Thursday, January 29, 2009

DB January 2009 - tuille

My first daring baker challenge!! I have been wanting to be a daring baker since I first stumbled on one of their post 4 months ago. Becoming a daring baker might be one of my initial reason why I put up this blog. A community filled with passionate baker?! What can be more perfect. So here I go, finally taking the plunge of becoming one. I felt like I belonged in this community. My friends (M in particular) used to shake their heads in disbelief and thought I was crazy for the amount of effort and time I spent baking. And especially the effort to beautifully wrapped and design all the nick nacks everytime I give away my treats. When I found there are a lot of people who is doing the same thing maybe even more in the food blogging community, I felt right at home.
When I first joined up in mid December, I forgot to calculate my trip in January which will fall in the same date as the submission date for the January challenge. So in the midst of my chaos, I made my colourful flower tuilles. I paired them with quick & simple sorbet to complement the warm Australian weather.

Since I am currently in a place with snail-like speed of an internet connection, and I have to sneak to a coffee shop with wi-fi to get connected, I can only afford a short post.
Hope you enjoy my first daring baker’s entry. =)

This month's challenge is brought to us by Karen of Bake My Day and Zorra of 1x umruehren bitte aka Kochtopf. They have chosen Tuiles from The Chocolate Book by Angélique Schmeink and Nougatine and Chocolate Tuiles from Michel Roux.

Please visit other Daring Bakers to see their interpretations of the challenge.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Deep Fried Ice Cream

It's a scorching 40oC in Melbourne today. So hot, it turned the chocolate callets in my pantry into a huge block of chocolate. This happenned to me last year. I promised myself to remember to put the chocolates in the fridge when it's hot, yet, I forgot. And to add to the misery, I just bought a 2.5 kg bag of lindt couverture yesterday. Thank God it's couverture, so it is still usable, I just have to take the chisel out to get a piece. It's stinkin' hot in my tiny apartment, making the simplest task seemed such a burden.

This kind of temperature calls for an icy treat. Something to cool down my overheated soul while I pack my bags. I felt like a little popsicle that's melting by the second. There is a damn good reason why I move from the tropics you know!! At least back home, my house is air conditioned, like most places are. Walking around under the scorching sun is usually kept to a minimum. Enough nagging... think happy thoughts.. cool thoughts... I'll focus my mind to my ice cream instead.

I still have almost a tub full of homemade vanila bean ice cream from a couple weeks back, so I decided to make deep fried ice cream. Speaking (or writing to be exact) of homemade ice cream, I think I should share this fabulous technique I found from David Lebovitz's blog of making homemade ice cream without an ice cream maker here. Perfect for people like me who doesn't own nor do I have the space for an ice cream maker. Once you tasted homemade ice cream, I swear to you my searest friends, there is no turning back to the store bought one. It does take a little bit of time and effort, but it will all be worth it once you taste how strong & fresh the flavours are. David Lebovitz also has the best vanilla ice cream recipe. I would never eat vanilla ice cream unless it's paired with a cake, but this one, I would be more than happy eat it out of the tub and finish it in one sitting.

The only thing I change from his method was, instead of using a spatula to churn the ice cream which needs some elbow grease and my petite figure simply won't allow, is I put the ice cram in my kitchen aid mixer and use the whick attachment. It will resulting a much smoother ice cream in the end. Oh how I love my 'little red baby'. In case you don't know, that's what I called my kitchen aid mixer. It's my proudest member of my kitchen family, it might be the shiniest as well, since I spent at least once a day wipeing & cleaning my kitchen aid more than I wipe anything else.

Due to the heat, I couldn't get a decent shot of my ice cream. I only managed to shot one, even that's already melting in the shot. It was a Godsent!! Not as simple as I thought, but it is utterly a delight.

Deep fried ice cream (serves 6-8)
1L of good quality ice cream (you can have any flavours of the rainbow)
1/2 packet of Marie biscuit
250g of plain flour
2 large eggs, whisked
oil for frying

Place a metal tray in a freezer, and freeze for at least 1 hour. In the last 10 mins, put ice cream tub outside the fridge to soften it up a bit. Place tray in the kitchen counter and working quickly, scop 6-8 medium balls and place it neatly on the tray leaving a little gap between the balls. Put tray back in the freezer to harden for at least 20 mins. In the meantime, in a food processor, process the biscuits until it looked like bread crumbs. Put aside into a small deep bowl. Put flour in a separate bowl and the eggs in another one. Once the ice cream is hard, put it out of the fridge and working quicky, dip ice cream in flour, then egg, and lastly the biscuit crumbs. Put back on the tray and put it back in the freezer while you heat the oil. Make sure that the oil is very hot, so the ice cream won't need to be fried for a long time for it to browned and crisped. Fry the balls until it's golden brown. and serve immediately.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Quick & Easy Pumpkin Soup

In an attempt of clearing out my fridge before my trip, I managed to recreate one of my mum's express recipe. She used to made me this pumpkin soup for Sunday breakfast at least once a month. The fact that it is microwavable has made it the perfect dinner while I do a clean out around the house before I leave. You can say that it cook for itself.

Just another proof of how organize I am (........not). I'm close to losing my mind and running out of time preparing things to bring and things to take care of before my trip. Organizing my pantry seems a bigger task than it suppose to be in times like these. The last minute requests of things to buy from mum and my friends in Jakarta couldn't come in a more perfect time.

I made some cute little star shaped herb-garlic bread to accompany my soup. It looked so cute in the photos. 3 days and counting! Can't wait to put all this mess behind and jet off to my old bedroom I grew up in. I can almost taste the humid Jakarta weather and the traffic noise that I sadly missed.

Pumpkin soup (Serves 2)
250g pumpkin (Jap or butternut), peeled, diced, seeds scraped
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbs of butter
2 tomatoes, diced or substitute with 2 tbs of tomato sauce
500ml - 1L of milk
salt & pepper to taste
sour cream to serve (optional)

Put pumpkin, garlic, butter & tomatoes in a microwave safe container. Pour in enugh milk to cover the pumpkin. Cook in microwave high for 20 mins or until the pumpkins are tender. Separate the liquid and the solid. In a food processor or blender, put the solids and probably ½ of the liquid, and process till smooth. Continue adding the rest of the liquid until the desired consistency is reached. I like mine quite thick, so I never end up using all the liquids. Season with salt & pepper while it's still hot. Serve immediately with a dollop of sour cream and garlic bread on the side.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The perfect summer day

Nothing represents summer in Melbourne better than a picnic and jazz in the garden. Like every other summer, Stonnington city council held their annual Jazz in the Garden. My favourite summer event in Melbourne. Last weekend it was held at Victoria Garden, just a skip and a hop away from my place. Last weekend Melbourne was blessed with an abundance of sun with a mild crisp wind. A weather that must not be spent indoors.

I went to the farmer’s market at Caulfield last Saturday, and bought plenty of fruit and vegs. I must say, i went juuussstt a little bit too far with my grocery shopping. Who can’t resist fresh, crisp and colourful vegies anyways? I bought enough to feed me well and truly through the month, although I’m going on a holiday in less than 2 weeks. So this picnic, the food is all on me. I made potato salad for the entry, chicken pot pie for the main, and orange-apple-berry sangria for the dessert. I wanted to make my own puff pastry since I’m due for making some croissant, but since we have 2 BBQs to attend before the picnic, I opt for the store bought ready-made puff pastry this time.

Cold-fresh fruity wine with a stomach full of food while lying in the grass and jazzy music in the background.. This is my definition of the “perfect summer day”.

Potato Salad with Facon (yes, you read it right. It’s kosher’s version of bacon, *fake-bacon*. You can say that this is the halal version of Potato Salad)

Serves 6-8 people


1kg Desiree/russet potatoes, cleaned, don’t peel off the skin
2 stalks of spring onion, finely sliced
100g of facon, sliced (or bacon if your guest doesn’t need to eat halal food)
3 eggs, hard boiled
200g of steamed or boiled corn kernels
1 cup of good quality mayonnaise
1 cup of sour cream
1/5 - 1 tbs of lemon juice
salt & peper to taste


1. Boil the potatoes & eggs in a slightly salted water until tender (about 5-10 mins, depending on the size of the potatoes).

2. While the potatoes are boiling, combine sour cream, mayo, lemon juice and a dash of salt & pepper. Set aside.

3. While its still hot, cut the potatoes into 2cm cubes and slice the eggs into quarters, set aside. Pour the sauce to the potatoes and the eggs, set aside to cool and to allow the sauce to penetrate the potatoes.

4. After completely cooled, add corn and facon, mix well.

Chicken Pot Pie (inspired by a recipe from Nigella Lawson)

Serves 6-8 people


5 pieces of thigh fillets, cut into 2cm cubes
100g of cauliflower, cut into about 1.5cm cubes
3 carrots, peeled & thinly sliced
a handful of green beans, cut into 3 cm sticks
200g of swiss brown mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
¼ cup of dry white wine
1 tbs fresh/dried thyme sprigs
5tbs of unsalted butter
2tbs of olive oil
200ml of chicken stock
1-1.5 cups of thickened cream
1 packet of ready-made frozen puff pastry, thawed
1tbs of cornflour mixed with 3 tbs of water


1. In a large skillet, heat butter and oil. Stir fry the onion and garlic until fragrant, add in the chicken. (you can also try this recipe with roast chicken). Brown the chicken and add the chicken stock & wine, cook until you can’t smell the alcohol from the wine.

2. Add the vegies and thyme, cook until the vegies are slightly tender. Add cream, and cook for a further 1-2 minutes. Add cornflour to thickened the sauce, cook until the vegies are tender. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

3. Preheat the oven to 200o-210oC. Take one sheet of puff pastry, cut into 3 cm strips. Line the rim of your ramekins or baking dish with the puff pastry strips. Make sure that it covers the rims on every side of your baking dish. Take one more sheet of puff pastry, cut it depending on the size of your dish. Make sure you leave about 3cm border around to seal the pastry to the dish. For example, if your dish is 20cm round, cut the puff pastry to a circle 26cm in diameter. Set aside.

4. Fill your dish with the creamy chicken, leaving about 2 cm from the rim. Cover the dish with the puff pastry, score it with a knife & fork for decorations and preventing from blowing up in the oven. Brush it with eggwash by combining one egg with 2 tbs of water.

5. Bake for 25-35 mins or until golden, and puff pastry is ‘puffed’.

6. Serve immediately


Serves 8-12 people


2 granny smith apples, sliced thinly & quartered
2 oranges, sliced thinly & quartered
1 punnet of raspberry
1 punnet of blackberry
750ml of good red wine (I used 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon), preferably chilled overnight.
2x 600ml of sprite or lemonade
½ cup of brandy or cognac (optional – I didn’t end up using cognac, as the alcohol from the wine was strong enough, and I have a guest who doesn’t drink)
juice of ½ lemon

Combine wine, lemon juice and lemonade. Add the fruits, stir well. Put ice cubes, or chilled in the fridge.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Welcome 2009