Tales of a confectionist

A food blog - eating out and about while enjoying life in Canberra ****** Now you can find my page on FB! ****** See more random food photos on my Instagram @shopchop

ncdon1 asked: Where can you purchase that rambaba in the photo? It was amazing! !!

It was during the multicultural festival in Canberra from the Sicilian association of the ACT.

Crossing over

I’ve been using Tumblr for the past two years developing my food blog, besides yelling at it to share to my Facebook page better and having no real way to reply to comments and questions, it has been a good run. Thank you to all my Tumblr fans out there.

I’m looking forward to using WordPress, although it’s a completely new look both at the user and writer’s end. I hope it will be easier to navigate between all my food adventures and recipes. Looking forward to going on foodie adventures with you all.

                            ————— www.talesofaconfectionist.com —————

Breakfast at A.Baker

With nothing much enticing me from the dinner menu, I took a friend and we headed to New Acton A. baker at an unprecedented (for me at least) time for a breakfast instead.

image

image

At 8:30am Saturday, it was easy to get a table but was it worth it? I hope so!

image

image

A very industrial feel inside and I don’t know how I feel about exposed pastries and tarts. image

image

I liked that they asked for coffee orders once we sat down because I can imagine a lot of caffeine addicts want coffee ASAP but between two non coffee drinkers, we chose alternative hot beverages.

Hot chocolate ($3.50).

image

Loose leaf chai ($3.50). Not overly sweet but it was nice and milky and smooth.

image

3 Snow on the mountains cookies ($3.00). I didn’t get to try these but I get spoilt by my MIL all the time with these and they are simple to make.

image

Pain au chocolat ($4.00). A pretty good croissant but I wish it was more buttery and flaky.

image

image

Toasted sour dough with butter and house made preserves ($7.00). Today’s house made preserve was burnt mandarin jam. I’m a big fan of sour dough but it takes forever for me to chew through the crust. The jam was not overly sweet  and was so great that I even ate all the chunky rind by itself afterwards.

image

Poached eggs, crusty bread, spinach, herb and egg dressing ($14.00) with a side of house cured maple bacon ($3.50). I couldn’t taste the maple flavour but I love the smokiness in the bacon. The thicker cuts made it a little dry but the thinner slices crisped up very nicely.

image

63° egg, Yass mushroom, soft polenta, pangrattato,  Grandvewe pecorino ($16.00). When they put it down, all I could smell was the fragrant perfume of cheese and olive oil. The delicious mound of mushrooms covered a perfectly cooked egg. This had lots of different textures between the softness of the egg and polenta, squishiness of the mushrooms to the crispy pangrattato and chewy sour dough bread. A very enjoyable breakfast.

image

image

Great service, amazing unique breakfast choices but it is not easy or cheap to find parking in the area and with no bookings taken, it is a gamble to get a seat straight away. I am tempted to come back for dinner, maybe I’ll just choose things that don’t have gizzards or liver. 

***The Parlour room is set to open October 2013 next door, that will be exciting***

Venue: A.Baker

Address: Unit 2, 15 Edinburgh Avenue, Canberra, ACT 2601

Phone: (02) 6287 6150

 

A. Baker on Urbanspoon

It is a proven fact that eating kid’s birthday cakes make you younger… Or act younger… Something like that #foreveryoung #cake #happybirthday #food #foodie #foodie #goodberrys #canberra @rawdykins

It is a proven fact that eating kid’s birthday cakes make you younger… Or act younger… Something like that #foreveryoung #cake #happybirthday #food #foodie #foodie #goodberrys #canberra @rawdykins

Now we wait… #brodburger #canberra #burger #dinner #awesome #food #foodie #foodblog

Now we wait… #brodburger #canberra #burger #dinner #awesome #food #foodie #foodblog

Nibbling on some chocolate while reading about the bean to bar movement @matalechocolate #beantobar #chocolate #melbourne #food #foodie #foodblog #organic #matalechocolate

Nibbling on some chocolate while reading about the bean to bar movement @matalechocolate #beantobar #chocolate #melbourne #food #foodie #foodblog #organic #matalechocolate

from the Bean to Bar to your mouth

People say that they love chocolate, but I believe that the people who truly love chocolate are the people who lovingly prepare the simple cocoa bean to make chocolate - the chocolate makers (not to be mistaken for chocolatiers).

The 'bean to bar' movement means that chocolate makers control the chocolate making process from the cocoa bean all the way to the bar, creating a better chocolate that preserves the beans’ distinctive flavours and allows for sourcing beans from sustainable productions which provide better financial stead for the farmers by avoiding the middle men.

For you and I, the mere humble consumers of chocolate, to obtain some we just go to the shops but before it is lovingly wrapped in its packaging, there is a long laborious process involving roasting, cracking, winnowing, stone grinding, conching and tempering (see videos of the process here). That is just the gist of it without taking into account of all the research to source the right co-op who provide good training to their associated farmers so they can produce better sustainable organically grown cocoa beans (for higher wages) and who could forget, getting these beans through customs!

Now because cocoa beans can be sourced from all around the world, they would all differ slightly in the production process depending on the acidity levels and other factors. Coming from a Science background, I can appreciate the finicky process of optimising the roasting temperature and time for each single origin.

The ‘bean to bar’ movement has taken the US by storm and we are only now slowly feeling the ripples here down under with several ‘bean to bar’ movements being established in Australia. I was lucky enough to taste the efforts of such chocolate from the wonderful people at Matale Chocolate based in Melbourne.

I don’t often open two bars of chocolate at one time but for a direct comparison between the two products, a blogger’s gotta do what a bloggers gotta do. image I was really surprised at the colour difference and after tasting them, I was even more impressed with the flavour difference between the two. Who knew that a slight cocoa percentage change and origin of the bean made such a big difference.

I believe that the ‘thin’ bar mould helps with texture and maximises taste, both chocolate bars were very smooth and a delight to the senses. With no ‘rows’ set into the chocolate, I let fate (and strength) determine how much chocolate I get at a time, but this does allow for uneven sharing (stop bogarting the chocolate Timmy image). 

72% Cocoa Malekula Plantation Vanuatu (2013 harvest). Most people’s aversion to dark chocolate is the bitter after taste that coats the tongue but I was pleasantly surprised that this is not the case with this bar of chocolate despite its very rich dark colour. It has a very full bodied flavour of cocoa but followed by a ‘light’ after taste, this would make it very easy to finish off a whole bar of dark chocolate (if you couldn’t do that already).

TimmyC’s pick of the bunch and he doesn’t usually eat dark chocolate, I had to tell him to stop munching on it so I could take photos.

68% Cocoa Somia Plantation Madagascar (2013 harvest). Even with the smallest bites (if you can restrain yourself) you can tastes the unexpected fruity undertones along with the intense richness of the dark chocolate which makes this chocolate very unique.

My pick of the bunch because it is so different to anything that I’ve ever tasted.

Being dairy, nut and gluten free and sourcing organically grown beans means that Matale chocolate make it accessible for everyone to enjoy ethically produced quality chocolate made here in Australia. So next time you get a craving for chocolate, go for the good stuff, you and your taste buds deserve it.

Thank you Thibault and Eloi for your amazing product and educating me on the delicious benefits of ethical chocolate. I was given these chocolates as a gift and to provide honest opinions (good or bad) and really highlight the points of the ‘bean to bar’ movement but I wouldn’t hesitate to promote this conscientious brand and I’m looking forward to trying more of their other chocolate range from Canberra stockists.

Venue: Matale Chocolate - Melbourne

Address: 22A Plateau Road, Reservoir, Melbourne Victoria 3073

Websitehttp://www.matalechocolate.com/

Canberra stockists:

Go Vita - Jamison

Mountain Creek Wholefoods - Griffith

Wiffens - Fyshwick markets

i-v-o-r-i:

talesofaconfectionist:

It has a ring to it #Peru #canberra

where did you get this in canberra? :o!

It’s from Cholos Peruvian restaurant in Dickson. They also have Chicha morada!

i-v-o-r-i:

talesofaconfectionist:

It has a ring to it #Peru #canberra

where did you get this in canberra? :o!

It’s from Cholos Peruvian restaurant in Dickson. They also have Chicha morada!

The Andy Warhol collection #tomatosoup #warhol #art #canberra #food #foodie #foodblog

The Andy Warhol collection #tomatosoup #warhol #art #canberra #food #foodie #foodblog

It has a ring to it #Peru #canberra

It has a ring to it #Peru #canberra

Scallops wrapped in prosciutto make the day go faster #Canberra #ellacure #bruce #scallops #food #foodie #foodblog #lunch

Scallops wrapped in prosciutto make the day go faster #Canberra #ellacure #bruce #scallops #food #foodie #foodblog #lunch

Deja Lao

Hasn’t this already been on this year? Worth going to if you haven’t been before.

Amidst all my shopping this weekend (I’m on a high from all these short work weeks) an honourable mention goes to the smoked garlic from the Handmade markets. I could not stop smelling the intoxicating aroma of intense smoky garlic, I almost want to use it as potpourri!

Amidst all my shopping this weekend (I’m on a high from all these short work weeks) an honourable mention goes to the smoked garlic from the Handmade markets. I could not stop smelling the intoxicating aroma of intense smoky garlic, I almost want to use it as potpourri!