31 March 2012

Basic Sourdough Bread - Peter Reinhart, The Baker's Apprentice. (Fail)

You see, I was never sure if i have talent or if i do produce good bakes or if Zeus existed. But, I'm sure the effort is worth points. And this is one of those times. 
This was my first attempt to the legendary sourdough bread. The bread adored by so many, starters cultivated and passed down through generations. My starter was yet a "starter". Despite accepting that this would very much affect the taste and quality of the bread, I hoped to at least get the texture down. 
However, the amount of hard work invested does not necessarily mean result. Sometimes, it just takes a few falls, experiences and set-backs. 
The hours i've spent for this baby was down the chute. I would rather not calculate. However, I'll take this failure dearly, to remind myself that when i do muster some courage to try this again, I would be sure to do it right.
Baking is never a "certainty". Of course, most of you have gotten it at the back of your hand but I'm still in between roads. Times like these reminds me why I love baking. It's not just because of the amazing world of goodies or the number of possibilities stemmed from the same ingredients but also because you'd never know it all. Baking is life. It makes you jump high in hurrah but it can make you bury your face in the pillow.
Plus, if you get your hands on one of these breads a la Jes, you'd use it as a weapon. It was so dense and heavy that it could break a glass. The crust was good though.

Failure isn't always bad,

24 March 2012

Apple Fancy Cake

Whoever said that we bloggers had to be cool? Receiving a reward, "it's so nice of you". Hitting 50 comments, "Oooh thank you". And baking an awesome cake, "it wasn't easy but i did it". That's like pasting wings and a halo on a bull making it fly, singing "red bull gives you wiiiiiiiings". I'm the furthest person from cool.
You see, when i receive a reward, i dance my victory dance! And when i hit 50 comments, I sing my victory song! Oh and when I bake a pretty cake, I parade with it, wearing it on my head because it was hell of a hardwork! Well, that's the truth, folks... ok... My victory song and dance may have been the Hippo and Dog song... (weeeeeeeeeeee...we-um-um-um-a-weh) eherm*. But oh sweet mother of everything victorious, I'm never "cool" when hearing news!
So, I took the liberty of this awesome cake to ask for votes:
Pineapple Upside-down cake VS Apple etc etc etc cake, aka Apple Fancy Cake.
This does not mean I don't love pineapples, I love them. But this apple cake, oh boy, ooohhhh bu-oy..

Apple Fancy Cake

Chunky apples and cream cheese in a moist coffee and rum cake. The apples caramelized, with a hint of cinnamon and cooked to gooey perfection. The cake, light, moist but with rum. And for the final kick in the pants, cubes of Cream Cheese combining all the flavors together.

18 March 2012

Black Tea Cake with Strawberry Tea Jam

There is one thing i can truly be proud of. I do not get sick. Germs hop away at the touch of my skin and in great fear. Which reminds me, I also know how to take care of sick people. Especially those stubborn ones, if you know what i'm sayin'.
Hence, when Jes says 3 cups, you gotta listen. 'less you want her to go down the crazy road. And you don't want her going there! You really don't. I'm just sayin'
 3 cups of Chinese herbal tea (not those served in your Dim Sum restaurant, those are a treat) a day. I assure you, you'd be thankful in the end. In return, when i'm feeling like less of a "devil" or when i couldn't sleep at the wee hours woken up by the exact thoughts of an awesome cake, you'll wake up to a slice of this. Deal?
This cake is one of my most random creations...who am i kidding, this is my most awesomest random creation that didn't turn out a disaster! May the little fur-less bunny rest in peace. 
I woke up at the strangest hour this morning, thinking up various flavours that will jingle all our tastebuds, as well as our eyes.

16 March 2012

Blueberry Cream Cheese Vanilla And Chocolate Chips Cinnamon Muffins

I can see in the dark. I mean, I am trained to live in the dark. When the sun is down, I like to switch off all lights in the room and catch up on various TV series.This was difficult for everyone else. Seeing as I'm sharing my room and the constant need for people to come into the room in search for the stupidest things at the stupidest hours. Unlike me, they have not been trained to see in the dark feel in the dark. 

My long and constantly untidy black hair paired with my immediate "Hissss!" the moment a light is turned on, often leaves people in disarray. Ah, those shocked faces, always a pleasure.

That's how I'm able to eat in the dark, without leaving crumbs all over the place. This does not portray elegance or discipline of any sort, which I'm very much short of. But until you learn how to feel in the dark, sweetcakes, you are not allowed to bring food to the bed. Understood, Bambi?

Anyway, I chose to use a muffin recipe that is rated and reviewed by over 5,400 people. To Die for Blueberry muffins from All-recipes by Colleen. I adapted it to the following:

10 March 2012

Pizza Dough - Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart

Over the years, I've slaved more for cookbooks than clothes, make-ups and so on. It hasn't changed. However, I looked at the neatly lined array of books on the shelf. They're new yet so old, so dusty. I realized, I had bought them to look at their pretty pictures.

 My recent book-buy was Peter Reinhart's "The Baker's Apprentice". By "recent", I mean like 5 months ago (scoffs). The book was heavy, pictures weren't the most interesting, and so...many...words... ! Nevertheless, I've decided this I-bought-an-expensive-book-for-pictures-thing has to stop. I opened the book and started reading. Of course, it was an amazing book, why I bought it.

You know when it gets ridiculously hard to understand, your mind just reads through the sentences reading and reading but nothing gets through until you read a sentence that was ridiculously simple at which point you re-connect? Yea. That's a devil. I had to come back to each sentence to really understand Peter. That's persistence, ladies and gents, thank you very much.

Hence, I decided that I will no longer wait and finally use a recipe from the book.

I was never a big fan of the traditional thin crust pizza. I love myself a good thick carbohydrate. As awkward as this may sound, i went against the better judgement of Mr P and made myself some thick Napoletana pizzas. To my humour, it was great!  

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