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! 
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 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 at least an inch higher?  My family liked the cake too..but they weren't too impressed by 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! 

Monday, March 23, 2015

TBB: Luxury Oatmeal Cookies

I was craving for chocolate chip cookies for long time, so when I saw Marie posted the following weeks' recipes, I quickly made this..not exactly chocolate chip but at least have some chocolate in it. :)   Later realised that they are not as quick as I thought because I had to make granola first.  I didn't mind a bit because I love granola. This gave me the opportunity to try a new granola recipe. :)

Hand-pulled Coffee (by moi..) paired with Luxury Oatmeal Cookies.
Not easy to do latte art...  but me only making 2 cups per day..unlike Barista who makes hundred cups a day.. I wonder when will I ever reach Barista standard..LOL!..

First make the granola, which is very easy.. just mix all the ingredients together...

I realised this granola recipe requires lots of sugar and syrup! I was contemplating whether to reduce sugar or syrup.....but I ended up following Rose's instructions. 

Then place on baking sheet and bake at 107c for 20mins. However, after 20mins, the granola was still very wet and looked uncook.. Not like the kind of granola I like. I was a bit disappointed. I put the tray back again to bake for another 20mins. Still sticky and wet but better than before. I figured maybe it needed to be like this for the cookies.   I messaged Kristina cos she made hers earlier and she replied hers was same too.. so that means I am on the right track.  Called it a day..and put them in the fridge. 

The next evening after work, I mix the granola, raisins, Valhorna chocolate pearls.. together. 

Cream up the cookie batter... 
I noticed the batter is also I omitted granulated sugar and purposely used salted butter instead of unsalted.

Mix the batter and the granola mixture..

Sticky mess...then measure and wrap into plastic bags x 3.
Cool in fridge.

Roll into rounds of 30g.. very sticky!!! 
Really must flour hands as instructed! 

The ones on the left baked for 12mins, and the ones of right baked for 15-18mins 

We like the darker almost burnt!  Cos they turned crispy throughout. 

The ones of the left also good, but has this soft cake like centre..and somewhat tasted sweeter also...too sweet for my liking in fact.

So I ended up baking the rest of the trays longer till they almost burn..LOL! 

My family says they are delicious and crispy. 

I too like the over-baked ones because they are so crispy and also tasted less sweet. Maybe cos I burnt them and they turned bitter thus killed off the sweetness..hahaha.. 

They smell sweet like Famous Amos cookies, btw. 

Will I make them again? I really don't know. Seems like too much work just for oatmeal cookies.. hmmmm...maybe hence the name Luxury oatmeal cookies.. 

  If I do, I will definitely reduce the amount of sugar further, either from the granola or the cookie batter..or maybe both. Also make them smaller.. 15g each. :)

<<One Week Later>>

These crispy cookies didn't stay crispy after 2 days in airtight container at home.  But those that I brought to work (24-hrs airconditioning) stayed crisp.  See, how humidity affects everything...!  

Monday, March 16, 2015

TBB: Sour Cherry Pie Day

Super Delicious Sour Cherry Pie. 
This is like the 3rd fruit pie I have ever made!

This time, I made the pastry using Rose's hand method.  I followed instruction exactly. 

Before I was pretty confused when I read the instructions. However, when I saw Joe Pastry blog post and step by step photos, suddenly everything made sense! Yay! :D  

I have to say that this is now my favorite pie crust recipe! It's the very BEST imo - so flaky and delicious! This is what pie crust should be - All Butter (no shortening!)  

Put the cold butter and cheese breadcrumbs into the bag

And roll with rolling pin. This is very fun! 
Except I feel like I wasted a ziploc bag.. expensive you know..ziploc bag use for only 30mins. 

I added the cream and cider and still very dry. Maybe my cream is not very liquid but thicker. So I added 2 tsp of Vodka.. cos American Test Kitchen says so.... :)  

Wrapped the dough into 2 separately and placed in freezer.

Friday night after work, about 8pm, I made the cherry filling using 2 jars of Morello cherries. I tasted one when I opened the jar, it was a bit tart and the water/syrup that it was soaked in wasn't very sweet. 

So I reduced sugar by 25g and also added some Griottines (which I think is Morello cherries soak in kirsch liquor).  While I was cooking, I found it on the thick side and I wasn't sure how thick/liquid it should be for pie filling..since this is my first time making it and plus I didn't use frozen or fresh cherries.. Raymond & Tony suggested that I should add a bit more juice..which I did.. And in the end, I had more pie filling (weight) than stated on recipe..since I didn't weigh the cherries with juice...and some Griottines juice too.

After I turned on the aircon - to get ready to roll my pastry. 

When my son found out I turned on the aircon, he came in with all his toys to keep me company in our tiny kitchen space. Very difficult to walk around with him on the floor like this....

I rolled the pastry to 12".... I had a 12" cake board I can flip over to the pie plate.

Flipped over to the pie plate..and place into fridge to rest. 

Next, I took out the other dough and roll into the required size. 
I used my multi pasta cutter which I bought for cake decorating purposes...not so much for making pasta..

This way I don't have to measure 3/4" many pieces.. very headache esp. my son is occupying almost the whole kitchen floor and singing very loudly..and I had to be careful not to dust flour on his head! 

After cutting the lattice strips, I placed into the fridge to rest again. 
By then, my son was lying on the kitchen floor relaxing. 

1 hour later, scooped the cherries into the pie and did the decorative lattice work..and then I realised that I have to rest the pie again for at least 45 mins! Wahhhh..  (I wanted the pie to be ready for Saturday's Pi Day.. 3.14.15 :) 
So in the meantime, I got my son ready for bedtime.

45 mins later, cut a round foil and placed it around the sides. 
Sugared the hearts only.. and into the oven it went!

Ta-Da!!!  All baked! 
I'm glad only a bit of the juices flow out. :) 
Since it was almost 2am when the pie was done, I took it to my bedroom (again!) for it to cool the stupid lizards will not have any chance at all to get close...

Initially I was worried my pie would be too dry, however, when I cut into in the next day, it was juicy and perfect, just the way I like it flaky Rose's pie crust is! I love it!
I'm a crust crust is most important to me. :) 

This is the best pie I have ever eaten and now my favorite pie to date.. I considered it better than apple pie now! The addition of Griottines gave it the extra oommph...esp when I bite into one and taste the liquor. LOL! I didn't know cherries can be so delicious as filling..!  I gave my friend 2 slices and she said it was very good, perfect balance of sweetness and tartness. 

I love it so much I think I'm going to make it again this weekend for our Church gathering. :)  Good thing/food is meant to be shared isn't it? 

Monday, March 9, 2015

TBB: Caramel Buns

I wasn't sure if I wanted to bake this for the week. The word sticky caramel makes me think of desserts that are icky sweet.  Icky sweet desserts are not popular here since all the reports about how bad sugar is and I was worried nobody wants to eat them. But I made them nonetheless because I felt as if I didn't submit my homework if I don't make them. I'm very glad I did make them! They are SOOO GOOD!!

I made the sponge on Thursday night.

Flour over it..and let it rest for 1 hr..(I think..or longer?)

Then mix all the ingredients and let the dough proof for 1-2 hrs.

It was getting pretty I skipped the folding part, but fold the soft dough in the oiled plastic bag.
And into the fridge it went to rest overnight.  Next morning, it was all puffed up and I had to press it down.

Friday night after work, I soaked the raisins in rum and boiling water for 1 hour.
I soaked double amount of raisins...because I had the intention to reduce the sugar quantity.
Then I toasted the pecan nuts too.

I rolled the dough into the stated length/width.  
(BTW, I used organic 12% bread flour for the dough, but I used the local bread flour for dusting).

I put in more raisins and pecan nuts and reduced the sugar by 20g.

I had fun with the dental floss..cutting up the dough!  :D 
This went into the fridge to rest. So I can bake for breakfast next morning.

Not sure if it is because of the organic flour or what, but the dough proofed really fast..even in my fridge...  The next morning, they were already all puffed up and doubled in size. I wondered if I needed to proof for 2 hrs as the instructions mentioned?  In the end, I just waited till room temperature around 1 hr and placed the buns in the oven to bake.

Thank goodness I followed Rose's instruction to use the foil under, because I had a hard time taking the hot ramekin (with hot water) out of the pan..and had to lift the foil up instead. My bread came up to the top of the pan during baking. 

Quickly separate them individually...and glaze.

Make the caramel. 
I complained on FB about worrying that caramel will make the buns too sweet and wanted to make half batch..blah..blah..blah. 
But in the end, after all the complaining, I still made the full batch!!! 
Seems that I like to complain a lot but always end up following the recipe anyway...LOL!  

Caramel all done! 
Oh ya, I added salted butter and also 1/4 tsp of salt with the vanilla. 

I had my first bite and it was like WOW!!! Sooo GOOD! Surprisingly GOOD! 
Soo Yummilicious! (is there such a word?)
Perfect balance of flavors!!
Sweet, (of course it is sweet, it's caramel! duh!) 
but not super sweet and pairs extremely well with the brioche buns and pecan nuts.  

Then I posted this photo on FB to tempt everyone else.. Wahahahahahaha! *evil grin*

More Caramel Buns anyone? 

Fluffy broiche ..
I'm glad I added more pecans and raisins because they seemed to be buried in the dough..

Left over caramel..hardened, so I ate some up like caramel candies..

These caramel buns are really delicious! I ate like 3-4 buns that day.. (but after felt gastricy the next day..simply because I over ate... also had heavy dinner and later hot cross buns which I made the same day too! I sound so!)

Will definitely make these buns again and again and again!  But I just have to make sure I don't stuff myself with them again but savour them slowly...but it's really hard not to ..esp. when these buns are TDF! 


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