Saturday, September 28, 2013

A little late.. but that's just the way it is^^

I've always been a late bloomer, a slow starter, a non-traditionalist.

Yes, these are mooncakes. Yes, it's pretty late.. way past the festival, I know. I wasn't convinced to make any, not till I saw the cute piggy mooncakes all over the blogsphere. However piggies are really beyond me after looking at the how-to.. I can't even make anything out of play-dough!

But I'm reminded of how much I used to love traditional piggy mooncakes that come in plastic baskets.. and I had a re-look into traditional mooncake recipes. And they seem really easy (?) ~ was it possible?

My interest was piqued, but I was convinced to make it next year. However, walking into a baking supplies shop this week that had all the ingredients and moulds still out .. I just couldn't resist ^^. And I had some anko I wanted to get rid of too. ^^

So I made mooncakes with lots of dough and minimal filling ~ my kind of mooncake ^^ using mel's traditional mooncake recipe, which she adapted from here and here . ^^

Anyways, I couldn't wait, so I broke one and tasted.. I know I'm supposed to wait for 2-3 days.. but no problem, it tastes pretty good! However, the anko filling is really way too sweet despite my using that tiny bit of it ^^|| Wish I had omitted the sweet sweet anko!

I can't wait to taste the finished product after 3 days! I just know the skin's going to be good ~ just the way I like it ^^

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Hello September! ^^

There's nothing like waking up on a lazy Sunday to a friend's well wishes for a good day, and crusty bread and coffee for brunch! Definitely one of life's greatest pleasures, in my opinion! ^^

Crusty rye bread with cream cheese, raisins and apricots (recipe adapted from latartinegourmande)
~ makes 3 loaves
2 cups bread flour
1 cup rye flour
2 tbsp butter, diced, room temperature
1 cup water (or milk ^^)
2 tsp active dry yeast (or 1.8 tsp instant yeast ^^)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
50g walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped (I forgot to add ^^||)
50g raisins
50g dried apricots, roughly chopped
125 g cream cheese, diced

1. If using active dry yeast, sprinkle them on top of 4 tbsp of lukewarm water and leave to froth for 5 mins. Slowly add to flour, sugar and salt mixture.

2. If using instant yeast, just add to flour, sugar and salt in a bowl and mix together till well blended.

3. Add diced softened butter and water (or milk) to the dry ingredients, and mix together.

4. Knead with hands/electric mixer till dough is elastic (window pane stage) and forms a ball.

5. Cover and let it rise till it doubles in size.

6. Punch down and add dried fruits and nuts. Knead the dough till all the dried fruits and nuts are well combined.

7. Divide dough into 3 pieces and roll them out. Put cream cheese in the center and fold and pinch the dough edges together. Roll dough over so that the folds are at the bottom. Place them on the baguette tin and leave to rise for a bit (20-30mins).

8. Preheat oven to 410F or 210C, and place an empty tray on the lowest rack.

9. Make a few slashes on the surface and spray some water on the rolls before putting them into a well-heated oven. To get crusty rolls, spray some water into the oven and throw in some ice cubes into the empty tray to get the "steam-effect" right after putting the rolls into the oven. Remove the tray (of water) about 20 minutes into baking. 

10. Bake for 30-35 minutes (or longer) till the loaves are nicely golden and sound hollow when tapped. Remove and leave to cool.

I'm really happy to find success with this recipe again! ^^ I've not dared to attempt this bread again since the first (and only!) time I made it last year ~ which I thought was a fluke (!!!) ~ and left it at that so that I can retain sweet, happy memories of my "success", haha! ^^

But recently, I found the baguette tin of my dreams at a "decent" price! And it is SOOOOO worth it! ^^ Just look at the cornmeal effect at the bottom of the loaf in the pix above! Worth eating "roti" for a while after the splurge, haha! ^^