Fruit Sorbet!!!

21 May DSC_0716

The mercury is definitely rising these days but no complaints there. As the days get longer and nights shorter, summer is just around the corner. Yippee!!!! Soon I be able to stay out late and watch the sunset. With the mercury rising one can see lineups for ice cream and iced treats. While the lovely thought of gorging on iced treats outside the idea of having my wallet sucked dry stopped me he he he. Yearning for the refreshing iced cold treat to waken me up from the heat I decided to make some.

This time it is pineapple and raspberry sorbet. Yummmm….To make the sorbet I first pureed the fresh fruit. Next I prepared the sugar syrup to combine the fruit with. Yeah as mystifying as it is sorbet is just sugar syrup and fresh fruit. Mystique gone, I know disappointing isn’t it. But on the bright side you know is lots of fresh fruit. Once the sugary syrup boils, let it cool and combine with the fruit. Refrigerate the mixture until cold and pour into ice cream making machine.

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Sorbet Recipe

500 ml Stock Syrup (1:1 ratio, sugar and water)
500 ml Fruit Puree (Pineapple, Raspberry)
5 ml Lemon Juice

Happy Ice Cream Making!!!

Mango Cream Cheese Mousse Entremet

18 May DSC_0713

Happy Victoria Day!!! We are blessed with the sunshine we have been getting for the long weekend. It is warm and beautiful with the chickadees chirping and the flowers in full bloom. The beautiful weather has gotten me in good spirits so much so that I decided to make another dessert.

Mango season is here!!!! Nothing beats the sweet juicy flesh of the fruit. It is quite versatile as well as you can put it into salads and desserts. Today I am making a cream cheese mango mousse cake again. It is one of the better cakes I have tried and the recipe is to die for as the flavour combinations compliment each other.

For this cake, I am making a dacquoise as a base. Tony Wong’s recipe calls for a coconut/almond base for the mango mousse. So here goes. I first started to measure the ingredients of icing sugar, almond and coconut. I then sift the icing sugar, almond and coconut together. Next step, I beated the egg whites and sugar until stiff peaks formed and then added the icing sugar coconut mixture. Folding gently was the key otherwise the volume will deflate easily. Then I piped out the dacquoise onto ready made circle templates.

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Bake at 350 for roughly 20 minutes until the dacquoise is firm to touch. Mmmmmmmm….I can say this could not be a better choice by the chef. Wonderful aromas of coconut filled the room as the dacquoise baked.

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Now for the cream cheese mousse part, and nothing beats fresh fruit puree. Mangoes were pureed and combined with the cream cheese and sugar. Beat until smooth. Soak the gelatin in cold water to soften and warm up until it melts and add to the mango mixture. Next whip up some cream and fold in the mango cream cheese mixture to the whipped cream. Voila.

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Coconut Dacquoise

Ground almond 57g
Dessicated coconut 55g
Icing Sugar 112g
Egg White 150g
Sugar 50g

Mango Cheese Mousse

Fresh Mango Puree 100 g
Granulated Sugar 50 g
Cream Cheese 150 g
Whipping Cream 150 g
Gelatin Leaf 6g

Result: This recipe is definitely a keeper. Like mentioned before all the flavour elements compliment each other. It is a combination of rich and creamy with soft and crispy. As an addition, one could cut chunks of mango into the dessert for an added punch.

Happy Victoria Day All!!!!

Cinnamon Buns II

16 May DSC_0717

Happy Long Weekend. Hmmmmm….what to make this weekend. Cinnamon Buns it is. This time I added more butter to the dough for a moister texture. It would be delicious for breakfast. DSC_0713 DSC_0715 DSC_0716 DSC_0717 Cinnamon Buns

Dough 1 teasp. yeast ( I used active yeast)

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/4 cups warm milk

2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk

1 teasp. vanilla extract

4 cups flour plus extra for flouring work surface

1 teasp. salt

1 1/2 stick unsalted butter

Filling

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

3 tablespoons cinnamon ( I used 1 tbsp)

1 stick unsalted butter softened

Happy Baking!!!

Green Tea Cakes-Curley

13 May DSC_0711

Baking time1!! I usually switch to seasonal fruits this time of year but despite the warm weather Vancouverites have been getting, the farms are not opned yet as the fruits aren’t optimal. As a result, I decided to make something that can be prepared anytime of the year. Intending to make something from Curley, I flipped through his book. The green tea cake captured me eyes. These are similar to financiers as it uses a beurre noisette or browned butter, almonds, and hazelnuts. Like mentioned the beurre noisette gives off a nutty and caramel scent when done properly.

To make the cakes, first brown the butter and cool it. While the butter is cooling, whip the eggs with the sugar until soft peaks form. Add the flour, nuts and matcha. Mix until smooth and then add the butter. Curley noted to leave the batter in the fridge for at least 30 minutes prior to baking. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

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Green Tea Cakes
125 g unsalted butter
115 g egg whites approx 4 eggs
125 g sugar ( I used 100 g berry sugar)
115 g ground almonds
15 g hazelnuts ( I used coconut)
5 g matcha powder
40 g plain flour ( I use 60 g cake and pastry flour)

When baked, the cakes had a touch of sweetness and had a nice matcha taste coupled with hints of coconut. It is definitely a keeper. As an alternative one can add/sprinkle black and white sesame on top for crunch.

Bouchon Oatmeal Cookies

27 Apr DSC_0707

Cookies….mmmmm….I am referred to by some friends as the cookie monster minus big eyes and blue hair. I love cookies and better yet eating them. Recently I found the best chocolate cookies in town from Creme de la Crumb and it was melt in your mouth goodness. Because of this craving for crunchy and chewy cookies I decided to make some. I have been flipping through recipe books again as my appetite for sugar and baking is high. As I gazed over the pages of tantalizing desserts, my gaze stopped at the oatmeal raisin cookies from Bouchon.

Most of you know oatmeal cookies are a tradition and I am a fan of tradition….so here we go. Key to making cookies are the creaming of butter and sugar and the incorporating of eggs one at a time. Cream the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy and then add in the eggs until well mixed. Add the dry ingredients next. The recipe calls to refrigerate the dough but I skipped the step. Spoon and roll the dough into balls and flatten and bake at a preheated oven of 325F for 15-17 minutes.

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Here is what they looked like once baked.

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Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

144 g all purpose flour ( I used 160 grams flour)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
140 g light brown sugar
69 g granulated sugar (I used only brown sugar and used 150 g sugar and it was sufficient)
155 g unsalted butter ( I used 150 g)
1/4 cup or 62 g eggs ( 1 large egg)
1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla paste ( I used homemade vanilla extract)
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup raisin ( I used cranberries)
Opt chocolate chips

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This recipe is a keeper as the cookies were chewy and crispy. The chocolate and cranberries added complexity to the recipe but if it were raisins it too would have been an awesome cookie. Next time as an alternative nuts will be added as well. Eat cookies!!!!

Fresh Pasta

23 Apr DSC_0686

Pasta!!!! For those who thought fresh pasta was not as good as the prepackaged pasta….I am happy to say you are wrong. Nothing beats fresh pasta made at home. While it may be tiring using a old fashion pasta machine to grind out pasta but the end is highly worth while. My arm fell off already. :) The trick is start from the widest setting 0 and work down to the narrowest setting like a 6 or 7 on the pasta machine.

To make the pasta, first start with flour and make a well to incorporate the eggs. Knead the flour and egg mixture until gluten forms and add some olive oil. At the beginning not all flour will adhere to the ball of flour but not to worry eventually it will. Keep kneading until it becomes smooth and gluteny. The pasta machine comes next. You could split the dough in half first thereby reducing the grinding time and energy it takes. The hardest setting was 0 and the dough is also the lumpiest; however once you get into 1 or 2 the dough becomes more pliable and smooth. Fatigue becomes joy once you hit 4 to 5 setting as the dough becomes thinner and smoother in appearance.

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Once the dough is thin enough then you use the setting for fettucini or other pasta. For me this happened at 7. As the dough thins down, the dough will become longer so keep this in mind. In the pasta goes and Voila!!!

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Cook the pasta to al dente. If you have extra pasta and would like to keep it longer toss it in some flour.

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Ingredients (Adapted from here)

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yolk, for egg wash

Happy Pasta Making!!!!

Green Tea Azuki Cake

21 Apr DSC_0682

After a break, I am back baking. This time it is a Green Tea Azuki Cake. I had first tried it at Chicco, a Japanese bakery, on Robson St. I really liked the combination of red beans and green tea flavours together. Apparently there are other bakers that like the combination of the two flavours as well as I have found inspiration on the internet. Here is my version.

To make the cake, I used a chiffon cake. The key to making this cake and eliminating undissolved matcha powder was to make a paste first. This was accomplished by warming some milk, adding the matcha powder and whisking it until the powder dissolves. Once the milk mixture becomes green from the matcha and without flecks of matcha, add it to the cake mixture. The paste method will help in matcha maintain its green colour even during baking. Next I whip the egg whites and folded it into the cake batter and baked it at 350 for approx 20 minutes until done.

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To make the azuki filling, I bought some azuki paste and folded in some whipped cream. The mixture was then spread to the matcha layers. Assembly was simple, I had opted to do a simple whipped cream decoration.

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Ingredients

Swans Caking Flour
Berry Sugar
Matcha Powder
Eggs
Milk
Oil
Azuki Bean Paste

Enjoy!!!!

gretacooks

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