Sunday, December 27, 2009

Deep Chocolate Cream

Deep Chocolate Cream

A toast, to my first attempt at PH's Desserts! Here's how it went.

Gather The Troops

As you can see the ingredient list is rather straight forward, as was the entire process. A nice, slow and steady start to my learning curve, much welcomed.

Yolks & Sugar Beaten To Ribbon Stage

Milk & Luscious Heavy Cream Simmering Away

At this stage, the butter and sugar mix goes in for another gentle simmer.

Half The Warm Mix Into The Chocolate Chips

The Rest In & Stirred Up Good

Pour, Chill & Set

Taste Test: The cream was good, but instead of the strong, dark, bittersweet chocolate as instructed in the book, I went ahead and used semi sweet chocolate chips. Why the diversion? Coz they were on half price. Never said I wasn't cheap.

Now, if you should do the same, please, for the sake of your kidneys, lipids and blood sugar levels, half the amount of sugar you use. I found mine too sweet for my taste, although my testers rather enjoyed the sugary treat. Ah well, nothing better to reel them in for the ride.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Pierre Hermé Project

From the moment I picked up my first cookbook (on chocolate, what better?) I've been fascinated by the complex world of baking, from chocolates to all manner of desserts, pastries and the likes. Over the years my interest in food has grown from baking to cooking ("real food", as I call them), from reading cookbooks to writing about my thoughts and experience on the subject on my own food blog.

One thing that has not evolved, however, is my skill around the kitchen. I cannot cook like the pros, nor can I make desserts as well as I would like to. My lack of cooking skills I can live with, it is a hobby at best. In desserts is where I aspire to do better.

And now, after watching "Julie and Julia", twice, on a recent flight to Perth and back, I have been inspired by the story of Julie Powell, who taught herself to cook with a little help from Julia Child. I would like to do as she did, only my interest is in baking, so I thought, who better to learn from then the one who led me on this journey, the great Pierre Hermé?

So here is my plan. I shall endevour to master the art of desserts by baking my way through PH's Dessert Cookbook, all 61 recipes, in just as many weeks, or more. We are talking about desserts here, not healthy salads or "real food" but real honest to goodness sweet treats, in all its buttery and sugar filled glory. None of the faddish diet stuff, no low fat low sugar lousy excuse of a dessert, but real desserts done the French way. The Pierre Hermé way.

Now I am sure there must be countless others who are probably doing the same, given the proportion of food lovers in the world, multiplied by the number of blogspot/typepad/wordpress users amongst them, divided by the fraction who has seen "Julie & Julia", twice, that should come up to say...a million. & out of that 1 million "Julie & Julia" inspired, blogspot/typepad/wordpress using, good food loving folks, at least 5 million must be as fascinated by baking as I am. And out of that 5 million, I'd say at least 20 million are capable of dreaming up the same ingenuous idea as I to bake their way through PH's Desserts/Chocolate cookbook. Half of them might have even completed this uphill task and graduated with flying egos by the time you finish reading this sentance.

No matter. This project isn't about originality, creativity or a competition to see who makes a better PH wannabe. This is about me. It's about time I did something about what I've always wanted to do but have never done anything about. Once again. This. Is about. Me.

So here's the rundown, though you must have figured it out by now. I will bake my way through PH's 61 dessert recipes, say 1 a week, and blog my blah about how it goes. My expectations, experiments, experiences, emotions and breakdowns, the works. I will not be publishing any recipes, for obvious copyright issues. What I will do is upload pictures of my ordeal, for accountability's sake, so you and I will both know if I stay true to my cause.

So there. Here goes. First up, Deep Chocolate Cream.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Brilliant Bodhi

Chinese Paos

Fusion Vegetarian restaurant in the heart of the city. It was quiet when we visited the please in the evening, which was quite a pity, as the food served was no boring veg grub but good food with great flavors, all accompanied by warm and friendly service that makes this a unique and ideal spot for a night out with your pals.

Peking Duck

Pasta With Pesto