Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Out of all the baked donuts I've made, my favorite have been the sugar donut muffins. I've tried really hard to turn the batter into mini donuts, but these donut muffins seem to have an identity crisis. They bake and pop out easily as muffins, but they just don't seem to want to conform to a donut shape.
Usually I have no problem using my donut pan, but these babies just don't pop out easily. I've tried greasing, not greasing, baking longer, the results are still the same. I overbaked this batch in an attempt to make them come out easier.
I guess I will have to continue to search for a baked donut batter that I can successfully bake into mini donut shapes. I do love how these taste though, but I guess they are destined to stay as donut muffins.
A thick layer of frosting helped cover the uneven, hole filled tops of these donuts. I really like pastel spring/summer colors, so I made some frosting and added the slightest drop of food coloring.
Mini baked sugar donuts (adapted from Stylish Cuisine)
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking power
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup milk (low fat is fine)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a donut pan with cooking spray
or vegetable oil.
2. In a large bowl, beat together sugar and egg until light in color.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and
nutmeg. Pour into egg mixture and stir to combine. Pour in vegetable
oil, milk and vanilla extract.
4. Fill mini donut pan with batter, about 2/3 full.
5. Bake for 11-12 minutes
for mini donuts, until a tester inserted into the center comes out
6. Use a small spatula and loosen around the circle of the donut to help ease the removal from the pan.
7. Frost when cooled.
Monday, August 16, 2010
Ever since making my successful chocolate macarons batch, I've been making macarons like crazy. Unfortunately, I had several failed attempts following my early success. One of the biggest problems I was having was that after my macarons left the oven, the shells seemed to be too thin, causing an opaque top layer. They were fine when they exited the oven, but after they cooled, part of the bottom separated from the top skin layer.
So last week, I did some more research and went back to the basics. And while these macarons didn't come out as great at the chocolate macarons, they are a big improvement over my last few attempts.
As I've been baking with matcha green tea, I've noticed that a lot of other food bloggers have matcha desserts with a much deeper green color. So I've been asking around to see what kind of powder everyone is using. Roxan from Kitchen Mediation, was kind enough to remember to look up what brand she uses. She uses a Maeda-En matcha green tea powder, which I was able to find at my Nijiya supermarket. The matcha powder comes in a little can and is a bit pricey, but right away I noticed the difference.
The powder is a much darker, vibrant green. The taste is also much stronger in my baked goods. One of the problems I've been having with my previous matcha powders is that once they bake, they turn a yellowish green or start to brown. With this powder, while the green got lighter after it baked, my macarons stayed green.
There were quite a few different fillings I thought of trying, but in the end I simply didn't have time to make them. So I filled them with ready made red bean paste (azuki), something you can buy in your local asian grocery store. Red bean paste is often matched with matcha (especially in mochi), so the combination makes sense.
Matcha macarons with red bean paste filling (adapted from Annie's Eats)
For the macarons:
110 gm blanched almond flour (I used JK Gourmet Almond Flour)
200 gm minus 1 1/2 tbsp. confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 tbsp matcha powder
100 gm egg whites (from about 3 eggs), aged at room temperature for 24-48 hours
50 gm granulated sugar
1. Add the confectioners' sugar, almond flour and matcha powder to the bowl and process
until blended. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk
attachment, whip the egg whites on medium-high speed until foamy.
Gradually add the granulated sugar and continue beating until a smooth,
shiny meringue with stiff peaks forms. Add the ground almond mixture
to the bowl with the meringue and quickly but gently fold together using
a wide rubber spatula until no streaks remain. You want to achieve a
thick batter that ribbons or flows from the spatula when lifted.
two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Transfer the batter to a
piping bag fitted with a plain wide round tip. Pipe into small rounds
on the prepared baking sheets (each round should be about 1-1½ inches in
diameter), spaced about 2 inches apart. Let sit at room temperature for
about an hour to develop a hard shell.
3. Preheat the oven to
300?F. Bake for 8-10 minutes, depending on size. Transfer the pans to a
wire cooling rack and let cool completely before moving the cookies.
4. Once the cookies are totally cooled, match them up by
size. Pipe with red bean paste. Sandwich together with the remaining cookie, pushing the filling
to the edges. Store in an airtight container. Macarons can be stored in the freezer.
Friday, August 13, 2010
About two weeks ago I made a blueberry sour cream ice cream that I didn't love because I'm not a big fan of the sour cream taste. Since then, I've wanted to try a blueberry ice cream recipe sans the sour cream. Originally, I planned on using the same recipe and then simply omitting the sour cream.
But then I found another blueberry ice cream recipe, and decided to try it first. I was worried the mixture would be too watery, but it came together in the end. I've found that ice cream recipes with a little bit of alcohol keeps the ice cream really soft.
The ice cream came out looking a lot like the blueberry sour cream one. It is pretty yummy, though I think my ideal blueberry ice cream may need a custard base, but that's something I haven't experimented with yet.
Blueberry ice cream (adapted from Half Baked)
2 cups fresh blueberries
3/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup half and half
2 tsp vodka
1. In a heavy 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the fresh
blueberries, water and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to
help dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 1
minute. Remove from the heat and let stand for 30 minutes to steep.
2. Transfer the blueberry mixture to a food processor and process until
smooth, about 1 minute. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and
stir in vodka. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours or
up to 24 hours.
3. Add the cream to the blueberry puree and stir to
combine. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze according
to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer the ice cream to a
freezer-safe container. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours or
up to 3 days, before serving. Makes about 1 quart.