15 December 2011

Merry Christmas! Molten Chocolate Lava Cake

This is my last post for this year.

Since it is December and Christmas is just a week away, I should bake something related to Christmas :) When think of christmas bake, I think of you... chocolate! Still remember the days two of us, spend the whole evening enjoyed chocolate dessert :) Ah...nowadays spending time slowly eating dessert in a restaurant seems too luxury with an active boy beside :)

I love Molten Chocolate Lava Cake, a warm chocolate dessert with crispy top and melty center. When cut open the cake, the melty chocolate flows down like lava, usually it is paired with a scoop of ice-cream or cream or may be berries but I love to go just as it is.

This is my second attempt, the first one with water bath method didn't turn out as espected. The cake didn't raise and there was no crispy top. This second attempt is without water bath, the cake batter go straight to the oven without resting in the fridge. The temperature for this bake should be set at 210C but I mistaken it to be 180C, 15 mins of baking time was far too soon for my bake, when I tried to detach the cake from ramekin, I found it was still wet on the side. I placed them back to the oven and baked for another 10 mins and luckily I still have a bit of oozing "lava" at the bottom of the cake.

Note: Greased the ramekins properly with butter is very important to ensure you can detach the cake later. Grease ramekins with butter on the center than upright strokes for the side to make the cake raise higher.  

Crispy top cake. When shaking the ramekin you will find the cake still wobbly a bit.

Moist cake with melty center

Recipe adapted from auntyyochana's Warm Chocolate Cake

Ingredients for Cake:

2 eggs
2 egg yolks (omitted)
65 g unsalted butter
40 g sugar
100 g chocolate - melted (used 150g)
20 g cake flour (used plain flour)
5 g cocoa powder

1. melt chocolate and butter over hot water or double boiler.
2. whisk eggs and sugar till creamy.
3. add in melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. (has to gradually add in)
4. sift in flour and cocoa powder and fold in the mixture. (fold, no stirring please!)
5. pour into greased cup moulds till 3/4 full. (the right mixture is smooth and thick)
6. bake in hot oven at 210C for 15 mins.
7. Detach the cake on a serving plate.

Are you able to resist this dessert?

Wishing you a blessed Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy Holiday!

Happy Baking! See you next year :D

12 December 2011

Chocolate Wassant (65C Tangzhong Method)

If you are living in Singapore, for sure you will know one of the famous bread from Provence Bakery is Chocolate Wassant. A soft crust bread with pretty swirl chocolate filling, you taste it before? my son is a big big fan of Chocolate Wassant. This bread really set a high challenge for me, I've been trying for the past few months baking this Chocolate Wassant... but ...my Chocolate Wassant didn't turned out well enough to look close to the one selling at Provence Bakery. The glazing and the chocolate layer are the challenges.

Since I got the right recipe for my Chocolate Marble Toast, I brave myself to use it on Chocolate Wassant. This time my chocolate wassant turned out really close to the one selling at Provence Bakery. Of course there is still room to improve on the shaping of this bread. The credit of this recipe go to Matumoto Youiti 松本洋一. For the steps on folding of dough, please refer to Do What I Like

Next time if I'm going to attempt this again, I'll divide the chocolate dough equal portion with the white dough, as I prefer to see the chocolate wassant with chocolate soft crust rather than the white one. 

P/S: I'm slowing down as the Holiday is near and I'll be taking a long break from my kitchen until mid January. I wish to post another one post before leaving for Melbourne. As for this year Chinese New Year Cookies, I don't think I can bake any of it, but if I do it will be from my sister kitchen :)


The clearly defines chocolate lines

four Chocolate Wassant attempts with different recipes and chocolate paste, the third one was with Nutella.

Recipe for 65C Tangzhong
50g bread flour
250ml water

1. Add flour to water in a pot, keep stirring it while cook until it reached 65C. or ripples appeared on batter. Set aside to cool.

Recipe adapted from 松本洋一(Soleil 面包教室)
300g bread flour
6g instant dry yeast
30g sugar (if you prefer the bread to taste a bit sweet, then add more sugar)
4g salt
24g milk powder
186g water (I substituted with 70~90ml milk as I added the tangzhong)
30g unsalted butter
1 egg

Chocolate paste:
6g unsweetened cocoa powder
6g water


07 December 2011

Chocolate Marble Bread Toast 65C Tangzhong Method (65c 汤种大理石面包)

This is the first time I present my Chocolate Marble Bread but the truth is ...it was my fourth attempt. I tried to use a few different recipes to make this Chocolate Marble Bread but ...most of them leave behind a messy worktop due to melting of chocolate paste and the repeated resting the dough in fridge and taking it out for rolling make the method look complicated for making this beautiful bread.

The recipe I'm going to share here is for you, whether you are beginner or advance baker, is easy and clean! Let me present the Japanese baker Matumoto Youiti 松本洋一 his book "My bread is sellable!" (我做的面包,可以卖!) My hands was cleaned from chocolate while flattening and rolling of this bread, and no resting of dough in fridge is requires. You are going to love this recipe! The baker used straight dough method, to ensure a soft, more elastic bread texture and long lasting of freshness I used water roux starter or 65C Tangzhong method.

Just a note for someone new to tangzhong 汤种. The water roux starter is a mixture of flour and water that is combine together, usually one portion of bread flour with five portions of water. It doesn't cook until boiling point but reach 65C when the ripples started to form.

crust without egg wash ...

Recipe for 65C Tangzhong
50g bread flour
250ml water

1. Add flour to water in a pot, keep stirring it while cook until it reached 65C. or ripples appeared on batter. Set aside to cool.

Recipe adapted from 松本洋一(Soleil 面包教室)
300g bread flour
6g instant dry yeast
30g sugar
4g salt
24g milk powder
186g water (I substituted with milk and not all is used as I added the tangzhong)
30g unsalted butter

Chocolate paste:
6g unsweetened cocoa powder
6g water

1. Add tangzhong and all ingredients except the liquid and butter in a bowl, gradually add 1/2 of the water and knead well. Divide the rough dough into 3/4 and 1/4 portions, 1/4 portion add in chocolate paste, knead until well-blended (gradually add milk if required). Add 7g butter and knead to form elastic dough.

2. The other 3/4 remaining dough, knead well (gradually add milk as this dough required more water than the chocolate dough). Add 23g butter and knead to form elastic dough.

3. Spray water on doughs and place in separate containers. Cover and let it proof for 60 mins.

4. Punch down the doughs, roll into respective balls, cover and let it rest for 10 mins.

5. Flatten the chocolate dough into a rectangle shape 18x12cm. Flatten the white dough into a rectangle shape 20x15cm. Place the chocolate dough on top of the white dough. Flatten it into 30x20cm.

6. Cut into 2 equal portions. Place one piece on top of the other. Flatten the dough into 30x20cm, repeat for another two times. 

7. Cut it into three strips and plait it together. Place the dough into a greased load tin. Spray water and cover. Let it proof for another 30 mins. or when the dough reach 90% height of the baking tin.

8. Bake at 200C for 30~35 mins. Dislodge from tin once baked.

05 December 2011

Homemade Kimchi

Kimchi is a traditional fermented Korean banchan (side dish) made of vegetables with varied seasonings. Usually I get my kimchi from a well known Korean stall at Bukit Timah Plaza.  They homemade the kimchi, it is very nice but is expensive compared to the one selling in the supermarket. It didn't cross my mind to make kimchi until four weeks ago I saw Lena from Frozen Wings made kimchi using cincalok, it was really a good way of clearing my nearly expire fermented shrimp paste (cincalok) since I'm a kimchi lover. I can eat kimchi with plain rice :) I got my gochujang paste from the Korean mini mart near my place and swing into action on 22 Nov and fermented it for 6 days.

I think the cabbage I used was a little small, and too much cooked rice added, it turned out that I have lot of paste at the end of fermentation. I added the paste to cook my noodle and the kimchi soup turned out so delicious! The cabbage tastes crunchy after 6 days of ferment. Thanks to Lena for sharing this recipe!

Recipe adapted from Frozen Wings, original from Elinluv's Tidbits Corner 
Napa Cabbage (700gm, quartered with stem attached, soak in brine)
6 heaped tbsp gochujang paste
1/2 bowl cooked rice (my 1/2 bowl is far too much than Lena's)
1 onion, chopped
1 radish (omitted)
50gm spring onions, cut into lengths
50gm chilli flakes/chilli powder (omitted)
10gm sugar (used 25g)
50gm minced garlic
4 tbsps fermented shrimp paste (cincalok)(used the whole small bottle)
50ml fish sauce

1.Soak the cabbage in soak salt water about 4 hours, weighing the cabbages with with a heavy plate during the soaking process. Remove cabbages from salt water and drain well.

2.Pound the garlic and rice till fine. (I didn't pound, but try to mash them with a masher) Transfer them to a medium size bowl and add in fermented shrimp paste, fish sauce, gichujang paste and chilli powder and mix well. Add in the cut green onions and the rest of the ingredients , mix well and leave to rest for about 1/2 hour.

3. Stuff the cabbage with the mixture, apply them starting from the innermost leaves and making sure every part of leave is covered. Repeat until the entire cabbage is covered well with the mixture as well as possible.

4. Put the kimchi in an airtight container and let it ferment at room temperature for half a day. After than, transfer the container to the fridge (temperature below 20C) and allow to ferment for about 6 days.

*Note: without adding the chilli powder the kimchi still taste spicy because there is chilli in gichujang paste and cincalok.

04 December 2011

New Challenge: Pandan Layer Cake

Last month saw Esther made her beautiful Pandan Layer Cake, I told myself Can I do this? I'm not good at baking a big cake especially this kind of layering to me will be challenging. However, my pandan (screwpine leaves) juice and paste was sitting in the fridge for over two weeks, is time to make use of it. I referred my recipe to Joceline as well as Eileen.

My first attempt turned out not so pretty on the pandan kaya paste. The surface of the pandan kaya paste doesn't look crystal clear (can it be because of the used of gelatin powder instead of the jelly powder, anyone can tell me why?) And my 1st layer of cake sponge is not in line with the 2nd and 3rd layer... but I love the taste of this cake! The sponge is a soft chiffon cake, the combination of pandan kaya paste and chiffon cake make the whole cake texture taste super soft! I'll definately will make this cake again!

As I don't have a 8 inch round mould, I used my 6 inch round springform mould.

Chiffon cake recipe from Eileen
Pandan kaya paste recipe from Esther and Joceline

01 December 2011

Snowflake Almond Cranberry Cookies

December is the month that I've been waiting for so long, finally today is 1st December, start to count down :)

This week Life Group will be at my house, usually it will end around 10pm, and the host has to prepare light supper. Start thinking of the menu for supper, it should be light and easy for me to prepare as I want to enjoy the day and enjoy the present of God. When I saw Anncoo Journey posted this Almond Cranberry Cookies, I like the recipe as I've all ingredients ready in my freezer and it doesn't require a whisk or mixer...less washing for the lazy me :D 

Oh, Christmas is not far, let me surprise everyone with these pretty and yummy Snowflake Almond Cranberry Cookies. I double the ingredients but it is still not enough for me :) I made about 18 nos. After grinding the almond flakes and dried cranberry, there is still small bits of almond and cranberry for you to munch and crunch on... I love this way of eating my crunchy cookies! 

You may hop over to Anncoo Journey to see her beautiful baked and the photos illustrations.