Melbourne Monday: Chemistry? Yeah, chemistry!

The Urban Ma N2EGIMG_0310

N2 Extreme Gelato – 329 Brunswick st, Fitzroy

Happy Monday everyone!

Our freezer is stocked up with ice cream all year because just like my grandma, the hubby too, loves his hit of creamy coolness no matter the season. I think his favourite thing about being an adult is the fact that he can buy and eat ice cream whenever he likes (today he had a serving of caramel ice cream before and after his afternoon siesta!). So when we a friend took us out for dessert at N2 Extreme Gelato I knew it would be a sweet end to our night out.

The use of liquid nitrogen at N2 Extreme Gelato plays on the strength of a phenomenon called nucleation-dominated ice crystallisation, it forms a large number of microscopic ice crystals in seconds, resulting in exceptionally smooth textures – N2 Extreme Gelato’s website

After about a fifteen minute wait for our  Black Lava salted caramel cup of silky smoothness (it was a very busy night and all the flavours are freshly made), we tucked into our first taste of N2’s infamous gelato. Oh so smooth with such a divine taste we didn’t stop until our cup was licked clean. Tip: if you’re ordering the black lava salted caramel flavour, don’t eat all the black bits of topping at once or you’ll have an extremely salty surprise! Share the salt around with the rest of the gelato! 😉 N2 also serves their gelato several degrees warmer than your average ice cream so say good bye to those brain freeze moments!

N2 is decked out with green faux grass in the front window and more towards the back of the store so you can sit and have a gelato picnic. Combined with the artwork and daily flavours drawn onto the blackboard painted walls, N2 makes for a cool hang out with friends or a good book as you enjoy the liquid nitrogen show that takes place behind the glass windows. Definitely need to visit this place again!

The menu changes weekly so follow N2 Extreme Gelato on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram for their latest news and concoctions.

N2 Extreme Gelato on Urbanspoon

Jacqfruit Randomness!: The title of this blog post comes from which 1950 musical starring Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra? 🙂

The Urban MA eats salted caramel

IMG_0312

IMG_0308
IMG_0309
Jacqfruit The Urban Ma IMG_0311
Jacqfruit N2 menu

A date with foodie bloggers and Cacao Green

The Urban Ma ham and melted cheese

Cacao Green, Chadstone Shopping Centre

With the latest Cacao Green frozen yoghurt (froyo!) chapter opening a couple of weeks ago, myself and some fellow bloggers were invited to taste the wonderful array of waffle and froyo goodness at Chadstone Shopping Centre. Cacao Green specializes in providing all natural, organic yoghurt and supports fair trade and sustainable ingredients and is the sister company of Red Mango who have been operating since 2002 in several countries around the world.

We were presented with a banquet of frozen yoghurt-filled cups dressed with various delicious toppings like lychee popping pearls and chewy marshmallows (YUM!), savoury and sweet waffles, fresh fruit smoothies, parfaits and coffee to finish it off. I couldn’t pick a favourite from the froyo flavours as they were all so good and very well complimented with the extra toppings chosen. My favourite parfait however was the mixed berry parfait and the classic strawberry and choc waffles really hit the spot.  While all the food and desserts were nicely presented and delicious, greater attention could have been paid to the coffee art on my soy latte, especially since they serve quality St Ali beans. If you’re not much of a sweet tooth, Cacao Green also offer savoury waffles and are even open for breakfast – I enjoyed the ham and cheese waffle, you can’t go wrong with anything melted cheese!

All in all, it was a great way to spend an afternoon. It was so lovely finally put a face to the name of some foodie bloggers I’ve seen online. We sure knew how to eat, chat and take photos , so much so that we didn’t realise all the shops around us were closing for the day.

Have you tried Cacao Green? If so, what were your faves? If not, they can be found at several locations in the CBD and eastern suburbs.

Cacao Green on Urbanspoon

The Urban Ma and Little PiggyThe Urban eats sweet wafflesThe Urban MaThe Urban Ma kiwi and watermelonThe Urban Ma strawberriesThe Urban Ma parfaits at Cacao GreenThe Urban Ma pigs out!The Urban Ma treat yourself wellThe Urban Ma with foodie bloggersThe Urban Ma with NuffnangThe Urban Ma coffee
Melted cheese and ham waffle, getting ready for the froyo adventure with blogger Jenny from Confessions of a Little Piggy, banana and almond waffle, spinach, kiwifruit and watermelon fruit smoothies, mango and raspberry & mixed berry parfaits, our froyo feast!.

A big thank you to Valissa from Nuffnang and the crew at Cacao Green Chadstone for organising this event and bringing us together. 

Sugar Free Banana Bread

I ate way too many sweets this weekend, topping it off today with my favourite creme brulee cupcake from Cupcake Central in Highpoint. So when deciding what to bake for the week ahead I wanted to try out a sugar free recipe so here goes my first attempt at a sugar free banana loaf courtesy of Babbling Bandit‘s blog! Thanks for the recipe!

Sugar Free Banana Bread Recipe:

Ingredients

125 grams butter
1 cup rice malt syrup
1 egg beaten lightly
3 small-medium ripe bananas
A sprinkle of cinnamon
1.5 cups of wholemeal self raising flour
Image

Sugar alternative

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

2. Melt butter and rice malt syrup in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Melted butter and rice malt syrup

3. Mash bananas in a large bowl. Add flour and spice.

mashed banana and dry ingredients

3. Combine cooled butter and rice malt syrup with egg then add to banana, flour and spice. Stir until combined.

combine all ingredients

4. Pour batter into lined loaf tin and bake for 50 minutes or until cooked.

I still need to buy a loaf tin so I just ended up using a square cake pan.

in the oven

And the finished product!! Not bad at all for my first try!

Cooked banana bread

The banana bread/cake was so tasty and moist. One thing I would change though, is the cooking time – I must have a higher setting oven because the above pics were taken at only 40 minutes of cooking time and you can see how brown it is already! Next time I cook this recipe I will try baking it for around 30-35 minutes to see how I go. The square tin is also probably a lot more shallow than if I had put the banana mixture in a loaf tin so when you try it for yourself just keep an eye it and use a skewer to check that its cooked. I might also try adding some almonds or walnuts next time just to change it up a bit 🙂

Such a great easy recipe for a Sunday night and now I have banana bread fresh and ready to pack as a snack for the coming week!

Happy Monday everyone!