Just logging in to wish every one a happy happy christmas admist all the christmas mess and share two cakes i have baked.
Swiss roll cake coated with white chocolate whipped cream, and surrounded by a wreath of green tinted marshmallow cornflakes. 🙂
A 30th Birthday Sponge cake with white chocolate whipped cream and decorated with retarded oreo critters.
I am sure many are familiar with the quote “….. is the greatest thing since sliced bread. I don’t know how the quote came about, but i am guessing sliced bread must have pretty much taken the world by storm to be quoted in such a timeless fashion.
Sure, sliced bread is great, it takes away that nerve wrecking task of bread cutting. And if you don’t own a serrated knife, you definitely will appreciate pre-sliced bread more than your counterparts with a serrated knife.
I am fortunately a proud owner of a serrated knife, and i do enjoy slicing my own bread. And let me tell you how wonderful it is to be baking my own bread, a sandwich loaf no less.
It will probably take your whole afternoon. So, don’t expect to serve this for breakfast the morning you decide to start baking. Don’t let that scare you though, for all that time intensiveness, you do get much loafing (no pun intended) around. That is of course, after u are done with the initial kneading stage. Once you are through that hurdle, all you have to do is pretty much wait around for the second, third, fourth … rising (I told you it will take some time).
I seemed to have acquired the patience of a rock statue the day i made this bread. I followed the instructions, kneaded my dues and then goofed my afternoon away with a little kitchen timer in my hand to remind me of the next “session” i have with my dough, be it the next punch down, or the next shaping… etc. I didn’t for one regret though, at the end of all that timed activities, i got myself a soft crumbed tall sandwich loaf 🙂
Yup, all that goodness in a sliced bread minus all the harmful chemicals and preservatives. A good homemade sandwich loaf, which u can pretty much serve in any way you fancy.
Like with lettuce, cheese and tomatoes? (Sorry i ran out of Bacon to make this a regular BLT)
Or maybe with some blueberry jam?
That is of course the goodness you can get out of sliced bread. But waittt, there is more.
What about an UNsliced loaf? After all, the title is about unsliced loaves being greater than their sliced cousins right?
Surely there are some goodness in that too?
We make bread boxes out of sandwich loaves.
These bread boxes, better known as Honey Toasts are very popular as asian desserts. I believe they may have originated from Hongkong.
Basically, the interior of the bread is removed via a slit made at the bottom of the loaf. They are then buttered and given a light toasting before they are replaced back in the bread boxes with a drizzle of honey. They are usually topped with ice cream and u can imagine how wonderful it is when the ice cream melts and soaks up the underlying bread pieces.
I however, replaced the ice cream with Rum pastry cream as i was gifting these to my friends and there was no way ice cream could have survived the journey.
I arranged the fresh fruits over the pastry cream and gave it a light coating of honey for an added touch of sweetness and shine. 🙂
So let’s get loafing!
Recipe from Happy Homebaking Thanks for sharing!!
(makes one 11cm x 11cm x 20cm loaf)
75g bread flour
53g boiling water
100g bread flour
60g water (room temperature)
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
225g bread flour
10g milk powder
22g caster sugar
4g instant yeast
143g water (room temperature)
60g overnight sponge dough
gelatinised dough from (A)
30g butter (cut into cubes)
Add the boiling water in (A) into the bread flour, stir and mix to form a rough dough. Cover dough and set aside to cool. Wrap dough and leave it to chill in fridge for at least 12 hrs. (Bring back to room temperature before using.)
Mix bread flour in (B) with instant yeast. Add water and mix to form a rough dough. Cover dough let it proof for 30mins. Wrap dough and refrigerate overnight. Note: only 60g is required. Bring back to room temperature before using.
- Mix together bread four, milk powder, caster sugar, salt and instant yeast in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre, and add in water and overnight dough. Knead to form a rough dough. Knead in gelatinised-dough.
- Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough till smooth. This should take about 10mins. Knead in the butter. Continue to knead the dough until it no longer sticks to your hand, becomes smooth and elastic. This should take about another 15~20 mins. Do the window pane test: pinch a piece of the dough, pull and stretch it. It should be elastic, and can be pulled away into a thin membrane without tearing/breaking apart easily.
- Place dough in a lightly greased (use vegetable oil or butter) mixing bowl, cover with cling wrap and let proof in room temperature (around 28 to 30 degC) for about 60mins, or until double in bulk.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and give a few light kneading to press out the gas in the dough. Divide the dough into 3 equal portions. Roll each dough into smooth rounds, cover with a damp cloth or cling wrap and let the doughs rest for 10mins.
- On a lightly floured work surface, flatten each dough and roll out to form a longish oval shape. Starting from the shorter end, roll it up swiss-roll style. Leave the doughs to rest for another 10 mins.
- Flatten each dough and roll it out again to form a long rectangle (around 30cm x 10cm). Flip the dough over and roll up swiss-roll style, roll up as tightly as possible. Pinch and seal the seams. Place the three doughs, seam side down, in a well greased (with butter) pullman tin.
- Cover with damp cloth or cling wrap and leave doughs to proof for the second time for about 50~60mins, or until the pan is 80% full. Cover the lid (well greased with butter) and bake at 220degC for 35mins. Unmold immediately and once cool store in an airtight container.
Growing up in Singapore, i have never seen had candied apples before. In fact, i have never even laid eyes on a candied apple. All i know is that i have a fridge full of Fuji Apples, and they are being eaten at a rate slower than than they are at going bad.
So in my mind, i was hoping a lil bit of caramel might trick people into eating these apples a bit faster. :p
Okay, so while an apple a day keeps the doctors away, these will definitely round up the dentists. I dont think any dentists in their right minds would recommend eating chewy, sticky, gooey, rich, milky, sweet, delicious caramel. Sure, they stick all over your teeth, but then again, it’s not as if you can’t brush your teeth after?
And anyways, apples! They are fruits! and so what’s a lil caramel when you know you are eating something so rich in vitamins, anti-oxidants and fibers in exchange?
Recipe from Martha Stewart
Classic Caramel Apples
- 6 wooden craft sticks
- 6 small apples, any variety, stems removed
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup dark corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Insert sticks into tops of apples. Prepare an ice-water bath.
- Bring cream, sugar, corn syrup, and butter to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Clip a candy thermometer to pan, and continue to cook until mixture reaches 245 degrees, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Place pan in ice-water bath to stop the cooking. Dip bottom of each apple in caramel. Using a spoon, coat apple halfway to three-quarters of the way up sides. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet, and refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes (or overnight).
Read more at Marthastewart.com: Classic Caramel Apples – Martha Stewart Recipes
Almond, Orange, Cranberry Cupcakes. Geez, the title itself is already a mouthful isn’t it? There is the fruits, and the nuts all rolled into a medley. But fret not, despite the jumbled mess of a name, this will work just fine.
These cupcakes might take a lil bit more fostering than the average cupcakes. It’s not just a matter of throwing in a bunch of chocolate chips, or a handful of nuts.
The oranges have to be zested, and the cranberries chopped, and then soaked.
And let me tell you about these soaked cranberries… I soaked these cranberries in Grand Marnier, and i can’t tell you enough how wonderfully plump and flavourful each cranberry became. It was like biting into mini bursts of delight, fruity, full-bodied, and fragrant. I think Grand Marnier is fast becoming a baking favourite.
A lil downfall in these soaked cranberries though, literally. The cranberries get heavy, and they sink downward. Although some did manage to stay afloat, most of them made their way south. I know i should have chopped the cranberries smaller, and pat them dry, or sprinkle a lil flour before dumping them into the batter. But i guess i got a lil lazy. Lesson learnt.
Let me go on to marvel at the cake now. In case you were wondering, the dark shade of this cake is brought about by the glorious brown sugar. And just by having brown sugar, these cupcakes by default are delicious. I love brown sugar, and i have come to notice a trend with it. Brown sugar baked goods somehow get more flavoursome and all the more luscious with time. These cupcakes taste better on the second day, so i guess that kinda challenges that cliche “fresh from the oven” slogan so overused today eh?
Anyways, for the recipe, i have adapted Pastry Girl’s Apricot, Orange, and Almond Mini Cakes and subbed the Apricots for Dried Cranberries. And in case you havent already, do head over to her blog for the most amazing display of desserts. Her pictures of stunningly gorgeous! Thanks Anita for sharing the recipe!
adapted from Carole Bloom’s Bite-Size Desserts
makes 12 4″x 2 1/4″ loaves
2/3 cup (4 ounces) dried apricots, finely chopped (i used dried cranberries)
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
2 cups (9 ounces) flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup (5 ounces) sugar plus extra for sprinkling
3/4 cup (4 1/2 ounces) light brown sugar
2 extra-large eggs, room temperature (I used large and it turned out fine)
1 extra-large egg yolk, room temperature (same as above)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon orange extract
zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray twelve mini loaf pans with cooking spray and place on a baking sheet.
Combine apricots and Grand Marnier in a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let marinate for 15 minutes.
Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl and set aside.
Beat butter in a stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugars and beat until well combined.
Combine eggs, egg yolk, extracts, and orange peel in a small bowl. Add to mixture and beat until well combined.
Add the flour mixture and buttermilk in three alternating additions, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Mix just until combined.
Add in the apricots and mix until combined.
Divide mixture among prepared pans, filling about 3/4 full. Sprinkle almonds and sugar over the tops.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool on wire racks before serving.