Sunday, July 24, 2011

Fruit Rouges

On one of the rare days I have a day off, I decided to bake a cake...a REAL cake. Meaning, with layers and frosting and all. After 2 months of time-strapped baking, I can finally devote half a day completely to baking a good cake.

I've been eyeing this Fruit Rouges recipe by Hidemi Sugino for the longest time but haven't gone on to make it as the fruit puree I was eyeing was pretty expensive in my opinion. But thanks to my darling, who gave me some vouchers to spend at the baking supplies store, I get to buy a tub off the shelf without paying a single cent, weeee! Finally, I can bake this cake!

As you can see, my jaconde ended up plain as my attempt to pipe jam onto the jaconde batter failed terribly. The jam sunk into the cake and looked like deep slashes instead of pretty stripes. Anyone experienced the same problem? I gave up after a while and went with a foolproof plain jaconde instead. Nevertheless, the jaconde tastes really good! I'm amazed how it turned out even without using any oil or butter. It's one recipe for keeps!

Taste-wise, I love the tartness of the raspberry gelee and the mousse. As a result, the cake doesn't feel heavy at all...and I kept picking at the leftover pieces of the gelee as they were delicious! I'm not sure how this cake will go down with the men...but I'm pretty sure the ladies will love it...with the raspberries and pretty pink layers and all <3.

Since it's a ladies' cake, I packed one of these for my girlfriend in a simple white box decorated with pink ribbon. I hope she'll love this as much as I do :).

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Earl Grey & Orange Chocolate Sables

Earl love affair with it started more than 3 months ago at a chocolate buffet with free flow of tea. I picked Earl Grey then and the flavour endeared to me ever since. There are so many possibilities with this variety of tea, I can imagine making entremets, chiffon cakes, cookies and macarons with it...all bearing its signature intoxicating scent. For a start, I made Earl Grey Sables - a buttery, crumbly cookie with a light Earl Grey scent.

I love the texture of these cookies, and how it's not too oily nor too sweet. The Earl Grey scent was really light, you can smell it, taste it, but to me it's a little faint. On my next try, I'll be sure to bump up the amount of tea used in here. Nevertheless, my darling loved the cookies, and I felt instantly reassured by that sweet remark :).

Inspired by a previous trip to Antoinette (which has a good selection of French sables), I decided to whip up a batch of Orange Chocolate Sables as well. This batch has an irresistible citrus scent! I love how the addition of orange zest and a few drops of lemon extract made the citrus flavour really pop in the cookies. Coupled with Valrhona Caraibe chocolate bits, I totally adore this flavour combination.

Both flavours were made using the same basic recipe from the Rose Cranberry Cookies recipe. I made some simple tweaks, by adding ground Earl Grey leaves and orange zest with chopped chocolate for the respective flavours. I'm thinking of doing a Lemon Lavender as well as a Chocolate Fleur de Sel version to fill up my cookie jars too!

In the meantime, I have one FULL cookie jar worth of sables to enjoy for now :). Can't wait for the next opportunity to bake again!


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