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February 26, 2010

Double Espresso Roll Cake

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Espresso Chiffon Roll Cake
Espresso Chiffon Roll Cake

Coffee flavored cake called Mocha cake is a favorite in the Philippines. It is sold at bakeshops as a round layer, sheet, or Swiss roll cakes and often served at birthday parties. These are chiffon, very soft, and spongy cakes unlike American-style jelly roll cakes. I love this not too sweet Filipino version that I adapted from this recipe, and for intense coffee flavor I used freshly brewed coffee plus espresso powder.

Double Espresso Roll Cake
1 cup sifted flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup sugar
½ tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon espresso powder
¼ cup light olive or grapeseed oil
6 tablespoons hot brewed espresso coffee
4 egg yolks
4 egg whites
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
¼ cup sugar
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper.
  • In a bowl of standing mixer, combine flour, salt, ½ cup sugar, baking powder, and espresso powder. Make a well in the center and pour in oil and hot coffee. With the paddle attachment, beat mixture on medium low for 3 minutes. Continue mixing, adding egg yolks one at a time, blending well after each addition, until thoroughly mixed. Transfer into another bowl and set aside.
  • Wash the bowl very well and wipe dry, or use another bowl. Put in the egg whites and cream of tartar. Beat with wire whisk attachment at medium speed until frothy. Gradually add the ¼ cup sugar, beating until mixture is stiff and glossy. 
  • With rubber spatula, gently fold one fourth of beaten egg whites into batter, scraping bottom of bowl, until lightly blended. Gently fold the batter into the rest of the beaten egg white. Pour evenly into the prepared pan and smooth top with an offset spatula. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. 
  • Turn the cake out on a towel lightly sprinkled with powdered sugar. Peel off the parchment paper. Starting from the narrow side, roll the still warm cake with the towel and leave on a wire rack to cool completely. Unroll the cake and transfer onto a parchment paper. Spread with a thin layer of Espresso Buttercream Frosting and reroll the cake, frost the outside of the roll. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before slicing. Keep leftover slices in the refrigerator or freezer.
Espresso Buttercream Frosting
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ cup brewed espresso coffee
11 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon sugar
12 tablespoons butter, cut into 1 tablespoon pieces and softened
1 tablespoon espresso powder
  • Put egg whites and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer with the wire whisk attachment.
  • Stir together brewed coffee and 11 tablespoons sugar in a  heavy saucepan until sugar is dissolved, then bring to a boil over moderate heat, without stirring, brushing any sugar crystals down side of pan with a pastry brush dipped in water.
  • When syrup reaches a boil, start beating egg whites at medium-high speed until frothy, then gradually add remaining tablespoon sugar and espresso powder and beat at medium speed until whites just hold soft peaks. Do not beat again until sugar syrup is ready.
  • Meanwhile, attach candy thermometer on the saucepan and continue boiling until syrup registers 238°F. Immediately remove from heat and with mixer at high speed, slowly pour hot syrup in a thin stream down side of bowl into whites, beating constantly. Beat, scraping down side of bowl with a rubber spatula, until meringue is cool to the touch, about 10 minutes. It is important that meringue is properly cooled before proceeding. With mixer at medium speed, gradually add butter 1 piece at a time, beating well after each addition until incorporated. Continue beating until buttercream is smooth. Mixture may look curdled before all of the butter is added but will come back together by the time beating is finished.
 

February 22, 2010

Roasted Onion And Asiago Miche: BBAC#43

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Woohoo! Stick a fork in me. I'm done! Here it is, ta-da

Roasted Onion and Asiago Miche
Roasted Onion And Asiago Miche

the last bread in The Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge #43: Roasted Onion And Asiago Miche.

First, thank you Nicole for creating this challenge, XOXO. I learned a ton from baking 43 breads, found out what works, and discovered new favorites and appreciation for sourdough starter. Lately I have been using my wild yeast starter for almost all the yeast breads I bake outside of this challenge. I truly enjoyed this virtual baker's apprentice experience.

Now, about the bread. I halved the recipe because it is just too large for me to handle. It took 3 days to make this beautiful loaf. First day was for making a wet sourdough sponge which I mixed very late in the evening and left it on the kitchen counter overnight in order to avoid putting it in the refrigerator. The next morning it had grown and ready to be made into the dough. I loved the feel of the dough which was elastic, soft, and silky smooth like a baby's bottom. I did 3 stretch-and-folds within 1½ hours, total fermentation was 2 hours. It was then shaped into a boule, placed on a piece of parchment, sprayed with oil, covered with plastic wrap, then made to rest overnight in the refrigerator.

Roasted Onion and Asiago Miche

The next day, the ginormous 11-inch wide miche with lots of air pockets was made to de-chill *is that a word?* for 2 hours on the kitchen counter. The top was oiled, dimpled all over, then sprinkled with more cheese and the roasted onion, and baked for 35 minutes. The bread is very pretty on the outside but the crumb although soft and moist is not open as described in the book. The large holes that were supposed to be in between the dimpled sections were missing. The bread is flavorful but not as awesome as my other favorite breads in the book, which is a surprise.

Roasted Onion and Asiago Miche

Having said that I will give this bread another chance, it has so much potential. Maybe I'll increase the amount of scallions and chives because their flavors seem to disappear in the bread or try another kind of cheese. I will probably let the dough rest more than 30 minutes after dimpling because this step deflated the miche which might have contributed to the tight crumb.

Rating:
flavor 4
texture 4
visual appeal 5
ease of preparation 5
performance 4
worth 5
Total: 27
Average: 4.5

My top 10 favorite breads in the challenge
  1. Casatiello
  2. Pain à l'Ancienne
  3. Pizza Napoletana
  4. Potato, Cheddar, And Chive Torpedoes
  5. Italian Bread
  6. Portuguese Sweet Bread
  7. Vienna Bread
  8. Kaiser Rolls
  9. Multigrain Bread Extraordinaire
  10. Bagels

February 21, 2010

Picture of the Day

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Pinoy Pride
JR Celski proudly wears his heritage on his chest: the Philippine sun and stars and the Polish white eagle. Too bad about his disqualification from the 1000m race last night. Hope he and his teammates get the gold at the craziest event short track speed skating relay.
Go JR and Team USA!


February 20, 2010

Lasang Pinoy Sundays: Rolled

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Tamagoyaki
tamagoyaki, a sweet Japanese rolled omelet


Lasang Pinoy Sundays Chiclet a gallery of food photography, Pinoy style, is hosted by SpiCes and Feisty Cook.

4 large eggs
4 tablespoons dashi stock
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon mirin
½ teaspoon soy sauce
salt, to taste
  • Beat the eggs and the rest of the ingredients very well until as smooth as possible.
  • Pour about a quarter of the mixture into a well-oiled tamago pan or non-stick skillet and spread as if you are making a crepe. As the mixture cooks, bubbles and sets, roll it and move it to the back of the pan. Brush more oil on the pan and some more of the mixture, making sure to get some under the roll. As it cooks, roll the old roll back to the front of the pan, then again to the back. Repeat until you are out of mixture.
  • Remove roll from the pan and roll as you would a sushi roll, squeezing out excess liquid. You can roll it into either a round or rectangular shape and slice it when it has cooled. The slices can be served as is, or as nigiri, atop a mound of rice wrapped in a thin sheet of nori.

February 16, 2010

Bringhe

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Bringhe

I have been making a list of regional Filipino food that I haven't eaten nor cooked before. I'm going to have a sort of my own test kitchen. I'll cook a chosen recipe, judge, improve upon if necessary, and then I'll blog about it.

One of the recipes I have wanted to try is the Pampanga rice dish Bringhe which is in 2 of my Filipino cookbooks. I chose the one from MEMORIES OF PHILIPPINE KITCHENS because it doesn't have chorizo, ham, or prawns. Both books categorize the rice dish as the Filipino version of the Spanish paella and a lot of Filipinos call the dish Philippine paella. Reading through the ingredients and the recipe I honestly think bringhe is closer to the Indian vegetable rice dish brinji than to paella. Aside from the similarity in their names, they also share a few ingredients such as coconut milk, carrot, potato, peas, and turmeric although brinji is heavily seasoned with herbs and spices. Paella doesn't have any of those ingredients save for peas. Since I am not from the region where this dish comes from, I am not going to disagree with its kinship with Paella.

The following recipe from MEMORIES is quite large and you may want to halve it. The 2 things I changed from the procedure: 1) added a tablespoon of sea salt to the chicken broth while it is boiling for a more flavorful chicken meat, then adjusted the amount of fish extract; 2) used 2 pieces of turmeric because the yellow color was too pale. Japanese sticky rice IMO is best for this recipe because the soaking time is only one hour.

I love the finished dish for its simplicity and its very mild flavor. There aren't any strong-flavored ingredients that clash, rather they complement each other. It has a hint of sweetness from the coconut milk and vegetables and the aroma and flavor of the banana leaves is heavenly. Sticky rice and banana leaves are made for each other, with sweet and with savory dishes.
I give this recipe 2 thumbs up.

Bringhe
adapted from MEMORIES OF PHILIPPINE KITCHENS
by Amy Besa And Romy Dorotan

3½ pounds whole chicken
1 large onion, quartered
2 tablespoons light olive or grapeseed oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 medium onion, diced
1 sweet red bell pepper, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 large potato, peeled and diced
1 one-inch piece fresh turmeric, grated (or 1 teaspoon powdered)
2 cups sticky rice, soaked in water overnight, drained
2 cups coconut milk
4 tablespoons fish sauce, or to taste
frozen banana leaves
  • Place the chicken and onion in a large saucepan and add water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the chicken is tender, about 40 minutes. Remove the chicken, strain, and reserve the broth. Set the chicken aside to cool, then remove the meat from the bones and shred it. Set aside.
  • Wash the banana leaves with the hottest tap water then wipe dry. Brush a large wok with vegetable oil and line with a double layer of banana leaves. Lightly oil the banana leaves.
  • In a large nonstick saute pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the garlic, onion,, and bell pepper and saute until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and potatoes and cook until softened. Add the turmeric and stir for 1 minute. Drain the rice and add to the pan, stirring until thoroughly coated with the oil. Add 1½ cups coconut milk and 1½ cups of the reserved chicken stock, and the fish sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until all the liquid is absorbed. Add another ½ cup of coconut milk and ½ cup of chicken broth and continue to stir until the liquid is absorbed. This should take 20 minutes - the rice should be tender but al dente. If the rice isn't cooked through, add more milk and stock. Continue to cook, stirring, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked through. Add the shredded chicken and cook until warmed through, about 3 minutes.
  • Fill the prepared wok with the rice mixture, smooth the top, cover with another layer of banana leaf, cover with lid or aluminum foil. Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, raise the heat to medium-high and continue to cook for another 5 to 10 minutes until a golden brown crust is formed at the bottom. Invert onto a large serving plate, remove the leaves, and serve.
Bringhe
savory sticky rice, yummy

February 15, 2010

Potato, Cheddar, and Chive Torpedoes: BBAC#42

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BBAC42
Potato Cheddar Chive Torpedo

The Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge #42: Potato, Cheddar, And Chive Torpedoes

Boy, am I grateful to Peter for sharing this bread recipe from one of his former bakers, Tim Decker, because it is simply superb. Just like Potato Rosemary Bread, I love everything about it: the soft somewhat elastic slightly open crumb that is moist and flavorful with a subtle garlic flavor from the chives, the most wonderful chewy dark brown crust, and its aroma, oh yeah. The aroma wafting through the house while baking makes you want to tear at the bread right after it comes out of the oven. Anyway, I made two 25-ounce loaves, each grew really big at 12 inches long, 6½ inches wide, and 3-inches tall. That's a lot of bread!

The recipe is an easy to make same-day bread leavened with both wild (sourdough) and commercial yeasts. Boiled chopped unpeeled potatoes and chives are added to the dough. Slices of sharp cheddar cheese are laid on the dough halves that are shaped into 6 x 8-inch rectangles. The doughs are rolled jelly roll style then shaped into torpedoes, the cheese creating pockets that look nice when the bread is sliced. I used white extra sharp Vermont cheddar cheese, sooo good. I will increase the amount of cheese next time I make these which is going to be very often. I love this bread!

BBAC42
Potta Cheddar Chive Torpedo

Rating:
flavor 5
texture 5
visual appeal 5
ease of preparation 5
performance 5
worth 5
Total: 30
Average: 5

February 14, 2010

Year of The Tiger And JR Celski

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Happy Chinese New Year!
Year of the Tiger 2010


And congrats to JR Celski for winning the Olympic bronze medal in short track speed skating
 JR Celski

February 13, 2010

Lasang Pinoy Sundays: ♥y

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 Banana Blossom
puso ng saging

Lechon Kawali Kare-Kare
lechon kawali kare-kare

Hearty is the theme for this week's Lasang Pinoy, Sundays and I'm thinking more of hearty stews than the greeting card company's holiday. Banana blossom, puso ng saging (heart of banana) in Tagalog because of its shape is one of the must have vegetables when making the hearty ox tail stew Kare-Kare. The unusual version here with crispy pork belly confit is also good but not as yummy as ox tail.


Lasang Pinoy Sundays Chiclet a gallery of food photography, Filipino style, is hosted by SpiCes.


February 12, 2010

Food Friday: Puto Pao

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Puto Pao
are they puto or siopao?, they're both, sort of
  
food friday chiclet Check out Maiylah's blog for more FoodFriday

Puto Pao
puto
3 cups all purpose flour, sifted
¾ cup sugar  
2 tablespoons baking powder
1½ cups milk
7 egg whites, at room temperature
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
8 tablespoons sugar

filling
2 cups flaked or finely chopped char siu (Chinese roast pork)
2 tablespoons hoi sin sauce


topping
grated cheese
thinly sliced salted duck eggs, optional

  • Grease puto molds or cups with vegetable oil or spray.
  • In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, and baking powder. Slowly stir in milk and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula until smooth. Set aside. 
  • In a stand mixer with the balloon whisk attached, beat on low speed the egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Slowly add sugar 1 tablespoon at a time and beat on high until stiff but not dry. 
  • Fold in the flour mixture into the beaten egg whites. 
  • Mix flaked char siu and hoi sin sauce.
  • Fill molds half full with batter, spoon 2 tablespoons pork filling, top with a little more puto mixture to just cover the filling. Sprinkle with cheese and add a slice of egg on top.
  • Steam in rapidly boiling water for 20 minutes. Remove from molds and serve while hot.

February 10, 2010

Whole Wheat Bread: BBAC#41

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Whole Wheat Bread

The Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge #41: Whole Wheat Bread

I thought no bread will ever replace 100% Sourdough Rye in its ranking at the bottom of my list as the worst bread in this challenge but Whole Wheat Bread came along and promptly took its place, actually they share the position. This bread in my experience and honest opinion is a total FAIL. And to add to the failure, I couldn't get some decent photos because it was snowing and the sky overcast and therefore no natural lighting resulting in out of focus photos with ugly unnaturally gray colored slices.

I used KAF hard red and a small amount of hard white whole wheat flour, coarse whole rye flour for the soaker, milk for the poolish, vegetable oil as suggested, and didn't change anything from the recipe. I don't know what went wrong because the procedure went smoothly, the dough grew during fermentation and in the oven but the bread was disappointing. It's too bitter, dry and crumbly, no hint of sweetness whatsoever, and all I can taste was bran, bran, bran, and more bran. I hated it. I love whole wheat breads specially those with added whole grains but I refuse to eat more than a few bites of this one. A small amount of bread flour might have improved the bread both in texture and flavor, but I'm no expert so I don't know.  
 
Rating:
flavor 0
texture 0
visual appeal 1
ease of preparation 2.5
performance 1
worth 0
Total: 4.5
Average: 0.75

I got frustrated because I was looking forward to making whole wheat bread sandwiches. The next day I baked another batch using a very simple recipe without a poolish and soaker, the whole baking process took less than 4 hours from start to finish. The recipe from one of my cookbooks has 2¼ cups each of whole wheat and all-purpose flour, ¼ cup powdered milk, and has the same amount of honey but has 1 tablespoon more vegetable oil than Peter's. I increased the whole wheat flour, all hard white, to 3 cups and replaced the remaining flour with 1 cup bread flour and ½ cup very fine whole rye flour. The bread rose ever so tall, the slices are soft and not dry at all and most important the bread is very tasty with a smoky nutty flavor. There is hardly any bitterness and it's just sweet enough, it's almost unbelievable that it has a lot of whole wheat flour.

I am liking the hard white whole wheat flour for its light color and it produces whole wheat breads that are lighter in texture and milder flavor plus you get all the same healthy benefits that are in hard red whole wheat flour.

 Whole Wheat Bread
 it looks almost like enriched white bread

February 9, 2010

Pork Loaf With Mushrooms And Pistachios

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Pork Loaf

This pork sausage cooked in a water bath has ingredients similar to country pate but is not spreadable. It's very good at room temperature with crusty bread or as a filling for sandwiches. The seasoned coarsely ground pork is mixed with dried mushrooms and pistachios with a layer of chicken livers and strips of ham in the middle of the loaf. Really yummy.

Pork Loaf

Pork Loaf With Mushrooms And Pistachios
1½ pounds ground lean pork
½ pound pork fat, cut into small cubes
½ tablespoon kosher salt 
1/8 teaspoon pink salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 shallot, finely minced
½ cup white wine
¼ cup brandy
½ cup small pieces dried wild mushrooms, rinsed well
½ cup pistachios
chicken livers
strips of ham
  • In a medium bowl, mix well all the ingredients except livers and ham. Fry a teaspoon of the pork mixture, taste, and adjust seasoning. Transfer the mixture into a covered container and leave overnight in the refrigerator. 
  • The next day, line a loaf pan with plastic film with a 4-inch overhang on both long sides. Spoon half of the meat mixture, tamp down with a spoon. Arrange the strips of ham right down the middle, leaving space in between. Fill the spaces with chicken livers. Spoon and press the rest of the meat on top. Cover with the film overhang. Cover the top of the pan tightly with aluminum foil. 
  • Place the loaf pan in a Dutch oven, fill with hot tap water up to half an inch below the pan. Turn heat to low, cover, and cook slowly for 2 hours. (You may also bake it in a bain marie in a 300°F oven for 2½ hours. Do not line loaf pan with plastic film.)
  • Remove pan from water bath and let cool for 1 to 2 hours. Remove the pork sausage from pan, slice and enjoy with plenty of crusty bread.

February 7, 2010

Chicken Noodle Soup

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Chicken Noodle Soup

Old Man Winter got busy dumping wet snow in the Washington D.C area. We had a few inches last Tuesday which melted by Wednesday then it started snowing again mid-morning Friday and continued to snow all day Saturday until sundown. There's over 2 feet of the white stuff all over and the limbs of trees look like they are about to snap due to their heavy load. 

Wet Snow

Just looking at it makes me want to slurp some hot soup. Not just any soup but the ones I used to have back in the Philippines, the chicken noodle soup that comes in packets [with tiny noodles and barely visible chicken pieces] that you boil in water. It's a good thing I have frozen bars of homemade chicken broth ready to be thawed for times like these. Homemade chicken stock tastes so much better than canned and probably will be healthier too if you defat it and don't add MSG and too much salt in it.

Chicken Stock
6 cups water
1 whole chicken, quartered and rinsed well
2 onions, quartered
4 carrots, cut into 4 pieces
3 celery sticks, halved
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon whole white or black peppercorns
2 teaspoons sea salt
  • In a large Dutch oven, heat the water and chicken over high heat and let come to a full boil. Skim off all the foam that rise to the top and discard. Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil, lower the heat to medium low, cover, and simmer for 2 hours. 
  • Remove and transfer the chicken pieces into a container, cover, and refrigerate. When the chicken has cooled, debone them, discard the bones, and cube or shred the meat, set aside. 
  • Strain the stock and discard the solids. Cover with plastic film and refrigerate overnight or until the fat solidifies. Remove the layer of fat on top and discard. Transfer stock into plastic containers together with some of the chicken meat and freeze. Transfer into vacuum bags and leave in the freezer until needed.
I used fideo noodles for the chicken noodle soup which are available at the International section of grocery stores. They are thinner than angel hair pasta and already cut into 1-inch long pieces. We usually eat soups in large coffee mugs which retains the heat of the soup much longer than shallow soup bowls.


IMG_5664

Chicken Noodle Soup
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
1 cup cubed or shredded cooked chicken
½ cup chopped onion
1 cup carrots, thinly sliced or shredded
2 celery sticks, thinly sliced
¾ cup fideo noodles or angel hair pasta (cut into 1 inch pieces)
sea salt and ground white pepper, to taste
  • In a Dutch oven over high heat, combine stock,  water, chicken, and onion, and let come to a boil. Cook on medium heat, covered, for 5 minutes. Add carrots, celery, and noodles. Simmer, uncovered, until vegetables and noodles are tender. Taste and add seasonings. Serve immediately.
And when mother nature hands you 2 feet of snow, you make snowballs for a massive snowball fight. Enjoy!



February 6, 2010

White Bread: BBAC#40

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Dinner Rolls
soft, fluffy, and yummy dinner rolls

The Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge #40: White Bread Variation 3

There are 3 variations of the White Bread recipe and I chose variation 3 which uses a sponge although still a one-day bread. In making the sponge I discovered there's a typo. For the milk, I used the volume measurement, 1¼ cups which was not enough for the amount of bread flour because the sponge was a bit dry and stiff and clearly needed more liquid. I checked the weight measurement which is 12 ounces, or 1½ cups. You might want to correct your books if you haven't done so already.

This is an enriched white bread recipe with one egg yolk, a quarter cup of butter or vegetable oil, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and milk (I used buttermilk). This is one of the simplest and I think foolproof recipes to make into feather-light, soft, milky, tight-crumbed, and utterly delicious loaves and rolls. If you have family members who are stuck in white Wonder Bread in its bright red, white, blue, and yellow packages, and won't eat anything else, this recipe might win them over to home baked white bread.

I divided the dough in half, one half was shaped into 18 mini dinner rolls, each one weighed 1 ounce, and baked in a 7 x 11 x 2 inch pan. The other half of the dough was misshaped into 6 New England-style hot dog buns which I will fill  later with breaded deep fried oysters or seafood salad, yum.

IMG_5718
7 x 11 x 2-inch pan is the perfect size for small dinner rolls

Hot Dog Buns
New England-style hot dog buns

Rating:
flavor 5
texture 5
visual appeal 5
ease of preparation 5
performance 5
worth 5
Total: 30
Average: 5

February 4, 2010

Chewy Peanut-Caramel Bars

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Chewy Peanut-Caramel Bars

If you love Snickers® bar, this cookie is for you. What's not to love? It has chewy caramel, loads of peanuts, and chocolate plus crunchy buttery cookie as a bonus. I baked half a recipe adapted from THE ALL-AMERICAN DESSERT BOOK by Nancy Baggett. I changed 2 things: I used bittersweet instead of semi-sweet chocolate chips and did not top the cookies with chopped peanuts. The cooled uncut slab looked like a giant flat-ish Snickers bar.

IMG_5710

Chewy Peanut-Caramel Bars
adapted from THE ALL-AMERICAN DESSERT BOOK by Nancy Baggett
crust
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
2½ tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
5 tablespoons heavy (whipping) cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

topping
1½ cups light brown sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
½ cup heavy (whipping) cream
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups chopped unsalted peanuts
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ cups semi-sweet chocolate morsels
  •  Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375° F. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with aluminum foil and coat the foil with nonstick spray.
  • TO MAKE THE CRUST:  In a food processor, process the flour, sugar, and salt to blend. Add the butter. Process in pulses until the butter is cut in and the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the cream and vanilla extract over the flour mixture. Process in pulses until the dough holds together, being careful not to overprocess. Very firmly press the mixture into the baking dish in an even layer. Prick the crust all over with fork. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until tinged with brown all over and slightly darker at the edges. Transfer to a wire rack.
  • TO MAKE THE TOPPING: In a heavy 2-quart saucepan, stir together the brown sugar, corn syrup, cream, butter, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Stir in 2½ cups of the peanuts. Adjust the heat so that the mixture boils briskly. Cook, stirring frequently, for 2 and a half minutes. Immediately remove from the heat. Stir in the vanilla.
  • Pour the topping over the crust, drizzling to cover the entire surface as evenly as possible. Spread out with a greased offset spatula, if necessary. Let cool and firm up for 20 minutes. Sprinkle the top with the chocolate morsels. Let stand for a few minutes longer, or until the chocolate is partially melted. Using an offset spatula, spread the melted chocolate over the topping. Sprinkle the top with the remaining ½ cup peanuts.                                                                                                             
IMG_5704
  • Let cool completely. Remove the slab from the pan and transfer into a cutting board. Carefully peel off the foil. Cut into desired size (squares or rectangles).
food friday chiclet



February 2, 2010

Vienna Bread: BBAC #39

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Vienna Bread

Vienna bread is a semi-enriched bread with just an egg and very small amounts of sugar and butter and can be categorized somewhere in between Italian and Portuguese (sans citrus flavor) breads because of its soft and slightly chewy texture. It uses a large amount of preferment which makes it so flavorful. It looks handsome too with its golden brown soft crust that becomes crunchy when toasted. Just like Italian bread it is perfect with both sweet and savory fillings/toppings. This is my kind of bread and it has already been added to my top 10 favorite breads in this challenge.

Vienna Bread
Vienna Bread

Rating:
flavor 5
texture 5
visual appeal 5
ease of preparation 5
performance 5
worth 5
Total: 30
Average: 5


This is the first of the 5 last recipes in this challenge; 4 more to get to the finish line. Yay! Next up is basic white bread which I'm baking today. I will try to shape the dough into New England-style hot dog buns. Wish me luck with the shaping! ^__^

February 1, 2010

Pinky, Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?

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IMG_5649
tapioca flour donuts

Remember Pinky and the Brain cartoons? Brain always asks "Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?" and Pinky would answer something that is completely irrelevant to the question and he'll be bonked on the head by Brain. The quote kept appearing while I was searching for the recipe for the Asian donuts called Pon De Ring which I read about here. Sorry if I seem to be channeling Pinky myself.:)

Unfortunately I couldn't find the recipe anywhere but some sites say the donuts are based on the Brazilian cheese rolls Pão de Queijo. I made half a recipe which is too much for a donut experiment. I also didn't bother to glaze them. I love the texture of the donuts, the crumb is chewylicious similar to fried mochi and the crust is so crunchy. Since I have not eaten the donuts from Asia I can't recommend the recipe 100%. If you are crazy adventurous like me here is the recipe, it's somewhere in the middle of the post, add maybe a third to half a cup of sugar and omit the cheese.

IMG_5645
pon de ring, square, holes, sticks, mushrooms, etc

IMG_5648

I the slightly sweet chewy crumb

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