January 21st, 2014

Coco&Me crepes dentelles/ gavottes/ paillets feuilletines recipe

www.cocoandme.com - Coco&Me - Coco And Me - Crepes Dentelles/ Gavottes/ Paillets Feuilletines recipe - with step by step pictures - Broadway Market E8 - Tamami - Cake Stall - London

.

Recently I needed some ‘paillets feuilletines’ for the French dessert I was making. I don’t know about where you live, but here in London, it is not easy to get them off-the-shelf. It is definately not mainstream, & instead it is a specialist baking ingredient. Ofcourse, I could get them online, but they sell them in large packs (all I needed was a tiny amount to cover the side of a cake as decoration), & besides, you’ve got to wait several days to get it delivered! Let alone forking out the shipping fee! (I’m a stingy kind of a gal.)

.

Upon research, I realized that crushing up ‘crepes dentelles’ (another name for these is the brand-name called ‘Gavottes’) is a great substitute, or if not the same as the ‘paillets feuilletine’ itself. You won’t believe how happy this realization made me! Because it means that I could make them at home whenever needed, moreover, it’ll be fresher & crunchier! (And quite probably superior than store-bought because it won’t have any substances you won’t normally include in a home-baking situation).

.

  • Def: Crepes dentelle is a wonderfully delicate & flaky cookie that is often folded in to a cigar shape. Buttery in flavour, it is made from thin crispy crêpe that is rolled as soon as it is out of the oven. It originates from Quimper, a charming little town with an almost village-like atmosphere, in the cultural heart of Brittany, France. Crepes dentelles are a delight to eat on it’s own or pairing it with cream-based desserts.
  • Def: Paillets Feuilletine is a baking ingredient that is often used as a component in French desserts for it’s crunchy texture. It is used for Praline Feuillete for example, where feuilletines are stirred in to chocolate & praline paste (… think posh version of ‘chocolate cornflake cake’). Pâtissiers will then spread this thinly in a layered cake to add crunch to a moussey cake. Chocolatiers might enrobe feuilletines mixed ganache to make crunchy bonbons.

.

So here below is my own recipe for Crepes Dentelles slash home-made Paillets Feuilletines. As with all my recipes, I have left no stone unturned & has lots of notes alongside. It uses basic ingredients, but has a fair amount of variables to consider. And if you are making the cigar shape, you’re most definitely throwing in some burnt fingers in to the bargain too. Discouraging? Sorry, but yeah, I thought it wise to warn you prior…

.

x – x – x – x – x – x – x – x – x – x – x – x – x – x – x – x – x – x

.

Crepes Dentelles/ Paillets Feuilletines Recipe:

(Yields 18 Crepes Dentelles using a 9cm x 16cm template)

.

Ingredients:

  • 60g melted butter
  • 110g sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 60g flour
  • about 35 to 40ml of water

.

Equipments you’ll need:

  • A stencil template (please read below the method for how to make)
  • Metal spatula
  • Two or more sheets of Silpat

.

Method:

  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 210 degrees.
  2. 2. Melt 60g of butter completely in a mixing bowl.
  3. 3. Put 110g of sugar in the hot melted butter. Stir until the sugar has dissolved & is not grainy.
  4. 4. Whisk in 1 egg white.
  5. 5. Sift in 60g of flour.
  6. 6. Use a whisk to mix in to paste.
  7. 7. Pour in half of the water & mix well. Then pour in the rest gradually to the correct consistency.
  • (Note that here, the final consistency of the batter is very thin & runny like single cream. – This consistency is THE KEY to how smooth your Crepes Dentelles’ surfaces will turn out to be. If too thick, the surface will be rough with air bubbles. If too thin & runny, you will be having trouble containing it within the stenciled shape. I have given you the rough indication of 35 to 40ml of water, but the correct consistency for your batter has to be gaged by your senses, as it is variable.)
  1. 8. Spatula all of the batter in to a piping bag.
  • (It makes the following work much more methodical & a lot less messier.)
  1. 9. Lay the stencil template on the silpat. Hold down to keep it flat & in place. Spread on the batter evenly with the spatula.
  • (There are three things to consider here:
    A: Domestic ovens tends to brown goods unevenly. For example, my oven browns faster from the edges, which makes it difficult to evenly brown my sheet of Crepes Dentelles. So, for ‘even’ browning, the placements of the batter on the silpat has to be considered. The middle of the tray (away from the edges) is best.
    B: Also, please resist the urge to spread too many shapes on one tray. When the time comes to rolling them in to Crepes Dentelle shapes, there is only about 15 seconds to do so before it’s too rigid. About two spreads per tray would be ideal I think.
    C: Spread thin. Please read about this in the notes below under the title ‘Stencil’.)
  • (Please use the stencil even if you are making Paillets Feuilletine, as it’s easier to spread batter thinly & evenly.)
  1. 10. Place the silpat on the baking tray.
  2. 11. Insert this in to the middle-shelf of the pre-heated oven & bake.
  3. 12. In the meantime, while you wait for it to be baked, spread the next batch on another silpat. You can pop it in when the first comes out.
  4. 13. The baking could take anything between 2 to 4 minutes. Best to check wether it is done from 2 minutes onwards. You might also want to turn your baking tray around to brown it evenly.
  • (It is done when there are no white areas. But be careful not to over-bake – it could be that extra 10 seconds more that makes your Crepes Dentelles/ Paillets Feuilletines taste burnt. Use your first batch as an indicator to get familiar with the correct shade of brown.)
  1. 14. If making Paillets Feuilletine, take the baked sheets off the silpat to cool, then crush with your fingers. If making Crepes Dentelles, immediate start rolling it in to shape. – To roll in to round cigar spirals, use a straw or any thin cylindrical rod.
  • (The crepe is only pliable for the window of 15 to 25 seconds.)
  • (I prefer to turn the sheet back to front, & roll the surface that was facing the silpat on the inside. This is because the silpat side is glossy from being baked on the glass-fiber within the silpat. Furthermore, detaching the sheet off the silpat first makes the rolling process easier.)
  1. 15. Continue baking by swapping turns between the two silpats. Just remember to clean off any excess bits on the silpat by wiping with kitchen paper or by scraping with a different spatula.

.

www.cocoandme.com - Coco&Me - Coco And Me - Crepes Dentelles/ Gavottes/ Paillets Feuilletines recipe - with step by step pictures - Broadway Market E8 - Tamami - Cake Stall - London

.

x – x – x – x – x – x – x – x – x – x – x – x – x – x – x – x – x – x

.

www.cocoandme.com - Coco&Me - Coco And Me - Crepes Dentelles/ Gavottes/ Paillets Feuilletines recipe - with step by step pictures - Broadway Market E8 - Tamami - Cake Stall - London

(From second batch onwards, remember to clean off any bits on the silpat by wiping with kitchen paper or by scraping with a different spatula.)

.

www.cocoandme.com - Coco&Me - Coco And Me - Crepes Dentelles/ Gavottes/ Paillets Feuilletines recipe - with step by step pictures - Broadway Market E8 - Tamami - Cake Stall - London

(Spread the batter thin. You can almost see through to the mesh of the silpat!)

.

Stencil:

  • - Finding the material: To make the stencil template, first find a plastic sheet that has the desired thickness. The thickness, or should I say ‘thinness’ is vital to get right. If your crepes are too thick, it’ll be chewy. But if it is too thin, it will be too fragile & break apart as you roll. For my crepes, I used a 240 micron (2.4mm) acetate sheet that I purchased from CassArts. Sometimes, there might be something similar around the house that could turn in to a good stencil. The stiff plastic folder sleeves for filing could be a contender. Or maybe you have a see-through plastic gift box that is stiff enough? If push comes to shove, perhaps you can even cut out the side of your cereal box…
  • - Cutting to size: I like to cut mine with lots of ample frame all around so that the batter does not land on the silpat. It keeps the silpat clean & crumb-free for the next batch. The measurement of the rectangle is up to you. FYI, mine is 9cm x 16cm.

.

www.cocoandme.com - Coco&Me - Coco And Me - Crepes Dentelles/ Gavottes/ Paillets Feuilletines recipe - with step by step pictures - Broadway Market E8 - Tamami - Cake Stall - London

(My spatula is wider than the cutout area.)

.

May 9th, 2013

Coco&Me French Toast Recipe

NB: Please note, this recipe is especially created for when using everyday pre-sliced bread from the supermarket that is not stale.
.
Coco&Me - www.cocoandme.com - Coco and Me - Quick french toast recipe with process pictures
(Bite-size French Toast! No need to fuss with knife! ^^)
.
Desperately seeking ‘something’
Picture this – bang in the middle of the night, you’re working on the computer. Then the train of concentration loses its steam & thoughts of snacking invade the mind. You ponder what goodies you might’ve lurked in the kitchen cabinets, but a pang of desperation throbs you when the realization of anything everything sweet is missing from your life. Cue the stomach & its whining growl…  
.
… This French Toast recipe actually came about at such moment. I desperately wanted a sweet ‘something’ to snack on in the middle of the night. But it needed to be:
  • very quick & simple to make (will not want to wait for my sweet fix)
  • easily can make for just for one person (it’s just me)
  • use ingredients that’s always at hand at home (it needs to be a reliable recipe to fall back on every time)
  • no need to fire up the oven (too fussy)
  • does not use the hand mixer (too noisy at night)
.
Hmmm, French Toast! As a mid-night feast! Ah…, yes-yes, ofcourse it’s normally consumed for breakfast or brunch, I know that, but it’s ingredients – eggs, sugar, milk, bread & butter, I always have at home & who cares about formalities when no one is watching in this nocturnal hour? It should be simple enough to put together – just dip the bread in eggy milk then pan-fry it with butter, & hey voila!
.
And so my quest starts.
But…, hang on, the first time I made it, it didn’t taste great. The result was unforgivingly too soggy in the middle. Why? Then I analyzed this:
= I’m using cheap thinly-sliced bread from the supermarket & the bread is not stale like it ought to be. 
.
Stale? Yes,typically you’re supposed to use stale bread that’s gone a bit tough & lost a bit of moisture. I guess it must be a universal rule for it. I mean, it’s even called ‘pain perdu’ in French, which means “lost bread”, suggesting that the bread in question is of a wasted, or forgotten one.
.
But realistically, how often do you have a perfectly stale bread at hand when you need it? I certainly don’t. Besides, the supermarket bread rather goes mouldy than stale when old. And so my solution to this was to… lightly toast the fresh bread (then cooling it) before dipping in the eggy mixture. That should mimic stale bread by taking some of the moisture away!
.
To remedy the sogginess, I propose five solutions:
  • Put less milk in.  
  • Cut the bread in to smaller pieces so that it soaks the mixture quicker, & cooks to the core quicker. Smaller is also easier to flip over in the pan without fuzzing the shapes.
  • Fry the bread at very low heat to cook through to the core.
  • Use the lid as you fry so that it steam-cooks the bread. It’ll get fluffier & bouncier.
  • Warm the milk in the microwave prior to combining with egg mixture (I got this idea from the way creme patisserie is made). This in effect will make it quicker to cook as it is already warm when it hits the pan.
.
Crust or no crust
When I was a child I used to just tear out & eat just the innards of the bread, which totally annoyed my mother. – Even now at age 37, I secretly still prefer to chop away the crust especially when making sandwiches, but my Mr.D ~ who is German & proper (Lol!) ~ would scorn, which totally makes me feel like a silly child again, so I daren’t do it nowadays. And now that we are supposed to set a good example in front of our children, I can never kiss goodbye to ‘le crust’.
.
BUT! French Toast is an exception. This is a sweet dessert! It’s an indulgence. Might as well have it the way we like it huh? :) Besides, jokes apart, I personally think that the egg-sogged crust lends a slight wet cardboard-y texture, & takes half the fun out of eating the main super soft part anyways!
.
Aesthetically pleasing French Toast shape? = 8:5 ratio
Upon cutting the bread, call me pedantic or just plain old silly, but I thought to myself: I wonder what the ‘most pleasing rectangle’ is?  
.
The answer I settled on was to cut it to the golden ratio, which the special number is approximately 1.618. Meaning, I will cut the length to 1.618 times of the width. Or to round it up simply, the ratio of length to the width will be 8:5. I’m sure the ancient Greeks would approve of this french toast shape! Lol!
.
NB: If you cut the toast in to 4, it’s pretty much 8:5 each, so no need to get the ruler out! 
.
(Please take this whole measuring thing with a pinch of salt though, it’s all a bit of a pa larva that I’m making here…! You can ofcourse cut it in any way you like!)
.
So how long should the bread soak in eggy milk?
Some say over-night, some say 3o seconds & hey pronto. I’m more in the latter camp. I like the idea of this to be a quick dessert that can be made by whim ~ impromptu with things that can be found in your everyday kitchen. Besides, the pre-sliced white bread from the supermarket sucks the mixture up like a kitchen sponge in no time anyways!
.
Dressing up the French Toast
Please please try it with plain yogurt on the side. And a drizzle of maple syrup which won’t go amiss. And ah, perhaps even a sprinkle of cinnamon powder! The play between the cold yogurt & the hot french toast is so fine~♪, it’s so good~♫. The slight tang of the yogurt beautifully sets against the sweet toast too. 
.
x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x
x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x
Coco&Me Quick French Toast Recipe
.
Ingredients:
  • 2 slices of white bread (preferably thick)
  • 1 egg
  • 15g sugar (vanilla sugar if you have it)
  • 60g milk (full fat if you have it) 
  • A knob of salted butter (for the frying pan)
  • Maple syrup (optional)
  • Plain yogurt (optional)
.
Method:
  • 1. Toast the bread lightly. (Here, don’t brown it, as you’d have the burn taste coming through the French Toast.)
  • 2. Cut the crust off the bread. Then cut to smaller size. (It’s easier to cut without squishing the ends if you cut the toast when it has cooled down.)
Coco&Me - www.cocoandme.com - Coco and Me - Quick french toast recipe with process pictures
.
  • 3. In a bowl, whisk 1 egg until it loses its bounce, then add the 15 grams of sugar. Whisk until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  • 4. Measure 60 grams of milk in a mug & microwave until hot.  
Coco&Me - www.cocoandme.com - Coco and Me - Quick french toast recipe with process pictures
.
  • 5. Slowly pour in the hot milk to the eggs, whisking all the time. (The hot milk will not cook the eggs as the sugar will act as a barrier.)
  • 6. Put the toast pieces in the eggy milk. Swish the bowl around to gently coat the toast on both sides. (Don’t handle by hand as the toast is very fragile when soggy, it will lose shape or tear.)
Coco&Me - www.cocoandme.com - Coco and Me - Quick french toast recipe with process pictures
.
  • 7. Heat the frying pan with medium-low heat. Dissolve the knob of butter. Then align the soaked rectangular bread.  
  • 8. Pop the lid on & lower the heat to minimum.
Coco&Me - www.cocoandme.com - Coco and Me - Quick french toast recipe with process pictures
.
  • 9. Wait for about 3 minutes or until the bottom side is nicely browned, then flip to the other side.
  • 10. And fry with the lid on top again.  
Coco&Me - www.cocoandme.com - Coco and Me - Quick french toast recipe with process pictures
.
  • 11. When the bread is nicely browned, transfer to a plate & eat it straight away while it is hot! (preferably with a big dollop of plain yogurt & a generous drizzle of maple syrup!)
Coco&Me - www.cocoandme.com - Coco and Me - Quick french toast recipe with process pictures
Bon Appétit! T xx  
.
x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x
x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x

June 14th, 2012

Coco&Me’s super scones recipe

~ the science of baking the perfect scone ~

 

(I didn’t have time to buy clotted cream on this occasion… but full-on sloshing of jam will just have to do! ^^ Personally, I like to drink cold milk with my scones rather than tea.)

.

x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x

.

♡♡♡ It’s recipe time!! ♡♡♡

.

This time, I would like to share with you my take on scones. How I think it should taste & how it should look.

.

Scones are honest, no-frills things aren’t they, there’s no fancy decorations to hide any flaws. And it’s because of that, that it’s all the more important to execute the baking well. When it comes out of the oven, they all ought to look pretty much uniform, & not collapsed lopsided or look like a collection of rocks. There should definitely be a side ways jaggedy break going through the middle, made from when the dough had risen, hinting at how deliciously soft the inside might be like. (Is there a name for this break? The Japanese call it ‘the wolf’s mouth’!)

.

I think it should look unfussy & inviting, perhaps even goes as far as being evocative of the laid-back cream teas served by local ladies in pinnies down in the depths of devonshire countryside.

.

Upon creating any of my own recipes, I always set about understanding the ingredients involved & how each plays its part. You know me, I love puzzing up my puzzler when concerned with baking. Afterall “baking is a science” & it’s my firm belief that if you understand the logic, you’re more likely to get a successful result. Not only that, when you vanish the question marks in your head, you would enjoy baking better too! – So here’s what I know about scone science in a Q&A format.

.

x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x

.

Q: Why do we rub in the butter to the flour?

We rub in the butter to coat the flour so that it doesn’t soak up the wet ingredients as much as if otherwise. The butter fat acts as a barrier around the flour to stop gluten from developing too much. Gluten in cakes, as we know, creates structure which is important, but it also makes the cake firmer.

.

Q: Why do we use cold butter?

Now, this is perhaps ‘the’ crucial part of the recipe. Utilize this bit of info & you will undoubtably bake super scones. People who know how puff pastry works will understand this better I think.

.

So you think that it’s the baking powder that is doing all that lifting action right? No siree, there’s a bit more to it. – When the solid bits of butter encased in dough is rapidly heated in the oven, the water contents of the butter evaporates in to air bubbles, & it consequently lifts the gluten structure.

.

For this reason, you know not to handle the dough with warm hands so as not to melt the butter prior to baking. And as cumbersome as it may be, we use the back of the fork (or even better with special pastry blenders) to rub in the butter.

.

This bit of science also answers why the recipe has a high oven temperature setting. We want the butter to powerfully evaporate in the extreme heat, rather than slowly melt & sink in to the flour & wet it, creating excess gluten.

.

Also, here’s a top tip: if you are baking in the summer, it may be an idea to cool your bowl & utensils in the fridge first! And while you are working, you can put an ice pack under the bowl!

www.cocoandme.com - Coco&Me - Coco and Me - ice pack - scone recipe

.

Q: Why do we rest the dough in the fridge?

Part of the reason lies in the above answer = that the butter within has to be kept cold. Another worthy reason is to relax the gluten strands, one, to produce fluffy texture, & second, to avoid shrinking when it bakes (the rested dough is less elastic).

.

Q: What does milk do in baking?

Milk has a a particular & richer mouthfeel, what with its certain subtle sweetness, thickness & slight acidity.  The liquidity delvelops gluten when mixed with flour & structures the baked goods. And the natural sugar in milk lactose, aswell as the fat, tenderizes the baked goods & makes for moist texture without it being soggy. Milk in baked goods also extends the shelf-life. And the sugar interacting with protein browns the baked goods more readily too.

.

Q: Why does your recipe call for the egg wash to be done twice?

Two egg washes with a rest in the fridge in-between to dry the first wash, will darken the top of the scones better & make the scones aesthetically more pleasing. It also gives it a shiny surface & is very smooth to the touch. I personally think that it helps to make the scone look one-rank up & a little more sophisticated.

.

So the key tips to making perfect scones are as follows:

  • Use cold butter.
  • Don’t dawdle. Work efficiently to avoid butter melting in room temperature.
  • Rest the dough in the fridge for more than 30 minutes.
  • Bake at high oven temperature.

.

After all the above science-y chalk-talk, I’m probably scaring you away from making these, but please fear not!! Making these scones, you’d never look back to purchase one in the shops! I am so super happy with this recipe! ^^ It is actually super easy, super amazing, super moreish!

.

x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x

.

Coco&Me’s super scones recipe

(Yield: It depends on the size of your cutters obviously, but I can make about 7 scones, using my 6.8cm round cutter)

.

Ingredients:

90g salted butter ( I like using salted butter. If using unsalted, also add a pinch of salt.)

300g plain flour

15g baking powder

45g caster sugar

125ml cold milk

egg yolk for brushing the top surface

.

Method:

  • 1. First thing first, cut 90 grams of butter into tiniest cubes possible & place in a large, deep-walled mixing bowl. Refrigerate this bowl with the butter until needed.
  • 2. Sieve in 300 grams of flour. (If using unsalted butter, add the pinch of salt in this step.)
  • 3. Using the back of the fork (or a special pastry blender if you have one), cut the butter in to the flour. Try to work quickly to avoid the butter from melting. (If you think that the butter is getting soft, place the bowl in the fridge until firm & then work again.Or try my tip & place an ice-pack underneath your bowl.)
  • 4. When the butter lumps are as small as a grain of rice, sieve in 15 grams of baking powder.
  • 5. Next, toss in the 45 grams of sugar.
  • 6. Pour in 125ml of milk & quickly work it in to the flour mixture to form a ball of dough. Here, use a spatula for most of the work, & then your hands at the end only to gather it in to a ball. Next, knead it until it is less bumpy. But also keep in mind to never over-work the dough so as not to produce gluten.
  • 7. Cling film it tightly & refrigerate for more than 30 minutes.
  • 8. After the 30 minutes rest, flour the work surface. Using the rolling pin, roll the dough flat to 2.5 to 3cm height.
  • 9. Then proceed to cut discs out. Very lightly flour the insides of the round cutter, & with equal force from straight above, cut in to the dough. Never twist the cutter or else you will get a lopsided scone.
  • 10. Place the discs on to the baking tray lined with baking sheet. Here, when moving the discs, never ever touch the cut sides.
  • 11. Brush the top surface with loosened egg yolk. Brush to the edges, but be careful not to let the egg wash drool down the sides.
  • 12. Rest it in the fridge again until the egg wash is dry to the touch (approximately 10 minutes).
  • 13. In the meantime, proceed to pre-heat the oven to 210 degrees centigrade.
  • 14. Brush on the egg wash for the second time.
  • 15. Place tray in the oven for about 10 to 12 minutes (dependent of size of your scones). Turn the oven sheet half way baking to ensure even heat/ even rise.
  • 16. Best served warm!! xx

.

www.cocoandme.com - Coco&Me - Coco and Me - super scones recipe with step by step pictures

(By the way, it’s best to align the scone discs diagonally on the baking tray. The hot oven air flows better to each & individual discs better than if the discs were horizontally aligned.)

.

(Did you know, the proper way to split open the baked scone is not with a knife but by fingers, right where the crack is!)  

.

Lastly, scone trivia!

Do you spread the jam above or under the clotted cream? Cornwall has the jam underneath & Devon has theirs above (I’m a jam on top girl by the way).

 

January 22nd, 2012

Tiramisu recipe (+ Ladyfingers recipe)

(Tiramisu in individual cup – with ribbon design stenciled.)

.

High time for another recipe! So here goes (…a long one)! ^^

 

x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x

.

TIRAMISU

Literally meaning ‘pick me up’, this Italian dessert is made by alternately layering coffee-dipped ladyfingers*, mascarpone mixture, & cocoa powder.

.

Interestingly, the history of tiramisu doesn’t stretch long. You’d think that such a classic Italian dessert would record back from perhaps generations of family tradition or perhaps it might have been conceptualized soon after when zabaglione was invented all the way back in 1570**. But no, although exact origin is not certain, the earliest tiramisu recipe found*** is from only less than 30 years ago.

.

There are many tiramisu recipes out there, but it mainly separates into two camps: raw-egg version or pasteurized egg version. I prefer the pasteurized version – It feels safer that way. I also prefer to use Kahlúa (Mexican coffee flavored rum based liqueur) in the cream mixture as opposed to Marsala wine, as I think it marries the coffee-soaked ladyfingers & the cream better.

.

The following recipe will make 4 & a half tea-cups of tiramisu like the picture above. Obviously, you can make it in one big dish if you prefer. And for the ladyfingers, you can ofcourse use store bought instead, but nothing beats homemade on this one! ^^ So let’s first look in to making the ladyfingers!

.

First thing we need to do is to prepare the baking surface with guide lines so that you can pipe the ladyfingers straight with the same length & thickness. – If using baking parchment sheet, use pencil & ruler. Just make sure to reverse the paper so you pipe on the surface without pencil-side. – On a Silpat, you can’t draw, so dust icing sugar instead.

.

Coco&Me - Coco & Me - www.cocoandme.com - Ladyfingers recipe

BAKING PAPER vs SILPAT

On a Silpat, the back of the ladyfinger will come out smooth & shiny. It comes out rough on baking paper. It is also easier to remove/ lift off the ladyfingers with silpat’s non-sitck surface compared to having to peel it off on baking paper. Silpat also provides even heat transfer to your baked goods. This is because the glass fibres in it increases the heat transfer. I have experimented on both sheets, & I had to add another 4 minutes to the baking time when using baking paper.

.

x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x

.

LADYFINGERS RECIPE:

Makes about 30 to 35 fingers. (Please note: for the tiramisu recipe below, you will only use half as much)

.

Ingredients:

3 medium eggs

1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

60g icing sugar

45g cornstarch

30g icing sugar

60g plain flour

Icing sugar for dusting the top
.
Things you need to prepare beforehand:
Piping bag
Scissors
Small fine-mesh sieve (like a tea-strainer)
Spatula
Hand mixer
Small bowl with water
Chosen baking sheet with guide grid.

.

Method:

  1. 1. Start pre-heating the oven to 220°c, as it takes a while to heat up.
  2. 2.Measure/ prepare all ingredients for smooth operation(Separate the 3 eggs to two bowls, the egg yolks in to a small bowl & the whites to normal size bowl). Also have the piping bag & scissors ready.

Coco&Me - Coco and Me - www.cocoandme.com - Ladyfingers / tiramisu recipe

  1. 3. First, let’s make meringue. In a normal sized bowl, whip the 3 egg whites to foamy stage.
  2. 4. Add 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar. Keep whisking.

  1. 5. Next gradually add the 60g icing sugar while whisking. Whisk until soft peak stage.
  2. 6. Add 45g cornstarch & give it a final whip until hard peaks form. Leave this bowl aside for now.

  1. 7. Next, quickly go on to the small bowl with the 3 egg yolks. Dump the 30g of icing sugar, then on high speed, whip until it has tripled in volume. It should look paler & fluffier. (To avoid washing-up, just use the same whisk attachment as the one you were using to whip the egg whites!!)
  2. 7. Spatula in the yolk mixture in to the bowl with the meringue. Fold it in roughly. (Not too much because you will be giving it a proper mix in a moment with the flour anyway!)

  1. 8. Sieve in the 60g plain flour.
  2. 9. Gently fold the mixture just until no flour remains to be seen. (Don’t over-mix!!)

  1. 10. Place the mixture in to the piping bag & then snip off the tip so that you have a 1cm piping-hole. (Notice in the picture above that the baking sheet is reversed so we’re not piping directly on pencil marks.)

  1. 10.Slowly & precisely pipe neat lines using the guides on your baking sheet.
    (Tip on piping: Start piping about 1cm inside the guide. Squeeze the batter out until it’s a round blob & until it touches the guides. Keeping the pressure flow, gradually & slowly move the piping bag across to make a line.)
  2. 11. Your piped shapes will have a ‘kink’ sticking out where you lifted the piping bag off. So dab minimal amount of water on to your finger & press the pointy bits down very gently & smooth that bit of surface. (If you don’t do this, you will end up with ladyfingers that have burnt pointy bit.)

  1. 12. Sieve plenty of icing sugar on the shapes. Do this twice. (This way, you get the pearlized look, aswell as help it lift the top surface up & give it ‘feet’ around the sides just like a macaron.)
  2. 13. Bake in the pre-heated oven. Half way through baking, take it out & turn them over so that the underside becomes dry too.

  1. 14. After about 15 minutes, lift one of the biscuits & tap the back, if it sounds hollow it is done. Take it out & let it cool on the baking tray. You can see from the picture it is baked through & is dry all the way to the middle. It’ll have a nice snap.

 

 

.

x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x

.

TIRAMISU RECIPE

.

Ingredients:

Strong coffee – cold

3g gelatin powder

30g Kahlúa

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

10g Kahlúa

3 egg yolks

80g sugar

250g double cream

250g mascarpone cheese

cocoa powder

.

Method:

Coco&Me - Coco & Me - www.cocoandme.com- creamy tiramisu recipe - homemade - design - individual cups

  1. 1. Make strong coffee & set aside to cool.
  2. 2. Sprinkle 3g of gelatin powder in to 30g of Kahlúa liqueur. Stir it straight away with a spoon. Set this aside. (Top tip to successfully dissolving gelatin is to add powder to liquid, not visa versa)
  3. .

  1. 3. Next, we pasteurize the eggs: In a small mixing bowl, combine 10g Kahlúa, 3 egg yolks & 80g sugar. Put this bowl over a bain marie & bring the mixture temperature to 60°c, whisking all the time. Beat it for 3 minutes. The mixture will be fluffy & have doubled in quantity. (Note: 60°c temperature for 3 minutes destroys salmonella organisms.)
  2. 4. Microwave the Kahlúa-gelatin liquid from step 2 for 20 seconds or until the gelatin granules have dissolved. Set this aside to cool.
  3. .

  1. 5. In a separate bowl, whip the 250g double cream until it forms stiff peaks. Set aside.
  2. 6. In another bowl, combine 250g mascapone cheese to the egg-mixture from step 3.

.

Coco&Me - Coco & Me - www.cocoandme.com- creamy tiramisu recipe - homemade - design - individual cups

  1. 7. Then fold in the whipped double cream from step 5 & the cooled gelatin from step 2.

.

  1. 8. Have the cold coffee liquid in a shallow bowl, & one by one, soak a ladyfinger in cold coffee on both sides for one second each.
  2. 9. Align one layer.

.

  1. 10. Layer mascapone mixture to half way.
  2. 11. Sieve cocoa powder.

 

.

  1. 12. Run your finger around the cup to remove excess cocoa powder.
  2. 13. Then repeat by placing another layer of coffee soaked ladyfingers, after that, cream – this time all the way to the top. Finally run your finger around the rim again to tidy up.
  3. 14. Refrigerate for 4 hours.

.

  1. 15. Sieve cocoa powder. (use a stencil to customize the top if you like!)
  2. 17. Finally, use fingertip to go around the glass rim to tidy up the cocoa powder.
  3. 18. Serve cold. Buon Appetito!!

x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x . . x

.

* Ladyfingers are also called ‘savoiardi’ (=from Savoy) in Italian, ‘biscuits à la cuillère’ or ‘boudoirs’ in French, ‘lange vingers’ (=long fingers) in Dutch, ‘Löffelbiskuit’ (=spoon biscuit) in German. ** Detailed instruction of ‘Zambaione’ was mentioned in a cookbook called ‘Opera’ by Bartolomeo Scappi in 1570. *** Book titled I Dolci del Veneto (The Desserts of Veneto) by Giovanni Capnist in 1983. In here, it says “(Tiramisu is) a recent recipe with infinite variations from the town of Treviso” & is a “discovery of restaurants more than family tradition.”

May 29th, 2011

How to make Hello Kitty & Pokémon cookies

.

Backtracking humongously here, but here are some pictures from before Easter.

~ . ~ . ~ . ~ .~ . ~ .~ . ~ .~ . ~ .~ . ~ .~ . ~

There are seven Japanese mums at my son’s school, & we all got together to raise funds for the Japan earthquake & tsunami relief. We did a sushi & cake sale in the school yard, & I of-course contributed by baking cookies & cakes.

.

Upon setting about doing this, I had a clear criteria to solve. Perhaps it’s the old graphic designer in me, but I love brainstorming. So here’s what I considered:

~ I knew I wanted a Japanese theme to them. ~ It had to appeal to primary school children & their mums. ~ It also must be time & cost effective for maximum return. (The going-rate for cake spendage is 20p to a £1 at a standard school cake sale, so for the pricing to be set so low, the cost of ingredients must stay minimal…) ~ And most importantly, explicitly with NO nuts as the school has a nut-free policy.

.

After a quick sesh with my thinking cap on, I figured the best way is to bake cookies but also add value to them by imprinting famous childrens characters. Hello Kitty to appeal to girls, & Pikachu (Pokémon) for boys. As for the cookie recipe, I used the tried & tested Nontan one that I wrote about previously on this blog.

.

To imprint the characters, here’s what I did:

  • 1. I found a line drawing that I like on the web.
  • 2. Then printed it out b&w to a size that I want.
  • 3. Layer a clear acetate sheet on top of print, secure the corners with sellotape.
  • 4. Using a thin black permanent marker pen, copy the design on to acetate. (Non-permanent will smudge as you do your cut out work.)
  • 5. Place acetate on cutting board, & carefully cut out the black lines. – The important thing to remember when cutting a stencil is that if there is a ‘perfect’ continual line, you have to break it to avoid cutting out the inside. It’s a bit difficult to explain, but think of the inner circle in letter ‘O’ for example. – And if you look at the bow on the kitty cookie below, you’d see that there I left gaps in the line to hold the inside.
  • 6. When you have finished making the stencil, place it on cut-out cookie dough & dust cocoa powder gently & most importantly faintly to avoid smudges. Carefully remove the stencil sheet off, then bake as per usual.

.

(I used my tart tin as a cookie mold to get the fluted rim.)

(Pre-packaged in a bag for quick sale. Small handmade Japan flag sticker for added touch & charity feel. Lucky that the Japan flag is just a red circle! I wouldn’t have done this if the flag design was complicated! ie; U.S.A!)

(Cookie came big in five inch diameter! But was sold only for a pound! Bargain!! If at my market, I would’ve sold them at £1.50 I reckon!)

.

I made about 55 of these, & they sold within 7 minutes. I didn’t anticipate that most mums would be buying more than one each. ~ I should’ve made more…!!? ^^

April 4th, 2011

Children’s story book with honey buzz buzz cake recipe

(plus a general update at the end)

.

x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x .x . x . x .x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x

Please note:

I am not going to be at the market on the 9TH & THE 30TH OF APRIL! I’m sorry for the inconvenience it may have caused to your plans… Sorry.

x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x .x . x . x .x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x

.

www.cocoandme.com - Coco&Me - Coco & me - Honey buzz buzz cake recipe with step by step process pictures

.

Hello everyone!

I’m going to share with you today a cake recipe that is not mine, but from one of my family’s favourite & thumbed through Japanese children’s story book we have at home.

.

If you’re a seasoned reader of this blog, you’d know that this is the second time that I’ve written about a recipe from a children’s book (read the first one here). I love collecting (good) recipe books to add to my huge library of anything baking related, & that obsession extends to the choice of books I buy for my children! Biased I know (!), but why not? ^^ I would love for my children to like baking as much as I do. And in fact, let me tell you, my son’s first ever cinema film was Pixar’s Ratatouille back in 2007, because I wanted food to be part of his milestone experience. Although… then again, maybe the truth was that we went because I myself simply couldn’t wait ’til it came out on DVD…? ;) Lol.

.

www.cocoandme.com - Coco&Me - Coco and me - Kuma kun no hachimitsu bun bun keiki children's recipe book- Boy bear's honey buzz buzz cake book

The book title is “クマくんのはちみつぶんぶんケーキ” (Kuma-kun no hachimitsu buun buun keiki) which translates to something like “Boy bear’s honey buzz buzz cake”. It is published in 1994, & is written by Machiko Yagyu.

.

The story is about a bear who wants to make the honey buzz buzz cake (what a great name!), so helps out at Mrs.Bee’s to get some honey for it. On return home, he meets a family of pigs & he invites them around for a cake party. Here, there is the highlight joke of the book, when the piglets can’t say part of the cake name “buun buun” (Japanese way of saying buzz buzz), & says “buu buu” (Japanese way of saying oink oink). If you’re a Japanese kid, it is the most hilarious bit I assure you.

.

www.cocoandme.com  - Coco&Me - Coco and me - Honey buzz buzz cake recipe book - sample page

(the illustrated recipe page.)

www.cocoandme.com - Coco&Me - Coco and me - Honey buzz buzz cake recipe book - sample page

(Boy bear with his bee & piggie friends have a tea party outside with pink tablecloth. – For my cake picture at the top of this post, I followed Boy bear’s choice with pink tablecloth! But I’d like to think I’m one up on him for the beehive-like hexagon design! )

.

Boy bear’s honey buzz buzz cake is delightfully homesome. There is one caution though – as it bakes in the oven, the aroma of honey will waft tantalizingly, teasing us in to a drool monster by the time it is ready. And if you only knew how scrumptious it really is, it’s hard not to dig in as soon as it is out of the oven. Trust a honey-lovin’ bear to know a seriously good honey cake I say!

.

Combined with the ease of the recipe, I have made this cake a number of times without fail, even with the children! – – Although, as you can see from the chaotic pictures below, at times there were too many hands wanting to do the same thing, & it does get messy… When baking with children, best to take a deep breath & not be too fussy I suppose, so long as they’ve washed their hands! – (I’m a hygiene freak!)

.

About the science behind the recipe:

Honey has the ability to attract & hold moisture (hygroscopy). This makes the cake moist. Honey is also relatively acidic, & together with the sour cream which is also an acidic ingredient, it tenderizes the gluten formed in the batter.

.

The bicarbonate of soda in the recipe reacts to the acidic ingredients & produces carbon dioxide gas which lifts the cake upwards as it tries to escape. During the time in the oven, the flour gluten structures ‘pillars’ that hold the cake in it’s risen height. A noteworthy point here though is that the bicarbonate of soda starts doing it’s magic at 80 degrees+ (wiki), so you’d think that you would have time to prepare leisurely, but as the recipe also calls for baking powder which reacts straight away from when in contact with moisture (the batter), you will be required to work quick once the BP is mixed in.

.

You might have noticed that the oven temperature is set at 140 degrees compared to the usual 180. That’s because honey caramelizes at a lower temperature than sugar, & it browns more than baked cakes made with granular sugar. The lower oven temperature will prevent the cake from over-browning.

.

For this cake recipe, I recommend using ‘clear’ honey with all-round taste, & NOT any of the more distinctive bold flavoured ones. I once tried baking this cake with eucalyptus honey, & it was not good. If this cake recipe works for you, perhaps next time play around with different honeys – the amount of fructose honey has is different in every one of them & subsequently the sweetness too will differ.

.

One last point – don’t feed honey to children under the age of one – honey has high fructose content, & the botulinum spores in it may be hazardous.

.

x . x . x . x .x . x .x . x .x . x .x . x .x . x .x . x .x . x .x . x .x . x .x . x

www.cocoandme.com - Coco&Me - Coco & Me - Honey buzz buzz cake - recipe step by step process

.

“Boy bear’s honey buzz buzz cake” Recipe:

.

Ingredients:

  • 140g of unsalted butter
  • 140cc/ml of clear honey
  • 140g of sour cream (or if not, double cream apparently, but I have to admit I never tried)
  • 2 medium sized eggs
  • 200g of plain flour
  • 7g of baking powder
  • 2g of bicarbonate of soda
  • 25g plus of almond flakes
  • Icing sugar to dust the top

.

Prepare:

  • an 8 inch (20cm) spring-form cake tin. Butter the sides & the bottom, then line it with baking paper.
  • preheat the oven to 140 degrees.

.

Method:

.

  • 1. Cube the unsalted butter & microwave until soft. (I recommend microwaving in 10 second increments & checking that you haven’t over-melted it. Here, ‘soft’ is when you can easily dip your finger in to it & it feels soft like mayonnaise.
  • 2. Whisk the butter to incorporate air. Do it until the butter is lighter in colour.
  • 3. Add 140cc of clear honey. Thoroughly mix it in.
  • 4. Add 140 grams of sour cream (or double cream). Thoroughly mix it in.
  • 5. Add 2 medium sized eggs. Thoroughly mix it in.
  • 6. Sift the dry ingredients in. 200 grams of plain flour, 7 grams of baking powder & 2 grams of bicarbonate of soda.
  • 7. Fold it in.
  • 8. Pour the batter in to the cake tin & spread it out nicely.
  • 9. Sprinkle 25 grams of flaked almonds.
  • 10. Sieve icing sugar on top. Here, sieve more than you think it requires!)
  • 11. Place in pre-heated oven of 140 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes, or until your cake-skewer comes out clean.

.

Coco&Me - Coco & Me - www.cocoandme.com - Honey Buzz Buzz Cake recipe with step by step process pictures

.

x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x .x . x . x .x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x

.

A little update on how things are doing:

.

Exactly a week after the Japan earthquake & tsunami, my daughter S turned three. That Sunday, we celebrated with a small party. The birthday cake was our family’s one & only option for birthdays, which is the genoise cake with cream & strawberry. It was put together very quickly on that Sunday morning, while chaotically tidying the house before the guests arrive. You could probably tell the stress on my face in the first picture on the left! Lol!

.

Last week, there was a little incident when our son ‘I’ turned out to be a bit of a fundraiser himself. He handed out ten of the Japan charity badges to his class-mates without my knowing, & asked them to bring one pound each. He meant well I know, but asking for money from children is not good, so I emailed the parents to tell them what happened & tried to recover the badges. Nice thing about it was that most parents just donated money instead of returning, & so in the end, my son raised eleven pounds! – Upon this incident, I realized that our son is perhaps just as affected by the news of Japan as I am…, & wanted to help. Perhaps I ought to have been a bit more careful when watching the news on telly…

.

There’s two bits of news:

One: all donations from the badge sales & from the donation box on my stall will go to THE RED CROSS from now on. They are doing such a fantastic job out there. Subsequently, I am now going to shut down the fundraising page I set up 3 weeks ago on First Giving for the Save The Children charity. May I take this final opportunity to thank once again to those of you who have donated! Thank you!! xoxo You are all very special people…! I love you!

The total fund raised is… (drum rolls please…!!) a whopping 3,699 dollars! Woohoo! Yay, baby!!!

.

Two: As I wrote at the beginning of this post, I will not be at the market on the 9th & the 30th of April. The first one because I can’t get child-care, & the second date, because it is my 35th birthday!!! ^^ Also, it’s because the day before, the 29th is the Royal wedding, & my road is doing a street party & I’m not one to miss it! ^^

.

October 12th, 2010

Cake pan size conversion ~ The formula ~

.
One of the many baking questions I get asked is how to scale a cake recipe to fit another size or shaped pan.
.
There is an universal formula you can use:
.
(volume of the preferred tin) ÷ (volume of the original tin)
.
x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x
.
For this, you need to find out the volume of the two tins.
The formulas to work out the volume of a pan according to shapes are the following:
.
ROUND
(3.14 x half the diameter x half the diameter x height)
.
SQUARE or RECTANGLE
(length x width x height)
.
NOVELTY CAKE TIN
First work out the volume of tin by weighing how much water goes in. Water is 1g = 1 cm³
(The mass of 1 cubic centimetre water at 3.98°c equal to a gram. (it’s the temperature at which it is at maximal density roughly). So we can use that number you’ve weighed as the measure of volume.
.
MULTI-CAVITY TIN (like a muffin pan)
Again, work out the volume by pouring water in one cavity, & multiply that with how many cavities there are. Weigh it in grams, & use that number as the volume.

.
x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x
.
Here are two examples:

.
To convert from an 8″ ROUND cake tin (with 2″ height) to 10″ ROUND cake tin (with 3″ height) you’d do this:
.
(3.14 x half the diameter x half the diameter x height) ÷ (3.14 x half the diameter x half the diameter x height)

.
(3.14 x 5 x 5 x 3) ÷ (3.14 x 4 x 4 x 2) = 2.34375
So here we now know that we need to multiply the recipe by 2.4 times.
.
But if the height of the pans are the same, use this simpler formula:
(dimension of preferred tin ÷ dimension of original tin) x (dimension of preferred tin ÷ dimension of original tin)
For example,
(10÷8) × (10÷8) = 1.25 x 1.25 = 1.5625
So here we now know that we need to multiply the recipe by 1.6 times.
.
_ . _ . _ . _ . _ . _ ._ . _ . _ ._ . _ . _ ._ . _ . _ ._ . _ . _ ._ . _ . _ ._ . _ .
.
To convert an 8″ ROUND cake tin A to 10″ SQUARE cake tin B (when height is the same):
.
(length x width) ÷ (3.14 x half the diameter of A x half the diameter of A)

.
(10 x 10 ) ÷ (3.14 x 4 x 4) = 1.99
So here we now know that we need to multiply the recipe by 1.99 times. (I like to round it to 2)
.
x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x
.
Please note:

– If both tins in question are of same height, you don’t need to measure the height for each.
– The examples are in inches, but of-course the same formula works in centimeters too!
– When I get long answers like 1.5625, I personally like to round it UP to 1.6.
– Although the oven temperature should remain the same for both occasions, the baking-time will change.
.
x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x
.
It’s all probably elementary bit of maths for you all, but for me it certainly isn’t! There is a reason why I’m a baker & not a mathematician…

June 24th, 2010

Stupendously easy homemade butter & fun buttermilk pancake recipe

Coco&Me - Homemade butter in a shape of a bear (molded)  - www.cocoandme.com(Bear cub – Homemade butter cut out with cookie cutter.)
Coco&Me - Buttermilk Pancake recipe with step-by-step pictures of the process - heart motif - www.cocoandme.com(Heart shape buttermilk pancake)
.
About time for some recipes from yours truly. xx
.
First, I would like to write about how easy it is to make butter in your very own home. Not just any butter, but a deliciously creamy one, quite unlike any that you’ve had before, I promise. And all from JUST one ingredient; double cream (& salt to taste), which you JUST over-whip until the liquid has separated & leaves you with the semi-solid, which is the butter (more precisely, butterfat). Stupendously easy right? Told you!! ^^
.
And here’s the revelation. The left over liquid is, guess what? Buttermilk!!!! So don’t throw it away because we are using it for our pancakes later.

Coco&Me - Homemade butter & buttermilk  pancake recipe - www.cocoandme.com(Buttermilk extracted from double cream!!)
.
Here’s what you’ll need to make butter:

  • Double cream
  • Mixing bowl & hand-mixer (or Food processor)
  • Salt (try adding 0.5% of total butter to start with, & add more if you prefer)
  • .
    And to make it:

  • 1. Start whisking the double cream in a deep-walled mixing bowl. (… deep walled bowl is better as the liquid will spit like mad!)
  • 2. At first it will look like chantilly cream you’d use for cake decorating. Continue whisking.
  • 3. A while later it’ll start to curdle (looking like cottage cheese). Soon after, it will start oozing liquid.
  • 4. Whisk until it has broken in to two components, solid & liquid. The solid is very fresh butter & liquid, buttermilk.
  • 5. Collect the buttermilk for later use. Then whip the butter more to extract as much liquid.
  • 6. Weigh how heavy your lump of butter is, and calculate how much salt you’d like to incorporate.
  • 7. Vigorously work in the salt to the butter to ensure even distribution.
  • Coco&Me - Homemade butter & buttermilk pancake recipe - www.cocoandme.com
    To store, you can just scoop it in a Tupperware & refrigerate, or, if you like, you can roll it to 1.5cm thickness or more in-between greaseproof paper like the picture below, then freeze it for a while (1-2 hours) to make it hard to cut shapes using cookie cutters!!! (… it is best to use simple shapes that don’t have intricate corners. Also, you might want to use a cooks’ blow torch to ease them out of the mold.)
    Coco&Me - Homemade butter & buttermilk pancake recipe - www.cocoandme.com
    Guide notes:

  • The double cream has to be fresh, not UHT or vegetable oil substitute.
  • Some recipes will say to ‘wash the butter’ at the end. It is done to wash out any residual buttermilk so that the butter keeps for longer. I have skipped this step because it’s an extra work that takes the fun away, but please feel free to do so.
  • Make sure to salt the butter AFTER you have collected the buttermilk. You wouldn’t want to flavour the buttermilk right?
  • Butter yield: From 600ml of double cream, I ended up with 324g of butter & 235ml of buttermilk.
  • This butter has a ‘cleaner’ note to the taste than shop-bought ones. And perhaps less yellow.
  • The science: Cream contains tiny globules of butterfat surrounded by membranes. By agitating the cream by whipping, the membranes of these globules break & the loosened butterfat chain together to form a solid mass = butter. For more information, please check out this website.
  • .
    x . . . x . . . x . . . x . . . x . . . x . . . x . . . x . . . x . . . x . . . x . . . x
    .
    Next, let’s make some fun looking pancakes!
    In the recipe below, I have used silicone egg rings to make shapely pancakes. And also had some fun drawing on them. Ofcourse, you can approach this the usual/ easier/ quicker way by just freehand scooping & pouring! – And as for the recipe itself, it produces very moist pancakes that is very (very) moreish, I can assure you it’ll disappear from your plate in nooooo time… Ever since I made this recipe, we always have buttermilk in our fridge for a quick fix up!
    .
    x . . . x . . . x . . . x . . . x . . . x . . . x . . . x . . . x . . . x . . . x . . . x
    .
    Buttermilk pancake recipe:
    .
    Ingredients:

  • Plain flour… 120g
  • Sugar… 40g
  • Baking powder… 5g
  • Baking soda… 3g
  • Egg… 1
  • Buttermilk… 200ml
  • Vanilla extract… a dash
  • Melted salted butter… 40g
  • Cocoa powder… roughly a teaspoon
  • You’ll need the following things:

  • Mixing bowl
  • Silicone egg rings
  • See-through lid that covers your frying pan
  • Optional: Maple syrup or icing sugar to serve
  • .
    Method:

  • 1. First we prepare two separate bowls of ingredients;
    – – a: sifted dry ingredients: flour, baking powder & baking soda.
    – – b: mixed wet ingredients: egg, buttermilk, vanilla extract, but minus the melted salted butter which we will incorporate in step 3.
  • 2. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients & GRADUALLY pour in the wet ingredients, whisking all the time.
  • 3. When you have whisked the batter until it is not clumpy, pour in the melted butter & whisk it in.
  • 4. Next, pour some of the mixture in another small bowl, then add cocoa powder to colour it brown.
  • 5. Put the cocoa batter in a piping bag.
  • 6. Heat the pan on low.
  • 7. Grease the pan thinly with melted salted butter. (…using folded kitchen paper to smear it across is my choice of method.)
  • 8. Place the silicone egg ring on the pan.
  • 9. Pipe a simple design quickly using your cocoa batter.
  • 10. When the cocoa design has dried, pour the pancake batter in the egg-ring (…here, make sure it is just under half the height of your mold, as anything higher, the batter will flood out when frying).
  • 11. Place the lid on (…a glass lid would be best so that you can keep an eye on how the pancakes are doing).
  • 12. Wait until you start to see bubbles appear on the surface & the edges slightly cooked.
  • 13. Flip the pancake with the egg-ring still attached (…I find that flipping together with the mold ‘spill-free’).
  • 14. Fry until it browns (about under a minute).
  • Coco&Me - Buttermilk Pancake recipe with step-by-step pictures of the process - www.cocoandme.com
    Guide notes:

  • This recipe does not work with milk as substitute for buttermilk. I tried & it came out edible, but not nearly as tasty as the proper buttermilk version. – I also did a test-run with milk that has been soured with lemon. It was much better than the ‘milk-only’ version, but nothing beats the real thing.
  • If you are using the silicone mold straight again, just give it a quick wipe with the kitchen towel to get rid of any residue.
  • Use the batter straight away. Never rest it. The reason for this has to do with the two leavening agents in this recipe:
    – Baking powder reacts to moisture & enlarges the carbon dioxide (air) within the batter. It expands upwards.
    – As for the baking soda, which expands sideways, primarily reacts with acidic components (such as buttermilk) to give off carbon dioxide that expand under temperature. For both agents, the reaction is immediate after being incorporated, so please don’t rest the batter or the carbon dioxide will start to dissipate, & it won’t rise so well.
    – Another point worth mentioning about these leavening agents is that you should not use aged stuff that’s been lying around in your store cupboard, as it won’t be as reactive, it’ll have a bitter taste, & you’d get a disappointing result.
  • I like using salted butter for this recipe. Salt is known for enhancing the flavours of the other ingredients, especially sweetness. I also like to grease the pan with the salted butter.
  • Silicone molds are the best. I tried metallic shapes such as standard cookie cutters, greasing the sides with butter then flouring, but the pancake sticks now & again & it does not give you consistent results. Also, complicated shapes should be avoided as they are finickity.
  • .
    Some more designs:
    .
    This one is an evolving message on a pancake as they eat! The surprise is right at the bottom!
    Coco&Me - Buttermilk Pancake recipe with step-by-step pictures of the process - hidden message - www.cocoandme.comCoco&Me - Buttermilk Pancake recipe with step-by-step pictures of the process - hidden message - www.cocoandme.com(… With car-shaped butter!) You have to pipe the letters mirrored – which can get confusing!! (notice the ‘Y’ in ‘today’?)
    .
    And there’s the three bears:Coco&Me - Buttermilk Pancake recipe with step-by-step pictures of the process - bear motif - www.cocoandme.com.
    This one, I used my stencil to dust a bit of icing.Coco&Me - Buttermilk Pancake recipe with step-by-step pictures of the process - icing pattern - www.cocoandme.comCoco&Me - Buttermilk Pancake recipe with step-by-step pictures of the process - icing pattern - www.cocoandme.com.
    More playing around…
    Coco&Me - Buttermilk Pancake recipe with step-by-step pictures of the process - heart & star motif - www.cocoandme.com.
    And finally, a picture of a squirrel butter, which ends my longest ever recipe post!!!!Coco&Me - Homemade butter in a shape of a squirrel (molded)  - www.cocoandme.com

    January 15th, 2010

    Coco&Me Baked Cheesecake Recipe

    (with step-by-step with pictures)

    .

    www.cocoandme.com - Coco&Me - Baked Cheese cake biscuit base recipe with making process pictures/ images - with embossed pattern of unicorn & squirrel(…with unicorn pattern embossed)

    .

    www.cocoandme.com - Coco&Me - Baked Cheese cake biscuit base recipe with making process pictures/ images - with embossed pattern of unicorn & squirrel(It is ultra c r e a m y & the texture is melt-in-your mouth like a soufflé!)

    .

    x . x x . x x . x x . x x . x x . x x . x x . x x . x x . x x . x x . x x .

    .

    This must be one of the most easiest of cake recipes!

    • It doesn’t involve separating eggs.
    • Nor whisking any time-delicate meringues, so you can take as much time leisurely making it.
    • There’s minimal washing-up to do too, as all the mixing happens in one bowl.
    • As for the biscuit base, you can further avoid washing-up by simply massaging the store-bought biscuits & butter in a food bag! Of course you can do it the usual way by using bare hands, but do it my way, you’d also avoid getting unpleasant biscuit-mash in your nails & your fingers buttery.^^ On that same note, I also suggest cling-filming the 3 middle fingers when pressing down the biscuit to the base.
    • There is no adventurous water-bath method to contend! (Some cheesecake recipes use the water-bath method to cook it gently so that it doesn’t crack, but I for one have a long hate-relationship with the method ever since the water seeped in to my cakes via the removable bottom in many occasions in the past…)

    .

    The texture of the cheesecake is creeeeeamy! I managed this by tweaking the balance of the ingredients so that it uses tons of double cream/ sour cream/ cream cheese, but as little as possible of flour (… flour creates the ‘structural pillar’ that holds the cake in the inflated spongier shape – please read my blog-entry on flour for explanation of this).
    .

    I sell my cheesecakes down at the market. And I’m happy to say that it’s been a hit no problem. It’ll always definitely be in my line-up because it has acquired a bit of a following ^^

    – Like the lady who said: “I used to buy your flour-less chocolate cake all the time, but now I converted to always buying the cheesecake!” And the spectacled-man who’d get disappointed if it’s sold-out. There’s also my favorite tomato-seller girl who’ve been buying the whole cake for 4 weeks in a row, but says she never gets to eat as much as she’d like to because her boyfriend & her family loves it too!

    .

    The pattern:

    When I first started selling the cheesecake, it had no pattern on top. Although I was perfectly confident with the taste, I felt the presentation needed ‘Something’. Y’know, that ‘Something special’ for the wow factor & for the customer to justify their purchase. For a long while I was thinking of a solution to this; & I was enquiring around to see if I could get an iron stamp that I could heat & emboss/ burn a pattern with. But, one, it is difficult to get hold of, & secondly it’s never in a pretty pattern!

    – So next I thought what about stenciling with cocoa powder? But maybe not. It’ll be too smudgy…

    – Then it occurred to me while I was embossing my chocolate bird tart. Ah! Just invert it! Cocoa powder & cookie cutter! Simply dab cocoa powder on the blunt end of the cookie cutter, then tap off the excess & stamp the cake!
    .

    www.cocoandme.com - Coco&Me - Baked Cheese cake biscuit base recipe with making process pictures/ images - with embossed pattern of unicorn & squirrel(I get asked A LOT at the market on how I do it!)

    www.cocoandme.com - Coco&Me - Baked Cheese cake biscuit base recipe with making process pictures/ images - with embossed pattern of unicorn & squirrel(My favorite stamp! – I love unicorns…)
    .
    Note:

    • I mixed together oat biscuits to the plain digestives to add interest in flavour. It also gives you a different sort of crunch compared to the pap the digestives can become.
    • Resting the pressed biscuit base in the refrigerator while you make the filling firms the butter within.
    • Sour cream tenderizes the cake, as well as enhancing the tang of the cream cheese.
    • Excessively tapping away the air bubbles is the key to avoiding cracks on the surface that is the oh-so-common pitfall of baking a cheesecake.
    • Lining the sides of the pan with baking paper also helps to avoid cracked surface. The common problem with the cheesecake is that it tends to stick to the side of the pan, but as it cools it tries to pull away from the wall. This tension ends up with a cracked surface. Whereas if you line it with baking paper, the paper will agreeably pull away with the cake too…
    • The only down-side about this cake (if there is one) is that you have to keep your mitts off & leave it to mature over-night!

    .

    So here it is! (Finally!) My baked cheesecake recipe.

    .

    x . x x . x x . x x . x x . x x . x x . x x . x x . x x . x x . x x . x x .

    .

    The Baked Cheesecake Recipe:

    .
    Ingredients:

    For the biscuit base:

        70g Oat biscuits

    (…Obviously it depends on brands, but for me it was 4 ½ biscuits)

        85g Digestive biscuits

    (…Obviously it depends on brands, but for me it was 5 ½ biscuits)

        70g unsalted butter


    .

    For the filling:

        70g unsalted butter

     

        90g castor sugar

     

        330g cream cheese

     

        90 ml sour cream

     

        100g whole eggs (approximately 2 eggs)

     

        100 ml double cream

     

        25g flour

     

      12 ml lemon juice

    .

    x . x x . x x . x x . x x . x x . x x . x x . x x . x x . x x . x x . x x .
    .

    Method:

    • 1. First begin by greasing a 8″ round spring-form cake pan with butter. Then line both the base & the sides with greaseproof baking paper.
    • 2. Now on to making the biscuit base. First measure your biscuits (70 grams Oat biscuits + 85 grams Digestive) in a food bag.
    • 3. Crush them by hand or bash it with wooden rolling pin. Leave some chunky for interesting texture.
    • 4. Melt 70 grams of butter. Put it in the food bag.
    • 5. Massage the food bag to combine.
    • 6. Empty the mixture in a greased & lined pan.
    • 7. Press the biscuit mixture firmly to the base. I like to do the edges & work to the middle. (Optional: cling-film the three middle fingers for hygiene & to avoid buttery fingers!)
    • 8. Refrigerate the pressed biscuit base while you make the filling.
    • 9. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees centigrade.
    • 10. Next, in a mixing bowl whisk the 70 grams of butter until very soft & creamy.
    • 11. Add in the 90 grams of sugar. Whisk & combine.
    • 12. Add 330 grams of cream cheese. Whisk & combine.
    • 13. Add 90ml of sour cream. Whisk & combine.
    • 14. Add 100 grams of whole eggs. Whisk & combine.
    • 15. Add 100ml double cream. Whisk & combine.
    • 16. Add 25 grams of flour. Whisk & combine.
    • 17. Add 12ml Lemon juice. Whisk & combine.
    • 18. TAP the bowl MULTIPLE times on the work surface to let the air bubble out. (take your time doing this as this is the key to avoiding cracked surface!)
    • 19. Slowly pour the mix in to the cake pan. Tap it some more on the work surface.
    • 20. Place the pan on top of a baking tray, & pop it in the oven. (You need the baking tray to collect the small amount of butter that seeps out from the bottom of the cake pan)
    • 21. Bake for 30 minutes first.
    • 22. Have a look. If it looks like it is starting to brown too much on top, cover loosely with foil.
    • 23. Bake for another 10 minutes.
    • 24. Skewer test. I like it when it isn’t thoroughly cooked. (But obviously not raw!) If there’s a tiny bit of curdle on the skewer still, it’s fine, take it out.
    • 25. Leave aside – still in the cake tin – overnight to mature.

    www.cocoandme.com - Coco&Me - Baked Cheese cake biscuit base recipe with making process pictures/ images - with embossed pattern of unicorn & squirrel

    July 17th, 2008

    The results of the vanilla extract experiment

    Coco&Me - vanilla exract experiment - recipe

    (Got a white edding pen & wrote direct on the bottles instead of sticking paper labels!)

    .

    Hello, hows things? Hope life is treating you sweet.

    .

    Thought I’d let you know of how my homemade vanilla extract turned out after the 5 week+ of brewing. – As you know, I made 3 samples – with vodka, rum & brandy – & I can say that the best one was… drum-roll please… with Vodka!! Ta-da〜!

    .

    The clear vodka now coloured rich auburn brown, has the most heady scent of vanilla. Bliss. It’s a “happy-moment”. You know that the vanilla has been fully extracted. It has a slightly syrupy density, & when you shake the bottle then pour, you’d get loads of specks of vanilla beans. Gorgeous.

    .

    The other two, the rum & the brandy versions, well, forget ‘em really… The distinct flavour of the alcohol drowned the delicate vanilla scent. Quite disappointing & pointless. Despite this, I think I’ll use the rum for making “rum-soaked raisin chocolate truffles” that I used to make for the market sometime ago. Just chop raisins up & soak them in rum overnight before mixing it into ganache with some of the rum liquid you used to soak with. Slightly boozy & definately heavenly.

    .

    As for the brandy version, well…, if anyone has a good idea on how to use that up, please let me know!
    .

    x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x

    .
    – Since the last time I posted on this blog, I’ve been busy with perfecting my triple lemon drizzle cake, like changing ingredients here & there. I’ve made it 6 times now, & finally “got it right”. It’s soooo amazingly tasty, I’m thinking of adding it to the stall cake-line-up come from this September. I’m now in a process of writing about it for this blog, which is taking ages, because I want to explain about why it uses sour cream, etc…

    – I also made a “3-tier wedding cake with chocolate swirly sticks” for my best friend recently, which I will also post about in the near future if & when the wedding photographer gives me some nice pictures of it.
    – SO, ’til the next time, see y’all! ^^

    .

    x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x

    « Previous Entries