Ong Lai Tatt 花开富贵!^_^

Freshly and Lovingly Baked on : 26th Jan 2014

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To be very honest, I really resisted making pineapple tarts, almond biscuits and whatever Chinese New Year goodies which is sprouting up faster than I can say Gong Xi Fatt Choy during this CNY period. Why am I expected to make the norm? Why? And why is everyone buying ready made pineapple paste to make pineapple tart? The very purpose of home baking is to provide the best ingredients for the family and friends. It should be done from scratch! Fresh pineapples chopped and cook down. Exercise those biceps people! Do not go for the short cut!

Alright, I am not going to work my bicep that much this year. I am older and I have pass that herd instinct stage. I like to do things my way. I do not like the norm AND I AM NOT GOING TO MAKE TRADITIONAL PINEAPPLE TART. Alright, I shall stop ranting before you think that I am a nut case and need to go for anger management class. 😉 haha.

So here goes: My version of “pineapple tart”. I titled this 花开富贵.Y(^_^)Y

Component:

1) Dried pineapple
2) Pineapple Pastry Cream
3) Crust

In this entire project, fresh pineapples are used. I deliberated if I should use canned given the syrup in the canned version might be useful to accentuate the pineapple taste. However, I cannot get pass the preserved fruits thing. So I just bite the bullet and go for the fresh one. Its very troublesome but I love the intense fresh fruit taste. I use kitchen towel to dry the chopped up fruits to prevent excessive liquid in the batter.

For the garnishes, I started a day ahead to dry the fruits in the oven. I dried this pineapple the same way which I did for my butter cake project. But this time, am wiser. You really need to slice this pineapple really really thin. Toweled dry as much of the pineapple as much as you can. In this project, I basically cut the pineapple into smaller pieces so that I can stacked it to look like flower.

Direction:
Place the fresh pineapples onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake these golden slices at 190 degree for 30 minutes or until dried on top. Half way through, Flip sides and baked for the remaining amount of time.

Once done, take it out and cool it down. Keep these in a airtight container for up to 3 days.

Next prepare the pastry cream.

Ingredients: (adapted from Sherry Yard’s Pastry Cream recipe)
1/2 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Pineapple Puree
1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 Tbsp All Purpose Flour or Cornstarch (I used Cornstarch in this bake)
A pinch of Salt
1 1/2 large eggs Chilled
1/2’Tbsp Softened Unsalted Butter

Addition:
To further accentuate the taste of the pineapple, I dried some thicker slices of pineapples. I did not let it dried up but dry enough to have a more intense flavour. I chopped them up and stir into the pastry cream just before assembling the parts.

Directions:

Sift the Cornstarch and stir in 1/8 Cup sugar and Salt. Mix well and set aside.

Prepare a nonstick pot and bring the milk, pineapple puree, vanilla extract, and 1/8 cup of Sugar to simmer.

While waiting for it to be heated up, beat the eggs with a whisk in a large bowl. Add the sifted cornstarch mixture and whisk till fluffy.

Once the milk mixture came to a simmer, remove from heat. Ladle some of the heated mixture into the whisked egg batter and stir well.After which, pour this egg batter into the pot whisking continuously. Return the pot to the heat and whisk rapidly until it thickened. That should take less than 1 min. Continue to cook and whisk it for another 2 to 3 minutes until it achieved the texture of a pudding.

Then strain the pastry cream through a fine strainer. Stirred in the butter and ensure that it is well incorporated.

Scoop the pastry cream into a clean dry container. Cover it with a clingwrap. Ensure the clingwrap touches the cream directly as this will help prevent a film from producing. Let it cool down to room temperature and chill it thereafter. It can be chilled up to 3 days.

Pastry dough

Ingredients:
The Dry
280g All Purpose Flour
2 Tsp Baking Powder

The wet
1 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
1.5 Egg yolks
1/2 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1/4 Tsp Salt
______________________________
165g Unsalted butter ( Cold and diced)
4 Tbsp Ice Cold Water

Directions
I do not have a food processor so I did everything in my trusted Kitchen Aid.

Mix the wet ingredients up in a separate bowl.
Sift APF and the baking power together into the mixer bowl.

Add in the cold diced butter into the flour mixture and process till it resembled crumbs. Then pour in the wet ingredients before adding in the chilled water. Mix well until it form a dough.

Gather it up into a ball. Wrap it up in clingwrap and refrigerate for 1 hr.

I used square molds for the tarts. It is enough for 8 squares of tarts with each around 7 cm by 7cm.

Bake it at 190 degree for 15 mins and let cool.

Assembly.

Scoop a desired amount of pastry cream into the tart and arrange the dried pineapple into a flower shape. Crush some tarts and stir in coloured sugar and use it to fill up the centre portion as buds.

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白雪里的梅花。

Freshly and Lovingly Baked on : 18th Jan 2014

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A gorgeous girlfriend in Hongkong said this to me the other day via Reuters Messenger, ” D! I think you just need to do one bake very well and you will make it for life! There is this super Oiishi cake roll in Sogo Causeway Bay that you need to try!” And she went on exclaiming, ” it is the Dojima Roll. Can you make one?”

This definitely stirred up the curiosity in me and I went on a conquest to search for one. Unfortunately, I am not able to find it in Singapore and hence not able to taste it. Oh my God! I so badly want to try it! Now, I can only try to search for recipes which claim to taste like the real stuff and bake it to taste. I tested 2 recipes today and I am spent. I do not think both did any justification to the ever famous Dojima roll. While I am not entirely convinced, if you like to try it, below is the latest I have tested. Otherwise, I will be happy if you have one that I can use!

To me, those tested just simply taste like any cake roll that I have made. The only difference lies in the whipped cream in which condensed milk was used instead.

I “dressed” these simple rolls up for a chinese new year theme. I played with chocolate again. It is really difficult since most melted very easily in the room temperature. If you have a way that can allow any tempered chocolate project to stand up in the room temperature, please teach me!

这作品以梅花为主题。我命名这为白雪里的梅花。

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Ingredients:

3 Eggs (Room Temperature)
1 Egg Yolk (Room Temperature)
70g Granulated Sugar
50g Cake Flour
30g Milk

Directions
Sift the flour 2 times and set aside. Prepare a square baking pan 29cm *29cm. Line it with parchment paper.

Crack the eggs, mix in the egg yolk and sugar in the mixer bowl of a stand up mixer. Create a double boiler with a small pot and placed the mixer bowl on top. Whip the mixture until the temperature reaches 65 degree before lifting the mixer bowl away from the heat. Continue whipping the heated mixture using the mixer at high speed. Whip at high speed for about 5 to 8 mins until the mixture tripled in size and that you can use a spatula to draw a 8 on the batter.

While whipping, warm up the milk to about 50 degree and set aside.

Once the egg batter is done, add in the flour all at one go and use the balloon whisk to incorporate the flour into the batter with as little strokes as possible. After which, add in the milk which should be at room temperature and mix till incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Tap gently to release air bubbles. After tapping, I will use a toothpick to burst hidden bubbles.

Baked in a preheated oven of 190 degree for 15 minutes.

Once baked, take out the cake. Cover the top with a fresh parchment and flip it over. Peel out the baking parchment and leave it to cool down on the rack. Remember to cover the cake with the peeled off parchment to prevent drying. Let it cool completely before spreading the cream.

Work on the cream while waiting for the cake to cool.

Whipped Cream
300g Heavy Cream
55g Condensed Milk

Directions:
Whip both heavy cream and condensed milk together until thick peak. That will probably take about 9 mins.

Assembly:
Place the cake on a fresh piece of parchment with the side you preferred. In my case, I prefer the side that faced the baking pan. Spread the cream onto the cake. The key is to spread it really thick on the length nearest to you and thinnest towards the end furthest from you. Roll as per normal and roll it tight. Chill it for 1 hrs before slicing.

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My Garden made of flour. :)

Freshly and Lovingly Baked on : 15th Jan 2014

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I …. Am…. Itching to Bake. And I am not going to wait till the weekend to start this. A simple bread bake can do the trick. However, bread takes time. I am working full time and hence I only have 4 hrs at night to do so. So, I decided to split up the process. First, I do up the dough and let it retard in the fridge for 22hrs before completing the rest of it the following day.

In this way, I will not have to rush through the process and is able to allow the dough ample time to proof. This is supposedly a maple flavored bread. I just shaped it into flowers to create a garden. This bake truly made me smile. As always.

Maple Bread

Ingredients:
The Dry
265 Bread flour
60g Cake Flour
50g Maple Sugar
4g Instant Yeast
5g Salt
10g Milk Powder

The Wet
1 Egg (about 50g + 150g Water)

30g Unsalted Butter (Softened)

2 Tbsp Maple syrup for brushing over the dough before baking
2 Tsp Granulated Sugar (to be sprinkled over the dough)

Directions:

Mixed all the dry ingredients together before adding in the wet ingredients. Knead in mixer till it is able to pass the window pane test before adding the butter in. Knead to incorporate the butter into the dough.

Let it proof overnight in the fridge. Or if you choose to bake within the same day. Just let it proof in a warm place until double in size.

I took out the dough the next day and punch down before dividing the dough into 11 equal portions. Round it up and let it rest for 10 mins before shaping.

To create the flower, flatten 2 round doughs into 8 cm circles. Cut it in halves and place the 4 halves side by side but overlapping one another. Then round it up starting from one end.

Place all flowers into the greased pan and let it proof until double in size. Just before baking, coat it with the maple syrup and sprinkle generously with the granulated sugar. Bake it in a preheated oven of 180 degree for 21 mins. To prevent excessive browning, I tent it after 10 minutes.

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The smell was amazing and it lingered on till the following day. As I get dressed for work, I cannot think of anything but to sink my teeth into these fresh bread. In the process, I also created the ladybirds to complement a supposedly  flower patterned bread.

Ohaiyo gozaimasu minasan!!!

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Little Pony : Fluttershy and very aptly…. 今年是马年

Freshly and Lovingly Baked on : 10th Jan 2014

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One conversation a few days before Xmas in 2012 between yours truly and the cute son of one of my BFFs.
The scene: At one toy counter in Paragon

Me: “hey Emannuel, choose a toy that you like. Auntie will buy it for you.”
Eman: ” Thank you Auntie D!”

After searching for a while, I join in the party.
Me: ” this is such a cute Orang Utan. Would you like to have it?”
EMan: ” Auntie D, this is not an Orang Utan. It is a Chimpanzee!”
Me: ” ehm…………….. “. *Sweat*

Honestly, I felt like digging a hole and hide. But I realised that I am not the only victim. 😉

Anyway, fast forward to present day. Eman is back into action again.

“Auntie D, can you bake Fluttershy, Rarity, Pinki Pie, Applejack etc etc?” I felt my sweat starting to drip again.

A few days later, this smart boy used his mom mobile phone to whatsapp me. It was a saturday evening. He said ” Auntie D, maybe you can make the fluttershy on sunday and I come to collect it on Monday.” “Alright Auntie D, this is Emmanuel, Bye!”

Such clever boy. He watsapped me with his mom’s mobile AND gave me specific instructions as to when to bake it and WHEN he WILL come to collect it. How not to love this boy. Here is a picture of him.

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I know it is time to get down to work. I have been undecided as to which cookies recipe to use in this bake. I am very tempted to go back to the usual trusted one but that will be so conservative! My apprehension stemmed from the fact that I cannot fail this bake. Due to the free hand shaping and the details required, the dough has to be right for me to use to shape. After finalizing the dough to use, I get down to work!

Anyway, I have also just realised that this bake is very apt for this year too! 让我拜个早早年吧! 祝愿大家马到功成,一马当先!。^_^。

Fluttershy Cookies

Ingredients: (Basic Sugar Cookies Recipe from Sherry Yard)

6oz Unsalted butter (cold)
1/2 Cup + 1 Tbsp Granulated White Sugar
1/4 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1 Egg (Room Temperature)
1 n 3/4 Cup All Purpose Flour ( Sifted )

Directions:

Start by sifting the flour and set aside.

Then cream the cold diced butter in a mixer until it turned light in colour. Then add in the salt, sugar and vanilla extract and cream well until smooth.

Add in the beaten egg and incorporate it well into the butter mix. In low speed, add in the flour. I did this a tablespoon at a time.

Once the dough is done, depend on how you want to shape it. You can shape it accordingly. You can roll it flat and chill it for an hour before using a cookie cutter to cut the cookies. Or you can roll it into a log and chill it. Slice it before baking.

In this case, I basically traced out the shape and using the back of the knife to draw out the detailing. A food dye pen is use to draw the eyes. I sprinkled coloured sugar to create the hair.

Bake it in a 175 degree oven for about 10/12 mins or until brown. I realised that cookies that are freshly baked are really soft. I waited for it to cool down 15 minutes on the tray before transferring it onto the rack to completely cool it.

Lets see if Emmanuel has any further comments. I will be hawking my whatsapp for the next few days. 🙂

Strawberry Shortcake : What can go wrong?

Freshly and Loving Baked on : 11th Jan 2013

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To be honest, it has been a really stressful week for me. My life reset every start of the year. This new year is a tad different for me given that I have started with a new bank and I have the need to perform. So, as always, I piled up tonnes of trading positions personally and a little at work and I am seriously stressed out. That will mean, the need to bake increases in exponential value as I seek to rebalance the sanity.

Strawberry shortcake is in my “to-Bake” list for the longest time ever. But whenever I wanted to get onto it, there will be something that took my breathe away and I have to bake that. I go by what I feel like baking rather that what should be bake. So, after 1 yr of deferment, the pending desire to bake Strawberry shortcake finally exploded.

Strawberry Shortcake

2 parts:
1) Genoise
2) Whipped Cream

Genoise (Sherry Yard’s The secrets of Baking)
Ingredients:
6 Large Eggs
1 cup Sugar
2 ounces of unsalted butter
1 cup Cake Flour

Directions:

We begin off by sifting the cake flour. Sherry recommended sifting it 3 times. I only did it twice and set aside.

Next, create a double boiler. I simply use a small pot with a little water and bring it to bowl. I broke the room temperature eggs into the mixing bowl of my stand up mixer and whisk in the sugar. Then I placed the mixing bowl onto the pot with the simmering water and whisk the mixture till the temperature reached about 65 degree. This will probably take 3 to 4 minutes.

Then I will use the mixer to whisk this heated egg/sugar mixture up at high speed. While the mixer is doing so, I melt the butter and lift it off the heat to cool slightly. Once this egg/sugar mixture thickened and tripled in size. You can test to see if this batter is ready by using a spatula to see if you can draw the number 8. If you can then its time to reduce speed. Lower the speed to medium and whip it for another 2 minutes. Apparently, this stabilized the foam. Once that is done, lower the speed further. At this point, you can start adding your melted butter in slow steady stream. Mix for a while until incorporated.

Lift the mixing bowl away from the mixer and detached the balloon whisk. Add in the sifted flour all at once and use the balloon whisk to fold in the flour. Try to incorporate the flour using minimal number of folds.

Pour the batter into a pan where the bottom are lightly greased and lined with parchment papers while the sides are left clean. Fill the pan up to 2/3 full and tap it lightly to eliminate air bubbles. Spin the pan to push the batter up the sides or simply use a spatula. This is to prevent doming of the cakes. You can see from the picture below that it really does not form a dome. Interesting! I learn something new today.

Then bake in a preheated oven of 176 degree for 25 minutes or until the sides pull away from the pan. Otherwise, you can test it by pressing the middle of the cake with your finger and see if it springs back. If it does, the cake is done.

Let the cake cooled in the pan for 15 minutes before inverting it to take the cake out. Run a knife around the edge to release it. Cool the cake completely before using.

Cake baking in the oven. The smell is ahhhhhh….

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Stablized Whipped Cream Frosting (www.lafujimama.com)

Ingredients:
1 Tsp Powdered Gelatin
4 Tsp Cold Water
1 Cup Whipping Cream
1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
1/2 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

Directions:

Pour the cold water and sprinkled the gelatin onto it in a small saucepan. Let it sit for a while before dissolving the gelatin in low heat and stirring continously. Remove from the heat and let it cool.

Whipped the cold cream with the sugar and vanilla extract until slightly thickened. Then slowly add in the gelatin in a steady stream before whipping up at high speed till stiff peak.

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