Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cheese Chiffon Cupcakes

July seems to be a wonderful month for me as evidenced by the number of things I've managed to bake compared to the previous months I've been in Indonesia. :) I hope that going forward, I'll be able to resume the same (or even faster) pace in baking at home here in Indonesia as in Houston. You'll also start to notice a lot of this dotted gray table tops on the pictures of my cakes and breads :p It's my new kitchen counter! Yay!

One of the advantages to baking in Indonesia is the abundance of Kraft Processed Cheddar Cheese that was so difficult to find in Houston. In every grocery store that you go to here in Indonesia, you can be sure to find this Kraft cheese. Almost every child in Indonesia grow up with this cheese and so the taste is very comforting to many people here. I'm no exception. :)

These cupcakes here are made with the same batter as my chiffon cake but baked in cupcake pans lined with paper liners. I filled each pan with batter almost to the top - this is because when baked in cupcake pans, I wasn't able to "hang" the cake up and therefore the cake's dome will flatten as it cools. Once baked and cooled, I frosted the top with a little buttercream and generously topped them with Kraft cheese.

I brought these to the office and it was quite a hit! :)

Birthday Bake Off!

I've reached the age of 26 this year and I'm happy to say that this is also my first birthday as a wife. :) Not only did I get the awesome gift of a new household, I got some other SUPER AWESOMe gifts from my family: Fizzler's Magimix Food Processor and Bosch's Mixer (the mixer I told you about here). Thank you sooooooo much to my family! You guys are the best!

God has truly been good in my life. He's provided all my needs and given me such loving husband, family, and friends in life. What better way to celebrate than bake? <3

My dad's so gracious to have given me the day off to indulge in baking. :)

In the dessert menu:

- fondant covered chocolate cupcakes
- eclairs
- banana cupcakes
- tiramisu

All of my favorite items are in :)

Itadakimasssss :)

Out of This World Brownies

Someone told me once that brownies is one of the easiest thing one can bake at home. It doesn't require you to use any special equipment, not even a mixer (handheld or stand). However I've yet to find a brownies recipe that's perfect for my taste. I like my brownies be balanced between cakey and fudgy, I like my brownies to have a deep chocolatey taste that is not overwhelmingly sweet, and I like my brownies to have a thin crunchy crust. Well this one covers all my check points. :) Warning though, this one does need a mixer :p

Out of This World Brownies
adapted from Sherry Yard

3/4 cup + 2 tbs all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
4oz butter, chopped
1oz unsweetened chocolate
7oz bittersweet chocolate
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar

Preheat the oven to 350F and line an 8" square baking pan with aluminium foil sprayed with pan spray (ex. PAM). Sift the flour and salt together. Melt the butter, unsweetened chocolate, and bittersweet chocolate in a microwave safe bowl at 50% power for about 2 minutes or in a heat proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Allow the chocolate mixture to cool to about 90F.

In a large bowl, beat together the effs and sugar until fluffy using a mixer. Then, gently beat in the butter and chocolate using a whisk. Last, fold in the flour mixture. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature before serving.

This is a recipe that's definitely worth trying :) Enjoy!

Back to Bread

You probably think that I've posted enough breads already and you're probably bored of all these postings of the same things over and over again. But I just have to share this one with you. :)

It was one of those weekends that we spent at my parent's villa in Puncak (puncak = mountains). My family often goes there to relax and escape the madness of Jakarta. However, this specific weekend was a bit more special than usual. Filemon's youth group were having their annual retreat at the villa. There were 60+ youth members that attended and they're hungry all the time. :p So as soon as I arrived in Puncak, I was asked to bake some snacks for them - more specifically, I was asked to bake some breads for them. Awesome!!!

I made about 70 breads that day with my mom's bosch mixer (which is waaayyy more awesome than my KA when it comes to kneading bread dough). Mom's bosch can take about 1 kg of flour when my KA can only take about 250g of flour at one go. It's amazing! I used the same recipe as before but the breads were much better than any I've ever made at home - maybe it's my happy mood, maybe it's bosch, or maybe it's puncak - I haven't been able to decide which. :p
I made these with all my heart and I hope that all those 60+ youth also ate it with their hearts :p It is such a joy to be able to make breads that peeps enjoyed. It's such an experience for me to make so many breads at one time. It's.... *speechless*

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Panna Cotta

I've heard of panna cotta since a while ago but I didn't really pay attention enough to try experimenting with it in my kitchen. But after reviewing the contents of my fridge, I realize that I have leftover plain youghurt and then I start looking around for desserts that use yoghurt. This panna cotta recipe came to mind - one simple recipe that has been tested and tried by a dear friend that I respect and trusted. If she's used the recipe and published it, it means that this is some good stuff :p

She used this recipe to make verine, but I just want to try the panna cotta portion of the recipe.

Panna Cotta by Bertha

200g heavy cream
45g granulated sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeded
3/4 tsp gelatin powder
1 tbs water
100g plain yoghurt

Combine the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla bean in a saucepan and bring it to a simmer. Bloom the gelatin in the water and melt it in the microwave for about 10 seconds. Once the cream mixture come to a simmer, add in the melted gelatin. Cool the mixture in an ice bath. Once it reaches room temperature, mix in the yoghurt. Pour into the prepared moulds and chill in the refrigerator until set.

When I serve my panna cotta, I poured some raspberry sauce around and topped it with some mixed berries. Yumm!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Soft Bread

I'm very thankful for all the support and encouragement that my friends and family have given me to continue doing what I love to do - baking. :) So before I start blabbering about bread, I wanna say thanks to all of you XOXO

Lately I've been quite obsessed with breads, soft bread specifically. I've learnt that the American/European type breads are very different than Asian breads. In Asia, or Indonesia at the least, soft breads are the way to go. A good bread is one that is ultra soft, very light to the bite, and stay that way even after a few days. Some of the very famous bread stores in here are Bread Life, Bread Talk, Pinot Kids, and Shokupan. Most of these bakeries are Japanese bakeries that use special flours from Japan. :) I guess the Japanese have a way with breads. :p

I don't have flours from Japan and I don't know how to make awesome breads like the Japanese, but I have found a recipe for a bread that I really like. It's real soft and it last for days :) I've posted a recipe for a soft bread before but I've made some minor modifications to make the bread more towards my taste buds :p With this basic bread dough recipes, you can make many different kinds of breads: chocolate bread, cheese bread, milk bread, etc.

So here goes the recipe:

250g high protein flour
70g granulated sugar
6g instant yeast
10g milk powder
2 egg yolks
150ml evaporated milk
50g margarine
A pinch of salt
Additional evaporated milk for brushing the bread's top

In a mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix together the flour, sugar, yeast, milk powder, and egg yolks. As the dough hook turns, slowly pour in the evaporated milk. Continue kneading until all the ingredients are mixed in well into one sticky dough. Add in the salt and margarine and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic (about 30 minutes for me).

Proof the bread in a bowl brushed with margarine and covered with plastic wrap for 30 minutes or until the dough has doubled (or tripled). Then punch the air out of the dough, divide into portions of about 50g each, and proof for a second time for 15 minutes. When the dough has relaxed, fill the bread with whatever filling that you like, and then proof for another 25 minutes until the dough has doubled in size. Brush the top with evaporated milk and then bake for 15 minutes at 350F.

I hope you enjoy the recipe and experiment with the fillings :) I really can't wait to make more breads when I have the chance.