29 January 2009

Light, Crisp and a broken whisk

It's that time of the month again!!

That's right. Daring Baker challenge time. For once I was prepared and got this done weeks ago. It was so simple that if it wasn't for work, I would have made them several times over.
This months challenge is brought to us by Karen of Bake My Day an
d Zorra of Ix umruehren aka Kochtpf. They have chosen Tuilles from The Chocolate Book by Angelique Schmeink and Nougatine and Chocolate Tuiles from Michel Roux.
The challenge involved making one of the above recipes and matching it with something light. I chose to bake classic Tuilles, as it was my first time, and paired them with the mango mousse from last months challenge. This month was bake off month! Last October the challenge was Pizza which happened to coincide with a friends birthday. So we had a pizza night. It was on this night that my good friend Jess decided that she wanted to be a Daring Baker too! It's taken a few months, admittedly live got in the way, but Jess and I have finally had a challenge bake off.. The organisation was done very professionally. We didn't once refer to what we were doing as 'nudge nudge, wink wink' or 'uber top secret flute things'............we're both flautists............No. Not at all...

So we decided to team up this month and have a crazy night of baking. The result. Many, many, many tuilles, giggles and confusing online conversations with other friends.
You'll find the recipe we used below. I decided not to make butterflies, instead I just grabbed and offset spatula and started spreading. From memory, I used limes, lemons, rolling pins, egg cartons and there were attempts at cones.

The are definitely only so many tuilles one can eat at midnight. The rest were left until the next day where they became much chewier after absorbing moisture over night. Chewy but still good.

I won't spoil what Jess filled hers with however, some of it did end up in my tum tum.

The broken whisk mentioned in the last post was the direct result of trying to make the mango mouse. Sometimes, good old fashioned muscle just doesn't work! There's a photo lurking somewhere....

65 grams / ¼ cup / 2.3 ounces softened butter (not melted but soft)
60 grams / ½ cup / 2.1 ounces sifted confectioner’s sugar
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 /
1/2 cup / 2.3 ounces 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 such as the butterfly. 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 butterflies 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.

28 January 2009

My trip

Its been mentioned before but here it is again.

I'm going on my first overseas holiday!!! :D

Although I've been overseas before, I was 6 and it wasn't a holiday. We moved house. This time around I'll be in New York for a week and then its straight to Italy for another 2. The only down side is that I'll be getting back a day or two after honours starts. I miss all the orientation stuff, which can be made up another time so who cares!

If anyone has any must see places at either of my destinations, please let me know.
Whilst in Italy I'm hitting, Naples, Venice, Trieste, Florence, Pisa, Rome and Orvieto (hopefully).

I'll try to keep things updated as I go but no guarantees. Facebook and lj are your best bet.

17 January 2009

Things I've done in 2009

So far in 2009 I have made new friends, tried real Portuguese food thanks to Jess and broken my whisk.

The new friends were found on Beach Trip! I went away with a group of people primarily from Monucs (Monash Uni Choral Society). The rest of the posse was made up of people from the Sydney, Perth, Canberra and Adelaide equivalents with a few non choristers thrown in the mix. I was one of the non-choristers.

Cooking for 50 people each night was an interesting experience.

Some people don't seem to understand that there are many ways of helping the cook. Chopping is one way. Hanging around, talking and keeping her company is another way. All 4 methods will get you on her good side and off the dish duty list.

The whisk died during a battle with egg yolks and corn flour.