Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Custard Cream Puff 吉士 (卡士达) 泡芙

Pâte à choux

Hubby is not a sweet-toothed person as he does not favour most pastries except for cream puff.  For him to appreciate my baking, I reckoned it was time for me to learn his favourite pastry – Cream Puff.

Cream puff was originated from French pastry name Choux Pastry or Pâte à choux with butter, water, flour, and eggs as main ingredients. I had a cook book from Agnes Chang illustrating Choux Pastry recipe and I was preparing to give it a go. Later, I had the idea to check out some video demonstrations before attempting it. After watching a few Choux pastry videos on youtube , I dived straight into it.  

Result? I was glad the pastry turned out nicely, however I was a bit disappointed with the custard fillings as the custard was not thick enough. I guess I should have stirred and cooked the custard a bit longer to thicken its consistency. Either sweet fillings or savoury fillings can be used.
Since I found visual demostration was much more informative and easy to follow, here I’m showing a clip featuring my Choux pastry making experience.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Pandan Bread 班兰香草面包

Since I resumed my baking hobby, I gave myself a target to explore at least one new baking recipe a week. Below is another bread recipe I adapted from a new local bread making cook book I bought recently.

This recipe used one of the local plants, Pandan to enhance the bread flavour. Pandan a.k.a. Screwpine, is a common tropical plant widely used in Southeast Asian cooking. The natural green coloring extracted from Pandan leaves and the characteristic of its aroma is especially useful for enhancing the color and flavour in cooking especially in dessert making.  Other than as a flavour, the pandan leaves can be used to wrap savory dishes and weaved into handicrafts. Visit my previous dessert recipe Kuih Talam and Kaya posts, which featured the use of pandan leaves as one of the ingredients.
While in New Zealand, the cold weather wasn’t conducive for growing Pandan plant and I could only go for frozen pandan leaves or Pandan essence/paste to get its flavor in cooking. Now in Malaysia, I can easily find this plant grown in my neighbourhood garden.  They grow so easily and wildly in this country. Whenever I wish to use a piece or two, I just need to ask from my neighbour and they would generously share with me. 

For this Pandan bread recipe, I again hand kneaded the bread dough. If you are a follower of my blog, you would know I hand kneaded all my bread dough. This time, I reckon it would be much more effective to show a video clip of my hand kneading process.

I must admit hand kneading is quite a tiring process. In fact, I’ve been considering getting a good stand mixer but held back by the low frequency of my usage as a branded mixer such as Kitchen Aids can be really expensive in Malaysia. On the other hand a cheaper mixer is not powerful enough for dough mixing. L
If you have any good mid budget range mixers to recommend (powerful enough for dough mixing), please drop me a line. Thanks.


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