Friday, 18 February 2011

Sweet Saturday - Sweet Potatoe Pudding

After the last Sweet Saturday recipe I was left with 5 egg yolks as I only needed whites to make the meringue. On searching what to do with those I found this lovely site: how to use up egg yolks and as they say: "If life hands you egg yolks, you can't make lemonade". But they give a lot of nice suggestions, sweet or savoury to do with your eggs yolks, nicely divided in 1, 2, 3, .... and so on egg yolks. I chose to make a Sweet Potatoe Pie, but as I could not find in sweet potatoes in this tiny village I froze the egg yolks until I did get sweet potatoes. I whipped the eggyolks with some salt before freezing them and they defrosted just fine, gave them a little whisk before using them in the recipe below.

Ready to go into the oven.

Sweet Potato Pudding

  • 600 gr sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 250 gr plain soft cheese or yoghurt
  • 120 gr dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 5 egg yolks
  • salt to taste
  • handful of toasted almonds or pecan nuts
  • maple syrup
Steam the sweet potato cubes for 20-25 min until soft.
Place the steamed cubes in a bowl and mix to a pulp. 
Add yogurt, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, yolks, and salt to taste, and beat until well combined. 
Pour this batter into an oven dish. 
Sprinkle nuts on top and drizzle with maple syrup.
Bake for 50 to 55 minutes at 165°C  (180°C for a traditional oven + preheat). 
Remove from oven and cool. Serve cooled and if any is left over, keep it  in the frige.

Bon apetit!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

The Chair Project part 2

The chair project is evolving a bit further, I made more elements in clay and porcelain. The carrots (see previous post) would need leafs too, tricky to make. I solved it by gathering plumes from reed and drying these. Once dried I dipped these in liquid porcelain, the type which is used for casting, and fired them only once, at 1280°C. Normally you would fire porcelain twice, but after the bisque firing at 950°c these would be too fragile too handle as the supporting reed has burned away and the porcelain has not reached it's full strength.

Some mice have appeared and some birds too. One would expect the part above the ground to be clear, white, happy, normal and the part below dark, gloomy, crooked, ... But I chose for these to be mixed. White porcelain with the crooked figures of the rabbit and mice and the dark figures of the birds, mole and earthworm look fairly normal.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Sweet Saturday - Pavlova

I'm a sucker for meringues but don't have them as much as I used too. When I lived in Ireland  I would go to the local bakery to have my lunch and 99 out of a 100 times it would be a brown sandwich with tuna and corn followed by a meringue. Well 2 meringues stuck together by a dollop of cream and a little dot of red fruit jelly on top....hhhmmmmmm

I tried making meringues myself before but to no great success and I have not tried since. The meringues they sell here are just not the same, so today I will venture to make a meringue once more as part of pavlova.


For the meringue base:
  • 5 egg whites
  • 100 gr of icing sugar
  • 120 gr of fine casting sugar
  • 1 sachet vanilla sugar or some essence
  • 1 teaspoon of balsamico vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of corn starch/flour
For the topping:
  • 250ml cream
  • sugar to taste
  • 250-500 gr of red fruit (may be frozen)
Preheat the oven (not fan, just under and bottom heat) to 130°C.
Wisk the egg whites with the sugars, than add the vinegar, keep wisking and when it starts to get ticker add the corn flour. Keep wisking until you can pull nice peaks that stay in shape from it. 
Cover a baking tray wit baking parchement and spoon the mixtures unto this, roughly in a 20 cm diameter. I was amazed by it's lovely silk sheen, which I could not tell so well when it was till in the bowl.

Pull up the sides to give it more of a base shape and bake for 1-1,5 hours. I switched the oven of at 1 hour 15 min when it had a tiny bit of colour. Leave in the oven with the door closed too cool.

Whip the cream with sugar to taste, add vanilla or cinnamon for an extra touch. 
Transfer the cooled meringue unto a nice big plate.

Spoon the whipped cream on top of it and finish with the fresh or defrosted red fruits, defrosted raspberries in my case. By than everyone will be in the kitchen eye-balling this feast of fluffiness. I think I may be proud and say this time the meringue worked out fine, light as a feather, lots of taste and just perfect with raspberries and cinnamon cream.

Bon apetit!

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Friday Finds: Cristian Bors & Marius Ritiu

When I was at the Verbeke Foundation a few weeks ago I discovered some nice artists and the projects they are working on. I wrote a little about it for the Dutch Handmade website.

Two artists from Romania stood out. Our guide told us these 2 friends had become famous by attracting the attention of museums in a very original way, they just impose themselves wherever they can.

Just outside Antwerp there is a sculpture park, het Middelheim, spring last year they parked themselves just outside the fence, looking in.

If you look well, you'll see these are sculptures. The museum curators noticed too and liked them so much they let them into the sculpture park, mission accomplished. It got the attention of the Verbeke Foundation and they let them in. They have been adding their name wherever they can. Like to this work by Jan Fabre, a collection of head stones and a list of names. Orlan on the list correspondents to the headstone in the picture. 

Have a look at the 2 names at the bottom of the list ;-)

For the certified copy exhibition they made copies of famous schulptures in the same way as the sculpture of themselves outside het Middelheim. They take endless pictures of the sculpture or themselves and stick these toghether agian in the same shape as the original.

Want to discover more about these to guys go here.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Year of the Rabbit

3 feb 2011
Today the year of the rabbit starts according to the Chinese calender.

I always liked rabbits, I had some when I was a kid, the big Flemish ones I remember best. I started collecting sculptures of rabbits when I was a kid and kept collecting till my early twenties. If I'd go somewhere I'd look for a rabbit to add to my collection. Most are stacked way in a box at my parents house, but some have made it to my current home:

Now I can make my own rabbits and I do in clay and porcelain and I bet it want be long until I will come up with a silver rabbit too. Their are more people on etsy with a love for rabbits, here a curious collection:

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Flickr Favourites

I liked Artmind's theme so much that today I'll join in.
My favourite home:

3. d R e a M H o m E    4. Cuzco again...

Since me and my hubby are looking for a new home this theme is right up my sleeve. We're looking for an old house, which has nice old features, but the interior will be more modern. We both like the mix of old and new and lots of natural materials, wood, stone, glass, steel. There will be a place for lots of books and lots of cosy corners for our cats, a kitchen with an AGA cooker would be lovely. A warm bathroom with a hot shower. And a space for my workshop where I can play with water, fire, clay, silver and glass, but also a space for an exhibition area and perhaps a space to let out for yoga classes or small seminaries or to give workshops........