Friday, June 15, 2012


I last posted over a year ago?
That is just crazy, so much has changed in my life.
I couldn't continue my studies as a Chef, so I have spent the last 6 months completing a Certificate 4 in Business at Box Hill TAFE.
I have been getting fit and my back has gotten stronger- but I have decided that I won't go back to study to become a chef- I would rather create cakes, pastries, chocolates and delicious treats from my home and do it privately, rather than spend 12 hours on my feet (and up to 150 hours at work per week).
I have still been cooking quite a lot, and actively taking pictures, so they will be up shortly.
I made a Adriano Zumbo cake for my housemate last month for her birthday, so that will be online as soon as school winds up in the next 2 weeks.
It was exhausting and exhilarating to be creating again- his recipes are so very inspiring and the flavor combinations are just brilliant.
my ideas books is brimming with concepts I want to try over the coming months, so I will be back (=

Love, Hugs and Macarons


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The good, the bad and the downright annoying

Let's start with the good: I have a fantastic School that are super understanding and wonderful. They look out for my best interests and will do anything to make sure that I am taken care of.
Add to that I have wonderful mates that I get along really well with and I have so much focus right now about what I want to achieve.

The bad is that Monday was my first day back. Monday is an 11 hour day, on your feet the whole day, after 2 hours that morning, even though I was being careful my back was screaming out for help. I couldn't sit for too long, I had to keep wandering around, I had to see the head of Patisserie and we had to have a chat about my back.
The result of which, between my Physio's advice and Head of Patissserie, I am going to have to take some time to rehabilitate my back in the right way. As a Chef you are reliant on your body 100%, bad back, bad knee, RSI- you need to take care of it asap, or else you can easily end up with a serious and permanent injury if you push on.
As my classes are mostly practical, my grades would be affected dramatically if I cannot participate, add to that the missed classes from my injury last term and I am well behind the group.

Basically, If I push my back the bulged disc could turn into a prolapsed disc and leave me in a serious and permanent injury situation.

The downright annoying is this:
I have to take time off to rehabilitate, and slowly recover and exercise- take my time and do it right.
I have to come back to school mid year and begin with a new group of people.
I will be 6 months behind in my future plans, as I will need to graduate with this next group.
I am going to miss my classmates so so much- they are so beautiful and warm and awesome- it makes me pretty bloody sad to be honest with you.
Add to this list- No classes means that my learning will be on hold, and I hate that too.

In all honesty, I am thankful I will be able to build my body back up, I am just frustrated that it is happening at a time when i am doing so well in every facet of my life- it might just be my body's way of saying
"Hey give me a break Ezz"
but it doesn't really change how frustrated I feel about it.

I just gotta make the best of it -turn those lemons into lemon curd tarts, and lemonade and gelati and marinades and anything else I can think of!

Love, gentle hugs and sour lemons

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Patisserie thus far

I am about to commence my second term studying Patisserie at Box Hill Tafe.
I am loving it, but totally underestimated the affect it would have on my body.

Just over half way through my 1st term I bulged a the L4 disc in my spine, and as it was not trauma related the doctors were concerned it would prolapse, thankfully with a fair amount of rest and recovery, an awesome bunch of friends and understanding lecturers I am prepared for this next term and will be attacking with gusto.
I have a bit to catch up on, but I don't really mind all that much, it's a great learning environment and as I kept being told, the most important thing it is let my back recover, if I push it, I could have permanent damage and there goes my career as a chef.

so injury aside, I am hanging out for the early Monday morning with my friends, the hyperactivity and teamwork we do so well.
I'm also getting fitter, eating well and will be exercising as of next week again- YAY for Physiotherapy!!

We have had 3 main classes this last term that will be continuing



USE BASIC METHODS OF COOKERY  (Basic Commercial cookery class)

Working in the Bakers Delight training kitchen is fantastic, as we get a real idea of how to work in a larger scale, no artisan loaves here, it's 60kg of dough formed by our hands, buns iced and donuts made in massive amounts using proper commercial bakery equipment

Patisserie class is by far my favorite- it's not just about making a nice dessert, we have to think about plating, how we present and be creative, as well as the components that make up the dish- and how well it looks and tastes together- I love the combination of being able to use my artistic side and be hands on.

Basic Methods is a class I have missed most of, due to some serious anxiety issues, which I have hopefully nipped in the bud I have missed a chunk from term 1, but my Chef knows the go, and he is supportive in my wanting to catch up

I hope you enjoy more updates from me, and the things I am doing
below I am going to post some of the things we have been making in classes thus far

Crepes sandwiched with Ganache, served with a orange and sugar syrup reduction, orange segments and candied peel

Chocolate Fondant with berry compote, cocoa and chocolate decor.

Coconut Bavarois with mango jelly served with mango coulis, glass biscuit and chocolate swirls

Hope you like my progress,
Love, Hugs and Fondants
xo Ezz

Food = LOVE

Food is something I am addicted to- it's how I remember events, places and feelings from my past.
My granny's bread, mayonnaise, cold apple slice and fresh home made treats were mainstays of my childhood. Grandma's cupcakes cannot ever compare with anything I can purchase, not matter how luscious the bakeries attempt to make them, her Anzacs and cornflake cookies were gorgeous- no wonder we would come back after school holidays looking like butterballs- we were fed, and fed well.

When we went to that states for a family trip, planned for years, to the theme parks, I remember Funnel cakes at Seaworld and being drenched by Shamu, the salty smell in the air mingled with sweet strawberries and heavenly powdered sugar and cream as I crunched into that first funnel cake was a revelation. I remember Peach iced tea on the way back from  the Grand Canyon, Snickers ice cream from Carlsbad,  a buffet the size of a ballroom in Las Vegas and a mega bag of tootsie rolls, munching as we drove down to La Jolla, to a skate comp.

Food is an indicator, not only of where we are from, but how we live, and what we share.

This is probably why I love it so much- and T.V shows- forget it, I am there before you can say boo!

I have a large family, just with my siblings, partners and kids there are 18 of us- so when we get together it is usually over a Sunday roast- sticky soft lamb with rich gravy and roasted veg, plus my beans with feta and pine nuts, maybe mum might make a new york cheesecake for dessert- so perfect and rich.
Then if you add my extended family into the mix it can end up being almost 60 people, laughing, eating, drinking and having a brilliant time- all around food.

My partner's family are of Italian descent. and our closest family friends are Greek-Cypriot, so I have no shortage of food inspiration in my life, and when I find something, a new product, a recipe, I am compelled to share with everyone I can.

I latch onto cookbooks like some kind of addict and me at Queen Victoria Market?? Coveture chocolate, french cheeses and fresh breads and antipasto make this one of my favorite places- no wonder we spent our 4 year anniversary wandering the stalls, and having a picnic.

Now I am studying to become a Patissier it has really put into perspective how much my life has revolved around the giving and sharing of food and if I can perpetuate that within my own professional life- I think that's a pretty satisfying life choice (=

this is a list of a few of my favorite recipe sites, chefs and restaurants that I adore

Hellenic Republic- Located in Brunswick, Melbourne is one of George Calombaris's restaurants- beautiful traditional Greek-Cypriot food- please try the Loukoumathes

Heston Blumenthal- a self-taught chef, who is known for his use of molecular gastronomy and brilliant show Heston's feasts- lickable wallpaper? yes please

Luxirare- Shoes, bags and super inventive and gorgeous food- this is an incredible blog

Eat Show and Tell- a brilliant Sydney-based blog about eating out, sharing food and enjoying it all- so fun to vicariously live through other foodie's experiences

Not Quite Nigella- a gorgeous cooking blog, lovely photography and recipes- very enjoyable to drool over.

Bakerella- Cake pops? mini winnie the pooh faces on a stick, pie pops? what is not to love- so adorable and fun ideas for kid's birthdays- love it

Epicute- the cute food blog, features so many petite and wonderful desserts, from the very kawaii, to the more refined gourmet offerings- a very fun distraction

David Lebovitz- living the sweet life in Paris, a pâtissier and acclaimed chef, living in Paris, his blog is pure inspiration for a food nerd like myself.

What food memories do you have?

Love, Hugs and Happiness


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Hiatus of massive proportions

Hello Lovelies,
I have been busy making big changes in my life, one of which I am the most excited about.

As of February 2011 I will be studying to become a Patissier at a Technical College.

This is a dream I have had for a while, and I am so happy I was accepted, and I cannot wait to be measured for my Chef whites and collect my kit in a few weeks.

I have also moved into my own tiny studio apartment right near School and the only downside is that I have no oven ( investing in a small convection oven is a few months away yet).
So there has been a big shift in my dreams becoming reality and all that it entails and I am over the moon.

Until my oven is purchased, I can work with sugar, custards and chocolate, so there will be some things up in the coming weeks.
I just wanted to tell the people who have been looking, that I am very much alive, I had a wonderful Christmas/Holiday season and I hope you have had one too!

Happy New Year

Love, Hugs and Dulce De Leche

Miss E

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Macarons Gerbet or "what the heck have I gotten myself into?" Macarons

Macarons Gerbet
Estimated time to complete: 2 hours
Makes 25 sandwich cookies

Recipe from the book " The fundamental techniques of classic pastry arts"

115gm (4 ounces) almond flour, also known as almond meal
200gm (7 ounces) Confectioners sugar- or in Australia, pure icing sugar

For the meringue:
90gm (3 1/4 ounces) egg whites, at room temperature
8gm (2 tablespoons) confectioners sugar

For the finish:
Traditionally you would use raspberry jam
I made a chocolate ganache, and used leftover Dulce De Leche
(Dulce is way too sweet- better make a buttercream flavoured with Dulce, add some flakes of sea salt)


Baking sheet/tray
Baking parchment
Food processor fitted with metal blade
Standing electric mixer fitted with whip attachment
Rubber spatula
Pastry bag fitted with #2 tip- or in my case a cheap icing bag with no tip attached
Wire racks to cool
Metal spatula to help slide macarons up


Prepare your mise en place (a French phrase defined as "everything in place").

Preheat oven to 162 Celsius (325 Fahrenheit).

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.

Combine the almond flour and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade.
Process for about one minute until, or until very fine.

To make the Meringue, place the egg whites in the bowl of the standing electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment. Beat on low to aerate. Add the sugar, raise the speed to high and beat for about 3 minutes, or until soft peaks form. Take care not to overwhip or the meringue will be dry and it will be difficult to fold in the dry ingredients.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and using a rubber spatula, fold the almond mixture into the meringue until well blended.

Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with the #2 tip.

Carefully pipe 50 2.5 cm (1 inch) rounds of the macaron batter onto the parchment-lined baking sheet.
Set them aside for about 1 hour, or until the macarons form a skin on their surface.
This is extremely important, as the skin helps the macarons hold their shape during baking

Bake the macarons for about 10 minutes, or until firm and just beginning to brown around the edges
(the macarons should not colour much during baking.) Watch carefully, as the high sugar content can cause the cookies to burn quickly.

Immediately transfer the macarons to wire racks to cool.

Once cool, sandwich the macarons with desired filling, serve immediately or store them, airtight in layers, at room temperature for a day or two.

Now for my notes on the method/process that would have helped me prior to the event.

Digital scales are preferable when it comes to baking, like the old adage for carpenters "measure twice, cut once"- you must be precise with baking, especially when working with meringue.

Once you process the almond meal and sugar, try and sift, loosen the mix- otherwise it is hard to fold.

Add flavourings and/or colours to the meringue in the last 30 secs of whipping the mix, before you fold in the almond mixture - you don't need to be too precious about it- otherwise it won't mix.

Make sure you tap the tray on the bench once you have piped on the macaron circles- this helps get rid of any air bubbles.

Once in the oven, keep a close eye- as these babies cook quickly- mine were more golden- but it didn't detract at all from the final result.

IF YOU HAVE MACARONS COOLING DO NOT LET THE CAT OUT- Mum let our cat Chai out of their room, and he decided in a split second to investigate cooling macarons (the best and first batch out of the oven) flipped the tray by standing on the edge and they ended up all over the floor. I was mad as a hatter, having cooked and prepped for over 2 hours already at that point.

Realise how easy it is, and know you can do it again and again without it being scary like the first time.

What follows are some pictures of my process, final result and the offending cat- he is adorable- but such a naughty ninja cat!


All weighed and measured

piped- not very pretty- I am worried at this point

Cooling, pre Chai attack

The gorgeous culprit- our cat Chai

Glossy, slightly domed, ruffled foot- all good points (=

Gorgeous glossy ganache, before putting it in the fridge to firm- oh so delish

Dulche De Leche- way too rich, and sweet- would be better to add flavours to a buttercream

Dark chocolate ganache filled- ultimate favorite in my household- so much so, I only got to try one.

While I thought that Macarons would be much more frightening, I was rather impressed with my abilities- honestly next time round it will take me half the time and I can experiment with more flavours- would love to try Strawberry and Mint, or Chocolate with Salt Caramel Buttercream (using dulce).

They were a massive hit, and rather rich, which is how a good dessert should be really sweet, satisfying and luxurious.

What did you think? What flavours would you recommend I try?

I do need to make them again soon, i have to make a batch for my gal J, and for my man who is living interstate <3 Miss u, don't worry there will be plenty of baking to come for you xo

Love, Hugs and Macaron Kisses


Thursday, October 14, 2010

About Me

I am a 28 year old woman who loves to bake and learn new things in the kitchen.
I am a bit of a geek, and love all things kawaii too.
My goal is to improve my skills and use this blog to document everything I accomplish.
Please feel free to comment- I love talking food

Miss E