One of my favorite markets in Paris is Marche des Enfants Rouge and it’s the oldest market. There are stalls that sell cooked food (french, african, morrocan, even japanese bento and it’s super good), fresh fruits and vegetables, seafood, meat, cheese…… I love this place. I go there for my grocery shopping and sometimes just to eat. There are tables and benches. Look at the different kinds of tomatoes. I love it!
I finally made it to El Bulli! It’s really an experience and I felt like a child again. I was discovering new textures and tastes. The restaurant is in the middle of nowhere by the ocean. When we got to the small town Roses we thought we will arrive in 5 minutes. We drove for another 30 more min on a road that felt like it was on a cliff. The kitchen is huge and there are 55 chefs working in the kitchen from all over the world…..there was even an Indian chef. There were 30 courses.
-The first food photo is giant nori…….perfect snack with the aperitifs they served. It was like a giant corn chip. So yummy and satisfying.
-Snow fizz…….an aperitif. It’s so crumbly when I bit into it. But it’s not like biting into shaved ice and much more fluff-y and light than sorbets and ice cream.
-Gorgonzola globe…..they crack the cold gorgonzola ball and grate nutmeg into it.
-Spherical olives……. looks just like an olive but it’s a ball of olive cream. So the flavor really bursts in your mouth when you bite into it.
-Coconut sponge…..interesting texture.
-Oyster and bone marrow tartare……this is one of my favorite dishes. Diced blanched oyster with bone marrow and eaten with the leaf.
-Peanut shabu shabu……dip the little pockets into the soup for 2 seconds and then eat it. So the soup softens the edible package. Another bursts of flavors when I bit into it.
-Soy milk with soya…… a dish made with diff kinds of soy beans and tofu.
-Eel sandwich…….the sandwich looks like it’s bread but it’s not. It had the texture in between cotton candy and marshmallow but not sweet. In between was foie gras and eel. One of my fav too.
-Abalone with iberian ham fat……….Abalone, I love. Iberico ham, I love.Pork fat, I love. It would be very hard for this dish to go wrong for me.
-Puff pastry of pineapple……def not the fattening kind of puff pastry. It’s freeze dried pineapple and chocolate sandwiched between two layers of thin sugar wafer. Very light.
-The chocolate box…….great chocolates. Chef Ferran should have a chocolate shop. This really made me feel like a kid again. When they opened the box, I even gasped. I wish more restaurants would have such a big chocolate box for petits fours at the end of the meal. This really box made me feel like the chef wants to spoil me. It’s funny how something like this can make the moment so special and great.
Sorry I haven’t been undating my blog. I’ve been so busy in Paris. I have started another training at a bigger pastry shop so I can learn more. So I have delayed my trip in Paris for another month. I am now interning at L’Aduree since about a month ago. It’s one of the most famous pastry shops in France. I think they make the best macarons and my favorite cake is the Plaisir Sucre. The pastry kitchen is in the basement of the Champs Elysees. The shop is very beautiful shop. My diet is about 80% pastries everyday. I hope my body can handle all this sugar…..hee hee. Next week I start the night shift, from 10:30pm to 7am with no breaks for meals. I hope I can handle it. Wish me luck! Here is a photo of my favorite cake……
- 1 teaspoon or 1 tablespoon of olive oil (depends on how weight conscious you are)
- seasoning (salt and pepper)
- flat leaf parsley leaf
-Rub butter on inside of ramekin.
-Place a few slices of pan fried mushrooms on the bottom of ramekin.
-Crack the egg on top of mushrooms.
-Add cream, oil, and seasoning.
-Place a flat leaf parsley on top of yolk for decoration.
-Cover tightly with aluminum foil.
-Have a pot of boiling water that will reach the same height as the egg reaches inside the ramekins (my ramekins are quite big so the water reached half way of the ramekins).
-Place ramekin into boiling water for 8 minutes.
-Take out of boiling water and serve immediately. I love to eat this with a piece of toast. Enjoy!
Pan fried mushrooms
- mushrooms, sliced
- olive oil, enough to coat mushrooms
- 1 garlic, peeled and halved
- flat leaf parsley, chopped
Heat olive oil in a pan and add garlic. After a minute, add the mushrooms and pan fry. When mushrooms are almost done season with salt and pepper. Add parsley mix and take off heat. Take out the garlic and put aside.
Sorry I haven’t been posting any entries lately. I was back in HK for 2 months and it was crazy…..too much work and not enought time. I’m now back in Paris starting my internship at Jacques Genin. I love this pastry shop in Paris….. the chocolates, caramels, and pastries are so good. Everyone is more than welcome to come visit me at the shop. The kitchen in upstairs and the shop is on the ground floor. Mr. Genin used to make petit fours, chocolates, and caramels for most of the big five star hotels in France. He now has his own shop. Many Japanese go to the shop that even the man at the counter speaks Japanese.
Around the shop there are a lot of art galleries. There is a very popular lifestyle shop called Merci around the corner (huge line at cashier so go early if you want to shop there). Also around the corner is Paris’ most beautiful children’s clothing and accessories shop, Bonton. Down the street there is rue deBretagne where there is the famous Marche aux enfants rouge (market of red children). On that street there is one of my favorite cafes, Cafe Charlot. Also close by, Rose Bakery which is a health conscious and bio cafe…..this is quite a celebrity spot, I’ve seen a few designers and actors dining there. APC, American Apparel, Isabel Marant, Vanessa Bruno, vintage shops, Erotokritos, Zadig & Voltaire, Commedes Garcons basics shop (less than one minute walk from the pastry shop). So no excuse for chic shopaholics and foodies not to stop by. If you are a Soho hermit in NY (or Causeway Bay), then you will love this area. If you are a NY fifth avenue hermit (or Landmark/IFC), then it’s time to broaden your horizons and see what else is out there. I’m sure you will love this area called the Marais.
-500 ml cream
-55 g granulated sugar plus extra 1 tsp per ramekin
-1 vanilla pod
-5 egg yolks
-Preheat oven to 150 C without fan (traditional oven).
-Scrape vanilla seeds out of vanilla pod into the cream and heat till it’s just about to boil.
-Beat sugar and egg yolks together till pale and creamy.
-Once cream is off the heat, leave on the side for 5 to 10 minutes for the vanilla to infuse longer.
-Then pour about 1/4 cream into yolks and immediately whisk.
-Gradually in a slow stream pour the remaining cream into yolks while whisking.
-Fill ramekins with the cream yolk mixture (can fill about 6 ramekins).
-Place ramekins into a heat proof casserole or dish.
-Fill the casserole/dish with hot warm water till it reaches about 2/3 the height of the ramekins. This helps to keep the cream from burning while it’s in the oven.
-Cover tightly with aluminum foil.
-Place into the oven and bake for about 45 min. Check by jiggling the ramekin slightly and the creme brulee should be firm on the sides but jiggle slightly in the center. Don’t jiggle too hard or the creme brulee will come off the sides (like what I did in the video….oops!)
-Leave to cool. Then cover and refrigerate.
-Once the creme brulee is chilled and ready to serve, sprinkle 1 tsp sugar on top. Tap lightly to help evenly spread the sugar. Use a blow torch or cigar lighter to burn the sugar.
-1 packet of mozarella cheese
-basic tomato sauce, about 1-2 cups depending on the size of eggplant
-50-100 g parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 180 C
2. Cut off both ends of the eggplant. Cut thin slices lengthwise.
3. Place eggplant slice onto a dish and sprinkle with salt. Leave on the side to allow the eggplant to release bitter water for about 30 min. Then rinse off the salt under cold water.
4. Slice mozarella cheese to 3/4 cm slices and a little bit smaller than the width of the eggplant.
5. Brush a thin layer of oil on to the frying pan over med high heat. Pan fry eggplant slices till it’s light brown. Do not over crowd the pan….there should be space around each slice of eggplant while cooking. You may need to cook the eggplant in several batches.
6. Rub butter or spray oil all over the heat proof oven dish.
7. Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce over the base of the oven dish.
8. Place a piece of mozarella cheese at the top of eggplant slice and wrap it around the cheese. Place the opening side of eggplant facing down on the oven dish….. this will help the eggplant from opening up while baking. Repeat this with the rest of the eggplant slices.
9. Spoon sauce over each eggplant roll generously with tomato sauce.
10. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top…… sprinkle the amount to your liking (as you can see from the video I love cheese so I used almost 100 g).
11. Place into the preheated oven. Bake until cheese melts…..about 10 min depending on your oven.
12. Optional, season with black ground pepper.
Yesterday I was walking on the street and there was a fire truck. The firemen is dressed all black with a champagne gold helmet! It looks so cool (or “chic” like the French like to say). The helmet looks like it came out of a futuristic movie. I want one!
Lately we have been learning about pulled sugar show piece. We learn how to use pour sugar, pulled sugar (flowers, leaves….), blown sugar (balls, birds…..). I made a poured sugar piece on my first day of sugar work. I made a black base with white streaks and red box decorations on top. Our next practical class we began to pull sugar. Then for the third practical class (which was 6 hours long), we got to make a complete sugar show piece. My teacher said it’s dark but has a nice theme. I made a black base with a rose and a scorpion on top. The orange circle is a moon with a cloud. It’s really hard to blow sugar and it breaks so easily.
I don’t really like sugar art work. It’s so difficult and you burn your hands. For poured sugar I have to boil the sugar to 155 C. Then I pour into the moulds.
For pulled and blown sugar, I boil it to 165 C. Tartaric acid is added to make the sugar soft while it’s hot. Pour it on my silpat (non stick rubber mat), fold in the edges (because the edges get hard first), and then start to pull it and fold in half ( I have to pull and fold at least 17 times). When you pull and fold the sugar, you help to lock in moisture and air so the sugar becomes shiny. I wear gloves when I do this but it’s still super hot! That’s how candies are made. Then I put it under a heating lamp to keep my sugar hot and soft. I have to pull the leaves and flowers under the lamp so my hands are burning under the lamp. I got 3 blisters on my fingers and my hands are so dry. It looks like my hands aged 5 years but after a night of a lot of hand moisturizers I’m fine. Before going to bed I will even rub shea butter all over my hands…..I have to make sure I don’t touch my face after that because I can get pimples. Shea butter is so rich but it’s good for very dry skin.
We already had 2 exams….one chocolate and one written. The 3rd exam will be a sugar show piece. I’m so nervous. We have to come up with our own sugar design. I don’t know what to do for the final sugar exam. Wish me luck.
-1 Graham Cracker ready made pie crust
-1 can condensed milk
-400 ml cream (I only used total of 350 ml cream in the video but I think 400 ml is better) -40 g. sugar
-Place the can of condensed milk into a large pot with water. Make sure the water covers the can by at least 2 cm. Place over stove top and bring it to a boil. Once it boils, lower the heat to a simmer and simmer for 2 hours. Make sure the water is covering the can the whole time while it’s simmering.
-After 2 hours, take the can out of the water and leave to cool. (At this point the condensed milk have caramelized and is now a toffee. It can be stored unopened until the expiry date).
-Spread the toffee (condensed milk) all over the base of the pie crust. No need to use the whole can. I only used a about half.
-Put cream and sugar together and whip it in the machine, hand held mixer, or with a whisk. Whisk to medium peaks or till it holds the shape well. (Don’t not buy ready made whipped cream! Make this by your self). Put it in the fridge.
-Peel the bananas and place on top of the toffee. Cut the bananas so it fits neatly.
-Right away, spread some whipped cream all over the bananas….the bananas will change color very fast if it’s left uncovered too long. So be quick.
-Spread the remaining whipped cream all over into the shape of a dome. (I think the cream makes the pie taste less sweet so use 400 ml cream and it will look prettier too).