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...

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.

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.)

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

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

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

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?


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.

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. :)

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...

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.

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?

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.

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.

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

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?

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

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...