Thursday, February 12, 2009
How do you train yourself to let go?
After 7 years living far away from my parents, I thought saying goodbye has become a normal situation. Don't know why, this time I'm having the hardest time parting with both of my parents. Either the guilt of not being there for them in their old age, or is it this small voice inside of me who is starting to lose some sense of why I still chose to live 3,000 miles away. Sigh! I have a lot of thinking on what to do with my life this year. That's one of my new year's resolution, I have to make a decision before I turn 25 this November.
Apart from that, I'm glad to be back. To the arms of M again.. and the comfort of my tiny little apartment. I'm soooooo glad I managed to escape the crazy weather. It was above 40 degrees for a week here in Melbourne. Luckily, by the time I got back, the temperature has dropped to the mid 20s. It doesn't feel like summer anymore, but you won't hear me complaining. It's sad to hear about the bush fire drama all over Victoria. I wished I can do something to help. All my thoughts goes to all the victims =(.
I'm back to super speed internet now, so I can post the recipes for the tuiles and the sorbet I made for the daring bakers. I don't have a lot to share from my trip, at least not food related, since I was down with a stomach bug most of my time there. I missed out on soooo many favourite foods. A friend at work said that I must have "the white man stomach". I usually laid low for about a week or so, eating safe foods, restaurant foods or homemade foods that I know is clean. Then move on to the street food, or spicier food. But in a 2 week holiday, surely, if I have to be safe for a week, what do I get left? Well, I ended up spoiling the whole 2 weeks of unable to eat properly plus the 2 days I spent lying in bed to weak to got up. Nonetheless, it was great to see my parents, catch up with some old friends, and see how different Jakarta can be in just one year. I hardly recognized it. So many new buildings and new restaurants. The one thing I looovveed about Jakarta, it never sleeps. You can easily find stores that are open till late at night. Especially when it comes to food, every hour of the day you can find it anywhere you go. When the restaurant closes, you can always find some fabulous hawker foods everywhere. Just don't think about hygiene.
Following is a recipe taken from a book called “The Chocolate Book”, written by female Dutch Master chef Angélique Schmeinck.
65 grams butter, at room temperature
60 grams icing sugar, sifted
1 sachet vanilla sugar (7 grams or substitute with a dash of vanilla extract)
2 large egg whites (slightly whisked with a fork)
65 grams sifted all purpose flour
1 table spoon cocoa powder/or food coloring of choice
Butter/spray to grease baking sheet
Oven: 180C / 350F Using a hand whisk or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle (low speed) and cream butter, sugar and vanilla to a paste. Keep stirring while you gradually add the egg whites. Continue to add the flour in small batches and stir to achieve a homogeneous and smooth batter/paste. Be careful to not overmix. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up. (This batter will keep in the fridge for up to a week, take it out 30 minutes before you plan to use it). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with either butter/spray and chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. This will help spread the batter more easily if using a stencil/cardboard template. Press the stencil on the bakingsheet and use an off sided spatula to spread batter. Leave some room in between your shapes. Mix a small part of the batter with the cocoa and a few drops of warm water until evenly colored. Use this colored batter in a paper piping bag and proceed to pipe decorations on the wings and body of the butterfly. Bake tuiles in a preheated oven (180C/350F) for about 5-10 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown. Immediately release from bakingsheet and proceed to shape/bend the cookies in the desired shape. These cookies have to be shaped when still warm, you might want to bake a small amount at a time or maybe put them in the oven to warm them up again. (Haven’t tried that). Or: place a bakingsheet toward the front of the warm oven, leaving the door half open. The warmth will keep the cookies malleable.
Recipe: 4 cups of fruit ( I use strawberry, lemon *for the lemon, add 1 part water to 1 part lemon juice to keep it from being too sour*, and kiwi)
2-4 tbs of sugar (depending on how sweet you want your sorbet to be)
2 tsp of lemon juice (if you're using a sour fruit, substitute this with water)
Cut the fruit and put it inside a ziplock bag and freeze it overnight. The next day, process the fruit in a food processor until smooth. Add sugar and lemon juice to taste. Blend thouroughly until smooth. Freeze the liquid in a covered container until hardens. This may take several hours. Take out from the freezer and put it into the fridge for 15 minutes to soften it a little. Put sorbet in a food processor and blend thoroughly to break the ice crystals. Put back into the freezer until ready to be consumed.
I'm in the middle of a bake-off for Valentine's and also baking a cake for my dearest housemate whose birthday falls one day before Valentine's day. So to finish off today's dinner, I made something very simple, a recipe taught to me by my ex neighbour when I was still living in Malvern. It's nothing impressive nor innovative, but it helped me soothe my homesickness a little bit since it uses one of my childhood favourites, Milo.
Honey Yoghurt with Milo
Plain Greek Yoghurt
*I don't put measurements coz I never used one, just mix them up according to your taste, if you like the sweetness from the Milo, use less honey and more Milo, and so forth*
Put a dollop of yoghurt and sweeten it up with honey. If you use sweetened yoghurt, omit the honey. Sprinkle generous amount of Milo on top and keep refrigerated until dessert time.