Celebrating Food! Celebrating Life!

Posts tagged “financier

Petite Amanda – IFC Hong Kong 2012

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A fashion model who struts confidently on the runway and a pastry chef who works furiously a pot for choux pastry over the stove are hardly two scenes one can easily put together. One bathes under the explosion of blinding camera flashes while the other bears with pearls of sweat beading down one’s forehead and neck by a hot kitchen oven. Spotlight glamour and kitchen sink grime just ain’t things one can piece together readily. One can hardly image how these two seemingly distraught and disjointed characters could be living as one in a single person! Schizophrenia? Haha thankfully it is not. Amanda Strang is one such example, and might I add, a rather successful one! The Tahiti-born fashion supermodel turned celebrity currently based in Hong Kong, blessed with ravishing beauty owing much to her exotic French and Taiwanese parentage, Amanda Strang had a highly sucessful and illustrious career under media limelight, suddenly discarded her catwalking stilettos and traded them for kitchen clogs to enrol herself into the Parisian campus of the famous French culinary school, Le Cordon Bleu for training to become a professionally accredited pastry chef. Becoming a successful patissiere she most certainly did, and a couple of years down the road, after a string of stints at high profile establishments like Laduree, Jacques Genin and the three michelin star restaurant, Caprice, Amanda Strang felt that she was finally ready to take on the world and opened her first pastry shop, Petite Amanda at the IFC, Central Hong Kong last year. We knew that we have to pay this joint a visit during our trip to Hong Kong this May!
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Ladurée’s Financier Pistache

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It feels good to be back in baking again, after an almost month-long hiatus. Been busy with a trail of Asian delights from Cantonese claypot rice to Hainanese Pork Chops, and not to forget a couple of Asian desserts along the way. Quite a walk down memory lane to prepare dishes which I’d learnt to prepare years back, but have not gotten a chance to reprise them over the last year or so, well since the passing of my mother actually. So it felt really warm and nostalgic to get in touch with my culinary roots again, with dishes that ignited my love for food and cooking many moons back. But life has to move on, so here I am back again, having fun once more with flour, eggs, butter and sugar! First off with a simple petit four, Ladurée’s Financier Pistache…

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Sadaharu Aoki’s Financier au Mâcha Salè 青木定治のフィナンシェオ抹茶

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Sadaharu Aoki, a name that is prominently featured in my blog. Yes, I’m a big fan of his work, and more so, his determination and perseverance to excel and be the best. Not an easy feat, especially for a Japanese who didn’t speak a word of French when he first landed in Paris at the age of 21 more than 20 years back But he was determined to make it big and went through a lot to bring himself to the level of international recognition and fame which he enjoys today. When his contemporaries like Hidemi Sugino and Hideki Kawamura chose to remain in Japan after winning international pastry competitions like Coupe du Monde, Aoki made his base in Paris instead. Seemingly what a Don Quixote would do, most would think, to make a name for himself in the epicentre of pastry making, where so many others have failed. The odds of succeeding were slim but that challenge suited him best. An urban fairytale for any pastry lover…

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Pierre Hermé’s Financier Carré Blanc

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Financiers are dainty little french confectioneries, tea cakes generally enjoyed over a cuppa. What makes ’em really special is the use of buerre noisette, literally meaning hazelnut butter, owing to the “butter cooking process” causing it to develop a tan hue, giving the tea cake its characteristic colour and nutty aroma. And if this is not enough, the “nuttiness” is accdentuated with the use of ground almond which really provide the petit four secs a lot of flavour. And as if to push the palate experience to the limits, Pierre Hermé incorporates maple sugar, trimoline and ground toasted hazelnut in his recipes making them a real special treat!
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