Saturday, September 20, 2014

PAVLOVA No. 2 with summer berries (strawberries,raspberries,blueberries and blackberries)





Pavlova

I have made pavlova before and is posted here: Pavlova recipe with a little bit of a famous history of the dessert.  Please read on a bit there if you like the to get the recipe.  

For this version, I didn't use whipped cream because, I just don't have it in the fridge, the thought of making it just came up quickly to compliment Hubby's lunch.  He had been working hard prepping for weekend lunch so, to equate the effort I came up with pavlova dessert as i happen to have the summer berries for the season on sale in the grocery store.

So i didn't have whipped cream to top it with, hence i just made custard and made it a little bit thicker than usual.  

I just think its easier to make meringue the night before you need the pavlova and leave it in the oven.  Put the oven at 250 degrees C, put off before putting the meringue in and leave it there till morning.  Pls avoid opening the door to check as the temperature would be affected.

I took some pictures for a guide.
Make the meringue:
Ingredients:
4 egg whites
1 pinch cream of tartar, (alternatively salt can be used)
2 tsp. vinegar
1 ½ cup sugar
2 tsp. corn starch
1 tsp. Vanilla essence


Procedure:

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. (Gas 4)
2. Cut baking paper into 5 inch squares (make 6 squares)
3. Draw a circle at bottom side of the baking paper. Use this as a guide when you put meringue in each portion. Set aside.
4. In a dry clean bowl, place the egg whites and cream of tartar.
5. Beat the egg white using electric beater until soft peak
6. gradually add sugar whilst continue beating until 
7. Add vinegar and cornstarch
8. Add vanilla essence
9. continue beating until stiff. The meringue must look smooth, silky and holds a stiff peak when you lift the beater.
10. In the prepared baking paper, spoon in the meringue making a circular pattern as per the guide, working from the center, create a small well and spread the meringue to the edge of the pattern. 
11. Pipe around the meringue to create a little well, where you will put the whipped cream later on.
12. Bake for 1 hour and half. Turn the oven off and leave the meringue to cool completely inside the oven. It is best to do this at night and leave the meringue in the oven overnight. The meringue should be firm and crisp.
13. Store the meringue in an airtight container until you will use them.


Spoon the meringue on a lined baking sheet and make a well in the middle but not
going through the bottom.  Leave room for a base.



It will look like this.  A base with a little room for the the topping.  

I made some spiky just for fun.



Making the custard is taking forever.  I just wish I had whipped cream and it
will be finished in a flash, but i unfortunately dont have.  But this is worth a trial for
flavor combination.  It was good. its just that it takes forever, but its worth the wait.




The final Look.

Review:  I would say, it was a good experiment on the flavor.  The making of the custard took forever to thicken, but the taste is phenomenal compared to whipped cream.


PS.  I love the meringue.  I took the extra bit to go with my morning coffee.  It reminds me of those meringue kisses when i was a kid.  Not so sweet, crispy outside and it turns chewy and mallowy in the tongue.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Why chew when you can drink? #4 Raspberries and black berries smoothie



Black berries
Raspberries
Milk

Mix in a blender until smooth.  Add ice cubes if desired.

Why chew when you can drink? #5


Honey lemon glazed pork loin with freen salad


Pan-roasted baby potatoes with herbs



Cut baby potatoes in half, season with salt and pepper and steam for 10 minutes.  Do not over cook.  Make sure they are half cooked only.

In a heavy bottomed frying pan, add 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add a few sprigs of rosemary, add the potatoes.  Occasionally shake the pan to move the potatoes whilst roasting so it won't stick to the pan.  Add dried basil.  Season with salt and pepper.

Perfect for serving on the side of any main dish.


Mini bruschetta





The base is a ready made toasted savory snacks.

Topping Ingredients:

5 large tomatoes
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 clove of garlic (grated)
salt and pepper

To make the topping, finely chop tomatoes; drain to get rid of the excess tomato juice and set aside. Chop fresh basil finely and set aside. In a mixing bowl, mix olive oil, grated garlic, salt and pepper.  Add basil and drained tomatoes.  Mix well.  Place a teaspoon in each of the savory biscotti.  

Enjoy these bite size treats with your favorite cocktail.


Canapes






Base :  Ready made whole grain toasted savory biscotti ( I used Melba Snacks)

For the toppings, I mixed yogurt, cucumber and cream cheese and added some herbs.  One mixture I added dill and another mixture I added basil.

variants:  
smoked salmon (flaked)
finely diced peppers (green, yellow, orange and red)

In some servings i skipped the cream mixture as for some who doesn't like cream based topping. For a healthier option, I just added directly on the savory biscotti a mixture of tomato,basil,grated garlic and olive oil to make mini bruschetta. Some I just added only the peppers.

These bite portions are perfect for gatherings.  There's always something to much while Hubby is busy grilling.  Kids loved the mini bruschetta.  

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Chef's Ring



Chef’s Ring

I am not a professional chef and it’s not my ring! Well, this one makes wonders. I use this for molding rice, mashed potatoes, cakes, dough, anything that needs a round mold. It is great for molding layers of different textures, colors and flavor.

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