A series of anecdotes with or without any connection to the running of a restaurant.

Friday, September 14, 2007

What a basket to make...

A couple of years after opening my first restaurant, twenty-two years ago, I decided to introduce a few new desserts.

While scouring cookery books and magazines I came across Toffee Baskets in the Australian Women's Weekly

I tried to make some but the caramel kept turning into fudge. I researched the subject and discovered that success depended on many factors.

-The pan had to be totally free from grease.
-The quantities of sugar, water and vinegar had to be accurate to nearest hundredth of a unit.
-The syrup had to be simmered until every single grain of sugar had melted.
-Then and only then could the syrup be boiled until it reached the right temperature.
The test was, if a tiny quantity of syrup was dropped into cold water, it would immediately solidify and become a ball...

Worse than brain surgery...

After a few pounds of wasted sugar, I got the hang of making these intricate baskets using the back of a ladle.

I served two baskets per person, one filled with lemon sorbet and fresh fruit and the other on top to form a nest.
Twenty years on and it is still one of our most popular desserts.

My next post will be “How this toffee basket may have changed my life…”

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Blogger Edvard Moonke said...

looks great. hopefully it will still be on the menu when I eventually come for a meal!

14/9/07 11:08 PM  
Blogger Cream said...

Marcos, you are welcome to come up and see us sometime. Just let me know.

15/9/07 12:09 AM  
Blogger zooms said...

Change mine now please? My taste buds are, in anticipation, yours!

15/9/07 12:31 AM  
Blogger Akelamalu said...

Very pretty, and I'm sure they taste as good as they look.

I'm intrigued as to how it changed your life?

15/9/07 9:56 AM  
Blogger DCveR said...

This one is way beyond my league. Guess I will never try and make it.

15/9/07 10:53 AM  
Blogger Cream said...

Zooms, all you need is a bit of sugar and spice to change things...
And you have both in Grenada.

Akela, my just desserts!

Welcome back, DC! It's just a question of practice. It could be your party piece, you know...

15/9/07 11:06 AM  
Blogger Merisi said...

Why don't you open a branch here in Vienna? I make my reservation right now!

The White House pastry chef liked to do these kind of baskets and I had the audacity to copy them. Sometimes I use the same caramel sirup to weave it over crepes (well, Palatschinken here *g*). In that case I simply keep the sirup warm and paint with a thin line running from a spoon. The fun part is encasing the spoonful of apricot icecream I serve with it.
Gosh, I am getting hungry here! :-)

15/9/07 12:46 PM  
Blogger Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

I've got toothache right now and the sight of all that sugar is making me wince. Beautifully executed though.

15/9/07 2:40 PM  
Anonymous Minerva said...

How does one eat something so awe inspiring? ... Hmm, unless the aroma detracts you from the visual delight and make you ruin the creation by eating it....

I could never eat a chocolate bunny, and this dessert is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay above the bunny eating dilemma :-)

15/9/07 2:43 PM  
Blogger Cream said...

Merisi, I am a cowboy, honest. In a little town. Vienna would be like Everest to me.
Your dessert sounds absolutely fabulous!

Do I hear the dentist's drill, Daphnee? Ouch!!

Minerva, chocolate bunnies taste great boiled.

15/9/07 6:48 PM  
Blogger ValGalArt said...

it's real purty and looks yummy too!

15/9/07 7:39 PM  
Anonymous Minerva said...

boil a chocolate bunny ??? alive???
wouldn't PETA come arrest me???

16/9/07 8:29 PM  
Blogger Merisi said...

We could use a few good cowboys here! ;-)

16/9/07 9:21 PM  
Blogger Cream said...

Oh yes, Val, it does taste yummy!

Minerva, PETA would enjoy the chocolate fountain with you.

I'll get on my horse right away, Merisi.

17/9/07 9:28 AM  
Blogger PI said...

I admire your diligence and would love to taste th fruits of your labours. Desserts are one of the pleasures of my life.

17/9/07 11:23 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

My goodness Cream! what patience you must have. That is quite the creation. More talents to add to your list.

17/9/07 4:38 PM  
Blogger Cream said...

Pi, like a Rottweiller! When I get my teeth into something, I go all the way until I've mastered it.
If ever you're up the North East coast, you're welcome to call in.

Thanks, Mary. The customers do find it impressive.

18/9/07 10:51 AM  
Blogger savannah said...

*sighing* what a lovely dessert! i've taken the liberty of adding you to my blogroll, sugar..so much easier to get to your delish page!

18/9/07 11:40 PM  
Blogger la bellina mammina said...

am drooling now.......

19/9/07 1:45 PM  
Blogger ciara said...

just lovely! i couldn't even BEGIN to create that. i only recently learned how to cook lol just kidding...my cooking skills are just enough so that my family won't starve :)

19/9/07 4:31 PM  
Blogger Cream said...

Thanks for visiting, Savannah.
Looking forward for more visits.

Drool, Bella, drool...

Welcome, Ciara. Nothing wrong with survival cooking.
I used to do it when I was a student.

19/9/07 10:56 PM  
Blogger Janet said...

Looks yummy, Cream!How are you? Sorry I've not visited lately....I've been busy for quite a while on home improvement projects...

20/9/07 3:43 AM  
Blogger Cream said...

Hey, Janet, I'm glad you're ok and keeping busy.

20/9/07 11:46 AM  
Blogger mrsnesbitt said...

Sorbet is my favourite sweet desert, oh and creme brule (sp?) I am a savoury person really and adore cheese and biscuits.

Why am I making myself hungry I ask?

20/9/07 12:11 PM  
Blogger Cream said...

Yes, I usually finish with cheese but with French bread rather than biscuits.

20/9/07 1:45 PM  
Blogger Mélanie said...

MIAM MIAM what a wonderful dessert . it makes me Hungry

22/9/07 3:20 PM  

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