Wednesday 28 September 2011

Procrastination station

{via here}

If only studying was half as fun as avoiding it.

We learnt today in a clinical skills tutorial about some unusual symptoms that patients suffering a heart attack may experience. One of these unusual symptoms was "An Impending Sense of Doom".

That is also a symptom of the recurrent sanity-threatening condition known as Exams.

Thursday 22 September 2011

Sticky date cake with butterscotch swiss meringue buttercream & labours of love

"If a man loves the labour of his trade, apart from any question of success or fame, the gods have called him" ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

Labours of love.  We've all done 'em.  Those little side projects that you pour your heart into for no reward other than a job well done at the end of the day.  You know those ones? You do it because you love it or because you believe it's a good and noble cause.  A labour of love can be hugely satisfying, incredibly fulfilling, and emotionally and spiritually rewarding.

They can also eat your life.

My all consuming labour of love for the last little bit has been helping put together the 2011 Med School Yearbook/Magazine.  Rachel (our visionary editor in chief), Clark (graphic designer extraordinaire), and I (deputy editor/grammar police) have been like Siamese triplets for the last couple of months: slaving away on all-nighter after all-nighter, sucking down litres of coffee, umming and ahhing over articles/backgrounds/layouts, and battling through funding fiascos; to put together our beautiful, almost full-colour, totally badass magazine which is going to print Monday.

We love it like it's our first born.  Our first born who we poured our blood, sweat, and tears into.  Our first born who has grown up, graduated, and should really be moving out of home now.

So mucho soz for the big gaps in posting.  It's because I've been consumed by this new amazing project, this current labour of love (and also coz managed to stuff my back but that's a story for another day).  I don't think I've ever laughed so much, slept so little, worked so hard, and learnt so many new fandangled words. And I got to know and love two of the most creative and talented people I've ever had the privilege to work with.  It's been incredible.

{spot the terrible segue}
You know what else is incredible: sticky date pudding with butterscotch sauce - my favourite pudding.  Before these last stages of manic craziness for the magazine fully set in, I was up in Auckland for a week on study break. I always bake like a banshee every time I go home and this time I made an adaptation of my fav pud as a birthday cake for a family friend: Sticky Date Cake with Butterscotch Swiss Meringue Buttercream and Butterscotch Sauce.

Sunday 11 September 2011

Just beet it: Roasted beetroot, caramelised onion, goats cheese and orange salad

The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent, not of passion. Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious. ~ Tom Robbins

Ahh beetroot.  Love em or hate em you gotta admit they are a striking vegetable.  Intense and majestic, so deep red it's almost purple.  I used to hate beetroot.  Mainly because I'd only ever had the canned stuff.  The sugary pink gelatinous slices you get in burgers that made the buns soggy and left pink smudges on the lettuce.  Yuck. 

But then I had a culinary experience that changed my life: I had the degustation menu at the incomparable French Cafe in Auckland and my gastronomical horizons were forever widened.  Never had I experienced such sophisticated flavour pairings, intricate techniques or inventive textures.  That meal truly made me fall in love with food all over again.  One of the dishes was the French Cafe signature: Roasted goats cheese, caramelised onion and beetroot tart and it completely changed my entire outlook on these ruby red gems.

I was a hater no longer. 

And in an homage to that glorious tart I wanted to recreate those flavours in salad form with a Roasted Beetroot, Caramelised Onion, Goats Cheese and Orange Salad.

Tuesday 6 September 2011

All Black Sesame Macarons with Coconut Buttercream for Baking for Hospice

Rugby is a wonderful show: dance, opera and, suddenly, the blood of a killing ~ Richard Burton

I'm baaaaaack! It was study break last week and I was up in Auckland spending lots of quality time with family.  A happy sad week, witnessing the beginning of a brand new life and the twilight of another.  Reliving old memories, making new ones.  Lots of laughs, lots of tears.  It might look like I abandoned the blog for a bit but I was baking up a storm so watch this space for all the baking shenanigans I got up to!

Well, if you're in New Zealand, unless you've been living under a rock, you will know that little old NZ is hosting the Rugby World Cup 2011.

It's kind of a big deal.

Rugby is our national sport.  Kiwis live and breathe rugby and the All Blacks are national heroes.  But despite the All Blacks being favourites to win practically every Rugby World Cup since it's inception, we unbelievably haven't won or hosted the prestigious Webb Ellis Trophy since the very first RWC in 1987.

But this year is THE year! I can feel it in my bones.

So naturally, to show our support for our men in All Black, the Baking for Hospice theme this round was The Rugby World Cup round.  And for my contribution I made All Black Sesame Macarons with Coconut Buttercream.

Go ABs!

{Paint the town black, all black}


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