Easter Time-Easter Cookies

12 Mar
Springtime is in the air!!!! I finally have some time to write. As Easter is around the corner, I decided to make some easter cookies and decorate them with royal icing.
Sugar Cookies (adapted from here 3 cups all-purpose flour 3/4 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup unsalted butter, softened 1 cup sugar 1 egg, beaten 1 tablespoon milk Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough Royal Icing (adapted from here) 4 cups (480g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted 3 Tablespoons meringue powder 9–10 Tablespoons room temperature water Voila

Waffles-Cedric Grolet

24 Oct

Almost Halloween!!! Vancouver has been having a bout of rainy days recently. Guess that is fall for you. Nonetheless, the rainy weather does not take away my memories of Halloween and the spookiness of it. Fall is quite beautiful this year as the trees come alive with colours of vibrant red, orange and gold. What a sight to see. I always enjoy taking the bus to work and look out the window of the beautiful gorgeous colours. As the weather is cooling down, I have been baking alot more. One of the reasons why I am baking alot more is that I am now a vendor at the Farmer’s Market. It is quite an experience interacting with the public as well as encouraging.

In the recent months, I bought another French Pastissier Book, this one is from Cedric Grolet. Tried a couple of recipes and boy o boy his recipes never cease to amaze.

Here is his take on the Waffle.

Voila!!!

500 g milk
2 vanilla beans
400 g unsalted butter
460 g flour
6 g salt
220 g egg whites
40 g sugar
250 g blueberries.

Result: This is an amazing waffle recipe. The browned butter certainly adds a caramelized nutty flavour. It is lightly sweet and fragrant from the vanilla beans. I love this recipe.

An Eventful Summer and An Entremet

31 Aug

This year has been amazing. It truly has been a wonderful summer up till now with bountiful sunny days filled with warmth, glow, happiness and christian songs. I love the fact of venturing out to downtown and English Bay to see the beautiful scenery and it’s lushness. The weather this year in comparison with the last couple of years is quite a contrast. Unlike the haze Vancouver has been getting over the past few years due to forest fires, it is actually crystal clear with blue skies. Summer always involved berry picking and afternoons at Emma Lea Farms. Emma Lea or Krause will always be special to me as it is away from the city and as a result very peaceful and tranquil. To make it even more special, I had my friends two kids, Polly and Terrance with me. We went strawberry picking and I went blueberry picking there. Polly is such a sweetheart. Her sweet, vibrant and feisty personality always fills me with joy. I have know the little girl eversince she was 6 mths old and I thank God everyday or every moment for blessing me with this little girl.

This summer also marked my branching out into FB marketplace where I sold my passion too and thus far I am enjoying it quite a bit. I am excited about upcoming events where I get to showcase my passion. I finally had some time to make a cake again and as a result of my labours here it is!!!

White Chocolate Mousse Cake w/ Strawberry and Pistachio Insert with a layer of Pistachio Crunchy and Pistachio Chiffon

White Chocolate Mousse (Doubled the recipe)

200 g White Chocolate
2 Eggs
40 g Sugar
4 g Gelatin sheet
240 ml Cream

Pistavhio Cremeux

6 g Gelatin
188 g Cream
59 g Milk
125 g White chocolate
100 g Pistachio paste

Pistachio Crunchy Insert

75 g Wafer Crumbs
25 g Toasted Pistachio
100 g White Chocolate

Strawberry Insert

370 g Strawberry Puree
95 g Sugar
8 g Pectin NH

Results: Spectacular.

Baking Class-La Passionata

26 May

Time has really flown by as the weather is warm and sunny again. Birds are in the air, magnificent and vibrant flowers are blooming and the garden is flourishing….ahhhh summer is around the corner. Vancouver has been blessed these days with gorgeous sunny sky and picturesque sunsets filled with magenta hues. I just love the coming summer as the days are longer allowing me to venture out longer and enjoy the beauty Vancouver has to offer.

I have been busy this year with work, classes and BAKING!!! Kind of exhausted to say the least as I have been baking non stop for the last few weeks but I have been enjoying it every minute. PASSION is the word!!! In an effort to learn more, I recent took up another cake class from Mon Paris Patisserie out in Burnaby. There is something about baking classes as I really love taking them. Perhaps it is the eager anticipation of the finished product and the eating of it :). Yes it is a mousse cake but a gorgeous cake. Moist and delecate, soft and creamy, the cake is to die for.

Voila!!!

La Passionata

Sponge

250g eggs
180 g brown sugar
90 g honey
250 g flour
10 g baking powder
220 g melted butter

Mango Brunoise

330 g mango
150 g passion fruit puree
1 vanilla bean
36 g sugar
5 g pectine
2 g citric acid or lemon juice

Meringue

60 g egg whites
25 g sugar
40 g water
130 g sugar

Mousse

285 g passion fruit puree
1 vanilla bean
50 g sugar
30 g cornstarch
70 g cacao butter
45 g white chocolate
255 g meringue
850 g cream
42 g gelatin mass

White Chocolate Glaze

75 g water
150 g glucose
150 g sugar
100 g condensed milk
70 g gelatin mass
150 g white chocolate

Results: This is a very beautiful cake. Light and refreshing. It has the tang of the passionfruit. A keeper!!!

Shrimp and Scallop Fettuccine Alfredo w/ White Wine

23 Feb

As the mercury is dipping lower in Vancouver, I decided to make something warm, hearty and satisfying. A pasta fanatic, I am always looking for good recipes that combine flavourful ingredients. Alfreddo has always been one of my favorite dishes to make and it is so versatile!!! In the past, chicken alfreddo was always made and on the odd time incorporating pesto but this time I decided to try seafood and wine. I rummaged over the internet and stopped at this tantalizing dish and the rest was history.

Voila!!!

Ingredients (adapted from here)

3/4 lb fettuccine or penne pasta
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 Tbsp oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp butter
1 garlic clove
1/3 cup white wine (I used Ste Chapelle Chardonay ~$6)*
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
S&P to taste
Sprinkle of paprika
Parsley or basil for garnish if desired

Results: Sooooo Goood!!!!! Definitely a keeper!!!!!

Hazelnut Mou-William Curley

23 Feb

Another snow day at SFU and yes we got off early. SFU is spectacularly beautiful when snow covered. I just love walking around at SFU in the falling snow and marveling at the picturesque scenery as the evergreens and trees were covered with snow. Nature is amazing. Snow is expected in next week’s forecast as well so excited!!!

I really like William Curley as a pastry chef and have a few of his books. Nostalgic Delights is the newest collection. Flipping through the pages I stopped on his Mou recipe and decided to make it for a friend.

Voila!!!

Hazelnut Mou

150 ml whipping cream
1 vanilla pod
340 g sugar
35 g glucose
140 g butter
70 g hazelnuts roasted
50 g hazelnut praline

Results: Delicious!!!! Caramel is always sweet but the hazelnuts kind of had crunch to it. To bring it up to the next level, I coated it in dark chocolate. Made a huge difference.

Brioche Crumble Caramel by Johan Martin

18 Feb

Vancouver has been getting a cold spell lately. Thankfully this cold spell came with snow!!!! Yes!!!! There was and still is something special with snow and me. I am at peace when I see snow. All the pretty white flakes gently floating down onto the ground. I grew up with winter. If there were memories to be talked about and savoured it would be building snow mans and snow ball fights or just walking on it. Snow reminded me of Christmas time and family dinners and presents. It was always joyous. There was nothing but fond memories associated with snow and my youth. It so happened that this Tuesday was snowing heavily and as Vancouver was being covered by a blanket of fluffy white snow, I took the opportunity to make bake again. I had recently been on a book buying splurge and purchasing just about every book out there with good looking recipes in it. Yes I am bad. Absolutely love flipping through the pages and salivating over them while imagining how to make them and how they would taste. My eyes stopped on a brioche recipe by Johan Martin. Mesmerized as it was love at first sight and the rest is history.

Voila!!!



Brioche Crumble Caramel

Brioche dough
500 g Cake Flour
500 g Bread Flour
500 g eggs chilled
140 g superfine sugar
20 g salt
50 g yeast
600 g butter

Soft Caramel w/ Salted Butter
240 super fine sugar
240 g cream
180 g salted butter

Almond Crumble
50 g brown sugar
50 g roasted almond powder

Results: Very good recipe. The dough was very moist and nice. Not too sweet and highlighted the caramel and almond crunch. As an alternative will add hazelnut pastry cream as well as caramel next time.

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