Friday, October 14, 2011

Macadamia Parfait

At work recently I was having a chat with a girl about growing vegetables. She was complaining that her pumpkins weren't producing any vegetables as there were no bees to fertilise the flowers. Having grown up in the country this seemed like such a strange concept to me, as everything seemed to grow so easily there. I never thought too much about how delicate the ecosystem is, because nothing on the farm seemed delicate. You would get out in the dirt, plant some plants, water them, fertilise them and they would grow. Apparently it's not that easy in the city though. Scarily it seems at times that our earth is slowly declining, and no longer just plodding along by itself.

All this talk of ecosystems got me thinking about my own very delicate system that seems at times to be spiraling out of life. As a kid, things progressed naturally. You grow up, you go to school, you see your friends and try to have as much fun as possible. Now, however, so much more is involved. I feel at times one wrong move will completely wipe out the dynamics of this life I have created for myself.

Of course I have no logical reason to believe this. I am extremely lucky in life. Some days while sitting in class I look around and think "wow, how cool is my life! Everyone else has run off to be accountants, and secretaries and what not, but I get to bake cakes all day." Yet there is something eating away at my soul...that not even a room full of kitchen aids and whisks can distract me from.

I am on edge and it is showing. I feel like I'm doing a balancing act between so many different aspects of my life. If one slips slightly the rest will be thrown off guard and smash to the ground. So what I would like to know does one stay mysterious and aloof, while being passionate enough about life, without caring too much, but still remaining professional, being driven towards a career, loving yourself, without being arrogant, being supportive without being too intense, falling in love, not getting overly hurt, remaining young and being innocent, yet still being strong enough to take on the world?

I have no idea...but what I do know is how to make a killer parfait. I know this doesn't amount to much in life...but I take some comfort in it. Hope you enjoy

Macadamia Parfait

You will need:
  • 25g sugar
  • 10g glucose
  • 125g macadamia nuts lightly toasted
  • 65g egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 vanilla bean
  • 40g sugar
  • 1/4 ring orange zest
  • 30g melted white chocolate
  • 200ml lightly whipped cream
Okay, so I know this recipe is going to sound complicated, but if you just go through it step by step it's actually pretty simple.

  1. Start by lining two ramekins or molds with glad wrap. This is to freeze the parfait in once its made.
  2. Place the sugar in the bottom of a pot and turn the heat to high. The sugar will start to melt and turn golden. As soon as it turns slightly yellow take off the heat, add glucose and toasted macadamia. Spoon the mix onto a lightly greased piece of silver foil. Let cool for 5 minutes. Once the mix is cool, place it in the food processor and blitz (you don't want huge chunks, but you also don't want to turn it into a something in between these two is good.) Place aside.
  3. In a bowl mix together the egg, egg yolk, vanilla, orange zest and second lot of sugar. Place the bowl over a pot of gently simmering water. Whisk continuously until the mix thickens so that it will coat the back of a wooden spoon.
  4. Mix the warm egg mix into the melted chocolate, a little at a time.
  5. Take your ground macadamia mix that you prepared earlier and mix it in.
  6. Lastly, gently fold through the cream.
  7. Spoon the mix into the ramekins and place in the freezer to set. This will take between 4 to 8 hours depending on the temperature of your freezer.
  8. When ready to serve, simply turn them out on a plate. Enjoy

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