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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Carrot cake with Cream Cheese frosting

              A good friend ordered a Carrot cake for a shared birthday.

                 Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hub's tea & Pot Bless - Cream Puffs

            Good morning. It has been a while since I made Cream Puffs for the Hubs.  What prompted me to make the Cream Puffs was three fold. (a) I saw the All Stars Australian MasterChef 2012 recently where the past MasterChef participants had to do a Croquembouche basically making Cream Puffs & stacking them like a tower & the cream puffs were coated, I think it was, with some sort of caramel, perhaps a Toffee Caramel & finally the whole tower of cream puffs were encased in swirls of spun sugar; (b) I have not made Cream Puffs for the longest ever; a year or two give or take & it would make a lovely tea for the Hubs. I wanted to see whether I had lost my mojo as there are a few techniques involved in making the choux pastry; one the pastry had to be purrfect for piping & we were told by the Chef when we attended the Cream Puff class that under no circumstances were we to open the door of the oven during the first 10 minutes that we were baking as the cream puffs would then collapse & they were basically baked for 20 minutes +- depending of course on your oven heat & we need to know our own oven well ie as to the heat of same. For me the right time would be 19 - 20 minutes when they are golden brown; I take them out & turn it upside down to see the color of the bottom of the cream puff; for me within that time frame of 19 - 20 minutes, the golden color would be divine & the texture of the cream puffs were soft, lovely & virtually melts in the mouth & then for the Hubs' portion, I bake it slightly longer; perhaps 2 - 3 minutes to get a slightly browner color; (c) I needed to bring something for Pot Bless. 

           After baking them & being happy with them :) I decided that I wanted to up my game!!! I normally either make a Banana Mousse filling or a Custard Filling for the cream puffs.  On the spur of the moment & this time I wanted to be simply "wicked" & concorted a Durian Filling; after all I had a basic recipe for a mousse filling as in my Banana Mousse filling so all I needed to do was to jiggle here & there a little & both the Hubs & my cell mates would be, sort of, my guinea pig as the Hubs just bought some D24 Durians so away I went tinkering in my kitchen; holding my breathing, praying to God to let the Durian mousse filling work because if it didn't work & was too watery to pipe in the cream puffs then I am toast as I did not have time to make another "safe" filling and I didn't know whether the gelatine in this durian filling would be too much or too little!!!

            Just to give you some of my thoughts here; 10 years ago I would not have dared to step out of my own comfort zone.  I have learnt baking & of course, the spin off, various kinds of cooking for 26 years.  10 years ago & before I retired, I would go for a safer bet ie follow the recipe rigidly!!! Then after I retired 10 years ago, I started trying to come out from under the wings of the various Chefs that I had learnt from. Trying to jingle a little here & there in order to get something that is basically my own interpretation; succeeding sometimes & failing at times but ultimately, haha, never trying to give up my dream to one day be an icon in what I loved the most, baking!!! Yes I have pure Passion running in my blood & the one thing that gives me encouragement is when I see the Joy reflected in people's face be it whether they ordered a cake from me or when I brought some tip bits for tea or supper.

              For those of you who are "aching" to try some Cream Puffs; check out my Cream Puff recipe in my blog & I am amazed how come a simple thing like my cream puffs would elicit nearly a 1,000 hits & there you would also find my Banana Mousse filling. 

     Love the color!!! 

                                                                  Love the color of the bottom of the cream puff!!! 

           A slightly darker version to appease the Hubs!!! 

                   Will upload the recipe for the Durian fillings after I have finished making the gum paste decor for a 1 month baby for collection on Friday & need also make some gum paste Carrots also for a Carrot birthday cake on Saturday. 

                    Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Part III - the final product with the decor - Chocolate Banana Mousse cake

           Wow it was indeed a "heavy" day. Baked the Vanilla sponge cake the night before then did all the various steps to assemble the mousse cake then freezing it overnight in order for same to set & today did the Chocolate Ganache & putting the colorful bootees on the cake.

           The cake was collected this evening & was mighty glad that it found favour with the whole family. The birthday girl's mum gave me a thumbs up comment in my FB which would do wonders for me as it would be a word of mouth advertisement. The thing that really made me overjoyed was she told me that it can be added to my best seller list with a 10/10 rating & she asked me whether I gave cake classes as she wanted to learn from me and of course I said "Yes!!! & that I needed a minimum of 5 students. 

            Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Part II Gum paste decor as a decor for the Chocolate Banana Mousse Birthday cake for a cute 1 yr girl

             As I was saying in my previous post that I had to bake a cake for a sweet 1 year old girl. Her mum saw some of my gum paste decor and mentioned that the baby gum paste figurine and bootee were cute so I thought I would surprise her and make them and then let her choose which one she loved.

            I made 7 different colored bootee; haha, one for each day of the week!!! 

           Then I made the baby figurine & tomorrow will add some edible color for the hair & mould a cap, free hand as I don't have any mould for a cap, as without coloring the hair, it looks somewhat "flat" with just one tone so tomorrow I will have more pictures of same.

              She wanted a Chocolate Banana Mousse, after seeing me posting pictures of this cake which I baked for tea for the Hubs last Tuesday & cake is ready & tomorrow will just be pouring a Ganache. 

              Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Part l - Post on Chocolate Banana Mousse cake

             I was thinking what I should make for the Hub's tea a few days ago. Then I thought that as he loved Chocolates and I loved Bananas, I would make a Chocolate Banana Mousse cake that would, with one stroke, satisfy both our "needs!!!" 

             I made a Vanilla sponge and placed a layer of Sponge at the bottom. [When I learnt this mousse cake, the Sponge layer was not moisten]. Then I moisten the sponge layer with a Sugar Syrup and I added some sliced Bananas in the sugar so that the Bananas will infuse the sugar syrup.  I also added a Butterscotch liqueur in the syrup as the liqueur will go well with the Toffee Caramel that would me part of the filling.

            I will attach my photos and let the pictures do the talking!!! 

                             A layer of Sponge at the bottom & moistening it with the Banana & Butterscotch Liqueur infused sugar syrup.

                            A Chocolate Cream made with Belgium Dark Couvertures.

                              Adding fresh sliced Bananas with a Toffee Caramel on top of the fresh Bananas.  Then I decided to go outside the box & added some dehydrated sliced Bananas to give it a chewy texture, probably seeing too much of Australia and US MasterChef where the mentors were always talking about adding a different texture and this time, I followed their advice & I must say that adding the dehydrated sliced Bananas really gave a chewy and a lovely texture against the soft mousse texture. Thank you MasterChef!!! 

                     Covering with a Banana Mousse & then freezing same overnight.

                            Next day, and the final layer, adding a Ganache.

                              The finished product!!! Mission accomplished.

                         I love posting all the cakes and cooking that I do on FB and 3 days later, one of my FB friends ordered this from me. Lovely. 

                         Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia