Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Strawberry Tarts, Red Velvet and Macarons...among others!

After days of being sick, and mom hospitalised...and need I mention some drama at the office (hmmmm...) I needed something to cheer me up! And what better way than to publish some colourful photos of my recent bakes! To those of you who have emailed for MAD redemption... I will slot you in, I just did not have the time nor energy to reply to all your emails! but worry not ok!

And to those whom I have re-scheduled their pick-ups due to me having to attend to mom in the hospital over last weekend, thank you very much for your understanding and kind prayers! Alhamdulillah...praise to the AlMighty, she has undergone the much needed heart procedure successfully 2 days ago and is recovering.

These strawberry tarts were made with recipe adapted from Dorie Greenspan. I can't live without Ms Greenspan's lovely recipes in Baking: From My Home To Yours. Get the book, get the book!! The same customer also ordered some Red Velvet cupcakes. Lined up together in a box, they complement each other!

And of course, some (not-quite-perfect) macarons again...macam tak ada modal lain! haha!!

Here's to better days ahead!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Macarons again!

Time flies when it's the weekend! Back to the grind again tomorrow, but for now I'm enjoying what's left of my Sunday evening!

I'm scrambling for words to type, so let's just look at 'em pictures of my less than perfect macarons! Have a great week ahead y'all!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Portuguese Egg Tart

I love egg tarts, but had never tasted the famous Portuguese egg tart - one which uses puff pastry as the crust. For the past week, an ex-colleague has been posting and rambling about her love affair with Portuguese egg tarts from Bak*r's C*ttage on a social networking site. I was curious! I started looking for the recipe on the internet and found various kinds for making the custard; some uses milk, some whipping cream, some half and half and I even found one which uses condensed milk and evaporated milk! From my reading, I summed up that the custard is not unlike French pastry cream - my favourite filling! One constant thing I found in all recipes was that puff pastry was used. Store-bought puff pastry. Yippee!! :) Sounds easy...bake some egg tarts, I must!!

Before I baked my own tonight, earlier in the day a colleague volunteered to get some of 'em egg tarts from the bakery for us who have been salivating over the photos posted by our friend. They were delicious! More reason for me to try bake some on my own!

I finally settle on this recipe, because the writer, Andrea Nguyen did some thorough research on this dessert and provided some interesting background - I like food that can tell a story! Please visit the link provided for the recipe and how-to.

The custard recipe was enough for 10 egg tarts for me. For the puff pastry, I used Kawan brand puff pastry squares. I just needed five sheets which I halved to get 10 tart base. Go to the recipe link I provided above for the how-to.

I like this recipe's filling - I used half a cup of milk and half a cup of heavy cream. They are very creamy indeed! But I prefer Bak*r's Cottag*'s puff pastry crust slightly better though. Still, these were delicious and an easy dessert to be made and served warm out of the oven for your guests.

Happy baking!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A little bit of everything...

I miss baking for pleasure! Yup, that's the sentiment of the day! Ever since the MAD deal, I have been baking crazy every weekend, and left me with little time to try out new recipes and bake at my own pace. But I really shouldn't complain for I've met some wonderful people through MAD and look forward to meeting more till end of July - that's when the redemption period ends. I can't wait, though! My daughter is sitting for a national-level exam in September and already this week she is sitting for her Junior School Leaving Assessment trials. I gotta spend more time with her rather than my oven!

The MAD deal has also opened up other doors for me. Similar online group-discount-buying companies have approached me, including Group*n and D*al4Re*l. There's no thinking twice about it, I just have to say no for now. I am rather flattered to be approached though, so thank you for the interest!

Enough are some photos taken recently. And really, I have NOT been taking much photos of my macarons. I feel rather sick looking at macarons these days hahaha!!

Here are some French macarons...they are rather grainy. The ground almonds from my baking supplies shop have been really grainy lately. But some tells me they simply adore the rustic effect!! To each his/her own! I must say, the grainy effect does not affect the fact, I think the texture makes it more tasty!

I like lining up the macs in six - that's the amount of macs in a box for the MAD deal. These are not yet filled.

There have also been requests for Red Velvet cake. I love tall cakes and so that's what I bake! Three layers of velvety-smooth moist cake with layers of cream cheese!

And I've been making quite a bit of sushi rolls these days. The kids love them and they're super easy, not to mention super fast to make!

I'm no sushi expert, but the rolls are called makizushi and the cone-shaped ones are temakizushi. Someone correct me if I'm wrong! I learned to make these simple sushi rolls from a roomie from college who had a Japanese boyfriend!

I filled the them up with tempura shrimp and chicken strips and cucumber! These I've been making out of memory since eons ago. Cook some Japanese rice and then flavour them with some vinegar and a little bit of sugar. Place the nori sheets (seaweed) on the bamboo mat and spread and flatten the rice. Fill strips of condiments of your choice and roll them up before cutting them horizontally. Try them out!

Oh of course, I just gotta have my sushi with wasabi! Got a tube of Japanese wasabi from my neighbourhood Korean store.

Ok, from Japan we move to America! Below is a Strawberry Shortcake I made awhile ago. Found these photos in one of my folders - they are Martha's recipe. But instead of topping them off with whipped cream, I made lemon glaze. I love lemon!

And below are some macarons using Italian meringue - see how much smoother they look compared to the French macarons? I make both French and Italian meringue macarons... they both taste yummy, although I have regular customers who insist on the grainy and gerutu French macs!

And lastly... a shot of my colours. I use gel food colouring for my bakes. These colour up my kitchen! so glad I am finally getting a blog post out! Till then!!