Saturday, November 28, 2009
When i stumbled across this & this, i HAD to set a date to visit this little gem. Tucked away on the quieter side of Epping station (i assume this only because the roads are quieter), i get the feeling that not many people know about this place? That, or i'm just late in finding out about it hehe. Also i found out recently that Jaa did work experience here!
The front window display lures you into the shop, enticing you with a range of goodies available for purchase. The front of the shop is somewhat small, i had to make sure my back pack was not bumping into anything (or anyone). But behind the counter it is open for all to see - the work benches, ovens, and workers doing their thing.
Even though the shop was in the shade, the pastel colours within made the shop sort of shine a nice light, so welcoming, and the staff were really friendly, helping us with questions like "what flavour is this? & this one? what about this one?" lol @ the array of different marshmallows that were on display.
They didn't have a place for us to sit inside, so we took our goodies across the road to Nero.
chocolate, coconut, peppermint, mango, passionfruit, raspberry
My favourite would have to be the coconut. & the chocolate. & the passionfruit. Heck, they were all yummy! Before this day, the only marshmallow i've ever had, was the allen's marshmallows. But these, are a different breed for sure. So soft, and flavorsome, colourful these morsels are to be shared around with friends- i feel like throwing a marshmallow party now hehe.
Some more marshmallow porn...
I hardly ever make my way over to Epping, so this will probably be my first (and last) trip for a while. Until i'm tempted again for some pillowy goodness...
I had plans to make this after work one day. But the two banana's in the fridge - were BLACK. Un-usable. Was in a baking mood- badly. SO thought of something i can make, with ingredients i already had at home...
It wasn't till i finished mixing the batter, & thought hm, must find something to add to these plain & boring cupcakes. Saw a big box of mixed lindt balls- hoorah!
1 cup self raising flour
2 tbsp cocoa
1 cup castor sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
12 assorted lindt balls
Preheat oven to 180'
Melt butter, and mix with remaining ingredients until smooth.
Spoon into cupcake cases, add lindt ball into each centre.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, Cool.
Serve warm, or keep in the fridge to serve anytime!
These were yummy on their own. Had some velvet chocolate ooze out (while they were still warm). You could also serve with some icecream for an even MORE calorie dense dessert!
Friday, November 27, 2009
This month's challenge was chosen & hosted by Lisa Michele, and at first i thought what? Frying? I thought it was Daring "Bakers" ?
It was a tricky one, I've only ever baked cupcakes, and the odd souffle, brownie, and icecream (once), so i was a bit hindered at the thought of making cannoli shells from scratch. BUt i did it, and even though only 2 came out nice (out of 10 lols) i can now say that i can make cannoli shells from scratch.
So here's the recipe, & i'm looking forward to the next challenge!
Makes 22-24 4-inch cannoli
Dough – 2 hours and 10-20 minutes, including resting time, and depending on whether you do it by hand or machine. Filling – 5-10 minutes plus chilling time (about 2 hours or more)
Frying – 1-2 minutes per cannoli
Assemble – 20–30 minutes
2 cups (250 grams/8.82 ounces) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons(28 grams/1 ounce) sugar
1 teaspoon (5 grams/0.06 ounces) unsweetened baking cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon (1.15 grams/0.04 ounces) ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon (approx. 3 grams/0.11 ounces) salt
3 tablespoons (42 grams/1.5 ounces) vegetable or olive oil
1 teaspoon (5 grams/0.18 ounces) white wine vinegar
Approximately 1/2 cup (approx. 59 grams/approx. 4 fluid ounces/approx. 125 ml) sweet Marsala or any white or red wine you have on hand
1 large egg, separated (you will need the egg white but not the yolk)
Vegetable or any neutral oil for frying – about 2 quarts (8 cups/approx. 2 litres)
DIRECTIONS FOR SHELLS:
1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer or food processor, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the oil, vinegar, and enough of the wine to make a soft dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and well blended, about 2 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge from 2 hours to overnight.
2 Cut the dough into two pieces. Keep the remaining dough covered while you work. Lightly flour a large cutting or pastry board and roll the dough until super thin, about 1/16 to 1/8” thick (An area of about 13 inches by 18 inches should give you that). Cut out 3 to 5-inch circles (3-inch – small/medium; 4-inch – medium/large; 5-inch;- large. Your choice). Roll the cut out circle into an oval, rolling it larger and thinner if it’s shrunk a little.
3 Oil the outside of the cannoli tubes (You only have to do this once, as the oil from the deep fry will keep them well, uhh, oiled..lol). Roll a dough oval from the long side (If square, position like a diamond, and place tube/form on the corner closest to you, then roll) around each tube/form and dab a little egg white on the dough where the edges overlap. (Avoid getting egg white on the tube, or the pastry will stick to it.) Press well to seal. Set aside to let the egg white seal dry a little.
4. In a deep heavy saucepan, pour enough oil to reach a depth of 3 inches, or if using an electric deep-fryer, follow the manufacturer’s directions. Heat the oil to 375°F (190 °C) on a deep fry thermometer, or until a small piece of the dough or bread cube placed in the oil sizzles and browns in 1 minute. Have ready a tray or sheet pan lined with paper towels or paper bags.
5. Carefully lower a few of the cannoli tubes into the hot oil. Do not crowd the pan. Fry the shells until golden, about 2 minutes, turning them so that they brown evenly.
8. Lift a cannoli tube with a wire skimmer or large slotted spoon, out of the oil. Using tongs, grasp the cannoli tube at one end. Very carefully remove the cannoli tube with the open sides straight up and down so that the oil flows back into the pan. Place the tube on paper towels or bags to drain. Repeat with the remaining tubes. While they are still hot, grasp the tubes with a potholder and pull the cannoli shells off the tubes with a pair of tongs, or with your hand protected by an oven mitt or towel. Let the shells cool completely on the paper towels. Place shells on cooling rack until ready to fill.
9. Repeat making and frying the shells with the remaining dough. If you are reusing the cannoli tubes, let them cool before wrapping them in the dough.
- 300g good-quality dark chocolate, roughly chopped
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup (55g) caster sugar
- 1 tbs good-quality cocoa powder, sifted
- 300ml thickened cream, plus extra whipped cream to serve
- Grated chocolate, to serve
- Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water (don't let the bowl touch the water). Stir until melted. Remove bowl from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
- Place eggs and sugar in a large bowl and beat with electric beaters for 5 minutes, or until mixture is pale, thick and doubled in volume. Fold in cooled chocolate and cocoa powder until combined.
- In a separate bowl, whip cream until thickened (be careful not to over-beat). Use a large metal spoon to carefully fold the cream into the chocolate mixture, trying to keep the mixture as light as possible.
When ready to serve..fill a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain or star tip, or a ziplock bag, with the mousse. If using a ziplock bag, cut about 1/2 inch off one corner. Insert the tip in the cannoli shell and squeeze gently until the shell is half filled. Turn the shell and fill the other side. You can also use a teaspoon to do this, although it’s messier and will take longer.