Frugii Dessert Laboratory

Today was a foodie’s dream as the highly anticipated Frugii Dessert Laboratory had finally opened their doors. I had watched throughout the day as my news feed and Instagram account was covered in photos of a gorgeous cake cabinet filled with interesting looking desserts and I day dreamed about what I would get when I got there.2015/01/img_8615.jpgI had arranged with my friends to meet at the Hamlet at 6:30pm, we did the adult thing and got dinner first which was our first mistake. After eating my dinner at a record-breaking pace of 30 minutes (which is a huge deal for me) we whisked off to Frugii after hearing rumours that cakes were quickly disappearing.

The more experienced foodies such as Michelle from HerCanberra had dessert first and then later on went to the Hamlet for dinner. She’s a smart girl, but even just after 6pm when she went there were only two types of cakes left.

Rumours were true but one cake is definitely better than zero2015/01/img_8627.jpgThere we were at the back of the line which then quickly turned into the middle of the line as other people joined the queue. I looked at the cake cabinet and there were only three slices left of one type of cake, I felt a little nervous as there was several people in front of us including another fellow food blogger ‘In the Taratory‘. Another cake was taken, now with two people in front of me I held my breath praying that they wanted ice-cream and not cake… Phew! They bee lined straight towards the ice cream.

We’re getting closer to the counter!2015/01/img_8604.jpgI greeted John with a very big smile, ‘one piece of cake please’ I said proudly when I realise the people in front didn’t want cake. Despite being busy John didn’t mind chatting to us while we were being served and he was making us coffee on his gorgeous machine, he and Ed are always so friendly and I’m glad to see they were still like that even after a long busy day which was not over yet.

The very lovely couple John and Ed hard at work keeping up with the demand of their delectable product. I love your new hairstyle btw John!2015/01/img_8611.jpgA strong latte ($3.00 based on mathematics). This was deliberately made strong by request which meant the coffee was slightly bitter but it was very smooth TimmyC described.2015/01/img_8626.jpgFrugii cake pumpkin and olive oil sponge with a strawberry and raspberry jelly, champagne mousse topped off with a white chocolate glaze ($6.00). I couldn’ taste all the complexity of the cake in one mouthful. When broken up in its separate components I could taste the flavours (although I wouldn’t have been able to pick pumpkin and olive oil) but altogether the dominant flavours were the jelly and mousse with a subtle white chocolate after taste. I wish the jelly wasn’t so stiff as it made the cake a little harder to cut downwards with a spoon.

The dessert I really wanted to try was the choux pastry with the lemon lime and bitters.2015/01/img_8608.jpgSmall tub of ice cream ($5.00). We had asked for chocolate and vanilla and it was serendipitous that John accidentally gave us chocolate and pistachio. Pistachio was absolutely delightful and I’m going to add it to my list of ‘favourites’. My friend also got a small tub which consisted of the very popular salted butter caramel and cookies and cream. I’m not the biggest fan of cookies and cream with its usual chunky texture with stale cookies but this had no chunks of cookies but a beautiful blended cookie flavour, yum!2015/01/img_8614.jpgBig tub of ice cream ($10.00). My friend tried lemon myrtle and we all agreed it was nice. This tub could seriously fit a lot of ice cream.

My friend had eaten a fair chunk of his ice cream before I remembered to take a photo.2015/01/img_8617-0.jpgThere is limited seating but it is a very cute design and use of space.2015/01/img_8619.jpgThere is not distinct sign at the front of the Ori building but that didn’t matter, apparently everyone eventually found their way inside. If you don’t know where he is, you have to look for this funky black building on Lonsdale Street. I hear it is cash only at this point(?).2015/01/img_8621.jpgIt’s amazing, Frugii only opened their doors at midday and before 8pm they had gone from 8 types of cakes/dessert down to one and then quickly none.

I wish John and Ed the very best and they will definitely be seeing me more often!2015/01/img_8625.jpg

Venue: Frugii Dessert Laboratory

Address30 Lonsdale St Braddon, ACT

Phone: 0438 366 368

Websitewww.frugii.com/

Opening hours: Wednesday – Sunday 12pm – 11pm

Frugii Dessert Laboratory on Urbanspoon

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Quick tour of Canberra

An old friend of mine came back to Canberra for a quick work trip but not without seeing her favourite foodie friend and indulging in some of her favourite eating spots. We took her on a mini tour to see ‘new’ places which have opened up since she moved away but not without satisfying some of her ‘Canberra food cravings’ from the old spots.

Our journey begins at Dumpling Inn in Jamison, ordering enough shallot cakes to calm her cravings for now as well as sizzling bean curd and four season beans with pork mince.  We talk until they start to vacuum around us and we figure at 10:40pm there aren’t many places to go to continue the conversation but Max Brenner in Belconnen over a chocolate lick.

Chocolate lick ($2.50), just enough chocolate to hit the spot.The next day after I went and did some essential shopping in Kingston, TimmyC and I took a quick walk around the block to see what was new and exciting. By the time we finished walking around the whole perimeter, Little Brooklyn looked the most interesting so we go back to grab a quick late lunch.

Shopping at Essential Ingredient.This caught my eye as we walked around, La Osteria bar and restaurant is replacing La Rustica as they have moved to the foreshore. I think they are due to open by the end of the month.20140223-163703.jpgTimmyC and I take our friend to a nice dinner at Mr Wei’s in the city followed up by some dessert at Jamie’s Italian before we do a quick walk around showing her CBD dumplings, Hero SushiPappaRich, Farmers Daughter and Dolce & Salato (wow, a lot of things have opened up around there recently).

We do the rest of the tour via car driving through Braddon looking at Chez Fredric, Mood food, where debarcle had moved to, 86 and then I told TimmyC to drive further to see the Mandalay bus parked near Haigh park, it was odd going to a food van without feeling hungry or having a craving for oily food. I had heard that this bus had opened up again and I wanted to see what it looked like for myself. They had lots of lights around, a casual lounge area to the side and loud music blaring. I can see the appeal; the menu looked intriguing too, not just your average ‘chips and gravy and a jam donut’ type of food van.20140223-163618.jpgThe Mandalay bus menu.20140223-163630.jpgSunday lunch was spent catching up over a delicious burger from Brodburger complete with 50 minute wait as everyone else seemed to have the same idea. We ended the meal on a sweet note by visiting Frugii at the OBDM and exploring all his flavours (candied orange, vanilla, chocolate, popcorn, salted caramel, toffee apple, plum sorbet and papaya sorbet). While we talk about John’s exciting dessert venture of opening a dessert store in Braddon around October this year, we over indulged in multiple cups of ice-cream.

Popcorn ice cream made me smirk when the taste was spot on.20140223-163640.jpgWhere do you take interstate guests when they come to visit Canberra?

Bellissima!

——-26/05/2012——-

Another food porn post. A cousin was hosting a celebration for her 30th (the new 20) birthday and with so many people she thought she’d keep it simple with an Italian theme. I didn’t cook anything, merely just an eater that night but I did bring some ice-cream and a fabulous cake by Frugii to share.

Spoilt for choice between lasagna, artichoke vegetable bake, spinach and ricotta cannelloni and a chicken and pea risotto. I decided other dishes would be jealous if I left them off my plate so a bit of everything for me. 

Just when everyone thought they were already bordering on full, the pizzas come out. Lucky I had enough room! Vegetarian, ham and pineapple and supreme.

And the essential sides of some greens and of course parmesan cheese!

Desserts~

Early grey sorbet and of course everyone’s favourite Salted butter caramel ($12.00 each tub). The sorbet had an unexpected citrus tang afterwards and was really cold and refreshing, probably not the best dessert to have during Winter but it provided a nice palette cleanser between courses. SBC always a favourite with the salt to accentuation the sweetness of the beautiful caramel taste.

Earl grey sorbet

A French torte with a bottom layer of almond dacquiose, dark chocolate mousse with suspended candied hazelnuts and within that is a window of crème patissiere with macerated brandied fruits finished with a chocolate glaze ($55.00).

Sorry about the cross section photo, we were all so keen to try the cake we were too busy serving it rather than keeping it upright and pretty. Surprisingly not crazily sweet despite all the sweet components. I also found it very light with dacquiose, mousse and the crème patissiere and could have eaten another slice but there were other sweets to be had!

A warm ooey gooey perfect Winter warmer, I can’t remember the name of the cake though but I should get the recipe.

Boterkoeka traditional Dutch buttercake.

Profiterole cake 

A perfect way to spend the evening- plenty of cake, delicious food and fantastic company.  

The brain trust at Frugii have done it again! Their imaginations have run wild and the sky’s the limit!

Over the weekend I thought pumpkin and cinnamon would be the oddest ice-cream flavour I would taste, but out from no where roasted potato came along and stole the show. Incredible!

We started talking about creating multiple    ice-cream  flavours that would taste like a whole roast dinner (very Willy Wonka), I am looking forward to pork belly ice-cream Mr. Frugii! 

A pinch and a munch for the first cake of the month!

Well technically not a cake, instead a trifle made by a true Englishman. I had arranged for the kind people of Frugii to make a sweet for a birthday I was attending. As pretty and ‘light’ looking as it was, it was heavy to carry. This was enough to feed 15 happy people.

What’s in it?

Jam rolls soaked in a good quality sherry (really strong flavour, might have been soaked overnight?), mandarin segmentsa delicious thick layer of crème pâtissière (oh so good, he is going to put this in a vanilla slice!), then a not too sweet whipped cream layer topped with sprinkles and chocolate balls with a crispy centre.

For those who didn’t enjoy sherry stuck to the upper layers and loved it and the people who ate it properly with all the layers loved it even more.

Hmmm what occasion to make an excuse for another cake next… 

Thanks Mr. Frugii!

I’ve got a golden ticket!

——-20/01/2012——-

I   Frugii.

I don’t know if I was on a sugar high or a natural high from all the excitement but I had been smiling all night while I was at Canberra’s version of ‘Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory’ except that his name is John, there were no oompa loompas and not only does he make his only chocolate from scratch, he also makes amazing cakes and spectacular ice-cream!

John from Frugii invited us over to his house to bounce around cake ideas for a birthday I’m attending at the end of the month. He gave us a tour of his oh so amazing kitchen, then we did some taste sampling of various flavours and then we took his fantastic cake (that he prepared earlier) upstairs, where we then proceeded to talk about food for the next three hours.

For a girl that has eaten a lot of chocolate, I’ve never seen a cocoa bean before. John had one preserved and it was a lot bigger than I thought. We cracked open a few beans he had roasted and ate them. Whoever thought of to eat one and then make it into chocolate is a true visionary!

Chocolate tasting– we were trying dark chocolate from Ecuador, Sao thomé and Madagascar- they tasted so different but all were very delicious. We then also tried the world’s best chocolate (yes, literally it has won that title four years in a row) Amedei chuao chocolate. Sorry there are no pictures, I was too busy eating.

Fluff– a non freeze, not too sweet fluff with a hint of coffee taste.

Sweet basil ice-cream- OMG I’ve done happy claps before but this time I did a happy dance with little stomps! Sounds strange (the flavour not my behaviour) but it works! It was soooooooooooooooo good! And the texture was perfect!

Salted butter caramel ice-cream, fresh from the machine- OMG so amazing! I had bought this flavour over the weekend (from the South side markets) and put it in both of the tubs that I was getting. It is good, like really really good, but when it’s fresh from the machine- OMG it made me jump up and down with excitement.

7 layer opera cake – this cake takes over two days to prepare and you can taste the love and effort he has put in in every layer. My favourite layer was the coffee mousse and I don’t even drink coffee! Superb!

I how their imaginations take them to weird and wonderful places where any ice-cream flavour is possible- sweet basil, coriander sorbet, anzac biscuits and vegemite, blackcurrant and fresh ginger, smokey bacon, blue vein cheese and dark chocolate and tzatziki sorbet just to name a few. Did I mention he also judges the ice-cream category @ the Royal Dairy show?

Fruit purees, pure nut pastes and vanilla extracts- he makes it all himself. All his ingredients are high in quality and his equipment and work space is top of the line. I don’t know what cake we chose in the end or if we officially decided on one in the end,  I just know that 4 hours only felt like 15 minutes. I had so much fun talking to the wonderful couple at Frugii about food, flavours and restaurants. They are so wonderful and friendly, but I just kept asking them why they kept their day jobs when everything they make is so delicious!

You can catch Frugii on the weekends at the Farmer’s market and the South side farmer’s market but if you get a mid week craving, they are supplying to Milk and Honey and several IGAs including Ainslie, Narrabundah and Hughes.

I promise to take photos of all his creations that I buy!