November 30, 2009

Lots of Cooking

Last weekend was a weekend filled with cooking and baking. I stayed at home and made scones, bread, shepherd's pie, mac & cheese, macarons and creme brulee. Unfortunately I was too lazy to take photos of everything. So here's a selection.
09 London Homemade Food5

I made matcha (green tea) creme brulee with the egg yolks left from using the whites for the macarons. It's a really simple recipe that I've adapted from various recipes in books and on the net.

Basic Creme Brulee Recipe
(you can just proportionally adjust the recipe)

2 egg yolks
24g granulated sugar
200ml cream
1tsp vanilla extract (or substitute other flavourings)

Preheat oven to 150 deg C.

Whisk egg yolks with sugar until thick and pale.
Heat up cream over stove to a simmer. Add the vanilla essence (or other flavouring) to the cream. Turn off the heat once you see small bubbles, be careful not to burn the cream. Let the cream cool.
When the cream is cool enough to touch, slowly temper it into the egg yolk mixture, adding it little by little so as to not cook the eggs.
Strain the mixture and pour it into 2 ramekins (or 3 if you prefer smaller portions).
Place the ramekins into a deep oven-proof dish and pour boiling water into the dish until halfway up the ramekins to create a bain-marie.
Bake until the side is set but the centre jiggles when you use a tong to shake it, about 20-25 min.

You can use experiment and flavour the creme brulee with different things, like steeping an Earl Grey teabag into the heating cream to infuse Earl Grey flavour, or 1 tsp of green tea powder like I did. If you other pretty teacups or shallow bowls (make sure they are oven proof!), you can also use it in place of the usual ramekins. Just make sure you adjust the cooking time accordingly.

09 London Homemade Food6

The mushroom risotto in the picture above was somewhat of a disaster because instead of adding white wine, I added white wine vinegar!!! The two bottles were next to each other in my drawer. I was horrified when I smelt the sour smell and realised I made the mistake, I was completely not thinking. Luckily I didn't add all THAT much but it was enough damage. In order to repair it, I added some sugar to counter the sourish taste, and then after some 911 searching on the net, I decided to add baking soda to neutralise the acid. I wouldn't say it completely got rid of the vinegarish taste but at least it was edible. Sigh, next time I'll pay a lot more attention when I'm cooking. The other dish is a Truffle Mac & Cheese, though the truffle oil wasn't strong enough. I also tried the Shepherd's Pie recipe from Gordon Ramsay's Cooking For Friends and it turned out pretty well. Didn't take any pictures of it but maybe when I unfreeze another portion to cook, I will.

And the below is my loot of cookbooks (and other books) that came from Amazon! Yay! Can't wait to try it out...
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