Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Gingerbread Macarons

 

E came home one day... announced that she and her friends were trying to persuade their Math teacher to organise a class party during the last week of term. After much wingeing and whining... I am sure... Mr Math Teacher caved in to their request. 
She voluntered to bring macarons ...party

Initially I wanted to bake mango macarons... my little mistress said 'Mom, what if someone does not like mango?' ... Strike 1!!!
She suggested ~ why not bake chocolate macarons?... 'But you had that for your Birthday...' was my reply...Strike 2!!!
Then I told her ..'Let me think ....perhaps something Christmas-sy...' and here it is...

Gingerbread Macarons
with
Lindt Orange Intense Dark Chocolate Ganache
phew ... lucky it is not Strike 3!!! If it is ...then there will no macarons at all for the party ....hehehe... poor E...broken heart
Baked 5 batches of mini macs for the class party...


E had fun at the party... and so did Mom... stick on little RED Smarties and Pretzels... they became my little Rudolf(s)...I tried giving them eyes after this photoshoot... my reindeers morphed into litte piggy with antlers instead...I don't want to see not cool....

macarons

on a more serious note...
Soon we will be singing Auld Lang Syne as 2011 is coming to an end... and so is my post... for the year...  will be back in January 2012. 
I will not be able to blog or blog-hop as often as I would love to.... from next week onwards till early January... coz ~ 
  1. I am baking a gingerbread house to bring to a friend's Christmas Party (I'll upload the photo/s in my FB),
  2. D is coming home from his month long trip I can't wait to hug him...
  3. we will have no internet access by the end of year (perhaps 3 weeks or more) 
  4. and last but not least... we are looking forward to our exciting BIG move... not far ... less than 2 km away.
If you miss me... and wanted to find out what I am up to (nothing naughty of course... Santa is watching ..tongue) you can find me here (FaceBook) and here (Twitter

With that... I end my 2011 post... with .

Wishing everyone wave

A
Merry Christmas
and
Happy New Year

GOD Bless....praying


Lunar Eclipse ~ 10th December 2012

Till we meet again... in 2012

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Recipe
80g egg white~room temperature
65g castor sugar
80g almond meal
140g icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon of mixed spice
Filling
250g Lindt Orange Intense Dark Chocolate
180ml thick cream
50g butter
Preparation ~ 3 days before making macarons ~ separate egg white from yolk. Refrigerate.

Macronage
  1. Egg white at room temperature
  2. Pulse Almond meal with icicng sugar for 5 minutes. Sieve with mixed spice. Set aside.
  3. Mix the egg white and castor sugar in a heatproof bowl.
  4. Making sure that the bowl will snuggly fit the pot, bring the water to boil then lower the heat to a gentle simmer.
  5. Place the bowl on top of the pot, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the simmering water... aka double boil method.
  6. Whisk the egg white mixture until the sugar is dissolved and the temperature reads 50-55C on the sugar thermometer.
  7. Transfer the egg mixture into the mixing bowl with the balloon attachment.
  8. Add lemon juice.
  9. Whisk on medium speed until soft peak or 'shaving foam' consistency.
  10. Using a flexible silicon spatula, fold in sieved almond mix into the meringue one third at a time. And start counting the strokes.
  11. Continue to fold until all dry ingredients are fully incorporated and it forms a shiny batter with a thick, ribbon like consistency...
  12. Pour the mixture into a piping bag fitted with 10mm nozzle, and pipe onto prepared baking sheets.
  13. Leave the tray at room temperature for 30 minutes or more until the macarons surface are 'drier' to touch.
  14. Pre heat oven to 150C and bake each tray for 15-20 minutes depending on the oven.
  15. Cool for 10 minutes then carefully peel off the baking sheet.
  16. Leave to cool completely before piping in the filling
Filling
  1. Break the chocolate into small pieces and place them in a heatproof bowl.
  2. Bring the cream to boil and pour into the bowl.
  3. Let it stand for 2 minutes.
  4. Using the whisk ballon, whisk until the mixture is smooth.
  5. Add in butter, and keep stirring until its nice and glossy.
  6. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or overnight) then piped the filling onto the shells.
Macarons tasted better...after an overnight refrigeration

Macarons

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Lisa's Guest, Post # 1 ~ Malaysian-Thai Chicken Curry

I came across Leemei and her famous blog ~ My Cooking Hut, in early 2008. I was her silent reader... who would browsed through her blog, looking for recipes as well as admire her amazing photos; food she cooked and places she travelled to.
Then in 2009, I 'broke my silence' happy... and started to communicate with Leemei through her blog... followed by email, Facebook and Twitter... we became friends in the cyber world... lets hope that one day, we'll  meet in the 'Real' world...big grin

I am so thrilled to have Leemei as my first Guest... Thank you, my dear Leemei.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
About Leemei...
She is a Freelance recipe contributor, food stylist and photographer... 
Her cookbook ~ Lemongrass and Ginger will be available in April 2012....  am so proud of my fellow 'Anak Kedah'...big hug



"Lemongrass and Ginger Cookbook: Vibrant Asian Recipes,  It contains 224 pages, published by Duncan Baird. There are more than 100 clear, easy-to-follow recipes that are diverse, delicious and imaginative. Packed with inspiring, authentic dishes (many with a modern twist), this is a must-have book for the modern kitchen!"
Pre-order your copy at Amazon (UK, US and Canada), Barnes and Noble and Book Depository (UK and US)
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Let's welcome Leemei with her mouthwatering Malaysian- Thai Chicken Curry...

I don’t quite remember how it all started. It was back in 2009, when I was reminiscing some Malaysian food, I stumbled upon a food blog that got my eyes glued on instantly! What got me so excited was when I learnt that Lisa, who writes From My Lemony Kitchen, hails from Kedah! I felt so happy and lucky to have found a food blogger, who comes from the same hometown and knows the food in the region as well as me!

Ever since I stumbled upon Lisa’s blog, I never stop paying frequent visits whenever I could. Lisa is based in Perth, Australia and I am on the other side of the world; when it’s bright and shine down under, it’s always the other way round in London. But, that is not at all a problem as Internet is 24/7 for us!

Quite a while ago, Lisa has written a wonderful piece of article and recipe – Bihun Sup (Rice Vermicelli in Beef Broth) on my blog.

Today, I was really happy to be a guest on Lisa’s wonderful blog. Thank you, Lisa, for such great opportunity to be featured on your blog!

At first, I wasn’t sure what recipe I would make. Then, I thought I would make something that would relate to where we both come from. Kedah - one of the states in Malaysia that is bordering Thailand. So, Thai food isn’t something uncommon. In fact, some of the dishes are very much influenced by Thai.


I put on my thinking cap, trying to recall some dishes that contain the ingredients used in Malaysian and Thai food. Then, I had a sudden flashback of a dish. I wasn’t quite sure the name but I know it’s a curry dish. It’s not a curry with lots of gravy, it’s rather a ‘dry’ curry. The image of the dish appeared quite blurry in my head. I called my mom and asked her about if it was something she used to make. She said no. But, I swear that I tasted it before. Perhaps, in my dream?

I have no idea what to call it. It is like a cross between Malaysian Rendang curry and Thai green curry. Could it be something that I created and tasted in my dream? I can’t answer this question either. It just seems a little bizarre but there is no way for me to track down the origin of this recipe. Guess, it doesn’t matter, does it? As long as it tastes fantastic, that’s all it matters! big grin

Let me clarify, when I said it’s like a cross between Malaysian Rendang curry and Thai green curry - is simply because the used of toasted grated coconut that is added at the end of the cooking process, which is normally done in making Rendang. The resemblance of the Thai green curry element is the use of coriander leaves and kaffir lime leaves.

I have chosen to use coconut cream in this recipe because it’s thick and creamy, which gives a very nice texture, taste and shine to this type of gravyless curry. A lot of times, when I go to supermarket to get some coconut milk, I usually see 2 different terms used on the labels: coconut cream and coconut milk.

Coconut cream is equivalent to the ‘first press’ of the fresh coconut milk, which is always very thick and concentrated. Coconut milk or the ‘second press’ of the coconut milk, which has some water added to it, so it appears less concentrated and creamy.

Nowadays, a lot of canned coconut milk have thick layer on the top (when you don’t shake the can before opening). You can actually scoop this layer and use as coconut cream. Or if you want to make a curry with lots of gravy, then use the combination of the cream and milk.


I can’t stress more how this dish is so versatile as you could eat it with boiled rice or even with noodles or pasta! I have made it pretty mild (but my other half, who is French, said it’s spicy according to his palate!) Perhaps, I should say it’s mild curry, according to a Malaysian’s palate but medium spiciness generally? If you like spiciness like me, you can add a bit more chilies (fresh or dried)!

Recipe (Serves 4)

1 tbsp sunflower oil
200ml coconut cream
450g chicken thighs, skinned, deboned and chunkily cut
1 tsp chilli powder (optional)
2 tbsp toasted grated coconut
4 kaffir lime leaves, cut into thin strips
salt and pepper
Spice paste:
12 shallots, roughly chopped
3 red chillies, deseeded and roughly chopped
1 lemongrass, roughly chopped
3 kaffir lime leaves, roughly chopped
a small handful of coriander leaves with stems
  1. Put all the ingredients of the spice paste into a food processor and blend until they become a smooth paste. Set aside.
  2. In a deep pan over medium-high heat, add the sunflower oil and the spice paste. Gently cook, stir occasionally, for about 4-5 minutes until the paste becomes fragrant.
  3. Add half of the coconut cream, mix with the spice paste and cook for further 3-4 minutes until fragrant and the oil starts to rise to the surface. 
  4. Add the chicken, mix thoroughly to coat all the chicken pieces with the spice paste. Cook for 8-10 minutes until the chicken turns opaque and cooked through.
  5. Add the rest of the coconut milk.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Add the chilli powder, if used.
  8. Stir and bring to the boil for a few seconds, lower the heat to medium and cook for about 10-15 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken.
  9. Add the toasted grated coconut and mix well.
  10. Transfer to a serving plate, sprinkle over the kaffir lime leaves strips.
  11. Serve warm.