Thursday, November 8, 2012

Chocolate ├ęclairs & Custard cream puff

 
My legs are really breaking apart and right now, all I can think of is a good massage. The last time I made choux pastry was in office together with my then Application Manager and that was like 4 - 5 years ago. Recently I had the chance to attend a class held by Tomoko who is a Japanese trained patisserie. She's not just any other person who knows how to bake but rather from the way she explained and answered questions posed to her, I gathered she has a solid background on food science. Now, this is what I really like and look up to. If you wish to attend her class, click here to be directed to her webpage.

 
 

Choux pastry being cream puff and eclairs are one of those amazing pastry which just balloons up without yeast and it has very minimal butter and flour. It consist of lots of eggs and while you're baking it in the oven, the wonderful eggy smell whiff through the kitchen. I just love it. To bake custard cream puff and eclairs, I went to 3 stores in search of 1cm nozzle but to no avail. Well, it seems that  this size is extremely popular. I had to settle with a 1.5cm nozzle for both pastry and bought an additional 0.5cm nozzle for piping the cream in. A teeny weeny nozzle already cost me an exorbitant RM5.50.  


 The 1st batch of cream puff as well as the 1st batch of eclairs turned out to be flat instead of puffy and airy. The 2nd batch of eclairs however turned out great but I just couldn't fathom why the same batter would create a different outcome. The way I piped it out, perhaps?  Anyway, I wasn't very happy with  my puff pastry and knowing me, I just had to do another round of it. A good thing it puffs came out great the 2nd time


Hubby came back and I stuffed 3 custard cream puffs into his mouth and 1 eclairs. He saw the display on the dining table and asked me whether I'm baking it to sell tomorrow. One thing for sure is my colleagues are in luck tomorrow. They'll be having it for breakfast. When will someone in office bakes for me for a change??


I'm packing one box each of eclairs and custard puff for my doc tomorrow. He loves chocolate and I hope he will enjoy eating it as much as I do. Gosh.. I lost count of how many puffs I stuffed into my mouth!


The custard cream is awesome. I definitely must attend another class of Tomoko's . Her recipes are good, the classes are hands on method, her knowledge on baking is indisputable, she gladly answered all my questions to her without holding anything back and lastly, she is just a simple humble lady who enjoys baking and imparting her knowledge while making a living out of it.

                      

These are the failed batches of puffs and eclairs (no cream added yet).  See? It's 'kemek'. They look hideous, I agree but they taste as good nonetheless. Why... I could even pop them into my mouth without any cream in it.. .that is if you like eggy taste.

Verdict : I'm satisfied with today's baking. The taste of cream and the pastry was awesome. I really really love it. I don't normally eat a lot of what I bake but this.....I just couldn't stop popping them into my mouth. It's gonna be midnight soon (again another late night) and I'm dead beaten. However, it's all worth it.







Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Mayo Tuna Bun

 
Re-baking the same recipe today to compensate for last week's not-so-satisfied tuna buns because last week, I was literally distracted by many unexpected excitement : my Hello Kitty goodies, arrangment to pick up Tony and Uncle Meng at Sentral, the nice cutie pictures of HK display which Tony took in Taiwan etc. So in the end, I didn't put my heart into baking and normally how much effort you put in, that's how much you'll get.
 
I learnt this recipe from Ai Ling when I went over to her place one night straight after work. It was also the day before I started my dreaded detox program. Since that night, I've been dying to try out baking it myself, not so much of eating it but .. well.. just to bake it for the sake of baking. I'm not sure how my colleagues will react when they see the buns tomorrow because obviously they erm.. didn't have a 'pleasant' experience with last week's buns :)
 

 

Buns turned out not as soft as I would have like it to be but definitely better than last week, thank God for that. It's a joy to see the dough risen up to a soft round airy shiny ball. My reliable Kenwood bread machine helped to knead the dough and that certainly saved me plenty of time and labour. Afterall, the machine has been idling and under used for quite some time.



Yes, I remember to roll and fold the dough this time. I remember to brush the egg wash over the buns and finally, I remember to transfer the buns to the rack for cooling.



 The tuna was barely enough to make 13 buns and I wasn't going to open another can of chili tuna. Since tuna was scarce, I decided to replace the tuna with my jumbo size organic raisins. Made a long roll and a round shape for the raisins bun , just for the heck of it.


I wonder if cousin Soo has embark on her so called 'crash' diet? I do so wish she and the kids will eat my buns.... Whadya say, couz?

I need to get permission from Ai Ling before I can share the recipe out here..