September 27, 2010

My Macaron Journey

Having looked at my Google Analytics recently, I realised that most of the search engine traffic was being referred to my blog as a result of people searching for macarons, especially lychee macarons to be specific :) In order to make it easier for people searching for macaron recipes, do's and don'ts, trial and errors, I shall compile the various macarons I've attempted below in this post.

macaron collection

What an amazing journey this has been since I first embarked on making these colourful and pretty edible gems in end 2008. Gosh, it's been almost 2 years! From the humble beginning where I never knew if I could expect feet or not, to experimenting with flavours, textures, cooking times and whatnot till today, whilst I cannot boast to be a mac-guru but I am proud to proclaim that I am no longer intimidated by them temperamental macarons. Throughout this journey, I've met many like-minded mac-mad folks (these little things sure make one obsessed!) such as Jamie & Deeba who kindly host Mactweets Challenge monthly, which I sheepishly confess to not having taken part in a while now due to my laziness and busy work schedule, to Rachel over at The Pleasure Monger who's recently started her own mac-journey! I'm glad that the love of these little macs has united us in some way, and I hope that macarons continue to bring joy into the lives of those who look at, make and eat them!

September 20, 2010

Blogging Your Way

I've been taking this e-course called Blogging Your Way conducted by Holly of decor8 and Leslie of  A Creative Mint on how to find your blogging voice, as well as many other tips and materials on how to publish a successful and attractive blog. It's been nothing short of inspiring, far surpassing my expectations. I had originally expected there to be lots of 'technical' how-to's like how to take good photos, style, creative post ideas, market yourself etc. 

But it has been a lot more than that, nothing short of defining one's life goals and passions and how to bring that into your work and blog. It has forced me to think about what really drives me and what I would like to do with my life. Having recently read Eat, Pray, Love (I really want to watch the movie!), this question has been hanging over head and I've become all too acutely aware that I'm pretty lost. I have some inkling of what interests me - food, flowers, design, styling, weddings but how they all tie together, I'm not so sure. The question we had to answer as part of our homework for week 2 was what I can bring to the blogging world. To be honest, I'm not sure. I like to blog because it provides an outlet for me to share my inspiration, thoughts and finds on things that interest me with whoever cares to read. I like to post pretty pictures that I take, some of which allows me to practice my styling. I don't blog because I want to be a successful blogger. In fact, sometimes I'm too shy to let people know I have a blog, as I know I'm not focussed or doing this professionally enough. For me, I hope the blog will become a portfolio of my passions and talents, and perhaps one day I can make a living from that.

But whatever it is, the course has definitely helped me sharpen some of my thoughts and I really hope to implement some of the amazing things I'm learning right now in BYW. I've also met some great people, and discovered some great new blogs. We're only halfway through, and I can't wait for what we'll learn next! Stay tuned to a new lease of life for this blog soon!

September 13, 2010

Strawberry Mousse & Panna Cotta Pots

I had some leftover strawberries that needed to be used, and so I decided to whip up something simple. In the end, this endeavour took more effort than I envisioned as I foolishly decided to whip the cream by hand instead of using my Kitchenaid. And why? All because I didn't feel like washing the big mixing bowl. Yes, it is indeed silly of me to expend all that energy whipping the cream instead of washing a bowl. I was clearly not thinking straight!

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Strawberry Mouse & Panna Cotta Pots (makes 4)

Panna Cotta

200ml cream
100ml milk
45g sugar
3g gelatine powder
1 tsp water

Mix the gelatine powder with a tsp of cold water and let it bloom.
Bring the milk, cream and sugar to boil in saucepan. Turn off the heat once it starts to boil.
Add the gelatine and mix well, making sure it is all dissolved.
Cool down to room temperature, and then pour into pots/containers and leave in fridge to set.

Strawberry Mousse
150g strawberry puree
2g gelatine powder
200ml cream
30g sugar
1 tsp water

Mix the gelatine with the water and let it bloom.
Heat sugar with strawberry puree until sugar has melted. Add the gelatine to it and mix well until dissolved. Cool down to room temperature.
Whisk cream until stiff peaks. Fold in strawberry mixture until well mixed.
Spoon or pipe the strawberry mousse over the panna cotta and leave it in the fridge to set.

Strawberry Glaze
3 tbsp strawberry jam
50g strawberry puree

Heat up the strawberry jam with the puree until well mixed. Cool to room temperature and pour a thin layer over the top of each pot. Return to fridge to set.
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