I recently had a lovely day out with my friend Jamie. He found the day spa so I was assigned the task of tracking down what has to be the coolest space in Brunswick, East Elevation. It is a coffee shop, yes, but also a chocolate factory. Who would have thought?
Of course we had to try their hot chocolates, so I chose the chilli-choc version. It was perfectly hot, perfectly not-too-sweet and perfectly creamy. (Pictured below. Image from The Ultimate Hot Chocolate)
I tried the The Otway Pork Belly & Roasted Pears w/ Lentils, Cherry Tomatoes & Radicchio Salad. It was at the recommendation of the waiter and I thought it was divine. Jamie enjoyed Smoked Free Range Chicken and Wild Rice Salad.
The atmosphere here is warm but edgy-cool. The floor staff are extremely helpful and engaged and happy to be consulted on choices. The space is cavernous but filled with warm wood and industrial chic. Would I go back? Short answer? I already have.
This year my family will be trialling PUD in Double Choc Orange with Cointreau for Christmas dinner. Six of us are gluten free and the others probably should be. Will report back after we sample its lovliness. http://www.pudforallseasons.com.au/
I remember a couple of Christmases ago, watching the wrap fly through the air and the mass produced ‘Made in China’ expensive gifts emerge. This might sound selfish and mean spirited but, when I opened my own gift, I was staggered that the giver knew so little about me (after 20 years), that she would give me a ‘Made in China’ factory produced souvenir boomerang! Either that or she just hated me, yeah? I almost felt physically ill that this wonderful anniversary of hope and love entering the world had become so empty. So I decided I never wanted my Christmases to be meaningless again and I have endeavoured since to buy locally made gifts, ethical gifts or handmade gifts, which at least mean a whole lot to me and the people who produced them. Hope you like the following ideas from Connected Goods, Dharma Door, and One World Projects. Click on the pictures to check out their pages.
I have been making these biscuits ever since my mum ceased baking them herself, due to her making a “lifestyle change”. Prior to that dreadful day of my mum’s retirement she never had a freezer which did not contain a full spectrum of baked goodness. So I had to start making my own Kiwi Crisps. They are a solid, never-fail, chocolate chip cookie recipe, which are even delicious if you cannot wait for the defrosting process. Yum.
1 375 gram packet of chocolate chips
3 cups of plain flour
4 teaspoons of baking powder
250 grams of softened butter
1/2 cup of caster sugar
4 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk
Cream butter and sugar with the condensed milk, until white and creamy. Work in sifted flour and baking powder. Add chocolate chips and distribute well through cookie dough. Roll into walnut sized balls, place on a baking tray which has been lined with baking paper and flatten with a flour-dipped fork. Bake for around 10-15 minutes at 190 degrees Celsius, or until golden brown.
Note: This recipe can easily be doubled and is suitable to freeze.