Sunday, 17 February 2013

White bread

Lately I have been experimenting with white bread and personally I enjoy a good loaf of crusty bread. 

Whilst the process of bread making is absolutely enjoyable it is an art that I have yet to fully understand let alone master it. It seems the key to bread making is the ability to judge the degree of gluten development and also the degree of final proofing achieved prior to baking. Anyway despite all that I still enjoyed eating my bread especially when it's lightly toasted in the oven for a few minutes. I can't wait to eat my hickory BBQ turkey sandwiches for lunch tomorrow. :)

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Baking Disaster

It seems that it's human nature to want to showcase positive results in whatever they do. For example the research articles published in renowned journals almost always show a positive finding in their experiment. That is something called the publisher's bias, or in other words, human's innate desire to show their best and hide the ugly. But much is to be learned about the occasions when things don't turn out the way we expected. I've decided to share with you the baking disaster that I just had last evening.

It was a cake meant to be for my friend's valentine surprise. For some reason I decided to bake the sponge in a tray instead of cake pans with the vision of making a modern looking square cake. It was only until I've popped it in the oven when I realised the tray was a tad too big and it ended up slanted to one side. Lopsided sponge aside, the mascarpone frosting turned out tasting great but was very much on the sloppy side. I blame it on the fact that my friend didn't want me to add more cream to it which probably would have made it stiffer for frosting the cake.

In an attempt to salvage the disastrous cake we ended up with this:

A coffin cake. For my friend's Valentine Surprise.

Perhaps not the most appropriate design for the occasion.

It looked so ridiculously ugly that I had such a good laugh just looking at it. I've never seen anything as badly 'decorated' as this and whilst embarassing it was still worth it purely for the laugh factor, at the expense of my friend's valentines gift of course. But it tasted great. And it's the taste that matters isn't it? This, coming from a person who normally thinks presentation is as important if not more so than taste.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Coffee and Walnut Cake

I was invited to a dinner party last weekend and instead of a usual bottle of wine I decided to bake this age-old classic as a gift. I used a recipe from Brendan Lynch's website but instead of a coffee cream cheese frosting I opted for a swiss meringue coffee and cinnamon buttercream.

The cake had a nice flavour to it but can probably do with a touch more coffee and cinnamon. Unfortunately the sponge was a little on the hard side and I think it could be due to the fact that I didn't have the patience to bring butter to room temperature prior to creaming it with the sugar. I enjoyed eating it nevertheless and I'd like to think my friends did too.