Kitchen Corner

May 18, 2015

Bread Maker V Mixer

When looking back to my previous post, I was quite amazed by all the bread that I've baked few years back. I remember the first bread I bake was in 2008 and ever since after I've started my bread making journey, there are no stall bought bread at home anymore but with different types of freshly bake bread almost everyday. However, this has become a history after I got my little boy. I still bake but no more everyday.

Recently there are many people come to me and ask how I make my bread, with bread maker or by hand or ?? All this while, I'm using my KitchenAid mixer that attached with a dough hook to knead all my bread dough and shape them by hand then bake in the oven. Some of the friends and relatives ask me how to operates their bread maker but to be frank I've no idea how it works. According to some people, bread maker is very convenient as it can do all the job for you from kneading to rest and proof and shape. Wow, I wonder how good it is when I have no time to make a bread and let the machine do all the job for me especially after I have a little one to attend. Making a bread without a bread maker could be quite time consuming as you need to wait for the dough to knead until a right consistency then wait for it to proof and rest and shape then bake. All these process might take up to 4 hours. I believe for anyone staying at home for not rushing to everywhere else could be easy to WAIT for the whole process whereas for working people or those rushing here in and out the house will be quite difficult to achieve the task. 

To be frank, I will never thought to own a bread maker at home especially I'm quite satisfy with the mixer in kneading a good dough and I also believe
kneading by a dough hook from a mixer can produce better bread texture than bread maker. No doubt, it has testified by many baking friends who are making artisan bread at home. I believe they don't like to knead the dough by a bread maker but a mixer. 

Sometimes, things will changed when come to a situation or circumstances that will change your thought. I will never believe I will get a bread maker. Yes, I bought a bread maker lately after did a long and deep survey of it. Some people don't believe I will get a bread maker too. Well, for my current situation, I really need a bread maker. My son started enjoy bread, my husband want to eat bread everyday and they have been eating stall bought bread for some time. I feel bad and guilty when I saw them eat stall bought bread but I really have no much time to have freshly bake bread for them everyday. I only can make once a week but that wasn't enough for them until lately my husband suggest to get a bread maker and let it do all the job. As for me, I hardly convince myself to get a bread maker as I don't believe it will do a better job than my mixer. I did lots of study of different bread maker and ended up I got a Panasonic bread maker. I have tried a few bread maker from my in law, friends and relatives. The result really not what I get from a mixer. A good bread need to have good kneading process until a right consistency which bread maker couldn't make it. Bread from a bread maker stay soft and nice in the day it bakes and also the next morning but it will turn dry and rough on the 3rd day that will make me sad because my bread from a mixer stay fluffy soft up to 3 days.

After we got a bread maker at home, it's really convenient indeed. I make bread more often. My husband keep mention he don't mind to have a very soft texture bread and for him bread maker bread is good enough for him and my son didn't complaint anything too. The reason I choose this "P" bread maker because it has a small capacity. For a small family like 3 of us, we need average 2 loaf for 3 days. As I know bread maker bread wound't stay fresh and soft for many days, I choose the most smallest capacity so that we could have fresh and soft bread everyday before it lost the nice texture. The person who design this bread maker is quite smart too as he understand the yeast can't stay too long in the machine so it come out with a yeast dispenser to dispense the yeast for the dough in the right time.

I went through few experiments with different recipes to yield the best result by letting the machine run throguh the whole process. So far, this recipe, potato bread comes out with good texture with the soft bread function from the machine. It is really soft just like the one I made manually until it hardly stand still when I slice it out and also stay soft before we finish the whole loaf. I need to modify a bit of the recipe as the bread maker capacity is smaller than my previous loaf pan. I'm quite satisfy with this machine so as my family too. However, I would still use my mixer manually to produce a good fresh bread when I got the time to do so because the feeling of satisfaction in making manually is so different. The feeling of touching a smooth dough, looking for it to rise, punching the air out, shaping the dough until the final result is so much accomplishment. You would understand how I feel if you are also making your bread manually. 
Thank you for my hubby for this mother's day gift that makes my job so much easier nowadays. Not only that, he could have fresh bread to eat everyday with no preservatives and no any softening agent added. And of course, no more guilty watching my son having homemade bread too.
For the potato bread recipe, I use pumpkin and sweet potato to replace the potato and the outcome is even softer. For those who are using the same brand of bread maker as mine, this recipe is really a good one to go for the program 3 (soft bread program). However, my friends who has tested this recipe using Kenwood, Tesco brand, Noxxa from Amway, they came back with good feedback. One thing to remember is the bread from bread maker has to be store at airtight container in order to keep the freshness and don't slice the bread until serve.

For Panasonic Bread Maker:
Adjust the maker function to "Soft Bread", crust "Medium"
The whole process may take 4 hours 20 minutes

165g bread flour
65g plain flour
23g caster sugar
1/4 1 + 1/8 teaspoon salt
110g cold water
3g yeast (1/2 + 1/4 teaspoon)
55g mashed pumpkin (2/3) + mashed sweet potato (1/3)
1 egg yolk
30g butter

Others large capacity of bread maker:
220g bread flour
80g plain flour
30g caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
140g cold water
4g yeast (1 teaspoon)
60g mashed potato
2 egg yolk
30g butter

May 17, 2015

Lemon Tart

I find myself is quite a citrus person. Any food with orange, lemon or lime I will definately give them a try. 

There are different citrus dessert recipes on my blog such as orange chiffon, lemon gateau, lemon hokkaido cupcakes, lemon cheesecake etc. However there wasn't a lemon tart which is one of my favorite dessert. I decided to jot it down here as my preference and also share this good recipes with you as some people tasted with good feedback.
Before I get a better recipe, here is the one I would go for it. 

Ingredients for a pastry fit 14 X 6 inches  rectangular tart pan

330g plain flour
70g sugar powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
70g whole beaten eggs
160g cold butter (cut into small chunk)

For the pastry, mix the flour, sugar powder and salt in a food processor until combine.  Add the butter and pulse the food processor in few times until everything become fine bread crumbs. Add in the beaten egg and pulse again for few times until it almost come to a dough. Take out the dough and flatten it to become a round disc. Cling wrap it and chill in the fridge at least 1 hour before use.

Remove the pastry from the fridge. On a clean, floured work surface, roll it out with a floured rolling pin until it's slightly larger than the tart pan ring. Using the rolling pin, lift the pastry and lay it over the ring.

With your fingers, lightly press the pastry into the sides of the ring. Run a rolling pin over the top of the ring and pull away the excess pastry at the edges. Using your fingers, gently press the pastry up to slightly build up the height of the pastry at the edges. Prick the base of the pastry with a fork.

Make a cartouche (a circle of greaseproof paper) slightly larger than the base of the tart pan and line the pastry case with it. Place some ceramic baking beans inside to weigh the pastry down. Place in the fridge to relax for about 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200C. Place the pastry in the oven and bake blind for about 20 minutes.  Take of the tart pan amd remove the grease proof paper and baking beans then place it back to the oven to bakebfor another 10 minutes until fully cooked. Once it done, let it cool on a wire rack and make the lemon filling.

For the Lemon  filling:
7 large egg yolks
2 large eggs
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
¼ cup grated fresh lemon zest (4 lemons)
⅔ cup fresh lemon juice (4 lemons)
Pinch salt
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
3 tablespoons heavy cream, chilled

Whisk the egg yolks and eggs together in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the sugar until combined, then whisk in the lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt. Add the butter and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens slightly and registers 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 5 minutes. Immediately pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl and stir in the cream.

5. Pour the lemon filling into the warm tart shell. Bake the tart on the baking sheet until the filling is shiny and opaque and the center jiggles slightly when shaken, 10 to 15 minutes. Let the tart cool completely on the baking sheet and chill in the fridge then serve. 

February 6, 2015

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes

 It is quite unusual for me to bake cupcakes as that is not in my baking favorite list. However, I am not sure where the cupcakes mood come from and make me feel to make it yesterday. 

Without any cupcakes recipes on hand I simply whip up some chocolate batter from one of my chocolate moist cake recipe. As for the toppings, peanut butter frosting with chocolate cake will definitely suit my craving taste bud. What about you? And of course, that is the only ingredients I had on hand. 

This soft, moist and fluffy cake base is absolutely a good combination with the light peanut butter frosting. 

For the Chocolate Cupcakes (makes 24)

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda 
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
½ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
2 teaspoon granulated coffee

For the peanut butter frosting:

150g frosty whip powder 
240g cold water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
100g smooth peanut butter

Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt to a large bowl. Whisk through to combine using a hand whisk to stir through flour mixture until combined well. 
Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together until well combined. 
Mix the granulated coffee with  boiling water then pour into the cake batter and mix well combine. 
Distribute cake batter evenly into the muffin pan line with cupcake cases. 
Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. 
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes, remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
For the frosting, combine the frosty whip powder, cold water and vanilla extract then whip until soft peak. Add in the peanut butter and continue to whip until thicken and well combine. Transfer the frosting into a piping bag and pipe the frosting on each cupcakes. Sprinkle some chocolate flakes on the cake. Chilled the cake until ready to serve.

January 26, 2015

Framboise de Chocolat II

I made this one of my favorites dessert for a dear friends from KL. Hope this dessert gave her a sweet memory of our fellowship gathering after so many years.
There are few flavors in the dessert which is the bitterness from the dark chocolate, sweet sponge cake and the sour raspberries. Each flavors had represented about our life story. I feel that is really a good choice for having this dessert in this special gathering.

Recipe for a 8 inches square cake pan or cake mold, serve 9

Two pieces of  6 inches square vanilla sponge base
70% dark chocolate 140 g
Egg yolks 67 g
Caster sugar 67 g
Water 20 g
Whipping cream 270 g
Raspberry puree 115 g (Puree with food processor and strain out the seeds)
85 g raspberry puree (puree with food processor  and strain out the seeds)
25 g caster sugar
half piece of gelatin leaves

  • Melt the chocolate at a double boiler.
  • In another sauce pan, melt the sugar with water until it become sugar syrup.
  • Beat the egg yolk in a mixing bowl with a whisk, adding the hot sugar syrup little by little until a think paste.
  • Add in the melted chocolate follow by the raspberry puree until well combine.
  • Whisk the whipping cream until the same consistency as the raspberry and chocolate mixture.
  • Fold both ingredients together until well combine.
  • Place a piece of sponge cake in the center of a cake pan. Pour half of the chocolate mousse on top then refrigerate until the mixture set. Add another piece of sponge on top and pour the remaining mousse mixture over the cake. Level them evenly and refrigerate until set.
  • To make the raspberry topping, cook the raspberry puree with caster sugar until it simmering hot. Add in the gelatin leave which already soaked until soft. Stir until well combine. Set aside until it cool down.
  • Pour the raspberry puree on the top of the cake evenly and refrigerate until set. Portion with a hot knife and garnish with some berries.
  • Enjoy!

January 24, 2015

Profiteroles with Chantilly Cream

I love profiteroles, my son loves it, my hubby loves it, my friends loves it and there are no reason for me not to make this again and again. After many years playing with choux pastry, I am still sticking on my old comfort recipe that gives me so much confidence to make it repeatedly. 

As for the cream, I have tried different kind of fillings for the puffs such as custard also name as creme patisserie, vanilla whipped cream, cream cheese mix with whipped cream and etc. Until lately, I came out with my own version of Chantilly cream that suit my taste bud so much which could win over all my previous attempts. However, eating is still base on individual taste buds. Generally, the puffs will never go wrong with any creams and chocolate garnache, don't you agree with me?

Recipe for 14 large puffs:

For the Puff: 
70g plain flour
3 large beaten eggs
100g water
60g unsalted butter
Pinch of sugar and salt

For the puff, boil the water, butter and pinch of sugar and salt in a cooking pan until its bubbling. Turn off the heat, add in all the plain flour and mix with a wooden spoon until well combine and become a smooth dough.

Add half of the beaten eggs and mix (this stage is a bit hard work but please patient and keep stirring until the egg mix into the dough. Once the eggs completely mix with the dough, you will find it quite dry and hardly to mix. Add the beaten eggs little by little into the dough and continue mixing. You might not finish using the beaten eggs. You will need to have a smooth and silky consistency of the mixture. When you spoon up the mixture, it should drop back to the pan very slowly. The mixture should not too dry or too wet.

Once you get the right consistency of mixture, transfer it into a piping bag and pipe out about 14 dollops of mixture on a baking tray with baking paper attached.

Spray some water on the mixture. This is to prevent it over burning while it's baking in the oven. 

Bake at 200'C preheated oven for 15 minutes or longer until it puff up and turn light brown then turn the temperature to 170'C and bake for another 15 minutes. Transfer the puff on a wire rack to cool down.

For the Chantilly Cream:

3 egg yolks
200ml milk
30g sugar
20g plain flour
20g unsalted butter
250ml whipping cream
20g sugar powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
100g whipping cream
100g dark chocolate

Prepare the custard first. Boil the milk with sugar until sugar is dissolved but not boiling. Meanwhile, mix the egg yolks and flour to a thick paste but no lumps. Add two tablespoon of milk if you find it too dry to mix.

Pour the warm milk into the egg yolks mixture, pour little by little and mix with a hand whisk until everything combine. Then, pour back the mixture into the cooking pan. Cook with very low heat and keep stirring until it thicken.

Once the mixture is thicken, remove from the heat and add in the butter in 2 batches. Keep stirring until the heat slightly cool down, Then add in the butter and vanilla extract. Continue stirring until well combine.

Transfer the cream into a plate and cover with cling film. Make sure the cling film touch on the mixture, this is to prevent it from skin forming on its surface. Chill the cream in the fridge and ready to use.

Meanwhile, whip the up the cream with the sugar powder and vanilla extract until thicken. Combine the chilled custard and whipped cream with a hand whisk until well mix. Transfer this chantilly cream into a piping bag and chill in the fridge until ready to use.

For the chocolate garnache, warm the whipping cream until simmering hot then remove from the heat. Add in the dark chocolate immediately and stir gently until well combine.

To assemble the profiteroles, poke a hole on the top of each puffs then piping in the chantilly cream about 80% full. Dip each puffs with chocolate garnache. Chill the profiteroles in the fridge. It is best serve cold. Enjoy!