Dessert Review : Stones Patisserie in Berrima, NSW

tanghana salted caramel gluten free

Stones Patisserie in Berrima, was the next patisserie bakery shop that we dropped by to grab one piece of dessert after having tried GUMNUT Patisserie’s desserts before we headed back to Sydney. It was nearly half past three in the afternoon and we need to head back before encountering any traffic. The experience in Gumnut patisserie ( which is located 4 minutes walk , opposite to each other) was the reason we had to stop by at Stones to give it a try. We could not find any dessert in Gumnut anymore, not on the day we dined in so we wanted to renew our luck at Stones Patisserie instead. [Find out you why : Gumnut Patisserie ]

We grabbed home one particular piece called:

Tanghana Salted Caramel Gluten free  $12.50 invididual piece

I tried to bring home to taste and identify the components myself and here are the components I guess:

Components are:

  1. 1st layer: Chocolate glacage/glaze
  2. 2nd layer:Dark chocolate cremeux/ cream
  3. 3rd layer:Gluten free Chocolate sponge/cake
  4. 4th layer:Salted caramel cream
  5. 5th layer:Milk chocolate cremeux/cream
  6. Base: Hazelnut chunks cream filling

[Components above are based on personal assumptions, since there was no any written explanation]


It is pretty good for a gluten chocolate entremet.

I personally wish that they could add more solid crunch in the dessert apart from the hazelnut chunk pieces. Please do not get me wrong, I loved the hazelnut especially, wish the hazelnut chunk was incorporated with some joconde or cookies base to give the extra depth for the entire dessert. Apart from the hazelnut chunks, when I bite into it I felt as though I could only taste just one texture all the way down the entire dessert  that is soft and creamy.  I loved the idea of hazelnut. If the chef could turn the base  into some cookies base by using the same hazelnut chunks would be good.

Alternatively, keep the hazelnut base as it is, but  to increase the bite to the gluten free chocolate sponge would make this dessert fabulous and excellent even more.The time when I slowly taste the sponge, sogginess maybe the word to describe what the sponge has become, it could possibly be explained by all the cream layers  stacked altogether over the entire dessert? Or the sugar syrup has moistened the sponge so much that tasted unlike sponge, just my personal opinion.

All in all, flavour is good  for gluten free dessert.

[Forgive me for the dessert has been ruined on the surface due to the fact this dessert traveled with us for 90 minutes, I could have ruined it while holding it through the bumpy ride in some where along the trip even how careful I was.]


Since time is ticking before heading home to Sydney, we only had 10 minutes left approximately to give a final wrap at Stones Patisserie.

When I first stepped in, I discovered that ambient lighting how cozy it  was unsuitable for such amateur photographer like me to snap some super quick shots in just few minutes included choosing my dessert and lining up at check out counter. Forgive me again for the poor and unclear pictures.

The decor is cozy and there was a line for desserts. On the left side when we walked further into shop, there was a place for customers to dine in for other choices of the menu.


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There is a table with all the chefs’s center pieces standing proudly . I unable to capture all the desserts on the table due to the line. (It is considered a little rude when customers are queuing up, while I force my way for some pictures, do you agree?)


Beside the desserts sitting on the shelf(just right beside check out counter), there is a small kitchen for the real chefs to make the magic happen. The line was long, thus I unable to capture the precise movements of the chef, also due to space constraints.



stone patisserie berima

To sum it up, I would not mind to try another desserts from the menu here again if I am given the chance.

Thank you for visiting.

[Article above is based on personal experience and opinions which has  no intention against anyone’s business associates as every individual has their own preference on how their dessert should taste like.]


For more information:

Stones Patisserie

11 Old Hume Hwy
Berrima, New South Wales
(02) 4877 1019



Dessert Review: Gumnut Patisserie in Sydney

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Gumnut Patisserie, the place where you can many assorted kinds of pastries and  desserts which is at the heart of Berrima township , Southern Highlands. Gumnut Pattiserie has few different location around the highlands. My husband did some research of good pastries in Berrima and he found this Gumnut Patisserie was on the desirable list. It was a 90 minutes drive from Sydney. After few minutes of searching, we came by this place.

Outside of the bakery, I saw this most important road side signage that is good enough to attract  customer. I had to take this picture because I am excited that I am going to try their desserts soon. I love desserts despite of being lactose intolerant together with my husband. We are willing to take our own risk, included spending more money to take some lactose enzymes.

It was a good Sunday, rained for awhile and turned sunny again. There was no line for us to wait for too long on this particular day, yahoo we thought we were lucky.

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When we first stepped into the bakery, my eyes gazed around all the desserts and gateaux,The combinations of coffee and pastry, oh my goodness, we must come back for dessert right after my lunch at Zen Oasis restaurant. I must keep my stomach for second round of food, we quickly grabbed a cup of Long Black and left.

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Mobile phone shot

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Mobile phone shot

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Mobile phone shot

Around 2pm, we came back for seconds from a decent lunch and kept some empty space for trying some pastries here. Cannot wait as the aroma from the coffee and pastries were killing me softly.

So these are what we ordered. We ordered few desserts and planned to get some home initially for supper. Unfortunately, husband  immediately shook  his head in disapproval after having tasted their well known signature vanilla slice which has won an award, and the caramel tart. Its was my turn to taste and I have no doubt to agree with him. We were struggling to finish it. The flavours in our opinion is an acquired taste.

If we were given another chance to travel here, I would want to try  other pastries or desserts apart from the Vanilla slice which was merely suggested by the staff. I am super critical of choosing a good slice of dessert as the effort and time we traveled for , just to try the desserts, I have some high expectations especially with the good reviews and the title Gumnut has received over the years.

I wish the staffs were enthusiastic enough to give me or other customers some suggestions of their pastries, especially when we asked for the second slice. The girl was little less passionate of what she sells, perhaps? Maybe ask us what would we like for our palette and guide us to some good desserts, perhaps? The varieties are excellent.

I would love to give them some insight on how to identify what kind of customers are coming for just the desserts:

When someone who came back to the shop for the second time and who glanced through all the desserts  inside and out, occupied and engaged herself / himself in snapping pictures of the pastries and the front door sign, snapping pictures of  all the ordered desserts for a good 15 minutes before eating it and last but not least just concentrate in tasting the desserts and components without coming here for just a coffee talk, I think all tell tale signs are that is enough to show that this customer cares of her/his dessert. Two words: dessert lover.

I cannot judge the pastry by just two desserts and one mocha to define the final conclusion, that is unacceptable, do you agree?After the dessert experience in Gumnut, not knowing which one to choose(So many choices, I am sure there must be one or two I would love) , it might not be practical or enjoyable experience to travel back here  to get the dessert due to the time it took to get here.

People who travel  to Berrima here are majorly tourists. There are not more than even twenty shops around here. I assumed customers are mainly tourist who had to travel in the first place to get here? I hope Gumnut could give me another reason to try their desserts once again to proof that their desserts are exquisite. I don’t like to be critical, I want to enjoy the desserts, because  I am a dessert lover.

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Soy Mocha:

Reasonable taste however towards slight bitter after note. Perhaps they slight burnt the coffee, this is what my husband suspected who is considered  a coffee expert compared to me.

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Caramel Tart: $ 4++


From the taste of the caramel, I can confidently tell you, they are using large amount of sweetened milk and some melted white chocolate. The 5mm thickness of the tart skin combined with the 90% of the caramel somehow does not balance out the taste. All I can taste is sweet , sweet and overly sweet. My husband has been brought up with heavy cheese and milk flavour but he just couldn’t take half of the tart without the soy mocha to swallow it down.

Secondly, I personally do not get the idea of decorating strawberry sauce on both caramel and vanilla slice serving plates, please kindly enlighten me? I understand that Vanilla slice could go well with the strawberry sauce but definitely not to caramel tart. I personally think that the sauce is unnecessary. The taste and the amount are not relevant to the heavy sweetness of caramel. I wondered: do they serve all pastries with the strawberry sauce? I rather prefer some ice cream or whipped cream to cut down the sweetness of caramel . We both shared the tart and ended up having no choice but to disrespect the  hard work by the chef, unfortunately we both had to leave aside 1/4 of the  caramel tart on the serving plate. Indeed, we struggled to finish the artwork although  we were born without wasting food as you all should know.

Personal Suggestion(actually 2 person):

  • Please make portion to a small mini tart if you insist in having this caramel tart on the shelf. The caramel flavour has killed the entire tart. It is as though I am drinking a canned of sweetened milk instead. Forgive me being so straightforward.
  • I respect the Chef job to create something nice, but I would prefer either top it up with some whipped cream  or reduce the tart size to at least 1/3 of original size which would greatly appreciated.
  • Perhaps chef can turn this caramel into salted caramel instead, to prevent any portion size reduction. I could understand some customers prefer to pay based on value.
  • Please kindly remove the strawberry sauce, or on other desserts too. Not all desserts are happily married to the sauce. Please kindly consider this key point too.
  • Passionate staffs to give some assistance in helping first experience customers like us in picking some desserts apart from Vanilla slice?

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This is known as the “famous”  Vanilla Slice that won many awards, made with layers of butter puff pastry with Crème Patissiere between the layers and topped with vanilla fondant, decorated  with chocolate ganache.

When I first entered the store, requesting politely from staff what would they suggest me to try on for our first visit. She had no doubt and answered: Vanilla slice. So we had a slice.

INDIVIDUAL Vanilla Slice  $4.60


The good part is the buttery puff pastry , unlike other bakery cafe that serve their vanilla slice which is always soggy due to the cream patisserie sandwiched in between every puff pastry layers.Not only that, those unknown bakery shops love to use poor quality of butter to make the puff pastry which goes soggy easily. So bravo to “Gumnut patisserie ” of the buttery  and multiple layers of flakiness of puff pastry that never let us down.

The vanilla fondant is seemingly necessary component to tie up the entire vanilla slice due to the fact that the cream patissiere tasted towards rather on the plain side,it is screaming for considerable addition of sweetness. From what I tasted: The 90% of the sweetness comes from the vanilla fondant and 10% would be from the cream patissiere. When I tried the 3 components together in one mouthful, somehow to me, it is does not bind well together as though they were not belonging together in a family anymore.

Personal Suggestions:

  • Would be greatly appreciated if they can increase the amount of sweetness to the cream patissiere,
  • Reduce the the amount of the vanilla fondant,
  • Keep the vanilla taste and the buttery goodness of puff pastry,
  • With all these small adjustments, I would award them a pretty damn good “Vanilla Slice” of the year.

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Placing a slice of dessert for an unusual spot for a picture taking is another sign shows that I am a dessert lover.


You will see a pretty adorable bookstore just right beside Gumnut Patisserie.

[Article above is based on personal experience and opinions which  has no intention against anyone’s business associates as every individual has their own preference on how their dessert should taste like. ]

For more information of BERRIMA SHOP:

Shop 1, Post Office Corner
Hume Highway
Telephone: 48772 177
Thank you for visting. ^_^




A Day out at Southern Highland,Berrima NSW



Joadja Vineyards and Winery Love this outdoor wood fire oven behind the winery


2 August , husband and I went for a good trip in one of the secluded areas of New South Wales where the pace of life is alot slower without the hustle and the bustle of city life. It is a quiet country side with plenty of opened grass area, cows and horses are grazing deliberately.The occupants are definitely free from stress as they considered one of the friendliest people I have encountered compared to city inhabitants.

We did not have any strict schedule and time constraint for this trip. The atmosphere was peaceful and serene that we had to stop by almost every place that we encountered. Although in saying that, Berima is a very small town with small population  without many touristy things to do, which did not stop the fact Berima is a fantastic place to unwind. The drive which took us estimated about 90 minutes one way, the time taken is immaterial as the peacefulness was worth every single minute, as exhibited in my pictures.  I hope you enjoy my visual journey

Allow the pictures to speak it’s own  little story.



Joadja Vineyards and Winery: I spot this scenery when I first walked into the winery and I love it.




I saw this along the way we traveled. Husband saw it and instantly stop for me to capture the scenery.Love how the different shades of colours on all these lined up trees.



Saw plenty of hourse and cow along the way we traveled, it speaks closely the word of country side.










Spotted this when we went to nearby public toilet from far distant.Don’t get to visit this rabbit shack store due to limited time during winter.
















I love all kind of peculiar design, and look at the tap, fully covered with the wild leaves, amazing for such small thing.




Love this feminine signage.










Duckies wear colourful winter boots captured almost all the tourist who passed by.


Thanks for visiting.Hope you enjoy my sharing of such short trip.

Simplicity in life comes from feeling within your heart.




Food Review: Zen Oasis Vegetarian Restaurant in Berrima, NSW

I always miss vegetarian food from my home town but to get on a flight every time I crave for it is just not economical at all.

So, husband and I went for 90 minutes drive to Berrima in Southern Highlands. Although it is situated on fringe of the beautiful historic village, we both enjoyed the entire trip. This restaurant is only open on weekends for lunch time. I heard so much good feedback of it, so I thought to give it a go.

The restaurant  offers a variety of gourmet delicacies which is over 30 selections of yum cha entrées, freshly wrapped sushi, home made desserts and a wide variety of hot and cold beverages. We did not get to taste the desserts much as we had plans for next dessert at some well known cafes nearby.

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There was a long line outside the entrance , waiting for the restaurant to open. So, its true for the rumour, indeed there was a long line.

When I first entered the place,  Chinese calligraphy was the first thing I spotted, then gave a quick glance through the entire place, it  gives away the  rustic and cozy  ambiance   with the wood fire fired up to warm up the place. Mind me, the temperature outside was around 13° Celcius. The only problem was I did not get to take any proper pictures in with the limited time, the lighting did not make is easier as well. Besides, everyone rushed in for the food like a pack of wolves, unlike me who came in to look around and started to take pictures. Customers were lining up for food while I was standing there causing some inconvenience for them to feed their hungry appetite. Everybody lined up for food, if I took any longer time to capture picture, perhaps by the time I am done , there might not have been any food left for me  as too many starved tummies to be fed here. Forgive me  for the poor qualitiy of pictures .

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Freshly rolled sushi finished so quick that I got to taste 2 varieties.I only snapped this picture before I served myself. Lucky there was a person decicated in making new ones as the images below:

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This lady is the one who serve freshly rolled sushi.

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What I picked for making my tummy happy:


Deep Fried Breadcrumb tofu with vegetarian abalone


Vegetarian Bak Kut Teh: bean curd skin, goji berries, some vegetarian meat in the soup


Assorted deep fried snacks: glutinous rice balls, popiah, popiah skin with seaweed sheets, and more deep fry bean curd skin with vegetables…..


Fried rice, vegetarian BBQ pork(char siu), deep fried snacks(unsure what is that but husband loved it the most)


Stir fry vegetables, stir fry spicy mushroom with soy meat, crispy fish and mushroom skewer(my favourite but did not like the olive though)


The least favourite is these steam glutinous crystal vegetables dumpling and steam glutinous pumpkin-like filled with some coconut fillings(not my favourite)


All in all, the taste is very close to Malaysian vegetarian food. I wish that I could taste more of the dim sum such as steam BBQ bun, deep fried taro balls, or more mushroom made food. For appetite like my husband and he such a poor eater, this could be the one time deal.

The service is excellent. I saw those waiters  explained the ingredients of the varieties food to non-asian customers patiently. If anyone loves a good Asian vegetarian food, this is one of the options here close to Sydney so far I reckon.

After settling a nice meal, we went out of the restaurant to capture some surrounding area:









I enjoyed my time in Berrima, people here are mostly friendly.

Thanks for visiting.Hope you enjoy this simple sharing.

More Information:

Zen Oasis

Address and contact details are as follows:
230 Medway Road Berrima NSW 2577  (Berrima & Moss Vale Exit of Hume Highway).

Tel: (02) 4877 1285 or 0404 099 285  (Between 9:30am and 5:00pm Monday to Sunday for bookings. )

Crispy Garlic Oat Bread Roll



My husband loves these garlic bread, so I bake it very often. The crispiness of the japanese breadcrumb after crisped up from the homemade garlic butter, makes the bread roll extra tasty. The garlic butter perfumed the entire bread,especially freshly came out from oven.

These bread is extra soft , goes well with soup or just eat it on its own.

Hope you like this sharing.Let’s get started?


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Garlic Butter:

  • 150g Lurpak unsalted butter,room temperature (Or any unsalted butter)
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic, minced or grated
  • 1/4 tsp dry mix herbs
  • 1/4 tsp lemon juice or white vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  1. Mix everything together and place into a prepared parchment paper.Roll it up into a log and twist both ends properly.
  2. Keep in the freezer for 30 minutes until hardened.


  • Garlic butter can be made in bigger portion and stored in the freezer up to half year.
  • Garlic butter can be made in advanced.


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Oat Bread Roll

  • 300g bread flour / strong flour/ bakers flour
  • 2 tbsp instant oats
  • 30g castor sugar
  • 4g salt
  • 15g  Lurpak butter ( or any butter)
  • 5g instant yeast
  • 100g soy milk ( or any full cream milk )
  • 110g water
  • 2-3 tbsp of Japanese breadcrumb( Panko breadcrumb)



  1.  Mix all ingredients together except butter. ( reserve 20 ml of milk)
  2.  Knead all ingredients into a dough,then mix in the butter in 2 additions until it comes together.Slowly pour in the remaining  milk and continued kneading until a smooth dough formed.
  3.  To check if the dough is done, take out some dough, and lightly stretch your dough into a thin skin(membrane) without having any holes form. The thinner of the membrane can be stretched and light can see through, the better the dough.thin membrane of dough
  4. Once done, take out the dough and give it a good knead into big ball. Spray some water onto dough to prevent drying. Allow to proof to double in size by covering with damp towel.
  5. Once the dough is done, release the air by kneading it. Divide into 12 portion, roll into balls. Rest for 15 minutes by covering  with damp towel.
  6. Roll each portion into a round smooth ball.
  7. Lined a metal tray (2″ deep) with oil paper. Spread 1/3 of your garlic butter all around the base and sides of the tray. You can cut into cubes and place all over the tray.Scatter in Japanese breadcrumb all over.
  8. Arrange 12 ball of dough  into the metal ray ( 3 across x 4 long). Scatter 1/3 of the garlic butter onto the balls. ( or you can brush it onto the balls.Sprinkle more breadcrumb onto the balls(Roughly 1 tbsp)
  9. Allow to proof to double in size, roughly an hour.
  10. Bake in a  180C preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown,depending on individual oven. You can bake the bread on the bottom oven for the last 3 minutes at 200C to achieve golden brown crispy breadcrumb.
  11. Once done, remove from oven and brush the remaining garlic butter onto each golden brown bread roll.Serve.

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  • If you prefer just plain bread without oat, remove oat  from recipe.
  • Remember to use Japanese breadcrumb to achieve crispy and golden texture on the bread roll.
  • If you cannot find dry mix herbs, just replace with freshly chopped parsley.

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Thanks for visiting and your comment is much appreciated.




Thank You for another year

chocolate birthday



Another year older.

Deeply blessed and grateful for small things in life. I am grateful for the chocolate, the food, the new place I put my footsteps on, the flower, the thoughtful wish.

Thank you God for another grateful year with all the blessings and love.

Thank you my hubby, my families and genuine friends who support me throughout my life.

Great health and wonderful memories created each day are all I pray for everyone in my life.

Yes, I am counting all  blessings every second of my simple life.

Thanks love.






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Vanilla Profiteroles@ Vanilla Cream Puff ( Choux a la Creme)

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This small little delicate  cream filled profiteroles or cream puffs are like finger food that suitable for any occasions.

Top up with this vanilla craquelin, as though dressing them with aromatic crunchy hats seemed a necessity.

Serve this with some fruit juice , tea or coffee, you just cannot stop popping in your mouth.



Vanilla Craquelin:(goes over the top of choux pastry)

  • 30g plain flour, sifted
  • 30g castor sugar
  • 25g Western Star butter ( or any  butter)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla paste

1)Sift flour into a bowl, add sugar ,butter and vanilla paste, rub together until mixture forms a dough.

2)Roll out between  2 sheets of silicon paper.

3)Refrigerate for 30 minutes.


Choux Pastry / Pate a Choux:

  • 60ml water
  • 60ml milk
  • 60g  Western Star unsalted butter ( Or any unsalted butter)
  • 6g castor sugar
  • 80g plain flour, sifted
  • pinch of salt
  • 125g whole eggs, beaten

1)Heat water, milk, butter and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to boil.

2)Take pan off heat, add in sifted flour and salt.

3)Use spatula to stir until completely combined.

4)Return to cook on low heat, continue stirring until dough leaves the sides of the pan.

5)Transfer dough to a mixing bowl, leave to cool for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

6)Gradually add in the beaten egg into dough.

7)Beat the mixture until it is smooth with spatula.

8)Pour into a piping bag with plain round nozzle  of 8mm.

9)Preheat oven to 200c. Pipe choux pastry onto a baking tray lined with a non-stick baking mat, leaving gaps in between.

10)Using a 2cm round cutter to cut each craquelin into round disc. Top the piped choux pastry with craquelin disc.

11)Bake for 15 minutes, then turn down to 180C and cook for further 8-10 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven, leave to cool.

how to make choux pastry


Craquelin+choux pastry



(a) Do not open oven for 12-15 minutes after placing choux into oven otherwise pastry collapses. Choux pastry rises when the moisture in dough heats and creates steam. If oven is opened before the outside of the dough has time to cook, the steam comes out of the dough, pastry then collapses.


Assemble :

  • Some whipping cream
  • castor sugar to your taste
  • vanilla paste

1)Beat cream, sugar and vanilla to soft peak formed.Make a small hole from the bottom of every choux pastry.

2)Pour vanilla cream into a piping bag fitted with round nozzle, pipe into cooled choux pastry.

3)Ready to serve or chill in refrigerator for an hour and ready to serve.


Be adventurous and creative to your filling, custard, cream with any flavours would make your profiteroles extra special because you create your own.


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Cream in choux pastry

I also sliced the choux pastry into half, then piped in some freshly made vanilla cream, and top up with my favorite raspberry.(Cream can be made into personal preference such as chocolate, strawberries, coffee and etc)


Thanks for visiting and hope you like this simple sharing.