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Friday, August 27, 2010

Fruity White Wine Jelly - Pondering Over LadyIronChef's Controversy


Those who have been following the Singapore Flogosphere would have caught the buzz over the rather disturbing controversy involving well known local food blogger, LadyIronChef. Yahoo News had reported that he had abused his privilege when he was invited to a food tasting session at a local restaurant. By the time I got to hear about it from fellow bloggers, LadyIronChef had apparently already been bashed up so badly online, suspended his blog and issued a post to share his side of the story.... All these took place at the time when I was just about to go for another food tasting invitation and because of that, the episode had a greater sense of relevance for me. My 2 colleagues whom I had asked along to help me work through the huge tasting menu pulled me aside to show me the Life section of the Straits Times when I stepped into the office that morning. They were concerned if I had gotten clearance for them to join me...

When I finished reading the article in my office, I started to ponder and reflect on the whole meaning and relevance of this space which I call  my blog and the even greater social virtual space which we have come to refer to as the Blogosphere. In all honesty, I seriously cannot remember why I had started a food blog. Till date, possibly only 5 of my friends have seen my blog. The colleagues who went with me for the food tasting session have no idea what my blog looks like and I have no intention to show them...  I think this leads me to one of the most fundamental motivation of blogging - stripping all excuses and reasonings away, the common denominator that will always remain is Self Indulgence. Probably more than 80% of all bloggers out there started out using the blogosphere as a platform to ramble and indulge in things that are of interests to themselves. Some do it with more gusto and ambition while others are happy just to continue with the rambling and attract like minded people to partake the indulgence together.  The seriously ambitious will be able to turn their space into a business platform while the rest who continue to manage their space as a personal hobby room could become an interesting and cost effective promotion avenue for marketers.

Everyone loves perks... and to me, food tasting invitations, product reviews and product giveaways are just exactly those. I remember discussing this with Zurin, pondering over why we have been chosen to host giveaways when our blogs (at least my blog) could hardly be considered to be 'box-office-ratings-stars'... similarly, my food tasting opportunities did not present themselves to me because I am better than others but because a generous blogger had referred me. The fact that one is offered perks does not neccesarily mean that one is better than the next blogger - to let these get into one's head and let these fool one into believing that they deserve better treatment than others is sad and appalling.

I do not judge LadyIronChef but his case had sent a shudder through me- I am amazed at the sheer number of people/ blogggers out there who are so quick to pound on him. Never knew such cruetly exists in the blogosphere...I tend to agree with him that it takes 2 and possibly more hands to clap. He had been presumptious and rude but it seems the marketer at Private Affairs had also been reckless and unprofessional.

Enough of the weighty stuff and now for something soft and sweet... I share with you today, an absolutely simple dessert treat. Totally self-indulgent as it requires zero skill - I just wanted to photograph and eat something pretty - so if you will, indulge with me...

WWJ 100

200g                                Mixed fruits (I used frozen mixed berries)
Gelatine                           20g
Water                              100ml

Sugar                               50g
Water                              300g

White Wine                      100ml
Lemon juice                      2 tsp

Method :
1. Mix gelatine wiht 100ml water and set aside at room temperature for 15mins.
2. In a heavy saucepan, heat water and sugar until sugar dissolves. Add (1) and remove from heat and stir until completely dissolved.
3. Add white wine and lemon juice. Cool down with stirring over an ice bath. (This will allow the jelly to start setting - viscosity will become higher. When fruits are added at this point, they will not all float at the top of the mold.)

4. Add fruits to (3) and pour into mold. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours until firm and set.


boo_licious said...

Lovely jellies and yes, the whole idea of what happened definitely is a wakeup call to all of us food bloggers.

Blessed Homemaker said...

This is so beautiful!

WendyinKK said...

I love the first pic.
I think I've seen Jamie Oliver doing something similiar on TV.

If bloggers can just write anything about restaurants on their blogs, so can restaurants write about bloggers in the media. It works both ways be it good or bad. Being a blogger is the first step to making yourself public, and it's a risk I'd say, especially as a food reviewer.

Trissa said...

I heard about this controversy - but only from the internet... It also made me think... someone invited me to a free class the other day - I initially agreed but after, I declined and decided to pay my way. It as definitely because of the hoopla surrounding your story... on to other matters... that jelly - well, it looks gorgeous - but am sure you knew that already!

Unknown said...

That looks so pretty!

I would like to invite you participate in my giveaway at

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

It is a pity that this episode took place - good or bad, it has generated immense publicity for the 2 parties involved - something, I am sure the restaurant had been anticipating when they had chosen to talk to the press- however this has also affected other bloggers out there who have genuine interests in tasting new flavors, learning about food preparation And the food business.

Anonymous said...

Ooh..yum. I love jellies. That's one delectable jelly.

I read about the controversy. To give him the benefit of the doubt, he had clarified the situation from his side.

I think it's very important that people don't base anything on assumptions. At best is to get a confirmation (yes or no).

Swee San said...

Shirley, totally agree with ur comment.. But that aside, the jelly looked amazing!!!

Passionate About Baking said...

This is so special Shirley! Your fruity white wine jelly looks very good, and I'm sure it tastes good too! Anything else I can replace the white wine with? I don't have white wine...

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Hi Jane, for those who do not want to use white wine (especially if you have children), you can replace it with fruit juice. If you can get grape juice, that would be good, if not, I think apple juice would be my choice. You may need to cut down on sugar content though.

Bakericious said...

Shirley, the jelly is so beautiful!

Kitchen Corner said...

The first picture is excellent! It can be put on the cover page of a recipe book. Looks fantastic and pretty! How did you do that?

Zurin said...

lovely and pretty jellies Shirley. so refreshing. and I love eating pretty food too. :)

what an episode.I never knew it had happened :( ANd thanks for the link :)

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

That jelly looks lovely! So pretty! As for the controversy, I've been away so only heard about it. I read the Yahoo article and it does sound damming but will now go and read his side of the story.

Jo said...

The jelly looks really gorgeous. Love the colours, flavours and bet it must have tasted great as well.

Passionate About Baking said...

Thanks for the tips Shirley. The weather has been rather hot lately. I think it's truly worth trying. Thanks.

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Grace, good question... I am not sure how I took the shot. I am really pleased with the shot myself but I think it could have been a fluke shot. I started with the jelly in the photos -didn't look right, took the single jelly shot -looked too bland, then I threw in a few things in the background and ended up with the final shot. I worked with a few different exposures - I actually deliberately over-exposed the shots by +1 to get a clean paper white background. I have done over-exposure before- it didn't turn out right everytime. Most of the times, the lighting turned out too harsh. This time, though, came out just right :)... I must continue to experiment.

Sharona May said...

I agree with all the comments above. Your jelly looks absolutely beautiful.

Sharona May

Clare @ Mrs Multitasker said...

this sounds like a wonderful recipe. love it =) will surely try.


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