Monday, August 24, 2015

TBB: Woody's Black & White Brownies


I don't know why I have the impression that Woody's recipes tend to be rich and 'loud'-as in it gives an impact on your first bite/taste?  So when I saw the recipe title before reading recipe, I thought to myself, this must be a super rich brownie...just like that lemon cake in HCB.   And I am right....lol!  This brownie is very good..but a little goes a long way. 



First I toasted the pecan nuts. But the 150g packet of pecan nuts after toasting became 78g??!  (Ok..i admit, I ate 1, but even with that 1 piece, it would have been 80g!)  So I added walnuts to make up for the difference in weight.

Then I made the white chocolate custard. 
I used Meiji white chocolate. 


Then mix in the batter & walnuts and into the prepared pan.


Opps!! I forgot to put in the cream cheese!! 
After I put in the oven, I saw a bowl of cream cheese sitting on the counter! Gosh!
I quickly took the pan out from oven and dump in the cream cheese and tried to incorporate into the batter with my knife & later fork. 


Out of the oven. Looks good..doesn't look like anything went wrong. lol!


Made the white chocolate buttercream. 
Taste very good despite being on the sweeter side..and I like how it looked like whipped cream.


Pour onto the brownie layer and put back in fridge 


Make the ganache and pour over. 
Oh..I added Bourbon.. that is what made it even better! lol!  


After the next day..all set. 


Cut into triangles. 
A little goes a long way..so a tiny triangle is all you need! 


For my tasting..  I didn't have any ice-cream so I just ate on its own. Very good though..despite being so rich.  This is for photography only.. I ate one triangular slice and the other one, my helper ate. 

Oh..that dish there..hahaha.. it's actually my soya sauce dish.  Can't remember where I got it from.. it's the one and only one I have in this design. Actually I think 90% of my dishes are free!  Either some hand me down from my mom or my late MIL or my SIL or some freebies.  That's why I don't have a nice proper set of dinner wares.  And I feel bad to throw away all the usable plates just to get a new set. Some of my plates and bowls, some older than my children.. like more than 25+ years! 


These are very good brownies. If I were to make it again, I will do away with the white chocolate layer. It looks pretty with white chocolate layer, but I like my brownie less sweet.  The bourbon ganache layer compliments the brownies very well. I love it.  

Monday, August 17, 2015

TBB: Perfect Peach Galette




I used frozen peach because there wasn't any peaches yet in stock.  I used 2 packets and they weigh 590g. I wished I had used 3 packets instead. Note to self: Next time used more peaches..the more the merrier..lol!  


Drained the juices. 


Microwaved the syrup juice for 6-7 mins.


Oh no..all hardened like candy.. Rose said not to worry..but I am still bothered by it. So I cut the caramel into tiny pieces..lol!  


Peaches look a lot but after baked..they shrink!  
I rolled the dough to 16" on the same baking paper that I am going to bake with. Easier for me imo...cos I rolled it the night before to 14" and then back in the fridge. The next day just before baking, I rolled it to 16" and then assembled and baked.   


Then wrapped it up like a big dumpling. 
I realised that there's a lot of pastry..and at this point I knew I wanted to have more peaches. But the pastry too thin and too soft to move it. 



I had extra pastry from the mulblueberry pie I made so I cut them up into hearts and put them all over.  Sprinkled 1 tsp of sugar all over too.


All baked. 


I managed to get a slice of photo before I left the house. 
That plate is a free plate - can't remember from where. I think Namiko Chan must be the designer.
And if you are wondering, I like to snack on popcorns..those are lightly salted popcorns :)  


There, another photo of the slice pie with the mulblueberry pie. 


Very yummy pie and pairs perfectly well with ice-cream. However, like I said I wished it had more peaches, at least 2x more imo.  Will definitely make this pie again. 





Tuesday, August 4, 2015

BB: Beer Bread

This is a very easy bread to make.  


I wasn't sure what beer to use and had discussion with Jeniffer and Catherine on Facebook as to what type of beer to use.  Finally I decided to use this Kilkenny Irish Beer which my husband said is half-light-half dark (?.. how to describe it correctly? I am not a beer drinker..)  The left over beer I pour into a glass for my husband to drink. I sipped a bit..(otherwise hives will pay a visit soon) and I find this beer quite mild and not too bitter.  



Notice the KA bread flour? 
Ya.. I bought another packet..and this time it was ok..so I used it for this beer bread. 

I had extra sourdough left over so I threw it into the dough as well and mixed together. :p
After mixing and leave to proof


I baked into 2 small boules.



Quite a flavorful and nice bread. Easy to make too. Except somehow I can still taste the beer. There is a slight bitter after-taste of the beer when I eat the bread. Maybe I always eat bread on its own without any butter or jam..so the flavor was more pronounced?  My husband ate some and said it was good. He said the slight beer taste is not really noticeable.  

I need to learn to eat bread with cheese, butter, jam etc.. and not as a snack like I always do.  Actually, I have a very bad habit .. I like to eat the crust of the bread and not in the inside of the bread. :P  Now that I bake my own bread, I force myself to eat everything. Otherwise, I will be eating only the crust and throwing away the insides. I prefer crusty part more...more chewy and crunchy.  That's why I say I like crunchy apples.. crunchy unripe persimmons, crunchy peach, crunchy pears... you get the idea... 







Monday, August 3, 2015

TBB: Whole Wheat Walnut Loaf


I don't know what happened my my bread. Can you see that the bottom of the bread is very dense?  I used baking stone..but still this happened.  This is my first time baking with Whole Wheat flour.  I don't know if it is because it is whole wheat or what.. but this is the first time I baked a bread that feels like cross between a door-stopper and brick. It's so heavy and hard that if you throw it at someone, you can actually hurt that person. LOL!   I also felt like I wasted a lot of my walnuts in this bread.. such a waste because nobody wants to eat it. 

The only person that is eating it is ME! Even though I keep saying it is dense and heavy but I couldn't stop eating it..lol!  It has this flavor that I like and also quite chewy and fun to eat like snack.   But the irony is I am the one who kept complaining about this bread but yet I am also the one who ate the most of it and seemingly quite enjoyed it.  *shrugs*.  It's like a love-hate relationship I have with this bread....lol!    



I bought this flour just for this bread.  Due to the last scare with King Arthur bread flour... I asked my helper to open for me in case there are worms/eggs in there...  esp. when it's expiring in 3 months time..  She's not afraid of worms unlike me. 
  Thankfully it is all clear... :P  


Mix sponge...then i forgot photos in between..


I used this Vital Gluten in case anyone thinks I didn't use this and thus I had that gummy streak at the bottom of my bread. I did also heat up my baking stone for more than 2 hours! 


Waiting for it to be proofed.. oh..maybe is it because I left the dough overnight in the fridge? 
I did notice when it's baking the dough seems to shrink a bit and turned darker.  


Here is the Brick.. .. I mean Bread..  



PS: After 4 days later.. I'm still the only one eating this bread. Somehow strangely, even though I think this bread is a fail but I still like to eat it..and quite addicted to eating it.  Perfect when I feel my mouth is itchy and need something to munch on. Because I am a small eater and have weak tummy, I eat many times a day instead of 3 large meals....so I'm not sure if it is because it is whole wheat or what.. I find it fills up my tummy quite easily and I stay full for quite a while..without looking for food.  Or am I imagining? Maybe all the fibre is undigestable... 

I can't say that I will bake it again though.. but never say never.. !  





Monday, July 27, 2015

TBB: MulBlueberry (ElderBlueberry) Pie

I can't find any Elderberries.. in fact I have not seen elderberries before. I was all prepared to just use cranberries and canned gooseberries but when I saw mulberries on sale at the supermarket, I decided to try with mulberries.  My first time tasting mulberries. They didn't taste very good raw though.  I think mulberries have to be cooked to taste good...cos it tasted great in the pie.   

I also made the Peach Galette at the same time, since it's the same pastry, might as well do 2 together - more time efficient. Also I could share the pies with everyone during our district fellowship meeting too. :)   I didn't get a single slice photo, so you can have a sneak peak at my slice peach pie...(ps: I wish it had more peaches.. so fellow bakers who like more fruits, do add more peaches when you make it).  


I mixed the  mulberries and a bit of frozen cranberries I had leftover from ...the cranberries upside-down cake, I think?  



After I cooked it down, I realised it seems dry after cooled, so I added another box (200g?) of frozen blueberries in it.. I was hoping to have blueberries intact.


Roll the pastry etc..  


Baked 


It is not easy to take a good pic under 5 seconds!! 
I didn't even manage to take any good photos. 


Surprisingly mulberry tasted very well with blueberries. I think the mulberries impart a very red color - not so much the cranberries? I really don't know. Somehow I can't see any blueberries..and the tartness from the mulberries makes you think the blueberries are cranberries.  When in fact I only put a handful of cranberries.  Mulberries were crunchy before but after baking, it became soft and not so raw-tasting.

We ate the pie with vanilla ice-cream. Everyone liked the pie. Probably it paired very well the the ice-cream.  And everyone came to my pie counter first for dessert instead of eating the main dishes. lol!  The pies were the centre of attraction.   

My daughter who ate a slice without the ice-cream said it was a bit on the tart side.  





Monday, July 20, 2015

TBB: Kourambiethes


These are super delicious and addictive. Crumbly..and melts-in-mouth.  Everyone who tasted it said they were fantastic. I couldn't say the name properly, but after practicing a few times saying it out loud, I am more confident in pronouncing the name of this cookie. 


I cheated and use Ghee.. :p  
The entire container supposed to be 400g. 


But after i chilled it it became 370g. 
So I just used this because I don't have anymore ghee in the pantry. 


I toasted some chopped up nuts. They came chopped up like this in package..so there is no need for me to chop up somemore...


Cream the ghee and powdered sugar.. i love how fluffy and creamy it looks isn't it? 


I rolled the dough to 25g. I think 31g is too big. That said, i still think 25g is a bit big..so next time I'll do half.. at 15g each and no need to flatten.

I dipped each dough into sugar because the dough isn't very sweet anyway and because of the brandy made it a bit on the bitter side.  The sugar created a barrier and also absorbed the oil - for easier removal with my cookie lifter.  First tray I didn't coat with sugar and the cookie got stuck to the lifter and broke..because of the oil.  The sugar somehow absorbed the oil..even before it is baked..so I prefer it this way. 


After I dust with powdered sugar.. I was initially worried the powdered sugar will melt but it didnt.


The next day..in the container, the powdered sugar still intact.


These cookies were so addictive, that I couldn't' stop eating. 
Will definitely be making these more often.  So easy to put together too. 




Monday, July 13, 2015

TBB: Molasses Crumb Cakelets


These cakelets are so easy to put together.  No eggs or butter.  Totally vegan.  Lots of molasses. I couldn't find Grandma brand molasses (use to have here but now everywhere is just Rabbit brand molasses) so just make do with whatever that is selling here.  I think i scooped to much and instead of it being flat, it formed a dome ..  




Did I ever mention that I love eggs and butter? And flour too!  So when I saw this recipe had neither eggs or butter, I had my suspicion if it will turn out the way I like.  I never like those 'bread' without yeast..or muffins... but that could be that I have not come across a really good recipe or good bake.

I made 1/2 recipe.  I wished I had made 1/4 recipe!  These are only so-so. They don't taste bad but they also don't taste good enough to waste my calories on.  I took a bite and it's pretty sweet..then the next day, I tasted another bite and it tasted better the next day but still not my kind of cake.  Will not be baking these again...

Only my helper likes it and she ate all through the week. She mentioned it tasted better after a few days.  Maybe I didn't use Grandma's molasses..?    

Actually these look quite like our Chinese mini steamed colored rice cake.. eaten with shredded coconut and orange sugar.. and now I am craving for the rice cakes.. 




Monday, July 6, 2015

TBB: 4th July Cheesecake - US Independence Day




After being sick for 2 weeks and eating nothing except plain white rice porridge (ok.. with a bit of pickled radish and maggie seasoning + soya sauce), I really wanted to eat something sweet..  and the photo in the book looked so pretty.

I baked on Friday night... 

I figured I'll used the red food coloring this time round since it's only a tiny flat 10" round cake. :)  - What can I say... this is the best red velvet cake texture I have tasted so far.. so moist and soft and light!!  Ok, if red velvet taste like this, then I can eat the whole bottle of red food coloring..lol!  This cake is different in texture from the other rose red velvet cake.  I really like this cake texture.  


Just out of the oven so nice and flat. :) 


Wrapped it up and refrigerate for tomorrow. 
I put a layer of parchment paper on top, you will find out why later. :)


Made the cheesecake as per recipe. Juice of 1 lemon is slightly more than the required in recipe ..so I just throw in all the juice into the batter. No harm I figured.  Because the sour cream I used was not the liquid type..I had to beat a considerably longer time towards the end for the sour cream to be fully incorporated into the batter.  I was worried if it will affect the cheesecake later, but it didn't. Oh..ya.. I didn't notice I was supposed to use the whisk attachment until my cheesecake was done! :p 


Just out of the oven.. all jiggly.  

(Please ignore the cough mixtures in the background.  
Not all mine... ok..the last 3 bottles mine..the rest is not..)


Saturday AM 

The top layer came off with the parchment..:)
I don't need to do anything...


The cheesecake shrank after resting a night in the fridge.


Oh..the red velvet is slightly bigger than the cheesecake. 
Have to trim the red velvet.
I used strawberry jam to 'glue' the 2 cakes together instead of raspberry preserves.


I forgot to take photos of White Chocolate Cream Cheese frosting..but you can see the back - right - the handheld blender and empty bowl used to  make frosting.  I find the frosting a bit sweet and too rich, worried that it will be too rich so I used it to crumb coat the sides only.  

The red velvet cake is very crumbly..so when I tried to crumb coat, the crumbs were merciless - all over.. but I noticed it created a nice gradient color.. so I just left it as it is.  I used my blueberry sauce in the fridge as topping..and a bit on the sides to add the 3 layer color effect.  Turned out looking better than I expected. :)  Back in the fridge it went...


Saturday PM

I brought my son out as usual on Saturday..and went supermarket to buy the blueberries. So glad that the blueberries were on sale - 4 packs for $9.90 (125g per pack).  Got home and prepared the glaze. 


I wanted the blueberries to be as fresh as possible with a crunch (since I have the blueberry sauce as a base already), and I worried that the hot glaze will cook the blueberries, so I waited for the glaze to cool off a bit and pour into bowl of blueberries. I realised that after the glaze cool off, it is impossible to drain off using strainer!  Anyway, so after, I just lined up the blueberries on paper towel to absorb the excess. :)


Felt like forever lining the blueberries one by one..esp. when I'm fighting with the heat and worrying the cheesecake will melt soon. But I managed to get it done.  Then I piled up the balance blueberries in the centre...



Saturday Night

After dinner, my husband came to me and asked if I made that pretty cake in the fridge.  I said yes.  He asked if we can eat it later.. I think he can't wait to try it.. hahaha 


Time to taste test!  


I posted this photo on FB hoping to tempt all our fellow bakers who haven't been baking with us for a while to bake this. We miss you! Hurry back and back with us! Don't know if it worked or not.. but I sure hope it did.  (Update: I'm sorry to report that it didn't work.. but instead 3 of our alpha-bakers stepped down!?! :o  So sad ... )


WOW! I'm so impressed with this cake! So good!

Not sure if it is because I hadn't had any desserts for 2 weeks or what (but I think I did steal a bite of banana cake), but this is just WOW!

The cheesecake melts in the mouth and pairs perfectly well with the red velvet which also melts in the mouth. Blueberries 'cleans' richness off the cheese and refreshes the tastebuds.   (I clearly forgotten about the red food coloring in the red velvet...I ate up every last crumb!) 

Everyone in my family said it is so good. A clear winner!

I'm going to bake it often - even when it is not 4th July. :D 

The cheesecake alone is awesome and I can see myself using it with other types cookie & cake base..

Rose, how do you create such perfect cheesecake?
I wonder if you had to taste test a lot of cheesecakes before you came out with this recipe?  :)

Now I can't wait to try all the other cheesecakes in the book.


 

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