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We came across Baguette & Cie along our way back to the hotel on our last day in Quebec City. It was absolutely freezing that day, wind chill and even flurries. As we were a little bit famished we saw this cozy looking bakery, what actually attracted us to this place other than it being conveniently just minutes away from our hotel was that it sold hot soup. Soup on a blistering cold day is all you would ever want and is it ever so satisfying.

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Their Clam Chowder is creamy and yet still smooth to the taste and has a lovely aroma to it. Flavour-wise it’s delicate balance of ingredients makes it the perfect winters meal. The only thing I guess I would have liked is if the bread was toasted/warmed just a tad.

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If you’re looking for something a bit lighter, the Vegetable Soup also has amazing flavours. The chunky vegetables make it a pretty satisfying meal or snack (if you prefer).

Impressions

Baguette & Cie not only serve soup but of course bread as well and in addition they offer muffins and pastries, hot drinks, sandwiches and desserts plus their apparently renowned chilli! I’d definitely recommend stopping by.

Baguette and Cie on Urbanspoon

Baguette & Cie
217 rue Saint-Paul
Quebec QC G1K9K9

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I saw this stunning recipe of a Linzertorte in the recipe book Mastering the Art of Baking by Anneka Manning. It looked so warm and appetising, yet something just a bit rustic about it. A Linzertorte, or otherwise known as a Linzer Torte is an Austrian torte (tart) with a lattice design. Usually made from short pastry with a hint of spices such as cinnamon and ground nuts too, and topped with a jam, it really is a wonderful combination. Especially when the pastry is baking in the oven and you get a whiff of the cinnamon and the butter pastry cooking, it’s lovely.

Linzertorte
Serves: 10
Preparation Time: 40 minutes (+ 30 minutes chilling)
Cooking Time: 48 minutes

Ingredients
160 g (1 cup) almonds
300 g (2 cups) plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 ½ tsps ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
250 g unsalted butter, softened
110 g (1/2 cup) caster sugar (superfine)
1 tsp natural vanilla extract
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
2 egg yolks
500 g raspberry jam
1 egg yolk, extra, lightly whisked
2 ½ tbsps flaked almonds

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Spread the almonds on a baking tray and toast for 8 minutes or until aromatic. Set aside to cool. Transfer to a food processor and process until finely ground.

2. Sift the flour, baking powder and spices into a bowl. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter, sugar, vanilla and orange zest in a separate medium bowl until pale and creamy. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.

3. Add the flour mixture and ground toasted almonds and use a flat-bladed knife and then your hands to mix until a soft dough forms.

4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and shape into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
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5. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Divide the dough into 3 portions, then combine 2 of them.

Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out the larger portion on a lightly floured work surface to 30 cm (12 inch) round, taking care not to work the dough too much as it will become very soft. Roll the pastry around the rolling pin and carefully ease it into a 2 cm (3/4 inch) deep, 24 cm (9 ½ inch) fluted, loose-based tart (flan) tin, pressing it into the edges with your fingertips. Trim any excess by rolling the rolling pin over the top of the tin.

6. Spread the jam into the pastry shell to cover the base evenly (Thin layer – unless your jam isn’t overly sweet).
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7. Roll the remaining dough out between 2 sheets of non-stick baking paper to a rectangle about 20 x 26 cm (8 x 10 ½ inches) and about 5 mm (1/4 inch) thick. Use a fluted pastry wheel or a large sharp knife to cut the remaining portion of dough into 1.5 cm ( 5/8 inch) wide strips.

Arrange the strips over the jam to form a lattice pattern, taking care as the dough will be quite fragile and may break easily. Re-roll any scraps as necessary to make enough strips to form the lattice.
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8. Use a small sharp knife to trim the edges of the strips. Lightly brush the strips with the extra egg yolk and sprinkle the tart with flaked almonds.
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9. Bake for 40 minutes or until deep golden and the pastry is cooked through. Leave in the tin to cool. Serve at room temperature.

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Impressions

It is a very nice pastry I give it that. The addition of the cinnamon, ground cloves gives it a homely aroma (that’s just me) because I love cinnamon. Depending on the jam you use, I find that 500 g of jam is quite generous and as this is the only filling in the tart. It is a bit much and if you do it like I did and added too much to fill up the deep pastry tin.

A thinner layer of the jam can suffice, or if you can preferably find a brand of jam that is not too sweet. If that’s not possible, I suggest pureeing some raspberries and adding a bit at a time to the raspberry jam to give it a bit more tartness. This will hopefully make it not seem like you’re eating a mouthful of sugar.

The pastry really is the star of the Linzertorte and I could eat that short pastry any day of the week. Delicious.

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Monga Izakaya (Monga Sweet Lounge) in Glen Waverley serves primarily light meals or snacks. They offer a selection of grilled/skewers, sushi, deep fried options, raw and cooked seafood, noodles and rice dishes as well as Shabu Shabu (Hot Pot) and Bento boxes (Lunch only), and a Sake and Dessert menu to boot.

One thing of note here is their servings are probably disproportionate to their pricing as you might find elsewhere on Kingsway, similar to tapas I would think. Although their Bento boxes/Lunch menus items do look more value for money.

I ordered the Ochazuke with salmon, which is something I haven’t actually come across in many Japanese restaurants before. Ochazuke is basically a rice dish in which green tea, dashi and hot water is poured onto the cooked rice and mixed with several other ingredients. It’s almost like the Cambodian Porridge which is also cooked rice with a seasoned stock added to it. Monga’s Ochazuke comes out steaming hot, and I found it quite pleasant although a tad salty but at least it was seasoned well.

DSC00861We also ordered their Assorted Skewers, which is their chicken, beef, mushroom, calamari grilled skewers. All marinated generously and quite tasty!

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My friend ordered the Bukkake Mentaiko Udon (Chili cod roe butter with sauce) and his opinion of it wasn’t too high. It was on the bland side of things and for the price, ridiculously small.

Impressions
Even though, we didn’t get a chance to try their dessert menu, their Dinner menu isn’t too shabby. Price conscious folks may stay clear of Monga Izakaya but for those wanting some light meals with drinks on the side too, and dessert to top of the meal I think this is a good place to start.

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Monga Izakaya
91 Kingsway
Glen Waverley VIC 3150

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I first came across Cocoa Patisserie‘s cakes when we had the Hazelnut Mud Cake for one of my colleague’s birthdays. It has since become of my go to cakes for just about any occasion.  Cocoa Patisserie is located on High Street, Kew and surprisingly it closes around 7pm on most nights which is great for after work if you just want to grab something. Cocoa not only serve cakes but pastries, coffees too (of course) but I haven’t yet had the pleasure to try. I’ve only tried their cakes, such as their Tiramisu and Pleasure Dome but their Hazelnut Mud Cake tops them all.

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What I love about this cake is the layers, the ever so light chocolate mousse combined with the moist mud cake (gluten free apparently!) and topped with chopped roasted hazelnuts and toffee pieces that adds the much needed crunchiness. Decorated with ganache and dark and white chocolate.

I adore nuts in cakes, and especially with cakes that aren’t too rich or sweet. It adds everything that I would want in a cake; moist, light, crunchy and not too sweet. You really can’t ask for more.

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Cocoa Patisserie
169 High St
Kew VIC 3101

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