Tuesday, April 10, 2007

My First Major "Commercial" Disaster

A couple of weeks ago, newlywed man ordered a Lemon Meringue Pie from me, to surprise his new wife on her birthday. Awww, how sweet is that. But subsequently, he changed his mind, because the thought of something sour on a birthday didn't seem appropriate, although for the record, I think a LMP is perfect, coz the solid base represents a solid foundation, the zesty lemon represents a zest for life, the bright yellow represents cheerfulness, and the sweet light fluffy meringue, represents sweetness in life.

Nevertheless, I failed to convince him, and he wanted a Strawberry Meringue Pie instead. Fine, I thought, how hard can that be. Anyway, the cake order was for Monday, and I was away in Kampar on the weekend, and only got back on Sunday. I assumed that it wouldn't be hard to find a recipe for strawberry meringue, but I was wrong, and I couldn't find any suitable ones. So, I mentally conjured up this image.


That symbol next to the word crust is Pi, in case yall have forgotten your add math.

So ah, a lot of work right. Three different textures, a crispy(?) pie crust, a semi soft meringue, and a light strawberry cream but not quite mousse thingo. The first inkling of a disaster was, the quantity of strawberries. My original punnet, which was made into a puree for the cream, was NOT ENOUGH. I could barely taste the strawberry in the cream. Anyway, had to rectify that asap.

The next morning, I realised the cream hadn't really set. Now at this point, alarm bells were going off in my head, but it being monday morning and all, ....(plus I had another carrot cake to ice), I knew I should add some gelatine to the cream, but I am generally averse to gelatine, unless absolutely necessary, so I though, ah well, I'm sure it'll set. Therein lies the principle that a man who builds his house on sandy ground can expect a landslide. Sure enough, the piake (cross between a pie and a cake) didn't set properly, and was resembling a stunted mount vesuvius. I chucked the whole thing in the freezer, (after I got back from work) and just prayed for the best, as I left instruction with the wife not to accept any money when hubby boy came to collect the piake. (pronounced pie ache)

Of course, I got an sms from a friend later on that night, saying, "oh, we just had your putrajaya strawberry souffle"....huh? "Putrajaya", I ask. "Yup, landslide", was his reply. Aiyo, I feel soooo bad. Hey Hey Miss Ley, I'll make it up to ya one dey okay.

Conclusion: It's also not economically viable to make anything with strawberries, unless you are either willing to skimp, OR are willing to pay a fortune. I think the next time I go to a temperate country, and if strawberries are cheap, I am gonna buy them in bulk, puree them, bottle it and bring back and freeze. Can ah?

25 comments:

HL said...

strawberries are expensive EVERYWHERE. sigh. sometimes they're not sweet too, which is probably the reason you could barely taste the strawberry in the cream.

i have a strawberry meringue recipe you may like which works very well. not a pie, but you could probably adapt it well enough! i'll try making it soon and email you picture too (fingers crossed).

Sam said...

whew.. I feel your 'pain' man...ow!

Love your new word - 'piake' lol. i'm not sure but maybe the strawberry taste could be increased by adding some Monin framboise syrup...(theoretically speaking only cuz havent tried before leh).

leymondcha said...

hi hi... for the record, it really wasn't that bad lah. plus, hubby had to travel uphill/downhill/over bumps etc from your place to mine, so that probably set off the 'Putrajaya'!

alamak, now i feel so bad for putting you thru the trauma... :(

the 'piake' tasted nice, really. it was gone in a flash! Anyway, that sure isn't going to deter me from trying more of your yummy cakes!

Btw, is there anyway I can get you to accept the $$? If not, let me at least go and buy you some strawberries... heh :D

MeiyeN said...

ouch..... sounds bad! i think it's okay for as long as you know what to do next time right? :D

fatboybakes said...

thanks leymondcha for the assurance. dont worry about the $$$, treat it as my birthday gift to ya. glad to know it tasted okay.

meiyen and sam, yup, ouch is the word. actually if it didnt have to survive a journey out of the freezer, MAYYYYYBE still can prevent the landslide.

boo_licious said...

I think I also have a strawberry lemon meringue pie recipe somewhere in my massive cookbook library. Yeah, I think you should make a trip to Camerons and just bring down loads down at el cheapo prices.

babe_kl said...

i feel yr pain, but nevermind, try again! we're glad to be your guinea pigs if you need any :p

tzuanne said...

heh...

actually when i first saw the word "piake" in your entry, i thought that was the sound of the pie/cake cracking (as opposed to "plop" when someone falls off the pedestal), the last sound before the start of the landslide....

:)

Tummythoz said...

I was like tzuanne, thot piake meant a big crack happened. Well, I was seriously wrong. No crack just slides. Hehe.
Y didn't put final result pic against chef's vision?

UnkaLeong said...

Hahaha...Putrajaya Landslide :) Mommy always say foundation must be solid before start build things :P

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

nice pic. with a few squiggly vertical lines, it'll look like an ant farm.

Spot said...

Kesian! Boy, do we know about disasters... photographed for posterity in the Secret Folder of Shame ;)

Not sure if it will work for your this particular recipe, but for me, I find that for strawberries to go a long way - cheat.

I macerate them in balsamic vinegar and sugar. within half hour they'll be dark, sweet and syrupy. If can be bothered, bring the whole lot to gentle simmer so that it sort of thickens/jellifies.

Once cooled, you can fold into your whipped cream and the taste shd be strong enough to permeat thru.

Also, I think only real double cream (say Bulla from Australia) can reliably hold/set, unlike the liquid type that comes in a box.

Jackson said...

FFB, what a nice describtion on the Putrajaya landslide!! Can i order a strawberry flavour tiramisu cake next time?

boo_licious said...

Spot - that's a great idea abt the balsamic. I usually macerate those el cheapo strawberries from Camerons in sugar so they sweeten up as they're so sour! BUT for the price of RM4.90 vs the Driscolls of RM20 over, it's worth the extra macerating. My mum used to add brandy in the macerated strawberries for extra flavour. Yum!

Spot said...

boo - Brandy! Now THAT's an excellent idea! Heh.

I must say that it's also much tastier when using really good balsamic...the type that can just drink from the spoon cos it's absolutely not sour.

wmw said...

Nevermind, one always learn from experiences; good or bad!

fatboybakes said...

hi all, (too many to reply individually), thanks, i have recovered from the landslide trauma, and kick myself for not taking it that extra step and adding gelatine. sorry again to the burfday girl, but as i was telling your hubby, at least got story to tell the grandchildren hor. "you know ah, for your poh poh's first birthday after i married her, that granduncle fatboy ah, made this cake that collapsed like a landslide".....

are camerons strawberries cheaper? not really you know, considering they're the size of boogers. and yar, the macerating in balsamic i saw in nigella. looked good. driscolls were what i used. surprisingly, they're cheapest in BSC. (about 20% cheaper than village grocer). maybe just that day.

TZUANNE, what a pleasant surprise, and what a rare comment. and the sound falling off a pedestal is PLONK. you should know, you've seen enough fall off mine.

strawberry tiramisu? yar, if i charge you like RM150.

tzuanne said...

"plonk" is when they fall off... "plop" is when they fall flat...

;)

Jackson said...

RM 150 for a strawberry tiramisu? POLICE!!!!

Rasa Malaysia said...

When you go Hoi An, I am soooo jealous lah. You take pictures for me hor...where you are going to stay? There is a new chi chi hotel there called Nam Hai, must go okay.

Aiyo, really really very jealous lah.

snowdrop said...

ah, finally i can read this post! (at work, i only see the picture, the words are gibberish - primitive version of windows being used). sorry to hear about your disaster, yeah, we know what that's like!

onto more exciting things, i've been to that euro chef place they've been telling you about at wisma mpl (old HLA), and YES, they do have the wonderwoman cuffs!!! RM30 each, 6cm across, about 3.5cm high. they've lots of other shapes too... and lots of other things!!! - now i know: there ARE advantages to having to work in town!

fatboybakes said...

snowdrop, [fainting motion]...RM30 per cuff??? what are they made of? kryptonite? i tell you, i am just gonna cut some used cans, sardine, whatever, and use those lar!!! i mean, no one buys just ONE entremet ring right, so minimum half dozen, so that's RM180 oridi....

rasa malaysia, we're off to hoi an in late may only larrr, still a long long way to go. meanwhile, fidgety oridi, need to go on holiday. havent been on holiday for AGEEEES!!!! (my definition of holiday is, no kids tagging along, perhaps no wife either, eg like diving, ... )

jackson, u got cafe wat. ask your suppliers lah, if can get strawberries cheap cheap.

Victoria said...

Hey! Lovin' the blog. The pie idea looks yumm, like a mix breed of a dacquoise and a pie..yums!

maycheah said...

To massage bruised ego... I assure you it tasted a lot better than it looked!

LariesT said...

Hi FBB

Another thing you can use is over-ripe frozen strawberries and puree them with sugar. They're much cheaper than fresh strawberries, not as sour and gives much more flavour so you don't have to use that much. If u use it often you can puree more and store in bottles in the refrigerator or even freeze them in pre-measured packets for longer storage & convenience (just thaw and use! no need to measure anymore). I do that for making strawberry cheesecakes and strawberry cream/mousse.

Oh and i personally think that a teeny weeny bit of gelatin is necessary when making mousse or creams esp in our weather...just a little so it just manages to hold...i myself am averse towards gelatin too hehe...