Sunday, December 21, 2008

Savory Sweet Melissa

For lunch today I made savory muffins from The Sweet Melissa Baking Book (courtesy of Meagan !) The variation I chose was sun dried tomato, mozarella & oregano. Also for lunch I continued the Italian theme and made spaghetti squash with veggies in tomato sauce. Both were yummy. I kind of over baked the muffins so they were a little dry. I kind of made too much sauce for the spaghetti squash. Therefore the only solution I saw was to dip the savory muffin into the tomato sauce which was super yummy.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Brown & Green Amish Friendship Bread


I figured out how to get the "graduation" cake = )

Somehow, when I combine the Amish Friendship recipe with banana, the bottom turns kind of green. This is my third attempt and all three times the bottom has been green. When I do not use banana it is all one colour, boring.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Banana Almond Butter Yeast Rolls

Well, I was going to take a picture because they looked really cute. Instead of the 12 rolls it was supposed to make, I rolled the dough along the long edge making 24 rolls. However my camera was out of batteries. By the time the batteries were charged, all the rolls had disappeared. Half into my stomach the other half I traded for some home grown zucchini and tomaotes. Maybe next time I will be able to wait until the batteries charge. I doubt it though. I cannot resist warm bread that has just come out of the oven.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Apple Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Dough after first rise
Dough after filled and shaped into a jelly roll

Baked product

So this was attempt #2 at the yeast apple cinnamon rolls. I did two things differently. This time I started at 9:30pm and let the rolls have a "cool rise" overnight. The second thing was that I used probably 1/2c more sugar and 1/2c less flour. Still used the same old yeast that expried in 2007 = )The results were much better this time. Not (as) sour !!! I used the following site to get good tips. I highly recommend it.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Ginger-Fruit Tartelettes

Fruit tartelettes with a ginger-cardamom tart-crust and ginger pastry cream, adapted from Pichet Ong's "The Sweet Spot".

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Apple Cinnamon and Almond Yeast Bread

Loaf before 2nd rise. Loaf after baking.Inside of baked loaf.
Same thing, different shape before 2nd rise.
Samething, different shape, after baking.

Took the whole day !!! Started at 9:30 am and was finally finished at 7:30 pm. I decided I needed to use my yeast which expired June 2007. So just a tad over the exipry date. Did the proof test and the little guys did just fine. The only thing though ..... ummm ..... kind of tasted like sourdough. Probably because I used very little sugar. Those little yeast guys must have been super active. Okay I just went to the fleishmann's yeast page to figure out why it might be sour. They said old yeast can do that. Soooo, even though the little guys were super active, no good if trying to make a sweet bread.

Sweet Potato Doughnuts with Roast Apple Filling

Adapted from Pichet Ong's "The Sweet Spot: Asian-inspired desserts"

There is so much confusion over the term "sweet potato" and "yam" that I had a little trepidation before deciding to try and make Pichet Ong's "Sweet Potato Doughnuts with Roast Apple Filling". When I was a cashier, and needed to be able to recognize produce, I was told that sweet potatoes were white on the inside, whereas yams were orange on the inside. Other than that, I deduced that sweet potatoes must have less moisture than yams, based solely on what happens when you try and roast them - yams start oozing moisture, but sweet potatoes don't.

The problem is that, not everyone agrees on this distinction between yams and sweet potatoes. When I moved to Toronto, I didn't seem to be able to find the white sweet potatoes everywhere, and the orange kind was usually marked as "sweet potato." Further research on Wikipedia informed me that both of the vegetables I was considering are "sweet potatoes", and that true yams are not readily available in North America.

I didn't really care that much - I just wanted to make/eat some baked goods. So I bought some orange "sweet potatoes", as these were the only ones available to me, and began making the dough.

At first things were going well - the yeast was foaming, I had all the ingredients...the problem came with the yams. Or sweet potatoes. Whatever they are. I strongly suspect that I was supposed to use the dryer white "sweet potatoes," because the dough was ridiculously wet! Like pancake batter! Although Ong mentions that the dough is soft and wet, I have no idea how on earth I was supposed to shape a dough that wet. Either the amount of sweet potato Ong refers to in the recipe (343g) is supposed to correspond to the post-steamed sweet potato, as opposed to the pre-steamed sweet potato, or I did something else very wrong (but I was careful this time! I used a kitchen scale!), I have no idea how I was supposed to form such a wet dough into balls. So I added about an extra cup of flour, and stuck it in the fridge for two days. The original recipe just asks for a 1 hr rise, but since I am a bad planner, I realized I didn't have enough time to finish the recipe.

Two days later, I took the dough out of the fridge to let it unchill (it was still very, very wet - my hopes that it would dry out a little, like the infamous no-knead dough, were squashed), and got to work on the apple filling, which was quite straightforward.

I spooned 2-3 tbsp of dough into tartelette tins, and then tried to "pinch the top seam" of each doughnut, although it was rather more like gathering dough together and letting it stick to itself. In the end, however, I did manage to surround the apple with dough. Trying to get these guys into the oven was fun - the tartelette tins all slid around on the cookie sheet, so that the separate doughnuts were stuck together at their edges. Trying to separate them was an exercise in futility, so I ended up just sticking them in the oven,stuck together and all.

I was supposed to bake them for about 20 mins, until "puffed and golden brown", but considering that the dough started off ORANGE (another clue that I should have used the non-orange variety?), I was not quite sure the "golden brown" part. I baked them for 25 minutes.


The extra flour made the doughnuts more chewy than I think they were supposed to be. Perhaps if I had a stand mixer, instead of doing this by hand, the texture would have turned out differently. Or perhaps if I used less sweet potato - I used 343 g, as per the directions, but this wasn't "1 medium sweet potato" as Ong suggests, but more like three sweet potatoes.

Would I make them again?

Not the same way - I would definitely try the dryer variety of sweet potato, and hopefully wouldn't need to add the extra flour. But actually, I like Uncle Jack's apple tarts much more than these, in general, so perhaps if I was taking the effort to make filled-pastries, I would just make those instead.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Amish Friendship Bread or Amish Spinach Bread?

Amish Frienship Bread starter batter Day 1

Amish Friendship Bread finished product Day 10

This is probably my fourth or fifth attempt at this recipe. I have used vanilla pudding as an ingredient for several recipes and this was the first attempt with chocolate pudding. The recipe states that you can attempt it with various flavours of pudding. This was also the first time for this interesting discolouration of the finished product. Looks like I made it with spinach pudding instead!!! I brought it into work withou knowing about the discolouration and a coworker asked me if it was safe to eat = ) I told her I didn't even notice the discolouration but it tasted fine to me. I hope nobody at the office gets sick.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

April Baking...(and Fish-steaming)

Blackbean-Steamed Fish with SuiChoy on Rice
Korova Cookies with Almonds
Chocolate Tea Loaf (Moomin)
Ichigo Daifuku (Strawberry, redbean paste, rice flour dough)

Sesame-Seed Cake

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Coffee-Walnut Biscotti, Strawberry tarts, Peanutbutter-banana-oatmeal Scones

Coffee-Walnut Biscotti, Strawberry tarts, Peanutbutter-banana-oatmeal Scones

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Muffins, Brownies and Experimental pizza...

Oatmeal buttermilk muffins, brownies, zucchini-onion-chicken-mushroom-hoisin pizza, mushroom-greenpepper-onion-chicken-curry pizza...

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Post-swimming Breakfast


Eggs (scrambled and fried),
tomato beans,
goat gouda cheese,
pineapples, strawberries, grapes,
buttermilk pancakes, with pineapple-whipped cream (whip it with pineapple jam) and maple syrup,

Celebration dinnner

Miwako and I decided to celebrate my being accepted into grad school with a fancy-style dinner. But we spent so long making it look pretty and taking pretty photos that our tuna-onion pasta was cold by the time we ate it : )


-Tuna-Onion Whole-wheat Spaghetti
-Cheese plate (goat Gouda from quebec, herbed Camembert)
-grapes, strawberries, pineapple, oranges
-freshly-baked baguette
-red wine
-walnut cakes (hodo kwaja)

Baguette Recipe, from here (Although it morphed into a huge loaf in the oven)

1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons salt (I thought there was too much salt, I will cut some out next time)

1. Mix yeast, sugar and warm water together. Let sit for 5 minutes.
2. Add in 2 cups flour, mix well.
3. Add in salt, then rest of flour.
4. Knead, 8-15 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
5. Place into oiled bowl, turn over once to coat dough with oil.
6. Let rise, tightly covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in size.
7. Punch down, and shape into a long, slender baguette (I did three foldovers)
8. Preheat oven, with baking stone/cookie sheet in oven, to 400 deg. F, letting loaf rise for 30 mins.
9. Slash the top of the loaf, brush some cool water onto it, and then bake the loaf in the middle of the oven, about 30 minutes, until golden-brown.

Note: Slide a pan with cold water into the oven when you begin baking the loaf - the steam will create a crispy crust.