Princess and The Rock

Parenting | Homeschooling | Food | Fashion

Monday, 6 October 2014

Coffee. Craft. Cooking. Collaborations (C4)

Last Saturday morning, Princess and I spent a fruitful morning doing the above - making coffee, crafting and cooking. The main participant was Princess and I was her assistant. This class was birthed by the talented duo - Christopher and Autumn. They are two unassuming persons who in fact have multiple skills and talents under their belt.

The class started with apron design. We were shown how to make stencils and create designs on our aprons from the stencils and acrylic paint. For this project, Princess came up with the design but I helped her with the cutting as she wasn't confident with a pen knife yet. The rest of the work was mainly done by her while I assisted her by holding the stencil in place or pointing out spaces where she left out colouring. It was a fun and gratifying project as the result could be enjoyed almost immediately, in fact, Princess wore the apron she designed throughout the rest of the class!

Proud owner of her personalised hand-painted apron!

The next thing we learnt was coffee-making. For this part, other than the 1:10 coffee to water ratio that I remembered, the other thing that stuck to my head was 'irreverence'. Irreverence not in a negative way but more of thinking-out-of-the-box kind of way. Making your cup of atas Arabica beans coffee with kopi sock? Why not? How about according your humble maize-butter-sugar-roasted kopi beans some royalty treatment and making a single serve portion in a french coffee press? That's exactly what we did in the class.

Very carefully measuring out the amount of coffee powder.

Learning how to make a deconstructed tiramisu dessert was the final portion of the class. Honestly, I'm not familiar with deconstructed food or those molecular gastronomy thingamajig, so it was quite an eye-opener for me. I've made tiramisu once and I thought it was decent, if I may say. However, my impression of tiramisu is that it's a rustic dessert, something like a trifle with premium ingredients. This session, instead of layering the different components of this dessert in the traditional manner, we learnt to plate it in an almost french fine dining kind of way. Each component has it's own rightful place yet they compliment one another perfectly. Few things I learnt from this plating exercise:

  1. Choose a plate that is bigger than your face.
  2. The actual food item must take up no more than 1/3 of the plate.

  3. Don't be afraid to use non-traditional kitchen utensils, e.g. paintbrush.

  4. Symmetry is passé. Just like fashion, senget (Malay for "slanted" or "crooked") is in.
  5. Height is important. A dish with some height looks more appealing and 3D.

  6. Princess' virgin (in all sense of the word; first attempt and sans alcohol) tiramisu.

  7. The last but most important point is PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD. Experiment.
She got the technique of beating egg whites really quickly.
I thought the only way to make meringue is to beat the
living daylights out of those egg whites but I was wrong! 

Please do note that the above points are my interpretation and I think I'm pretty close. Go for the next instalment if you don't believe me! :P

I've got the recipe of the tiramisu below if you want try it out. It's the kind of thing that is totally instagram-worthy if you get what I mean.

C4 Class Recipe (by Christopher Leow)
Cuisine: Italian
Name: Tiramisu
Yields:  10 portions
Preparation time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 60 mins

Component A: Sponge Fingers
Qty Ingredients
3 Egg whites
3 Egg yolks
60g Plain flour
2 Tbsp Icing sugar

Whisk egg whites and icing sugar till it forms soft peaks of a meringue.
Whisk egg yolks seperately till it is pale and creamy.
Combine the whites and flour to the yolks.
Spread a thin layer of batter on a warm pan/ microwave 30s/ bake at 140deg C till brown.

Component B: Mascarpone Cream
Qty Ingredients
4 Egg whites
4 Egg yolks
500g Mascarpone cream
50g Icing sugar (Split into 2 equal portions)
40ml Coffee liquor

Whisk egg whites and half icing sugar till it forms soft peaks of a meringue.
Whisk egg yolks and sugar over a Bain Marie till pale and creamy. Fold in the mascapone,
Fold in the meringue to the yolks mixture. Leave to chill.

Component C: Coffee reduction
Qty Ingredients
60g Ground coffee
300g Water
20g Glucose

Brew the ground coffee and water in a french press.
Strain out the liquid, and bring to a boil and reduce till it thickens.

Component D: Cocoa Tuile
Qty Ingredients
4 Tbsp Unsalted butter
100g Sugar
20g Cocoa powder
2 Egg whites
A pinch Salt
1.5 Tbsp Plain flour

Preheat the oven to 175′C. In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, sugar, cocoa and salt. Whisk in the egg whites.
Add the flour and whisk only until combined. Let rest for at least 10 minutes. Use a spatula and spread a flat, thin layer.
Bake for 2-4 mins, and leave to cool.

Component E: Garnish
Qty Ingredients
As needed Cocoa powder
1 tbsp Coffee Beans
Crush the coffee beans so that aromas are released.

Prepare a bowl of coffee liquor for dipping.
Dip both sides of the fingers into the liquor. Arrange neatly on a tray.
Layer the fingers with a thin layer of mascapone cream.
Pipe the mascarpone cream over.
Dust the top with a layer of cocoa powder.
Using a squeeze bottle, dot the coffee reduction on the plate.
Stick in a few pieces of the cocoa tuile.
Garnish with the coffee beans at one spot.

Do you see the glow above the crown of the "Appointed One"? 

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