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What should a Sunday dessert be like if it is to disappear as soon as it has been served? In my home we need two things: chocolate and fruit. These ingredients usually ensure my culinary success. Recently I used them to prepare muffins with blueberries and white chocolate. They were yummy, fluffy inside and crunchy outside, and it was possible to smell the sweet, chocolate fragrance in the corridor outside our flat. As usual, some of them were packed in boxes for my children's packed lunch.
Ingredients (12 muffins)
300g of flour
3 tablespoons of cocoa
150g of butter
170ml of milk
160g of brown sugar
2 flat teaspoons of baking powder
½ teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
12 bars of white chocolate
Heat the oven up to 190C. Put some paper muffin moulds into the "dimples" of a baking pan for muffins.
Melt the butter in a pan. Leave to cool down.
Mix together the dry ingredients of the muffins: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa. Mix together the milk, vanilla essence and eggs in a separate bowl. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and mix them in. Add the melted butter and mix it in again.
Put the dough into some paper muffin moulds up to 1/2 of their height, and put 3-4 blueberries and one piece of white chocolate on top. Add some dough on top. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
Ingredients (for 4 people):
3 long sticks of rhubarb
250g of strawberries
4 tablespoons of xylitol
4 tablespoons of butter
150g of desiccated coconut
Heat the oven up to 180C.
Wash the rhubarb, peel it and cut it into 1 cm pieces. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of xylitol, mix it in and leave for half an hour. Wash the strawberries, remove the shanks and cut them into small pieces. Drain the rhubarb from the juice and mix it in with the strawberries.
Melt the butter. Mix the desiccated coconut with the rest of the xylitol and butter. Smooth some small casserole dishes with a bit of butter. Put the rhubarb and strawberries into them. Sprinkle with the desiccated coconut crumble topping. Bake for 15-17 minutes. Serve with strawberry or vanilla ice cream.
Strawberry dessert with chia seeds
Ingredients (for 4 people)
300g of strawberries
300ml of milk (it may be coconut milk or whatever you prefer)
honey or maple syrup
4 tablespoons of chia seeds
fruit and peppermint leaves for decoration
Clean the strawberries and remove the shanks. Add the milk and one tablespoon of honey or maple syrup. Blend it thoroughly. Try it and if necessary add a bit more honey. Add the chia seeds, mix them in and leave in the fridge for 4-5 hours. Stir once again. Put the dessert into a small bowl and decorate with the fruit and peppermint leaves.
The inspiration for this dessert comes from "Smaki życia" ("Flavour of Life") by Agnieszka Maciąg
I think you’ll see in a moment why I didn’t just post this on the Lunch! topic. It was exceptional. An epic and it has been an epic sorting through the 634 photographs I took in about three hours. If I counted correctly, there are only 111 here.
Like so many things, it came out of the blue. I was kind of aware that there was a Chinese holiday this week, but being self-semi-employed I am often a man of leisure and the holidays make little impact on my life. This one is in celebration of the Dragon Boat Festival (端午节 duān wǔ jié) and although it features nothing boat-like, it was festive and there is a dragon link.
It started with this invitation which appeared on my WeChat (Chinese social media) account.
Longtan (龙潭 lóng tán) means Dragon’s Pool and is more of a hamlet. It is about an hour’s drive north of Liuzhou city. I’d never heard of it and certainly never been there, but a friend of a friend had decided that a “foreign friend” would add just the right note to the planned event. I’ve seen many pictures of such “Long Table“ lunches and even attended one before – but this one was different and I was delighted to be invited.
So, I was picked up outside my city centre home at 9 am and the adventure began. We arrived at the village at 9:45 to be met by the friend in question. He led me to what appeared to be the head man’s home, outside which was a large courtyard with a few men sitting at a trestle table seemingly finishing a breakfast of hot, meaty rice porridge washed down with beer or rice wine. I was offered a bowl of the porridge, but declined the beer or rice wine in favour of a cup of tea. After downing that and making introductions etc, I was left to wander around on my own watching all the activity.
Here goes. I'm posting these mostly in the order they were taken, in order to give some sense of how the event progressed.
These two men were the undisputed kings of this venture, organising everyone, checking every detail, instructing less experienced volunteers etc. It was obvious these men had been working since the early hours. and their breakfast was a break in their toil. There were piles of still steaming cooked pork belly in containers all over the courtyard.
Some of this had been the meat in the rice porridge, I learned.
This young lad had been set to chopping chicken. Not one chicken! Dozens.
Entrails, insides and fat were all carefully preserved.
In the meantime, the two masters continued boiling their lumps of pork belly. This they refer to as 五花肉 - literally "five flower" pork", the five flowers being layers of skin, fat and meat.
Another man was dealing with fish. Carp from the village pond. He scaled and cleaned them with his cleaver. Dozens of them.
And all around, various preparations are being prepared.
Gizzards and intestines.
More Pork . You can see the five layers here.
to be continued
I hope I'm not posting in the wrong section. I am looking for recommendations on where to find a used/economically priced climate controlled (low humidity and refrigerated, but not too cold) chocolate display case as well as a regular refrigerated display case (bakery style). Something like this, but it doesn't need to be too fancy looking. I am living in Canada on the West Coast, so the closer to local, the better. I'm finding it very challenging to find something. I found and excellent deal on a couple of used ones in the USA, but the seller doesn't want to deal with the hassle of having it crated and shipped. I'm trying to keep up to date searching on the Ecole Chocolat graduate forum as well as The Chocolate Life classifieds.
Also, does anyone know if a smaller table-top type climates controlled chocolate display case exists? Or are the only options out there for larger models?
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