31 May 2011

Chocolate-coated Cheesecake Alphabets for the Aspiring Bakers#7 =)

Cheesecake Recipe from here, instead of digestive biscuits as base crust, i used oreo cookies instead.
Chocolate Granche to cover the letterings -- 200gm cooking chocolate melted with 1 can of heavy cream.

creases came fr the underlining patchment paper, urgh.

also need 'blueprint' okie? =p

cheesecake words were perspiring (but not melting), so was i.

i couldn't possibly serve tis like dat, even tho' the birthday boy loved the original new york cheesecake plain as it is. This cake was meant as a surprise/highlight for the surprise birthday party which his wifey secretly arranged. i love being part of a secret mission!!! =)

Cocoa powder sprinkled over.. and placed the 3D chocolate-coated cheesecake letterings over. i underestimated the width of the cake (amateur baker who failed maths) so i had to squeeze them together (couldn't place in straight horizontal line) & had the sides 'fallin-out' a lil... but i thot it made it look more fun in the end =) 

the thick of it, the whole cake was damn heavy -- 2kg?

took me an hour to alternate the daisies & sunnies in my set color sequence.. i so wish i could work faster!! Needs practice!!

my cheapskate birthday banner, makeshift cutting knife (jus an ordinary plastic knife lah) and $2 candles fr Daiso (we all love!)

The best pic of the cake (imho). Nothin beats a picture of the cake wif the birthday boy himself + wifey. We had a fabulous time at the Scarlet hotel!!
Happie 40th Birthday, David! 

I'm submitting tis to Aspiring Bakers #7 – Chocolate Delight (May 2011) hosted by DG from Tested and Tasted!
This is my 4th entry! 1st, 2nd & 3rd entries are here, here and here!
i do have more stuff baked wif chocolate tis mth, but sadly i dun think i hv anymore time to upload them, i need to get back to work already! Can't wait for nxt mth's theme! =) Till then, everyone! 
 Have a great June Summer! 

65°C Chocolate Wassant for the Aspiring Bakers#7 =)

It has been a really busy time for me the past 2 weeks that i hvn't really got the time to sit down and write, it's easier to jus post up fotos of wat i've done. Plus the fact that i couldn't upload my fotos at home (server rejected?? all the time fr blogger &^%$#@), i can only upload illegally at work (now), so no time to share my experience in baking these. Sorrie =( And i didn't realize it's the last day of May today already!! HURRY HURRY CURRY!! I need to email tis out to DG soon!!
65°C TangZhong

To prove


Not quite successful wif the chocolate block coz i forgot the all-impt step of heatin/stirrin it up b4 chillin'!!

i followed the recipe from here!

I'm submitting tis to Aspiring Bakers #7 – Chocolate Delight (May 2011) hosted by DG from Tested and Tasted! This is my 3rd entry! 1st and 2nd entries are here and here! I still hv a few more chocolatey stuff i did! I hope i can finish posting them all by today!! =}

26 May 2011


To achieve the layered flakes, it's using 2 different doughs - water and oil dough.
Tis is water dough.

The all-impt 叉烧 filling.

When i did the 1st 2 (on top left), i thot they looked boring so i tried to pleat a lil. But lookin at the results, i think they look the best! The rest are so uglyyyyyyyyy

Recipe here!
i hv so much to share (i did another chocolatey-thing! for Aspiring bakers but i hv no time to post up *urgh) but it has been a really hectic week at work (i baked these 酥 on 11May'11 - jus for my own 'record' purpose =p)  ... Will surf in agn once the coast is the clear! =)

19 May 2011

Chocolate Napoleon for the Aspiring Bakers#7 =)

A BIG HELLO to all Aspiring Bakers! Meet Mr Chocolate Napoleon=p
i've already (& originally intended) submitted an entry to Aspiring Bakers #7 – Chocolate Delight (May 2011) hosted by DG from Tested and Tasted to partake in May's themed partyyyyy. But becoz that entry was not ideal - the supposed captions had disappeared & i'm still feelin sore abt it coz i knw i can never bring back the original message/intention/mood i felt when i was submitting the entry. We all knw it's not jus abt random baking and posting up pretty pictures, thots (& heart?) goes in as well to present the best Chocolate idea to our fellow blogger frens so that everyone can hv a fun time reading up on each others' creations & be inspired/re-inspired. Maybe i'm petty but i cannot get over the fact that even the 'best plan' could flaw. How the hell did my blog content and comments disappeared when blogger was down (for only a day, some said 2), and i thot they were jus down for maintence activities. Bummer. Anyway, i'm not one who could write the same story twice. So sorrie, i jus lost it for that entry.

On hindsight, it's good, it got me going to do up another item, as well as when DG replied to my 1st submission, saying that she looks fwd to more chocolate entries, i felt a tad bit more motivated to get into action agn.
i flipped thru my Martha Stewart Baking Bible, and so here we go again! =)
Puff pastry prepared the nite before. Didn't wanna make too much of it (jus did 1/3 of the recipe amt fr book) even tho' i knw they can kept in the freezer for future use. Thinkin of recipes to use up the remaining dough in the freezer is not always fun, if u know wat i mean.

Didn't turn out too bad.

Fun wif the glaze! Supersweet stuff.

Do test-drippin in bowl 1st before you start the glazing work... u see, i didn't really got it right, it was drippin' out from the sides of the pastry.. chillin' it will save the day!~

Tis was easy but i didn't read the instructions properly & skipped the 2nd-time heating in pan, couldn't get the chocolate cream to thicken no matter wat. i resorted to adding more cocoa powder & cornstarch!! Still, nowhere there. So i put the pan back onto the stove. Thickened in no time!

i didn't pipe it as Mrs Stewart did. As they say, i did it my wayyyyy...
After 1hr chillin' time =D

The final stacking at the top came wif a sense of satisfaction. If u knw wat i mean =)

Bummer. Very hard to slice. I didn't hv a serrated knife then (but i already bought one 2days ago!). Plus, the puff pastry was quite tough, must be too much flour/over-handling. Wahlau ehh.. tsktsk.

You deserve a solo pic.
This pic wasn't taken by me. It was taken by my primary sch fren i've known since we were 8yrs young. I gave away Mr.Chocolate Napoleon to Terence + Wifey Gin & Hao (also my 'personal delivery man' who secretly helped deliver them to Terence's house. SURPRISE!! =p). Terence took tis pic & posted up on fb.
And i thk tis is the Best pic of Mr.Chocolate Napoleon. U think? :)

Comin' up... the recipe!

.. which i got from tis Baking book. Which i bought when i was holidaying in Phuket some weeks back. (Relaxation to me was lying in the hotel room, indulging in tropical fruits & flippin' thru the wonderous works of Mrs Stewart!) Wat a thing to buy when in phuket huh.
i also say =p 
Puff Pastry Ingredients:
(i modified the quantity and am giving you exactly how much i used to make wat i did above)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1/3 cup cake flour
- 1/3 tablespoon salt
- 1/3 tablespoon sugar
- 1/3 cup cold water
- 150g unsalted butter, cold + 1/3 stick, cold, cut into small pieces
- 1/3 teaspoon white wine vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice

- In a large bowl, combine all-purpose flour with the cake flour, salt and sugar.
- With a pastry blender, cut in the butter pieces (1/3 stick) until the mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few larger clumps remaining.
- Make a well in the center, and pour in 1/3 cup cold water and the vinegar, gradually drawing the flour mixture over the water, gathering and combining until mixture comes together to form a dough. If the dough is too dry, add more cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Knead gently in the bowl, and form dough into a rough ball.
- Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 40 minutes or up to 2 hours.
- Sprinkle 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour on a sheet of parchment.
- Lay remaining butter (150g) on top, side by side; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon flour.
- Top with more parchment; pound butter with a rolling pin until it’s about ½ inch (1,3 cm) thick.
- Remove top paper, fold butter in half, replace paper; pound butter until it’s ½ inch thick.
- Repeat 2 or 3 more times until it is pliable.
- Using a bench scraper, shape butter into a 6-inch (15 cm) square; wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until chilled, about 10 minutes.
- Lightly dust work surface with flour.
- Roll out dough to a 9-inch (23 cm) round; place butter package in center.
- Using a parking knife or bench scraper, lightly score dough to outline butter square.
- Remove butter; set aside.
- Starting from each side of marked square, gently roll out dough to form 4 flaps, each 4 to 5 inches (10 to 13 cm) long; do not touch square.
- Return butter to center square; fold flaps over butter.
- Press with your hands to seal.
- With the rolling pin, gently pound the dough all over in regular intervals until it is about 1 inch (2,5 cm) thick; this will soften the dough, making it easier to roll.
- Working in only one direction (lengthwise), gently roll out the dough to a 20-by-9-inch (51-by-23-cm) rectangle, squaring corners with the side of the rolling pin or your hands as you go.
- Using a dry pastry brush, sweep off excess flour.

- With a short side facing you, fold the rectangle in thirds like a business letter.
- Turn the dough a quarter-turn clockwise, so the flap opening faces right, like a book. This completes the first turn.
- Roll out the dough again to a 20-by-9-inch rectangle, rolling in the same lengthwise direction; fold dough again into thirds. This completes the second turn.
- Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate until well chilled, about 1 hour.
- Repeat the rolling, turning and chilling process for a total of 6 turns; always start each turn with the opening of the dough to the right.
- Wrap dough in plastic; refrigerate 3 to 4 hours before using the dough.
- Use dough within a day, or freeze it for up to 3 months. Don’t leave puff pastry in the refrigerator for more than 1 day or it will lose its ability to puff properly in the oven.

Chocolate Napoleon recipe:

- Puff Pastry (use above)
- Chocolate Pastry Cream (see below)
- ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled

- 1 teaspoon light corn syrup (i excluded tis coz i didn't hv any, i didn't think it matters)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 teaspoons Dutch-process cocoa powder

- On a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, roll out Puff Pastry to a 12-inch (30,5 cm) square, about 1/8 inch (0,5 cm) thick.
- Using a pastry cutter or pizza wheel, cut squares into three 12-by-4-inch (30,5-by-10-cm) strips.
- Transfer dough and parchment to a large baking sheet; prick over with a fork.
- Cover with plastic wrap; chill in the refrigerator or freezer until firm, about 30 minutes. Mean while preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C.
- Transfer sheet to oven; bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until pastry is puffed and golden around the edges, about 10 minutes.
- Set another baking sheet directly on pastry strips and continue baking until pastry is light golden in the center, 6 to 8 minutes more.
- Remove top baking sheet; bake until pastry is baked through and golden brown, 6 minutes more.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

- In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, butter (or shortening), corn syrup and 1 tablespoon milk. If the mixture is too thick to pour, add additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until it reaches the consistency of sour cream.
- Transfer a quarter of the glaze to a small bowl; whisk in cocoa.
- Transfer chocolate glaze to a paper cornet; set aside.
- Pour white glaze onto one of the pastry strips; spread evenly with an offset spatula.
- Cut the tip of the paper cornet, and pipe lines of chocolate glaze crosswise over the white glaze, about ½ inch (1,3 cm) apart.
- Drag the tip of a wooden skewer down the length of the glazed strip, in alternating directions, to create a decorative pattern.
- Fit a pastry bag with a 5/8-inch plain tip (such as an Ateco #808) and fill with half of the Chocolate Pastry Cream.

- Pipe an even layer onto another pastry strip.
- Top with the remaining pastry strip, pressing gently to secure.
- Fill the pastry bag with the remaining pastry cream, and pipe evenly onto the strip.
- Place the glazed pastry on top.
- Once assembled, the Napoleon is best eaten the same day; slice with a serrated knife.

Chocolate Pastry Cream recipe:

Ingredients: (Pls halve the following recipe coz it makes too much!! Or even cut by 70%)

- 2 cups whole milk
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped
(I used 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)pinch of salt
- 4 large egg yolks
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

- In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, ¼ cup sugar, vanilla bean and seeds, and salt.
- Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a simmer.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, cornstarch, and remaining ¼ cup sugar.
- Whisking constantly, slowly pour about ½ cup of the hot-milk mixture into the egg-yolk mixture. Continue adding milk mixture, ½ cup at a time, until it has been incorporated.
- Pour mixture back into saucepan, and cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until it thickens and registers 160°F on an instant-read thermometer, about 2 minutes.

- Remove and discard vanilla bean.
- Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
- Add the butter and chopped chocolate, and beat on medium speed until the butter and chocolate melts and the mixture cools, about 5 minutes.

Enjoy!! =)