January 31, 2012

Raspberry Swirl Marshmallow: Sweet NZ Round-Up

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To start the first month of the year, Sweet NZ has kicked off with sweet entries. Here are the entries, rounded up randomly. The sweets are ranged from Malaysian's to Italian's, classic Kiwi's and of course, they are all homemades!

Thank you for your submissions! The next Sweet NZ will be hosted by our lovely Shirleen of Sugar and Spice.

My first entry was Plum Ice Cream. Celebrate Summer feast from the orchard.

IMG_3658-Plum Ice Cream-homegrown Dans Early

Alessandra of Alessandra Zecchini blog whipped up Castagnaccio and it is gluten-free! How lucky I am!

Castagnaccio by Alessandra Zecchini

Barbara of Winos and Foodies, sent me Sago and Gula Melaka from Brisbane, Australia.

Sago with Gula Melaka by Barbara

Frances of I Love Bake Club whipped up One-Pot Chocolate Deadline Cupcakes. I am thinking of drizzling them with dark chocolate ganache and sprinkled with crumbs of Ferrero Rocher, eaten with beaming ruby red raspberry sauce! What a deadline!

One-Pot Chocolate Deadline Cupcakes by Frances

And who are not tempted to dip her fingers on that lovely lemon curd! Carmella Lee of Easy Food Hacks goes fruity here with her Sable Bretton Galette with Summer Berries.

Sable Bretton Galette with Summer Berries by Carmella

Susan of Couscous & Consciousness brought the best out of plums in Rosy Plum Crumbles which she made also for her Cookbook Sunday projects. I think this will go well with my Plum Ice cream. Now I'm drooling!

Rosy Plum Crumble by Susan

Emma of My Darling Lemon Thyme whipped up dairy-free coconut ice cream and made this dairy-free chocolate sauce to go with it. How good it is! In fact, I am making myself coconut palm sugar flavoured with pandan leaves and vanilla this afternoon (it is Monday the 30th when I am writing this) and will serve it with Emma's dairy-free chocolate sauce. I can believe the taste will be superb!

Dairy-Free Chocolate Sauce by Emma

These classic Kiwi sweets are always a winner on every occasion and are always great wrapped as presents. Bridget of After Taste made Russian Fudge for our sweet treat this month. And who can resist!

Russian Fudge by Bridget

Mel of The Tree House Kitchen brought us a dish of Prune and Apricot Clafoutis together with a plate of 70 Percent Chocolate and Ginger Cookies. Oh double yum!!

Prune and Apricot Clafoutis by Mel

70% Chocolate and Ginger Cookies by Mel

My second submission for the event is Raspberry Swirl Marshmallow. Ever since I saw it on Donna Hay's Magazine, I had wanted to make it. I need a good reason to do it, though, because my children are not familiar with candies which is based on sugar cooking. The early years of training, I suppose, since I had never introduced them with lollies or sugary candies. So, when I made them, they just pinch a bit and that's it. None of them likes it as much as they like my homemade Ferrero Rocher, Indonesian sweets from my childhood KleponRosewater Cheesecake, and the ultimate Almond Dark Chocolate Cookies that always successfully make their eyes sparkling. 

However, I managed to wrap the marshmallow and presented them to our good friends, who happened to visit us that day, and bring them home with them. So, nothing is wasted. 

Raspberry Swirl Marshmallows-2

Raspberry Swirl Marshmallow
by Donna Hay Magazine, Issue 54, 2011

250g raspberries
80g icing sugar
11/2 Tbs gelatine powder
125ml water
385g caster sugar
160ml light corn syrup
60ml water, extra

Cook the raspberries by putting them in a saucepan with icing sugar over medium heat, crushing them while stirring, to boil for 10-15 minutes until thicken and produce that lovely red syrup. Using fresh raspberries will give you extra scent and that lovely fresh flavour I find. Remove and press through sieve. Seeds discarded. Set aside.

Make the marshmallow. Put the gelatine and water in a mixer bowl, stir well. Leave it to swell for 5 minutes.

Combine sugar, corn syrup and extra water in a saucepan, cook on high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring to boil and use your candy thermometer to measure the heat to 120C. Since I haven't got a thermometer, I just use an old school way. To drop the sugar mixture in a cup of cold water and test if it is at soft ball stage, then it is done

Having this sugar syrup ready, turn the mixer on low speed and drizzle the mixture into the gelatine mixture until it is all in. Increase the speed and keep whipping up for 4-6 minutes until the marshmallow is formed, that when the mixture is fluffy, white and light. When it begins to cool down while whipping, turn the mixer off and pour or spoon the marshmallow into a prepared tin which is greased and lined with baking paper, measured 20cm x 30cm. On top of the mixture, spread or drizzle the raspberry mixture and make a swirl by using a skewer.

Cover with plastic wrap and leave it in room temperature, for 4 hours or until set. Remove from the tin and cut into square, rectangles, triangles, whatever you like really. Never put them in the fridge though.

Makes 25.

January 20, 2012

Cezanne's Secret Admirer Here

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It's moody and it's still life more than food photography. But that's what my 365 Project is about. Today is supposed to have 20 photos, but I missed a day when I heard the distracting news about Mum. 

Anyway, I took all of these photos with iPad2 camera and post-processed them on several photo & video applications available on iTunes, and shared them on instagram and Flickr.

Why iPad2? Reading many thumb-downs on iPad2 camera reviews everywhere, I want to make a prove to at least myself, that although it only has 0.92mp, I still can do something about it rather than complaining and whining for higher resolution on a tablet PC. 

I haven't really printed out the photos that I took just yet, but I don't think it matters. So, my project is on moody light, inspired by many still life paintings produced either modern times or Renaissance's. I'm a secret admirer of Cezanne. Don't tell anyone!

These are the 365 Project on moody light from Day 1 - Day 19

#365project #arfismoody_light #ipad2 #365project #arfismoody_light #ipad2 #instagood #365project #arfismoody_light #instagood #ipad2
#365project #arfismoody_light #food #instagood #365project #arfismoody_light #food #breakfast #instagood #365project #arfismoody_light #food #ipad2 #instagood
#365project #arfismoody_light #ipad2 #instagood #365project #arfismoody_light #ipad2 #instagood #365project #arfismoody_light #instagood #ipad2 #breakfast
#365project #arfismoody_light #cake #instagood #ipad2 #365project #arfismoody_light #ipad2 #instagood #breakfast #food #365project #arfismoody_light #cake #food #ipad2
#365project #arfismoody_light #dinner #food I was so shocked yesterday to find out that my Mum-in-Law has Melanoma cancer. The news had struck me like a thunder. I had just lost my father from mouth cancer in July last year, just 7 days after my birthday, I'm not ready yet to lose another loved one Featuring my husband's handmade lidded urns. #arfismoody_light #365project #ipad2 #stilllife #instagood
Porridge #365project #arfismoody_light #food #ipadcamera #ipad2 #instagood Featuring yet again my husband's handmade vases and our #homegrown flowers and fruits #365project #ipadcamera #arfismoody_light #ipad2 #365project #arfismoody_light #ipad2 #instagood #stilllife
Day 9

Have a great weekend!!

January 01, 2012

Sweet New Zealand January 2012

Happy New Sweet Year!

January is going to be sweet, indeed. I'm taking the baton from Bron to host Sweet New Zealand, originally created by our very own author and creative blogger, Alessandra Zecchini. Have a look at December's sweet round-up Bron had collected last year.

full on wasted

  1. This event is open to all Kiwi food bloggers living in New Zealand or overseas. It is also open for expats living in New Zealand.
  2. Send me anything sweet, as many submissions as you like.
  3. Your entry must mention "Sweet New Zealand" and linked to the original page Alessandra Zecchini had initiated. You may attach the badge with the size to your liking on your post.
  4. Submit your entry/ies to arfi.binsted@gmailDOTcom, with your Name, Blog Name and Link, your Post Link, and a 500pxls resized photo, please. I will still receive the latest submission until on the 30th January 2012, then I'll publish the round-up hopefully on the 1st of February 2012.
  5. Hoping to see many great Summery entries!!

IMG_3682-Plum SorbetIMG_3683-Plum Sorbet

Although our weather hasn't given much an improvement for summertime, we can't wait to scream for ice cream. Since plums are abundant in our orchard, wasted by birds and rain, we picked them the other day just enough to make ice cream and sorbet. At least, some are not going to be wasted.

dans early plums

Before Christmas time, my beloved bought me an ice cream maker. A small one. I haven't used any ice cream maker before, so this is my first try out. 

IMG_3658-Plum Ice Cream-homegrown Dans Early

It went okay, though some features mentioned on the manufacturers manual instructions don't actually work. The ice cream did not freeze in 20 minutes, for instance, but it has to be frozen  overnight after being churned. 

IMG_3661-Plum Ice Cream

Here is my entry for Sweet New Zealand.

Plum Ice Cream

500g blood plums
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
a little water

Cook plums with sugar and a little water until blistered and tender. Remove from the heat. Add in vanilla extract. Strained through sieve and discard the stones. Set aside.

4 egg yolks
1/2 cup vanilla caster sugar (I always have it handy, homemade and store in a separate jar)

Whisk the egg yolks and sugar. Put on top of a saucepan of simmering water. Keep whisking until double in volume and thicker, and the egg mixture is warmed through. Remove from the heat. Set aside to cool and then keep in the fridge.

300ml fresh cream

Whisk until fluffy and smooth. Whisk in the cooled egg mixture, and then plum, mix until well-combined. Pour into the ice cream bowl and churn.

You need to consult your ice cream maker manual on how long you should churn. I still have to put mine in the freezer overnight after being churned.

Have a blast January!