Yay! I levelled Cheffery to level 2 with roasted 5 spice miso duck legs of doooooom!

Soooo... way back in Home Economics class, I was forced to wave a lighter around in the depths of a huge gas oven while hoping desperately that my paw didn't go up in a ball of nuggetty flame once the damn thing finally lit. This led to (what I am told) is an unreasonably traumatised nugget's fear of ovens of any sort. GETITAWAYFROMMEEEEE! AAAA this recipe sez 'Oven', I dun need this steenking recipe!

>.> Thus, this here tasty roasted miso-5spice duck of doooomy doom represents an impressive evolution of the nugget's cheffery skeelz. It is my very first oven-thingie ever, and I didn't even use a spice pack! Of course, this also means the recipe below will be in even more nuggetly vague measurements than usual.

Though I am juicy golden-battered chicken to the core, I must confess, I loooooooooooooooooooove duck. >.> Especially duck legs. I've really been missing cheap roasted duck legs with all their drippy slurpy fatty juices. Luckily, these turned out wonderful. They don't exactly have the traditional taste of the duck legs I've been missing, but I don't care! Nao I can haz juicy fatty drippy slurpy duck legs anytime I want, yay!

As a (semi) independent endorsement, the nuggetboy ate 3 of the 4 duck legs pictured here, and they weren't small. XD

Roasted 5-spice Miso Duck

  • 4 duck legs (South Melbourne market had them labelled as 'Duck Maryland')
  • 4 potatoes, quartered
  • Some butter for the potatoes
  • 2 heaped (and I mean really really heaped, talking 2 inches high here...) tablespoons of miso paste
  • 3ish glugs of chinese cooking wine
  • couple of shakes of 5 spice powder
  • a few glops of honey
  • 3ish glops of ginger (I use tube stuff cause I'm a lazy nugget) / 3 teaspoons of finely chopped ginger
  • 2ish glops of lemongrass (see above about the ginger...)
  • 2ish glops of garlic (see above about the ginger again...)
  • 1 glop of oyster sauce


Glop: The amount of thick sauce that glops out of a bottle in a single squeeze or shake.

Make da stuff

  1. Mix everything that isn't duck, potato, or butter together until it forms a smooth paste.
  2. Give the duck a sexy massage by rubbing the paste into every nook and cranny.
  3. Cover duck and stuff it in fridge.
  4. Ignore duck for minimum 2 hours, but best for at least 6 hours. (Miso isn't actually meant to be a marinade, so it seems to take longer.)
  5. Take marinated duck out of fridge, and arrange on some kind of baking container that won't let the tasty duck juices run off and drip into the oven. No duck juices for the oven! *selfish*
  6. Preheat oven to 190C (mine has a fan).
  7. Stuff duck in oven. Duck should sit in oven for about 1 hour.
  8. Parboil potatoes.
  9. Fish parboiled potatoes out of pot, slather them in butter. (The parboiling took me about 15 minutes.)
  10. Pull duck outta oven, plop potatoes into baking container thing. Ideally the potatoes should sit in areas with lots of juicy fatty duck juice, but if you haven't got enough space (I didn't), just stuff them in where you can.
  11. Plop duck and potatoes back in oven for 45 more minutes / until the hour is up. (Depends on how long the parboiling took.)
  12. Remoof duck and potatoes. Let rest for 5ish minutes, or for as long as you can control yourself and/or other denizens, anyway.
  13. NOM! NOOOOM! NOmNomNOMONOmoMONoMOOM!
  14. That is all.

Earl Grey Icecream with Crystallised Ginger & Baileys Irish Coffee Icecream with Crunchy Dark Chocolate Baileys Swirl

Earl Grey Icecream with Crystallised Ginger Bits
This is a cultured, aristocratic icecream with a touch of spicy character. It has just the right sophisticated taste you need to convince poor fools that you can actually cook. XD I was afraid I might not have ground the tea finely enough, but it turned out great! Not gritty at all. O.O

Ingredients
3 parts thickened / whipping cream
2 parts condensed milk
A tiny bit of vanilla essense
2 smallish glugs of any kind of drinkable alcohol, preferably not strong-tasting - just to keep from getting too hard in the fridge
Earl Grey tea to taste, ground fine. You can just grind any Earl Grey you like straight out of a teabag. Remove the teabag though.
Crystallised ginger, chopped into fine bits

Steps

  1. Brutally slay Earl Grey teabag(s) - I used 3 - by lopping off their heads
  2. Pour their innards into a mortar and pestle
  3. Grind Earl Grey tea innards a lot. Until it's as fine as you can get it, or you get sick of grinding.
  4. Put everything except the ginger in a bowl together
  5. Whisk until soft peaks form
  6. Fold in ginger bits
  7. Transfer into an airtight container
  8. Plop in freezer for 6+ hours
  9. Eat while wailing that you don't know which icecream you can bear to bring to the office as an offering anymore


Baileys Irish Coffee Icecream with Crunchy Dark Chocolate Baileys Swirl
Where the Earl Grey oozes cultured, sophisticated elegance, this one oozes sex.. SEX!! Sensuous, decadent, coffee-chocolate-baileys seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeks. That is all.

Icecream
3 parts thickened / whipping cream
2 parts condensed milk
Baileys Irish Cream to taste
Instant coffee powder/crystals, ground fine (more for more coffeefee flavour, less for less - shocking, inoes)

Swirl
4 parts dark chocolate chips
1 part butter
3 parts sugar
Moar Baileys Irish Cream

Steps

  1. Plop Swirl ingredients in a bowl, melt it all in a rice cooker. If you don't have a rice cooker, you need a water bath or something scary like that and I don't want to know.
  2. When it's good and melted, whisk it all together. Ideally, the sugar shouldn't be QUITE melted yet, giving it a crispy/grainy texture
  3. Add Baileys Irish Cream little by little, whisking as you go along
  4. Stop when the sauce looks dark and glossy, and is liquid enough to paint 'artistic' patterns on a plate with
    THEN
  5. Consign the instant coffeefee to a grindy doom in a mortar and pestle
  6. Grind till coffeefee is snortably fine. It shouldn't take long.
  7. Put all icecream ingredients in a bowl together
  8. Whisk until soft peaks form
    LASTLY
  9. Glop a quarter into an airtight container, drizzle in the Bailey's dark chocolate sauce
  10. Repeat 3x
  11. Stir / swirl it around a bit (not too much!) with a chopstick, a knife, or some other sort of slender stabbing implement
  12. Plop in freezer for 6+ hours
  13. IT LIVES! IT LIVES!
    ...Igor, find me a brain.





ZOMG! No-churn green tea icecream!

Sooo.... I discovered no-churn, no-ice-cream-maker icecreams over the weekend, and promptly went a bit mad. :( Now my tiny freezer has 5 types of icecream in it! 2 store-bought, and 3 nugget-crafted.

You only need 3 ingredients and it's incredibly easy to make, because you just whisk them all together until they become fat and fluffy (form soft peaks).

1st Experiment: Dark chocolate icecream with raspberries and dark chocolate chips
Nice, but with an oddly chewy, grainy texture. I think it's because the dark chocolate had to be melted, and despite my mad whisking, it didn't all incorporate fully.

2nd Experiment: Green tea icecream

Ooooh. This turned out PERFECT. Similar in texture to the green tea icecreams I've had at Japanese restaurants - and as good as / indistinguishable from store-bought icecreams.

Ingredients
3 parts thickened / whipping cream
2 parts condensed milk
Umeshu to taste (and to make it stay nice and soft once frozen)
Green tea powder to taste (not instant stuff - use the stuff the ninja tea ceremony assassin chicks use)

Steps

  1. Put it all in a bowl together
  2. Whisk until soft peaks form
  3. Transfer into an airtight container
  4. Plop in freezer for 6+ hours
  5. Serve and eat while squealing madly

3rd Experiment: Vanilla icecream with lemon curd ripple

This. This is like a soft, fluffy vanilla cloud had a massive orgy with a creamy lemon curd friend. Make eet. Make eet nao. (It's the cream coloured one, if you hadn't guessed.)

Ingredients
3 parts thickened / whipping cream
2 parts condensed milk
Vanilla essence (just a leetle bit)
Some kind of drinkable alcohol (To make it stay nice and soft once frozen - I used chinese cooking wine cause I ran out of everything else.)
Lemon curd to taste (I used a nice store-bought brand)

Steps

  1. Put everything but the lemon curd in a bowl together
  2. Whisk until soft peaks form
  3. Transfer a third into an airtight container
  4. Glop in lemon curd in a quantity that makes you happy
  5. Transfer the next third into the container
  6. Glop in more curd
  7. Transfer the last third
  8. Stir the whole thing with some kind of stirring implement. The more you stir, the less big and fat your ripples of lemon curd will be
  9. Plop in freezer for 6+ hours
  10. Serve and eat while squealing madly
    or
    Make someone else eat it while squealing madly
    or
    Do it together!


"I savor my chocolate with the zeal of a lion taking down a zebra."

You know those Dove Chocolate commercials? The ones in which the girl takes a bite so small it probably requires her six bites total to eat one tiny square?  She always eats in slow motion.  What are the people in the chocolate business trying to tell us?  Eating in slow-mo somehow means you’re savoring this cocoa luxury more than you would if you ate it in real time?  Um, I disagree.  I savor my chocolate with the zeal of a lion taking down a zebra.  I think that means my love is true love.  It also means I could never be in a chocolate commercial.

XD I'm pretty neutral about chocolate (which is a bit odd considering all the chocolate things I've made / am making / am planning to make), but that description is just wonderfully hilarious.

Garam Masala Dark Chocolate Truffles

Soo... after last week's Nutella Balls of DOOM which were too Nutella-ey for the household of Nugget, Bart and Jenna, I vowed to make dark chocolate balls according to *my* idea of what the ratios should be, and not be swayed by the Internets.

...and so here we have...

SPICY DARK CHOCOLATE BALLS OF COCOA-DUSTED DOOM
4 parts sweetened condensed milk (I used one full 400ml tin)
3 parts dark chocolate (75% cocoa)
Lemon juice (probably 2 tbsp)
Dollop of honey (probably 1 tbsp)
Dollop of butter (again probably 1 tbsp, salted or unsalted doesn't matter)
Garam masala spices, ground (to taste)
Cocoa to roll dem balls in

Again, Rice Cooker Disciples, dump chocolate, butter and honey into a bowl, dump the bowl into the rice cooker, and set it on cook until it pops up (which it will when everything is melted enough). If not, go do your water bath thing. *shudder*

After it's all melted together nicely, whisk a bit until you've slain any remaining lumps of chocolate.

Glop in all the condensed milk and lemon juice, whisk it all together.

By now, it should have a very dough-like consistency. If you don't like the idea of spices in chocolate, or you don't like garam masala spices, or you just want dark chocolate truffles, this is when you can dump the mixture in the fridge and ignore it for about 30 minutes. Or at least, that's how long I ignored it for when I went off to kill things.

If you do like the idea of adding ground spices, whisk them in now. Start with small amounts and taste the mixture. Stop adding / whisking in spices when the spice taste is subtle, but not strong. Don't make it strong, because once the truffleys set and the chocolate makes sweet cocoa-love to the spices and it all sets in one gooey mess... er what? Right. Once the chocolate sets and combines with the spices, the taste of the spices roughly doubles in strength. So, in order to get Spicy DARK chocolate truffles, you need to stop when the taste of the spices is subtle. If you don't stop, you'll end up with SPICY dark chocolate truffles (which I did, because I did not, until this experiment, know about the intricacies of choco-spice seks).

Dump the mixture in the fridge to cool for 1-4 hours (depends on how madly cold your fridge is).

Take the mixture out of the fridge. The texture you're looking for is similar to edible chocolate Plasticine. It should be pliable and cookie-dough-like, but still easy to work with.

Dust your hands with cocoa, and make a little ball of dark and spicy chocolate happiness. Roll the little ball of dark and spicy chocolate happiness in the cocoa.

Put all your little balls of spicy dark chocolate happiness rolled in cocoa in the fridge and leave them for 12-36 hours or so.

Then...

...

...

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!

***

I really really love the texture of the truffles this time round. It's pretty much the perfect texture after it sets, and it's also really easy to work with. Pliable but not melty or messy.

Next week I shall try version 2.0: Less garam masala, with a roasted coffee bean in the centre.

Nutella & dark chocolate balls of DOOM! Err... Truffles... I mean truffles.

My silly and ridiculously easy chocolate pie and variants made me wonder why I couldn't make things that could pass for truffles. After all, the pie filling prior to my folding in the whipped cream was an awfully rich, dark, ganache like thing, so I thought to myself, 'Why, nugget, can you not thicken that up a bit, roll it in balls, then roll the balls in cocoa, and call them truffles?'

>.> And then, as nuggets are wont to be, I got sidetracked.

'What, my nugget, if you were to use Nutella instead of condensed milk with lemon juice? Would that not turn them into dark hazelnut truffles? OoOoo! A ratio of 2 parts Nutella gooey to 3 parts dark choccy could result in a very truffle-y thing!'

But then, of course, I had to check the Interwebs to see if anyone had the same idea. And behold, they did! Except that their ratios were vastly different from mine.

The little crushed walnut coated balls of Nutella DOOM shown here are a result of that recipe I looked up.

I'll regurgitate the recipe here, for the peeps who can't be bothered to click the link:
400g Nutella
100g Dark Chocolate (75%+ cocoa)
1 tbsp Honey
1 tbsp Ghee (I used butter)

I didn't measure the honey or butter either, just eyeballed as usual. The chocolate was easy, all I had to do was snap the bar in half, and the Nutella came in 400g bottles. XD

If you're a Rice Cooker Disciple, just dump all the above ingredients into a bowl, dump the bowl into the rice cooker, and set it on cook until it pops up (which it will when everything is melted enough).

If not, you'll have to do arcane water bath things that I don't wanna know about. XD

Mix all the melted stuff together, dump in fridge to cool. My truffle mixture took 2-3 hours before it was workable, and most definitely did not become 'doughlike', nor did it 'pull away from the sides easily'.

After making a chocolatey-muddy mess of my palms balling up the first 4, I realised that if I ran my hands under the cold water tap every 2-3 balls, they would be much easier to handle. Yay for temperate countries! I think back home in equatorial climate, I'd have to grope ice cubes instead.

Unfortunately, all three of us find these poor nutty balls too sweet and too Nutella-ey. It's not that they aren't good, it's more that they aren't to our tastes. If you're the type who wishes you could just eat balls of Nutella, dispensing entirely with the middleman of knife, spoon, or some kind of spreadable surface, these are perfect for you.

These shall be going to work with me, where, with their aid, I shall determine which of my colleagues like their Nutella straight. >.>

And next weekend, I'll make them with the ratio *I* like. =P

Half-Empty Pancackle Mixes & How Knowledge Changes Perception

Sample Shake-It-Around-Half-Empty-Bottle-of-Pancackle-Mix via redmart.com

Soo, now that I have attained Pancackle Journeyman status, wherein I can craft satisfying, fluffy variants of my own pancackles that look like photo shoot pancackles, I have realised something. O.o

...I know why these half-empty pancackle mix bottles work!

See, I've always thought it was kinda nuts that people bought these things. 'Woot! Guys! I have an idea! Let's sell half-empty bottles to people and sell it as a feature! They'll totally buy it and we'll make even moar money!' >.>

But nao, nao having attained Pancackle Journeyman status, I know WHY! And I know why it works!

I figure it's 'cause if you are a Pancackle Noob, and you don't know how Pancackles work, you don't realise that the number one transformer of Fluffy Pancackles of HAPPY into Rubbery Pancackles of SAD is... overmixing of the flour.

Enter the shake-it-around-half-empty-bottle of pancackle mix, which a pancackle noob is far less likely to overmix. With these half-empty bottles, Pancackle Noobs add water, shakeshake, make pancackles that are (hopefully) fluffy, and they go, this is AWESOME!

And so what I thought was a WTF stoopid peepul clever company turns out to be a very clever company saving stoopid peepul from themselves *while making a profit*! It's brilliant, *and* it's not a con.

(That being said, if I had understood Pancackle Principles, I probably would never have come up with these gorgeous white chocolate pancackles, which basically break all the rules of fluffiness I outline above, but are still utterly amazing.)

 

Super Easy No-Bake Raspberry & Chocolate-Coated Chocolate PIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

This pie is as ridiculously easy to make as my Giant Peanut Butter Cup Pie. Honestly, the recipe's almost exactly the same, except that the peanut butter is replaced with unsweetened chocolate. XD

From the Nugboy's reaction though, this pie is almost orgasmically good if you're a chocoholic. I'm not, but the Nugboy is. Lol. The sounds he was making! XD

To a non-chocoholic, this pie is like a velvety cross between a dark chocolate mousse and a ganache. It's denser than the former, and much fluffier than the latter. In terms of chocolatiness, it falls somewhere in the middle. It's the kind of pie that goes, 'HAI! I R CHOCOLATE! CHOCOCOCOOCCOHOLATE CHOCOLATE WHEEEEEEEEEEEE!' And then raspberry tugs on it and goes, 'Calm down you. Hai. I r Raspberry!'

Also needs pre-made chocolate pie-crust (or bake your own if you can bake lol), and some raspberry jam to spread on top of the chocolate coating. Fresh raspberries beaten to a juicy pulp would probably be nicer, but alas, there were no raspberries available to assault when I made this pie.

Chocolate coating is made from Nugget's Haxx Chocolate Sauce for Dummies.

Super Easy No-Bake Raspberry & Chocolate-Coated Chocolate Pie 
4 portions of sweetened condensed milk (1 can = 4 portions)
4 portions of cream (whipped to stiff peaks)
2 portions of unsweetened chocolate (melted.You can add more or less depending on how much chocolatey you like.)
1 portion of lemon juice (freshly squeezed)

  1. Melt chocolate in rice cooker (if you dunno what this means, see the chocolate sauce)
  2. Combine melted chocolate with condensed milk until all is one smooth happy colour
  3. Add lemon juice to chocolate + condensed milk mixture, combine once again until happy
  4. Whip da stoopid cream into stiff peaks
  5. Fold whipped cream into chocolate pie of doom mixture until just incorporated
  6. Pour the whole lot into pie-crust
  7. Stick in fridge, ignore for 12-24 hours
  8. Spread chocolate sauce satisfyingly over top of pie
  9. Stick in fridge another 3-6 hours
  10. Slather raspberry jam on top of now-hardened chocolate coating
  11. Cut big slice and NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!

Omitting the whipped cream will get you something almost identical to a ganache. So if you want to make a pie out of that instead (that can travel decently without going splooooog), you can. However, it'll be much MUCH denser and more intensely chocolatey, and not at all fluffy like a fluffy thing being fluffy in the night.