... tackling one recipe at a time

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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween :)

I saw dead people walking on the street. Dragging their feet from one place to the next. Hand in hand with..... Mario Bros? Obviously, it's Halloween!! Time for scary costumes, exaggerated make-up, and sweets :p I was going to bake a pumpkin cake for this year's Halloween, but none of my friends really like pumpkin. I thought, "Cupcakes? Pies? Tarts? What should I make??" I looked for ideas online as always, but nothing popped. It was all same old same old. And then, one day I was watching Food Network and Ina Garten's show (Barefoot Contessa) was on. She was making rum raisin chocolate truffles and I thought "It will be a fabulous macaron filling!". Okay, was excited about that, but I still didn't know how to make them more Halloween-y. Again, I turned to other bloggers' posts on decorating macaron and I found this post by Macaron Fetish. Basically, she showed how you can draw on macaron shells. So I got an idea, Jack Skellington!! Just make white macaron shells and draw Jack Skellington faces on top of them with black macaron batter, awesome :D My first batch was a little bit too stiff due to not enough macaronage and my second batch worked out better. Two tips, make sure you mix the white-colored batter until you reach that shiny liquid magma stage and don't mix the black-colored batter too much because then it will not hold its shape as well and your drawings will spread out. They were sooo cute! And the rum raisin ganache tasted good too, but I couldn't taste the raisin in it, maybe because I used semisweet chocolate instead of milk chocolate. Okay then, here are the pictures and happy Halloween everyone ^o^v

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Diva Red Velvet Cake

When I looked through my "My Creations" album on Facebook, I realized that I'd never baked a red velvet cake ever! I was surprised, because it is one of the most famous cakes ever created. So, for my weekend project this week I made red velvet cake from scratch (I used this recipe). As I was thinking how to decorate the cake, I thought of someone. During my internship at General Mills, I met someone who's very fun and interesting. She calls herself "Diva Peaches" and she loveeesss red velvet cake. I dedicated this cake to her by making her face out of fondant to decorate the cake :D

The cake itself was OK because I personally prefer sponge cake to butter cake. However, I had a lot of fun decorating it. Trying to mimic her hair was the most difficult part. I had to make each curl one by one using strands of fondant and it was very time-consuming. I really really loved the result though. The hair looked 3D :p I wanted to make more curls so her hair could be bigger, but as usual I wasn't patient enough. What did I do with all the fondant decorations after I took pictures of them? Threw them away, because they melted into the frosting in a matter of minutes -___-" Next time, I will cover the cake in fondant to prevent this from happening again. Well, to Diva Peaches, I hope you like it, sorry if you think it doesn't really look like you :D

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Bread & Bread Pudding

I saw this hanging on my friend's interior rear view mirror one day.
It's not a real bread, it's some kind of spongey decoration thing. I looked at it and I thought, "Hey let's make real rolls and draw Doraemon faces on them just like this!" So, I went home and started mixing my bread dough. I warmed some milk in the microwave and sprinkled active dry yeast on top of it. Just when I put my hand into the mixture to dissolve the yeast, I realized... HOT!! TOO HOT!! The yeasts were probably screaming for help before they died -____-" I let the mixture cool down, added a little bit more yeast, mixed in the rest of the ingredients, and prayed that my dough would rise. Which obviously didn't. I didn't give up, so I just put the dough inside a bowl on the counter to let the yeasts continue fermenting. And of course, I forgot about it until the next morning. My dough was over-fermented, it was unpleasantly spongey and had a strong yeasty smell. I still didn't want to throw it out so I kept going and made rolls from the dough. I was going to put fillings in the rolls but the dough was too soft. In the end, I just baked them with no filling.

They didn't look half bad out of the oven. Well, they didn't rise as much, but I didn't really care as long as I had enough space to draw Doraemon faces on them :p I piped chocolate ganache on the cooled rolls and voila!

Cute eh? :D I bit into one and it was decent. Not bad. I put them in a plastic bag and went to sleep. The next day, I opened up the bag and the faces were all messed up. Apparently my ganache hadn't set up before I put the rolls in the bag so the drawings were smeared. I took one roll out and it was hard as a rock :((( I didn't want to throw them away, so I decided to make bread pudding out of them. I cut the rolls into chunks, mixed the custard, and added different toppings into each mini loaf pan: chocolate chip, rum raisin, dark chocolate cherry pistachio, and raspberry. Basically, the custard base was the same and the flavors came from the toppings. I absolutely loved this recipe from Giada de Laurentiis. 

Chocolate chip


Dark chocolate cherry pistachio

Rum raisin

The custard was sooooo good!!! My roommate and I finished almost 2 mini loaf pans in an instance :p In conclusion, the custard saved my disastrous bread and turned it into delicious bread pudding. So people, don't give up when your bread doesn't taste good, just add enough cream and sugar, you can definitely save it from being thrown into the garbage can ^o^v

Matcha Overload

It's been quite some time since my last entry. I'm so busy with my research nowadays that I always come home feeling drained and have no will power to construct sentences. To make matter worse, I haven't gotten any good results yet despite all my hard work. Now I'm so stressed out and scared that I won't be able to graduate on time next year :(((( What do I do when I need to calm down and get my mind off the crazy things? Bake, of course! :D I've been baking tons of stuffs since my last post and a lot of the baked goods had matcha in them. Since I'm still too lazy to write down the recipes, I'll just post the pictures for now. Maybe I'll post the recipes when I feel like it :p
 Matcha azuki mochi
 Matcha azuki marron layer cake
(matcha sponge cake + marron cream + azuki puree + dark chocolate ganache + matcha cream)
Matcha entremet 
(chocolate sponge cake + marron cream + azuki puree + matcha mousse + matcha cream + matcha macaron)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Every Girl's Dream..

Time flies by so fast. Suddenly, I'm at an age when a lot of my friends are getting married and having kids. I panic whenever I check Facebook and see my friends changing their status from "In a Relationship" to "Married to" or "Engaged to". Basically, they're moving on to the next stage of their lives. Don't get me wrong, I'm not panicking because I want to get married or have kids now. I'm not ready for that. I panic because many of my friends are beginning a new journey, while I'm still stuck in school -___-" Sometimes, it makes me feel that my world is moving in such a slow pace and I'm always running but I never get to the finish line. Well, regardless of my resentment of being stuck and my envy of their new adventures, I feel really happy for my friends. Honestly. A huge smile always appears out of nowhere when I look at their pre-wedding or wedding pictures. They all look sooo happy and full of love. Makes me wonder, will I look like that when my time has come? Or will I get frustrated by all the little details being a control freak that I am? Oh well, I don't really care for now :p

For all of my friends who are leaving behind their single lives, I made this especially for you. Congratulations for reaching every girl's dream. I'm truly happy for you from the bottom of my heart and good luck for your new life with your loved one :)