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Posts Tagged ‘vanilla mousse’

Berries and Cream

Did I tell you the Blog Monster went back home?  Last Sunday.  It’s been almost a week since she left and while I can tell you I am missing her… my kitchen must be missing her much more.  Gone are the days when the refrigerator was so full that an actual free space was more coveted that Hong Kong  prime real estate.  Today, I opened it, and it was almost empty.  Now I don’t need to fight with anyone for kitchen space – but somehow I miss having to compete over kitchen time.

There  was none of the usual tears when she left though.  The reason being I knew I was going to see her in a two days!  That’s right – there’s going to be a Blog Monster reunion this Saturday!  Not only that – my two other sisters will also be joining us.  It’s been ages since the “girls” had a week away.  Shopping, eating, and shopping some more… It’s going to be fabulous!

So while I say good-bye for a bit (see you back in early February!!) – I will be enjoying the company of the Blog Monster once again!

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a treat which was inspired by a dessert I had when I took my Mum to Quay Restaurant a few days before she left.

Berries with a Vanilla Mousse

How could I let my Mom leave without trying Quay restaurant?  She’s probably the only one in my family willing (and wanting) to sit down for more than three hours enjoying the food of one of Sydney’s best restaurants.  The dessert I had at Quay was called Cherries and Berries.  It was a plated dessert of various coloured cherries, assorted berries, a sorbet and what seemed like their vanilla mousse.  This is the super simplified version – but when you have berries as good as what we’ve got nowadays, you just really have to let the berries talk!

Berry Berry Nice!

Recipe – adapted from Quay Restaurant (original post here)

  • 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
  • Berries in season (I used strawberries, blackberries and blueberries)
  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)
  7. Top with your choice of berries

Berries and Vanilla Mousse

Oh and, by the way, a big thank you to everyone who has left a comment for the Blog Monster.  I feel like you all know her already.  I wanted to give you an idea of how she looked like as well as show you some of the “friends” she met while she was in Australia.  Enjoy!

The Blog Monster & Friends (Margaret Fulton, Tetsuya Wakuda & Tony Bilson)

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Blueberry and Pistachio Tart

As 2009 draws to an end, I can’t help but reflect on what a wonderful and fulfilling year it has been.  I started this blog at the end of March this year and I can clearly remember how early on I struggled to find my voice and sense of style.  This led to very infrequent posts and for the first few months, I was discouraged by the lack of progress I was making with my blog and nearly gave up. 

Throughout the year I have met some wonderful bloggers that have provided invaluable guidance and have encouraged me to pursue this little project of mine.  Many of them have now become friends.  I am sure, if you read this, you know who you are.  We see each other almost every day – through a comment, an email or even an occasional gathering. And then there have been people who I thought would never give me the time of day only to be surprised at their generosity and total willingness to go out of their way to help me. 

Take Peter for instance from Souvlaki For The Soul.  Peter’s blog is recognized as one of the top 50 World’s Best Food Blogs.  With the number of blogs out there, this is not a accolade that is handed out lightly.   When you visit his site – you will understand why.  A combination of beautiful photography, gorgeous styling, delicious recipes and witty writing leaves me entranced with each visit.  I emailed him one day asking advice about camera lenses and we got to talking.  One thing led to another and the next thing I know he is giving me tips on photography and styling.  To Peter, Thank you! … ευχαριστώ.

Blueberry and Pistachio Tart

Recipe (adapted from Stephane Glacier’s Verrines et Petit Gateaux)

Sable Breton

  • 250 grams butter
  • 235 grams sugar
  • 7 grams salt
  • 100 grams egg yolks
  • 335 grams flour
  • 12 grams baking powder
  1. Beat the butter, sugar and salt in a stand mixer using a paddle attachment.
  2. Add the egg yolks, one at a time and beat until combined.
  3. Add the sifted flour and baking powder.
  4. Knead lightly on a lightly floured surface and wrap in plastic wrap.
  5. Rest the dough for at least two hours before using.
  6. When ready to use, roll the dough to around 6 mm thickness and cut with greased rings (I used egg rings)
  7. Bake in the rings in a preheated oven at 150c (fan forced) for 30 minutes.

Vanilla Mousseline Cream

  • 250  grams milk
  • 1/2 vanilla pod
  • 50 grams egg yolks
  • 50 grams sugar
  • 27 grams corn starch (or custard powder)
  • 125 grams butter
  1. Heat the milk, half the sugar and the vanilla pod split lengthwise in a saucepan.
  2. In a bowl, mix the rest of the sugar and the cornstarch and then add the egg yolks.
  3. Once the milk boils, remove it from the heat and pour some of the milk in the bowl with the egg yolks.  This is to temper the mixture.
  4. Then add the rest of the milk into the bowl and mix.
  5. Pour the whole mixture back into the saucepan  and boil for around 2 minutes, constantly stirring.
  6. Add the butter and mix thoroughly. Transfer to a bowl.
  7. Cover the top of the mixture with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 20 minutes to cool quickly.
  8. Keep in the fridge overnight to set.
  9. Use an electric hand held mixer and whisk at an average speed to obtain a light cream.  This is now ready to use.

Assembly – top each baked tart shell with some vanilla mousseline cream and top with your favorite fruit.  (I used blueberries but strawberries or mangoes would work well too!).

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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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