Thursday, September 20, 2007

Eric Kayser's Matcha Tarts Round 2!

Eric Kayers Matcha Financiers went over soooo well with colleagues that I've had a few asking me for more. So instead of experimenting with what's already a good recipe, I decided to just try out variations of different moulds.

I have a friend who tells me that she is immensely jealous of the baking pans, tins, cutters, etc. Yay!

Something about Matcha anything always gives me the zen feel even though Financiers contain a substantial amount of Butter and whites.

I love the leaf veins seen above.

An experiment went awry. Matcha Financier-Muffins with baked raspberries. The tart raspberry tartness just about did me in.

The big round one resembles so much like a 大饼 Da Bing
(sorta like a big cookie, chinese style)
The limit to my 'creativity'.
I didn't find that many moulds to have fun with.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Raspberry & Blueberry Charlotte

So inspired was I by beautiful Charlottes, seemingly held together with a dainty ribbon that I decided I would make one just for the visual impact.

Thankfully I was not stupid enough to make the sponge fingers for the outside as well for if I did, I might have had to throw the entire cake away.

The base and height buildup, is achieved by 2 sponge finger bases, based as a piped circular spiral. In between, you have to lather on either creme of chocolate mousse.

I winged it with the chocolate mousse, and it didn't turn out as fluffly as I wouldav liked.
The baked sponge bases came out as a cross between a biscuit that wasn't kept in an airtight container, and a bad version of the Japanese, fish-shaped sponges, filled with anko beans.

I spent so much time resting this darn thing that I didn't have excess energy to run to the shops and get a ribbon to tie round its middle. In retrospect, I believe the whole point of a Charlotte (in my warped mind) is the ribbon it has around its 'waist' to resemble the summer hats that English ladies of yore wore in their teenage days.

The raspberry and blueberries were so sour... it couldav turned milk into cheese with just one glance. I lament once again on how fruits have to be plucked when unripe and then shipped to Asia. Sigh..

I will attempt this someday again, when I've found a better version of chocolate mousse and sponge fingers. Wait for me.. I will perfect it someday!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Chai Cupcakes - My First and Last In Awhile

What does one do with a blend of Chai spices? Aside from the obvious of making Chai tea, I decided I had to try making Chai cupcakes at least once.

Perhaps age is really the neutralizer of all things icky.
I remember how I refused to touch the major aromatics such as garlic, ginger, chives. Needless to say, chai spices are on that banned list of foods as well.

However, as one grows older, it seems spices and such, are the indicators of a person's culinary skills. Knowing how to blend them together so that it isn't overly pungent, being able to control the strength of each herb/spice and ultimately, blending them in such a way that a whole different taste / scent emerges.

The indicators are the smells that waft through the kitchen into the living room, tantalizing awaiting guests, creating the hunger and anticipation. Now that I think about what I've just typed, it seems very much like a marriage. Finding the perfect partner, merging with our individual characters and finally, the wedding night where all is revealed. Ok Ok... shoot the writer, I've never been very prolific with descriptive writing. Perhaps it's the rain as well... hmmm yes. It must be the rain... haha!

With the Chai Cupcake... I've discovered that blending of spices to create a finished product, has very much to do with the individual tastes and risk appetite. What one perceives as just right, might be a little too choking for me.

In reality, the cupcakes tasted great to spice enthusiasts. albeit a little too sweet for the icing. Different but good. To me the closet spice-disliker, the pungency of the cupcakes were a little overpowering so much so that I cannot eat more than 1 chai cupcake in a month. I appreciate the experience, but I would think really hard before serving these to guests for there are only so many spice enthusiasts I know.

I now have bags and bags of spices stored away in the darkest recesses of my kitchen cabinet, where they will hopefully grow mold and I will be 'forced' to throw them away.

Here is my take on the Spice Cupcake and yes I do realise that a little more practice is needed for my piping skills. Perhaps like A, I'm just not cut out for delicate work: