I haven’t had much luck with bread making lately. The problem is definitely my oven- the dough was soft and supple and rose beautifully but the tops getting burnt when they’re baked! Really annoying because the oven needs to be quite hot to properly bake it, but the tops get much too black. I’ve placed a piece of foil over the top but my oven doesn’t really deal well with this- it never gets baked properly.. I’m guessing the heat doesn’t really reach the bread/cake that’s covered with foil properly. It’s been burning quite a few of my cakes and bread lately, probably the temperature setting thingy’s malfunctioning or something. But on the other hand.. for an oven its size and capacity, it’s also produced a crazy number of good cakes, muffins, cupcakes, bread, cookies, pastries. So I still love it, oh yes mama still loves you little microwave oven *crazy eyes*
I went to London’s Borough Market today with Flora, Ian and Vishak who are my LCB groupmates and Jeremy and John from UCL/gym (I lost them halfway through the day though..!) and we ate so much! Amongst the food that I’ve tried and eaten today were: many different kinds of olive oils, truffle oils, pesto, balsamic vinegar, mozzarella, smoked cheddar, goats’ milk ice-cream, falafel, chai tea, sangria, chorizo paella, pork burger, grilled cheese sandwich, baklava, brownies, truffle mustard, chocolate caramels, an orangette.. oh my god. My favourites were the truffle mustard and pork burger.. so good! I also bought 12 free range eggs for £2.80 which I thought was a pretty good deal, a nice piece of sirloin steak from the Ginger Pig, and a big chunk of ginger which I’ll use to make a hot ginger drink. I first drank the ginger drink at Koya and really liked it- but at over £3 for a small cup it was much too expensive! I’ve been making it quite often lately as it’s been pretty chilly at night- it’s great for warming you up. All you need is hot water, some rock yellow sugar which you can easily get from Chinatown or any asian grocer (honey or ordinary sugar will be ok too) and a generous chunk of peeled ginger- about a 5cm piece. Just put everything in a pot and boil for about 20 minutes until it has a strong gingery kick. Anyway, digression..
Triple M burger from Boston Burger: Pork burger, Colston Basset Stilton Cheese, onion marmalade and fresh rocket on a toasted english muffin.. really yummy and juicy.
Flora and her hokey pokey goat’s milk ice-cream
Ah Pimm’s.. summer is almost here.
I’m so glad I’ve met such a great bunch of people at Le Cordon Bleu. It helps so much to have someone that has your back in practicals when it gets stressful (and gosh practicals can get so stressful) and to mess around and chat with in classes.. especially dull technical classes. And also, of course, to talk about food and baking with! And everyone’s from a different country, so I expect there’ll be lots of travelling to everyone’s countries soon. First stop for me would be to Hong Kong to visit Flora! This Christmas break, maybe- so excited.
I made this croquembouche several weeks ago. It’s made with a pâte brisée base, 23 choux puffs and filled with vanilla bean crème pâtissière. It’s assembled with caramel, then decorated with crystallised rose petals I made the night before, nibbed sugar and spun sugar. It came up to only about 9-10″ tall, so it was a really cute and teensy croquembouche.
It’s not too difficult to make, but it’s pretty nerve-wrecking! It needs to be assembled not too long before eating as the caramel that glues the whole thing together and the spun sugar melts relatively quickly. So don’t mess up- you won’t have time to redo the whole thing! No pressure, though.. ha.
I bought Williams pears last week and it’s been looking more and more pitiful as the days went by so I’ve finally baked a cake with them. It wasn’t really meant to look like this- I had planned on making it an upside-down loaf, with the sliced pears arranged neatly on top when it’s been flipped over. The pears floated into the cake batter instead of staying put at the bottom so it’s now.. a normal pear loaf, sans upside-down awesomeness. Oh well, was still delicious though- I used this recipe.
I left Maltby St market last week with a massive haul of fresh produce, amongst them 5 stalks of bright pink forced rhubarb. I roasted them with two (!) vanilla beans and added a splash of rose water at the end. I ate them atop oatmeal with some syrup stirred through, and in this occurrence, with greek yoghurt, oat bran and crumbled ginger biscuits.
♡5 stalks rhubarb
♡2 vanilla pods
1. Scrape vanilla pods and place the seeds and scraped pod into a pan with water and sugar. Bring to a boil until the sugar has dissolved.
2. Rinse and dry rhubarb, then chop into pinky-sized chunks.
3. Pour syrup over rhubarb in a roasting tin, and bake for 15-20 minutes at 150º until “al dente”. Add a splash of rose water, to taste.