Birthday CCU Undercover: Little Rock Cafe

NB: This post says it was posted on the 12th of August but it was the 13th in Australia :D

CCU woke up, a grin widening from ear to ear. She was 17, the big 1-7? Naah, just 17 :D – the big one would be coming in a year but she was so not going to think of that!
She didn’t feel different, nor did she feel particularly older but OMG, she was 17 and she felt very very excited :D :D :D

To celebrate son anniversaire, she [had her daddy ;)] treat her whole family to a wonderfully big and luscious breakfast. Toast dripping with butter, pancakes… what else could a girl want to turn 17 with???

*****************************************************************************

Yep, that’s right, it’s my 17th birthday today :D
Exciting, awesome and a little frightening (at the prospect of getting closer to 18) but hey, whatever right? Live in the moment thing happening right here no? :D

Anyway, as family tradition for any birthday, we all go out for dinner to a nice place. As you can see by my reviews, I have had more than enough dinners lately so I mixed it up a little and we all went out for a nice, local breakfast :)

In the neighbouring suburb to my own, a chilled out 15 minute drive, lies a small cafe which wafts the most amazing smell, be it breakfast or lunch. You can see why I wanted to go no?

It is so small, cosy and already the quality of food is evident when you see the fantastic array of cakes and muffins on display *birthday swoon!*

Can you believe that they prefer to have a booking on the weekends? Small it may be but unpopular it was not! Had we arrived only 10 or 15 minutes later, there would not have been space for 6 people! We were luckily seated and even though it was outside, the heater was very strong and warm to beat the August winds and the covering was sturdy. So many plusses!

Now we got to ordering. Drinks first of course! My grandparents and parents, being the adults they are, of course opted for the as-large-as-they-can-get cappuccinos. According to all, they were perfectly hot and with a beautiful flavour. I just love how it looks :)

Large Cappuccino ($4.30)

Another thing that I love the look of was my own drink, the Vienna Chocolate. No, not hot chocolate. Way too low class :P – I mean seriously, can’t you see I am sophisticated now, a grown up? Geez, I don’t want marshmallows anymore!

*Everything in italics is a big fat lie! :P – who could ever be too old for marshmallows?

Regular Vienna Chocolate ($4)

Anyway, getting back to the review, it was beautifully presented and I loved the flavour of the chocolate itself. I did however have an issue with them using the totally artificial tasting canned whipped cream on top and the chocolate itself barely burnt my tongue. Just a bit hotter would have been tonnes better, especially in the biting cold!

Next, we got served. Literally :D
My dad was the only meaty man of the day, and ordered the typical big breakfast with perfectly cooked sausages and crispy bacon, nestled alongside the classics like hash browns and buttery scrambled eggs.

Bacon, Eggs, Sausage & Mushroom served w/ grilled tomato, toast & hash brown – dad chose the eggs to be scrambled ($17.90)

My brother and Baba (grandpa) got the big vegetarian breakfast, which looked absolutely incredible. I loved the addition of avocado to it, as my mum pointed out, it was so well rounded and the perfect breakfast to kick off the day with – protein, carbs, good fat and vegetables! According to my brother, the avocado worked perfectly with the other delicious components such as the butter sautéed mushrooms and roasted tomato. My Mumma (grandma), shared with Baba and they also ordered an extra side of thick cut toast. Yum right?

Vegetarian Big Breakfast – Eggs (both chose scrambled), mushrooms, hashbrowns, grilled tomato, avocado, baby english spinach with toast ($15.90)

Speaking of thick cut toast… ma and I shared two dishes. Let me talk of the toast first, which was fantastic, and the best dish second! (telling you what? That it is better than fantastic? You bet it was :D)

2 Slices Thick Cut Toast w/ Jam or Spread – Thick Country Style ($3.50)

The toast is actually thick cut. Not semi-thick, not fat as a loaf, but perfect. White bread as it was a special occasion, slathered in butter, it really did not get better.

But then it did. We ordered one serve traditional pancakes, minus the whipped cream, with vanilla ice cream and maple syrup. Oh. Wow. These pancakes stole the show and were the apple of my eye for this breakfast. They were SO super fluffy, it is NOT even funny. This fluffiness worked in such a way that it soaked up the syrup. And then it became a delicious, slightly soggy, fluffcake. Doused in more maple syrup. Heaven…

Pancakes served w/ Maple syrup or jam, whipped cream, vanilla ice cream ($8.90)

Seriously this was definitely a birthday brekkie to remember :D
Thanks family of mine, love you guys to bits!!!

General Information

  • Friendly service, pretty efficient, though my mum’s second order for a coffee was forgotten (it seems to be a theme of forgetting the second drink, something all restaurants should work on!)
  • Water was provided without asking, cutlery was given :)
  • I think napkins on each table (extra) would be a nice touch

    They did have salt and pepper though :D
    And sugar too!

Rating: 8/10

Booking: Recommended on weekends

Address & Contact Details

Shop 101, Stockland Mall
375-383 Windsor Road
Baulkham Hills, 2153
NSW

Phone Number: 9639 4446

Little Rock Cafe on Urbanspoon

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Now, what is a birthday without a birthday cake right? Well, we did have a cake. My lovely grandparents very generously bought me home, 1 week early, a HUGE chocolate mudcake from Michel’s Patisserie, topped with ganache and beautiful white chocolate shells. I would have taken a picture of it but I was a little preoccupied with eating it…

But I am borrowing my neighbour, PDS’s photo, of when I gave her slice when we were studying together – Neighbour perks for the win :D

So then I was definitely going to make another cake for my birthday. And I couldn’t make something chocolatey because

a)  My family is slightly anti-chocolate
b)  I had just about eaten an entire mudcake over the week (but who gains weight when there is a treadmill… I mean… birthday magic ;))

So I decided upon this crispy, delectable, spice filled, caramel flowing, nutty apple strudel. You heard me. Sounds like quite a treat right? :)
Yes, yes the flaky delicious golden puff pastry was not made by me BUT WATCH OUT, because when I get some proper time, that is my next quest ;)

When heated up, the caramel adds a whole new sweet dimension and you fall in love with the concept of a strudel all over again my friends, I promise you!

Caramel Apple Strudel
Adapted from: Beyond Kimchee

Serves: 8-10

Ingredients

  • 2 sheets puff pastry, room temperature (I had mine out 5 minutes from the fridge and it was fine, and this is in winter!)
  • 4 pink lady apples, peeled and cored
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 3 tbs white sugar
  • Few drops lemon juice
  • 2 tbs orange zest
  • 2 tbs flour/cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup caramel chips
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbs golden syrup
  • 2 tbs bread crumbs
  • 1 egg + milk/melted butter (for brushing)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees C
  2. Chop apples into small pieces (I left mine a little bit, next time smaller) – need to have 2 cups of chopped apple
  3. Mix together apple, spices, white sugar, zest, lemon juice and flour – set aside for 20 minutes so that the apples can release their juices
  4. In a separate bowl, combine nuts, chips, brown sugar, syrup and bread crumbs
  5. Roll out the puff pastries to make it as thin as possible (approximately 10 inches by 12 inches) – be very generous in how much you flour your bench, hands and rolling pin
  6. Sprinkle half the nut mixture in a column near the middle of one pastry and top generously with apple mixture
  7. Lift up the front side of the pastry and cover the apples and then start rolling all the way
  8. Pinch the ends and tuck underneath. Repeat with the remaining pastry and mixture
  9. Place both logs on a baking sheet with baking paper on it, seams down
  10. Brush the top with chosen wash.
  11. Slit a few holes to allow steam to escape
  12. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until pastry is golden brown – serve warm as desired with cream/ ice cream/both :D

Notes

  • If you can, keep the pastry at room temperature inside an airtight container because the fridge makes the pastry soggy and not as crisp – this is a good method for up to 2 days
  • To reheat, preheat oven to 190 degrees C, cover with foil and bake for 10-15 minutes – remove the foil carefully (very hot) and serve
  • The caramel may leak out of the pastry and that is ok but it is boiling hot so be careful taking the strudels out of the oven

Et voila, my birthday ‘cake’ :D
Have a wonderful week to all! Also, this is my BIRTHDAY POST PART 1: Why? Because, I haven’t celebrated with mes amis yet… stay tuned ;)

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148 Comments

  1. Karen says:

    Sorry that my birthday wish is belated. I know you must have had a wonderful day. You are such a sweet young woman that we have all gotten to know and admire for not only your baking skills but your kind and thoughtful comments on our blogs. Happy, Happy Birthday even though it is late.

  2. thelady8home says:

    Happy belated birthday Uru! I am so sorry I am late in wishing you!

    This is possibly the best year to be in – not an adult, so no real responsibilities, yet almost an adult, with all the sensibilities. Yes, it’s great to be 17 :D

    And you are a Leo too! I love Leo people, the gorgeous, mighty, roaring and rocking people.

    And what a terrific review – you make simple toast look something exotic. Loved it. I did skip the recipe though as apples and I don’t talk to each other.

    • Thank you so much my friend for your wishes – no responsibilities? Hmmm I need to talk to my mum ;)
      I’m so glad you enjoyed the review and you and apples are not friends??? Ok you can make an all caramel strudel :D

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

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  4. Aw, Happy 17th Birthday Uru!!! Gosh I wish I am 17 again.. oh scary I’m like plus 20 years Grrrrrr…. Being young is good. ;-) I love your undercover series. I love to check what people are eating. =P And I’m gong to try your Caramel Apple Strudel. I usually make with just apple, but I think I deserve to indulge with little more sweetness in it. :D Hope you have a wonderful year Uru. Hugs!

  5. Happy “17th” Birthday to you, CCU!!! It really is a special time in your life, so enjoy every minute! Looks like you’re off to a good start with that breakfast…delicious looking!!
    Your Apple strudel looks incredible…totally yummy served with that ice cream!!

  6. Becky says:

    Uru,
    Happy Belated 17th B-day. Looks like your b-day breakfast was a smash! and your chocolate Mudcake cake was amazing, too. You have the same b-day as my Mom, and Gina, SP Cookie Queen. You are in very good company.

    I can’t believe that you are only 17. Your baking prowess belies your years. I could be Grandma, and I have never even made apple strudel. I need to change that:) Have a great B-/day year!

  7. aidaweb101 says:

    OMG!I’ve just realised that we share the same birthday!!!!
    Aaallll the best to you ,my friend!I had a great 17th and I hope
    that you did too!!!I You are an awesome girl and the best cook!
    Love from Aida.
    Cheers!

    • Aaaah, you’re an August 13-er too? SO COOL :D
      HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
      And same age too? Sisters from different.. countries… ok so I will work on it :P
      So glad you had a good one!
      And thank you so much!

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

  8. Ambreen says:

    Happy belated birthday, best wishes for the year ahead! Lovely breakfast, that’s a great way to enjoy your 17th birthday. And the apple strudel looks super irresistible :)

  9. HAPPY BIRTHDAY :) So sorry i’m a bit late! WOO HOO Sweet 17!!! Gosh i feel so old hehe hope you had an amazing day! This looks like a great cafe to visit and i love love love thick THICK TOAST hehe ENJOY! xox

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  11. grace says:

    apfelstrudel makes me swoon, and that’s all there is to it. lovely! meanwhile, the highlight of your breakfast plates for me was that generous portion of perfect avocado!

  12. Jennie says:

    Happy Birthday, Uru!!! It looks like you had an amazing birthday celebration. You’re never to old for marshmallows… ever!

    This strudel looks amazing, and I am totally drooling as I’m reading the recipe.

  13. Happy Birthday, girl! This strudel looks overwhelmingly delicious; and so did your previous recipe, Maple Berry Coconut Skillet Cobbler! Great recipes to welcome autumn or to relax after an excruciatingly hot summer day. Greetings from Pittsburgh! :)

  14. kyleen says:

    HAPPPPPY SEVENTEENTH. Damn, I know exactly how you felt. I’m seventeen and a half right now and I’m kind of scared about turning eighteen. Eighteen sounds so old, but to think that seventeen is a mere six months away freaks me out. I still feel like a baby sometimes!

    Celebrating with food? DEFINITELY the way to go. All that food looks so scrumptious!

  15. Eva Taylor says:

    Happy Birthday CCU…oh to be 17 again. No, I take that back, I like the age that I am.Your birthday breakfast sounds great, what a nice little place to have reasonably close to you (15 minutes is not bad). The scrambled eggs looked amazing, so fluffy and creamy.
    The chocolate mud cake certainly looks like a celebratory dish…but I have to say my favourite is your Strudel; the addition of the caramel chips would just take it over the top. My Mom used to always add walnuts to her apple strudel recipe (she used phyllo pastry instead of puff pastry which I think is more Germanic). I will have to keep the caramel in mind next time I bake strudel. Thanks!

  16. Swathi says:

    Happy birthday, it is sweet seventeen, enjoy as much as possible. Once become older, you will be busy with lot of things, not time to do anything. I like your restaurant review, your streudel looks beautiful and delicious. Love that cake. too.

  17. applec says:

    I just love those little cafes with all the tempting pastries. What I like most is being able to resist and enjoying a wonderful breakfast of eggs and toast. It makes me feel so much healthier ;)

    That apple strudel recipe is to die for! So good!

  18. Ridwan says:

    Have a great birthday to you sweet seventeen :) I was,,,long,,long time ago :) great way to celebrate birthday with yummy-lycious breakfast foods, I love that Viena chocolate mmm with whiped cream even better :)

  19. Lisa at fLVE says:

    Omg! Happy Birthday Week and Month! Woohoo! You only turn 17 once…enjoy it!!! Now I feel very old. Lol.
    Slightly off key, but singing anyway, “Happy Birthday to you, happy brithday to you, happy brithday to C.C.U. Happy Birthday to U! :)

  20. Tisa says:

    Happy, happy birthday, beautiful Uru. How did I miss it? Congratulations on turning 17, girlie! Hope your day was a fantastic one. I’m sure you’ll achieve all that you’ve set out to be (and more) and be proud of the things you’ve done so far. Looking at this blog how can you not pat your wonderful self on the back each day ;-)) Keep on pressing on! And, of course, the strudel looks great. Would be a perfect fit for my anti- chocolate husband ;))

  21. lynabelles says:

    Uru! Wow turning 17, a great big delicious breakfast, and a hearty dessert! What more could a girl ask for! Happy birthday may you have 17 more, and another 17 after, and another, and another! I wish you all the best my dear friend, have an awesome year ahead! :)

  22. OMG! Happy Birthday!! I can’t believe you are only 17! I completely keep forgetting and think you are way older than your years (that’s a compliment ;) !) I can’t believe also that you come from a family of anti chocolate! You have so many amazing chocolate yummies on your blog. But I have to say, the apple strudel looks so amazing. I will have to make this for a special occasion!
    Have a great 17th year! :)

  23. I hope you enjoy every last minute of being 17! Looks like you had a great breakfast with your family. Now that is what I call a LARGE cappuccino — I can’t imagine the caffeine rush after drinking one of those babies.

  24. Happy Birthday, Uru! What a special breakfast! That apple streudel looks amazing. I do believe I would have had THAT for my birthday breakfast. Yup. Put a candle in it. Enjoy every minute of 17. Every single second :)

  25. Suzie says:

    Happy belated birthday! All the breakfasts look so good. I haven’t been out for breakfast in a long time, I need to go. Your strudel looks amazing. I hope you had a great birthday, it’s sounds as though you did :)

  26. Annie says:

    Wow!! Happy birthday, girl! I barely remember 17 ;-). Breakfast is a lovely way to celebrate, but I’m looking forward to the bash with your friends! xoxo

  27. hotlyspiced says:

    What a fabulous assortment of food. Happy birthday Uru and I’m glad you had a great celebration. How lovely to be taken to breakfast with all your family. The servings are enormous so I’m quite sure no one left hungry xx

  28. Starr says:

    Happy Birthday CCU!… Pancakes with ice cream is definitely something I’m going to have to try, and your strudel looks divine. Seems like you had a perfectly delicious birthday :-D

  29. Happy, happy birthday! (You still have a bit over 2 hours left here.) Looks like a fab day with a yummy start… and I can’t wait to try the puff pastry recipe! I have some chilling in my freezer as we speak!

  30. Ramona says:

    Happy Birthday my friend!! I hope you had fabulous birthday and wishing you a wonderful year ahead!! The meal out looked wonderful and the apple strudel looks spectacular!! Well done. You have done such a lovely job on your blog and I can’t wait to see what you come up with before you turn 18!

  31. Man, I never would have guessed that you’re only now turning 17- You’re still just a young pup! ;) Lucky though, since you have such a bright future ahead of you. Hope you have a very happy, and of course very delicious, birthday!

  32. Happy Birthday – may you many more wonderful birthdays. I was depressed when I turned 30 and after that 40 and 50 were a breeze. Haha!! The pastry looks naughty but nice! I’m sure making pastry will be a breeze for you.

  33. HaPpY HaPpY BiRtHdAy Uru!!! Another great review and it looks like you had quite the celebration. From the Vienna Chocolate to the pancakes and Mudcake and your beautiful apple strudel! I wish you a very happy and healthy year and many many more to come! When you turn 18, though….I think we should throw you a big virtual birthday bash! : )

    • Thank you so much my friend and thank you for thinking so sweetly for me :D
      A birthday virtual bash? You really are a sweetheart :)
      I would love to throw you one too!

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

  34. Everything looks so delicious and amazing!!

    AND AHHHHH HAPPY BIRTHDAY HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love that you’re scared of 18. I’m totally terrified of the impending 23, though. Because…then…I’ll be almost in my mid twentiiiies, blechhhh

  35. viveka says:

    Happy Birthday … what a great review and post. Pity is it too far away for me to try out. Apple strudels one of my favorite desserts – one of my mentor Chef’s made the best in the world without any doubts, he are dead since 6 years now. Still do you micro wave French toast.

  36. Balvinder says:

    Happy Birthday My Guru Uru! At your age a cake is necessary. I celebrated my birthday during my weekend vacation without a birthday cake.

    Your crunchy apple strudel looks so professional. I can understand why your family is so anti chocolate. With advancing age your habits do get change,though I love eating a piece of chocolate everyday.

  37. Happy happy birthday! 17 was one of my favorite years as a young person – it even sounds lovely saying it, “Seventeen”. I love the review (I’m going to figure out a way to make eggs and avocadoes now!) and the pastry has given me something to make next time I make vanilla ice cream! Wonderful post!

  38. Enjoy your 17th birthday, CCU. You’ll be 18 all too soon, then almost 67 like me!! No, I’m not laughing. I love hearing about all your family’s eating-out adventures. A question, though. The prices (not just today’s) seem very high compared to what I’m used to here in the Southern Tier of New York State. Are you eating at high end restaurants or are those reasonable prices for Australia? I’m sure you gave your grandparents huge hugs and kisses for that amazing, early b’day cake they brought you. It sounds so-o good and aren’t you lucky no one loves chocolate as much as you, which means you got to eat most of it. Whew… Happy birthday, again, CCU!

    • Thank you my friend, very much :P
      And yes, time will go by quickly which is why I enjoy every moment right now :D
      The prices are actually much higher in Australia :S, though I cannot say why, so yes, this is actually considered very reasonable :P
      I did give my grandparents a huge kiss and hug and they knew exactly what I was looking for! :)

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

  39. A_Boleyn says:

    Congratulations on reaching the ripe old age of 18. :)

    Unfortunately, with the advanced years, my metabolism slowed down and I couldn’t keep indulging in the tasty desserts and pastries that I got spoiled with when I was a young ‘un. Just a word to the wise. :) My SIL celebrated her b’day on Saturday (she’s 2 years older than I am) but we still had a great Lebanese meal including desserts today so I guess you still have to treat yourself on special occasions.

  40. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! The Caramel Apple Strudel looks amazing, but how can anyone be anti chocolate? I just had a bunch of chocolate and yes, I can reconfirm that it’s amazing :P Cafes >>> Restaurants any day. Stiff restaurants aren’t really my scene, but bakeries and cafes are adorable :)

  41. Happy BIrthday, CCU! You were an awesome sixteen-year-old and now you are going to be an awesome seventeen-year-old. Love the caramel apple strudel — now is the perfect time for apple desserts in California with the first apples just in.

  42. Happy Happy Birthday!! 17 wow, I think I remember my 17th birthday (a very long time ago) Your breakfast feast and cake and strudel are mouthwateringly delicious, made me terribly hungry just seeing your pics and reading the description of each dish. Congratulations on turning 17, you are wise beyond your years and very accomplished. Best wishes!! Can’t wait to see and read what happens on your 18th!!

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