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Archive for April, 2012

Pao de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread)

April 30, 2012 9 comments

 

I haven’t been baking much recently. These couple of weeks, instead of over-zealously waking up at dawn to preheat my oven, i found myself relying more on more on my mini toaster.

I find myself buying  less of fresh baking ingredients.  No more filling up my cart with  butter, flour and eggs. Instead, i just grab a pair of tongs at the bakery section of the supermarket and fill my tray with cinnamon rolls, buns, croissant and even cakes.

I guess i just got lazy…  But it’s just so tempting to lie longer in bed… Not to mention how much more cost efficient it is to power up a mini toaster as opposed to heating up a full sized oven.

I was quite happy in my lull of baking inactivity.  Then a batch of Brazillian Cheese breads from Evan’s blog caught my attention. They sparked me and re-ignited my dormant oven.

Don’t let appearance deceive  you. Because plain looking as they are, these mini buns  are cheesier than my uncle’s jokes  (Don’t worry, he is not reading this).

Although they are called “bread”, i think they are more akin to choux pastry in terms of appearance. They puff up when baked, and form these little balls with webbed interiors.

They are also as chewy as can be. And by this, i don’t mean bread-like chewy. They are more like mochi-chewy.

I baked these up in a mini muffin pan. They came out looking like gorgeous balls of golden brown.

They are bite-sized and i find myself popping one after another in succession! They are as good as snacks as they are for breakfast! or maybe even appetizers!

Ps: I stored them in the refrigerator and popped them into my mini oven to eat two days later, and they are still as good as freshly baked! 🙂

 Brazillian Cheese Bread 

Recipe taken from Evan’s kitchen Ramblings

 

ingredients (makes 24-28 mini cheese buns) :

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup milk

3/4 tsp table salt or 1 tsp kosher salt

2 cups tapioca flour or gluten-free tapioca starch

2 tsps minced garlic

heaping 2/3 cup grated Parmesan, Romano, or aged Asiago cheese

2 large eggs, lightly beaten
directions :

1. lightly grease a couple of baking sheets or mini muffin pans; or line baking sheets with parchment. put the butter, water, milk, and salt in a saucepan, and heat till the butter has melted and the mixture has come to a full boil. while the mixture is heating, put 2 cups of tapioca flour into a mixing bowl.

2. pour the boiling butter mixture over the tapioca flour, beating to combine. beat at high speed till the mixture becomes smooth and elastic-looking; this will happen very quickly.

3. beat the garlic and cheese into the dough till well combined.

4. stick your finger into the dough. if it’s uncomfortably hot, let it sit for a couple of minutes to cool a bit; you don’t want to cook the eggs when you beat them in. if it seems hot but not burning hot, continue with the next step.

5. with the mixer going, gradually dribble in the beaten eggs, beating till well combined and smooth.

6. drop the mixture in 2-tablespoon balls (about the size of a golf ball) onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 1 1/2″ apart. A level tablespoon cookie scoop works well here. or pour mixture almost to the rim into the muffin tins.

7. bake the rolls for about 20 minutes in a preheated oven of 375F (190C) till they have a freckled appearance (from the browning cheese), and they’re beginning to color a bit. remove them from the oven, and serve hot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chocolate Sheet Cake & Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting

April 6, 2012 8 comments

I have never been one to abide the mise en place (everything in place) rule when it comes to baking. For me, it’s just a matter of jotting down the list of ingredients on odd pieces of scrap paper, then making a mad dash for the kitchen to get started.

So it is no surprise that I only discovered that this chocolate sheet cake recipe was eggless when my arms were elbow deep in chocolate cake batter.

I was somewhat disappointed.

I love eggs.

They are almost always a part of whatever i am baking. In fact, i was doubtful that any baking could be done without eggs.

But hey, I might be old, but i am no old dog. And with all the vegan movements around, I am definitely open to new tricks.
So here I am, with my first eggless chocolate cake.

And my skepticism towards anything eggless evaporated.

Because this turned out to be moist, soft, flavorful and oh-so chocolatey!

And i suppose i could have made this vegan and all.

But i just have this natural flair to mess things up.

I used sour cream for the chocolate frosting.

I’m sorry.

But i am not regretting.

Because never would i have expected that something so good could come out of just chopped up chocolate and sour cream (U read it right, just these two ingredients!)

These two ingredients that infuse and firm up so well that frosting was a piece of cake!

Not to mention absolutely delicious!

I am glad for the new tricks I learnt today. I guess somehow being a slop, and not following the rules have its own plus points!

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting

Taken from Hungrymouse (with adjustments)

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup olive oil or canola oil
2 Tbls. white vinegar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups water
spray oil to grease the pan

*I used 2 pans sized 8×8

Directions

Lightly spray both baking pans with oil and line the bottom with parchment paper. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl).

In another bowl, mix the wet ingredients together (oil, vinegar, vanilla, water).

Slowly , pour the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, (bit by bit to avoid clumps) whisking till just combined. Do not overmix as you might toughen the cake.

Divide batters into prepared pans, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or till the cake springs back when lightly pressed.

Set aside to cool.

Once cooled, take one piece of the cake, spread the chocolate frosting.

Top with the other cake, and frost all around.

For Dercorations:

Grate some white chocolate, and place a couple of maraschino cherries. VOILA!

Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting Directions

10 0z. chopped chocolate

1 C sour cream

Directions:

Double boil the chocolate to melt.

Tip the sour cream into melted chocolate and watch magic appears ! (Frosting immediately becomes thick and frost-able!)

And now cakes aside, its postcards time again.

More of my favourite vintages! 🙂

A White Bread vintage ad from Angel again! THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH! *love love love vintage ad esp when it’s related to baking*!!

Another vintage from Magnolia in Canada 🙂

And a last postcard depicting life in Austria between the years of 1905- 1910 of a little girl with a horoscope newspaper salesman from Pelra. How lovely!

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