Sunday, 1 May 2011

Baking Session at Steph's

Steph fell in love with this Matcha Azuki Financier from Japan.  So we made tried a hand at making it today.  To cope with the big turn out over at Steph's home this afternoon, we tripled the recipe.  At first I was secretly doubtful if we would be able to cope but I shouldn't have worried.  Everyone eagerly contibuted in her own way - shopping for ingredients, measuring them out, greasing baking tins, whisking the 12 egg whites, melting and filtering butter, spooning cake mixture into tins ...

In Steph's kitchen, the saying "Too many cooks spoil the soup" doesn't apply.  In fact, the many heads provided more solution to problems. For instance, when the melted butter was taking much too long to cool someone suggested, "Let's put the saucepan in a bowl filled with cold water!"  "Add ice into the water!" chipped in another. (I wish I had thought of that earlier.  Duh.)

I used the Financier recipe from Bea's.  Do check out her blog where she shares the most amazing recipes and photograhy.  Some people call these little cakes Financiers, some call them Friands.  No baking powder is used.  The rising agent is egg white, which we whisked until foamy, but not firm.  We didn't have the proper financier molds so we made used of whatever baking tins we had on hand.

The 1st batch was overdone but I love the colour and the crispy crust.

The next batch has a softer centre.  (At first we debated whether the insides were undercooked.  However, I came home to check Bea's photos and her financier appears to have a soft centre so we did do things right!)

Next up: Mini Cha Siew Buns. I wanted a bread dough that is soft and rich so I chose the recipe from Page 58 of 孟老师的100道面包by 孟兆。The ingredients are:

100 grams bread flour
50 grams all-purpose flour
20 grams caster sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
20 grams egg
80 grams milk
10 grams unsalted butter

The dough was hand-kneaded, mostly by Diane.  When I told everyone, "The bread dough should rise in a warm environment" someone offered "Shall I warm up the microwave oven then push the dough in?" 

See how beautifully the it has risen?  This dough is in a gooood place.  Proof that many cooks in one kitchen can spark off some really great ideas. I'm so going to use the warm microwave method in the future!

The buns were well received.  People were wolfing them down and exclaiming with every bite, "Oooh these are SO good!"  It must be because of the wonderful cha siew filling, handmade by Jane!  It has the right balance of meat, fat and just the right amount of sweetness.  Yummy!

Jane is a great cook who has endless cooking tips to share.  All you need to do is ask. She also makes a mean roasted pork (烧肉) - the kind with the crispy crackling.  I hope she will teach me to make it some time.


Maki said...

They looks so yummy and the baking session sounds fun!!! Maybe I should send you matcha & azuki financier next time ;-)

Fun said...

Yes please, Maki. :) Steph likes the look of what you sent me from Pâtisserie Sadaharu AOKI and wanted me to replicate it. I remember it was amazingly light. So instead of making a matcha pound cake, I suggested that we make a financier, which came close to what you sent.

Steph said...

Thanks Fun for uploading the pics! The session was so much fun! Of course, the result of the matcha w azuki red bean financier and the mini char siew fun were great. Everyone was asking to have more to bring home. We must try other recipes the next time!

Maki said...

I don't think there is no matcha & azuki financier at AOKI's shop, but I will send you matcha & azuki financier from other shops next time. Also, I know that AOKI uses French cultured/fermented butter for that cake I sent you. So, if you used the regular butter for the financier, using cultured butter would be the different experiment for you :-)