11 July 2014
recently, i've been making chiffon-based cakes really often. i don't just make the actual chiffon per se, i realized they're actually pretty good made into roll cake, sheet cake base for entremets/verrines or even into cupcakes. they yield much better results (soft even upon refrigeration) and simpler to make compared to a dry hard genoise. genoise requires warming the eggs and sugar to body temp and then whisked until ribbon stage which i think is too much work.
30 May 2014
i had a couple of orders for japanese-inspired macarons. this is my first year making sakura ones and according to my customers, they were pretty well received. i guess the saltiness of the sakura flowers and leaves offset the sweetness of the macarons. i also experimented with jasmine flavored macarons. jasmine tea is dirt cheap so i had no qualms in dumping a whole lot of leaves in the cream. yay to pronounced jasmine flavor!
06 May 2014
i've neglected my blog for so long, sorry about that. i just haven't had much time on hand. macaron orders aside, i'm also working on something (which i will reveal later here!). meanwhile, i made few days ago. having made croissants and had considerably successful results, i'm now more confident in laminating dough so i thought i wanted to give this a try. my first attempt at marbled bread looked horrible and to think of it, it was pretty embarrassing. i thought this attempt was way better, in terms of height, swirl pattern and texture. the only problem was letting my mind wander off and i actually made 4 bookturns instead of 3 so the swirls weren't that distinctive.
24 March 2014
what an awesome sunday it was! i recently got to know a new friend via instagram - shirley of littlemissbento which i'm pretty sure many of you have heard of her. she's an amazing bento artist and instructor and her kyarabens (character bentos) are simply too stunning and perfect for words! i was even more surprised (elated, actually) that we're both residing in the same country, my only regret was not knowing her earlier! after leaving comments and liking each other's photos on instagram for a month or so, we took our conversation to whatsapp and hit off immediately! we both agreed to meet up to bake, which is the first for me actually. so far i haven't met someone up for the first time just to bake. all my baking buddies and i were acquainted for awhile before we decided to bake together. but it was perfectly alright for me and i was really excited about it! while i think shirley is a good baker as well (her tarts, bread and wagashi among other things are amazing), she wasn't too confident about whisking egg whites so i told her i will troubleshoot with her together so we decided on a yuzu chiffon cake. i'm definitely not an expert but i make macarons like all the time, so egg whites isn't much of a problem for me. i was only praying that i wouldn't make a fool of myself and end up with an uglyass cake lol.
09 March 2014
the first time i made croissants was two years ago. i took a random recipe off a blog and it turned out very badly - leaking butter, layers not distinctive, blisters on the surface after baking. i wasn't sure if it were due to my lack of skill or what but after that i was pretty scarred i felt i just wasn't cut out to make laminated dough of any sort. i've been getting my fix from paul and maison kayser and recently, JOHAN, a japanese bakery inside isetan. since japanese recipes all worked out for me somehow and never once had i failed from it, i decided to try out once more. japanese are damn good at making artisan breads by the way, their standard is on par with the european counterparts, if not better.
13 February 2014
i hope its not too early to start on some springtime sweets! ukishima translates as "floating island" which is one of the simpler wagashis to make. its a steamed cake made of anko (or shiro-an, in this case) and is usually done in two or three layers. basically it symbolizes the arrival of spring, with its soil layer in brown, followed by a white layer which represents snow, then green (sprouts) and pink (flowers). i made only two layers since i really like the combination of matcha and sakura.
20 January 2014
happy new year, guys! as you can see, i made this during christmas so its an overdue post. i wasn't planning on making something christmassy like a buche but i thought this looked like a tree so it was quite apt too! i also had these slanted-side tart tins for sometime now which i wanted to use for hidemi sugino's fig tart but i couldn't find any figs but i'm glad these had been put into good use.
20 December 2013
you know how much i love junko's roll cake and among so many roll cake recipes i've tried, hers is still the best in terms of taste, texture and flexibility in rolling. like a good basic macaron batter, all you need is just one to experiment with other endless flavor possibilities. i'm not usually a fan of instant coffee from grocery stores since most are too acidic for my liking but i went to isetan last weekend and chanced upon this UCC one from japan which is really really good. its not acidic at all and is pretty strong and full-bodied so i decided to add it into my favorite recipe to make a coffee roll cake. also jazzed it up a little by adding cocoa powder to part of the batter to make the dots. turned out fab!
10 October 2013
wow ok, it must be eons ago (10 months, to be exact!) since i last made an entremet. i was afraid if i don't make one soon, i'll *really* forget how to do it. i was in a mood for something pink and pretty so i decided on a berry entremet. while no stranger to berry entremets (i've made countless - hidemi sugino's paradis, fruits rouges, sous bois etc), i've not made a sliced one like this so i was really looking forward to it.
01 July 2013
the girlfriend went to taiwan again and gifted me with a box of chocorons from sadaharu AOKI, taipei! arent these gorgeous? chocorons are basically chocolate-coated macarons and we were discussing about aoki's desserts on whatsapp just before she went on her trip, didnt expect her to actually get me a box of these. don't i just have the awesomest girlfriends? they always bring me stuff from patisseries out of town :D
27 May 2013
junko has done it again, this time in the form of decorated mushipan (steamed cup bread). she's probably most well known for her decorated roll cakes but she actually has a few other books on decorated desserts like puddings and cookies as well. i only saw this book recently at the store so i reckon this must be her latest. was actually not very keen on making mushipan again after the first attempt (it was really dry) but the cute decorations really wowed me. theres even one on alpaca. did you know alpacas are really big in japan? they've got plush toys, stationery and stuff. who would have thought?
20 May 2013
the weather had been so amazingly warm lately its really unbearable. on some days, temperature would soar to 34 or 35C (95F) during the afternoons and there would be long queues especially at the drinks stalls or ice cream trucks. honestly its like a vicious cycle. sweetened beverages just do not quench thirst, neither do ice creams. and after having those, you'll just realized you're not really satisfied then you want more. what a great way to consume additional calories! i needed something low-cal, refreshing and with the abundance of citruses around, make something fun using them.
13 May 2013
it was mothers day yesterday, hope you guys had a great time celebrating the occasion! even though i did make a roll cake for our early celebration dinner last week, it was more like a cake i made for the mothers in my family and not for my mom herself so i really wanted to make her something personally. i recently discovered how to make a genoise properly and have had fantastic results from this recipe i used so i thought a shortcake would bring out the genoise nicely. my mom loves mangoes and even though i've not attempted this version i went ahead with it.
08 May 2013
i was really inspired by this roll cake i saw on a japanese blog recently. it was so pretty i wanted to do the same. i've always thought about making a roll cake like this and felt it would also look great to use it to line the sides of an entremet, like hidemi sugino's fruits rouges. it would look far better if i had just used this instead of a joconde piped with jam as it resulted in deep unsightly gashes after baking.
26 April 2013
its funny how things work sometimes. pickled sakura used to be one of my most sought-after baking ingredients until i managed to find it on rakuten two years back. i thought it was plentiful and could last me awhile and then two of my friends bought me more on their trips to japan (i didn't request for it actually). so now i have too much, 3 big packs in total. i think they would last me another two more years at least. not that i'm complaining, they're so pretty and versatile and lots of spring desserts use them. but i don't wanna make another batch of sakuramochi so i decided on something i've seen but never made before - sakura jam.
27 March 2013
i've heard about buckwheat pancakes but never had the desire to make them in the past. i didn't really like its dull color, i also did not want to stock up too many varieties of flours that i think i would only be using once or twice. on the contrary, ever since i started to eat healthy, i began taking an interest on the different types to substitute for wheat flour. so far i've bought buckwheat, chickpea, quinoa and cornmeal flours and i'm very eager to start experimenting. so, heres buckwheat pancakes for a start!
13 March 2013
moffles are mochi waffles that are currently a big hit in japan! crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside, they can be paired with either a sweet or savory topping. they can also be eaten like a sandwich with a filling. i made these for breakfast this morning and didn't feel like using my DSLR so i just took a pic with my phone.
24 January 2013
recently i've been crazy with all that afternoon tea stuff. i simply love the idea of fine china, fresh flowers, petits fours, tea sandwiches and freshly baked goods. and, making scones have always been a challenge. even though its something simple i haven't really been able to succeed making it. it always turned out too tough, too sweet, too burnt etc. so i decided to give it another go!
02 January 2013
from left : matcha marble cake, cranberry rose cookies, raspberry + black forest macarons
for many years, i've had enquiries asking whether i could make variety gift boxes like these but to be honest i didn't really think i was up to it. i didn't have appropriate packaging then and i didn't really wanna use white cake boxes or anything generic from the baking supplies stores or even daiso. i was happy to be able to find packaging i like finally and for this order, my customer was kind enough to leave everything to me with the only requirement that the items have gotta be able to transport easily ie. stuff that won't melt or crumble all over. so i came up with these.
28 December 2012
layers from top : chocolate glacage, chocolate bsicuit joconde, banana mousse, banana gelee, sauteed banana center and walnut creme patissiere
i made this for the family dinner on christmas and here's whats left of it. totally didn't get a chance to take any photos until after, and only posted it up 3 days after christmas as i'm still up to my neck with macaron orders. but i decided to share this afterall coz its really good and could be made into any shape and not just a log. the family really liked it and were all praises! took a while to do so many components but it was all worth it.