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Archive for June, 2011

Durian Cream Puffs

June 30, 2011 14 comments

I kept quiet and held my breath as i watched my sisted picked one of these up to eat.

My sister didnt know it, but this cream puff was filled with durian whipped cream. And she absolutely hates durians. I was hoping that it will slide past her and she will eat it unknowingly.

But no such luck it seems. The puff came with a very potent scent that gave it away.  She narrowed  her eyes at me and asked suspiciously “is this durian?”.

A reluctant nod from me and the rest was history.

Notoriously (and deservedly) known as the King of Fruits, durians indeed evoke strong behaviours from its audience. Some cab drivers refuse your business when you are carrying durians. My sister dropped the puff like a hot potato.

On the other extreme though, there are fanatics who anticipate the durian season and participate in “all-you-can-eat” durian buffets. Some go from shops to shops to hunt for the “perfect durian”. 

I guess i am a balance in this nature. I choose to straddle across the fence.

Made of choux pastry, these were filled with whipped cream with durian bits.  It’s really quite interesting to find out how peoples’ reactions are when offered a puff. Just by learning whether they liked or disliked durians, i feel like i got to know them just a bit better.

Between the enthusiasts and the cynics,  i am glad that the recipe yielded me only 8 puffs. Had it been more, i think i won’t be happily lugging an empty box home tonight.

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Chicken handpies

June 27, 2011 12 comments

Making puff pastries intimidates me. I remember clicking the “x” button in resignation on a web page that was trying to fill me in with some basic puff prophecy. It felt like reading an instruction manual on how to assemble a multi tier rack. A rack with its bonus packet of assorted bolts and nuts.

so for the past couple of years, i forged ahead with my baking journey. Carefully sidestepping recipes which included  this elusive pastry. It was okay at first, but it became quite limiting after a while. I felt i was constrained in my baking menu.

I decided it was time to pick up that instruction manual again.

And boy, was it rewarding.

Truthfully, i was all set for disappointment and a tray of greasy, un-inflated dough.  Imagine my sweet delight when i pulled a batch of puffy chicken handpies.

These puffy handpies came companionably with my puffed up my ego. It was one of those moments where i felt like i owned baking. Or that i must be the Martha stewart of my past life.

Well, they weren’t exactly perfect. Some of them burst open at the sides from the fillings. But that’s okay. it just meant whoever picked them up knew exactly what to expect inside the pastries.

A creamy mix of chicken, potatoes, broccoli and carrots. The same filling for my tube-shaped chicken pies actually.

or my chicken pot pie,

In which i filled a ramekin with pie fillings and topped it with a sheet of puff pastry.

Of course, with all that cutting and shaping, you are bound to get a few scraps.

And u know what they say! Waste not, want not…

I egg washed them, sprinkled some sugar and sent them to bake of course!

Chicken Handpies

(This is the exact recipe as my previous post. Just that i served them different)

Chicken Pie

June 24, 2011 14 comments

My chicken pie comes in a tube today.

If you have ever made puff pastry before, you would probably be familiar with the repetitive process of rolling your dough into a rectangle, and then folding the two ends (top and bottom) so that they overlap in the middle. This process is repeated for a total of 4 times (according to my recipe) before your puff pastry dough is ready for use.

I was doing just that this morning. As if on autopilot mode, i was either rolling the dough upward, or downward to maintain the rectangular shape of my dough. And that was what happened even after i completed my fourth turn. Instead of rolling my dough into a circle for the base of the pie, i spacily rolled it to its accustomed rectangle.

 

But instead of beating myself up over it, i decided to make do with my blunder. Rather than docking my puff pastry into a pie plate, i pipped the fillings for this pie down the long side of my rectangular puff pastry then rolled it from the short side  up to seal.  Which pretty much explains the tunnel of chicken pie.

But then again, no one had to know of your carelessness, cause this looks perfectly normal as a roulade.

Filled with chicken, potatoes, broccoli and carrots, this pie is pretty much a meal on its own. Warm, hearty and satiating. It made a good breakfast menu for me, but i am already thinking about it for lunch, AND maybe if there’s some left, dinner.

Slicing into this pie was a dream too. I absoultey loved hearing the soft crunch as my knife sliced into the top of this very tender and flakey pie.

And as you can see, the puff pastry didnt rise much when weighed down with the filling. However, at the sides where i sealed the skin together, it rose up quite a bit!

I am no expert when it comes to rolling pie pastry, and i must say i am pretty happy with the way this puffed up!

And biting into a raised puff pastry is messy. But it sure is delicious. So be sure to hold a plate under your chin to catch the crumbs!

Chicken Pie

Taken from Baking Made Easy by Agnes Chang

*my notes in red

Puff Pastry :

360 gr plain flour, mixed with 1tsp salt, sifted, + 60 gr butter

8 – 10 TBS cold water, mixed with 1 tsp lime juice

180 gr pastry margarine

1 beaten egg, mixed with a pinch of salt (for glazing)

Filling:

300 gr diced chicken meat, mixed with 1/2 tsp cornflour and 1 tsp concentrated chicken stock (I omitted the cornflour, and used powdered chicken stock)

2 sausages, diced

1 cooked potato, diced

10 button mushrooms, diced (omitted)

1 big onion, chopped, + 3 TBS butter/ oil

salt and pepper to taste

pinch of nutmeg (omitted)

2 TBS flour, + 1/2 Cup water

1. Pastry: Put the sifted flour into a big mixing bowl, Rub in butter, add enough water to mix into a pliable dough. (I placed flour, salt and butter in a food processor and blitzed it before gradually adding the water mixture) Knead till smooth. Rest for 15 mins. Roll into oblong shape. Put pastry margarine into 2/3 of dough, fold into 3 layers. Roll again into oblong shape and fold into 3 layers again. Repeat 3 more times ( rest pastry for 15 minutes each time)

2. Filling: Heat up butter/oil in a fruing pan. Sautee chopped onions till fragrant. Add chicken meat and fry till fragrant. Add potato, carrot, button mushrooms(omit), nutmeg powder (omit) and salt and pepper to taste. Dish up. Heat up another 1 TBS oil and fry plain flour till fragrant. Add water to form a thick sauce. Mix in the chicken meat mixture. Dish and leave to cool.

3. Roll the pastry into 3 mm thickness. Cut into rounds and press into the pie dish. (I rolled it into a long rectangle, piped the filling down the middle, and rolled it up from the sides to form a roulade)Add filling and cover up with another piece of pastry. Glaze with beaten egg and slit on top to let steam out during baking. Bake in a preheated oven at 200 degree celcius till golden brown (about 25 – 30 mins). Remove from oven and ready to serve.

Spiral Curry Puffs

June 22, 2011 12 comments

Truth be told, i was more intrigued with making the “skin” of this curry puff rather than the whole  snack itself.

These flaky, layered skin is built with the same concept of the puff pastry. But with lesser threats.

 

Two types of dough went into these pastries. An oil dough, and a water dough.

So what’s an oil and water dough?

The oil dough is a dough made of only flour and fats. It is supposed to replicate the butter in puff pastries to create the layerings. This oil dough is much more easier to work with as compared to working with naked butter as you have the flour to help you hold the fats together. You won’t run the risk of butter melting and oozing out of everywhere with this. And you will be less likely to pull your hair out in frustration should that happen.

 As for the water dough, there is of course water included in the dough. The water and the flour allows gluten to be formed. The dough is then kneaded till it gets pliable enough to wrap the oil dough. This step is pretty much identical to enclosing that slab of butter in your dough to create the puff pastries. With much less frustration, as mentioned.

Okay, not to bore you with anymore skin details, i shall now move on to the fillings.

Much as i wanted to say how I made this from scratch on my own, i think it’s better to be truthful and be blatantly honest.

#1. I used a premix for the curry flavouring

#2. I had someone else cook the filling for me

I am sorry. I really can’t cook to save the day.

Nevertheless, i stuck around enough to know that there are potatoes in it. and chicken. and big onions.

Needless to say, the filling gets wrapped into the skin, before the whole thing goes slidding down a deep fryer.

Hmmm. Deep Frying…

#3. I had someone frying for me.

Oops.

Nevertheless, there i  we had it. Curry puffs!

Of course, if you didn’t have insufficient pleating skills like i did, your curry puffs probably wouldn’t turn out so oddly shaped

But nevertheless, they are still tasty snacks!

Spiral Curry Puffs

Taken from Do what I like ( Pls visit her site, she has the most amazing step by step pictorial on the rolling)

Sunken Chocolate Cake

June 20, 2011 17 comments

Oh no. It can’t be.

This blog hasn’t seen chocolate in weeks!

A rectification of the situation is in order. A quick one preferably, cause even under such dire situations, i still need to get to the office by 9 am.

Okay 9.30 if the boss ain’t around.

Or maybe 9.45 since i needed to make a grand entrance with this cake.

This mysteriously dark, luxurious, rich chocolatey cake.

It started off as a cake, baked in a springform pan.

This cake has seen greater heights when it was still baking in the oven. It reached the brim of the springform.

But take it out of the warm oven, and it starts to sink. That’s the thing with fallen cake, they are supposed to look like crap. But i am kind of liking how this cake turned out. It is charming in its own way. Curvaceous and waisted. Sexy isnt it?

Slice into it and you see a dark, bold and intensely chocolatey cake. I didn’t even have to taste it to know how chocolatey it was. The scent that hit me as i was slicing the cake gave me hints.

Texture wise, it is soft and sponge-like. It’s actually like a super soft sponge cake, but with a taste as rich as a brownie.

It’s like nothing i’ve ever tasted before. You really gotta try this to know what i am talking about!

Sunken Chocolate Cake

Recipe from Happy Home Baking

 

 

 

Categories: Cakes Tags: , , , ,

Egg Mayonnaise Buns

June 19, 2011 6 comments

I have always wondered what happens if i fill my bread dough with mayonnaise and sent them to bake?

Would the mayo turn into a runny goo and spill out of the buns?

And just for the fun of it, i decided to give it a go.

This bun was filled with egg mayo and ham.

Then i sent it to bake as usual.

and voila! No runny goo, no spills!

Just delicious buns with egg mayonnaise and ham as fillings!

 

 

Black Olive Sable Cookies

June 17, 2011 3 comments

If you haven’t read the title, i think you wouldn’t have guessed in a million years what those black stuffs in my cookies are.

Well, they are black olives.

Okay, did that weird you out?

But waittt! Before you go clicking on the ‘x’ button on my page, please allow me to have a  squeak to convince you on these cookies.

 These cookies are a Pierre Hermes creation. The mad genius who seduced the world with his famed macarons.  

Okay, did that work?

It must be if you are still reading this.

Using Extra Virgin Olive (EVO) oil, these cookies were still light and crisp. They were very tender and they snap with the lightest pressure, without being crumbly.  They have a melt in your mouth quality to them. And of course i bet they are healthier than your average butter cookies.

Tastewise, they were really straddling the fence between savoury and sweet. A very sophisticated, complex taste that you will want to savour with your eyes closed. It’s like a delicious awakening to the tastebuds and sense of smell.

I think these would serve as great appetizers for some fancy event.

And by mean fancy, i am not talking about a kid’s 5 year old birthday bash. Because these are definitely very adultrated cookies.  Delicious, adultrated cookies.

Black Olive Cookies

Recipe taken from Kokken69.

Tiramisu

June 15, 2011 21 comments

I’ve always seen the classic tiramisu as a very sophisticated dessert which requires mad baking skills and finesse in cake layering and decorating.

Boy, was i misinformed. This has got to be one of the easiest dessert i’ve ever whipped.

Here, let me show you my step by step

First, we start with the sponge fingers.

Store bought sponge fingers of course. I dont think i would be remarking how easy this dessert was if i had to bake my own sponge fingers. LOL.

Dip them sponges in coffee. Not just regular coffee.

Rum spiked coffee. 🙂

This band of boozed up sponges are then assembled to form a groupie.

  

Of course, we cant be expecting the sponge fingers to fit exactly into whatever vessel you choose to house the tiramisu in. I’ve snipped the tails and heads of some unfortunate sponge fingers so that they could fit into my 8 x 8 square pan.

You might also realize that i have lined my baking tin with aluminium foil. This is for easy lifting (More on that later).

Let’s get on to the filling!

Couple of yolks beaten till they are pale and light.

To which the mascarpone goes in.

Beat together till lump free,

and fold in some softly whipped cream!

The filling goes over the dunked and the drunkened,

before another layer of tipsy happy sponges get on.

We repeat the same sequence with the cream over this second layer of sponge fingers, and dust it off with a little cocoa powder

And voila!

Next comes the hardest part of the recipe.

Refrigeration. For at LEAST 4 hours.

I needed some major distraction to stop me from peeking into the fridge every 10 minutes.

I went shopping

After an all too fruitful shopping trip, with me buying things on a shopping trip that was totally uncalled for, i came home to this.

A beautifully set tiramisu which i eased out effortlessly using the overhang from my aluminium foils.

Enough talking, this post is getting too long

Let’s dig in!

Recipe:

Tiramisu from Brown Eyed Baker

 

 

 

Creamy Lemon Bars

June 13, 2011 5 comments

All these while, i have only made stirred lemon curd. The type of lemon curd you labour over your stove over.

Which is quite the irony cause my competence in stove cooking is pretty much a joke at best.

So i decided to do what i do best (or at least better) and BAKE some lemon curd instead.

These are Martha Stewart’s Creamy Lemon Bars. Buttery shortbread crust with creamy lemon curd.

From the couple of lemon bars recipes featured on her site, this one stood out cause it had the additional “creamy” word in it, as opposed to just “lemon bars”.

Here’s why.

 This curd has a whole can (yes, all 14 ounces)  of condensed milk in it.  

And as opposed to just the average “lemon bars” which uses whole eggs for the curd, this “creamy lemon bars” topped them by using only the yolks, which i conclude produces a richer, thicker curd.

 

Thick, creamy curd which you can pretty much just spoon onto your plates had it not been for the crust.

And while the suggestion was to dust these with icing sugar. I decided a bit of leftover raspberry curd could join in the fun and add some needed colour to these pale beauties.

Get ready to pucker up with these two sourheaded fruits!

Creamy Lemon Bars from Martha Stewart.

Lemon Cupcakes with Pastry Cream and Raspberry Curd

June 11, 2011 9 comments

I think the local Indonesian confectioner’s sugar is not as finely grained as the rest of the world out there. Because each time i made the American Buttercream, which only involved beating the butter and sugar together, it comes out gritty.

My favourite buttercream to date is the Meringue buttercream. Sure, it is dreary and tiresome as it involves heating and beating egg whites before you add the butter in, but it’s really worth the effort in my case.

But what’s most frustrating is when i laboured over the said buttercream, fastidiously pipped them over the cupcakes,only to have them scrapped aside.

Because that’s what always happens around this health conscious household.

Ditto for frostings which involve whipped cream.

So i have decided to go on the safe road and used pastry cream for today’s cupcake frosting. If they had no qualms eating it as fillings for my Boston Cream Donuts, this pastry cream is pretty much insured from getting the brush off.

Using Martha Stewart’s pastry cream recipe, this pastry cream doesn’t even contain butter. And considering that i am using it as a frosting, this is as good as it gets. I dont think you can get any healthier than that.

Or any more boring.

So i’ve decided to jazz it up a bit.

And started off with a lemon cupcake.

With an apple corer, i decided to take a bit of the middle off,

And piped a perimeter of the pastry cream around it. A note when cooking this pastry cream though. To get that pippable consistency, i cooked the pastry cream way more than what the recipe suggested. At the end of the cooking, you should get a thick, gloopy mixture that sits (and not dissolve) when you let it fall back into your pan from your spoon.

Then i filled up the cavity I created from the apple corer with raspberry curd.

Raspberry curd. Sure, it might have a bit of butter, but definitely way lesser compared to a full fledged buttercream.

Besides, raspberries are fruits. They fall into the bottom of the food pyramid, which mandates that everyone eats more of. Which is why i created the cavity in the first place. And made sure that i filled it all the way up.

 

Lemon Cupcakes, pastry cream and raspberry curd.

That’s like sunshine on mah plate!

Of course, if for some reasons, you happen to squeeze waaaaay too many lemons for your cupcakes and have waaaaay more lemon juice sparing around, you could also make these lemon curd versions.

Like so!

Lemon Cupcakes with Pastry Cream and Raspberry (or Lemon) Curd

Lemon Cupcakes from Dash of Sass

For the cake:
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 teaspoons lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup sour cream

Directions:
– Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two muffin pans or line with paper liners. Set prepared pan aside.
– In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
– In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add sugar. Beat until light and fluffy, approximately 3 minutes.
– Beat in the whole eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, beating until fully combined before adding the next one. Wipe down the sides of the bowl between each addition.
– Once all eggs and yolks are combined, add the vanilla and lemon zest. Stir to combine.
– Add the lemon juice. Mix on low speed to combine.
– With the mixer still on low, mix in the dry ingredients in three separate additions. Between each addition of dry ingredients, add half of the sour cream. Wipe down the sides of the bowl between additions. Stir until fully combined.

– Fill each prepared muffin tin 1/2 way with lemon cake batter. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.  Rotate the pans halfway through to ensure even baking.
– Remove cupcakes to a wire cooling rack. Let cool to room temperature before serving.

Pastry Cream from Martha Stewart

Raspberry Curd from Annie’s eats

For the raspberry curd:
8 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 pint ripe raspberries or 1 12-oz. package frozen raspberries, thawed
5 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
2-3 tsp. fresh lemon juice

To make the raspberry curd, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the raspberries, egg yolks, sugar and salt, and cook, mashing the berries.  Stir frequently at first and then constantly at the end, until thickened, about 10 minutes.  Pour the mixture through a coarse strainer set over a bowl, pressing hard on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible.  Cool to room temperature; the curd will continue to thicken as it cools.  Stir in lemon juice to taste.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Lemon Curd from Martha Stewart

 

 

 

 

 

Yam Cookies

June 9, 2011 9 comments

I’ve used a different flour for these cookies. It’s called the “sagu” flour. It’s a very common flour here in Indonesia.

Derived from the sago palm plant, this flour has properties very much like the tapioca flour. It is starchy and although i can’t verify it, i am pretty sure that this flour falls under the gluten free category.

The use of this flour in cookies calls for the flour to be stir fried before it goes into the cookie batter. I’ve seen recipes using tapioca flour with the same procedure. I wonder why? Does anyone know?

Anyway, as with no protein, or low  protein flours, these cookies came out crumbly and tender. The type of cookies you can break just by lightly pinching them between your fingers.

I’ve flavoured mine with yam paste, and added thick coconut cream to help the dough bind.

Yam and coconut cream go hand in hand. I love the combination of both.

I’ve also added some chopped almonds, just for that mini bits in your bites!

I am wondering though, whether everyone outside Indonesia has heard of this flour?

It sure will be interesting to find out!

Yam Sagu Cookies

100 gram Butter

100 gr icing sugar

1 egg

250 grams sagu flour, toasted. (i dumped mine in a big chinese wok and was left with 225 grams after i was done toasting it)

1 TBS thick coconut milk

yam paste

50 grams chopped almonds

1. Beat butter and sugar till light and fluffy.

2. Add the egg, beat till combined

3. Add the sagu flour, and thin it with the coconut milk if it gets too dry to form a dough. (I used more than what was specified in the recipe)

4. Knead in the yam paste ( I added the yam paste after the egg, before the flour instead. I find this easier rather than having to knead in the coloured yam paste)

5. Add in the chopped almonds (Make sure they are really really fine. Big pieces will clog up your pipping tip)

6. Load your pipping bag with the dough, and pipe a circular wreath onto a pre-lined and pre-greased cookie sheet

7. Bake at 150 degree Celcius for 25 minutes or till cooked.

Lemon Curd, Pastry Cream Cake

June 6, 2011 13 comments

So i opened up the refrigerator this morning.

It looked like someone is hosting a tupperware home party in there.

Plastic containers and tubs were swarming my refrigerator shelves and door. All of which containing an array of leftovers from all my baking stints. Most of them were actually frostings. Cookie frostings, buttercream, jam, caramel.. you name it.

 A spring cleaning is definitely in order.

And today, spring cleaning starts with the tubs marked “pastry cream 02/06/11” and “lemon curd 27/05/11”.

And came out with this.

The lemon curd, pastry cream cake. A yellow cake sandwiching pastry cream and topped with lemon curd.

For the cake, i have used Rose Levy Berenbaum’s Favourite Sour Cream Yellow Cake which gave me the chance to use up “egg yolk 04/06/11”

Using only egg yolks without the whites, the cake came out deliciously rich and moist. But it was also tender. Mine came out a bit too tender and crumbly. I think i might have underbeaten it.

Nevertheless, this cake still played a very good host to the layer of lemon curd and buttercream. In fact, this is somewhat like your boston cream pie. With the lemon instead of the chocolate on top of course.

What i really loved about this cake is the slight tang from the lemon curd against the sweet pastry cream. It’s bright and refreshing.  And the cake provided just enough matter to make it more substantial and not too pudding-like.

And best of all, no one has to know that they are really leftovers!

Boston Cream Donuts

June 2, 2011 19 comments

While Boston Cream Pies are conventional, and Boston Cream Cupcakes are uninspiring, i was so excited when i thought i was the first one who thought of extending the Boston Cream family to donuts.

Boston Cream Donuts.

Sound good doesn’t it?

That’s when i typed the words into google and saw the deluge of recipes available from people who have done it before.

So much for thinking i was gonna be the pioneer in this.

I am not blaming the world for coming up with this earlier than me though. Cause seriously, it’s just too good to NOT think about.

True to the Boston Cream  family signature, these donuts are filled with pastry cream and topped with chocolate.

I’ve used a different recipe for the donuts. This one is pretty different. It called for the use of a new(at least to me) ingredient. The Japanese bread flour.

I am not very familiar with the ingredient, but from what i have been reading, this flour contains more protein than the usual bread flour. It results in better gluten formation, better rise and ultimately softer, super aerated donuts. In fact, when i bit into it, it feels like biting on a cloud of cotton.

And while they are probably not the healthiest snack around, they are quite “light” in the sense that you probably have to eat 2, to get full. Or maybe 7.

So if you prefer something with more bulk, these are not for you.

For me, i decided to add bulk my way. Not by the texture of the donuts, but by filling the donuts.

One was, as seen above, to fill it up with pastry cream.

And another, with peanut butter.

I’ve thinned the peanut butter with a bit of a cream, topped the tops in white chocolate, and decorated with the dark chocolate.

  Pretty good!

Doughnut Recipe

Ingredients:
DOUGH 1
* 850 Japanese ‘Komachi’ bread flour. *
* 30 gr instant yeast
* 10 gr gsalt
* 600 ml water

* You can use regular bread flour for this, just adjust  by reducing the water by  75 to 100 ml. 

DOUGH 2:
* 200 gr  Japanese ‘Komachi’ bread flour
* 10 gr salt
* 60 gr milk powder

* 125 gr sugar
* 100 gr eggs
* 125 gr shortening

 

 

Cooking Direction:
1.) Mix dough 1 with a mixer till it comes together, cover & rest for 90 minutes
2.) Mix dough 2 together. Knead dough 2 into dough one til smooth and elastic. Cover and rest for 15 mnts
3.) With a roller pin, roll the dough abt 1 cm thick. Rest for 10 mnts
4.) Cut with round cookie cutter. Rest for another 10 mnts
5.) Deep fry in low heat until it turns light golden yellow.
6.) Cool on cooling rack.

 

Pastry Cream Recipe can be found HERE

To assemble:

  1. Pipe cooled pastry cream into the cooled donuts. (I used a kitchen shear to tear an opening before jamming my pipping bag into the donut).
  2. Melt some dark chocolate and dip the tops of the filled donut
  3. Set aside to dry