Happy New Year to one an all! Can't belive a another decade has flown by. You know how we called the 2000's - the Noughties. Well, what are we calling the 2010's?? The 'tweenies'? The 'tens'? Who knows.... just bring it on!
What did you all do to see the end of 2009 and bring in 2010? Mr FBC and I spent an intimate evening with two of our closest friends in their lovely apartment in Kirribilli. They have an absolutely awesome view of the Sydney Harbour bridge and it was great to see in the New Year with fantastic friends - thanks "Menai" for having us over :)
We celebrated the 9pm Sydney fireworks from the comfort of their lounge room - avoiding the crowds. However, we thought we'd mingle with the masses (and all the drunks) for the 12am fireworks at the Kirribilli Ferry Wharf. Hmmm... thinking I like the loungeroom view instead.. but we had our important bottle of champers (Piper Hiedsieck) so it didn't matter too much.Our friends are getting used to Mr FBC and I taking photos of all the food we eat - they even try and arrange the food for us and try and remind us to take photos. How sweet :)
I brought along some Ricotta, Chive and Tomato Mini tartlets which I made using a recipe I found on Not Quite Nigella. They were really simple and quick to make. Will definitely make them again.
Ricotta, Chive and Tomato Tarlets made by Mrs FBCMr FBC and I were enjoying the company so much, that we did forgot to take a photo of the mains. Just picture nice juicy lamb steaks, grilled aspargus and tomato, plus a wonderful salad of rocket, caramelised walnuts, parmesan cheese, pieces of orange, baked baby beetroot drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
For dessert, I made a cake from the frankie magazine 'afternoon tea' recipe book that I got for Xmas from Mr FBC. It's a great book filled with lots of simple old school afternoon tea recipes from caramel slice to choc chip cookies. I was after something that was simple so I chose the aptly titled 'Simplicity Chocolate Cake' recipe. It really was easey peasy - pretty much wacking all the ingredients in a bowl and mixing. The cake wasn't the most chocolately tasting cake I've had... but it was still passable. The generous dollop of thickened cream was much needed. Without it the cake may have been a bit too dry. The recipe isn't that exciting... but I'll put it at the end of the post if you're interested.
A slice of the 'Simplicity Chocolate Cake'
Frankie Magazine Afternoon Tea Book
(source: http://www.frankie.com.au)Most people would continue the New Year's eve drinking or dancing the night away or at least until they passed out. Not Mr FBC and I. We're too exciting for that (not!). After leaving Menai's place at 2am, we thought we'd make the long trek over the bridge to get some good ol' fashioned pancakes at Pancakes on the Rocks - one of the only 24 hour establishments in Sydney. We thought we might as well 'walk off' the pancakes (and many, many calories) we were about to devour - that makes sense right?
Not many would be a fan of the sweet and savoury pancake combo. Mr FBC likes his pancakes in the traditional style - regular stack accompanied with whipped butter, ice cream and maple syrup. Personally, I really love mixing it up a bit and am happy to share my sweet foods with my savoury. I found the saltiness of bacon and fried egg really offset and worked well with the almost sickly, gooey, sweetness of the maple syrup. One of the best things in the world is to slowly pour the maple syrup over the pancakes and watch the syrup run down the stack and soak into each pancake. Heavenly!
As for the quality of the actual pancakes? They were not too light and not too dense, slightly fluffy and perfectly golden on both sides. Most importantly, they had an excellent 'maple syrup' absorbancy rating. Soaked up the syrup like a sponge. Yum!
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees
2. Place butter in a saucepan and melt over heat.
3. Sift flour, cocoa together into a mxing bowl. Add sugar and the lightly beaten eggs, milk, vanilla essence and melted butter. Stir to combine.
4. Using an electrc mixer, beat for three minutes until cake batter changes colour slightly.
5. Grease and line the bottom of cake tin. Pour mixture into tin. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
6. Serve with a dollop of thickened cream.