Wednesday, October 03, 2007

All Things Caramel

How did two whole months manage to go by without a post? Things are busy around here for sure! But not too busy for some new tastes. Reading blogs from around the world sets off cravings for unknown foods that sound delicious and that I just know I'll love if I try.

When I first read Clothilde's description of caneles, I thought "That's exactly my kind of thing". To quote the Little One, "I mmeeeeed it, Mummy". Let's just say I went as far as contemplating buying a fancy set of copper canele moulds a la Barbara. Thank goodness I didn't though. Driving through Hampton the other day, I stopped off at the Phillipa's branch there and lo and behold, they featured a little plate of caneles. I bought a couple, excitedly, and couldn't wait to try them. Let's just say that after all, it wasn't my thing at all. And I can't even blame Phillipa's, because they looked exactly as I've seen them and the texture and flavour seemed right, it just wasn't for me. Aaack!

I've also had a minor internet obsession with Dulce de Leche. As with many things, this can be squarely blamed on David Lebovitz. I've been meaning to make it with this method for ages, but haven't gotten around to it. And when I saw that it was featured on Koko Black's menu as the new flavour of the season, I immediately took one home. (Well more than one, as you can see). These are a little banged up, as they were simply popped in a paper bag, rather than the more elegant box. And again, I was disappointed. I mean, it was fine, there was nothing wrong with it, but it was quite light and liquid, not the rich and thick caramel I'd been imagining.

So I'd pretty much decided I needed to stop having pointless internet obsessions with foodstuffs, when we went for a family outing in St Kilda. Veg Out, the community garden, was holding its annual open day and we went along for some excellent organic lamb hot dogs and woodfired pizza. The gardens are absolutely charming - they have a quirkiness and appeal that won me over immediately. But it was a fearfully windy day and we eventually wound up strolling down Acland Street for gelato. Into 7 Apples and the whole family loaded up. After much deliberation I selected mango and dulce de leche. The mango was underwhelming - think of that pale watery orange and mango drink - and I was muttering to myself about my idiotic flavour choices. But I got through to the next scoop and oh my! Thick, rich, perfect, delicious!

Sometimes internet crushes do pay off.