Tag Archives: macaron

A Food Lover’s Day

10 Nov

Today was one of those days… It was a day I used to only dream about, but ever since I have embraced my life as a woman immersed in the pleasures and joys of food, these days seem to be happening more often. It was a day of adventure and exploration, of sensuous delight and comfort, and happy-making gifts devoured with beloved ones. Today was a food lover’s day 🙂

This morning, AngelKitten and I ventured out to the wilds of Taman Megah to find Bake With Yen. We had gone to the Taman Tun Pasar Besar outlet, but to be honest, it was a bit, well, rough. And it really didnt have all the supplies we were looking for. AngelKitten and I are on a big baking jag – we are going to be refining and baking cookies, with the possibility of offering some for sale over the Christmas period. We needed to go to a real baker’s shop, and we had been told about Bake With Yen and really wanted to go and see for ourselves.

The Taman Megah shop was wonderful! So many pretty and useful baking supplies – we were like kids in a candy store!

Every kind of flour and nut you can imagine, in any presentation you might like. Green pea flour? They had it! Ground hazelnuts or almonds, yes yes! All broken down from huge bags at the back, direct from the supplier, and sold in 1 kg bags. Brilliant, and very inexpensive compared to supermarket prices.

Colourings

Food colouring, flavouring, spices, herbs, vanilla beans,honey, treacle, sugars, coconut – anything and everything you could imagine to add colour and taste to a cake, pastry or cookie – they had it. And in bulk too – often for less than you would purchase a tiny amount in the supermarket.

Pans

Every kind of baking tin, pan, roll that you could imagine, in every shape and size. Amazing selection, and really good prices. A little cat shaped tin, yep, they could find it for you. Hearts and teddy bears, squares and rounds and octagons and quiche, pie, flan and chocolate tins. I was totally overwhelmed.

And for decoration, every kind of sugar flower that you could think of, for a few cents each. And pretty decorations for sugar cookies and cakes. And loads of different decorative pieces including stencils, fondant rollers, sugar work tools, and an entire aisle of colourful cupcake holders.

I’m telling you, we were both in an advanced state of happy. So we got what we needed (meringue powder for sugar cookies! almond meal! loads of extras we didnt mean to buy but couldnt resist!) and headed on to our next stop….

Well, actually, we stopped at the Warung Kek (Cake Shop) next door – very old school. Huge loaves of bread, blistering hot from the oven, blueberry cheesecake tarts that reminded AngelKitten of her school days, mee with sambal and packets of nasi lemak, and big moist slabs of chocolate cake. Could we resist such take home temptations? Of course not! 😉

But then it was time to rest and revive our senses…

——-

At the unadulterated sensuousness of lunch at Nathalie’s Gourmet Studio…. Oh bliss.

We shared a starter of a tangle of lightly sauteed green vegetables, atop a crispy puff pastry circle, elegance and deliciousness combined with a light and sure touch.

And our main course was a mindblowingly gorgeous, light, yet rich ink lasagna with ratatouille, and a ratatouille foam scented with parmesan. Smooth and sexy, perfectly balanced, indulgent yet restful.

And finally, we shared a pot of tea and this dessert – chocolate espuma, over chocolate cake dust (which coated the entire inside of the bowl) – textures of smooth silk and rough chocolate, and in the centre, in all its subtle glory, mascarpone sorbet.

What a meal. We were so happy. And we went away with 2 kgs of Valrhona chocolate to bake with…

——-

And this evening, AngelKitten and I put the chocolate to good use. First I made a batch, and then AngelKitten made a batch, of Starry Starry Night cookies. The batter sits in the fridge at the moment, doing its magic and firming up so that tomorrow we can roll in sugar and freeze them before the final bake. I love this part of cooking – imparting my knowledge, my rhythm, my sense of balance and taste to my niece. Well, the niece of my heart. I love the sense of continuity it gives me, and joy and peace.

And after the melting of the chocolate, the whipping of the eggs, the folding of the almond meal, and the washing up, cleaning and drying… we rewarded ourselves.

We sat down, and shared an entire box of Pierre Herme macarons which had been brought home to me all the way from London by my beloved Goddess. What a lovely gift. What pleasures to taste these macarons. Such amazing complexity of flavours – grape and bittersweet chocolate, green tea, apricot, vanilla, hazelnut. These were macarons to be savoured – each one painstakingly cut in half, looked at, smelled, tasted, discussed. There were great depths to the macarons, amazing flavour combinations, varying textures. We had such a great time, immersed in our macarons, intent on discovering the flavours of each new bite. As AngelKitten said to me, these were like no other treats she had ever tasted … they were a feat of enfolding complex and deeply layered flavours into one tiny little pastry. Astonishing and wonderful and such fun to share, and to be given, such a treat!

And on that note, I will look at my now almost empty box, and bring myself to bed… perchance to dream of another perfect food lover’s day…

Sweet dreams!

 

Dinner @ Nathalie’s Gourmet Studio

20 Jul

I know, I have already written about Nathalie’s Gourmet Studio, but we got an email saying they were slowly opening for dinner on selected nights, so we had to go! We had dinner there tonight, and it was just tooooo delectable not to share. The food here is really phenomenal – and with a new menu out every month, the exploration of flavour and taste and texture and delight can just go on and on and on! I wont go into detail about the ambiance or the chairs, the drinks or the table settings … I did that in my first review. I will just highlight some of the scrumptious food we had this evening, and leave you to drool!

And just to let you know, yes, there were six of us, and yes, we ordered every dessert (5 in total) on the menu, and yes, amazingly, we finished them ALL. Unabashedly licking the plates were we.

Starters

There were 6 of us for dinner, and we shared 3 starters. As a vegetarian, they had several options, including a vegetarian quiche. However, we tried these three:

with hidden artichoke heart!

Pingaling ordered the Norwegian poached egg. The egg was wrapped in a gossamer thin, silky layer of smoked salmon with an extraordinary chive sauce. It sat atop a simple, delicious artichoke heart, and since Pingaling doesnt “do” vegetables, I had the pleasure of eating that whole artichoke heart myself! I swizzled it in the yolky bits and was in heaven.

No, its mushroom cream

The mushroom soup was beyond heavenly. As Nana said, “Most of these soups are cream of mushroom, this one is mushroom cream!” and it was dreamy. Thick, unctuous, tasting of the essence of mushroom. A light foam on top, and porcini dust in the centre. It covered a huge (and apparently very delectable) scallop, but I only tried the soup. It was the perfect mushroom soup. I cannot find the words to describe it, though I am trying. It was as if your every memory of mushroom had been condensed, refined, and re-defined. Silky smooth, sensational on the tongue. Perfect.

beautiful

This salad was so elegant, so refined, and yet retained the essence of tomato and mozzarella with basil salad. From the top – toasted pine nuts, a beautiful, clean, clear tasting basil cream, slightly bitter fresh greens, and lightly poached tomatoes, layered with the creamiest mozzarella. Drizzled with old balsamico. Such incredible textures. Such a perfect rendition of a salad we all know and love. Thoughtful, creative, delicious.

Main courses

Pingaling and Ezril had the children’s portion of bolognese with fresh buttered noodles. Small portions, delicious (they said) and a fine buffer between the superb starters and the stunning desserts. I had a bit of the noodles, without the sauce, buttered and fresh, and dreamed of a bowlful of that pasta, naked but for a slick of butter and a shaving of parmesan…

And a divine ratatouille

AngelKitten had wanted to try the reinvention of chicken nuggets the last time, but they had run out. She managed to get some tonight, and finished her plate like a very good girl!

White breast of chicken, breaded and fried. AngelKitten said it was scrummyyummy. She was literally savouring every bite. Served with a beautiful pile of ratatouille – perfection. I tasted the ratatouille, and loved it. Deep bold flavour, delicious and rich, and yet simple. Served with a parmesan dip.

buttered noodles

Ezril’s Abang had the beef cheeks bourguignon over fresh pasta. Oh that pasta again. Sublime. He said the beef was bright, rich, delicious and winey. Tender and beautifully cooked. I wouldnt know, but he finished the plate!

newburg sauce

Nana had the chicken breasts stuffed with king prawns, on a tangle of braised vegetables and a stunning, deeply flavoured newburg sauce. He said it was delectable. I believed him as I watched him polish it all off.

ricotta and herb ravioli

I had the vegetarian entree. Now let me say, when I eat at places that are focused on non-vegetarian food, the vegetarian entrees can often be disappointing. But this. Oh my good goddess. A carrot foam (which is all you can see in the above picture), with hints of spice and ginger, covered ravioli stuffed with creamydreamy ricotta and fresh herbs, dabbed with a carrot and ginger broth. Underneath it all, a puree of carrot and pumpkin, condensed, rich, and earthy. Sky and terre, light, and rich, so many flavours bursting through. I was going to take more photographs as I unearthed this splendid meal, but I didnt want to stop eating! The carnivores at the table tried bites of mine (small ones because that was all I would share) and one and all, they were delighted. So rich, so tasty, such a wonderful treat for a vegetarian. I was as shiny golden happy as this photograph.

Oh and before I forget…

glorious bread

The bread was out of this world wonderful. Woman can live on bread alone, if it was this bread. Fresh out of the oven, chewy, crusty, sourdoughy, tasting of bread. With sweet butter and sprinkle of sea salt. We couldnt stop eating it. We mopped everything up with it, and ordered more. It was served with a smile, and received with gratefulness. Oh that bread.

Desserts

We ordered our desserts when we asked for our main courses. We couldnt decide, and so, the women at the table took an executive decision to order everything. The men just went along for the ride. And what a ride it was…

reinvented

Tarte tatin reinvented. Beautiful creamy apples on a puff pastry base. A gorgeous tuile. Caramel ice cream. Caramel toffee all around.

lime coconut sorbet

Pineapple and lime crumble with a coconut and lime sorbet. Such sharp clean Asian flavours, melded with classic baking techniques. Ezril’s Abang gravitated to this one. He adored it. He wanted to marry it 😉

chocolate chocolate chocolate

I would have married this one. All the elements I love. Tall, dark and handsome. And chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. A bitter frozen chocolate mousse, enrobed in a crisp chocolate shell, with a chocolate tuile. Though I think Ezril might have fought me for it, we managed to share (just).

teletubby ;)

This was Pingalings favourite, the one she wanted, and which she graciously shared with us. It was called a strawberry and raspberry surprise. Nana said it looked like a teletubby, but that didnt stop any of us from devouring it. A gorgeous meringue, crisp and crunchy, studded with vanilla, encasing a beautiful razzle of strawberry and raspberry chunks, topped with creme chantilly, and a raspberry sorbet. Check that colour out. It tasted as good as it looks. Such a wonderful textural combination, sharp brilliant fruits, creamy light meringue.

coffe, caramel, lemon

The dessert threesome. Coffee cream, with a lick of luscious burnt caramel at the bottom, topped with lightly whipped cream, a caramel macaron, and a perfect, miniature lemon meringue tarte. Such a clever juxtaposition of flavour and texture. Bright, dark, creamy, rich, so so so good.

Have I run out of superlatives? Here is the last picture because it encompasses how we felt about the food… a very happy, full family went home tonight to dream about Nathalie’s passionate, loving, delicious meal…

mmmmmmm

Thank you to everyone at Nathalie’s Gourmet Studio for a wonderful meal. Join their mailing list, and go when you can! So gooooooooood.

Nathalie’s Gourmet Studio Unit 4-1-5  Solaris Dutamas, Jalan Dutamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur Tel : 03.62 07.95 72

http://www.nathaliegourmetstudio.com