Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Serendipity Ice Cream Class: Part II

Wattleseed and Orange Rind infused creme aglaise
All hands on deck

Eighteen strangers arrived at Serendipity's Marickville factory on a crisp Wednesday evening with eager anticipation and probably a certain amount of trepidation as to what delights or possibly horrors were in store for them that night. Thankfully, within the first 5 minutes of the class, owner Sarah Mandelson had already managed to capture the attention of her class regaling us with amusing anecdotes and enthusing about her love for ice cream. You could tell that ice cream is her passion and she and husband Richard have really staked their reputation on making some of the finest and most luxurious ice cream in Sydney.

The first portion of the class was a basic introduction to her and a short history on how Serendipity Ice Cream came about; which was actually borne more out of necessity than pure chance. Her mother Alix Mandelson, who was an American married to an Australian, missed all the “wacky” American ice cream flavours like Run and Raisin and Rocky Road that were not available here in Sydney during the 60’s. So she found Serendipity Ice cream; and back then Alix would make all the ice cream for the shop using her manual self-churn ice cream maker, an austere contraption that looked a lot like a bucket with a wheel attached to churn the cream while it was submerged in some ice. Now that’s a lot of elbow grease! Ice cream is most certainly in Sarah’s blood, as her mother was not only heavily pregnant while (self)-churning her first batch of Serendipity ice cream but she was actually in labour with Sarah.

Stirring the creme anglaise

The ice cream being made for the class was a Wattleseed and Grand Marnier Ice Cream. You start off with a crème anglaise consisting of cream (35%-40% fat content), milk (full cream or 4% fat) and egg yolks (free-range). This mixture needs to be stirred over a double broiler continuously. Once you have started this process you shouldn't leave the stove, as Sarah emphasises the minute you leave the stove is the instant the crème anglaise will decide to turn into scrambled eggs.

Creme Anglaise

While stirring the crème anglaise, you can now add your sugar; you can also use honey, golden syrup, maple syrup or glucose, whatever you like. Also other flavours you would like to infuse your ice cream with can also be added now, especially things such as herbs, spices and coffee which need to be steeped to release their flavour. Just remember solids such as cinammon sticks and cloves will need to be strained before churning. Once the crème anglaise has thickened, which is after about 20 minutes of continuous stirring you now have your base for your ice cream.

Wattleseed and Orange Rind infused creme aglaise

Now it's time to add your flavourings- today we are using wattleseeds, orange zest, orange essential oil and Grand Marnier. Sarah mentions it is advisable to add several types of flavourings if your base flavour is not potent enough. For example, the orange zest would not have been sufficient to render our ice cream the orange flavour we desired, so to solve this, we added some orange oil and Grand Marnier to boost its overall orange flavour. For the purposes of the class and time restrictions we made a concentrated crème anglaise base and just added this to a large batch of plain crème anglaise that Sarah had made and chilled earlier. That is why the crème anglaise looks extremely dark here.

Pouring the ice cream

The next step, which is vital, is to chill your crème anglaise; as it is not advisable to pour your mixture into any type of ice cream machine while still warm. As Sarah recalls, this is how you would effectively destroy your ice cream machine and your crème anglaise. If this ever happens, you will need to start over. Seeing that for our class Sarah had already prepared a chilled batch of crème anglaise, all we had to do was pour in our concentrated wattleseed mixture into the prepared batch and take a short walk to Gina, their affectionately named ice cream machine.

Gina spits out the churned ice cream

Then you play the waiting game. Luckily for us, Gina is a commercial ice cream machine and can churn nearly 20 litres in less than a mere 10 minutes. After Gina spits out the churned ice cream into buckets we were then allowed to go for our life and fill our 1-litre containers. Sarah asserts that we all fill our containers to the brim as that pockets of air in the container will cause undesired ice crystals to form when frozen. We gladly took her advice and with even more enthusiam accepted the offer to make sure we licked our giant ice cream spatulas clean. They didn't call it hands on for nothing.

Wattleseed and Orange Ice Cream

After you have placed your ice cream in its container you will have to chill it for some time until it is completely frozen. Depending on how efficient your freezer is, this could take an hour or so. We were lucky that Sarah packed our ice cream with some dry ice to continue the freezing process on the way home. Once the ice cream is frozen, the only step left is to devour it with as much gusto and appreciation that was excercised while making the ice cream.

These are some things I learned...
+ Sugar not only makes you ice cream taste better, but it also acts to depress the freezing point of your ice cream thus making for a softer product that is easier to eat. It is actually better to use natural sugars as opposed to artificial sweeteners when making ice cream as that the sugar helps to bind and create a smooth luscious texture to your ice cream.
+ When substituting sugars, replace it weight for weight as sugar volumes vary between different sweeteners. So substituting by weight is a safer bet.
+ Unless you are making gelato or sorbet (not ice cream), do not skimp on the cream or the amount of butterfat content, using more milk or water will cause your ice cream to be harder and not as velvety. They don’t call it ice cream for nothing.
+ Do not use too much alcohol in your ice cream, as that alcohol will cause the ice cream not to freeze at all, resulting in a gooey mush that evidently will not look or taste like ice cream. As a guideline, your ice cream should have no more than 2%-4% alcoholic volume. You can cook the alcohol off first if you want to use more for flavour.
+ Alcohol will actually give the ice cream a very cold “mouth feel”. But adding too much will result in a disaster.
+ When making a vanilla bean ice cream, rub the vanilla beans into the sugar to disperse the seeds and not form clumps.
+ Pieces of nuts should not be added to your crème anglaise. To get maximum flavour, roast them first, chop them and then mix through after churning.
+ Never under any circumstances add citrus juice (acids) to your crème anglaise unless you want to make yoghurt. For citrus flavours, use the zest or essential oils instead.
+ Fruits that have high water content may need to be cooked to a jam consistency before adding to your crème anglaise.
+ When it comes to ice cream, you are only limited by your imagination!

See Part I, with pictures of the the final product

Gina the ice cream churner
333 Enmore Rd
Marickville NSW 2204
Phone: (02) 9557 8986

Check out the last of the round up for Good Food Month here.

Monday, October 30, 2006

The winner is...

The fritter entries came through in mass, and this month’s Donna Day has proved to be another nail-biter. With the contest again being won by only one vote, it was a tight race for first place. So I am pleased to announce the winner is…

virtual drum roll follows…

Il Cavoletto di BruxellesProsciutto and Asiago cheese fritters with balsamico onions!!!

With such a mouth-watering entry like this I can see why it came through triumphant in the end. Your fritter not only showcased some of your regions finest produce but your dish was inspired and so beautifully presented. So a big congratulations to Sigrid, who is the brains behind this beauty. I now pass the baton to you and dub you Queen of Fritters!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Serendipity Ice Cream Class: Part I


[I apologise now for this rather verbose post, but when it comes to ice cream I just cannot be concise]

When one is presented with the opportunity to witness ice cream being made by one of the city’s leading artisans, one should not retreat into reticence but rather do everything in their power to get themselves to that class. Be it feigning illness to get out work commitments or even selling the proverbial kidney, do whatever needs to be done to get to there, especially when one claims to love ice cream almost as much as breathing itself.

Boy do I love ice cream.

Okay, perhaps my passion for ice cream really does not extend so far as to support those outlandish claims, but I cannot ignore the fact that I love ice cream. Even as a child I have vivid memories of how slowly and meticulously I would eat a scoop of ice cream, scooping, scraping and licking in a methodical and almost Zen-like fashion. So whatever it is I love about ice cream, it began at an early age and I am forever ruined for it. Nothing else can compare to a creamy scoop of velvety ice cream, or gelato, or sorbet or semi freddo. Anything frozen and scoop-able is encompassed in this affection.

So where does this lovesick introduction lead us? To the
Serendipityhands on” class being run during Good Food Month, that’s where!

Running the hands on class was Sarah Mandelson, who along with her husband is the owner at the helm of Serendipity. I was delighted to see that she was nowhere near the size of a house and thus proved to me that ice cream does not cause you to, let’s just say, “chubbify”.

A little bit of history. The company was started by Sarah’s mother Alix, who as an American living in Australia pined for the “wacky” American ice cream flavours that seemed to be absent in Australia. Apparently the only unconventional flavour Australia boasted back then was the humble Neapolitan, and unfortunately her mother was allergic to chocolate which left for an uninspired combination of strawberry and vanilla. So what this meant was that an alternative had to be birthed, and so came Serendipity.

Serendipity's Wattleseed Grand Marnier Ice Cream

The underlying mantra for Serendipity is to use all natural ingredients and to use the best, which means no skimping on the cream and to always use the freshest eggs. This I cannot agree with more and after tasting a scoop of Sarah’s ice cream, you will notice how lacking the conventional store-bought ice creams really are. She claims that for the money you would pay for a seemingly “premium” ice cream from the supermarket, there is probably more air churned into the mixture than ice cream itself. Serendipity can pride themselves on making “super premium” ice cream which refers to the fat content (at least 14%) in their ice cream. I know what you’re thinking, whoa mama that's a lot of fat! Although this may seem like a lot, one scoop of her rich and creamy ice cream is more than enough to satisfy. Her ice cream wasn’t designed to be eaten in bulk; it’s more of a luxury item than a cheap thrill.

Sarah’s teaching style is light-hearted and humorous, and her approach to making ice cream is simple and straightforward. She is not one for convoluted techniques and asserts that those long-winded steps are just being “too precious”. What she lacks in convolutions she makes up for creativity, and urges us that the flavour of ice cream is only limited by our imagination. For instance, she tells us of a Laksa ice cream her and her husband concocted for a recent festival in Chinatown. Probably one of the few ice creams to ever contain seafood products! I don't know if I would have fancied this flavour, but this is what she coins as, “intellectual ice cream”- ice cream that will make you think, but will not make you go for another scoop; as opposed to “emotional ice cream”- the kind that you always want more of despite better judgment (and your hips) telling you no.

All gone

The class cost me $40 for 1½ hours but to be honest, I felt like I got a lot for my money. When I left the Marickville factory, I came away with a handful of great ice cream recipes, a wealth of knowledge in making homemade ice cream from scratch, a truly enjoyable time, and a 1-litre tub of freshly made Wattleseed and Grand Marnier Ice Cream packed with my very own reserve of dry ice to keep my ice cream frozen throughout the trip home. All bases were covered and really, what more could you ask for?

Part II: an ice cream class pictorial

See more hands on experiences during Good Food Month at Rebecca Cucina.

Serendipity Ice Cream Shop Front
333 Enmore Rd
Marickville NSW 2204
Phone: (02) 9557 8986

Friday, October 27, 2006

A Lunch with Berry Simple

Antique Teapots

Another good food day transpires during Good Food Month, and this time it brings me to Galileo Restaurant. A number of eateries around Sydney are offering a Let's Do Lunch menu during the month of October and Galileo was one of them. The best thing about this lunch was that I got to meet Audrey of Berry Simple.

After exchanging a few emails we agreed to meet for lunch at the historic
Observatory Hotel, nestled serenely in the part of The Rocks away from tourists and the hustle and bustle that is Hickson Rd. At first glance while standing in front of the unassuming concierge counter there really isn't much to the place. However as you take a few more steps through to the lobby and down the corridor into the bar and restaurant, you immediately feel some place else. There is something old-worldly and genteel about the place, perhaps it is their antique chandeliers, walnut floors or Fortuny silk drapery, but whatever it is, it doesn't have that modern uber-chic minimalist decor that seems to render some establishments feeling very cold and distant.

A table by the window
A table by the window... did they know we were food bloggers?

The Let's Do Lunch menu offered a Jewfish pie with prawn mousse, artichoke salad and béarnaise sauce, matched with a glass Brown Brothers Riesling. A pie is always a satisfying feed, although this one went above and beyond its call of duty. Hunger pangs be gone, and so did my appetite for the rest of the day. This delicious jewfish pie filled me so much to the point that I did not have any room for anything else. And as one who boasts about her seven stomachs for dessert, she stood corrected by this seemingly light pie. Even when dinner time rolled by, when I would normally be trolling the work cafeteria for food, I was still too full to eat. Now this may well be a first!

Jewfish Pie with prawn mousse and artichoke salad

The jewfish filling was fabulously meaty although still melted in your mouth. The pastry that it was parcelled in was beautiful and crisp but was tender enough that it fell apart at the touch of your fork. It was the perfect combination if crisp delicateness. Most of all I loved the béarnaise sauce that accompanied the pie and it is unfortunate that they do not put more on your plate.

Bernaise Sauce

What I love about meeting with other food bloggers, is that instead of your fellow diners gasping at the sight of you taking out a camera to photograph your food, is that they too are fishing for their own camera to take photos. I have found that other than food itself, it’s this shared idiosyncrasy that probably brings food bloggers together more so. After the customary chit-chat was exchanged the conversation was flowing, it was just like meeting up with an old friend. I guess it seemed like we already knew each other as that we had read each others blog and had some sort of insight into each others lives. This is what I love about food blogging.

Brown Brothers Reisling

After such a satisfying lunch, we were thrilled at the offer of some tea and the prospect of possibly easing my gradually bloating mid-section. The tea was served in beautifully ornate silver antique teapots that according to our maître d' were worth around $300 a pop. After hearing this, our tea just felt that little bit more refined and I felt that little bit more “grown-up”. So this is what expensive silverware can do to you.

Aside from the great food and company, I also have to mention the great service we received. The waiters were welcoming and always attentive and when it comes to service, this is usually the underlying factor that determines whether I come back or not. Good food aside, if the service is bad, I am very unlikely to patron the establishment again. So I am very pleased to say that the service here is above reproach, they do everything they can to make your dining experience great, which is what all good restaurants should do. It did help that the lunchtime crowd was rather meagre considering they are not usually open for lunch. Although I think it is safe to say that same sort of attentiveness is provided even when the dining room is full.

So thanks Audrey for a wonderful lunch and hope you have a great weekend away! (check out Audrey's post on our lunch here)

Also, for more lovely lunches during Good Food Month check out the round up here.

Cost: $35
When: Monday - Friday throughout October, Noon-2pm

Galileo's Restaurant
The Observatory Hotel
Galileo Restaurant
89-113 Kent St,
The Rocks, Sydney
Phone: 9256 2215

Hay Hay, Vote today!


The fritters have been fried and the round up has been posted. So what's next? Now it's up to YOU to determine who will be the fritter fryer of this month.

This is a quick reminder that your votes for Hay Hay it's Donna Day need to be in by Sunday, 29th of October. The winner will be announced the following day, so do not delay and make your vote count, the winner could be you!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Sugar Hit: Four Seasons Hotel

Sugar Hit Brown Brothers Orange Muscat Aperitif

The great thing about Sydney’s Good Food Month is that there are not only a surfeit of events and activities to occupy yourself with during the day, but the choices carry on well into the night. From sun-up and long after sun-down, October just becomes an all day glut-fest, where gastronomes can gorge to excess without bringing themselves into too much disrepute. This is the time when closet foodies can emerge out of their hiding places, dust the crumbs off their faces and safely profess their love for food without fear of being publicly shamed. Why not? The whole city is in the midst of a food frenzy.

And if by chance you are a closet sweet tooth, this is the perfect time to come out and indulge yourself in the cover of night with the
Sugar Hits, held every night at selected hotels around Sydney. As a self-confessed sugar addict, this is one GFM event that I could not bear to miss.

Sugar Hit Dessert Sampler

After spending the day stuffing ourselves at the Spring Picnic, I couldn’t think of a better way of capping off our evening than with the Four Seasons Hotel’s dessert sampler. The sampler consists of a Spiced Mexican Chocolate Pot de Crème (centre), a mini Passionfruit pound cake with vanilla mascarpone (foreground) and a Hazelnut Croquant Parfait with sesame crisp, all matched with a glass of Brown Bothers Orange Muscat Aperitif.

Although all three offerings were outstanding I think my favourite had to be the Hazelnut Parfait with sesame crisp. By itself the parfait is quite bland, although when eaten with the sesame crisp, the juxtaposition of flavours is simply superb. It's a unique combination of flavours especially for a dessert. The Passionfruit pound cake was similarly great, and paired with a dollop mascarpone I was sent spiralling into a dessert-induced frenzy. Anything with mascarpone immediately garners my full attention.

Sugar Hit Vanilla Mascarpone & hazelnut croquant parfait with sesame crisp

Lastly, the most disappointing would probably have to be the Spiced Mexican Chocoalte Pot de Crème. Do not get me wrong, it tasted great but there really wasn't enough of it to get a reasonable impression of how good it really was. The one mouthful you did get to taste was chocolatey with subtle notes of spiciness, unfortunately there was only the one mouthful. After having to lick off the vestiges from the tiny ration, you sadly are left wanting more. I'm sorry but a 3mm-deep soup spoon's worth of chocolate isn't going to satisy my seven stomachs for dessert.

Sugar Hit Chocolate Spiced Pots de Creme

Cost: $15
When: every night throughout October from 9pm-11pm

Four Seasons Hotel
The Bar, 199 George St,
The Rocks, Sydney
Phone: (02) 9250 3114

For more Good Food Month action, don't forget to check Rebecca's weekly round up here.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A Spring Pick-i-nik


The Spring Picnic unfortunately failed to bring in the spring weather last Sunday as the sun played peek-a-boo all day during the annual picnic at Centennial Park. The sun might not have arrived but after seeing the selection of food on offer, who was I to complain? We arrived at the Brazillian Fields where the picnic was taking place and was amazed at how empty the place looked in comparison to last year's Spring Picnic which seemed almost hellish to manouver around. Perhaps it was because the stalls were staggered in two separate sections or perhaps it was the weather or even possibly the fact that we had arrived relatively early.

Whatever factor it was that contributed to the seemingly less crowded picnic, I was elated to the be able to navigate my way from stall to stall without having to jostle for pole position when taking photographs. The lines were not at all like they were last year, where the queue for Wagyu steak sandwiches snaked almost halfway down the length of the field. Learning from past experience G and I brought our pick-i-nik rug as that last year there were no available tables. However we were even more delighted to get a call from some friends that had staked the place out early and managed to score a table fairly early. And besides, there were still hoardes of empty tables when we got there, where was everyone?

Despite the picnic seeming all too quiet, the day spent outdoors with good food, wine and friends was nothing to be complaining about. And as one who has a special loathing when it comes to crowds, I was more than happy to have the Spring Picnic all to myself.

Hontou stall

Hontou Cakes
Hontou pancakes in the making

Beb's Patisserie
Beb's Patisserie

Noodle Man
Man working the busy noodle stand

Ice Shaving Contraption
An ice shaving contraption

Profiteroles and Dutch Pancakes
Dutch Pancakes stall

My Little Cupcake
My Little Cupcake stand


Mojo Picon Man
Working the grill at Mojo Picon

Mojo Picon Chorizo
Chorizos at Mojo Picon

Mojo Picon Stall
The busy Mojo Picon stall

Mojo Picon Prawns
Sizzling prawns

Mojo Picon Prawn Roll
After the long wait... G finally gets his Mojo Picon Prawn Roll

Edmundi Smokehouse Chalkboard
Edmundi Smokehouse chalkboard menu

Edmundi Smokehouse Smoked Ribs
Edmundi Smokehouse juicy smoked BBQ ribs with creole

Line for Hot Chocolate and Coffee
The line for Mayan Cofee and Xocolat

Venison Pies and Rolls
Venison pies and rolls

Pat & Stick's Ice Cream Sandwich Almond lace and Mocha Ice Cream
For dessert, Pat & Stick's Almond Lace, a sideview

Pat & Stick's Icea Cream Sandwich Almond Lace and Mocha Ice Cream
The Almond Lace from above, almond biscuit with mocha ice cream

Brown Brothers
Brown Borthers dessert wine
Dolcetto and Syrah

Japan Pancake
Japan Pancake

The Spring Picnic is an annual event hosted during the month of October for Sydney Morning Herald's Good Food Month.

Need more of Good Food Month? Check out Rebecca Cucina's weekly round up here.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

HHDD #6: Round 'em up!

Zuccini, Ham, Basil and Ricotta Fritters with Aioli
My Zucchini and Basil Ricotta Fritters with Aioli

Now, when the call was made for one and all to offer up their best in fritter recipes, I honestly did not expect such a large collection of entries. It's been said that "you don’t make friends with salad" but you have showed that you certainly make friends with fritters. With 26 entries in total (if you include mine), I made lots of new friends and there was no doubting the fact that F definitely stood for Fritter this month! I was almost delirious reading about all the exceptional fritter recipes that were submitted, and now it is my great pleasure to share with you the round up of how this whole fritter fiesta ensued.
First out of the blocks was Anna from Morsels and Musings in Sydney, Australia. She was over the moon when she managed to satisfy both herbivore and omnivore alike with her Zucchini Fritters. She also uses kefalotyri cheese in her fritters which makes for a very interesting flavour. Nice work Anna!

Next we have Barbara of Winos and Foodies, she is the godmother of Donna Day and showcases for us the best Corn Fritters she has ever made using Donna’s very own Corn Fritter recipe. Looking at her decadent submission, I couldn’t agree more. Thanks Barbara for initiating such a wonderful event.

We now have Kathryn of the wellbeing-conscious blog Limes & Lycopene. She provides us with a detailed photographic account how to put together Zucchini Fritters. She says that these fritters are a great way to fool any vegetable-loathing kid into eating their veggies. When you have kids, different ways of sneaking vegetables into food is an essential skill to have. Ensure that you are in the know, and check out her post.

Ellie the wonderful Kitchen Wench says “yes!” to fritters with these delectable Chilli Cannelllini and Corn Fritters. They are an exotic variation of a Korean fritter called ‘bin-dae-dok’. They apparently have a unique texture as a result from the pureed beans. These are a must-try!

All the way from Columbus, OH; Columbus Foodie Becke, offered up a sweet treat with these Nothin’ to Fret about Apple Fritters. With a name like that how could you pass up these scrumptious creations! This recipe is a resounding hit with any dessert lover.

Next up, Brilynn of Jumbo Empanadas brings some stylish Haddock Fritters to our little fritter jamboree. And what better way to make us drool, than to pair the fritters with some beautiful tzatziki. This is an elegant and luscious submission that would not have been possible without the help of her dad and Jamie “Oliver-ay”. Thanks!

Our next stop takes us closer to home in Melbourne, Australia. Anh takes us on a Food Lover’s Journey with some beautifully fried Prawn Fritters. One bite into these crunchy morsels and you will be in fritter fantasy-land. And although banana fritters would also have been great, these Prawn Fritters surely hit the spot.

Queen of mouth-watering photographs is Peabody of Culinary Concoctions by Peabody. She has graced us with her wonderful Mushroom Medley Fritters. Using an array of gorgeous fresh mushrooms such as chanterelles and criminis, paired with some Saffron Aioli, it's a combination to die for. And to think Peabody was not going to participate, we would have missed out on such a drool-worthy fritter. Thanks for frittering, even if you normally don't.

Sigrid whose blog, Il Cavoletto di Bruxelles hails all the way from the Eternal City, Rome, brings a superb entry showing off some of Italy's most recognised exports. Her outstanding photography not only does justice to her Prosciutto and Asiago Cheese Fritters with Balsamico Onions but also makes us envious of the beautiful produce available in Italy. Also make sure you wish her a belated Happy Birthday!

Back home in Sydney, Haalo who will Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once, never disappoints with a delectable contribution of Ricotta Fritters. She also puts an Italian spin on these ethereal and fluffy fritters and makes them irresistibly moreish. I've made something similar to these before and can vouch for their deliciousness. And I must warn you, she is right, you can't just stop at one.

Carolyn of Field to Feast from Zimbabwe shares with us a South-African inspired recipe for Pumpkin Fritters. She attributes her love of pumpkins to her stay in Australia that apparently spraked her passion and expanded her “pumpkin repertoire”. I’m so glad we Aussies showed you that pumpkins aren't just for jack-o-lanterns.

When Swee professed that she is A Self-Proclaimed Foodaholic, she didn't lie. Swee also doesn't hold back offering us thrice the fritter action with a Basic Corn and Carrot Fritter and then some Sweet Potato Fritters and finishes the trio off with a healthy Yellow Split Pea Fritter. She has showed us that she can definitely fritter, as we're spoilt for choice with Swee's entry and I'm glad she went that extra mile.

Lushlife of Not Just Desserts provides us with a slice of heaven with these Apple Fritters and Vanilla Ice-Cream. They are by no means a mere dessert, topped with Pariya rose petals and maple syrup, Lushlife shows us that fritters have never looked as pretty.

Back across the Tasman, the always exciting Bron of Bron Marshall never disappoints when she shares a fritter for the young and old alike. Her gorgeous Peter Rabbit Carrot Caraway Fritters reminds us that fritters are fun; be it for an outdoor picnic or a lazy Sunday afternoon, these fritters are sure to dazzle.

Ilingc from Melbourne, exclaims Feed Me! I'm Hungry! And ready to satiate her appetite were these awesome Malaysian Prawn Fritters. Like Ilingc I’d love nothing more than to take a bite into these little cakes of goodness. She claims that she misses her mother's version but I think her rendition would do her mum proud.

Were crossing over again to NZ, as Mary of La Tavola shares a sweet sensation through these Lemon Fritters. Like many of you, I am a great fan of lemons, so understandably these fritters would be a favourite hands down. I don't think a plateful would really be enough. With a dusting of icing sugar, it's blissful in every bite!

Caryn, all the way from the UK gives us an account in her Reality Bites Diary of an interesting and delicious creation with some Cider Fritters. Caryn makes use of apples during its peak season and what better way to use the freshest apples than to make these beautiful fritters.

Our previous Donna Day host Tami is not only Running with Tweezers in one hand but with Carrot Scallion Fritters in the other. She shows us that she hasn't lost her touch, and really Donna Day would not be the same without her. I'm sure her former fritter trepidations have been allayed with these sensational creations. Well done Tami!

Neil is our first and only male to enter Donna Day, so he deserves three cheers for braving these oestrogen-infested waters. Neil of Food for Thought has offered us the charmingly named Rat's Tail Fritters. It's a definite hit with the kids and I'm sure with a name like that it will pique many people's interest. The Rat's Tail alludes to the fritters’ shape and reassuringly does not contain any real rats. Thanks Neil, for adding a bit of boyish fun into the mix.

Stephanie is known for Dispensing Happiness and today happiness is found in a fritter. Herbed Beef Fritters in fact, served with a tomato-based fondue. Any frown can be turned upside down with this terrific recipe by Stephanie. So come on and get happy with these fritters!

Next is Anita, she is happily Married with Dinner in San Francisco and touts that she has frittered the day away making lovely Fried Green Tomatoes. Luckily, salvaging her bumper crop of green tomatoes has been a cinch when she decides to make them into fabulous fritters. They are a sizzling sensation and how could they not be, look at them! Anita shows us that green tomatoes are where it's at.

Linda of Kayak Soup gives us some of her Ham and Corn Fritters. Linda runs with Donna's existing Corn Fritter recipe and takes it to another dimension when she adds some ham into the mix. She combines two classic flavours for a double hit of excitement. These fritters can do no wrong and when paired with some sweet chilli sauce you have a definite hit on your hands.

Our beloved San Francisco blogger Sam of Becks and Posh shares with us some of her Purple Potato Fritters. She claims that these were the fritters from hell, as they were incredibly hellish to photograph but if you take a closer look they actually look very appetising. They might have been a nightmare for Sam to photograph, but she reassures that the flavour was nothing short of heavenly.

Were almost to the end of this fritter fiesta but it would not be complete without Littlem of Gustoso; she shows us some fritter love with these Heart-Shaped Corn Fritters. They make for an amazing Sunday morning breakfast, paired with some roasted tomatoes and crispy bacon. Now this is a great way to get me up in the morning!

And now as we come to the end of our fritter soiree, Jenni of Hoogie Woogie reminds us that nothing could be better than the classic Apple Fritter. The apple was certainly a popular choice for frittering and who could blame anyone. She gives us the most perfect recipe for fritters, and trust me it will not disappoint.

Now that we have finally come to the end of this fritter shindig, it has been a blast traveling through each blog and seeing what fritter you have come up with. Thanks for taking the time to show that F is definitely for Fritter. And now it is time for you to vote for your favourite fritter- think about it carefully and take your time, there are so many fritters for your perusal. You will have up until the 29th of October to decide who will be the triumphant fritterer for this Donna Day.

Email your votes to me at milkandcookieblog@yahoo.com.au and I will tally up your votes and reveal the winner shortly after. Good Luck everyone!