Saturday, June 26, 2010

Our Own Master Chef Night 2

So this is week 2 of our special cooking weekend.

It was Owains turn to cook this week, and he decided to cook Pork Belly. What he actually turned out was:

Roast Pork Belly with a Caramel Glaze and served with Roasted Sweet Potato and Granny Smith Apple

And I tell you what it gets 4 stars. It was lush!

The crackling on the pork belly was lovely and crunchy, while the meat was soo tender, it just fell apart. The sweet potato and the granny smiths were roasted in olive oil and thyme and were just done to perfection. The pork with the roasted apples was a lovely yet traditioinal flavour. We were a bit scared when he took it out the oven as it was looking very dark, but we needn't of worried - it was perfect.

Next up was my dessert.

Rhurbarb and Blackberry Crumble Souffle (as seen on Master Chef Australia on Friday night) heres the recipe if you want to have a go at making it yourself.

Heres my attempt (sorry about the photo quality... by the time I'd put the photos in the computer the souffle was loong gone so I couldn't get a better photo)

I tell you what - I have never been so proud of any of my cooking endeavors as when my souffles started to rise! All you hear is how hard it is to get them to rise correctly and that so many things can go wrong - but hey here was my first go and *presto* one very light a fluffy souffle.

They gave some really good tips on Master Chef on how to make sure they rise,

1. make sure you beat the eggs whites to the right consistency - they should be soft and shiny peaks.

2. was it make sure you grease the ramekin enough. What i did was put a light film of butter on it, then put it in the fridge for 5 mins, take it out, put another - more generous coating of butter on - then coat it all in caster sugar. This makes sure it doesn't stick.

3. Make sure when putting the mixture into the ramekin that you don't drip any on the sides.

The souffles were divine. So light a fluffy, and the rhubarb and blackberry mix was just lovely.

Overall - a very successful weekend of food cooking and eating... now I am very very full, and I must admit slightly tipsy from the wine that had to be drunk for the stress of the souffles so I am going to go and chill out and drink the rest of my wine before I go to bed.

Good effort I say :)

New Bloginings

Like many many people of my generation - I have decided to start a blog.

I would like to start off with a disclaimer - I am not a writer of any sort - so I imagine there will probably be spelling/typo mistakes, grammatical errors and all sorts of terrible things going on - so I apologize in advance for any annoyances I cause from reading this blog.

Due to inspiration from a few friends of mine who started them, which I really enjoyed reading - I decided to start my own blog.

Dec-a-dence - Noun - Unrestrained or excessive self indulgence

In a word - that is what I want this blog to be about. The things we love, desire and lust after, but don't actually need. The things that make us smile, the things we talks about and the things we get excited about.

I am going to blog about the things that interest and inspire me and I thought it would give me an excuse to experiment and play around with everything a bit more so I actually have something to write about.
  • Food

  • Design

  • Film (and TV)

  • Books

  • Makeup

  • and some other miscellaneous things like technology (e.g. my iPhone)

These things bring pleasure and joy to my life in many different ways.

Food: God I love food. (almost) Nothing in this world gives me as much joy and pleasure as really well cooked, delicious food.

I love to eat it and I love to cook it.

Recently Owz and I have really gotten into Masterchef Australia - it's our nightly ritual now to plop down in front of the telly at 7.30, put Masterchef on and spend an hour drooling at the mouth-watering sights.

It was Masterchef that has actually indirectly lead to me starting this blog... We decided (well I did, but roped Owz into it too) that we will eat healthily all week and then one day on the weekend, take it in turns to cook something really amazing. Which I thought would be a great thing to document - hence the blog.

It was my turn last week and I cooked Nigella Lawsons Coca Cola cooked Ham.

Mine didn't look quite as good as hers - but it tasted pretty incredible. The sweetness of the cola and treacle glaze against the saltiness of the ham was a really nice balance, and the cloves added a fragrant taste that really brought all the flavours together. I will definitely be making it again and would recommend anyone to give it a go - it may sound a bit weird - but trust me - the taste is spectacular.

This week its Owains turn to cook and he will be cooking a pork belly roast from a Jamie Oliver recipe, and I know its not my week, but on Masterchef last night they made a Rhubarb and Blackberry Souffle which looked spectacular so I'm going to attempt to make one too. I will blog about that in the next post...

Design: I am a graphic designer by trade, and after many ups and downs with the profession, I am currently working for a great company and loving my job. I see so much great graphic design out there which is scary (as I feel I will never be that good) and inspiring at the same time, I thought this would be a great place to bring all this together.

Film: I love the escapism of film, I love getting engrossed in someone else's life for 90 minutes, experiencing what they are going through, and then leaving the behind again and continuing on with my own life. I also love the experience of going to the cinema, the big screen, the smell of the popcorn, the great booming surround sound.

Books: I probably read 2-3 books a week. I am a very fast reader and once I am into a book I simply devour it. Often one book is not enough, I like to live with the characters throughout a whole series - and hear all of their stories. Any recommendations are gladly taken :)

Makeup: I have always loved makeup. Before my other loves came along and were properly formed, I was playing with my mothers makeup bag. Eyeshadow is probably my favourite thing to experiment and have some fun with, I love bright colours, and love putting bright colours on people who wouldn't usually wear them.

If the graphic design thing doesn't work out makeup artistry is going to be next. I think I thought it wasn't a viable career option when I was deciding what I wanted to be at 14 or 15 or however old you are when your teachers sit you down, and make you decide what job to want to do for the rest of your life. I was always creative, arty, and into computers and technology so Graphic Design seems like the logical path - not a silly girly thing like makeup.

So that was my not so little introduction to this blog. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I will writing it.