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Friday, May 27, 2011

Daring Bakers' Marquis on Meringue

The rainy season finally came. It is late than last year but the rainfall is definitely still as stong. People in some parts of Thailand start worrying about flood, the worst nightmare that could happen and drive them away from their houses, and destroy their farms and cattles. Let's wish it doesn't go into that state of disaster this year.

However, thanks to the rain, the weather is cooler right now. After the extreme heat in April, I basically so looked forward to welcoming the rainy season.

May is the month when things are getting better and nicer. It is a month full of public holidays, and swamped by a wide variety of fruits. Durian, the king of fruits are available abundantly with reasonable price and excellent taste. Mangosteen is a dear friend of durian and always present right side by side. Mango, orange, lychee, and jackfruit are next to them. It is a great month for fruit lovers.

And in this great month, we have a great Daring Baker's challenge: Marquis on Meringue. Emma of CookCraftGrow and Jenny of Purple House Dirt, the hosts are proclaiming that this is a special dessert due to its rareness - never being seen in mainstream cookbooks or written about online. By participating and indulging in this dessert makes me one of the small percentage of world population who ever made and tasted Marquis.

The May 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Emma of CookCraftGrow and Jenny of Purple House Dirt. They chose to challenge everyone to make a Chocolate Marquise. The inspiration for this recipe comes from a dessert they prepared at a restaurant in Seattle.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Brush Embroidery and The Queen of Macaron

Besides the sugarpaste and flower gumpaste, one of the things that a fondant cake decorator has to familiarize himself with is the royal icing. While at first I was merely aware of royal icing conventional piping, as I get to learn more about fondant decorating, I find out there are so much more I can fiddle with such as broderie anglaise, lacing, filigree, extension work, embroidery, etc. So many things to learn ... so little time.

Brush embroidery is the decorating technique which involves imprinting, outlining and brushing. The decorator usually imprints a pattern on the cake, then outlines the design following the imprint by piping the royal icing starting from the deepest or most internal layer. A damp paintbrush is then used to pull the edges of the outline piping inward leaving brush strokes pattern. The whole process is time consuming especially if the design is elaborate and extensive, but normally the end result is worth the effort as brush embroidery gives an elegant look to the cake.

As I was practicing Brush Embroidery, meanwhile at the other side of the world the Queen of Macaron, Thip of the inspiring Bonbini informed me that she would be visiting Bangkok. It was totally delightful to receive her email a few weeks ago and arranged an appointment to meet up one of these days.

My respect and admiration for her were earlier established in her very first year of blogging when she introduced her irresistible range of macarons and exquisite pastry. It was intoxicating, I should admit that I had entirely dedicated my time in baking macarons through and through. Into these days, while any presence of macaron is in my sight, I would instantly think about Thip.

It was mainly her that shed the lights into exotic, adventurous, and sophisticated desserts such as basil-lime sorbet with basil gelee, coconut vanilla bavarois with hibiscus gelee, and many more…. And not to mention her fabulous feuille d' automne. Sensational… Do check out her blog, Bonbini :-)

I am sure meeting up with Thip would be pleasant and exciting…. So look forward to it!