June 14th, 2012

Super Scones (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.)

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♡♡♡ It’s recipe time!! ♡♡♡

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

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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’!)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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)

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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

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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

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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.)

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(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!)  

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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

Ladyfingers & tiramisu

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

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

 

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TIRAMISU

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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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LADYFINGERS RECIPE:

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

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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
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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.

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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.

 

 

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TIRAMISU RECIPE

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Ingredients:

Strong coffee – cold

3g gelatin powder

30g Kahlúa

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10g Kahlúa

3 egg yolks

80g sugar

250g double cream

250g mascarpone cheese

cocoa powder

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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)
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  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.
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  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.

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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.

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  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.

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

 

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  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.

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  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!!

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* 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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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(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!)

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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)

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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! )

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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!

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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!)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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

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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.

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Method:

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  • 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.

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

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A little update on how things are doing:

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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!

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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…

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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!!!

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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! ^^

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October 12th, 2010

Cake pan size conversion ~ The formula ~

cocoandme_muffin_tin

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One of the many baking questions I get asked is how to scale a cake recipe to fit another size or shaped pan.
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There is an universal formula you can use:
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(volume of the preferred tin) ÷ (volume of the original tin)
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x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x . x
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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:
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ROUND
(3.14 x half the diameter x half the diameter x height)
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SQUARE or RECTANGLE
(length x width x height)
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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.
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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.

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Here are two examples:

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

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(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.
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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.
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To convert an 8″ ROUND cake tin A to 10″ SQUARE cake tin B (when height is the same):
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(length x width) ÷ (3.14 x half the diameter of A x half the diameter of A)

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(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)
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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.
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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…

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