Monday, July 04, 2011

New Shanghai, Ashfield

With only a 20 minute lunch sojourn in Ashfield, C and I knew we had to go to New Shanghai for dumplings. As always, the pan fried pork buns and dumplings were doughy, yeasty, juicy, soupy, salty and fatty, all the things I crave from a Shanghainese dumpling. We always ask for La Jiao Jiang (Fermented Chili Sauce) because it makes the perfect pre-vinegar dip for the dumplings.. Although today for the first time when we went to eat them they were a bit cold. We sent them back, to our suprise instead of sending new ones they just bunged them back on the hot plate to reheat, so they were a little dry. Don't worry New Shanghai, I still love you even though you are such a tight ass! The noodles were delicious, slippery and very chewy. The pan-fried pork buns are not photographed, because in my excitement we scoffed the lot before I had a chance. Snap.

New Shanghai
273 Liverpool Rd
Ashfield NSW 2131
PH: (02) 9797 7284

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Chocolate Ganache Cake

Ingredients (serves 8)

600g Chocolate (60%+)
450 mL Pure Cream
4 tsp Rum
75g Glacée Chestnuts* in Liquer
1 Vanilla Pod
200g Digestive Biscuits
1 cup Rice Bubbles
1 cup Corn Flakes
100g Unsalted Butter
1/2 tsp Granulated Salt


1. Prepare a 25cm springform tin by placing a sheet of baking paper on the base before locking in place.
2. Process chocolate and place in a heatproof bowl.
3. Heat cream and split vanilla pod in a small saucepan until steam appears, but do not allow to boil. Remove from heat, discard bean pod and add rum, or the liquer syrup from the glacée chestnuts.
Immediately pour the cream onto the chocolate, gently stirring until a homogenous, smooth mixture has formed. Set aside to cool.
4. Place the butter, cut into cubes, in a microwave container and heat for 1 minute or until fully melted.
In a large bowl, combine the rice bubbles, cornflakes and chunky digestive crumbs. Add 3-4 chopped glacee chestnuts, sprinkle over the salt and the butter, stir to combine.
5. Pour 1.25 cups of the chocolate ganache mixture into the Cereal Base and combine. Spread into the lined tin and refrigerate for 15 minutes to set.
6. Pour over the remaining chocolate ganache and return to the fridge to set for a minimum of 6 hours.
7. To serve, use a blowtorch around the sides of the pan before unlocking. Use a cake spatula to transfer to a platter, garnish with double cream and chestnuts, with a little of the liquer syrup drizzled over the top.

*If Glacee Chestnuts in Liquor cannot be obtained, replace with Caramel Coated Hazelnuts, and use Frangelico in place of the chestnut syrup or rum.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Long Melon at Little Bangladesh

Before a visit to the Bangladeshi strip in Sydney's Lakemba, I thought I was an open-minded foodie, whisk and cleaver at the ready for any culinary adventure to stumble into my path. What I encountered there would stump any home cook or keen-nosed beagle for that matter. When I saw two gentlemen heaving enormous bundles of edible plant material out of an unmarked van and into this shop (which will remain nameless), I just knew I had to find out what it was.

The mass of curly-cue vines, white spongey flowers and soft velvety leaves belong to the plant of the Long Melon, or fuzzy melon. What I was not prepared for, was the stench. After bringing home a large raft of the unruly flora I began to unfurl it out of the bag- which I imagine is like the plant equivalent of gutting a pig. Every tendril I extracted from the bag produced a stronger and more foul aroma than the previous, smelling like a combination of burning rubber and a decomposing roast dinner.

The odor was so much so that the whole lot ended up on the grass in the backyard so I could think of what to do with it. Sadly I made the decision to bin it, despite the tasty recommendation the shop owner offered. I hate to waste food but this is one exception, for the need not to stink my house out. My hat is off to whoever is game enough to cook and eat this. For anyone interested the shopkeeper suggested cooking it with spices,onion,ghee, and prawns and adding it in at the last minute like a stir fry. She also mentioned you are not supposed to cook the stalks, just the leaves.

Obviously the friendlier component to the plant is the melon itself, which I have cooked and enjoyed on a number of occasions. most notably as an item at the table for szechuan hot pot.

At this shop there is a great selection of spices, fruits, veggies and other fantastic grocery items as well. I am also very impressed that they go out of their way to stock unusual ingredients and ones that they use back home, and I sincerely hope they continue to do so. This is one of 10 other Bangladeshi owned / run shops on the same block.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Gooey Nut Slice

After watching Anna Olson on Sugar today with her theme ingredient of 'condensed milk' I was tempted to make this slice. Its a deliciously gooey combination between caramelized condensed milk, nuts, toasted coconut and biscuit base and is ridiculously easy to put together. Her recipe calls for a biscuit base made of digestive biscuits and butter, whereas I made a shortcake type crust with self raising flour and butter. Because I do most of my baking by eye your best bet if you want to make it is just to follow Anna Olson's recipe for Southern Squares. The topping is a combination of nuts and coconut, and the gooeyness is from the 3 tins of condensed milk that are poured over top. (The recipe calls for 2 but, what the hey) The entire concoction is then baked for around an hour and cooled for 3 hours minimum before slicing. I used walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds but next time I would probably just stick to salted peanuts as the walnuts had an overwhelming presence in the final result.


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