Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Autolyse, central Park.


Autolyse.  Not only is it a crucial part of artisan bread making, it is also one of the newest bakeries in Sydney.   

Autolyse  hails from the fame of it's Canberra store, which is already locals favourite. In the world of bread-making, it means an extra rest period for a dough to ensure optimum moisture and texture.

Autolyse has recently opened their Sydney branch in the Central Park complex. I am insanely jealous of them as this place is pretty much foodie heaven with a plethora of good eateries in and around it. So if i ever win the lottery, I'll totally buy something there. 


autolyse

With the plethora of eateris and bakeries opening up in Sydney, how is Autolyse different to all the Artisan Bakers in Sydney?

Autolyse not only produces fresh bread in-house throughout the day (instead of at the crack of dawn) using the full range of Bongard specialist baking equipment (imported directly from France), they also create a lot of their French inspired menu items fresh in-house too, such as their gravlax salmon and sous-vide lamb. It therefore is no surprise that they've won a fair few awards!

My favourite part of Autolyse asides the alluring fresh bread? Well, nothing on the menu here is over $15, because Executive Chef and co-owner Darren Perryman  believes that artisan bread should be available to everyone without the hefty price tag.  Combine that with great coffee (beans by Ona) and the spacious seating, Autolyse is the perfect place for a quality AND budget friendly feed!


L: Executive Chef, Darren Perryman and R: Header Baker, Alex Damour

What tickles my fancy is the set up, it is flooded with natural light from the courtyard, the furnishing is predominently surgical white and beige  with splotches of colours to it. But the best part?,  the surgical lights. (The inner science geek in me was grinning) Alex Damour and his team here bake fresh bread and pastries under surgical lights, definitely a cool theatrical touch!


Surgical lights make an appearance

So what did I get up to in carb heaven? did I gorge myself (that is a given anywhere I go really...) to no end on fresh bread? I sure did!


The sampling plate

I barely made it through the door when a sample plate of that day's produce caught my eyes. I went for a piece of the escargot which was delicately sweet, flaky and delicious


front counter


San Remo Opera

The front counter is busy, there are people queueing up on one side for their take away coffees and Australia's first San Remo Opera coffee machine takes up one bench.


Daily specials wall 

I also love their rustic specials wall and self serve water station. The specials here change daily and reflect what is currently in season.


sweets counter


good bread is as good as a french kiss.

Move over French kiss, good bread is in town! 



dining area

I love a bakery that offers dine in so you can enjoy the aromas of fresh bread and soak in the atmosphere.


pot plant table numbers

The table numbers here are a touch back to nature, lovely idea in my books!


Latte by Ona coffee

Mickey, The manager of Autolyse suggested that we try the coffees even though we weren't coffee drinkers. I can't tell you much about coffee, but this one had a nice aroma, enough to get a tick from me, a coffee amateur!


green tea

The adamant non-coffee drinker opted for green tea instead.

On to the food now!


sous vide lamb sandwich


The menu here is brief and seasonal, it didn't take me long to decide on the sous vide lamb sandwich, although the baked eggs sounded delicious as well. I am glad that I didn't get sways because this lamb sandwich is out of the world! The lamb is amazingly tender after (being cooked 12 hours at 63 degrees). The fresh baguette and tabouli-like salad took it to a whole new level, flavoursome, fresh and crunchy, textures and flavours galore!


The ever so healthy Caramel Love decided on a pumpkin and kale salad instead, don't be turned off by the words salad, this was really tasty and fresh. The pumpkin was roasted to perfection, sweet and creamy whilst the kale gave it the crunch. This salad could totally contribute to the worldwide shortage of kale! 


salted caramel macarons

At this point we declared our savoury stomaches full, but for blogging's sake I had to forge on.
Mickey was very thoughtful and bought a selection of sweets to sample. First up was the salted caramel macarons. The salted caramel buttercream in these babies were amazing, perfect balance of sweet and salty, I however wasn't a big fan of the shell, it felt like was a tad too fresh still. ( Its true that macarons taste better after a few days!)


my... what nice feet you have

They do however have nice feet!


citrus merigue tart

I love all things citrus, especially in the form of a citrus meringue tart. The curd in this was a little too sweet for my liking but the tart case and the meringue were spot on. If only I could create such nice pastry at home too!


chocolate eclair

I am generally not a fan of eclairs because choux doesn't really float my boat. This chocolate eclair however was delicious, the dark chocolate gave it the just right amount of sweetness, perfect  way to finish a savoury meal.


salted caramel chocolate tart

And of course the best was saved for last! You really can't go wrong with salted caramel right? This was hands down the best dessert that meal!


Bongard Oven 

Aftr gorging myself, it was time to take a walk around the place, Darren kindly offered to give us a tour around the place. Autolyse is the first Australian bakery to use the full range Bongard baking equipment.It is all directly imported from France and is said to create the most magical loaves of bread amongst other delicious baked goods. It even has a steam option to humidify the oven before baking, creating the best proving environment for the dough.  


Darren showing us how to steam the oven


fresh baguettes straight from the oven


Alex hard at work

Unlike most bakeries, Alex and his team bakes throughout the day, meaning it constantly smells delicious in here! (are you guys hiring?)


living proof that bread is made on-site ;)

Time for some lame jokes. I'm totally breaking bread!


sourdough starter

Their starter may not be as old as some other bakeries around, but their bread is equally delicious if not better!


A selection of artisan loaves straight from the oven.

So tell me,does the smell of fresh bread lure you into a bakery? and/or does the thought of a low carb diet make you want to cry? Let me know in the comments!

Till next time,

Milkteaxx

Hungry for some delicious carbs? find out more on their webpage and social media!


Disclaimer: Milkteaxx dined as guests of Autolyse bakery, opinions however remain her own. 

Autolyse on Urbanspoon


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Friday, 12 September 2014

The sweet swap 2014- Red velvet and salted caramel coconut dark chocolates.

Like everything else, I've left everything to the last minute. Including registration and making sweets for the 2014 Sweet swap. 

It is a considerate improvement from last year, considering I missed out on the Sweet Swap because I remembered after the deadline even though I had it plastered all over my diary.... 

This year, I was determined to not miss out on this sugary event hosted by Sara of Belly Rumbles and Amanda of Chew Town because seeing the delicious treats being traded all over instagram last year made me so kick myself hard (right kicked left in case you were interested). 

So what is Sweet Swap you ask? 

The Sweet Swap is an online event open to all Australian Food, Parent and Lifestyle bloggers, the registration fees for this event is  donated to Child Fund Australia, which aids school children in Vietnam.  To participate, all you have to do is register and (Sara and Amanda do all the hard work) you get given 3 matches for whom you will create sweet packages for. In return, you will also recieve surprise packages from three different bloggers.

How could I say no when its for a good cause AND you also get to make sweets?!? 

Enthusiasm aside, I left sweet making to the very last minute as I didn't account for the amount of uni work I had to get done ( aka procrastination). Given the strict timeframe I was under, I really couldn't afford any disasters...and guess what happened next guys? 

yep.. disaster strikes. 


Disaster: The white chocolate seized when I added in vanilla essence to it AND the Wilton's red candy melts didn't want to melt at all! (talk about being stubborn) GAH!


Damn you candy melts!


After 2 hrs of fiddling around and a few rounds of cursing wilton's, the candy melts finally got to a texture I liked. It wasn't perfect, but by this stage, I was about to burst into tears.

As this is pretty simple, I'm not going to provide a recipe, it was more assembling ingredients together... pretty easy to follow. 

Disasters aside, these red velvet chocolates are actually quite straightforward, simply fill your moulds with red candy melt and let it set for 10 minutes, ensuring the sides of your moulds are well covered. 


Once it has solidified a bit, hollow out the centre and place a small dollop of the white chocolate mix in the centre. To finish, you can top with red candy melts or melted white chocolate. Remembering to smooth out before refrigerating.

The other chocolate I made was a toasted coconut salted caramel dark chocolate.

Thank the sweet gods that the dark chocolate melted just fine! If this didn't turn out well I would of bawled my eyes out. 

I wanted to add another dimension to these chocolates so I toasted up some coconut flakes in a pan until fragrant. 


The next step was to sprinkle these to the bottom of the moulds and top with melted dark chocolate.


Mmmmm salted caramel

Allow the mould to sit for 10 minutes before hollowing out and filling with salted caramel ( I made my own, but you can use any store bought ones). To finish, top with dark chocolate and refrigerate till firm.


Containers of chocolates ready to go out!

I sincerely apologise to the receiving ends of these, Cupcakie dolly, Get on up org and The wooden Spoon. I hope they made it to you in relatively good condition and wasn't too bad tasting!


My wrapping skills are atrocious at best....

The surprise packages arried a few days after I sent mine out. I recieved pandan cookies from Next Stop: Food,  an assortment of fudge from Bake Play Smile. and rocky road with cherry powder from scoff and quaff. Thank you guys for these delicious treats! Mmmm delicious!



Despite all the hurdles that the sweet gods thrown at me, I'm very pleased that I managed to do the sweet swap this year, I can't wait for next year's one. Perhaps I should start planning.....


Till next time, 

Milkteaxx 

Say hi on social media! I can be found on Instagram, facebook, twitter and Google+.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Rabbit Hole Bar & Dining- Cocktail concepts & Culinary Craze.


I have a bit of a nerdy/ geeky side to me, that side however does not include doing well academically, but tell me you have my 2 loves, science and food and I'm instantly sold. 

Call it great timing or pure luck if you must, but I was looking for where I could combine my 2 loves (molecular gastronomy anyone?) when the invite for Rabbit Hole Bar and Dining's first ever online influencer's "night of cocktail concepts and culinary craze" came through. I may not be a future Heston but hey, I still like playing with my food (and drinks in this case) so this was definitely of interest to me!

Living up to it's name, Rabbit Hole Bar and Dining have a sparsely decorated entrance making it rather hidden in the dark amongst the pouring rain. 


Upon arrival we were immediately taken to the dimly lit back bar, unlike it's entrance, the furnishing here is eclectic and kooky. You know they've got it right when they've included a bird cage in there. (I LOVE bird cages and no...  I don't have pet bird...)


‘Magdalene’s Marvel’
Remy Martin VSOP, pomme verte, elderflower, strawberries & apple served champagne style

After some brief mingling and socialising (yes bloggers do socialise!) we were handed the first cocktail of the evening. Knowing my tolerance for alcohol I only took a sip of this Magdalene;s Marvel before a fellow blogger gladly offered to finish the drinks for me. So thoughtful right? ;)


                Poached oyster with yuzu jelly, green apple foam & liquid nitrogen kiwi spheres 


Liquid nitrogen? Foam? I'm sold! the inner science nerd found this heaps fascinating, unfortunately I have texture issues with oysters so I skipped this one. The consensus was the green apple foam gave it a nice refreshing tang bit was lacking in kiwi flavour. 



                                                               Owner, Doug Laming


After getting our metabolisms started, we were ushered to an intimate sit-down dinner hosted by owner and mixologist, Doug Laming. This guy is talented I tell you, creative and hilarious. 

That evening, we were treated to a 5 course French degustation by executive chef Jeremy Metivier, with matching molecular drinks by Doug. 


‘Ay Caramba’
Yellow Chartreuse, blanco tequila, grilled lime, agave, jalapeno & coriander

First up is the Ay Caramba, we were all rather confused when we were handed half a lime with clear spheres on to.  Was this a prelude to our first course? nope! Turns out this was our tequila served spherified! How cool is that? 


                 Scampi, bloody mary emulsion, coriander and tomato cous cous & crispy legs 


A quick flurry of photos and it was time for some delicious food! I love (that would be an understatement) seafood so I was real glad to see scampi on the menu. Whilst a scampi does resemble a prawn, it is in fact closer related to the lobster. I could not fault anything in this dish, the scampi cooked perfectly, a great tang from the tomato cous cous and was I completely blown away by the crispy legs! 



Playing with liquid nitrogen

Rabbit Hole Bar and Dining takes live entertainment to a whole new level. Doug here is preparing a interactive liquid nitrogen based palate cleanser for us. 


Palate Cleanser – Liquid Nitrogen mojito air

Continuing with the theatrical flair, we were presented with a liquid nitrogen mojito air, basically a frozen mojito that was soft like clouds. The texture is strangely addictive and I may have had more of this than I could tolerate..... 




               Glazed pork belly, butter bean puree, radish, pickled carrots & passionfruit 

This was the dish everyone had been waiting for. You can't blame them though, it is pork belly after all! Like my issues with oysters, I have issues with too high fat to flesh ratio in pork belly. This was unfortunately one of them, the flavour was brilliant but it was too fatty for me to enjoy.



‘The Rabbit Hole, White Negroni’
‘Rabbit Hole redistilled bitter lemon gin’, No. 3 Gin, Solerno blood orange 

Doug never ceases to amaze with his creations. We were next served a really athestically pleasing drink in form of a ice sphere, if that was not enough, there were fresh lilies inside. By this stage I had too much alcohol in me and I could only ooh and ahh at this beautiful creation. 




Spherical gnocchi of mascarpone and savarin, black cardamom and mushroom consommé

Continuing on with all things science-y and fun, we were presented with gnocchi and mushrooms. Sounds and looks comparatively dull? well then you'll be surprised by this dish! 
The spherical gnocchi was creamy and feathery light whilst the mushroom consomm√© was dark and intense in flavour. The only downside? there wasn't enough of this to satiate my love for all things cheesy and mushroom-y!



‘Rosemary’s got the Blues’
Bowmore 12yr, rosemary syrup, fresh pressed blueberries, apple & malic acid 

The next cocktail smelt so good but I knew my limits and only took the blueberries. Don't you worry, My blogging buddy didn't let a single drop of alcohol go to waste, it was siphoned off in no time!



Toffee apple sugar sphere, cinnamon foam, almond nougat & apple 

As with a good meal, desserts are always a stunner, what we didn't expect was how visually appealing it was. This looked like something straight out of Snow White sans poison!
I really didn't want to crack mine open but for blogging purposes (yes!) I had to endure such a tough task. 

The perfect "apple" shell was not the end of the surprise, inside the apple was a delicious cinnamon foam that paired perfectly with the nougat on the bottom. Think delicious breakfast granola on crack and then multiply that by 100. The room was rather quiet when the dessert was served, definitely a good sign in my books! 



‘Wonka’s Wasted’
Fireball whisky, ‘Rabbit Hole’ coffee liquor, vanilla & chocolate bitters 

The apple was definitely not the last as Doug had more up his sleeve for us. We were all handed a gold cup which contained the final cocktail, Wonka Wasted. I thought I was completely wasted when i saw people chowing down on their cups, it was then I realised it was an edible cup. 

Definitely a night of surprises!


Caption this!

We were all well fed by the time we left o brave the pouring rain. The inner nerd in me was over the moon. It could of been the alcohol, the fun evening or both, but I slept very well that night! 


Rabbit Hole Bar & Dining on Urbanspoon

Till next time, 

Milkteaxx

Disclaimer: Milkteaxx attended Rabbit Hole Bar and Dining's night of cocktail concepts and culinary craze as guests of Pendulum Communications and Rabbit Hole Bar and Dining, opinions however remain her own. 

Say hi on social media! I can be found on Instagram, facebook, twitter and Google+.