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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Ispahan Yet Again..

Ok I said I wouldn't want to smell rose water in the near future in my previous post. But what can I do, I still had a lot of rose creme diplomat and rose lychee gelee left from making my friend's birthday macarons. I needed to use them up and the first thing that came to mind was cream puff. As I was preparing the ingredients, I realized I had a container of strawberries that I had to use up also. So I changed my direction and decided to make strawberry tarts instead. I made a batch of pate sucree, rolled the dough into molds, baked them, spread a spoonful white chocolate ganache at the bottom, spooned the rose creme diplomat on top of the ganache, sprinkled diced rose lychee gelee and strawberries, added sliced strawberries, and drizzled the whole thing with white chocolate ganache. Voila! White chocolate strawberry ispahan tart :D I had to admit, that was one of the best tasting tarts I've ever made. The pate sucree was crisp, crumbly, and buttery. The white chocolate worked very well with the fragrance of rose and lychee and the tartness of the strawberry. Ahhh, I guess I have to take back my words about the rose water :p

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Birthday Macaron Madness!!

Yesterday was my friend's, Nadine, birthday and she lovesssssssss macarons. I love macarons too, but she is OBSESSED, yes obsessed, with them. So, unsurprisingly, she didn't want a cake for her birthday, she just wanted macarons =D I decided to bake rose lychee macarons (her favorite) for her and make macaron towers. Can't believe I'm saying this, but after baking all those macs, I think I won't be smelling rose water or eating macs for a looong time. I was thinking of making some bigger macarons and place them at the bottom of the tower, but it didn't work because the weight of the tower was just too heavy that the bigger macarons broke. In the end, I just gave her 2 different "cakes", one mac tower and one of my own version of Pierre Herme's big Ispahan.

I have been wanting to post something for the Mac Attack and now I finally got the chance because my creation this time kind of inspired by this month's Mac Attack. Yeay to my first entry :) I'm not sure whether they will show my post or not on March 1st but I'm just happy to participate. Anw, enjoy the pics below, til later ^^

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Day: World Toothache Day

I never understand why Valentine's day is closely associated with sweets. Chocolates, candies, cakes, yada yada yada.. It's practically a World Toothache Day or World Dental Cavity Day :p Well, I guess it's one more reason to eat more sweets. Anw, this year I actually didn't have to make anything for Valentine's because my boyfriend is not here. But I missed thinking of new sweets to make and scrambling to finish making chocolates or cakes without him finding out what I was doing. So, I decided to make some sweets for myself. The first one was a fondant rose cake. It was my first attempt at piping, so pardon the messiness. I didn't taste the cake at all, because it was made from cake mix and instant buttercream. My intention was only to decorate it and make it look pretty, so that cake is still sitting on my kitchen counter until today. The second sweet was much more delicious. It was blueberry cheesecake bittersweet chocolate truffle and I also made a raspberry cheesecake version of the truffle. I decorated the truffles with chocolate transfer sheet, mannn was that hard. My truffles were square and smooth, but they became messy after I applied the transfer sheet :( They still taste good though. The last sweet was rose-raspberry macarons. It's been a while since I last made macarons. I made it once in Jakarta and it was terrible, so I was relieved when my macarons rose and didn't crack. I filled the shells with rose-raspberry swiss meringue buttercream. It was a tad too sweet for me, but it was good regardless. I bet my friend, Nadine, will love it just because her tolerance for sweetness is higher than normal people :D Alrighty, pics are below as usual, happy Valentine's ^^

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

First Blog of 2011: Avocado-Chocolate Tofu Mousse Cake

Hey everyone! Happy new year :) I know it's a little bit late considering it's already February now, oh well.. I haven't been updating my blog for a long time and haven't been baking either, surprising huh? Even I surprised myself :p It's not that I lose interest in baking, I believe I never will, but I'm just sooo tired lately with no reason. Well, maybe it's because my thesis due date is approaching so I have to stop procrastinating and start squeezing my brain. Also, as a part of my new year's resolution, I decided to become a weekday vegetarian. Meaning I only eat meat, chicken, and seafood on Saturdays and I try to avoid eggs and dairy too. So, you see, there aren't many desserts that contain no eggs and dairy. It makes it more difficult to bake something good without compromising my resolution. But last weekend, I found a very interesting recipe from an old Chinese baking book and it was Mango Tofu Cheesecake. It was basically a no-bake cheesecake with pureed mangoes and tofu. I modified the recipe by using avocados instead of mangoes, omitting cream cheese, and change the ratios a bit. As a result, Avocado-Chocolate Tofu Mousse Cake! You won't be able to tell that there's tofu in the cake, the tofu was just there to create the smooth texture that you usually get from cream cheese. The mousse was very smooth and the combination of avocado and chocolate was just perfect (for you non-believers out there, try it then you'll see what I mean). The graham cracker crust added a little bit of crunch and created a perfect texture contrast with the soft mousse. One downside of this cake is that it still contains dairy products and probably some eggs (from the graham cracker). I still can't figure out a way of making a delicious vegan dessert, maybe I'll try again next time. Anw, here are the pics and recipe, I hope you like it as much as I do :)

Yield: 6 small rings + 1 medium ring

160 g graham cracker, pulverized
40 g melted butter
80 g melted chocolate

1. Mix all ingredients together.
2. Press onto the bottom of the mold and chill in the fridge/ freezer.

350 g firm silken tofu (mori-nu)
3 medium ripe avocadoes
2 tsp lemon juice
400 g (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1.5 packets of gelatin
1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped

1. Puree the tofu until smooth, set aside.
2. Puree avocadoes + lemon juice until smooth and add the sweetened condensed milk.
3. Sprinkle gelatin on 2 Tbsp cold water, let sit until it blooms. Melt in microwave.
4. Heat tofu puree in microwave until warm and mix in melted gelatin.
5. Mix avocado puree and tofu-gelatin mixture. Let cool to room temperature.
6. Fold in whipped cream into the tofu mixture. Set aside.

1:1 chocolate:heavy cream

1. Heat cream in microwave and add chocolate.
2. Mix and set aside.

1. Pour mousse on top of graham cracker crust until half full and chill until set.
2. Spread a thin layer of chocolate ganache on top of mousse and chill until set.
3. Fill mold with mousse and chill in freezer until firm.
4. Decorate with chocolate sauce, chocolate crunchies and piroulline.