Bread Making

After the successful panda bread attempt which was purely aesthetic as I didn’t like the taste of the cocoa that was used for the panda eyes and ears, I decided it was time to make bread that I’d eat. Well, sort of, cos I’m not really a fan of bread.

I also have to admit that after making the panda bread, my husband made me watch Yakitate! Japan! And it fired me up to bake bread again.

As a refresher, I read up on bread making. Here are some links:

Haven’t tried these recipes but keeping them in my file:
If you try them, let me know which ones work like a charm ūüôā
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Panda Bread – NEED TO POST PIC –

Since I like to bake and mix, whisk everything by hand, I decided that it was time for me to try my ‘skill’ at baking bread. The only thing that put me off at first was the kneading part as I thought it would be tiresome. However after trying it out, I found that kneading is quite fun — of course only if I have to do it once in a while.

The first bread I tried to bake was this adorable Panda Bread. I didn’t want to try out normal, plain bread because I like to challenge myself at times. I remember the time when I had to slice it. I was kind of scared because I don’t like to fail and wouldn’t be happy with myself if the panda face didn’t turn out well. Thankfully it did! And I was ecstatic. *pats self on back*

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macarons — success

Broke 2 eggs from the fridge and collected their whites in a small bowl. Did it in the afternoon and started baking after dinner.

Preheated oven to 150C. In a bowl, mixed 1/2 C + 2T almond meal with 1 C confectioners/icing sugar. Didn’t sift nor dry nor blend. Just measured them and dumped into bowl and mixed together. Placed aside.

In a stainless steel mixing bowl, placed some salt and poured in the room temp egg whites. Started to whisk. When foams started to form, dumped 2T sugar in and whisked a little more until dissolved and then dumped 3T sugar more. Used regular white sugar. Didn’t use caster nor icing/confectioner’s sugar because that would make it too sweet. Whisked by hand with big balloon whisk until stiff peaks. Took a while and arms got a great workout.

Dumped half the almond+sugar mixture in the stiff egg whites and folded using spatula. Mixture will be clumped and dry. Just scrapes the sides and bring down to the middle. Did a few times until well blended and then dumped the rest of the mixture in and repeated. You will see the stiff and dry mixture become soft and runny, magma-like. I read people saying not to overmix, so I stopped once it looked like it could pipe easily. Also, when you pick the mixture up with the spatula, it didn’t drop like clumps. Instead, it dropped off slowly and absorbed itself into the batter.

Poured the batter into the piping bag. Baking tray already lined with baking paper. Piped from side (not from top) to make the batter flow into circles and repeated with space between each piped circle until the tray was full. Piped all the batter and got 2 sheets.

Immediately placed the 1st tray in oven for 15 mins. The 1st batch cracked. Brought the tray to the living room and then rinsed the empty tray with cool water. Placed the 2nd sheet onto the tray and placed in oven. This time, left the oven door ajar — gap is enough to place a puffy oven mitt. The macarons rised well and had cute feet. After 12 mins, checked to see if they were done by trying to pick the corner one up but it was still stuck firmly to the sheet. So I closed the door with just a very small gap and left it for 3 mins. When I opened again, the macaron lifted off easily and there were no cracks on the shells. Success!

Notes:

Did this in Dubai’s early summer heat and did all the whisking, mixing, piping in the air-conditioned living room.

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Korean Bowl for 2

5 beef slices
1/3 cup soy sauce
3T sugar
1/2T sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion
2 green onions including white parts, finely slice
red pepper flakes as much as you wish
3T water
3T honey

Marinate beef with this mixture.
Cook. Add to white rice, fried egg and sauteed asparagus. Yum.

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Healthy Hollaindaise

I LOVE hollandaise sauce. That’s mostly cos I LOVE poached eggs. Anyway, I’ve always known that hollandaise sauce is not healthy due to the amount of butter and egg yolks used but since I never made it, I didn’t give it much thought.

When I started baking, I’d see how much butter and sugar goes into each cake, brownies, etc. So when I made macarons and had leftover egg yolks, I figured that I could finally make some hollandaise sauce for myself! YAAAY!

That is, until I read the recipe and decided against it. A 2/3 cup of sauce uses 1/2 cup of butter and 3 egg yolks. Eek! So I tried to find a healthier alternative and found this Yogurt Hollandaise Sauce. And hey, it keeps! Unlike the real hollandaise recipe, you have to use immediately as it doesn’t keep long. Anyway, I have yet to try this recipe though. Keeping this in my files for future reference.

Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
  1. Beat eggs, yogurt, lemon juice in double boiler.
  2. Cook for about 15 min or until thickened.
  3. Note: Sauce will become thinner after 1o min of cooking, then will thicken again.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in dill, salt, pepper and mustard.
  5. Serve warm.
  6. Can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.
  7. Reheat over hot not boiling water.
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April Fools’ Cake

I’m bad at pranks, but this seems like a fun one. Have yet to try it out.

April Fools’ Cake Recipe

  • 8 Servings
  • Prep: 15 min. Bake: 40 min.
April Fools' Cake Recipe
Photo by: Taste of HomeApril Fools’ Cake Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 jar¬†(14 ounces) pizza sauce
  • 1/2 pound¬†bulk Italian sausage, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 package¬†(8 ounces) sliced pepperoni
  • 3 cups¬†biscuit/baking mix – (substitute :¬†For each 1 cup of biscuit/baking mix called for in a recipe, use 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening [changing it to 1 T butter].)
  • 3/4 cup¬†milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons¬†butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon¬†garlic salt
  • 5 to 6 slices mozzarella cheese

Directions

  • In a bowl, combine the pizza sauce, sausage and pepperoni; set aside. In another bowl, combine the biscuit mix, milk, eggs, butter and garlic salt. Spread half of the batter on the bottom and up the sides of a greased 10-in. fluted tube pan. Spoon meat mixture over batter; cover with remaining batter.
  • Bake at 375¬į for 35-40 minutes or until browned and a toothpick comes out clean. Invert onto a baking sheet. Arrange cheese over cake. Return to the oven for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Using two large metal spatulas, transfer cake to a serving platter; serve immediately.¬†Yield:¬†8 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 piece) equals 497 calories, 33 g fat (13 g saturated fat), 113 mg cholesterol, 1,776 mg sodium, 33 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 18 g protein.

April Fools’ Cake published in¬†Country Woman¬†March/April 2002, p24

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Fudge Sundae Pie

With your homemade frozen yogurt¬†that you have, you can try out this Fudge Sundae Pie from Taste of Home and let me know if it’s good :p

Fudge Sundae Pie Recipe

Fudge Sundae Pie Recipe
Photo by: Taste of Home
  • 8 Servings
  • Prep: 20 min. + freezing

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons light corn syrup,¬†divided
  • 3 tablespoons¬†reduced-fat butter
  • 2 tablespoons¬†brown sugar
  • 2-1/2 cups¬†crisp rice cereal
  • 1/4 cup¬†reduced-fat creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup¬†fat-free hot fudge ice cream topping, warmed
  • 1/4 cup¬†chopped unsalted peanuts
  • 4 cups¬†fat-free vanilla frozen yogurt, softened

Directions

  • In a large saucepan, combine 1/4 cup corn syrup, butter and brown sugar. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 minute.
  • Remove from the heat; stir in cereal until blended. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of a greased 9-in. pie plate.
  • In a small bowl, combine the peanut butter, hot fudge topping and remaining corn syrup. Set aside 1/3 cup for topping. Spread remaining mixture over crust; sprinkle with half of the peanuts. Top with frozen yogurt and remaining peanuts. Cover and freeze for 6 hours or until firm.
  • Warm reserved peanut butter mixture; drizzle over pie. Let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes before cutting.¬†Yield:¬†8 servings.

*This recipe was tested with Land O’Lakes light stick butter.

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