Now this is a way to smash your cake and eat it too. These piñata-style celebrations cakes are loads of fun and make a great gift. Naughty Nush smash cakes are a chocolate shell, filled with lollies, that arrives gift-boxed with a rubber mallet for smashing. Joanne Star and business partner Romy Bursztyn started producing their cakes earlier this year and now lease a commercial kitchen in South Yarra to make their popular range of oversized cupcake-shaped and traditional round cakes for a selection of Melbourne-based food shops. Orders can be placed through their website, which features various chirpy design ideas. The chocolate shell is made of several layers of good-quality chocolate, so it’s hardy enough to transport and the contents are sure to please crowds of all ages.
We’re giving away a Naughty Nush smash cake voucher, valued at $75.
Q: What’s more exciting than watching a kettle boil?
A: Being able to see your toast turning golden brown, of course. The latest two-slice Vision toaster by Magimix lets you view the action through its wide, double-insulated glass front and rear windows. The elegant design, available in brushed stainless steel, black, red and cream, features an extra-wide toasting slot to fit bread of all shapes and sizes, a simultaneous toast-and-defrost function and a one-sided bagel-toasting operation.
There’s a reheat function that actually works, eight-setting browning control, extra-lift lever and auto-stop button for perfect visual timing. The glass windows open to allow for thorough cleaning and the crumb tray catches most of the excess. It’s a little pricey for a two-slice toaster, but it does come with a three-year guarantee – and there’s no denying its visual appeal.
We’re giving away a Magimix Vision toaster, in brushed stainless steel, $499.
During October, The Commoner in Fitzroy is running its Belicatessan event – a celebration of fine swine and cider. Owner Jo Corrigan says the restaurant, known for its modern British food, has created a calendar of cult movie-inspired themes to inject a “sense of fun” into the menu. There’s been Claws, Poultrygeist, Back to the Butcher, Whiskey Business and Planet of the Canapes. This month, chef Brook Petrie will create rare-breed pork dishes matched with fine wines and cider for the Belicatessan menu (inspired by 1991 French black comedy Delicatessen). Think ham-hock terrine spiced with parsley, capers and mustard seed, matched with Harcourt pear cider; spotted Tamworth pork shank cooked with orange zest, sage, cinnamon and masala with chorizo mash and matched with a 2011 Michelin Seven Oaks farmhouse cider and, to finish, the five-course menu features an upside-down apple and ginger cake served with Granny Smith cider sorbet.
We’re giving away tickets for two to The Commoner’s Belicatessan event, running during October. $120pp.
It sounds as though Amanda Tabberer has lived a charmed life. She spent 20 years on the Amalfi Coast and wrote her first book, My Amalfi Coast, in 2008. Tabberer (yes, she’s Maggie’s daughter) forged a career as a fashion stylist, working in Milan for Condé Nast and established her own line of designer wear, then worked in her Italian partner’s family restaurant in Positano. Her second book, Amalfi Coast Recipes, is a collection of favourites from many of the regional cooks and chefs she came to know. The recipes – which include fabulous pasta, seafood and risotto recipes, from spaghetti con pomodoro to le braciole con la pasta (stuffed involtini of beef with pasta) and rustic sweet treats such as crositata di castagna (shortbread chestnut tart) – credit each cook and feature the author’s lively tales, hints and tips. There’s a list of her favourite eateries and stunning photography by Simon Griffiths.
We’re giving away a copy of Amalfi Coast Recipes,
by Amanda Tabberer, Lantern, $49.99
I wish I’d had this device when my children were younger. They are too old and too sugar savvy to be convinced that frozen fruit is better than ice-cream. So, as usual, I was the one who ended up eating the healthy option. But never mind, I loved Yonanas – a clever blending device that, using frozen bananas as its base, turns fruit into an ice-cream-style treat, without the sugar, fat or dairy components. Perfect for those with dairy intolerances, calorie counters and people who just love fruit, sans sugar. Add frozen mango and it becomes mango ice-cream, frozen raspberries for raspberry ice-cream. Recipe ideas include pumpkin pie, chocolate-cherry and peanut butter and jelly. The unit is easy to clean, although I did find the amount of leftover fruit caught around the blades messy and a little wasteful.
We’re giving away a Yonanas unit, $79.95.