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No-baked white chocolate pot de crème

>> Monday, March 21, 2011

… random thoughts…

White chocolate pot de creame

The past week has been one of the hardest times I have experienced. Sadness, and the linger feeling of losing something or someone precious.

The incidents in Japan have surely rocked our world. I guess we all felt shocked, small and powerless. Little can we reach out and help those affected by the natural disaster. And now, we can do is pray that Fukushima development will be for the better.

On the personal front I felt as though a massive earthquake also occurred in my world. A friendship has been lost perhaps forever. It ended so unexpectedly and in the most abrupt way, I was lost for words. I felt numb, then anger and pain. I thought we were there together, building something for the better. Once the trust was lost, what was there to talk about?

Life, however, continues. True I have been overwhelmed by my own emotion. That is when I look around and see the bigger picture. Besides the heartbreaking reports on the Japanese disaster, there are also articles on hope and courage of the people on the ground and how the whole world is with them.  There is something that is not lost…

I wrote about the inspiration for the white chocolate pot de crème on my Vietnamese blog. It is from a friend who loves white chocolate since she likes its total sweetness and richness, without any bitterness. Like childhood, she said. I sometimes mock her for such a ridiculous rationale. But now it is me who yearns for childhood, with its sweetness, purity and innocence.

Children yet, the tale to hear,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Lovingly shall nestle near.
In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die:
Ever drifting down the stream --
Lingering in the golden gleam --
Life what is it but a dream?
"Through the Looking Glass" by Lewis Carroll

 Children three that nestle near, Eager eye and willing ear,  Pleased a simple tale to hear --


No-baked white chocolate pot de crème

I have Ju of the Little Teochew to thank for the inspiration. I love this pot de crème a lot – it’s sweet, cooling and indulging. The richness is evident, so it is best served in small quantity. I didn’t add any sugar since white chocolate tends to be very sweet already. Feel free to taste and adjust the recipe to your liking.

White chocolate pot de creme
Printable recipe

Ingredients
2 cups heavy cream
115g white chocolate (I used Lindt)
6 egg yolks
Dash of fleur de sel
1 tsp vanilla

Method
Heat the cream and chocolate in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, beat together the egg yolks, sugar and salt in a medium-large bowl. Set aside.

When the cream mixture is almost at a simmer, gradually pour it into the bowl with the egg yolks and add vanilla, whisking to combine as you do so. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and heat, stirring almost constantly, on medium-low until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon (or reaches 175-180 degrees, if you have an instant read thermometer), about five minutes. Do not let the mixture overheat or worse, burn.

Leave the custard in the saucepan to cool slightly before pouring into serving ware of your choice, and then place into the fridge for chilling. As soon as the custard firms up, it is ready for eating.

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Delicious Vietnam #12 Announcement

>> Wednesday, March 16, 2011


A special thank to Nam Nguyen at The Culinary Chronicles for a lovely recap of Delicious Vietnam #11!

Now onto Delicious Vietnam #12, which will be hosted by yours truly....

If you are new to Delicious Vietnam, here’s a summary of the event along side with some rules and recaps of past editions.

You have until the second Sunday of  April (US time) to post about anything related to Vietnamese cuisine – recipes, food writing, review or reflection.

In your post, please include the phrase “Delicious Vietnam #12” with the link to your host.

Please submit to your post by April 10th 2011, which is:

+) 12 noon, Monday, 11 April 2011 – Melbourne (Australia) time
+) 7 pm, Sunday, 10 April 2011 – Los Angeles (US) time
+) 9am, Monday, 11 April 2011 – Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city time

Send your entries to
anhnguyen118[at]gmail[dot]com




with Delicious Vietnam #12 in the subject with the following details:

• Your Name
• Your Blog Name/URL
• Your Post URL
• Your Location
• A photo (optional): 300px wide

Looking forward to next month round up!

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Discovering Fresh Pistachio….

>> Friday, March 11, 2011

{Weekend Herb Blogging}

Fresh pistachio

I am loving 2011 with all these new food discoveries – fresh chickpeas, green almonds, and now fresh pistachio…

Fresh pistachios are really wonderful things. They are just so pretty!  I have seen their photos before, but their apperance in real life is even more striking. Such color and pattern. Too beautiful to eat perhaps?


Flavourwise the fresh varieties are pretty mild and milky. Peeling the skin and the shell is such an easy task, making the enjoyment even better. Fresh pistachio will make excellent smoothie or nut based milk – if you have access to plenty of them that is.

freshpistachio1

It must be pistachio season now in Australia since I have come across them in several Middle Eastern grocery stores in the past few weeks. If you happen to see them, don’t hesistate to try. You won’t regret it. I promise.

It is Weekend Herb Blogging time and I’m sending fresh pistachio to this week host - Winnie from Healthy Green Kitchen. For more information about this lovely event, please take a look at Haalo’s Cook almost anything at least once. 

freshpistachio2

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Chocolate lava cake & happy international women’s day

>> Tuesday, March 08, 2011

This post is dedicated to all of my female friends out there. Hope you have (had) a wonderful day! And be beautiful, fabulous and strong!

Moelleux au Chocolat - Because we love...

I remember March 8 being a huge event in Hanoi. It was one of those days where there were flowers everywhere I turned to. Dad would bring home flowers for mom and us, his two daughters. So sweet of him, right?

At school, it was the time where every male members of the class showed respect to their female counterpart. It was almost an obligation, the unwritten rule of the students’ world. I was in a class where we had only one male member. Yes, one vs. 37 beautiful and talented girls. You could imagine how hard high school was for him. Of course we placed a lot of expectation on the poor guy on March 8th. He actually had to come to school early on the day and placed handwritten cards addressed to each one of us on our desks. And we still wanted more! Flowers, chocolate, sweets etc. Oh boy, that was what happened when women ruled!

Anyway, I photographed this lava cake for a magazine a while back. It was supposed for Valentine ’s Day spread but I thought the cake and the photos were sweet enough to share among us now as well. The recipe is really easy. The only thing I would suggest was to use the best possible chocolate for this cake. We deserved it, ya know?

 Imperfect beauty...

Chocolate lava cake
Recipe from here

Printable recipe

Ingredients
(makes three 6-oz ramekin cakes)
- 100g dark chocolate
- 100g unsalted butter, cut to small cubes
- 2 eggs
- 50g caster sugar
- 20g self-raising flour

Directions
1. Melt dark chocolate and butter using either the microwave, a hot water bath or a double boiler (note: do not use direct stove heat or the ingredients will burn).
2. In a large bowl, use an electric whisk beat the eggs and sugar till the mixture turns pale and frothy.
3. Pour melted chocolate/butter you prepared in step 1, into the egg mixture prepared in step 2. Stir in the flour. Use a spatula to mix everything evenly.
4. Grease your ramekins with some melted butterFill the ramekin almost 3/4 full with the chocolate mixture and bake in a preheated oven of 180C (356F) for about 10 minutes. The cake is deliberately slightly undercooked so as to achieve its ideal consistency which is runny in the middle
5. When it is baked, remove ramekin from oven and let cool for 1-2 minutes. Use a spoon to gently loosen the edges. Carefully invert the cake onto serving plate.
6. Serving suggestion: Use a sieve to dust icing sugar over the cake. Serve cream and berries. (Ice-cream would be too sweet here I think).

Styling note: The heart 'love' was something I made following this template. Have fun guys!

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