Friday, August 3, 2012

A Sad Panda Cookie

I haven't updated this blog for quite a long time though I've been wanting to.

My nieces stayed with us during summer vacation and I've decided to make some cookies for them. I had been planning to make panda cookies for such a long time and I thought this would be the best time, to experiment, with the kids to do the taste test :)

Here are some of the "panda" cookies:



Okay, so looking at the cookies nobody guessed "at first" that it was a panda. Some of the kids said it was a cat, one of them said it was Mr. Suave (taken from a Filipino movie, Mr. Suave - this guy had a tache.. ok so the mouth of panda was mistaken for a moustache. Tsk.) and most of them said it was a dog. Hehe.

When I said it was a panda (in a defensive tone) all they said was "Ahhhh" and then took a piece and left. Grr.

Sigh.

Here is one up close. I'm pretty sure it looks like a panda. Right?


Though a sad one for that matter.



Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Red and Yellow Buttercakes

After receiving my Kitchen Aid (Why does adding "my" to it, makes me smile?) I just can't wait to test it.

I decided yesterday would be the day to find out how this thing works. (I know it works wonderfully when I see them on action on TV but I missed the part that you actually have to set it up, do some bowl clearance (if the bowl is too low/ high for the flat beater), and actually plug the thing on.

The Philippines has 220v main supply and the Kitchen Aid comes in 110v, so my brother, knowing I wouldn't know anything about Transformers or power regulators bought a transformer as my Kitchen Aid's loyal companion.

Then the box said something it's capable of doing lots of things (yeah like turning our house into ashes if I haven't found out other 101 things it can do?) like stepping-up and stepping down. I didn't expect it to be this complicated. o_O

After searching various forums and reading articles online if I should step up or step down (thought only our past presidents face this kind of issue), and may I add, the box should've simply showed a chart for people who likes working with pictures like me. Kinda makes the process easier.

I finally got around setting it up, and after contemplating if I plugged the thing right. (Yea, unfortunately it's a matter of life and death.... of my Kitchen Aid.. or maybe more so, like the Kitchen aid plug tells me in bold. Underline added. :P



I turned the thing on.. and it worked! Now I know how it feels like to graduate in an engineering course, I'm pretty sure it feels like this. Like: yey! I haven't blown our house! I'm so happy! - kind of feeling.

Okay so here are some pictures and recipe at the bottom. I pretty much like adding color any chance I can so I baked a plain and red butter cake. =)


In action. =)
Creaming butter and sugar here.

Okay before you start. I tell this to myself but I often end up not doing as I say. But trust me, you need to do this first: the french term is "Mise En Place" don't know how to pronounce it but it pretty much reminds me to "put everything in place." 

Prepare your ingredients in mini bowls, preheat your oven, prepare your baking pans, wash the mixer bowls and dry it up, prepare your measuring spoons and digital scale (In my opinion it's easier to bake with a digital scale so you may wanna invest in one). Prepare every ingredient first so you'll just toss, mix and fold and bake!

Word of precaution, most of the recipes I'll be posting is in grams, this is because I'm using digital scale. 

This recipe makes 2 loaf pans and 1 13-inch rectangular bake pan.
This is a big batch and you may want to reduce it down to the amount you'd like. Multiply ingredients by 0.5 and get the new gram weight if you want to do just half of the original yield. Multiply by .25 if you want to do just 1/4 of the original yield.

Mise En Place:

1. Put eggs, butter and milk/ buttermilk to come to room temperature.
2. Zest lemon/ orange
3. Grease pans (grease it with oil, then sprinkle with flour, cover all sides as well)
4. Sift the flour with the baking powder.
5. Preheat oven (400 F)

Ingredients:

Cake flour - 945 grams
Baking powder - 16.5 g
Unsalted butter (room temp) - 675 g 
Granulated sugar - 1080 g
Salt - 16.5 g
Eggs - 720 g (eggs vary greatly in size/weight so just add eggs on your measuring bowl until it reaches more or less the suggested gram weight)
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Almond extract (can be omitted) - just a drop
Lemon zest - 3 g or replace it with just a tiny drop of lemon flavoring (just a tiny drop or your cake will have a  bitter taste)
Orange zest - 3 g
Buttermilk - 360 ml or 1.5 cups (if you don't have buttermilk like me, you can substitute with 1.5 cups of milk + 3 tsps of cream of tartar)

Procedure:
1. Set up your mixer and mix butter to medium speed until light and smooth. Then add sugar and the salt.

2. Mix or cream mixture until light and fluffy, almost white, then add the eggs, few at a time. Make sure you won't see streaks of eggs on the mixture before adding additional eggs on the batter. 

3. Turn off mixer then scrape sides of the bowl to make sure everything is incorporated evenly.

4. Add vanilla, almond extract and the zests.

5. Mix again about a minute or less to just spread the flavorings equally.

6. Turn off mixer. Divide your cake/ baking powder dry mixture into three parts, divide your buttermilk mixture in three parts. Alternately fold (don't whisk or mix, just gently fold - up and down motion of the spatula) your dry ingredients and buttermilk, making sure each addition is incorporated before adding the next.

7. Divide batter into well greased pans. Bake at 400 F or 205 C for 15 minutes, if your cake starts to brown cover it with foil, then bake for additional 45 minutes to an hour. Test for doneness, if you poke your cake with a stick and it doesn't come out clean, bake for additional more minutes. Mine took about 1 and 30 minutes before the 13-inch pan got baked, but the loaf pans were baked at around 45 minutes or so.

After taking it out from the oven, let it cool inside the pan for about 15 to 20 minutes before flipping it out. 

You need to check your cakes from time to time. Also I use an oven temperature reader (I bought one at Cook's Exchange) that would let you know the exact temp inside your oven, I don't have a digital oven, just the one with a knob so it's pretty easy to have an oven thermometer to adjust the temp.

Okay so here's what I have baked. One of my loaf pans got burned slightly on the side, but still yummy. =)




I covered the pan with aluminum foil and it sticked to the cake when I peeled it off.


Let it cool and then I flipped it. =)



Here's the red one, just added a little streak of Red Dye on the batter before I added it on the loaf. I loved the velvety color. =)


My slice. 

Yesterday was all about baking and I'm pretty happy how my first attempt to bake with my Kitchen Aid was a sort of (success). Yey!

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Cake Idea in Progress

I have been cooking up cake idea in my head for quite sometime now but I never really got the chance to bake it.

I did some series of tests but they did not turn out exactly as what I had pictured them. I'm posting my very first.


Doesn't look very appetizing. :P


Hmm, when i sliced it my mom started looking at it with interest... 

Boyfriend and his brother said 'twas delicious. :P

My New Toy!


Yay! I'm so happy to show my new toy!




I'm so happy and excited!

My brother lives in the US and I requested (ok there was a little sweet-talking involved :P)  for a Standard Kitchen Aid mixer but to my surprise, he's sweet enough to send me a 5.5 qt professional one instead. =)

Thanks bro!!


Love love love it! :)

Monday, October 31, 2011

First Post!

Finally!

This is to start my new journey. Following my passion to cook, bake and make art.. even when nobody cares. =)

I have been busy contemplating about a blog that would put together my love for food and art (and something healthy, I would like to add) that I had delayed starting a blog for almost a year! Yeah talk about some deep thinking.

But then I guess, it's never too late. =)


I hope I can make art, bake and cook as much as I want to and share it to the world how much fun and trouble I had doing it . =)

Happiness always!