Lemon Chiffon Cake

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So the other week my friends and I were lounging around eating pizza and junk food and out of the grocery bag, my friends pull out this fluffy, green pandan chiffon cake. It was this rectangular loaf of vibrant green and spongey goodness that was incredibly soft when you took a bite out of a piece of the cake. Having not had a chiffon cake for so long, eating this pandan cake reminded me that it was time for me to get my sponge cake making skills back on the blog and in the kitchen. 

I absolutely adore chiffon cakes. To me, they’re the only type of sponge cake that I actually appreciate and would happily eat without icing, without ice cream or without any additional toppings. To me, chiffon cakes are best eaten and best made when they use very simple flavours because the real feature apart from its flavour is its fluffy and soft interior. Thus, with that in mind, I decided to try and replicate my favourite sponge cake with this Lemon Chiffon Cake, which adds a good lemon punch to this delicate cake. 

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(Source: katcakes)

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Paper Plane Cafe, Parramatta

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Away from Parramatta’s main food hotspot sits a quaint little boutique cafe on the small, quieter Horwood Place. It’s decor follows the trends circulating cafe establishments over the year, with iced tea served in mason jars, hues of blue and green and dishes served on wooden boards. Paper Plane Cafe is a new addition to Parramatta’s Cafe scene, having opened up in early 2014. 

Despite having been opened for a few months, the cafe appears to have a promising future ahead of them. The premises has both indoor and outdoor seating, with both areas well decorated with trendy, corner-street cafe decor. Black chalkboards with coloured chalk writing sprawled across and raw wood seem to be the main features of Paper Plane. 

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The raw wood continues inside the cafe with floor boards spread across the establishment and a tall wooden shelf stretching upwards from behind the counter. More chalkboards are pressed up against the back wall, offering a list of breakfast specials to all day breakfast items to their lunch dishes. One particular chalkboard features a ‘tip tally’, which is a fun tipping concept Paper Plane developed. 

Upon entering the cafe, the cool, grey wall is decorated with a white picket fence and a black bench propped with a stack of books and the daily newspaper. Yet vintage and trendy doesn’t stop there with Paper Plane. A steel-framed bicycle sits in front of the counter with lovely pot plants attached around it. 

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Paper Plane offers Numero Uno coffee, poured into adorable bright blue coffee cups. Whichever cup you’re in the mood for - cappuccino, flat white or latte - rest assured you’ll be served with a delicious smooth coffee that produces a strong, roasted aroma. This Picasso coffee blend supplied by Numero Uno, along with the generous cafe style dishes, landed Paper Plane in this year’s Sydney Morning Herald Good Cafe Guide. 

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(Source: katcakes)

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Strawberry Madeleines

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It’s funny how when you’re sick, you start to crave things that you probably wouldn’t normally eat if you were healthy. Take me and tea for example. I love coffee so much that I avoid tea unless I’m really sick and for some reason, tea tastes surprisingly delicious during this time. I was drinking black tea with honey and lemon and it was like the best thing ever. Even better than coffee. I feel really bad for saying that.

Well, after I got sick, so did my mum and she started to crave all sorts of fruits, one being strawberries. With two punnets in the fridge, I decided to take a few strawberries and use them in my baking.

So I didn’t get very creative this round of baking, but I’ve wanted to try and incorporate the strawberry flavour into madeleines. Plus, madeleines are incredibly easy to make (as I say every time I do make them) so I knew it wouldn’t be difficult to try and figure out how to put them in the batter.

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(Source: katcakes)

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Hazelnut and Nutella Skillet Brownies

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Okay, so lately I’ve been craving brownies because one time I was scrolling through my tumblr dashboard and for some reason, every single food blog I’m following on here was uploading pics of brownies AT THE SAME TIME. I don’t know if that was some sort of sign to convince me to make brownies, but hey, it worked and here I’ve finally satisfied my brownie craving with an individual skillet serving. 

On that note, my lovely friends gifted me with a set of four mini skillet pans for graduation. They came with pre-made packets of chocolate chip cookies and brownies, but I decided to test my own recipe to see if it would work. I’ve always wanted to use a skillet pan for baking, and now I finally have my own set to use. 

There is nothing like taking your favourite chocolate brownie recipe and dressing it up with familiar flavours and ingredients like Nutella and Hazelnuts. Part of coming up with this combination for the brownies was all a result of the inspiration that popped up on my Tumblr feed. A drizzle of Nutella and the scattering of hazelnuts over the top makes this individual skillet brownie hard to split between two, despite the ‘shared’ serving suggestion. 

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(Source: katcakes)

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Nok Nok Thai Eating Place, Darling Harbour

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There is something delightful about being able to sit and dine in among the restaurants stretching across the timber walk-boards located along Darling Quarter. Whether it be overlooking onto the people bustling on the pavements or the children playing opposite you on the playground, the energy around these open restaurant and cafes create an uplifting vibe and excitement influencing your decision to dine in. 

Among these restaurants is the modern Nok Nok Thai Eating House. It captures the attention of hungry customers with its bold characteristics of vibrant sun yellow walls and mirrors pressed up against all sides of the restaurant. From the floor to the top of the high ceiling, these mirrors are pressed with a repeated marble white diamond frame for extra visual aesthetics, where you’ll often catch yourself staring at your reflection as you admire these cut-outs. 

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The seating inside and the remainder of the restaurant’s atmosphere is constructed with a modern feel rather than one traditionally decorated with the typical Thai elements. A slight nature vibe is spread across the interior with pot plants dangling from above the booth seating and small trees sprouting from the centre of the picnic-style marble table that stretches down the middle of the restaurant. Leather brown seats contrast the sleek white interior, alongside the pops of leafy green again to reflect this natural ambience of the restaurant. Nok Nok welcomes both indoor and outdoor seating, with arrangements available for all group sizes. 

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(Source: katcakes)

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