Dashi is a simple stock, a foundation of Japanese cooking, which typically consists of three ingredients: Kombu (kelp), katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes) and water. The combination of these ingredients creates a stock that amplifies the umami flavour in any dish. It is widely used not only for soups, but a wide range of dishes such as simmered vegetables and even dipping sauces. For this reason, it’s great to make a good-sized batch to have on hand in the fridge to use throughout the week.

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Crème Brûlée

What is a Crème Brûlée? A rich custard made with egg yolks, sugar, cream and flavouring. It is usually finished with a thin piece of torched sugar at the top of the custard (the Brûlée). A hallmark of a great crème brûlée is that the custard remains cold even after torching. It should also have a well-defined flavour, and a crisp crackly top: you should be able to hear the the sugar shards crack as you dig into the sugar crust with a spoon. The custard should be light and silky, with a rich cream and caramel flavour. Like anything else, it comes down to temperature, taste, and texture.

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Tool of refinement: Microplane. A lot of people think that a microplane’s sole purpose is to zest or grate. What about cleaning the less than perfect edges of a pate sucree, as shown with the half pipes here?

Pandan Panna Cotta

While scrolling through Instagram, I came across a post from Naval Ravikant that resonated with me: “Inspiration is perishable, act on it immediately.” I mean that’s what these supper clubs are about. So while things were still fresh in my mind from a recent supper club, I combined various aspects and components that we liked from both desserts into one. Quality over quantity – rather than having extra courses that are so-so, why not combine the two to have one that’s excellent?

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Supper Club (2021-08-20)

Braised leeks, black garlic and parmesan foam

With summer holidays coming to an end and the school year full of uncertainty, I want to do as many supper club as possible by the end of the month…but let’s face it, I might be able to get one more in before school starts. The plan is to continue working but slow down to once a month come September (I will re-assess once school gets rolling, I do enjoy it!). Supper club this week was all about learning new things: 1) Megan pushed me to go vegetarian this dinner (dairy ok); 2) mould-making for the corn dish; 3) seitan as a main and 4) testing new ice cream recipes because we are trying to only have homemade ice cream at home now.

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