Poach An Egg

It starts with a to-do list.

Macarons or macaroons?

That is the question…but what’s in a name?

To my understanding ‘macarons’ is the correct term but the book that we used is actually titled “Macaroons” so…yes.

That is where the recipe comes from, by Angela Drake, only the pictures are mine.

Vanilla Macaroons

Makes 16

75g ground almonds
115g icing sugar
2 large egg whites
50g caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract


55g unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
115g icing sugar, sifted

Place the ground almonds and icing sugar in a food processor and process for 15 seconds. Sift the mixture into a bowl. Line two baking sheets with baking paper.

Place the egg whites in a large bowl and whisk until holding soft peaks. Gradually whisk in the caster sugar to make a firm, glossy meringue. Whisk in the vanilla extract.

Using a spatula, fold the almond mixture into the meringue one third at a time. When all the dry ingredients are thoroughly incorporated, continue to cut and fold the mixture until it forms a shiny batter with a thick, ribbon-like consistency.

Pour the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain nozzle. Pipe 32 small rounds onto the prepared baking sheets. Tap the baking sheets firmly onto a work surface to remove air bubbles. Leave at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 160C.

Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes, then carefully peel the macaroons off the baking paper. Leave to cool completely.

To make the filling, beat the butter and vanilla extract in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in the icing sugar until smooth and creamy. Use to sandwich pairs of macaroons together.

And voilà!

– – – –

Once again, not as hard as everyone keeps saying.

I think they came out a little hat-like because I had the oven high so that it would keep the heat when I opened it but then I forgot to turn it down. That always happens. Also I didn’t have the right nozzle but strangely enough the one macaron that I had to shape with a spoon turned out to be the most perfect.

Still, not bad for our first try and they were still just as delicious and soft and chewy as any other.

Usually when I cook I like to take more photos of the process like over at Serve With Salt but that’s just not how it went down this time. These were very much a spur of the moment experiment.

Attempting polenta gnocchi tonight!

~ Emily

Oh, and…


~ Emily

A party and the breakfast that followed

It’s been too long.

Way too long but study has got me all stressed and busy and gosh do I miss this.

But still, the party must go on…and it happened much like how I imagine a wedding would; so much planning and effort and time and money and then the night just flew by like a blur.

A colourful, tasty, movie-themed blur, but a blur none-the-less and instead of blowing out 21 candles with one breath I blew out one “21” candle…with one breath.


But yes!

The next morning for breakfast my best friend and I decided it was about time we learnt how to make hollandaise sauce! Which we had with toast, bacon and poached eggs.

We used a recipe from Margaret Fulton’s Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery.

Hollandaise Sauce

2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon water
lemon juice
125g (4 oz) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
small pinch salt

Heat about 2.5cm (1 in) deep water in the bottom of a double saucepan or saucepan over which a heat-proof bowl will fit. Bring just to simmering point. Place egg yolks, water and 1 teaspoon lemon juice in top of double saucepan or bowl, place over gently simmering water (which must not touch bottom of upper container) and whisk until yolks thicken slightly. This stage is call sabayon and is reached when you begin to see the bottom of bowl between strokes and mixture clings to whisk when it is raised from bowl. Now add butter, a piece at a time, slipping it through your fingers to soften it slightly. Whisk all the time, incorporating each piece of butter thoroughly before adding next piece. When all butter has been added and sauce is thick and creamy, add salt and a little more lemon juice. The sauce should have a delicate lemon flavour but should not be too sharp. Makes about 3/4 cup.

Note: If the sauce refuses to thicken or curdles (probably because it got too hot), do not worry; there is a remedy. Rinse out another mixing bowl with hot water, then put in 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of sauce. Beat with a wire whisk until they thicken together, then beat in the rest of the sauce a little at a time, whisking each addition well until quite smooth before adding the next.

– – – –

We ended up adding pretty much a whole lemon towards the end but we also used salted butter…naughty us. But it was DELICIOUS. My goodness, do I love hollandaise sauce. My mum’s main craving when she was pregnant with me was hollandaise sauce with asparagus. She told us that she would spend hours making huge batches of it, she also pointed out that usually Dijon mustard is added as well so I might have to try that next time. Dijon mustard is amazing. Hollandaise is amazing.

So amazing.

Later on in the day we decided to tackle macarons as well but that’s a story for another day, probably tomorrow.

See you then.

2. Make hollandaise sauce (to have with poached egg… and toast… and maybe some bacon)
21. Blow out 21 candles with one breath 

~ Emily

My ringtone is the TARDIS take off noise

My ringtone is the TARDIS take off noise.


Oh yes.


Also, enjoy:

~ Emily

An unexpected sunrise

[Doctor Who Spoilers – Season 4]

This Doctor Who stuff might be old news for some people but we’ve been watching seasons 1-4 in order over the last couple of weeks so that we know exactly where everything stands before he regenerates into the 11th doctor (Matt Smith).

We started watching “Silence in the Library” at 11:30 last night after Hugh got home from work. By the time we got through “Forest of the Dead”, “Midnight” and “Turn Left” it was already pretty late and we were getting a bit tired but “Turn Left” ended with a “To be continued…” and there was only one more episode to watch before the season 4 finale. We both had the morning free anyway so we decided to just finish the series.

We really didn’t mean to stay up all night but once we turned the lights off I noticed it had become light outside…

It was sunrise!

– –

6. Enjoy 6 sunrises from 6 different locations (beach, the top of a mountain, bed..)

I’ll try to plan it a bit next time though I think.

– –

Also I just want to say that I knew the finale was going to be sad. I did, really.

But oh dear.

Oh deary, deary me.

The Human/Doctor: But you made me.
The Doctor: Exactly. You were born in battle. Full of blood and anger and revenge. to Rose. Remind you of someone? That’s me, when we first met. And you made me better. Now you can do the same for him.
Rose: But he’s not you.
The Doctor: He needs you. That’s very me.

Donna: I was gonna be with you. Forever.
The Doctor: I know.
Donna: Rest of my life. Traveling. In the TARDIS. The Doctor Donna. Oh, my, I can’t go back. Don’t make me go back. Doctor, please! Please don’t make me go back.
The Doctor: Donna. Oh, Donna Noble. I am so sorry. But we had the best of times. The best. Goodbye.
Donna: No! No! Please! No!

Wilfred: Oh, Doctor. What about you now? Who’ve you got? I mean, all those friends of yours.
The Doctor: They’ve all got someone else. Still that’s fine. I’m fine.
Wilfred: I’ll watch out for you, sir.
The Doctor: You can’t ever tell her!
Wilfred: No no. But every night, Doctor. When it gets dark, and the stars come out, I’ll look up on her behalf. I’ll look up at the sky. And think of you.
The Doctor: Thank you.


~ Emily

Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt

“He came slightly unstuck in time, saw the late movie backwards, then forwards again. It was a movie about American bombers in the Second World War and the gallant men who flew them. Seen backwards by Billy, the story went like this:

American planes, full of holes and wounded men and corpses took off backwards from an airfield in England. Over France, a few German fighter planes flew at them backwards, sucked bullets and shell fragments from some of the planes and crewmen. They did the same for wrecked American bombers on the ground, and those planes flew up backwards to join the formation.

The formation flew backwards over a German city that was in flames. The bombers opened their bomb bay doors, exerted a miraculous magnetism which shrunk the fires, gathered them into cylindrical steel containers, and lifted the containers into the bellies of the planes. The containers were stored neatly in racks. The Germans below had miraculous devices of their own, which were long steel tubes. They used them to suck more fragments from the crewmen and planes. But there were still a few wounded Americans, though, and some of the bombers were in bad repair. Over France, though, German fighters came up again, made everything and everybody as good as new.

When the bombers got back to their base, the steel cylinders were taken from the racks and shipped back to the United States of America, where factories were operating night and day, dismantling the cylinders, separating the dangerous contents into minerals. Touchingly, it was mainly women who did this work. The minerals were then shipped to specialists in remote areas. It was their business to put them into the ground, to hide them cleverly, so they would never hurt anybody ever again.

The American fliers turned in their uniforms, became high school kids. And Hitler turned into a baby, Billy Pilgrim supposed. That wasn’t in the movie. Billy was extrapolating. Everybody turned into a baby, and all humanity, without exception, conspired biologically to produce two perfect people named Adam and Eve, he supposed.”

20. Read 20 19 books that I’ve never read before

1. Poach an egg

I did it!!

And the big secret? It wasn’t that hard.

I tried two different methods today and both gave me gorgeous, gooey poached eggs.

I’ve just got to work on that hollandaise now…

The inspiration for my first method comes from The Table Set Podcast – Episode 6. One of the boys (Nathan, I think) talks about his method for poaching eggs. Bring the water to a simmer -no added vinegar- then take a coffee cup, fill it with some of the simmering water and drop an egg into the coffee cup.

Then wait until the egg gets a little bit white around the edges, like the picture above, and ease it into the pot of simmering water.

This should help the egg to hold it’s shape in the water.

So I did all that and then I just waited and poked the egg around for just a little while until I thought it seemed ready.

Uh…and then I ate it 😀

The second method I used was just plain and simple; crack the egg carefully into the simmering water – no added vinegar.

Read this post from the Cupcake Project blog some time – it might change the way you crack eggs forever.

I left this one in a little big longer, that’s why the yolk is a little harder here.

It was just as delicious, but had a little less structure to the shape of it – you can really see the difference that the coffee cup made to the first egg.

I’m going to keep experimenting with this but yes… I did it!!

1.Poach an egg

21 for 21

It starts with a to-do list.

More specifically, a list of 21 things to do before my 22nd birthday next year on the 17th of October..

  1. Poach an egg
  2. Make hollandaise sauce (to have with poached egg… and toast… and maybe some bacon)
  3. Mail 3 hand-written letters
  4. Learn how to make sushi
  5. Lose 5 kgs
  6. Enjoy 6 5 sunrises from 6 5 different locations (beach, the top of a mountain..)
  7. Have dinner at Quay restaurant Sydney
  8. Attend a food styling workshop
  9. Go to a drive-in movie
  10. Learn how to hand sew a button
  11. Make a batch of perfect scones
  12. Send flowers to a friend, just because
  13. Hold a tea party
  14. Make pasta, doughnuts, fruit roll-ups, crème brulee, mayonnaise, salt+pepper squid, sweet+sour chicken, cinnamon rolls, sorbet, butter, bagels, cheese, macarons and gnocchi from scratch
  15. Post 15 nice (and sincere) comments on 15 other blogs
  16. Have a food fight
  17. Plant a vegetable garden and some herbs; keep them alive
  18. Take a ride in a hot air balloon
  19. Go strawberry picking
  20. Read 20 19 books that I’ve never read before
  21. Blow out 21 candles with one breath

This blog is going to be a place for me to record to-do list progress, but also a place to get a little creative and to share other bits and pieces of my life.

~ Emily

P.S. Say hello sometime?