Daring Bakers Do Siopao

February 27, 2015

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The February Daring Bakers’ challenge is hosted by Julie of One-Wall Kitchen. She challenged us to an easy, simple filled bun using no-knead dough.

I must admit I was not at all thrilled when I saw this months challenge.  To me, making filled buns is not baking, its cooking.  This is the Daring BAKERS not the Daring KITCHEN!  I signed up to make sweets and treats, it has definitely changed over the years, soo much bread!  OK, end of rant.

I had seen Siopao (Asian Filled Buns) on various food truck shows, so I kind of knew what they were.

Siopao (Asian Filled Buns)

1/4 ounce (7 gm) (2 teaspoons) active dry yeast (1 packet )
1-1/2 cups (360 ml) warm water
1 tablespoon (15 ml) sugar
2 tablespoons (30 ml) melted butter
1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
4 to 5 cups  (20 oz to 25 oz) (560 gm to 700 gm) all-purpose (plain) flour
1 egg for egg-wash for the buns

Directions:

1. Mix yeast, water, sugar, melted butter, and salt in a large mixing bowl.

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2. Slowly mix in flour until it’s fully incorporated and you have a shaggy, very tacky dough, but not wet and sticky.

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3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for up to an hour in warm place until doubled. While dough is rising, you can make your filling if you haven’t already pre-made it to let it cool (see recipe below).

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4. Punch down dough and turn out onto a floured surface. Depending on how much flour you added, it will be somewhat tacky to pretty tacky. Fold it over several times and shape it into a smooth ball, then divide into 12 equal pieces.

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5. Roll each piece into a ball and flatten it into a disc about 6 inches (15 cm) wide.

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6. Place a heaping tablespoonful of filling into the center of the disc, wrap the dough around the filling, and firmly pinch it closed over the top of the filling.

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7. Place filled buns on a baking sheet and loosely cover them with plastic wrap. Let them rest for 1 hour. On the top sheet, you can see where a lot of my dough was too thin. (I miss read and didn’t let them rise the second time….oops!)

I only filled 2

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The rest were just plain buns

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8. Bake buns for about 20 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm.

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These were ok.  Bread was a little dense, but good flavour. I filled them with my Mom’s awesome Hamburger Dish.  I only filled 2 because if I didn’t like them, I didn’t want to waste all the delicious hamburger dish.  The filled ones were alright.  I preferred them just plain.  I may try just the buns again with the second rise, maybe they won’t be as dense.

Thanks Julie for the Challenge.


Cinnamon Raisin Beer Bread

February 12, 2015

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My first attempt at Beer Bread went so well, I decided to be adventurous!  I initially wanted to make cheddar, but I didn’t have cheese in the house.  After a short search through the baking cupboard I decided on Cinnamon Raisin!

When I say I was being adventurous, I mean it.  I never (very rarely) stray from a recipe.  I love how baking is such a precise science, follow a good recipe to a ‘tee’ and it will turn out.  I was a litte nervous about how it would turn out, but hoped for the best

 

Cinnamon Raisin Beer Bread

3 cups self rising flour
3 tbsp sugar
1 can beer
3 tbsp brown sugar + extra for sprinkling
1   tbsp cinnamon- divided
1 cup raisin
1/4 cup melted butter

Directions

1. Combine flour, sugar, brown sugar and 1/2 tbsp cinnamon

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2.  Add raisins

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3. Pour in beer

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4. Stir to combine.  Put half of the batter in a loaf pan

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5. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon

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6. Top with remaining dough and sprinkle more brown sugar and cinnamon

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7.  Top with melted butter – bake at 375º F for approximately 1 hour

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Fresh from the oven

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Success! My goodness this was delicious!

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I think I am onto something with this beer bread.  Next I plan to do one with cheese!  Give it a try, so easy and so tasty!


Minnie Mouse Cake

February 8, 2015

 

Minnie cake

Violet turned 3!  I am thrilled to have been asked to do another cake for Violet!  This years cake was Minnie Mouse.  Looks pretty close to the idea they gave me. Hope she enjoys!

Happy Birthday Violet!


Beer Bread

February 8, 2015

Erica’s

Edibles

Turns

6!

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It’s my Blogaversary!  I know, I’m a nut!  Six year’s ago today I started Erica’s Edibles. It still boggles my mind that my blog has had almost 110,000 views!  Honestly, I thought it would just be my Mom and the people who run the Daring Bakers, just to see if I completed my monthly baking challenge.  I am hopelessly hooked to photographing food, mostly sweets, and blogging about it.  It annoys most people when I make them wait to try something, just so I can get a picture of it.  Many people think it is silly to blog about what I bake, but I enjoy it and that is all that matters!

This years blogaversary item may surprise some as it is not a treat at all.  I went with something I have been eying for quite a while, Beer Bread! Despite the fact that I hate beer and making bread, I am very intrigued by this.  I think it is the simplicity of the recipe that peaked my interest.  Apparently 3 ingredients are going to give me a delicious loaf of bread.  There were hundreds of different variations of the recipe I went with this one from Crunchy Creamy Sweet with a couple changes…

Beer Bread

3 c self-rising flour
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
12 oz. light beer, at room temperature (opened right before using)
1/4 cup melted butter

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Directions

1. Stir flour and sugar to combine

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2. Pour in beer

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3. Stir, just until combined

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4. Place in a bread pan

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5. Pour melted butter over top
This step was not in original recipe, but I saw several that did it, so gave it a whirl!

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6. Bake at 375 ºF for approximitly 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean

It’s not finished yet, but if it tastes half as good as it smells i’ll be thrilled!

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7. Remove from oven and cool in pan 10 minutes

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It looks fabulous! The addition of the butter really spruces up the appearance with a crunchy exterior

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Not so patiently waiting, I wait till it is almost cool before trying it – because who doesn’t like warm bread?

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It looks and smells amazing!

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This was really good!  It is not like any bread I have had before, so I can’t compare it to anything.  It had a nice texture, dense like a sour dough, but not too heavy.  I was pleasantly surprised I didn’t taste the beer at all!

Mom had made a huge homemade chili so I joined her and Dad for supper, it was a lovely addition to a chili dinner!  They both loved it.

I will definitely make this again.  When searching for the recipe I saw many recipes had ‘add ins’ such as cheese, bacon, olives, cinnamon sugar, etc.  The possibilities are endless.  Now that I have tried the original I look forward to trying variations.  Finally happy with a loaf of bread I made.

A successful blogaversary treat!  I am a day late posting but better late than never.

I look forward to another year of blogging delicious (and sometimes, not so delicious) treats.

Thanks for following along :)

Erica


Daring Bakers Do… Esterhazy Torte

January 27, 2015

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For the month of January Jelena from A Kingdom for a Cake invited us to start this year with a dreamy celebration cake. She challenged us to make the Esterhazy cake a.k.a the Hungarian dream. What better way to start the year than with a sweet dream?

I am glad to be back baking along with the Daring Bakers!  I really hope I am able to keep up this year and participate in most, if not all, of the challenges.  The first challenge of the year is Esterhazy Cake, never heard it. I look forward to the Challenge.

HAZELNUT SPONGE LAYERS

12 large egg whites
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon (9 oz) (250 gm) caster (superfine) sugar
2 tablespoons (2/3 oz) (20 gm) vanilla sugar
2½ cups (9 oz) (250 gm) ground hazelnuts (I used almonds) see bottom ♦
2/3 cup (2¾ oz) (80 gm) plain (all purpose) flour

Directions

1. Cut baking paper into five squares large enough to draw a circle of 10 inch (25cm) in diameter on the squares. **I did 16 cm as I halved the recipe**

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2. Turn the paper over and place one piece onto an up-side down oven tray ** I used baking sheets without sides**

3. With an electric mixer beat the egg whites while gradually adding the sugar and vanilla sugar for about 5 minutes until stiff peaks form.  Started out with my new hand mixer, was excited to use the timer feature!

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This got me nowhere!  After 8 minutes still looked like this

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Got KAM out to do the job right!

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4. Turn the mixer to the lowest speed and add in the hazelnuts mixed with the flour and beat until just combined

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5. Delicately spoon inside the circle one-fifth of the beaten egg white mixture

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6. Place the tray into an preheated moderate 325°F/160°C/gas mark 3 (no fan) oven and bake for 14 minutes. It will look soft but that is how we want them. Your finger should not stick to the layer when you touch it.

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7. Take the layer out together with the paper and place on an even surface

8. Cool the oven tray and repeat with the next 4 layers. It is important that the up-side down oven tray is cool when you start to bake the layers.

HAZELNUT CREAM

12 large egg yolks
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon (9 oz) (250 gm) caster (superfine) sugar
2 tablespoons (2/3 oz) (20 gm) vanilla sugar
1 -1/3 cups (10½ oz) (300 gm) butter at room temperature
1½ cups (5-1/3 oz)(150 gm) toasted ground hazelnuts

Directions

The filling is cooked in a double boiler. If you do not have a double boiler just take two pots so that the smaller one fits perfectly in the larger one and there is no gap between them.

1. Fill the larger pot with about 1-inch (2 cm) water place on the stove and bring the water to a slow boil, the water should not touch the smaller pot bottom.

2. Beat the egg yolks and the sugar with an electric mixer in the smaller pot for 30 seconds. Place the smaller pot into the larger one and cook for 14-15 minutes. Stir every 2-3 minutes for a short while with a wooden spoon always scraping the sides and the bottom. Stir constantly, near the end.

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The directions were very vague.  They gave a time but not what it was supposed to look like or thickness.  I stopped when it looked like this

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3. Let the filling cool.

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4. Beat the cooked yolks for 30 seconds with an electric mixer.

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5. Beat the room temperature butter for 2 minutes until light and fluffy

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6. Beat into the cooked yolks.

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7. Add in the ground hazelnuts and beat again until combined.

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8. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the filling to spread around the torte at the end.

9. Divide the rest of the filling into 4 cups.

10. Line a large tray with some baking paper.

11. Remove the baking paper from one of the dacquoise and place it onto the tray,

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12. Spread one quantity of filing evenly over the dacquoise, then place another layer on the top.

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13. Repeat, making sure that the last layer is placed bottom-side-up (do not place filling on this surface) which will make it easier to obtain a smooth looking finish.

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14. Place some baking paper over the torte. Press a bit with your hands to even it out

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15. Put another tray over the torte and now place something heavy on the top to allow the torte to level up.

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16. Place the whole torte with the pot in the fridge for one hour.

APRICOT JAM GLAZE
around 3 tablespoons (45 ml) (1-2/3 oz) (45 gm) apricot jam
1 teaspoon (5 ml) water

Directions

1. Heat the apricot jam and water on the stove

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2. Remove the top baking paper from the torte and spread the jam on top of it. We want a very thin layer, just barely covering the torte.

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Place the torte back in the fridge for 30 minutes for the jam to cool.


WHITE ICING
2½ to 3¼ cups (10-2/3 to 14 oz) (300-400 gm) icing (powdered) (confectioners’) sugar
2 teaspoons (10 ml) sunflower oil
3-4 teaspoons (15-20 ml) lemon juice
around 4 tablespoons (60 ml) hot water

Directions

1. By hand mix the powdered (icing) (confectioners’) sugar, oil, lemon juice while adding teaspoon by teaspoon of hot water until the mixture is creamy, but not runny. Mix vigorously for a couple of minutes. The sugar should be lemony.

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2. With a hot wet large knife quickly spread the icing over the apricot layer.

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You will need around 2½ to 3¼ cups of powdered sugar but it is better to have more than less, since when you start spreading you cannot go back. You will have some left over icing. If it is a bit uneven just turn on the hair dryer and heat the icing so it will smooth out a bit.

CHOCOLATE DECORATION
¼ cup (1¾ oz) (50 gm) dark chocolate
1 teaspoon (5 ml) oil
¾ cup (3½ oz) (100 gm) roughly chopped hazelnuts

Directions:

***Before starting with the icing have the chocolate ready since it needs to go onto the soft icing in order to get the web.

1. Melt the chocolate with a teaspoon of oil, place in a pipping bag, or a  plastic bag with a cut in the corner that will act as the tip. (forgot to take pictures of this step)

2. Draw four (4) concentric circles onto the cake

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3. Then with a knife (not the sharp side) or a wooden skewer run six (6) lines at 30 degree angle to the cake to get the decoration (see pictures for more details). Each line should be in a different direction. One running away from you and the next one running to you.

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4. Spread the extra hazelnut cream around outside of cake. Press the remaining crushed hazelnuts around the cake to complete the decoration.

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Let rest in the fridge for at least 24 hours before tasting. This cake that gets better as times goes by.

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It looks pretty!

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I was not a fan of this cake.  It was not at all sweet and had a very odd texture.  I found it to be quite flavourless, maybe because I used almonds instead of the hazelnuts? Who knows.  It was also a very time-consuming cake.  It wasn’t hard, but it took 3 days.

I wont be making this one again.

Thanks Jelena for a great first challenge!

♦HAZELNUTS

 Place the hazelnuts on an oven tray in a cold oven, increase the temperature to moderate 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4, and bake until a nice aroma starts to come out of the oven and the nuts have become darker.

Continue until their skins almost turn black or dark brown and the hazelnut ‘meat’ becomes a caramel colour. You will need to watch the oven carefully since the nuts can easily burn. From time to time, just open the oven and carefully try one to see if the centre is nice and crispy, but be careful not to burn yourself. It should take about 15-25 minutes.

This baking process brings out the aroma of the hazelnuts needed for the cake. (If you are using almonds instead of hazelnuts, they need to stay white. Hazelnuts are not good in this cake if their aroma is not present.)

Let them cool.

Set aside ¾ cup (3½ oz) (100 gm) toasted nuts and roughly chop them. These will go around the cake at the end.

The rest need to be ground. A grinding machine is best since a food processor might turn the hazelnuts into a creamy mush. If you are using a processor do it in short pulses so they do not have the consistency of peanut butter but of fine powder.

Divide the ground hazelnuts into 2 batches of 2½ cups (9 oz) (250 gm) and 1½ cups (5-1/3 oz) (150 gm) for the sponge layers and the filling respectively.


Butter Tart Tour – Electric City Bread Company

January 24, 2015

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Stop #21 on the Butter Tart Tour was at the Electric City Bread Company in Peterborough.  I drive by this Bakery several times a week, but have never been in.  It was a lovely little restaurant that I would like to try, unfortunately no time today, just here for tarts!

The Tart

First Impressions - crust looks good, not much filling

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The Verdict

– crust was tough and over done but soggy bottom
– not sure what the filling was, unlike any butter tart I have ever had
– honestly I would not even call it a butter tart
– 0/10

** Not to say others wouldn’t like them but not what I am looking for in a butter tart


Butter Tart Tour – Dooher’s Bakery

January 5, 2015

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The first Saturday of the new year, butter tarts seemed like a good idea.  My parents and grandparents joined me on a road trip to check out 3 stops on the tour.

Stop #20 on the Butter Tart Tour was at Dooher’s Bakery in Campbellford.   I have been to Dooher’s numerous times.  They have the most amazing homemade donuts.  My favourite is their Dutches, amazing!  They also have delicious muffins, breads and cinnamon buns, but I had never had their butter tarts.

The Tart

First impressions - unimpressive, crust looked pre made

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The Verdict

– Crust tasted like frozen pie dough
– filling had a great texture consistency
– not sweet
– tasted corn syrupy
– would not have another
– 3/10

** not to say that others would not like them, just not what I am looking for.

I will stick to their donuts!

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Delicious!

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