Secret Garden Toblerone

Hi everyone, sorry I have not been well hence have not been cooking and developing recipes. I am bit better now, and to thank the boyfriend for nursing me back to life, I have decided to make him a little sweet treat. Inspired by Dessert Story secret garden range where desserts are created to look like edible pot plants, this recipe is very quick and easy to make I promise and wait till you see the surprised look on your loved ones face when you serve it up to them.

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Prep time: 15 minutes
Chilled time: 30 minutes
Serves: 2

Ingredients:
100 grams of Toblerone blocks
1 can of whipped cream
Oreo cookies
caramel nougats.
fresh herbs or flower of your choice

You can make or own whipped cream from scratch if you like. But to avoid having to wash up additional dishes and my arms from falling off from whisking I have found a quick simple solution for $3.50 at Coles. Grab yourself one of these:

whipped cream

Melt chocolate in a plastic bowl for 90 secs on high in the microwave. Allow cool for 1 minute. Squeeze half the can of whipped cream into bowl of chocolate. Whisk rapidly until evenly blended. Place element into transparent glass and chill in fridge for 30 minutes.

Crush Oreo and Caramel nougats together (this gives it the dirt/ crushed rocks look)

Remove glass from fridge. Place crushed cookies on top of the chocolate mouse. cut out a stem of flower of your choice or mint plant or herbs and plant it onto the sweet pot. Place it onto the table as a center piece without the partner/friend’s knowledge then give them a spoon and tell them to eat it, enjoy watching their reaction =)

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I left my heart in Melbourne

This post this not about a particular dish or restaurant, it is about the city I currently live in and why I love it so much. Here you can find some of Melbourne’s best kept secrets.

The Romantic Melbourne:
Take a romantic stroll from the banks of the Yarra River to Ponyfish Island, it’s a quiet little bar located under the footbridge of the Yarra River. Here you can enjoy a drink, admire the sunset and watch the ferries cruise by.

Alternatively you can walk along St Kilda Road towards Queen Victoria Garden, here you can find two hidden lakes filled with beautiful ducks and swans. This place makes a perfect picnic spot, or a great little retreat where you can laze around on the green lawn to catch up on some vitamin D. The Botanical Garden is also only about 5 minutes walk from the garden. Best of all? the romantic Melbourne is free for everyone to enjoy.

Down-to-earth but can be Snobby:
Compared to Sydney, Melbourne is a lot more laid back and down-to-earth. However venues can be quiet selective with their crowds. For example, If a guy would like to enter a venue in Northcote or the city CBD after 5PM he is required to have a collar shirt for entrance. Whereas if he was in Fitzroy (suburb known for the hipster crowd) he would be turned away if he is wearing a tie as he would be considered too overdressed for the venue.

Ghost town of Melbourne:
Located 7 minutes from the CBD is Harbour town, home to the discounted shopping precinct, Costco wholesalers and Medibank Ice arena. I am unsure whether it is the lack of vibe or parking but Harbour town is always quiet. However don’t let that deter you as there are lots of bargain shopping to be found at Harbourtown. Oh also the Melbourne Star (giant scenic wheel) has been out of action for so long no one knows whether or not it is in operation anymore.

Eventful Melbourne:
There are always special events on in Melbourne, this city guarantees to have something to entertainment everyone. Check out What’s on Melbourne website for weekly events. Otherwise visit Federation Square, every weekend there are different events hosted here.

Avoid the city on weekends:
On weekdays the city bars can be fun and classy as it is filled with professionals frequenting for after work drinks. However on Friday and Saturday nights avoid CBD clubs and bars, as everyone from everywhere poured into the city to get drunk and messy. So the locals tends to go to bars in the outer suburbs in Fitzroy, Northcote or St Kilda for drinks and down time.

Coffee Culture:
Melbournians love their coffees, don’t believe me just check out Degraves Lane, Centre Place, Block Arcade, McKillop Street and Manchester Lane to see the coffee clubs for yourself.

Hungry no more:
For cheap eats Asian cuisines can be found on Swanton and Russell street where a hearty feed can be found for less than $10.
For Authentic Italian food visit Lygon Street.
Fancy Greek? walk along Lonsdale street.

Melbourne’s best kept secret:
Melbourne have so many hidden restaurant and bars, that you will need a tour guide to show you around and there is a tour you can go on,otherwise you will not know about them unless you are a local. Here are a list of my best kept secrets:
San Telmo Address: 14 Meyers Pl, Melbourne VIC 3000 Argentinian Bar and Restaurant
Loop: Rooftop bar Meyers Pl, Melbourne VIC 3000
Madame Brussels:Cocktail Bar 59-63 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Cookies: Rooftop bar/ moonlight cinema
Level 7, Curtin House, 252 Swanston Street
Melbourne
Damask Bar – Hidden Rooftop Bars First Floor, 347 Brunswick Street Fitzroy VIC 3065
Golden Monkey Lounge Bar & Asian Tapas 389 Lonsdale St, Melbourne VIC 3000

When in Melbourne:
They say if you do not like Melbourne’s weather, wait 20 minutes and it will change. This city is known for its 4 season in one day, so make sure you wear layers of clothes, boots and bring an umbrella. It may look warm and sunny at the moment but give it a few hours chances are it will later be cold and raining.

Secret Garden at Dessert Story

Dessert Story specialized in Hong Kong and Taiwanese home style dessert, what I loved about this place was that they strive to bring dessert that are healthy yet satisfying to eat, their bubble teas range are a lot fresher with less preservatives than other bubble cup stores. However every time I brought my boyfriend and Non-Asian friends here besides bubble tea they were too afraid to try any other desserts here as they ingredients seemed too foreign to them. I was so excited when Dessert Story decided to up their game and introducing more Caucasian friendly and thought provoking treats through their Secret Garden range.

secret garden

At first glance it looks like a fresh pot plant. With the fresh plant itself being used for decoration purpose only, The potting mix however was made of edible Oreo like crushed cookies, underneath the edible dirt diners can chose from 6 dessert options: Creme Brulee, Strawberry Yogurt Mousse, Dark Chocolate Mousse, White chocolate Mousse, Vanilla Ice cream with Red Beans & Poping pearls and Tiramisu.

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So far I have only sampled the Strawberry and Yogurt Mousse and was quiet impressed with the generous servings and the affordable price of this dessert ($8.90 what a bargain) I am so excited to sample all the other flavors. They also make great gifts to colleagues and loved ones.

I felt compelled to write this post as I feel that even though this place has always been busy with the Asian diners, The business still work hard to reach out and cater for the needs of the Multicultural crowd rather than just focusing on one target market. Because of this brave move now everyone from all cultural background and come and enjoy the treats together, well done Dessert Story!

The World’s Most Expensive Indulgence.

This thread contained a list of the most excessive, hedonistic, cool and super expensive indulgence around the world.

champagne donut
The Champagne Donut
Created by Krispy Kreme for a charitable cause to raise money for a children’s fund. The doughnut was filled with Dom Pérignon champagne jelly, draped with edible diamonds, garnished with a gilded white chocolate lotus and sprinkled with 24-karat gold leaf. At a whooping price tag of $1685USD each, this blinged ring was crowned the world’s most expensive doughnut.

cupcake
The Bloomsbury’s Golden Phoenix Cupcake Platter
The above was put together by Bloomsbury’s Golden Phoenix Cupcake to celebrate the opening of their flagship store in Dubai. It contained inedible diamonds, only finest Italian chocolate, Ugandan vanilla pods edible gold flakes. Served with a golden spoon, topped with chocolate icing and strawberries dipped in edible gold as well. The price tag for the above dish was $28000 USD per plate. Only a selected handful of reputable people in the world received the invitation to sample. However the cupcake can be purchased on its own at Bloomsbury’s Golden Phoenix Cupcake for $1000 USD a piece.

sultan cake

The Sultan’s Golden Cake
Can be ordered at Ciragan Palace Kempinski Hotel in Istanbul. Elements in this dish contained apricot, figs, pears and quince marinated in Jamaican Rum, vanilla beans and French wheat from French Polynesia. Coated with black truffles, caramel and dusted with 24-karat edible gold. Price tag? $1000 USD a piece.

golden opulence
Golden Opulence Sundae
To celebrate their 50th birthday Serendipity 3, New York created Golden Opulence sundae the most expensive ice cream sundae in the world to mark the special occasion. Recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most expensive sundae in the world at $1000 USD per serve. Ingredients consisted of 5 scoops of rich Tahitian vanilla bean ice cream infused with Madagascar vanilla and covered in 23K edible gold leaf. Drizzled with the world’s most expensive chocolate, Amedei Porceleana, covered with chunks of rare Chuao chocolate, from cocoa beans harvested by the Caribbean Sea on Venezuela’s coast. The Golden Opulence then suffused with exotic candied fruits from Paris, gold dragets, truffles and Marzipan Cherries.Topped with a tiny glass bowl of Grand Passion Caviar, an exclusive dessert caviar, made of salt-free American Golden caviar, known for its sparkling golden color. Sweetened and infused with fresh passion fruit, orange and Armagnac. Served in a baccarat Harcourt crystal goblet with an 18K gold spoon to partake in the indulgence, accompanied with a petite mother of pearl spoon and topped with a gilded sugar flower by Ron Ben-Israel.

fortress stilt
The Fortress Stilt Fisherman Indulgence
Found at The Fortress hotel, Sri Lanka, the desert was created to pay tribute the fishing culture in the region. Made of delicious ingredients, including chocolate, exotic fruit, and Irish cream. The dish served with a mango and pomegranate compote. It portrays a fisherman, carved out of chocolate, hanging onto the stilt. Underneath the fisherman is a perfectly placed 80 carat aquamarine. To sample this it will set you back $14500 USD. No one have actually forked out this money up to this date

canoli
The Golden Canoli
A creation of Carey Lennaccaro of Sprinkled with Sugar in Overland Park in Kansas, this Golden Canoli consisted of dark chocolate, whipped ricotta cheese, candied lemon, chocolate and lemon peel. The cost? $26,000 USD **Reproduce it at home with my 24Carat Canoli recipe***

chocolate pudding
The chocolate pudding
How much will a 2 carat diamond chocolate pudding cost? $34000 USD says Mr Mark Guibert, the brain child behind is pudding. A wealthy business man bought this treat to help him mend his heartbreak after his girlfriend of 3 years dumped him. Who said money cannot buy happiness?

icepop
24ct Popsicle
These 24ct Popsicle were made at Marquis Los Cabos resort in Baja California Sur, Mexico . Consisted of 24 ct. gold flakes and Tequilas Premium Clase Azul Ultr they cost $1000 USD a pop.

The brownie extraodinair
The Brownie Extraordinaire
Sold at Brule, a restaurant in the Tropicana Resort located in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Made from dark chocolate covered with Italian hazelnuts and served with a scoop of ice cream. Along with the sweet dessert, customers were also presented with a very rare and highly expensive port wine, Quinta do Novel Nicional, from Portugal. The wine was served in a St. Louis Crystal atomizer. The experience cost $1000 USD.

truffle
The Dome’s Truffle Ice
Can be requested at Mezzaluna in Bangkok. The Perigord truffle ice cream was layered with gelée and Manjaree chocolate then suffused in gold leaves, berry compote and a rare cognac—Moyet Tres Vieille Grande Champagne No. 7 compared to all the above extravagant prices this one had the most down to eart price tag of $200 USD.

Fascinating vending machines you won’t believe exist in Japan

The people here in Japan are so technology advanced, they have developed a vending machines for almost everything. Japanese people are absolutely nuts over product dispensers. Did you know in this Land of the Rising Sun there are around 5.6 million coin and card-operated machines. That’s approximately one vending machine for every 23 people. This means there are more vending machines in Japan than people living in New Zealand (NZ population is 4.433 million as per 2012 stats). With 5.6 million automatic dispensers around, competition is tough so it is crucial for vendors make their vending machine stand out. As a result, this led to Japan having some of the most innovative and downright weird vending machines in the world. Allow TheArtofForking to take you on a (translated labels) tour of some of the most wild wacky weird machines Japan vending street has to offer.

First up is the Beer and sake vending machine. This can be found at almost every side alley in Tokyo. The reason I thought this was awesome was because in Australia it is illegal to drink in public, heavy fines apply so these machines is non-existence in Kangaroo Land.

This machine serves not only cold drinks but hot beverages as well and they are everywhere in Japan. In this picture, the drinks with the price in red are served hot and the drinks with the price in blue are served cold. This is cool as you can quench your thirst in summer with a cool drink and warm up in winter with and warm can, win!


Have you ever had weird cravings in the middle of the night only to find your nearest KFC,fish and chips or local hotdog stand is closed. This 24hr hot meal is the solution to after hours cravings, but would you eat meals from this machine?


Nissin cup noodles machine is genius! If you ever want to be a millionaire in Australia, I highly recommend buying the license to sell these and have them planted at every single Tafe, Uni campuses, also offices that have 24×7 operations. Insta noodles is my religion so I can assure you this will be a guarantee hit.

crepe-machine
Crepe vending machine,need I say more?


Fresh Lettuce vending machine, um yes please?

Gone fishing? then you’ll need the fishing bait machine


This is cute, this one dispenses fresh flowers for any occasions.


No this is not a person in a costume. it’s actually a robot Coke vending machine, the robot can be found walking around Shibuya station dispensing coke cans and shooting laser beams.


Lastly, have you heard the urban legend about Japanese men and their panties sniffing fetishes? Well to cater for this market they invent the above vending machine, it sells “soiled school girl panties” ummm WTF (What the FORK!)

Have you seen you cool vending machine? I’d love to hear about it.