June 30, 2010

5 x 10mins of Waiting Time

I have so many backlog posts to upload. However, spurred by Wendy's little challenge, I decided to go for this instead first. With just 3 ingredients - milk, ginger and sugar, how tough can a ginger milk curd be?

Sometimes it's the simple stuff that is hardest to make. I was deeply humbled. I knew it was going to be tough since Wendy is a way way experienced chef than moi but I didn't know it was going to be THAT tough. After 5 tries, my ginger milk only mildly curdle.


I have read quite a bit of tips online before I started. Tips include: full cream milk, pouring milk onto ginger, using cold ginger i.e. from fridge, obtaining the right temperature, ratio of ginger juice to milk etc. All didn't helped me much.


Millk Temp (ºC) Ginger Juice to Milk Ratio Result Milk pouring
Test 1 85 1 9 Failed. No curd at all Spoon by spoon. To count ratio
Test 2 80 1 8 Failed. No curd at all Spoon by spoon
Test 3 70 1 10 Failed. No curd at all Spoon by spoon
Test 4 Boil & rest for 10 sec 1 9 Failed. Mild curd.
VERY VERY mild
Spoon by spoon
Test 5 Boil & rest till 75 1 10 Failed. No curd at all Pour in one flow

Milk used as shown below. I even use my baby's food warmer to ensure I got the RIGHT temperature. Hehe. For the record, milk content is Fat 3.6g/100ml and Protein 3.1g/100ml.



Test results as shown below. Notice my portion gets smaller and smaller? Well, apparently Hubby didn't really like the ginger milk taste. So I have to reduce the portions to ensure he has enough milk for his breakfast.


Anyway, like what one blogger Nasi Lemak Lover said, I'll say it too - Dear Wendy, I've tried. If my Hubby is willing to spare me more of his breakfast milk, I will try again. Till then...


Hmmm... maybe using old ginger will do the trick?


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June 27, 2010

Banana Chiffon Cake 2

My mum likes to buy bananas to feed my baby. She thinks that having some babies will aid in bowel movement. Hmmm... so far she has been proven right for the few times that my baby did not had a go in the morning as expected.

Problem is, she likes to buy a bunch of bananas and my boy only eats the most 2 out of the bunch in a week. At the end of the week, I will be left with quite a bunch to work with.

I decided to try banana chiffon cake again since my new chiffon cake tin seemed un-utilized in the cabinet. The recipe is the same as the previous post.
I followed the same recipe to a T and yet somehow the taste was "flour-ry" i.e flour taste is quite apparent.
The cake is fluffy and soft but somehow the taste isn't right. I think I will try another recipe next time. Or maybe it's due to the over-riped bananas losing their taste.

June 13, 2010

Happy Feet

Ahem...

Ahem ahem...

Did you see what I saw????

Yes! Happy feet!

That's what happened when you have aged egg whites. Yeeks.

This time round, I added some matcha powder. Matcha with almonds, absolutely wonderful combination. As I did not make any fillings for them, I scooped some chocolate ice cream for the picture above.

That said, I don't think I'm 100% there yet. These feet were not frilly or high enough. They were pretty high when I caught them growing in the oven. But after I took them out, they shy-ed away.
Maybe it has to do with the "macaronage". I will research more and try again...

Till then, happy feet and happy me!

True Meringue

Back in Apr. 24 Apr to be exact. My hubby decided to give me a little treat i.e. bring me to Phoon Huat to buy a nice chiffon cake tin and a *gasp* oven thermometer!


We passed by Gastronomia and went in for a look. I found this blob of "thing" sitting there and it just said "Coffee Meringue" at the label. $3.50 for one. I bought it. Tasted it and it was good!

This is how meringues are supposed to be like. Sweet soft and melts in your mouth. All the girls I offered this to loved it. The guys... are not in the meringue league.

After some research, it's just made up of whipped egg whites and sugar! Dirt cheap to make at home vs $3.50 at the stores. Tried replicating it myself many many times and failed many many times. The problem is that my oven is too small and incapable of having a temperature below 130 degrees Celsius. So... I guess I have to give up the meringue making dream for now until I get a nice new oven.

Follower

I have a major problem with following instructions - I don't quite follow them.

It goes for my baking. Though I am a novice, I still love the feel of "aga-ra-tion" which literally meant "estimation" in Singlish.

Even though I have read quite a few blogs, especially the one from a blogger by the name as mine at Kitchen Musings, on the dos and don'ts of making macarons, I followed everything in the recipe.... except one step i.e. age the egg whites. I reckoned that some professionals didn't have to do it so I should be quite fine.

While I waited for the macarons to bake, counting the minutes and staring at the little circles. The little feet came out at the 4th minute! I was right! No need to age the eggs!

Then I followed the instructions and opened the oven door to rotate the tray as I knew my oven was slightly hotter right at the back. After I rotated the tray, I stared and stared. And stared those little feet into disappearance. Argh.
Many folks failed in their first attempts. I was prepared for the worst by using only tiny fractions of the ingredients for my first trial. So... I am going to try again in 1-2 days' time with the rest of the fractions.
Since the "macarons" weren't as pretty and considered a success, I decided not to make any fillings for them. That said, the failed cuties were absolutely wonderful surprisingly. It had a good crust and was chewy and soft in the middle. It was easy to peel off the parchment paper. They were a tad too sweet for my hubby but really good for me.
Let's see how it goes with the aged egg whites in a few days' time.


Basic Almond Macaron

This is already a reduced recipe and I only used 40% of this recipe for my 1st attempt

Ingredients
60g egg whites
75g almond flour (I used ground almonds. Had to sift like crazy.)
135g icing sugar
15g sugar
pinch of cream of tartar

Method

  1. Sift almond flour and icing sugar twice
  2. Add cream of tartar to egg whites. Beat till foamy and white. Add sugar gradually and beat till stiff peaks form.
  3. Gradually add dry ingredients i.e. from step 1 to egg whites in 4-5 additions
  4. Pipe into rounds onto parchment paper and rest for at least 30 minutes till the macarons are smooth and shiny on top.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven of 150 degrees for 11 minutes. Rotate the tray at half time.

June 1, 2010

Japanese Cotton Cheesecake

1 June is Children's Day in China. On this day, all the kids will get a day off. The mothers in my company will receive a little goodies bag just for their kids. Most of the mothers (in fact, nearly 98%) have only one kid due to China's strict policy on family planning.

This year, I am not in China and I have a kid. I miss Shanghai. So a cake is baked. :D

I got the recipe from Small Small Baker again who got it from Leisure Cat.

Since this is meant mainly for Hubby and my consumption, I thought that a nice sweet lovey dovey decor would be nice and did a few cut outs with the baking paper before placing them on the cake during the last 5mins. Unfortunately, my dense Hubby didn't get it at all and was commenting what funny "W" or bird-like shapes I created on the cake! So much for effort.
The water bath method worked well for me this time round. Previously water seeped in and making the cake very marshy at the bottom. This time round, to save washing, I simply stuffed baking paper into the tin. The cake baked well but cracked slightly again. Maybe my oven is really too hot.

The cake was smooth, soft and moist. As cottony as its namesake. Again, we finished it in just one afternoon. Happy. :D

Japanese Cotton Cheesecake
(6-inch round tin with removable base)

Ingredients
100g cream cheese
64g milk
22g unsalted butter
13g plain flour
7g corn flour
2 egg yolks
2 egg whites
43g sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar


Method
  1. Preheat oven to 170 deg Celsius
  2. Line cake in with parchment paper or grease tin.
  3. Cut cream cheese into small cubes and soak the cubes in milk for 30mins.
  4. Melt butter in a metal plate over a hot water bath (saucepan filled with simmering water) and set aside.
  5. Put the cream cheese and milk mixture over a hot water bath. Stir until there are no visible lumps.
  6. Add the melted butter into the cream cheese mixture. Combine and remove from heat.
  7. Sift flour and corn flour into the mixture.
  8. Add egg yolks and combine till smooth.
  9. Beat egg whites till foamy. Add cream of tartar. Beat and add sugar gradually till soft peaks are formed (I beat them till medium stiff peaks)
  10. Pour into lined or greased tin.
  11. Knock tin slightly on table tap to remove large bubbles.
  12. Bake in water bath for 15-20mins till cake surface has a slight color change. Then set temperature at 150 deg Celsius and bake for another 40mins. For the last 10-15mins, cover cake with a piece of aluminum foil when the desired browning has been reached on cake surface.