Posted: January 28th, 2011 | Author: Australia | Filed under: Asia, Australia, New Zealand, United States | Tags: cupcakes, passionfruit, VnC Cocktails | No Comments »
75g butter, softened
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 small eggs
1/4 cup passionfruit pulp (fresh or preserved)
1 cup plus 2 Tbs self-raising flour
1. Heat oven to 180C. Grease or line 12 muffin pans with paper cases.
2. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla together until pale and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
3. Stir in passionfruit pulp, then fold in sifted flour. Half fill paper cases with mixture and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of one cake comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Ice with your favourite vanilla or passionfruit cream cheese frosting.
* Makes 12
Posted: January 24th, 2011 | Author: admin | Filed under: United States | Tags: Skinny Cocktails | No Comments »
In a nation obsessed with calories, The Cheesecake Factory – best-known for its big portions – has a new, slimmed-down trick up its sleeve: Skinny Cocktails.
Today, the upscale casual dining chain unveils plans to roll out a “skinny” line of its five most popular cocktails later this month, made with about half the calories. Margaritas and mojitos that are usually 300 calories will be cut to about 150.
“We think it could create a whole new beverage category,” says Mark Mears, Cheesecake’s marketing chief.
The trend is compelling – particularly in January, when consumers are so diet-conscious. Over the past year, several smaller regional chains have added skinny cocktails to their beverage menus. But Cheesecake Factory is among the first national chains to hop onto the trend.
Considering the wild success of light beers, the potential for light cocktails is huge, says Darren Tristano, executive vice president at Technomic, a restaurant research specialist. More bar and restaurant customers order light than full-calorie beers, Technomic reports.
“Consumers are trying to balance indulgence with healthier lifestyles,” Tristano says. “It’s very ironic that a chain that found its success through cheesecake is offering lower-calorie beverages.”
But Mears notes that this is not Cheesecake Factory’s (CAKE) first move to cut calories. Two years ago, it rolled out a Small Plates and Snacks menu with less food and lower prices. The move has since been widely copied by a number of chains.
Cheesecake, which makes its cocktail drink mixes in house, will replace some sugar with Splenda and some natural sweeteners, Mears says. It will not reduce alcohol content or portion sizes.
While it’s good to offer customers lower-calorie choices, says Robyn Flipse, a registered dietitian and consultant, “People who believe fewer calories in their drinks will offset a high portion of calories in their meals are mistaken.”
The rollout for the lower-calorie drinks, to be sold along with conventional drinks, will hit all 150 locations by March. The prices won’t get skinnier, however: from about $7 to $11.
Others in the low-cal cocktail crowd:
Some of the 17 Ram Restaurant & Bakery locations in five states sell 80-calorie, Skinny Lime Bite Coolers made with Captain Morgan Lime Bite Rum and Diet Coke and served with a lime wedge.
‘Tejas Southwestern Grill, an Austin chain, has a “Naturally Skinny” drink menu with six drinks under 250 calories. The drinks do not use artificial sweeteners, but fresh juice, spirits and natural garnishes, says Nick Rotas, regional manager.
RA Sushi Bar Restaurant locations in Pembroke Pines and Palm Gardens, Fla., are selling “skinny” cocktails under 200 calories.
Technomic’s Tristano says skinny cocktails particularly appeal to women and to older consumers. But, he adds, “By the time you get to the third drink, you might not care how many calories are in it.”
Posted: January 24th, 2011 | Author: admin | Filed under: New Zealand | No Comments »
Race carnage cuts Baird’s winning streak
Despite Craig Baird in the ZM Mad Butcher Porsche 997 winning two from two races in this weekend’s fourth round of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge, it was team-mate Scott Harrison in the Mad Butcher Carpet One Porsche 997 who won overall at Timaru this weekend.
Seeming to continue the race carnage theme from other classes, the weekend’s final top-six reverse grid race was almost over at the start with Baird and Triple X Motorsport team principal Shane McKillen in the VnC Cocktails Porsche 997 taken out of the race in the first series of turns.
Battle scarred in the three-way altercation between his team-mates; Gaunt’s MPD VnC Cocktails Porsche 997 was later scratched from the final race results after finishing seventh.
“Yes,” said a moderated Gaunt. “You never want to see that sort of thing happen, especially when they’re your team-mates, but it was a case of three cars going in where there was only room for two. If there was anything positive to come from it Scott was able to take the round win for the team.”
Similar did-not-finishes by his Gaunt’s rivals have slightly narrowed his lead in the standings to 95 points, from a total of 734.
Whangarei’s Scott Harrison stormed from a third position to lead for most of the final race, succumbing on the last lap to a move by Jonny Reid to finish behind the former A1GP driver at the chequered flag. One of few to finish all three races around the 2.4 kilometre circuit, he moved to fourth overall in the standings.
Fourth for the final race, Christchurch’s Paul Kelly repeated his earlier season best result in the Paul Kelly Motor Company Porsche 997 with the Outlaws Bar Porsche 997 finishing fifth – a best result for driver Michael Morton.
Joining Harrison on the weekend podium, Baird’s comfortable win in the morning race placed him ahead of his rivals, with Simon McLennan’s Porsche 996 third.
Concluding the South Island leg of the 2010/2011 championship season, the Triple X Motorsport team return to Auckland to prepare the cars ahead of the penultimate round in three weeks time. Manfeild near Feilding is a drivers’ circuit with large cambered corners, giving prime views at all spectator points.
Posted: January 18th, 2011 | Author: admin | Filed under: New Zealand | Tags: Invercargill | No Comments »
The VnC Cocktails sponsored Suzuki Swift of Marc Spring # 89 has ended the weekend at Teretonga Raceway in Invercargill with mixed results. Marc placed 6th & 4th respectively in races 1 & 2 for the weekend, but race 3 was a different story. After one of the best starts of season in the reverse grid race, Marc climbed from 12th on the grid to 3 place before turn 1! Marc says “ We had a great start. It was pouring with rain and you could barely see the front of our own bonnets. A few of the newer racers had a little too much wheel spin, and we shot thru the gap up the centre of the track. By lap 2 we had gained 2nd place and held that position until lap 10, where a small mistake saw us exit the track and collect the tyre wall” That mishap saw the VnC Suzuki Swift not finish the race, and left us with a 6th place overall for the weekend. This weekend the team heads to Levels Circuit in Timaru.