26 February 2012

Tiramisu and Homemade Ladyfinger (For Adults Only)

I've gone over my head real bad this time. How could I possibly endow myself with such a task, enduring this silky amazing'ness I call Tiramisu. Tis like leaving trails of sweets to the snack cupboard which is left unlocked for a set of horrifying triplets to bring you sugar tremor.

Just a few more and I assure you, folks, I will need a new body to reside in. But its Tiramisu, you say. Its the silky amazing'ness, you say. ... End of discussion.
Tiramisu, oh tiramisu.
My relationship with food was never healthy, is never going to be healthy. My desire for desserts was once diagnosed by a psychology-student friend as an exertion of unfulfilled childhood needs. That happened before I fell in love with burgers and sandwiches. Let's just say, that changes everything.

But Tiramisu, oh dear Tiramisu. I fell in love with you the moment I laid eyes on you. Now, the recipe. I found this recipe long before I thought i could blog about baking. I have long forgotten where i found it, all i know was that, it is wicked good, but wicked.

22 February 2012

Chocolate Granola Bars

A sunday morning, I was ready to watch the various new episodes from HIMYM, TBBT and Modern Family. I readied a mug of coffee in one hand, my laptop and phone in the other and held a slice of white bread in my mouth. (Greedy, i know)

Suddenly, the bread disappeared. Still hungry, I went back to the fridge but no snacks was at sight. I shut the fridge door, lowered my expectations and pry into the fridge a second time. (This usually works.) I watched the various 'potential' snacks at hand and ideas flew into my mind chanting "bake! bake! bake!"

It is only time before they pronounce my sanity doubtful, really. I started lining out the ingredients and the rest is history. 

Granola Bars. It is amazing how such simplicity and promptness turn out to be such a delicious snack.

 For extra fun, I lined up marshmallows and poured some cornflakes over as toppings.

18 February 2012

Soft Garlic Breadstick - Pizza Hut look alike.

She 1: "There are famous frogs, no famous wells!"
She 2: "There are famous Wishing wells"
She 1: "See, people find wells when they need something!"
Me: "People find frogs to dissect (smirks)"
This was how my day begun. Frogs versus wells.

These girls were a different experience from my original habitat. Because of them, I learned how to be a girl. Sharing salads, going jelly when faced with BIG RED "50%", binge eating on mini cupcakes, comment each others' make up, advise each others' haircuts and of course, taking ridiculous amounts of pictures. 
She 1: "Frogs pee in the well!"
Me: "Wells hold their bladders!"
She 1: "Frogs produce tadpoles and will all pee in the well!"
Me: "... Stop peeing already!!"
That was how the discussion ended.Now that we are in different parts of the world, to all our nonsensical moments, we shall give a toast. 
Onto these breadsticks, crazy good! Its a one-hand snack, easy to make, easy to re-heat and compatible with almost anything. You can pretty them up by cutting different shapes or use different herbs All I'm saying is, this is the basic of basics.

12 February 2012

Pie Pops - Banana, Homemade Nutella and Blueberry.

We recognize people who are "alone" very easily, especially during Valentines Day. I'm one of those. Maybe I'm giving out obligatory chocolates, maybe I'm accompanied by other "alone" people but I've never officially given a special chocolate to a Valentine.  

So when I say "I hate Valentines Day", do NOT take my word for it. I mean, who doesn't love to make a big deal out of chocolate! I know I do (I'd make chocolate our currency if I can)!
Anywho, Valentines Day is another reason to show your love. It is another excuse to make a big deal out of surprises and romance. Another day to show your relationship off to everyone else...

That being said,

I hate Valentines Day.

This day of the year, cheesy lines aren't "gay", couples in a public lives in their own world, girls making duck faces are suddenly tolerable and chocolate stores turned evil.
Dear future me, go get a room.

For now, if it's a chance to bake, it is a chance I wouldn't miss. And since appearance is oh-so-important for today, let's try to make things look prettier and mini'er than I would prefer.

Banana Filling:
1 banana cut diagonally
a pinch of cinnamon
1. Mix the ingredients together.

Nutella Filling:

makes about 1 3/4 cup nutella spread.

2 cups shelled and skinned raw peanuts
1/2 cup of your darkest, richest unsweetened cocoa powder 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt plus additional to taste (I used an extra 1/8 teaspoon) 3 tablespoons peanut oil
1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread the peanuts evenly over a cookie sheet and roast until they darken, about 10 minutes, rattling them around a bit halfway through to they toast evenly.
2. Transfer the peanuts to a food processor and grind them for about 5 minutes. First they’ll become a paste then they’ll become more of a paste and finally, they’ll liquefy. Scrape down the sides as needed.
3. Add the cocoa, sugar, salt and two tablespoons of the oil to the food processor and continue to process until well blended, about 1 minute. 
4. Add the last tablespoon of oil if the consistency seems too thick.

Blueberry Filling:
  • makes about 16 3-inch pie pops.
  • 1/2 recipe puff pastry dough (recipe from: previous post)
  • 1 1/4 cups blueberries
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 egg for egg wash
1. Mix all ingredients together. 
2. Prepare cut out doughs, push a skewer stick into one of the doughs.
3. Spoon sufficient filling onto the dough.
4. Seal with another dough piece. 
5. Using a fork or the skewer, push down the edges of dough.
6. Bake at 190 celsius for 20 minutes.
7. Brush egg wash sparingly on the crust.
8. Bake for another 20 minutes or until golden brown.
9. Do not move the skewer around while pie is still hot.
I used several different fillings. Because I'm not a big fan of Blueberry, they're too classy for me. I love chocolate and bananas. I'm like that. Onto what it tastes. They're pies! They're awesome pies on pops!

Happy Valentines,

04 February 2012

Chicken Pot Pie with Homemade Puff Pastry

I remember the first time I've had Corica Apple Strudel. I've had just begun watching Jamie Oliver, barely starting out with french toasts and grilled prawns. I was 12, I had no oven, I had no cookbooks, I had no one to show me what baking is all about. 

However, the moment I ate that piece of Apple Strudel (along with other baked-goods such as, quiche lorraine, croissant, baguettes, brownies, etc), I've always had that one epiphany. I wanted to learn how to bake. I wanted to learn more about western baking. 

There are many many wonderful cakes from where I am in Indonesia. The richness of coconut milk, dark red sugar, thousands of herbs i can never remember and many more. However, I was never particularly interested in how they were made. 

Then, internet became available. I learn about puff, shortcrust, filo, choux. I was in my cadbury island. Unimaginable light came into my eyes. Finally, my birthday present of an oven arrived and soon enough, batches of cookies and snacks were produced, failed cakes and burnt smells too. 
That old piece of oven is still with me today. My source of relaxation, satisfaction and appreciation comes from this small piece of an oldie. And today, I have once again decided to encounter my fears and my To-do-list. Puff Pastry.

This pastry was harder on my mind than on the bench. Honestly, I wouldn't have worried as much. As long as you follow the steps. The recipe I've used is by Pastry chef online for it's detailed instructions and notes.
1. The better the butter, the tastier and puffier the pastry will be. Look for a higher fat content.
2. It is easier to roll the dough and butter together when they have the same consistency. (Chill whichever is softer.)
3. Keep a fair amount of flour at arms reach while working on the bench. You need to constantly flour the surface and touch up on broken layers.
4. When cutting the dough, be sure to cut straight and minimize twisting. This will limit sticking of layers.
5. Chill cut piece in the fridge for 30 minutes before baking.
6. Placing a sheet of parchment paper on top of the pastry will give an even rise.
7. Be sparing with egg wash as it inhibits puffing by gluing layers together when it enters the cut sides.
8. Do not bake puff with an uncut edge. It would not puff up.

Puff Pastry
340 g all purpose flour
57 g cake flour
9 g salt
370 g unsalted butter
220 ml ice water
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours and the salt.  Dice 3 oz. (85 g) butter and toss in with the flour/salt mixture.  Refrigerate the rest of the butter. 

2. Rub the butter into the flour to look like a coarse meal. Add the water, a bit at a time, to form a sticky, rather "ugly" dough. 

3. Gather up the dough, flatten it into a vague rectangle, and wrap it in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for about an hour to give to completely hydrate the flour and to let the butter firm back up a bit.

4. Meanwhile, take out the rest 10 oz (300 g) of butter. Pound with a rolling pin to soften into a square shape about 5″ on a side and about 1/2″ thick.

5. Once the dough has been in the fridge for about an hour, check to see if the consistency of the butter and dough are similar (poke poke). 

6. Liberally flour your work surface and the dough, and roll to a square about 10″ on a side.  Now, roll each triangular corner of the square out into a thinner flap. You will then have a thicker diamond dough about 5-6″ on a side with thinner flaps. 

7. Brush the excess flour on the top of the dough off, and place the packet of butter in the center. Fold up one corner at a time to completely encase the butter in dough. Remember to brush off all the excess flour. If the dough is too soft by now, wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes or so.

8. Flour your work surface again, and pound the dough with your rolling pin to flatten. Then, roll your dough into a rectangle about 16″X8″. Work with short strokes up and down the packet until things are nice and pliable. This will help keep your dough from ripping. If you do get a tear in your dough, patch it with some flour.

9. Fold the dough in thirds, like a business letter, being sure to brush off the excess flour. Keep the edges as square as possible. Repeat the rolling and folding a second time in the other direction. Wrap in plastic and mark a 2 finger indentation. Chill the twice turned dough into the fridge for an hour.

10. After an hour, take the dough out and give it two more turns. If at any time you feel the butter starting to slide around inside the dough, throw it back in the fridge. After the 2nd (4th) turn, wrap it up, mark 4 indentations and chill it in the fridge overnight.

11. The next day, take the dough and pound it with the rolling pin a few times, and give it two more turns.  Always keep the edges as square and even as possible, and always roll to a 16″x8″ rectangle. Roll to a finished thickness of 1/4″, and the dough is finally ready to be used.

12. For those who uses only half the dough, like me, freeze the rest of the dough in the frozen compartment. To use, thaw and roll out to 1/4". 
Chicken Pot Pie
  • 1 boneless chicken breast halves - cubed
  • 50 g butter
  • 1 chopped onion
  • Garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped coriander
  • 2 boiled potatoes
  • 1 corn
  • 35 g all-purpose flour
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • Oregano
  • 1 cup milk

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C.)
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and saute chicken, onion and garlic.
  3. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and oregano. Slowly stir in milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Place the chicken mixture in ovenproof dish. Cover with top crust. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape. (Brush egg wash for golden brown effect (; )
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Puffed the puff, 
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