Saturday, August 22, 2015

LE CORDON BLEU UPDATES!

Le Cordon Bleu
It's been 7 weeks since I've started living my dream... even if that means I need to wake up at 5.30 am every weekday! Which also means that my body has set a natural alarm clock that I wake up at 5.30 am on weekends too.Yes, my days start super early and I leave home by 6.20 am. I got so used to sleeping in late every morning for the last 5 plus years. Now, I am usually up earlier than my alarm clock just to make sure that my alarm goes off at the right time! Seriously,I love what I am doing right now.Even if it's chaotic. Oh by the way, the stuff that you just saw above was a Linzer Tart ( with ground hazelnuts in the base) and Strassburger Cookies (with a hint of cardamom).

Le Cordon Bleu
School is wonderful. The first six weeks were for sanitation and foundations.Which simply means,we were taught how to handle every single thing so that no one falls sick or dies of a foodborne illness from the food we make or sell. It was one of the best sessions. Now, from 7th week onwards,we have started our Introduction to Baking and Patisserie classes.It's pure FUN! The first day was good and slow,the second day was total total chaos (like in the FN's Chopped kitchen). Third day onwards,things started to get better. We got more organised as a team. Oh yeah, we work in teams.Team work is everything,right? Each one of us gets our own stuff,mixers etc but we work as a team of two,helping each other with mise en place etc. It's a lot of fun! We baked so many cookies,muffins and quick breads,pies and quiche last week. It was so GOOD! The quiche that I baked was my personal favourite. We could do our own filling and I decided to do a Curried Chicken Quiche.It was awesome! Did you know that we could bring all the goodies home? Yes,we can and Amma and I were literally fighting over that Quiche. It was so good!
Things we made last week:
Pate Sucree
Linzer Tart
Strassburger Cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Blueberry Muffins
Cornbread
Pate Brisee
Curried Chicken Quice
Old Fashioned Apple Pie
Blueberry Pie
Chocolate Chip and Candied Orange Scones
Biscuits & Sausage Gravy

Monday, August 10, 2015

HAPPIEST THIRD BIRTHDAY,IAN!

Ian Third Birthday
We officially have a THREE year old in our house now! When he turned two,people warned us about 'terrible two's'. I must say we were really lucky as this guy was not a handful,instead,a pleasure to be with. He has grown in size and can read alphabets and numbers without our help. Infact, he started to read alphabets and number when he was around 20 months,even before his second birthday. The best part of it all is that he learnt it all by himself! One day,when we were walking in our corridor,he pointed me toward the exit door and read out each letter by himself. I don't have to explain how shocked I must have been! Same was the case with numbers.
Ian Third Birthday

Appan and Amma were here for his birthday,for the very first time! It was special. I baked a chocolate cake that he had been requesting for his birthday since January for the big day. I covered it with a decadent milk chocolate frosting. He is crazy about construction vehicles now,so it was a construction site kind of a cake for him. He loved it!

For his party,I made a George pig cake from the cartoon Peppa Pig. For that, I made a vanilla pound cake with vanilla buttercream. We don't do fondant for our personal cakes.It's butter all the way!
Ian Third Birthday

This year,he has learnt to run a lot faster,throw and catch ball really well as well as to jump up high and land with perfect balance. His current favourite shows are Mickey Mouse, Peppa Pig, Blaze,Pocoyo,Thomas and Friends,Masha and the Bear and Tayo the Little Bus. The party update took me the longest as I was almost drowning in school assignments and tests. Yes, even we have tests and assignments :-) So without much further talk,here are the details!
Ian Third Birthday

Saturday Brunch Menu

Fresh Peach Sangria
Carrot Lemon Cooler

Pastry Onions
Egg Salad Croissanwich
Cucumber Cups
Veggie Pizza
Balsamic Onion Fritata
Mushroom & Spinach Quiche
Mousakka

As much as I would love to be a regular here,things are not moving in its favour. Amma has been cooking all our meals and once in a while,I join her and we have so much fun together in the kitchen!I am being pampered and I am not complaining at all!
 

Monday, July 6, 2015

BACK TO SCHOOL

Ria Mathew
When I was a teenager,Chandini aunty gifted me a coffee mug which said,'Dream on! Only you can make your dreams come true!'. I didn't quite get it then but now, it's a statement that I live by. So as you would have guessed from looking at the photograph, I have joined Le Cordon Bleu for the Baking & Patisserie program. There's been so much paperwork and college stuff that's been happening for the past 2 months, 3 sets of families visiting and now, Appan and Amma are here as well to join us in the fun! Basically,I've been having a jolly good time since April. It felt very different to go back to school today after a gap of 7 years and that too in a uniform from head to toe! I am a big fan of uniforms so it's just adding more to the excitement.My course is for a year and I should graduate around this time,next year!! It is going to be an exciting year for sure!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

FOR A 40TH BIRTHDAY...

Bike Cake
This time the cake was for a 40th birthday. The birthday boy loves all outdoor activities especially biking. I must say it was good fun making this cake as I can see myself making similar cakes in the future. Ian loves being outdoors,like any other boy !We chose a cake photograph from Marj's blog which suited the theme. I also baked two kinds cupcakes to go along with the theme as per the photographs my friend sent me. It was fun!
Themed Cupcakes - Biking
They were Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Frosting and Red Velvet Cupcakes with Mascarpone - Cream Cheese Frosting. They were super moist and delicious, if I may say so myself.I know that because I always make extra ones for us to taste ;-)

Thursday, June 4, 2015

ICED ITALIAN CREAM CAKE...for my 30th!

Italian Cream Cake
Iced Italian Cream Cake
This time,I just didn't want a birthday cake for my birthday. I don't know why but when Jobin started asking me about what cake I wanted for my big day, I couldn't decide on any. Finally I told him that I didn't want a birthday cake and I didn't have a reason to give him for that choice of mine.Then he told me that they both (Father & Son ) wanted to make a cake for me.I agreed to it with the condition that they can cut it the day after my birthday ;-)
Italian Cream Cake
Anyhow, I agreed to join them and we chose a cake that I have been eyeing for a very long time. It was an Italian Cream Cake by Trisha Yearwood. It's a pretty straightforward cake loaded with calories! Since it was my birthday,I didn't care for the calories.It's a day to celebrate and not sit around counting how many grams of fat a slice of cake has,right?
Ian was very eager to help his Appa in baking the cake. Every single time I turn on the mixer,he is by my side. It was the same this time as well. We have to be a bit careful when he is around as he likes to add an extra cup of flour or an extra tablespoon of baking soda to the mix!
Italian Cream Cake
This cake is super spongy,moist and delicious! It is filled with sweetened coconut and pecans, a very Southern thing! The crunch from the two were irresistable! I still cannot believe that it's been 3 years since I made the 30 layered Nutella Crepe Cake for Jobin's 30th! Time sure flies! I had made a list of stuff that I wanted to achieve before I hit 30 last January...you can call them New Year resolutions too! I had only 5 months to achieve them and yes,I have ticked off the main thing off my list! I hope this new decade has plenty of good stuff in store for me. I am pushing myself into doing new things now and I really hope it's for the best!
Also, have you guys heard about Food Panda? You can search, choose,order food online from your favourite restaurants and it will be delivered for you !

ICED ITALIAN CREAM CAKE
Italian Cream Cake Serves 12-15

Ingredients:
Cake:
1 stick unsalted butter,at room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs,separated
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut

Frosting:
8 oz cream cheese,at room temperature
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 pound confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Method: 
Cake: Preheat the oven to 350F / 180 C and prepare 3 9 inch cake pans.

Sift flour and baking powder together .In a large bowl,beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. In another bowl, beat together butter,shortening and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add in the egg yolks one by one and beat well after each addition,15 seconds each. With the mixer on low speed,add the flour and buttermilk alternately,starting and ending with flour.Fold in vanilla,pecans and coconut. Divide the batter among the tins and bake for 22-25 minutes. Let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then turn them out onto a cooling rack and let them cool completely.

Frosting: In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter till fluffy. Add the confectioners sugar and vanilla and beat well to incorporate. Frost the cake as desired and scatter the chopped pecans on top.



 

AND THE WINNERS ARE...

Monica Bhide
I know that this post is long overdue! Thanks for checking in on me to see if everything is alright! ;-) It was a celebratory weekend so things got very busy.I am sorry,many of you thought this was one of Monica's cookbooks but it isn't. It's a collection of personal stories related to food. It's as awesome as her cookbooks! So without further delay,here are the winners!

Congratulations Jina,Amrita,Kaveri & Serene!!
So send your address to airmathew AT gmail DOT com and I shall post your copies as soon as I can!
If I don't get a response from you within a week, I will be choosing another winner.
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