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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

How to Make a Cinnamon Roll ?

It was late in the afternoon and it was raining so hard as the storm is passing by southern Luzon, I can't do anything but just look through the window and  observe the surroundings as I marvel on the zero visibility of my neighbor's houses while both the fog and the rain cover the area here in Silang Cavite. Thinking of what to do to keep myself busy, it came to me to bake my own fresh smelling cinnamon rolls. I never made cinammon rolls for quite awhile. I thought of trying this new recipe I got and see how it differs from the first one I made months ago. This recipe calls for a combination of all-purpose flour and bread flour instead of using bread flour alone. I used to bake cinnamon rolls using bread flour alone, but I was never satisfied on the softness of the rolls.  Making use of all-purpose flour in combination with the bread flour provides an effect  of softer rolls, This one I would want to share with everbody else, having issue on hard cinammon rolls outcome. This is commonly encountered by home bakers. So here's how the recipe goes...

Here are the things I prepared:

1 1/2 c all-purpose Flour 
2 c bread flour 
1/4 c sugar
1 tspn yeast
4 tbspn shortening
1 1/2 c warm water
1/4 cup milk 
5 tbspn melted butter for brushing

1/3cup of all purpose flour for dusting

For the cinnamon syrup:

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tspn cinnamon
5 tbspn water
1tspn canola oil ( or butter, whichever you prefer)

Follow these simple instructions:

Combine all dry ingredients.

Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup of warm water (warm not hot).  Yeast should be frothy after about 5min. If yeast mixture do not become frothy, discard the yeast. This means that the yeast is already dead. Dissolve another teaspoon of yeast from a new package.

Combine the wet ingredients. 
Make a well at the center of the  dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients at the center.

 Mix until you form a dough. If the dough feels sticky, you can add all-purpose flour little by little until the dough is manageble to knead. 

Once you can hold the dough already without it sticking to your hand, get it and place on a clean  work surface dusted with flour. Knead by hand for at least 10 min (longer kneading time, the better). This will promote formation of gluten or the molecular cross-linking of the bread structure. This cross linking is responsible for having chewier baked bread.

After at least 10min of kneading, dab the dough surface with oil and place in a large bowl. Cover with cloth. Leave for about 30 min (take note that i used warm water for the dough so the yeast is active and my  house temperature is about 25-29 degC, If you're house temperature is colder, leave for a longer time), for the dough to rest. This will allow the yeast to work and release air (nor really air, but carbon dioxide as a by-product). After 30 min, punch down the dough to release the air.

With  the help of a rolling pin. Roll out the dough about  10x12 inch rectangle.

Brush butter onto the surface of the flattened dough. Put on brown sugar and sprinkle cinnamon all throughout the surface too. Spread the sugar and cinnamon uniformly on the surface.

Roll the dough into a log.

Cut into 1.5 inch thick. You will be able to yield more or less 18 cinnamon roll pieces. As you cut each piece, position them on a baking tray. Each piece should be placed about 1 inch apart to allow space for rising. Brush butter onto the rolls to prevent drying.

Leave  the dough for at least 2 hours in a warm area. My house is not warm enough so, I left mine overnight, about 6 hours. It's alright, I'm not in a hurry anyway to have these baked. I would want to have these rolls for the next day breakfast. And I want to eat cinnamon rolls fresh from the oven. Otherwise, if you want to have the rolls in a short time possible, you can set your oven at very low temperature, put the tray in, leave the oven door ajar (to allow humidity flow into the oven). Leave for 1hour proofing. In this proofing stage, yeast continues its job to ferment the flour. 

After the proofing step, the rolls should already double in size,  Bake for 20 min at 325deg. I bake my rolls at the topmost layer so the roll tops will brown nicely before the bottom does. When I use the middle layer, the top usually becomes pale, but bottom browns faster which i do not want to happen. If you use the  topmost layer, the radiating heat from the top metal (or ceiling)of your oven will make your bread top to brown faster than the bottom. 

After 20min of baking, take the baking tray out. Transfer the rolls on a cooling rack. 

While cooling ,combine 1/2 cup of sugar,1 tspn of cinnamon powder, 1tspn of oil and 5 tbspn of water. Mix thoroughly, then heat the mixture until sugar is dissolved. While hot pour to the top of the cinnamon rolls. Let them cool.

If you prefer to serve them hot, you may, but if you'll have to pack them like for school snack, you have to let them cool totally so the syrup will set.   

My Minion Cake

Just last week, I have received another order of fondant cake. The customer wanted to have a minion cake for his son. Since the Despicable Me movie has came out, there are lots of people being fond of the cute little minions of the movie. This has been one of the characters  that many customers wish to have for their kid's party. But guess what, this cake is made not for a kid, but an adult who is so fond as well on minions.

The minion cake I created was made of 4 layers of vanilla and mocha chiffon, stacked alternately in order to come up with an 8-inch  high cake. The icing in between each layer was made of vanilla and mocha as well.  For the layer  just underneath the fondant, I used vanilla buttercream also.

Creating this minion cake was fun. But I was a little worried if this cake would be able to stand up firmly during transport since the diameter of the cake is smaller compared to the height. The diameter is 6 inches by the way.

At first, I attempted to make use of a round  styro as a cake drum and place a dowel at the center all the the way to the styro just to be sure cake won't fall off. But I have changed my mind. I just used an ordinary cake board since if I'll be using a styro, I will have another problem of how to cover the styro top neatly and not having the creases that will be formed on the rounded edge of the styro.

To counteract the possibility of cake tipping due to its height to diameter ratio, I made sure I put buttercream on the cake board just before I placed the first layer of chiffon.The hat of the minion, as you noticed is slightly slanted. I have inserted about 4inches of dowel in order to hold the hat in place and at the same time, hold every chiffon layer together in place.

Another challenge I encountered was during the carving of the head to round the edges, some of the parts crumbs off. I knew , I had to refrigerate the cake first before I carved it to prevent crumbing off,  but I didn't. I then had to correct the roughness before I cover it with fondant. I filled and smoothen the damaged edges with buttercream frosting.

As with the covering of the fondant to the cake, I had no problem at all, I was able to cover the entire cake with yellow rolled fondant easily. After that,  I cut  blue fondant for the jumpsuit. I added a stitch effect on the edges using a fondant quilting tool to make it look more like  real clothes. I then worked on the eyes and glases, the  lips and the tongue. The feet and legs are made  of pure fondant, no chiffon underneath. I applied a generous amount of shortening while kneading the  black fondant for the feet to give it a shiny effect. By the way, I put a dowel all the way thru the legs to be able to attach it to the body and to hold the black feet in place as well.

 So there it is, my minion cake..I was able to deliver it to the customer safely.

Having to see the happy face of the receiver upon seeing this cake, makes all the hardwork worth it. I hope you liked it too...

For my other cake creations, please visit my facebook page as well:

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Apple Cinnamon Muffin Recipe

Makes 12 pcs  of 3oz muffin




    ½ C brown sugar
     ¼ C white sugar
    1 ½  C flour
    1 egg
    ½  tspn baking powder
    ½  tspn baking soda
    ½  C cold water
    ¼  C veg. oil
    ½  C milk + ½ tbspn vinegar   (mix and  let this curdle, this is a substitute to sour milk)
   1/8   tspn fine salt
   ½  tspn Cinnamon
   1/4 tspn nutmeg
   1  apple cored  peeled and  chopped

For the streusel:
   ¼ C Flour
   ¼ C Brown Sugar
   ¼ tspn cinnamon powder
   1 tspn of water.
   2 tbspn Softened butter



     Preheat oven @350deg

      For the streusel: 

          Mix all ingredients for the streusel  until crumby.
       For the Muffins:  

  1. Combine dry ingredients . Mix very well so all dry ingredients will be distributed evenly  and so powder mixture will get loose.   
  2. Add oil, water then add sour milk . Fold the mixture with spatula until dry ingredients are all incorporated to the wet ingredients. Do not overmix. For muffins, the final mixture should still be lumpy.
  3. Fold in the apples pieces.   
  4. Pour  in greased muffin pan or muffin pan with paper cups.
  5. Top with struesel.
  6. Bake for 25min @350degC

Friday, August 9, 2013

Fondant 101

What is a fondant ?  A fondant is a sweet confection being used in baked pastries.  The word, in French, means "melting", coming from the same root as  'foundry' in English.

There are 2 types of fondant, one is called Poured Fondant, which is commonly used as fillings in cakes and other pastries. The other type commonly used is the Rolled Fondant. The name itself suggests how it is being prepared to be used for baked pastries.  In this article I will elaborate more on the rolled fondant type.  This is the one I often use for my cakes and cupcakes.

Rolled fondant can be made in 2 ways.  One method  is by mixing confectioner's sugar to a hot mixture of  glycerine and glucose. This is then folded carefully  in order to come up with a dough. To get better pliability, some adds gum improver.  Kneading is necessary in order to get the right consistency of the dough.  The second  method is by melting marshmallow in low heat or in microwave oven , after which,the melted marshmallows are poured on a confectioner's sugar and folded until kneading is possible. Since marshmallow already  contains  gum improver ingredients, there is no need to add one.  In order to prevent drying which might result to cracking, shortening is being added.

Either of the 2 methods yields a play-dough- like material which can then be rolled-out and used to cover the cakes or can be shaped into any figure you may wish. .

I personally prefer to make fondant using the second method.  Why? It's because, the second method is less sweet as compared to the first method and as per experience, I can produce better texture of fondant that won't break easily as I cover my cakes.  The first method is also very sensitive to humidity. Fondant is generally   sensitive to humidity but fondant from marshmallow tolerates humidity better than the one made with glucose.Aside from those mentioned, you can get better flavor  for your fondant by using marshmallow due to the presence of vanillin in marshmallows.

However, if  you hate the fuss of preparing your fondant from scratch, ready-made fondant are now available in baking shops. This is great if you are in a hurry for to prepare your fondant cake for an event, but of course, this option is more costly than preparing your own. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Vanilla Chiffon Recipe

For those of you wanting to bake your own cake, try starting with the basic vanilla chiffon. Here is my recipe that I want to share with you. Let me know how it comes out ..

1.5 Cups Cake flour
1 cup white Sugar
1 tspn baking powder
5 large eggs,separated
1/8 tspn cream of tartar (or vinegar)
1tspn vanilla
1/2 tspn fine salt
1/3 C Oil ( canola or palm oil)
2 tbsp butter

Preheat Oven at 325degF

1. Combine flour, 1/4 cup sugar, fine salt, baking powder. Sift 3 times in order to make sure that powder mixture is loose and no lumps would appear in the final product.  

2. In another glass or metal bowl. Place the eggwhites. If the eggwhites are cold let them reach room temperature first. (Eggwhites are best beaten when not cold if you want to have a very nice fluffy mirengue mouse. )

3  Put 1/8 tspn of cream of tartar. If you dont have it, you can use vinegar. This is just necessary to make the eggwhites a little acidic. Add about 1/4 cup sugar.

4.Beat eggwhites mixture using your electric  mixer at low speed first until soft peaks occur.(Remember: things to use when beating eggwhites should be dry and free from any oil residue otherwise you wont get a fluffy mirengue.)

5. Add 1/2 cup of sugar. Turn your mixer to high speed until the mirengue is shiny and forms pointed peaks. To check, turn off your mixer while mixer is dipped in the mirengue that your are beating, then bring it up. As you remove the whisk out of the mirengue, the peaks should show standing upright. If not, continue beating and check from time to time.

5. In another bowl, combine wet ingredients: egg yolk, milk, water, oil and vanilla flavor. Beat with electric mixer. 

6. When the wet mixture (batter) is already consistent, put the dry ingredients little by  little while mixing. This will ensure that no lumps will form in the final mixture. 

7. When finished combining wet and dry ingredients, continue mixing the batter till you reach a very nice consistency of the batter. 

8. Fold the mirengue into the batter. Fold from side to the center while turning your bowl around. Break any lumped mirengue using the spatula. Do not mix vigorously or else the  mousse will collapse. 

9. Pour in a greased 9in round baking pan. Bake at 325degF for about 30-45 min or until the toothpick doneness test at the cake center comes out clean.

Simple.. Let me know your feedback or any question you may have.