I haven’t posted anything for a while as I have been busy brushing up on some forgotten baking skills. The past 2 weekends were dedicated to perfecting certain desserts and trying different baking techniques involving puff pastry.
Most of the last 2 weekends ended in… I wouldn’t say disaster.. but I wasn’t happy with the results.
I tried making puff pastry. And let me tell you it is hard work. All the folding and buttering and layering.. I was so tired by the end of it. The result was great and the pastry puffed up really nicely. Now is where the challenge comes in. I tried to stuff the puff with 3 different fillings that I made viz, spinach & feta cheese, buffalo sauce chicken and pot pie flavoured chicken. While the fillings turned out great on their own, the challenge arose when I stuffed them between the pastry. I think the filling was a little too wet as the pastry didn’t rise as expected. Although they looked great. But I need the food to taste as good as it looks. After trying a lot of different shapes and sizes for the puffs, I finally gave up out of frustration. But I will not abandon this challenge. Its just that I need a break to see the problem from a fresh perspective and then tackle it with a new found vengeance. Any tips on how to go about it will be most appreciated.
I also tried my hand at making cookies. I love soft and chewy cookies with chunks of dark chocolate. Now if you read a lot of baking recipes, every recipe claims that pastry making is a science and that you need to follow the recipe to a T. Well that is what I did. Since I wanted soft and chewy cookies, I needed to use dark brown sugar in addition to regular white sugar. (Tip – do not use bluebird brown sugar as it is just white sugar that is caramelised. Molasses is used in dark brown sugar. So if that is not mentioned on the packet, its not the right sugar). Another video stated that using baking soda makes cookies spread while baking powder makes the cookies puff. Hence I went out of my way to make sure I use brown sugar and baking soda and in addition I bought a kitchen weighing scale to make sure all the ingredients were measured out correctly. I was semi – happy with the cookies. I guess I need to try it one more time to get it right. I would also use less sugar as the they turned out to be too sweet for my taste. But they were soft and chewy.. just the way I like ’em.
Over the years, I have perfected the art of making sandwiches. I can make all sort of exotic sandwiches like avocado/tomato/ egg with micro greens, egg salad sandwich with hummus, Chicken salami sandwich with wasabi mayo as well as open faced toasties. I also make it a point to use multi grain bread as I like a bit of crunch that you get with some pieces of whole grain.
Another breakfast savory which I was practicing were mini quiches with crust. My mom gave me her recipe for making the pie shell that she has been using for years. I tried making the crust and ended up with a hard piece of rock. I need to practise making the pie shells a lot more. Any suggestion or tips and tricks are most welcome. After a lot of frustration and crying, I moved onto making the quiches without the shell. My husband (who is subjected to most of my cooking experiments) pointed out that I need some sort of crust to make it a little more wholesome. After pinteresting and youtubing, I narrowed down on the option of a crispy potato crust. These little breakfast quiches turned out perfect the second time around.
The only dish which I was extremely happy with were the cheesecakes. These do not contain eggs and don’t require any baking. Just mix the ingredients and pop them in the fridge to set and within 5 hours you can be munching on a not so healthy cheesecake. A friend was so happy with the blueberry cheesecakes that she ordered half a dozen cups :). To be a little creative, I am planning on making some motichoor cheesecakes for the festive season.
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