March 11, 2007

Dinner at Shaun's

His parents were away; we were invited over for dinner and some weekend fun~ *Yay*
We navigated our way to Shaun's in the evening; bringing along with us a cheesecake, some pastry, cheese, cookie dough, bottle of vodka, a board game and hungry tummys.
I knew at the back of my mind that Shaun could cook. I was pretty sure he could; I met him at an Indian cooking class 3 years ago and I've heard stories. I've just never had anything he's made. But I was quite certain we were in for a delicious treat!Us 4 little Asian kids made a whole lot of noise poking our inquisitive noses in his very Australian home and fancy computer gadgetry while he swiftly finished up last minute dinner preparations in the kitchen; like a pro of course.
Our beef steaks were cooked outdoors on the BAR-bie! *laughs* Doesn't get much more 'Ausralian' than that! *grin*The marinade was so VERY gOOod. I'll type it up when I have a go at it one day. He was real nice to provide me with the recipes for the Chickpea salad and a absolutely heavenly Armenian Nutmeg cake we had we coffee that evening. It's a MUST-TRY for all nutmeg and walnuts lovers. It's sensational. No Kidding.

(Recipes from Shaun)

Armenian Nutmeg Cake
Source: Jacquie Baker
2 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Cup Self-Raising Flour
125 g. Butter 1 tsp. Bicarbonate Soda
1 Cup Milk
1 Egg
1 tsp. Fresh Nutmeg
½ Cup Walnuts

Combine sugar and sifted flour, rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Press half the mixture into a well-greased 20cm (8 in.) tin. Chop walnuts, grate nutmeg into fine particles. Dissolve the soda in the milk, add beaten egg and nutmeg and pour over the remaining sugar and flour mixture. Mix well. Spoon into tin on top of base mixture. Top with walnuts. Bake in a preheated moderate oven at 150˚C (350˚F) for 1 hour. Allow to stand for 15 minutes before turning out onto a rack to cool.

Chick Pea Salad
Source: ??? (probably a Sydney Morning Herald magazine or something)
1 Can Chickpeas
1 Avocado
1 Punnet Cherry Tomatoes
½ Red Onion
1 Lebanese Cucumber
150 g. Greek Feta Cheese
1 Cup Mint Leaves
1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/3 Cup Lime Juice
2 tsp. Dijon Mustard
½ tsp. Raw Sugar
¼ tsp. Minced Garlic
1 Cup Sugar Snap Peas

Drain and rinse chickpeas, halve cherry tomatoes, slice avocado, sugar snap peas. Slice red onion, Lebanese cucumber and mint leaves into small pieces. Mix the chickpeas with all the vegetables, feta and mint in a bowl. For the dressing, combine the oil, lime juice, mustard, sugar and garlic. Taste the dressing and adjust the sweetness or tangyness by adding sugar, mustard or lime juice to suit your taste. Dress the salad, toss gently and serve.
Notes: Original recipe called for 1 cup of olive oil, 1 cup of lime juice, 1 tsp sugar and 2 cloves garlic, minced.

I shaped some cookie dough and popped them in the oven while having dinner; forgot about them and burnt them to a crisp. How unfortunate.....the steak dinner was too distracting. *laughs*Everything was going so well; dinner was delicious; we had a heavenly combo of hazelnut cheesecake and ice cream for dessert and we were all pretty much stuffed to the brim. We sat satisfied and all smiles...... .....up till the moment I suggested we pull out that board game. A few of us are convinced its cursed now. *laughs* The game of RISK 'looks' harmless enough...just a board game, no?
10 minutes down the line players were forming alliances, deadly stares are exchanged; 30 minutes later, yelling begins; weaker opponents begin cursing at their luck, "CHeater" becomes a bad word and tempers begin to flare. Mind you; we're all friends...but RISK just brings out the evilness in all of us! *laughs* I was pretty disturbed at how I was personally acting; but I was having FUN! I was having a thrill at hitting people where it REALLY hurt! *evil grin* There weren't any flying objects and no punches were thrown at each other; I would say it was a pretty good game. *shrug* I won the game purely from misunderstanding and frustration. Everyone KNOWS that probably is the worst feeling of victory. *laughs* Being the stubborn person that I am; I was about to throw a tantrum and demand that I win virtuously from a rematch; but it was 1am; everyone was tired and angry, So I thought it would be a good idea to just eat up my pride. We thanked the host for a lovely evening and drove home laughing at each other's devil within.
I really I should bury that game....hidden far away from those addicted to world domination. *laughs*


ashieBee said...


can u send me your blackforest cake recipe? and for this kind of cake, will it be alright if i bake it the night before? i mean, would the cake be soggy because of the filling in between layers? thanks babe :)

*hugs* ashiebee

ps- u can email me at thanks again!!!

Anonymous said...

Interesting game..people showing despotic tendency should not play :P

Unknown said...

your talent totally blows me away! everything you make looks fantastic. My mate first told me about your blog, and regulary take a peek to see what you're up to.

I first tried your tim tam truffles at Xmas time...they were such a hit with all my friends, some being chefs....they all wanted to know the recipe.

Today, I have just pulled out of the oven, your Armenian cake....couldnt wait the 15 mins for it to cool, and tried a bit...yum! Great spice taste. I did find tho, that the bottom part of the cake was quite dry and fell apart a looked more like an icing texture in your pic. What do I need to change next time to get a more moist texture??

Love your work,...keep it up!

Anonymous said...

damn you Shaun for waiting until i leave to do this! damn you!


i'll get you back in a year or 2...we'll play a drinking game ;) =P


Su-Yin -D├ęcorateur said...

brooke: thanks so much for your kind comments on my blog :). I'm happy the recipes i put up actually serve a good purpose! Haha. The armenian cake actually had a 'cookie-ish' base; which in my opinion made it real nice. As i'm staring at the pictures now, I still don't see how the bases looked soft *laughs*. Might just because i remember eating wiht a slight crunch at the end. You didn't like the hard cookie base?

Anonymous said...

Hey guys, Shaun here.

Brooke, not sure about a the crumbly base thing, it shouldn't really fall apart... Maybe not letting it sit had some effect on it, no idea really. One key thing is to make sure you really pack the base down when you put it into the pan so it's solid.

Glad to see people liked it, only started cooking it about six months ago when I was looking for something to do and my mum suggested it. Maybe I'll have to show Su how I do brownies next :D

tina said...

Hi Shaun, excuse me if I'm interloping but am interested in some tips re the Armenian nutmeg cake. My base comes out the same as Brooke's i.e. kinda powdery texture rather than the solid look in your photo which I like. I did wait 15 minutes before turning it out so that's not it. Do you have other suggestions? Should I increase butter content perhaps? Appreciate your reply, thanks. Tina

Alicia said...

Is the photo of the Armenian cake yours? I wanted to know if I could use it for my website? We can attribute it to you, if you let us use it. Please email me at . Thank you!