Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Creme Caramel


Another variant of custard dessert.

What so good about creme caramel is the super fine texture and the creamy sensation inside. It is so smooth it melts in the mouth.
When made the caramel, I was a bit nervous , worried that the sugar would burnt. But it turned out nice actually, it was like a lovely pond of dark toffee caramel.

I used Femina's recipe for this creme. Yup,I am such a fan of Femina's recipes. They are so reliable. My mom has been collecting their recipes since late 70's. She gave em to me, and thankfully I've never stumble upon a lousy recipe until now.

My only complaint about their recipes is, for sweet meals ;whether desserts,cake or snacks, well i'd say they're not sweet enough. Not that a have a sweet tooth though . But really, this recipe for instance, I think more sugar should be better.

Back to the caramel, I found the caramel a bit bitter. I don't know if lemon or lime juice works to counter the bitterness -I read another recipe using the juice.

Creme Caramel

You will need:

175 gr sugar

50 ml water

2 egg yolks

4 eggs

50 gr sugar

600 ml milk

1/8 tsp vanilla powder

For the caramel:

Put the sugar and 1 tbsp of water in a saucepan and place it over a medium heat until it melts and turns to brown-yellow color. Add the rest of the water, give it a little shake until they all melt. Remove the pan from heat.

Now that you got your caramel, pour it into souffle dish or whatever you're using I don't really care :p. Put them aside.

For the custard:

Whisk eggs and sugar until combined. Add milk and vanilla powder, and stir again. Strain and put the custard into the souffle dish already filled with caramel. Leave it for 30 mins.

Place the souffle dish in the roasting tin and pour in hot water 1/3 of the way up the dish. Put them in preheated oven (200C) for 50 mins or until done. Serve chilled.



Custard Filled Choux Pastry

The basic recipe for this is callled pate a choux in French. Pate a choux can be used in so many ways such as profiteroles, croquembouche, eclairs, and many more.
Every single one of them has a story to tell; how they were made, why they were made in such a way, and in what occasions they were served.
I think this is one of the reasons why French are true gourmets. They just never stop exploring with food.

In Indonesia, choux pastry is called kue soes or soesen. A very popular hours d'oeuvre introduced by the Dutch during their period of colonization in East Indie.
While the original pate a choux usually filled with cream, koe soes is filled with custard, a blend of milk, egg yolks, sugar and a dash of flavouring thickened with heat.
The light, crispy shell of choux pastry combined with not-so-sweet custard, oh my, they just make a perfect couple.

In shaping the choux, I prefer using plain tip instead of shaping them like flowers with star tip. From what I experienced is, the choux dough will crackle and bloom more gorgeous that way, just like cabbages.
Choux pastry are suppose to look like cabbage (choux literally means cabbage in French), well that's what they say... But it really depends on your preference whichever you want to shape it.

The recipe is from old magazine of Femina. I am so used to the taste of this choux pastry. Although I tried many other recipes, I always come back to this one. It reminds me of my mom's baking.
The choice of flour used depends on own's preference. Many say high protein flour is better to make stiffer skin, the other -like myself- choose all purpose flour, since high protein flour leaves kinda 'sticky' taste to the tongue. But again, it's your call.

Kue Soes

For the skin:
200 ml water
150 gr margarine
125 gr flour
1/4 tsp salt
4 eggs

Boil the water and the margarine in a pan. Lower the heat and put the flour and salt altogether. Stir with wooden spoon until the dough becomes thick.
Remove the pan from the stove and cool off the dough, or at least until the hot steam vanished.
Beat the eggs into the dough, one at a time with a mixer or whisk.

Pipe into shapes onto lightly greased pan.

Put the pan into pre-heated oven (oven must be at least 200C) and allow to bake for about 25 mins. And people...please.. do not, I repeat... do not open your oven door unless you want your choux deflated successfully -quite a drama queen, aren't I?

For the custard:

3 egg yolks

200 gr granulated sugar

750 cc milk

20 gr flour

80 gr cornstarch

1/2 tsp vanilla powder

Femina's method to make custard is a bit complicated. I never bother trying it. I usually whisk all the ingredients altogether until they are just incorporated and cook them in lower heat until thickened. Do not forget to stir, girl..

To serve

Cut the pastry in the middle and put in the custard with a spoon or triangle plastic.

Finally, bon appetite!


Kedondong Stew


In one get-together event, a lovely friend brought some kedondongs from Malaysia. For a while I was thinking of making rojak, tropical fruits cut out in bite size and served with peanut sauce.

But then I remember I got this kedondong stew recipe from Femina I have been wanting to try.

It is a unique mixture of sweet-sourly fruit with sweet, spicy, and semi-thick soup.
Did I say spicy? Yup, it is spicy alright.
The spicy flavour comes from cloves and my favourite spice in the whole world, cinnamon.
The cloves give warm kind of hot effect while cinnamon gives a lovely aroma and y know, that strange but heavenly taste I even could not describe.

Just yesterday I stumble upon a recipe in one of Chef Wan's book, it's called Pere Cotte Con or Alloro Fragrant Pear. Instead of kedondong, it is pear they're using. The recipe is similar, only that the latter uses orange juice, limerind and vanilla essence in addition.
Maybe next time I try the pear. But for the review of this recipe is:good good good!

Kedondong Stew aka Setup Kedondong bo
(best served chilled)

You will need :
10 kedondongs
1000 ml of water
350 grams of sugar

4 cloves

1 stick of cinnamon
1 tablespoon of cornstarch
water enough to soak the kedondongs
1 tablespoon of salt

First off, peel kedondong and carefully cut to make a flower-like shape. Dissolve salt in water, and soak the fruit for about 20 minutes. Wash them thoroughly.

In a pan, bring water to boil, put the sugar, cloves and cinnamon and cook until sugar dissolves. After that put kedondong and cook for a while.
Lastly, dissolve cornstarch in small amount of water and mix it well in the pan.

Again, they're best served chilled. So you might need to keep them in the fridge overnight before serving.


Cake Decorating

I've been wanting to take cake decorating class. Looked over everywhere in Singapore if there's a class available but I couldn't find any.

Sooo...when I got a chance to go to Jakarta last December, I took cake decorating class in
I really enjoyed the class, not that I could get away from those little hands and feet for a while :)), but you's something new, and surprisingly I'm not bad at it either.

This is the first one. Roses everywhere. It should have been a basket full of colorful flowers. But I was not in the mood of having so many colors, so I just picked yellow and white. The roses, well they're not even close to the famous Wilton roses. But hey, I tried :D


Still yellow and white and done in a dummy cake with plain butter cream.
Learned to make garlands with small plain tip, pillars, cornelli lace, and another roses of course

The cake below is full of decorating techniques. I just love the e-motion (shell) border, they give wonderful effect to the cake.

This is another basket of flower. The basket done in the same way like the previous one only the vertical weave is using plain tip.

After three days in a row learning basic techniques, at the last day everyone could decorate any way they want using real cake. This is what I was came up with.
Again, roses and rose buds arranged in such a way filling half the surface. I used shell as borders. I think they' re simple yet elegant.
For the garlands, first I used tip 48, after that tip 104. Almost forgot! I put cornelli lace on the space below the garland before putting the roses.
Hardly could see it but without the lace the cake will look 'empty'

I am not fully satisfied with the decorating, still need more and more practice to make the decorating smoother. But generally, it is not bad either isn't it ? :))