Angels … I believe I have them with me. Thank you for the Nomination for Liebster Award.

Freshly and Lovingly Baked on : 30th Mar 2014

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It is the fastest bake I have ever done. My sabbath day ends at 5.30 pm and i am rushing against time to do this bake. The daylights are running out and I need the lights to take the pictures.

Actually, I meant to bake this for the brains (Maiu and Rob) behind http://www.torontocooks.com.  They are like angels to me when they told me that they have nominated me for the liebster Award. I am very new to blogging. In fact, I never really feel the urge to do so until the nudging by friends. I never knew the amount of work involves until I dip my toes into this vast ocean of blogging. I am consider really shabby in my effort. All I do have is this passion for baking.

Maiu and Rob gave me a push at a time when I am feeling the strain. I wish I can do better whenever I look at those full time bloggers effort. I wish I have more time and I wish I can do more marketing or linking with other bloggers to promote my blog. But somehow, I just do not know how to or am just really too bogged down by the full time job which I have in the finance sector as well. I wish I have more guidance and help.

Although Liebster Award is not one where I get judged and compete with other fellow bloggers, it still bring joy to me. It is not like I will get title like the best baking blog etc award. It seems more like an award bloggers gave to other bloggers to recognize your efforts. I will do an official post that fits the requirements of this Liebster Award in another post. For now, I really just want to thank Maiu and Rob for extending this invisible helping hand. Thank you.

To Maiu and Rob, this angel food cake is bake for you because you both are like angels in my life at this point of time. Thank you.

You can read about their post here.

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Madeleines Isaphan

Freshly and Lovingly Baked on : 29th Mar 2014

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I adored many of Pierre Hermes’s creations and seek to achieve equal standard where possible. Many a times, I toyed with the idea of quitting my full time job and take a year off to study pastry making in France. The thought of returning to school and starting a new way of life keep me awake at nights. I love to bake and really hope to have some form of professional certification under my belt. I really think I am lacking in the skill since I learn simply by just putting the recipe to work. I just read and do it. So there is always a lack in me which am feeling inadequate about.

I figured the fear of the unknown is the biggest inertia to putting this plan to work. Will I ultimately do it? Its a big question mark which I shall not dwell too much at the moment. For now, I am satisfying this baking urge with a simple bake from Pierre Hermes cookbook.

Adapted to suit the available ingredients in my fridge.

Ingredients :

130g Cake Flour sifted with 1 Tsp of Baking Powder
130g Clarified butter (I did mine by browning the butter over a low heat and let it cooled down)
20g Water
3 Tsp Rosewater
2 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
120g Granulated Sugar
130g Eggs
20g Honey
80g Chopped fresh strawberries
6 shredded organic rose petals

Directions :

Mix sugar, honey, eggs and vanilla extract in a bowl. Mix to combine only. Fold in the flour/baking powder mixture until it is well incorporated. Add in the rosewater, water and clarified butter and combined wel. Lastly, stirred in the chopped strawberries and shredded rose petal. Leave in fridge for an hour or overnight.

Coat the desired molds with butter and a light dusting of cake flour. Scooped or pipe the batter into the molds and bake these in a preheated 190 degree oven for 10 to 13 minutes.

Cool these on racks and serve!

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Good old comfort food – sinful chocolatey cake

Freshly and Lovingly Baked on : 23rd Mar 2014

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This is a last minute bake. I did not plan to bake this today.

Anyhow, I have with me this chocolate cake recipe from a girlfriend who swear by it. I did some modification to the recipe solely based on how I think certain ingredient can accentuate the taste of the cake.

So here goes.

Ingredients :

The dry
115g Cake Flour
45g Cocoa Powder
1 Tbsp Instant Coffee
1/4 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Baking Powder

The wet
180g Buttermilk
1 Tsp Pure Vanilla Essensce

Others
170g Unsalted Butter
3 Eggs
200g Granulated Sugar
120g Semisweet chocolate chips (tossed it in one tbsp of flour)

Directions:

Preheat the oven at 175 degree. Sift the dry ingredients together. Mix the wet ingredients in another bowl and set both aside.

Cream the butter till creamy before adding the sugar in batches and cream till pale and fluffy. Thereafter add in the eggs. Mix well after each egg additions.

Add the wet and dry ingredients into the butter/sugar mixture. Start with the dry ingredients then wet and end with the dry. So eyeball the dry into 3 parts and the wet into 2 parts. Once fully incorporated, stirred in the chocolate chips. The coating with flour only mean that the chips do not sink to the bottom after adding in.

You can decide how you would like to bake the cakes. I bake a large portion in mini square pans lined with muffin cases. I used 2 mini bundt cake pans for the remaining batter.

Bake these for 25 minutes. You can test to see if its baked by inserting a toothpick into the cakes to see if it comes out clean.

Once done, leave it to cool for 10 minutes before taking the cakes out of the pan to cool completely.

This is a winner. I think I can win some hearts with this bake. 🙂

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The cakes are moist and the chocolate taste is intense. The coffee addition accentuated the chocolate flavor. I served this for tea this afternoon and the Dowager is all smiles. 😉

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Kouign Amann – my way again….

Freshly and Lovingly Bake on : 22nd Mar 2014

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Kouign Amann….pronounce seemingly as “qweeen ah man”… Honestly, I have no idea. All I do know is just to eat it in a sparingly manner. Too much fat involves and I figured that it will not benefit me in any way. However, the satisfaction that I derived from finally conquering my fear on laminated dough is priceless.

Its a rich sweet taste which I never forget. It was touted as a cross breed between pastry and croissant. I prepped the dough and butter block the night before.

Ingredients :

Dough
400g All Purpose Flour
12.5g Salt
3g Instant Yeast
15g Unsalted Butter
200g Water

Butter Block
325g Unsalted Butter
36g Cocoa Powder

Directions :

I did up the dough first by mixing all ingredients into the mixer and knead the dough for 10 to 15 minutes. I mixed the ingredients without the butter for a good 5 minutes before adding the butter in and knead for the remaining time.

Turned out the dough into a clean bowl and cover it with clingwrap. I retard the dough overnight in the fridge.

After the dough is done, I basically cut up the butter into the mixer bowl and cream it. Then I add in the cocoa powder and mix it well. Thereafter, I turned it out onto a clean sheet of clingwrap and shaped it into a square shape. I wrapped it up and leave it in the fridge overnight as well.

The next morning, I took out the dough and flatten it. Roll it out into a big rectangular shape. Then I position the butter block onto the dough and wrap it up. I roll it flat out into a longish rectangle before folding it one third up and down. I will then turned it perpendicular and repeat the process for 3 more times before letting it rest in the fridge for 1 hr. At each roll out, i will sprinkle a layer of sugar onto it before folding it up.

After resting it for one hr, I will then roll it out into a 1 cm thick flat rectangle. In this project, I used  2 different sizes round cookies cutters to create the flowers. I will then take one big almond and press it in the center to create the look.

Bake these at a preheated oven of 170 degree for 30 minutes.

I shaped it in two ways. The first are shaped by rolling strips of the dough and proof and it in pastry rings.

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The second shape is done using round cookies cutter, score and uses almond to push into the centre of the dough to create a flower shape.

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The distinctive layers that really made me happy.

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My #200 bake till date: Chiffon Cake Craze. This time, its orange flavored….

Freshly and Lovingly Baked on : 17th Mar 2014

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In  order to ensure that I really know what I am baking, I decided to bake this cake one more time. I wanted to see if I change certain or substitute certain components of this recipe, I will still be able to get the same result. As I have said before, there are a few items I am fearful to bake. Chiffon cake is definitely one of them. But after having 2 successes thus far, the confidence index has soared tremendously and I am now able to attempt self-altered version.

As you can see from the title of this post, this bake is marked the #200 of the bakes I have done so far since I started baking in Mar 2012. It does not include fail attempts. I actually wanted to bake something really difficult in my opinion for this #200 bake. But well, I figured I can do it for #201? 😉

So here goes:

Ingredients :

The wet
5 egg whites
4 egg yolks
40g Canola oil
45g + 2 Tsp Orange Juice
1 Tsp Orange Essence

The dry
80g Granulated white sugar
90g Cake Flour
2 Tbsp Orange Zest -Freshly grated from 2 oranges

Directions:

Grate the Oranges and set aside.

Whip up the egg whites with half the quantity of sugar until stiff peaks. Put these in the fridge while you work on the yokes.

Beat yolks with the remaining sugar until pale and white. Mix the orange juice, orange essence and oil into the yokes btter. Sift the cake flour into the batter and mix well to ensure no lumps. Add in the zest and mix well.

Fold 2/3 of the meringe into the batter. Then pour this batter into the mixing bowl which holds the remaining meringe. Fold it carefully so as not to deflate the air whipped up.

Pour this batter into the cake mold and bake this in a preheated oven of 170 degree. Bake at 170 degree for 20 minutes before turning down the temperature to 160 degree and bake for another 10 minutes.

After that, turn the cake mold upside down and leave it to cool down completely before attempting to de pan the cake.

                               10 minutes into the bake
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                              20 minutes into the bake
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Viola!
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                                                              Can u see the orange zest?
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