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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.