Monday, July 27, 2015

Vanilla-Mango Panna Cotta : TWD

Over at Tuesdays With Dorie (TWD), our assignment for this week is Vanilla-Mango Panna Cotta, a refreshing and cooling dessert, and in our hot humid weather, this dessert is most welcome anytime of the day! We are baking from Dorie's latest cookbook, "Baking Chez Moi". Though for this week, there's no need to turn on the oven! 

An easy dessert to make, the bottom is a layer of delightful mango puree, where fresh mangoes are pureed in the food processor, with some honey (I've used about 1 tablespoon honey, or may use sugar if preferred) to taste, with some lime juice. Just like Dorie, I like mine a little tart, so I've used the juice of two limes. Divide the puree among glasses or bowls, and keep them in the freezer for about 30 minutes, just so until they are firm, as you would want the puree to stay in place when the hot panna cotta mixture is poured over.

The panna cotta layer is made by mixing cream, sugar, milk and the seeds of a vanilla bean along with the bean, in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let steep for 20 minutes, while you prepare the gelatin by liquefy it in the microwave with some water. Return the mixture to a boil remove the bean, and pour over the gelatin, stir until the gelatin has completely dissolve. Let mixture cool slightly, about 20 minutes, then divide the mixture between the glasses with the mango puree. Refrigerate at least two hours until chilled before serving.

I've used Calamansi Limes from the garden pot. They were very juicy!

I chilled the panna cotta for about 6 hours. I like how the panna cotta layer is scattered with the vanilla seeds. It has set rather nicely, and everyone is just so impatient to dig in!

This is very yummy. The slightly tart mango puree with the creamy smooth panna cotta are so good together. A perfect cold dessert to enjoy with the family. I would love to try this with our other local fruits; like pineapple, dragon fruits, melons! Yums!

I'm linking this post with Tuesdays With Dorie (TWD).



Thursday, July 23, 2015

Devil's Food Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting : Bake-Along #83

It's time for some cupcakes at Bake-Along #83. Zoe has selected Devil's Food Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting from Bon Appetit Desserts Cookbook, to bake together with Lena and myself, and anyone who wishes to bake-along with us.

Easy and simple to make, and yummy to eat! I made the full recipe and uses the standard muffin pan which yield 11 cupcakes. I've reduced both the sugars (brown and caster), and the cupcakes turned out to be just right for us, though it might not be sweet enough for some. With the chocolate frosting on the cupcakes, the sweetness balances out nicely.

As for the frosting, mine turned out a little thick. First thing is, I do not have any sour cream on hand, forgotten to buy! There's no more yoghurt, so I have used two tablespoons of milk instead. The chocolates, heavy cream and butter are stirred over a saucepan of simmering water until melted and smooth, remove from heat, then the vanilla extract, sour cream and icing sugar are stirred in until well blended. I have however did not read the instructions properly, and simply mixed everything to together. Ooops!!  Because I've used only 2 tablespoons of milk instead of 1/2 cup of sour cream, the frosting appears to be quite thick and I could use it immediately to spread over the cupcakes. And I've used only 2 tablespoons of icing sugar. As for the chocolate, I did not weigh them, simply break some pieces into the bowl. I was lazy to use the piping noozle (lazy to wash!), so I've just spread the frosting over the cupcakes using a small offset spatula.

I thought that my frosting was too fudgy and thick, but then both my kids love the frosting, there's even a request from my daughter to make the same frosting for her birthday cake. 
This cupcake is really nice. The cake is soft, airy, moist and chocolaty, made even yummier with the fudgy thick chocolate frosting.

** my changes listed in blue.
Devil's Food Cupcake with Chocolate Frosting
(adapted from "Bon Appetit Desserts Cookbook", Barbara Fairchild)
Makes 16
1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
2 ounces high quality milk chocolate (such as Lindt or Perugina), chopped
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup cake flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup (packed) dark brown sugar (1/3 cup)
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup sugar (1/3 cup)
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cacao), chopped
2 ounces high quality milk chocolate (such Lindt or Perugina), chopped
2 tbsp heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup sour cream 
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar

CUPCAKES: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 16 standard (1/3-cup) muffin cups with paper liners. Combine cocoa powder and chocolate in medium bowl. Pour 1/2 cup boiling water over; whisk until smooth. Whisk in buttermilk.

Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in another medium bowl to blend Using electric mixer, beat brown sugar, oil, 1/2 cup sugar, eggs, and vanilla in large bowl until light and creamy, about 2 mins. Beat in flour mixture, alternating with chocolate mixture in 2 additions. Divide batter among paper liners.

Bake until tester inserted into center comes out with some crumbs attached, about 18 mins. Cool in pans on cooling rack 10 mins. Transfer cupcakes to rack and cool completely.

FROSTING: Stir both chocolates, cream, and butter in medium bowl over saucepan of simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove from over water. Whisk in sour cream and vanilla, then powdered sugar. Let stand until thick enough to spread, about 10 mins.

DO AHEAD: Can be made 3 days ahead. Store frosted cupcakes airtight at room temperature.


Do stop by Lena of Frozen Wings and Zoe of Bake For Happy Kids, and all our friends who has baked along with us in the linky below :

For our next Bake-Along, we will be baking "Theme : Hokkaido Chiffon Cupcakes", . Please do join us, and  link your post to our linky which will open from 6th August till 15th August. Everyone is welcome to join us! Only current post please.


A friendly reminder when linking to our linky :
1. Please mention Bake-Along event in your own post linking direct to any of the hosts' post (JoyceLena or Zoe)
2. Please link only new and current post, PLEASE FOLLOW THE BAKE OR THEME provided by us. Unrelated post will be deleted.
3. Feel free to display our Bake-Along badge in your post.

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Cook-Your-Books #25 @ kitchen flavours
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Friday, July 17, 2015

Cranberry Bread

A soft and fluffy bread, that is perfect for breakfast, tea-time, and anytime throughout the day. It is not only soft, but so fluffy soft, and really, really good!

The original recipe is called Figgy Cardamom Bread, which uses dried figs and ground cardamom. I have however replaced the dried figs with dried cranberries and have omitted the cardamom. 

I've used instant yeast, so I have skipped the ten minutes step to make it foamy, but mixed it with the other ingredients and proceed with the instructions in the recipe.

The recipe makes a really huge braid! It would be a great idea to divide the dough into two halves and make two sets of braided loaves instead. 

This loaf is not only soft, but so deliciously fluffy soft.

Good to eat on its own or with a generous spread of salted butter. With a cup of your favourite tea or coffee.

Figgy Cardamom Bread (I've made as Cranberry Bread)
(adapted from "Williams-Sonoma : Home Baked Comfort", Kim Laidlaw)
makes 1 large loaf
1 cup (8fl oz/250ml) whole milk, warmed (110F/43C)
1 package (2-1/4 tsp) active dry yeast (I use 2 tsp instant yeast)
1/3 cup (3oz/90gm) sugar, plus more for sprinkling
3-1/2 cups (17-1/2oz/545gm) all-purpose flour (I use 3-1/2 cups + 3 tbsp bread flour)
1 tsp kosher salt (1/4 tsp salt, as butter is salted)
1 tsp ground cardamom (omit)
3 large eggs
6 tbsp (3oz/90gm) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into chunks (salted butter)
1-1/2 cups (9oz/280gm) quartered dried figs (replaced with dried cranberries)

In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the milk, yeast, and 1/3 cup sugar. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. (Since I've used instant yeast, I skipped the 10 minutes, and proceed with the next step).

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and cardamom. Add the dry ingredients and 2 of the eggs to the yeast mixture. Attach the dough hook and knead the dough on medium-low speed until it starts to look shaggy. While continuing to knead, add the butter. Knead until the dough is fairly smooth, about 10 minutes. Dump the dough onto a floured work surface and flatten into a disk. Scatter the figs (cranberries) over the dough and gather it into a ball. Knead the dough gently to incorporate the figs (cranberries). Gather the dough into a ball, transfer to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled, about 1 hour.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dump the dough onto the lightly floured work surface and divide it into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope about 16 inches (40cm) long. Lay the ropes next to each other, touching, on the work surface. Braid the ropes together, tucking the ends underneath the braid. Place on the prepared pan, cover loosely with a kitchen towel, and let rise until puffy, about 45 minutes.

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350F (180C). In a small bowl, beat the remaining egg with a little water. Brush the dough gently with the egg wash, then sprinkle generously with sugar. Bake until golden brown, about 35 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

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