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Archive for July, 2009

Cupcakes from Sherbet
Cupcakes from Sherbet

Yum.

Drool.
As promised…
I visited Sherbet in Maylands on
the way home
from a film
screening today.
Apologies for the dodgy food styling, it was past lunch and I was starving.
Pictured here from the top, clockwise, are a vanilla raspberry, chocolate and vanilla. Vanilla seemed popular today because I snapped up the last one. 
The bake shop is intimate and quaint (ie not too many tables) with a selection of savoury flans and sandwiches in addition to the sweet delights. And boy, do they have a lot…salted caramel chocolate slice (is salted caramel the new black of sweets?), scones, all sorts of cakes by the slice, all beautifully presented. I also tried the passionfruit pound cake (sorry I sliced it up before taking this!) which was moist and tangy.
Open for two months, Sherbet seems unlikely to remain a suburban secret, given anyone with a sweet tooth who read the STM article last weekend will have added it to the must go list.
Having travelled far and wide in search of cupcakes (Kalamunda, Sydney, Los Angeles) – I must say, these were pretty darn good – moist cake and simple, delicious but not overdone frosting.
And yes…they all tasted good and NO I did not actually eat all three, I shared. A bit. Click here to visit Sherbet’s website.
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Australia tweeted up a storm about Dance Your Ass Off last night but clearly no-one on Twitter had an OzTam ratings box attached to their telly.

The So You Think You Can Dance-Dancing with the Stars-Biggest Loser hybrid only attracted 77,000 viewers in Perth (ranked 24th for the night) and 797,000 nationally (ranked 21st).

I go back to my original call that this will not last more than a few weeks – maybe just long enough to transition to Go (as already predicted elsewhere).

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Since the end of MasterChef on Sunday, a lot of people have been left with gaping holes in their lives. Many chose to fill the void with Dance Your Ass Off, if tonight’s Twitter trending topics is any indication.

What a spectacle; the fishnets, the spandex, the big hair…and that was just the host. Just kidding. Real car-crash stuff – can’t wait to see tomorrow’s ratings.

Speaking of ratings, boy did I get it wrong on the finale of MasterChef. I blame Matt Preston. I thought it would do more than 3 million, he wasn’t so sure, so I revised down to 2.6 to 2.8.

Should have stuck with my instinct – an average 3.72 million tuned in with a peak of 4.11 million – making it the most watched non-sporting event ever and Ten’s highest rating show. It was the third most watched show ever behind the 2005 Australian Open men’s final and 2003 World Cup Soccer Australia v England.

There are several new shows premiering tomorrow (Wednesday) with World’s Strictest Parents on Seven competing against Australia’s Perfect Couple on Nine. The latter is cringe-worthy, unless you think blindfolded kissing and an electric shock test will help determine who makes a perfect match. And host Jules Lund looks a bit like he has spent too much time on a Getaway sun and surf story.

Pick of Wednesday night is Fox8’s new drama The Secret Life of an American Teenager, a surprisingly poignant and humorous family/teen drama. Everyone’s favourite 80s teen flick star Molly Ringwald is the mother of a pretty, polite, all round nice girl who shocks her friends by getting pregnant at band camp.

Secret Life was created by Brenda Hampton of 7th Heaven fame but don’t let that deter you. The show’s second series recently started in the US so it has legs.

Seven has a big Thursday with the belated return of The Amazing Race, plus new Aussie shows TV Burp and Double Take. If the latter two programs can live up to the promos, we should be in for a laugh-filled night, even if a lot of the comedy in Double Take seems to rest on the shoulders of Paul McCarthy.

I’ve somehow managed to steer my eyes away from finding out the winner of TAR (series 14 ended in the US in May) thus far but am sure I will inadvertently see a spoiler soon. The first episode moves at a cracking pace and has two of the best challenges ever – a 70 storey bungee jump off a dam and a Swiss cheese challenge in which the giant wheels of cheese escape and cause mayhem. Hilarious!

 Add that to  the usual weird and wonderful mix of hillbillies, bimbos, bickering couples etc.  You can read more about TAR in The West on Thursday.

This Saturday at 7.30pm there’s the second season premiere of East of Everything on the ABC with Susie Porter and Richard Roxburgh (who has just been cast by Ten to play Bob Hawke). Meanwhile on SBS, those Mythbusters will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the moon landing with a special where they put conspiracy theories to the test to see whether the whole thing could have been a hoax.

I’m reserving judgment on Ten’s The 7pm Project which like any new live/news-panel/talk show needs time to find its feet (and audience).  It has had good and bad moments so far.

James’ opening night assessment of the 60 Minutes Jamie Neale story was pretty funny but Carrie’s blank moment this evening and the cross to MasterChef’s Julie cooking for a winner’s family didn’t quite cut it.

Had no idea who the entertainment reporter was so looked it up on the program website and eventually worked out she is Aleisha McCormack, a TV producer and standup comedian. 7pm Project site actually called her MacCormack but Google helped me anway. According to IMDB she was also a researcher on Glenn Robbins’ series Out of the Question.

If 7pm Project could just drop the use of the B word rhyming with witch, I think I’d be quite content. Although it’s not as family-friendly as MasterChef (which come to think of it did drop the S word a lot) it beats Home and Away and 2 1/2 Men.

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From more than 7500 applicants, Julie Goodwin was tonight named Australia’s first MasterChef.

The mother in me felt Julie’s was a well deserved win; I don’t know if I could spend three months away from my husband and children (although my husband seems to think I could and wants me to apply for series 2!?).

Julie’s now trademark nerves and flustered state looked like they’d be the end of her but she managed yet again to scrape through. Anyone who has had guests coming for dinner only to discover something has gone awry at the 11th hour could relate to her. In the end, she just had really goo, solid food sense even if she scrambled to plate and pretty her dishes up.

But the Asian half of me would also have liked to see Poh emerge victorious. I think it was fantastic that she embraced her Chinese and Malaysian heritage and cooked Hainanese chicken rice. And that she went a step further and cooked pandan chiffon cakes, too.

They are two of my favourite dishes and are not easy to get right; there’s one place in Perth that tries to serve up tough chicken breasts as chicken rice and I am sure the same chicken is used in all their dishes.

As for the pandan cake, I hate packed cakes but have used packet pandan to cheat – and still not quite got it right.

Matt Preston was right, there aren’t many good Malaysian cookbooks around so hopefully Poh will find and fill a niche in the market. It will be a beautiful book to look at if her plating skills and artistic skills are any indication (wonder if her artworks will now all increase in value!?)

Julie’s cookbook will clearly do well (can we expect a foreword from Donna Hay?) – be interesting to see if they can get it out for the Christmas rush or maybe time it for Mother’s Day 2010 (probably too late).

There will also be a series cook book out next year and a DVD later this year. I just hope they keep all the recipes and videos online at least until series 2.

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Ten’s smash hit TV series of 2009 comes to an end tonight with many tipping the final cook off between Poh Ling Yeow and Julie Goodwin could crack the magic three million viewers.

My educated guess is around the 2.6 to 2.8 million. Now that I have typed that I am bound to be way off mark.

Last week I had the opportunity to speak to MasterChef judge and internationally acclaimed food critic Matt Preston for a MasterChef feature story that appeared in The West Australian on Friday July 17. Alas the story is not online.

As we all know Matt is passionate about food and boy, can he talk!

He had so much to say it seemed a crime not to use some of the leftovers from the story here.

Matt Preston on the career prospects of the MasterChef Australia final six:

“They all have potential; it’s a matter of them weathering the hysteria because when they come out of that house it is insane world out there in terms of how many people know them.

 “It will come down to how they weather that and how they focus on their core goal of what they want to do rather than endorsing this or that…”

 

Lucas: “He’s an incredible, likable down to earth bloke and that works very, very well on TV. He could be the next Stuart MacGill, like a foodie Stuart McGill.”

Julia:  “An amazing palette and restaurant cook; I could potentially see her writing recipes, doing cookbooks, stuff like that.”

Chris: “Will do the beer bar no doubt about that.”

Poh: “I think the Malaysian cook book will be a monster seller both here and internationally; there aren’t many good Malaysian cookbooks about. She has a great engaging personality and there aren’t that may young women out there doing food.”

Justine: “She’s such a beautiful cook I hope she will go and cook somewhere; I know there are at least four chefs she cooked for who will give her a job, so I don’t think she will have a problem landing herself in a restaurant. I think she will probably end up in a restaurant but I can also see her being in demand for TV for obvious reasons. She’s a good performer; all these guys have become very good performers.”

Julie: “Wants to do a family restaurant on the NSW coast. I think this cook book she wants to do, family cooking from different families and how they celebrate using food –  and how she wants to leave the last six pages blank so you can stick own pictures of own family and recipes – is a lovely idea.”

For the legions of Matt Preston fans lamenting his departure from our screens tonight, fear not. He has put his hand up to judge on the celebrity version of MasterChef  tipped to screen in September and has also filmed guest spots for Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader for Ten, First Tuesday Book Club for the ABC and history quiz AD/BC for SBS.

 

Masterchef Australia final 6 2009

Masterchef Australia final 6 2009

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Well, I’m still hoping to get to the Magnolia Bakery in New York this year but until then I might have to make do with this one in not so far off Maylands:

Sherbet according to today’s STM has cupcakes that reminded the reviewer of Magnolia, a fave on Sex and the City. And they’re a bit cheaper than the ones at Rochelle Adonis.

I’ll drive anywhere for a good cupcake, will hopefully have time to eat and post the verdict within the week!

Also, putting my publicity hat on for a moment – aspiring cupcake makers only have until July 31 to enter the cookery categories of the Smoke Free Perth Royal Show. Of course you can also enter cakes, slices, scones and the like. See the website for full details – no excuses to all my friends who have said in the past they didn’t know how to enter.

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Time Flies

Ok, I have plenty of excuses why this has not been updated in more than a month, some serious, some trivial.

AllI know is that I often start drafting posts with the best intentions then save them without posting.

Also, the real world paid work tends to get in the way as does the need to sleep occasionally for more than six hours.

But, with so much action on Twitter it makes sense to keep this semi up-to-date and to make some sort of attempt to drive a bit of traffic this way 🙂

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