Saturday, February 28, 2009

Chocolate Truffles For Samuel's Farewell

Made these chocolate truffles with Bailey's irish cream chocolate ganache centre for my best friend Samuel who flew to Shanghai earlier this month. I was very excited when i was reading up recipes for chocolate truffles. It seemed to be easy to make these truffles, but in actual fact one has to be familiar with the characteristics of chocolate before doing these chocolate confections.

I learnt that there is a great deal of knowledge when it comes to handling and storing chocolates. When subjected to sudden temperature changes, white streaks will appear on the surface. This would not affect the taste of the chocolates though. What alarms me is that chocolates should not be stored in the fridge. They should be stored in cool places wrapped in layers of foil.

When melting chocolates and setting them, one may want to considering tempering the chocolates to ensure the chocolates set well with glossy appearances. Dark chocolate and couverture chocolates are easier to melt as compared to milk chocolates and white chocolates. For dark chocolates, i use a double boiler to melt them. As for milk and white chocolates, it is easier to use the microwave oven to melt them without causing them to burn.

The taste of these truffles turned out pretty good. One thing i learnt is that these truffles taste best when they are left standing for 30 mins after taking out of the refrigerator. When eating straight from the refrigerator, the chocolate confections will not develop their full flavour. The irritating thing about making these lovely confections is our humid and warm weather. The truffles soften easily when subjected to room temperature and it is unwise to stack them as they might end up in a dark brown mess. I had to rack my brains to wrap these truffles and ended up wrapping them in translucent plastic wrappers and place them in a circular box.

It certainly is a good idea to present these delicate treats as gifts. Hmm maybe i will attempt make truffles for gifts for Xmas.

Here is a great book to read on chocolate truffle making- Truffles, candies & confections by Carole Bloom. Loaned this neat read from the National Library.

Backlog- CNY Pineapple Tarts

For CNY i baked a total of 5 tins of pineapple tarts. Whew! it sure was a tiring task having to roll all the pastry skin and the pineapple fillings into balls. Luckily, mum and younger bro decided to help me since the whole family is mad about pineapple tarts. We ate a total of 7 tins this year, and i estimate that i would need to bake 5 to 7 tins next year for CNY.

Baking pineapple tarts is a very time consuming, tedious yet fulfilling process. It only cost me 10bucks to bake 3 tins of tarts whereas 1
tin of handmade pineapple tart can sell for 10bucks or more on the market. On the other hand, homemade pineapple tarts can cater to personal taste and with some practice they easily turn out to be a delicious treat.

I was inspired to bake these tarts after reading youfei's blog. I followed her recipe and baked my first batch of tarts. It turned out decent, however my pastry skin was a little too thick. The 2nd time i tried baking i used a recipe featured in the sunday times. The outcome were tarts that were soft and give a melt-in-the-mouth feel. However, the skin seems to peel and the tarts seem to stick to the mouth after eating.

The best results i had were tarts baked on my 3rd attempt. This time round i altered youfei's recipe and used 50g butter less. The tarts gave a crumbly feel which suited our preference. I am so going to use this recipe for CNY next year. However, i think i wont be doing my own pineapple jam next year like this time round as it is too time consuming to me. Storebought Phoon Huat or Bake King brand pineapple paste seemed good enough.

Backlog- Egg Tarts

This was one of my most successful attempts in baking. I was pretty satisfied with the results considering this was my first attempt on baking egg tarts. My elder brother commented that it was as good as those sold in bakeries. This recipe from aunty yochana's is definitely a superb one.

The recipe can be found here:
Egg tarts

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lemon Fragrance


I have been setting my goals on mini bakes for a while and hence decided to try out this recipe for lemon cookies. The recipe was easy to follow and i thought lemon and butter would make a wondeful combination. As i ran out of unsalted butter, i decided to tweak the recipe to suit my needs.

The cookies turned out wonderful. At first, I was sceptical about the taste and the texture. However, cookies turned out to be crisp and these lovely bites give off a burst of fragrant lemony flavour when popped into the mouth. This is good news for me, as i have another good cookie recipe to keep and bake for my loved ones.

Lemon Cookies

200g unsalted butter, softened
80g caster sugar
grated zest from 2 lemons
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
240g self raising flour

1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees C
2) Place butter, sugar, lemon zests and juice into a mixing bowl and beat until mixture is pale and fluffy
3) Sift flour into butter mixture and beat to form a soft dough.
4) Spoon dough into a ziplock bag. Snip off one corner and pipe out 3cm circles onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Alternatively, chill dough in the refirgerator for 1 hour or till firm. Spoon out levelled teaspoonfuls of dough onto baking trays and flatten slightly into circular discs.
5) Bake for 12-15mins. Leave to cool on baking tray for 5 mins before leaving to cool completely on wire rack

Busy with school!

Whew! Seems like i haven been updating my blog for nearly 2 months. This is a crucial and most tiring period of my sch life. However in the meanwhile, i have not stopped baking, not a bit. Looking at the pictures i took, i think i have tons of backlog to clear. There is the CNY bake, chocolate truffles for my best friend's farewell and the eclaires. Will try to publish these posts soon...
Related Posts with Thumbnails