Saturday, November 29, 2008

Daring Bakers Challenge...postponed

So, yes. I know what date it is today. I had the cake baked up yesterday to be decorated, photographed and blogged today. Until last night. The following conversation took place between me and my 'little' sister after I came home from work last night.

Sis: Hey, can you bake me some cupcakes tomorrow?

Me: Err...I kind of have another cake to finish up tomorrow.

Sis: But it's my 21st birthday!!


Me: Your birthday isn't until next week!

Sis: Yes, but I'm celebrating it tomorrow because some of my friends have plans to go overseas next week.

Me: Ok, what kind of cupcake would you like?

Sis: (Showed me a photo of a mini woodland scene atop a cupcake) Can you do 21 of these?

So in the end, blood is thicker than water and I had to acquiesce. I emailed Lisa to tell her that some last minute things have cropped up, and therefore I will have to postpone my posting for this month's caramel cake until next week. Those who thought that I was going to completely skip the challenge should take a second look at the name of my blog!! So be back next week and I'll have my cake up here.

Oh, in the end we negotiated and settled for butterflies perched on top of the cupcake.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Cake masquerading as bread, and spread acting like ice cream

Ahem.. I did not realise how fast time flies these days. I know that I promised you all that I will post more frequently after I come back from my vacation, and even made a pact with Mallory to sacrifice sleep for blog. So far, I think she's the only one who's kept to that oath.

But my new job is zapping up my energy and my time in the ways that a mini cake-producing nuclear power plant would these days. And to all of you who are pondering about the reality behind cake shop/wholesale/catering vs. restaurant work, let me tell you something. Working in a cake shop which multi-task as a wholesaler/caterer is not as stress-less as you think it is. Wait, maybe I was the only one who thought so.

But enough about me. One of the reasons I staged a comeback sooner than I thought I would was due to the fact that 3 nudges were sent my way, a couple of days apart from each other, from 3 fellow bloggers whose blogs and creations I hold in the highest regard. Y , Helen, Mallory, thank you!! I know it sounds rather silly, but your emails make me really happy. It's really good to know that my absence is felt among visitors of my blog, so thank you!!

So we can now move on to the real treat. Aran of Cannelle et Vanille did a post on brioche some time last week. One look at her photos and I was smitten!! Her brioche looked simple, comforting, and delectable; in other words, perfect!! Her post happened to coincide with the day off I was having the day after, so I immediately lunged at the chance to make a loaf for myself. I had made a batch of peanut butter ice cream a few days before, so I decided to make an ice cream brioche sandwich as an afternoon treat. But it turns out that the aroma emanating from the oven was too much for J and my brother. They could not even wait until the brioche has cooled down a little bit before launching attacks from both sides of the loaf. As for me, I got to have a couple of slices, and a couple more to photograph with for the sake of this post, before they ate all of it. (Yes, they got to the ones in the photo too. They could barely wait 'til I finished photographing.)

Peanut Butter Ice Cream with chocolate chips

1 litre milk
200g sugar
50g glucose
150g egg yolk
100g peanut butter
50g good quality dark chocolate, chopped

Combine milk, glucose and half the sugar in a saucepan, and heat to boil. Stir occassionally to prevent the mixture from burning. Whisk egg yolk and the remaining sugar together until pale. Pour boiling milk mixture into the yolk/sugar mixture while whisking. Pour back the anglaise mixture into the saucepan and reheat until the thermometer registers 81 degree Celsius. As this recipe does not contain cream, the anglaise will not thicken enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, so trust your thermometer. Add peanut butter, whisk to combine and chill before churning in an ice cream maker. Each ice cream maker is different, but the approximate time needed on mine is about 20 minutes. Always keep in mind that due to the absence of cream, this ice cream will not turn out as thickly as normal ice cream. About 2 minutes before the ice cream finishes churning, add the chopped dark chocolate.