Restaurant review: Steven Ter Horst Chocolatier, Adelaide

Restaurant review: Steven Ter Horst Chocolatier, Adelaide

Steven ter Horst Chocolatier
08 8373 1330
221d Unley Rd Malvern
Malvern, SA 5061

Oh Adelaide. I’m not even that big a sweets lover, but your love for dessert cafe woos my heart so. I was bemoaning the fact that Melbourne really should have little dainty dessert cafes such as this when a friend said to me in no uncertain terms that I needed to stop being greedy and that Adelaide had little enough good food, did I really have to steal the dessert cafes for good-food-aplenty-Melbourne?

Fair. I will admit that was a fair call, so I shut up and allowed myself to resign to the fact that I’ll be flying back to Adelaide in future years (should I ever leave it) for the dessert cafes. Which isn’t a bad idea, really, if you think about it.

Steven Ter Horst would be one of those dessert cafes that I would list as worth flying back for. Housed in Unley, this little chocolatier is cozy and rather unassuming. At least, the front is. That thought is quickly thrown out of the window when you take a peek through their glass fridges and suddenly you are drooling over the delicate looking chocolates and all thoughts of Koko Black goes straight out the window.

I love the neat lines, the use of space, the decor was minimalist and done oh-so-well. There’s tables for folks to cuddle a mug of hot chocolate over though not too many. The variety in terms of other types of desserts is somewhat limited but all of them look equally as scrumptious as the next so I was left despairing over which one to order.

They also sell tea. Just thought I’d put it out there. But you are in a chocolatier. Why would you drink tea? At least, that would be the way I think. What do you mean that’s not the way everybody thinks? Pishposh.

Back to my issue of what to get: I finally settled with this beautiful lemon dessert to curb the lemon tart craving. I’m calling it a lemon dessert because I have no idea anymore what it was called. Notes, what are they? What do you mean I can write in them.

Here’s an inside shot. I may not be able to tell you exactly what it is, but I can tell you it was really, really, good. Full of lemony goodness with some really rich and in-your-face chocolate power in the middle. Plus check out that insane shininess on the outside!

I really should blog more often, I feel like I’m losing my touch at describing food. Becoming more grateful and less picky, more appreciative and less food bloggy. But while I’m still trying to find my magic touch once more, you just have to believe me that Steven Ter Horst is worth a visit, and you best get your butt over there. If you aren’t from Adelaide, maybe you should look at some hotel deals, it’s worth the trip!

I didn’t order all of these, don’t worry. My friends did though, and I was allowed to ‘taste test’. Mmmm, yummy all the way through. Though this cake was not as rich and as yummy as it could have been. And remember, don’t breathe just as you are chowing down onto the cake. Inhale all that chocolate powder and die from hacking up your lungs.

And to top it all off, my standard Hot chocolate. Not as rich as Koko black, not as watery as Max Brenner’s. It sits nicely in the middle and I must say I was in love with its foamy goodness and its velvety good taste.

For the takeaway lovers – see how cute the takeaway box is! Now you never have to fumble with the lid to get it open to remember which box had which dessert. And you get the added bonus of being able to look at it and drool.

Steven Ter Horst – visit it. You won’t regret it.

Steven ter Horst Chocolatier on Urbanspoon

Recipe: Dulce de leche brownies

Recipe: Dulce de leche brownies

I’ve never made brownies before. In fact, I didn’t really eat brownies till I tasted the amazing brownies made by Barbara from Bees Knees Brownie Company.

Oh that and the amazing chocolate x raspberry brownies that I will be sharing soon. That recipe was from a student’s mum, but this one that I’m talking about today is from David Lebovitz who adapted it from somewhere else… it doesn’t matter. What matters is that it was my first brownie attempt and I think it was rather a success!

I’ve been trying to work more efficiently and more systematically. Part of that is measuring out every single thing I need beforehand so I don’t need to stop what I’m doing midway to fiddle with measurements. It does mean more bowls are being used but it definitely helped speed things up.

Anyways, here’s the recipe – copy pasted from the amazing David Lebovitz:

Dulce de Leche Brownies


115g salted or unsalted butter, cut into pieces
170g bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
25g unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
3 large eggs
200g sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
140g flour
optional: 100g toasted pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 cup Dulce de Leche (or Cajeta)


1. Preheat the oven to 175c.
2. Line a 8-inch (20 cm) square pan with a long sheet of aluminum foil that covers the bottom and reaches up the sides. If it doesn’t reach all the way up and over all four sides, cross another sheet of foil over it, making a large cross with edges that overhang the sides. Grease the bottom and sides of the foil with a bit of butter or non-stick spray.
3. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the chocolate pieces and stir constantly over very low heat until the chocolate is melted. Remove from heat and whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth. Add in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the sugar, vanilla, then the flour. Mix in the nuts, if using.
4. Scrape half of the batter into the prepared pan. Here comes the fun part:
Drop one-third of the Dulce de Leche, evenly spaced, over the brownie batter, then drag a knife through to swirl it slightly. Spread the remaining brownie batter over, then drop spoonfuls of the remaining Dulce de Leche in dollops over the top of the brownie batter. Use a knife to swirl the Dulce de Leche slightly.
5. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes. The brownies are done when the center feels just-slightly firm. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

Storage:These brownies actually become better the second day, and will keep well for up to 3 days.

Did I mention these were the first brownies I’ve ever made? Ever?

How do you think I went?

Okay, I’ll be the first to admit. I completely failed at cutting the brownies. I didn’t chill them in the fridge before cutting (but they had been cooled completely) and my heated knife trick didn’t work so well. And I found that blasted plastic knife after I was done cutting it all.

Taste wise, I think they were pretty good. They weren’t impossibly sweet like I had thought they’d be. As I was pouring the cup of sugar in, I could feel my heart sinking. But thankfully, it wasn’t tooth-achingly sweet and actually turned out really decent. Yummy!

Here’s another photo for the road:


p/s: Special mention and thanks to the amazing Elias Lopez for being my Dulce de Leche drug dealer. He introduced me to it and I’ve been hooked ever since!

Livestrong with a Taste of Yellow: Bananas with Chocolate Sauce

Livestrong with a Taste of Yellow: Bananas with Chocolate Sauce

It was deep in the night. We were still awake after a fun filled night. My housemate was asleep, our mutual friend stayed awake and we chatted over a cuppa of tea.

It was then that she told me about her brush with death – her life before cancer and her life after the first tumor.

She cried as I looked on helplessly, not entirely sure how to comfort her but still rejoicing in the fact she was now safe and sound and the tumors and chemotherapy a thing of the past. After all, she was only a young one at twenty-odd years old. The talk of death and cancer was uncomfortable. Nobody likes to be reminded of how fragile life is.

Life went on, and we slowly lost contact as she moved on in her life and what I always hoped to be away from cancer.

I found out the hard way that she hadn’t moved away from cancer after all. I picked up a copy of MX and her face stared at me from the rustling paper.

Image source: Daily Telegraph

Her name was Clare Oliver and perhaps some of you folks from Melbourne, perhaps even in other parts of Australia might remember her as the girl who fought against solariums in her final days and lost to the battle of cancer herself a few weeks later.

Do you know how hard it is to read the paper, realise your friend is dying and feel helpless? To this day, I kick myself for having found out that way – from the newspaper. How outrageous does that sound? Why didn’t I stay in touch, why didn’t I stay close to her, and why wasn’t I there in her final days?

I did attend her funeral, but nothing can really lighten the feeling of guilt that I wasn’t there with her, for her.

So Clare, this is for you. It is not much, but you did like chocolate.

Bananas along with chocolate sauce, drawn up in my best chocolate drawing skills, which unfortunately isn’t much at all. The chocolate was made from David Lebovitz‘s recipe which he calls the amazing sauce and it tasted just that. Amazing.

Perhaps what made this dish even better was the fact that the sun was out and it felt amazing to be in the warm again. But kids, please do remember what Clare Oliver stands for. Sunscreen, and no excessive sunbathing. This is very important, so I implore you to stay inside and always, always, always use that sunscreen.

Sometimes I look back through my photos and I shed a tear or two as I remember the nights we went out clubbing, of memories of her trying to put on her makeup in the tram, stabbing herself in the eye with her false lashes and us getting wasted and drunk in the night clubs.

I have videos of drunk!Clare who was insistent that my plushie bee was moving and out to terrorize her, and of her saying that white bread was salty. Drunk!Clare was very funny Clare. Those videos are well-treasured and my only proof that she was once alive and treading upon the soil of this earth like you and me.

It is hard to lose a friend, a family member and really it is hard to lose anything. So, Thank You to organizations like Livestrong and thank you to others who have been fighting alongside. I look forward to the day when a complete cure for cancer exist and I hope it is soon.

For more information on Livestrong with a Taste of Yellow, please visit Barbara’s blog. There are many more touching stories and many other hearts to visit, so I do hope you click along and take a minute to share along with many others.

The Best Chocolate Sauce

From David Lebovitz, the genius


1 cup (250 ml) water
1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
1/2 cup (160 g) light corn syrup, agave nectar, or glucose
3/4 cup (75 g) unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-processed)
2 ounces (55 g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped


1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the water, sugar, corn syrup (or agave or glucose), and cocoa powder.

2. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Once it’s just begun to simmer and boil, remove from heat and stir in the chopped chocolate until melted.

Serving: You should let the Chocolate Sauce stand for a few hours before serving, which will give it time to thicken a bit.

Storage: Store the chocolate sauce in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. Rewarm before serving.

And for Clare, Rest In Peace dearest. At least my plushie bee won’t be able to terrorize you anymore.

June Cookoff: Opera Cake

For the longest time, I didn’t know what to make for dessert. What was french and wasn’t creme caramel or creme brulee? Then Kev suggested Opera Cake. I google’d that up and immediately went “Not a chance in hell!”

I had to eat my words – coz I made it.

The original recipe came from Masterchef but I’ve since tweaked it as it wasn’t enough of some things, and way too much of others.

Opera Cake

Serves 10



4 whole eggs
150g icing sugar
150g almond meal
60g plain flour
45g melted butter
4 egg whites
40g caster sugar

Coffee Essence

75g white sugar
2 x 30ml shots coffee
15g freeze dried coffee

Coffee Syrup

125ml water
125g white sugar
1 tbs coffee essence

Coffee Buttercream

150g caster sugar
3 egg yolks
250g butter, softened
2 tbs coffee essence

Chocolate Ganache

400g dark chocolate
225ml thickened cream
22.5g butter, at room temperature

To assemble and serve

30g dark chocolate, melted
Cocoa powder, to serve
Crème fraiche, to serve (optional)

Phew! Did you get through that ingredient list? I cut down and chopped down some of the quantities as the amount it was making meant that you had loads and loads of ganache and buttercream leftover. Sure they are nice to eat and all, but when you have a whole bowl of buttercream, and a whole opera cake to get through with only just the two mouths to feed….

My extra ganache went to making a chocolate tart! Some of you even had the chance to taste it! Hope you liked it, I’ll share the chocolate tart recipe here soon-ish. You will laugh, as it’s so easy to make!

Alright, onward to the methods.


For the Jaconde

1. Sift the almond meal, plain flour and icing sugar together.
2. Whisk whole eggs to aerate and then fold in the sifted dry ingredients then the melted butter.
3. Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks then add the caster sugar a little at a time until all incorporated.
4. Fold the egg white mixture into the yolk mixture.
5. Spread onto 2 sheets baking paper then carefully arrange the paper onto a baking tray.
6. Bake at 200°C for 5-8 minutes or until light golden around the edges. Trim the edges while hot then set aside to cool.

For the coffee essence

1. Combine all the ingredients together in a saucepan and bring to the boil, simmer until thick and syrupy. Set aside to cool.

For the coffee syrup

1. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat.
2. Bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
3. Simmer about 5 minutes then remove from heat. Set aside to cool.

For the buttercream

1. Dampen sugar with a little water in a saucepan, place onto stove and bring to boil, brushing edges down with pastry brush dipped in water to prevent crystallisation.
2. Bring the syrup to soft ball (121°C).
3. Meanwhile whisk egg yolks until light and fluffy on high speed in an electric mixer.
4. Once sugar has come up to temperature, add to yolks in a slow thin stream, whisking continuously until all has been added.
5. Continue to beat on low speed until the mixture cools to room temperature. Once cool, gradually add butter and 2-3 heaped spoonfuls of coffee essence, beating until well combined.

For the Ganache

1. Shave chocolate into a bowl, add butter and set aside.
2. Bring cream to the boil then pour over chocolate mixture.
3. Mix well until combined. Refrigerate until set.

To assemble

1. Cut each jaconde sponge in half.
2. Brush 1 sheet of sponge with the melted chocolate and turn over onto piece of baking paper on a chopping board.
3. Brush the sponge generously with coffee syrup, then apply a thin, even layer of butter cream.
4. Place another jaconde sheet on top, pressing to secure.
5. Brush with coffee syrup and then apply a thin even layer of ganache on top.
6. Repeat the layers again and this time finish with a slightly thicker layer of chocolate ganache.
7. Allow to set in fridge.

To serve

1. Once set, trim with a hot dry knife that has been dipped in hot water and wiped dry with a tea towel.
2. Heat and dry the knife again each time before cutting and cut a rectangle for serving.
3. Dust with good quality cocoa powder.
4. Place on plate and top with a quenelle of cream fraiche and a piece of gold leaf.

Top tips!

1. Use parchment paper instead of baking paper if possible. Baking paper is a pain to remove from the Jaconde!
2. It’s easier to remove the Jaconde from the baking paper when it’s hot.
3. Soft ball sugar – if you do not own a candy thermometer, you can check for it by dropping a tiny bit of sugar into a bowl of cold water. If the sugar holds its shape in the water and doesn’t collapse, then you have it at the right temperature. If you remove the ball from water, it will flatten like a pancake after a few moments in your hand.
4. Set aside at least 4 hours to make this if you haven’t made it before. They are simple processes but they do take time.

And after all that, and you’ve done it right… this is what you will end up with.

A slice of heaven, sitting on your plate.

I liked it so much, I baked it again last week. So I have more opera cake sitting in my fridge, looking incredibly sinful and after writing up this post I think I have just earned myself a nibble of the Opera cake.

If you haven’t tasted this before, I really suggest you try to make it. Then again, I kinda wish I hadn’t tasted it before now as no other cake is quite like an Opera cake and I am doomed to have a craving for this for the rest of my life. Oh who am I kidding. It’s Opera cake. The cake that will make you weep tears of joy when you bite into it.

Oh Lordly Lord.

May Cookoff – Chocolate Cake

I have one last dessert to share from our May Cookoff. Yes, I have been incredibly slack about blogging recently. First it was the holidays, then it was the settling down from the holidays…

Do you feel that way sometimes? That life is zooming by and you are making every effort to keep up with it and not quite hanging on?

The last dessert to form the trio that normally attends the monthly cookoff comes from Celina from Fables in Fashion. And Celina made a fantastic chocolate cake. Terribly fitting really, and a rather nice coincidence as she had no idea about it – it was the housemate’s birthday so the chocolate cake became an impromptu birthday cake as well.

Chocolate Cake

Ingredients – Cake
125g butter, softened
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups self-raising flour
2 tablespoons custard powder
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup water

Ingredients – Icing
125g butter
1 1/3 cups icing sugar, sifted
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 tablespoons milk

1. Turn over to 180c. Grease a deep 23cm round cake tin.
2. Put butter, sugar, eggs, flour, custard powder and coca in mixing bowl.
3. Add water. Beat 2 minutes on low speed, then 4 minutes on high speed.
4. Spread evenly in tin. Bake 40 mins. Turn onto a rack to cool.
5. Put butter, icing sugar, cocoa and milk in a small bowl.
6. Beat 1 minute on low speed, then 4 minutes on high speed.
7. Spread icing and decorate.

Happy Birthday, Iriael!

The cake was simply yet beautifully decorated. There’s something about sprinkles that just lightens up things so quickly! The cake itself had a beautiful chocolatey flavour, and really, who can say no to chocolate cake?

In fact, I have one baking in my oven right now. Mmm.

June’s theme! We haven’t actually done June due to me being away in Malaysia/Singapore, but we will be doing it this weekend! It’s