Friday, February 24, 2006


Ah, Friday nights. I do love them.

My favourite part of the week, a whole 2 days before I need to roll out of bed on Monday morning. I know, I know. Some would say that this was only my first week back at work after a month off but I feel I deserved it. There.

Ian and I went to a tapas bar called Pelican in St Kilda tonight and it was nice. We sat out on the decking and munched through some lovely saganaki, fabby chargrilled octopus (me, not Ian), rocket salad with caramalised onion dressing (divine) and patatas bravas that my unpretentious husband declared was inauthentic. Ponce. He also necked two 750ml bottles of his new favourite tipple, Coopers Sparking Ale, so his pretension had fairly good basis...

We then wandered along the Esplanade to Acland Street which was fairly busy. The temperature was still quite warm and muggy with absolutely no sea breeze to bring relief. So we sought relief at 7 Apples for gelati which was, as usual, scrummy. We walked past all the cake shops that at one time, defined Acland Street wishing I'd skipped the tapas and just gone straight there.

For a fairly popular strip, Acland street still houses a few cake shops / cafes that have not changed in the 50 years since they opened. My favourite one is called Monarch, which it actually opened in 1934 and still has the original old fashioned glass cake cabinets.

Monarch are famous for their chocolate kugelhopf which, for those of you who don't know, is a kind of pastry layered cake type thing (articulate aren't I) which gets better the longer you leave it. Monarch actually sell their's by weight which is brilliant cause the heavier it is - the more chocolate is in it.

However I bypassed the Kugelhopf made a beeline for the decadent looking Polish Baked Cheesecake. I promised I would make my brother a birthday cake for his belated birthday barbie tomorrow. So I asked him what he would like and to my dismay he said Cheesecake. Not that cream cheese concoction. Proper, dense, crumbly baked cheesecake.

Bollocks. Trust him to want the only thing I've never made and therefore never perfected. I scrounged around for recipes until my sister came up with a foolproof one. So she says.

But let's be honest here. The temperature tomorrow, the day of the barbie, is going to be in the mid 30's. Plus, the ingredents alone would cost me almost as much as what the ready made article before me would. As my mind churned through my options I confess that I snapped. I did what I have spent years ridiculing other people for doing. I bought a ready made baked good in a moment of weakness.

I am truly sorry to all of you...


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