Monday, January 31, 2011

Raspberry Cream Sandwiches

Originally by Martha Stewart with some variations of my own.


For the cookies:
1 and 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 and 1/2 cups caster sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved

For the filling:
1 and 1/3 cups fresh raspberries
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
212 grams white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup heavy cream


1. Preheat the oven to 350f/180C. Make cookies: whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Put butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy about 2 minutes. Add egg, vanilla extract, and vanilla seeds. Mix until smoother. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture.

2. Using a teaspoon, roll out dough into small balls and drop onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing 2 inches apart. Press dough balls gently with back of spoon to flatten. Bake, rotating sheets halfway though until golden and just set, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool on parchment on wire racks.

3. Make filling: puree raspberries and sugar in food processor. Pour mixture though a fine sieve into a small bowl, pressing to extract juice, discard seeds.

4. Melt white chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Remove from heat, whisk in cream in a slow, steady stream. Add reserved raspberry mixture; slowly whisk until pale, about three minutes. Refrigerate 30 minutes.

5. Assemble cookies: spread 1 tablespoon filling onto the bottom of one cookie; sandwich with another. Repeat.

Some pictures of the entire process

Saturday, January 29, 2011

What I Love to Listen to When I Cook (and Eat!)

I was looking through my music today and started thinking about certain songs that I love to play while I cook. One of my favourite ways to unwind or destress is to lock myself up in the kitchen, play any kind of music that I'm in the mood for, and just create food to my heart's content! - And judging from the first picture below- you can tell that I love mixing music and food together- what better way to enjoy life than to have a wonderful sensory overload?

I always play music whenever I throw a dinner party- and like to stick to the theme. So Indian food goes with Indian music and French food with French music.... not very creative if you ask me, but it does set the scene.

One playlist that I love listening to is my "Breakfast Classical Playlist". I compiled it when I had a very floral and fresh themed breakfast party. I chose music that I thought was happy, uplifting, and reminded me of nature. Vivaldi's "Spring" definitely features on the list, and so does Boccherini's "Minuetto", and my all time favourite "Fantasia on Greensleeves" by Ralph Vaughan Williams

A second playlist is the one titled "Coffee Songs" which I love listening to even though I don't exactly drink coffee. For some reason, I remember the smell of coffee on a rainy morning whenever I listen to these songs- vivid imagination, I know. I think it's more the voices of the singers than the songs themselves which lead me to make this connection. On this playlist is James Morrison with "You Give Me Something" and "The Pieces Don't Fit Anymore". His voice is amazing. It's just so REAL. Also on this list is Rod Stewart with "Everytime we Say Goodbye"- another person with a very unique voice. I also find this the perfect slow dance song, but that's off topic. Another two songs are Marielle Colbert's rendition of "J'attendrai" and the all-time classic "La Vie en Rose" by Edith Piaf. And who can forget Michael McLean's "She"?

The last playlist that I've specifically created is just for when I'm cooking. The songs here kind of put a spring in my step and speed up my cooking process. On this list, I've got Michael Buble's "Everything" and "Just Haven't Met You Yet". Also, Aqualung's "Brighter than Sunshine" which is one of my all-time favourites ever since I first heard it five or six years ago. Also featured on this list is Jim Sturgess's version of "Across the Universe".

What do you like to listen to when you cook- or eat?

Opening of N_K_D Pizza

Last night was the opening night of N_K_D Pizza in Marina View Towers. Thanks to Sally we were invited to take a special tour of the kitchens where we saw the whole process from start to finish! The owner, Jeff Leach, took us around the different parts of the kitchen and told us about what makes NKD Pizza so different. It combines social media with pizza to create a wonderful, unique platform for networking! Even the opening was a tweet-up!

Everything is natural and the dough used to make the crust is from an ancient method. You can find all the information here. As for the taste, it was phenomenal! The cheese and tomato sauce and the crust were all so FRESH! And I'm not one for pepperoni pizza but I loved this!