Jan 14, 2013

Food Obsessions

I’m completely obsessed with food this month. There’s nothing inherently unusual about this for me, I’m always either thinking about what I just ate, planning the next meal, or wondering why I didn’t marry Jamie Oliver so I could be a bazillionaire and have a man who’d cook for me instead.

Raspberry Macarons - Twin Two
There are two main reasons why I’m more obsessed than normal with food. The first is that Twin One and Twin Two have dedicated their entire lives to perfecting the art of the macaron. If you’re like me and imagined that a macaron is a chocolatey, coconut thingy, you’d be wrong.

A macaron (de Paris) is a teeny little sweet that’s like a cross between a meringue and a friand. It comes in a whole lot of flavours and only the devil himself knows how to cook the bleedin' things. If you’ve made meringues before you’ll know that you need to be oh-so-careful not to knock the air out of them, but with macarons, you also have to fold in ground almonds. The result of not sticking to the myriad macron making rules, is something that looks and tastes like a sweet bullet rather than a light-as-air but chewy macaron.

Lemon Macarons - Twin One
Today the girls made the FIFTH batch in a week (am thinking of buying some chooks for all the eggs we’re going through) and this is what they looked like. Pretty impressive?! Twin One believes the key is leaving the mixture to set in the little shapes before cooking, Twin Two believes you need to keep the egg whites in the fridge for three days before making. I don’t care, I just get to eat gorgeous macarons day in, day out.

The other reason I’m so obsessed with food at the moment is that the current heroine in my work- in- progress is a chef and the hero doesn’t know a bagel from a blinis. What he does know is how to turn around someone’s damaged image and that’s what he’s been employed to do with my PR disaster celebrity chef. There’s lots of hot kitchen fun and three-cheese gnocchi to boot.

Do you have a recipe that you’ve tried and tried to perfect? A success or a failure? Or are you secretly addicted to all those cooking shows?


  1. Those macarons look too scrummy for words!!! Poor you, Barb, with two willing chefs on your hands. ;-)

    LOVE the sound of your work in progress. There must be something in the air. The heroine of my wip is a cafe manager.

    You know, something I just cannot cook is custard (from scratch as it tastes miles better than anything out of a carton) in the microwave. I don't know what I do, but it bounces and has the consistency of tyre rubber. And yet I can do make it perfectly on the stove top. Go figure. :-)

  2. YUM, Barb! Those look delicious!

    Oooo, I do agree with you about Jamie Oliver - I've been watching his 30 minute meals and the 15 minute meals. He makes cooking look so easy! He did a berry yoghurt/icecream on the last show I watched - the ingredients are on my shopping list!

    Mmm, as for recipes I've tried and tried to perfect - I must confess my sponges are a bit hit and miss! My m-i-l is with queen of sponge making though so I can always send her an SOS!

  3. Think I'm taking a drive over the hill tomorrow, Barb. Love those macaroons.
    Cooking is my favourite occupation and I also love those cooking shows.

  4. Love the look of those macaroons, Barb! Very clever little chefs.
    Like the rest of the home cooks in the country, I'm trying to perfect a 'vogels' style bread.
    Your new book sounds fabulous!

  5. Ooops!! I know the spelling should only have one 'o' !!

  6. Cooking not's my favourite thing, so when you are done with Jamie Oliver send him my way.

  7. Barb, love the sound of the new book.

    I'm so glad there are other people like me. I love food and am always thinking about the next meal. That's why I have to spend so much time in the gym. Unfortunately, this love of food does not translate into a talent for cooking. I'm very 'slap dash' in the kitchen and never measure anything. I'm am very talented at ordering take-away!!

  8. I love Creme Caramel. My grandmother used to make it and she had a coal stove. I decided I could make it also.

    I love the caramel sauce and decided to double it when I made the recipe. I cooked the sauce too long before I added it to the bottom of eight custard dishes. I diligently baked them in a water bath. Man the custard was wonderful but the caramel sauce had hardened so badly that there was no way I could get it out of the bottom of the eight custard dishes. This happened quite a number of years ago and I'm still not ready to try again.

  9. Ahhhh! So sorry for being AWOL. We're now on holiday at a remote beach and there's no internet so I've had to drive to the nearest town. Picture me typing furiously in the car {:o)

    I am lucky having mini-chefs, Michelle. The kids are doing ALL the cooking this week so I feel very spoilt.

    I LOVE custard but have never tried the microwave kind.Good luck with it!!

  10. Jamie is a god, Sharon. Funny thing is, my husband's cousin worked for Jamie and he's been a huge influence on my kids. They send him pictures of all their creations and he's really encouraging.

    I'm a complete dunce with sponges too! Would love to have that skill.

  11. I'll have the girls bake some especially for one f our writing meetings, Sue!

  12. Lovely to see you here, Margie! Homemade bread is another of my downfalls! I can eat a whole loaf in one sitting! Let me know if you find a great "Vogels" type recipe.

  13. Not sure I'm in the sharing mood, Mary! {;o)

  14. You're a woman after my own heart, Jennifer! I'm a complete mess in the kitchen too. My husband is a winemaker and a perfectionist and I think he's passed that on to the kids, thank goodness!

  15. Ouch,Kaelee! I can totally relate to your caramel love. I wonder if you had to throw out the 8 dishes. Creme Caramel and Creme Brulee would have to be up with my favourite desserts of all time. I hope you gain the courage to try again!

  16. Barbara, sorry to be late at the post but I had to wave a quick hello after seeing the photos. My daughter's current obsession is currently how to make the perfect macaron. I've been enjoying her efforts... Yum! Raspberry and white chocolate is a have so far.