Friday, September 24, 2010

Fresh Sugar Covered French Toast - Baguettes #5

Baked Baguettes #5 and made French toast the next morning.  Flour, Yeast, Water, Salt - a wonder ingredients.

Fresh baked baguettes in slices - 12 slices
1 Egg, beaten  (remove chalazae)
1 C milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tb sugar
1/4 C Sugar
Butter for cooking
Mix all ingredients with well beaten egg. 
Heat fry pan.  Add butter.
Dip and cover both sides of the bread 'lightly' with egg mixture.
Brown both sides.  Sprinkle with Sugar to serve.

My co-workers at the office loved it.

Fondant Birthday Cake - Lego Pharaoh

This is my very first special order Fondant cake.  My grandson chose one of his favorite Lego character from the and said, "I want this for my birthday cake."  So, he got it.  It's Lego Pharaoh.  Luckily on his 4th Birthday, he visited Lego Land, San Diego, California and gave me a Lego cake mold as a gift.  To plan and design the how to of the details was challenging since I have not yet had a chance to work with Fondant directly.  But I trusted my sight memory of how Fondant was handled and processed in the class, I set to work.
Ingredients and Tools:
Prepare 1 recipe cake batter for Persian Love Cake
Spray Lego cake mold with Vegalene to aid in browning
Fondant - 1 to 1-1/2 lb
1 Cup - Buttercream Frosting: Butter + powder sugar + vanilla - used to hold Fondant on cake
Food colors:  yellow; Blue; Blue+Green+Red

Cake pearl dust Gold color
Dedicated paint brush for food use
Fondant rolling pin
Fondant rolling mat
Fondant/Candy Tool Set
Powder sugar + mini sieve

Lego Pharaoh Body & Cobra Staff - White fondant + yellow food color

1.  Baked one test cake in the lego cake mold.  Cake batter for Persian Love Cake was used.  Result:  Cake got stuck to the mold and texture is dense.  But perfect to use it as a model.
2.  Pharaoh's Staff and Head Gear - Prepared one recipe for the  Rice Crispies squares.  Instead of pressing it  into a pan, I started to shape it into Lego Pharaoh's Cobra staff.  Squeezed it as tight as possible and inserted three cookie/candy sticks as enforcement.
* Working with marshmallow rice crispies while "hot" (150'F) is essential for the formed object to hold its shape.  When the marshmallow rice crispies has turned warm to the touch, they might look still pliable, but the elasticity/stickiness seem to have lost it's power.  By the time I was done with the Cobra staff (passed 20 minutes) and ready to make the head gear, the marshmallow crispies had cooled.  The head gear did not want to hold its shape.  I was going to give up, but bet on the Fondant.

3.  Find a couple of bowls that can be used to form the head gear.  Set aside.
3a.  Cover the cooled cake with Buttercream frosting.
4.  Knead fondant to soft taffy texture.
5.  Sprinkle powder sugar on top of fondant mat
6.  Roll the fondant large enough to cover the Lego pharaoh cake

7.  Carefully using the plastic tools and hands, pull gently and tuck and shape fondant into the outline of the Lego cake pharaoh.  Cut the excess off with 2 mm excess - to tuck/curve under the cake.

8.  Using the plastic tools, define the eyes and mouth, arm, etc.
9.  Sprinkle the fondant mat with the powder sugar again.  Roll out the colored fondant to cover the Cobra staff.  Seal with a smear of water.  Not a drop of water, but bare smear of moisture on finger tip.
10.  Sprinkle powder sugar on top of fondant mat.  Roll out the rest to form into head gear using the bowl as guide.    *Basically the head gear is made free form.  Using the print out as a guide.  Have fun with it!
11.  Place the head gear on the fondant covered Lego pharaoh.  Form the side flaps and attach to the head gear.  Using the plastic molding tool with a smear of water moisture, stick the flap to the head gear.  And roll it along the body shape near shoulders.  Smear a bit of water moisture in underside of the flaps to the shoulders.
11a.  Yet, roll and cut out some rectangular pieces to make Pharaoh's lapa skirt.  Set aside to dry.

12.  After 30 minutes.  Start painting the details with the food color.
13.  Store in air tight cake container.
My grandson was delighted to see his Lego Pharaoh Birthday Cake.
And, I had fun making it.
If you like this, you might also like my Fondant - Lego Punk Rocker Birthday Cake I made for my grandson's sixth birthday.

Friday, September 17, 2010

65'C Chocolate Wassant Testing Journal

This is another wonderful recipe I got from "Do What I Like" Florence's web site at Tonight I test baking the 65'C Chocolate Wassant, and I am very impressed with the layering of this croissant dough without the usual 1 lb butter block the normal formula calls for.  Additionally, this includes 65'C TangZhong that I learned from some of my favorite Asian bloggers in the past few months.  If you have not tested this 65'C TangZhong in the baked goods, I highly recommend it to give it a try and understand what is happening with the flour and water to form the dough and to the final product.  Start with the Japanese Style Buns I posted.  The link to the recipe should be there.

Frozen Dragon-Fruits Mousse Cake

This is a beautiful frozen dessert that I learned from Bakericious.; It got my full attention when I saw it.  I just had to try it.  Finding the Dragon Fruits in Sacramento was a trip in itself.  We called it "sesame" fruits when we lived in S. Viet-Nam.  Like Bakericious pointed out there are red and white ones, but the lucky find of mine were white.  So, to add the dramatic color, I contemplated on using the food color, I opted not to and remembered the good ole' Beets.  I used my Juiceman machine again, and it turned out a-okay.  I am still waiting to unmold the frozen dessert this weekend at my Grandson's Birthday party.  I hope it will unmold okay.  Can't wait to taste it... well, while I was making it, I already had the taste of the Mousse with Dragon fruit in it.  It is delicious.


I have been test baking cakes and bread three times a week for the past few weeks.  I noticed some of my images got mixed up with another recipes', so before I forget, this is how my Persian Love Cake recipe turned out. 

The cake is wonderful.  It is a Chiffon Cake, but the texture turned out with fine crumb and light.  Instead of iced rose petals, I used Fondant.  (Double click on images to see other comments.) 

Ingredients from 
Yield:  8 servings 
"This chiffon cake filled with rose-scented whipped cream is inspired by the aromatics found in Persian, Turkish, and Indian confections.  Cardamom..."
  For your convenience, the recipe is copied here.  A Couple of modification and per my preference, they are indicated by " *" or " ** "  (asterisks). 

 Candied Rose Petals
 2 large egg whites
1/2 C sugar
Petals from 2 organic roses

1 C cake flour
14 Tbsp baker's sugar or superfine sugar, divided  **Only used 11 Tbsp = 6 + 5
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp coarse kosher salt
3 large eggs, separated
6 Tbsp water
1/4 C Canola oil  **or vegetable oil Preferred
1 tsp grated lemon peel *(zest)
1/4 tsp whole cardamom seeds (removed from about 5 green cardamom pods)

2-1/2 C chilled heavy whipping cream, divided
Pinch of saffron threads
2/3 C powdered sugar
1 tsp Rose Water
2 Tbsp Natural Unsalted Pistachios
*Art paint brush dedicated for food preparation

Whisk egg whites in small bowl until foamy.  **Using the paint brush, brush just enough egg whites on rose petals on both sides with egg whites "lightly" - just slightly enough for sugar to stick.  Otherwise, the petal would look bulky.  You want a delicate looking sugar coated petals.  
Dry on nonstick rack at least 6 hours or overnight.

* for my cake, I used Fondant to make the flowers.  

For Cake:
Preheat oven to 325'F 
  1. Butter two 8" diam cake pans with 1-1/2 high sides
  2. Line pan bottoms with parchment paper; butter parchment.  * I use Jack Peppin's techinique - Butter the cut parchment paper first.  Then, press the butter side down onto the pan, then, flip butter side up.
  3. Using Whisk, whisk dry mixtures together -- **6 TBsp baker's sugar, baking powder, and salt onto a parchment paper or bowl.  Set aside.  **I did not want the cake to be too sweet, so I have 1 TBsp less sugar.
  4. * Beat egg yolks first till well beaten, then water, lemon zest and cardamom *(Powder - as I did not have the whole cardamoms).  Beat all together until pale and foamy. Cover with plastic to keep from drying.  Set aside.
  5. **Beat Egg whites with hand whisk, if you can, in medium bowl over a towel to keep the bowl from moving or use the cake pad (just any rubber pad.)  
  6. **When the egg whites starts to foam, start adding 5 TBsp of sugar - 1 tsp at a time in streams.  Keep whisking until whites resemble thick marshmallow fluff - "Thick", but still with glossy look
  7. Once egg whites are done, back to egg yolks mixture:
  8. *Take a large spoonful of egg yolk mixture into the bowl of Canola oil and mix it up a bit; then add into the egg mixture.
  9. Using a sifter, sift flour mixture into yolk mixture; do, fold, sift, fold, sift, fold, sift, gently till smooth. 
  10. Fold whites into batter in 3 additions.
  11. *Mix whites into egg mixtures with hand.
  12. Divid batter between prepared pans.
  13. Bake until cakes are golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 min
  14. Cool in pans on racks for 15 minutes.
  15. Turn out onto racks, peel off parchment, and cool completely.
  16. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead.  Wrap and store at room temperature.)
For Frosting:
  • Combine 1/2 C cream and saffron in small saucepan
  • Bring to simmer
  • Remove from heat; let steep 20 minutes
  • Chill until cold
  • Beat remaining 2 C cream, powdered sugar, and Rose Water in large bowl until soft peaks form; Strain in Saffron Cream.
  • Beat until peaks form.
  • Place 1 cake layer, flat side up, on platter.
  • Spread 1 C frosting over.
  • Top with second  cake layer, flat side down.
  • Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake.
  • Chill at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours.
  • Garnish cake with rose petals and pistachios 
or Fondant flowers sprinkled with edible Pearl powder-- ** be aware to decorate with fondant flowers right before serving.  As fondant exposed to moist surface would change its form - "flat" as in "melted" like.