Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Ultimate Afternoon Tea Party - Classes

I'll be teaching The Ultimate Tea Party, a demo class, at Shermay's Cooking School on 10 April 2010 (Saturday), 11 April 2010 (Sunday), 24 April 2010 (Saturday) and 25 April 2010 (Sunday). For all inquiries, please call the school at +65 6479 8442 or 6479 8414, or email shermaycs@yahoo.com.sg

On the menu:
Perfect Scones An heirloom recipe for the most perfectly flaky and tender scones; simply unforgettable when accompanied by homemade "clotted cream" and strawberry preserves. Plus
Tipsheet I: Tricks & Techniques for Perfectly Flaky and Tender Scones

Rich Marbled Bundt Cake with Dark Chocolate Glaze This beloved and nostalgic favourite is a classic study in contrasts;
sour cream-enriched vanilla cake is artfully swirled with deeply chocolatey cake (using Valrhona Manjari 64% Dark Chocolate). Plus
Tipsheet II: The Art of Marbling – Swirl Your Way to Stunning Striations and
Tipsheet III: How to Bake A Beautiful Bundt
Wholemeal Soda Bread Buttermilk imparts a marvellous tang and lightness to this traditional Irish quick bread. Makes magnificent toast,

and is equally good with fruit preserves,
or something savoury, such as salmon rillettes.
Savoury Cheddar Shortbread The ultimate buttery, moreish, it’s-hard-to-stop-at-one cheese biscuit. Delicious at teatime, but also nice as a nibble with cocktails or aperitifs.
I'll post details in the coming weeks on the Bonus Section with Extra Recipes, Ideas & Serving Suggestions included in the recipe pack:

Homemade “Clotted Cream” Thick, luscious clotted cream is a must-have accompaniment to scones. Not readily available here, here’s a scrumptious alternative homemade version

Strawberry Rosewater Preserves Hauntingly perfumed and beautifully hued, these strawberry preserves belong in a special league of their own

Passionfruit Curd An elegant and aromatic fruit curd that is spectacular served with scones or toast. Also great for using to fill cakes, cookies and tarts

Confiture de Lait Caramelized milk jam, also known as dulce de leche or cajeta, is indulgent with scones or toast. Also great as a sauce for ice cream, or for using to fill cakes, cookies and tarts

Salmon Rillettes A luxurious potted fish pâté made of smoked salmon and poached fresh salmon. Divine with a hearty, rustic bread like soda bread

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Strange Bedfellows

Some things - be it through tried-and-tested wisdom, taste memory or sheer force of habit - go together like peanut butter and jelly.

Think bread and butter.

Or peas and carrots.

Chips and malt vinegar (and is that a whiff of tabloid newsprint?), maybe.

Cookies and milk, definitely.

Salt and caramel, say hmm hmmm.

Others, we perceive of as as different as chalk and cheese, and never the twain shall meet. Or maybe. Perhaps in a clandestine tryst at the secret locale of some pop-up private supper club. Or the not-so-guerilla setting of a much feted destination where tables for the 6 month season sell out in under a day.

What could possibly faze an eating audience that basks in the aftermath of an era that has been open minded about, nay embraced, everything from bacon & egg ice cream to white asparagus with lemon marshmallow?

Vive la différence.

On a much much much less fancy schmancy level, simply speaking as an individual who likes cooking for loved ones and hopes they will find the experience as gratifying as she has, I must say 6 out of 10 folks are risk averse individuals, pretty wary of unknown waters. Fortunately - for me - they're also very gracious guests, polite enough to take at least a decent sized bite before deciding something is or isn't for them. Point is, partnerships you and I may take for granted in our intrepid cook's headspace might as well be Esperanto on a plate. Foreign, unfamiliar, suspect and possibly seditionary.

Case in point, chocolate plus lemon. It's a combination I absolutely adore, and know of others who do too. Many others, however, need a little persuasion.

And this Chocolate Lemon Ganache & Butter Shortbread Bar has done the persuading many a time. The dark chocolate ganache filling (using Valrhona Manjari 64% Dark Chocolate), looking all innocuously all-chocolatey, surprises with its depth of lemony zing, thanks to a heady combination of lemon zest, lemon juice and pure lemon extract.

It's oddly accommodating too. Serving it to chocolate lovers? Finish with a few restrained strips of candied lemon peel.

Catering to lemon lovers? Try the gutsy garnish of Lemon Confit. For aficionados of citrus flavoured desserts, these candied lemon slices are a truly fabulous and delicious garnish.

*Both recipes are part of the lineup in Fruit Desserts, a demo class I'll be teaching on 13 March 2010 , 14 March 2010 , 27 March 2010 and 28 March 2010. For all inquiries, please call the school at +65 6479 8442 or 6479 8414, or email shermaycs@yahoo.com.sg