What I have been doing lately …

From time to time, I have to engage myself in some mini projects to satisfy my urge for baking. I don’t always like to eat what I bake, I don’t really have a sweet tooth, and in many cases, I have no heart for eating my baking failuresūüė¶ But like an addict, I need to bake just because I can’t help myself. These tiny ventures are fun and so leisure to do. One morning, I just woke up and decided that I want to learn something new.

Rasberry and Cherry Mouse cake

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This mouse cake reminds me so much of summer – rasberry season. We went picking berries in the bush nearby our house, and look how many we got. Wild berries taste better than the ones from the supermarket, and also more fun to collect. I made this berry mouse cake for Mr. Bear birthday. The cake was a total failure, but the mouse gave the cheating feel that it was ok.

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I love cherry, I could love to eat more of them every summer, if only they weren’t so expensive. This mouse cake is the same as the rasberry one,¬†the only difference is¬†in the berry. Well, nothing special.

Cheesecake

cheesecake

If you want a beautiful yet easy-to-make cake, I believe cheesecake is the one. This cheesecake is made from a Norwegian recipe, which beside creamcheese also includes a fair amount of whipped cream and sour cream, which makes the creamcheese taste almost disappear completely, just as I like it. Somehow, I don’t like creamcheese taste. Instead, the cake tastes mousy and creamy, which rightly indicates a high lipid level. Definitely not for those who are trying to keep the weights down.

cheesebit

I even managed to make a chocolate fuzzy pattern for decoration. But the chocolate melted quite quickly at room temperature, which explains its absence in the other pics. That’s misterious to me, and I blamed it for the perhaps-lower sugar level in the cook chocolate. The last time I made these fuzzy patterns, they had no trouble standing for at least some hours at room temperature, and perhaps even more, if they weren’t consumed.

without-choc

What I like about this cake recipe is that it’s quite fool-proof. There’s simply no room for mistake as no baking or chemical reaction is involved. You just throw the ingredients together (don’t even have to follow the proportion accurately , which is very seldom in cake making), and let them do their own job in the fridge. If my ad attracts you, please visit the website www.spise.no You should be able to find the recipe and the instructional video there.

backside

This¬†cheesecake is made with berry jelly, hence a slight tint of pink in the cheese mouse. The cake is commented to have the right shape and height but with messy,¬†unprofessional¬†decoration. I know cake presentation is my weak point. But I’m willing to learn, at least.

Coconut cake

cococake1

This cake is made because Mr.Bear loves everything about coconut (which he calls ‘z√Ļa’) It has distinct coconut flavour, with crispy golden shell which resembles coconut cookies, and soft yellow texture inside. For me, I’m not particularly impressed with this cake. Yes, it tastes just as a coconut cake should do, and so what?

cococakeslide

Pear and plum tart

puffle

I’m proud to say that this tart has enlightened Nga about the existance of puff pastry. And she was so amazed that she brought two packets of frozen puff pastry back to Vn. I’m more sure than ever that these puff pastry will defrost completely by the time she got on the plane, and thus, I don’t guarantee her a chance to show off her ‘magical’ tarts for her family. But people need some hope to live, and we’ll hear about the fate of these puff pastry tomorrow. In the meantime, I’m pleased with this pear-shaped cookie cutter.

puffass

In all, puff pastry makes it easy to bake, easy to eat, and hard to achieve a neat presentation (at least for me). You have to¬†calculate the amount of liquid so correctly so that nothing’s gonna flood over board. I didn’t. I put too much sugared butter underneath the fruits, so it did over melt. Anyway, it tasted good, with a underneath layer of butter, brown sugar and candied ginger whipped together, lined on top with slices of pear and plum, and sprinkled cinnamon sugar on top. Slide it in the oven at 200 degree and watch it puffs up. Pretty fun and worth a try!

A love letter

letters

These were supposed to be tuilles. When they were out of oven, they were something between tuille and cookie. Anyway, they hold their shape for a pretty long time, good for nibbing on and bringing a smile to Mr. Bear’s face.

Mazipan roses

mazipan1

I have always been charmed by fondant roses. Now I’m even happier to find out that I can make roses from mazipan. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t eat either fondant or mazipant, but somehow the concept of mazipan (which contains 50% of almond, not just pure sugar) makes me feel less guilty. These are my first roses, at the first attempt to work with mazipan, so they still don’t have a natural look. But already quite pretty, isn’t it?

mazipanmelis

Mr. Bear, when I showed him for the first time, thought it was real roses. He’s a bit near-sighted, of course. If you want to be above my current level of rose-making, you may need some more practice and skill, but to achieve roses like such is extremely easy. It resembles making ‘t√≤ he’ on Hanoi street

Gratin

gratin

Though not a dessert and not sweet, but also a piece of bake work, gratin is my favourite way of eating potato and cheese. One layer of potato, one layer of grated yellow cheese, salt and pepper, and finished with the last layer with onion and cheese. Somehow, I like the taste of baked and burned onion on top. Pour over just enough milk, or cream for the needed thickening. I some time whisk an egg into the cream mixture to make extra sure that everything sticks together. What the comfort of not having to follow a recipe!

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