International cooking for the youthful malcontent.

Posts tagged “baking

Macaron Lab 3

Cookie: Chocolate Hazelnut

Cookie Recipe: Laduree Sucre cookbook recipe for basic macarons

Baking Details: my oven at 300 F for 14-15 minutes, sheets on middle rack

Filling: Chocolate Hazelnut Ganache (1/4 cup 18% cream, 2 oz bittersweet chocolate, and around 2 tbsp of drained hazelnut butter)

Environment: April 22nd, afternoon, dry

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Macaron Lab 2

Cookie: White Chocolate, Cardamom, Kewra Water

Cookie Recipe: Laduree Sucre cookbook recipe for basic macarons

Baking Details: my oven at 300 F for 15-16 minutes

Filling: white chocolate ganache (4 oz white chocolate to 1/4 cup 18% cream) + 1 tsp kewra water, 1/2 tsp cardamom powder

Environment: February 12th, afternoon, dry as dust, 1 C (more…)


Macaron Lab 1

Cookie: Rose Water and White Chocolate

Cookie Recipe: tant au tant mixture, 1+ tsp neon pink colour, added pinch of salt to meringue, otherwise basic recipe

Baking Details: my oven at 360 F (need to test heat with oven thermometer) for 10 minutes

Filling: white chocolate ganache (4 oz white chocolate to 3/8 cup 18% cream) + 1/2 tsp organic rose water, steeped cream with 3 green cardamom pods

Environment: July 10th, 10 pm, very humid, 30 C

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Vegetable Biryani

This recipe is going to get a bit ridiculous. Fair warning. I was heading out into the Ontario farmlands with my two friends, Jim and Andrew, to record a rock and roll album at Chalet Studio, and since we were staying overnight, we needed to bring food. One problem: Jim is a stubborn vegan, and Andrew leans vegetarian (or at least, he did) so I built a hybrid vegan biryani out of recipe ideas for 3 or 4 vegetable curry and rice dishes. The end result was pretty great: a spicy-hot tomato curry infused into richly flavoured baked rice, with large pieces of potato, cauliflower, and carrot mixed throughout. The whole thing was topped with fried cashews and raisins, and lidded with phyllo pastry (egg-free, naturally).

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Bailey’s Cupcakes

This is another variation on my basic cupcake recipe. Here we use Bailey’s and milk as the liquid portion of the batter recipe, achieving a rich, creamy flavour and aroma. I cut down most of the cocoa in the recipe (it’s here just to provide a bit of colour, really) for a friend whose acid reflux prevents him from eating too much chocolate in one sitting, so the focus of the flavour is purely on the Irish cream. However, I am finding that as I experiment with various flavourings, more and more ideas come to me. This recipe could have coffee in it, for a Bailey’s coffee cupcake. Bailey’s and mint chocolate. Rich, bittersweet chocolate and Bailey’s. I even recently made a cup of chai-spiced tea with Bailey’s with pretty good results. Anyway, something to think of for the future. On to the recipe.

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Chai Cupcakes

These are pretty self-explanatory, and the recipe is just a variation of my red-velvet recipe, so I won’t spend too much time discussing the basics. I love chai. I love cupcakes. Chai cupcakes sound good, right? We’ve got a basic cake mixture here (flour, eggs, sugar, liquid, leavening agent and fat) plus a variety of unique flavouring agents. Again, I’ll only mention that the fundamentals of the cupcake recipe I posted here are the same; only the flavouring agents have been altered. An adventurous baker could make just about any kind of cupcake with the basic recipe as the foundation.

The twist? Instead of using plain milk as the liquid, we heat the milk up, make tea out of it, then cool it back down and use it in the cake batter. The liquid portion of this recipe was an opportunity to add more flavour by infusing it with black tea, so why not?

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Jaggery Cake

Jaggery Cake

This isn’t the first time I’m posting something that I am fairly confident no one will recognize or actually make (no one that I know personally, anyway; jaggery cake is out there on the internet) and it won’t be the last time. On a recent trip to Gerrard St. I picked up a pyramid of jaggery. I’d been meaning to pick up some for a while, to experiment with, but as it happens, I’d had it for weeks and hadn’t any occasion to use it. So, I googled it (as I do with just about any problem I have in life) and found out that jaggery is used in a number of sweets, including a cake made with jaggery (with several recipes originating from Sri Lanka and South India). Interesting.

Like most of the recipes I’ve posted, this one is a compilation of ideas from other book- and internet-based recipes, traditional/popular information on a particular food, and my own knowledge of cooking processes. Once I found out there’s such a thing as a “jaggery cake” I set about learning what that actually was. What I found is: there’s almost unlimited ways to make a jaggery cake. Most of the recipes have a few things in common, though: cashews, pumpkin, semolina or atta flour, rich spices, and jaggery, obviously. Some had eggs, some didn’t (and based on my recent cake-ratio research some recipes don’t even appear to be able to produce an actual “cake” despite the description explicitly detailing the cake’s cake-like texture) and in general, most of the recipes were decidedly confusing and vague.

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