Saturday, August 23, 2008

Guava and White Chocolate Mousse Cake

This is the last cake/dessert I made before going on vacation tonight for 5 weeks (yes, you read it correctly, 5 whole weeks!!!). I'm not sure if I will be able to bake or post anything during those weeks, but will try to.



This is a guava and white chocolate mousse cake. I made this combo once before, but wasn't very satisfied with the guava flavor in the mousse. I used guava juice and reduced it to about 1/4 of the original amount, but still the guava taste wasn't there. About a month ago, I found a frozen guava juice concentrate and of course I excitingly grabbed one with a hope of this is the answer of my guava experimentation ;).

So, since the name is "guava concentrate", I thought that I won't need much of it, but I was WRONG. It is thick, pink, and sweet with a little tartness, but the guava taste is not strong at all!!! I ended up using the whole tub (about 400g) and just a little cream for single layer of 8-in filling. The texture (before set) was liquid-y. I've never made a mousse this thin before and I was scared that the gelatin I put in the first place wasn't enough to set the mousse. I put the leftover guava mousse in a glass and refrigerate it to see if it would set and the morning after, and it did (so yay!), my fear was conquered.



Decided to use white chocolate for decoration, but it was a pain. It's quite humid and warm lately, and the sensitive white chocolate just not being so cooperative. Everytime I take it out of the fridge for 2 seconds, it would just soften. So, I scraped them all off and re-melt it again and made a thicker decoration. This one was better.

So, here it is. Again, it's decorated just a couple of minutes before I had to leave for work. I didn't even had time or bother to smooth out the top. Put a ribbon around, and there you go.
The guava color is very pretty (although I think it's too pinky for guava). The flavor is somewhat misleading. One of my friends even though that it's a raspberry mousse (duuuhhh???), well, the color is the same as raspberry, and the tartness is the same too, but come on. I guess the search for the perfect guava mousse doesn't end here. The overall taste is still great, but I would keep continuing my search for the real pink guava puree to make this mousse.

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Mini Soft Bread



It feels like it has been forever since the last time I made a bread. Last weekend, I had some free time (amazingly) and I decided to make some bread for my niece's and nephew's breakfast. I just got some new paper cup for individual bread and I couldn't wait to use it.

This is the same recipe as the Soft Bread I made before, but just shaped differently. I also substitute the water with cream. I had to add more than what the recipe called for because the texture between the two is different. I filled it with raisin, homemade pineapple jam (my nephew's fave), cheese, chocolate, bananas, the usual fillings that are always available in the house. I didn't know how much dough I need to put inside each cup, so they're not as high as I wanted. But who cares, as long as my niece and nephew are happy, I'm happy too :)


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Eclair aux Framboise



I was in eclair madness last weekend. After making durian cream puffs, I've had this idea of making all kinds of filling for eclair. I was super excited to experiment with raspberry filling, melon flavored filling (yes, you read it correctly), tiramisu cream filling (the same tiramisu cream that goes to your tiramisu), light chocolate cream with banana filling, caramel, etc. the sky is the limit). I thought it would be awesome to see how the taste would turned out.

But as excited as I got at that time, I only had time to make the raspberry. I was experimenting with the pastry filling recipe, trying to figure out how much it would take to flavor it intensely. I even bought a whole bottle of Raspberry Eau De Vie (and it's not cheap at all :( ) just to boost up the flavor. The pate a choux part was easy and quick, but the filling part is very time consuming. I had to puree the raspberries three times because there was not enough raspberry flavor in the filling. It turns out that I need LOTS of raspberry puree to flavor the cream. I even put about 50ml of the liqueur (40% alcohol), but I still couldn't taste the rasp flavor as much as I want. The cream filling got somewhat a little runny due to the amount of raspberry puree I put it, so I had to reheat it and add more cornstarch. I also fold in a little whipped cream to get a lighter texture. Somehow I don't like the thick and dense texture of pastry cream especially after you refrigerate it. The whipped cream made the texture wonderful. It made the filling lighter and still smooth and silky.

Pardon for the poorly-taken picture above. This is the best I can get before I was late for work :D that day. You can even notice the frozen berries I used. Someone stacked the eclair in the fridge so it wasn't smooth. But at least I have a picture to remember ;)
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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Trader Joe's Chocolate Croissant



I found a small box of frozen chocolate croissant at Trader Joe's the other day and decided to try it as it looked so promising from the picture on the box. I also heard somewhere about TJ's croissant that it is actually really good, unlike other grocery store 'croissants'.

It needs to be thawed overnight in room temperature and baked for 20-25 minutes. So, I did that two days ago for breakfast the following morning. I was so excited in the morning when I saw the dough has grown triple in size. It was so puffy and soft.

The verdict? I really think it was very very good. The taste is comparable with the one I had in a French pastry shop here. For a gourmet breakfast treat, this is the way to go. It's a little bit on the pricey side, but it was totally worth it.
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Japanese Cheesecake



Had a little bit of leftover creamcheese from the fundraising baking two weeks before. Before it turned bad, I made half the recipe of Japanese Cheesecake.

I didn't even bother to decorate it with fancy fruits, just plain and apricot jam. That way, I don't have to put it in the refrigerator. I like it in room temperature best as the texture is very light, airy, and cotton-y. IF you refrigerate it, it'll be denser but still soft in texture. It's just a matter of taste
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Durian Puffs



Got two frozen durians from my friend 1.5 weeks ago. I had sooo much ideas making some durian desserts, such as durian swiss roll, durian cheesecake, durian mousse cake, you name it. But after I found out that the fruit wasn't tasty and sweet at all (maybe a little), I was completely turned off. So, I changed gear and made durian puffs instead for my friend's farewell party that day.

I made this once or twice before, but this time, I had to add much more durian meat than what I made before. I used about the whole durian to make the pastry cream filling to make the durian taste more pronounced.

It's a bummer though that I overbaked the choux a little. You can see that it's a little too brown for pate a choux. The texture was a little dry compared to my usual, but it's still good anyway.
I don't have a picture that shows the filling though. This picture was taken in the car.
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Mocha Chiffon Cake

I don't remember how many times I've been posting this cake over and over again. I actually made a couple of them these past few weeks (along with about a hundred of other cakes, literally!), but these are some pics. of it. Made the decorated one for my coworkers at work and the plain one for a friend :)

No special stories to tell, except that I was trying a new mocha paste for this and I used a little too much of it for the decorated one and the cake turned out very strong in mocha taste. The next one was fine then.
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