Thursday, April 28, 2011
I just had to jump into the wagon. Due to my overly focus on fondant practice I had entirely forgot last month’s Daring Bakers Challenge. I almost couldn’t believe myself for such ignorance, but then I had promised myself I would definitely keep track of the next one. So here it is.
Never thought this was going to be an interesting discovery of great taste. In the beginning I was setting my expectation quite low on the outcome of this challenge judging from my rejection over bacon cups, one of the challenge mandatory items. But when it was revealed that the compulsory challenges were the maple mousse and a creative edible container, I was glad I could skip the bacon cups altogether.
I was looking into the nut bowls. My liking for almonds led me into the decision to develop almond bowls. It was pretty much the same as making the tart cups, just that it was mostly consisting of almonds. I had to say I couldn’t wait to taste the baked almond bowls since the baked almond fragrance overwhelmed my kitchen and quickly turned my curious taste buds on.
The almond bowls were heavenly. And so was the maple mousse. It was sweet, thick, and smooth. They were such a good couple as soon as I added peach slices. Somehow a slight tanginess was all that it needed to break the dominating sweetness of maple mousse. As an overall, the taste was a true marriage of sweetness, nuttiness, and slight tanginess.
Thanks to Evelyne for this wonderful challenge! Without her I wouldn’t have found the wonders of maple mousse and almond bowls. The April 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Evelyne of the blog Cheap Ethnic Eatz. Evelyne chose to challenge everyone to make a maple mousse in an edible container. Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 27th to May 27th at http://thedaringkitchen.com!
Friday, April 22, 2011
Regularly used to depict the sun, sunflower is a true symbol of energy and power. It is perhaps the biggest in the family of flowers in the world. Or wait.... maybe not, now suddenly I remember what I have seen in Discovery Channel about this flower called Rafflesia Arnoldii found in the rainforest of Indonesia and Malaysia. Well, as this flower produces the odor of decaying flesh, it is just eerie to even talk about it. Let's drop it for sunflower then :-)
Sunflower is the most outstanding flower that never stops impressing me. I could vividly recall how once had brought these flowers for a date and greatly mesmerized him. A big smile on his face said a thousand words.
Again, I like to use sunflowers for something creative - no, not for creative dating or anything like that, but more for fondant cake decorating. Having borrowed the sunflower cutters from Kate of Artisan Sweets by Kate, I thought I might as well put them in good use, and at the same time dedicate this cake to her. Thanks Kate, will send these cutters back to you soon :-)
My sunflowers are more in graphical form, I don't think I could go into the meticulous detailing as what has been described in Wikipedia: "The sunflower has a rough, hairy stem, broad, coarsely toothed, rough leaves and circular heads of flowers. The heads consist of 1,000-2,000 individual flowers joined together by a receptacle base". I am happy with the simple and cheerful form.
This 4 tiered cake took a couple of days of preparation and is exhausting. But at the end of the day, it is worth the effort. You can definitely see my big smile that says a thousand words...
Monday, April 11, 2011
It is right in the middle of summer in Thailand and Bangkok is supposingly hot like many other years I was here, but this year things are really turning strange. There was cool breeze blowing from China that for a week or two turned Bangkok into a resort on the mountain. And then the rain came and flooded the Southern part of Thailand. Whilst gearing up to help out the tsunami/earthquake victims in Japan, Thailand again had to look inside and face its own disaster.
Several people believe that the end of the world is approaching - that finally the world is going to fall apart. Or are they confirming that what was shown in the movie "2012" is just going to happen for real? Some were stunned by the fact that "nothing lasts, everything will pass". Others quickly embraced the principle "live today to the fullest, worry about things only when they arise".
Lets' just say I am like the latter, for today and the next few days. Because it is the Thai New Year - The Songkran Water Festival. It is the greatest time of the year when everything is so nice - the city is calm and peaceful, no traffic jam, people are more generous, and we all get to play water, in any form of splashing, shooting, or throwing a big bucket of water. For once, we are not hesitant to get wet.... and be happy!
And I do need a break from practicing fondant. Set aside fondant, flower gumpaste, and edible glue... I just want to be with T, getting wet and happily celebrating our festive time together.