Monday, April 13, 2015

TBB: Dattelkonfekkt (Passover)


I can't even pronounce this cookie properly. 
I think the name sounds rather intimidating. 


Firstly grind the slice almonds.. 



Then grind the dates with the almonds.  This I am not sure.
What are pitted dates? I got Medjoul Dates but perhaps it is not right because the recipe said 36 pieces but mine's only 12 pcs and was already 264g...without the seeds.


All blended together. 


= Backoblaten =
I learnt of a new thing! I never knew such a thing existed before this recipe! 
It keeps the base dry. 
Feels thicker than wafer paper..like double/triple thickness.


Mix in the meringue and this looks like macaron batter.


Pipe onto the Backoblaten at 15g.


All piped..


Waste not..scraping down the very last bit.. make at least 1 more! 


Out from oven after 15mins...looking quite puffy..but out of the oven they deflated while cooling. This happens to me with anything flourless... I suspect flourless anything has the tendency to absorb moisture in the air like magnet.
  
Also from my experience anything flourless has to be consume really quickly because the texture changes after the next day.  I once made flourless chocolate cookie and they tasted fantastic when they were hot but very different the next day...quite bad in fact that I had to throw them away! Such a waste! I told myself never to make any flourless cookies ever again with the exception of macarons.

I took a piece to try and it was soft and wet inside. 
 Tasted uncooked. Maybe the dates retains more moisture?
Macaron somehow tastes better even if the texture inside is soft. 


So I put it back into the oven and bake further till the surface crisp up.



Tasted better..at least it is chewy and still soft inside, most importantly not as raw-tasting anymore.
These cookies tasted best on the day when baked. Still good on the second day but not as good anymore on the 3rd day. They don't keep very well. 

I also found out that I don't really like these Medjoul Dates! Very sweet and mushy.  

Maybe I did something wrong along the way or used the wrong type of dates, because the cookies in the book looked fluffier and drier than mine after 15mins of baking. 

These cookies are so-so, not our favourite. 
To me they are OK, not bad but also not good.  








Monday, April 6, 2015

TBB: Strawberry Shortcake Genoise


Strawberry Shortcake is one of my favorite cake.. 
whether it is Japanese version,  English version.. and now Rose's version. :)  I love them all! :D 

 I was excited when I saw this cake on schedule and really looking forward to making it. I can't remember why I missed baking this as Beta Bakers.. or was it this pan I ordered came late?.. can't remember now...  




First make the clarified butter.
Since I am making clarified butter, I made a huge batch of 500g of butter. 



All drained out of the black burnt bits into cups. 
I used Japanese oil filter paper with a small metal funnel so tiny that could only fit my cups.
After cooled, I stored the balance in the freezer...for future use.


Make the Genoise sponge cake. 5 eggs + 1 yolk. 


These frozen strawberries drained for 12 hours..
Had the exact strawberry liquid weight as mentioned in the book! 
why did I even bother weighing?  :)


Genoise baked. I had a hard time flipping over asap, esp when the pan is hot and I feel so clumsy with my big oven gloves.  Almost broke the cake into 2.  Oh yes, notice the parchment paper under? Rose says to do that. 


Flipped over and supposed to take out the top.
I contemplated for a while, and it looked so beautifully flat.. so I didn't take it out! 

Mistake!! 
I realised later (when I cut the cake) that the syrup will not go through if you don't take out this layer!  Nonetheless the cake still tasted great!  (Note to self: next time don't try to be too smart..)


Apply syrup bottom and top. 
BTW, the strawberry syrup smells heavenly and tasted really good too! 
This look quite 'bloody'..not a pretty sight. 


Wrapped up in cling wrap and placed in fridge to rest for 12 hours.


12 hours later.
Process the dried up frozen strawberries into pulp. 
Somehow mine wasn't very dried up..still had liquid in them..after a further 12 hours in fridge.
Place the pulp onto the cake. 


Drain the fresh strawberries for 2 hours at room temperature..
In mean time, I brought my son out.. (and also left my bread dough to proof on its own..) 


Microwaved the strawberry syrupy liquid into 1 tablespoon..or there about.. until it is thick and sticky. And brushed onto the strawberries.  Made the strawberries look so pretty and shiny! 
I love how it looks. Next time I will do this for all my strawberry cakes! 


Next...whip the cream and then add the strawberry preserves.
I over-whipped the cream into a lumpy mess because I multi-tasked.. rolling bread rolls and at the same time whipping cream.   I had to throw away and make it again.
This time I had my attention on just the cream, I added the jam to the cream and whipped together. Worked better this way...strawberry whipped cream came out perfect. 


Ta-Dah! Finished! 
So pretty! 
Actually I think the cake looked prettier without the cream on top.
The cream covered up the pretty red shiny strawberries!



I brought this cake to our church fellowship gathering and everyone liked the cake.   It was a show-stopper cake!
All who tasted it said it was very delicious and not to sweet (hahaha..remember I said before "not to sweet' here is a good review)!  Soft sponge with intense strawberry flavors. 

I will definitely be making it again!

The recipe looks intimidating with lots of steps, but actually it is Q&E cake.  Putting the cake together is really quick, just the waiting time for the strawberries to drain out and for the syrupy cake to rest for 12 hours. 

So if you get your timeline right..you can do a lot of things in between...like what I did.. :)  LOL!  

(p/s: In between waiting, I made the sour cherry pie (yes, again!), 
cran-raspberry upside down cake (x2..cos first one burnt!)..and 
2-trays of bread buns).












Wednesday, April 1, 2015

NerdBaker: Chris' Hot Rolls






I bought Nerd Baker by Christopher Tan over weekend at Kinokuniya. It is one of the best written local baking book that I have read in a long time.  Most importantly recipes look interesting and makes you want to bake them all!

When I read his first recipe, ie Chris' Hot Rolls, I knew I had to make it. He uses a custard kind of roux which I find interesting and different. And I wondered how much softer will it make the bread to be?  I have been using tangzhong roux method and bread already turned out rather soft. As you know in Asia, I like said before, we simply like our bread as soft as possible! Just like how Christopher wrote "Princess-and-the-pea-feather-mattress-soft. Scary soft".  This is so true! That's how we like our bread to be.  

So last night, all set out to make the buns after work.  I have been baking with sourdough (my new pet!) recently and somehow yeasted bread now seems to proof very quickly in comparison. :)  I started cooking the roux at 8pm and mixing the dough and by the time I baked them was at 1130pm..and the buns out of the oven by 12am.   I followed the recipe exactly, the only change was to add more water to get the dough to come together, perhaps due to the evaporation of some water during boiling (because I didn't cover the pot).

And as usual, so late in the night, I have to carry the buns with me to my bedroom to cool, away from the roaming house lizards...just in case!! 







I tasted the bread this morning and they were extremely soft! 

Pillowy, Velvety Soft. 

Exactly like what you want in bread rolls. 

This recipe is definitely a keeper..and will be one of my baking repertoire. 






BB: Pita Bread

When I first tried Pita bread (store bought), it was pretty "duh"...like floury cardboard or some sort of diet bread. This is unusual because I like plain food.  I like to eat popiah skin which is plain too... (popiah skin is not the same as store bought spring roll skin).



Mix all the ingredients together.


Dough was pretty wet and I had to add a couple tablespoon of flour to make just sticky. 
And place in fridge to rest for 2 days. 


Next day, I rolled the dough into 6 flat disc.


Then I rolled it slightly thinner than 1/4". Maybe I rolled it way too thin? (my thin dumpling rolling pin).


Because when i tried to throw the disc into hot oven, you can see the one on the left folded over and ended up looking like Naan.  Then the one of the right, side was folded..and only 3/4 of it puffed up..the other 1/4 side looked like Nann. LOL! 


Next 2, were perfect. I don't know what I did right..maybe I placed it slowly instead of throwing onto the baking stone. The oven was very hot you know... 


The last 2, no photos..but also ended up looking like Naan..so strange.. 

Sorry, I nibbled on the first one to taste it...Actually, I also found out that if your Pita bread didnt' puff up, don't fret, because you can easily peel the 2 sides up and you'll get a pocket anyway..and still can use it as a Pita bread sandwich. 


I ended up eating Pita bread with sambal egg, sotong and curry chicken, only because my helper forgot to cook rice...! 


Home made Pita bread definitely taste better than store bought. But it is still not my favorite. 

I prefer other flat breads like Naan, Roti Prata/Roti Canai which I find more flavourful and have more bite to it.





Monday, March 30, 2015

TBB: Cran-Raspberry Upside Down Cake


Cran-Raspberry Upside Down Cake 
with Raspberry Whipped Cream.



First make the caramel. 
I played with my new toy.. but I didn't trust it fully, so I used my thermapen to check to 360F. 



Mixed the eggs with a portion of the sour cream and vanilla extract.


Pour the caramel onto the pan and frozen cranberries on top. 


Mixed in the cake batter and baked directly on baking stone. 



OH NOoooo!!!  Cranberries burnt!!!! 
Maybe directly on baking stone too hot? 
Or my caramel too overcooked to begin with??! 
Threw into dustbin and bake again! 


REDO... the caramel again.
This time I cooked till only 300F and it's already on amber side.


Then I mixed in cranberries and cake batter.
Placed pan on baking sheet and onto the baking stone.
Used the baking sheet as heat barrier...

Sorry for lack of photos in between..because remaking a Q&E cake is extremely frustrating..! 

I had a hard time finding seedless raspberry preserves. 
I could only find the diabetic versions.. but this brand is quite good. Doesn't taste like diabetic.


Melt the jam into liquid to brush on top of cake.


Hot out from oven...


Now this is better isn't it? Not burnt anymore! 
Finally! 
But my frozen cranberries not all red as in the book though.



Peep inside the cake. 


I skipped the Raspberry Italian Meringue topping and replaced with Raspberry Whipped Cream...as suggested as variation.

The cranberries are on the tart side..but pairs very well with the cake and I like it.  However, I would have liked it more if it had more cake though. This is a very flat cake. I wished it had more cake..like at least an inch higher?  My family liked the cake too..but they weren't too impressed by it..my daughter prefers the apple upside down cake that I baked from Rose's Heavenly Cake Book.  

I was supposed to bring it for a gathering, but because I baked a whole lot of other stuff and I couldn't carry them all. Good thing I didn't because my husband had a hard time finding the place and he parked at the wrong car park and we had to walk quite a distance! 


 

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