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January 30, 2014

Xi Nian Kuai Le - Happy New Year

Wishing all my former Chinese students, readers and friends a very Happy Lunar New Year!!!  May you enjoy your time with your families as you usher in 2014. Gong Xi Fa Cai!

January 29, 2014

Eggnog Panna Cotta

My goal this year is to break the monotony of turn down dessert recipes. One thing I could do to achieve that is not to make panna cotta repeatedly. I made it several  times a week during the past four months. Like I said earlier, I got bored and felt unchallenged.  It's only been a few weeks since my menu revision but I found myself looking for a panna cotta recipe again. I couldn't help it.   I opted for this Italian pudding so I could consume large quantity of the holiday nog. Yeah, I'm back to making eggnog treats again before it spoils. I don't do it frequently though so I won't bore the guests. Anyway, here's another eggnog recipe for you. I would say I'm not a big fan. I would go for eggnog mousse instead.

January 26, 2014

Wedding Cakes Trial Run

Summer wedding season is just around the corner. The resort's first wedding of the year  will be in a few weeks time. To see if I could make a fondant covered cake the way the bride intended, my boss asked me to do a trial run of  square and round cakes. She wanted white cake accented with a ribbon and  the other with some designs piped on the surface.  I settled on vanilla sponge cake which was easy and quick to whip up. I  iced the cakes with vanilla butter cream and covered them with white fondant.

January 24, 2014

Honey Cornflakes Cups

Something simple, nothing fancy but anyone will surely get hooked on this delicious,  crunchy and buttery cornflakes cups. No joke! Definitely a better way to enjoy cornflakes if you are tired eating it the traditional way. The original recipe calls for pure cornflakes. I like contrast in texture so I reduced the amount of cornflakes and added sultanas. Go wild on this by adding  nuts or other dried fruit. I figured I could do  this again so I would leave that til later. For now sultanas will do.

January 23, 2014

Mixed Berry Mousse

The pastry department is low on supplies. Bangkok shutdown is crippling hotel industry not just in the capital but in the whole country as well. It's a big annoyance having to deal with the effect of  protest that has been going on for many weeks now. I can do nothing about it. What I can do is be imaginative so I can make something that is satisfying. I am back to old recipes for the meantime. I hope it won't take ages before I get all my supplies as I am getting impatient. Big time.

I decided to give mixed berry mousse a go once more. The last time I made it was before Christmas. I think a month break is long enough. This time I topped it with  mixed berries for a nice touch.

January 22, 2014

Eggnog Pound Cake

Christmas season comes once a year.It was probably the reason why  the Food and Beverage Department had overstocked holiday nog.  The beverage comes in 1.5 Liter bottle.  I used up two  and there are seven more in stock. I wonder if I could finish all  before they go off. Well I have a few more months to go. So expect to see loads of eggnog recipes in the weeks to come.

I made this pound cake for our guests today. I added more eggnog to boost the flavor and it made a huge difference. The cake was soft, tender and moist. Absolutely wonderful! I could eat more of this.

January 21, 2014

I call it Choco-Berry-Crunch

Another delectable treat made with chocolate, Familia berry crunch and Coco Crunch. I had no idea this three could be so darn good together. It was  a trial. I was aiming for a different concoction . Due to a lack of key ingredient, I could not proceed. I improvised using whatever ingredient was available. This came closed to what I had in mind. Even after the two were combined with melted chocolate, you can still feel the crisp in every bite. Yummy! 

January 20, 2014

Eggnog Mousse

We have an abundance of surplus eggnog in stock.  It cost a lot and I hate seeing money go down the drain so I started to transform it into something delicious for our guests to enjoy.   I had not done any eggnog-related goodies before.Thanks to the internet which offered a hundred uses, I found a mousse recipe worth making.

January 15, 2014

Mini Cheesecake Tart

A box of mini tart shells had been sitting at the bakery for months. The old chef left it behind. I did not really pay attention to that until New Year when I decided to revise and expand our nightly dessert menu.  I dislike food wastage. I reckoned the box was three quarters full. Throwing it would be against my conscience.I thought  of ways to utilize it. As I was checking the box again this morning, an idea came to mind. Use the pastry shell as my base for cheesecake.  And the mini cheesecake tart came about.

January 14, 2014

Soft, Chewy Brownies

The manic holiday season is over! The resort's occupancy level is back to normal. I can take things easy  for now.  Looking back, I still could not believe how I  survived  the holiday festivities. It wasn't something I anticipated. I can honestly say I take pride in efficiently handling the most challenging role ever assigned to me. Mission accomplished! Moving on I have all the time in the world and I will make the most of it.

If you have been following my blog just like my long lost brother in RI (LOL),  you may have noticed  my update everyday. Well,  I have revised my dessert menu for our in-house guests and I want to share what I have been making .I started fresh yet again with brownies. Soft, chewy and chocolatey goodness!

January 13, 2014

Chocolate Truffles

Since my  recipe overhaul, I have not made a repeat complimentary dessert for nightly turn down service. I'm keeping my vow to myself to make something new and special to our in-house guests. It's all good so far and I'm happy with my achievement.

Chocolate work is something I take pleasure in doing so this week, I decided to continue working with this nature's wonder. What are chocolate truffles? They are bite-sized confectioneries made with chocolate and cream.

January 12, 2014

Chocolate and Passion Fruit Shooter

Who can resist this luscious, creamy dark chocolate and passion fruit mousse? The two made a great pairing. I did similar combo in the past and it was a huge hit. Instead of mixing the duo like  I did the first time,  I made a two layer mousse in a shot glass. I added some passion fruit seeds and coulis on top. Delectable!

January 11, 2014

Chocolate Bonbons - A new addition to my turndown dessert recipe

Many people who know me can attest to the fact that I like going the extra mile. Friday was another busy day for me. The resort was hosting two parties on Friday and Saturday night  but I wasn't informed of my role until the day before. Well, I take it back. I was asked to make pizza crusts for a party days ago but didn't really understand the details. Language barrier. Then Thursday, I got a piece of paper with a picture of a dessert that I would be making. I was told. I will talk more about it in another post.

Back to chocolate bonbons. I had every thing planned for Friday. Make bread and double amount of pastries for Saturday and Sunday. Saturday is my day off and there's nobody who can make pastries but me. Make 60-70 pizza bases for B party, do early prepping for Sunday brunch, 120 chocolate and passion fruit shooter for Saturday night's function and of course dessert for our in-house guests. As I was looking at my to-do list, I asked myself if I could carry out all. Why not make my workload easier by making pana cotta. It is easy and quick to prepare. With the bonbons, I would need time to temper the chocolate. I knew if I stick to my plan  I would spend a great deal of time finishing my work for the day. Thinking about not living up to my own expectations, I felt bad. So I went to the kitchen and asked if the demi chef de partie could help me make pizza bases. She was so nice she even took the effort to  mix the dough and rolled it out. Two other staff jumped in to help. The four of us divided up the work. Thank you guys for reducing my workload! While I was prebaking the pizza crusts, I went ahead on tempering the chocolate. I was working on a tight schedule. It would be a long day for me again. I still had pastries and the chocolate passion fruit shooter to make. But I went ahead.

January 9, 2014

Shortbread Biscuit

I had set my mind on making mini brownies for today's turn down service but had to cancel my plan the last minute.When I arrived at the bakery this morning I noticed the fridge  was partially open. Someone must have left it ajar all night. It was almost warm inside. I remembered the pastries  intended for today's breakfast which I stacked up in three piles in one container.  I checked them immediately and  found them crushed. I almost lose my cool. They proofed overnight but instead of rising, they expanded sideways. I tried to salvage them but to no avail. It was a day's worth of pastries. I felt like crying. I rushed to take the good ones I had in stock. I was afraid there would not be enough to feed the guests at breakfast. God is wonderful, the demand for pastries today were not as high.

My misfortune had me worked double time. The brownies I was visualizing did not materialize. I opted to make something that could be whipped up in less time.

January 8, 2014

Chocolate-Coated Marshmallow Treat

My New Year's resolution is to make better tasting and better looking treats for our guests. Almost a month after I started my work at the resort, bakery/pastry/confectionery-related duties were handed down to me including the production of turn down desserts.  I was provided with a recipe which I followed for months. It was good for the first few weeks. I changed flavors for variation. I used assortment of colors for nice presentation. But towards the end of last year I got  bored of the stuff I made. It was the same recipe over and over again. Then came the holiday season.  I was commissioned to make  holiday treats for all events at the resort. What a relief! I was hoping to get  a challenging role and it came right in the moment when I needed a break from making boring desserts.

These chocolate -covered marshmallows marked the start of my newly revised turn down dessert recipe.

January 6, 2014

Mini Turkey and Cranberry Pies

Got some turkey? Turn it into  a savory treat that will surely wow a crowd.  These mini turkey and cranberry pies are perfect for any occasions. I made these for the resort's cocktail party on Christmas eve and they went down a storm.

January 4, 2014

Christmas Dinner At Sala Thai Restaurant

I won a Sala Thai Restaurant dinner voucher worth Thai Baht 2000 at BR annual staff party in October last year. The voucher was valid until December 23. There's no other important event before Christmas so I figured why not  wait til holiday season.  Christmas is a big deal for me. Having a sumptuous meal makes  my Christmas celebration complete. With the amount I got I could have a feast. I took a  friend who loves Thai food. She and I went a couple days early though as we could only go when both of us were free from any engagements.

January 2, 2014

Welcoming the New Year 2014

The cold room

Many people say working on New Year's eve sucks. This was the first time I was ever close to welcoming New Year at work and I must say it felt great. Not the work load but the chance to meet people from all over :) I helped oversee  dessert section  at our gala dinner and I got to talk to every visitor in the room. Managing fondue was fun too. Kids looked cute acting like they're big boys and girls who could dip their fruit and marshmallows into the chocolate mixture on their own. They're just adorable.I really wanted to stay until fireworks display but I was totally drained that night having been at work since 5 in the morning. Anyway, it was a New Year's eve to remember.

January 1, 2014

Happy New Year 2014

Wishing all my readers and lurkers a very Happy New Year. May the Good Lord bless you and keep you  happy, healthy and prosperous in the year ahead.