Posts Tagged ‘raspberries’

Raspberry and Cream Cheese Brioche

Raspberry and Cream Cheese Brioche

We were once asked to fill out a questionnaire at work that was meant to assess our strengths and weaknesses.  The survey had over 150 questions and we were meant to share our results with our group when done.  After the 10th question, I gave up, there was simply no way I was going to sit through the remaining 140.  I decided instead to ask my husband what he thought my strengths were, and what areas I could improve on.

“On the positive side,” he said “you are resourceful, always wanting to learn new things and you get along well with others.”

“But…” I asked.

“Well, you’re impatient” he told me.  “Impatient?? I’m not impatient!” I protested.

“You are – you can’t even sit down long enough to fill out a survey!” he answered.

Point taken.

When I want something, I want it right NOW.  The smallest hint of delay can frustrate and exasperate me.


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Eton Mess

Eton Mess

In my sophomore year of high school I met two girls who would soon become my best friends.  At first glance, it was an unlikely friendship.  One of them was a champion equestrienne who also made it to class president, and the other was a self described tomboy because she said she loved sports and rock music, except that everyone else thought she was a was a heartthrob.  And then there was me.  Truth be told, I felt very boring beside them – no hobby to keep me busy, I had no inclination to excel at school and had no string of admirers in the background.   But despite all this, somehow, we just clicked.  We’d take turns having sleep overs at each others houses, chatting until all hours of the morning about boyfriends (theirs) and heartbreaks (also theirs).  We also talked about what we were going to do and where we were going to be “ten years from now” (we all wanted to be lawyers) as we gorged on junk food until we felt sick.  We called ourselves PT&T, the first initials of our names.

One of the things we always agreed on was that we would make sure to go to the same University when we graduated.  Which, for one reason or another, never happened.  In fact, we all went to different schools and all took different courses. After University, I went to work for a bank, one of them continued her passion of horse jumping (and yes, eventually made it to the Olympics!), and the other one continued to break hearts and became a TV personality.

Despite the lack of contact, we were still always fiercely loyal and protective of each other.  I remember once when I started dating my now husband, he told me that the “P” of PT&T had told a friend of his that “he’d better make sure to treat Trissa well, otherwise, she would come looking for him”…. and, when it really mattered (like my wedding), we would still be there for each other (they were my bridesmaids).

Sadly, years have passed since I last saw them both.  Once in awhile, we text or email each other a birthday or Christmas greeting… but we’re all living on different continents and have gone on to do totally different things… as I said – it was an unlikely friendship.

But I’m still hopeful that one day we’ll have a PT&T reunion – and I know when we do – the conversation will pick up as if we were back in one of our houses, having another one of those sleepovers where there really is no sleeping – just lots of talking and making up for lost time… and of course, still gorging on the junk food.

The more I think about it – the more I realize that blogging is a little bit like an old friendship.  You may have noticed the long absence lately – and how rude of me to be gone for so long without a word or explanation.  But I know, you’ll forgive me and allow me to pick up where I left off.

Eton Mess

Eton Mess

Eton Mess

For the Eton Mess
The inspiration for this Eton Mess comes from a recent dinner at District Dining which is Chef Warren Turnbull’s rendition of this classic dessert.

  • 3 egg whites
  • 150 grams caster sugar
  • pinch of cream of tartar
  • 250 ml cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 50 grams icing sugar
  • 250 grams strawberries, quartered
  • Raspberry Sorbet (recipe follows)
  • Edible Flowers
  • Fresh or frozen Raspberries (for topping)
  1. Preheat the oven to 140c (fan forced). Beat the egg whites together with the cream of tartar in a bowl until frothy and then gradually add the sugar until stiff peaks.
  2. Spread the egg whites on a tray lined with baking paper and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the cream until soft peaks and then gradually add the icing sugar and vanilla seeds, making sure not to overwhip the cream.
  4. Add the strawberries to the cream and gently fold in.
  5. To assemble, crumble the cooled meringue over the strawberries and cream and top with some raspberry sorbet, edible flowers and fresh raspberries.

For the Raspberry Sorbet

    This recipe is done on the thermomix. Feel free to use your own recipe or store bought if necessary.

  • 75 grams caster sugar
  • 150 grams frozen raspberries
  • 1 egg white
  1. Place the sugar into the TM bowl and mill for 10 seconds on speed 9
  2. Add the raspberries followed by the 350 grams of ice and egg white. Slowly turn the speed dial to speed 10.
  3. Use the spatula to assist in the incorporation of the raspberries with the ice.

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Vanilla Mousse with Fresh Raspberries

Sometimes we hurt someone and never have the opportunity to say sorry.  Has this ever happened to you?  I am ashamed to admit that over the course of my life, the number of people I have upset or wounded by my unkind words has been too many to remember but there is always one incident that stands out… especially since it happened so close to Christmas time.

When I was much younger,  My Mom asked me to buy a box of frozen raspberries which she was going to use to make a Christmas pudding.  It was a few days before Christmas and I headed to one of the groceries situated beside a large shopping mall in the Philippines.    You can imagine, a few days before Chrstimas, everyone trying to finish their last minute shopping – it was almost impossible to find a parking space!  After almost twenty minutes in the parking lot, I finally spotted a free spot which I drove towards.  At the same time, another car pulled up from the other side to try and park in that one slot.

There was no way I was going to let that slot go!  I guess the driver in the other car had pretty much the same idea and was also determined to take that slot.

BEEEEEP! I honked my horn.  BEEEEP BEEEEP!! He replied.

Vanilla Mousse, Raspberries and Raspberry Gelee

I was pissed and we both got out of our cars.

I knew immediately when I saw him that he was someone’s chauffeur.  His shirt was a faded blue as if it  had been washed too many times and there was a little hole that had been stitched up on his sleeve.  He was much older than I was, or so he seemed, maybe 50 or so.  His hair was grey and his face dark brown and wrinkled.

We argued for a few minutes and the conversation between us went something like this:

Me:  What do you think you’re doing?  I got here first!

Him:  Of course not!  I saw the parking slot first – and I am going to park here!

Finally, I was tired and cranky and decided to put this to rest.  I told him something that I will forever regret.

“Get out of my way, you’re just a driver. I’m going to park in this slot whether you like it or not”

He looked at me shocked.  As if I had slapped him.  His face, although a deep brown,  turned bright red.  I could see he wanted to say something, to defend himself, to maybe hurt me as much as I had hurt him… but he didn’t.  He shook his head and got into his car and drove away.

I had won!  But I never felt more like a failure. I tried to justify my actions by saying he had tried to steal my parking slot.  But whichever way I looked at it – I was wrong.  How could I have said something so heartless… I don’t know.

How could I have hurt someone like that over a box of raspberries… I will never know.

Sometimes during the Christmas season I remember him and think of him as my “Ghost of Christmas Past”. The ghost that is there to remind me that  words can hurt.  There is no way that I can tell him how truly sorry I was and no way to make amends.  As much as I try to forget, my actions will haunt me forever.

Who is your Ghost of Christmas Past?

Fresh Raspberries

Recipe – adapted from Quay Restaurant

  • 250 ml milk
  • 50 grams caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 1 1/2 sheets titanium gelatine (7.5 grams) soaked in cold water for 5 minutes
  • 250 ml cream
  • 70 ml egg whites ( about 2 eggs from 55 gram eggs)
  • 125 grams caster sugar
  1. Heat the milk, 50 grams sugar and vanilla bean until just simmering.
  2. Squeeze water from the gelatine and whisk into the milk until dissolved.  Cool slightly (15 to 20 minutes), strain into a bowl.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk the cream in a bowl until soft peaks form.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggwhites, gradually adding sugar until stiff peaks form.
  5. Fold the cream and meringue gently through the cooled milk mixture.
  6. Place in a bowl and refrigerate until set (around 6 hours)

Raspberry Gelee

  • 420 grams raspberry puree
  • 35 grams caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 sheets or 7.5  grams of gelatine leaves (titanium strength)
  1. Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water.
  2. Heat the raspberry puree and sugar until the sugar dissolves and the puree comes to a boil.
  3. Remove the raspberry puree mixture from the heat.
  4. Remove the excess moisture from the gelatine and heat the gelatine in the microwave until it melts, around 15 to 20 seconds
  5. Temper the gelatine by adding a little bit of the raspberry puree to the gelatine and stir gently to combine
  6. Then add the raspberry and gelatine mixture to the rest of the raspberry puree.

Quay's Vanilla Mousse

To Assemble

Pipe some vanilla mousse on to a cup, add some raspberry gelee, top with more vanilla mousse and finish with fresh raspberries.

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