Cooking Expedition (10/05/08)

Sunday, May 11, 2008 Posted by YY on 2:06 PM comments (0)

Dinner Menu:
Main course - Risotto and baked sea bass fillet with citrus olive butter
Sides - Calamari

Before cooking dinner, we decided to give 姜汁撞奶 another try. This time it worked!
Pics(clockwise from top) : After pouring in the hot milk; After coagulated! Next pic..look at the texture, kindda melt in your mouth like very soft soyabean curd~

Conditions required for successful 姜汁撞奶:
- 80 to 85 degrees milk
- Fat ratio of 3.8 milk
- Old ginger juice

Back in Sep '07, K tried his hands on calamari but the batter won't stick to the squids so it was a failure XD This time, after some tips..we decide to re-attempt this time..hiaks~ I guess it was counted as successful this time round.

Pics(clockwise from top): Cutting and washing the squid was pretty disgusting >.<, here's the processed ones; dipping the squid in egg yolk; mixing some flour into the batter so tt it sticks to the squid; the final product~

This is the citrus olive butter for the sea bass fillet.. ingredients involved are minced olives, orange zest, balsamic vinegar and butter(we used Lurpak butter here which was very light in taste)

Milky fish stock cooked from sea bass remains after filleting it.

Its the 1st time I am trying risotto..K bought this box of risotto and I was wondering how does it look like..

There you go..woo~ large hard grains of rice

Meanwhile we marinated the fish with salt, pepper and thymes and baked it cos we had no grill.

Pics(clockwise from top left): The chardonnay to be poured into the risotto(at the beginning); cooking the risotto with onion first; burning off the white wine; pouring stock into the risotto spoon by spoon while cooking.

Oh **** we ran out of stock..and so K had no choice but to add some white wine(bad choice..cos it results in sourish risotto) and water in place of stock.

Finally, the risotto decided to go soft enough for me to digest..and so dinner's done! Risotto with parmesan cheese, butter turns out creamy and bacon simply added more flavour~ Sea bass when baked doesn't give it much flavours though, but the citrus olive butter was surprisingly matching for fish.

Close up for the crispy calamari~

I guess K will have to brush up on his risotto skills to whip up something decent and we need a grilling equipment asap >.<

Chocolate Making Course by Chef Geert (01/05/08)

Sunday, May 04, 2008 Posted by YY on 1:13 AM comments (1)

Woke up so early at about 8am, bolted down to Outram with K to attend this chocolate making course by Chef Geert from Belgium.

A little history on this choc making course:
I have been waiting for Chef Geert for 1 year! Last year April, he was supposed to have a 2 days class and I registered for it but he cancelled last minute due to personal reasons (from what I heard later was ..his dad was seriously ill). Later on, I asked several times on the course availability but the answer I got was.."He doesn't work on weekends" -__-

So this time on Labour Day, he's actually having a course~! How can I miss this??
Well, in fact I told my friend that I may miss his church wedding if the course ends late >.<'' what a lousy friend I have been .. Its quite alot of ingredients involved in making chocolate fillings for today.. We have coke, lemons, cognac(scotch whisky), mango & peach yogurt, tea bags, almond sticks, macadamia nuts, raspberry puree, raspberry liquer, cherries.

Chef Geert demonstrated a few times on how to fill the moulds with chocolate and shaking them to create a thin shell. Afterwhich, every student in the class has their chance to hands on.

The general idea is:
1. Fill the mould with chocolate.
2. Scrap off the excess, knock the air bubbles out.
3. Turn the mould upside down to shake off the chocolate, knocking helps.

This is K, filling his mould with dark chocolate

And me..having problems cos the "tank" of chocolate was too tall for the result, I tiptoed -.-'''

After almost everyone had their turn at making chocolate shells..all the moulds are placed into the fridge.

The class was conducted half hands on, half demo kindda environment. This meant that all of us participated in one way or another in the "production" of the chocs. This is K having his turn at piping the mango yogurt ganache into the white chocolate truffle cups. These truffle cups were pre made.

In this pic, the chef was adding whisky to the ganache. This mixture is for making cognac cups.

Another participant filling up the chocolate cups(pre made) with cognac ganache.

Cherries were coated with dark chocolate. Do you see the water coming out from the cherries? This is because chocolate contracts when dried, thus squeezing the cherry's juice out.

After all the chocolate shells have been filled, the chef covered the moulds with chocolate once again. See the pic below, can you see the white stuff? This is due to "nipples" created when piping the fillings. Therefore to have a nice chocolate base, extra care must be taken when piping in fillings.

Picture below (clockwise) shows the truffle cups filled already; place board over the cups; spread chocolate over the board; remove the board and the dark chocolates would have been stuck on the truffle cups, covering the hole.

Overview of the creations(clockwise): Cherries dipped in dark chocolate; macadamia nuts covered in milk chocolate(created by 2 spoons); various shapes ; cognac cups

More pics on the overall creations..some chocolates have designs on them, these are created by using chocolate transfer sheets (a magnetic mould is needed)

We ran out of fillings halfway =( and so these unused shells are melted in the large "tank" to be "recycled"

After everything was completed, the chef says we can start grabbing our share of chocs..This was where I got damn irritated by AUNTIES AGAIN! *** (fill in with 3 letters from b,c,f,k,n,t,w)

This is total crap..all I wanted was 2pcs per design and I couldn't get it! This freaking hell AUNTIE took 2 bags FULL, mine was only 3/4 of a bag I swear..and she kept taking those that were small => can pack more. *** hope she gets sore throat!

The pic below was taken in despair..couldn't get my heart shape choc..I turned around to K to complain and he quickly "cut losses" by grabbing more cognac cups..

Morale of the story: Kiasu-ism is a vicious cycle. Kiasu-ism begets kiasu-ism.
So why is this pic shown? Look at the arrows shown in the pic..these 2 idiots have been grabbing alot zzzzzz..2 bags each!!! Stupid gian perng aunties always wanting to get their worth of course value by grabbing the expensive stuff..not my first time getting pwned by these idiotic beings le lor.. SBDL~

Cooking Expedition (27/04/08)

Saturday, May 03, 2008 Posted by YY on 12:09 AM comments (0)

Today's menu includes:
* Cornflake chicken
* Fusili in tomato cream sauce
* Stuffed onion (with bacon and cream sauce)
* Steam milk with ginger juice (loosely translated)

Was supposed to do 姜汁撞奶 we grated the ginger, filtered out all those ready to KNOCK~

Prays hard that the milk will set..tick tock tick tock~ After 3mins..then didnt set =(

So I went into damage control mode and decided..ah~ let's make 姜汁炖奶 instead. So we added egg whites inside and viola~

Cover clear wrap over the bowl when steaming so water does not get in

Marinating the chicken

Cutting the onion's head off, going to soften it through boiling. Its core will be removed later after boiling, so that we can stuff it.

Slightly overboiled >.<, remove the core with spoons

Stir fry onion and bacon bits, add cream and parmesan cheese

Stuff the above into the onion and bake for 10mins.

Coat the chicken thigh and breast with cornflakes and bake till brown. We nearly ended up with chao ta chicken cos cornflakes browns fast.


Cooking of the tomato cream sauce~

Add cream to the above

The finished product, for cornflake chicken it seems breast meat does more justice to the recipe.

And dessert is chilled steamed milk with ginger juice..aww~ look at the texture!


The onion was pretty sweet and cheese+cream+bacon bits made it taste even better.

Dessert was good, no gelatine used ..just purely full cream milk, sugar, egg white, ginger juice.

Chicken was so so..cos it was not as flavourful as I expected it to be. And for pasta, there can be more tomatoes in the sauce.

Some recent creations (Mar 08 - Apr 08)

Friday, May 02, 2008 Posted by YY on 11:46 PM comments (0)

These ain't anything spectacular so let the pictures do the talking...

Recently ate this chiffon cheese cake from Tampopo, o wow it got me all I am determined to achieve the same quality. This is my 1st try on cheese chiffon, well it looks ok but it reeks of eggy smell.

K's creation for dinner, minced pork wrapped in cabbage

K's creation: Brioche Loaf. Looks quite yellow due to the butter, however it was not soft enough to me and pretty oily >.>''

K trying out some chocolate swirl loaf by mixing one normal dough with a chocolate dough. Looks interesting but the chocolate didn't leave anything on my tastebuds.

Nice scenery just outside my window every morning

Posted by YY on 11:17 PM comments (0)

On some mornings when I wake up in a good mood, thankful for all good things in life. During such mornings, other than admiring the scenery outside, I would take pictures of the "sunrise" from my bedroom window. As you can see from the pics, the sun has yet to rise..its about to -.-'' Well, if I stick around to take sunrise I would be late for work :p