Archive for January, 2010

Lemon roulade

So I’m retyping this because I don’t know where my entry into quickpress went to. I tried making lemon roulade because the bf wants a cream-filled roll and I thought lemon curd seems to suffice (not really cream but heavy cream isn’t a food conveniently available at the supermarket opposite). Anyhow, the roll today was made using recipe at http://www.joyofbaking.com/SpongeCakeorBiscuit.html for the sponge cake and http://www.joyofbaking.com/LemonCurd.html for the lemon curd. This recipe is more tedious than the one I’ve tried for the strawberry roll. The egg whites are beaten separately and an additional yolk used but the roll is definitely fluffier and softer. I like!

I’m still using my 8″ x 10″ tray, which doesn’t make a roll long enough to rollover as many times as the standard recipes. I’ve split up the batter for two batches. The first much thinner because I’ve spread my batter too thin because of my experience from the last. The last attempt at strawberry roll resulted in a uber fluffed and thick roll when I poured all the batter meant for a 10″ x 15″ tray into my 8″ x 10″ tray which of course would not turn out perfect. The batter also spilled over my pan, into the oven. Eeks what a mess. So I’ve learnt my lesson and overflow no more!

And the thinner roll, which looks rather flat when it’s rolled.

I used 100g sugar for lemon curd instead of 150g which the recipe called for but it was still of an apt texture (maybe because I slow-cooked it for a longer time) which is fine with me in any case. So this will be breakfast for the next two days!

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Strawberry roll

Bought too many packs of strawberry from Japan. Had to do something with them before they spoil and so the plan to bake almond cookies for Chinese New Year was changed to a strawberry roll.

My pan is not long enough (just realised almost all recipes called for a 15″ by 10″ pan. My small little oven can only make 12″ by 10″. The roll could roll most definitely (my moment of elation was short-lived though). But my filling was a mess! Way too wet and the whole roll is kinda bogged down. The texture is a little too dense and much too sweet.  I think the egg beating process was done a lil too quick. Also, one cup sugar to 4 egg whites following the recipe from about.com. I’ve seen recipes with one cup sugar to 5 egg whites and 3/4 sugar to 4 egg whites. I’ll try those next round. Think an oven thermometer might help too. My oven isn’t the best at accuracy. Or maybe I should just find cake flour, and not substitute it with all-purpose flour and cornstarch. Right, so much for my first homemade roll.

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Chocolate banana cake

Personal favourite chocolate combo of all time.

A less than pretty picture of this chocolate banana cake is the result of me pinching away while baking. Made the bottom layer first and found it too unbanana-ish for my liking, which led to me making a second layer, for a banana filling to go in-between. Turns out the banana taste in the cake was more distinct after chilling. But I like it this way anyhow. Way below Awfully Chocolate’s standards.. but I’ll get there! More fudgy chocolate next time round.

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Chocolate macarons

Macarons are pretty. Chocolates are heavenly. And when their powers combine, they are pretty heavenly.

All good stuff must wait. This good stuff has really tested my patience. I’ve tried about 5 batches per attempt, 2 attempts in total.  First attempt was horrid. Whisking the eye-whites by hand is probably impossible in order to achieve the stiff peaks required (although impossible has always been floating out of my dictionary). My chocolate macarons were so not macaron-looking, although i tried to take comfort in the somewhat feet that appeared.

I bought myself a kitchen aid (not the lovely colourful ones of course.. i wish!). My mummy doesn’t bake so there has always been a lack of this tool. This was after going through many pages on so many things that could possibly go wrong in the making of macarons. But the obvious bug haunting me during the process was the egg whites didn’t seem right (I could have done a little read up on the definition of stiff peaks but I didn’t =P).

And armed with my new Phillips electronic appliance, the following was borned (4th batch).

It had smooth top and feet! I was excited and kept checking on them to see if the top cracked. Like how the second and third batches did (the first was burnt).

A on-the-spot research noted a writer’s emphasis on dry, dry, dry ingredients for macarons and how a humid, rainy day in their temperate climate will affect the outcome. I was then prompted to dry my batter after piping given Singapore’s humidity of over 70% and so I did 40mins for the 4th batch, which resulted in the product above. The 5th batch was dried for a longer period of time, but I placed it in the oven for about 15mins, a few minutes longer than the above. The macarons were more of a big-mac shape for the 5th batch unlike that of a cheeseburger for the 4th but the tops were cracked.

Moisture, they say. David Lebovitz recipe didn’t introduce aged-egg whites but I think I will do that the next time. Together with airing my processed almond meal. I guess nothing is absolute huh.

I’m inspired. Strawberry macarons as valentine’s gifts?

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Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

Just a catch up on some baking I did before the New Year..

Carrot cake, one of my fave choices when dining out.

Love how the recipes at joyofbaking.com works so easily. My cream cheese frosting was a little too wet because my butter was a little over, I think. The cake was moist and my carrots (chopped manually into bits.. or so it seems to my myopic eyes) seemed to be fine enough for the cake. Lemon zest added a twang to the whole cake. Yummy. I should probably buy the walnuts from the provision shops though. They sell by the kilos. A light 200g pack at the supermarket costs me $8+.

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Hello

Hello to whoever’s reading this. I’ll be cooking and writing, to create a log for self-improvements in cooking/baking and to share my lessons learnt with anyone who’s also going through the same journey as I am. Good luck to myself (and my friends who are tasting the food I cook).

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