24 April 2009

Chihuly Lounge @ The Ritz Carlton

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Chihuly Lounge @ Ritz Carlton

having traditional afternoon tea in a hotel's lobby lounge is as close to heaven as you can get, no? there's nothing not to like about sipping tea and nibbling on finger food all afternoon in a classy environment, i thought naively. so despite knowing that i'll be paying 40 bucks just for that few meagre pieces of finger food, i blatantly went ahead. but at the end of the day, i came home feeling sorely disappointed, and with a gnawing ache in my heart that wouldn't go away. why? mayb becoz i had some terribly unrealistic high expectations, of what i'm not sure. maybe becoz when i entered the acclaimed 6-star hotel, i just couldn't feel anything "6-star" about it, nothing like when i entered st. regis or shangri la. or maybe becoz the food wasn't good. or simply becoz i'm not a tea person? or maybe, ALL of the above reasons! while i couldn't say it was a lousy experience, i felt it was mediocre at best. in short, nothing to shout about.

15 April 2009

Really Good Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

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Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
i made some kickass & ridiculously good vanilla bean ice cream and i can't wait to share the recipe with you guys! it all started with a case of having too much leftover whipping cream from my previous attempt on the apricot panna cotta. nowadays i buy whipping cream in 1L carton instead of 200ml coz its alot more worth it that way. only about 8 bucks for 1L, compared to $3.40 for 200ml, but it'll also mean i get alot of leftovers, so what could be better than to make some cold comfort food like ice cream? vanilla bean ice cream is all i eat these days and i'm glad most patisseries are using vanilla bean in their ice cream coz you just can't beat the real stuff. and yes, i turn my nose up at the cheap supermarket variety, the kind that only use essence in them. i only regret not making it any earlier but its never too late! glad i now hv my stash of vanilla bean ice cream to call my own. and it also makes me wonder what i can't or won't do *chuckles*

13 April 2009

Apricot Panna Cotta With Mint Gelée & Apricot Sauce

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Apricot Panna Cotta With Mint Gelée & Apricot Sauce
if there's one cookbook that i can't stop myself from staring at the cover, this would be it - dessert fourplay by johnny iuzzini. no prizes for guessing why :p i finally got my hands on him it, dessert fourplay - sweet quartets from a four-star pastry chef by johnny iuzzini. of coz, the reason is not entirely for the man himself, but for the desserts, obviously! i'm really into plated desserts lately, in fact, i'm just too intrigued and fascinated by them that i blew 95 bucks on another one, frozen desserts by culinary institute of america & francisco migoya not too long ago. while i'm not sure if i'm ever gonna be able to make (or plate) them, these books are just too good 2b missed. pictures & recipes aside, i read them like i would an encyclopedia coz they're really chockful of useful information. anyway, back to this book. dessert fourplay is categorized into four seasons, each "major" dessert comprising of 4 mini ones in tasting portions/shooters, hence the name. everything looks so beautiful that i just can't decide where to begin. i finally settled for this coz its the easiest among the lot. no need for baking nor choc tempering, no need to hunt for difficult-to-find ingredients like maltodextrin & inverted sugar syrup, no need for bombastic equipment like an N2O charger cartridge to make espuma (the foam/emulsion thingy). the least intimidating but just as visually stunning i would say, tho' it still involves quite a no. of steps. tastewise, pretty light and not too sweet. LOVES the mint gelee that goes suprisingly well with the apricot, though it does reminds you of eating lamb. will be attempting other desserts from the book soon coz need to make sure my money is well spent :p

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