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Monday, August 28, 2006

Just Desserts at The Boulevard Markets, Sydney Olympic Park

A little bit of Africa at Sydney Olympic Park

Please note: The Boulevard Market has been discontinued

The Boulevard Markets have been happening at Sydney Olympic Park for over a year now, but it was only yesterday that I finally headed over check them out. The lure of a cooking demonstration, titled Just Desserts--Pudding and Pie, may have had something to do with it, but I'm not telling. =)

There's a huge sign that catches your eye as you exit and enter Olympic Park station:

trains or beer

I was interested in neither. The Boulevard Market was straight ahead.

boulevard markets

After completing a lap in about ten minutes, it was clear the markets were more of an art and craft fair (jewellery, baby books, lamps and personalised kids socks) with an aisle of stalls devoted to food and condiments. There was a strong family presence: kids were entertained with free hat-making activities, and a stage down the far end kept the adults occupied with the cooking demonstration.

There was still food to be had though, and where there's food, there will be photos!

bamboo steamers
Pork buns in bamboo steamers

Sausages, beef and vegetables on the grill

Pendants on ribbon necklaces


jams and chutney stall
Rodrom's Country Goodness stall

I was quite taken with the products at the Rodrom's Country Goodness stall where there was man's mustard, pineapple mint honey and ginger marmalades. All were handmade by the farmer himself; the pineapple mint honey, I was told, was infused by using a special breed of pineapple mint leaves, allowed to steep in the honey until the flavour was imparted.

ginger marmalade
Homemade fresh ginger marmalade $4.00

I couldn't resist the fresh ginger marmalade, a simple concoction of fresh ginger, lime zest, lime juice and sugar. It's a refreshingly zingy spread which has been united with toast. It's deliriously good as a topping on ice cream as well.

custard apples
Organic custard apples

african food
Beleafrica African Food

Lunch was sought from the Beleafrica African Food stall, where the happy servers were dishing up Kenyan chicken, stewed beef, eggplant tajine and more.

black eyed beans
Black eyed beans, African bread, nembe triangle and
tajine pumpkin on couscous $8.50

I went for vegetarian, with black eyed beans and tajine pumpkin. Both were plain and mild tasting; the sweet smooth pumpkin, which almost tasted as if it were steamed, was a welcome alternate mouthful to the black eyed beans which were a little thick and coagulated.

The nembe triangle was a crisp deep-fried pastry of peas, carrot and potato. The African bread was a deep fried dumpling, a little like a Chinese cruller (you tiao or you zha gui) but slightly denser and spongier.

A seat was cleverly chosen at the cooking demonstration area, so we could watch and eat. Just like TV but live and aromatic!

Sydney Olympic Park Food and Groove program

cooking demonstration
Cooking demonstration with Lorraine Godsmark
hosted by Joanna Savill

We watched Lorraine Godsmark from Yellow Bistro & Food Store prepare an apple and raisin brown butter tart. The best tips we learnt from Lorraine were:

1. Be gentle with pastry dough or it will be tough and non-flaky. A sign of overworked dough is when it springs back when you try to roll it out.

2. Use fresh bread crumbs (or sourdough, cake or sponge crumbs--any will do as long as it's soft and fresh) to line your pastry before topping it with fruit. This will help soak up any excess juices that leak from your cooking fruit, ensuring your pastry base stays crisp and buttery.

3. Heat your baking tray in the oven before placing your flan tin on top of it. Then ensures the base of the tart hits a hot surface, starting the crisping process as soon as possible.

4. Cook your tart in the bottom third of your oven. I always thought that hot air rises, but Lorraine thinks that this is the best place in a home oven to cook a tart that will crisp on the bottom (maybe the temperature disparity is smaller?).

We all received tart samples to share (free dessert! Woohoo!). The apple was deliciously thick and comforting, contrasting with the crispy buttery pastry base below. The apple wasn't overly sweet but the brown butter topping was crumbly and almost biscuity with sugar. It was quite delicious so I've re-produced the recipe handout below.

apple tart
Apple and raisin brown butter tart

Apple and Raisin Brown Butter Tart
By Lorraine Godsmark, from Yellow Bistro & Food Store

250g flour
pinch of salt
175g unsalted butter
25g castor sugar
25g egg yolk
25g whole egg
40g milk

Cut butter into 2cm cubes. In a bowl, whisk together yolks, egg and milk. Place flour, salt and butter in food processor and pulse three or four times. Add sugar and pulse again. Pour milk mix through the shoot of food processor as you continue to pulse. The dough should still look lumpy. Turn out onto a bench and chop through with a pastry to evenly distribute the butter. Now smear the dough across your bench with the heel of your hand; scrape back into one mass and smear across bench one more time. Streaks of butter should still be visible. Dust dough with flour and gently work into a ball. Do not overwork dough. Flatten into a disc 3cm high, then cover and allow to rest overnight. This is a very gentle process that should eliminate shrinkage. The next day roll the disc out into a flat circle 3mm thick and trim to fit into a 28cm flan tin.

5 Granny Smith apples
2 Golden Delicious apples
50g unsalted butter
100g castor sugar
3 whole cloves
50g raisins

Peel and core apples, cut in half and then each half into 5 wedges. Melt butter over a medium heat in a saucepan large enough to fit the apples in one layer. Add apples and saute to coat with butter. Sprinkle over sugar and cloves, continue cooking until apples have caramelised and are soft. Stir in raisins and cook a further minute to soften. Remove from pan and cool before using. This can be prepared a few days ahead if necessary.

3 eggs
200g castor sugar
80g flour (sifted)
185g unsalted butter
1 vanilla bean

Whisk eggs and sugar in mixer until thick and pale. Lower speed and blend in flour. Meanwhile place butter in a pot with the split vanilla bean and cook over a high heat until butter is brown and foamy. Continue until bubbles subside and the colour turns a dark golden. The butter will continue to smoke and have a nutty aroma. Strain butter through a sieve onto the egg mixture, whisking continuously until well combined. Cool in fridge overnight.

Remove flan tin from fridge. To maximise pastry crispness, sprinkle fresh breadcrumbs or sponge cake crumbs liberally over the base. This will help absorb any juice which may leak from the cooking apples. Cover the base with the apple filling, and then pipe a layer of brown butter topping about 2cm thick over the apples. Bake at 200C for 45 minutes and then lower the oven to 160C for 15 minutes.

Serve with whipped cream sweetened with icing sugar and cinnamon, or creme fraiche ice cream.

The Boulevard Market is on the 4th Sunday of every month
9am-2pm, Olympic Boulevard
Sydney Olympic Park

Please note: The Boulevard Market has been discontinued

The next cooking demonstration will be themed around Thai cuisine.

Rodrom's Country Goodness
Jams, Marmalades, Mustards and Chutney
GJ and NS Rodrom
"Pride of Oak", Hargraves NSW
Tel: +61 (02) 9373 8502

In addition to the Boulevarde Markets (4th Sunday of every month) the Rodroms also have a regular stall at:

Frenchs Forest Organic Market
Every Sunday 9am to 2pm
Parkway Hotel. Frenchs Forest Rd East, Frenchs Forest

Riverside Craft Fair
2nd Saturday of the month 9am to 3pm
Riverside Girls High School, Cnr Huntley's Point Rd and Victoria St
Hunters Hill (next to Gladesville Bridge)
11 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Anonymous on 8/28/2006 09:02:00 pm


  • At 8/29/2006 3:36 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I plan on doing a post on Jams and Jellies on my blog 'Serge the Concierge'...I will mention the 'ginger marmelade' you feature (and your story) in it.

    Take care

    Montclair, New Jersey

  • At 8/29/2006 9:14 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Might I suggest using the ginger marmalde in a pork chilli stirfry. A teaspoon should do but its yum!

  • At 8/29/2006 12:17 pm, Blogger Jen said…

    I have always been meaning to go to the boulevarde markets, but I just get too lazy on Sundays. Your photo always make me feel I am right there.

    And this tart looks scrupmtious, I love anything with a crumbly topping. I usually eat everything else first then leave the topping for last.

  • At 8/29/2006 1:10 pm, Blogger Reb said…

    I knew when I say the dessert thing advertisied you might not be able to resist! Is that the same Godsmark who used to do all the pastry and desserts at Rockpool? She's a legend.

  • At 8/29/2006 2:20 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    hoho,yeh~~~We had the African food too~~~~Kenya Chicken with cous cous, lovely african lady also suggested african bread, a little bit sweet like donuts~

    Thanks again for your information sharing, Helen. I am really addicted to those weekly markets. :)
    What's for this weekend?
    Good living food market by SMH and Spanish Festival, which will be held on the street where I am living now. Huray~

  • At 8/29/2006 2:35 pm, Blogger Veruca Salt said…

    The snags look good.

    Ginger marmelade is one of my secret ingredients for glazing whole legs of ham at xmas.

  • At 8/29/2006 9:14 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Your wonderful posts about these amazing food adventures in Sydney makes me want to be less lazy on my weekends and take advantage of some of the gems that we have here in Melbourne! The ginger marmalade sounds like a wonderful thing to have in the pantry!

  • At 8/30/2006 3:00 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    Just quoted your story and the 'Ginger Marmelade' today in 'Jammin...not with Bob' on 'Serge the Concierge.


  • At 8/30/2006 5:32 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Helen,
    I take it you meant pastry chef extraordinaire, although her pastries are trés extraordinaire, to be sure (re your answer to Reb). You can still sample her date tart at Yellow. Personally, I can't really see what all the fuss is ... methinks she has got far more superior offerings.

  • At 8/30/2006 3:45 pm, Blogger Anastasia said…

    everything looks great - will have to pay these markets a visit!

  • At 9/01/2006 11:16 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I love lorraine..she is the tart goddess..thanks so much for posting her tips and the recipe...will have to give it a go


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