Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Chocolate Ganache Tart with Rosewater Italian Meringue & Pomegranates

This tart with rosewater Italian meringue and pomegranates is a grown up version of sorts of the iced vovo. Just try not to be as impatient as I was and allow the gelatin to set properly otherwise you’ll be left with a gooey mess that looks sort of delightful but means the tablecloth gets more chocolate than you do. 

And that’s never a good thing.

I have more than a mild obsession with pomegranates and as far as flavour combos go pomegranates and rosewater are the perfect match. When together they are that gloriously good-looking couple; larger than life, sophisticated, dressed in killer threads, and annoyingly nice while doing really walk with the people sorts of things involving public transport, long lines and schlepping the streets for that uber-thoughtful “where did you find this” something to take to their friends dinner party. Yep, they're pretty much perfect.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Prosecco and Balsamic Strawberry Jubes

Prosecco and Balsamic Strawberry Jubes

There is something so regal and lovely about handmade jubes, they are all Marie Antoinette and high-tea in the drawing room inspired with their pretty colours and delicate constitution. I think this version would have gone down a treat with some cucumber ribbon sandwiches and a cup of Lady Grey

500g hulled strawberries
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
250ml Prosecco
525g caster sugar plus extra for dusting
2 teaspoons lemon juice
8 gelatin leaves, titanium strength, softened in cold water

What to do
Combine the strawbs, balsam, and have the prosecco in a saucepan and simmer over medium heat until the strawberries are starting to break down - usually about 10 or so minutes. Strain the liquid, ensuring you have at least 200ml and return to the saucepan. Add the remaining booze, caster sugar and lemon juice.Bring to the boil and cook for 20 minutes or until you get a nice thick syrupy consistency. Remove from heat and allow to cool for five minutes or so. Squeeze the water from the gelatin and add to the syru, stirring to dissolve. Pour into a non-stick rubber 23cm baking pan (or grease a cake tin and use that instead). Pop into the fridge for 6 hours (best overnight).

Gently peel from the mould onto a sheet of baking paper dusted in caster sugar. Dust extra sugar over the top and using a hot wet knife, cut into desired shapes.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Inside Job.

I thought I'd post these photos from a cookbook photo shoot I was assisting on recently. People often ask what happens behind the scenes and consider it a glamorous kind of job but that couldn't be further from the truth. The days are long, you are continually schlepping between the kitchen and the area where the shooting is happening as well as shopping, cooking, sourcing props, styling and then doing it all again if the shot doesn't come off. The pics are crappy iphone shots but it does give you some idea about how those beautiful images in cookbooks and magazines come about.

A few shots are of one of the many piles of props used by the stylist. Others are of the photographer and the layouts of the book - this is a great trick for ensuring consistency across looks, angles, colours etc so there are no repetitive shots.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Pomegranate and Crispy Vine Leaf Salad

Sydney weather is completely miserable at the moment and probably calls for soup more than salad but the addition of crispy vine leaves(who knew) to this little whats in the fridge pull together is too good not to share.I think it would be brilliant with some slow cooked lamb with lemon and rosemary.

1 bunch radish (about 8 small bulbs)
Seeds of 1/2 pomegranate
1/4 cup persian feta
6-8 vine leaves
1 small bunch coriander coarsely torn
Grape seed oil for frying
Lemon juice and olive oil for dressing

Finely slice the radishes on a mandolin and add to a bowl with the coriander, pomegranate seeds and feta.Heat the grapeseed oil in a shallow frypan to a very high heat and add the vine leaves one at a time and cook until crisp. Drain on absorbent paper and add to the salad. Drizzle over the lemon juice and olive oil and gently toss to combine and serve. 

....And great plug for Kitchen Coquette (yay) from Brisbane author and Indie bookseller Chris Currie on his "books for Christmas" list.


BTW – this guy proposed to his girlfriend in the pages of his first novel. Yep – hands down one of the most romantic things I have ever come across.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Got it covered.

Writing the book is one thing, it's the meetings, negotiations, design, editing, testing and shooting process that follows which is an incredibly stressful time consuming beast of a thing. Don't get me wrong, I'd do it all again tomorrow but the enormity of it is at times overwhelming.So following numerous drafts, heated conversations and redesigns the cover is done. Yay.

The print button has been hit. After being completely consumed by everything happening between the front and back covers, it is exciting to see the finishing touch, the glaze so to speak on Kitchen Coquette

Now the nervous wait for it to return from the printer begins.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

I'm so jealous it hurts.

It's a funny thing how those goal posts shift, the more your career develops. As one thing is achieved, you move right onto the next, often not even taking a breath to appreciate the milestones achieved in the first place. Originally it was to get an article (any article) relating to food published. Then it was a chance to work on a food mag, go to professional cooking school and have a book published. Now it is to wake up with the phenomenal food writing skills of Jay Rayner and AA Gill combined, and in my spare time to make lace chocolate brownies for Dolce and Gabbana. Yep this is possibly the prettiest thing I have ever seen and I do want to eat it ever so badly. Cafe Fernando, if ever there was a crush it is now.

Is it any wonder this blog won in the Saveur Blog Awards?
Me thinks not.