18 May 2013

A little bit about macarons by ADRIANO ZUMBO

My parents went to Sydney and I was like, "mum when you go through Duty Free... *cough*" 
But it's okay I don't need perfume to feel pretty!! 
Besides, I can always stop by Smith n Caugheys and indulge in free perfume.

Instead mama got me a whole bunch of stuff that can't be found in New Zealand, including a packet mix of Adriano Zumbo's macarons!
I was excited!

Macarons are so delicate I knew they would be hard to make so I was really nervous.
The ingredients had to be at exact measurements and the oven at exact temperature and baked precisely otherwise the whole tray will turn out to be a failure :/

But it was really easy and didn't take as long as I'd expected.
The box came with the yellow meringue mix, almond mix, passionfruit filling, two piping bags and a circle template.

Trace circles using the given template on a baking sheet. You'll be using the other side of the baking sheet to bake on.

Beat the meringue mix until thick and very stiff.

Mix in the almond meal place into a piping bag.

Tips on piping:
Use both hands; one to hold the twisted bag at the top and one to squeeze the bag.
Make sure you don't have air voids in the bag by pushing the batter towards the bottom.
Squeeze gently and continuously for easy flow.
Hold the bag vertically, don't use a swirling motion, but stay over top of the centre and pull upwards when the batter reaches the desired diameter.

If you don't hold the piping bag vertically over the centre, then it will look a little funny...
Exhibit A: top left macarons

Let them sit for ten minutes then they'll need to be baked for 14 mins approximately until the 'feet' do not depress when lightly touched.
The ones that weren't quite piped correctly will crack :/

For the filling, mix the packet with 20grams of soft butter with a fork.

Choose a matching pair of macaron and pipe on the filling!

I suggest following the video on Adriano Zumbo's website here for tips on perfect macarons.

These were close enough to perfection right?
Tasted legit too!! Even Calci's mum said so and she's practically a chef and stuff.
Yum. Simple and authentic.

Me and my mum made these on Mother's Day. It was my brother's birthday a few days before, so I got to be a good sister and a good daughter in the same week :D
Now to be a good girlfriend..

And to conclude,

Wow what a crazy week, 3 tests in 3 days, lab reports and project due.
And then in a month's time, I have 3 exams in 3 days!!



6 May 2013

A little bit about high tea with my mum at Stamford Plaza

Ever since Calci took me to high tea at Cornwall Park Restaurant for my 19th birthday (thank you Calci!! That was so special) I had been wanting to take my mum to experience this European culture...

Stamford Plaza (which is a reaaaal nice hotel; Dom told me this evening that LADY GAGA stayed in their top suite) serves high tea from 12pm on Sunday accompanied by a live pianist, so that was super elegant :D
Mama said: I used to wish my children would play the piano like that.

lol Grade 4. soz bout it.
I was going to order rosehip with hibiscus flowers, then the waiter said we could order coffee in the high tea package, so I got a trim latte (noticed the link to my blog address? ;) )

mummy with the tier
The white curl on the top tier is white chocolate! So cool! Reminded me of that time I dropped a chocolate curl in Josh's drink at chocolate boutique cause "Tiff told me to!"
top tier: custard fruit tart, berry sponge friand and macarons
middle tier: chocolate scones, raisin scones and curry puffs
finger sandwiches; cucumber and salmon, relish, ham and cheese
jam and cream in cute little mugs for the scones :D
me :) aw i like this photo
the finger sandwiches were good and I always appreciate interesting ways of cutting the bread haha. I especially liked the cheese in the ham and cheese filling.

curry puffs were a bit spicy for me (radiation side effect #1) but the first 3 seconds of chewing it was quite tasty :p

I usually avoid eating scones because they're really dry (radiation side effect #2) but I had these and they were yum with jam and cream.

The only good piece from the dessert tier was the fruit tart, but even then the ones we made for Calci's brother's engagement party were way better. The berry friand was average, not very gourmet tasting. The macarons were even worse. Seriously, if you're going to serve macarons, serve real ones, not ones with jam in the middle.
It's alright, mama and I are making Adriano Zumbo's on Mothers' Day.
These are the goodies my mum brought back from Sydney! She got them from Coles. The Lindt hot chocolate tastes like the gold easter bunnies... melted. Absolutely delicious.
The restaurant in Stamford Plaza is called Knights, situated in the lobby. I liked the seating plan; open and relaxed with a business feel created by the low knee-high tables and arm chairs.
I felt like Blair was going to walk in at any moment to join Serena for a martini. And Chuck behind them, trading his father's assets with Jack over a brandy.

Do you know what I always do when I go somewhere nice?
Check out the bathrooms.
Check out myself in this fantastic mirror.
You know it's good when they have hand lotion in the bathrooms!!

Bottom line: Great location, but the food didn't live up to it. Average.

Lauren and I have had this plan since last year to have high tea at the Langham... And then we found out it was $45 per person. Aiyaaaa. Maybe once, for a very very special occassion...

And to conclude,

one day...

it would be nice.