Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Minor Tweaks, Major Impact

I haven't had much time lately to bake strictly for leisure, which is not to say a girl can't have her cake and eat it too. Instead, I've been having a bit of a blast mixing work and play by tinkering with these recipes (see details for the sessions on 12 January, 13 January, 26 January and 27 January on the January schedule ).

Quite aside from effectively using up all the spare ingredients and preparations invariably produced from each test-run, it has also proven most effective at keeping boredom at bay - not so much mine, but that of my long-suffering loved ones who've had to polish off whichever nth version of whatever recipe I happen to be refining, oftentimes days in a row.

Good recipes to have up the time-pressed baker's sleeve, besides of course being good to eat, are hardworking recipes. In other words, recipes that do double, even triple, duty with hardly any effort on your part. A nip here, a tuck there (read: virtually no fuss for you) - sometimes as simple as a change of baking tin, sometimes requiring no more energy than whipping up a fresh new accompaniment - Voilà! A brand new dessert as far as the beholder is concerned.

Some easy variations on the theme that I had fun coming up with, and more importantly, were enthusiastically received:

Jasmine Tea Macaron and Lychee & Rose Sorbet Sandwich
A cool permutation from exactly the same collection of basic recipes. And because we eat with our eyes first, all I did to romanticize the look of this exotic sorbet sandwich and give it a Moorish mood was tint the macaron batter pink.

Mandarin Friand, Orange Blossom Cream, Fresh Citrus Salad
Another Moorish twist. I used a mini tart pan with a fluted edge instead of oval moulds to bake the friands. Topped with a dollop of clotted cream scented with a few drops of orange blossom water and chopped pistachios, and paired with a fresh fruit salad composed of an assortment of citrus segments (macerated with more orange blossom water and orange zest), it's a refreshing yet satisfying end to a rich meal.

Sesame Financier, Matcha White Chocolate Ganache, Candied Yuzu Peel
I had candied some yuzu peel late last year when this precious fruit was briefly in season and naturally, thought to take the presentation of the sesame financiers in a Japanesey direction - miniaturized, finished with a rosette of white chocolate ganache flavoured with matcha and the yuzu comfit.
Almond Shortbread Sandwich with Praline Buttercream and Dark Chocolate Glaze
A cookie sandwich that's dressy enough to serve as dessert per se - a pair of almond shortbread slices filled with almond praline buttercream, the topmost slice glazed with tempered dark chocolate and coated with toasted chopped almonds.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing combinations and photos (as always). By the way, is that a Turkish tea glass I am seeing on the top photo?

10:14 pm, January 09, 2008  
Blogger Veron said...

I love the sesame financier. I'm about to try white chocolate to create different flavors - matcha is one of them. What brand of white chocolate did you use? I find that Valrhona's Ivoire to be the best so far.

10:30 pm, January 09, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The financiers look like little crowns, very pretty!

10:44 pm, January 09, 2008  
Blogger Erin said...

Ok, now I'm really steamed that I can't come.

Gorgeous photos and mouth-watering flavors!

Can you send a care package? I'll do without the sorbet.

3:55 am, January 10, 2008  
Blogger Kiriel du Papillon said...

As always, your skills and presentation leave me stunned. Happy new year, and I look forward to another year of being inspired and impressed!


8:22 am, January 10, 2008  
Blogger Gloria Baker said...

How beauty is all you make!! so lovely!! Gloria

9:23 am, January 10, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing, as always.

Have you ever thought of creating a YouTube video of your classes? I'd love to see hwo you make some of these lovely things.

9:29 pm, January 10, 2008  
Blogger cakewardrobe said...

I want to take classes.. but how? if I'm from the US?

11:41 pm, January 10, 2008  
Blogger Anita said...

You never fail to amaze and inspire, J. Impeccably delightful and sublime!

1:23 am, January 11, 2008  
Blogger Susan from Food Blogga said...

These are edible works of art.

6:53 am, January 11, 2008  
Blogger Cathy said...

They're beautiful Jocelyn, but then they always are! What I want to know is when are you going to write a cookbook? I'd say you've got what it takes!

11:47 am, January 11, 2008  
Blogger Cakespy said...

This post has put me on pleasure overload. You are just too talented!!

6:35 am, January 13, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow, wow, wow. They are all so beautiful but I am just *dying* to have that mandarian friand!


3:29 am, January 20, 2008  
Blogger cucina testa rossa said...

my goodness! these are breathtaking! just when i think your treasures couldn't get anymore spectacular.....! bravo! :)

2:50 pm, January 24, 2008  
Blogger Cafe Gusto said...

wow they are so beautiful.I aggree with Cenk. İs this turkısh tea glass?

6:53 pm, February 16, 2008  

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