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Agave Nectar Blueberry Madeleines

 

Women are from Venus, they said. Sensitive, sometimes illogically touchy and hormonally unstable. Non sense isn’t it? Well… so much that I don’t want to agree to that, yesterday was one of those day  that I couldn’t feel the bottom of my feeling. I just felt miserable all day and everything seemed to have gone out of my way.

Thank God , today is different…better. Started  in the morning with the postman knocking on my door… An “amazon” package… What could it be?… My mini angel cake moulds or  my new lens?… It’s the lens, yeay…  I had to make something to test lens, hadn’t I?

 

So here they are, agave nectar  blueberry madeleines, I bought this agave nectar a while ago and wonder how would it taste in bake goods, to tell the truth… I still have to get use to the leafy taste, I don’t know?… I definitely need to find another flavor to pair it with… hmm… wondering what  it would be… Any idea? 

Agave Nectar  Blueberry Madeleines

Recipe adapted from here

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (140g) flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup (200g) sugar
  • 4 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1 stick (4 oz/113g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • Blueberries

Directions

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF. Lightly grease two 15 ½-by-9-inch (38×22cm) nonstick madeleine pans.

In a separate small bowl, combine the sifted flour and baking powder. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, sugar and agave nectar. Using a spatula, fold in the dry ingredients until just combined; the batter will be slightly stiff. Add the butter and essence, mixing until just combined (do not overmix). Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Spread a heaping tablespoon of the batter evenly into each madeleine cup, add in bluberries and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until a hunchback has formed on the puddings and they are golden brown. Unmold them immediately onto a wire rack and allow them to cool completely.

Elderflower Sugar Cookies

 

 

I’ve been wanting to baked with elderflower already for quite sometime, but couldn’t get my hand’s on the treasure until now.

I love flowery scents, I’m always in search for new flowery scents to bake with… in short I’m a flower girl with flower  baking power (not from “flower” generation fortunately unfortunate ;) )… and with my lack of theme in September, I decided to make flower as my challenge’s theme. Not too interesting I’m afraid, but the fall chill is freezing my brain … hehe (excuse.com).

The September 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mandy of “What the Fruitcake?!” Mandy challenged everyone to make Decorated Sugar Cookies based on recipes from Peggy Porschen and The Joy of Baking.

Basic Sugar Cookies:
Makes Approximately 36x 10cm / 4″ Cookies

200g / 7oz / ½ cup + 6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
400g / 14oz / 3 cups + 3 Tbsp All Purpose / Plain Flour
200g / 7oz / 1 cup Caster Sugar / Superfine Sugar
1 Large Egg, lightly beaten
5ml / 1 tsp Vanilla Extract / Or seeds from 1 vanilla bean

Directions
• Cream together the butter, sugar and any flavourings you’re using. Beat until just becoming
creamy in texture.
Tip: Don’t over mix otherwise you’ll incorporate too much air and the cookies will spread during
baking, losing their shape.

• Beat in the egg until well combined, make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add the sifted flour and mix on low until a non sticky dough forms.
Tip: I don’t have a stand mixer so I find it easier to switch to dough hooks at this stage to avoid
flour flying everywhere.

• Knead into a ball and divide into 2 or 3 pieces.
• Roll out each portion between parchment paper to a thickness of about 5mm/1/5 inch (0.2 inch)
• Refrigerate for a minimum of 30mins.
Tip: Recipes commonly just wrap the whole ball of dough in clingwrap and then refrigerate it for an
hour or overnight, but by rolling the dough between parchment, this shortens the chilling time and
then it’s also been rolled out while still soft making it easier and quicker.

• Once chilled, peel off parchment and place dough on a lightly floured surface.
• Cut out shapes with cookie cutters or a sharp knife.
• Arrange shapes on parchment lined baking sheets and refrigerate for another 30mins to an hour.
Tip: It’s very important you chill them again otherwise they’ll spread while baking.
• Re-roll scraps and follow the above process until all scraps are used up.
• Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C Fan Assisted) / 350°F / Gas Mark 4.
• Bake until golden around the edges, about 8-15mins depending on the size of the cookies.
Tip: Bake same sized cookies together otherwise mixing smaller with larger cookies could result in
some cookies being baked before others are done.

Tip: Rotate baking sheets half way through baking if your oven bakes unevenly.
• Leave to cool on cooling racks.
• Once completely cooled, decorate as desired.

Matcha Chocolate Banana Bread

A between challenge post ??? I know… It’s been a long time since I did more than DB Challenge. Well, thank God I have a little bit more time in my hand now. I also have been buying a lot of cooking books lately, since I left most of my old ones back in Jordan. So,I took the recipe from “The Great British Book of Baking” one of my recent ones… I just add ” a little” matcha powder… you might notice that I’ve been in this matcha madness mood always lately… hope you don’t mind ;)

Ice Cream Petit Fours

 

Ok… I got a little bit disappointed with the whole of this month challenge, first of all… a challenge of making another bombe? or another frozen cake?  almost like repeating the last one… c’mon daring bakers it’s been a long time since we had savory bake  or something really different and daring.  Secondly..arghh…  I’m not really a fan of frozen cake, I like my cake  warm freshly baked… Ice cream is  my favorite food but not with frozen cake. This brown butter cake is soooo delicious when it’s just came right out of the oven… but to freeze it, just like eating frozen butter with sugar.

I know some of the DB patiessrie chefs could make this desserts look so beautiful but taste wise, even with the chocolate glaze the dessert is just some what mediocre.

 

The August 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Elissa of 17 and Baking. For the first time, The Daring Bakers partnered with Sugar High Fridays for a co-event and Elissa was the gracious hostess of both. Using the theme of beurre noisette, or browned butter, Elissa chose to challenge Daring Bakers to make a pound cake to be used in either a Baked Alaska or in Ice Cream Petit Fours. The sources for Elissa’s challenge were Gourmet magazine and David Lebovitz’s “The Perfect Scoop”.

Brown Butter Pound Cake

19 tablespoons (9.5 oz) (275g) unsalted (sweet) butter
2 cups (200g) sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring) (See “Note” section for cake flour substitution)
1 teaspoon (5g) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (3g) salt
1/2 cup (110g) packed light brown sugar
1/3 (75g) cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F/160°C and put a rack in the center. Butter and flour a 9”x9” (23cmx23cm) square pan.

2. Place the butter in a 10” (25cm) skillet over medium heat. Brown the butter until the milk solids are a dark chocolate brown and the butter smells nutty. (Don’t take your eyes off the butter in case it burns.) Pour into a shallow bowl and chill in the freezer until just congealed, 15-30 minutes.

3. Whisk together cake flour, baking powder, and salt.

4. Beat the brown butter, light brown sugar, and granulated sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well, and then the vanilla extract.

5. Stir in the flour mixture at low speed until just combined.

6. Scrape the batter into the greased and floured 9”x9” (23cmx23cm) square pan. Smooth the top with a rubber spatula and rap the pan on the counter. Bake until golden brown on top and when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.

7. Cool in the pan 10 minutes. Run a knife along the edge and invert right-side-up onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Swiss Swirl-Vanilla & Green Tea Ice Cream Cake

Two months have passed by… I know… I have been abandoning my blog, but what can I do, time is not on my side. This challenge is so “photogenic”  I wish I got more time to take lots of picture of it, however you need to work fast anyway trying to take picture of ice cream in the summer… and the chocolate fudge syrup is the first one to melt…:(

I still have this mini sachet of green tea that my sis brought me from Japan, which I use as my 2nd flavor for the ice cream,  the colour didn’t come out a lot in the pic but the taste is there, and  just please take my word green tea flavor goes with anything… :)

The July 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Sunita of Sunita’s world – life and food. Sunita challenged everyone to make an ice-cream filled Swiss roll that’s then used to make a bombe with hot fudge. Her recipe is based on an ice cream cake recipe from Taste of Home.-

The Swiss rolls-

Preparation time- 10 minutes

Baking time- 10-12 minutes

Rolling and cooling time- at least 30 minutes

Filling-5-8 minutes

Filling and rolling- 5-10 minutes

Ingredients-

6 medium sized eggs

1 C / 225 gms caster sugar /8 oz+ extra for rolling

6 tblsp / 45gms/ a pinch over 1.5 oz of all purpose (plain) flour + 5 tblsp/40gm /a pinch under 1.5 oz of natural unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted together

2 tblsp /30ml / 1 fl oz of boiling water

a little oil for brushing the pans

For the filling-

2C / 500 mls/ 16 fl oz of whipping cream

1 vanilla pod, cut into small pieces of about ½ cm (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)

5 tblsp / 70gms/2.5oz of caster sugar

Method-

  1. Pre heat the oven at 200 deg C /400 deg F approximately. Brush the baking pans ( 11 inches by 9 inches ) with a little oil and line with greaseproof baking paper. If you have just one pan, bake one cake and then let the pan cool completely before using it for the next cake.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the eggs and sugar and beat till very thick; when the beaters are lifted, it should leave a trail on the surface for at least 10 seconds.
  3. Add the flour mixture, in three batches and fold in gently with a spatula. Fold in the water.
  4. Divide the mixture among the two baking pans and spread it out evenly, into the corners of the pans.
  5. Place a pan in the centre of the pre heated oven and bake for about 10-12 minutes or till the centre is springy to the touch.
  6. Spread a kitchen towel on the counter and sprinkle a little caster sugar over it.
  7. Turn the cake on to the towel and peel away the baking paper. Trim any crisp edges.
  8. Starting from one of the shorter sides, start to make a roll with the towel going inside. Cool the wrapped roll on a rack, seam side down.
  9. Repeat the same for the next cake as well.
  10. Grind together the vanilla pieces and sugar in a food processer till nicely mixed together. If you are using vanilla extract, just grind the sugar on its own and then add the sugar and extract to the cream.
  11. In a large bowl, add the cream and vanilla-sugar mixture and beat till very thick.
  12. Divide the cream mixture between the completely cooled cakes.
  13. Open the rolls and spread the cream mixture, making sure it does not go right to the edges (a border of ½ an inch should be fine).
  14. Roll the cakes up again, this time without the towel. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge till needed, seam side down.

The vanilla ice cream-

Preparation time-5 minutes+freezing

I have made the ice cream without an ice cream maker.

Ingredients-

2 and ½ C / 625 ml / 20 fl oz of whipping cream

1 vanilla bean, minced or 1 tsp/ 5 ml/ .15 fl oz vanilla extract

½ C / 115gms/ 4 oz of granulated sugar

Method-

Grind together the sugar and vanilla in a food processor. In a mixing bowl, add the cream and vanilla –sugar mixture and whisk lightly till everything is mixed together. If you are using the vanilla extract, grind the sugar on its own and then and the sugar along with the vanilla extract to the cream.

Pour into a freezer friendly container and freeze till firm around the edges. Remove from the freezer, beat till smooth and return to the freezer. Do this 3-4 times and then set completely.

PIECE MONTÉE

Eating any form of  “Pate  Choux”  is very hard for me … very hard to stop, I ate 1/4 batch when they were  just baked and plain… 1/4 again when filled, another 1/4 when glazed and by the time I had to  mount it, I had only a tiny bit left…hahaha… it must have been the smallest Piece Montée  you will ever seen…

I  haven’t been as creative as the last choux challenge but considering that I had actually no time to think at all, between my busy schedule and my loaded kitchen sink, just making the challenge on time  is for me already an extra achievement… so anyhow… enjoy :)

The May 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Cat of Little Miss Cupcake. Cat challenged everyone to make a piece montée, or croquembouche, based on recipes from Peter Kump’s Baking School in Manhattan and Nick Malgieri.

 PIECE MONTÉE

Ingredients:

For the Vanilla Crème Patissiere (Half Batch)
1 cup (225 ml.) whole milk
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
6 Tbsp. (100 g.) sugar
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
2 Tbsp. (30 g.) unsalted butter
1 Tsp. Vanilla

Dissolve cornstarch in ¼ cup of milk. Combine the remaining milk with the sugar in a saucepan; bring to boil; remove from heat.

Beat the whole egg, then the yolks into the cornstarch mixture. Pour 1/3 of boiling milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly so that the eggs do not begin to cook.

Return the remaining milk to boil. Pour in the hot egg mixture in a stream, continuing whisking.

Continue whisking (this is important – you do not want the eggs to solidify/cook) until the cream thickens and comes to a boil. Remove from heat and beat in the butter and vanilla.

Pour cream into a stainless steel/ceramic bowl. Press plastic wrap firmly against the surface. Chill immediately and until ready to use.

Pate a Choux (Yield: About 28)
¾ cup (175 ml.) water
6 Tbsp. (85 g.) unsalted butter
¼ Tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup (125 g.) all-purpose flour
4 large eggs

For Egg Wash: 1 egg and pinch of salt

Pre-heat oven to 425◦F/220◦C degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Preparing batter:
Combine water, butter, salt and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and stir occasionally. At boil, remove from heat and sift in the flour, stirring to combine completely.

Return to heat and cook, stirring constantly until the batter dries slightly and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.

Transfer to a bowl and stir with a wooden spoon 1 minute to cool slightly.

Add 1 egg. The batter will appear loose and shiny.

As you stir, the batter will become dry-looking like lightly buttered mashed potatoes.

It is at this point that you will add in the next egg. Repeat until you have incorporated all the eggs.

Piping:
Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a large open tip (I piped directly from the bag opening without a tip). Pipe choux about 1 inch-part in the baking sheets. Choux should be about 1 inch high about 1 inch wide.

Using a clean finger dipped in hot water, gently press down on any tips that have formed on the top of choux when piping. You want them to retain their ball shape, but be smoothly curved on top.

Brush tops with egg wash (1 egg lightly beaten with pinch of salt).

Baking:
Bake the choux at 425◦F/220◦C degrees until well-puffed and turning lightly golden in color, about 10 minutes.

Lower the temperature to 3

50◦F/180◦C degrees and continue baking until well-colored and dry, about 20 minutes more. Remove to a rack and cool.

Can be stored in an airtight box overnight.

Filling:
When you are ready to assemble your piece montée, using a plain pastry tip, pierce the bottom of each choux. Fill the choux with pastry cream using either the same tip or a star tip, and place on a paper-lined sheet. Choux can be refrigerated briefly at this point while you make your glaze.

Chocolate Glaze:
8 ounces/200 g. finely chopped chocolate (use the finest quality you can afford as the taste will be quite pronounced; I recommend semi-sweet)

Melt chocolate in microwave or double boiler. Stir at regular intervals to avoid burning. Use the best quality chocolate you can afford. Use immediately.

Assembly of your Piece Montée:
You may want to lay out your unfilled, unglazed choux in a practice design to get a feel for how to assemble the final dessert. For example, if making a conical shape, trace a circle (no bigger than 8 inches) on a piece of parchment to use as a pattern. Then take some of the larger choux and assemble them in the circle for the bottom layer. Practice seeing which pieces fit together best.

Once you are ready to assemble your piece montée, dip the top of each choux in your glaze (careful it may be still hot!), and start assembling on your cake board/plate/sheet. Continue dipping and adding choux in levels using the glaze to hold them together as you build up.

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