I Fell in Love with Baking...

..and those who are struck with the same emotion would surely understand.

If professional bakers have their unlucky days, how much more for a self-taught, learning baker like me? Well, I guess we all get our turn. But to really perfect our cakes and pastries besides constant practice is to also understand the science behind it, as baking is not just an art, in fact it's more of an applied science.

I still consider myself a learning baker, and hopefully, will master this science+art through the years. I created this blog because I wanted to share with you my happy and disastrous baking experiences here at home. One tip that I want you guys to keep in mind, always bake with love. I hope you will enjoy my entries and please do share your ideas here so we can learn from each other. Have fun, bakers!

Monday, November 23, 2009

What's on your sweets list?

Hey! Guess what? It's gonna be christmas again! Wow.. It's been more than a year now since I last posted on this blog. I've been busy job hunting back then and I'm fortunate enough to get myself one at last! I still did bake for my family and friends, but haven't really baked to experiment or to test out a recipe yet.

Do you already have a list of sweet goodies in mind to add up on your menu this festive day? Or am I too early for this? ^_^ I just can't help it.. I get thrilled when I hear December! ^0^

I might try making fruitcake this time, it's a traditional christmas cake which I'm not really a fan of coz the taste of raisins dominate the entire cake (in my opinion, hehe). I'm also excited about trying blackforest cake -- I've been eating them but never tried baking them myself, so why not make myself one for a change?

I guess that's about it for now. I'm actually trying to lose weight here, but with this baking thing again, I'm having second thoughts!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I'm so Frustrated!

I'm so frustrated right now.. I thought I will be able to make it right this time, but to no avail..
All I wanted to make is a pipable, glossy, chocolate fudge icing that we usually see in bakeshops. Is that hard to achieve? Thought it was easy... I'm sooo depressed.. huhu!

Anyway, I saw a chocolate fudge recipe online, I think it was just okay.. so here's the actual recipe:

1 c. sugar
1 c. water
4 tbsp. cocoa powder
6 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. oil
1 tsp. vanilla

I just followed the recipe, combined the first five ingredients over medium heat, stirring constantly until it starts to boil and get thick, removed it from fire and stirred in the oil and vanilla. The texture was smooth and glossy, it looks perfect but not the taste. The taste is just okay. Back to my story, the only thing I altered in the recipe to get it pipable was increase the cornstarch to 2 tbsp. It turned out great.. I've even practiced piping borders with it. It was lovely.

So now that I already knew that the secret to a pipable fudge icing is cornstarch, I started thinking of experimenting with its taste. I started with milk and butter first. What I did was replaced water to evaporated milk, and oil to butter, I also made the cocoa to 1/2 cup so it'd taste chocolatey. I did the same process, I kept stirring for 15 minutes and it still hadn't thickened yet! I was soooo disappointed!

Until now, I'm still thinking what could have been the problem why it failed to thicken. 3 questions kept running in my mind right now:

- Is it just me? maybe I didn't measure the cornstarch well.
- Could there be somewhat like a chemical reaction between evaporated milk and cornstarch that slows down the thickening process in contrast to the quick thickening of the mixed water and cornstarch? (I don't even understand what I'm trying to say now.. hehe)
- Or maybe could I have just sticked to the cocoa measurement and shouldn't have increased it?

I'm never gonna stop until I get this right. I'll update you guys soon. Bye for now.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Mom's Bday (Revel Bars)

I also wanted to make revel bars for the party coz I love it really much! Hehe.

Ingredients: 3 c. Quick cooking oats, 2 c. packed brown sugar, 2 1/2 c. all purpose flour, 1 bar butter, 1 tsp. salt, 2 pcs. eggs, 1 tsp. baking soda, 2 tsps. vanilla extract.

Cream butter, add sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs.

Meanwhile, sift flour together with baking powder and salt. Mix together with oats.

Pour in flour mixture into butter mixture, mixing well using a wooden spoon.

It would then become like this.

Make the chocolate: 1 1/2 cocoa powder, 2 tbsps. butter, 1 cup condensed milk, 1/2 tsp. salt.
Heat all ingredients over low heat in a medium saucepan, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove from heat.

Press 2/3 of the oat mixture into the bottom of a slightly greased 9x13" pan or wider. Spread chocolate over the top and dot with the remaining mixture. It should look something like this. Bake for 30-35 mins at 350 F.

How it looks like when cooked. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Already cut in bars, placed in paper cups.

Ooh la la...

I got a chewy soft and fudgy chocolate bars.