I found this interesting cookie recipe from The Kitchn which I had never come across before. Searching around, these cookies are usually made with Hershey’s Kisses instead of making your own chocolates but if you know me, I like to try and make most of everything from scratch at least once. I like the softness of the cookies but the chocolate coffee truffle with peanut butter is an unusual pairing to me. If you’re not a big fan of coffee, you can just leave the Kahlua and coffee out.
Peanut Butter & Coffee Truffle Blossoms (The Kitchn)
Makes: 48 small cookies
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Passive Time: 2 hours
1/2 cup double cream
280g dark chocolate chips
2 tbsp Kahlua liqueur (30ml)
1 1/2tsp coffee powder
Peanut Butter Cookies
240g plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
110g unsalted butter, softened
220g peanut butter, creamy
50g caster sugar
50g brown sugar
1 egg, large
2 tbsp milk (30ml)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Place the chocolate chips, cream, Kahlua and coffee powder into a heat proof bowl. Then, pour some water into a small saucespan, making sure the bottom of the heat proof bowl won’t touch the water. Heat the water on medium-high heat until simmering. Reduce the heat to medium-low and place the bowl onto the saucepan. Continually mix.
Note: Alternatively, you can just heat the cream over medium heat until simmering and pour over the chocolate, Kahlua and coffee and whisk until smooth. This should reduce the cooling time to around 10 to 15 minutes for the truffles. You may also find it easier to chop up the chocolate into smaller pieces so it can melt more quickly.
2. Once all the ingredients have been combined, take off the heat and allow to cool and the chocolate mixture is glossy and just pipe-able. This may take around 40 mins to 1 hour.
3. Place a baking sheet onto the table and then spoon the chocolate mix into a piping bag with a large round tip. Gently squeeze out and once there is a small chocolate drop, lift the piping bag up, leaving a small tail on the top. Allow the truffles to sit at room temperature until set for around 1 to 2 hours.
Peanut Butter Cookies
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. In a small bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
2. Beat the butter and peanut butter until blended.
3. Add in the brown and caster sugar to the butter mix and continue to beat until light and fluffy.
4. Add the egg, milk, and vanilla and beat until thoroughly mixed.
5. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix on low speed until just combined.
6. Line a baking tray with baking paper and then shape the dough into balls. Press down gently in the middle to create a small indent into the dough.
7. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes or until slightly golden in colour.
8. Take out from the oven and immediately take a chocolate truffle and place into the indent in the cookie. Allow the cookies to cool completely.
OldTown White Coffee opened its first restaurant in Melbourne earlier this year. Old Town already has a presence in Australia through its 3 in 1 White Coffee sold in quite a number of Asian grocers across Victoria. Originally from Ipoh, Malaysia, it has spread across Malaysia and into parts of Asia as well. It’s similar to PappaRich with its prominent drinks menu and wide variety of Malaysian dishes to choose from.
Oldtown’s Nasi Lemak comes with a number of sides, such as fried chicken, satay skewers and seafood sticks and of course sambal. The sambal is quite fragrant, although is sweeter than I would like. I still would say PappaRich’s sambal trumps it but it’s not far off. I found the satay to be warm, and not hot, which indicated to me that they pre-cook it. I suppose that’s to be expected as to speed up the order to serving time. The fried chicken, however, appears to be cooked to order. The coconut rice leaned towards the mushier side of things, and the fried seafood sticks were interesting things but I wasn’t a big fan of it. Overall, it’s a nice dish with many accompaniments which is a plus!
Their Balacan Seafood Fried Rice is delicious. It has that lovely fragrance of spices and it was spicier than expected.
I simply adored the Roti Canai, it’s fluffy and crisp. It’s my favourite Roti Canai in Melbourne. Every other Malaysian restaurant does it the typical square shape and although it’s crispy when cooked on the stove, it lacks this lightness to it that Oldtown’s has. It’s served vegetarian with a Curry, the typical Dahl curry (without the Dahl) and sambal. Mamak’s curry probably beats it in terms of flavour but its all pretty similar in my books. I’d go back just for this Roti though, it’s that good.
Their Ice Kacang looks exceptional but leaves a lot to be desired in terms of taste. It’s overly icy, the shaved ice is too rough for my liking. It lacks the red syrup (usually like a rose syrup), but does have the brown sugar or palm sugar syrup. The cendol jelly is a nice bonus but once you get the syrup, condensed milk mixture wrong, it really lets everything else down.
Oldtown’s Ice Teh Tarik has a wonderful strong tea taste, though just a tad too sweet for me. One of the better ones in Melbourne.
The reviews for Oldtown make you really question whether you would want to try it out. Maybe, I dined on a good day when service was pretty fast, although not particularly friendly but that’s pretty much expected at most Malaysian/Asian restaurants. Taste-wise it’s definitely above average and I can’t really understand the poor reviews it has received apart from the pricing which is a $1 to $2 more than most Malaysian restaurants. I’d go back.
303 Elizabeth Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Having been up and down Whitehorse Road nearly everyday for a few years now, I’m still finding new places to try. Scarvelli Cafe is one of the many cafes on this long stretch of road but is located further down from the main hub in Balwyn. Scarvelli prides itself on the Paddock to Plate philosophy, sourcing fresh, seasonal produce from the owner’s farm on the Bellarine Peninsula at Swan Bay for their dishes. This exciting concept, combined with Industry Beans coffee makes for a very appealing visit to Scarvelli.
Dined courtesy of Scarvelli Cafe
Their Tassie Salmon with cous cous, tomatoes and grapefruit makes for a very tasty meal. The salmon is cooked well, and the acidity from the grapefruit adds this beautiful freshness to the entire dish. The crispy salmon skin is also a winner.
Probably the highlight for me was Scarvelli’s Braised Swan Bay Beef. The slow braised beef cheek has this amazing, bold beef flavour to it. The mushrooms, again, fragrant and complements the beef with the creamy parsnip puree.
The Chilli Eggs and Ham is an interesting breakfast dish with a crumbed potato, sauerkraut and ham croquette and smashed peas. The chilli dressing reminds me of a chilli jam with some sweetness to it. The peas lacked a bit of flavour too. I do applaud them for keeping their menu varied though.
The braised beef dish along with their strong, Tanzanian coffee makes for a very delicious trip down to Balwyn. It’s also quite a popular breakfast, brunch spot so please do keep that in mind if wanting to make a visit there. I will definitely make plans to try their other dishes and of course, order another coffee to go with it.
143 Whitehorse Road
Balwyn VIC 3103
Finding a good cafe in Box Hill can be quite a challenge. You have the incredibly popular Red Cup Cafe towards the Middleborough Rd end of Whitehorse Rd but if you’ve read my review, you’ll know I was not overly impressed by it. Platform 3 complements the transport hub of central Box Hill, by stylising the place with some train station like aesthetics. What I like about Platform 3 is that although its located in the old Box Hill Central, it’s still far away enough from the bustling noises of the market and food court that you can relax in a quieter atmosphere with a coffee in hand.
Platform 3’s Corn Fritters were favourable in my
eyes mouth. The corn flavour comes through the fritter quite well, it’s not dry and fried just enough. The addition of salmon and the poached eggs with hollandaise sauce give it that extra punch. I love a poached egg done well, and here it’s how you’d want it. Would definitely order again.
Platform 3’s Big Breakfast can certainly be for two, but for one on a healthy appetite this meal can go down well. Comes with bacon, spinach, tomatoes, sausages, mushrooms and your choice of how the eggs are cooked. It really has everything you’d want and cooked well too. Enough seasoning to go round, it’s happy days for me with this one.
While I’m quite fond of their breakfast menu, I haven’t yet delved into their lunch menu. Platform 3 not only do breakfast and lunch but they also have a lively night scene, with a bar for the evenings and serving for dinner. I believe it’s the only bar in Box Hill so you may understand the exorbitant prices for some of their drinks. Though it may just be worth it.
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.
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.
169 High St
Kew VIC 3101