Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Graupen Eintopf

Sehr lecker und sehr gesund!
Im Winter möchte man so viel wie möglich, was Warmes zu essen. Freue ich sogar wenn ich früh morgens Mittagsessen für M macht. Weil es bedeutet nur, ich kann warmes Frühstück haben. Ich weiß, es ist bestimmt bei Ihnen übel aber wie gesagt, es ist nur anders oder Gewöhnheitssache. M sagt, warmes Frühstück kann ich allein essen. Er isst lieber Müsli.

Graupen habe ich noch nie gegessen. Ich habe einen Rezept von S bekommen und ich muss es unbedingt probieren. Deshalb habe ich. Wenn man Linseneintopf gerne isst, kann es sein, man es auch Graupen Eintopf gerne isst. Beide macht man satt und schwer.hehehe. Vielen Dank S.

Food for the Gods/ Date and Walnut Bars

Frohe Weihnachten!

Wir haben schon längst unseres Weihnachtsgebäck gebacken und verschenk/gegessen. Was zum Backen/Verschenken? Normalerweise schenke ich gerne was aus unserem Küche. Persönlich ist es was Besonderes weil man schenkt auch Zeit und Liebe dazu. Außerdem kann man es nicht irgendwo kaufen. (Herzlichen Dank für den selbstgebackene Stollen und Linzertorten dass wir dieses Jahr bekommen haben. Die haben wir von 4 Familien bekommen, als ob vorhin abgesprochen, 2 Stollen und 2 Linzertorten...grins) Oh hatten wir auch Buche de Noel. Muss ich bald Diät machen aber erst bitte nach Sylvester.

Dieses Mal habe ich Essen für die Götter (Food for the Gods) gebacken. Wir nennen es so aber es ist auch Date and Walnut Bars genannt. Auf den Philippinen sind die sehr beliebt während der Weihnachtszeit.  




Love it when it cracks a bit (After all, it is somewhat delicate)
Sehr zufrieden mit dem Ergebnis. Es wird in den nächten Weihnachtszeiten wieder geben.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Healthy Banana Cookies

Muesli cookies?!?
I like having snacks. I like muesli. I had a fun time making these cookies. I kind of think these were more like muesli cookies what I made.

Makes 2 baking trays /about 50 pieces

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 160 g rolled oats
  • 145 g assorted nuts, dried fruits, seeds
  • 80 ml apple sauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • agave syrup  
  • chocolate slices

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, mash the bananas. Stir in all ingredients. Mix well, and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly brown.(Mine took about 12 minutes)
As a matter of fact, I am sure they can be formed as bars. Next time I might just try that one out. What I am not sure of, if these are supposedly soft and moist. How long do they keep, I have no idea as well. Knowing the people who live here, it won't last long.

The exact measurement of the assorted stuffs I simply don't know anymore. I played with them --- nuts (hazelnuts, walnuts), seeds (flax seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds), dried fruits (cranberries, raisins), fresh fruits (apple, banana), agave syrup, cinnamon, chocolate slices. I could have used my breakfast muesli but figured, better make my own mix.

Gugelhupf Form

Wanted to try my gugelhupf form for quite some time. Today IS the day. 

The reader is left to his/her imagination what the other part of the cake looked like in the end. I thought, NOW is also the chance to make cake balls or cake pops. But, I simply don't have time and energy anymore.

Was supposed to be a birthday present. Still brought the other part of the cake and didn't give it directly to the celebrant. R sprinkled powdered sugar on it and it was oh well...looked much better. As to the part of the cake stuck to the form, that'll be my snack. :p
Stuck on you


I greased and floured the form.
I waited 10 minutes for it to cool. Hmm....maybe my favorite recipe is not suitable for the form.
Or perhaps next time, simply grease the form.

-----------
Additional Note:
This form is not suitable for my carrot cake recipe. When I washed the form, I even had to scrub the crumbs off the form even after soaking it in water.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Snow Fungus/ 雪耳

My snack for the moment. I missed eating snow fungus. It is also called white fungus, silver tree ear fungus, or bok di (in Hokkien). A few days ago, bought a pack of dried white fungus. It has a bland taste so whatever you mix with it, that will be the flavor of the soup/drink. When cooked, it is jelly-like and I hate to say it but it is a bit slimy. We normally eat it with dissolved rock sugar. I didn't want to buy rock sugar because it means buying it in bulk and eating it on our own. Since I had something sweet in powdered form on hand, I opted to stir it in. Last time, mixed in honey and it tasted great, too.
Easy and delicious snack. It is also healthy by itself. Snow fungus contains collagen that is good for the skin. When we have cough/phlegm and are "diet", then we eat it, too. Don't worry if you have the feeling that you have to go to the bathroom more often due to it. It cleanses your colon :)

Ingredients
Dried white fungus
Water
Rock sugar/honey to taste

1. Soak dried white fungus in water for about 15 minutes. It will "bloom" during this time.
2. Cut out the hard part (usually dark part) and discard.
3. Use fingers and make the fungus smaller (like trying to mince pork meat).
4. Wash white fungus thoroughly.
4. Soak them with fresh water and boil for about 30 minutes. (I use my magic cooker so I boil for 5 minutes and leave it overnight)
5. Add water/rock sugar/honey to taste. Serve warm or cold.
Snow fungus

Dried snow fungus

Soaked and cleaned ---- Bloomed version

Ready to eat
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Weiße Pilze / Weißmorcheln


Zur Zeit sind Weißmorchelngetränk mein Lieblingssnack. Ich habe es sehr lange nicht mehr gegessen. Es klingt komisch für anders bestimmt aber naja, ist es ein Gewöhnheitssache. Auf den PH haben wir es auch als Snack gegessen. Haben Sie schon mal richtig gehört, dass man Vögelsnest isst. Es ist sehr teuer aber sehr lecker. Weil es sehr teuer ist, eine Alternative ist diese Weißmorcheln. Ok, lass mich erinnern, wann oder wieso wir das essen. Die sind gut u.a. für die Lungen, Schleim, Husten, Haut. 
Weißmörcheln haben fast kein Geschmack. Es nimmt das Geschmack der Suppe/des Wasseranteil. Die Struktur nach Einweichen/Kochen ist wie Gelatin oder Schwamm. Nach Kochen, ist es ein bisschen schleimig. Essen oder trinken wir es normalerweise mit Kandiszucker (White rock sugar). Man kann sogar fertige Mischung aus Weißmorcheln, Wasser, und Kandiszucker kaufen. Diese Fertigprodukten kommen normalerweise aus Taiwan oder China. Also nur Dosen öffnen und trinken. Ahh......schmeck auch sehr wenn es kalt ist, besonder in einem heißen Tag. Ein Durstlöscher.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Dezember 6 ist Nikolaustag

Ich habe es niemals gefeiert. Kein Wunder gibt es verschiedene Schokolade mit Nikolaus an diesem Zeitraum jedes Mal im Supermarkt. Die Kinder bekommen Schokolade, Süßigkeiten, Obst, Nüße am Dezember 6. 

============

Never celebrated The Day of St. Nicholas. My association with St. Nicholas is the song "Jolly Old Saint Nicholas" which I enjoyed immensely as a kid. As far as I know, we neither have it nor celebrate it. Our stockings would be filled on the eve of Dec. 24 when Santa comes and that's it. Here, the kids get gifts on Dec 6 and also for Christmas. Wow, lucky to be a kid in this part of the world. 

Our "St. Nick" was here and left us with apples, walnuts, and pumpkins. These will surely last for the whole winter. Thanks A, our St. Nick! That said, adults get gifts on this day, too!

Leid und Freud liegen dicht bei einander

Dieser Satz habe ich schon mal gehört. Heute habe ich wieder gehört. Es ist sehr wahr. 
Frau B hat mir was sehr schönes erzählt. Als Weihnachtsgeschenk für ihre Kinder, hat sie ihre Geschichte in Druckform gegeben - ihr Lebens Erreignisse usw. Ich höre gerne Leutes Geschichte an. Ich habe gedacht, lesen wir auch teilerweise Storys von Leute, die wir kaum kennen. Sogar viel besser, wenn man die Leute persönlich kennt und schätzt. Ein geniales Geschenk für ihr Kinder, auch um die Familiegeschichte weiterzugeben oder leben. Sie hat auch einiges erlebt. Sie war nämlich im 1925 geboren und viel erlebt. Ihr Manns Geburtstag ist auch ihr Bruders Todestag. Ist auch Ms Geburtstag und Rs Geburtstag und Hs Urgroßmutters Geburtstag und Us Großmutters Geburtstag.

Magic Cooker/Thermal Cooker vs. Pressure Cooker

Magic Cooker a.k.a. Thermal Cooker
What is it and how does it work? It is a cookware that is best used for soup-based recipes. It saves on energy cost and time. Usually made out of outer form (insulated part) and a stainless pot. The pot is boiled in high heat for a few minutes, then immediately placed in the insulated form. The heat inside the pot will slow cook your food. Wait, depending on what you are cooking from a few minutes (rice) to hours(stews). Reheat before serving/serve immediately. 
When I came to Germany, what my family thought was the most important to send is a magic cooker. I have to agree, it had helped me through quite a number of cold winters. I had made numerous chicken soups, goulash, beef/pork soups, white fungus soup, and congees with it. 
What is so special for me about this cookware is I get soft meat without worrying about the food being burnt or that water has all condensed. As I lived in a dormitory with a shared kitchen, the magic cooker was very helpful. I merely occupied the kitchen top for a few minutes and after few minutes/hours of waiting, I had the meat that I wanted.  To save on time, I usually cook at night and in the morning, voila...... A meal for the whole week!.....hahahaha.
Insulated part

Magic cooker
Bigger version of magic cooker
I recently got a pressure cooker. What a life saver. I used to be very happy with my magic cooker. Though I still am, I realize that with the use of pressure cooker, it makes my soup cook much faster. I like my meat mostly 'fall-off-the bones'. That is to say, I have to cook the soup/stew longer than usual. I normally cook(boil and wait) meat for at least 6 hours in my magic cooker. With pressure cooker, it was only less than an hour. Need to learn how to better make use of the pressure cooker. 
Which is healthier, I am afraid I can't say. More convenient is the pressure cooker at the moment. If anyone happen to know which is healthier, info would highly be appreciated.
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Als ich in DE war, hatte meine Familie von den PH mir einen Magic Cooker oder auch Thermal Cooker/Kochtopf geschickt. Es sei der wichtigste Sache sein. Mein Koffer war ganz voll und leider konnte ich es nicht mit mir sofort bringen. Ich war und immer noch dankbar dafür. Ich habe damit viele warme oder heiße Gerichte z.B. Reissuppe, Gulasch, Hähnchensuppe, usw. gekocht. Ja, man kann auch mit normalen Kochtopf benutzen aber ich möchte das Fleisch zart sein, wenn ich es esse. Zartes Fleisch bekommt man wenn man es länger kocht als üblich. Dieser Magic Cooker ist dann am Vorteil weil es Energiekosten spart. Wie benutzt man es? Topf aus Edelstahl am Herd, ein paar Minuten das Essen kochend bringen. Macht man den Topf in den Anderen rein (der mit Isolierung). Dann abwarten von Minuten (Reis) bis Studen (Fleisch). Ah..was noch, ich hatte im Studentenwohnheim gewohnt. Als die Küche geteilt war, sollte ich auch nicht sehr lange am Herd sein. Der Magic Cooker hat ganz prima gepasst. Ich hatte abends gekocht und morgens.........habe ich Mahlzeit für die ganze Woche...hahaha.
Vor kurzem habe ich einen Schnellkochtopf bekommen. Es ist ganz ideal. Früher muss ich mehr als 6 Stunden warten für mein Gulasch, jetzt hat es weniger als 1 Stunde gedauert. 
Welche ist gesunder oder besser, weiß ich nicht. Falls jemand es weiß, Info wäre gut. Ich mache gleich Weißmorchelnsuppe, aber dieses Mal benutze ich mein Magic Cooker. ;)

Christmas

People have asked me if our place is decorated in tune with the season. I didn't think of decorating at all. Last year, I made a homemade Advent calendar. For unknown reason, we forgot to open the majority of the 'surprise' notes that I figured, this year I simply don't want to put my energy to waste. 
About 2 weeks ago, I helped out by decorating pots/boots to be sold for the Christmas season. It came to mind that if I help others do it, I should also do something similar at home. The forest is just about the corner. I had twigs/leaves here and a few nuts there. The final result is a combination of Fall and Winter motifs on a glass plate.
Table Decoration
The second Advent is over but we didn't light up our candles. If we light them up or not in the end, it hardly matters. It is a nice feeling to have a simple meal with a beautiful decoration to look at. And that is very much enough for me.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Dairy-Free Carrot Cake/ Muffin / Bread

It is the first day of December this year. Christmas is just a few weeks away. :) I wonder if we will bake Christmas cookies soon.

Anyways, I have written it earlier, baking carrot and banana are my favorites. They can be in any form - i.e. bread or muffin. 

The search for carrot cake/bread/muffin is over so I can gladly share the said recipe. Colleagues had begged for this recipe, too. It has a nice texture, is moist, and not too sweet. Of course, I kid myself into thinking it is also healthy because of the substitutions (apple sauce, brown sugar, and whole wheat flour).

I have been wanting to bake in jars to give away as gifts. These can supposedly be stored until 6 months. I have yet to do it because I read some contradicting articles about its safety. We will see what will happen, to bake or not to bake in jars.

Enough of my babbling....
The last piece ...... Nice texture, moist, and not too sweet as I love it

Adapted from allrecipes

Carrot Cake
For 12 Muffin Forms (I use silicon forms)
                               
Ingredients
  • 2 eggs
  • 90 ml vegetable oil
  • 60 ml apple sauce (unsweetened, I use homemade)
  • 80 g white sugar
  • 80 g brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or less
  • 100 g all-purpose flour
  • 25 g whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 165 g grated carrots
  • 55 g chopped walnuts or less
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg (optional)
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Insert paper muffin form in every silicon muffin form. (For easy clean up)
  2. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, apple sauce, sugar and vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Do not overmix. Stir in carrots. Fold in walnuts. Pour into prepared form.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in form for 5-10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. 
Note: 
Test doneness with toothpick AND press the top of the cake, it should spring back a little. I have had experience wherein the toothpick came out clean but the top layer is still underbaked.

Personal Note:
Alternative: use smaller pan, grease and flour, middle rack, 40 minutes of baking in the mini-oven.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Nur Anders

Nur Anders ist eine Serie für Bemerkungen zwischen das Leben in DE (Deutschland) als ich es sehe und zwischen mein Leben auf den PH (Philippinen).

1. Geschirr waschen. In DE, man füllt das Waschbecken mit heißem oder warmem Wasser. Dann ein bisschen Spülli rein. Man wascht das Geschirr und legt es auf den Abtropfgitter. Man trocknet dann das Geschirr mit Geschirrtuch am Ende. 
Auf den PH, man lässt das Wasser laufen. Wascht das Geschirr mit Seife/Spülli und danach spüllt man die Seife mit dem laufenden Wasser weg. Man legt es auf den Abtropfgitter. Dasselbe Geschirr abtrocknet mit Tuch.
Anfangs habe ich Schwierigkeiten anders zu spülen. Ich habe das Gefühl, dass es noch Spülli auf mein Geschirr und es nicht sauber ist. Da niemand in DE davon gestorben oder krank geworden ist, mache ich mittelerweise genau das Deutsch-Styl sozusagen. Nicht nur das, im Winter oder wenn es kalt ist, mag ich es sogar sehr gern, Geschirr zu waschen. Meine Hände werden schön warm von dem Wasser. 

2. Mülltrennung. Hier in DE gibt es Gelbesack, Papiertonne, Biotonne, Glas, Sondermüll, usw. Auf den PH sortieren wir machmal die Papiere und Glas. Also ab und zu kommt jemand und kauft diese Sachen ab. Die Rest macht man in Müll. Obwohl vor kurzem gibt es schon Biotonne dort. Weiß nicht aber nicht insofern ist es durchgeführt. Es freut mich natürlich mit dieser Mülltrennung zu machen. Dieses gute Gewissen, dass man für die Umwelt gutes macht.

3. Ruhezeit. Hier in DE, man kann einfach nicht jedes Mal den Staubsaugen benutzen weil es krach macht.  Das wäre doch was auf den PH, wenn unser Nachbar nicht einfach spätnachts oder Sonntag Nachmittags mit seiner Karaoke schreien dürfte ;p

4. Tastatur. Wenn ich was eintippt, manchmal vergesse ich welches Modus (DE oder EN) das Tastatur eingestellt bin. Schon wichtig, wenn man die Buchstaben Y und Z eintippt. Naja auf den PH habe ich immer nur das EN Modus benutzt. 

5. Dankeschön Geschenk. Sie sind auf ein Fest (Geburtstag, Hochzeit, Taufe) eingeladen. Bekommen Sie normalerweise ein dankeschön Geschenk als Gast/in? Hier in DE ist es nicht üblich, auf den PH aber ja. Üblicherweise bekommen die Frauen es, nicht die Männer.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Food to Impress/ Twisted Wienerwurst Buns

Still crazy over the water roux/tangzhong method. Funny thing is, I don't even know why I make such a hassle baking with it because the baked goods last maximum of only 2 days in our home. Not that we eat everything all by ourselves; we share them with friends/acquaintances. I suppose it is the softness of every bite or maybe, the calories burned while preparing it or even, the test of patience. I started making the water roux starter at 8 am and the first bite of the finished product was at 1:30 in the afternoon. Talk about being patient! Btw, I haven't tried leaving the water roux overnight before using it. This will sure cut down the waiting time.

I gave some of these buns to a friend. She was ecstastic and wanted the recipe. It is always a GREAT sign that you did something truly wonderful when they want the recipe. I am not sure if she was impressed with the presentation or the texture/taste of the bun or both. 

Adapted from angiesrecipes: /Twisted Wienerwurst Buns

Dough
  • 300 g bread flour
  • 6     g instant dried yeast
  • 30   g sugar
  • 6     g salt
  • 1        medium egg
  • 65   g warm soja milk
  • 75   g tangzhong starter
  • 45   g margarine
  • 9        wienerwurst
Topping
  • 1 spring onion, chopped (can make it to 2)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp black pepper powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
Instructions (copied exactly from angiesrecipe):
  1. Add flour, yeast, sugar and salt in the mixing bowl fitted with a dough hook. Add in egg, milk, and water roux. Mix at slow speed for 1 minute until combined. Increase the speed to medium, and continue to mix for 3 minutes until the dough forms.
  2. Add in butter mix at slow speed until incorporated. Then increase speed and knead until gluten is fully developed, i. e. elastic, smooth, non-sticky and leave from the sides of your mixing bowl, about 5 minutes.
  3. Remove and form the dough into a smooth ball. Place it in a lightly greased bowl, covered with a plastic wrap, and leave in a warm place until dough is double in volume, about an hour. Press the dough down to release gases produced in the fermenting process. Divide dough into 9 portions, each is about 60-62 grams and round up and rest for 10 minutes at the room temperature.
  4. Flatten each dough ball, with seam side down, and roll into a rectangle. The length of the dough should be the same as the sausage you are going to use. Now turn the seam side up, and place a sausage on the dough. Roll it up and cut into 5 equal portions, but DO NOT cut them through, leaving a thin joint between portions. Cross the first and the last joints, turn the cutting edges of 3 portions over to obtain a flower pattern. Place on a baking tray lined with a baking sheet and cover with a plastic wrapper. Leave to rise for 45-60 minutes.
  5. To prepare the topping, mix spring onions, egg (reserve 1 tablespoon for brushing the tops) , olive oil, and black pepper in a bowl. Add the salt in just when you are ready to use it. When the buns have doubled in size, brush them with reserved egg mixture, then place some onion mixture atop. Finally sprinkle with some sesame seeds.
  6. Bake in preheated oven at 175C/350F for 15 minutes or until golden brown. When done, turn the buns onto a wire rack and let cool completely.

I experimented with cutting the wienerwurst into 5-6 portions, just to check how they'd turn out. Not too sure if the dough should cover the wurst at the bottom. I found myself pulling the dough to cover the wurst after twisting the dough to form the flower pattern.


I took 2 bites and realized, I haven't had a photo taken of them yet.  


Lessons learned:
1. Use baking paper / do not use the leftover liquid from the toppings (difficulty in cleaning up)
2. Use egg wash to attain yellower gloss / Don't bake them too long (sausage will look dry)
3. Spread the buns properly 'coz they will still grow and stick to one another.
 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Jesus Curses a Fig Tree/ Having Faith/ Figs

Matthew 21:18-22 from the New International Version

18 Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. 19 Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered. 20 When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” they asked.
21 Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. 22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.

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It is the season for figs around here. Our neighbor has a fig tree and has allowed us to help ourselves with the fruits. I like eating them. The first time I saw it at my mom-in-law's home, I thought it wasn't exactly appetizing. The inside reminded me of worms soaked in blood and still does. But when I put it in my mouth and chewed it, it was sweet and refreshing. :) Since then, I like to eat worms.....I mean, figs :). 

It is also a wonderful feeling to pick vegetables/fruits straight from your own garden. Simply so fresh and without any pesticides/herbicides. The other day, I harvested two tomatoes. It is quite unfortunate that this year, we were endowed with fewer tomatoes from the garden. In total, we only had 4 tomatoes excluding 3 rotten ones. Better luck next year.


Can't get enough of figs


 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Making Marmalade


Peaches
When we got these peaches, they were hard and much greener. It was the intention of making them into marmalade. Not only did H show me how to do it, I even got the materials like meat grinder, peaches needed for it. It was only after 3 days that we got around into making our own marmalade. As one can imagine, I ate lots of peaches already because day after day, they simply kept on rotting/becoming overripe.

Marmalade 
Finished product /1.6 kg of peaches
Materials:
Wooden spoon
Thick-bottomed pot
Sterilized bottles and covers
Weighing scale
Meat grinder
Fruit e.g. peaches
Sugar
Proportion: 1 KG fruit: 1 KG sugar

1. Discard rotten peaches/parts.Wash the peaches and let dry.
2.  Boil water and pour through meat grinder to sterilize it.
3. Cut peaches into half and take out the seeds.
4. Weigh the cut peaches. 
5. Pass through meat grinder. 
6. Stir in mashed fruit and sugar into the pot. Mix until well blended. 1.6 KG fruit: 1.6 KG sugar
7. Turn on the heat. Stir occasionally to prevent from burning.
8. When it starts to boil, boil for 8 minutes while constantly stirring.
9. Pour into the bottles - almost to the brim. Seal with covers. 
10. Put the filled bottles upside down for 10 minutes, keeping them side by side to let them stay warm as long as possible(This sterilizes them). Bring them to upright position.
11. When cool, store in a cool, dark area (basement).
Waiting for the marmalade to boil

What a big mess we made



Sunday, September 11, 2011

Salted Egg / Itlog na Maalat / Gesalzenes Ei

The past days, I have been much into eggs. I wanted to eat egg tarts, salted eggs, chinese-style steamed egg cake, steamed egg (蒸水蛋), etc. Since I can't do everything at the same time, I had to choose which ones to do first. I thought why not salted eggs.
Notes on how I did it.

Proportion
One Liter of Water: One-Fourth kg of Salt (Rock salt, sea salt, normal cooking salt)
Large Eggs (Chicken eggs or duck eggs)
1 TBSP of wine for every liter of water (optional, to have oily egg yolks)

1. Mix salt and water in a pot. Heat the solution until salt is dissolved. 
2. Take about one tablespoon full of salt. Stir into the solution. After about 2 minutes, if it dissolves, continue step 2. Continue until the salt could no longer be dissolved.
3. Turn off heat and bring the brine solution to room temperature.
4. While waiting, wash eggs with water and check for cracks. Don't use eggs that have cracks. Pat or wipe dry.
5. Put eggs into a clean container with cover (plastic or glass will do). 
6. Pour brine solution into the container.
7. Wait for 20 to 30 days.
Salt can be seen below
The way my pot looked like after pouring out the solution
By that time, I would know what recipes I would use the salted eggs for.
Note:
Eggs should be submerged in the brine solution. I used a mini saucer to keep the eggs from floating.

Tangzhong: The day after


The day-old bread made from the tangzhong method was still soft and fluffy as can be seen from the photos below. But sad to say, it was dry compared to the day it was baked.  There could be tons of reasons why: didn't toast it, the dough was dry, etc. I don't know exactly why but it only means try again. 
 
I kept the photo below to remind to better roll it properly next time. If not, there are much spaces in between.
Roll better next time.....
Still soft on the second day but dry

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tangzhong Again: One Dough: Four Variations

Lately, as much as possible, I am cutting down on eating/drinking dairy products. Baked stuffs are usually made with butter, milk, etc. What am I to do? Of course, bake what I can eat/drink . Instead of butter, I use margarine: in place of cow's milk, I use soy milk or even rice milk.

For more than a month now, I have been really crazy about Hefezopf, braided yeast bread, made by a good friend. But since she uses milk, I am afraid I would just be disappointed if I bake it with soy milk. Thankfully, there are still lots of stuffs I want to eat and try out. The odd thing is, I end up wanting to eat soft, sweet bread. This kind of bread means baking with tangzhong for me.

As if you didn't notice, I like to eat raisin bread and cinnamon rolls. I couldn't possible bake tangzhong without these two. I tried another recipe with tangzhong this time around. I used my handmixer for about 30 minutes. I tell you, it had to work pretty hard and good that it didn't overheat. Needless to say, I stopped in between to give the machine and my arm a rest. During the first kneading part, I thought it was a bit dry what I had. After the dough had risen, I hardly needed any flour. It didn't stick all over like I had in my previous attempts. Part of me wondered if I made the dough correctly. I suppose the test will be tomorrow, if it is still soft and fluffy. I am even willing to wait until the third day to check if it is still so (the mind is willing at least).  I am very happy with the way my dough turned out. I didn't secretly wish my husband were home to help me with kneading/rolling the dough. It was just so easy to work with. It didn't stick to my hands like crazy. Then again, it hardly stuck to my hands, to the rolling pin, and on the working surface at all. I wonder if I would have the same success when I try to do it again. 

With the dough, I made raisin rolls, mini cinnamon buns, mexican buns, and sweet rolls/pai pau.

A sign of success

Before


After....from another point of view


Hmmmmm........yummy!!!!


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Baking: Tangzhong / Water Roux Method


Read that Tangzhong method is the latest craze among Asian homemakers. It supposedly makes the bread stay soft for the next days using no bread improver. I certainly miss soft and fluffy bread/roll/bun that we have in the Philippines. So I was excited to try this method. 

Water Roux: 1 Part Bread Flour:5 Parts Water/Milk

I have hardly any experience baking with yeast but still, I was yearning for asian-type of bread. What choice but to make it. The first time I attempted to bake with tangzhong method...hmmm.....it was a huge mess in the kitchen. I baked one loaf of raisin bread and 12 cinnamon rolls. 
For the raisin bread, I used my hand to knead. I couldn't even roll it because the dough kept on sticking. Kneaded for 30 minutes and I simply gave up. I didn't have the "membrane" that supposedly should be to know when to stop to knead. I let it rise for an hour and punched it down. I simply couldn't work with the dough because it was way too sticky. As a sign of defeat, I had to ask my husband to help me with the dough. He is the expert in baking between us though he had not heard of this method.
For the cinnamon rolls, I used the hand mixer. The dough was way better to work with. The only thing I was afraid of is that my hand mixer would overheat. After 25 minutes of kneading, I stopped. Unfortunately, I didn't achieve this "membrane" phase again. 
The end products were softer than the usual bread/roll here in Germany. The next day, I felt that they weren't any different from the normal bread/roll: no longer soft and a bit dry.

Check out the texture and how many I ate....hehe


After reading the raves and rants about this method, I figured, I had to try it again. So within a week, I attempted the method again with cinnamon rolls. From the start, I used the hand mixer. I even got to the point when the dough was shiny and elastic. Yohooo!! It took about 35 minutes with the hand mixer. To cut it short, the end product was SOOOOOO SOFT AND SOOOO FLUFFY. The next day, it was still soft although not as soft as the day it was baked. Ok, I have to give credit to my husband once again for helping me with the dough and finishing the proofing/rolling. I was too tired to make/finish it.
The photos below illustrate how soft the roll was even on the second day.

Couldn't stop pressing it down and seeing it rise back to its size :)


In the future, I will only bake with this method every now and then. Whatever we normally bake gets eaten up within 2 days. The long process from making the roux, waiting for it to cool, kneading,  proofing, etc...........it isn't for me. When I feel I miss the soft asian bread once more, I know what I can do. 

Lessons learned:
1) Never stop kneading until the dough is shiny, elastic, and not sticky. 
2) Need time and patience to work with this method. If you don't have both, don't do it.
 
Note:
Purposely didn't put any glaze. Tried to make the rolls healthier...grins.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Puto/ Food Wishlist

Puto - Steamed Cake
We were given about a dozen of putos yesterday. If you ask me what puto is, it is steamed cake or even could be said to be one version of a Philippine muffin. I wrote only steamed cake because this one is made with regular flour, not rice flour. There are different versions of making it as always. It was soooo good and it does remind me back home. 

When I really, really crave for Filipino or Chinese food that I know, I have no choice but to look for the recipes in the internet or ask. Most likely, I don't know how to make it or haven't done it before. When I do have the recipe, then I make it. It is good that I don't crave or don't miss the food THAT much. If not, that would be terrible. It is almost always time-consuming from searching for the recipe to try to searching for the availability of ingredients.

There are so many food that I miss and would like to eat. Here are random thoughts that come into mind.

Dessert: 
Egg Tart
Brazo de Mercedes - I will always associate it with my grandparents. 
Pichi Pichi
Spanish Bread
Taisan
Ensaymada
Almond Cake 
Black Gulaman 
Taho
Mango Sago
Hizon's Cake 
Sans Rival
Mamon
Hopia
Leche Flan
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Siopao
Char Siew
Kiam  Peng 
Ha Kaw
Radish Cake - of course with Hoisin sauce :)
Fresh Lumpia
Chicken Pie
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