Sunday, 26 April 2015

Cassie Cakes Goes to Eat Street

Cassie Cakes Goes to Eat Street
On your marks, get set...EAT!
I must be the worst food blogger in the world because it took me a year and half to get to Eat Street. There's a market which is solely about food and it took me that long to get there? Fail, Cassie Cakes. FAIL. But don't worry. I made up for it. My favourite foodie friend and I made plans to go and for the week leading up, we stalked Eat Streets Facebook, drooling over the photos and planning our attack.
Cassie Cakes Goes to Eat Street
Best chips in the universe, hey...

Cassie Cakes Goes to Eat Street
Look at dem chips. Nice hand modelling too!
The day arrived and we excitedly made our way there, arriving at about 5pm. We paid the $2 entry fee and we were in. We had our game plan, check out every stall first then tactically buy. Every stall was one temptation after another so we decided to buy some chips from Phunky Dory first. We of course knew all about Phunky Dory and their claim that they have the best chips in the universe. And they were very, very good. We smashed them. The chips were $6 for a decent serve.
Cassie Cakes Goes to Eat Street
Mmmm potato.

Cassie Cakes Goes to Eat Street
That guy is not impressing with my photo taking.
Now we had something in our bellies, we made it a little further around before being snagged by the Potato Slinky. Which is basically just hot chips on a stick. What can I say, I'm a sucker for some fried potato. The slinky ($5) was crisp and hot and since we're pros at the old fried potato, we asked for extra chicken salt. It was delicious.
Cassie Cakes Goes to Eat Street
The awesomely named, Samurai Chicken.
Cassie Cakes Goes to Eat Street
After we ate the delicious slinky on a stick, we needed something besides potato. We both have a love for the Japanese version of KFC: Karaage. So we couldn't go past a serve of karaage from Samurai Chicken, which was $8 for regular size. The chicken was plump and the batter crispy. With a drizzle of lemon on top and a touch of mayo, I was in heaven.

Cassie Cakes Goes to Eat Street
Lovely Phil and his dumplings. Wait...hmmmm.

Cassie Cakes Goes to Eat Street
Get a load of this laksa. Good work, Phil, you legend.
By now we'd have just about enough of deep fried delicousness. We were on the hunt for laksa. We'd seen Phil's Dumpling Envy on the Eat Street facebook and the duck laksa was on our must have list. I was so excited when we spotted Phil and his stall. We ordered regular size for $15. Phil himself made it and he was so kind, he gave us an extra container so we could split it along with a bit extra soup. That's great service. And it was great laksa. The duck wasn't fatty as it can be some times and the soup was flavourful and authentic tasting. I could have done with it being a bit hotter but there was plenty of chilli available for me to up to heat to my insane liking.
Cassie Cakes Goes to Eat Street
The live music created a great atmosphere. 
Then the worst happened. We hit a food wall. We had grand plans for the okonomiyaki from a stall across the way as we'd heard great things but we simply couldn't do it. But as everyone knows, there's a second stomach for dessert.

Cassie Cakes Goes to Eat Street
Filled churros OMG! Exactly.

Cassie Cakes Goes to Eat Street
Check out the size of these things! I totally understand the feelings of the cartoon girl behind the churros, too.
We backtracked and ordered two Mars Bar filled churros from Cheery Churros. Yes, you read that right...Mars Bar filled churros! They were two for $7 and huge. Hot, fresh and covered in delicious cinnamon sugar, what more could two delighted foodies want? Ice cream, that's what.
Cassie Cakes Goes to Eat Street
Oh ice cream. I always come back to you.
We hot footed it to Byron Bay Gelati and ordered two scoops for $6.50. I can't tell you hot good a hot churro dipped in cookies and cream ice cream tastes. My only suggestion to Eat Street is put these two guys next door to each other! They'll make a killing.

Cassie Cakes Goes to Eat Street
Shut. The. Front. Door.
We truly were in the third trimester of food babies then. We took a walk around the markets to let the food settle. The markets are really busy but there are staff walking around keeping it lovely and clean. And while I'm not sure all 35 kilos of Puppy Cakes would be welcome, I did see a few lovely doggies around.
Cassie Cakes Goes to Eat Street
The view from the viewing platform.
There was also musical acts dotted around, entertaining people as they ate, lots of bars as well as a viewing platform to take it all in from.

Cassie Cakes Goes to Eat Street
The nice, open green space.
Behind the viewing platform was a lovely open green space, bordered by twinkling fairy lights that made it really enchanting. A picnic blanket and some knee rugs for the cooler weather would make it the nicest area to have picnic and let the kids run around.
Cassie Cakes Goes to Eat Street
Cronut heaven.
Before we left, I had to get a treat for Mr. Cakes so we lined up and grabbed some cronuts to take home from Chocolate Komberry Co. I got him a Tim Tam cronut with a Nutella injection for $10. He said it was the best cronut he's had! This was only his second one but still!

Cassie Cakes Goes to Eat Street
The Nutella injection took it to the next level.
We had such a great time at Eat Street and I can't wait to take Mr. Cakes. Next time, I think we'll take public transport over - the ferry terminal is nice and close - and have a few drinks.
Eat Street Markets on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 23 April 2015


Cassie Cakes Review LONgTIME
Love you, LONgTIME? Maybe...
There are so many places in Brisbane I want to eat. I have lists in my mind and lists in my diary of places I'm going. I wait for an opportunity to steer groups to one of these restaurants so I can tick them off my list. Then, other times, it's 9:30 on a Saturday night and we haven't eaten since lunch and shiz just got real. And our visit to LONgTIME was one such occasion.

LONgTIME is tucked between Birdies and the Peter Pan travel agency on Ann St, down an alley way lit with festoon lights and vines, the space outside had an almost Italian feel. I can't say I gave it much notice as I almost ran in and asked for a table. Even at 9:30pm, the host told us we were in for up to an hour wait! Well, my heart was already set so we settled in for the long time wait at the bar.
Cassie Cakes Review LONgTIME
The busy kitchen.
I don't think it was in my mind that there was an air of fierce competiveness for a table: every time the host came near, all hungry eyes bored into him. Thankfully, the bar staff were very attentive and we were never without a drink in our hands. After literally 127 hours (not literally, it was 40 minutes), I had gnawed my arm off a la James Franco and was starting on the second when the host became the most beautiful person I'd ever met and took us to our table. Given that we didn't have a booking and were just 3 drunk souls who wandered in, a 40 minute wait on a Saturday night really wasn't that bad.
Cassie Cakes Review LONgTIME
The interior with big communal tables.

LONgTIME is all about share plates and I must confess, I have a secret fear of share plates. I get panicked that I won't be full. Which is the worst thing when you've gone out to eat, in my opinion. But this fear is most assuredly unfounded, especially in company who know me well, as I'm not shy about taking the last spring roll. Even so, it wasn't without a little trepidation on my behalf, that we ordered.

Cassie Cakes Review LONgTIME
Trust me, there were 2 more of these. We were ravenous!

 First to arrive was Bangkok Taco with Crispy Prawn Laab ($4.50 each). The tacos had the most wonderful crisp, deep fried shell. I could have eaten a bowl full of them on their own. However, I'm glad I had the prawn filling. The prawn taste was very strong but it was a good thing. They were bigger than I anticipated and at 10:30pm on a boozy belly, this was also a good thing.

Cassie Cakes Review LONgTIME
There were 4 of these...don't worry, we gave them all a good home.

The tacos were devoured in almost an instant and quickly to follow them were the Longtime Pulled Pork Hock Bao with Fried Egg & Pickled Greens ($4 each). Four of these came out for some reason, even though we'd asked for one each. I thought maybe it was a freebie but it did turn up on the bill. Never mind. The dough of the bao was amazing, with just a touch of salty and soft as a marshmallow. The pork was well done and it's sweetness went perfectly with the dough. It was pretty special.

Cassie Cakes Review LONgTIME
Nachos? Sort of?
The final of our starters was the Smoked Rice Noodle Nachos with Coconut Cheese Sauce ($8). Now this was something different and even days later, I'm not sure if it was good different. Instead of your usual corn chips or some sort of crispness, LONgTIME have used little sausage-like pieces of rice noodles. It was most unexpected, however it can't be that unexpected as it's right there in the name of the dish. The sauce had a strong coriander flavour and also that of a BBQ sauce. I felt a bit undecided about this dish but Mr. Cakes and company quite liked them.  

Cassie Cakes Review LONgTIME
Penang curry, which is my favouritest curry.
For the first of our substantial plates, we ordered the Penang Curry of Grilled Pork Loin, Pickled Ginger and Peanuts ($29). Now my heart did fall a little when this dish came out. For $29, it was a bit small. And since it's a share dish, that's extremely upsetting. Also, the meat wasn't amazing, the pork just a touch tough. I think I would have preferred chicken. However, the curry sauce itself was delightful. The nuttiness and sweetness was perfectly balanced.

Cassie Cakes Review LONgTIME
Crying tiger. Maybe he was crying about the price.

Next up was the Crying Tiger 12 Hours Slow Cooked Chargrilled Rib Fillet, With Roasted Rice and Lime Dressing. The price on the menu was $36,  but the waiter advised us that it would be $42 because of the serving size that night. The meat in this dish was amazing. It absolutely melted in my mouth. Everything about this was amazing. Again, the price to size ratio might have been a little off, but when you consider what a steak costs in most restaurants, it wasn't the worst value in the world.
Cassie Cakes Review LONgTIME
Uhhhh there may have been more of this. Obviously still learning in the restaurant reviewing department.
Leaving the best til last, we had the Salted Crispy Pork Belly Pad See Uw, Chow Sum and Pickled Chilli. At $18, this was by far the best value and I think the best tasting. We saw a return of the sausage-like noodles and while I still was not the biggest fan, they suited the sauce of the pad see uw much better. It was the crispy pork that was the stand out star in this dish, and each mouthful of pork and chow sum (which is maybe the correct was of spelling chow sum?) with the wok flamed flavour was so tasty.

Cassie Cakes Review LONgTIME
The lovely laneway.
The service at LONgTIME deserves a shout out too, as our glasses were never empty and the staff were excellent at making wine and cocktail recommendations as well as being wonderfully well humoured. LONgTIME's staff are a credit to the restaurant.

LONgTIME offers a great option for late night dining and some really unique menu items. Both the space and the staff are fantastic. I'm not sure I'm in love just yet, but I'm keen to go again to see where things go.

Food: 3.5/5
Service: 4/5
Price: 2.5/5
Atmosphere: 4/5

Longtime on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 16 April 2015

REVIEW: Spring Hill Deli and Produce

Cassie Cakes Review of Spring Hill Deli and Produce
This is like two photos for the price of one, cos you've got the café front but then the reflection of the cars too. What a bonus!
You know when you go out to eat and you are so looking forward to it? You build up a picture of what it's going to be like and you start dreaming your order, cos if you're anything like me, you've been pouring over the menu for hours previously. But so often, reality doesn't live up to dreams. Well - twist! - Spring Hill Deli was NOT one of those places!
Cassie Cakes Review of Spring Hill Deli and Produce
Splendid health, indeed.

This café has of course been on my list for ages, one of the many foodie haunts of Brisbane that I never seem to get around to. My lovely friends now know I will always have a list of places I've been pining to go to, so we agreed to meet the one sunny Sunday. I arrived first and having anticipated a busy and packed café, I was pleased to be seated straight away. The interior of the café was sunny and airy with a genuinely pleasant mismatched, rustic farmhouse feel created in part from the large rooster mural painted on the wall.
Cassie Cakes Review of Spring Hill Deli and Produce
Nothing beats chocolate.
As I waited, I ordered a hot chocolate ($4.5) and I'm so glad I did. The hot chocolates are made from 70% organic chocolate, pure spice extracts and Maleny Cow's Milk. All of those things together are like a big, warm hug in a mug. I was soon joined by my breakfast buddies and much hot chocolate envy was had.
The Everything Juice.
The menu at Spring Hill is the perfect mix of classic and contemporary with so many tempting options, it was hard to narrow it down to a single choice. We somehow managed though. First to arrive from our order were the drinks. The fresh juices are customisable and for $7, we got what we dubbed an Everything Juice which consisted of orange, ginger, carrot and apple. It was fresh, delicious and tasted so tangy.
Cassie Cakes Review of Spring Hill Deli and Produce
Caramel fudge milkshake.
Somewhat predictably, I ordered a Salted Caramel Fudge milkshake ($7). It was pretty good, with a good texture, wouldn't have hurt to be a touch thicker. The flavour was obviously from real, homemade caramel but not all that fudgey. Since milkshakes get ranked around here, this one sits at number three, bumping Chester Street down to fourth. Check out The Milk Bar for all the rankings.
Cassie Cakes Review of Spring Hill Deli and Produce
The Maple Bacon with a side of avocado. Mmmm crispy bacon.
The food came out in good time and we got stuck in. Two orders of the Maple Bacon, Spinach, Haloumi, Cherry Tomatoes and Caramelised Balsamic on Toasted Sour Dough ($19) were served. We got one without the cherry tomatoes but with a poached egg ($2) and the other with a serve of avocado ($4).
Cassie Cakes Review of Spring Hill Deli and Produce
And the Maple Bacon without cherry tomatoes, with a poached egg.
Both were delicious. The bacon was crispy and the haloumi was nice and salty. Plus, it came with three decent bits of haloumi. I thought it would have been nicer if the cherry tomatoes had been cooked, rather than raw. The side of avocado was generous, which is a good thing cos I get really ticked off when you get ripped off on the extras.
Cassie Cakes Review of Spring Hill Deli and Produce
Yummy shashuka. I love the choice in breakfasts these days.
My middle eastern breakfast obsession continued with the Israeli Shashuka - Spicy Tomato Sauce with Poached Eggs, topped with Feta & Parsley, served with Toasted Sourdough ($17). Um, one word...yum! The portion was absolutely massive and that goes a long way with me. But big portions mean nothing if it doesn't taste good. Fortunately, this shashuka tasted amazing. I tried to show restraint for all of two minutes before I smashed the lot.
Cassie Cakes Review of Spring Hill Deli and Produce
Lovely farmhouse feel.
The service at Spring Hill was attentive, quick and friendly. Just what you want on a Sunday morning. I felt really welcome and comfortable there. Good food, good drinks and good service - I can see why Spring Hill Deli is a favourite on the Brisbane scene. I will be back!
Cassie Cakes Review of Spring Hill Deli and Produce

Food: 4/5
Service: 4/5
Price: 3.5/5
Atmosphere: 3.5/5

Spring Hill Deli and Produce on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Caramel Easter Egg Cheesecake

An indulgent and decadent Easter cheesecake with a layer of caramel and chunks of caramel Easter eggs baked in, topped with milk chocolate ganache, more caramel and more Easter eggs!
Caramel Easter Egg Cheesecake Cassie Cakes
Oh baby.
Easter is upon us. Or as we like to call it in my household, Chocolate Christmas. What I first envisioned when I was dreaming up an Easter recipe was a Cadbury Creme Egg Cheesecake. But bunny help me, I just don't like Creme Eggs! I know they're all the rage and we're all supposed to be whipped up into a mad buying frenzy when January rolls around and the supermarkets start putting out their Easter wares. 
Caramel Easter Egg Cheesecake Cassie Cakes
Anything made up of this is gonna be good.
But I just think they're too sweet. And that might sound strange from someone who calls herself Cassie Cakes but it's the truth. So there I was, rolling ideas around, bouncing them off my friends to see what they thought but I just wasn't getting the excitement in my waters. Until I realised, "hold on, this is MY recipe! I can make whatever I like!". And so I give you my Caramel Easter Egg Cheesecake!
Caramel Easter Egg Cheesecake Cassie Cakes
Giving the food processor its well deserved glory.
People seem to get upset each year when the Easter eggs start popping up in the shop, as though the Easter bunny got dementia and forgot when he was supposed to come. But personally, I think it's great! How could longer to enjoy delicious, delicious Easter chocolate be a bad thing?
Caramel Easter Egg Cheesecake Cassie Cakes
Making caramel the easiest way ever!
Caramel Easter Egg Cheesecake Cassie Cakes
Seriously magic.
 I don't want to blow my own horn but this is seriously one of the best cheesecakes - if not THE best cheesecake - I've ever had. TOOT TOOT! What we have here is a classic vanilla baked cheesecake with a layer of dulce de leche (Latin American caramel) and chopped caramel Easter eggs in the center. Then, because too much of a good thing is never enough, a layer of smooth and silky milk chocolate ganache is poured on top followed by lashings of more dulce de leche. Whole caramel Easter eggs are arranged around the outside and boom. Mind blown.
Caramel Easter Egg Cheesecake Cassie Cakes
Okay now I think the food processor might be getting a big ego.
It might be a justified ego...look at the smooth, cheesy goodness.
Cheesecake is my jam. I love it. I love the texture and the taste...there's simply nothing else like it in this world. Some people will try and tell you that a cheesecake doesn't have to be baked, that you can make what they call a "set cheesecake" but those people are liars and you don't need that in your life. Team Baked. Team Baked FOR LIFE. 
Caramel Easter Egg Cheesecake Cassie Cakes
Those chunks of Easter egg are just amazing when you bite into them in the cheesecake,
Caramel Easter Egg Cheesecake Cassie Cakes
Tiny peaks of chocolate hinting through.
I have a big old food processor that I hardly ever use. I love it, it's one of my appliance children but it's definitely the child I leave in the cupboard with it's brother, The Juicer, cos frankly, I can't be bothered washing them up. But this cheesecakes gives you a chance to bring the neglected child out of the cupboard and give it a bit of well deserved glory. Use it to crush the biscuits then after, pop all the cheesecake ingredients in and give them a good processing. If you don't have a food processor, a hand or stand mixer will be more than adequate for the cheesecake mix and there's nothing wrong with bashing some biscuits with a rolling pin.
Caramel Easter Egg Cheesecake Cassie Cakes
Oh I've really wanted to say just Jackson Pollock the caramel on top...
Caramel Easter Egg Cheesecake Cassie Cakes
...Nigella always says that.

Caramel Easter Egg Cheesecake Cassie Cakes
That caramel, that ganache!
Now a note on dulce de leche. It is so easy to make at home but you do need to keep on eye on it. To make, place a whole can of sweetened condensed milk (for this recipe you'll need two) on it's side in a heavy-based saucepan and cover completely with water. Simmer for 2 hours, ensuring the can is always covered with an inch or two of water. If you allow the can to simmer uncovered, it can explode. And that would be a mess to clean up. A delicious mess, but a mess nonetheless. If this sounds too time consuming, you can buy a can of Top 'n' Fill from the supermarket - it's basically exactly the same. I just like doing things the long way. 
Caramel Easter Egg Cheesecake Cassie Cakes
I love you, cheesecake.
But oh what a cheesecake. I can't say that this is a quick dessert, but it's not hard, just time consuming. And since you have a whole long weekend coming up, why not give it a go? I give you my word that you'll love it. Unless you don't like deliciousness and then I don't even know why we're friends. 
Caramel Easter Egg Cheesecake Cassie Cakes
Ready for its close-up!
Caramel Easter Egg Cheesecake Cassie Cakes

I could look at this beauty all day, erryday,
Caramel Easter Egg Cheesecake Cassie Cakes
To. Die. For. 

Caramel Easter Egg Cheesecake

Prep time: 140 mins 

Cooking time: 60 mins
Total time:  3 hr 20 mins 
Servings: 14

Dulce de Leche
2 x 395g sweetened condensed milk

Baked Caramel Easter Egg Cheesecake
125g butter + extra, melted

250g packet butternut biscuits
750g cream cheese, softened
300ml sour cream
100g caster sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 x 125g Cadbury caramel Easter eggs

Milk Chocolate Ganache
300g milk chocolate
300ml thickened cream

Dulce de Leche

  1. Place both cans on their side in a heavy bottomed pan
  2. Cover with water, until there is two inches of water covering the cans
  3. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 2 hours, topping up with water regularly. DO NOT LEAVE UNATTENDED.
  4. Carefully remove from water and allow to cool before opening.
  5. Once cooled, decant into a bowl and vigorously beat with a fork to make smooth. Set aside until required. 
 Baked Cheesecake

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C
  2. Melt butter and use a pastry brush to brush the base and sides of a 24cm spring-form pan with melted butter. Set remaining butter aside til required.
  3. In the bowl of a food processor, process butternut biscuits until fine. Alternately, place biscuits into a freezer bag and crush with a rolling pin until fine.
  4. Add the melted butter to the biscuits and pulse until the biscuits begin to pull away from the sides.
  5. Press the biscuits firmly into the base of the prepared pan then refrigerate until required.
  6. Wipe out the food processor bowl then place remaining ingredients into the bowl and process until smooth. 
  7. Pour half the cheesecake mix into the biscuit base then return to the refrigerator. 
  8. Set aside 14 of the caramel Easter eggs, then roughly chop the remaining eggs.
  9. Spoon 3/4 of the dulce de leche mix onto the cheesecake, then top with chopped Easter eggs.
  10. Pour the remaining cheesecake mix on top, covering any lumps with the mix.
  11. Bake for one hour, then turn the oven off and allow to cool with the door shut for 10 mins.
  12. Leave the cheesecake in the over, after the 10 mins have elapsed, with the door ajar until cooled. 
  13. Refrigerate until cool. 
Milk Chocolate Ganache 
  1. Melt the chocolate in a large microwave proof bowl in the microwave in 30 second intervals.
  2. Once melted, add cream and stir to combine until smooth.
  3. Allow to cool slightly. Ganache should be pourable but not hot.
  1. Remove the cooled cheesecake from the refrigerator.
  2. Pour the ganache over the top of the cheesecake until completely covered.
  3. With a spoon, drip the remaining dulce de leche over the top of the cheesecake,
  4. Arrange the reserved 14 Easter eggs around the outside of the cheesecake.
  5. Serve and enjoy! 
Powered by Blogger
Design byJasmineJoy