I made this Choc Mousse Cake last night for a friend’s birthday today. As it turned out it probably wasn’t the best night for making a chocolate mousse. It was a really warm day in Melbourne yesterday and my kitchen was still around 30 degrees at 8pm. The mousse wouldn’t thicken. I had to wrap the cake and put it in the fridge to set. Having faith that it had all worked out, I brought it to work without unwrapping to check it. When I opened it up it looked good. It looked perfect when I sliced it to share with my friend and colleagues.
The recipe is really just a mix of other recipes. I made a basic chocolate cake, the mousse and then just layered the cake and spread the mousse in between the two layers and on top.
It’s not often I make up my own recipes but as they say, necessity is the mother of invention. This was supposed to be Ricotta and Bacon pasta sauce but I forgot to buy some ricotta cheese on the way home from work. I wasn’t going to put any cheese in it but remembered I had some House Cow cheese from my favourite dairy, the Yarra Valley Dairy. I also didn’t bother to measure because I like to cook free-form when I can. If I’m trying a new recipe I will follow it to the letter but afterwards I don’t bother.
The ingredients are:
short cut bacon (chopped into approx 1cm pieces)
1/2 can tomatoes
2 spring onions (roughly chopped)
pasta (spaghetii or fettucine are what I normally use)
House Cow, ricotta or any other cheese with a strong taste that melts easily
While the pasta is cooking I lighlty fry the bacon and spring onions then add the tomatoes. Once the tomatoes are warmed through the pasta is ready. I drain the pasta then pour the bacon mixture into the pasta and add the cheese, stirring to ensure it melts. You don’t want to melt it entirely so I normally leave it in there long enough to warm it through.
Voila! It’s that easy. It’s a dish that can easily be made for one or many.
After we walked through the market and made our purchases I walked up to the gallery part of the Station. They often change their sculptures and I’d noticed a different one from the barn where the market is held. We wandered up their to have a look.
This well-known market is held on the third Sunday of every month in the Yarra Valley. I haven’t been there for just over a year and had well and truly used up everything I’d bought there. I was able to stock up on my jams and sauces. A lot of stalls had changed and unfortunately some of the ones I loved last time were no longer there but there were some great new stalls. You can buy all types of fresh produce; filled pastas, fruit, vegies, meats, cheese as well as the normal cafe-style cakes and biscuits.
I was able to find some Boysenberry Jam. It’s very hard to find it in any shops and markets so I was really pleased to come across it at one of the stalls. I find it hard to by things like that in the supermarket these days. I tend to buy them from markets because they have so much taste.
It’s been over a year (I think) since I’ve been to the Lobster Cave. They had a special 3 course menu for weeknights so we decided to go there. It was very busy for a Thursday night. I love the cave-like atmosphere (the dark ceiling glitters with tiny lights). So many restaurants these days forget about the ambience of a restaurant. Not the Lobster Cave. And once again the service was outstanding.
Salt and Pepper Calamari
The wine glasses are huge. The menu included a bottle of wine and the attentive waiter kept filling our glasses. I had to be very careful because I was driving.
Something strange happened in December 1967 in Australia. Our Prime Minister went for a swim at Cheviot Beach (in the Point Nepean National Park) and never emerged from the bay. I wasn’t born then but I believe there were all sorts of theories as to what happened. These included being murdered because he was opposed to the US Government setting up a nuclear base at Pine Gap or that he had been kidnapped by communists. This was despite an official report that his death was accidental. Apparently the conditions that day were very turbulent but Holt still chose to swim despite being warned not to.
The quarantine station was built in 1852. This site was chose because it was remote from Melbourne and only accessible by boat. There are around 50 heritage-listed buildings making up the complex.
There are five double-storeyed buildings like this in the complex. They were used as hospitals and admin buildings amongst other uses. They were built from local sandstone. We don’t have a lot of sandstone in Victoria. Bluestone is the most well-known stone.
The 560 acre Point Nepean National Park is located on the tip of the Mornington Peninsula. It has played an important part in Victoria’s history as a quarantine station then later miltary defence in case Australia was ever invaded through Victoria. For me, it’s a beautiful, rugged area. It’s possible to walk from the eastern edge to the entrance. It will take a long time but I’ve done a lot of the walk and it’s spectacular.
These cute, wood-carved dolphins are placed outside the entrance to the park.
Looking across from the tip of the national park to the Bellarine Peninsula on the other side of Port Phillip Bay. I posted photos from that side when I went to Geelong a few weeks ago.
Believe it or not, these photos were taken without a filter. If you are in Melbourne you will know the weather has been lousy lately. Cold and raining. You wouldn’t believe Summer is due to start in just over two weeks. I took these photos last Summer on a warm evening. The sunset was magical.
The gardens are in Darling Harbour, Sydney, just outside the CBD which you can see in the background of some of the photos. I went there soon after they opened in 1988. Since then I’ve been several times when I’ve been to Sydney. They were a bicentenary gift to Sydney from it’s sister city Guangzhuo in China. Despite being beside a busy road it’s a very tranquil place to sit and lose yourself in the surroundings.
Here’s a collection of books I’m trying to get through. I love reading but don’t get a lot of time. This weekend, however, I’ve been able to relax and get through most of ‘Bones of the lost’ by Kathy Reichs.
I also try to participate in the fmsphotoaday challenge on a blog by Fatmumslim, an Aussie blogger whose participants are from all over the world.
This is a very simple recipe to make. I made it for a morning tea at work earlier this week.
The recipe calls for a packet cake mix called Golden Buttercake. That makes the base. Simply mix that with coconut and melted butter. Bake the mixture for 15 mins or until it starts to turn a nice golden colour.
After letting it cool for a few minutes I layered pie apple pieces and sour cream then sprinkled cinnamon and sugar on top.
The final step is to bake for 20 minutes. After letting it cool I cut it up. Voila!