lundi 29 décembre 2008

December Daring Baker's

This month's challenge is brought to us by the adventurous Hilda from Saffron and Blueberry and Marion from Il en Faut Peu Pour Etre Heureux.
They have chosen a French Yule Log by Flore from Florilege Gourmand.

I had planned to make this yule log for our family/friend dinner on the 26th. I managed to make in two days and overall it went okay. I had some troubles with the creme brulee insert as it did not want to cook! I solved that by increasing the oven temp to 350F for 15 min and it set all right. It did melt really quickly when I was inserting it. I also ran out of mousse, I think my mold was too large. It was no big deal and I ended up dividing the mousse in two instead of three and poured the ganache over the feuillete instead of separating them.



I made the dark chocolate with milk chocolate version and it came out very well! Not too overly sweet and not too bitter. The ganache was oozing out while i was slicing it but it was contained within the chocolate glaze so I'm the only one who noticed it. It had a very rich and creamy taste but involved lots of efforts. Maybe it is only because I was rushing through supper service and cooking and stressing, but I felt at the time I wouldn't make this yule log again because of all the time it took. I won't cross this recipe out however, before I have tried it at a nice quiet 2 or 4 person dinner.

I am really tired right now and can't be bothered running after the pictures I took. (I forgot my camera and had to borrow a friend's who took it home with him.) AAAhh can't wait until the holidays are over! ... And planning next year's... =D



French Yule Log --- Entremets

Element #1 Dacquoise Biscuit (Almond Cake)
Ingredients:
2.8 oz (3/4cup + 1Tbsp / 80g) almond meal
1.75 oz (1/2 cup / 50g) confectioner’s sugar
2Tbsp (15g) all-purpose flour
3.5oz (100g / ~100ml) about 3 medium egg whites
1.75 oz (4 Tbsp / 50g) granulated sugar

1.Finely mix the almond meal and the confectioner's sugar.
2.Sift the flour into the mix.
3.Beat the eggs whites, gradually adding the granulated sugar until stiff.
4.Pour the almond meal mixture into the egg whites and blend delicately with a spatula.
5.Grease a piece of parchment paper and line your baking pan with it.
6.Spread the batter on a piece of parchment paper to an area slightly larger than your desired shape (circle, long strip etc...) and to a height of 1/3 inches (8mm).
7.Bake at 350°F (180°C) for approximately 15 minutes (depends on your oven), until golden.
8.Let cool and cut to the desired shape.

Element #2 Dark Chocolate Mousse
Ingredients:
2.5 sheets gelatin or 5g / 1 + 1/4 tsp powdered gelatin
1.5 oz (3 Tbsp / 40g) granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp (10g) thick corn syrup
0.5 oz (15g) water
50g egg yolks (about 3 medium)
6.2 oz (175g) dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1.5 cups (350g) heavy cream (35% fat content)

1. Soften the gelatin in cold water. (If using powdered gelatin, follow the directions on the package.)
2. Make a Pate a Bombe: Beat the egg yolks until very light in colour (approximately 5 minutes until almost white).
2a. Cook the sugar syrup and water on medium heat for approximately 3 minutes (if you have a candy thermometer, the mixture should reach 244°F (118°C). If you do not have a candy thermometer, test the sugar temperature by dipping the tip of a knife into the syrup then into a bowl of ice water, if it forms a soft ball in the water then you have reached the correct temperature.
2b. Add the sugar syrup to the beaten yolks carefully by pouring it into the mixture in a thin stream while continuing to beat the yolks. You can do this by hand but it’s easier to do this with an electric mixer.
2c. Continue beating until cool (approximately 5 minutes). The batter should become thick and foamy.
3. In a double boiler or equivalent, heat 2 tablespoons (30g) of cream to boiling. Add the chopped chocolate and stir until melted and smooth.
4. Whip the remainder of the cream until stiff.
5. Pour the melted chocolate over the softened gelatin, mixing well. Let the gelatin and chocolate cool slightly and then stir in ½ cup (100g) of WHIPPED cream to temper. Add the Pate a Bombe.
6. Add in the rest of the WHIPPED cream (220g) mixing gently with a spatula.

Element #3 Dark Chocolate Ganache Insert
Ingredients:
1.75 oz (4 Tbsp / 50g) granulated sugar
4.5oz (2/3 cup – 1 Tbsp/ 135g) heavy cream (35% fat content)
5 oz (135g) dark chocolate, finely chopped
3Tbsp + 1/2tsp (45g) unsalted butter softened

1. Make a caramel: Using the dry method, melt the sugar by spreading it in an even layer in a small saucepan with high sides. Heat over medium-high heat, watching it carefully as the sugar begins to melt. Never stir the mixture. As the sugar starts to melt, swirl the pan occasionally to allow the sugar to melt evenly. Cook to dark amber color (for most of you that means darker than last month’s challenge).
2. While the sugar is melting, heat the cream until boiling. Pour cream into the caramel and stir thoroughly. Be very careful as it may splatter and boil.
3. Pour the hot caramel-milk mixture over the dark chocolate. Wait 30 seconds and stir until smooth.
4. Add the softened butter and whip hard and fast (if you have a plunging mixer use it). The chocolate should be smooth and shiny.

Element #4 Praline Feuillete (Crisp) Insert
Ingredients:
3.5 oz (100g) milk chocolate
1 2/3 Tbsp (25g) butter
2.1oz (60g) rice krispies

1. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler.
2. Add the coarsely crushed rice krispies. Mix quickly to thoroughly coat with the chocolate.
3. Spread between two sheets of wax paper to a size slightly larger than your desired shape. Refrigerate until hard.

Element #5 Vanilla Crème Brulée Insert
Ingredients:
1/2 cup (115g) heavy cream (35% fat content)
½ cup (115g) whole milk
4 medium-sized (72g) egg yolks
0.75 oz (2 Tbsp / 25g) granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean

1. Heat the milk, cream, and scraped vanilla bean to just boiling. Remove from the stove and let the vanilla infuse for about 1 hour.
2. Whisk together the sugar and egg yolks (but do not beat until white).
3. Pour the vanilla-infused milk over the sugar/yolk mixture. Mix well.
4. Wipe with a very wet cloth and then cover your baking mold (whatever shape is going to fit on the inside of your Yule log/cake) with parchment paper. Pour the cream into the mold and bake at 210°F (100°C) for about 1 hour or until firm on the edges and slightly wobbly in the center.
Tartelette says: You can bake it without a water bath since it is going to go inside the log (the aesthetics of it won't matter as much since it will be covered with other things)....BUT I would recommend a water bath for the following reasons:
- you will get a much nicer mouth feel when it is done
- you will be able to control its baking point and desired consistency much better
- it bakes for such a long time that I fear it will get overdone without a water bath
Now...since it is baked in a pan and it is sometimes difficult to find another large pan to set it in for a water bath, even a small amount of water in your water bath will help the heat be distributed evenly in the baking process. Even as little as 1 inch will help.
5. Let cool and put in the freezer for at least 1 hour to firm up and facilitate the final assembly.

mercredi 26 novembre 2008

Daring Bakers' November Challenge

This month's DB challenge was very fun to do! It is my first time 'browning butter' and making 'caramels' and oh! the smell is unbelievable! My whole house is inprinted with the smell. I do hope it stays for a long time or else I might resort to compulsively 'brown butter' every day.

It has been a while since I indulged in DB. I have, however, hungrily stared at every month's past challenge and scanned many pictures of them. Sadly, Priorities (note the capital P) and work come first. I managed to find a spot for this lovely challenge and so without another moment's delay, I present you with this month's recipe!

This month's recipe was hosted by Shuna Fish Lydon’s, her web site is (http://eggbeater.typepad.com/). She has chosen a Caramel Cake with a Caramalized Butter Frosting. I will post only the ingredients tho, If you need the instructions please check out this page on Shuna's site, of which I have provided a link. http://blogs.kqed.org/bayareabites/2006/12/24/caramel-cake-the-recipe/

And so, here is my Caramel Cake with a Caramalized Butter Frosting.
Cake
10 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 Cups granulated sugar*
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 Cup Caramel Syrup (see recipe below)
2 eggs, at room temperature
splash vanilla extract
2 Cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk, at room temperature

Frosting

12 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound confectioner’s sugar, sifted
4-6 tablespoons 15% cream*
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-4 tablespoons caramel syrup
Kosher or sea salt to taste

Caramel Syrup

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup water

*Changes I made

Overall, it was a moderatly diffucult recipe. If you follow the instructions carefully however, there should be no hitch. The cake is a little dry but light, I loved the caramel syrup and how it smelled. The icing hardened a little after a day but I heard it was normal. The main drawback was the sweetness even though I used less sugar in the cake the icing was overpowering. Sadly, I will not be doing this recipe again.

dimanche 3 août 2008

Farmer's Expo!

Sorry for the long delay in posting! I had more than a usual amount of work and my blog time got cut back.. Even my cooking time, I have missed two DB challenges!! I don't intend to make this a habit, and I'm prepared for the next deadline. I haven't been completely idled tho, since it was my Honey's holidays, I took a day off so we could go and visit the farmer's expo in the town next to ours. We go every year (or so) to watch the shows and animals! I especially enjoy those demolition derbys (grins) But the real reason I go every year is to see the birds! Chicken, turkeys, pigeon, little icky baby chickens and ducklings! I just love them!! Honey just tags along with a bewildered look while I point this chicken and ooh and ahh at them.



I just love this picture


I looked at them for a full 30 seconds before locating their heads!


Who doesn't love pigeons! So round and fluffy




Master Peacock and its white version! Stunningly beautiful!

Of course there weren't only birds on display!


silly llama!


The omni-present mini farm!

There were also prize giving as is usual in any self respecting fair... I won't overload you with pictures tho, only two! I found them very original and beautiful! hope you do too :)


Did I ever mention I loved flowers? This bouquet is particularly stunning.


So fun and original!

Blueberries were also very plentiful a few weeks back. I would of loved to go strawberry or blueberry picking but due to a lack of time and very rainy weather, it is pushed back to next year :( Sigh.. goodbye to homemade strawberry jam for this year...


This is a very simple recipe, you can take whatever sponge cake you have on hand. Or just make one, as I did (with a very cute pan I found in a garage sale!).


Yes... I did overcook it :(

Add pipped on whipped cream! I was lazy and used ready made. You can totally make your own tho!


I went with a squiggly design! :3

Wash your blueberries


omgosh, they're alive!

Place according to your whim! I went with a stacking kind of thing. It came out really well!


I really love this picture... Too bad I only have pink polka dots plate!

And enjoy! Easy and Tasty!



Bon Appetit!



mercredi 28 mai 2008

Opera sublime


I was really happy when I saw what the Daring Bakers proposed to us this month. I have been seeing this cake since I was little, displayed behind glass in pastry shops. Surprisingly, I have never tasted it, being repelled by the coffee flavored cake and thick unattractive milk chocolate covering most of these had. However, when Ivonne and Lisa announced that the Daring Bakers challenge for May was "The Opera", I put aside my prejudices and decided to tackle it. It might be good after all! Imagine my relief when I saw we could flavor the joconde (ooh that is the name!) the way we wanted. I quickly imagined, a soft, rich bite, with rich cream, chocolate ganache and the first thing that popped into my mind was Bailey's! Now, I don't really like the taste of Bailey's but.. the smell! The smell is heavenly. With that in mind I read over the recipe and concluded I could very easily flavor the joconde, syrup, ganache with it, I also decided not to flavor it TOO much as it would push the taste over the edge, again I loved the smell of it not the taste. :)

There was also another reason I particularly wanted to bake a cake this month! My darling's birthday! (And mine too!) It took me about a day to bake and assemble. I had read on the kitchen forums over on the DB site that people who didn't wait long enough for the ganache to harden a little in the fridge got it all runny when adding the glaze on top. I was determined not to let it happen to me and left it overnight to harden. The glaze worked like a charm! Also, I used the original buttercream recipe as I felt the one they suggested was a bit too buttery for my taste.

Overall, I think the cake came out lovely. I loved the joconde, It tasted slightly nutty and delightfully light. The flavoring was subtle and smelled lovely, I am glad I didn't over-flavour it. The only thing I can say against it was that the glaze was a bit too much, after two or three bites, I was tempted to feel it off since it was soooo sweet. But I didn't ;) I would gladly make this cake again, but only for special occasions since it`s so time consuming.

I used Baker's white chocolate, it was the best (and only) I could find. I thought about using chocolate chips but read on the DB forums that other challengers had bad experiences using it.

Here is the glaze when it was ready, I got it done at the end when the ganache had sufficiently hardened


Here is the caked assembled just before I poured the glaze.
Joconde, Buttercream, Joconde, Buttercream, Joconde, Ganache.

Here it is all assembled! I trimmed the sides for a little neatness. One of the joconde btw came out slightly overcooked, hence the darker orangy line in the middle. The buttercream was splendid also! Quite tasty!

A Taste of Light: Opéra Cake

This recipe is based on Opéra Cake recipes in Dorie Greenspan’s Paris Sweets and Tish Boyle and Timothy Moriarty’s Chocolate Passion.

For the joconde

(Note: The joconde can be made up to 1 day in advance and kept wrapped at room temperate)

What you’ll need:

•2 12½ x 15½-inch (31 x 39-cm) jelly-roll pans (Note: If you do not have jelly-roll pans this size, do not fear! You can use different-sized jelly-roll pans like 10 x 15-inches.)
•a few tablespoons of melted butter (in addition to what’s called for in the ingredients’ list) and a brush (to grease the pans)
•parchment paper
•a whisk and a paddle attachment for a stand mixer or for a handheld mixer
•two mixing bowls (you can make do with one but it’s preferable to have two)

Ingredients:

6 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 tbsp. (30 grams) granulated sugar
2 cups (225 grams) ground blanched almonds (Note: If you do not want to use almond meal, you can use another nut meal like hazelnut. You can buy almond meal in bulk food stores or health food stores, or you can make it at home by grinding almonds in the food processor with a tablespoon or two of the flour that you would use in the cake. The reason you need the flour is to prevent the almonds from turning oily or pasty in the processor. You will need about 2 cups of blanched almonds to create enough almond meal for this cake.)
2 cups icing sugar, sifted
6 large eggs
½ cup (70 grams) all-purpose flour
3 tbsp. (1½ ounces; 45 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1.Divide the oven into thirds by positioning a rack in the upper third of the oven and the lower third of the oven.

2.Preheat the oven to 425◦F. (220◦C).

3.Line two 12½ x 15½- inch (31 x 39-cm) jelly-roll pans with parchment paper and brush with melted butter.

4.In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or using a handheld mixer), beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Add the granulated sugar and beat until the peaks are stiff and glossy. If you do not have another mixer bowl, gently scrape the meringue into another bowl and set aside.

5.If you only have one bowl, wash it after removing the egg whites or if you have a second bowl, use that one. Attach the paddle attachment to the stand mixer (or using a handheld mixer again) and beat the almonds, icing sugar and eggs on medium speed until light and voluminous, about 3 minutes.

6.Add the flour and beat on low speed until the flour is just combined (be very careful not to overmix here!!!).

7.Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the meringue into the almond mixture and then fold in the melted butter. Divide the batter between the pans and spread it evenly to cover the entire surface of each pan.

8.Bake the cake layers until they are lightly browned and just springy to the touch. This could take anywhere from 5 to 9 minutes depending on your oven. Place one jelly-roll pan in the middle of the oven and the second jelly-roll pan in the bottom third of the oven.

9.Put the pans on a heatproof counter and run a sharp knife along the edges of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Cover each with a sheet of parchment or wax paper, turn the pans over, and unmold.

10.Carefully peel away the parchment, then turn the parchment over and use it to cover the cakes. Let the cakes cool to room temperature.

For the syrup

(Note: The syrup can be made up to 1 week in advance and kept covered in the refrigerator.)

What you’ll need:

•a small saucepan

Ingredients:

½ cup (125 grams) water
⅓ cup (65 grams) granulated sugar
1 to 2 tbsp. of Bailey's

1.Stir all the syrup ingredients together in the saucepan and bring to a boil.

2.Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

For the buttercream

(Note: The buttercream can be made up to 1 month in advance and packed in an airtight container. If made way in advance, you can freeze the buttercream. Alternatively you can refrigerate it for up to 4 days after making it. To use the buttercream simply bring it to room temperature and then beat it briefly to restore its consistency.)

What you’ll need:

•a small saucepan
•a candy or instant-read thermometer
•a stand mixer or handheld mixer
•a bowl and a whisk attachment
•rubber spatula

Ingredients:

1 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
¼ cup (60 grams) water
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1¾ sticks (7 ounces; 200 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Bailey's for flavoring

1.Combine the sugar, water and vanilla bean seeds or extract in a small saucepan and warm over medium heat just until the sugar dissolves.

2.Continue to cook, without stirring, until the syrup reaches 225◦F (107◦C) [*Note: Original recipe indicates a temperature of 255◦F (124◦C), however, when testing the recipe I found that this was too high so we heated to 225◦F and it worked fine] on a candy or instant-read thermometer. Once it reaches that temperature, remove the syrup from the heat.

3.While the syrup is heating, begin whisking the egg and egg yolk at high speed in the bowl of your mixer using the whisk attachment. Whisk them until they are pale and foamy.

4.When the sugar syrup reaches the correct temperature and you remove it from the heat, reduce the mixer speed to low speed and begin slowly (very slowly) pouring the syrup down the side of the bowl being very careful not to splatter the syrup into the path of the whisk attachment. Some of the syrup will spin onto the sides of the bowl but don’t worry about this and don’t try to stir it into the mixture as it will harden!

5.Raise the speed to medium-high and continue beating until the eggs are thick and satiny and the mixture is cool to the touch (about 5 minutes or so).

6.While the egg mixture is beating, place the softened butter in a bowl and mash it with a spatula until you have a soft creamy mass.

7.With the mixer on medium speed, begin adding in two-tablespoon chunks. When all the butter has been incorporated, raise the mixer speed to high and beat until the buttercream is thick and shiny.

8.At this point add in your flavouring and beat for an additional minute or so.

9.Refrigerate the buttercream, stirring it often, until it’s set enough (firm enough) to spread when topped with a layer of cake (about 20 minutes).

For the white chocolate ganache/mousse

(Note: The mousse can be made ahead and refrigerated until you’re ready to use it.)

What you’ll need:

•a small saucepan
•a mixer or handheld mixer

Ingredients:

7 ounces white chocolate
1 cup plus 3 tbsp. heavy cream (35% cream)
1 tbsp. of Bailey's

1.Melt the white chocolate and the 3 tbsp. of heavy cream in a small saucepan.
2.Stir to ensure that it’s smooth and that the chocolate is melted. Add the tablespoon of liqueur to the chocolate and stir. Set aside to cool completely.
3.In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream until soft peaks form.
4.Gently fold the whipped cream into the cooled chocolate to form a mousse.
5.If it’s too thin, refrigerate it for a bit until it’s spreadable.
6.If you’re not going to use it right away, refrigerate until you’re ready to use.

For the glaze
(Note: It’s best to make the glaze right when you’re ready to finish the cake.)

What you’ll need:

•a small saucepan or double boiler

Ingredients:

14 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
½ cup heavy cream (35% cream)

1.Melt the white chocolate with the heavy cream. Whisk the mixture gently until smooth.
2.Let cool for 10 minutes and then pour over the chilled cake. Using a long metal cake spatula, smooth out into an even layer.
3.Place the cake into the refrigerator for 30 minutes to set.

Assembling the Opéra Cake

(Note: The finished cake should be served slightly chilled. It can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 1 day).

Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.

Working with one sheet of cake at a time, cut and trim each sheet so that you have two pieces (from each cake so you’ll have four pieces in total): one 10-inch (25-cm) square and one 10 x 5-inch (25 x 12½-cm) rectangle.

Place one square of cake on the baking sheet and moisten it gently with the flavoured syrup.

Spread about three-quarters of the buttercream over this layer.

Top with the two rectangular pieces of cake, placing them side by side to form a square. Moisten these pieces with the flavoured syrup.

Spread the remaining buttercream on the cake and then top with the third square of joconde. Use the remaining syrup to wet the joconde and then refrigerate until very firm (at least half an hour).

Prepare the ganache/mousse (if you haven’t already) and then spread it on the top of the last layer of the joconde. Refrigerate for at least two to three hours to give the ganache/mousse the opportunity to firm up.

Make the glaze and after it has cooled, pour/spread it over the top of the chilled cake. Refrigerate the cake again to set the glaze.

Serve the cake slightly chilled. This recipe will yield approximately 20 servings.


lundi 31 mars 2008

First Daring baker challenge -Completed!-

pink_db

I was supposed to post this yesterday but since I was away, I couldn't until today :(

Nonetheless, I am very excited about this post. It is my FIRST completed DB challenge! I really look forward to making more of them :) I've been following this group for some time and finally decided to jump into the bandwagon.

I definitely enjoyed doing this cake. The only variations I made is that I used whipped cream for the frosting and perfumed it with lemon. I used marmalade for the middle layer also. The texture was first, moist and tender. I will definitely do it again for a special occasion, it was rather large for only the two of us :)

dbmarch08_1
Covering first layer with whipped cream

dbmarch08_2
Covering second layer with marmalade

dbmarch08_3
More whipped cream

dbmarch08_4
Stacked!



dbmarch08_6

Perfect Party Cake

Words from Dorie
Stick a bright-coloured Post-it to this page, so you’ll always know where to turn for a just-right cake for any celebration. The original recipe was given to me by my great dear friend Nick Malgieri, of baking fame, and since getting it, I’ve found endless opportunities to make it – you will too. The cake is snow white, with an elegant tight crumb and an easygoing nature: it always bakes up perfectly; it is delicate on the tongue but sturdy in the kitchen – no fussing when it comes to slicing the layers in half or cutting tall, beautiful wedges for serving; and, it tastes just as you’d want a party cake to taste – special. The base recipe is for a cake flavoured with lemon, layered with a little raspberry jam and filled and frosted with a classic (and so simple) pure white lemony hot-meringue buttercream but, because the elements are so fundamental, they lend themselves to variation (see Playing Around), making the cake not just perfect, but also versatile.

For the Cake

2 1/4 cups cake flour (updated 25 March)
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups whole milk or buttermilk (I prefer buttermilk with the lemon)
4 large egg whites
1 ½ cups sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 stick (8 tablespoons or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ teaspoon pure lemon extract

Getting Ready
Centre a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9 x 2 inch round cake pans and line the bottom of each pan with a round of buttered parchment or wax paper. Put the pans on a baking sheet.

To Make the Cake
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl.
Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl or another large bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant.
Add the butter and working with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light.
Beat in the extract, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed.
Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated.
Add the rest of the milk and eggs beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients.
Finally, give the batter a good 2- minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated.
Divide the batter between the two pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cakes are well risen and springy to the touch – a thin knife inserted into the centers should come out clean
Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unfold them and peel off the paper liners.
Invert and cool to room temperature, right side up (the cooled cake layers can be wrapped airtight and stored at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to two months).

dbmarch08_7



mardi 18 mars 2008

Hi mom!

Hello mama!
J'espere que tu vas aimer ce blogue. Je vais essayer de l'updater souvent comme ca tu pourras voir ce que je fais a la maison. De la cuisine, des decoration, mes rideaux, des choses comme ca :)
Je t'aime!
Baibai

samedi 9 février 2008

Blueberries alors!

I went to the grocery store one morning and saw mountains and mountains of blue-itiful berries. Normally I never buy those (or raspberry or blackberry.. u get the picture :D) because of their high prices. I was lucky that morning *gasp* for there they were, stacks and stacks of blue round berries for 0.99$ ! Now I know they do that every 4 months or so but they looked yummy and I picked up a pint.

Now to know what to do with them! I googled blueberries muffins (I felt like having one) and one recipe caught my eye... 'To die for blueberry muffins' by Colleen from allrecipes.com. I thought it sounded delicious, I mean if they were to die for, they should be!
To die for blueberry muffins
400 F for 20-25 min
yields 8 large muffins

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 cup fresh
blueberries

Topping
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup
all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


I mixed the batter by hand with a wooden spoon, I heard it was better for muffins. Remember also to FOLD in the blueberries xD If you use an electric mixer and add the blueberries, you will end up with a blue batter instead of plump-berries-in-batter. The topping goes on top before they go into the oven

Crumbly goodness!

The recipe said it was for 8 large muffins. I doubled it and fitted it in a 12 muffin pan. They ended up extra large! *glee*

To die for with a little butter!

After all this, I still had blueberries left!
So I made ... scones! with lemon!

Lemon blueberry scones
375 F 15-20 min
Yields about a dozen

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar (I used golden meh)
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 tbsp + 1 tsp lemon zest
1 large egg
3/4 cup half and half cream (I used 1 cup milk less 2 tbsp +11/2 tbsp melted butter)

Topping
1 tbsp milk
2 tbsp granulated sugar

zesting the lemon, I have no zester ;(

Folding in the blueberries and the zest

Brushing the scones with the milk

Sprinkling with sugar and the leftover zest

Ooo Golden blueberry goodness!

I do love me butter

I should of used a real cutter for the scones. Instead they look like blobs.. they were still delicious! :D

jeudi 31 janvier 2008

Where did Time go?

I have been very busy this last week with work and obligations *cough*
But I haven't been idle!
Here is a preview.






Mmmm!
yummies!

mercredi 23 janvier 2008

Asian Roots

I remember being a child and seeing my father fold dumplings on the kitchen table. I'd stand and watch while he mixed the meat and seasoning and dropped a spoonful in those edible 'skins'. I'd mentally count the rows of cute 'meat pouches' to see if there would be enough for all of us.


Now, being myself an adult and far from home, I decided to make some for myself :D And what is simpler then delicious wontons! I found a recipe in my asian cooking book, purchased some wonton skins at the nearest asian grocery store, rolled up my sleeves and gleefully mixing and filling.

I rather did a mess at first with overfilling the pouches *greedy smile* but I got the hang of it after 5 or so split skins.


6 ounce of minced pork
2 ounces of shrimps cut in small pieces
1 teaspoon of brown sugar

1 tablespoon of rice wine

1 tablespoon of light soy sauce

1 teaspoon of chives
1 teaspoon of minced ginger root
24 wonton skins





Next, I'll try dumplings! :D:D Shrimp dumplings!!! *squeals*

mardi 22 janvier 2008

Of Cinnamon Delights

After discovering a sweet dough recipe in my bread machine recipe book, I could not resist the urge for some cinnamon rolls!


The bread machine does simplify the task a lot but it is not impossible to do without. It's even better in some cases. I would of done it manually but for the controlled temperature in the machine that makes it rise without any trouble. The recipe is from Allrecipes.com but I modified it with ingredients from my book. I also cut the recipe in two since it was a trial-recipe, it is my first time doing these!

Sweet Dough
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons of butter
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast

I heated the milk, water and butter until just before it reached boiling point. I then poured everything (following the order of ingredients) in the bread machine pan. I selected the dough cycle and left the machine to its work.

When it was risen and ready, I took it out, punched it down and rolled it into a large rectangle. I smeared soft butter all over it. Now it was time for the filling. I didn't add in raisins since I don't like them. *grin*

1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup raisins (optional)

I actually ended up making the filling double because I felt there was not enough when I spread it but it is really up to you. I tend rolled it up starting the long side of the rectangle, being careful to tuck it in when starting. It should then give you a log! I then used a sharp knife and cut them at 1'' interval.

I made a batch of sticky buns and one of glazed buns. The sticky buns are made before u cook them and the glazed ones are .. well glazed *laughs* when they are piping hot.

Sticky Buns
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoon butter
2/3 cup water
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Boil the sugar, butter, water and cinnamon for 8 mins.
Pour the syrup in your pan and sprinkle with the pecans.

Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30-45 mins.


Bake them at 375F for 20-25 mins or until golden. For the Glazed buns, sprinkle the buns with the frosting using a fork or an egg beater. Enjoy when warm!

White Frosting
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoon milk

Overall, I liked them very much. The pecans gave it a very nice 'roasted peanuty' taste. I have to work on the syrup for the sticky buns because I feel it was not 'thick' enough. I will actually make them taller next time!

I also did some more goodies but that's enough for tonight.. *yawns* Good night!


jeudi 17 janvier 2008

The Beginning of an Adventure

I might as well call it an adventure! This blog will be dedicated to it. I've always loved cooking and some of my favorite childhood memories is about whipping something yummy! Now, I've always cooked and until recently, I've been satisfied with the basic chocolate cake or Add-water-muffin-mix.. It's time for a change!

I have basic tools and ingredients like measuring cups, measuring spoons.. err whisks, an electric beater.... stuff mostly everyone has! I have no 'real' training other then my mom's teaching and cooking videos. Nonetheless, I declare the summit of my culinary ambition (for the present) is to make a puffy, crispy, beautiful buttery croissant *crosses fingers*!! I believe I can do it! First, I'll start with something simpler *thinks about croissants she tried and failed last week*

I have a long way to go along the trail of crispy, flakey, good to eat goodness!