Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Stollen

Panettone has been on my Christmas baking list for the last few years. However there will be no panettone this year because I'm making stollen instead. ;)

I've already made small stollens as a Christmas gift for our friends ahead of Christmas. And today (in our NEW kitchen, yay!), I'm going to start the second stollen baking of the season for the families. ;D

It takes a bit of time to make this stollen but it really is worth all the effort when you have a slice of it that is full of Christmasy flavour.

Ingredients:

For the starter
Strong flour 170g
Plain flour 80g
Water 160g
Yeast 7g
----
Strong flour 228g
Plain flour 112g
Almond powder 60g
Granulated sugar 40g
Brown sugar 40g
Butter 180g
Egg yolk 2
Mixed spice 1 tbsp
Cinnamon 1/2 tsp
Dried mix fruits 390g (Soaked in rum)
Roasted mix nuts 100g
Coconut flakes 40g
Milk 60g
Rum 1tbsp
---
Marzipan 350g
---
Butter (Melted) 200g
Icing sugar

1.Make the starter. Combine strong flour, plain flour, water and yeast. Mix well to form a dough. Leave it overnight in the fridge.
2. Take out the starter from the fridge in order to bring it to room temperature.
3. Place all the ingredients except starter, dried fruits, nuts and coconut flakes in a standing mixer. Mix for 1 minute to bring the ingredients together.
4. Add starter into3 little by little. Continue kneading on the standing mixer for 10 minutes.
5. Add the remaining ingredients into 4, knead for a few more minutes. Place the dough in a clean bowl, cover with cling film and leave in the fridge overnight.
6. Take out the dough from the fridge in order to bring it to room temperature.
7. Divide the dough into 7 pieces and make a ball with each piece. Rest them for 10 minutes.
8. Divide the marzipan into 7 pieces and make them into a sausage shape.
9. Roll out the dough, place the marzipan and shape. (see below for how to shape.)
10. Leave them until they are slightly bigger than the original size. (they won't rise as much as normal breads.)
11. Preheat the oven 180ºc. Bake for 40 minutes.
12. Melt butter while the stollens are in the oven. Brush the melted butter on the stollens as soon as they come out from the oven.
13. Cool the stollens completely and dust with icing sugar until they are white. Wrap tight with cling film and rest them for a few days.
14. Dust again with icing sugar before wrapping them as a gift.



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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Happy Birthday to my mum

Haaapy birthday to you, Haaappy birthday to you, Haaapy birthday dear おかぁ〜さ〜ん, Haaaaapy birthday to you〜♬

Today is my mum's birthday:) お母さん、お誕生日おめでとう。

I sent my mum this bread dough wall ornament. It's similar to the one I sent to my sister and her new baby. Hope it has been delivered to Japan safely.

お母さん、飾りやから食べたあかんで〜。

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Strawberry & Peanut butter cupcake

As well as Andy's 32nd Birthday cake, I made strawberry and peanut butter cupcakes for Andy's birthday for him to take to the office.

I asked Andy what he wanted in the middle of the cake, and he said 'strawberry jam and peanut butter'. Since I'd already planed to put fruits and cream in the big cake, we decided to make cupcakes with strawberry and peanut butter for the office.

I made strawberry jam cupcakes (I used the same recipe as the Raspberry jam cake, but replaced the raspberry jam to strawberry jam.). With an apple corer I made a hole in the middle, then filled it with strawberry jam and covered the top with peanut butter icing.

It was like "America in a cupcake!",  I think...
I guess Andy got what he wanted on his birthday. :D

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Monday, December 10, 2012

Happy Birthday, Andy

Happy Birthday to you ~, Happy Birthday to you ~, Happy Birthday dear Andy, Happy Birthday to you ~♪

It's my dear husbando's birthday today.

Andy keeps telling me that 32 is a great age. Hopefully Lana and I can make his 32nd year ever greater. ;D XXX

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Sugar and whisky soaked chestnuts

After I prepared the foraged chestnuts to be cook, I kept the nice looking ones to make sugar and whisky soaked chestnuts. My intention was to make a jar of it and keep it until Christmas for the Christmas baking....but..., last night the jar came to an end... My willpower was too weak...

I cooked the chestnut with half the amount of sugar to the chestnuts and enough water to cover them. When the chestnuts were cooked, I added half a cup of whisky. It wasn't too alcoholic but I could still taste the whisky which was nice.

The chestnuts was kept soaked in the liquid they were cooked in, and they soaked up the flavour more and more each day. When I got near the end, they were so aromatic and tasty that I knew they had to go...

So, there will be no whole chestnuts anymore for Christmas but we still have plenty of chestnuts jam which might appear in Christmas baking. :)

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

ぜんざい (Zenzai)

When I woke up this morning I found the garden covered with snow! Now I know why it's been so cold... the winter has definitely arrived.

To warm me up I made a Japanese dessert called 'ぜんざい (Zenzai)', which is a sweet soup made with azuki beans. My mum would make it in a cold winter day and I would have a big bowl or two of it with mochi... Humm, feeling a bit nostalgic...

I added a couple of chestnuts that I cooked and soaked in sugar and whisky. It warmed me up nicely and tasted simply amazing:)

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Happy Birthday to Shintaro

This post is for my sister and her baby boy who was born last week. I made a little wall ornament with bread dough for them. ;D

My No.1 nephew was born less than two years ago (remember him?) and now there is another boy... craziness..., but yes, he is very very lovely (I've only seen him on the photo. I can't wait to meet him in Japan!) :D

So.., my No.2 nephew is called 真太郎 (Shintaro). Nice name, I didn't name him this time... Anyway, Happy Birthday to Shin Shin, and well done to my sister.

あらためて、くみちゃん、真太郎お誕生おめでとう。

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Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas party at Tinny's

This Saturday we had a Christmas party at Tinny's and, OH YES! I was responsible for desserts and cakes (What Tinny calls Yumicakes...;D).

I was so excited to make cakes for everyone and had so many ideas about what to bring, and...I ended up making... profiteroles, fruits tartlets, Swiss rolls, cheesy scones, mini croissants, and a loaf of bread...

For the profiteroles, I made mini choux buns and filled them with three different creams, cream patissiere, vanilla flavoured fresh cream, and chocolate cream.

There were also two different tartlets. One with vanilla tart and cream cheese topped with strawberries and blue berries, the other with chocolate tart and chocolate cream cheese topped with banana and cherry.

Swiss rolls came in twos too... a soft vanilla and a rich chocolate...

I was too busy eating that I forgot to take phtotos of scones and mini croissants... (they were the ones that appeared on my blog before.) I brought them in the edible bread bowls.

After all those food, my belly was so full (I felt still full even the following day. I had to go for a run...)!

I had such a good time and it was very nice seeing and catching up with everyone.

And of course..., special thanks to Tinny for a great time and letting me bring so many cakes. ;D

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Vanilla & Matcha mille feuille

I made puff pastry for Andy because he wanted to make a French biscuit that required puff pastry. (I forgot the name of it but the sweet and crunchy biscuits were very nice... so good that they were gone before we had a chance to take photos...)

With the left over puff pastry, I made mille feuille. One with vanilla custard cream and the other with matcha (green tea) custard cream. The puff pastry puffed up a little too much for mille feuille (I should have rolled the pastry thinner... ;( ... ), but they tasted great, anyway.

As I've mentioned many times in the past, I love green tea, and green tea custard is not an exception! It's so good... and a great variation of vanilla custard. Mix one tea spoon of green tea powder with one tea spoon of water, and add the mixture into the vanilla custard.

Enjoy an European style dessert and a taste of Japan at the same time! ;D

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Chestnut tart

As I mentioned on the previous post, now I've got a lot of chestnut jam, I will be making quite a few chestnuts stuff. :D

First off, it's a chestnut tart! I put a generous amount of chestnut jam in the filling. The tart is simple but the combination of the sweet pastry and dense, moist, aromatic chestnut filling is for me a perfect winter treat.

A few slices of that and a hot milky tea in front of TV.., what else do we need...?

Ingredients:

Sweet pastry 1 (see here)
Chestnut jam 200g (see here)
Almond powder 100g
Egg 1
Sugar 50g
Cream 50g

1. Prepare the sweet pastry. Line the pastry on a 9 inch tart tin. Prick the bottom of the tart case with a fork. Rest it in the freezer.
2. Preheat the oven to 180ºc. Make the filling. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
3. Pour the mixture into the tart case. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Chestnuts foraging


The other day we went for chestnut foraging. We found an awesome spot! Not only were there a looooot of chestnuts on the ground, but also some chestnuts were falling from the trees while I was picking them. We got four big shopping bags full of chestnuts (we could have got more..., but we thought we shouldn't be greedy...)

Back in the kitchen, I took the chestnut out from the spiky shells (ouch ouch ouch..., it was a real pain on our fingers!) and peeled the hard shells. The whole preparation even before cooking took 3 days!

Most of the chestnuts were made into chestnut jam. Now I've got 8 pots of jams to use for my breads and cakes!

I've already made some chestnuts bread. They are now back in stock on The World of Sweets - Bakery -, better be quick or they will be all gone! (... and the good new is..., the delivery is FREE* too!)


*Ipswich and surrounding areas only.

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Croissant with raisin starter

After making the tiny croissants, I had an urge to make proper croissants.

This time I decided to use no yeast but my raisin starter. For the raisin starter, I do the same as the raisin yeast, then combine the liquid with the same amount of flour. I feed the starter for 3 days (I do 'water : flour = 1:1').
I've explained it very simply here but the makings of a starter is a bit more complicated than that and needs a great deal of attention... I'm still experimenting in order to achieve 'the one'. Anyway..., hopefully I will be able to share the details of the raisin starter on another post some time soon.

So... back to the croissants! The process of folding a sheet of butter is very similar to puff pastry. I have made an illustration below to show you how to do it. Hope that will help. ;) One thing to remember is to work quickly in order to keep the butter cold. We don't want the butter to melt into the dough.

After hours of preparation, I finally got my croissants! They weren't as airy as French ones, but still nice and crisp, very good indeed! I say they are more like 'Le Croissant au Japon' (forgive my french...;D). They were so addictive that I had a few for breakfast and five (or maybe more... I lost count...) for lunch... They didn't make it for dinner...

I shouldn't think about the amount of butter I consumed from them..., well, I don't care... I went for a run the following morning anyway...;)

Ingredients:

Raisin starter 200g
Flour 400g
Milk 200g
Sugar 50g
Butter 40g
Salt pinch
Butter (for folding in) 230g

1. Take the raisin starter out from the fridge to bring it to room temperature.
2. Combine all the ingredients and knead in the standing mixer for 10 minutes.
3. Leave it in the fridge overnight.
4. Prepare butter for folding in the dough. Wrap the butter with cling film and make a sheet of 20cmx 20cm square. Rest it in the fridge.
5. Take put the dough from fridge and roll it out to 40cm x 40cm square.
6. Fold the butter in (see below for how to do it). Chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
7. Repeat the process two more times.
8. Wrap the dough in a cling film and rest it overnight.
9. Roll out the dough to 3-4mm thickness. Cut each edge so that you have a nice rectangle shape.
10. Cut the dough into triangles. Make a small cut on the short side.
11. Roll the triangle from the wide end to the pointed end. Place the croissants on a baking tray, cover with a cling film, and leave them for 3-4 hours.
12. Preheat the oven to 200ºc.
13. Egg wash the croissants and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the croissants are lightly brown.




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Friday, November 16, 2012

Nata de coco

When I was a kid a thing called Nata de coco became massively popular in Japan and I loved it, but I haven't seen it for a while and totally forgotten about it until a few weeks ago... I went to a local Asian food shop and found a jar of Nata de coco. I was like..."...what's this? Na..ta...de...coco...?!, wow! Nata de coco!" I bought it immediately. :)

So..., what is Nata de coco? It is a sweet chewy coconut gel product, which is often served with ice cream, jelly, or fruits.  (I don't really know a great deal about it.. maybe you can go on Wikipedia...).

I made a tropical looking jelly with Nata de coco. I added a bit of banana flavouring into a coloured jelly (It's a blue banana!) and topped it up with cream, apricot jam and coconut flakes.

The unique texture and exotic flavour of Nata de coco reminded me of my childhood breakfast..., (my mum used to give this to us with yoghurt....) Aah, nostalgic... ;)

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源氏パイもどき… (Genji Pie)

There is a snack called 源氏パイ (Genji Pie) in Japan, which is a sweet heart shaped small pie. So..., I made an attempt to create something similar to that with my left over puff pastry. (Have you seen my ultimate apple pie?)

I made long strips of pastry (approximately 1cm x 20cm), sprinkled brown sugar on them, and then rolled each short end so that they meet in the middle.

The pies became a bit thicker than the original 源氏パイ, but they were nicely crisp and tasted quite like it. Not bad... :D

Why not try them next time you have some puff pastry left? ;)

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The tiniest croissants

With the leftover puff pastry for my Ultimate apple pie I made these tiny croissants. They were the smallest croissants I've ever made, eaten or even seen!

Look at the size of pine corn behind! They were so cute looking like a toy. I wanted to leave them on the table as a display but they went into my belly instead...

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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Ultimate apple pie

Today we visited Andy's friend and his family and I brought this ultimate apple pie.

I've been thinking about what to make without eggs the whole week because Andy's friend doesn't eat eggs, and I eventually settled on the ultimate Autumn & Winter classic, apple pie.

We cut the pie after the amazing food Andy's friend's wife cooked for us. The prawn curry and mushroom rice was so tasty! I loved it when we had the pie, their 5 year-old boy grabbed the pie, ate it and gave me a big smile. Not only that, he tried to eat my piece too! I take that as a big compliment for my apple pie. :D

Thanks so much to the Kumar for the lovey time.

Ingredients:

Puff pastry 1 (see here)
Apple confiture 150g (see here)
Apple 5
Sugar 50g
Lemon juice 1 tbsp
Raisin 2-3 tbsp
Almond slice 2-3 tbsp
Apricot jam 3 tbsp
Water 1 tsp

1. Cut apples into small pieces, and cook with sugar and lemon juice in a pan over medium heat until the liquid from the apples is reduced and thickened.
2. Preheat the oven to 190ºc. Make puff pastry. Roll out the pastry onto tart tin.
3. Spread apple confiture on the bottom of the pie. Put cooked apples and raisins on top. Sprinkle almonds.
4. Decorate the top of the pie with remaining pastry. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes or until the pie is golden.
5. Mix apricot jam and water and put in the microwave for 30 second. While the pie is hot, glaze the pie with thinned apricot jam.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Chestnuts Swiss roll

From my older posts some people might know by now that I'm a big fan of Swiss roll. And here we are again..., another day with a slice or two of mouth melting Swiss roll.

This time I went for a taste of Autumn and Winter, chestnuts! I added a good amount of chestnut jam in the sponge as well as in the butter cream in the middle.

I probably put a little too much of butter cream in the middle (because I'm a greedy monkey...) so I struggled to roll up the sponge a bit but it did taste amazing...

Even though I knew exactly how much butter and sugar went into the whole cake, I could not resist the second piece... (well anyway, I have a policy that I don't care about the calories when it comes to cakes and sweets...)

Have you seen my other Swiss rolls and the recipe?
Grape jam Swiss roll
Blackberry and cream cheese Swiss roll

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Monday, November 5, 2012

Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary!

Two years ago, we flew to Las Vegas and got married. Lots of things, some of which I've never thought of on our wedding day, have happened in two year. Baby... house... etc...

Thank you, Andy, for being the awesome husband, the best friend, and the coolest dad for Lana.

I love you. XXX

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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Three tier cream cake

For dessert at Steve's party, I made a super creamy vanilla sponge cake. I wanted the cake to be simple but also look a bit special, so I did three tiers. :)

I baked two sheets of sponge cake (the same sponge as the Swiss roll sponge), and made big Swiss rolls for the bottom and middle tiers. I put vanilla flavoured whipped cream in the middle and decorated also with a generous amount of cream.

It was creamy! Super über creamy! Cream with a nice and light sponge, just how I like it! I love cream...I am a cream monster. I must have had a quarter of the bottom tier...  It did definitely fill my cake hole.

Thanks to Steve for a lovely eveing and awsome fireworks!

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Bread bowls

Yesterday we had a fireworks party at Steve's and I brought some edible bowls for his vege chilli beans (which was the best vege chilli I've ever had!)

The bowls were made of wholemeal bread. I covered a china bowl with foil and shaped the bread dough into a long thin sausage to wrap around the bowl. After the first bake, I took the china bowl and the foil out, glazed the bread bowl with egg and bake it again to give a nice shine.

The bread bowls looked like medieval pots... Andy kept coming back to the kitchen with a bowl and funny walk pretending to be a man from medieval times.

I had Steve's chilli in my bowl, went back for a second bowl before I ate it. ;) It felt quite liberating to eat the bowl but I was so full after destroying it.

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Friday, November 2, 2012

Rye bread with dates

I made another rye bread with my rye flour sourdough starter. This time I added some dates and date syrup. Unlike last time I used rye flour only, which I think made the bread even denser.

I baked in a mini loaf tin and the bread came out so solid and dark that it looked like a brick. I thought "If I get hit by this, that could actually hurt me..." Cutting the bread was tough too. I felt like I was sawing the bread rather than cutting...

Anyway, the bread tasted good. Because it was quite hard, I needed to chew more, which made me eat less. (good good... :D) I also tried dipping into my pumpkin soup. That was amazing! The unique flavour and bit of saltiness of rye flour brought the sweetness of pumpkin very well.

All in all, these rock hard mini loaves weren't not bad at all. ;D

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sweet potato and apple pie

Winter is coming... It's time for nice comforting treats so I made these mini pies filled with sweet potato cream and apple confiture.

I make the fillings and puff pastry myself but if you can't find time to do all that, use a ready made puff pastry and apple jam. (I don' know if you can find sweet potato cream in a shop... maybe you've got a time to make sweet potato cream yourself?) Then all you've got to do is to roll out the pastry and put the jam and cream... and bake!
The super cute and tasty pies will be ready in less than a hour. Glaze the pies with thinned apricot jam to make it pretty. ;)

I like these mini pies a lot but I think Andy liked them even more... He kept going back to them. What a nice complement to a baker. :D

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

I'm waiting... I'm still waiting for the knock knock on the door... so far no one has come...

Anyway, Happy Halloween.
Boo Boo Boo!

I don't remember anyone actually knocking on the door on Halloween, nor I've never been around to other people's house to get sweets. However, Andy told me that kids might come around for trick or treat, so I baked some funny face biscuits and went to a shop to get some sweets.

BUT..., no one came... it's 9pm... I think kids must have gone to bed by now. Oooh well, at least they are treats for me then. ;D

My another Halloween treat was a super creamy fake pumpkin soup (it was squash...) with a rather scary looking flat purple bread. It tasted awesome and I ate so much that I felt like I was pregnant again...

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Pineapple starter baked doughnuts

I made pineapple yeast and also made a starter with it. The starter didn't look very active...;( I think it's because it's getting cold... just like me...

Anyway, hoping that the starter would work, I made mini baked doughnuts. To my surprise, the doughnuts rose quite well, so I guess the starter worked?

The doughnuts were tiny bit dry so I poured icing sugar over them. They tasted nice but I thought they looked a bit like onion rings with Marie Rose sauce. Well.., we had them with beer. :D

I might try this with my other yeast (Banana? Lemon? Raisin?)

Ingredients:

Pineapple starter 100g
Flour 200g
Demerara sugar 100g
Egg 2
Vanilla extract 1/2 tsp
Oil 2 tbsp

1. Bring the starter to room temperature.
2. Mix eggs and sugar well.
3. Add oil and vanilla extract into 2 and mix well.
4. Mix the starter into 3.
5. Fold in flour into 4. Let the mixture rest over night.
6. Preheat the oven to 180ºc. Pour the mixer into a cake tin.
7. Bake in the preheated oven (180ºc) for 15 minutes.

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そば湯だねパン (Soba, buchwheat Yudane Pan)

'湯だね (Yudane)' is a kind of starter for breads and the breads made with this starter is called '湯だねパン (Yudane Pan), which has become popular in Japan over the last 5 years or so.

So, how do you make Yudane? It's simple. You just mix flour and boiling water (make sure it's boiling, not just hot). The breads made with Yudane is soft and has the natural sweetness of the flour.

Normally white flour is used to make Yudane, but I wanted to do a bit of experiment so I used buckwheat flour instead. I love the unique flavour of buckwheat. And not only is this flour tasty but also it's got lot of nutoritions in it. Feels healty, right? To make it sound even healthier, I used wholemeal flour and much less yeast.

As it has little yeast and I proved the dough for a long time in a cool place, it took 2 days until I actually baked the bread! At this point, I was thinking "It's got to be nice..."

And..., it was... good... very good. Super tasty! When I bite in I could taste the buckwheat straight away and the more I chewed the more the flavour and sweetness spread in my mouth. Andy and I enjoyed these rolls so much that we destroyed 10 rolls easily... (they were small ones!)

I think this bread is soon going to make it on the World of Sweets Bakery.

Ingredients:

Yudane
Saba 100g
Boiling water 100g
----
Dough
Wholemeal flour 400g
Demerara sugar 40g
Salt pinch
Yeast 2g
Luke warm water 100g
Soya milk 200g
Oil 2 tbsp

1. Make 'Yudane'. Combine buckwheat and boiling water and  mix well to form a dough. Wrap it with cling film and cool it in the fridge over night.
2. Mix yeast and warm water in a cup. Set aside for 10 minutes.
3. Combine flour, sugar, salt, soya milk, oil and yeast mixture and knead in the standing mixer for 30 seconds.
4. Keeping the standing mixer is on, add 'Yudane' by tearing off small pieces. Continue kneading for 10 minutes.
5. When the dough is smooth, take the dough out into a clean bowl, and cover with cling film. Let it prove in the fridge until the dough doubles in size.
6. When the dough is risen, take it out from the fridge and dring it to room temperature.
7. Place the dough on a floured surface and shape however you like. :-)
8. Leave it to rise again.
9. When the dough doubled in size, bake the bread in the preheated oven (180ºc) for 20 mitnues or until the top of the rolls becomes lightly brown. (For a loaf bake for 40 minutes.)

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Pumpkin ice craem

With my pumpkin cream I made pumpkin ice cream. It's super easy. Just add more cream (I added approximately 100ml but you can add more if you want make it more creamy) and more cinnamon (1/2tsp-1tsp) to the basic pumpkin cream (200g) and mix really well! Put it in the freezer. When it starts to set, mix air in and put it back in the freezer.

Because this ice cream doesn't have any eggs in it, it's lighter but still has the depth from the pumpkin and cinnamon. I added salted caramel roasted pumpkin seeds on top. That was... a very satisfying Friday night dessert indeed. ;D

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Melon pan

Any Japanese or anyone who is into Japan must know メロンパン(melon pan, which means melon bread). For me Melon Pan is something I've liked since I was a kid and tried so many of them from different shops.

So..., for those who are thinking "what is Melon Pan?'. Although Melon Pan has the word 'melon', it doesn't necessarily means the bread has melon in it, nor even melon flavoured. The reason why it's called 'Melon Pan' is because it looks like a melon. (No? Ok, it does in my eyes anyway...) Usually a sweet bun is topped with biscuit and the biscuit has lines to make the bread look like melon.

In Japan you get all sorts of melon pans such as green tea melon pan, one with custard cream inside..., I've had earl grey flavoured one, mango flavoured one, strawberry, caramel, chocolate..., the list goes on and on....

I'm sure everyone has the one they like. I like the one with crunchy biscuit on top of a nice soft bun. And of course, a freshly baked melon pan is simply too good to resist. :D

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Chestnut bread

Look at these shinny breads! I love it when the breads come out from the oven like this. :)

It's the Autumn's must, Chestnut bread!

Not only does the bread have the sweet chestnut jam inside but also the jam is mixed in the bread dough. I shaped and decorated the bread to look like a chestnut too... (although it looks more like onigiri...)

These sweet tasting breads are so good that I can have them as breakfast, snack, with tea, or simply anytime! In fact I ate it after dinner as an evening treat to myself... ;D

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Blackberry crumble muffin

There was some crumble topping left from my chestnut crumble cake, so I baked some blackberry crumble muffins.

Because I didn't strain the jam the muffins had a lot of pips, which I was quite fine with, but if you like more smooth texture I recommend you use a jam without pips our strain it with a sieve.

By the way, for some of the muffins I mixed the crumble topping in the batter in stead of putting it on top. And..., it was actually pretty good! One thing is when you mix in the crumble, make use not to over mix or the cake will become tough.

Ingredients:
Flour 150g
Baking powder 1 tsp
Brown sugar 150g
Egg 3
Butter (melted) 100g
Blackberry Jam 100g

1. Preheat the oven to 180ºc. Make the crumble by combining all the ingredients in a bowl and rub with fingers until the mixture becomes sandy.
2. Make the cake mixture. Beat eggs and sugar together until it's fluffy.
3. Add melted butter into 2 and mix well.
4. Sift flour and baking powder. Fold them into 3.
5. Fold in blackberry jam into 4. (Mix in the crumble if you want the crumble in the batter.)
6. Pour the cake mixture into a cake tin. Put the crumble on top.
7. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes or until the top of the cake is lightly golden.

Have you seen my other cakes with Blackberry jam?


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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Chestnut crumble cake

I made a chestnut crumble cake with my homemade chestnut jam. With a generous amount of chestnut jam, the cake came out really moist and had a nice sweet chestnut flavour. The cinnamon flavoured crumble on top gave a nice crunch too.

The good thing about this cake is that you can enjoy it in two ways. It's nice warm straight from the oven or rest it to cool in the fridge and have it the following day. Either way, this is a real Autumn treat for me and definitely has got that moreish-ness!

Ingredients:

Flour 150g
Baking powder 1 tsp
Brown sugar 150g
Egg 3
Butter (melted) 100g
Chestnut jam 150g
---
Crumble
Butter 50g
Demerara sugar 50g
Flour 75g

1. Preheat the oven to 180ºc. Make the crumble by combining all the ingredients in a bowl and rub with fingers until the mixture becomes sandy.
2. Make the cake mixture. Beat eggs and sugar together until it's fluffy.
3. Add melted butter into 2 and mix well.
4. Sift flour and baking powder. Fold them into 3.
5. Fold in chestnut jam into 4.
6. Pour the cake mixture into a cake tin. Put the crumble on top.
7. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes or until the top of the cake is lightly golden.

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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Rye bread

I've experimented with raisin yeast, lemon yeast, banana yeast in the past. Now, I've started a rye flour sourdough starter. If this starter goes well, it'll keep for years.

I'm using a very simple technique, which requires only rye flour and water. After three days of 'feed' the starter became bubbly. So I took some of the starter out and put the rest in the fridge to let it 'sleep'.

I mixed some rye flour (100g), strong white flour (100g), salt (1/2tsp), oil (2tbsp), and handful of walnuts together with the starter (200g). Then I added water and kneaded to form a dough.

I rested the dough overnight in room temperature and the following day shaped the bread to put in a loaf tin and rested it for a few hours.

So... now, it was time to bake. I covered the loaf tin with foil and baked for 40 minutes at 190ºc, then turned the heat down to 170ºc and baked another 30 minutes. The bread didn't rise much and looked pretty dense. But it smelled good.

I didn't taste the bread immediately because I remembered someone said before that rye bread tastes better a day after it's baked. So I patiently waited another day....

Finally...., we had it! First we cut a slice and tried as is. I was like..."!", "This is just like those german rye breads!" and Andy was like..."It's nice!" We put some cheese on too. Then we did our clasic thing... "I'm gonna have another piece, do you want one?", "Yes, go on!"...nom nom nom... "Another one?", "Yes, please." nom nom nom.... So..., the bread was gone... here we were again, greedy greedy...

I was very pleased with the result as I thought the starter wasn't 100% successful. Although it was very tasty I'm still going to work on the recipe. Once I'm confident with the recipe then I'll share how to make the starter and the bread so please bear with me. :)

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Friday, October 19, 2012

Roasted pumpkin seeds

According to a famous chef, they waste as little as possible in a professional kitchen. So..., I did the same. I roasted the pumpkin seeds after making the pumpkin cream.

I washed the seeds thoroughly and roasted them in the oven until they were lightly golden and crispy. I sprinkled brown sugar and cinnamon. These roasted seeds make a great snack. I'm literally munchin' them with a bottle of 0% beer now...

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Chestnut jam

The other day I found chestnuts in the supermarket and I got all excited BECAUSE I can make one of my favourite jam, chestnut jam!

It's quite a job to peel the chestnut shells but when you see the nice sweet jam as a result, it's all worth it. I do "chestnut : sugar = 2:1" and it's already very sweet for my liking, but if you want to make it even sweeter you can add more sugar.

I made quite a lot so some of them are going into my cake..;) Let's see how it goes...

Ingredients:

Chestnut:Sugar=2:1
Water

1. Cook the chestnuts in the shell in a boiled water for 10 minutes. Let them cool in a fresh water.
2. Peel the shell off.
3. Place the chestnuts in a pot. Pour just enough water to cover the chestnuts. Add sugar and cook over a low heat until it thickens.
4. Puree the jam to make it smooth.

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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sweet potato cream

Another seasonal vege that I love, Sweet potatos!

I made sweet potato cream in the same way as the pumpkin cream. Sweet potato is very similar to pumpkin when it's cooked, so as I said for pumpkin cream you can use it for pretty much for anything.

I usually make a batch of sweet potato cream and freeze certain amount in small containers so I can take one out when I want to use it for my breads, cakes or desserts.

This time I made mini sweet potato mont blanc for morning tea time. Look at these tiny tea cups! I got them from IKEA kid's section... I think they are supposed to be toy? They're super cute anyway...;D

Ingredients:

Sweet potato (after cooked) 700g
Double cream 80g
Demerara sugar 60g
Salt 5g
Butter 50g
Cinnamon 1/2-1 tsp



1. Peel the sweet potato skin. Cut in small pieces. Put them in a microwave safe bowl. Cover the bowl with cling film and cook for 10 minutes or until the sweet potato is soft.
2. Put the sweet potato in a blender and make a smooth paste.
3. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until they're mixed together well.


Have you tried my Pumpkin cream yet?

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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Pumpkin tart

Another day with pumpkin;) I made a very rich and creamy pumpkin tart using my pumpkin cream (it's the same cream I used for the pumpkin cream bread).

I kept two pieces for Mr and I and shared other pieces with Andy's mum and dad and neighbours.

The bright orange smooth filling and well baked sweet pastry with a hint of cinnamon was such a comforting treat in an autumn afternoon. Yum yum yum...

Oh... Halloween is coming soon. Why not try it then?
Ingredients:

Sweet pastry 1 (See here)
Pumpkin cream 500g
Sugar 150g
Salt pinch
Cinnamon powder 1/2 tsp
Vanilla pot seed 1/4tsp
Egg 3
Flour 80g
Crème fraiche 180g

1. Prepare the sweet pastry. Line the pastry on a 9 inch tart tin. Prick the bottom of the tart case with a fork. Rest it in the freezer.
2. Preheat the oven to 180ºc. Make the filling. Beat sugar, eggs, salt, cinnamon and vanilla together.
3. Sift flour into 2 and mix.
4. Add pumpkin cream and creme fraiche into 3 and mix well.
5. Take the tart case out from the freezer and pour the filling into the case.
6. Bake in the preheated oven (180ºc) for 60 minutes.

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Pumpkin cream bread

It's this time of the year again! It's the pumpkin season! I love autumn. There are so many foods in this season that I love. Pumpkin is definitely one of them.

The other day I found a really cute pumpkin in a shop. For a couple of day the pumpkin was my baby's best friend and then came back to me in the kitchen. I decided to turn Mr pumpkin to a nice smooth pumpkin cream.

This silky and creamy pumpkin paste is so versatile that you can use it in breads, cakes, any other desserts but also nice to eat as is!

Here is how to make the pumpkin cream:
Ingredients

Pumpkin (after cooked) 700g
Double cream 80g
Demerara sugar 60g
Salt 5g
Butter 50g
Cinnamon 1/2-1 tsp

1. Peel the pumpkin skin and take the seeds away. Cut in small pieces. Put them in a microwave safe bowl. Cover the bowl with cling film and cook for 10 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft.
2. Put the pumpkin in a blender and make a smooth paste.
3. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until they're mixed together well.
4. Get creative! Use in bread, cake, ice cream, anything you like or eat as is.:D



I made some pumpkin cream bread. Not only did I add the pumpkin cream in the bread dough but also I put the cream inside of the roll. The dough turned bright yellow and had nice soft texture. The sweet cream oozed out when I bit into the roll.... Heavenly...

I finished baking those rolls late last night and had to have one because it smelt so nice and one taste bite was certainly not enough. I didn't care what time of the night it was... It was that tasty...

I also made "Ducks" (which became "deformed ducks"... and "Booboo pig". ;D

Ingredients:

Strong flour 250g
Plain flour 250g
Yeast 7g
Egg 1
Milk 140g
Butter 50g
Sugar 50g
Salt 5g
Pumpkin cream 200g
Extra pumpkin cream to put inside.
Egg for egg wash
Pumpkin seeds to decorate

1. Put all the ingredients in a standing mixer and knead for 10 minutes.
2. Cover the bowl with cling film and rest the dough until it's doubled in size.
3. Take out the dough on a floured surface and divide into 16 pieces and make balls. Let them rest for 10 minutes.
4. Roll out each ball and place a tablespoon of pumpkin cream in the middle. Seal the dough tightly and place the roll on a baking tray with the sealed side facing down.
5. Rest the dough again until it's doubled in size.
6. Preheat the oven to 180ºc. Egg wash the top of the rolls and put pumpkin seed on top.
7. Bake in the preheated oven (180ºc) for 20 minutes.

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Monday, October 8, 2012

Medal cookies for Robin Hood event

It was a busy week in the WOS kitchen last week since I was making medal cookies for the weekend's Robin Hood event. These special cookie were given to the kids who scored three gold at Deben Archery Range "Have-A-Go".

Apparently the event was a great success and over 100 cookies were all gone on the first day! Amazing!

Hope everyone enjoyed a fun archery experience as well as a sweet reward. ;D

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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Key lime pie

I (and Lana) made individual key lime pies for Andy who looked after Lana while I was busy preparing the cookies (I will talk about those cookies on the next post).

These were also for Andy's mum and dad who looked after Lana while Andy and I went out for dinner two of us alone for the first time in 6 months!

Thank you very much from me and Lana. :D

Ingredients;

Lime 4
Condensed milk 397g
Egg 2
Cream cheese 70g

*Base
Digestive cookies 80g
Sugar 25g
Butter 50g

Italian meringue

1. Preheat the oven to 180ºc. Put digestive cookies and sugar in a plastic bag. Smash them finely.
2. Melt butter and put it into 1. Mix well.
3. Place 2 on the bottom of a cake tin evenly. Bake 2 in the pre-heated oven (180ºc) until it's golden. Cool it down.
4. Meanwhile prepare the filling.
5. Mix lime zest and egg together.
6. In a different bowl mix together condensed milk, cream cheese and lime juice.
7. Combine 5 and 6. Pour the mixture into the base.
8. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until it's set. Cool in the fridge.
9. Add meringue on top and put the pie in the oven (120ºc) to colour the meringue.



Have you seen my lemon meringue pie?

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

黒あん・白あん (Black bean paste, butter bean paste)

As I said on the previous Sesame pudding post, I'm going to share how to make black bean paste (黒あん, Kuro-an).

So..., it's pretty much the same as Azuki but this time I used freshly grated palm sugar.

Ingredients

Dried black beans 250g
Palm sugar (grated) 150g
Salt pinch
Water

1. Soak the beans overnight.
2. Put the beans in a large pot with enough water to cover the beans. Bring it to boil.
3. When the water is boiled, pour the water away and replace with fresh water. Bring it boil again.
4. Turn the heat down. Add sugar and salt. Simmer until the beans are soft.
5. Mash them in the way you like. 



I also made butter bean paste which is called 白あん (Shiro-An). All you need to do is to change the black beans to butter beans and you'll have a nice white bean paste. ;D

Those bean pastes can be used in cakes, puddings, biscuits... but also nice as is... So, I made little Kuro-An balls and Shiro-An balls for my after dinner treat. Yum yum yum;D

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

ごまプリン (Sesame pudding)

Since Andy is away, I decided to have another Japanese treat for myself. This time, Sesame pudding;)

This Japanese style pudding is super easy to make. In fact it's the same process as the green tea pudding I made the other day but with different ingredients.

I added a couple of table spoon of sesame paste instead of green tea powder and replaced soy milk to water (if you want the pudding to be richer, then using soy milk is perfectly fine). To make the pudding even more Japanesey, I put some black bean paste (I'll post how to make it soon. For now, here is a similar one...Azuki) and dates syrup on top.

....!....!!...!!! This was good! Really good! This is the kind of dessert I could easily have every day. Aah, I'm lucky that I have one more left in the fridge for tomorrow... aah, what a pudding...

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Happy birthday to Pete

Happy birthday to Pete, Happy birthday to Pete, Happy birthday to Pete, Haaapy Biiirthday toooo Pete♪...

Today is my dad-in-law's birthday. Happy birthday, Pete ;)

I made a selection of breads and funny face biscuits for him. They were... "seedless raspberry jam bread", "chocolate bread", "purple grape bread" (have you seen how to make it?), apple and cinnamon roll, and birthday special... "Jumbo cinnamon roll"!

I hope he is enjoying those sweet buns and rolls with the birthday tea. ;D

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Green tea pudding

I haven't had Japanese stuff for a little while and seeing my mum adding a photo of Japanese food on Facebook made me miss a taste of home...

So..., I searched cupboards and found green tea powder that my mum got for me from Japan. Great! Since I have THIS demanding baby in my arms, I decided to make green tea pudding in a super easy way.

Not only is this pudding easy to make but also it doesn't have mike or eggs, so it's good for those who have dietary issues with them. And of course, it's yummy. ;D

The smooth pudding and rich green tea flavour was just what I needed to satisfy my Japanese food craving...

You can use normal milk instead of soy milk if you prefer...;


Green tea powder 1tbsp
Sugar 1tbsp
Soy milk 200g
Corn flour 1 1/2 tbsp

1. Combine all the ingredients in a sauce pan and mix well.
2. Cook over a low heat until the mixture thickens.
3. Pour the mixture into a cup. Let it set in the fridge.


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