CCU Undercover: Trip To Bowral

Just a reminder before beginning this post to go and enter my international giveaway in my last post πŸ˜€

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

CCU yawned, all relaxed and invigorated after her much-too-long…. I suppose you could call it a holiday…. slightly πŸ˜‰
Her stomach rumbled and she thought to herself, ‘how long had it been since she had visited a decent place?’

She swung out of bed, and just while brushing her teeth, she decided that, being sick of the whole city scene she was so used to and to appease her growling stomach, she would take a visit to the countryside… Little did she know she would be visiting more than one decent trip…

*Warning: This post has a considerable amount of scrolling involved πŸ™‚

review title
*****************************************************************************

Bowral is a very quaint, cute and lovely tourist town 115km south-west of Sydney. It is a beautiful town, with friendly people, lots of cafes and restaurants and is most popular for its tulips and Bradman Museum. The fact that the day was so beautiful with an ocean blue sky also helped set the mood πŸ™‚

bowral trip 1
Honestly, it reminds me of those old 1950s towns, where everyone knows your name. The people are generally very friendly and the atmosphere is so relaxing, away from the city life and suburbia of Sydney. I can see why it is a
top notch place to retire, though I have no imminent plans for that right now, I promise you πŸ˜‰

I love this old fashioned fire truck :D

I love this old fashioned fire truck πŸ˜€

We were lucky enough to have a Labour Day holiday on Monday, and even though this is one of those political holidays I have no understanding about, all I know is is that it got my daddy a day off work and allowed us to pack up and drive over to Bowral for a day trip (that is 2 hours of solid freeway driving for me :D)

Our first stop was one of the most famous bakeries in Australia. Yep, that’s right, I am driving distance from one helluva bakery πŸ˜€
I remember the first time I went, all I could think of was ‘Is it possible to even receive that many awards?’ – obviously, if you are good enough, which this bakery is, it is πŸ˜€

bowral trip 3
Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce, The Gumnut Patisserie. Unpretentious, cute and relatively small considering how popular it is, with a line extending to the outside and limited seating. If you want it you gotta fight for it πŸ˜‰

This patisserie has become very established, as you can see, it is like the Jack Nicholson of pastry shops. Award, after award, after award. And with good reason, great reason. Look at what they have to offer:

bowral trip 4

Yum much?

Yum much?

*drools*

*drools*

I can only dream of ever working at a place with so much talent, let alone running it – these bakers are absolutely incredible and I wonder how anyone can hold even a finger up to their standards!

I would like to think that considering it was established in 1995, the year of my birth, I had something to do with it though πŸ˜‰

Anyway, moving along, so what to order with so many scrumptious choices right? (Unfortunately, I cannot remember the prices and the receipt is long gone!)

My parents, who had gone a full 2 hours without a coffee, were falling asleep on their feet so they ordered their coffees – “Extra large cappuccino, skim milk and extra hot please!” πŸ˜‰

bowral trip 7
It was hot, molten, flavoursome liquid which seeped down their throats and enlivened their senses. Also known as damn good πŸ˜€

Considering we all arrived at morning tea time, we were pretty peck-ish and each ordered our own little dessert, showing how utterly ridiculously decadent my family was being (not me) considering they would never even dream of doing this on a ‘normal day’ πŸ˜‰

Dad ordered the date scone. It was not even warmed (need to request that) and came only with butter but it was so soft, crumby and delicious, that my daddy swooned anyway πŸ™‚

bowral trip 8
On heavy persuasion by yours truly, mum acquiesced to eating a miniΒ pecan tart, one of her most guilty pleasures due to its sugary nature. She ate half, I helped her out with the rest (sue me ;)). The pastry was sweet and buttery and worked very well with the delicious filling which was not abundant with pecans, only moderate quantity. The filling was dripping with the flavour of golden syrup and had a silky texture πŸ™‚

bowral trip 9
Moi? I have been on quite the macaron kick lately, so opted for a salted caramel macaron because when I hear the words ‘salted caramel’, I DO NOT say no πŸ˜€

It had a perfect crack and then soft, moist inner which melted in your mouth, especially when combined with the sweet caramel filling πŸ˜€

Heaven in my palm!

bowral trip 10
After the bakery experience of a lifetime :D, we headed on over to the wonders of the Tulip Festival, which is an annual event during the beginnings of Spring in Bowral πŸ˜€

The sun was shining, there was so much vibrancy because of the number of people there and it was the last day for the festival so we got very lucky without a doubt πŸ˜€

Here are some amateur shots I took of the gardens. I wish I couldΒ  put an album up for you because I have never seen such a beautiful array of flowers in my life before! I may not have the willpower to garden (and have a phobia of bugs) but can certainly appreciate them!

bowral trip 11
bowral trip 12
bowral trip 13
bowral trip 14
bowral trip 15
bowral trip 16
bowral trip 17
bowral trip 18
Fresh fruits were also abundant meaning we had to try some of the fresh juices available!

bowral trip 19
Mum and dad shared the most delicious orange juice I have ever had in my life, churned from one of those cute… old machines πŸ˜€

bowral trip 20
Despite the awesome sunshine and obvious bit of Spring heat, I went down the warmed mulled [non-alcoholic] spiced apple cider track and died and went to heaven. In love with life….

bowral trip 212
Lazed around the gardens some more, visited the various stalls set up around… it felt like magic and I can’t believe you could feel so much happiness just from seeing flowers…

bowral trip 22
bowral trip 23
bowral trip 24
I love the idea of green and black flowers because you never ever see them…

bowral trip 25
After an hour of getting in touch with our inner selves, no doubt we needed some lunch. And being in Bowral, away from the fumes or whatever, we knew the food would taste fresher, and basically, WAY more delicious than in Sydney. Seriously, whenever we get away from highly urbanised communities the food tastes better. Go figure πŸ˜‰

For lunch, we stopped by a cute little cafe, going by the name of Palate Pleasure Cafe. I call it small but it is quite established throughout Australia for its exquisite tasting dishes which are simple palate delights πŸ˜€

It is loud, bustling with activity, people and a fine looking, young waiter with an incredible tattoo down his calf. Oops…. not meant to be looking there πŸ˜‰

bowral trip 26
We were seated easily, which is lucky considering we saw one woman basically run like she had a rabid dog on her heels to get a table! A waiter immediately knew of new arrivals (I have no idea how with the bustle) and casually handed us out our menus. Again, I love how there is a lack of pretentiousness, even though obviously there is a high level of popularity here πŸ˜€ – such welcoming ambience!

We order quickly, menus taken and I am amazed that even with the level of laid-backness in the atmosphere, how fast the cutlery is provided and orders are taken πŸ™‚

***Sorry for some poor pictures ahead, the lighting was utterly awful!

First up come the drinks.

I order my staple Strawberry Thickshake ($6.05 + 50c extra because it is a thickshake) and it is cool, tall and very refreshing. I love how it has such a strong flavour πŸ˜€

bowral trip 27
Dad orders a simple Coke ($3.85) which goes perfectly with his meal to come πŸ˜€

bowral trip 28
Next come out the big guns, the food πŸ˜€ I have to say they were a little limited in vegetarian options but it was certainly not reducing us to bread and water πŸ˜‰

My dad firstly ordered a huge dose of good ol’ Fish & Chips – Beer Battered flathead fillets, fries, tartare sauce, garden salad ($18.50). I can’t say but he claims that the fish was perfectly crispy and delicious with the refreshing tartare sauce. I loved how the garden salad was such a great mix of vegetables as opposed to the usual πŸ˜€ – It certainly satisfied his craving!

bowral trip 29
My meal was one I had never tried before, and it was a little risky considering I try the most to avoid lentils and vegetables in general πŸ˜€

I got the Spicy Sweet Potato & Lentil Burger – A no bun lentil burger (also known as a lentil patty ;)), mixed salad, avocado, sweet chilli sauce, minted yoghurt and grilled haloumi cheese ($18.40). Admittedly, I refused the cheese and avocado since we are not friends but the rest of this meal was incredible. The burger had a rich undertone of lentil flavour which enhanced the vegetables scattered throughout it. I LOVED the yoghurt-sweet chilli sauce combo and the mixed salad was indeed a delicious concoction of random sautΓ©ed vegetables such as squash and zucchini amidst rocket. Very classy and very delicious πŸ˜€

bowral trip 30
Lastly, mum with her ‘I am healthy’, goes for the Chicken Deli Salad (of course without the chicken which is a vegetarian option available :D) – Wood fired ciabatta, mixed leaves, grilled chicken tenderloins, avocado, oven roasted vegetables, Danish feta, mayonnaise, basil pesto ($18.70). Her meal is a ridiculously delicious smelling and wonderful looking platter generously piled high and it is a wonder I am not digging into it myself πŸ˜€ – who knew vegetables could be so alluring? Mum also orders a Bowl of fries and tomato sauce ($6.50) because that is her Achilles heel πŸ˜‰

bowral trip 31
And that is one hearty meal polished off πŸ˜€

And one hearty day as well πŸ˜€ – we did go shopping and mooching around as well as finished off our day with yet another coffee and afternoon snack but since the cakes were so good, we ate them, forgetting to take pictures πŸ˜‰

Let me just say that when I go to Bowral again, said cafe will be reviewed, no worries about that. And yes, I am definitely going to Bowral again πŸ˜‰

bowral trip 32
I did manage to take a shot of the box of handmade chocolates we bought from this cafe… suffice to say these prove the quality of the shop πŸ˜€

So places visited:

  1. Gumnut Patisserie
  • Shop 7 Grand Arcade
    Bong Bong Street
    Bowral NSW 2576
  • Phone #: 4862 2819
  1. Palate Pleasure Cafe (they do catering!)
  • Shop 1-3/ 350
    Bong Bong Street
    Bowral NSW 2576
  • Phone #: 4861 7411

I definitely recommend heading down for a trip to this town, it is gorgeous πŸ˜€

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

I was inspired by Bowral. It did so much just by highlighting the simple pleasures of life. I mean, I like complex, hustling and everyday life but it is nice to get away sometimes and just relax.

weekend cake 1
This cake is the epitome of relax. It is even named appropriately. Takes ten minutes to whip up, one TV show to bake and one second to eat πŸ˜€

Soft, light and scrumptious, it is slightly spongey and very delicious due to the light lemon flavour, which would be more pronounced of course if you add the icing.

I followed the recipe almost to the T and it was just about perfect to cool your heels in the sand with and enjoy cloud watching πŸ˜€

weekend cake 2
Enjoy my friends (all changes + suggestions are bolded)

Weekend Cake
Source: Le Cordon Bleu (The Original Masterclass): Cakes

Ingredients:

  • 60g butter, unsalted
  • 180g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • Finely grated rind of 3 lemons (or 2 large oranges or 3 mandarins)
  • 230g caster (white) sugar
  • 100ml double (thickened) cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp rum Β – subbed in vanilla essence
  • 100g icing sugar (icing mixture)
  • Few drops lemon juice

Method:

Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 170 degree C. Line a loaf tin 18x8x6.5 cm then grease it and dust with flour (I just lined the tin)
  2. In a small pan, gently melt the butter over low heat. Remove the pan from heat and allow the butter to become cold while still remaining liquid.
  3. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, lemon rind, rum and a pinch of salt
  5. Pour wet mixture (excluding butter) into dry mixture and mix quickly with a wooden spoon until the batter is smooth
  6. Stir in the butter
    weekend cake 5
  7. Immediately pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 40-50 minutes or until the cake springs back when lightly touched and a skewer inserted comes out clean
  8. Allow the cake to cool in the tin then carefully turn out. Pull away the paper from the cake sides

Icing

  1. Fill a small pan of water one-third full of water and bring to the boil then remove from heat
  2. Sift the icing sugar into a heatproof bowl, stir in 20ml of water and a few drops of lemon juice to taste – at this point the icing should be thick coat consistency
  3. The icing will thin as it gets hotter so place the bowl over the pan of hot wat for 1-2 minutes
  4. When the mixture is warm, brush over the cake and leave to let set and dry
  5. Keep the cake in an airtight container for 3-4 days (otherwise refrigerate up to a week)

weekend cake 8
Yes, we did omit the icing but certainly not flavour. And we kicked of our shoes, let down our hair and enjoyed nice wholesome cake πŸ˜€
Hope you all have wonderful weeks (half way there!)

Blog Signature

Advertisements

87 Comments

  1. Denise says:

    You have a future in writing travel aritcles or guides! It was like a little vacation for me! Such a cute town and I love the bakery and lunch and of course, the flowers!! What a nice day!! I am glad your family got to have a break from city life. And now, I am off on a real vacation to South Dakota! You got to see beautiful colored flowers of spring and I will go see beautiful colored leaves of fall πŸ™‚

  2. Debbie Pearce says:

    Lovely to hear how much you enjoyed the Tulip festival and your visit to Bowral, hopefully you’ll come again soon! Debbie (Event Coordinator Tourism Southern Highlands)

  3. Tisa says:

    Love this- all this sights, sounds and tastes- you’re a walking, blogging advertisement for some very good eats, girlie! Adore the cake recipe too, I’m sure it was great with or without the icing. Great post Uru :))

  4. tmc says:

    I’m actually a waiter at palate pleasure cafe, thank you for your great review! Great to read it from a customers perspective and happy to hear your time was a good one down at bowral. I actually had monday off myself but your waiters name was “matt” haha πŸ˜›

    • I am so glad you enjoyed it πŸ˜€
      Definitely want lots of people to visit your cafe, it rocks! Would have been awesome to meet you but am feeling slightly embarrassed you know Matt πŸ˜‰ – I blame my 17 year old hormones more than anything πŸ˜›

      Cheers
      CCU

  5. Parsley Sage says:

    Looks like you had a fantastic day trip with the Fam. Wise decision going with the salted caramel macaron…that sounds EPIC! And the tulip festival looks like so much fun. Green flowers! Who knew?

  6. Awww what a fantastic trip, Uru!!! I loved the photos and didn’t mind the scrolling a bit…everything looks delicious especially that cake! This is my kind of holiday! and not too far from home πŸ˜‰

    xoxo,
    Tammy<3

  7. bakerbynature says:

    What an inspiring post! I love taking trips (I’m actually heading to the airport in just a few hours!), and your exploring has be extra pumped to do my own.

  8. libishski says:

    I’m a huge cricket fan so the Bradman factor would definitely be a big enough incentive for me to visit. Not so much my bf who doesn’t understand nor like cricket, though. That said, I think I can convince him by telling him about this pastry cafe – YUM!

  9. Yay you got to get to Bowral! Looks like you had a really awesome day! I’ll have to put the Palate Pleasure Cafe on my list for next time! So disappointed I missed the Tulip Festival – my favourite flavour! Your pictures are stunning!

  10. Oh, CCU, I’ve missed being here!! When I started reading your post, I was certain you’d written this: “how long had it been since she had visited a DECADENT place?” lol, and you didn’t disappoint me in the least! What a lovely bakery, if only we had one like that near me!! xx

  11. Your lunch looks amazing! As does your mom’s pecan tart! OMG, me and pecan pie? It’s a thing. Anywho, this is waaaaaaaaay in advance, but I just wanted to let you know that I’d love to have you do a Christmas (or holiday season, if you don’t celebrate!) in Australia guest post for me this December, if you feel like it πŸ™‚ No worries if you’re busy/don’t want to!

    xx,
    LLE

    • Oh that sounds absolutely gorgeous πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€
      I will have to find a guestpost worthy for Christmas time but if my exams are ok and all, I will definitely try to get a guestpost for you! I am actually on holidays during Christmas so close to New Year?

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

  12. Alex says:

    The scrolling was absolutely worth it: you must have had such a great time! I’ve “favourited” the post, so I’ll do your cake later. It looks great!

  13. Kimby says:

    CCU, thanks for the “flowergram” πŸ˜‰ — loved seeing the colors and varieties at the tulip garden. The black flowers you photographed were amazing, too! I also enjoyed tagging along as you taste-tested your way through Bowral. Mmmmm… (and I wasn’t referring to the waiter, lol!) I truly didn’t expect dessert on top of an already great post, but your lovely lemon cake took the cake!

  14. Suzie says:

    Sounds like a wonderful day trip. We have a city in MIchigan called Holland, they too have fields and fields of tulips in the spring it’s so gorgeous. Loved the flowers, the food and the virtual tour πŸ™‚

  15. Saguna says:

    Such a picturesque place; sounds like you had fun! I would’ve… especially if such a cool patisserie was in town! Loving the cake too! I need some cute bundt pans now!

  16. kitchenriffs says:

    Your warning about a lot of scrolling was spot-on! But it was worth it – sounds like a great time, and most important you had lots to see and eat. What more could you want? (Especially the eating part!). Good stuff – thanks.

  17. thelady8home says:

    You know my idea of a perfect life? Live in Australia from October to March and then come live in US for the rest of the months. Wouldn’t that be just PertFecto!!!

    The flowers are so gorgeous, and what a quaint beautiful town. Reminds me of some perky little towns in California punctuated with petit cafes and a bustling junta.

    Love that cake. I would love a slice with some hot chocolate right now. So much sugar…..yummm…

  18. Kate says:

    Looks like a lovely little journey and well worth it for those pastries. They sound marvelous! Here it’s getting colder and colder (and rainy…yuck!) , into pumpkin season it’s so interesting to see your opposite season with all those beautiful tulips and sunshine and lemons. Just beautiful! Your cake sounds absolutely fresh and delightful!

  19. Thanks for a lovely post, Uru. How interesting! Sounds like you had a wonderful time. I have never been Australia, but we almost emigrated there ironically. I have a nephew who lives in Perth. Maybe one day we will visit. The day looked absolutely perfect. Interesting to see something in that bakery display – miel hojas is what we call the dessert here in the tropics and it is a favorite! (Big slabs of dessert with white icing and some brown on it in a pattern)

    • You would love Australia my friend, I think it would be perfect visit πŸ˜€
      Pop on over to Sydney and say hi πŸ˜‰
      Miel Hojas sounds absolutely delicious!

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

  20. Ramona says:

    That town looks quaint and beautiful. I wanted to try all your treats… especially the mulled spiced apple cider. Loved all the tulips too. I always have to remind myself that you are in spring now.. not fall. πŸ™‚ Love the cake.. it looks moist and delicious. πŸ™‚

  21. Promenade Claire says:

    A great day out my friend! I was wondering how you could make such a quick choice in the bakery, I know I would have struggled in the face of so many tantalizing choices. and wow happy to see tulips and greenery making an entrance on CCU πŸ™‚

  22. Love this Uru! I’m yet to visit Bowral and I should get out and enjoy the sights. The gumnut bakery I’ve certainly heard of and I believe they’re a multiple award winner too. How fantastic to know there are still old fashioned country bakers out there to explore πŸ™‚

  23. What a post! What a fabulous weekend you and your family had. I love the “food centric” experience if it because that would be the same for us. That macaron looks pretty incredible. And the tulip festival to enjoy seemed just lovely!

  24. navane64 says:

    Amazing pictures and I love all the flowers. What an outing with your dad and the desserts are all superb. I will also go for the large cup of cappuccino. Having been to Perth few months ago, its sort of bring back memories of my time roaming in the bakeries though I enjoyed looking all the spread but as usual, desserts don’t trill me.

  25. petit4chocolatier says:

    Delicious post and I love your writing! Love the pictures and especially the bakery and the box of homemade chocolates!

  26. What a wonderfully interesting post — I read every word (and marveled at the expense of your lunch). You are one very talented girl and if you set your mind to it–I think you can do anything –I would suggest that you get a job at that award studded bakery and write about your baking and life in general – seriously I am so impressed with your story telling

Sweet Comments Welcome!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s