Friday, 7 August 2009

Dragon Beard Candy and Cream Puffs, Chinatown (Haymarket)

One Friday evening, Mr FBC and I find ourselves looking for dessert in Chinatown after finishing dinner. Luckily we managed to stumble across the regular and bustling Friday Chinatown Night Market (located on Dixon Street). It's a great market with lots of food stalls (satay sticks, Japanese Takoyaki - Octopus Balls etc etc). However, our mission was to find dessert!

We got to halfway along market street when I spied a sign which read 'Dragon Beard Candy'.... I made a 'b-line' for pure curiosity.

Luckily there was a sign which explained it all. Dragon Beard Candy is a traditional chinese sweet. It's made of corn syrup. The sugar is pulled by hand and made into fine white threads. The threads are used to wrap the fillng made of shredded coconut, peanuts and sesame. It's a unique sweet.

Dragon Beard Candy making action....The sugar threads are soft and melt in your mouth. It becomes a bit of a sticky toffee mess once mixed in with the nutty filling. But I like it... a lot. Can't remember how much it costs... I think about $1 each?
The Dragon Beard Candy was nice and different... but are we satisifed? Nah...

So, we got our dessert course no.2. For this, we went to our regular joint at the end of Dixon Street, Emperors Garden Bakery for the 'Emperors Cream Puff'. You buy the cream puffs from a small discrete window next door to the main bakery. The Cream Puffs are yummy fluffy little morsels filled with hot custard (as the puffs are usually made fresh on site - check out the special custard injecting puff making machine!).

At 30c each or $1 for 4.... who could refuse ?(at least 4... or 8 or 12!).

The custard is creamy and usually piping hot...yummo!

You'll find the Emperor's Cream Puff (located next to Emperors Garden Cakes and Bakery) at:
75 Dixon Street, Haymarket
9281 5989

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Baklawa and Burek, Rockdale

Baklawa and Burek... who would thought that they would go together? But they do.

Mr FBC and I were heading to a birthday party in Newcastle and offered to bring some desserts. What could we bring??? Ahhh... baklawa of course. So, off we went one early Saturday morning at 8.30am looking to get some baklawa from Ibrahims at Rockdale.

Unfortunately, we got there too early and Ibrahims was still closed. Doh! Having half an hour to kill, we went walking down the Princes Highway to find out what was happening in the downtown Rockdale on a Saturday morning. Answer: Not much actually... but we did find out that there were a number of macedonian bakeries specialising in burek. Yay!

A spinach and feta burek - from different angles.

Burek is a baked or fried filled pastry and filled with feta, minced meat, potatoes or vegetatables. The Burek bakeries were open so we sampled a spinach and feta 'burek' from Alexanders. The pastry reminds me of turkish bread.
I will be back for more. This little burek was only a snack while waiting for our baklawa.

Alexander's Bakery Cafe - 494 Princes Hwy. Ph:9567 6796

After our burek snack, we headed back down the Princes Highway to Ibrahims.

Don't you just love a pastry shop that sell things by the kilo and doesn't break the bank? I'll have a kilo of baklawa, please!

The displays are mezmerising as you stare at the towers of sickly sweet and sticky baklawa in all their delicious syrupy glory.

Here's a photo of our platter of baklawa and pistachio barma. A mixture of about 40 pieces costs around $30. Good value if you ask me.

You'll find 'Ibrahim Pastry' at:
412 Princes Hwy, Rockdale, NSW, 2216
ph (02) 95972071

Empanadas from La Paula

I loooooove pastry and I looooove savoury food. So, naturally I loooooooove Empanadas.
One Saturday afternoon, Mr FBC and I find ourselves in Randwick/Kingsford looking for a place to eat when I recall reading about a little empanada place in Kingsford on Not Quite Nigella's foodblog.
Low and behold, after a bit of a trek from Anzac Parade and down Gardners Road, we get sign that we are near - the big "EMPANANDAS" sign that is.
Yay.. we've found La Paulas - bakers of Chilean Empanadas and Sweets
You know you've stepped into somewhere out of the ordinary and different when you a greeted with a big "Hola" :). La Paulas is filled with locals and decked out with lots of Chilean posters and trinkets.
We tried a few things from the menu...
First there was the Empanada de espinaca $3.70
The emapanda is baked (not fried) and the pastry is tasty and not too flaky - hate those crumbs. The filling is nice and oozy with the spinach/cheese mixture.
Next we tried Humitas ($4.90). This typical Chilean dish is made of fresh shredded sweetcorn with spices and is wrappred in corn leaves. There is a slight resemblence to scrambled eggs... but it tastes more like creamed corn. Again... I loooove corn so I loooove humitas.
And, finally, a meal is not complete without a little dessert. So Mr FBC and I have a little chilean shortbread (about $1.50) from the many sweets on display.
You can find La Paula at:
118 Gardeners Road Kingsford
Ph: 9663 1041

Baa Baa Sheep Cake from 85 C Cake Shop, Sydney

Isn't this the cutiest looking sheep ever!!!

Saw this cute sheep cake in the window of 85 C Cake shop on George Street while I was walking home one day. I went back a week later to buy the cake and used the excuse of partaking in a 'Masterchef' finale night as a reason for buying the cake.

I'm calling it the 'Baa Baa Sheep Cake'. The body of the sheep is made of sponge cake and the 'wool' is made with dollops of chantilly cream. The face was made of pink strawberry icing.

Will be back soon to taste all the other delectable desserts on display.

Btw... they don't stock many Sheep Cakes so I recommend calling ahead and asking to put one aside for you.

Shop 9 , 545-551 George Street
Meriton Tower, Sydney 2000
TEL:(02) 9264-8585