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

Du Pain Frire with Chatini

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Du Pain Frire is a popular street food snack in Mauritius and translates literally to “Fried Bread”. Essentially a crunchy fried bread in batter it is often dipped in a gorgeous chatini a.k.a a chutney consisting mainly of tomatoes, chilli and coriander leaves. It is enjoyed daily by hundreds of Mauritians and is sold along with gateau piment and other street food snacks. 

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As I am trying to grow the various types of blog posts I make, I have decided to dedicate a whole new section to Mauritian Street Food.  It has been something that I have been thinking of for a while now and decided just to go for it. So far  this post and my Gateau Piment and hope to be expanding my collection soon. Oh and Du Pain Frire is definitely one of the BEST street food in the world and i’m not biased. (wink face) 

I would love to hear your thoughts on this new series. Leave me a comment below if you would enjoy this series and what street food you would like to see!

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This is my grandmas recipe and she recommends that the sliced bread should be preferably a few days old because this will enhance the flavour of the Du Pain Frire. The chutney recipe is so easy, all you have to do is blend all the ingredients together until they are combined.

Optional: You may remove the chilli seeds for the Chatini to get rid of the spicy flavour. However I prefer to leave them in.

Du Pain Frire/ Fried Bread Recipe
(Makes 12)

Ingredients:du pain frire6

  •  6 Slices of Bread (cut into 1/2 diagonally)
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2-1 tsp Turmeric
  • a few sprigs Spring Onion (chopped finely)
  • 5 tbsp All-Purpose Flour (sifted)
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • Vegetable Oil (for frying)

Method:

  1. Mix the eggs, turmeric, spring onion, flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl until combined forming a batter
  2. Gradually add some lukewarm water into the batter until it becomes thick (you can adjust your batter by adding flour or water until a thick consistency is formed)
  3. Heat a frying pan with vegetable oil
  4. Soak the sliced bread in the batter
  5. Fry the bread until golden brown
  6. Remove to serve on a plate with tissue paper (to soak up the excess oil)

 

Chatini/Chutney Recipe

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Ingredients:

  • 1-2 fresh tomatoes
  • a few sprigs of coriander
  • 1-2 red chilli pods (chopped finely)
  • 1 garlic pods (crushed)
  • pinch of salt

Method:

  1. Blend all the ingredients until combined.
  2. Remove to serve in a bowl

 

Now sit down and dip your freshly fried du pain frire in some lovely chutney 🙂

 

Enjoy,

Zahra, The Cake Architect

Two Years Old.

2 year anniversary

Happy Birthday The Cake Architect!

Today makes two years since I nervously posted my very first blog post. It was quite tense to launch my own blog but at the same time incredibly exciting and I could not wait to begin my blogging journey!

Up until now The Cake Architect has not been much of a priority for me but I am on the way to making it a better blog. Lately I have been suffering from writers block. I haven’t been able to sit down and write a blog post as I usually do nor have I had the energy or motivation for it.  In addition my perfectionist self has not wanted to post poor content.  If you follow The Cake Architect you may have realised that I haven’t posted much during February.

However as my 2 year anniversary was drawing nearer I felt a sudden urge to get back into writing.

In all honesty I love blogging! The rush of energy from baking and cooking, the constant urge to improve my food photography each and every time, setting my camera to so many different angles, taking 50 photos but selecting only 5 to post and finally the thrill of writing a post.

I feel that I suddenly develop moments of drive and focus to work on and improve my blog while other times I just slump and don’t feel like writing. How do I maintain those impulsive moments of motivation? Could it be that I’m not inspired enough?

Throughout 2015 I unfortunately couldn’t blog as much as I wanted to. School took most of my time, that last year was definitely intense. I had made grand plans for my blog after my one-year blogging anniversary but unfortunately I could not fulfil them because of this. Its okay though, lets make 2016 our year!

On a more positive side this past month I have been learning how to cook properly for the first time. I have been discovering new exciting recipes that I can make for university and getting excited for this new step in my life. I also recently designed my header and I’m pretty happy with the outcome right now. What do you think of it? In terms of the blog posts this year I would love to branch out and try new things. I absolutely loved writing this Pizza Cake post and certainly would love to do many more like that.

I have also discovered some incredible Mauritian blogs over these last two years who produce fantastic content. It’s great to see the number of Mauritian bloggers today!

Looking back over the last year I definitely want to focus more on my blog. Now that I have finished school I feel that I have the ability to accomplish my goals. As well as improving look and feel of the blog I also want to really enhance the content. While writing this post I decided to look at my one year anniversary post for some inspiration and found this:

I knew that blogging would be a journey, one with many ups and downs. You can have incredible baking moments and then the next time you bake you may feel disappointed……I realised baking was my passion when no matter how many times I failed a recipe or baked something that was not what I was too particularly happy with, I would never give up on it.”

Today I still stand by those words and can firmly say that my love for baking has certainly grown over the past year. I have learnt to appreciate the good baking days and learn from my mistakes on the difficult ones.

This post is just a Thank you to all those who like, comment and share my posts because the fact that you took your time to read and tell me what you think really means a lot to me. Thank you to those who have nominated me for blog awards, I really appreciate it. You also act as a real motivation to keep posting! 😉

I would love to hear how other bloggers deal with motivation and writer block! Let me know in the comments below.

Hope you enjoyed this long post

Here’s to another year of blogging!

Much love,

Zahra, 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

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Chicken Escalope

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You might be wondering, why are you posting chicken that looks like my Catless post on Friday?

Or you might not be wondering about that at all. 😉

Well today I present to you: Chicken Escalope.

A sliced piece of  succulent and tender chicken, topped with breadcrumbs providing a soft crunch. This is how it became known as ‘breaded chicken’.

Chicken Escalope aka what I like to call Catless 2.0 because they are both quite similar recipes for scrumptious fried chicken.

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Personally I prefer chicken escalope to Catless. Let me explain to you why.

The chicken escalope is in my opinion softer than Mauritian Catless. I just prefer tasting the breadcrumbs in the chicken escalope, if that makes sense.

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Like Catless, this can be stored in the freezer after preparation for a couple of days.

Once fried I like to eat chicken escalope either on its own, sprinkle some lemon juice on (The acidity works wonders on this chicken, its part of the marinating process) or eat it with spaghetti and tomato sauce.

Of course, the last one is my favourite. 😉

Lets get to the recipe now 🙂

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Chicken Escalope Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 Chicken Breast sliced thinly
  • 1 juice of a Lemon
  • 4-6 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • Beaten Egg
  • Bread Crumbs
  • Vegetable Oil (for frying)

Method:

  1. Marinate the chicken in the olive oil, lemon, paprika, salt and pepper overnight (at least a couple of hours)
  2. Pass the mixture through the beaten egg followed by coating with bread crumbs
  3. Fry in vegetable oil until golden brown
  4. Remove to serve and Enjoy!

– The Cake Architect

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

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