It’s Friday everyone! What kind of plans do you have for the weekend? It’s my brother’s 21st this Sunday! How fast time flies – I can’t believe he’s 21 already. We’re going out for dinner as a family on Sunday, but Mum and I also want to take him out for brunch or something during the day because it’s his 21st!! Must do something special! So apart from that, my weekend will be taken up by work and making his birthday cake =) Can’t wait!
Here’s something to sweeten up our week =) And gosh, do I need to sweeten up my day. Everything that could go wrong, went wrong this morning. First I fell down the stairs on the way to the kitchen, then I spilt my cup of milk, THEN I left my phone at home and only realised when I got to the train station so I had to drive back. It’s a good thing we live close to the station, but sigh…Murphy’s Law to the max! haha.
Anyway! Have you all heard about the 23rd Aspiring Bakers challenge set by Swee San? Yes I am talking about the plated desserts one, and gosh, it is a difficult one! I’m always amazed by other people’s talents in making beautiful desserts, and Swee San is definitely one of them. I am both envious and inspired by her talent and creativity!
Anyway, so I was racking my brains to first of all, try make sense of this challenge! haha. And then to try think of something. It seriously took me soooo long…and the result isn’t even that special =S Hopefully I’ll have time to make another attempt at this difficult theme!
So what did I come up with? Well…I had some puff pastry in the freezer which I bought with the intention of making apple strudel for my Dad for Father’s Day. I also had some leftover creme patissiere, which I made for the strudel so I had to somehow use that up because it was such good creme pat! So I decided to make a mille-feuille (well, I made a dismal attempt actually since it doesn’t look like mille-feuille). THEN I had to think of the components for the rest of the plate O.O!! And then I remembered I still had some italian vanilla gelato I made a couple of weeks ago, and some frozen berries. So they became my 2 components. Thus resulting in my plated dessert, consisting of mille-feuille, berry compote & italian vanilla gelato?
Did I get it right? I hope so!!! hehe. Here’s how I did it.
Frozen puff pastry x 1 sheet
Creme patissiere (I used this recipe, but halved the quantity and reduced the sugar considerably)
1. Cut puff pastry into desired size and sprinkly with sugar. Bake in a hot oven until golden brown
2. Sandwich 2 pieces of puff pastry with creme patissiere
3. Dust some icing sugar on the surface and garnish with a strawberry
My puff pastry was too puffy! I tried to do that trick where you weigh it down while baking, but it didn’t really work. Do you think if I rolled it thinner, it wouldn’t be as poofy? hmmmm…
1 cup mixed frozen berries
I actually did this in the oven with my puff pastry. I just mixed everything together, put it in a small ramekin and baked it until it was hot and bubbling. The cornstarch thickens the sauce slightly but I like it to be runny so I didn’t add too much.
Italian Vanilla Gelato
(recipe adapted from ‘Icecream: Summer Eating’ cookbook)
6 egg yolks
120g sugar (I reduced it to 80g and it was still too sweet)
1 vanilla bean (I don’t have so I used vanilla extract)
125g caster sugar
1. Pour milkinto a large heavy-based saucespan, split open the vanilla pod + scrape out the seeds into the milk then add the whole vanilla pod.
2. Bring almost to the boil and remove from heat. Leave to infuse for 30 minutes, then remove the vanilla pod.
3. Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl until pale, and the whisk leaves a trail.
4. Slowly add milk, stirring all the time
5. Strain mixture into a double-boiler and cook over low heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring constantly until thickened slightly. *Do not allow mixture to boil*
6. Remove custard from heat and leave to cool for >1hr, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming
7. Pour into ice-cream maker, and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions.
*Note: I reduced the sugar considerably and it was still way to sweet. I don’t have an ice-cream maker so I followed David Lebovitz’s guidelines to make ice-cream without one.
Well, there you have it. CC’s attempt at a plated dessert. Yes, it’s very boring and the photography is pretty crappy, and yes it is NOWHERE near as beautiful and inventive as other’s but…it’s a start and I’m determined to try again!! Must find time to do this again!
I’ll be submitting this to the #23 Aspiring Baker’s: Plated Desserts, hosted by Swee San of the Sweet Spot.
Thanks for reading! ^^ Have a great weekend, everyone!