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Posts Tagged ‘candy’

In the silence in this space, I have taken my disappointment and baked it into a Chocolate Rum Tart as follows:

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The next day, I turned the leftover egg whites into meringues and brought them to work together with my crunchy molasses toffee for treats during my work day:

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I decided that nothing I say could make a difference to what others think about me. As such, I decided also that if I have nothing good to say, I will say nothing at all and screw what others think of me in the silence. That decision has been quite liberating thus far.

I supposed disappointment is a bit like a bitter chocolate tart. One must always remember that all you need is a scoop of vanilla ice cream to improve its taste vastly.

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the shadow within the pink salt caramel

What would you do if someone told you that she had once, without your knowlege or consent, gambled with your life?

I was first stunned silent. Then I spent the last 4 years or so wondering whether I should be angry because that one decision may very well have significantly screwed up a whole chunk of my life.

Seriously, why did she even tell me?! It’s not something you can ever un-hear or forget and it screws your life over a second time.

It sucks, no matter which way you try and look at it from. Especially when, even now, you are not even entirely sure whether said person is pleased with the outcome of the gamble.

Then you realise that no matter what you do it is just never going to be good enough. History cannot be re-written.

But ultimately, happiness is a choice. At least you now have a better understanding of the past: of your past, of the choices made and the things said.

It is now time to get on with your life, liberated.

Mela is a survivor. Mela can do this.

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toffee apples

1. Procure and wash some organic unwaxed apples and leave them out to dry on the sink.

2. Place 1.5 cups of brown sugar with 1/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup of corn syrup in a saucepan over low heat. Then decide that this should be an adult version and add in another 1/4 cup of dark rum. Stir till sugar crystals dissolve and leave it to heat, occasionally shifting and rocking the pot to get rid of heat spots.

3. Go and lie down on your kick ass sofa and wait. Check the temperature of the liquid about once every 15 to 30 minutes.

4. Take a picture of the inconsiderate cat who sits on your chest and pushes her butt into your bored and disgruntled face with the front facing camera of your mobile phone as follows:

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5. When the temperature of the liquid passes 135degC, stand over the pot with the thermometer and watch it like a hawk till it hits 148degC to 150degC. Turn off the heat and move the pan off the stove to cool.

6. Cut disposable chopsticks into half and drive them through the top of 6 apples. Lay non-stick paper onto a tray and place it next to the pot of molten sugar.

7. Stare at the molten sugar, wondering why the bubbles have not disappeared on their own. Then add 1 teaspoon of cochineal red colouring and stir the caramel till all the bubbles have disappeared.

8. Coat the apples and let it set on your dining table under the ceiling fan.

Toffee Apples complete!

Toffee Apples complete!

9. Serve them, gift wrapped, to your best friend in Court the next day for his 50th birthday!

The End 🙂

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In the run up till Peanut’s birthday, I’ve spent the weekend past making hand-cut toffees for the goodies bags for her classmates at day care.

On Saturday morning, I made a block of Strawberry-Almond toffees which I wrapped at night. I was to make one more block this morning (so that each kid will get 4 toffees each) but I got out of bed late and missed the window, only settling down to make a Strawberries-n-Cream one in a hurry when we got home from buying a toy chest at Ikea at about 4pm.

After, we went off to Mother-in-Law’s place for dinner and I just started cutting these at about 9.30pm, some 4 to 5 hours later, after getting the kids to bed.

Now I usually cut toffees after they have completely set say about more than 6 hours after making them. So when I cut these, they were still a little soft and yielded to the knife far easier than the ones I cut last night, yet still keeping their shape.

After wrapping about 6 toffees (ie 2 cuts), a light went on in my head.

The trick to saving water and gas and energy when cutting toffees is to cut them once they reach room temperature (ie 4 hours later) and not when they are completely set!!!

[Water and gas because I cut toffees with a knife heated over the stove. In between cuts I soak the knife in water so that the bits stuck to the knife will dissolve off…very tedious process.]

The more I thought about it, the more annoyed I was at myself. What the hell!! How could that not have ever occurred to me before, something so plain as day? How did I manage to hack through so many slabs of toffee over the last year (especially the ones that I accidentally cook over hard crack stage…which easily happens because for some strange reason, sugar heats up to 100degC easily, then slows down, then once it hits 150degC, it heats up quite fast again) without seeing something so fundamental?

Oh well. I suppose I should be thankful that the light went on at all. I will be comforted by the thought that I will not be spending the rest of my days hacking up toffee in the cloud of sweat and curses, especially with Christmas just round the corner.

Just goes to show that sometimes, the solution to our problems are just right in front of our eyes. What I had needed was to oversleep, trip over it and turn back for a look with my eyes wide open.

Heh.

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weekend project

A couple of weeks ago, on her return from the Annual (or Bi-Annual) Homecoming, Rebecca gave us a magic box filled with 2 candy trays and a dessert recipe book in French (!!).

Notwithstanding, I bravely went through the book twice but for some really strange reason, in spite of the fact that the molds enclosed were clearly for gummy sweets, there was not one single gummy recipe in the book.

Undeterred, I proceeded to google a recipe and bravely proceeded the weekend past as follows:

1. Soak 4 tablespoons of gelatine (I used a Halal version from the supermarket) with 4 tablespoons of cold water and set aside to soften.

2. In a saucepan, place a 2/3 cup of fruit juice (I used an unsweetened pomegranate juice procured by The Other Half from the supermarket on the rationale that the sour juice will counteract the sugar), 6 tablespoons of sugar (I used fine brown caster sugar) and 4 tablespoons of corn syrup. Melt the sugar over a medium fire.

3. After sugar is melted, scoop the gelatine goop out of whatever receptacle it’s molded into and land it with a plop into the saucepan. Stir over heat until the goop melts into the liquid. I think I lost a bit of patience here and sifted out the stubborn little bits left on the top after I got tired of stirring.

4. Pour the (sifted) liquid into the molds, realise that you’ve got far too much liquid for the molds, then rummage through your cupboard for some more. You end up with gummy bears, gummy crocs, gummy alphabets, gummy numbers and a couple of gummy sunflowers.

5. Leave to cool under a fan in the dining room, then take a shower and leave the house for dinner with Mother-In-Law and Sister-In-Law at a restaurant. Return to Mother-In-Law’s place to watch the entire FormulaOne race, then get home to shout the kids upstairs to bed. Take a deep breath. Then attempt to remove the still quite soft jellies from the molds.

6. After a moderate amount of cursing, one dismembered gummy bear which was promptly eaten, and some discussion with The Other Half, pop the jellies into the freezer and go to bed, praying that time will fix it.

7. Wake up next morning, remove molds from fridge and pull jellies out (successfully) from molds to much jubilation. Another gummy bear promptly eaten by The Other Half for taste test.

8. After the pronouncement of suitability, hastily wrap up some in non-stick paper and take them to work as follows:

The gummies are a little softer than the usual kind of gummy bears you get in a store. But then they have absolutely no preservatives and are really quite yummy. We will be experimenting with other types of fruit juices / sugars to try to get a better consistency. The Other Half read somewhere that the brown sugar may have contributed to them not setting quite hard enough at room temperature so I have resolved to try with white, processed fructose instead.

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In other news, I went to the zoo with the kids on Sunday. I have now developed a mysterious ache in my right buttock from my uneven gait. That’s my cue to walk less in my cast, methinks. How bloody inconvenient.

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