Monthly Archives: September 2009

I dream of Taiwan

Lemon Sorbet

When I think of Taiwan, images of night markets, bubble tea and fried shilin chicken are the suppose to pop into my mind. And yet, all I think of is a tangy, sweet, refreshing, thrist-quenching lemon sorbet.

One of the gorgeous sights to visit in Taiwan is Yang Ming Shan, a beautiful mountain covered in lush trees, perfectly paved footpaths, bright pink cherry blossoms and all sorts of candy colored flowers. On my trip there this year, Mom and I had the pleasure of visiting this great place. But there’s a funny thing about weather, it changes. It starts off all promising to be cold and windy but ends up sunny and warm, without a single cloud in sight.

So there we were, in all our thick warm clothes, trekking up the mountain, trying to seem like it didn’t matter, but it did! And by the time I reached the top, all i wanted was a big scoop of something. Lemon sorbet was the perfect thing. And there was this one lone gelato shop right there. It was owned by a cute Taiwanese man who shared with us his story of going to Rome and learning the ways of true gelato making. And whilst his story was fascnating, the icecream spoke for itself. It was sour, lemony, sweet-ish and most definitely refreshing.

Til this day, I have yet to find another that makes me feel quite as recharged as that. Perhaps it’s the fact that I don’t go around climbing up mountains before having a gelato. Either way, one scoop was one scoop too little for the both of us.

Creamy Lemon Sorbet from Dolce Italiano

2 lemons
1/2 cup simple syrup (1 part water, 1 part sugar, dissolve)
1 cup plain Greek yoghurt
3/4 cup granulated sugar (I used a little less)
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp limoncello (optional)

1) Grate the zest of 1 lemon. Squeeze the juice of both lemons in a small bowl and strain to remove any seeds or pulp. You should have 1/2 cup juice

2) Place juice and grated zest in a blender. Add the yoghurt and sugar and blend on medium speed to liquefy the yoghurt, about 20 seconds (there should hardly any sugary grains when you rub it between your fingers). Add the syrup, water and limoncello and blend to combine.

3) Freeze sorbet immediately in an icecream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions

Enjoy! there’s enough to go around the room, even after you’ve trekked a mountain. :)

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While I Was Reading

Chocolate Kisses

Something happens when I get a new book. It’s almost like a ticket to another destination entirely my own, where I get to decide where I would like to go and what I would like to see. All this adventure contained within the pages of a cookbook, and the best part is, the journey always seems like it just begun.

So while I was reading, I was transported to Italy with Gina DePalma and the Bronx and finally, the kitchen of New York City’s Babbo. And I still made it back in time to bake my mom’s birthday cake.

The best thing about cookbooks is this: the book still gives even after you’ve closed it. It works like magic. You follow the instructions to create something spectacular and you get to share it with everyone without even flipping a page. And it keeps going on as the cake gets passed around and it almost never stops.

Until finally, someone finishes it all in the middle of the night when no ones watching. So that’s where the last slice went.

Here’s a slightly adapted, gluten-free version of Gina DePalma’s Chocolate Kisses!

1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened*
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1/4 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup g.f flour mix
1/4 buckwheat flour
3 tbsp Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/8 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp dark rum
1/2 tsp almond extract

1) Preheat oven to 175 degrees celcius, fan forced. Line 2 trays with baking paper

2) In a big bowl, cream butter and icing sugar together

3) In another bowl, sift the flours, baking powder, cocoa and salt together. Add the almond meal in. Mix well.

4) Tip this flour mixture into the butter bowl and use a whisk to combine.

5) Add in the extracts and rum. Mix well.

6) With a piping bag fitted with a big star tip, pipe batter in an anti-clockwise spiral movement. Ensure there is sufficient space between each cookie. Bake for 15-17 minutes.

7) Once cookies are done, allow to cool on tray for 2-3 mins before removing onto a wire rack to cool. They will be quite delicate so use a palette knife if necessary.

8)  Pair the cookies up according to size.

Filling:

2 heaping tablespoons of Nutella, room temperature*
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips*

1) Melt chocolate chips in microwave using 25 second blasts of heat.

2) When all have almost melted, agitate it with a small whisk and stir in Nutella. Mix well.

3) Allow to cool slightly before filling cooled cookies and top with ‘lid’.

4) Place in an airtight container and allow filling to harden in the fridge.

*can be made dairy free by using dairy-free spread, a hazelnut butter and dark (70%) chocolate

I love my cookies cold from the fridge with a nice cup of tea :)

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