A Cross Country Culinary Tour

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Hehehe… HI GUYS! 😀

Today I have a special treat for you! I am going to give you a look into the lives of a couple of bloggers, one in my hometown and one far far faaaar away! Both equally talented and wonderful, this idea is part of the ‘Cross Country Culinary Tour.’

I was actually featured in a post by the fabulous Debra, from @Eliot Eats, and was super happy to continue this tour on my own blog! But I have to apologise for 2 things:

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  1. It has been hectic so I could only organise two bloggers willing to be featured (next post, I will tell you why I have been so busy! :P)
  2. I was meant to post this on Sunday… I wasn’t even in Sydney on Sunday 😛

But let bygones be bygones, here are the rules for those wanting to participate in this fantastic cross-country blogger tour:

  1. The host introduces the concept and answers some set questions
  2. The host nominates 3 other bloggers (don’t be like me :P) to be part of this tour and introduces them to their readers
  3. The following Sunday (or in my case, whenever there is time!) those three bloggers restart the chain 😀

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More introductions = More bloggers = Happy community.

Yes, I do like that kind of maths 😀

Before I answer those questions, can I just introduce you to Debra properly? Debra is the queen of all canned goods. Be it pickles, be it jams, her canning skills could win her many medals! 😀 I love visiting Eliot Eats, and have been loving it almost for the entire time I have been blogging!

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She writes with humour and wit, and has some friggin’ fantastic stories to tell about her home and her life – what is there not to love right? 🙂 I know you guys will love visiting her!

Now, as your travelling mate, it is time for me to answer a few qs 🙂

What am I currently working on at GBY?

Well… I am currently eating this while on Go Bake Yourself… does that count? 😛

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But for reals, I am actually working on trying to find some time to increase my recipes on this blog, it is so hard to find time to bake as opposed to just eat out and review! I know a recipe will be coming up soon, because of my undergrad student link up I am part of so that’s good at least 😀

How does my blog differ from other foodies?

Have you heard my stories? Have you read the number of times I have lol-ed at myself? I would like to believe my writing is very personal, diary-esque even because ain’t nobody got time to be professional.

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You are my friends and I love you guys – Why would I write with big words and baking terms? My blog differs because it is anecdotal, and I say what I feel, not what I think you want to hear 🙂

Except when it comes to food descriptions. I definitely deliver on that because everyone wants to hear about that!

Why do I write and what do I write?

Well… I just told you what/how I write so why do I write? Because, literally, I can. Because it is fun. Because letting yourself loose in a swarm of words is the best way to express yourself!

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How does my writing process work?

Um… I’m sorry what is a writing process?

I don’t plan out my posts, I literally write according to my massive collection of photos. I let myself run off on random tangents and squawk on about whatever stream of thought is running through my mind.

I may have a theme for a post. But that is about it.

Sorry, I am SO not a professional 😛

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But god, I am always talking about myself, I am a little self-centred 😛

Time for me to introduce you to some of the other wonderful bloggers whom I connect with all the time!

I want to firstly take you to my hometown, Sydney, and introduce you to the wonderful Julie from @Gourmet GetawaysI have known Julie for quite a while in the blogging world, she is kind, she is sweet and she is so talented.

But did you know she is spunky? I mean, just check out this Halloween zinger of a recipe she just posted – Honestly, how much more Sweeney-Todd Awesome could you get?

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Julie also posts some of the best reviews I have ever read – She delves deep, tells you all the details for beautiful places she has stayed at ranging from inns and breakfast places to the classy hotels with a bed the size of my entire room 🙂

And Julie’s restaurant reviews? Oh my gawd. Can we take a minute to appreciate the photography she does – I can never get enough. I just wanted to dive into this cake when I read this bakery review, I am constantly adding to my bucket list courtesy of her!

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Now, I could keep going on about how much I enjoy this fellow Sydney-sider’s blog, but it is time to take this tour on an international level, and jet off (on a million hour flight) to the Canadian West Coast, where we meet Nancy from @gottagetbaked!

Nancy is probably one of the funniest bloggers I have ever had the pleasure to read. She is absolutely 100% always ready to state her opinion, and swear along while we all giggle and enjoy it. When I visit Nancy, I kind of feel this kindred style connection, especially because she also started baking when she was in high school 😀

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You can see her passion for baking. It is kind of obvious. Did you not see them bars? Them sweet sweet apricot jam bars?

*swoon*

I can always count on Nancy’s fantastic blog to make me smile, with all that American humour, wit and pizazz 😀 If I was going to jet off to the US, I would definitely message her up and be all ‘You want to bake for me?’

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No shame, I mean LOOK at these strawberry cupcakes? And when I say look, I mean drool all over your keyboard, tongue hanging out like a dog 😛


 

So I hope you enjoyed meeting these two bloggers 😀 And if you want to get involved in the awesome worldwide phenomena that is this cross country culinary tour, go ahead and do it!

We are such a big community, let’s set in some long-lasting connections now aye? 😀

Now, before I sign off, I think you all want the other recipe that has been popping up – ‘Yes, no, maybe?”

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I’ll take it as a yes 😀 This is the recipe I would like to share with these two bloggers if I ever had the privilege of meeting them! 😀 I did however, get to share it with some kick-ass bloggers (one of whom became my husband :P) when I went to the Australian Blogger Conference… but more on that next time 😉

This recipe is of a soft, under baked cookie bar sandwich with layers of dark chocolate salted caramel between them.

You are welcome for the sugar coma 😀

Dark Chocolate Caramel Stuffed Choc-Chip Cookie Bars

Idea adapted from: Pinch of Yum
Dark chocolate caramel adapted from: Mastering the Art of Baking + Daily Dish Recipes

Printable Recipe!

Dark Chocolate Caramel:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 150g butter, room temp and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup thickened cream
  • Pinch of sea-salt
  • 110g dark chocolate, finely chopped

Method:

  1. Combine sugar and water in a saucepan over medium-low heat and stir continuously till sugar dissolves (mixture doesn’t go clear but you don’t see crystals in a spoonful of water) – do not allow to boil
  2. Wash down side of pan with pastry brush to avoid sugar crystals causing later crystallisation of mixture
  3. Bring heat up once dissolved, and boil the syrup without stirring, washing down sides occasionally and swirl pan once or twice, for even colouring of caramel
  4. When it begins to change colour be vigilant! It goes very quickly – you want a rich caramel (darker = more intense flavour but don’t let it burn!)
  5. When the caramel reaches the desired colour, immediately remove off heat and add in the cream and butter – it may splutter so be careful, just keep stirring till mixed through
  6. If it seizes up, put back on low heat on stove, and then add in the chocolate – stir through till completely melted
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  7. Sprinkle in a bit of sea-salt and voila!
  8. Store in fridge and reheat by gentle microwaving or on the stove
It becomes quite toffee-esque :D

It becomes quite toffee-esque 😀

*Note*: Go on my instagram to see a small video of the sauce in action!

Cookie Bars:

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C
  2. Make a double batch of my famous secret Choc Chip Uru chocolate chip cookie recipe but do not roll into small balls or bake them – use normal dark chocolate chips in the cookie batter 😀
  3. In a 15×20 cm baking tin lined with baking paper, press down half the dough.
  4. Pour the caramel on top and then press down the leftover dough as the top layer

    Attractive.... I didn't let my dough cool down from the brown butter and just added in my chocolate chips :P

    Attractive…. I didn’t let my dough cool down from the brown butter and just added in my chocolate chips 😛

  5. Sprinkle with extra chocolate chips and bake for 25-30 minutes, or till cooked through but soft and golden
  6. Let rest for an hour before cutting into slices and refrigerating till set – the caramel just oozes out!

I am dead beat now mes cheris, despite it being 10am in the morning, so now, I am going to go relax! Hope you enjoyed this ridiculously indulgent recipe (I know I did :P)

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66 Comments

  1. mjskit says:

    I was headed down toward the comment section, already writing my comment in my head and then I passed by the Dark Caramel stuffed Choco-chip cookie bars and my heart skipped a beat and my blood sugar heat the roof! Oh My …what a cookie bar!! I want the whole pan! Thanks for introduces us to Nancy and Julie! Great post Uru!

  2. Sugar et al. says:

    Oh my God, these cookie bars exist! Love them. I love Julie too, she writes so well. I will be checking out the others. Your blog is amazing Uru, your happy personality shines through every time you post. That’s how you are different. Keep up the great work.

  3. These culinary tours are so fun… getting to find out more about you and new blogs to check out. 🙂 I am totally dying over that stuffed cookie bar creation. I think that’s going to be apart of my sweet dreams tonight. 🙂

  4. Good to find out you know Julie too (but hey I’m the one who is not in the same country…haha)! Loved reading about your plan for the blog and what you think about your blog! We rarely have time to share such things with other bloggers you know. 🙂 Your cookie bars… my gosh. I’m jealous you get to eat them.

  5. laurasmess says:

    Oh my gosh. How many ooey, gooey, chocolatey pictures can you stuff into one post? About as much goodness as you’ve stuffed into that amazing cookie bar I’m guessing! Love this Uru. Anything that connects up more bloggers is a good thing, in my opinion! Love your reflections on yourself and your writing. You definitely make your blog a very personal experience which is fantastic for those of us who consider you to be a friend 🙂 Anyway, YUM. I can’t wait to make this (sugar coma included!)xx

  6. Nessy Eater says:

    DARN YOU! Such a good baker 😀 ❤ Thanks for them cookie sandwich! Man, why your post always have to contain so much baking goodies. I'm always on the urge to lick my monitor, true story. 😀

  7. Happiness is food and foodie loved shared is triple happiness. Nice to know a little more on these great baking gals and I especially agree that we’ve gotten to know you so well, via your sweet take on life, both literally & figuratively!!! 🙂

  8. Liz says:

    lol, I could hardly get through your story what with the picture of those bars popping up. Holy cow–those look amazing! So happy to have the recipe–thanks. They look easy peasy 🙂 Fun post, as always.

  9. CCU it is hard to read your blog as I am distracted by these food porn pictures and sometimes I get lost in the caramel chocolate world but I am back! Julie is such a fun blogger and thanks for introducing us to Nancy. Have a super day!

  10. Uru, you are the sweetest. Seriously. You are one of my blogging idols – you’re absolutely hilarious, incredibly talented in the kitchen, and just one of the most positive people I’ve ever met. I’m truly honoured that you featured me in your cross country culinary tour. I vow to keep this going by featuring three bloggers too…although it might take a few weeks because you know I’m a terrible procrastinator! Thank you for all of your lovely words and giiiiirrrrrrl, I need to get in on this caramel stuffed cookie bar action. Fantastic!

  11. I want to smash my face in that cookie bar. Get that chocolate caramel sauce all over like a delicious facial. Is that weird? I think that might be weird.

    Love learning more about you, Uru! (I don’t have a writing process either. I’ve tried; it doesn’t work for me) And great introduction to two fabulous new bloggers.

  12. navane64 says:

    I had to pause over and over and admire all the inviting bars. Great to see our bloggers featured in your space. All of you sure can produce loveable desserts.

  13. helene dsouza says:

    I like this kind of math too. Long live the blogger community. Uru you are the best! 🙂
    Always enjoy meeting new talented food bloggers and I am melting at the sight of your stuffed cookie bars.

  14. shenANNAgans says:

    I was torn as to which statement I make first…. I love hearing about you CCU orrrrrrr…. I just licked my computer screen. 🙂 Either way, love this post, you made me LOL! I like meeting new bloggers too, thanks for the intro to Julie & Nancy.

  15. THAT COOKIE …I died when I saw the first pic!
    Aww, even though we’ve only been talking (is that the correct word to use when we are leaving marks on each others blogs) for a short while, you sound like such an amazing person… writer!
    Life’s too short 😛 LOL-ing at one self is considered admirable! 😀
    I look forward to reading more of what you have to share! 😉 that hubby story sounds intriguing

  16. Oh my gorgeous girl!!! You are the sweet and kind blogger!! It was such an amazing surprise to wake up and see this story! Thank you so much for featuring Gourmet Getaways on your site.
    I LOVE the other sites you have showcased. I have been missing out on discovering these delicious blogs. I will pop over and say hi!! That gorgeous cake from Conti Bakery you featured was photographed by Alesah, my Gourmet Getaway protege in the Philippines. She will be so pleased you liked it xx
    Gourmet Getaways
    Julie

  17. Uru, I seriously think I might be in love with you. Haha loved this post so much! It’s awesome to hear other people talk about their blogging experiences and you really have a unique way of writing so I’m glad you embrace that. I’d just love to do a feature like this at some point myself! Congrats on being nominated and I’m so happy we met each other, fellow uni superstar!

    • OMG Ala, if you want to do this, go ahead and start a chain 😀
      They all come together in the end! I would love to hear about how you write, I am absolutely in love with your blog 😀
      I am so glad to be following your blog!

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

  18. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef says:

    Wasn’t this fun!! You are at university studying for the rest of your adult life. Review restaurants and cafes and when you have time, bake us some cookies. These bars look like I should be eating one now.

  19. Yay! I love Nancy and how nice to meet Julie!! And girrrrrl….this recipe….IS OUT OF CONTROL! I am completely dying over this gooey, decadent, dessert! Dark chocolate, caramel, cookie bars….yum yum yummmmehhhhh

  20. Did you just said that you are not a professional writer??? You are kidding!!! … or aren’t you??? LOL!

    Nice to meet your delicious cookie bar, Julie and Nancy! Will hop over to say hello to Julie and Nancy soon 😀

    Zoe

  21. Hi Uru!
    I adore Debra’s blog! Such fun “meeting” new bloggers from across the world. I could just imagine your voice over the PA system. (I’m sure you have no idea what I’m talking about, lol:) Great concept!

    I can definitely understand you needing to make your post slip until another day. I can barely get one post a week in myself:)

    I’m definitely going to try to pop by Julie and Nancy’s. I better eat one of these chocolate stuffed bars for energy, lol…They look awesome!!!

    Thank you so much for sharing, Uru…

  22. Your stuffed choc chip cookie bar is ahmazing, Looks luscious and drool worthy, Also really enjoyed meeting Julie and Nancy. Always enjoy meeting other bloggers and never saw their blogs before, thanks for introducing,

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