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.


BB: Prosciutto Ring


Proscuitto, salami & bacon. 
I bought Hot sopressa but didn't use as I used bacon instead.
Used bacon oil in place of lard. 


The dough was easy to make. I had some sourdough discard and instead of throwing it away, I just mixed into the dough as well..I think about 100g or so. 

All baked. 

Tasted so good! I love the crackly black pepper bits too.
So easy to put together and so tasty.  


Our family finished the bread in just under 1 day. 
Cant' stop eating it ... 


Monday, June 29, 2015

TBB: Praline Pecan Meringue Ice-Cream Sandwiches



I made half recipe as I wasn't sure if meringue will last in this climate here..  In fact, I was half hearted about making this recipe..seeing it requires 300g of pecan nuts..that's a lot of pecan nuts and it's expensive here. What if I don't like them and it will mean $22 down the drain..! 

Fate had it that I developed sore throat, along with headache, slight fever yesterday. I could only think of things like ice-pops, ice-cream, ice-kachang..  you get the idea.  And since my husband complained the other day that my ice-cream maker has been in cold-storage for a long time, I decided to make rum & raisin ice-cream because it is my daughter's favorite flavor, and I can't make chocolate anything because chocolate is 'heaty' and at times like this, is one of the food I have to avoid eating.  

After making the custard base for ice-cream, I realised I have leftover white and I might as well make the meringue.. half recipe would be enough for a test batch.. 

So I began toasting the pecan nuts..


And whisk the egg whites & brown sugar. I heated it up a bit hoping to get rid of the moisture so it will be not be soft later on... so I think.. 


chopped all pecans.. no need to leave 1/2 batch of whole pecans..since only half recipe. 


Whipped for 5 mins until it turn pale white.. 


At this point..very sticky meringue.. maybe I over-beat..


Scoop and drop and flatten with spatula.. but I think I didn't flatten enough...cos you can see why later..


Tada! Meringue cookies all baked ..
I baked at low temp 130c for 30mins.  
Very dry and crispy now.  Happiness..that they didn't collapse and I was so tempted to eat one but my helper reminded me not to as they are even numbers now... *dang*..lol!


Next churn the custard into ice-cream


After 30mins later... ice-cream! Still need to rest in freezer first.. 


Now..top with meringue cookie on top and enjoy! 
No bottom cookie cos too fluffy already..LOL! 




Even though I messed up the meringue and made them into some mini pavlova looked-alike.. but they taste amazing with ice-cream. The crisp, light and airy texture - pairs so well with ice-cream. Loving it. Next time I have to remember to really make flatten them down. 

Thumbs Up!  Everyone loved it. My husband said this is such a good idea... ya.. I told him this is not my idea but Rose's idea. LOL! And even though I messed up her original idea, they are still delicious. 

PS: I'm glad I made half portion because right after making these I was sick for 2 weeks and they are still in containers - nobody ate them...(because I was out of action and didn't 'prepare/assemble' it for them..seems like they cannot do it themselves..)! I tried to eat one last night on it's own but it's very sweet without ice-cream. So still better with ice-cream.  No longer as chewy in centre as before but still good. :)  







Monday, June 22, 2015

TBB: Double Damage Oblivion


It's very hard to find a chocolate cake that I don't like.  I hope it is not the hot weather that is influencing me lately.   It is really double damaged to me. 


Made the Chocolate Oblivion the day before.  Melt the chocolate & butter. 


Whipped the eggs. 


Fold in chocolate mixture


Water bake for 10mins.


All baked and out of oven.



 Make the chocolate cake layer.  
Cake technique is similar to the Polish Princess Cake. 


Oh..no..cake came out so flat?!?!  
How do I cut into 2 and make into a birthday cake for my helper?? 


So I had to make another layer again!
I don't like my layers both have a dome in the centre..


After the ganache is ready, time to assemble the cake.




I left some tiny ganache to do a crumb coat on the cake.


Next day, dusted powdered sugar/snow sugar on top
and placed some candles. My helper's birthday.



After singing happy birthday song and wishing her, she cut her cake.  Seems like the top cake has a higher dome..because I didn't press it down like I did for the bottom cake..lol!



The chocolate oblivion centre tasted like ganache...it wasn't something so different from ganache. In fact, it taste great and it is very rich like truffles - quite like Royce Nama Chocolate (my favorite is their champagne version)..very good on its own.. but only can have one or two pieces because it is very rich.  

Cake is quite like the polish princess cake. I'm not fond of this method of cake making. I find it a bit on the dense/dry texture. But the polish princess cake layer had lots of vodka syrup soaked, so the cake tasted moist and soft. This chocolate cake was not my favorite..and texture wise I can't quite pinpoint but I find like something is missing..maybe some liquored syrup? I actually would have preferred the German Chocolate Cake Layers in Rose's Heavenly Cake Book to be used in this cake.  The same German Chocolate Cake layers we used in Ice-Cream cake too..was the best..I still make the ice-cream cake from HCB once in a while. .  

So this cake tasted way too rich for me... like I needed a cup of milk to go with it to wash it down.  

But that could be my doing because the recipe only said 1 cake layer to be sliced into 2 layers..so the cake layers supposedly thin so that way it goes perfectly with the Oblivion I guess that was what the recipe was intended to be.

My daughter couldn't finish her slice. My helper said it is good but the next day she said she doesn't want to eat anymore. I guess she was worried she had to eat the whole cake since it is her birthday cake.   My husband ate a slice and didn't say anything.  

The next day, I ate 2 slices after lunch and stared at my 3/4 left over cake thinking what to do with it?! 


 I cut up the whole cake into pieces and then added 1/2 cup of Bourbon and made them into cake balls.  Wow..I think I know what was missing..Bourbon!! LOL!  The cake balls were really good.  My daughter liked it and brought all the cake balls to share with her colleagues.  




Next time if I do make this cake again, I will used bourbon syrup to soak the cake layers. :D  Smart or what? ..hahaha.. 




 

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