Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by rarerollingobject

  1. Got sad about my dropped lemon and elderflower tart, so woke up early and made a rhubarb upside down cake, glazed with strawberry syrup. At 4am. As you do.
  2. This WOULD have been a beautiful Meyer lemon and elderflower tart, had I not tripped over one of my three hooligan dogs while transporting it from the oven to the bench.
  3. The RRO breakfast of champions; oat porridge congee, cooked in chicken stock and dressed with green onion, white pepper, soy sauce, Lao Gan Ma black bean chili oil, crispy shallots, salted leek flower sauce and a dollop of duck fat. And some sour Japanese pickled honey plums as a chaser. And a fresh, homemade soy milk, not shown.
  4. NOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL A MONDAY OFFICE AFTERNOON TEA CAKE. (Triple layer pistachio, cardamom and rose cake, sandwiched between each layer with pistachio buttercream, yuzu syrup, freeze-dried mandarin segments and fresh raspberries and covered in dried pears, apples, pineapple and persimmon, edible watercoloured sugar paper, edible flowers and tempered white chocolate shards.)
  5. I have spent an inordinate amount of time this weekend dip-dyeing and dehydrating slices of fresh apples and pears, and watercolouring and gold dusting sheets and sheets of edible sugar wafer paper, to turn both into decorations for a four layer pistachio, cardamom and rose cake I'm baking. Origami leaves etc planned for the sugar paper. The results are pretty and everything, but I'm gonna have to explain to my first external work meeting tomorrow that despite the appearance of my hands, I have not, in fact, murdered a clown.
  6. Yes, I know I didn't actually cook it, but how good is Sydney as a city when even your bog-standard local suburban shopping centre food court has a Din Tai Fung, where a girl can get herself made-to-order crab roe xiao long bao, pork jiaoze in chili oil, Shanghainese siu mai with sticky rice, a crunchy deep fried chicken chop, and a big glass of fresh, warm soy milk...and finish it all by her hungry, hungover self?
  7. He's the same guy who did this knife business for me: https://forums.egullet.org/topic/153918-chinese-kitchenware/?do=findComment&comment=2086324 But then again, the man can tie a cherry stem with just his tongue, so his skills are diverse and highly impressive in general! https://m.facebook.com/kpritch515/posts/10155274840459122
  8. I have to share this with people who I know will appreciate it... About 18 months ago, I was telling a colleague at work that I really wanted a proper ‘tamper’ – a flat-bottomed implement with which to tamp down buttery crumbs to make cheesecake bases, or flatten Korean dough pancakes on the griddle, that kind of thing. A coffee tamper was too small, I felt, and the bottom of a glass or mug not quite fit for purpose. He insisted that he’d make me one. THAT WAS 18 MONTHS AGO. I've whinged to him a couple of times since then about how long he was taking, to which he'd simply say, "I'm still working on it." And I'd huff and puff and roll my eyes and bitch about how I "could've just bought one on eBay by now, for f***'s sake." Today, he presented me this, with this description of the process: “The handle is a family heirloom piece of wood I cut and polished from my grandpa’s 1930s bullet-making press. He’d made the press himself from an old farm tool belonging to HIS father, so the wood is definitely 1800s. At the base of the handle is an opal my father and I scavenged together when I was 7. I cut and honed it myself to use for this. It serves four purposes; it’s beautiful; it reminds me of your eye makeup; opal is your birth month’s gemstone, you know, because your birthday is in October; and it serves as a tactile guide for your fat little fingers so when you’re stamping out a cheesecake base or whatever, you know you’re holding the base in the same place each time so the pressure is consistent and the surface stays even. The tamper circle itself is aircraft-grade aluminium. I had to contact seven different places before I could find the right kind that I could buy in a small quantity. In the end, I had to deputise that bit to my dad, since he’s retired and has time to drive to these manufacturers during the day. That’s the only bit I didn’t do myself. The aluminium is nearly black in colour when you first buy it and you have to polish it. The top and bottom are polished to slightly different grades, a difference of 2/200ths, so that you can enjoy a different patination rate and it will age naturally as you use it, because I know you like that. It will show your finger tip marks and the stains from the butter and smudges from use, like a proper heirloom kitchen tool should. Without specialist machinery, you can only polish that aluminium with a fingertip wrapped in a rag, dipped in aluminium-cutting paste and going over it in circles and circles and circles, so that bit took me 2 months alone. I did it while I was watching TV and stuff. And then another three months of sanding the rim manually with diamond sandpaper so it was smooth. There is a SLIGHT bevel of the edge, half a millimetre or so – not enough so that the top side feels sharp, but enough to JUST see it with the naked eye so that as you’re standing over the cake base, you can visually sense where the outer edge is against the inside perimeter of the cake tin or whatever. Also, the handle itself is 9mm off centre from the circle – since you’re always going to be standing effectively BEHIND the tamper as you use it on the bench in front of you, if it’s not off centre slightly, you can’t know where the far edge exactly is. You could only visually know that if you were always standing directly vertically over the thing and it being perfectly perpendicular beneath you, and I’m pretty sure you can barely see over your boobs at the best of times. It IS a perfect circle, too. I made a guide of the circle out of a piece of wood first and then I used a pencil and a dremel tool I had to buy to mark the circle circumference. I thought I could use the same dremel tool to engrave the words, but then I realised I didn’t know how to engrave text, so I took a course. The words are one of the first things you said to me when we first met – you dropped a pithy quote in front of all these people at the pub, and then leaned back and laughed at your own wit and smugly said, “THAT’S SHAKESPEARE, BITCHES.” It made me laugh then and it still does, because it’s so you. The only thing I’m really unhappy with is the acrylic you can see at the base. I decided to use that because I was trying to waterproof the joint, because if water got in, it might ruin the wood and if the wood rots and breaks, the steel shaft underneath is very sharp and you might cut your hand. So that’s a bit of a mess. I’m sorry. I also had to make four entire versions of the whole thing before I thought it was good enough. I hope you like it.” SPEECHLESS.
  9. Thanks for this, @Shalmanese! I'll be in SF next month and this list is perfect.
  10. 5am rhubarb, strawberry and Pimms pie-making sleeplessness distractions.
  11. Macaron experiments are stressful, huh? One wrong move and you have flat puddles, lumpen sadsacks, over-risen abominations, or, as I had here, cracked tops from an attempt to make them marbled in appearance and not treating the grey dye correctly. So I turned my cracked failures into gold leaf-rivuleted beauties, via the Japanese method of kintsukuroi - repairing broken things with gold - brushing gold leaf into the cracks themselves. Sandwiched together with white chocolate ganache, flavoured with Mariage Freres yuzu and indigo flower Earl Grey tea, with a center of yuzu jam and a roll in dried fleurs de Provence. Kintsugi macarons.
  12. A hard cake to photograph, but today I made a GIGANTIC four layer white chocolate cake, each layer filled with lemon curd and raspberry Swiss meringue buttercream, coated in watercolour vanilla buttercream, covered in gold leaf and topped with a beautiful spray of phalaenopsis orchids. As you do. And check out my jimmy-ed up carrier box necessary for tall cake transportation; 2 cake boxes, taped into L shapes and Tetris-ed together. Was quite proud of myself for MacGyvering that one.
  13. Thanks for your kind words, @DianaB, @Katie Meadow and @Bentley. @Bentley, my colour didn't seem to come off. The black I used was Chefmaster oil-based candy colour, but I did others in red and they were just Americolor gels (used directly, no vodka or spirit to thin). Either way, I think what makes a difference is that I do the paint as soon as they come out of the oven, ie. when the shells are still warm. This really seems to 'bake' the colour into them as the shells cool down.
  14. Everyone else can do pastels and pretty, I make my macarons like my soul; black, with traces of shiny. (But unlike my soul, these will have fillings of Earl Grey jam with white chocolate ganache, and yuzu buttercream with a dollop of yuzu preserves.)
  15. Bacon, pumpkin and maple tart for Sunday breakfast - homemade rough puff; pumpkin, roasted till caramelised and spread over; smoked streaky bacon and glazed with maple syrup. And a breakfast salad, because, you know, health.
  16. @TicTac, @rotuts; hmmm, I don't really have any reference point of what cherry preserves are 'supposed' to taste like on the tart-sweet continuum, but these are definitely sweet, with a savoury under tang. I made them to go with a roast ham, and they have dark cherries, muscovado sugar, Pedro Ximenez sherry vinegar, but also mustard seeds and star anise and black pepper and the like. Anyway, I love sweet things with cheese in general; like membrillo with manchego or honey and pear with Stilton. So the cherry worked beautifully, to my palate, especially with the dry Riesling. If only you were both closer, we could've compared cherry preserve notes while eating!
  17. A good lunch; fromager des Clarines, top sliced off and a layer of homemade cherry preserves and confit garlic slathered in; top replaced, studded with rosemary, drizzled with Riesling and baked till gooey. Salad of greens and edible flowers, baguette and a glass of ice cold Riesling.
  18. Korean spicy as hell cheese ramyun. Breakfast for those 'head like a smashed crab' the morning after feels.
  19. Not a fan of raw beef? Surprise Yukhoe for dinner is my 'I've worked a 16 hour day today and I'm now too tired to actually cook this steak' special.
  20. Lazy chick's dinner; yukhoe oshi zushi; beef tartare (chopped raw eye fillet) with garlic, soy sauce, black pepper, sesame oil and honey, compacted into an oshi zushi mold with sesame oil and salt rice, a layer of toasted Korean crispy seaweed, and topped with black sesame seeds and shredded perilla leaves.
  21. Went to the farmers' market this morning and bought lots of my favourite autumny things, so was pretty happy with my breakfast; padron peppers, sizzled in olive oil and sprinkled with flaky salt; an aged saucisson sec, heavy on the pork fat and black pepper; and these beautiful pine mushrooms, which I sautéed with garlic, Marsala, thyme and a lick of cream and ate on toast (or slightly denatured bread, my toast preference) with rosemary flowers and white pepper. And a glass of very cold oloroso sherry, because I can.
  22. Well, if it helps, I've just booked a flight back there for November!
  23. Sorry for the minor delay in communications..blame Blether and sake. I’m home in Sydney now, but my last day in closing was: pastry, a hot yuzu tea from Starbucks, sushi, shopping (more lollipops! skull-shaped sugar cubes! wasabi and sake-flavoured KitKats!), coffee, hanami in Yoyogi Park, one last drink in my hotel's lounge with an incredible view, and home. So, farewell from your erstwhile correspondent (shown here in utter mastery of the Tokyo subway system, despite being extremely hungover to boot), and thanks so much to everyone who read along and commented!
  • Create New...