Monday, February 15, 2010

Dear Australia Post (Inspiration and Pannacotta)

First of all, I'd like to make note of the tragic loss of Lee Alexander McQueen this week. Many have exaulted his ground-breaking style, his love of quality and colour and inventiveness. For myself, having only just begun my forays into the world of fashion in an independant way- having all the clothes i own now part of a concerted choice to create a specific style- what really made McQueen stand out in a world of his own was his daring- to never be predictable or plain or anything less than completely unique. He had a strange and beautiful vision, the reverberations of which will be felt for many years to come.
you for employing me, giving me money to work a job that is massively hardcore for twenty minutes and then slack for five, so I can read all the newspapers and magazines, and see beautiful things like this:

Dear Australia Post,
Joseph Altazurra,Fall/Winter '09(Image Credit: )

And come across clever little recipes like this (altered with experiance):Buttermilk Panacotta (Grazia of 2nd week of Feb.)

900ml Pouring Cream (35% fat)3tsp Gelatin200g Sugar (I used brown sugar, which made it slightly burnt-sour, in a nice way. regular sugar would make it much simpler, although not nececarily nicer.)300ml Buttermilk
1) Bring the cream and sugar to a boil and swiftly remove from the heat,
2) GENTLY sprinkle the gelatin on the cream, one spoon at a time, stirring as you go (I had a mini-disaster with the Gelatin, where I sprinkled it all on in one go and it formed a crusty gooey mess... Let the cream cool a little, and then work SLOWLY. It's well worth it.)
3) Whisk (gently) the buttermilk into the cream/sugar/gelatin mix
4) Pour into moulds. Best if they're indapendant rubber ones (image credit: got my set in Israel, and they're really brilliant. Connected rubber moulds are alright, you can always just put cling film in the mould before you pour in the mixture, but it messes with the shape, so seperate is best.
5) Best to allow to set overnight, or at least for 6 hours.
6) When shucking the pannacotta, separate from the mould with a butterknife or skewer, hold a plate over the mould, flip upside down and then peel up the side of the mould (if it’s rubber). Then separate the top of the pannacotta from the mould with the knife/skewer.
7) Serve with syrup, fruit, or a combination. I drizzled mine in Orange Syrup- recipe below.
Orange Syrup
(Adapted from Stephanie Alexanders' The Cook's Companion)
Half a cup of Sugar
One Quarter of a cup of Water
One Half of a cup of Orange Juice
Peeled Pieces of half an Orange
Half a shot of Cointreau
1) Heat the Sugar and the Water on a medium heat until glassy bubbles start forming (they begin miniscule, allow them to reach a maximum of one centimetre)
2) At arms length (to avoid splatter) pour in the orange juice, and mix until the syrup is smooth.
3) Pour the syrup into a jar, or bowl, and and the peeled pieces of orange- each segment cut into four pieces- and the cointreau.
4) Drizzle over Pannacotta, or Pancakes, into Croissonts (Plain or Almond) or other Baked goods which require a little spicing.
Never be afraid to Experiment: spices can open the simplest of flavors. Between steps 4 & 5 of the Pannacotta, you can sprinkle cardomom, cinnamon, or another spice into the mould- it makes for an interesting aesthetic experiance, as well as a more subtle gastronomic one. For a dinner party, it could be interesting to make many small petit-four sized pannacotta, and give each guest one of each combination- one plain, one with orange syrup, one with cardomom, one with cinnamon, one with coarse coffee grounds- the possibilities are endless!
All my love,