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Friday, January 7, 2011

The Final Five...including the Snow Egg

Somehow I managed to get them all finished by New Years Eve, including the incredibly difficult and time consuming recipe for 'The Snow Egg' from one of Sydney's most renowned restaurant's called Quay.  
96. Spinach & Feta Pastry
97.  Balsamic Strawberries w/ Mascarpone Cream
98.  Creamy Broccoli Soup
99. Buttermilk Fried Chicken w/Spiced Peach Gravy (this was amazing, from a new cookbook called 'Chefs of Charleston)

And then there was number 100...'The Snow Egg'
Frankly I really thought this was NOT gonna happen (in fact if it were not for my support team, cousin Katie and my husband, there is no way I would have done it).  So, I got up on New Year's Eve and started to review the recipe, only to realize I should have been preparing for this thing WEEKS in advance!  Some of the ingredients and tools needed were going to be impossible to find.  The first was the 6inch hemisphere molds needed to make the poached meringues, where on earth was I gonna find these things??  I could only locate them online, clearly I was going to have to improvise (notice my snow egg is more like a snow muffin :). 

Then there were the ingredients, I looked for guava and for custard apples, but they were NO where to be found in Richmond, Virginia.  So, I decided I would have to alter the recipe and use different fruits, the icecream would be mango-banana and the granita & fruit puree would be strawberry-raspberry. 
Once I returned home from the grocery store I was already pushing noon and this is when I read in the recipe that the granita needed to be in the freezer for at least 12 hours!  This is when I decided we would bring in the new year toasting with dessert.  Needless to say I clearly needed to make this granita first.  This basically consisted of boiling my fruit in sugar syrup and then pushing it through a sieve and then pouring it into a baking dish to go in the freezer. 

Next up was the custard, which again I realized was another step where it needed to chill for six hours after you make it!  I figured the custard part shouldn't be to hard as I have made creme brulee a lot this year and that was pretty much what I was making, the only mishap was I trying to convert the measurements and accidentally put in a 1/2 cup too much sugar, making for very sweet custard!
Poached Meringues
After the custard was done and setting in the fridge it was time to work on the poached meringues that I was going poach in cupcake tins.  I could hardly believe it when they actually worked!  Of course it made for a rather large and odd shaped snow egg, but hey at least it worked.

Now somewhere in there I also make the 'berry puree' that would later be mixed with the cream to be 'strawberry fool' (that is what Peter Gilmour calls it).  And somewhere along the way I also realized I was going to need an icecream MAKER - oops another failed oversight on my part!  Hence why I needed to read the recipe well in advance!  Very fortunate for me, my aunt happens to have one and lives 10 minutes away, my sweet husband headed out to get it.  And I got started on the mango & banana.
I have never made icecream before, so this was actually pretty cool.  Sadly the banana completely overpowered the mango, but otherwise it worked out really well and was yummy.
The other element needed for the recipe is called a 'malose tuille', this was the saddest part of my snow egg...I could not find liquid maltose anywhere and thought maybe I would be able to improvise.  Sadly my attempts did not work and there was no tuille, there was a crispy sugary powder that I sprinkled on but just not the same :(
At 11:30pm I headed to the kitchen to begin to put all the elements together and make this fabulous creation.  I made a last attempt to make a tuille and failed and finally decided it would have to do without.  We toasted with the snow eggs at about 12:10 (I figure it was still 2010 in California).  I don't think I will go into detail about the taste, let's just say it was good but I am going to have to give it another try once I get back to Sydney, because it was nowhere close to perfect.  But I was very pleased I gave it a shot and it was a great way to finish out the year, 2010 has been a learning experience indeed!

I am looking forward to cooking up some new recipes in 2011 and definitely looking forward to Tablenosh Dinners...hope to see you at my table!

Upcoming Dinners/Events:

Tablenosh Tapas & Sangria Girls NightJanuary 16th
Nelson County, VA

Tablenosh Dinner
February, 19
Inner West, Sydney