Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Update and August Dates

The last event was quite an eye opener to say the least! It was one of those occasions when “nature” plays havoc with one’s plans! Woke up at 7 am to prepare the parmesan baskets, had seemed like a brilliant idea when I thought of serving my risotto in these until I started making them! Well, like the menu said, I had to melt the parmesan then mould it on down-turned ramekins, 3 ramekins in and quite a lot of wasted parmesan later, I got the hang of it and now know exactly what to do next time, not to serve risotto in parmesan baskets! :-), seriously they will be a lot better.
I then decided to make the profiteroles before going out for a final shop. Why don’t recipes ever tell one what size eggs one should use?! I promise when I write my recipe book, I shall even include the spoon manufacturer (don’t hold me to it though!), there are different sized tbs and tsp, depending on manufacturer and this can make a big difference to a recipe! Well, I used large eggs because that’s what I normally buy and what most cakes require but just turns out this may have been too big as the mixture was rather runny for something that needed to go through a piping bag! Nevertheless, I did manage to get it through J and into the oven and they rose alright but came out looking quite different to what I’d expected. I then decided to go and finish that shopping before it was too late. By this time the sun was really making its presence felt!
Came back home with medium sized eggs to have another go at the profiteroles and continue with my mis-en-place!  This time the mixture looked a lot better so I gave a little triumphant jump! Well, talk about premature celebrations! I took a peek through the oven door glass (of course one doesn’t open an oven door in the first 15 mins of baking!) and what I saw made me do a little dance around my kitchen (If the chap across the road didn’t have a street cred before, I’m sure it’s now rocketed by tales of the “lady” who lives across from me, stories for a different blog!) 5 minutes later, I took out of the oven perfect profiteroles and arranged them on a wire rack just to watch the air sucked out of them! Literally 2 minutes after they came out of the oven, they were flatter than pancakes if that’s possible! L, yes, it was actually too hot to bake profiteroles!
Oh well, I had to quickly think of something for dessert and decided to go for my famed chocolate brownies, which of course I’d bake last minute to serve hot with the ice cream I’d already bought. After the main course was served and I’d mixed all the ingredients for the dessert and safely put them in the oven, I was sitting at the table enjoying dinner conversation with my guests and sampling some of the great wines they’d brought with them when I suddenly realised I’d forgotten to add baking powder to the brownie mixture! What to do?! Excused myself very calmly and tried not to run to the kitchen, took a peek through the glass door again and all seemed well, I guess the perspiration on my face was attributed to the weather :-)! Took the brownie out and served it hoping all would be well. It is/was the best chocolate brownie I have ever made, from the sounds from the guests and requests for seconds!. Really was like a fondant, really crunchy on the top and soft and gooey in the middle! Who would have thought after the day I’d had I’d discover a new way to make brownies, as this is how I’ll do them from now on, minus the drama and panic of course!

Despite all that, I haven’t been put off from my adventure, really, but will soldier on. I haven’t quite decided on the menus for my next events yet but they are sure to be exciting. The 7th of August is leaning towards Asian with dishes like Salt and Pepper Prawns or Rock Shrimp tempura with a spicy dipping sauce, whichever gets the most votes goes. Also watch out for the Potato Ravioli (the ravioli is made out of potato and stuffed with mushrooms) as I’ve now managed to locate a mandolin, Chocolate and Toffee Fondant, Twice baked Cheese Souffl├ęs and many more exciting dishes. You are of course welcome to make suggestions as to what you’d like to see on the menu and I promise to do it justice!
Hope to see you at any one of the following dates or even at all of them:-
Saturday 7th
Menu to be confirmed
Saturday 21st
Menu to be confirmed
Saturday 28th
Menu to be confirmed