9:00 AM

Nutty about Doughnuts~~

The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.


Finally! It's the day to post up about this month's challenge. October. My. First. Challenge.

*jumps* *hops* *turns around in circles*




I wouldn't say it went brilliantly, but then again, I'm a perfectionist. Hardly anything can pass my test of being "the best it could EVER be".


Out of the four recipes, I went with the yeast doughnuts, with some minor modifications.


Yeast Doughnuts

Ingredients

180ml Milk
35g Butter
1pkg/7g Active Dry Yeast
40 ml Warm Water
1 Large egg, beaten
22.5g White Granulated Sugar
1/2 tsp Table Salt
2 1/3 cups All Purpose Flour


1. Place the milk in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat just until warm enough to melt the butter.

2. Place the butter in a bowl and pour warmed milk over. Make sure the butter is melted. Set aside.

3. In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let dissolve for 5 minutes. It should get foamy. After 5 minutes, pour the yeast mixture into the large bowl of a stand mixer and add the milk and shortening mixture, first making sure the milk and butter mixture has cooled to lukewarm.

4. Add the eggs, sugar, salt, and half of the flour. Using the paddle attachment of your mixer (if you have one), combine the ingredients on low speed until flour is incorporated and then turn the speed up to medium and beat until well combined.

5. Add the remaining flour, combining on low speed at first, and then increase the speed to medium and beat well.

6. Change to the dough hook attachment of the mixer and beat on medium speed until the dough pulls away from the bowl and becomes smooth, approximately 3 to 4 minutes (for me this only took about two minutes). If you do not have a dough hook/stand mixer – knead until the dough is smooth and not sticky.

7. Transfer to a well-oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

8. On a well-floured surface, roll out dough to 3/8-inch (9 mm)thick. (Make sure the surface really is well-floured otherwise your doughnuts will stick to the counter).

9. Cut out dough using a 2 1/2-inch (65 mm) doughnut cutter or pastry ring or drinking glass and using a 7/8-inch (22 mm) ring for the center whole. Set on floured baking sheet, cover lightly with a tea towel, and let rise for 30 minutes.  *I used a smaller doughnut cutter, as I wanted mini doughnuts.

10. Preheat the oven to 190°C.

11. Bake for 10-15 minutes under golden brown.

12. Transfer to a cooling rack. Allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes prior to glazing, if desired.




You can choose to fry these in oil heated to about 350°F, but I decided to go with the healthier option of baking them instead. Turned out great!

I made some doughnut sticks as well as those adorable mini ones.


I went a little crazy when it came to icing them. A lot of flavours came out: 
  Toasted Almond Glaze and Green Tea

 Cinnamon Sugar

 Chocolate & Chocolate Almond

Yummy~~!!!

11:53 PM

Pop it goes~~

It's been a few years since I last had pop-tarts.


Commercial bought ones, mind you.
And you might find it shocking to hear that I've never had homemade ones.. *gasps*

Yeah yeah.. I know what you're thinking. That I've been living under the rock. That I've not experience life.


But.... as of now, I've officially made pop-tarts!
These are probably going on my all-time-favourite things to make; I can have them for dessert, or breakfast, or lunch, or every other meal and snack in between.


You can find the original recipe here.


Homemade Pop Tarts


Pastry
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pats
1 large egg
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) milk
1 additional large egg (to brush on pastry)

Cinnamon Filling (enough for 9 tarts)
1/2 cup (3 3/4 ounces) brown sugar
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, to taste
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 large egg, to brush on pastry before filling

To make cinnamon filling: Whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, and flour.
 
Make the dough:
1) Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt.

2) Work in the butter with your fingers or pastry blender until the mixture holds together when you squeeze it.

3) Whisk the first egg and milk together and stir them into the dough, mixing just until everything is cohesive, kneading briefly on a well-floured counter if necessary.
    *you might need to refrigerate it for a while at this point, if your kitchen is on the warm side, that is*

4) Divide the dough in half, shape each half into a smooth rectangle, about 3×5 inches. You can roll this out immediately or wrap each half in plastic and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

5) If the dough has been chilled, remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to soften and become workable, about 15 to 30 minutes.

6) Place one piece on a lightly floured work surface, and roll it into a rectangle about 1/8″ thick, large enough that you can trim it to an even 9″ x 12″. [You can use a 9" x 13" pan, laid on top, as guidance.] Repeat with the second piece of dough. Set trimmings aside. Cut each piece of dough into thirds – you’ll form nine 3″ x 4″ rectangles.

7) Beat the additional egg and brush it over the entire surface of the first dough. This will be the “inside” of the tart; the egg is to help glue the lid on.

8) Place a heaping tablespoon of filling into the center of each rectangle, keeping a bare 1/2-inch perimeter around it. Place a second rectangle of dough atop the first, using your fingertips to press firmly around the pocket of filling, sealing the dough well on all sides. Press the tines of a fork all around the edge of the rectangle. Repeat with remaining tarts.

9) Gently place the tarts on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Prick the top of each tart multiple times with a fork; you want to make sure steam can escape, or the tarts will become puffy pillows rather than flat toaster pastries.

10) Refrigerate the tarts (they don’t need to be covered) for 30 minutes, while you preheat your oven to 180°C.

Bake the tarts: Remove the tarts form the fridge, and bake them for 20 to 25 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown. Cool in pan on rack.

Makes 12 pop-tarts

The ones on the left are brushed with egg before entering the oven; the ones on the right, are the "non-eggy" ones. Which one do you think looks better? I think i might go with the egg wash on the outside next time. =)


There were some egg left, so rather than wasting it, I made some custard. nice~~~
6:35 PM

Going bananas~~

What exactly does one do when she has been feeling under the weather?
Finally able to move past the gloom that a foul creature has set upon her, but still not quite fully bouncing around in the happy clouds yet.

Why, she bakes!



Someone who has once declared that he has no intention of ever doing anything to hurt me has done exactly that. And furthermore, he doesn't seem to give a *tooot* about me anymore.
But that's all whiney-ranty gibberish now. I've moved past that.

Men will be men. (Please don't throw bananas at me if you're one of them, I mean no harm. Serious.)

 Now sometime alone in the kitchen, elbows deep in flour and butter is the way to complete the...therapy, would you have it.


I've been eyeing those lovely bunch of bananas sitting on the counter-top ever since their arrival  two nights ago. And this morning with no one at home to disturb my peace. I grabbed several of those awesome creatures. Ventured into my get-away haven. Closed the doors. Took a deep breath. And went to my happy place.


Banana Cookies 
from Simply Recipes

Ingredients
1/2 cup of unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup of sugar Original recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, I halved this, and it was still a tad too sweet for me..
1 egg, room temperature
1 cup of mashed bananas (about 2 ½ large bananas)
1 teaspoon of baking soda
2 cups of flour
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 cup of pecans (walnuts and chocolate chips are fine alternatives)  I used choc chips. =)

Method

1 Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and continue to beat.

2 In a bowl, mix the mashed bananas and baking soda. Let sit for 2 minutes. The baking soda will react with the acid in the bananas which in turn will give the cookies their lift and rise.

3 Mix the banana mixture into the butter mixture. Mix together the flour, salt, and spices and sift into the butter and banana mixture and mix until just combined.

4 Fold into the batter the pecans or chocolate chips if using. Drop in dollops onto parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until nicely golden brown. Let cool on wire racks.

Makes about 30 cookies.



These cookies look heavenly. Smell heavenly. Taste heavenly. 
I do apologise, they seem to have left me devoid of my normal set of vocabulary.

That, or I've simply gone to heaven.


3:59 PM

Bring On the Challenge

Okay, I'll admit it..
I'm not a very hard-working blogger..

Not at all..

I read a lot of blogs though..

But when it comes me actually typing them out...

Urgh.. The lazy bugs do bite me hard...

But I promise, like the little angel that I am (not), to post regularly from now on. Bring on the challenge!

Now the more important thing, I've decided to join Daring Baker's Monthly Challenge.
I've spent endless hours reading about them on other blogs, and have always found the idea intriguing.

So yes. I now sit in wait as to what the October Challenge is. Whatever it is, I think I'm up for it.
No wait. I AM up for it.. =)