Friday, May 6, 2011


After a recent 2 day stretch of baking non-cooperative macarons, I decided to throw in the towel for the time being and turn my focus on doing other things, before I pull out all my hair in angst :(
I'd been wanting to make financiers for a while, after acquiring this silicone financier pan. The only thing was I had no idea how it would taste like. the recipe called for two forms of butter: plain melted butter and clarified brown butter to be added to the batter. I have never made brown butter before (made by heating butter till the milk solids settle to the bottom and the mixture turns brown) and as I took a whiff, notes of caramel, coconut and vanilla came wafting up my nose. Whoa.. pretty intriguing stuff. So this is the end result - it tastes like an extremely rich butter cake, though I'd probably use pistachios or hazelnuts next time.

Meanwhile, I was in the mood for some Japanese style strawberry shortcake but I was wondering what to use for the cake. The biggest problem I always have with making sponge cakes is achieving a super light and tender texture. I liked the texture of bakeries where the crumb was tight, but the crumb of all my foam-cakes, regardless of whichever recipes I use, always turn out very loose. I'd been told that commercial bakeries actually use a lot of emulsifiers to make it soft, so probably achieving that texture is difficult (?) at home, unless one uses Ovalette or other emulsifiers. Anyway, I decided to make a genoise, as seen here. While it came out soft and wobbly on the day of baking, the next day it was a different story despire soaking the cake in a tonne of syrup, the texture left much to be desired. I would try the whole recipe again using Wondra flour, if I can find it!

So this is what I've been working on for today.. salted caramel and chocolate tarts. This is really one of my favourite desserts and a little goes a long way. You can't really see it from here but it has 3 layers: the caramel at the bottom, a chocolate cremeux in the middle, and a glaze on top. If anyone wants the recipe, i got it here:
I followed the recipe to a T, but doubled making the amount of caramel and I would probably reduce the glaze recipe by 1/4 next time and it would just yield about 12 individual tarts.

1 comment:

  1. FINALLY! Someone living in Brunei commented on my blog, I'm so ecstatic ;-). You're one fantastic baker, and those macarons in your last post are waaay better than mine...I want baking lessons!

    As for the Japanese strawberry shortcake, have you tried using Optima flour? It's great for the cotton-like Japanese cheesecake, so it might work for this recipe too.