chips n gravy

Archive for the ‘Sweets’ Category

Busy.

That is how I would describe the week that has passed. It was a week of laziness and bitterly cold wind mixed with unpredictable weather. W’s parents were in town for the weekend to visit. He got the dates totally messed up, telling me they be visiting THIS coming weekend. I was flustered, I don’t think the house was presentable enough. But nonetheless. It was a weekend of bargain hunting with his mom, that said, it was a real bargain as we just happened to be at Steve Madden’s at the DFO Morrabin and it was closing down. Steve Madden shoes for aud 1.00 anyone? Yes. It was really ONE dollar. I don’t think I need to explain what happened next.

Coincidentally,  another nearby fresh produce (mostly really lovely hard to find flours, nuts and lentils and beans) store were closing down as well and relocating with everything at a 50% off. Sadly, we went too late, I missed out on bargain almond meal!!! Grrr, imagine the amount of macarons I could have made, nonetheless, I made away with plenty of good quality polenta, made some polenta cheese sticks, (they were gone before I can even take some good pictures. Next time, when I make them again, I guess), a good kilo worth of hazelnut meal (only 10.00 Aud), lovely dark rye flour, besan flour, Spanish Saffron (2 gram for 1.49 aud), some organic fenugreek seeds, tomatoes, apples, and plenty of nuts.

It was also a weekend of herb and vegetables planting, I have managed for the first time with the help of W’s mom lovely green fingers in planting several kitchen herbs and vegetables. In a week’s time, I will know if the herbs survive or not and hopefully the borlotti beans and sugar snap peas seed will sprout. As does the blackjack zucchini that I have sown. I also lucked out on some really lovely lemon verbena and planted that in too, maybe beside the zucchini were not a very wise idea, but only time will tell how it goes. It was also for the first time I realised that the annoying tree that is opposite my kitchen windows is actually a feijoa! Never really saw them drop any fruits. Must be those darn birds…..

If my garden venture were to be successful, I am going to plan myself a fig tree, bay tree and an almond tree next.

I also went to the “A day in Pompeii” exhibition which is currently being held at Melbourne’s Museum on Sunday. It was a real eye opener and seeing the body plaster casts of the actual victims, you cannot help but really feel sad. The plaster of a man still being shackled to chains while trying to escape and he made it as far as the town’s gate by crawling with chains and balls before the boiling lava engulfs him. Ironically, today (24th August) is the day where Vesuvius strikes down on Pompeii. Sometimes, you cannot but feel blessed in times like this.

Ok, back to the topic, I have been continuing to bake macarons and beside one totally failed batch (never bake in anger) I had been successful in baking macarons and making my kind of flavours. Granted, it is still not as sophisticated as I wanted them to be, but taste and texture wise, I have to say I am pretty pleased.

 

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I apologise for the pictures. These were some of the macarons that I made for W’s mom to bring home back to Wagga. Front row from the left are the Chocolate macarons with a peppermint dark chocolate ganache and Bourbon Vanilla macarons with a white chocolate vanilla creme. The back row from the left was the surprising hit my macarons flavours; Curry and coconut and the purplish colour (I really wanted a black black macarons but I cannot find black powder colouring) macarons is my Oreo’s macarons.

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These are my Curry and coconut macarons. Curry flavoured shells with a coconut creme ganache and custard filling.

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I am really exasperated by this. I want a midnight black colour. I have tried Wilton’s black colour paste and also the popular Americolor’s black gel paste. Wilton’s produce a purple colour while Americolor’s produce the above, a dark grey colour. I honestly believe black colour shells will really look nice with the Oreo’s filling, even though right now, they match in colour.

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This one is my Oreo’s macarons made using Wilton’s colour paste. Main macaron is the standard size I have seen at Lindt’s and the one on the right is the smaller size which I much preferred. I like the little bite sized macarons which I think is just nice. Not overwhelming, so you would not be sick of it.

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Oreo’s macarons

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W’s dad does not like chocolate at all but he loves his strawberry jam. The above macarons were made this morning. It is a take on strawberry & cream. Pink macaron sandwiching strawberries cream made with St. Dalfour’s Strawberry jam. I would prefer to use fresh strawberry puree but it was a really last minute planning. So this was what I made. The olds both loved it and I packed them enough to bring back home.

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close up of the 1st batch of my curry macarons. I forgot to sprinkle some dessicated coconut 😦

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blueberry basil macarons. I made 10 of them as a taste test. They were gone lightning fast! Did not managed to take picture of the completed macarons.

Coming up, interested in some sourdough bread that has Guinness in it?

pop!

Posted on: July 23, 2009

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Another round of playing about with ideas. Popcorn has been used in many progressive cuisine/molecular gastronomy as a ingredients quite widely by now (mid 2009).

I have seen pairing of popcorn with beef tenderloin, popcorn with foie (make sense, since its poultry with grains) and popcorn soup incarnation from wd-50, alinea and moto for example. Still, I was curious because I wanted to try to experience the taste although I don’t know about popcorn soup. Today, idea came knocking (well, it was a built up of many days of pondering) and i decided to put several taste and texture of corn and its flavour pals to the test.

that to say, i tried to add salt to every single sweet stuff that i have made lately. and surprisingly and sneakily enough. the people that has been chowing them down did not quite notice the subtle difference. I do though, maybe it is because I added it, so I know it is there and I am looking out for it.

peanut-choco sorbet shake. light but not sickly like milkshake. peanut nougatine with milk chocolate ice cream that was swirled with a dark chocolate ganache. Blended with just skimmed milk.
salted caramel. yum! (where have you been all my life?)
peanut butter powder. (peanut butter + toasted potato starch)
chocolate cookies crumbs
sweetcorn muffins. (going to get a thermowhip so i can make those aero cakes and breads)
salted butter popcorn.
pickled corn kernels. (pickled in brine with a salt/sugar w/v solution)

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I love the whole thing! And eating it with hand makes it so fun. I pick a piece of popcorn and mop up the caramel with the peanut butter and with the pickled corn kernel bits. It was so good! I didnt wanted to stop.

The peanut shake, although light, and yummy on its own, I find it somehow odd on the combination. The funny thing was, after polishing off the plate, I had a brimming hot cup of Chinese Jasmine Tea. WOW! From all that corn and caramel, the tea just makes everything clicks together in my mouth. I am in love.

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I like this not so ordinary combination of salty sweet chocolate + caramel + corn + jasmine tea dessert. got to put it in detailed notes in notebook. this one is a keeper. just need to refine the elements, taste and texture.

did notice how i seemed to plate many yellow colour looking stuff lately. must be the weather. it is winter in melbourne. that said, i got a bunch of fresh red cherries ready to be made-over.


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