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Friday, August 24, 2007

Steamboat Party

It's been raining on and off for about a week now in Sydney. And what's the best way to embrace this latest spate of cold weather?

A steamboat party!

Steamboat buffet

There were nineteen happy people at the G-man residence last weekend. Two steamboat pots bubbled happily with broth (one Thai, one Japanese) and a sidetable groaned with fishballs, beef balls, beef slices, pork slices, tiger prawns, dumplings, shiitake mushrooms, Japanese fishcake, marinated chicken, calamari rings, bean vermicelli, udon noodles, enoki mushrooms, baby bok choy and more.

Assorted fish balls (the orange ones at the front were a spicy Thai variety)

Tiger prawns and calamari rings

Dexter's selection ready for cooking

The idea is simple. Help yourself to the raw buffet, then dump the lot into the broth and fish out once they are cooked to your liking. Usually everyone cooks simultaneously at the table, with people using chopsticks and wire "fishing baskets" to hold their catch. Today we observed a one-at-a-time approach, avoiding any squabbling or chopstick clashes.

My cooked steamboat selection

The soup was warming, the windows fogged up, and we all seemed to expand at least two belt notches.

Then the homemade desserts were proudly unleashed by their creators, and suddenly there was room for more.

First a giant blondie slab, like brownies but made with white chocolate instead of milk. The slice was moist, dense and buttery, with a white chocolate sweetness and a crackle of crumbly crust. It was a little different to my first encounter with a blondie, but just as delicious.


And then there was Monkey's Lint white chocolate cheesecake, a calorific behemoth made with white chocolate, double cream, cream cheese and mascarpone. Studded with fresh blueberries and set over a digestive biscuit crust, there was a mad scramble in the kitchen for a slice.

Homemade Lindt white chocolate cheesecake
(a death by calorie experience)

The richness of the cheesecake was somewhat tempered by a generous spoonful of raspberry coulis. However we still rubbed our stomachs in pain once the feast was over and the cheesecake calories suddenly hit our digestive system.

It was a good kind of pain though.

And then a voice rang out, "Hey, anymore cheescake left?"
9 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 8/24/2007 09:25:00 pm


  • At 8/24/2007 10:33 pm, Blogger spicyicecream said…

    That cheesecake looks divine! *dribbles*
    No matter how stuffed I am, I always manage to find a little more room for dessert :)

  • At 8/24/2007 11:31 pm, Blogger Ginger said…

    Ohh. I love home-made steamboat! Especially when eaten with great company! In fact, I just had one yesterday..

    The cheesecake looks sooo awesome. I wish I could bake like that. My brother would be so happy! LOL.

  • At 8/25/2007 4:58 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh YUMMO! looks sooooooooo good. can i come along next time? hehe

    Yours Foodie Truly
    Simon :-)

  • At 8/25/2007 8:16 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I've never had a blondie....is this something I need to rectify? :D

  • At 8/26/2007 12:16 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Lisa - I agree, I always find my emergency dessert stomach. I've read that apparently you are less liekly to crave dessert if your main meal has contained sugar. It's actually the sugar component that your palate is craving - it's just so much tastier when sugar is accompanied by a generous helping of fat, cream and cheese :)

    Hi ginger - The cheesecake was divine, and even better, didn't even require baking. It's a melt, mix and chill dish, at least 24 hours to get it firm.

    Hi Simon Leong - lol. Only if you bring a cheesecake :)

    Hi Aptronym - If you like white chocolate, then yes! A true blondie is supposed to have butterscotch chips in it, I think, but these are only available in the US and even then, not quite so readily. I looked when I was in NYC and failed miserably :(

  • At 8/26/2007 11:32 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm really not a white chocolate person but I googled for a recipe after reading your post and they seemed to vary a lot. Somes with butterscotch, some with walnuts etc. I ended up using this recipe http://smittenkitchen.com/2006/11/blondies-for-a-blondie but with bits of lindt chocolate.

  • At 8/26/2007 10:52 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi aptronym - I don't there is a definitive blondie recipe, but your version with Lindt chocolate chunks sounds pretty good to me! :)

  • At 8/27/2007 7:00 pm, Blogger Rachel said…

    Ahh the asian steamboat parties ... reminds me of home (Singapore) and chinese new year. It is truly a great time to gather friends and family together. A nice touch having home-made western desserts too just to keep it Aussie :)

    Lovely pictures and a nice capture of the atmosphere.

  • At 8/27/2007 10:37 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Rachel - Steamboat is always fun. One of those "the-more-the-merrier" events :)


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