Sunday, January 31, 2010

Brunch Buffet at Mosaic, Westin

One weekend, we decided to try Mosaic's buffet brunch.

As it was a really last minute thing, we had very little time to eat because they only served the buffet till 2.30pm.

But even though we had less than an hour to take our time and enjoy the food and go for many many rounds, we still took a fair bit of food.

Their spread was alright, though more varieties like we get back in KL would be better. Nonetheless, here's what we ate. hehe, so much dessert more than anything :)

Friday, January 29, 2010

What? Why?

I am wondering at the moment...what is stopping me from studying  Patisserie course now????????

Reflection

I was reflecting on my life again this morning..to reflect on my achievements and failures in life..

Honestly, I know that life isn't all that easy, it takes hard work, patience, determination, perseverance, etc..I should be proud of how far I've come at such a young age, supporting myself fully without relying on my parents..but how I wished that I did not have to worry about earning a living..

"Daddy, can I go back to studying not have to worry about money?" :) hehehe. I think it is quite normal for us to feel that when we are still studying, we can't wait to grow up and work and all, while those who are on the other side of the fence, not all, but some people like me, wished that sometimes they were still studying and did not have to worry about earning a living.

Even though I am feeling this way, wanting to run back to my parents' arms, I do feel that it is important for me to know and be independent. As I do not want to rely on my parents. It is hard work you know.. :) to achieve that sort of independence at a young age. I ain't saying that I am on top of the world, and have achieved so much in life, just saying that I am happy with where I am at life. Though I have bigger dreams and hopefully someday, I am able to achieve those dreams of mine..as some of you might already know that one of my biggest dream to pursue is becoming a Patisserie chef :) but first off, need to save the money, get into that industry, study Pastry course :)

Are you happy with your achievements?

Love,
PassionateMae

Thursday, January 28, 2010

mumblings..

what a gloomy gloomy day today..

hope everyone isn't affected by the weather..hope it doesn't bring your mood down..

put on a bright colour and stand out :)

Random thoughts :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hello :)

Hello All,

How was your Australia day yesterday? Sorry I;ve been so busy lately, do not have the time to blog. But please stay tune, will definitely find some time to blog okay.

p/s: still waiting for my Kitchen Aid to arrive..so long...blahh...

Thinking about an ice cream maker.. either an ice cream maker on its own or the Kitchen Aid Ice cream maker..cannot decide....HELP!! anyone can advise which is better?

Take care.

Cheers,
PassionateMae

Friday, January 22, 2010

Sugar Overload at Donna and Zumbo's!

2 weekends ago, we decided to pop a visit to Donna Hay's General store, and check out Adriano Zumbo's Chocolate Cafe & Patiserrie. Oh, as well as popping by at Long Grain in Surry Hills. Unfortunately for us, Long Grain do not open for lunch during the whole month of January, and they would only resume lunch business as usual from February onwards. So no lunch.

We had fast food for lunch instead, because we wanted to save our stomachs for dessert !

We weren't allowed to take photos in Donna's shop, so I guess you just have to pop by yourself. It is located in the housing area in Woollahra, never been there before, but we were just going there just to check out her store.

Overall, things there was a little on the pricey side, just because she has her name on the items, some of the quality, was a little under, or maybe it was just my expectations.

Nonetheless, I still like Donna, and they had some vanilla and chocolate cupcakes, brownies that you can buy. So I decided that I must try Donna's to see what's so good about it and all.

Sadly, I find that the cupcake was so-so. It was pretty dense and not much aroma to it except that it was a little too sweet for my liking as it had quite a fair bit of icing. The icing was pretty grainy as well, I've tasted other icing before, and they were smooth and did not give that grainy texture. Tasted much better cupcakes before :) Like my favourite at Cupcake Bakery; Red Velvet :) Yummm


Chomp chomp away with the cupcake.

Next stop, Zumbo's.

Here's just a shot of Balmain, not a very good shot, but here it is anyway.


Hmmm....watch out..


Yes, it is close......


There you go.. That's Zumbo's shop, no he wasn't there. And yes it is just a corner shop, so small, nothing fancy at all.

He has 2 shops, one is a cafe the other just a patisserie. As some of his goodies were sold only in either store and not in the other, we decided to check out his Patisserie first before settling down to take a sit at his cafe.

Zumbo's patisserie was just a few shoplots away..


Sorry couldn't take more photos in his store..he has a bunch of colourful Macaroons! hehehe
And other pastry desserts that looked yummy but when you read its description, it sounded a lil' too complicated.

We decided not to buy any from here, and just order from the cafe instead.

So while we were in the Patisserrie, W asked me whether one of the customers was this lady from Masterchef..and I was like..wait a minute, let me check..

ahhh....yes it was I told him..then I told W* that I wanted a pic with her :) :) so he helped to ask for me. Here's a picture of us :) bumping in Zumbo's patisserie, who was also one of the celebrity Masterchef :)



Yes, that's right, she's Justine from Masterchef, I really love her work, and thought that she deserved to be one of the finalist..but nah, she was out of the game..

Anyway, back to Zumbo, we ordered some "OMG, soooooo sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet the dessert and a cold drink as it was a HOT day!



We ordered some Macaroons with Banana, rice pudding and chocolate biscuit crumbles all over the plate..it was called, It's a "MACAROON not a HAMBURGER!"
The dessert was overly sweet and rich for the both of us, we tried our best to finish it, but it was crazy...

And the Iced Mocha was HORRIBLE! No aroma to the mocha at all, it tasted like a bitter with ice drink..disappointed. which made it worst.

Overall, I would want to come back and try his other goodies from the Patisserie instead. There was no sight of his famous Croquembouche..

Next time maybe..

Had a great time anyway, but it was definitely a day of Sugar Overload!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pop Balls

Hey people!

I was reading a blog called Bakerella, I am sure you have heard of her...She made some cute lil' cake balls. So I decided to try something new, as I am quite bored with the usual items that I've been baking..

So here's my version of her cake balls.

I made quite a fair bit of changes, she used ready made cake mix, cream cheese frosting and chocolate. But I baked the cake from scratched and made my own frosting instead of ready made ones from the can spray.

It took longer than I have anticipated...so yea...

I must say, please allow time for the cake to cool, and harden in the fridge and chocolate to set :)

Here's what I am talking about.

Pop Balls :)



1) After baking the cupcakes (you can use any flavour cupcakes you want), allow them to cool completely, remove from the cupcake paper and crumble them.



2) Mix some frosting into the crumbled cake enough for the cake to stick to one another, I used frosting+finely chopped oreo's cookies :)

 

3) Roll the crumbled cake into small balls, and put it in the fridge for it to harden for a couple of hours or freezer to speed up time.

 

4) Melt chocolate, I used dark and white chocolate so that it wouldn't be too sweet.



5) When the balls are ready, remove from fridge/freezer. Dip it in the chocolate and tip off excess. (you can use a chopstick to do this if you want)

6) Let it set on a tray, but do make sure to use grease paper below so that it won't be messy to clean up later.

7) Serve :)

 
Enjoy!

HoneyComb Cake

Heard of Honey Comb Cake before?

I made some the other day..I can't remember where I took this recipe from.

It turned out alright for a first-timer. But I felt that the taste wasn't as aromatic enough. But texture is there.

Might be a certain technique that I have to master when the boiling sugar :)

There wasn't burnt sugar smell because I had it on a very low heat.

Anyway, here is a photo of it :)




Ingredients
210g sugar

240g water
80g butter
6 eggs
160g condensed milk
180g all-purpose flour
2½ tsp baking soda

1. In a saucepan over low heat, caramelize the sugar until it turns a dark golden brown.
 
2. Slowly and carefully pour the water into the caramel. CAUTION! The caramel is very hot and the water will quickly boil and steam. Stir until the caramel is dissolved in the water and it becomes a thin syrup. Remove from heat.




3. Add the butter and set the pan aside to cool.




4. Preheat oven to 175C.

5. Mix together the egg and condensed milk in a bowl.




6. Sift the flour and baking soda together into the egg and milk. Mix well.




7. Pour the caramel butter sauce into the batter and mix well.





8. Pour the batter into a greased, 9-inch round cake pan. Let it sit for 5 minutes for the bubbles to begin developing.

9. Bake at 175*C for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Patisserie of my own (Part 4)

If you had read my previous post on Patisserie of my own (Part 4) , you will know that I have decided to continue working first.

But of late, I have been dreaming and thinking of going to Pastry school again...

I know...this time, I am not sure whether it is to open my own shop or it is just a dream that I want to pursue because I love doing it.

But yet at the same time, when I see pastry shops, I think to myself *how nice if I had my own, so pretty all the pastries, I want to learn how to make them too :)*

Oh well, as of now, I have to keep dreaming first, unless I strike lottery :) hehehe.



Upcoming posts....

.......will surprise you...I did list them down, but thought that I'll much rather surprise you :)

Please stay tune...

Just been too busy over the weekend, but will post soon :)

Have a good day everyone :)

p/s: the weather has been a lil' off...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Love cheese??

Love cheese?????

Why not try making this Ricotta Cheesecake.



This recipe is from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook.


Ingredients  (Makes one 9-inch cake)
Unsalted butter, room temperature, for pan

3/4 cup sugar, plus more for pan
1 1/2 pounds fresh whole-milk ricotta cheese, pureed in a food processor until smooth
(I used 500g of Original Ricotta cheese)
6 large eggs, separated
1/4 cup all purpose flour
Finely grated zest of 1 orange or 2 lemons ( I omitted this)
1/4 tsp salt

1) Pre-heat the oven to 190C. Generously butter and sugar the 9-inch springform pan.

2) In a large bowl, whisk together the ricotta, egg yolks, flour, half the sugar (6 tbsp), zest and salt until combined, set aside.

3) Beat egg whites on low with electric mixer until foamy. Turn mixer to high speed, gradually add the remaining 6 tablespoons sugar, beating until whites are stif and glossy, 3-4 minutes.

4) Using a rubber spatula, fold a third of the egg-white mixture into the ricotta mixture until combined. Gently fold in the remaining egg-white mixture until just combined.

5) Pour into prepared pan, and bake until the center is firm and the top is a deep golden brown, about an hour.

6) Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Place another wire rack on top of the pan, and invert the cake onto the rack to remove from pan. Reinvert cake and cool completely, top side up.

This cheesecake is best eating the same day, otherwise refrigerate, covered loosely with plastic wrap for up to 3 days. Let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving.

Just for you cheese lover :) !

Thursday, January 14, 2010

More books!!

Currently in my reading list :)

Loaned them from the library.



Love Sophie Kinsella's books. 



Twenties Girl is pretty new, looking forward to reading it


Shopaholic & Baby is pretty old, but I've not read it. 



Will post up photos and maybe recipes of baking treats from this book in here. I've never heard of Homestyle books before, but the goodies in the book look too yummy, just could not resist not loaning this book to try some.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Easy-peasy Pasta Dish

An Easy-peasy Pasta Dish 





Ingredients (quantity depending on # of people eating and how much you usually eat)

Preparation time : 10 mins
Cooking time: 15-20 mins

Pasta (any kind of pasta you like)
Eggs
Prawns without shell
Mixed Vegetables
Garlic
Cracked Black Pepper
Chilli Flakes
Basil
Salt
Olive Oil


1) Boil any kind of pasta that you like for 15-20 minutes in boiling water - add a pinch of salt and 1/2 tsp olive oil.
2) Drain pasta with cold water.

3) Fry chopped garlic till you smell the aroma in a teaspoon of oil in wok.
4) Throw in prawns till 90% done, add mixed vegetables. Stir occasionally for even cooking.
5) Add salt, black pepper, basil, chilli flakes(optional) to taste
6) Mix in cooked pasta into wok tossing till evenly mixed.
7) In another pan, fry the egg Or Crack 2 eggs into mixture, stir and let it cook, do not overmix in the beginning otherwise, eggs will be too tiny in size. Cook till egg is done.
7) Serve.

*chicken was bought :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Books books books!

These are the books that I bought from BetterWorldBooks, the ones that I mentioned in this link here previously.



Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook



Martha Stewart's Cupcakes
(I also considered her Cookies book, but did not buy it at the moment)


Lauren Chattman: The Baking Answer Book



Love Love Love them! :)





Thinking of buying more of these books from BetterWorldBooks. My books arrived on time in perfect condition. So will definitely continue to buy from them.

As you can see in my wish list, there's Nigella books :) So that's what I am eye-ing on at the moment.

Anyway, I am always on a look out for cheaper and reliable sources to buy books :) If you know one, please let me know.

Monday, January 11, 2010

I made my very own Strawberry Jam

....YUM!




Strawberry Jam Recipe (Makes 2-3 medium jars)

Preparation: Overnight
Cooking time: 1 hour

500g fresh strawberries
500g granulated sugar / caster sugar
1/2 lemon, juice only
small knob of butter

A) Preparation the day before making the jam
1) Hull and halve the strawberries (or smaller if you do not want too chunky in your jam). Check for soft spots (which must be removed) and discard any with bruises/that are overripe.



2) Place the strawberries into a large bowl with 250g of sugar. Turn carefully to mix and coat well, then cover with cling film and place into fridge overnight.




This is how it'll looked after overnight soaking in the fridge. When you remove the cling wrap, you can just smell the sweetness of the strawberries :) .



B) Day of Jam making

3) Place a small plate into the freezer to chill - this is to test the setting point of the jam.

4) Sterilise the jam jars - wash in soapy water and rinse in clean warm water. Allow to drip-dry, upside down on a rack in the oven set to 140C. Leave them there for at least 1/2 hour while you make the jam.

5) Pour strawberries, their juice and any residual sugary juices into a very large pan (remembering that the mixture will rise a fair bit as it boils, and add the remaining 250g sugar and lemon juice.



6) Stir over a gentle heat until the sugar has completely dissolved.


7) Bring the strawberries up to the boil then boil hard until jam reaches setting point - Check the setting point every 10 minutes, although it may take up to 1/2 hour to reach setting point.


8) To test, remove pan from heat, take plate from freezer and place a drop of jam onto cold plate. After a few seconds push the jam with your finger.

9) If jam surface wrinkles then it has reached setting point and is ready. If it slides about as a liquid, then it hasn't reached setting point and should be returned to the heat and boiled for a few more minutes before testing again.

10) When setting point is reached, turn off the heat. Stir in the butter and skim off any scum on the surface of jam in a large spoon.

11) Let the jam cool and thicken in the pan for 10 minutes. So that the strawberries don't all sink to the bottom in the jam jars.


12) Carefully removed the sterilised jars from oven - try to avoid touching the insides of jar.

13) Stir the jam, then ladle into jars. You can use a jam funnel if you have one.

14) Cover the top surface of the jam in each jar with waved paper disc that have been cut to size - they should cover the entire surface of the jam. Press wax disc down to create complete seal.

15) Cover with a lid while still hot, label and store in a cool, dark cupboard for up to 1 year.



Once it is cool, when I have the opportunity, I'll test out the jam :) and maybe make some scones :)


Happy Jam-ming!