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October 28, 2013

Going Korean on my birthday

When I moved here on the island, I was back to living on my own after four years. The feeling of not having someone to talk to everyday is surreal. I started immersing myself in my surrounding, making friends and guess what? Watching Korean drama.  I  got hooked on Korean drama once again after a  long hiatus. I watch one after another. It's my way to relax and take my thoughts off of work.

One thing I like about Korean drama is showing how the food plays an important role in Korean culture. Whether fine dining, eating at home or  in food tents, or just grabbing a ramyun (instant noodles) in a convenient store, eating is always portrayed in their dramas. The scenes make me drool. And for so long, my palate had been craving for Korean food. So, on my birthday, I thought it was just right to treat myself to Korean food indulgence. I took two friends in tow. We went to Arirang Restaurant located in Chong Mon.

October 25, 2013

Daily Turndown Desserts

Two weeks after I started with my new job, a new duty was assigned to me. Make turndown desserts daily for the resort's guests. I'm  new in the hospitality industry. When I joined the resort, I had no concept of what kind of services the resorts/hotels offer guests. I had seen staff make small desserts in glass a couple weeks back. All I heard from them was they were making turndown for guests but I  failed to inquire more.I was in my adjustment period at the time so I didn't bother much. My focus was more on getting my bread and pastries right because it was during the taste test period.. When the task was handed to me, I  did some research. It was then when I fully understood the idea of turndown service.

What is turndown service? In the hospitality industry, turndown service refers to the practice of staff entering a guest's room and re-arranging the bed linen of the bed in the room to the state it was before the guest slept in it. An item of confectionery such as a chocolate[1] or a mint[2] is typically left on top of a pillow in the bed that has been "turned down".
Some hotels have more elaborate turndown services, such as bed-time stories for children and cocktails served to young couples.[3]  Source: WIKI

That's it. I like the idea of someone preparing my bed for me before I crash :).  Getting a confectionery is not a big deal for me. Anyway, here's some of my miniature desserts.

October 21, 2013

Mai Tai Restaurant

Gai Pad med mamuang (Chicken with cashew nut)

There is a restaurant I frequent on weekends. It's called Mai Tai, located just opposite Samui's IT Center in Lamai. Eating on a resort island can be costly but the food at MT is affordable. The owner is a good cook and she does most of the cooking (as far as I know).  She has an assistant who takes over when she's not around. I became friends with the ladies after two visits. The restaurant is  meters away from where I live but I chose to walk and even brave the weather just to have that delicious Thai meal.

October 18, 2013

Macaron Wedding Cake - A Labor Of Love

The dreadful days had come! Macaron making made me restless for a few days. I had an early start to give myself plenty of time to correct things that might  go wrong. I made about 500 macarons in a period of three days. Not all cookie turned out good but I managed to come up with the required amount of colorful, decent looking macarons for the cake.

I learned the process at the French culinary school. As required I made them a few times. I thought it was my last encounter with the famous French cookie. Never had I imagined rekindling my relationship with it three years later. To play it safe, I did the macarons per color. The whole process tensed me up. I said my prayers each time. I am not an artisan macaron maker so you can imagine how much effort I made and patience I gave into each procedure.

October 9, 2013

Oh So Delicious Macarons!

There is a wedding coming up. The bride had requested macaron cake. I was  asked if I could make them. Having no confidence with my macaron skills, I refused. I learned about macaron procedure at the culinary school but that was ages ago. I had not done it since then.  Working with macarons need a lot of patience and precision. I was afraid of failing to live  up to the bride's expectations so I told the manager to outsource it. A couple of days had passed, the manager approached me again and asked if I could do a trial run of macarons. Apparently, macaron is expensive here. It is sold by piece so it would cost the resort a fortune if they order from a supplier.

So here's what I made. Pink macarons with vanilla and chocolate filling. After two failures, I had finally got the right texture, size and color. I was so ecstatic because I didn't know I could pull it off. I will be making multi colored macarons for the wedding. Let's hope and pray I can do it without a lot of hassle.

October 4, 2013

The Queen of Ravioli

My weekly ravioli making routine  bestowed on me a new name - The Queen of Ravioli. Yup, you heard it right. Ravioli is served during Sunday Brunch and is recently added to the restaurant's new menu so you can imagine the amount of this Italian filled pasta I make each week. Ravioli resembles Chinese dumplings. In China where I lived more than seven years,  dumplings are a must on Chinese New Year's eve. I had made them numerous times with former students, friends and adoptive Chinese family but my wrapping skills weren't up to par. With ravioli, I don't have rules to follow. I manage my own work and no one bugs me at how I should wrap my ravioli. Haha. (对不起 妈妈!)

October 1, 2013

Vanilla Sponge Cake

 I do a lot of dough related stuff each day, a contrast of what I used to do at my old job. I miss working with cakes and butter cream. I miss being creative. I do get a request for cakes at the resort only on some special occasions. Working with dough is my stress reliever but I  find contentment in making cakes. Perhaps because I am in full  control of the transformation that takes place. Oh well, cakes are beauty to behold.

Last week I made this cake for our guest. The only request she asked was to make her a vanilla sponge cake. So here's what I made for her- a vanilla sponge cake coated with vanilla butter cream. I wrote the inscription using  melted dark chocolate.