Popcorn Macarons

I don’t like popcorn. People look at me weirdly when I say that, because how could you not like popped corn kernels doused in butter? But seriously, I just think that popcorn doesn’t really have much flavour apart from salt, and it gets stuck in your teeth, and it’s kind of just like eating air. Salty air.

When I was contacted by Planet Popcorn, a Taiwanese handmade popcorn chain, who offered to send me some popcorn samples, I was all ready to politely decline, but then I saw the flavours. Double Chocolate. Basil Chicken. CORN SOUP. I was officially intrigued and happily accepted the samples. This was a good thing, because this popcorn was pretty awesome – especially the savoury flavours. The basil chicken was peppery and slightly spicy, and the corn soup tastes exactly like the hot corn soup you get out of vending machines in Japan.

Even the original flavour was good, with a very light, sweet coating around each buttery popped corn kernel, ensuring that each piece of popcorn stays crunchy. I thought that the sweet and salty flavour was perfect to go in a popcorn-based dessert, so I decided to make these awesome popcorn macarons.

I realised I hadn’t made macarons in a couple of years, and I could definitely tell I was out of practice. It didn’t help that this was the first time baking macarons in my current oven, so despite using the same recipe that I’ve used numerous times before, the temperature was a bit off and they nearly failed on me.

So even though they weren’t my best work, they still turned out pretty tasty with a gooey caramel filling and bits of crunchy popcorn sprinkled on top. The other popcorn flavours were devoured pretty quickly by everyone, with the crowd favourites being the corn soup, basil chicken, coffee and original flavours. If you want to try some of Planet Popcorn’s popcorn, head over to Westfield Hurstville between 13th-17th April to the new Planet Popcorn store where there will be giveaways, prizes and other launch offers. Don’t forget to pick up a packet of corn soup flavoured popcorn too!

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Cho Cho San, Potts Point

Well hello again, it’s been a while! If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I’ve just returned from a whirlwind trip to Hokkaido in Japan where we got stuck in the airport both there and back, and when we finally landed on home soil, I was off again on another interstate work trip!

So it’s kind of nice to be home, and to have time to sit down and blog and just chill. But one thing I started to miss as soon as we got back to Australia was the incredible food in Japan – hell, even the fast food there is way better (Mos Burger anyone?)

So yes, this post is about Japanese food, coz you all know I can never get sick of the stuff. I’d had Cho Cho San on my radar for a while, so I was pretty happy when Charm chose this restaurant to have her farewell dinner.

Tempura eggplant miso – $13

The menu has a selection of dishes designed for sharing, which suited us perfectly as we were able to try little bits of everything. We started with the tempura eggplant miso, a deep fried take on the classic nasu dengaku. The tempura batter was wonderfully light, encasing soft pieces of eggplant and drizzled with a sweet miso sauce, sesame seeds and shallots.

Beef tataki, wild rice, ginger dressing – $14

The beef tataki was like no other I’d had, with super thin slices of fatty raw beef that melted in the mouth, with nutty-tasting wild rice for texture and a light ginger dressing.

Hokkaido scallops, yuzu, katsuoboshi – $18

One of the best things about visiting Hokkaido is the amazing seafood, particularly the crab and scallops. Hokkaido scallops are plump and sweet, and especially sweet when eaten raw. The hokkaido scallop dish at Cho Cho San played up the sweetness of the scallops by contrasting it against the umami flavours of the katsuoboshi (dried bonito) and the tangy flavour of yuzu. There was also chopped radish and wakame seawood for colour.

Tuna, avocado, pickled eggplant – $22
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