Archive | December, 2011

Pierre Marcolini

29 Dec

Yesterday as i was walking on the streets i saw that Pierre Marcolini had a shop in the area. As i didn’t know him before Christmas thanks to his beautiful “bûches” and chocolates that where everywhere on food blogs and other websites, i decided to go for a try today.

I bought 12  milk chocolates and one small white chocolate bar, and a small gift for friends as i always eat their bread. Hum, be ready to empty your wallet: 2700TWD for this. But god dammit, that was so delicious.

For the small chocolates, i chose:
Thé Earl Grey: nice and light
Thé Citron: this one is really nice, you really have a strong flavor or the lemon
Safran: this one i wasn’t that impressed and i don’t think it was really special
Mangue: the mango flavor comes at last, and it’s quite refreshing. However i would have like the mango taste a little bit stronger
Fleur d’oranger: it was like eating a Maghrebian pastry. Really nice, one of my favorite
Palet Or Lait: ok, this one is just a killer: caramel, vanilla, just everything that i love…
Calin Lait: this one also is delicious, with caramel, “dentelle de quimper” for the crispy part, and vanilla.
Caramel fondant: with melted salted caramel. Well it’s just awesome, i can’t say more. I just love caramel and this one was nicely salted.
Quatre épices: this one is impressive, because you really feel like eating a ginger bread. Really strange and nice.
Rose: i am not fond of this one, maybe it is because i think rose flavor is too chemical.
Ginger: nice and fresh. Chocolate ginger is always a nice mix i think.
Café Cardamone: the coffee taste was here (i can’t even  to the Godiva truffle where i couldn’t taste it).

The white chocolate is really nice: you can really feel the vanilla. But maybe i would have put a little less salt, because a part of it was quite salty i think.

If you want a sweet treat with chocolate, i can only recommend you this place. So far there are one of the best chocolates i ever had. However, it’s really expensive and small for the price. But good quality often means small size too. My favorites are the ones with caramel, but you should try the quatre épices and fleur d’oranger for something unusual.

Pierre Marcolini
Shin Kon Mitsukushi A4 2F
MRT: Taipei City Hall

Godiva

29 Dec

I was in lack of chocolates. Even though i’m not fond of chocolate, i must have my Christmas chocolates. So i went for a raid: Pierre Marcolini and Godiva (yeah, when i start things, i do it well and throughly). I went to Godiva for a “Milk Chocolate decadence”, a drink, which was cold and nice. Not too heavy, less expensive than in Starbucks and with Chantilly as i like. Then i saw the truffles, and as they didn’t have any at Pierre Marcolini, i bought 4 of them.
Almond truffle: it is more like a chocolate i think, with almonde praliné inside. It was nice.
Crème brûlée truffle: the best of the four, sweet but with the real taste of crème brulée.
Bailey’s irish coffee truffle: the alchool taste was strong, but i couldn’t taste the coffee.
Cappucino truffle: no coffee taste at all, i was quite disappointed.

In general, the chocolate of the truffles isn’t that tasty i think, and the chocolates aren’t exceptional. I have had better ones, but they have a nice choice of flavors. I will have to try the chocolates later.

A rant

29 Dec

I was passing by in front of Paul on the second floor of Shin Kon Mitsukushi, when i suddently stopped. I couldn’t believe my eyes: what were those horrible things that they dare sell to the customers? What was that? I went closer to look at it. No, it couldn’t be. Coffee nun and chocolate nun, my favorite cakes had turned out into a monstruous thing. I know Paul in France, and if they would show those “pastries” (i can’t even call that a pastry, a 5 years old kid would do better), their reputation would seriously be questioned.

I agree that it’s nice for the brand to expand itself, but it must not mean doing bad quality and having a stand that isn’t really clean. They should at least train their employees to do acceptable pastries, because when you see the price that is the one of the best pastry shop of the city, while the quality is just average, it can’t work. They should really be careful. For example in Lalos, they keep 2 French bakers that train the locals and do cakes according to their level. Then you can slowly progress and develop your range of products. But starting by doing sh*tty things, you won’t go far.

I hope i won’t see that again because that’s typically the kind of things that ruins the image of French pastries. And it’s even more a problem when it touches my favorite dessert.

Hot Wine

25 Dec

Another friends’recipe

Ingredients:
– 4 apples
– 1 bottle of wine (our was Taiwanese wine= only sweet nearly no alchool)
– 4 spices (i used the Imperial mix with cinnamon and other spicies)
– 1 Lemon

Peal the apples, put the spicies into the wine, add the apples, mix a little, and add some drops of lemon. Heat the whole and take it out of the fire just before it starts to boil. Serve and drink immediately.

LuCa

25 Dec

This isn’t my recipe but one of my friends. It’s simple and really nice!

Ingredients:
– Chocolate
– Plain Cereales

Melt the chocolate, put cereals in it and then make some small piles of the mix. Wait long enough for the chocolate to harden.

Paulaner

22 Dec

I was invited to Paulaner, so it was free.

We started with a begel, served with butter and “paté”. The paté was nice, and the begel  just hot.
The beers were not that good. At least it had the german taste, but the lager beer wasn’t strong enough. I mean the taste was barely there. I also tried the dark one, which had a little more taste, but not that much neither, and then i returned to the lager one, hoping it would be a little better, but not. A German told me that it was because it was opened too long ago and that the taste was like this. 

Then we had salmon and chicken wings (not really German though): the salmon was cut too thick for me, which spoils the taste a little, but the chicken wings were ok (just eating with bare hands isn’t my favorite thing). After came the German dish with 3 sausages: one white, one with cheese inside, and a normal one, with beef, and pork with its fried skin (that is good). The mash potato was too thick again, lacking milk and smoothness, while the cabbage was ok. The fish however was really nice, il really liked the sauce on it, but again, the mash potato had the same problem.
Then came the cheese pizza, which was really nice, with tomato sauce under and a crispy dough. It was better than the one i had in Alleycat’s (which is a restaurant i would rather erase of my memories). You had cheese and red hot pepper served with it, os it was nice.

Finally the dessert. I recognized the Dark Forest (that German didn’t). I never had a dark forest before, but i still can tell if it’s good or not: chocolate taste: none (i mean, like Taiwanese chocolate cakes), cherries and kirsh= one or two cherries, but really, no strong taste, i find out it was cherries because of the shape and texture. Then, the cream, which was ok. This was a dessert and as i like dessert i finished it, but not a good one.

Overall: the main dishes are nice, even though that’s not high class food, but don’t go for the dessert, the beer and the side dishes.

Paulaner
Taoyuan
Decor House

Vegetable Place – NCCU

20 Dec

Finally! After 4 months at NCCU, i finally found a place where you can get vegetables only and not oily (a miracle, believe me!). Because vegetables here seem to be unknowned by Taiwanese. I mean, you have noodles, rice, soup, but if you want only vegetables without oil, so far i only found the stewed take-away stands, and they only have cabbage or broccoli. So if you want some choice, well, that’s too bad for you but you won’t eat. Or you can have salads, but salads in winter…
I know i’m late to find restaurants (everyone seem surprised that i only tried a very few restaurants so far)

My dream right now is my parents “Ratatouille”: a lot of veggies!

So, anyway, back to the restaurant. You have a lot of choice concerning vegetables: spinach, pepper, cabbage, mash potato, beans, green beans, cauliflore, carrots, cucumber, boiled dim sum… welle everything that’s perfect for me. Ok, the spinach are a little too cooked, the cuncumbers too salted, but well, i can bear it if it’s for vegetables. The mash potato is really strange though: sweet, with eggs, carrots and corns inside (i think that’s what makes it sweet), and this for only 48TWD, which is the price of an apple with a jujube (so this is far better).

1rst restaurant on the left

Fried and Boiled dumplings

16 Dec

2 reciepes of dumplings, depending on how you prefer them (i personally prefer the boiling one: juicier and healthier).

Ingredients for 4 people:
– 300g of minced pork
– 1 green onion
– Taiwanese cabbage
– dumpling wrapper
– 2 table spoons of soy sauce
– half a tea spoon of sugar
– 5 tea spoons of salt
– 1 tea spoon of sesame oil
– water
– oil

Wash the cabbage, chop it into strips and mix it with salt for 20 minutes and then drain out the water.
In a bowl, mix minced pork, soy sauce, sugar, salt, sesame oil, then put the all with the cabbage and the green onion and mix again.
Put a few filling in the middle of the wrapper, put water on the sides of the wrapper, fold it in two and be sure that it’s well stick. Then start folding it, starting from the middle to one side. Turn down a piece of the dought and pinch it.

For fried dumplings:
Turn on the cooker, clean it with some water and a cloth. Wait for it to be heated. Add some oil. Wait for the sizzling then put your dumplings. Let them change color for about 4/5minutes and add water up to half the dumpling height. Wait until the power pop-up, and it’s ready.

For boiled dumplings:
Put a lot of water into the cooker, wait for it to boilt, and put your dumplings for 10mn.

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2 sortes de raviolis: les frits et les cuits à l’eau. Personnellement je préfère ceux à l’eau qui sont plus juteux et moins gras.

Ingrédients pour 4 personnes:
– 300g de porc haché
– 1 oignon vert
– choux Taiwanais
– pâte à ravioles chinoises
– 2 cuillères à soupe de sauce soja
– 1/2 cuillère à café de sucre
– 5 cuillères à soupe de sel
– 1 cuillère à café d’huile de sésame
– huile
– eau

Laver le chou et le couper en lamelles. Le mélanger au sel et attendre 20mn, puis le laver de nouveau pour enlever le sel en trop.
Dans un bol, mélanger la viande, la sauce soja, le sucre, le sel et l’huile de soja. Rajouter le chou et l’oignon vert et mélanger encore.
Mettre un peu de farce au milieu des galettes à ravioles, mouiller les rebords et les plier en deux et vérifiant que les extrémités soient bien collées. En partant du milieu et en allant vers chaque extrémités, plier en “pinçant” la pâte à intervalles réguliers pour donner une forme de ravioli.

Les raviolis frits:
Verser un verre d’eau dans le cooker et le nettooyer avec un chiffon. Attendre que le fond chauffe et rajouter de l’huile. Quand on commence à entendre le crépitement, verser les raviolis et attendre 4/5 minutes le temps qu’ils se colorent. Rajouter de l’eau jusqu’à la moitié de leur hauteur et attendre encore 5 minutes à couvert. 

Les raviolis bouillis:
Comme les pâtes italiennes: Verser une grande quantité d’eau, attendre qu’elle bouille et verser les raviolis. 10 minutes après, c’est prêt.

Brown Sugar Cake

16 Dec

A Taiwanese dessert recipe

Ingredients for 4:
– 60g of cake flower (flour if you don’t have)
– 12g of Potato starch
– 60g of molasses
– sugar
– 30g of oil
– 2 eggs
– 3g of soda powder
– sesame

Put soda powder in 10g of water. Mix the cake flower and the potato starch, add molasses, sugar (as you want but we put around 2 spoons and i think it was enough as there’re the molasses), oil and the 2 eggs while mixing.  Pull the soda powder, mix again, and put everything into your mold. Put two glass of water into your cooker pan and your mold. I guess bain marie is ok if you cover both ustensils, because it’s supposed to cook with the steam water. It takes around 30mn. Use the knife to see if it’s cooked. Add sesame.

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Dessert Taiwanais: Gâteau au sucre roux

Ingrédients pour 4 personnes:
– 60 g de farine
– 12g de Maïzena
– 60g de mélasses (ou sirop d’érable si vous ne trouvez pas, mais le résultat sera nettement moins bon)
– 30g d’huile
– 2 oeufs
– sucre (selon ses désirs, mais 2 cuillères à soupe sont suffisantes pour moi, vu qu’il y a déjà la mélasse)
– 10g d’eau
– 3g de poudre de bicarbonate
– sésame

Verser la poudre de bicarbonate dans 10g d’eau. Mélanger la farine et la maïzena, rajouter la mélasse, le sucre, l’huile et les œufs tout en mélangeant, rajouter la poudre e bicarbonate. Verser dans votre moule, et mettre le moule dans le cooker avec 2 verres d’eau. Peut-être que la technique du bain-marie pourrait marcher si on couvre aussi le récipient contenant l’eau bouillante (à tester). Laisser couvert environ 30mn. On peut utiliser le couteau pour vérifier la cuisson. Sortir du cooker, rajouter des graines de sésame.

Sandwich Ice-cream

14 Dec

Another weird thing invented by Asians, the sandwich ice-cream. The biscuit is salty, and the ice-cream is really creamy with a little of vanilla. Ok but not fantastic.

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