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Friday, April 13, 2012

Lemon Curd/ Crema de limón

So I've been thinking for a while now of making some macaroons; you know, the french ones.  I've always been intrigued by them and can't wait to try them.  But this post is not about macaroons, it's about lemon curd.


Desde hace bastante tiempo ya, he estado pensando en hacer macarrones; ya saben, esos franceses.  Siempre me han intrigado y no puedo esperar a intentarlo.  Pero este post no sobre macarrones, es sobre crema de limón.

What I like about macaroons is that they are versatile and you can fill them with almost anything and just color the macaroons to match your filling, right?  Well, I thought some nice lemon flavored macaroons would be great. 


Lo que me gusta de los macarrones es que son muy versátiles y los puedes rellenar con casi cualquier cosa y  solo los coloreas de forma que combinen con tu relleno, ¿cierto?  Bueno, yo pensé que tal vez unos macarrones rellenos de limón serían fantásticos.

So I figured I could try and put together a step-by-step how-to of the lemon curd process.  I used the recipe from Joy of Baking which you can find here.


Así que pensé que podría intentar armar un paso a paso de cómo hacer la crema de limón.  Yo usé la receta de Joy of Baking, la cual pueden encontrar en su original en inglés aquí.

First things first.  You have to begin by making sure you have all your ingredients.  This is what we call preparing your Mise-en-place which is a fancy way, or rather the french way of saying: "put in place".  This just means that before you begin cooking anything you start by taking your ingredients and measuring everything like so:


Primero lo primero.  Debes empezar asegurándote de que tienes todos tus ingredientes.  Esto es lo que llamamos preparar tu Mise-en-place que es una forma elegante, o mas bien francesa, de decir: "poner en su lugar".  Esto quiere decir que antes de empezar a cocinar cualquier cosa, empiezas por tomar tus ingredientes y medirlo todo asi:



You will need:
Necesitaras:



Three eggs - Tres huevos


3/4 cup granulated sugar - 3/4 taza de azucar granulada


1/3 cup of fresh lemon juice - 1/3 taza de jugo de limón fresco


4 tablespoons of unsalted butter at room temperature cut in small pieces - 
4 cucharadas de mantequilla sin sal a temperatura ambiente cortada en pedazos pequeños


1 tablespoon of lemon zest - 1 cucharada de rallo de limón


A pot of boiling water - Una olla con agua hirviendo



A heat resistant bowl, or pot, or if you have one a stainless steel bowl -
Un bol resistente al calor, o una olla o si tienes un bol de acero inoxidable



A whisk or a spatula. - Un batidor de globo o una paleta

Now that you've got all of the ingredients and utensils... my bad... I forgot to mention that you would also need a stove, but then again, it was kind of obvious so I thought you could figure that out all by yourselves... hehehehe

Ahora que ya tienes todos los ingredientes y utensilios... lo siento... me olvidé de mencionar que también necesitarás una estufa, pero era algo obvio así que pensé que podrías descifrarlo por tu cuenta... jejejejeje

Anyway, the first thing you need to do, is take your bowl and whisk together the eggs, the lemon juice and the sugar until everything is well blended:

De cualquier forma, lo primero que debes hacer, es tomar tu bol y mezclar los huevos, el jugo de limón y el azúcar hasta que todo esté bien combinado.


Then you take your bowl and put it on top of the pot of simmering water.  You have to make sure that your bowl is a tad bigger than the pot so the bowl sit comfortably you could say on top of the pot of simmering water and all the heat is beneath it cooking the curd gently.

Luego, tomas tu bol y lo pones sobre la olla de agua hirviendo, esto es para hacer un baño maría.  Debes asegurarte que tu bol sea más grande que tu olla y la cubra completamente el agua para todo el calor se concentre por debajo del bol cocinando la crema gentilmente.

You have to cook the curd stirring constatnly to prevent it from curdling,  

Debes cocinar la crema moviendola constantemente para prevenir grumos.


It will seem like forever, but trust me in a moment it will begin to thicken and once it begins it will be very fast, so you have to be careful you don't overcook it.


Parecerán siglos, pero creéme en un momento empezará a espesar y una vez que lo haga se espesará rapídisimo, así que debes tener cuidado de no sobrecocinarla.


It is supposed to have the consistency of a hollandaise sauce.  I have no idea what the consistency of a hollandaise sauce is supposed to be since I've never cooked one, so I cook it until the texture seems correct, it's more of a gut feeling if you know what I mean.  Either way you have to take into account that the curd will continue to thicken as it cools, so keep that in mind.  I check the consistency of my curd with a spoon:


Se supone que debe tener la consistencia de una salsa holandesa.  Como no tengo idea de cuál es la consistencia de una salsa holandesa ya que nunca he hecho una, cocino la crema hasta que la consistencia me parezca la correcta, es más como una intuición si sabes a qué me refiero.  De todas formas debes tomar en cuenta que la crema se sigue espesando mientras se enfría, así que tenlo en mente.  Yo reviso la consistencia de mi crema con una cuchara:




Once I reach this consistency I know it's done.  Then immediately pour through a fine strainer.  This will remove any lumps or cooked egg.

Una vez alcancé esta consistencia ya sé que está lista.  Inmediatamente después la pasas sobre un colador fino.  Esto removera cualquier grumo o pedacito de huevo.




After that, you get your butter and whisk it into the curd until it is melted and well blended.  Then add the lemon zest and let cool.

Luego tomas tu mantequilla o margarina y la mezclas con la crema hasta que se derrita y se integre bien.  Luego añades el rallo de limón y lo dejas enfriar.




Remember to cover your curd immediately to prevent a skin to form on the top of the curd.  

Recuerda cubrir inmediatamente tu crema para prevenir que se forme una pelicula sobre su superficie.


After it has cooled down, put it in your fridge and now it's ready to be used as a filling or topping for anything you can think of.

Una vez que se ha enfriado, ponla en tu refri y ya está lista para ser usada como relleno, o salsa para cualquier cosa que se te pueda ocurrir.

We used it on vanilla ice cream the other day and it was incredible....  No pictures though since it was gone before I even thought of grabbing my camera... hahahaha....

Nosotros la usamos con helado de vainilla el otro día y quedó genial... No hay fotos, porque se acabó antes de siquiera yo pensar en sacar mi cámara... hahahahaha....

Hope you give it a try and let me know how it went...

Espero que lo intentes y me cuentes cómo te fue....

Friday, March 30, 2012

TGIF/ Al fin viernes!!

So I was getting so excited because it´s finally Friday, you know; but as it turns out it was all for nothing.  

Y no ven que yo toda emocionada porque al fin es viernes, y luego me doy cuenta que es por gusto.

The whole reason of my excitement was that tomorrow is Saturday and that means Culinary and Pastry school, but then I remembered that we won't have classes tomorrow and next Saturday either.  This is because of the Holy Week holiday.  It's weird to explain in English, so I apologize; but bear with me since this is not my native tongue and I sometimes get things wrong even though I'm a sworn translator and stuff.  The thing is that since on weekdays they are a regular school they are closed for the holidays since today and I won't have any classes until April 14th which is a total bummer.

La única razón para mi entusiasmo es que mañana es sábado y eso significa Formación para Chef y Repostería, pero luego me acordé que no vamos a tener clases mañana ni el sábado que le sigue.  Esto es por el feriado de Semana santa ya que como también es colegio están cerrados desde hoy y no vamos a tener clases sino hasta el 14 de abril, lo cual quiera que no me entristece mucho.

And while some people get to rest at least a couple of days, (in Guatemala is National Holiday on Thursday and Friday) I still have to go to work.  Since I work for a US based company, they do not have the same holidays that we do so I have to go to work all next week.  The good thing is that management has approved dress down for the whole week so it makes things a bit brighter.  Key word: bit.

Y mientras otras personas descansan por al menos un par de días (en Guate es feriado oficial el jueves y el viernes) yo tengo que ir a trabjar.  Ya que trabajo para una compañía con base en los Estados Unidos, ellos no tienen los mismos feriados que tenemos nosotros así que tengo que ir a trabajar toda la semana.  Al menos la gerencia ya aprobó que vayamos vestidos informales por toda la semana, así que esto lo hace un poquito mejor.  Palabra clave: poquito.

I finally got my uniform and can't wait to put it on again.  I feel like a contestant on Top Chef or Chopped but I'm afraid I won't even get pass the first auditions since I haven't really learned that much, but still.  If I can get someone to take a picture of me wearing my uniform I will show you.  I feel like Julia Childs at the Cordon Bleu, though I doubt that I could ever afford to go there, but one can still dream.... hehehehe

Y al fin me dieron mi uniforme y no puedo esperar a ponermelo otra vez.  Me siento como un concursante de Top Chef o Chopped pero me temo que no pasaría ni siquiera de la primera audición ya que todavia no he aprendido mucho, pero ni modo.  Si logro que alguien me tome una foto con mi uniforme les enseño y tal vez puedan entender mi entusiasmo.  Me siento como una Julia Childs en el Cordon Bleu aunque dudo que yo pudiera alguna vez costear clases alli, pero se vale soñar.. jejejeje.

Until then..... cheers!!!

Hasta entonces.... saludines!!!


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dreams

We all have dreams.  Whether we live to see them come true or not is another thing.  Some dreams may be bigger than others but we all have them all the same.


Sometimes following our dreams may seem like something out from a movie or a book; and half the time this is the main reason we don't do anything about them and we go all our lives wondering what would have been.


I don't know about you, but I have many dreams.  Some bigger than others but dreams all the same.  At one point or another some of these dreams felt achievable and then for some reason they were left to gather dust.  I seem to change my mind all the time and focusing on one dream seems impossible.


I always wanted to do so many things, be so many things that I ended up all confused and lost.  It is really difficult to fulfill your dreams as it is, but is even more difficult to fulfill them when you have no idea what you want.  How are you going to go anywhere if you have no idea what moves you?


I seem to finally found something inside me that I didn't know was there.  As anyone who has ever met me can tell you, I am a very picky eater and the list of things that I don't like to eat is really long.  But what I do like is sweets.  I love chocolate and everything in between.  Well, almost everything in between.


I have a thing for pastries and for a while now I have done fine by myself looking up recipes from food channels and sites and blogs and stuff.  Enrolling in free online courses and watching Youtube videos.  Once I found the joy of baking I kept my eye out for a chance to study pastry for real, with real teachers and stuff, but it was always rather expensive and I couldn't afford it and on top of that most of the courses I found required that you go to school all day every weekday, which of course I couldn't.  I have to work if I ever want to afford anything, not to mention help support my family.


This year everything changed.  A dream of mine has finally be put in motion to become a real thing. For some time now I keep receiving this newsletter from this place called Junkabal, which is a technical school for women here in Guatemala.  Anything you want to learn and I bet they have a course for it.  They have from basic cooking and chef training, to beauty school and jewelry making.  They have courses in balloon decorations and knitting and almost anything else.


The thing is that I enrolled in Pastry Chef training which is really exciting for me.  Of course I'm only starting, but I have already learned lots of things I had no idea.  Others I kinda knew but it's a different feeling when you have a professional telling you this things.


It was a gift from God when I started.  I kept playing with the idea of enrolling to the Chef training course after I finished with the Pastry course which would be 20 months.  I wasn't sure since there's that thing about not liking to eat a lot of things, but then I figured that I what better way to get over this whole eating business but to learn how to cook properly.  Then I started thinking of all the things I could do once I finished both courses and something lit up inside me.  Then I thought that waiting another four years for everything was a bit long and I am not really known for my patience.  


Turnes out that I could take the afternoon Chef class and since I was already enrolled I only had to take one Human Development and Microbusiness class so I had enough time.  Of course it meant that I had to spend all day Saturday at school from 8 AM to 5 PM.  But let me tell you something: IT'S TOTALLY WORTH IT.


I may be just starting, but there I often find myslef wishing tomorrow would be Saturday so that I can go to school.  It's been a long, long, long time since I felt like this.  It makes me feel so good that I feel I'm going to explode with happiness sometimes.  I think that one of the most exciting things is that we get to wear chef's uniforms and all.  I'll receive mine this Saturday and when I do, you bet I'm posting a picture of me in my uniform imagining that I'm about to go on on Top Chef or Chopped.


Until next time,

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

forever alone

Honestly I believe that we've all felt "forever alone" at one time or another.  Whether it's true or not it's a feeling that sometimes is hard to shake.


I find it hard to believe that anyone is truly forever alone, unless it's by choice... and even then...


I feel grateful of the people around me that have shown me their love and trust.  I try to be there for my loved ones so that they may be reminded that no matter what happens they are never alone.


I hope that the message is clear since the feeling comes and goes; but as I have showed to others that I'll always be there, others have showed me that I'm not alone either...


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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

El REGALO PERFECTO/ The perfect gift

Asi que recibi una licuadora nueva para navidad y me muero de ganas de hacer flanes otra vez.  Solo por los flanes me decidi a comprarla.  Es que son lo máximo...

So I got a new blender for Christmas and I've been dying to start making flans again.  Just because of the flans I finally decided to get one.  You know, because they rock!


Si los nenes me dejan hoy intentaré hacer el chocoflan de Marcela Valladolid.  Desde que la vi hacer uno en el Food Network me muero de ganas por probar hacer uno, sobre todo porque tambien se le llama pastel imposible y eso lo hace mas tentador todavia; pero por una razón u otra (como que se arruine mi licuadora) no lo he podido hacer.


If the kids allow I'll attempt to make Marcela Valladolid's chocoflan tonight.  Ever since I saw her do one on Food Network I have been wanting to make one, specially since it is also called "impossible cake" which makes all the more tempting; but for one thing or another (like my blender breaking down) I haven't had the opportunity to do so.


Tomare fotos y todo para hacer un disque paso a paso de como hacerlo...


I'll take pictures and do a sort of step by step thingy...

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Blogging from my phone

Just trying out this new app... hehehe… loving it..


Let's see a picture from my bed..  but what to capture...


I guess my foot might be th only thing nearby hahahaha


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