A journey through the culinary world

 

Prepare For Glory

I firmly believe that fate favours the prepared and that its ones choice to either prepare for success or allow themselves to suffer failure. Why am I talking about fate & glory & success & failure? Because I have a skills challenge to face today :)

I’m not an extremely competitive person but I can’t deny that I get a certain thrill from competing in culinary skills challenges. Whether its recreating a dish or using a specific ingredient to its fullest. I love the rush that comes with.

And today I get to face the aptly named “Mystery Box”. For those who don’t know, a mystery box challenge contains ingredients unknown to the challenger that they then have to use in a variety of ways. What makes it so challenging is that you have no idea what’s in the box, so its not easy to prepare for. It could be anything from Abalone to Mopani worms, from Nutella to Zucchini, the possibilities are endless!

You can feel the excitement building before the challenge. Chefs getting dressed in the changing rooms, talking about what they hope is in the box, what they’re prepared for or not, all while hoping for something challenging in the box to prove themselves and achieve glory.

The kitchen becomes unnaturally quiet as each chef prepares in their own way. Some mutter prayers to their Gods, others bounce around nervously (or excitedly in my case) and others talk shit to mask their fear. The most prominent sound being the sound of steel on steel as knives get sharpened to deadly precision. The air is almost electric with anticipation!

To experience that excitement is its own reward, regardless of the eventual outcome, the thrill of competition is glory that I prepare for.

oishiiasfuck:

There’s a part in this episode where the characters just talk about how much they like pancakes for like two minutes, and then they eat pancakes.

For The Love of Breakfast

The most important meal of the day is of course, breakfast. Whether you’re a morning person or not, breakfast is usually how you start your day. Whether you’re just a cereal person or you prefer to go all out, it makes no difference, breakfast is amazing.

Personally, I love my breakfast greasy. That magical combination of eggs & bacon is the foundation for most of my breakfast meals. Regardless of whether you like your eggs scrambled or sunny side up, whether you like your bacon crispy or extra crispy, there is no denying the joy that comes from this combination.

But if you don’t partake in either eggs or bacon, do not despair, ‘breakfast’ encompasses a large range of meals. From savoury to sweet, from bacon & eggs to pancakes smothered in syrup. Breakfast is king.

As if it wasn’t satisfied with its limited time slot, it slowly crept away from early mornings to the mid morning delight that is Brunch and to the surprisingly brilliant creation that is Brinner (Thanks to Damian McCartney for reminding me of this). Breakfast can now be enjoyed at anytime without one suffering looks of suspicion.

But back to the mornings where the smell of bacon (yes, I love bacon) comes wafting out the kitchen and we groggily follow the trail to its source and await its goodness eagerly. Those are the mornings that bring absolute joy. That is when breakfast becomes more than just a meal…

culinaryconfessional:

Nutella-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies2 cups flour3/4 cup cocoa powder1 tsp baking powder1/2 tsp baking soda1/2 tsp salt1 cup butter, softened3/4 cup sugar3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed2 large eggs2 tbsp vanilla paste1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips1 cup milk chocolate chips26 oz Nutella2 tbsp sea salt (for garnish)In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, then set aside.In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip the butter, sugar, and brown sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes.  Then add the eggs one at a time, mixing until fully incorporated before adding the next one, followed by the vanilla.  Turn the mixer speed to low, then gradually add the dry ingredients.  Mix just until combined, scraping own the sides as needed, then add both the semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips.Spoon the dough onto a large sheet of plastic wrap, cover tightly, then chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with wax paper and spoon 2 tsp of Nutella appox. 1” apart until you’ve made 30 mounds.  Place the baking sheet in the freezer for at least  1 hour.Preheat oven to 350-deg.Remove the cookie dough from refrigerator.  Scoop 2 tbsp at a time and shape into balls.  (Note: you may need to re-chill the dough if it gets too warm to work with.)  Using your thumbs, make an indentation in the center of each dough ball, large enough to fit one of the frozen Nutella mounds.Take frozen Nutella and place it in the center of the indentation, then wrap the dough around the Nutella mound, firmly sealing the edges so the Nutella can’t melt out during baking.Transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake in for 9-12 minutes or until the edges are crisp and the center is set.Remove from oven and sprinkle lightly with the sea salt if desired, then let cool on the baking sheet for 7 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.Approximate Nutritional Values: http://www.food.com/recipe/thick-and-chewy-nutella-chocolate-chip-cookies-394309

culinaryconfessional:

Nutella-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies


2 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
2 tbsp vanilla paste
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips
26 oz Nutella
2 tbsp sea salt (for garnish)



In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, then set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip the butter, sugar, and brown sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes.  Then add the eggs one at a time, mixing until fully incorporated before adding the next one, followed by the vanilla.  

Turn the mixer speed to low, then gradually add the dry ingredients.  Mix just until combined, scraping own the sides as needed, then add both the semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips.

Spoon the dough onto a large sheet of plastic wrap, cover tightly, then chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with wax paper and spoon 2 tsp of Nutella appox. 1” apart until you’ve made 30 mounds.  Place the baking sheet in the freezer for at least  1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350-deg.

Remove the cookie dough from refrigerator.  Scoop 2 tbsp at a time and shape into balls.  (Note: you may need to re-chill the dough if it gets too warm to work with.)  Using your thumbs, make an indentation in the center of each dough ball, large enough to fit one of the frozen Nutella mounds.

Take frozen Nutella and place it in the center of the indentation, then wrap the dough around the Nutella mound, firmly sealing the edges so the Nutella can’t melt out during baking.

Transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake in for 9-12 minutes or until the edges are crisp and the center is set.

Remove from oven and sprinkle lightly with the sea salt if desired, then let cool on the baking sheet for 7 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.




Approximate Nutritional Values: http://www.food.com/recipe/thick-and-chewy-nutella-chocolate-chip-cookies-394309