Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies

So I came across what claimed to be the "BEST" chocolate chip cookies recipe and thought I'd gave it a try.  I admit I have been skeptical because what recipe doesn't claim to be the best one? I found this on Tidymom but it was originally posted on The New York Times years ago. I have slightly adapted it from the original recipe because I didn't have any cake flour on hand.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Green Tea Ice Cream

I've made ice cream in the past without a machine, and it was alright... with a few minor texture flaws. I've debated over this purchase for the past year because, honestly, is it all that necessary that I have an ice cream maker? Well now that I have one, let me tell you YES you do need it because it makes the most fantastic ice cream. Plus, with my sweet tooth I'd eat my money's worth in no time.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Ice Cream Mochi

Ice cream mochi was my favourite snack as a little girl. Eventually my Mom had to stop buying it for me because I ate way too much of it. The mochi dough is soft and chewy and the ice cream centre is smooth, cold, and sweet . Super addictive.

Friday, 20 July 2012

S'mores Brownie Cupcakes

We went camping a couple of weeks back and I was happily in charge of the S'mores supplies. With all these Graham crackers and marshmallows lying around, I'd be silly not to do something fancy. I'd have loved to make the marshmallows myself but since I was packing for Vancouver, I had already sent my stand mixer away.Those of you who have made marshmallows in the past know that it takes a long time to whip that sugar to a fluffy stage and I'm sane enough to not attempt it by hand.

I did some of the brownies in a 8-by-8 inch pan and the others in muffin liners. Listen to me when I tell you to never do them in a pan. The marshmallow topping makes it extremely difficult to portion and I had to use scissors in the end.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Boston Cream Pie

I have officially discovered my favourite cake, one that tastes divine, takes no effort, and draws a billion compliments.The name of this "pie" may cause confusion for many people as it did for me. Boston cream pie is merely a vanilla cake, layered with pastry cream and topped with a chocolate ganache. The name is what it is because the chef that created this cake did not have cake pans on hand and baked the cakes in pie plates instead.

I'm ashamed to say that for a long time, before I took an interest in baking, I only knew Boston Cream in the form of a Tim Hortons donut. It's my sister's favourite. On that note, I have long lost the purpose of my blogging, which was to demonstrate the step by step procedures in cooking and baking. Laziness took over and for a while I was only posting pictures of the product, not the process. I was reminded by my sister of and I'll get back on track.

When I was in Boston scanning the glass display case of a well known bakery "Flour", my eyes landed on the Boston cream pie. It was that "Ah-ha!" moment, like "This is what I came for!"

It was delicious, layers and layers of soft vanilla cake moistened by that vanilla custard. I knew I had to recreate this dish when I got back. I found a recipe on Crumb boss that gave a break down of the components of the cake. It's stunning how little there is to it. You'll need three things: vanilla cake, pastry cream, and chocolate ganache. You can find the original recipes on Crumb boss but I'll post them below as well. Most recipes use 2 layers of cake and 1 layer of custard but that's not enough in my opinion. Many vanilla cakes are far too dry (with the exception of this one) and having a few extra layers of custard doesn't hurt.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Yankee Lobster (Boston) - A Review

Two items you must try in Boston: Lobster Rolls and Clam Chowder. The are served almost everywhere in Boston, ranging from fancy restaurants to road-side eateries. There were a few recommended choices but I narrowed it down to two: Yankee's and James Hook's. These two are both located on Northern avenue by the docks so you know the quality is there. James Hook Lobster opens only till 2PM every Sunday, so Yankee Lobster became our only option. If I had my way, I'd have gone with James Hook since they sell their lobster rolls at an amazing price of $12.99.

It wasnt hard to find the place. You walk along the water front on Northern Avenue until you reach almost a dead end. You'll see the sign long before you get there, and when you do, you are greeted by a huge lobster at the store front.

Its a fast-food style ordering system. You place your order at the cash, pay, and find a spot to eat. When your food is ready, they'll bring it out to you. The problem with that is they forget a lot of orders. The family sitting beside us was missing a lobster roll and we were missing a clam chowder.

Now onto the roll itself. Let me just say this: I'd happily take this lobster roll over Panache any day. It's really simple: bite sized lobster chunks tossed with diced celery in a light mayo. I always wondered why celery was the vegetable of choice when it came to lobster rolls. I came up with two answers. It could be tradition, or that celery provides a nice crunch to the buttery lobster and gives a light peppery contrast.

Its served with a coleslaw and a side of fries, nothing fancy and there's no need to be. Simplicity is really the only way to treat fresh seafood and these people know their seafood. I don't have a list of spetacular vocabulary to describe it, but just know that it's lobster at it's purest and best. The sandwich was well worth my 20 bucks.

As for the clam chowder, it's a nice addition to the seafood feast. I wouldn't say it was loaded with clams but it was definitely loaded with flavour. It was thick and creamy...probably the heavy usage of a rue (butter and flour as a thickening agent)... and totally worth all those calories. I have attempted this after the fact, but never came close. I could say a ton of rue was used and still no similar effect. The thought of adding more is scary and I quickly abandoned the idea. So folks, if you are ever in Boston, make sure you try their seafood while you have the chance!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

I'm back!...after a very long break

I feel horrible for neglecting this blog for the past month. At first it was laziness...I wanted to take a break after that road trip with my parents. Then my computer died and there was nothing I could do. Don't get me wrong, I didn't stop baking during this time...Just kinda stopped sharing.

A lot has happened since then. I feel like my whole world did a big flip. My plane landed in Vancouver last night and I hauled back 200lbs of luggage that packed away the last 4 years of my life. If you have been reading my previous posts just before the school year ended, you'd know that I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I had several scenarios laid out in my head and a billion possible places I could be. Vancouver was never one of them.

After a 3 year relationship, the concept of being "single" again made me realize how much I wanted to be spoiled by my parents. During our 2-week roadtrip, they spoiled me to death and now I'm too greedy to let it go. That was one reason I came back. The second? Well, they are building a house in West Vancouver that we'll be moving into, and I demand the privilege of designing the kitchen.

So here's the plan: I'm going to pick up everything related to real estate. Construction law, residential law, interior designing, and whatever else I find interesting along the way. I also want to work part-time in a bakery to keep up what I love doing the most. Baking at home seems too unrealistic now that I don't have 20 guy friends ready to consume my calorie-dense sweets.

I'm also going to change my diet from a chocolate-and-cereal diet to a veggie-and-protein diet. That will start....tomorrow. I'm a bit anxious at this point because there is so much to do and a new lifestyle to get used to. The bright side is, my mom paid for my groceries and cooked for me today!

In terms of this blog, I'm going to put a bit more effort into it. I will be posting the rest of my restaurant reviews from my trip and the fancy desserts that I've made since. Hint: including a Boston cream pie! Yum! In fact, I'm also gonna start growing my own herbs and vegetables now that I have a full garden to work with. Then all I'll need will be some chickens to lay me eggs.