Friday, November 26, 2010

Sur la table's brownies

I've been eyeing the sur la table's baking book, titled the art and soul of baking, for a while and it's finally here. Many thanks to Vicky for shipping it all the way from US to Indonesia :) So far I've been enjoying the book very much and I find it very interesting because the book is not simply a collection of recipes but there's a lot of facts and tips about baking. I think this is a wonderful addition to my collection and it's super helpful for beginners like me.

After browsing the recipes, I decided to try a timeless recipe - brownies. This recipe produces the classic fudgy brownies and it's really simple to make. I have to admit, though this is not my favorite brownies recipe, it is a pretty good one :)

4oz unsalted butter
4oz bittersweet chocolate
2oz unsweetened chocolate
7oz granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 oz all purpose flour
a pinch of salt
4oz chocolate chips (optional)
2oz chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350F and line an 8" square pan with parchment paper extending to the sides.

Bring water to a simmer. Place the butter and chocolates in a heatproof bowl and set it over the simmering water until the mixture is melted and smooth. Remove the mixture from the heat and whisk in the sugar. Then whisk in the eggs, one at a time. Add in the vanilla extract and then the flour and salt. Stir until the mixture turns from dull and broken looking to smooth and shiny. Whisk in the chocolate chips and nuts, if using.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes (or until a skewer inserted into the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs). Transfer to a rack and cool completely.

I cut my brownies into 16 squares and shared it with my friends and family :)

Mango Mousse Cups

I used to study in Singapore about 10 years ago and over there I met some really wonderful friends that I hope to keep for life. Aside from friends, I also met a few "sisters" who lived with me and my family while in Singapore. One of them is Beatrix. When I was in Singapore, she was still in grade school... now, she's a lady! She's attending med school and is doing great!

How is this connected to the mango mousse? Well, Beatrix wanted to make a mango mousse cake for her bf with me. In the course of the cake, we had leftover mousse. :) So to make use of every dollop of mango goodness, I spoon them into little cups, added some diced mango in the middle and made myself some mango mousse cups.

I don't have a fix recipe for this mousse, but here's what I use this time:

250g mango puree
75g granulated sugar (my mango puree was already sweet)
125g heavy cream
4 gelatin sheets

In a small pan, warm the mango puree and the sugar until all the sugar is dissolved. In the mean time, soak the gelatin leaves in cold water to soften it. Add the softened gelatin leaves to the puree and stir till dissolved. Leave the puree mixture to cool, as hot sauce will "destroy" the heavy cream. Whip the heavy cream till soft peak and then fold in the cooled mango puree. Viola!

It's that simple :)

Dice up some mangoes, put in the bottom of the cups and then spoon in the mousse. Top the mousse with some more diced mangoes as decor.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Cupcakes for Filemon's Prayer Warriors

It's been two months since I update this blog and I'm truly sorry for my tardiness. Despite my absence on this blog, I haven't been absent in my bakings. I have to admit though, I don't bake as often in Indonesia compared to when I was in Houston. Maybe it's the kitchen, maybe it's the ingredients, maybe it's my change of status (married!) - I can't put a finger on the cause yet. :p

Anyways, sometime in September the Filemon's Morning Prayer Team celebrated their birthday. I think it's their 12th or 13th birthday. For the event, I made some cupcakes for the souvenirs. :) The morning prayer team are a group of people who gather every morning at 5AM to pray. They are very dedicated and have such warm and loving hearts. It's really a joy to be in the midst of them.

These are just banana and chocolate cupcakes that we made at the last minutes. And so we didn't have time to take many pictures. :p But we hope that they enjoyed the small gifts that we make for them as a token of appreciation for the prayers that they have lifted up to date.