2011年5月9日 星期一

[Food 006] Corn Bread

My sister craves corn bread and when we're talking about corn bread, we'll think about the delicious corn bread we ate in Dem Bones back when we're living in Vancouver, oh we miss that years but there're a lot of changes in Vancouver, and before I left Dem Bones was closed down for a long time, yes, that's sad, I do remember about 2 months before it closed we went there again and we were so disappointed about everything there, the cornbread, the ribs, the service, everything wasn't right.  I guess something happened to the restaurant and everything just went downhill.  It's always very sad to know a restaurant that we love so much turned out like that, but hey, that's life (and business), there're so many restaurants closing down since I moved back to hk, it's depressing in a way but I'm excited to try out the new restaurants opening when I'm away ;).  Yes, I like to think positive :).

Back to the corn bread.  I've made the corn bread once with a different recipe, yet my sister didn't like the outcome of that recipe so I tried to find another recipe online, I do think this corn bread tastes better, however I'll make the corn bread with this recipe again because this time I made the corn bread with my mom's 'unknown' flour.  With so much experience (not so much actually) I've had with flour, I couldn't figure out what type of flour it is, it's more powdery like which I've never felt that in the other flours I've tried, I'm guessing it's one of the vegan flour coz she got it from her friend who's a vegetarian.  As usual I decreased the sugar use because I don't really like to eat food that's too sweet, not these days at least.  The result of the cake is quite good, but maybe when I'll make the 3rd time I'll replace the milk into whipping cream, coz I think it need something a bit thick..just a thought.

I got this recipe from here so if anyone wants to try the recipe, please hop to Casual Kitchen and check it out, the one he made is waaaaaaaaaaay better than I am!  Go try it!


2011年4月28日 星期四

[Food 005] Daring Baker's Challenge April: Maple Mousse Served in a Meringue Cup (an edible container)

Blog-checking lones: The April 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Evelyne of the blog Cheap Ethnic Eatz. Evelyne chose to challenge everyone to make a maple mousse in an edible container. Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 27th to May 27th at http://thedaringkitchen.com!

Sorry for the blob-like mousse

Wow!  It IS a very difficult daring baker challenge...how on earth our fellow daring bakers have thought about such incredible ideas for the challenge?  I'm amazed but at the same time I'm so worried that I couldn't accomplish it.  Luckily, I've done it....though it's not turning out the way I've expected.  Anyways, I've promised myself before that no matter if I succeed or fail making the food, I'm posting it.  This time, I can say it's a failure (I'm very generous to myself already )...because I can't eat it and I really can't let anyone eat that.

I used the idea of 'meringue cup' as the 'edible container', in the picture of my mind the meringue cup will be very 'container' like..very sturdy...obviously I didn't think thorugh :(.  And the maple mousse is waaaaaaaaaaay too sweet to my liking and there's a very big physical problem.....after putting the mousse into the meringue 'cup', the cup starts to melt......because of the moisture-ness of the mousse.  And worst of all, I didn't think about the color of both components that are so similar, the outcome of the meringue cup and the mousse didn't compliment each other but just blended together...the whole thing is a mess!

Anyhow, I still feel good that I've tried, afterall it's the experience that's more worth to remember, right? :)
(Still I can only post 1 photo because the outcome is too gross!)

2011年3月28日 星期一

[Food 004] 20110327: Daring Baker Challenge March - Yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake

Blog Check Line: The March 2011 Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Ria of Ria’s Collection and Jamie of Life’s a Feast. Ria and Jamie challenged The Daring Bakers to bake a yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake.

I made individual mini cake rather than a huge loaf.

I was thinking if I made a wrong decision of joining Daring Baker at this time of the year, because during these months I'm so busy on my work and my up coming wedding I basically have no time to bake!  Feel depressed when I think of 'no baking'..and of course, I'm on my 'sort of' diet routine now so I can't eat too much dessert, so that's another reason for me to not baking, I hate this, I know, but after December I'll be free, hopefully.

So this month's challenge is excited, basically I always make bread rather than cake because I LOVE BREAD!  I've made a lot of breads, but I've never made a bread with meringue in it!  I was planning to make it at least twice in this month, but, see..my life is in chaos so I can only make it once ..turned out I only bake once through the whole month!  Geez...I want my life back.

So, back to the yeasted meringue cake, I'm kinda 'fail' in this project but I'll for sure make it in again, in the future of course, hopefully it's in 'near' future.  Hopefully I can make it better next time coz this one is kinda like a gooey mess to me, but then they taste good i'm sure, they're just looking a bit disastrous. 

I made too much meringue so I just slapped the meringue on top of the cake...look even more disastrous heh!

Some of the chocolate chips oozed out from the cake, look like burnt marks.

Bear with me on the photos...they're taken with iphone ....sigh.

Hopefully I will have more time for the next month challenge....let's hope!

2011年2月28日 星期一

[Food 003] 20110227: Daring Baker Challenge February - Espresso Panna Cotta with Milk Jelly & Original Florentines

Blog Check Line: The February 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mallory from A Sofa in the Kitchen. She chose to challenge everyone to make Panna Cotta from a Giada De Laurentiis recipe and Nestle Florentine Cookies.

I've never made panna cotta before.  Basically, I've never liked any gelatined- food....with an exception of mango jelly just because I love mango and I'll eat literally mango-anything.  Anyhoo.  I seldom make food with gelatine and if I do, I usually make it with sheet gelatine rather than powder gelatine, as I can always taste something 'plastic-ky' with powder gelatine,I don't know if anyone else also tastes that, i just wish I'm not the only weird person in this world who feels that way :P

The other reason I've never made panna cotta is that most of my family members don't drink milk, so if I am making any panna cotta, I need to eat them all!  I don't want to make a dessert, eat it all by myself, and get all the fat, that'll be very sad. :(

When the February Daring Baker challenge host revealed what we have to make is panna cotta, I was a bit hesistated, coz I know it will be pretty difficult for me because there's gelatine in it, and I can't handle gelatine very well.  So, in order to increase the success rate, I decided to make a simple espresso panna cotta, i just don't want to make something awful and I still have to eat them all.  But my devil inside my head keep reminding me it's a challenge for myself, so I made a little bit more by making some milk jelly and put it on top of the panna cotta.

In my imagination the espresso panna cotta will look good with some milk jelly floating on top..too bad my execution skill is awful and I couldn't really cut nice pieces of milk jelly in cubes, so I just threw in some jelly and wished it'd look okay, if not, at least it would taste okay, I guess.

Beside panna cotta, we also have to make florentines, which again I've never made or even heard before, but I'm really glad to make it, in fact, I've made it again and again because my family and friends ate all the cookies before I could take a photo!  And they all ask for more!  I love it when they ask for more, yay!

The florentines are crunchy on the outside, chewy in the inside, quite different with the florentines sample I saw which are so thin like lace, I think the main reason is the florentine batter didn't spread as much as it should, but then it's tasty ', so I'm gonna stay this way :P  And, I didn't sandwich the florentines with any chocolate nor drizzle any chocolate on them because I think it's sweet enough and tasty enough without any chocolate on it.

Again I really need to thank Mallory for challenging us with these two delicious treats, I'm not so afraid of gelatine anymore now! :)


Espresso Panna Cotta
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis in Foodnetwork.com

1/2 cup whole milk (120mL)
1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin (I used 2 gelatin sheets)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream (360mL)
3 heaping teaspoons instant espres so powder
1/4 cup sugar  (49g, I used around 40g)
Pinch salt
1 small white chocolate bar, for garnishing (omitted)
1 small dark chocolate bar, for garnishing (omitted)

Place the milk in a heavy, small saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin over and let stand for 5 minutes to soften the gelatin. 
Stir over medium heat just until the gelatin dissolves, but the milk does not boil, about 2 minutes. Add the cream, espresso powder, sugar, and salt. 
Stir over low heat, until the sugar dissolves, about 3 more minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
Pour the cream mixture into 2 martini glasses, dividing equally. Cover and refrigerate, stirring every 20 minutes during the first hour. (This is a step that cannot be omitted)
Chill until set, at least 6 hours and up to 2 days.
When ready to serve, use a vegetable peeler on the chocolate blocks to create about 1 tablespoon each of the white and dark
chocolate shavings. Sprinkle the shavings over each panna cotta and serve.
(What I did, was making half portion of the panna cotta first, chilled them until set, then made the other half portion and poured into the mold.  Took them out from the fridge after first 20 minutes, stirred them; then at the 40 minutes, added the milk jelly on top of the panna cotta and chilled it overnight.)

2011年2月4日 星期五

Happy Chinese New Year!

Happy Chinese New Year everyone!

Please enjoy my mom's handmade radish cakes, I just can't get enough of them~ :D

2011年2月3日 星期四

[Food 001] 20110118: Daring Baker Challenge January - Matcha Joconde Imprime with Matcha Biscuit Cuillere and Matcha Bavarois

Blog check line: The January 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Astheroshe of the blog accro. She chose to challenge everyone to make a Biscuit Joconde Imprime to wrap around an Entremets dessert.

I've known about Daring Bakers for a long time but I never had the courage to join until now because I wasn't sure I could be able to accomplish every task for each month, but I realized 'why not try it if i want to try it?  There's nothing I need to afraid of!'  So, here I am, participating the first challenge of the Daring Bakers, and I'm glad I did it!  

So, when I found out the first DB challenge was to make a Joconde imprime, I was excited and worried at the same time. I was excited that this was my first ever DB challenge and I was so going for it, but at the same time, i  had no idea what joconde imprime is...I don't even know how to pronounce it!  Eek!!

Once i understood the Challenge by reading the instruction over and over and over (and over), i started to brainstorm the ideas.. like what type of pattern I'm going to draw, what kind of entremet i'm going to make and put in, would i be even able to make the pattern, let alone making the cake stands on its own.. With a lot of ideas, i had to remind myself that i'm not very good technical-wise, so what i'm going to do is to keep things simple. Eventually, i was set on making a matcha joconde with a matcha bavarois and Joconde cake layer.  

As a slow pace baker, I decided to bake each component of the whole cake separately.  First up, for the joconde imprime, I need to make the cigarette paste and then the joconde sponge.

Making the cigarette paste was pretty easy, however I put in a bit more matcha powder than I needed to, so my green colour was a bit darker than my ideal green in the final outcome.  I'm gonna make sure I don't put too much next time.

Then I made the Joconde sponge.  I made the first batch with the egg whites powder I bought from Wilton's.  And it's a failure. The "egg whites" turned out really lumpy and i couldn't use it for the joconde sponge, so I decided to use real egg whites before ruining my other ingredients. I wonder if any other bakers who are using the egg white powder can tell me how I can really use it, as I could only guess that I was using it incorrectly.

I used 1/2 of the Joconde pattern recipe and 1/4 of the Joconde sponge recipe and baked in 2 silpats. The first one, I was having no trouble at all and the pattern came out so smooth and clear.  I was so proud of myself and then I ruined the second one!!  Luckily, at the end I could actually used both of the Joconde imprimes (with a lot of trimmings of course) to make 8 long strips..and forgot to cut a piece for the cake base!  So I needed to make a cake base and the entremet layer as well.  

So I decided to make a matcha biscuit a la cuillere (ladyfingers) for the cake base and entremet layer.  I used the recipe from a Japanese cook book written by Toru Yumita.  It's a very good recipe with clear instructions, however, I made a mistake by making the egg yolk mixtures too early and it ended up solidifying in pieces, so when I tried to add it into the egg whites the batter couldn't be smooth enough (as seen in the picture)...although it's still pipe-able.

One day before eating it, I started to make the Matcha bavarian cream.  I also followed by the recipe in that same Japanese cook book I mentioned earlier, and let me tell you, it's a very awesome recipe!  For the whole part of the cake, I enjoyed the bavarian cream the most, not only it's tasty, it's very easy to make as well!  I don't usually eat cakes with mousse or bavarian cream, but this one, I like!  And I'm definitely gonna try more recipes from that book!

Finally, the assembling.  I was very worried about that because I'm not an artistic person, I tried to be more artistic but I don't have that talent..so..here's what I made with my best effort.

It's rather easy to take out the cake from the mousse rings, I didn't even use a hot towel to warm the cake rings, I just pushed it by the sides and the cakes came right out.  I used a small spatula to smooth the surface of the bavarian cream and let the cake set in the refrigerator.  Then on the next day when I was about to take them out for dinner, I whipped up some matcha cream for decoration, put it on top of the cakes, then I used a piping bag to pipe some patterns that I could think of at that moment (yes, I was so unprepared :( ), and here it is, my 2011 Jan DB challenge is done!

Along the way I made tons of mistakes, yet I learned a lot and I enjoyed every second of making it.  Challenge or not, I will for sure make this again later and I can't wait to do that!  Thank you so much Astheroshe for giving me such a wonder challenge!  Now let's wait for the Feb challenge...can't wait, can't wait~