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I never actually got a chance to visit La Belle Miette on Hardware Lane in the city since my work place is so far out. Luckily, they had a pop-up store in Chadstone Shopping Centre before Christmas. I believe it’s still there but I’m unsure as I haven’t ventured to Chadstone SC for a few months.

I’ve heard good reviews about their macarons so it seemed like a great opportunity to give these ones a try. At the pop-up store, they had quite a number of flavours, I think around 15. Some of your standard like Vanilla and Hazelnut but some very interesting ones which you’ll see below.

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Here we have the Raspberry flavoured macaron, it was pleasant tasting as it had a slight tanginess to the filling with a crispy and soft inside. Nothing too out of the ordinary though. Luxbites Raspberry macaron I felt was way more flavourful and had a very nice zing (probably due to the fresh raspberries).

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Here’s where it gets interesting, La Belle Miette’s Bastille has a  Moet et Chandon and Blackcurrant filling which was absolutely delicious. You can really taste the champagne in the cream, and my golly do I love it. The blackcurrant jelly adds texture and berry sweetness which is delightful to eat.

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La Belle Miette calls this one the Mariage Freres Earl Grey Chocolate and the tea flavour is strong in this one. If you like that slightly musty tea leaves taste (Earl Grey basically) you will definitely like this one. The chocolate isn’t too sweetness, I think they use dark chocolate or a higher percentage cocoa which in my opinion is preferable. I never really like milk chocolate all that much.

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For something a little more tropical, they have a Mango and Coconut macaron, I found the mango tasted a bit artificial but I would think they would use real mangos to make the filling. So I’m not sure why it tasted a a bit off. This coconut flavour was quite nice, it complements the mango well. A tad pina colada so it’s not really to my liking.

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While I was tasting this I was like what am I eating? Several minutes later, ding! POMEGRANATE. They call this Pimm’s & Pomegranate and I don’t really know what to think of it. It certainly isn’t too sweet, it has that fruity flavour but over than that I wasn’t too overly excited by it.

Impressions

I say La Belle Miette macarons are one of the better ones around. I do really enjoy the variety of macarons and that Moet macaron, although is pricier then the rest is one of my favourite macarons ever. Give them a try because they are bite sized punches of flavour.

La Belle Miette on Urbanspoon

La Belle Miette

Melbourne CBD

30 Hardware Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000

Chadstone Shopping Centre

Malvern East VIC 3145 (Next to Seed/Sass & Bide)

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I saw this recipe on TV on Everyday Gourmet, with former Masterchef contestant Justine Schofield. What attracted me to the recipe was the ingredients she used, adding sambal oelek made me quite curious to taste how it would turned out. It also looked delicious when the sausage rolls were taken out of the oven. I thought why not give it a try, it’d be way better than those frozen/Four and Twenty/tucker shop varieties.

My primary difference was using Beef Mince, along with Beef/Pork Sausages (With no skin) as noted below.

Sausage Rolls (Everyday Gourmet – Justine Schofield)

Time: 35 minutes
Serves: 16

Ingredients
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
300g lamb mince (Or Beef)
3 Italian sausages, skin removed (6 small Beef/Pork Sausages – no skin)
1 ½ tsp. fennel seeds
1 tbs sambal oelek (2 1/2 tbs sambal oelek)
1 tbs tomato paste
1 onion, finely chopped and fried
2 tbs parsley, finely chopped
2 eggs, 1 lightly beaten
1 carrot, finely grated
Salt and pepper
Toasted Sesame Seeds (Optional)

Method

1. Pre heat the oven to 200C. Lightly grease and line a large baking tray with baking paper.

2. In a large bowl mix lamb (beef) mince, sausages, fennel seeds, tomato paste, sambal oelek, onion, grated carrot, parsley and 1 egg. Season well with salt and pepper. With your hands thoroughly combine the meat mixture. If you want to taste whether or not the seasoning is to your liking, try  taking a small spoonful of the meat mixture and cooking it (pan/oven/microwave) but if using a microwave make sure it’s cooked all the way through.

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3. Cut pastry sheet in half. Place one quarter of the mixture along the length of the pastry pressing together tightly. Roll the sausage roll log until the meat is completely covered with ½ of pastry. Cut excess pastry. Cut into 4 pieces and place on the baking tray.Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients.

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4. Brush some lightly beaten egg over the mini sausage rolls and sprinkle the sesame seeds on top, cook in the oven for 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Serve with your favourite tomato chutney or sauce.

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Impressions

I loved this recipe! Having the sambal oelek in the recipe makes the difference, It simply cannot be ignored. I saw in Justine’s pictures that she sprinkled what looked like black sesame seeds on top but I wasn’t sure. We didn’t have any so I used the white variety instead, made it look better (I think).

You may notice that the fat from the sausages/ mince etc liquifies and spills on to the baking paper. This is what happened with mine, I just scraped it off from the bottom and cut it off from the sausage rolls and re-plated it.

Using beef does give it a strong beef taste but I think some will enjoy it, as not everybody seems to like the taste/smell of lamb.

 

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Wong’s Lucky Bar is an extremely popular eatery in Box Hill, right next to the tram stop. They serve Chinese food, but one of their main attractions is their cheap Crab. I believe it’s around $13 dollars a pound, and $5 extra for noodles for each person. Bookings are essential for dinner as seats fill up quickly and queues can start to form early. You’ll find the interior to be slightly strange with seating placed anywhere possible. They even use the next door’s cafe for seating!

Wong’s Crabs’ can be cooked a variety of ways, we ordered the Singapore Chilli Crab with noodles as I love Chinese Crab with noodles. While it looked mouth watering, the taste of the crab was lacking. You could hardly taste the crab meat but the Chilli Crab sauce was decent. I wished it was more flavourful and spicy but the sweetness of the sauce was there and it accompanied the crab well. I think you basically get what you pay for so don’t go looking here for the freshest, most tasty crab meal as you won’t find it here. We tried the Crab at All People Chinese Restaurant in Burwood East, and that was incomparable to here. Extremely tasty but the price difference is also world’s apart.

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As out accompaniment, we ordered Balachan Spinach. This had a lot of zing to it as a result of the addition of chillies. Nicely cooked and flavour was excellent. A tad oily but it’s like any Chinese restaurant.

Impressions

If you want cheap(ish) food, served relatively quickly and don’t mind the chaos and almost non existant customer service Wong’s Lucky Bar is the place for you. They have a wide variety of seafood dishes and other standard Chinese dishes to cater to many. Give it a try!

Wong's Lucky Bar on Urbanspoon

Wong’s Lucky Bar

921 Whitehorse Rd
Box Hill VIC 3128

T: 03 9899 8558

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Orange and Chocolate go so well together, so I decided to try to bake some mini cupcakes. The recipe I used also had a orange and white chocolate buttercream icing on top but I thought I’d try it without it. Sometimes cupcakes just don’t need icing. I found this recipe off BBC Food which has many interesting recipes to try, luckily they also have both the metric and imperial measurements.

Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

Ingredients
For the cupcakes
120g/4oz plain flour
140g/5oz caster sugar (Halved to 70g)
1 tsp baking power
40g/1½oz unsalted butter
50g/2oz dark chocolate, melted
1 free-range egg
125ml/4fl oz milk
1 orange, juice only
3 tbsp granulated sugar

For the white chocolate and orange buttercream
125g/4½oz unsalted butter, softened
250g/9oz icing sugar
2-3 tbsp milk
50g/1¾oz white chocolate, melted
1 orange, zest only
100g/3½oz orange chocolate

 

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases.

2. Mix the flour, sugar and baking powder together in a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until combined.

3. Whisk the melted chocolate, egg and milk together in a jug.

4. Stir the chocolate mixture into the flour mixture until just combined.

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5. Spoon the mixture into the cases and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until risen and golden-brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, mix the orange juice and granulated sugar together in a bowl. Carefully pour the orange juice mixture over the warm cakes and set aside to cool completely.

7. For the white chocolate and orange buttercream, beat the butter in a bowl until light and fluffy. Carefully stir in the icing sugar and continue to beat for five minutes. Beat in the milk, melted chocolate and orange zest.

8. Decorate the cupcakes with the buttercream

Impressions

I found the recipe did require the buttercream icing on top because the orange juice mixture didn’t really soak through the cupcakes. They basically just slid off the tops. It also gave the cakes a slightly damp feel to them as a result. The chocolate flavour was quite good though, perhaps its because the recipe requires chocolate and not just cocoa powder as some recipes do. With the orange juice mix you can taste it slightly but just not enough. I think I’ll try making it with an orange buttercream but without white chocolate as white chocolate tends to be extra sweet.

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