Pandas made of egg whites!

Freshly and Lovingly created on 18th Aug 2016

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I have been messing around the tiny kitchen with ideas. I love preparing my food whenever possible and dressing them up.

A girlfriend and I have a health food challenge. We will take turns to name ingredients to be use in the challenge and then we will incorporate those into the dishes that we each going to prepare. This week ingredients in question are eggs and mushrooms. I am thinking that cannot be too difficult. Well, the truth is, I am not a chef and hence it did took me a while to came up with a concept.

She loves pandas. I have been to her place. Giant Panda picture and cute panda ornaments. I thought maybe making edible pandas with eggs might make her happy. So I use my baking experience with egg whites and came up with this.

Basically since this is going to be a savoury dish, I add a little salt to the egg whites I am going to whip up. Its as simple as using a handheld whip and whip the egg whites plus salt into stiff peak.

Before I do so, I get all my other stuffs ready since everything have to happen in lightning speed. The eyes, arms and ears etc required a darker colour. So since this is also a mushroom challenge, I did grind up some fragrant porcini mushrooms and get ready some charcoal powder. That charcoal powder was initially prepare as a reserve ingredient(Just in case the ground porcini mushrooms do not give me the colour that I wanted).

After whipping up the egg whites, I took 3 tbsp of it into a separate bowl. In that bowl, I add in the ground porcini mushrooms. Indeed, it did not give me the colour that I wanted. So I added charcoal powder until it give me a good enough black colour which I needed. I also get ready piping bags with piping tips.

Once the egg whites are ready, I scooped the whites into a big piping bag and started piping big round dollop of it. That will give me the body of the pandas. Then I use the smaller piping bag with a smaller tip and add in the ears, eyes, arms and legs. The last piping goes to the nose using the whites.

Panda 4While piping, I already heat up my oven to 185 degree. Once your pandas are piped, bake it for 6 to 8 mins. When it started to brown, you can take it out of the oven.

 

Let cool and serve!

In this project, I have cooked some tri-colour quinoa and season them with ground porcini mushrooms. That will serve as the “dirt” on which the pandas can rest on. I have some coriander as well to garnish as the Panda’s food!

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Hey, there is a hippo in my soup! Pumpkin Challah…

Freshly and Lovingly Baked on : 4th Nov 2015

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Suffering from tremendous jetlag after 2 over weeks of travel to the other part of the world. I crawled out of the bed rather awake in the wee hours of the morning and sat in front of my mac. My thoughts gravitated towards the city which I have visited and left. New York is such an enchanting and charming city. My time there coincides with the celebration of Halloween. There are pumpkin everywhere. You can see and taste pumpkin everywhere you go.

I watched the market for a while and research on pumpkin bread dough. I walked around this little small space of mine and get ready for the bake project which I have decided on. Pumpkin Challah bread will be the basic dough that I will use for the theme bake today.

It is called hippo in the soup! I got this concept from a soup store in one of the cities in Canada I visited. Honestly I cannot remember the name of that shop but this is too cute not to attempt a replicate! I can’t cook for nuts so the recipe for the soup will not be disclosed. My helper was kind enough to cook a pot of pumpkin soup for me. So lets get cracking!

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Ingredients:

4g Instant yeast
1/2 Tsp Sugar
130g Water
22g Brown Sugar
515g All Purpose Flour
2 Eggs
25g Canola oil
120g Mashed Pumpkin
2g Salt

Egg wash
1 egg white

Directions:

Mix the dry ingredient together in the mixing bowl. Mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl and combine them well. Then pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and mix well before kneading them in the mixer for 10 to 15 minutes. You can leave it to proof once it passed the window pane test.

To shape the hippo:

Weight of each component for each hippo are as follow:

Body – 45g
Head – 14g
Nose – 6g
4 Sesame Seeds
Pinch of dough for the ears and legs – accordingly to the proportion of the hippo

Shape the body first into rough log shape

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Roll out the head and the nose and flatten them

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Stack the nose onto the head

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Add in the eyes by positioning 2 sesame seeds onto the head

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Add in 2 more sesame seeds as shown

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Roll out 2 tiny doughs and position the ears

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Position the head onto the main body

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Round out 2 small doughs and attached them as hind legs

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Weight of each component for the butt are as follow:

Main butt – 25g
Tail and legs accordingly to the proportion

Once done, let it proof for 30 minutes and give them an egg white wash before baking them in a preheated oven of 175 degree for 15 minutes.

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I am at it again! This time its Beetroot Challah!

Freshly and Lovingly Baked on: 17th Oct 2015

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Beetroot is one of my all time favourite food. Detoxififcation is probably the main reason why I eat it regularly. Since I am on a braiding challah frenzy, I might as well incorporate this root into the bread recipe. I guess it is because I have been touching and meddling with challah, I am able to tell if the raw dough is the right texture for challah. The recipe which I first obtained seem very wrong, it took me twice to tweak it properly. So here goes:

Ingredients:

820g All Purpose Flour
7g Instant Yeast
0g Salt
50g Granulated Sugar
1 Cup Beetroot Puree
50g Canola Oil
3 Eggs
1 York
6g Water

Direction
Mix all dry ingredients into the mixing bowl. Crack eggs into another bowl and mix puree into it until they are well combined. All in water and oil into the wet mixture. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and mix it up before kneading it using the mixer for 10 minutes. Then test to see if it pass the window pane test.

In this bake, I divided up the dough into 2 basically. I retard one portion in the fridge to bake the next day. The other half of the dough is left to proof until it is double in size.

 

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Once that is done, divide the dough into 5 equal pieces. Roll it out into strips. For this bake, I actually tried to copy this baker braiding method. It was tough initially but after watching it over and over again, I managed to get the rhythm. So good luck on this braiding. Otherwise, feel free to just shape into whatever shapes you like.

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After braiding, I left it to proof a second time before giving it an egg white wash and sprinkled some chia seeds over it.

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Bake it in a preheated oven of 180 degree for 20 minutes.

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Finished product!

bake 1

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slice 2

公仔饼 made into Sherman the shark and Gudetama ぐでたま!

Freshly and Lovingly Baked on : 27th Sept 2015

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Time of the year and I am late again. The truth of the matter is, I am not able to find the alkaline water that is needed for the bake. They are sold out at all bake shops. Nevertheless, better late than never. So I am at it today.

The traditional shapes are goldfish, koi fish or piglets. I have made them into pigs before. So I thought hard as to what other shapes can I made them into. I was flipping through Sunday times today and saw Sherman the shark! Sharks are “fishes” too, isn’t?

The other shape which I have been dreaming to make is Gudetama. It is a food character from Sanrio. You can read more about this very cute egg which I love so much from the below blog. I love its “buttocks” and I cannot explain why it is so adorable. It just tug at my heart everytime I see it. What I am worried about is shaping these cuties free hand.

http://blog.sfgate.com/chronstyle/2015/04/28/meet-gudetama-sanrios-newest-character/

The dowager was ready excited to see it. The conversation goes:

Dowager: ” Where are the cookie molds for the sharks?”
Me: “What moods?” ====> Feeling puzzled
Dowager: ” then how did you shape these shermans?”
Me: -_- ” FREE HAND!”
Dowager: “I didn’t know you are so talented.”
Me: -_-“””

There are no biscuit molds available to shape these. So you simply has to use your imagination and try it! As Nike’s slogan reads “JUST DO IT!”

Ingredients :

125 Golden syrup
35g Canola oil
1/8 Tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1 Tsp Alkaline Water
210g Cake Flour

Directions :

Mix the oil, syrup, alkaline water and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl. Ensure that they are incoporated well. Next, add in the cake flour in batches. Mix well on each addition. You will realised it became more and more difficult each round.

Steps by steps

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Rest these for 2 hours in the fridge before shaping. It can get rather sticky and having some canola oil at hand will be of great help. Oil your hand before shaping. It will also help if you wash your hand after making 2 designs as your hand will be sticky by then! Once all is done, bake it in a preheated oven of 175 degree for 8 mins.

Raw forms after shaping:

Sherman the shark!

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Sherman raw 2

Gudetama

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PG raw 3

 

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Baking in progress:

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Finished products:

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My first ever Challah Bread shaped into 2 ways!

Freshly and Lovingly Baked: 20th Sept 2015

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I am surprised. Surprised that it did not occur to me that I should bake this until I saw a message from a girlfriend on what are usually eaten on Jewish holiday and Sabbath day.

This Challah is intended to be bake for Rosh Hashanah. Round Challah symbolised perfection and infinity, expressing the hope for a perfect year, free of troubles and tribulations, a year of unlimited blessings. Sometimes. this round challah is adorned with a crown made of a small plaited piece of dough. But I figured I can make it into a big crown instead. The crown commemorating the prayers of Rosh Hashanah proclaiming the our Father God over the universe! To me the crown is also the crown of thorns which Jesus wore during his torturous journey during crucifixion.

1-4 baked crown

braided top view close up sliced

I have shaped this dough into 2 different design. One as a 4 braided Challah and the other one as a crown! Whatever it is, the basic dough is key!

Ingredients:

3 Cups All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Hot Water – 1 tbsp
6g Instant Yeast
1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
5g Salt
56g Unsalted Butter
2 Eggs
2 Egg Yorks

Direction:

Place all dry ingredients into the mixing bowl. Place cubed butter into a metal bowl and boil some water. Measure 1/2 Cup of this boiled water and pour it into the bowl containing the butter. Let it sit for a while. The butter will melt and stirred it to mix it well. Let it sit for a while because it will be too hot. Let it cool down for 20 minutes and add the eggs and yorks into it. Mix them well. Then pour this liquid into the dry mixture and combine it.

Knead it till it passed the window pane test and let it proof until it is doubled in size. Punch it down.

Weight of dough for the crown: 380g
Weight of dough for the braided challah: 400g

Direction for the shaping of the crown:

Basically,  it is the same concept of using a rose shaping method. Each rose will weigh 95g. Each petal will be around 19g. So you divide up each 95g into 5 pieces, round it up and flatten it. Then stack the flatten piece on top of each other. The overlapping petal will only cover half of the petal below. Then you will start to roll it up starting from the left. Once that is done, slice it by half and you can position each half onto the baking tray. Repeat and you will be able to position all halves into a circle.

Raw version:

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For the braided challah, simply divide it into 2 and roll it up into long strings. I think you can find  a lot of youtube video on how to braid such a challah!

Raw version:

braided challah

side challah w seeds

This dough is very easy to handle so you can always undo the plaits if you lost track of the time!

Once done, let is proof for another 30 minutes before giving it an egg white wash. For the braided version, I sprinkled some seeds on it. Usually it is poppy seeds or sesame seeds.

side challah w seeds

Bake it in a preheated oven of 180 degree for 25 minutes. I tent it 5 minutes into the baking process to prevent excessive browning!

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Texture!

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