I've Moved!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

tropical tart.

This tart has regenerated my love for tarts again. Not that I've not been loving them recently, but just because I feel that making the crusts is such a pain. My food processor is so tiny that making enough pastry for only 1 9 inch tart is possible so I can't freeze the extra for future and convenient use.

But if all tarts were like this, I'll gladly go through the fuss.

What this tart consists of is a wonderful buttery crust, kudos to Pierre Hermé, a almond-coconut frangipane filling and a pile of mangoes on top. I took these pictures on a gloomy day so pardon the lighting. I had to do a lot of photoshopping- the original ones were horrendous!

Usually, frangipane contains a ton of butter. And if baked too long, the filling ends up being dry and cake like, which I don't quite fancy. What a waste of calories if that happens! So I figured, why not use applesauce to replace some of that butter? It would keep the filling nice and moist while slashing some calories. Plus, since it's relatively neutral, the almond and coconut would be more pronounced.

I'm glad to say that this idea totally works! And I'm relieved that it did too- since the frangipane is so good I could eat a bowl of this. I thought that the coconut overwhelmed the almond a bit so I would even out the ratios if I make this again. (It's good but there are so many more recipes to try out there so I don't see myself making this again in the near future!) Another thing I did to cut the fat was to substitute half of the heavy cream for evaporated milk. I think it's safe to use all evaporated milk next time, we'll see.

Even though the recipe didn't specify for par-baking the crust, I thought it would be better to do so since I didn't want a soggy bottom, especially with a wet filling like this.

This tart is definitely a winner! Pierre never lets me down!

Another blogger has posted the recipe here. Have a look if you're interested!

Monday, August 29, 2011

guilt-free brownies.

There are just some times when I can't take it anymore. I need...


And lots of it. 

I woke up this morning thinking only of that C word and nothing else. If only I had such dedication to exercise. 

I wanted chocolate and I wanted it now. But I didn't want to attack a chocolate bar, what I craved for was a mammoth, dense, rich, in-your-face slice of chocolate cake. Too bad I couldn't magically produce one in 1 hour, because that was the maximum amount of time I was willing to endure for my chocolate fix.

Luckily, there are always good ole' reliable brownies to turn to. And it just so happens that I had a low-fat brownie recipe I wanted to try.

Now, don't scoff at the name or its nature. This is so freakin' delicious that even I can't believe it. It's fudgy and chewy and chocolaty and all the other scrumptious words that end with "-y". Granted, it's not as rich as your regular brownie, but it matches them in taste. Of course, it also means that you can reach out for another piece...

So as I sit here and type away with a couple of squares within arm's reach, with the clarity of one who has just woken up, all I know are two things: don't overbake them and this recipe kicks some serious brownie butt.

Almost Fat-Free Fudge Brownies
slightly adapted from egglesscooking.com

3/4 cup plain flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup applesauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 8 x 8 inch pan with aluminum foil. Lining the pan is a very crucial step to getting your brownies out of the pan humanely. Please don't skip this.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the first 4 ingredients.

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips. Stir in applesauce, brown sugar and vanilla extract.

Add the dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture and mix until just combined. Add in the water until it comes together looking like a cake batter.

Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, erring on the side of underdone. Remove the pan from the oven and let the brownies cool in the pan for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove them from the pan and cool completely on a rack. 

Linked to Tuesday Talent Show, Cast Party Wednesday, These Chicks Cooked, Full Plate Thursday, Sweet Treats Thursday, Sweet Tooth Friday, Fat Camp Friday, Sweets for a Saturday, Strut Your Stuff Saturday and Sweet Indulgences Sunday.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

an ispahan of sorts.

The inspiration struck when I found a forlorn looking can of lychees and a pretty much forgotten bottle of rose extract (not bought by me). Coincidentally, I also wanted to try out a Swedish Visiting Cake by Dorie, which is supposed to taste reminiscent of almond paste, even though there are no ground almonds! Since almond and floral flavours go well together, I decided to merge the cake, lychees and make a rose bavarian cream. It's almost like the real macaron in terms of ingredients, just without the raspberries and the cake replacing the macaron shell.

I loved the cake! It really did taste like dense chewy almond paste because there was almond extract in it. It was also crunchy around the edges, moist on the inside.... mmm...

I didn't love the rose bavarian cream though. I couldn't manage to find a proper recipe from a book so I searched online for one. In the end, I did manage to come across one that I thought would be quite reliable but unfortunately, it wasn't. The texture didn't sit too well with me but it accomplished its mission of conveying the rose component of this little assembled piece.

I'm completely sold on the rose-lychee combination! Better than chocolate and banana, methinks! And I really hope that you all will give this cake a shot- another case where simple is best.

Swedish Visiting Cake
makes a 9 inch cake
adapted from here

1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 cup plain flour
1 stick butter, melted
About 1/4 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a seasoned 9 inch cast-iron skillet or other heavy ovenproof skillet (for a thicker crust), a 9 inch cake pan or even a pie pan.

Pour the sugar in a medium bowl, add the zest rub it in the sugar using your fingertips until the sugar is moist and aromatic. Whisk in the eggs one at a time until well blended. Whisk in the salt and extracts. Switch to a rubber spatula and stir in the flour. Finally, fold in the melted butter.

Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Scatter the sliced almonds on top and sprinkle with a little sugar. If you're using a cake or pie pan, place the pan on a baking sheet.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden and a little crisp on the outside while moist on the inside. Remove the pan from the oven and let the cake cool for 5 minutes, then run a thin knife around the sides and bottom of the cake to loosen it. You can serve the cake warmed or cooled, directly from the skillet or turned out onto a serving plate.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

world peace cookies.

Dorie has many wonderful chocolate recipes, like her chocolate chunker cookies and quintuple chocolate brownies... And of course, this too! Personally though, despite many rave review about this cookie, I prefer her chocolate chunkers. Sadly, I made those way before I started this blog so I can't show you it's awesomeness.

But I can provide you with a description. Please get your napkins ready: A dense, chocolaty, fudgy brownie-like mound, packed with tart cranberries, salty peanuts and creamy milk and white chocolate chunks. I took Dorie's advice and refrigerated them and what I got was just phenomenal- like the best chocolate bar chock full of contrasting, yet complementary, textures and tastes. They are quite huge cookies, yet I always manage to find room for two!

Oops, I digressed. The world peace cookies are soft cookies which are slightly crumbly at the edges. They are easy to make too- just slice and bake them. Take note please, that the method is like those ice-box cookies (because of the slice and bake step), but unlike those sort of cookies, these expand much much more. So do not place them too close to each other!

You know what though, give me my chocolate chunkers any day.

World Peace Cookies
recipe from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
makes 36

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick plus 3 tablespoons (11 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or a generous 3/4 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips

Sift the flour, cocoa and baking soda together.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add both sugars, the salt and vanilla extract and beat for 2 minutes more.

Turn off the mixer. Pour in the flour, drape a kitchen towel over the stand mixer to protect yourself and your kitchen from flying flour and pulse the mixer at low speed about 5 times, a second or two each time. Take a peek — if there is still a lot of flour on the surface of the dough, pulse a couple of times more; if not, remove the towel. Continuing at low speed, mix for about 30 seconds more, just until the flour disappears into the dough — for the best texture, work the dough as little as possible once the flour is added, and don’t be concerned if the dough looks a little crumbly. Toss in the chocolate pieces and mix only to incorporate.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface, gather it together and divide it in half. Working with one half at a time, shape the dough into logs that are 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least 3 hours. (The dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months. If you’ve frozen the dough, you needn’t defrost it before baking — just slice the logs into cookies and bake the cookies 1 minute longer.)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

Working with a sharp thin knife, slice the logs into rounds that are 1/2 inch thick. (The rounds are likely to crack as you’re cutting them — don’t be concerned, just squeeze the bits back onto each cookie.) Arrange the rounds on the baking sheets, leaving about 1 inch between them.

Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 12 minutes — they won’t look done, nor will they be firm, but that’s just the way they should be. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and let the cookies rest until they are only just warm, at which point you can serve them or let them reach room temperature.

The cookies can be eaten when they are warm or at room temperature — I prefer them at room temperature, when the textural difference between the crumbly cookie and the chocolate bits is greatest — and are best suited to cold milk or hot coffee.

Packed airtight, cookies will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days; they can be frozen for up to 2 months.

Linked to These Chicks Cooked, Full Plate Thursday, Sweet Treats Thursday, Fat Camp Friday, Sweet Tooth Friday, Sweets for a Saturday, Strut Your Stuff Saturday, Sweet Indulgences Sunday.

Monday, August 22, 2011

sig's cinnamon-filled, spiced cupcakes.

I know most of us have a to-bake list, right? And we may actually get down to baking something off that list in say, 1 month? But how about this: these cupcakes have been on my to-bake list for...

1 year.

Not 1 month, not 1 week, hell no not just 1 day. 1 year.

1 year's worth of anticipation. Can you imagine? That's why I was friggin' excited about these.

I guess not all cakes are created equal, because they were such a disappointment

1 year's worth of disappointment...

I mean, taste-wise, they were fine. Not spectacular, but I seriously dig the buttery cinnamon-y filling. I think what really puts me off is the texture. They were too dense for my liking but the real reason is that chewy crumb from the oats. I mean, a chewy cupcake? Erm...

If you want, you can still check out the recipe here, but I strongly advise you to change the cake recipe. I would definitely use that filling idea again though!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

sablé cookies.

I baked these along with some world peace cookies as part of my bake sale and oh. em. gee these are so good I'm going to keep the extras for myself if I can't sell them all. *Insert evil laugh*

I actually prefer the sables over the world peace cookies which isn't such a surprise since I'm not that much of a chocoholic. I like love their crisp sandy texture and buttery buttery flavour. It's the best butter cookie I ever had! Better than shortbread, even!



I can't express in words any more how good these cookies are unless frantic hand signs and a big cheesy grin count. Go make these cookies now now now now now! 

And then give them all to me thank you~

recipe by Dorie Greenspan, taken from The New York Times
makes 50 cookies

2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup icing sugar, sifted before measuring
1/2 tsp salt, preferably sea salt
2 large egg yolks at room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour

For the decoration (optional):
1 egg yolk
coarse sugar

Beat the butter in a mixer at medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugars and salt and continue to beat until smooth and velvety but not fluffy and airy, about 1 minute. On low speed, beat in the 2 egg yolks just until well blended.

Still on low speed, pour in the flour and mix just until the last trace of flour disappears into the dough. The dough will not be stiff enough to form a ball and it shouldn't.

Working the dough as little as possible, scrape it onto a work surface, gather it into a ball and divide it in half. Shape each piece into a smooth log about 9 inches long by using plastic wrap. (Wrap the dough then roll.) Wrap the logs well and chill for at least 2 hours. The dough may be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen up to 2 months.

Preheat oven to 350F and prepare 2 baking sheets.

To decorate the edges of the sables, whisk the egg yolk until smooth. Place one log of chilled dough on a piece of waxed paper and brush it with the yolk (the yolk acts as glue), and then sprinkle the entire surface of the log with sugar. Slice the log into 1/3 inch thick cookies.

These won't spread much so you can place them pretty close to each other. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes, rotating each sheet at the halfway point. When properly baked, the cookies will be light brown on the bottom, lightly golden around the edges and pale on top. Let the cookies rest 1 or 2 minutes before carefully lifting them onto a cooling rack.

Linked to These Chicks CookedFull Plate ThursdaySweet Treats Thursday, Fat Camp Friday, Sweet Tooth Friday, Sweets for a Saturday, Strut Your Stuff Saturday, Sweet Indulgences Sunday.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

the versatile blogger award.

I'm so excited to have received this versatile blogger award from the wonderful Something Swanky! Thank you for passing it on to me! This post is way overdue and I apologize for that. 

The rule is that the blogger who receives this award has to tell a few things about herself/himself that others don't know and then pass it on.

Okay, so now I have to reveal a few things about myself.

1. When I was young, I hated cake. Nobody would believe me if I said that now, but it's true!

2. I love love love bread. Any kind of bread- crusty rustic loaves to soft squishy buns, I'll eat them all! But I don't make them often because they are so time-consuming.

3. I can spend 2 hours in front of the computer just going through my must-read blogs, basically those to the right of the page under "Blogs to Drool Over". That's why I can experience a mini panic attack if I don't log in for more than 3 days at a stretch- there would be so much to catch up on!

Right, so here are three things about me. I'm going to pass this award on to Sophia at Burp And Slurp, one of my favourite people ever! She is down-to-earth and regurgitates whatever she wants to say, none of that pretentious faffing about. That and the fact she definitely has the writer's hubris (I always find myself reading every single word of her posts) makes her one of those instantly likable people. Do check her website out!

Friday, August 19, 2011

apple mousse spice cake.

I think my attempt at some artistic drizzling was a huge flop when my equally huge cake tried to outdo my container in height and the cover mercilessly smooshed the top down. And then of course, the caramel stuck to the cover and I frantically tried to paste the caramel back to where it was. Yes I do mean paste. Apparently caramel doesn't ever freeze so my swirls got deformed- back to square one.

So I had an ugly cake and I was seriously starting to worry that it would taste as bad as it looks, never mind that the recipes I chose didn't give me any confidence. But it turned out great! Not exactly a show-stopper in looks, I agree, but I'm really pleased with how it tasted. The cake is a recipe from Taste of Home magazine and if you click over to the website, you'll find that there are no reviews for the recipe yet. That was the thing that disturbed me. It tasted okay actually, not the best spice cake I've eaten, but it was moist and not overly spicy but personally, it could do with a bit less sugar.

I cut the recipe down to a third and baked it in an 8 inch pan, hoping that I would get a thin enough layer because I was planning for this to be an entremet. As you can see, the ratio of cake to mousse is probably more than 1:1 so I don't think it qualifies anymore.
Finding an apple mousse recipe isn't easy. Try typing apple mousse recipe and you'll find oh I don't know... 1 page worth of relevant results? In the end, I settled for a recipe from here with a few tweaks. I know she said that the mousse didn't taste strongly enough of apple but I definitely disagree.

So basically, the layers went like this: cake, sauteed apples, mousse, cake, sauteed apples, mousse and then caramel. I did it by strewing the apples in a 7 inch pan, pouring the mousse in and let the whole thing freeze. After 3 to 4 hours, I set the mousse on top of the cake, trimmed off the excess edges and then cut the cake into half. Take a half and place it on top of the other. Ta-dah! Much easier, methinks.

So here are the individual components of this cake:

Applesauce Cake
slightly adapted from Taste of Home

2 eggs
1 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a 9 x 13 inch pan.

Combine eggs, applesauce, brown sugar and oil in a bowl. Mix the rest of the ingredients separately in another bowl, add to the applesauce mixture and mix well.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out mostly clean but with a few moist crumbs attached. Cool on a wire rack.

Apple Mousse
slightly adapted from The Sweet Spot

100ml applesauce
80ml cream, whipped
1 egg white
31g sugar
6g powdered gelatin
1 to 2 tbsp water

Soak gelatin in water until softened, about 5 minutes. Heat the gelatin until it dissolves then add it to the applesauce. Beat the egg white to medium peaks, gradually adding the sugar. Fold the puree into egg whites before folding in the whipped cream. Do not over mix. Pour into a mold to freeze until set.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

bake sale: peanut brittle.

If you're wondering what's the ice cream scoop doing there, I was using it to smash the brittle.

I later learnt the hard way that cling wrap isn't the best wrapping for brittles...

This reminds me of See's peanut brittle, only less buttery but no less tasty. Check out the recipe here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

lemon olive oil cake.

This feeling is unusual.

This feeling of healthiness... after eating cake.

I say that because lemon is a fruit. I think. And there's olive oil instead of artery-clogging butter of which I have 3 packs in my fridge. In fact, I even cut down on a bit of fat by replacing 1/3 of the oil with applesauce. How virtuous am I?

I like funky stuff. Have I told you?

I think chocolate is always a safe bet, but boring. Life is short, so let's explore other flavours. And so, when I saw a lemon olive oil cake, I knew I had to try it even though lemon desserts never really appealed to me. I don't know why, perhaps it sounds too healthy?

This cake sort of reminds me of a fallen chocolate cake, only a lemon version. At first, it rose really high but after I took it out, it collapsed like phhlaaaat. Which is why you can see that the bottom part of the cake is denser. I'm not sure if that was supposed to happen. The bottom part was densely packed with lemon flavour while the top layer was more subtle and fluffy. I liked the top layer better- the bottom one was too lemony and tangy for me, but that could be because I doubled the amount of lemon called for, juice and zest. The olive oil taste isn't full-on front and center but somewhere in the background, after you get past the lemony zing. It tastes really unique in a cake but I'm undecided if I like it enough to ignore that oily feel of the cake.

The cake was also very lightly sweetened which made the sugar crystals on top so welcomed. I also added pine nuts because when I read the title of this recipe at first, I immediately thought of them. Don't ask me why.

Now I need something decadent and indulgent...

Lemon Olive Oil Cake
slightly adapted from Epicurious.com
makes a 9 inch cake

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup applesauce
1 cup cake flour
3 tsp lemon zest
1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
5 egg yolks + 4 egg whites
3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 tbsp coarse sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and line a 9 inch springform pan.

Add the lemon zest to the flour.

Beat the yolks and 1/2 cup sugar in an electric mixer at high speed until thick and pale, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and add olive oil, applesauce and lemon juice, beating until just combined. Stir in the flour mixture.

Beat the egg whites with 1/2 tsp salt, adding 1/4 cup sugar slowly, until soft peaks form.

Gently fold 1/3 of the whites into yolk mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly.

Pour batter into the prepared pan and gently rap against work surface once or twice to release any air bubbles. Sprinkle the top with 1 1/2 tbsp coarse sugar. Bake for about 45 minutes or until puffed and golden. Cool cake in the pan for 10 minutes before unmolding and letting it cool completely.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

coffee banana caramel smoothie.

This is how you should use up your bananas, peeps.

Because unwanted bananas should not be used just for banana bread. They should be frozen, chucked into a blender with coffee, milk and caramel and blitzed into non-existence.

I made a caramel sauce from My Baking Addiction but you can always use store-bought if that's more convenient.

This smoothie rocked my socks off. You must try it!

Coffee Banana Caramel Smoothie
makes 1 huge glass

1 banana, sliced and frozen
1/2 cup coffee, cooled
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp caramel sauce, plus more for topping

Throw everything in the blender and, well, blend!

Linked to These Chicks Cooked, Sweet Treats Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Fat Camp Friday, Sweet Tooth Friday, Strut Your Stuff Saturday, Sweets for a Saturday and Sweet Indulgences Sunday.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

cereal milk.

Remember those honey stars treats that I made that didn't quite sit so well with me? I didn't want them to go to waste so I came up with this idea to heat up some milk and pour it into a glass with the treats. I've never really liked milk on its own (an understatement, actually), but I've always lapped up the remains from a cereal bowl. Basically, I figured that I like sweet milk. Amongst sweet cookies and sweet cakes and sweet tarts... And you know what?

I loved this. 

The cereal sacrificed itself fully for the milk and became limp and soggy, not to mention devoid of flavour, but the milk itself had a subtle sweetness with a thicker consistency because of the starch from the marshmallows and the cereal. I said the cereal was seriously lacking but I ate it anyway. It's not that bad. Has a nice chew.

Okay, so here's how you go about it.

Get a chunk of cereal treats. Honey stars, rice krispies, whatever you have. Just make sure that they're made with marshmallows. Get yourself a glass and dump the treats in. How much milk you will use depends on the size of your treats so please use some common sense. Of course, I won't blame you if you make it super concentrated. Mmm... Then, heat up some milk until it comes to a simmer, pour it into the prepared glass with the treats. Let it cool and refrigerate overnight. It should be ready and cold in the morning but I made mine 24 hours ahead so that I could suck the life out of those treats.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

baked donuts.

I made donuts today.

Don't look at me like that, they're baked. 

And then doused in butter and cinnamon sugar or dunked in maple-coffee glaze. See? Moderation.

These donuts have been on my to-do list for a very long time and I'm glad to be finally able to cross them off. I didn't have any high expectations of them, which was a good thing or I'll be sorely let down. It's understandable though, that the taste of fried oily goodness is hard to replicate in an oven. Although, I loved making these! They were so fun to cut out into little rings. I quartered the recipe and got 4 medium-sized donuts with 17 donut holes (of which I ate 6 in addition to my regular-sized donut).

To have a resemblance of a true fried donut, nutmeg is the secret. Yes, the recipe called for some, but only a pinch. We definitely need more of it. The nutmeg was barely detectable after baking so the donuts were nothing special, they tasted like just normal lightly sweetened bread dough.

So, to make these a bit more special, I conjured up a maple-coffee glaze. Maple and coffee goes really well together! And this glaze is perfect on the donuts because the dough was hardly sweet. I sacrificed the consistency of the glaze to make it less sweet so you may have to use some dough to mop it up. Not a difficult task, I grant you.

And for the itty bitty donut holes, I dunked them in melted butter and tossed them in cinnamon-nutmeg sugar! The nutmeg really makes a difference, give it a go! The best part about these holes... they baked in 3 minutes. Yep, you heard me. 3 minutes.

Baked Donuts
adapted from 101cookbooks
makes 4 donuts and 17 donut holes

1/3 cup warm milk, 95 to 105 degrees (divided)
1/2 tsp yeast
1/2 tbsp butter, melted
2 tbsp + 2 tsp sugar
1/2 egg
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt

Cinnamon-nutmeg sugar coating:
3 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg

1 tbsp butter, melted

Maple-coffee glaze:
1/4 tsp coffee extract
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 1/2 tbsp icing sugar

Place the warm milk and yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer and set aside for 5 minutes or so. Add in the melted butter, sugar, eggs, salt, nutmeg and flour and stir until a rough dough has formed. With the dough hook attachment of your mixer, beat the dough for a few minutes at medium speed, adding flour or milk if need to achieve the right consistency. You want the dough to pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl and eventually become supple and smooth. Turn it out onto a floured counter-top, knead a few times (the dough should be barely sticky), and shape into a ball.

Transfer the dough to a buttered or oiled bowl, put in a warm place and let rise for an hour or until the dough has roughly doubled in sized.

Punch down the dough and roll it out 1/2 inch thick on your floured countertop. Cut out about 3 inch wide circles with a cookie cutter, transfer the circles to your baking sheet then cut out your donut holes with a 1 inch diameter cutter. If you cut the inner holes out any earlier, they become distorted when you attempt to move them. Alternatively, you can use a donut cutter if you have one. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise for another 45 minutes.

Bake in a 375 degree oven until the bottoms are just golden, about 8 minutes. For the donut holes, about 3 minutes. While the donuts are baking, prepare the cinnamon-nutmeg sugar coating by combining the ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside the melted butter in another bowl. For the glaze, just stir everything together, Easy peasy.

Remove donuts from the oven and let cool for just a minute or two. Dip the holes in melted butter and toss in the sugar coating. For the ring donuts, just drizzle the glaze over. Eat immediately! These donuts don't keep too well.

Linked to These Chicks CookedSweet Treats Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Sweet Tooth Friday, Fat Camp Friday, Sweets for a Saturday, Strut Your Stuff Saturday and Sweet Indulgences Sunday.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

honey stars treats.

I've never made rice krispie treats before and I'm really curious about them. But, I don't really like rice krispies so hello honey stars treats!

The verdict? I don't know... I guess I'm not exactly loving them. They were way too chewy and because I made them thicker, it was really hard to eat. Probably also because the honey stars were bigger than rice krispies. My jaw got a really good workout.

And these pictures deserve to be in the trash... I couldn't find that right angle...

You can find the recipe for the original rice krispies treats here. I followed it mostly, apart from subbing the rice krispies for honey stars and using a smaller pan for thicker treats.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

caramel gelato.

I think this is it. The formula to perfectly creamy ice cream without an ice cream maker. I surprised even myself, the texture of this gelato is so smooth it's on par with what I can buy from ice cream shops. The secret?

Milk powder and gelatin together. Both are said to inhibit the formation of ice crystals so I thought, why not use them both? Plus, gelatin makes ice cream more scoop-able when frozen. I didn't have to thaw it to get myself a scoop! Now we're talking instant gratification.

Unfortunately, my gelato still had that melting issue. Although it wasn't so bad this time because I lessened the amount of cornstarch, I'm practically ripping out my hair to solve this problem. Please please please can anyone tell me how to keep ice cream from melting quickly?

I think this caramel gelato is one of the best flavours I've experimented with so far. I cooked it pretty far as you can see from the coffee-brown colour so it's not terribly sweet and extremely flavorful. I topped my scoop off with chocolate-coated coffee beans and toasted pecans but the nuts won over the chocolate. Hard to believe but oh yes, so true.

Caramel Gelato
makes a small batch, about 2-3 servings

1/2 cup sugar
1 cup + 2 tbsp whole milk, divided
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 tbsp + 2 tsp milk powder
3/8 tsp gelatin powder

Place sugar and just enough water to moisten in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until the sugar has melted and caramelized to the shade you want. The darker it is, the less sweet but don't go too far! Reduce heat to medium and add 1 cup of whole milk. The caramel will solidify but that's okay, it will dissolve back in again.

Whisk together cornstarch, milk powder and gelatin in the remaining 2 tbsp of milk until a paste has formed. Dissolve the paste into the caramel mixture and bring it to a boil, cooking until the mixture has thickened. It won't be very thick at this stage but after it cools down, it will.

Remove from heat, strain and let it cool completely. Use an ice bath if you're impatient. Chill the mixture until cold, not just cool. Proceed the churn in your ice cream maker or do it by hand if you're ice cream maker-less like me.

Remember, there's no need to thaw before eating! Yay gelatin!

Linked to These Chicks Cooked, Sweet Treats Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Sweet Tooth Friday, Fat Camp Friday, Sweets for a Saturday, Strut Your Stuff Saturday and Sweet Indulgences Sunday.