So many pretty mushrooms and frosty things at Cradle Mountain lodge, Tasmania! :D
Everything except adding the blueberries and shaping the cookies into balls is done in a food processor. You prolly want a sturdy food processor though, my last puny one died in horror at the thought of having to make a whole lemon tart.
Why egg whites? Because we had some left over and I wanted to get rid of them.
Why brown sugar? To make up for the lack of egg yolk.
Why not just cream the cookies? I was curious to see whether this 'reverse creaming' method works for cookies too. It works great for scones, cupcackles, and pie crusts after all. And also because washing the food processor is less work than beating in flour or folding it in with a spoon, and for me, the lazier a recipe, the better. Plus, this requires no planning (no leaving the butter out), and no guess-nuking to soften the butter. Lastly, I hate creaming butter, the sugar always tries to escape, and I get bored standing there with the hand mixer...
Chewy inside, crispy outside lemon cookie!
400g cake flour
100g salted butter (room temp)
150g white sugar
50g dark brown sugar
60g egg white
Zest from 1 lemon
Juice from half a lemon (50ml~)
Some dried blueberries (fresh ones will leak horribly)
From a rather interesting article from mckinsey.com - Leadership and behaviour: Mastering the mechanics of reason and emotion.
Dark chocolate base is exactly the same as the hazelnut pistachio strawberry osmanthus truffle bar things, except without hazelnut essence.
I'm not a huge fan of white chocolate (too sweet for me), but a work human really likes these - he took this photo - so I'm plopping the green tea white chocolate part here.
I realised I was doing too much matcha-ranting in the ingredients section, so I moved that here...
This matcha is one of my favourite ceremonial matchas, and is great value for money for drinking.
are great, and buying from them is cheaper (shipping included) than
buying matcha locally in Australia. And the quality is amazing.
If you're curious about matcha brewed usucha or koicha style, then I'd advise getting some overpriced and expensive Australian stuff (T2, kenkotea, etc), and only then getting stuff from O-cha. Then you'll really be able to compare a good matcha with a terrible (or badly stored) one. ;)
So cute! Also super simple, and not as fiddly as it looks.
The only thing we actually made was the mousse.
Would have been prettier with fresh, edible flowers. But a lot more perishable, so I didn't use them. Also, I was too lazy to go the market to get those...
Coles icing sugar flowers - I wanted the roses, but the Coles I went to didn't have them. :(
Coles 100s & 1000s aka fairies - not the shiny silver fairies, the cute pastel fairies! Also known as dragees.
Green tea & adzuki bean biscuit, crushed - can't find pics because I can't remember the name. ;>.> The important thing is that the biscuit must be green tea, not the filling. Or else it will probably not be green enough to be moss. Or you can make your own green tea biscuits and crush them.
Chocolate mousse (eggless) - but not fatless! Ooh fat. I love fat.
Chocolate Mousse Crafting Ingredients
100g 70% cocoa chocolate
200ml sweetened condensed milk
300ml double cream <-- yes, fat, fat cream!
Some dutch processed cocoa powder (non-dutch will work also)
Chocolate Mousse Crafting Process
Tiny Fairy Garden Mousse Pot Assembly
And what a UI wants you to do may not be what you want to do. (I'll leave the question of 'best for whom' aside for now.)
There's an assumption that UIs that are user-friendly, and 'delightful' have our best interests at heart. From the examples above, this obviously isn't always true. It may not even often be true.
Casino UI is a great example of conflict between what we want, and what the UI wants us to do. We appear to be travelling on the same 'journey', but at the end of the day, the relationship is parasitical at best, and adversarial at worst.
Online Shopping UI has a less toxic relationship with us, as users. At least the UI isn't expressly designed to exploit our human weaknesses for profit. As a merchant's proxy, the UI very reasonably wants to make its goods attractive to us, and make it easy for us to buy stuff.
Clinical UI is what we tend to assume we're getting, even when that trust is unwarranted. It embodies the classic concept of 'best UI'. What Clinical UI wants us to do works hand in hand with what we want to achieve for our patients.
But even if the usability of all three UIs is the same, the ethical contrast between the three UI designs couldn't be more different.
When it comes to usability, it's important to remember that there's no moral value attached to how easy something is to use. Moral value comes into existence when ease-of-use and pleasure is harnessed to directing specific behaviours.
When we look at it that way, it's pretty easy to say: Casino UI is evil, Online Shopping is neutral, and Clinical UI is good.
UX and UI design are essentially the design of systems, products, and interfaces that encourage, reinforce, and reward specific user behaviours.
Whether the outcomes of these specific behaviours are beneficial or harmful to us - as users - is highly dependent on why the product was created in the first place.
So the next time someone tells you that all you do as a designer is 'make pretty buttons', tell them that the pretty buttons are just a small, unthreatening part of designing reward systems for sneaky mind control. ;)
Pristine Fairy Habitat
This edible fairy garden (EAT ALL THE FAIRIES!) >.> uses exactly the same base as the Hazelnut pistachio strawberry osmanthus truffle bar things.
Except that this time round, for pretties and flavourings we haz:
- rose essence
- vanilla essence
- rose petals (from dried rosebuds for rose tea - some steamed to rehydrate them, some straight off the dry buds)
- freeze-dried peach slice, chopped
- silver sugar ball things (I think they're called 'dragees'. Or maybe 'fairies'. ~_o )
- cheap matcha (nothing you'd want to make koicha, or even usucha with - good enough to cook is good enough)
Am very pleased a nugget at how the blend of flavours turned out. If you like Turkish delight chocolates, this is just the thing, with the peaches adding interesting 'high' notes, and the pistachios adding nice texture. :X The matcha just adds fairy moss.
Blurry Chunks of Sundered Fairy Habitat
Alas, all my pics of the sliced squares turned out blurry. T_T That's what I get for taking pics after sundown!(If you're in Melbourne, don't bother with T2 matcha. It's bad. You're better off going to any random asian grocery and buying a 50g tin of matcha for $5~. Just make sure it's from Japan, and not a mainland chinese imitation. You'll be getting the same amount of quality, or lack thereof, for a tenth of the T2 price.)
Being the soul of restraint, it's SO unusual for me to go completely mad, and throw in the kitchen sink. Of course it is. Ahem.
1) Hmm wanna make truffles but too lazy to roll balls. Okok let's make truffle bars.
2) Drat, no Nutella, was planning to use that. Ooh but look, hazelnut essence. Ok!
3) Pistachio looks so pretty in choccies, let's throw some in.
4) Hey I have those freeze dried strawberries, and pink is pretty with green. Chop some of those and put them on top!
5) Oo yellow is pretty with pink and I just happen to have dried osmanthus flowers...
And so we have these Hazelnut pistachio strawberry osmanthus truffle bar things.
Best of all, they're super easy to make (well the base is), and you can throw as many 'pretties' as you like in / on top.
200ml sweetened condensed milk (aka 2 parts)
200g good 70% cocoa dark chocolate (aka 2 parts) (broken into squares it comes in. I'm too lazy to do more than that.)
25g~ butter (salted, unsalted, doesn't matter. I used salted cause lazy.)
some vanilla essence
some hazelnut essence
some freeze-dried strawberries (chopped)
some osmanthus flowers
some pistachios (whole)
1) Dump chocolate, honey, butter in a bowl.
2) Shove bowl in microwave, melt until melted. Until the chocolate and stuff is melted. Not the bowl. If the bowl has melted, you've gone too far. Safest to stop when there are a few lumps of chocolate left, and finish it by stirring it all into a homogenous gloop.
3) Throw in essences, stir stir stir till incorporated.
4) Plop in condensed milk, stir stir stir till incorporated.
5) Mix in pistachios .
6) Pour into some kind of (parchment-paper-lined) pan, make pathetic attempt at forming some sort of 'slab'.
7) Decorate with freeze-dried strawberry pieces and osmanthus flowers in a suitably 'artisanal' fashion.
8) Tos...put gently in fridge (no need to cover unless your fridge has stinky things).
9) Ignore for at least 4 hours.
10) Remoof from fridge, cut into squares.
11) Eat all the leavings that are ~_o 'unfit for presentation'.
If you want to mess with the ratio of condensed milk to chocolate, more milk will give you softer trufflepieces, more chocolate will give you harder ones (duh right). This ratio gives you pretty much perfect 'fancy truffle' texture. Not too squishy, not too hard, just right.