RMFFA: Kookaberry Syrups on 10-Minute Pancakes + GIVEAWAY!

During the primary/secondary school term, Saturday mornings are a bit of a rush for me because my first piano student comes at 9:30am.  Generally, I throw back an Up-and-Go to last me until 12pm but last week, I was feeling a tad ambitious :P.  There was probably about 20 mins before the first lesson was to begin but I thought I would challenge myself to make pancakes from scratch in 10 minutes!  Why?

I needed a reason to open up another two products from the RMFFA package :D.

Sweet Preserves

Kookaberry – Victoria (Kookaberry Raspberry and Boysenberry Syrup)

Category: SYRUPS AND CORDIALS – Bronze prize

The Kookaberry Strawberry Farm is a family run business, having grown gorgeous berries for 33 years including Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Boysenberries & Logonberries :D.  I’m a bit of a berry-kind of girl so they definitely have my interest, especially since Kookaberry products are 100% Australian grown and made with no preservatives, additives or artificial colours *big thumbs up*.

So how did these fare on the 10-minute pancakes?

Boysenberry (top) and Raspberry (bottom) syrup

What I loved about these syrups were that they weren’t sickly sweet which is always my slight aversion towards syrups in general.  I think the only thing that would have made them better was if I had a scope of ice-cream to go with it :D.

My favourite of the two just came down to a personal preference of boysenberry over raspberry.  Boysenberry used to be my favourite ice-cream flavour when I was growing up (I’ve since branched out to mint, coffee and pandan lol) so the taste brought back fond memories :).

Anyway, here’s the recipe for the 10-minute pancakes that I learnt from my friend, R :).

10-minute Pancakes

As I was on the clock, no photos were taken of the process… but enjoy the photos of the end product :D.

Makes 12 medium-sized pancakes (see below for reference)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 500 ml of milk
  • oil (I used rice bran oil)
Method
  1. Combine sugar and flour in a large mixing bowl.  Make a well in the middle of the mixture.
  2.  Crack the two eggs into the well, pour in the milk and mix well with a spoon/spatula (good workout for the arm).
  3. Place a medium frying pan on medium heat, lightly coat the pan with oil.
  4. Pour out enough pancake batter to cover the pan and watch for bubbles to rise before flipping.
  5. Top pancakes with whatever you’d like :D.
Look how fluffy those pancakes are! Delish :D

I didn’t get beyond putting together the pancake batter before my first student arrived but after the teaching block was over, I made myself a peanut butter and banana pancake sandwich topped with raspberry syrup…. amazing!

Another photo coz I can ;).

You can find out where these syrups and other Kookaberry products are sold via the Kookaberry website or head down and pick them up at the Royal Melbourne Show starting tomorrow!

Ames tried these products courtesy of the Royal Melbourne Fine Food Awards and WrightsPR.

GIVEAWAY TIME!

As part of the Royal Melbourne Show, there will be a new Tastes of Victoria Pavilion, celebrating all things fresh, local, seasonal and delicious!  This is the destination for speciality produce :D.  The Royal Melbourne Fine Food Deli will also be located there where visitors can sample and purchase award-winning roasted espresso coffee, wine, cured meats, relishes, preserves and cheeses!

Are you excited? If not continue reading…

Find yourself starstruck at the main stage with a chance to meet a range of Australia’s best chefs and TV personalities. Visit the Tastes of Victoria Stage to see half-hour cooking demonstrations from celebrity chefs and industry professionals. This year, we are thrilled to announce Guy Grossi in our stage line up along with some favourite’s from Masterchef, including Chris Badenoch, Dani Venn and from the latest series Alice Zaslavsky.

Also on Stage will be some of Victoria’s hottest chefs; Matt Wilkinson from Pope Joan, Nicky Riemer from Union Dining, Jerry Mai from Dandelion, Scott Eddington from Mamasita, Travis McAuley from Hellenic Republic and Michael Patrick from San Telmo.

– see more info here

Unfortunately, I was unable to make it to the preview event but the guys at WrightsPR were kind enough to provide me with a double pass to go visit another time… and you know what?  You, dear readers get a chance to win a double pass as well!

So, how do you score yourself two tickets to check out the Tastes of Victoria Pavilion and other food offerings??

Simply follow yours truly on Twitter or Facebook (if you haven’t already) and answer the question below:

What topping or filling do you like to have with your pancakes?

You can leave a different answer to this question as many times throughout the competition to increase your chances of winning but max once per day.
  • Competition ends: 8pm, 24th September (Mon) – NOW CLOSED
  • Open to Australian residents only (well, Victorians really unless you are willing to fly in for the Melbourne Show!).
  • The winner will be selected at random and notified by email and on this post!
Best wishes for the giveaway!  If you don’t want to enter the giveaway but want to leave a comment, that’s ok too (just say so in the comment hehe).
Have a fantastic weekend!  Maybe you can try these 10-minute pancakes sometime ^^

♥ Ames

UPDATE: The winner of the giveaway is…… SOPHIE of Edible Posts!! :D

Will email you to get your postal details to send the tickets to you :).  Thanks for entering everyone!

RMFFA: Artisan Chocolate, Cicada and Zokoko

Many afternoons ago, I came home to find a large box on my desk…

excuse the bad paint job on the left hand side corner :P

What could be inside?

Yay!!  If you didn’t know already, the Royal Melbourne Show is almost upon us (22 September – 2 October) and that means that winners of the 2012 Royal Melbourne Fine Food Awards (RMFFA – I checked; there are no horrible meanings to that acronym like last time!) are going to be announced soon as well!  I must admit that it’s been a while since I’ve been to the Melbourne Show and the last time that I went, I was more interested in show bags than the fine food and produce that are brought in from all around Australia! :P

Anyway, I was delighted when Lynne from Wrights got in contact to send some of the produce entered for this year’s RMFFAs to try and experiment with.

Let the education begin!

So with a bit of Googling research, I learnt that the results for the RMFFAs are released in two stages.   In the first stage the results are released for each class of the competition and the medal winners are announced.  In the second stage, champion trophies are awarded to the ‘best of the best’ in a particular class or group of classes within a category. The Champion trophy winners are announced at the Royal Melbourne Fine Food Awards Luncheon which will be held on Tuesday 25 September at Melbourne Showgrounds.  See more info here.

I was excited to find out that the produce that I had been sent had all taken medals in the first stage so without further ado, let’s have a look at what came in the box!  The chocolate is up first :D.

Chocolate – Bean to Bar

1. Cicada Artisan Chocolate – NSW (Cicada Artisan Chocolate Madagascar Milk Chocolate)

Category: MILK CHOCOLATE (PLAIN) – Bronze

Disclaimer: I should just say that this is the first time I’ve ever reviewed chocolate before (also the first time I’ve ever eaten artisan chocolate before) so please excuse me if I’m not as knowledgeable or articulate on the topic.  If you are looking for some intelligent and informative reviews on chocolate, the expert is Hannah for sure!

Unfortunately, a member of my family who shall remain unnamed broke into the block of chocolate before I had a properly look at the design but I imagine that it would have been quite cute looking (you can see it at the website – link below).  The chocolate itself was creamy and had a strong vanilla flavour.  Definitely not your average chocolate bar!  Apparently, you should be able to see the vanilla bean speckled through the bar…

Can you see it?

I quite liked it.  The description at the back says it all really.

I thought the bit about the Oompa Looompas was cute :D.

 2. Zokoko – NSW (Zokoko Goddess Dark 70% Cacao)

Category: DARK CHOCOLATE (PLAIN) – Bronze

unsuccessfully removed a label from the front…

The packaging of this block was exquisite!

Amazing, right?

Anyway after unwrapping the gold foil and taking a bite, I had an epiphany!  It has never been quite obvious to me before but after tasting this high quality produce, I’ve realised I do favour dark chocolate over milk :D.

This was rich and creamy, with a subtle hint of something else… the packaging says it should be raisins that I’m tasting hehe.  The slightly bitter aftertaste of the cocoa was also a highlight for me.  This was my favourite out of the two I think.  I thought about trying to cook with them both but I think I’d rather indulge block by block instead ;).

You can find both of these and other types of chocolate at the Royal Melbourne Show or at their websites:

www.cicadachocolate.com

www.zokoko.com

Random Question: Milk, Dark or White Chocolate?

♥ Ames

P.S. Makes sure you come around for the next post because there will be an exciting giveaway announced :D

Oriental Teahouse Strawberry & Cream Tea – dessert in a cup!

With Spring officially here on this side of the world, I was hoping to take some happy snaps of the flowers in bloom :).  However, each time I was ready to head out with the SLR, the clouds would gather and the rain would fall… not ideal photography weather for an amateur (and now that I sit down to write this post, the sun is high and bright lol!).

So, what to do?  Turn the camera on tea of course ;).

Without a good coffee machine, I’m definitely more of a tea person when at home so I was delighted to be given an opportunity to try out Oriental Teahouse’s Strawberry and Cream Tea!

Got a bit squished in the mail…

I visited Oriental Teahouse on a whim once a few months ago and quite enjoyed my Relaxing Tea, so I was eager to open the box and try this new flavour :).

Can you feel my anticipation??

Inside the bag was a combination of dried strawberry pieces, apple pieces, hibiscus, rose-hip peel, pineapple cubes, elderberry & flavouring which together gave off a lovely fragrant aroma!  It was exactly what I’d imagine a strawberry and cream tea to smell like :D.

Imagine if we could send smells via our blogs?? :P
I’m inhaling the fragrance as I type this hehe…

The first time I brewed the tea, I used one of those Chinese mugs with a filter that my parents have had for more than 10 years.  Given the origin of Oriental Teahouse’s owner, David Zhou, it seemed appropriate :).

After I sniffed it to my heart’s content (this sounds so wrong somehow!), I took a tentative sip, then another sip, then another sip… and well, you know how the rest of the story goes ;).  It’s not for everyone – my mum who is used to her milk tea or green tea, wasn’t a fan – however, I quite liked the refreshing hints of strawberries and apples in my mug!  I like mine with a teaspoon of sugar :).

The next time I tried it I brewed it in an Infusion teapot (this is really just an excuse to try out different photography angles hehe)…

2 teaspoons for 360ml of boiling water as per the instructions on the box ^^
Tried it in a glass this time (after some cooling of course)…

What I think is pretty nifty is that after you’ve brewed the tea (you can refill your mug at least 3 times with the same tea), the delicious ingredients can be eaten as well!

Another plus for me is that this tea is caffeine free so I can enjoy it after hours without being prevented from a good night’s sleep :).

Nice with a homemade mixed berry muffin too ^^ – recipe soon!

As the weather gets warmer, I’m keen to try it with ice and fresh strawberries with a dollop of cream – the perfect pretty Spring drink! :D

Thanks Nuffnang and Oriental Teahouse for giving me an opportunity to review this delightful fruity dessert treat in a teacup!  You can purchase this tea along with another 50+ types in-store or online here.  If you visit Oriental Teahouse Restaurant though, they can match it up with innovative food & dumplings as well!  Hope you get to try it yourselves soon :).

Oriental Teahouse links:

This has been a Product Talk review sponsored by Nuffnang.

Question:  What’s your favourite tea flavour?

♥ Ames