Recent Bakes

Okay, okay, I know I’m way too lazy. That doesn’t mean that I don’t bake so far, it only means I don’t upload what I bake. And here they are.

1. The comeback of cupcakes

The reason for this comeback? These cupcakes (or muffins?) are not sweet, they’re savoury, which means the ingredients are shallot and cheese. That means they can be eaten for breakfast, they can be snack, but not dessert. They show me a new face of cupcakes, and I always like variety.

The solo

The inside texture

I have to accept the fact that my cupcakes will always have a flaw – air pockets, as I can never help overmixing. But that doesn’t bother me much. These cupcake can convince me that cheese is tasty. They’re crispy in the shell, but moist inside with a soft, breadlike texture. Cheese and shallot is a combination that guarantees success.

2. The discovery of frozen puff pastry dough

One of the many things that cheer me up after moving into this new house is that I discovered frozen puff pasty dough in the supermaket nearby. Of course you can always try to make your own version but I should warn you beforehand that it can take up to 4 or 6 hours to make this kind of dough. The amount of time doesn’t depend on how much dough you make, it depends on how many layers you want the dough to have. There’s no short cut to good puff pastry. That’s why I’m so happy I can enjoy the fruit without planting the tree.

These two puff pastries are filled with stir-fried shrimp and Polish dried mushroom. You can put whatver you want in the filling of course, but i also discover that Polish dried mushroom taste really very good. Although it’s so simple to make, be sure to stir-fry the filling before fill it in dough. As the juice from the filling can affect how much the pastry will rise, you’d better keep the filling as dry as possible. I seal the edges of the pastries by pressing a fork all over the three open edges, just to prevent the juice of the filling from leaking out. My Polish bear adores whole-heartedly this filled pastry, although he mistook shrimp for octopus. When I told him it was shrimp, he said ‘Oh, so you are such a good cook that you can turn shrimp into octopus!’ (no comment)

Puff pastry for dessert

This puff pastry dessert is a part of a longer story which I don’t have time to tell now. But as you can see, the puff pastry puffs up much much higher without the filling. The filled pastry above is a long, rectangular one folded in half, an this is, believe me, NOT 3 pastries put together. It’s ONE single layer of pastry, and it puffs up so high that I slided it into 3 layers and piped the rasberry cream in between each layer. It’s an incredible pastry, and it’s so light, so fluffy that it melt literally in your mouth. The pink cream is odinary whipped cream mixed with rasberry purree, remember to seive out the seed.

3. The Pandan Chiffon cake

I found the form for chiffon cake in IKEA, and fresk pandan leaves in the VNese shop (so many discoveries this month). I used the recipe online, which is not my trusted source, but I had no choice. The cake was high, has good (but not great texture), springy, soft. I guess I’m now more demanding than I used to when I started baking.

I slided the cake (what else I can do with such a tall cake?) and filled it with a layer of whipped cream and coconut shaves. As far as I know, pandan and coconut goes well together.

I piped the rest of the cream along the pattern of the cake, trying to make some flowery decoration. One thing I don’t like about the chiffon form is that it limits the options of cream decoration on the cake as the surface of the cake is already patterned.

Here is the texture of the cake, try your best to recognize the pandan green colour

I was not very happy with this pandan cake as the colour and flavour of the pandan was not so prevailing. Maybe if I could find pandan paste it’d be better (but i didn’t find it). Some people online suggested using green colouring but it’s never an option for me. Be green, but naturally. Oh, and the brown little dots are chocolate shaves.

4. Wanna-cream browny

You may console me and say that it looks nice, but the truth is I did not have ENOUGH cream to cover the whole cake. No, it was not my intended creativity. So I used some pineapple to cover the gap, and the green are little grapes.

Somebody is extremely happy with this browny and insisted to give it a ‘quality stamp’.

After no time, 1/4 of the browny was gone, but the part I ate was only this.

So apparently the rest of the missing browny was someone else’s responsibility. And it was a bit too late to realized it, so he called my browny ‘the dangerous cake’. But it was not a cake, it was a browny.

So, what’s the difference? I want you to forget the cream and focus on the texture. At least for me the texture is always more important than the cream. This browny was made with cinnamon, and walnuts, and no whisking, just blending. So it has a dense, rougher, harder texture than a cake. It is great as a browny, so I felt a bit remorse about putting cream on it, it’s like making a man wear a dress.

About the cream, it was romme – Norwegian word (I don’t know the English name for it, but it’s very dense whipping cream with a slight sour flavour, you can use creme fraiche instead, or regular whipping cream. Gosh, I don’t know how to spell this french word correctly). Mix the whipped cream with sitron and orange peel shaved, and a dust of powder sugar to taste.

Browny goes with tea, so I make myself some tea which turned out to taste more like Chinese herbal medicine. Yuk! But the heart-shaped ice was cute.

 I don’t have time to post the recipes for all this here. And you can always google them out, just like I do. You know that my Bible is the small Norwegian bakebook that I recommended in the previous entry. Its recipes work perfectly everytime. Still have loads of pics to share, but that’s for next time.


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