Divino – Italian and Seafood Restaurant

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A great late Sunday lunch at Divino – Italian and Seafood Restaurant.

A couple of years ago I had been to the restaurant for the first time and really enjoyed the food there, so I thought this time I could make a restaurant review out of it.

Atmosphere

We arrived at the restaurant around 3 pm, which was rather quiet and tranquil with few customers. Set under a pavilion in La Croisette, Grand Baie the restaurant emanates a calm and relaxing vibe. This time of year is perfect because as the winter sunshine peeks through you do not have to deal with the excruciating heat and humidity that comes along with a Mauritian summer. The staff were very welcoming and provided an excellent service.

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Freshly squeezed orange juice

Appetiser – Mauritian Tapas

The restaurant offers a variety of starters including Mauritian Tapas. Rather intrigued by what Mauritian Tapas was available, we decided to order some prawn croquette as my family absolutely devours this! We are huge fans of seafood and will order some type of seafood where ever we go.

The croquettes arrived on a simple translucent plate accompanied by its la sauce l’ail (garlic sauce). Unfortunately the croquettes did not meet up with our expectations. It was slightly over fried for my liking but nevertheless had a great crunch and crispiness to it when opened. The prawn was well-cooked and tasty, it would be great if it was a little larger though.
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Main Course

For main course I ordered a Ravioli Goat Cheese. I was most excited about this part and I still am as I am typing this.

The menu had quite a variety of pastas to choose from as well as a whole page dedicated to risotto and other seafood dishes.

Initially this ravioli appeared to be a rather small serving size for someone like me who adores their pasta! However I was surprised to see how filling it was. I definitely craved for more.

The ravioli was cooked beautifully and the goat cheese filling was perfect in amount and taste.

Divino6I must emphasise on how delicious the tomato sauce was. It was cooked to perfection and complemented the ravioli beautifully. The tomato sauce was thick and full of flavour, really bringing out a fresh tomato taste. We had also ordered the Fruti De Mare pasta which was fantastic except the tomato sauce was rather sweet in comparison to the ravioli.

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If you order one of the pasta you get to choose a pasta of your choice from penne to tagliatelle. I really enjoy how the restaurant provided this choice to the customer as it really involved the customer in the process.

This Fruti Di Mare was really delicious. Although this was not my main course I did try it and the seafood was well-cooked really enhancing the dish. The only complaint I would have to say is the sweetness of the tomato sauce, which I would not have picked up if I did not have the ravioli.

Some other main courses:

Aglio Olio
Aglio Olio
Risotto with large prawns
Risotto with large prawns
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Garlic Butter Prawns

Dessert

Ah dessert. One look at the dessert section of the menu and I knew exactly what I wanted to take. This beautiful Chocolate Fondant with a gallop of vanilla (you may choose between vanilla and chocolate) was scrumptious. The delicious hot liquid chocolate oozes out of the cake mixed with some of that refreshing vanilla ice-cream was pure bliss. I highly recommend this!
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Closing Words

I highly recommend this restaurant because not only is it set in a beautiful location under a pavilion in an open environment, but the service and quality of food is fantastic.

It has a great variety of food to choose from on the menu.

My Rating: 4/5

 

 Have you been to Divino? What were your thoughts of the restaurant?

Hope you enjoyed this review as much as I enjoyed writing it, if you do have any restaurants you want me to review do not hesitate to leave a comment below or just contact me: thecakearchitect@hotmail.com

– The Cake Architect

Email: thecakearchitect@hotmail.com

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Classic Apple Pie Recipe

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I never make pie. I’m team cake all the way. However with tons of persistence from my pie-lover friend (this post is dedicated to you btw 😉 ), I decided that I should give it a go.

I thought that a Classic Apple Pie would be a great first pie to make and that it would perfectly accompany the cold winter approaching Mauritius.

Personally I have always felt likes pies and tarts were so complicated compared to baking cakes. Little did I know this could not be further from the truth, especially if you purchase the pastry ahead of time.

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I prepared the short crust pastry using a recipe from BBC Good Food. From what I have read Short crust pastry is at its optimal when using a 2:1 ratio of flour to butter. I have followed this recipe several times and i’m happy with the results. The pastry was initially difficult to handle and easily crumbled but this may be because I had added too much flour.

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Shortcrust Pastry Recipe from here: www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2983/basic-shortcrust-pastry 

  • After making the shortcrust pastry, I roll it onto some clingfilm and pop it into the fridge for a couple of hours.
  • I then remove to cool prior to making the filling (about an hour) and roll it flat on a floured surface. The pastry is then blind baked/ pre-baked for 10-15 minutes at 200 degrees celsius.

Edit: I made the same recipe once more and adjusted the ingredients to 300 grams of all-purpose flour and 150 grams of unsalted butter. I found that by adding a little more water, the pastry would come together easily

Apple Pie Filling Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 apples, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius
  2. Mix all the filling ingredients together
  3. Pour the mixture into the blind baked pastry
  4. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until pastry is a golden brown colour
  5. Remove to cool

 

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Enjoy your delicious Apple Pie. Whats your favourite pie?

– The Cake Architect

Email: thecakearchitect@hotmail.com

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La Table Du Chateau

I cannot believe that it has been 3 months since my last post! I thought that since it is the beginning of the month I should get over my doubts and post this review. 

This post has been written and rewritten about 5 times already and has been stuck in my drafts folder for over 2 months. So here you go today, my first restaurant review.

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Hello everybody,

This is the first post in my new series of Restaurant Reviews. I have always wanted to do a restaurant review since the beginning of this blog. I therefore have decided to dive right in.  I hope that these posts will give an insight into restaurants in Mauritius.

I would love to know your thoughts on this post and also let me know how I can improve, whether in terms of the structure or content. Also if you have any restaurant recommendations leave a comment below, I love trying new restaurants.

Alright, let the restaurant review begin.

La Table du Chateau is a small restaurant opening on to the gorgeous gardens of Chateau Labourdonnais. The restaurant is situated up North of the island in Mapou.

Menu

Entering the restaurant we were welcomed with a cold refreshing towel (perfect for that hot day!).

After ordering the food we were given bread baskets with some freshly baked bread loaves straight out from the oven which we gobbled up and was swiftly replaced by the staff.

The staff were very friendly catering to all our needs.

Main Course:

I ordered a “Grilled king prawns with garlic butter Asparagus risotto with Lobster coulis”. I was pleasantly surprised by the dish which was full of flavour. I do not usually like risotto but this Asparagus one was beautiful and not too soft.

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We also had a “Bread fruit gratin and roasted Giant prawns Mesclum salad and Crustacean sauce”. The prawns were really soft creating a melted in your mouth sensation. I personally enjoyed the breadfruit gratin but it was not that great. Below is the image of the Giant prawns Mesclum salad and Crustacean sauce but sadly I cannot find an image of the breadfruit gratin.

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Dessert:

I opted for a delicious crème brulée because its one of my favourite desserts and I had been craving it for such a long time. With that being said, crème brulée recipe is coming soon!

Overall the menu consisted of a few well selected desserts which all can enjoy.

Here is the “Crème Brulée à la vanille de Laboudonnais”:

I really enjoyed this dessert as it was tasty and fulfilled the criteria of the classic crème brulée dessert. The stick was not sweet enough on the other hand and I feel like it did not go with the Creme brulée

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I do not remember the exact name for this dessert but it was a Banane Zenzli with Ice Cream in a Caramel sauce. I was not particularly a fan of this dessert although I enjoyed the sauce.

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The Boutique:

Adjacent to the restaurant is The Boutique which I visited, how cute are these soaps!

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Closing words

This was a great experience and a perfect getaway for a couple of hours. I definitely recommend  a visit to La Table Du Chateau if you are in the area.

The only complaint I have is the waiting time for the food as well as how relatively dark the restaurant was. Nevertheless we had a calm and refreshing lunch.

Tips:

  1. The Chateau visit costs are separate to the restaurant.
  2. Reserve your table at the restaurant prior to arrival is recommended by the staff, although you may choose to walk in.

 

I would love for you to let me know what you think. Have you been to La Table Du Chateau? How was your experience?

– The Cake Architect

One Lovely Blog Award

Credits Photo: livethesan.wordpress.com

Thank you Rebekah from livethesan.wordpress.com for the nomination for the One Lovely Blog Award! I really appreciate it! 🙂

Basically here are the rules regarding the acceptance of this nomination:

  1. Firstly thank the blogger who has nominated you.
  2. Write 7 facts about yourself
  3. Nominate 15 other blogs for this One Lovely Blog Award and let them know that you have nominated them.

7 Facts about me:

  1. My favourite food is sushi, I could eat it all day.
  2. With that being said, I also absolutely love pasta.
  3. I would love to open up my own bakery or restaurant.
  4. I used to want to become an architect, hence where The Cake Architect came from
  5. I love the winter season.
  6. One of my favourite movies of all time is The Devil Wears Prada!
  7. I love to watch Keeping up with the Kardashians  😉

Bloggers I nominate:

  1. Mirrormirrorshowmethewiseoldowl
  2. With All My Affection
  3. Bohoscandiblog
  4. Mocha and Moccasins 
  5. Littlemissdreamer96 
  6. Ordinary adventures
  7. Nancy creative 
  8. Prepsicle
  9. The pink rose bakery 
  10. Guy and his Girl 
  11. Healthy with Anja
  12. La petite paniere 
  13. classy girls with curls 
  14. Janes patisserie 
  15. Plantpoweredfaerie

These are fantastic blogs, you should definitely check them out!

Once again thank you to Rebekah from livethesan.wordpress.com for the nomination!

– The Cake Architect

Pepperoni Pizza or Pizza Cake?!?

One of my favourite Youtube Channels is Yolanda Gampp’s How To Cake It. She makes the most realistic looking cakes ever! She has the funniest personality. Its always a joy to watch her videos. 

When I showed my best friend her channel, we decided it was only natural for us to try and recreate one of her cakes. 

It actually turned out much better than what we thought. 

I present to you our Pepperoni Pizza Cake a.k.a the sweetest looking pepperoni pizza you will ever eat.

Pizza Cake

We substituted a lot of her ingredients and instead intended to mimic Yolanda’s cake. Our lack of toppings meant that our pizza became pepperoni flavoured. And who does not like pepperoni pizza right?

Cake / Pizza Base

For the cake we used a basic vanilla cake recipe which I have been using since forever but you can also use my massepain recipeIt will work just as great.

Buttercream Icing / Tomato Sauce:

The buttercream recipe we used was this basic buttercream icing recipe which I have mentioned in a lot of previous posts. However as Yolanda used some jam we also mixed our buttercream with some strawberry jam to produce a tomato sauce resemblance. The berries in the jam looked like finely cut pieces of tomato. 

For some reason I could not find red food colouring and had to use this crimson pink instead. 

White Chocolate / Cheese

We grated white chocolate for the cheese all over the buttercream icing. It looked exactly like real mozzarella cheese!

Cake Decoration / Pepperoni 

For pepperoni we used guava slices which we purchased from Food Lovers Market in the sweets section. 

Fondant: 

I used the Wilton marshmallow fondant recipeI had to use loads of icing sugar to get the correct consistency to put in the fridge over night. 

I have to admit I made a stupid mistake regarding the preparation of the fondant. I used pink marshmallows but didn’t realise that this would impact the colour of my overall fondant. That why the ‘pizza crust’ may look quite pinkish. 

Cooking torch / Making the Pizza Crust 

So I didn’t know how to use the cooking torch until after we made this cake, but I did try on a separate slice and it was a success! The fondant soon resembled a pizza crust. Unfortunately I don’t have any photos though 😦

These were all the steps taken to produce this cake. What do you think of it?

Here is the link to the original video by Yolanda Gampp:

Do you like posts like these? 

If so leave a comment below telling me your opinion cause I absolutely loved making this cake and writing this post!

– The Cake Architect

Have any suggestions for the blog? Email me: thecakearchitect@hotmail.com

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Basic Eclairs

Hope everyone had a fantastic New Year and may 2016 bring great things to us all!

I for one does not typically make new year resolutions because I can never stick to them. I’ve never met anybody who has been able to stick to theirs. If you have leave me a comment telling me how you did it! 😉

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Anyway I was a little hesitant to post this for two reasons

  1. The pictures did not turn out that great
  2. The whipped cream that I bought somehow scrambled, I didn’t even over whisk it! If you know why leave me a comment below! 🙂

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I guess thats why it took me a while to decide whether I will post it or not. I ended up deciding that I could do a review of the pastry. A recipe from renowned chef Paul Hollywood, I knew that the eclairs would turn out exceptional.

For the icing I mixed my knowledge of buttercream and royal icing to come up with this delicious glaze. If I could I would have eaten the whole bowl. No exaggeration.

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Click here to go straight to Eclairs pastry recipe by Paul Hollywood

Icing recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 55g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp milk 
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 drop of food colouring (colour of your choice)

Method:

  1. Mix icing sugar, vanilla extract, water and milk until combined
  2. Add a drop of food colouring and mix until the colour.

Happy New Year to you all!

– The Cake Architect

 

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Red Velvet Massepain (Cake)

   The Cake Architect is back! After three months of busy school work and exams I am now free and will be dedicating as much time as possible to blogging and trying out new recipes. Normal blog posts will be uploaded every Friday.

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A couple of days ago I had a great red velvet cupcake from Walnut and Thyme a beautiful shop/cafe in Cascavelle, a shopping mall west of the island. It inspired me to create my own version of a red velvet cake topped with a smooth cream cheese frosting. I really wanted to bake a Mauritian take of this cake and therefore decided to use my basic Mauritian Massepain recipe as a base. From there I worked up by adding the necessary ingredients for a red velvet cake.

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For frosting I went for the typical cream cheese frosting because nothing else goes better with red velvet than cream cheese. Due to the hot summer in Mauritius right now the frosting heated up relatively quickly and did not have the consistency that I was looking for. But putting it in the fridge for a while would solve this problem.

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Also I have finally learned how to properly level a cake. If you have seen the images from my first massepain post then you will know what I am talking about! I followed the technique from “How To Cake It” an incredible youtube channel by Yolanda Gampp who makes the most extraordinary cakes. Her cakes ranges from watermelons to burgers. I could watch her videos all day!

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Now on to the recipe!

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Red Velvet Massepain

Ingredients:

  • 125 g Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 pack of butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 200g self raising flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 70 ml milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 3 drops red food colouring

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 C
  2. Grease a cake tin
  3. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  4. Whisk the eggs and add a little at a time until incorporated
  5. Sift the self-raising flour and cocoa powder and mix thoroughly
  6. Add vanilla essence and milk and mix
  7. Next add the red food colouring and mix until combined
  8. Put in the oven for 45 mins or use a stick to check whether centre has been cooked (the stick should come out clean)
  9. Remove from oven and leave to cool (so we can top it up with frosting after!)

Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 packed of cream cheese
  • 50 g of icing sugar
  • 75 g unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Mix the cream cheese, icing sugar and butter until combined
  2. Add the vanilla extract and mix
  3. Spread on cake
  4. Serve and enjoy!

 

Hope you enjoyed this post!

– The Cake Architect

Carrot Cake

Earlier this year for my birthday I had a carrot cake which we purchased from La Maison Du Gourmet in Moka. Its a great little shop that sells a variety of things from cake to meat to Kitchen Aids, definitely worth a visit if you are in the area.

Their carrot cake is incredibly delicious and I knew that I had to try and bake it myself. The shop do sell individual portions of the cake as well. I used the recipe from Women’s Weekly Cooking Class Cakes and it turned out even better than what I expected.

I made a few tweaks to the recipe for instance it said to use ‘mixed spice’, however since I didn’t have any I opted for cinnamon powder instead. As the cake cooked in the oven it released a mouth-watering cinnamon smell 😍

Here are a few photos of how it turned out:

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Enjoy

– The Cake Architect x