Sunday, October 27, 2013

Decadently luscious superlicious cinnamon rolls!!! ^^

Decadent. Luscious. Superlicious. NO-KNEAD! Yes, what are you waiting for???!!! ^^

Run straight into the kitchen or the baking supplies store, people!!! These are so so so so so soooooooo gooooooood! Of course, that's after reducing ALL the sugars by HALF! These cinnamon rolls by ree@thepioneerwoman are soooooooo delicious!!! Thanks so much, janine@unpastiche, for the recommendation! They are amazing!!! ^^

Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls (recipe from thepioneerwoman)
~ makes 27 rolls in 3 7-inch square trays
2 cups / 500 ml milk
1/2 cup / 125 ml vegetable oil
* 1/4 scant cup sugar
1 packet active dry yeast / 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
4 cups all purpose flour (bread + all purpose is good ^^)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 scant tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1 cup (227g) melted butter
2 tbsp cinnamon powder
* 1/4 cup sugar (brown+white ^^)

1. Bring milk, oil and sugar to just short of a boil. Remove from heat and leave to cool for 45 minutes - 1 hour.

2. Add active dry yeast to lukewarm milk mixture and leave it to sit and bubble. Omit this step if using instant yeast.

3. If using instant yeast, blend in with the 4 cups of flour. Add flour into the milk mixture and mix till well combined. Cover and leave to double in size for about 1 hour.

4. Mix the extra 1/2 cup flour with baking powder and baking soda till well blended. Add the flours into the dough till well combined.

5. Refrigerate dough for later use or use immediately. Refrigerating overnight would be a good choice ^^

6. Generously flour working surface, and roll out dough thinly into a rectangle. Tip: Wrap rolling pin with plastic cling wrap.. you'll see! ^^

7. Spread melted butter all over dough. Sprinkle cinnamon powder and sugar all over evenly.

8. Roll dough from the long end towards you. Roll tightly and pinch the seams to seal.

9. Slice rolls into 3/4 or 1 inch thick and place them in greased baking tins. Leave to rise for 20-30 minutes.

10. Bake in preheated oven of 400F/200C till light golden brown for 15-20 minutes.

11. Remove and drizzle generously with sauce/topping of your choice! ^^

Easy caramel sauce (recipe from leitesculinaria)
~ make 1 1/2 cups
* 1/2 scant cup brown sugar
1 stick / 115g butter
1/4 cup heavy/whipping cream
1/4 cup honey
** add 2-3 pinches of sea salt ~ you won't regret this!

Bring all ingredients to a boil. Lower heat  and continue to stir and cook for 2 minutes. Drizzle over anything you fancy! ^^

I've sort of gotten the feel for rolling the dough after that one practise on italian cheese and herb pinwheels ^^ And these cinnamon rolls definitely benefitted from that maiden attempt, haha! ^^ 

Well, I must confess that I was a wee sceptical about the no-knead part, but these rolls turned out amazingly soft and fluffy inside. And the crust is nicely crisp and browned. So you can imagine how good it tastes with ooey-gooey sticky caramel sauce! ^^

Oh yes, because I reduce the sugars by half in the dough and filling, the rolls were just nicely sweet, not tooth achingly-sweet. As such it's totally perfect with caramel sauce or any frosting for that matter! ^^

I believe, like ree, I must be the most popular aunt and neighbour today! ^^

Saturday, October 26, 2013

A delicate castella cake ^^

Thanks, mel! I can't believe I made this.. and successfully too, at my first attempt! ^^

I had not planned on making castella cake ever, after reading the difficult steps and many failed- attempts stories. But after mel's text and encouragement to try it, because it tasted really good ^^.. and a re-look into the recipe that she used and also nami's of justonecookbook ^^.. as well as a "technical" discussion with her over whatsapp ^^, I decided to give it a go..

And lo and behold! A beautifully risen, soft and fluffily moist castella cake ~ a perfect cake.. almost, hehe! ^^

Castella cake (inspired by mel@melspantrykitchen, adapted from rotinrice and justonecookbook)
~ makes a small loaf
2 egg whites
70g sugar (MUST REDUCE to 35-40g next time!!!)
2 egg yolks
1.5 tbsp honey +1 tbsp water
60g bread flour (BREAD or HIGH PROTEIN flour only!), sift 2-3 times!

1 tbsp + 1 tbsp water, dissolved

1. Using an electric mixer, whisk egg whites till foamy. Add sugar and beat till stiff and shiny, about 4 MINUTES.

2. Mix in egg yolks till combined.

3. Add honey+water and beat till well combined for 1 MINUTE.

4. Fold in flour gently into the batter using the mixer whisk or by hand using a WHISK.

5. GREASE (MUST! MUST! MUST!!!) baking tin, and line with paper (see here and here). This is important, so that cake doesn't cave in or shrink too much at the sides.

6. Gently pour cake mixture into lined baking tin. Remove bubbles by making a zig zag motion using a skewer, through the batter. Make sure to smooth the surface of the batter before putting it in the oven.

7. Bake in a preheated oven of 155-160C for about 40-45 minutes, or till golden brown, or till throughly baked.

8. Remove cake from baking tin and brush top with honey+water glaze. And immediately wrap it with plastic cling wrap. Place and leave cake overnight in the refrigerator.

9. Slice off and tidy up the sides before serving. Enjoy! ^^  

This cake turned out almost faultless ~ perfect texture, perfect rise, perfect moistness, perfect looks, perfect scent.. and perfect taste too.. if only it wasn't so sweet! I'm sure the sweetness level is pretty acceptable for most people, and if you're having it with green tea or unsugared tea or coffee. Maybe it's just us ~ too much of a sugar rush for us piggies! Even the king of sweet, baby pig commented that it's perfect but too sweet! ^^

i love instagram ^^

Anyway, this was still a very, very enjoyable treat ^^. Perfect with coffee! ^^

p.s. a pix of castella cake from Ginso, bought during our osaka trip last year. my first taste of "real" castella cake and it was just ok for us.. hence never attempted to make it since..that and the fact i still felt jinxed at making something resembling a chiffon cake, haha! ^^||

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Finally.. italian cheese and herb pinwheels!

I've had active dried yeast die on me. But instant yeast???????!!!!!

Yup, that happened too! ^^|| Well, I'll not go into specifics, but this is my 3rd/4th attempt for the 2nd weekend running on these little rolls! All to make my little piggies, especially big pig, happy! ^^ So there.

Italian cheese and herbs pinwheels (recipe inspired by foodiebaker, adapted from
~ makes 9 rolls
1 3/4 cups flour, + more if necessary
1 tsp yeast
a pinch of salt
1 tsp sugar
2 small eggs
1/2 cup lukewarm water or milk
60g softened butter
1 tsp dried italian herbs
150 - 200g grated cheese (use a mix of tasty cheeses!)
1 egg, beaten

1. Mix all dry ingredients together till well blended. Add eggs and water/milk till well combined. Then add softened butter to the dough. Expect dough to be soft and sticky.

3. Knead dough till smooth and elastic. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise for 1 - 1 1/2 hours.

4. Punch dough down, and roll out into a 8x11" rectangle.

5. Spread some beaten egg all over the dough, leaving some space to the edges. Sprinkle herbs and grated cheese evenly on the dough. Roll dough up from the shorter end and cut them into 9 discs.

6. Place rolls into a greased 8-inch square tin and bake in a preheated oven of 180C for 35-40 minutes, or till golden.

I've always, always wanted to make cinnamon rolls, but somehow just never plucked up the courage to ^^||. Yes, I've always had a mental road-block towards making cinnamon rolls! So I'm not quite sure why I didn't feel the same fear for these little savory rolls!

Well, ok, now that I've gotten them out of the way, I can say these rolls aren't that difficult after all ^^. I know I didn't quite do a good job this time.. the rolls were sliced rather unevenly, I didn't bake them immediately and had them stuffed in the fridge overnight (bad idea!), etc.. And boy, they sure turned out ugly! But I now know I can do better the next time! Isn't that a wonderful thing to look forward to.. no more fear of making cinnamon rolls, or any other rolls for that matter! ^^

Anyway, as ugly as the pinwheels were, there wasn't an oink (of complain) from my piggies.. they ate them up just fine ^^! Sometimes it pays to have nephews who are aesthetically blind!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

a boozy treat for big ^^

Big pig turned 17 yesterday. ^^

And his good aunt, that's me ^^ baked him a boozy cheesecake! In his favorite ice-cream flavor, rum n raisin ~ oh, yums!

Rum n raisin cheesecake (recipe adapted from Alex Goh's blueberry cheesecake recipe)
~ makes 12 cupcakes (easy share of happiness and fat! ^^) 

250g cream cheese
50g sugar
15g flour
2 egg yolks
200ml sour cream
2 egg whites
35g sugar
10g cornflour
150 - 200g raisins & sultanas, macerate for 5 days in lots of rum ^^

1. Prepare water bath and preheat oven to 150C.

2. Cream 50g sugar and cream cheese till light and fluffy.

3. Mix in flour till well combined.

4. Add in egg yolks, and beat till light and creamy.

5. Pour sour cream into cream cheese mixture and mix well. Do not over beat.

6. Fold in raisins till well combined.

7. In a separate bowl, whip egg whites and 35g sugar till stiff. Do not over beat. Gently fold in cornflour.

8. Mix in egg whites mixture to cream cheese mixture gently till well combined.

9. Line a 6 or 7" round cake tin or 12-cupcake tins. Fill up cake or cupcake cases till 3/4 or almost full.

10. Bake in water bath for 90 minutes for a whole cake, or 45-50 minutes if using cupcake/muffin tins. Leave cheesecake to cool in the oven with the door slightly ajar.

11. Refrigerate overnight. Serve with more rum-laced raisins, if you like ^^.

* Note: I reduced the quantity of flours from the original cheesecake recipe, hence my cheesecakes actually cracked, but they came together again when cooled.. Anyways, I have no problem with cracked tops ^^ I'd rather that than "floury-tasting" cheesecakes! ^^

I really like this cheesecake base recipe. Not only is it wonderful with blueberry, it's also totally yummy-licious with apple! And it rocks rum n raisin too! Soooooooo delish!!!!!!! I mean it! ^^

Big loves this cheesecake ^^ So do we! ^^ ^^ ^^