oreo whipped cream and generous chunks of Oreo cookies, then topped with an Oreo crumble. Say YUM!!!

I also really enjoyed the Sweet Salted Caramel crepes cake layered with dangerously delicious caramel creme patissiere.

But the best part for me is the crunchy salted caramel popcorn that Millè & B makes in-house. Don't say I didn't warn you, but those popcorns, gosh, they're incredibly addictive!

I also got to try the Balsamic Strawberry which I found was the lightest amongst all four. I know this flavour sounds a little odd to some and truth be told, I was a little skeptical myself, but hey, balsamic vinegar and strawberries do make a great combination!

The use of vinegar not only brings out the beautiful, bright red colour, but also totally enhances the natural sweetness of the strawberries.

Last but not least, the Matcha Adzuki - green tea crepes layered with smooth pastry cream and sweetened red beans. I appreciate that it has just the right amount of green tea, although being a matcha fanatic, I wouldn't mind it a little stronger. :P

Topped with white chocolate and green tea ganache, then finished with a matcha crumble (which I could not get enough of), this cake is made for every matcha lover out there.

I really like that Millè & B cakes aren't too sweet, and they have great, consistent texture throughout.

When eaten fresh, they are soft, smooth and taste absolutely divine. I can't wait to try the Tiramisu and Hazelnutella Banana flavours too!

Whilst some might find the crepe layers a tad too thin for their liking, I actually prefer it the way it is.

Bee mentioned that she experimented with thicker layers prior to starting her business, and she personally preferred the thin layers to achieve the melt-in-your-mouth texture. I'm with you, Bee.

As biased as this might sound, my family and I really did enjoy her cakes. To quote my sweet-tooth SIL, "Best crepe cake in Melbourne! Better than the ones we had at Jinda Thai!"

My Mum who isn't usually a big fan of cakes or anything sweet, went back for a second serving. I was so surprised and gobsmacked when she even requested for a bigger slice!

That's how good Millè & B's crepe cakes are. ;)

You really need to try these crepe cakes for yourselves! And the good news is, I have ONE WHOLE CREPE CAKE to giveaway to one very lucky Melbourne-based reader.

To be in the running to win, you will need to be living in Melbourne, to either have the cake picked up from Mille & B's location at Lygon Street, Carlton or have it delivered to an address within 10km of Melbourne CBD for a flat fee of $10.

Update (5/9/14) - I see some of you are confused as to how to enter this giveaway. To ensure that your comment qualifies as an entry, please follow the below steps.

Step 1: This step is mandatory. Leave me a blog post comment telling me "Which Millè & B Crêpe Cake would you like to try most?" You may view the menu here to see what flavour tickles your fancy most.


Step 2: This step is mandatory. Login via the Rafflecopter box either via Facebook or email address, then hit on the "I Commented!" button as shown below to qualify your comment as an entry. 


Step 3: This step is optional. However you may opt to follow us on Instagram/Facebook, or tweet about this giveaway to score extra entries.

This giveaway runs for two weeks and will end at 12am on Friday, 19th September 2014. The winner will be drawn and announced here on my blog by Saturday, 20th September 2014.

Good Luck!! :)
Click on 'OLDER POSTS' for more! :)