Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Making Marmalade

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.

Finished product /1.6 kg of peaches
Wooden spoon
Thick-bottomed pot
Sterilized bottles and covers
Weighing scale
Meat grinder
Fruit e.g. peaches
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.

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.
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


After....from another point of view