Archive | August 2013

Royal Mint, Melbourne


Until I was doing some research for the walking tour I went on in late-June, I didn’t know there had been a branch of the Royal Mint in Melbourne. I’ve been to the one in Canberra but don’t remember them mentioning the Melbourne branch. I had never noticed the beautiful building either on the corner of William and Lonsdale Sts, a very prominent building near the Flagstaff Gardens.

On the tour the guide told us this was the only branch of the Royal Mint outside of England at the time it was built. Originally they made English coins but later began minting Aussie coins. The building was completed in 1872 when Melbourne was one of the wealthiest cities in the world. And it was less than 40 years old. They were able to use gold in the Coat of Arms that hangs above the portico at the front of the building.

We couldn’t go inside because it is leased to a private company but in the past it has also been the home of the Registry Office (it is a gorgeous building to have wedding photos taken in front of) and the home of the Royal Historical Society of Victoria.



The lovely gatehouse. One of the few remaining buildings of the complex. Some of the buildings at the back were demolished after the complex ceased to be the Mint in 1968.

This beautiful, gold crest of the Mint is hanging on the gate.


Kallista Tea Rooms, Mount Dandenong


On a recent freezing Sunday morning, after watching my nephew’s soccer team play, Mum and I decided to call in to the Kallista Tea Rooms for a warming breakfast. Kallista is a pretty little village in the Dandenong Ranges, surrounded by lush fern forests and famous for its Devonshire Tea (scones and tea). It’s only a small tea rooms but we walked in to find a very warm, cosy atmosphere. We were able to get a table in the window with the sun streaming in and the heater vent on the wall beside us so we thawed out quickly. After perusing the menu I chose the Salmon scrambled eggs served on Organic Hope Farm sourdough toast with tomato relish and Mum chose the Breakfast baguette with free range fried eggs, free range bacon, tasty cheese & tomato relish.

Both meals were very filling and delicious. I haven’t thought of adding smoked salmon to scrambled eggs before but it’s something I look forward to cooking in the future. Mum’s Baguette was huge. She wasn’t able to finish it but she enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to going back there one day for High Tea.


Kallista Tea Rooms on Urbanspoon

Custard and apple teacake


As soon as I saw this recipe I knew I wanted to make it. It’s quick and easy to make but it takes 80-90 mins to cook, depending on your oven. The comments from everyone who tried it were great. They said it was very moist but it held together really well.


The cake batter was beautiful. It would have been very easy to sit and eat it all. Yum Yum!

150g butter, softened
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups self-raising flour, sifted
1 1/2 cups milk
400g can pie apple
300ml thick vanilla custard
1/3 cup desiccated coconut

Step 1
Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease an 8cm deep, 22cm (base) square cake pan. Line with baking paper, allowing a 2cm overhang at 2 opposite ends.

Step 2
Using electric mixer, cream butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Transfer mixture to a larger bowl. Using a large metal spoon, fold flour and milk alternately into butter mixture until just combined.

Step 3
Spread half the batter into prepared pan. Arrange half the apple over top. Dollop half the custard over apple. Sprinkle with coconut. Gently spoon over remaining batter to cover filling. Top with remaining apple and custard. Swirl custard into batter using a skewer. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into centre comes out clean. Cool completely in pan. Lift from pan and serve.

recipe from