May 18, 2006 at 5:56 pm (Food)

Madeleines and Cappucino
These turned out fantastically. Lighter and less cloying than the store-bought variety, much more citrus-y, and you don’t feel like you’ve swallowed a barbell.

  • 250 g unbleached white flour (I used a scale, but I guess you can figure on about a cup)
  • 250 g sugar
  • 250 g unsalted butter (Yeah, it’s a lot. I’ve been biking all week as penitence)
    4 eggs (refer to the biking comment)
  • Zest of 1/2 orange and 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Mix together flour, sugar, eggs, vanilla and zest. Melt and add the butter to the mixture. Pour into molds halfway up.
I guess you can also pour into ramekins or anything else that strikes your fancy. Madeleine molds seems ubiquitous for some reason. I’m not complaining. Avoid silicone molds, which are way more expensive and don’t really result in that nice brown bottom.
Cook at 350 F for 20 minutes. Pour yourself a cuppa joe and enjoy.


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How to make a birthday meal, and survive despite yourself

May 4, 2006 at 8:42 pm (Food)

Wednesday was the milliner’s birthday. (She looks amazing for 29, I must say. Shut up!) Seeing as how I seem to have some time on my hands these days, I asked her what she wanted to eat. Hemming and hawing, she finally came up with, “um, some sort of meat, I guess, because I don’t cook it.” Rabbit?, I suggest. Duck? Oh, wait, crèpes, how about crèpes? Crèpes it is, so now to figure out the filling. Asparagus? No. Mushrooms? Sure. And? Just mushrooms. Ooo, oh, wait, how about those lobster crèpes? We have a winner. (I also decided to make three different kinds of pots de crème.)
Yesterday morning, get a list together of everything I need: eggs, over a litre of 35% cream, pea shoots, carrot juice (I learned that lesson, thank you very much), crème fraiche, cardammon, chocolate, mint, raspberries, the list goes on. Oh, and a mean-looking lobster who scared the bejesus outta me. Get home around 2, and get to work boiling water. For the lobster. Because I don’t put the lobster in boiling water. Instead, I place the lobster in a pot, pour the boiling water over it, and poach it for only 2 minutes (5 for the claws). Of course, being scared of the lobster, I’m shaking, and end up splashing water all over the stove. And the floor. And my feet. And my hands. Yay, and I’m only just beginning.
Mop up. Clean up the stove. Gas still works, thank goddess. Oh, right, my hands. Pass them under cold water. Left hand is fucked for the day, which stucks, being left-handed. Start taking apart the lobster. Which burns. Especially on my now-tender hands. Get spray by lobster juice.
Start making the crèpes. Believe, for some strange reason, that it’ll make sense to mix the batter with an electric mixer. Bad idea. There’s flour stuck to the bottom of the bowl. Whatever remaining batter really doesn’t want to go through the strainer. This is all looking like a HUGE success.
Get started on the pots de crème. However, being somewhat ambitious, I figure that making three different flavours would be such a peachy keen idea. It’s not. Mix the cream and sugar together, cut a vanilla pod in three, scoop out the seeds. Now to find three pots to heat the cream. Um, better do some dishes. With only one hand. Because the other is burned, remember? Find the pots, heat up the cream, add some cardammon pods to one pot, some mint to the other, and start melting some chocolate for the third. Turn off the heat and let it rest for an hour. Reheat the cream, and step out for about 10 minutes. Come back to find the cream has boiled over in two of the pots.
A trio of pots de crème
Time to clean the stove. Again. Cleaning cream isn’t fun. Try to find three bowls into which to break the eggs and add the cream. No luck, so for each pot flavour I have to redo the steps.
The kitchen has never been so clean.
And, today, I’m so bloated.

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