my new cooking shelves.

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Needed some extra storage in the flat, so brought back my old bookcase from home. Previous to being this nice seafoamy colour it was right purple to match my bright pink and lime green room.

Anyway, from the top, left to right: ramekins (9cm), spices, my egg receptacle (it’s a ceramic mixing bowl, really), deep pie fish, flan dish, oval baker (those are the three boxes piled on each other), 12cm ramekins, pretty teapot, lasagne baker, cake tins I, cake tins II, gravy boat (under cake tins II), cookbook stack, potatoes.

In the stack: lots of Annabel Langbein (usually there’s another one there), the Cook’s Encyclopaedia, not one but two chocolate specific books, and – usually, but not in this picture – my own personal compiled cookbook.

christmas haul.

Tomorrow’s post has no pictures. Not cool. So, this one will have ALL the pictures. Or at least, quite a few.

These are the pretties that my boyfriend and I received for Christmas, or went and bought in the boxing day sales. I love cooking gear. Sue me.

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From my uncle and his lady friend, an oil can! I love this! Isn’t it freaking adorable? Being a poor student, I have filled the can which is clearly marked olio d’oliva with canola oil. I am sure they won’t mind, though. They also gave us some boutique olive oil, presumably to go in it. I shall be using that for dressings!

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12cm ramekins. I’ve been after these for ages. Got 4 for $13 at Farmers – they’re on sale for half price. I wanted them primarily to use for making pot pies, but at the moment they’re in the fridge full of homebrew hummus (which you’ll get to see soon!).

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Unsure what the official title of this gadget is. To me, it is a gnocchi skimmer. Cost $8.49 or something equally ridiculous.

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A new mini-muffin pan. It drives me crazy when making tiny tarts that I can only do 24 at a time. Now I can do 48! Also, this is a Baccarat pan – they are AMAZING. And they come with lovely silicon grippy handles.

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A frilly pie dish! I now have no fewer than three pie dishes. Isn’t it just gorgeous? And it matches my lasagne roaster and my 9cm ramekins. Success.

exciting things from the kitchen (picture clear out).

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Yum … potato flatbread. Does not keep well, but makes for the most awesome picnic snack with dip and salami and chicken and whatnot.

I love how well used our pizza stone is. They’re like wooden spoons, they only become legit when they get nice and used looking.

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Also yum … cupcakes. I’ve made so many cupcakes recently. All the same flavour – double chocolate and boysenberry. And, try not to judge my fridge. I know it’s very full. But, mainly of cupcakes, and the rest is pretty much stuff to make cupcakes. Except maybe the garlic.

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Because I’m awesome – a cupcake carrier. It comes with a second tray that sits on top and carries another dozen cupcakes. So cool! Used it for a picnic in the domain today. It was lovely. (Our friends who we picnicked with brought homemade tortillas and we wrapped hot roast chicken in them. Mmmm!)

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And the fresh batch, cooling under my super snazzy $4 food cover. Isn’t it just gorgeous? Red polkadots and lace! Could it be more me? No.

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Caketin stack! And, a tonne of books (but not our whole collection by a long shot).

new cookware

Colourful cookware! Flan, casserole, teapot, ramekins. And yes, all of my cookware is brightly coloured. The jug, which can be seen in the background, lights up when you boil it … it’s the whole reason we bought it.

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Spice jars: cumin, turmeric and paprika. We’ve since added chili, coriander, cinnamon and ginger (don’t fear, my cooking repertoire was not devoid of these spices, we just bought them in much more normal quantities, i.e. tiny little 40g boxes).

creme brulee

Regular creme brulee …

strawberry creme brulee 2

And creme brulee with strawberries trapped below the surface. DELICIOUS.

 

Well … that ought to keep you going until I make something more interesting. Enjoy! If you want a recipe for anything, comment and let me know, I’ll be glad to share.

creme brulee.

I bought a blowtorch the other day, and some butane to go into it (I had the boyfriend do that bit). I bought these things purely because I have always wanted to make creme brulee, and I figured now was the time (plus the torch was only $30 at Briscoes. Bless them and their eternal sales).

I found this beautiful recipe for it coming from the Holsts – as in Simon and Alison, or the New Zealand cooking gods – and as it didn’t require anything silly like ‘heavy cream’ (what on Earth is that?) I thought I’d give it a shot. It was perfect, so I’m sharing. With a few minor adjustments, for ingredient tweaks. It fills 4-6 ramekins (I find 4 very full ramekins. Potentially 5 more normal servings).

Ingredients:

1 cup cream

1 cup milk

4 large egg yolks

1/2 cup white sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

a pinch of salt

4-8 tsp caster sugar

 

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius, on a bake setting.

Heat the milk and cream gently in a saucepan until it only just boils. If you’re being properly careful, this should actually take a while.

Whisk together the egg yolks, white sugar, salt and vanilla essence.

Once the milk and cream mixture has boiled, pour into the egg mixture and whisk again. If the mix is lumpy, put it through a sieve.

Pour into ramekins.

Place the ramekins in a roasting dish and pour in enough water (hot. I prefer hot tap hot to jug boiling hot) to fill to halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake for an hour, or until the custard has just set. It should be jiggly but not runny (I know, I know. Very technical).

Top each brulee with one or two tsp of caster sugar, then blowtorch (or grill) to caramelise. Let the sugar cool to form a crisp layer, then serve immediately. It doesn’t take long at all to cool, less than a minute.

If using a grill to caramelise, it should take about 2 or 3 minutes.

 

Seriously, this is the most impressive dessert I’ve made, and by far the easiest. I can’t wait to adjust my recipe. I am thinking apple and cinnamon creme brulee next. Or perhaps chocolate.

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