Tag Archives: nic wise

The Lewis Road Creamery Chocolate Milk Craze

October 25, 2014

It appears Lewis Road Creamery has a hit on their hands. They normally make high-end (expensive, organic, somewhat hipster) butter and milk, and they teamed up with Whittaker’s to make a chocolate milk. It’s got to the point where most stockists sell out within hours. In the time it took me to buy a few bits at my local fruit and veg shop (RAW, the only ones on Waiheke Island who sell it), two people came in to ask if they had any. “No, it comes in on Wednesday” was the reply, tho they should have added “and it’ll be gone on Wednesday”, too.

Stuff had this to say:

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A north Waikato milk producer has been churning out Lewis Road Creamery Fresh Chocolate Milk as fast as it can make it, but scarce supply has resulted in customers waiting at supermarkets to snap up fresh deliveries.

Lewis Road Creamery’s Angela Weeks said a small team was working around the clock to make as much chocolate milk as it could, going through 3000 kilograms of Whittaker’s five roll refined creamy milk chocolate and 24,000 litres of milk a week.

Havelock North New World owner-operator Richard Lucas said the supermarket received 90 bottles this morning.

The chocolate milk was one of the fastest-selling new products he had seen for a long time.

“It has been a phenomenon,” he said.

The store was selling 300-millilitre bottles for $3.59 and 750ml bottles for $6.29.

The normal price of a bottle of their milk is around $4.50. Non-organic, regular milk is around $2/L. And also:

Security guards have been employed to monitor supermarket fridges containing Lewis Road Creamery Fresh Chocolate Milk as customer demand continues to froth over.

Since the chocolate milk went on sale three weeks ago, demand has been so great that customers are queuing up for fresh deliveries, purchase limits have been put in place at supermarkets, and security guards are being employed to watch over fridges containing the chocolate gold.

Being a bit of a choc-o-phile, I thought that it shouldn’t be too hard to make my own. Turns out, it’s not.

I have previous experience making chocolate ganache and truffles, so if you haven’t, just take your time, and remember two things: chocolate melts quickly and at fairly low temperatures, and oil (chocolate/milk fat) and water don’t mix, so keep your equipment as dry as you can. It’s not as important with this recipe as it is when making truffles, but it’s a good habit to get into.

The only downside of this is the cost. The LRC chocolate milk sells for $6.30, but once you add in the cost of the milk (about $4.50) and chocolate ($3.50) you’re already over budget. However, given how hard it is to find it at any price….

What you need to make your own:

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  • A 750ml bottle of Lewis Road Creamery non-homogenised milk. This could work with any kind of milk, but go for the maximum fat content that you can find. If you have a friend with a dairy farm, get it off them.
  • 75g of good quality chocolate. I used Green and Blacks 85%, but only because my local supermarket was sold out of Whittaker’s and it was the smallest bar of good quality chocolate I could find. In hindsight, it’s a bit dark and bitter for this, so I’d recommend around 100g of Whittaker’s 60% Dark Chocolate if you prefer your chocolate milk less sweet and more bitter, and maybe a 35-40% milk chocolate if you prefer it a little sweeter.

Thats it. Like the best recipes, it has very few ingredients. By comparison, the “real thing” has 86% milk and 13% chocolate, with a little cocoa powder added. I’m not sure it needs the cocoa powder, but adjust to your own taste.

You’ll also need a whisk and a bain marie, which sounds like a complex piece of kitchen equipment, but it’s just a normal pot, with about 1-2cm of water in the bottom, and a glass or metal bowl sitting in it, above the water. You then put the water on a simmer (not boiling) which gently heats whatever is in the bowl. Pretty easy.

Steps:

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First, break the chocolate up into squares, so it melts quicker. Put it in the bowl over the water, and turn the heat on. If bubbles start forming in the water, you may have the heat up too high – remember, slow is the key for chocolate. The chocolate will slowly start to melt, so move it around a little with the whisk to help it along.

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Once all the solid bits of chocolate are melted, add about 50ml of milk and whisk until it’s all mixed together. Keep adding the milk slowly, whisking each time, until you have added all the milk. After about 150ml, you can take it off the heat all together.

Put the resulting mix back into the (cleaned) milk bottle, and put in the fridge.

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Drink once it’s chilled, and shake it well first, as the non-homogenised milk will seperate out into chocolate milk and chocolate cream. Not a bad thing. I suspect it’ll not last long.

Afternote: I just tried this with 100g of Whittaker’s 66% Dark, and I can’t tell the difference between that and the “real” thing. Takes all of 10 mins, and cooling time, to make. Makes a great Latte/Flat White too.

Nic Wise lives with his wife, one cat and a garden full of birds on a small island just off the coast of Auckland, New Zealand. He can usually be found writing apps for his iPhone, or taking photos on Instagram.

taco fridays

August 24, 2014

I’m not sure when I first discovered Mexican food. Most likely during university in Auckland, where the only place to get it was The Mexican Cafe. Burritos, questadillas, enchiladas – they did most of the “fast” Tex-Mex staples, and had an excellent Tequila selection.

However, until recently, tacos where never really my thing. The only ones I knew of were the hard-shelled ones, which were messy and usually quite boring. They always looked too small – good for a starter, but not for a main. After spending more time in the US – California, really, but also Austin, TX – I learned to think of them as more than a snack. The Taco is the perfect flavour delivery vehicle.

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A Taco is a very simple, but flexible, thing. Take a small corn tortilla, grill or steam it a little to make it more flexible and warm, add some topping, and eat. It can be anything from a bite size to a meal, and can contain anything which isn’t too liquid. Supreme flexibility.

So, after getting a tortilla press for my birthday, we started experimenting with various flavours and combinations. I usually start with the meat: prawn, fish, chicken, and sometimes steak or slow cooked brisket. Add in a sauce or something else gooey: flavoured mayonnaise, mashed avocado and top it off with some slaw, cabbage or other greens. La Boca Loca in Wellington have some of the best tacos I’ve tasted, and The Lucky Taco in Auckland regularly goes crazy with things like Ox tongue, tripe and even brains.

Yup. Zombie Tacos.

For us, tacos are usually an end of week thing – a Friday treat after a week at work, and the last Friday we spent at home was no exception. I think it came out as one of our best.

Japanese-inspired Tuna tacos

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  • 6 small to medium sized tortilla
  • 200g tuna loin, around 1-2cm thick
  • Shot of tequila (shochu or sake could also work)
  • A not very hot (but flavourful) chilli
  • Japanese mayonnaise
  • 3 limes (2 for just the juice)
  • 100g Wakame seaweed salad

This made 6 tacos, which is enough for 2-3 people. This filling could easily be stretched to 8 tacos.

Slice the tuna loin into strips about 1cm thick. Put in a bowl with the tequila, some chilli and the juice of 2 limes. Leave to soak for 15 mins or so while you do the other things.

Mix a decent amount of Japanese mayonnaise with the zest of one lime, and the juice of half of the lime. Mix and leave to marinate.

Heat the corn tortilla in a dry frypan or grill plate. You want to make them warm, a bit floppy, and possibly (depending on taste) a little crispy. I usually do them one at a time, and put them in a tea towel to keep them warm and steam them a little. I prefer corn over wheat, too, but that’s just a personal taste.

Once they are cooked, cook the fish to taste – a little crispy on the outside, still rare on the inside. Distribute onto the tortilla, add the lime mayo on top, and finish with wakame. Eat right away.

Perfect.

Nic Wise lives with his wife, one cat and a garden full of birds on a small island just off the coast of Auckland, New Zealand. He can usually be found writing apps for his iPhone, or taking photos on Instagram.

Dinner by Heston

December 16, 2012

Leonie and I work for ourselves, and as such, we don’t get a “work Christmas party”, so we make a point of going somewhere to celebrate the end of the year, especially if we have had a good one.

This year, we joined two foodie friends and went to Dinner by Heston. It’s a fusion of the modern cooking chemistry that Heston Blumenthal is famous for, with some very old recipes and combinations.

I’m a little squeamish around some of the ingredients – offal and sweetbreads especially – and I had to remind myself that if the menu says “veal sweetbreads”, I wasn’t going to be getting liver on a plate – it might be some flavour extracted from that, or as one ingredient complementing others.

I can’t say this is a typical weekend for us, but it was very enjoyable.

Here’s to another great year!

meat fruit at 'Dinner by Heston'

Meat fruit

savoury porridge with frogs legs at 'Dinner by Heston'

Savoury porridge with frogs legs

the table and the main courses at 'Dinner by Heston'

The table and main courses

Slow roasted pineapple and Tipsy pudding at 'Dinner by Heston'

Slow roasted pineapple and Tipsy pudding

Brown bread ice cream at 'Dinner by Heston'

Brown bread ice cream

Liquid nitrogen ice-cream made at the table at 'Dinner by Heston'

Liquid nitrogen ice-cream made at the table

Nic Wise lives in London, but his heart is on the west coast beaches of New Zealand. He can usually be found writing apps for his iPhone, or taking photos on Instagram.

favourites

October 6, 2012

Richmond Park, London

Richmond Park is one of my favourite places to go in London. It’s big enough that even when it’s full, it’s not full, and above all, it’s quiet. It’s easy to find a spot where you can’t see or hear anyone. Bliss.

Plus, it’s only a few km’s from our house, and it’s a challenging, tho not too challenging, ride on my bike.

Want to make it easier?
Cut through the middle, or only do 2 laps.

Make it harder? Go around the other way, do it more times, or just go faster.

Lots of options depending on my mood and available time. It also has the added advantage of having to dodge the odd deer walking across the road. They don’t stop for traffic.

The last couple of weekends have been really fine and still, so I’ve been out in Richmond Park, enjoying the sun and getting some much needed quiet time on the bike.

Today, I came up with a possible “reward” for getting off my backside and going for a long ride: Frozen Yoghurt. Specifically, a FroYo Affogato.

FroYo Affogato

An Affogato is normally vanilla ice cream, with a shot of Espresso poured over the top. This is a modification of that: around 100ml of unflavoured frozen yoghurt, with a shot of iced Espresso over the top.

Why iced?
FroYo isn’t as firm as ice cream, so it melts quicker. It’s also quite tart, and it goes with the flavour of the espresso really well.


Nic Wise lives in London, but his heart is on the west coast beaches of New Zealand. He can usually be found writing apps for his iPhone, or taking photos on Instagram.

summer iced tea

June 2, 2012

I never really drank iced tea until a friend from the US showed us how to make it properly. Forget the ultra-sweet nonsense you get in the corner store, real iced tea is closer to tea than a soft drink.

Ingredients:

  • About 2.5L of water (boiling)
  • 3-5 green tea bags. We used Tea Pigs Mao Feng Green.
  • 5 ginger and lemon tea bags. We use Tea Pigs Ginger and Lemon.
  • Juice of one lemon
  • A splodge of Agave nectar, honey or even sugar.

Directions:

  • Put the tea bags, lemon and sweetener into a large bowl (enough to hold the water)
  • Add the boiling water (in two lots of your jug isn’t big enough)
  • Leave it for 10-20 mins.
  • Remove the green tea bags and leave for another 15-20 mins (longer appears to be better)
  • Remove the ginger tea bags (they take ages to infuse)
  • Let it cool, and then bottle it and keep it in the fridge.

To serve:

Pour into your favourite glass and top up with sparkling water (eg soda stream!). We like it about half of each

Notes:

  1. You can use green tea and black tea if you like it (I don’t). The trick is to brew it for enough time for it to be strong, but not bitter. The Americans have specific tea bags for making iced tea, if you can get it, try it – Luzianne
  2. Adjust the water based on the bottles you have to put it in. We use large snap-cap bottles. Soft drink bottles work well too.
  3. If you have a big enough pot you could make 5L at a time, you would just need to brew it for longer and maybe add more sweetener.
  4. Make it sweeter if you want, or don’t put any sweetener in… It’s all to taste, but I don’t think it should be super sweet. Play with the mix until its right for you.


Nic Wise lives in London, but his heart is on the west coast beaches of New Zealand. He can usually be found writing apps for his iPhone, or taking photos on Instagram.