Top Ten Melbourne Easter Treats 2015

Everyone loves an extra long weekend, especially when there are limited edition Easter treats about town. Chocolate eggs and hot cross buns galore! The traditional hot cross bun is a total winner and there are some creative thinkers who have put a twist on the old Easter favourites. We have put together a list of yummy treats you wanna try this Easter. So if you live in Melbourne, hop to it!

  1. Hot cross bun gelato from Gelato Messina
Melbourne Easter 2015 - hot cross bun gelato. Image credit: Gelato Messina

Melbourne Easter 2015 – Hot cross bun gelato. (Image credit: @gelatomessina)

  1. Hot cross bun doughnut from Short Stop
Melbourne Easter 2015 - Hot cross bun donut. Image credit: Short Stop

Melbourne Easter 2015 – Hot cross bun donut. (Image credit: @shortstopmelb)

  1. Mif bunny macaron – Giant chocolate macaron w housemade nutella, light hazelnut praline cream & Piedmontese hazelnuts from TbyLuxbite
Melbourne Easter 2015 - mif bunny macaron. Image credit: tbyluxbite

Melbourne Easter 2015 – Mif bunny macaron. (Image credit: @tbyluxbite )

  1. Easter cronut – Dark chocolate Cremeux w crispy praline topped w hazelnut ganache & housemade chocolate egg from Rustica Sourdough
Melbourne Easter 2015 - easter cronut. Image credit: ID collective.

Melbourne Easter 2015 – Easter cronut. (Image credit: @rusticasourdough)

  1. Flat chocolate easter eggs from Sisko Chocolate
Melbourne Easter 2015 - Flat chocolate easter eggs. Image credit: The party bebe

Melbourne Easter 2015 – Flat chocolate easter eggs. (Image credit: @thepartybebe)

  1. Easter explosion chocolate crème egg cupcake from Cupcake central
Melbourne Easter 2015 - Easter explosion cho creme cupcake. Image credit: cupcakecentral

Melbourne Easter 2015 – Easter explosion choc creme cupcakes. (Image credit: @cupcakecentral)

  1. Hot cross bun soft serve from Tuckshop Takeaway
Melbourne Easter 2015 - Hot cross bun soft serve. Image credit: tuckshoptakeaway

Melbourne Easter 2015 – Hot cross bun soft serve. (Image credit: @tuckshoptakeaway)

  1. Chick choc pops from Burch and Purchese
Melbourne Easter 2015 - Mini chick choc pops. Image credit: Burch and Puchese

Melbourne Easter 2015 – Mini chick choc pops. (Image credit: @burchpurchese)

  1. Easter inspired chocolate dessert from Mr Miyagi
Melbourne Easter 2015 - Easter dessert. Image credit: melbournecaferestaurauntreview

Melbourne Easter 2015 – Easter chocolate dessert. (Image credit: @mrmiyagimelbourne)

10. Hot crossed spiced donut w buttermilk chocolate glaze, freeze dried blackberry Easter egg anglaise from Ascot Food Store

Melbourne Easter 2015 - Easter donuts. Image credit: dishin_itout

Melbourne Easter 2015 – Hot crossed spiced donuts. (Image credit: @ascotfoodstore)

As Easter treats are on high demand make sure you pop in early, call ahead of time or make an order to avoid disappointment. Happy Easter in advance!

Olives x

I heart Easter!

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Burch and Purchese Sweet Studio

Burch and Purchese - Lamington eclair

Burch and Purchese – Lamington eclair

Burch and Purchase Sweet Studio make incredible sweets. There are big cakes, little cakes, chocolate lollipops, ice-creams, nougat, explosive raspberry wheels, popcorn honeycomb rubble, and the list goes on and on. It was evident that the creation of these little wonders involved a high level of technique. Probably not the kind of sweets you can whip up in your own home. Each sweet takes you on a different adventure.

Burch and Purchese - Venue

Burch and Purchese – Venue

As you walk into the narrow store you are surrounded by an abundance of sweets. I was fascinated by all of the elements that created the cakes, the jellies, the sponges, the mousses, the creams and the crumbles. A kid in a candy store sums it up well.

Burch and Purchese - Caramel, chocolate & hazelnut choux

Burch and Purchese – Caramel, chocolate & hazelnut choux

We ordered this giant profiterole, caramel, chocolate, hazelnut choux pastry thing. It was amazing. If a profiterole was a pokemon it would evolve into this encrusted choux bun, a big ball of choux pastry filled with hazelnut salted caramel cream. Delicious! It had a crunchy hazelnut base topped with a dark chocolate disk (looked like a little hat aww). The cream was smooth and had a good amount of salt to balance the sweetness.

Burch and Purchese - Chocolate and pear cake

Burch and Purchese – Chocolate and pear cake w dark chocolate velvet spray

The chocolate pear, hazelnut, caramel cake was sprayed with dark chocolate, it looked amazing, it looked like it was covered in velvet. It had layers of poached pear, choc hazelnut biscuit, chocolate hazelnut spread, roast pear cream, butter caramel, vanilla cream and dark chocolate mousse with a chocolate twig and a ball of pear jelly on top. The pear flavour was awesome.

Burch and Purchese - Salted caramel chocolate tart

Burch and Purchese – Bright-eyed Max and the salted caramel chocolate tart

The chocolate, hazelnut & salted caramel tart was very rich. Don’t be fooled by it’s appearance, it looked little but I couldn’t finish it all. It was yum but not for the faint hearted. It was a chocolate brushed tart shell filled with salted caramel, chocolate & hazelnut cream with a dark chocolate glaze. Bright-eyed Max liked the look of it.

Burch and Purchese - Explosive raspberry milk chocolate

Burch and Purchese – Explosive raspberry milk chocolate

Explosive raspberry milk chocolate was a fun adventure there was so many raspberry elements but it worked well because there were lots of different textures. It had raspberry cream, fresh raspberry compote with chocolate chip cookie (crumbled). It also had raspberry marshmallow and a milk chocolate mousse dome sprayed w red chocolate velvet spray. It also had chocolate popping candy rocks scattered on top. It was exciting. It was sweet, tart, crackly and crumbly. It was really fun to eat.

Burch and Purchese - Max and the lamington eclair

Burch and Purchese – Max and the lamington eclair

Again. This pup can really turn it on when there are sweets in sight. The lamington éclair was an interesting twist on a lamington. The éclair was made up of chocolate choux pastry. In the middle there was soaked sponge finger w raspberry jam and milk chocolate cream. On top there was spots of raspberry jelly, coconut raspberry marshmallow and chocolate sprayed crunchy coconut cream (which tasted like a soft bounty chocolate bar). It was really amazing. Each element reminded me of a lamington but in an unconventional way. The whole dessert was very much a rendition of the traditional lamington recreated as an éclair. It looked spectacular and was a real adventure to eat.

Burch and Purchese - Masterchef display

Burch and Purchese – Masterchef dessert degustation

This was the dessert degustation, which was featured on Masterchef. Everything is edible including the golden cloche. They have an army of chocolate animals stacked on the shelves (bears, rabbits, penguins) which sort of remind me of toys in a toy store that come alive at night. Little bit creepy but still kinda cute.

Burch and Purchese have a wonderful range of desserts that are sure to amaze. They each have surprises to explore. The cakes have many elements that make them more than just a cake. And for a few more days Burch and Purchese Sweet Studio have a pop-up dessert bar at the Royal Melbourne Show, which is sure to take your tastebuds on a ride. Either that or you can just visit the store in South Yarra.

I heart Burch and Purchese Sweet Studio!

Olives x

Burch and Purchese Sweet Studio
Address: 647 Chapel Street, South Yarra VIC 3141 (next to the Olsen hotel)
Website: http://www.burchandpurchese.com
Phone: 03 9827 7060
Trading Hours: Mon–Sun (7 days): 10am – 6.30pm

Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio on Urbanspoon

Short Stop Coffee & Donuts

Short stop - Assorted doughnuts

Short Stop Coffee & Donuts – Assorted doughnuts

Short stop make sensational donuts and a good coffee to go with it. After tireless months of drooling over their instagram pics they have finally opened their store here in Melbourne hooray!

Short Stop - Street view

Short Stop Coffee & Donuts – Street view

The store is down a side street off Latrobe street. It’s a clean open space and you can see the staff baking and glazing the fresh donuts right in front of you.

Short stop - Venue

Short Stop Coffee & Donuts – Venue

There was a sign with symbols indicating a simple and uncomplicated menu. Coffee: white or black, and Donuts: raised, cruller, filled or cake. They only serve coffee and donuts but boy do they do them well.

Short stop - Banana & Hazelnut chocolate

Short Stop Coffee & Donuts – Banana & Hazelnut chocolate

The banana, hazelnut chocolate was my favourite. It was like banana bread in the form of a donut. The texture was cakey, a cake-donut yum! What a delicious surprise.

Short stop - Ooozing banana filling yum!

Short Stop Coffee & Donuts – Ooozing banana filling yum!

It had a fresh banana cream custard oozing out as I bit into it. The hazelnut chocolate was delish. We all know hazelnut chocolate is a hit (umm hello Nutella) and it was a thin layer, which was clever because it didn’t overpower the flavour of banana. The donut was covered in big chunky roasted hazelnut bits. I totally went bananas over this donut om-nom-nom.

Short stop - Earl grey & rose doughnut

Short Stop Coffee & Donuts – Earl grey & rose

The early grey and rose donut was incredible and different to any donut I’ve ever tasted. It was a cake donut that had an intense yet delicate flavour. The dough was mixed with earl grey tea and injected with lemon myrtle and was covered in a rose water icing sprinkled with pretty rose petals. How romantic!

Short stop - Bourbon creme brûlée

Short Stop Coffee & Donuts – Bourbon creme brûlée

The bourbon crème brulee donut was popular and understandably so. Excuse me sir someone spiked my donut. The donut was filled with vanilla custardy cream mixed with a good ol’ swig of bourbon. The cream mainly had a strong vanilla flavour and the donut had a gorgeous little bruleed top. So adorable.

Short stop - Peanut butter & jam

Short Stop Coffee & Donuts – Peanut butter & jam

The p b and j was delish. It tasted just like a peanut butter and jam sandwich. It was covered in a shiny peanut butter glaze (crunchy of course) with scattered bits of crushed peanut and filled with a fresh raspberry jam. Yum!

Short stop - Apple, Bacon, Honey & Thyme Doughnut

Short Stop Coffee & Donuts – Apple, Bacon, Honey & Thyme

The apple bacon honey and thyme raised donut was a taste sensation. If you like the sweet and salty combo this one is for you. It was covered in honey and thyme glaze then it had the sweetness from the apple pieces and the smokey savoury flavour from the bacon bits. It was nice.

Short stop - Rhubarb & ginger doughnut

Short stop – Rhubarb & ginger (the icing got a bit mangled in transportation)

The rhubarb and ginger donut was interesting. It was sweet but not too sweet. The rhubarb and ginger were stewed and made into a delicious pink glaze. The tartness of the rhubarb and the warmth of the ginger go really well together and it had a good balance of flavours.

Short stop - Cinnamon, cardamom & sugar doughnut

Short Stop Coffee & Donuts – Cinnamon, cardamom & sugar

When I think of coffee and a donut, the classic cinnamon doughnut comes to mind. The dough was light and fluffy and had a hint of cardamom. It was a little bit different to the favourite I know and love but still good.

Short stop - 1v1: Doughnut Vs Fitbit

Short Stop Coffee & Donuts – 1v1: Doughnut Vs Fitbit

It was unfortunate that I bought a fitbit one day before Short Stop opened. A fitbit is a band that tracks your fitness and helps you achieve your fitness goals. Even though banana is a fruit and chocolate has antioxidants, the fitbit was making me feel guilty for eating too many donuts. I shared them with people at work so I wasn’t being a complete piglet but the fitbit was still not impressed. I ended up taking the fitbit off while I ate the donuts to alleviate some of the guilt.

I haven’t tried the Australian honey and sea salt cruller because they haven’t been available first thing in the morning sigh but I can’t wait to try it. It’s choux pastry piped into the shape of a donut (cruller) dipped in a honey milk glaze and sprinkled with sea salt. Also I want to try the red velvet donut, which is coloured with beetroot, filled with cream cheese icing and dipped in a dark chocolate glaze.

Armed with a donut in one hand and a coffee in the other (with a double espresso) how can you go wrong? Breakfast is served. Good morning indeed.

I heart Short Stop Coffee & Donuts!

Olives x

Short Stop Coffee & Donuts
Address: 12 Sutherland Street, Melbourne (off Latrobe street)
Website: http://www.short-stop.com.au
Phone: 03 9642 0807
Trading Hours: Mon–Fri: 7.30am – 4.30pm

 

Shortstop Coffee & Donuts on Urbanspoon

Luxbite

Luxbite - Street view

Luxbite – Street view

Luxbite is a pastisserie/café on Toorak road in South Yarra. Attention: Yum! Drool ensues. The cakes are inventive, the macarons are scrumptious and they also have tasty savoury dishes. The cakes look stunning and in the taste department they exceed expectations. They had a quote on the window that said “Life is uncertain, eat dessert first.” I really liked that, Ernestine Ulmer was one clever lady.

Luxbite - Venue

Luxbite – Venue

The venue was contemporary and colourful, with lots of light and super high ceilings. There was a grass bunny and some fresh flowers. Really cute. The cake display was impressive. They had a range of full size cakes and minature versions of them too.

Luxbite - Ribena lemonade macaron

Luxbite – Ribena lemonade macaron

So first things first, I ordered a Ribena lemonade macaron. Eat dessert first? Don’t mind if I do. It was delicious. For me Ribena brings back childhood memories and they nailed the flavour. The vanilla crème brulee macaron is really good too. They have some cool macaron flavour combos like lemon, ginger & pineapple, passionfruit & kaffir lime leaf, green tea pistachio and bamboo oolong tea.

Luxbite - Salted caramel hot choc

Luxbite – Salted caramel hot choc

I ordered the salted caramel hot chocolate. The hot chocolate came with the salted caramel in a little pot so you could add a lot or as little as you like. I made the mistake of tasting the salted caramel on it’s own. It was delicious. I ended up eating most of the caramel and drinking the hot choc without the caramel. Both were good individually so I’m sure they would be good together. Turns out you can buy jars of the salted caramel to take home. Excellent!

Luxbite - Lamb, mint & rosemary sausage

Luxbite – Lamb, mint & rosemary sausage

For lunch we ordered the lamb mint and rosemary sausage, which were juicy and went well with the tomato relish, avocado and feta. The 60/60 eggs were perfect and the toast was really thin which was good because I didn’t want to fill up on bread when I had forecasted lots of cake eating in the near future.

Luxbite - Sticky rice w ginger chicken and shitake mushroom

Luxbite – Sticky rice w ginger chicken and shitake mushroom

We also got the steamed sticky rice w ginger marinated chicken and shitake mushroom on flaky pastry. This was yum and flavoursome and the fresh lettuce and cucumber lightened the dish. It came with Malaysian chilli sauce, which had quite a bite.

Luxbite - Lolly bag cake

Luxbite – Lolly bag cake

We tried the famous lolly bag cake that featured as one of the challenges on Masterchef. It tasted just like a lolly bag. For realsies! It had banana lolly Joconde (almond sponge cake), freckles crunch, mandarin jaffa ganache, musk mallow, spearmint leaf buttercream, topped with a Redskins glaze. This cake is extraordinary! It’s creative, inspiring and imaginative. A single mouthful takes you back to when you were a kid. The ever so familiar flavours are faultless. The combination has a perfect balance and it’s not too sweet. It takes you to a happy place. What a wonderful cake. Now I’m curious to eat a redskin, spearmint leaf lolly, banana lolly, jaffa and a chocolate freckle at the same time to see if it tastes nice. I’ll report back later with my findings.

Luxbite - Endless love (lychee, rose & raspberry macaron)

Luxbite – Endless love (lychee, rose & raspberry macaron)

The endless love was a big macaron w lychee ganache, rose cream, lychee and fresh raspberry. It was spectacular! It looked so pretty I didn’t want to eat it. This dessert took macarons to another level. It was delicate and delcious.

Luxbite - Maxaron

Luxbite – Maxaron

Max was mesmerised by it’s beauty. He had never seen such a macaron.

Luxbite - Banoffee

Luxbite – Banoffee

The banoffee was a fine slither of deliciousness. This sweet, salty, creamy crunch sponge was delicious. It had a hazelnut sponge, banana ganache (fresh banana flavour yum!), Sichuan pepper chocolate crunch and salted toffee buttercream.

Luxbite - Meringue monster (green tea sponge, watermelon yoghurt, strawberry mousse)

Luxbite – Meringue monster (green tea sponge, watermelon yoghurt, strawberry mousse)

We ordered the meringue monster, which is Luxbite’s signature cake. You can get the full size cake but the mini ones are just adorable. This gorgeous little cake really looked amazing. The meringue looks like it has a striped pattern with little peaks at the top. It’s incredible and truly a little masterpiece.

Luxbite - Meringue monster exposed

Luxbite – Meringue monster exposed

And oh my it was delicious. It had green tea sponge, pistachio, watermelon yoghurt, sour strawberry mousse covered in meringue. The combo of flavours was outstanding. Yum! Yum! Yum!

Luxbite - Bread and butter pudding w pandan anglaise

Luxbite – Bread and butter pudding w pandan anglaise

The bread and butter pudding was not your everyday b n b pud. It tasted like the classic home favourite with a twist. The little glazed square of bread and butter pudding was eaten warm with a generous amount of pandan anglaise which was absolutely delicious. The pudding was soft and had a nice cinnamon flavour, which went perfectly with the pandan englise. The pandan englaise had the perfect amount of pandan, it was superb. The green coloured custard was heavenly. I could have seriously eaten a whole river of the pandan englaise. Augustus save some for later.

Luxbite - Caramel cravings

Luxbite – Caramel cravings

The caramel cravings cake is for the caramel lovers out there. It was a slab of delicious caramel between a layer of chocolate and a coconut base with two teeny-weeny salted caramel macarons on top (so cute). This looked incredibly decadent at first sight but you can actually get through the whole mini cake without it being way too sweet. It was basically a caramel slice, but a really delicious one at that.

The staff are friendly, kind and just really lovely. It’s definitely a place that you will visit time and time again. In fact we got some takeaway cakes last night. I left my bread and butter pudding on the table (my mistake) and when I wasn’t looking that little sneak Max jumped up on the coffee table and got his mitts on it. I was completely devastated and was left to drown my sorrow in the pandan englaise that remained. Drinking the pandan on its own spawned a brilliant idea. What about a pandan milkshake? I would love it if Luxbite made a panda milkshake! Now that would be pretty awesome. The desserts at Luxbite are inventive and are a beautiful expression of their love for food. Any sweet tooths dream come true.

I heart Luxbite!

Olives x

Luxbite
Address: 38 Toorak Road, South Yarra VIC 3141
Website: http://luxbite.com.au
Phone: 03 9867 5888
Trading Hours: Mon–Sun (7 days): 10.30am – 7pm

LuxBite on Urbanspoon

Chez Dre

Chez Dre - street view

Chez Dre – street view

This hidden gem is discretely positioned down a narrow street in South Melbourne. There is an amazing display of cakes, macarons, pastries and baguettes, a patisserie-boulangerie. The décor is chic and takes you into another world. There are big wooden share tables, cute little jars with fresh flowers in them and bright red watering cans against the brick wall. It is a lovely setting to have brunch or to just stop by for a cake or two or three.

Chez Dre - venue

Chez Dre – venue

As you walk in, there is an open kitchen on the left and seating on the right, which then opens into a big seated area with a nice courtyard out the back.

The cake display was impressive. I think they were sparkling in the light. They were so super shiny and glossy they looked fantastic.

Chez Dre - cake display

Chez Dre – cake display

They had some interesting macaron flavours like orange tonka bean, lime-basil, rose-raspberry, apple cinnamon and green tea-kalamanzi. Along with the common faves like vanilla, chocolate, salted caramel etc.

Chez Dre - macarons

Chez Dre – macarons

Their assorted baguettes looked really good. They were thin and crunchy and had a good range of flavours. I liked the sound of the poached chicken w apple, capers, cornichons, mayonnaise, witlof & celery mmm.

Chez Dre - baguettes

Chez Dre – baguettes

The croque madame was a smoked ham & emmental (swiss) cheese sandwich grilled with béchamel (basically a fancy ham and cheese toasty) with a fried egg on top. It was nice and had a kick of mustard, which went well with the pickles in the side salad.

Chez Dre - croque madame

Chez Dre – croque madame

The slow roasted lamb salad was good it had freekah, barley, goats fetta, heirloom beetroots,
baby kale, green harissa & sherry vinaigrette. The lamb melted in your mouth. It was fresh and tasty.

Chez Dre - slow roasted lamb salad

Chez Dre – slow roasted lamb salad

The braised mushroom ragu was a combination of swisse, field & button mushrooms on a bed of
 soft parmesan polenta with a poached egg
 and truffle oil. This was nice, the flavours were good but it was screaming out for some texture like a piece of crusty bread or something. Well actually truth be told, I did have all of my wisdom teeth extracted this week (ouch ouch) and probably couldn’t eat a piece of crusty bread. But unless they had extrasensory perception and knew that my wisdom teeth had recently been extracted (and so omitted the element of texture) then this dish was way too mushy.

Chez Dre - braised mushroom ragu

Chez Dre – braised mushroom ragu

The chorizo and smashed peas with mint, lemon & parsley,
goats chèvre & poached eggs
on sourdough was simple and fresh.

Chez Dre - chorizo & smashed peas

Chez Dre – chorizo & smashed peas

Now for my favourite part of Chez Dre… the cakes!

The fruits of the forest st. honoré is delish. It is like three raspberry petits chou (mini profeteroles) with a red fruit chantilly (berry cream) sitting on a lime-vanilla sable (like a round shortbread biscuit). It looked really cute and was yum.

The lemon-hazelnut tart had lemon mousse, praline, lemon crème and a hazelnut dacquoise. It was like a complex lemon tart, it had the familiar elements (lemony and biscuit base) but had extra layers of technique, which made this extra special. Lemon and hazelnut are a perfect pair, who knew.

The lychee, raspberry & coconut looked amazing. When you cut into it, there are lots of layers. It had a coconut dacquoise, lime curd, raspberry jelly and lychee mousse. It was feminine and had a beautiful delicate flavour.

Chez Dre - cakes ready to be eaten yum!

Chez Dre – cakes ready to be eaten yum!

We chose the passionfruit-chocolate mousse because it was the shiniest of all the shiny cakes. There was a passionfruit macaron shell on the bottom with the chocolate mousse and passionfruit crème. The chocolate mousse was quite dark and had a yummy tropical truffle sitting on top. There was a little sesame seed tuile but I wished it was bigger or there was more because it was paper thin and utterly delicious.

The banana caramel slice is absolutely delicious! It has many layers: banana, caramel & ghana milk chocolate caramel bavarois, banana créme, passionfruit ganache, hazelnut-crunch. The banana layer has a marvelous fresh banana taste, which is dominant enough to stand its ground against all the other caramel and chocolate layers. It’s flawlessly smooth but there are also elements with crunch. It was outstanding and definitely my favourite cake. Yum!

Chez Dre - dark choc passionfruit & banana caramel

Chez Dre – dark choc passionfruit & banana caramel

We took some cakes home for later. They were oh so shiny, the compelling gloss of the cakes turned my hand and forced me to buy more cakes. Well it was either that or that I was lacking restraint. Probably the latter.

Chez Dre - takeaway cakes.. so shiny

Chez Dre – takeaway cakes.. so shiny

As usual Max thought the cakes were for him, it was hard to break the bad news.

Chez Dre - chez max

Chez Dre – chez max

Chez Dre has a great atmosphere, the staff were nice and the cakes were amazing. It’s a good idea to proceed with caution when approaching the cake display because the remarkably shiny cakes may hypnotise you into eating more than you probably should.

I heart Chez Dre!

Olives x

Chez Dre
Address: 285-287 Coventry Street, South Melbourne 3205
Website: http://www.chezdre.com.au
Phone: 03 9690 2688
Trading Hours: Mon–Sun (7 days): 7.30am – 4.30pm

Chez Dré on Urbanspoon

Valentine’s Day 2014

Valentine's Day - Heart Shaped Egg.

Photo: Egg in the basket by Reclaimingprovincial.com.

Tomorrow is Valentines Day and the best Valentine presents come from the heart. Cooking a special dish for your beloved is sure to make them smile. There is no better way to show your love than putting your thoughts and efforts into creating something special. The way to my heart is through food and if you know someone similar then they will absolutely adore any of these delicious Valentine’s day ideas. You don’t have to be an exceptional cook to make a special meal, at he very least you just need a heart shaped cookie cutter.

Strawberry Love Heart Sponge Cakes

These gorgeous sponge cakes are so easy to make. Whip out that heart shaped cookie cutter and start creating your heart cakes. Fill them with whipped cream, strawberry jam and fresh strawberries. It’s a Valentine’s twist to the ol’ classic jam and cream sponge. This recipe requires more grocery buying skills than actual cooking technique but the point is that you made an effort and it looks amazing. You can make renditions to this recipe to suit your partners taste. You can make your own sponge cake, or you can  change the recipe to chocolate sponge. And you can replace the filling with anything that takes your fancy.

Sweethearts Fudge

Valentine's Day - Sweetheart Fudge.

Photo: Valentine’s Day Fudge by Crazyforcrust.com.

This isn’t your ordinary fudge. This fudge is retro. Sweet heart lollies are old school and these fudge squares are adorable. If you can’t get the right words out, let the lollies do the talking. Chocolate and vanilla fudge coupled with romantic one-liners are the perfect treat for Valentine’s day! However sometimes this fudge can be a little too forward, making statements like “KISS ME’ and ‘URS 4EVR.’ Excuse me fudge but we just met.

Handwritten Valentine Cupcakes w Chocolate Glaze

Chocolate is a favourite on Valentine’s day so instead of purchasing a store-bought box of chocolates (boring!), how about make delicious homemade chocolate cupcakes instead. If you’ve got a steady hand, you can attempt to replicate Martha Stewarts Handwritten Valentine Cupcakes with Chocolate Glaze. These are beautiful and decadent, and you can write whatever your heart wants to say.

Valentine Pizza

Valentine's Day - Valentine Pizza.

Photo: Valentine Pizza by Onecharmingparty.com.

Make a pizza with lots of love. This is another opportunity to use a heart shaped cookie cutter (the small one). Slap these salami hearts onto your pizza and Bob’s your uncle, you have transformed your everyday pizza into a Valentine pizza. If you’re not a salami person you can cut other toppings into hearts. Capsicum and mushrooms work well. Or if you want to make individual mini pizzas, you can cut the base into a heart shape.

Valentine's Day - Pizza is my Valentine.

Photo: Pizza is my Valentine by Weheartit.com

Also being single doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate Valentine’s day. Your Valentine can be your friend, your mum, your pet or the most special person in your life, you! Treat yourself or your Valentine to some homemade yummies for Valentine’s day.

Hope you have a lovely day.

I heart Valentines day!

Olives x

 

Gelato World Tour 2013

Caffe e Gelato Milany (QLD) - Dark Chocolate.

Gelato World Tour (Melbourne) – Caffe e Gelato Milany (QLD) – Dark Chocolate.

Melbourne is the third stop of the Gelato World Tour. One tour, eight cities and a whole lot of gelato. Gelato artisans from around the globe each showcase one signature flavour to compete in the international tour. It was only the best gelato I had ever tasted in my entire life. Quality gelato absolutely worthy of global recognition. During the tour the judges visit Rome (Italy), Valencia (Spain), Melbourne (Oceania). Dubai (Middle East), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Shanghai (Asia), Austin (North America) and Deutschland (Berlin). I was fortunate to have them stop in my very own town of Melbourne. What are the odds? It was definitely my lucky day/weekend.

Gelato World Tour - Melbourne

Gelato World Tour (Melbourne) – Fresh Gelato in the park.

The event was located at Argyle Square in Carlton, people were happily consuming their gelato in the park. There were marquees full of gelato artisans in their whites and tall chef hats serving masses of fresh gelato. People queued in anticipation to taste the different flavours that Australia/Oceania had to offer.

World Gelato Tour (Melbourne) - Gelato Tickets.

Gelato World Tour (Melbourne) – Gelato Tickets.

The event was well organised and the system was well thought out.  You buy a $10 ticket at the front marquee, tear your ticket on the perforated lines and exchange the pieces of paper for gelato at the stalls. The no cash handling at the stalls made it easy and fast to get your gelato. For $10 you get 2 cups and 3 baby cones and then you use the unique barcode on the ticket to vote for your favourite gelato. This was not an easy decision to make because most of the gelato was outstandingly delicious.

Gelato Amico (WA) - Pure Sicilian Pistachio.

Gelato World Tour (Melbourne) – Gelato Amico (WA) – Pure Sicilian Pistachio.

The ‘Pure Sicilian Pistachio’ got my vote from Gelato Amico, it was absolutely incredible. It is a milk-based pistachio gelato with pistachio topping using all natural, fresh ingredients and old-fashioned Italian recipes. Pistachio is not usually what I order when I get gelato but wow I was pleasantly surprised and in hindsight wished I had used my cup voucher for that one. Damn. It was made by Tino Tonon from WA which is a bummer because after the event I may not ever taste that sweet, smooth gelato again :(

7 Apples Gelato - Banana w Dulce de Leche.

Gelato World Tour (Melbourne) – 7 Apples Gelato – Banana w Dulce de Leche.

The banana with dulce de leche was also my favourite. This one got Dan’s vote. It tasted like fresh banana (like real fresh banana) with swirls of oozing dulce de leche caramel. It was light, creamy and magnificent. It’s amazing how the flavours can make you feel like you are eating a complete dessert at a fancy restaurant in each spoonful. And lucky for me, this one is close to home, made by Mark Mariotti from 7 Apples Gelato in St Kilda.

N2 Extreme Gelato (VIC) - Destructed Kaya Toast.

Gelato World Tour (Melbourne) – N2 Extreme Gelato (VIC) – Destructed Kaya Toast.

The deconstructed Kaya Toast was interesting in a delicious way. It was created by Min Chai from N2 Extreme Gelato. Kaya is a caramalised coconut egg jam, which is usually served on buttered toast and is a common delicacy in Malaysia. His creation is a deconstructed form of the Malaysian classic, with pandan kaya gelato, with swirls of kaya and a Malaysian cream cracker crunch. Yum!

Vulcano Gelato (VIC) - Vulcano.

Gelato World Tour (Melbourne) – Vulcano Gelato (VIC) – Vulcano.

Yum, yum, yum, the Vulcano tasted exactly like a Ferrero Rocher in gelato form. It had all these yummy surprise bits in it like toasted hazelnuts, cereals and chocolate glaze.

Frangipani Gelato (NSW) - Pavlova Gelato.

Gelato World Tour (Melbourne) – Frangipani Gelato (NSW) – Pavlova Gelato.

The Pavlova gelato, yep tastes just like pavlova. This pashpav was a meringue based gelato with actual pieces of meringue and a passionfruit swirl. Yumness!

Il Gelato (WA) - Mascarpone and Fig.

Gelato World Tour (Melbourne) Il Gelato (WA) – Mascarpone and Fig.

The mascarpone and fig was yummy too. It highlights the fresh flavour of figs and the gelato artisan Constantino Limoncella from Il Gelato had also won a Gold Award for it at the Sydney Royal Show 2013. Makes sense, it was delish!

Giapo (NZ) - Tiramisu.

Gelato World Tour (Melbourne) – Giapo (NZ) – Tiramisu.

And finally Tiramisu, need I say more. As stated on Gianpaolo Grazioli’s gelato profile ‘Ladyfingers dipped in coffee in a multilayered, textured egg-coffee custard. Decorated with white chocolate curls and a golden truffle.’

World Gelato Tour (Melbourne) - Dancing Gelato Chef.

World Gelato Tour (Melbourne) – Dancing Gelato Man.

There was also some info sessions and mini-courses about gelato, the history, becoming a gelatiere, opening a gelato shop. Basically everything you need to know about gelato. This gelato man was having a great time dancing and playing air guitar in front of the stall. Maybe he had one too many gelato cups. I certainly did. Wow! Sugar HAze…I was drunk on sugar, it happens. But the event was prepared and had St. John’s ambulance onsite just incase of gelato overdose. It was great to be able to taste of all the best gelato of Australia/Oceania in one place. So much fun!

The awards ceremony for the world’s best gelato was at 3pm today and the winners for Oceania were:
1. Melbourne’s Gelato Messina with ‘Cremino’ their salted caramel gelato with house made gianduia fudge, fresh meringue and crushed amaretti.
2. NSW’s Cow and the Moon with ‘Mandorla Affogato’ with Madagascan vanilla bean gelato with roasted caramelised coffee almonds folded through with a coffee caramel sauce.
3. NSW’s Frangipani Gelato with ‘Pavlova Gelato’ a meringue based gelato with a passionfruit swirl mixed with meringue pieces.

I heart the Gelato World Tour!

Olives x

Gelato World Tour 2013
Address: Argyle Square – Cnr Lygon St & Argyle Place, Carlton Victoria 3053
Website: http://www.gelatoworldtour.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GelatoWorldTour
Event Dates: October 25th-27th 2013
Trading Hours: Fri 12.30am-9.30pm, Sat 11am-9.30pm, Sun 11am-7.00pm