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Nine Taiwanese Dessert House located on Swanston St is similar to Dessert Story, serving a variety of ice-y sweet treats and Bubble Tea drinks. What I love about Dessert Story is their ice machine for some of their “snow” menu options, has this delicious slightly sweet and milky shaved ice. This dessert house also has the same but is it as good?

Their Green Tea Snow Ice, comes with red bean, jasmine jelly, taro and sweet potato balls topped with a scoop of green tea ice cream. It’s decorated with this green syrup of sorts. The snow ice here isn’t too bad, it lacks the same creaminess that the Dessert Story ones have. It’s also very sweet all over, with this sort of odd fake taste to it. The jasmine jelly is nice though, and is the reason why I tried making Ooolong Tea Jelly, not too sweet but with this subtle tea flavour to it.

I liked their Taro Bubble Tea though, but the one they gave us was warm because they just cooked the taro so that was a bit disappointing. At least it’s real taro!

Last words

Maybe their other dessert options are better? First impressions weren’t too great, I might come back again but for now I’d still go to Dessert Story if I had the choice.

Nine Taiwanese Dessert House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Nine Taiwanese Dessert House
268 Swanston Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

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These Almond Cookies are quite light that melt ever so slightly in your mouth. I’ve added in toasted almonds for that added little crunch inside which works a treat. It’s very easy to make and great for Chinese New Year but of course who wouldn’t want this all year round.

Almond Cookies (adapted from With love, from Little Nyonya by Baba Philip Chia)
Makes: 50 cookies
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients
100g icing sugar
250g plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
50g ground almond
1/4 tsp salt
150ml vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
50g slivered almonds

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Method
1. Preheat oven at 175°C.

2. Place the slivered almonds onto a lined baking tray and bake for a 2 to 3 minutes or until slightly golden in colour and allow to cool.

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3. Chop the slivered almonds into small pieces and set aside.

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4. In a large bowl, sift in the icing sugar, plain flour, baking soda, baking powder, ground almonds and salt and mix together.

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5. Add in the vegetable oil and vanilla essence to the dry mix and mix well until it is mostly all combined.

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6. Mix in the chopped almonds until just combined.

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7. Either roll out the dough and use cookie cutters or just use your hands/food gloves and take a tablespoon sized piece of dough and roll into a ball. Place onto a lined baking tray and flatten it gently.

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8. Bake in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until the bottom of the cookies are slightly golden and cooked through.

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Almond Cookies
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These Chinese New Year favourites are great light and crisp-crunchy cookies, with a lovely almond smell and flavour to it!
Servings Prep Time
50cookies 10minutes
Cook Time
25minutes
Servings Prep Time
50cookies 10minutes
Cook Time
25minutes
Almond Cookies
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These Chinese New Year favourites are great light and crisp-crunchy cookies, with a lovely almond smell and flavour to it!
Servings Prep Time
50cookies 10minutes
Cook Time
25minutes
Servings Prep Time
50cookies 10minutes
Cook Time
25minutes
Ingredients
  • 100g Icing Sugar
  • 250g Plain Flour
  • 1tsp Baking Soda
  • 1tsp Baking Powder
  • 50g Ground Almond
  • 1/4tsp Salt
  • 150ml Vegetable Oil
  • 1tsp Vanilla Essence
  • 50g Slivered Almonds
Servings: cookies
Units:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven at 175°C.
  2. Place the slivered almonds onto a lined baking tray and bake for a 2 to 3 minutes or until slightly golden in colour and allow to cool.
  3. Chop the slivered almonds into small pieces and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, sift in the icing sugar, plain flour, baking soda, baking powder, ground almonds and salt and mix together.
  5. Add in the vegetable oil and vanilla essence to the dry mix and mix well until it is mostly all combined.
  6. Mix in the chopped almonds until just combined.
  7. Either roll out the dough and use cookie cutters or just use your hands/food gloves and take a tablespoon sized piece of dough and roll into a ball. Place onto a lined baking tray and flatten it gently.
  8. Bake in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until the bottom of the cookies are slightly golden and cooked through.
Recipe Notes

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  • The slivered almonds are optional but I love a bit of toasted chopped almonds in cookies
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When Chinese New Year comes along, it’s always the delight of receiving red packets and eating copious amounts of food and snacks. One of my favourite snacks is the melt-in-your-mouth Peanut Cookies and honestly it’s difficult to just stop at one. It’s also very easy to make with very few ingredients. I found a fantastic recipe by Alan Ooi in his book In Love With Cookies, which I do recommend taking a look at his book because there is a great number of yummy cookie recipes in there to try.

Peanut Cookies (by Alan Ooi)
Makes: 120 cookies
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients
450g peanuts
230g peanut oil
250g caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
450g plain flour

Glazing
2 egg yolks

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Method
1. Preheat oven to 165°C.

2. In a blender, grind the peanuts into a powder. Being careful not to over grind as it will turn into a soft paste.

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3. Place all the ingredients into a blender. Blend until well combined.

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4. Divide the dough into small round pieces. Arrange in a baking tray and brush a layer of egg yolk on top of the cookies.

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5. Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until light golden brown.

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Peanut Cookies
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A favourite for Chinese New Year celebrations that you can have all year round now. Lovely peanut flavour and when you bite into it, just melts away.
Servings Prep Time
120cookies 10minutes
Cook Time
40minutes
Servings Prep Time
120cookies 10minutes
Cook Time
40minutes
Peanut Cookies
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A favourite for Chinese New Year celebrations that you can have all year round now. Lovely peanut flavour and when you bite into it, just melts away.
Servings Prep Time
120cookies 10minutes
Cook Time
40minutes
Servings Prep Time
120cookies 10minutes
Cook Time
40minutes
Ingredients
  • 450g Peanuts
  • 230g Peanut Oil
  • 250g Caster Sugar
  • 1/2tsp Salt
  • 450g Plain Flour
Glazing
  • 2 Egg Yolks
Servings: cookies
Units:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 165°C.
  2. In a blender, grind the peanuts into a powder. Being careful not to over grind as it will turn into a soft paste.
  3. Place all the ingredients into a blender. Blend until well combined.
  4. Divide the dough into small round pieces. Arrange in a baking tray and brush a layer of egg yolk on top of the cookies.
  5. Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until light golden brown.
Recipe Notes

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  • You can also add a peanut on top of each cookie before baking for extra bite and decoration.
  • If you find the dough quite soft, just leave it for 10 to 30 minutes until it firms up a bit.
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When people talk about Ma Brown in Balwyn, you mostly hear about the delicious quail. It’s a very popular choice, but also one that they advise to order at least a day in advance of your booking. Ma Brown serve Chinese, Malaysian cuisine and even on a busy night, service isn’t actually too shabby.

You can order the quail either Spicy or just with Salt & Pepper, however, they do advise the spicy one is the more popular selection. The quail here is fantastic, it has that nice crispy exterior but tender and lovely sweet and spiciness from the marinate. I could probably just order this alone, if I was feeling a bit devious, it’s that good.

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That’s not to say Ma Brown’s other dishes aren’t good. Surprisingly, the Sweet & Sour Prawns was also a winner. Lovely subtle tomato flavour with chilli and the prawns were nicely cooked as well.

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The Tofu & Mix Vegetable Claypot is more of your standard affair, yet still makes for a nice cleanser against the quail and prawns.

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The Sambal Beans was probably my least liked dish, the sambal was quite overpowering and overly sweet and definitely cooked with too much oil.

Last words
You may come here for the quail at Ma Brown, but you’ll leave satisfied with many of their other dishes. Not the best ambiance but it’s the food that counts here and won’t make a huge whole in your wallet.

Mabrown Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ma Brown
190 Belmore Road
Balwyn VIC 3103

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I came across tea flavoured jelly in one of these Taiwanese Dessert spots and I thought what a lovely idea that was. There is this subtle tea flavour with a bit of sweetness, and that slight bitterness to balance. Combined with some lychees, it becomes this refreshing and easy dessert for a nice hot day.

Oolong Tea Jelly with Lychees
Serves: 6
Preparation Time: 5 mins
Cooking Time: 5 mins

Ingredients
10g oolong tea leaves
2 tsp (5g) agar agar
2 cups (500 ml) water
2 tbsp (25g) sugar
1 can (230g) lychees, in syrup

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Method
1. Place the tea leaves into a tea filter bag, and add bag with the agar agar and water into a small saucespan on medium-high heat.

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2. Whisk mixture until it starts to boil and the agar agar powder has dissolved.

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3. Add the sugar and turn down to low heat.

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4. Once all dissolved, strain the mixture to remove any excess tea leaves. Then, pour into moulds or a baking tray if you prefer to slice it afterwards.

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5. Place the moulds/tray into the fridge for 20 minutes or until set.

6. To serve, pop out the jellies (or cut the jelly into cubes if in a tray) and serve with lychees and add a few tablespoons of the lychee syrup.

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Oolong Tea Jelly with Lychees
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Rating: 5
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A refreshing, and not overly sweet jelly treat that is perfect for summer and spring.
Servings Prep Time
6 5minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
5minutes 20minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 5minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
5minutes 20minutes
Oolong Tea Jelly with Lychees
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A refreshing, and not overly sweet jelly treat that is perfect for summer and spring.
Servings Prep Time
6 5minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
5minutes 20minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 5minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
5minutes 20minutes
Ingredients
  • 10g Oolong Tea Leaves
  • 5g Agar Agar Powder
  • 500ml Water
  • 25g Sugar
  • 230g Canned Lycheesin Syrup
Servings:
Units:
Instructions
  1. Place the tea leaves into a tea filter bag, and add bag with the agar agar and water into a small saucespan on medium-high heat.
  2. Whisk mixture until it starts to boil and the agar agar powder has dissolved.
  3. Add the sugar and turn down to low heat.
  4. Once all dissolved, strain the mixture to remove any excess tea leaves. Then, pour into moulds or a baking tray if you prefer to slice it afterwards.
  5. Place the moulds/tray into the fridge for 20 minutes or until set.
  6. To serve, pop out the jellies (or cut the jelly into cubes if in a tray) and serve with lychees and add a few tablespoons of the lychee syrup.
Recipe Notes

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  • You can substitute the oolong tea for any other tea of choice. I recommend jasmine tea but would adjust slightly depending on preference of tea flavour.
  • If you prefer to have the jellies on its own, you can double the sugar in the recipe for something a bit sweeter.
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