The Movie Room

I haven't done a Movie Room post in forever! I think it's time...


Only thing I feel like saying is:


I'm so happy Disney/PIXAR finally made another amazing animated movie, like those they used to be so famous for. With all these recent flops, UP really stands out as one of those movies people will remember for a long time!

It's like up there with Finding Nemo! I loved it.

The storyline was really cute and all the characters are nicely fleshed out. It's not a dud! It's worth the ticket price I swear.

And Russell is the cutest fat kid ever haha!

Daring Bakers - Challenge FIFTEEN (and a half!)

NB: This post is a continuation of this one!

Ok, so I lied, it took a bit more than 2 hours, and I had to do a little bit more than just "touch up some photos" but I'm telling you it was really worth it! I'm really proud of the work I've done, and I'm satisfied with it, which is probably a first for all my DB challenges. I hope you like them!

Firstly, an evaluation of puffiness...

Great success!!

The layers are really thin and flaky and almost transluscent!

They puff up ridiculously high as well.

My vol-au-vents rised so beautifully and evenly.

I made about 6 of them.

My first filling was a chicken and potato curry.

It was so delicious. The pastry tasted so amazing. Store bought pastry just doesn't have that delicious buttery melty mouthfeel. Delicious!

Then I made slices with grilled peaches and cream.

A classic combination; I really couldn't have gone wrong.

I also made small jam and custard things.

They were small little flaky bites of goodness.

I made some pies with one of the sheets I had leftover. Damn this makes good quality pie. I should try making some awesome meat pies with this.

Now, what does any self-respecting amateur baker do with his leftover puff-pastry...?

Make palmiers!

I'm so proud to be able to say that I've made these palmiers completely from scratch! They taste so much nicer than when made with store bought puff-pastry.

Well, that's it folks. I hope you enjoyed the show! I'm really tired from baking for hours and hours and I still need to go clean up.

P.S. the chocolate puff-pastry didn't rise at all!
I'll look into that when I get time...

Daring Bakers - Challenge FIFTEEN!

The September 09 Challenge is ... Vols-au-Vents!

The September 2009 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Steph of A Whisk and a Spoon. She chose the French treat, Vols-au-Vent based on the Puff Pastry recipe by Michel Richard from the cookbook Baking With Julia by Dorie Greenspan.

NB: I haven't quite finished yet, but I thought I'd post up a courtesy post so you guys have something to read before I finish processing my pics and put them up. Don't run away! ALSO, my photo quality is quite good, so do click on the photos and see them in big glorious sizes.

The main portion of this month's challenge was the making of puff pastry, or pâte feuilletée. I've made laminated dough before, but not with so many turns (a total of 6 turns! 724 layers!!) and so I was very excited to do this challenge.

The first part of making pâte feuilletée is to make the détrempe...

...which is simply water and flour cut together.

Roll out the dough 3 times as wide as tall...

...and place the beurrage (butter-block) in the middle.

Completely encase the beurrage and let it chill.

I rolled out my second ball of dough...

...and inserted my GANACHE BEURRAGE!!!

Sacrilege I know! Haha! I thought I'd be a little bit more daring this month, and shake things up a bit. I made a ganache beurrage of half chocolate and half butter. Maybe changing ancient recipes will work out for the better. Well, we'll find out won't we...

And encase it like before.

This is the first block rolled out for the first time, gently so as to not squeeze out the butter, rolled out 3 times as long as it is tall, so we can fold it into itself like a letter.

Everytime we fold it over itself, we make more layers, more and more, so that we when bake it, the steam creates air pressure that puffs up the layers, to get that beautiful flaky texture! Absolutely ingenious!

Fold the right side in, brushing off excess flour...

...the excess flour stops the layers sticking well...

...then fold the other side in. This process is called 'turning'.

This completes one turn.

This is after the second turn, indicated by my markings.

Always roll out the dough lengthwise.

This is after three.

And finally six.

Do not attempt this after coming back from an arm intensive work-out at the gym (like a back workout which I did omfg) you will just die like I died multiple times from cramps and pain. ARGH!! I do not know how people have the stamina to do this everyday!

Here you can see the choc beurrage slowly spreading!

Here's my alternate dough after three turns...

...and after six. It became quite evenly brown!

Cut out all your vol-au-vent shapes (I borrowed my mum's awesome ceramic knife since I lost my one *sob*) and assemble them...

...but save your cut-offs! PRECIOUS!!

Dock the bottoms... they don't fly away!

So beautifully organised. This makes life so enjoyable.

Egg-washed and ready to go!

See you in Part 2 when I finish editing everything!
It should be up withing 2 hours...

Sore Nipples...

I am never, ever, EVER going to wear a starched business shirt without a singlet EVER AGAIN.

Who bloody knew that cotton would be so abusive to sensitive skin!? My effing nipples hurt so much yesterday that I thought I was going to die. I had to press my shirt against my chest the whole day to try and stop the chafing.

Oh the pain, the terrible pain.

I Googled "sore nipples" and all I got was info for woman who had satanic kids and had cracked bloody nipples and that was just so disturbing so I texted my friend Omar (SEE I MENTIONED YOU LOL) and he said:

"Maybe you're just lactating and need to be milked."


Sydney Dust Storm

A massive dust-storm covered Sydney today.

It was absolutely amazing. It was like waking up to an alien landscape. The wind was so strong, and the dust was buffeting everything. It was such an experience. Visibility was so low you could see nothing but redness. So martian. When everything calmed down, there was fine red dust covering everything.

None of these photos were edited in anyway.
It was really that red.