Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Walnut Raisin Bread

Lately, I was too engross in the buttercream flowers, hence, I didn't have time for baking except this Walnut Raisin bread.  I baked this because my daughter was craving for homemade bread.  With hadn't been baking bread for a while, I felt I was quite "rusty". Luckily, I was still able to make it.   

I picked a recipe from a Taiwanese baker, Carol.  The original recipe used  matcha and red bean as flavoring agents.  As I didn't have these at home, I substituted them with walnut and raisin.  In fact, I'm not a matcha fan, I don't like the aftertaste of green tea.  I was glad that the combination of walnut and raisin turned out good for this bread.  

If you like to give my recipe a try, here you go...

Walnut Raisin Bread

  • 230g bread flour
  • 15g cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp instant yeast 
  • 30g caster sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg (about 50g)
  • 110g cold milk 
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 150g walnuts
  • 80g raisins 
  • egg yolk for egg wash
  1. Combine the flours,  yeast, sugar, salt and egg (salt and yeast to be placed apart from each other) in a bowl and mix them on low speed till combined.
  2. Add in 90g of the cold milk gradually, mix till desired dough is achieved.
  3. Add in butter gradually, mix on medium speed.  Add in remaining 20g of milk gradually and mix till windowpane is achieved (about 13 mins) 
  4. Remove the dough from mixing bowl, add in walnuts and raisins, mix evenly and then round it to ball.  
  5. Place the dough (seam side face down) in a greased bowl, spray with some water and cover it with plastic wrap.  Leave it to ferment for 1 hour or till the size becomes double.
  6. Remove the dough from the bowl, dust some flour on the table top (if needed), slightly punch to deflate the dough.  Divide dough into 2 and round them into ball again. Cover with baker's couch and bench rest for 15 mins.
  7. Take out the dough for final shaping. Flatten the dough with a small rolling pin, fold the top and roll into cylinder shape. Repeat the same for remaining dough.  Cover with baker's couch and bench rest for another 15 mins.
  8. Fatten the dough and roll into rectangle shape.  Ensure its width can fit into the Pullman loaf tin. Fold the top and roll gently into cylinder shape.  Repeat the same for another dough.   Place into a greased Pullman loaf tin with seam side down. Ensure both dough are the same height, spray with some water and leave it to proof for another hour or till it raises to 90% of tin.
  9. Egg wash and bake at 170*C for 35-40 mins.  Once done, take it out from pan immediately and let it cool on wire rack. 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Strawberry Cheese Layer Ombre Rosette Cake

I am glad about my courage and decision, I have finally found back my freedom so that I can focus on things that I like instead of forcing myself to do something which I totally have no interest in.  Sometimes, we may make a wrong decision but I think as long as we accept it as part of our life lessons and not to repeat the same mistake, we will become wiser.
I always find Ombre Rosette Cake amazing and beautiful.   It was one of the items on my bucket list.  Initially, I thought of making a durian ombre rosette cake for my friend's birthday but it seemed that durian was not in the season yet.  Hence, I decided to choose strawberry flavour since it's easily available now in supermart.  I didn't have a recipe available on hand for this cake, I was just experimenting by modifying some of my old cheesecake recipes.  I did a trial and error to perfect the sweetness but when came to layering the cake, I fumbled as I miscalculated the amount of strawberry cheese filling for each layer, causing unbalance of cheese thickness.  Luckily it didn't affect the taste and texture.  

It's my first attempt at Ombre Rosette Cake decorating.  It was challenging as I wasn't able to place the rosette evenly, it was either too big a gap or too near to each other.  I had to scrape away a couple of them and redo before I could complete the whole cake piping.  

I didn't have enough time to chill the cake, hence I kept it in the freezer.  Given that the cake was frozen less than 4 hours, it wasn't cold enough to keep outside for too long.  By the time we cut the cake, some of the whipped cream had dropped off.  It wasn't that presentable anymore.  Luckily, the cosmetic didn't affect the taste. It still tasted good.  I was glad that my experiment was quite successfully.  

I wasn't happy with my first attempt, hence, I made another one the next day using the same recipe.  This time it turned out better but I still couldn't perfect the piping.  Practice makes perfect, I will have to work harder!

Strawberry Cheese Layer Ombre Rosette Cake Recipe:
- One 6" vanilla sponge cake 

350g strawberry puree    }
-  2 or more Tbsp sugar     }(yield about 180-200g sauce)

- 250g cream cheese
- 80g caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp kirsch

- 1Tbsp gelatin with 3Tbsp water (microwave for 20 sec)
- 300g whipping cream (whipped)

1.  Get ready one 6" vanilla sponge cake,  slice into 3 layers.  Set aside.
2.  Cook strawberry puree and sugar together on low heat till thicken.   Set aside to cool.
3. Beat cream cheese and sugar till smooth (abt 2-3 mins), add in vanilla essence, lemon juice and kirsch.  Mix well.
4.  Add in the strawberry sauce from step 2, mix till combined.  Set aside.
5.  Mix gelatin with water together, let it stand for 2-3 mins and then microwave for 20 sec.
6. Add gelatin solution into strawberry cheese filling from step 4 and mix till combined.

Assemble Together
7. Lay a slice of sponge cake onto a cake ring (wrapped with foil),  pour 1/3  of the filling in. Cover with another slice of sponge cake.  Pour another 1/3 of the filling. 
8.  Repeat the same for the last slice and pour the remaining filling on top of it. Chill in fridge to set (at least 2- 3 hours).
9.  Whip whipping cream till stiff.  Crumb coat the cake and return to the chiller for another 30 mins.
10. Take 1/3 of the whipped cream, mix it with a drop of pink colour to create a darker tone of pink colour.  Pipe a row of the rosettes from the bottom. 
11.  Squeeze out remaining cream and mix with another 1/3 of whipped cream.  If the colour is too pale, use a toothpick to take a bit of colour to mix.  Get a tone that is lighter than the 1st row.
11. Pipe rosettes on the 2nd row.  Squeeze out all the whipped cream and mix with remaining whipped cream.  Pipe rosettes to cover all the top of the cake.


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