Monthly Archives: March 2013

Review: Candied Bakery, Spotswood

This amazing bakery, located in the wild western suburbs of our fair city, has been on our minds for months here at New Fat Ladies HQ. We’d heard tales of crusty bread, creamy apple pie shakes and imaginative sweet pastry treats that tickled our taste buds.

We bundled ourselves into the car with empty bellies and drove the 40 minutes to Candied with only a little bit of bad directioning and an iphone that JUST WOULDN’T LOAD THE MAP to delay us. It was still worth the trip. Think about that for a second.

The bakery is located a stone’s throw from the Spotswood train station, very close to Scienceworks and would make for an excellent day trip of sweets and science!

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Prices are a little on the high side, but for a boutique-style bakery that’s pretty much to be expected. I also didn’t care at all after I put the things in my mouth. SO TASTY.

We tried the following (for science):

– Crispy based Brownie
– Jam Donut
– Chocolate and Marshmallow Cookie
– Pain au Nutella (Nutella Croissant)
– Honey Joy Cheesecake
– Korean Chilli Paste Focaccia
– White Country Loaf
– Coffee
– Coffee Shake

All the sweet treats were met with happy faces and giddy licking of fingers, so I’d say we like them a lot. Look out for a New Fat Ladies rendition of the Honey Joy Cheesecake coming soon. The lamination on the Pain au Nutella had S-J and I making impressed faces at each other for about 5 minutes. We are baking losers you guys, no shame.

Both breads were excellent. I’m a chilli-wuss so none of the focaccia passed my lips, but it looked super tasty and seemed to disappear pretty fast. (SJ: IT WAS SO FREAKING GOOD!) The white loaf was super tasty. Crunchy but not impossible to chew crust, soft interior and was still fresh after 2 days – great for organic bakery bread!

SJ noted that her coffee was a little bitter on first sip, but mellowed as she went on. The coffee shake I had was pretty perfect, an excellent mix of flavours, not too thick and not left with 5 inches of undrinkable froth at the end, lovely and cold and delicious.

If I was to make a recommendation as to what you should get if you pass by Candied? Definitely the Coffee Shake and a chocolate and marshmallow cookie.

We plan to head back again and try out the pies and sausage rolls. Can’t wait!

Opening Hours
Wed-Sat: 7.30am – 4pm
Sun: 8am – 4pm

81a Hudsons Rd
Spotswood, Vic 3015

Ph: 03 9391 1335
Email: hello@candiedbakery.com.au

http://candiedbakery.com.au/

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A slightly more detailed Bake Off post (Or: HOLY SMOKES BAKE OFF!!!)

Anyone who has ever had to spend time in the same room as me for more than ten minutes ends up getting asked about whether or not they’ve watched The Great British Bake Off. Because I am obsessed. I force people to watch it — more often than not, I force them to watch approx 2 minutes and then they too become obsessed and so on — and then force them to discuss it in ridiculous amounts of detail and have them endure me talking about what I would have baked for that challenge and how I would audition for an Australian version in a heartbeat.

So, when one of my friends emailed me a link to an online application form for an Australian version, I may have made a very unladylike shriek and then began filling in the form.

I have never auditioned (or wanted to audition) for any other cooking show but, come on, it’s BAKE OFF! I JUST LOVE BAKE OFF SO MUCH! I wanted to be that person in the marquee with a cup of tea and ganache all over them! I could do that! I could be a bake off baker!

And then, somewhat surprisingly and two auditions later, I was.

IMG 0759Now, I’m not allowed to give away too much yet but I can answer the following questions which my students at school keep asking so I guess some other people might want them answered too.

  1. Who wins? No, I will not answer that question no matter what.
  2. Do you win? See above.
  3. When does it air? Still no official date! Soon! Just after Easter!
  4. What were the judges like? Honestly, lovely. Absolutely lovely! Dan is sweet and kind and generous and honest and knows many adjectives. Kerry is very generous, funny and very honest. I learnt so much from both of them and I still can’t quite believe that I got to spend time with them.
  5. What were the hosts like? Shane and Anna were absolute aces and very helpful and sweet. They really made us feel comfortable and at home. It would not have been as fun without them
  6. When is it filming? Already done, Year 8 Drama so finish your homework. (We filmed last year.)
  7. What were the other contestants like? Really fun and lovely. We are all still in touch and still share baking advice with each other.
  8. Can you make me a cake? Maybe at the end of term if you behave in class.

It was such an amazing experience and I am so glad that I hit submit on that application. I genuinely loved every second of it, even when it was long and frustrating and things weren’t going to plan!

I’m planning on doing some more Bake Off related blogging when the show gets going and I’ll hopefully be able to share some of the recipes as well. I also now have a personal baking-specific twitter, @ess_jay_bakes. Follow me there and see me flail about Bake Off in real time!

Bake Off. It is the best. Fact.

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Chocolatey Zucchini Loaf (Or: And some other news.)

Photo  3I feel like this is part 7000 in my ongoing attempts to use all the zucchini.

I’ve had this Double Chocolate Zucchini Loaf from Tracey bookmarked for ages and when we brought in another bumper crop of zukes, it seemed like a good idea. Then Melbourne threw a spanner in the works by having such hot weather. Not only was it too hot to bake anyway, our air-con gets cranky if we have the oven on at the same time as it. Finally, Sunday morning was cool enough for me to bake before it heated up too much. I GOT TO THE GRATING! And then to the eating. Seriously, this was all that was left by the time we got take a photo.

Related: my lovely Lady Friend Esther made us a delicious Zucchini Slice for dinner last night (with yet more zucchini) and I thought I should bring it to your attention. Also, that’s her blog all about our little family and it makes for some excellent reading. (Here ends the cross-promotion.)
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Zucchini Pickles (Or: Hooray! Something to do with the enormous zucchinis we are growing.)

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Esther and I have become garden people. Well, Esther is the one who is doing the bulk of what gardening types refer to as ‘keeping things alive’. We pulled up a bunch of our garden last year and went crazy Broadway-style at Diggers. We planted a bunch of this type of zucchini and they are amazing! Would recommend! However, by gum, are they prolific!? So many zucchinis.

Now I grate a zucchini into nearly every single thing I make already and the number of zucchini we had was out of control. Something had to be done!

Bread and Butter Zucchini Pickles

Based off this recipe and freaking delicious.

  • 1kg zucchini
  • 1.5 brown onions
  • 6 Tbsp salt
  • 4 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 tsp mustard powder
  • 3 tsp mustard seeds

Step one: be lazy like me and crack out your food processor. I chose the blade that would cut the zucchini the the thinnest slices but, in retrospect, I’d probably make them a little bit thicker next time.

Use your food processor to slice up the zucchinis and onions. Place in a large bowl with the salt and cover in cold water (chuck in a few ice cubes to make it super-icy). Leave it for an hour.

After an hour, drain and dry thoroughly. I used my salad spinner and did four ‘loads’ of zucchini. I spun each lot four times and that got most of the liquid out.

Combine the vinegar, sugar and mustards in a saucepan and simmer for five minutes. Set aside to cool until room temperature.

Put the dry zucchini in a bowl and pour over the cooled brine. Divide amongst sterilised jars (remember – we did jar/bottle sterilising before!) and leave over night before eating with alll the things!

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Put Some More Chocolate on the Chocolate Cake Birthday Cake

Want to know a secret about the New Fat Ladies? We really really really like cake – reading about it, baking it and of course, eating it. We make a lot of cakes, and over the coming months we’ll be sharing at least a few of our favourites from events in our lives, both big and small.

The first is a cake that S-J baked for her beautiful partner’s 30th birthday party. A two tiered rich chocolate cake with lashings of white chocolate frosting, decorated with edible wildflowers from her garden. I was super sad to not be there for the party to eat a slice or three, but now I get to write about the cake and that’s almost as good as getting to eat it, right? Well no, but I’ll talk about my birthday cake in a second, and I definitely got to eat that one!

So let’s get to the recipes. And a couple of tips. Look out for the tips.

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake
from FEAST by Nigella Lawson

Some maths will be required to work out how many batches you will need to replicate the number of layers that S-J made or to get to the size that you need (maths that ends in cake is maths worth doing). If you do just one batch as is written below, you will get a lovely cake more suited to 8-10 mouths.

Cake
200gm plain flour
200gm caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
50gm cocoa
175gm butter (softened)
2 large eggs
2 tsps vanilla essense
150ml sour cream

Tip: This cake is best when you make it with ingredients at room temperature, so make sure you remove the butter, eggs and sour cream from the fridge at least 2 hours before baking.

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line your tins.

Add all ingredients to the bowl of your food processor and blend until you have a smooth, thick batter. Pour mixture, split evenly, into your tins.

Place tins in oven and bake for 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Leave to cool for ten minutes on racks, then turn out to cool completely. This cake is super prone to splitting, but you don’t need to worry about that as very soon you’ll cover any unsightly cracks with luscious frosting.

S-J’s White Chocolate Frosting

75gm butter (softened)
180gm white chocolate
500gm icing sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
125ml sour cream1 tsp vanilla extract

To make your frosting, start by boiling a saucepan of water. Reduce the heat to a very low simmer and put a glass or metal bowl on top (you just made a homemade baine marie, go you!), add butter and chocolate to bowl and, once melted, stir to combine. Tip: this bowl will be REALLY HOT, use an oven mitt to move/hold it. Remove bowl and let cool slightly. Add the golden syrup, vanilla and sour cream to the chocolate mixture and stir to combine.

Add the icing sugar into the bowl of the food processor and whizz briefly to remove any lumps. Pour the chocolate mixture into the processor and process until frosting-y. Depending on your climate you may need to add a little more of either sour cream or icing sugar to achieve the right consistency.

Slather the icing on cakes and pile up. S-J decorated this cake with fresh edible flowers from her prolific garden, but it would also be lovely with chocolate curls or fondant decorations.

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Sunny Day Pasta with Haloumi (Or: fried cheese? Yes please.)

IMG 2091So, you’ve made your delicious sunflower seed pesto and you are wondering what to do with it — as opposed to just shoving it in your mouth as is — look no further!

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