Monday, April 27, 2015

TBB: Lemon Jammies

What can I say? 

These not just look good but they taste very good too.  Especially the Lemon Neoclassic Buttercream - so light and lemony.  Pairs perfectly with the lemon butter cookies.  

You can see I tried other pairings, like nutella and strawberry jam.  But nothing beats the lemon buttercream!! 

My husband said it taste better than store bought (Marks & 
Spencer) cookies, such big compliment!  

Not sure if lemon curd would top it but I doubt it would..I still think the lemon buttercream is the best!  My favorite cookie so far from The Baking Bible... 

Enough raving about these cookies..
here are the step by step photos..(I missed out taking some photos!)

After digging my cupboard, I found this! Never been now is the time! 

As you can see I forgot to take photos of how I made the cookie dough..but here it is, all rested well 1 day in the fridge. 

Rolled and cut.. 
I had more cookies that the recipe said because I think my rounds were smaller. I placed the trays in the fridge for 5 mins to hardened the cookies up a bit before I bake them.. for 12-15mins. Smells really good when they are in the oven.. lovely lemony fragrant..

Time to make buttercream! 

And again..I missed out the steps..but in between, I boiled the sugar & cornsyrup..which is very sticky but it boils faster than sugar & water though.  And add the butter...and lemon juice etc. 

Here it is, Lemon Neoclassic Buttercream..

I sandwich with nutella and lemon buttercream. 
And later with strawberry jam.  

My helper was very concerned that I opened a new bottle of nutella and strawberry jam just for these few cookies. 

My helper: M'dm, you open so many bottles, who is going to finish eating them?  
Me:   Errr.. You?  Cos' you are the only one who eats breakfast & tea-break at home..
My helper: Ha?  Ok M'dm.. I will finish them slowly.. 
Me: lol!  

At first I was worried about that the cookies with buttercream won't last more than a day (as mentioned), but I placed the sandwich cookies in the fridge and they turned out great even after a day. 

However, I realised that the buttercream remains soft even refrigerated and melts very quickly, esp. in our climate.  I wished it would be a bit harder, like you would eat an oreo cookie with that sort of harder icing - so that when you take a bite, the icing won't sort of flow out from the sides. Right now, they flow out from the sides, and feels messy. Maybe it's just me feeling this way. Nevertheless, they are delicious cookies. 

The ones filled with nutella are ok because nutella hardens in the fridge. Jam filled ones are also ok, but too sweet for my liking. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

TBB: The Polish Princess

I read this recipe a few times because it is 5 pages long and looks intimidating.  As I was reading it the 3rd time, it didn't look intimidating anymore and I can picture the entire process in my mind.  

I started making the pastry cream first at 7:30pm.  

I misread and somehow put all the ingredients together into the pan. I only realised my mistake later, but it is ok, I just needed to be more careful that I don't curdle the cream.  Since last minute decision to make this cake, I didn't buy vanilla pods, so I used vanilla bean paste - 1-1/2 tsp. 

Strained the pastry cream.

Pastry Cream looking great and thick. 
Covered top with cling wrap and placed it in a cool place with a fan blasting at it. 

Next, seep the tea bag in boiling water and add the lemon juice, sugar and later vodka.

While the pastry cream and syrup cooling. 
I got ready the walnuts by toasting and also soaking the raisins in hot water..(forgot to take photos)

Time to bake the cake.

Whipped the egg whites to stiff peak and add the yolks, flour, water.

Into the pan and baked for 25mins. 
While waiting..I watched TV..korean! 

Unmold after 10mins of cooling. 
Doesn't look very tall to me.. I wondered if I did anything wrong?  
Maybe it is meant to be like that? 
All these thoughts going in my mind when I saw how thin my cake looked. 

Left the cake to cool and checked on my pastry cream. Still a little warm, so I placed the pastry cream in the fridge to expedite cooling.  In the mean time, while waiting for everything to cool down, I took a break to watch another Korean drama showing on a different channel. :P 

Cake is cooled down and so is pastry cream and syrup.
Toasted walnuts also cooled down and raisins all drained dried.

This is the fun part.. poking the cake all over..!  
Then brush 1/3 syrup.

Turn over the the spring form pan and add 2x ring of aluminium foil
Then poke the cake further with skewer..and brush remaining syrup. I got lazy and pour the syrup over the cake.. cos the brushing took forever.. 

Next, compose the pastry buttercream.  
Whipped the butter fluffy and add the pastry cream slowly. 

I used this chocolate...Lindt..quite good!

This is the raisin chocolate version.  
Very yummy. I like how fluffy it looked.
Like ice-cream!.. Taste like ice-cream too.. very yummy! 

Add the chocolate walnut buttercream later first and let it set in fridge for 1 hr.

After 1 hour later, add the raisin chocolate layer..and add the grated chocolate on top.

Cover with cake board ..which was possible for me since I had aluminium foil collar to hold it up.
And place in fridge overnight to rest for 8 hrs.  
Completed time was like 11:30pm... quite fast isn't it? :) 

Next morning, unmold the sides of spring form pan and peel of the foil. Very easy peasy!

Wait..have to remove the base...

Then I flipped the cake over and remove the base and changed to a cake board. :)
No worries, cos the buttercream already hardened like rock overnight. 

Now it is time to cut the cake into 1/3. 
1/3 for my daughter's office, 1/3 for my office and 1/3 for home.

You can see the cake is taller in the centre..and somehow I didn't spread the cream evenly, some parts had more chocolate cream and some parts had more white layer. 

My cake in office lift. 
I wonder if my security colleagues wondering what I am doing in the lift..taking selfie or what? LOL!  

A slice of cake for breakfast! 

In the beginning I was worried how fattening the pastry cream was going to be with so much butter and all. But then I tasted it, I forgot about all that. It was so sinfully good! Hard not to just lick the cream and eat it own its own when assembling the cake.  

Everyone in office who tasted it liked it.  

Only my daughter didn't like the cake because it had too much cream, she prefers less cream and more cake.   However, she said all her colleagues who tried liked it, said the cake was delicious.

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 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 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! 

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 can do a lot of things in 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).


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