Wednesday, March 16, 2011

New ventures..

A pie crust and the Baking Bug

Many months ago in the passion of a cooking frenzy I had
promised a beloved old friend of mine a fancy home
cooked meal. So it was only recently after some minor emotional
blackmailing I finally got down to it. The menu was impressive:
A potato and spinach salad with a hung curd dressing,
An orange and carrot stir fry,
Hot Sesame noodles,
A broccoli and cauliflower tart and...
A Verry Berrry Pavlova!

I later learnt a few things about my friends- they have
extremely small appetites and that one of them thought carrots
would make her "die". She is the first person I've heard
who cant stand carrots. Okra I can understand but carrots??

Ingredients for a Pavlova
Amazing how these seemingly insignificant ingredients turn
into something so beautiful..

Pavlovas baking!

Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert named after the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova. It is referred as "pav", which is a cake similar to meringue with a crispy crust and soft, light inner.
The dessert is believed to have been created to honour the dancer during or after one of her tours to Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s.
The dessert is a popular dish and an important part of the national cuisine of both countries, and is frequently served during celebratory or holiday meals such as Christmas lunch.
The pavlova a crisp crunchy shell, while the interior remains soft and moist. The pavlova's internal consistency is thus completely different from that normally associated with meringue, having more of a soft marshmallow texture. This difference is due to the addition of cornstarch, the use of which is the defining feature of a pavlova recipe.

Very Berry Pavlova

It was so easy to make! And came out so beautifully the first time!
A crisp shell with a chewy center..
Now to start making variations of it and to find friends
who will willingly eat all this sugar!

Kalua cake

Since we were getting a fruity cake for my mum's surprise birthday party I decided to make her a chocolate sponge cake with Kalua syrup and a buttercream icing. The icing had 250 gms of butter in it which made it the richest thing I have made by far!! We also went a bit overboard with the decoration so as you can see there is piping, flowers. stars and a comb design!
March has been a rather interesting month. I seem to be learning new things each day. Silly things which I should have known automatically or by instinct. Like labeling a order so that my client would know what they were getting!

Chocolate eclairs

Another first attempt. And another east recipe. My mum got a book on how to make the perfect pastry. So guess who is using it now! The eclairs puffed up so beautifully in just 20 mins.

Stuffing them was a whole other ball game. The ganache was still a bit hard and trying to force it out of the piping gun was a test of my strength and precision skills. Pushpi was there to hold the eclairs for me while I pipes the ganache out. They looked and tasted fantastic after I was done. And they were polished off that evening itself!

Boston Banoffee Pie
A recipe which called for loads of butter. The sliced banana
helped to cut out the sweetness.

Broccoli and cheese soup

An experimental soup which was made with pure luck!

Panna cotta with a strawberry coulis

One of the most delicious desserts I have ever made. Completely
inspired by Master Chef and their fancy plating! A very fresh taste
with the creaminess of the panna cotta.