Tag Archives: Cooking

A Greedy, Needy, Life-changing Love

12 Jun

I have been devouring the latest issue of the Donna Hay Magazine over the last few days. This morning, I turned the last page, and was pleasantly surprised with what I saw featured on her “Things I Love” page.

Here she writes lovingly about the macaron. This caught my eye as my husband loves macarons, and I’ve been wanting to try cooking them for a while. This may just be the little push I needed. In the interim, enjoy how Donna waxes lyrical about her favourite biscuit.

“When I was 24 years old, I visited Paris for the first time and fell deeply in love. It was a greedy, needy, life-changing love and it was with a petite Parisian more beautiful than any I’d ever seen. I fell in love with the macaron. From the moment I locked eyes on the colourful pods in neat rows, their crisp shells back to back, it has been an ongoing ardour. I know it’s true love, because I can never fault them and I never tire of them. My hunt for the perfect macaron has seen me enter every patisserie from Sydney to Soho. Their softly chewy fillings and myriad flavours drawing me in every time. I love the way their fragile crusts form little peaks on top that look as if they’ve been kissed before they were baked. And, although I still covet these heavenly confections from Pierre Herme in Paris, I’m delighted my love for the macaron is no longer restricted by a long haul flight. Now I keep the general store’s confiserie stocked with an array of delectable macarons, and indulge in my sweet affair as often as I like. But the most exciting thing about this love is that it’s best shared, so that everyone can enjoy a little joie de vivre” (Donna Hay Magazine, Issue 51, p.170).

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Welcome to Eat Your Heart Out! Care for some nougat?

9 Jun

So I have been reading blogs for a long while now… I started off with the beautiful, inspirational ramblings of Style Me Pretty, The Bride’s Cafe, A Cup of Jo, just to mention a few. Once I had finished planning our wedding, I moved on in a rather natural progression to blogs which feature beautiful homes, fabulous interiors and DIY projects… I became obsessed with Young House Love, Colour Me Happy, A Room for Everyone.

Following our beautiful wedding in November of 2009, I found myself to be a wife – who had to produce a meal most nights. What to cook?? My mum is a beautiful cook, and has always had yummy, nutritionally sound meals on the table for us – every night of my entire life. So apart from the half-hearted sitting-at-the-bench-chopping-what-she-told-me-to-whilst-chatting-about-our-days, I really had/have NO skills in the kitchen!

So in my quest to solve the never-ending question of what to cook, I began buying cook books.  Slowly but surely, I have completely fallen in love with cook books, food styling, food photography and generally making tasty, pretty treats.

This blog is a place where I hope to showcase the pretty food I make, the food that my friend’s make, recipes we come across, handy tricks of what to do (and what not to do!) and anything else my heart desires.

So what better way to start a blog, than with a piece of nougat and a cup of tea?

Cranberry, Pistachio and Almond Nougat

Ingredients

  • 3 sheets edible rice paper
  • 1/4 cup glucose syrup
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 cups caster sugar
  • 1  egg white
  • 1/2 cup pistachio kernels, toasted
  • 1 1/3 cups blanched almonds, toasted
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries

Method

  • Place glucose syrup, honey, sugar and 1/3 cup hot water in a heavy-based saucepan over low heat.
  • Cook, stirring, for 10 minutes or until sugar has dissolved, brushing down side of pan with water to remove sugar crystals.
  • Place a candy thermometer in pan (don’t let it touch base). Increase heat to medium. Bring to the boil. Boil, without stirring, for 12 to 15 minutes or until mixture reaches 150°C on thermometer (see tip).
  • Remove pan from heat.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat eggwhite in a large, heatproof bowl until soft peaks form.
  • Gradually add syrup in a steady stream, beating to combine.
  • Working quickly, fold through pistachios, almonds and cranberries.
  • Spoon mixture into prepared pan. Using a wet spatula, smooth top, pressing down firmly.
  • Top with remaining rice paper, trimming to fit. Press down firmly.
  • Stand at room temperature until set.
  • Lift from pan. Cut into squares. Serve.

The next time I make this recipe, I will soak the rice paper first. I’m not sure if I should have, but I didn’t, and the rice paper was crunchy and snappy. Not soft and melty like it should be. I’d also use slightly less honey, as the balance of flavours was definitely overpowered by the honey.

Other than that, a winner!