Thursday, 29 October 2009

Cream Puffs

We had a potluck last week at the office and at first I wanted to make some cupcakes to bring. But since it was on a week day and due to the time constraint, I've decided to make cream puffs instead.

During the party, quite a number of my colleagues had requested for the cream puffs recipe. The recipe was a combination of 2 recipes from 2 of my cookbooks, and with some changes here and there. 

I'm sharing the recipe here in my blog, so that the rest can benefit from the recipe as well. Here's the recipe:

100 g butter
250 ml plain water
Pinch of salt
200 g all purpose flour
1 ts vanilla extract
5 large eggs, beaten to mix

Combine the butter, water and salt in a saucepan and bring to the boil. As soon as the mixture is boiling, remove the pan from the heat and add in the flour.

Return  the pan to moderate heat and stir (for about 1 minute) until the mixture start to form dough.

Transfer the dough into a mixing bowl and beat on medium speed for about 5 minutes. Add in the vanilla extract and then the eggs ( a little at a time) and beat in well.

Shape the cream puffs by piping the dough on a baking sheet, and bake at 170 degree Celsius for about 20 to 25 minutes.

As for the filling, you may want to make your own custard or you can also buy instant custard powder (available at bakery ingredients supply shop) and just add water to the custard powder and mix vigorously to make the custard. (approx. 250 ml water to every 100 g instant custard powder). To fill the above cream puffs, you will need about 150 g to 200 g of instant custard powder.

Enjoy, and do share with me the outcome.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

My first tiered cake

I've been dreaming to do tiered or stacked cake for quite some times. Last weekend, I finally managed to pull myself together and finally constructed a tiered cake. My 1st tiered cake to be exact. Original plan was to do a stacked cake, with buttercream decorations.

I baked 2 chocolate cakes (8" and 6") and filled it with cookies and cream. Made Italian Meringue Buttercream (IMBC) earlier that week, but I must have overwhipped the egg-whites. My buttercream felt so soft and cottony, and lumpy when it's cold - not suitable for spreading. Tried to repair the damage but not able to do so. So, to the dustbin it went.

I'm too lazy to work on the sugar syrup to make another batch of IMBC (since I don't have any sugar thermometer, and if the sugar syrup is left too long, it will start to caramelized, and the buttercream will be more yellow that what it was supposed to be) and was thinking to just work on buttercream with no egg whites in it. But the buttercream recipe that contain no egg whites that I've tried before was way too sweet. Wanted to try a different buttercream recipe, but unsure whether it will be overly sweet as well. So, I decided to make chocolate ganache instead to cover the cakes and then try the new buttercream recipe for decoration purpose.

The chocolate cake turns out moist, the cookies and cream filling was delicious, chocolate ganache - yummy, and to my surprise, the buttercream icing was not that sweet.

So, here's the upper tier = covered with chocolate ganache, decorated with buttercream roses, and side decorations using white chocolate.

And here's the bottom tier = covered with chocolate ganache, and decorated with small flowers (design inspired by Yatt from Yatt's Lilkitchen).

And here's my 1st ever tiered cake (using pillars):

For my beloved husband, Happy Birthday Sayang!!

Friday, 2 October 2009

Chocolate and vanilla cupcakes

Made these chocolate and vanilla cupcakes yesterday, topped with chocolate ganache.

And a few chocolate flowers to decorate the cupcakes, using dark and white chocolate. New method that I discovered earlier this week.