Friday, November 25, 2011

Kangaroos in Warrnambool

Dear Foodies,

Believe it or not there are in fact other parts of Australia that are delicious. I found a few on Victoria's Great Ocean Road during my travels in Oz. For example, Warrnambool (population 33,000), a 3.5 hour drive from Melbourne, can boast not one but two McDonald’s, a KFC, a Hungry Jacks and a couple of chippies. Ah, fine dining at its best!

But in all foodie seriousness, Warrnambool and its surrounding towns do feature some divine cuisinal venues. For example, Ramella’s CafĂ© in Port Fairy, very formerly an Irish Whaling station. Well worth the drive to Port Fairy, definitely some of the best Mediterranean food I’ve digested recently. My Travelling Companion (my mother, yet again) and I each had a penne dish with mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, black olives, fresh basil and parmesan. And it wasn’t an ordinary medium sized dish; Ramella’s presented us with huge bowls of pasta that we struggled to get through. 

Ramella’s also has a Very Large Dessert Cabinet which we stood in front of for a few minutes before deciding on: the classic chocolate mud cake and a raspberry cheesecake; both were extremely delicious. The restaurant is a former 1900s shop complete with original leadlights and fittings that are accompanied by some very interesting decorations of a Mediterranean origin. It contributed to a relaxing vibe despite the increasing busyness. The staff were lovely, quite chatty but also very patient (especially when we were negotiating the Very Large Dessert Cabinet!). Having since done some research, Ramella’s even makes Lonely Planet’s Top 12 things to do in Port Fairy (… at #12… but still!) and #8345 of things to do in the Pacific…. Hm.  

Back in Warrnambool some pretty decent pizza was to be found at Fiesta, Italian owners and over twenty different pizza toppings and calzone dishes all so mouth-watering!
Some of the Remaining Twelve Apostles along Victoria's Great Ocean Road
Continuing along the Great Ocean Road, you’ll want to check out the Twelve Apostles (ha ha, no -not Lonely Planet’s Top 12), large remnants of land that once formed part of the shoreline. But on the way you’re probably thinking that you should try some Australian fish ‘n chips. So you stop in Port Campbell at the famous Frying Nemo –yes, you read that correctly and yes, they do have a Facebook page –and order calamari squid rings, flounder and a good scoop of chips to dine upon at the beach. Unfortunately for us (and for poor Nemo), the chips had been overcooked and there was a long wait for it –two staff members at 6pm is just silly. I must add that this fish ‘n chip shop was recommended to us repeatedly so perhaps it was just a bad night for them.

And there you have it, food on the Great Ocean Road (ha ha, no I’m not counting the kangaroo roadkill -it wasn’t fresh).

Bon appetit!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Baking: Coconut Chocolate Cupcakes/Cake

Coconut Chocolate Cupcakes/Cake
This post was from the friday cupcake party...

One of my dear friends and past flatmates was not only dairy-free but soy also. Therefore this made it very difficult when going out to cafes and restaurants, as soy is often used as a replacement for diary (i.e. soy milk instead of normal milk). 

When my current flatmates and I decided to put on a little party at the end of the year I we thought a little about what we could bake that would include everyone.

One of the items we choose were various types of cupcakes, and to make the cheating chocolate cake recipe I often make.

Kath (my dear friend) is dairy-free so we decided to replace the buttermilk with coconut milk. I tried it out as a cake and Heather LOVE LOVE LOVED it. However you will see here it was made in cupcake form (note the icing has salad oil instead of butter substituted in it).

1 1/2 Cup Coconut Milk
1/2 Cup Oil
1/2 Cup Water

was substituted for the Quickest Easiest One Bowl and Spoon Chocolate Cake's buttermilk/oil and water