baking, travel

Kappabashi: Tokyo’s Kitchen Town

Perhaps it’s just a Japanese thing, I found myself smiling all the way through my kitchenware shopping trip with Kappabashi Dōgugai song int he background. Kappabashi is famous for kitchen/restaurant equipment imaginable. You will find everything – from aprons to knives, chairs to cute cookie cutters, charcoals to fancy cake molds! Any cooking maniac could spend the entire day in Kappabashi (see below for direction).

It was only October but I managed to get myself some new molds as an early Christmas presents. This madeleine mold was my love at first sight! I actually met some copper canele molds too but I think I had enough. So yea, see the reference down below.

Mold picture curtsy of Majimaya’s online website (which I found after the trip – -). I highly recommend you guys visiting them or have their online store shipped to your door. mn0072_2

First batch of shell-liked madeleines here. I’m not sure the hump didn’t happen because of the resting period or the temperature. Will see for more. Happy baking! 😉

madeleine

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How to get there:

  • Get on Tokyo Metro Ginza Line to Tawaramachi station.
  • Take the exit to Asakusa-Dori. (sorry I don’t remember number)
  • Walk straight for 3 blocks. You will see the building with a very big chef head then you know you’re at the right street.
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baking, photography, Sweet tooth

Kouign Amann & friends

A dear friend of mine sent a package of laminated dough as a gift once he heard of my love for the layers and layers of butter. First thing I did was looking up Chefstep for some awesome recipe.

First attempt didnt puff up as expected as you would see here:

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So I gave another try: baking with my aircon on since BKK is pretty much a summer city all year long. Result?

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Beautifully layers of laminated dough… mmmm… I was in heaven for a bit. Perhaps I got carried away that the idea of making laminated dough on my own crossed my mind. Well, let’s see. x

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resting experiment.

It’s been a while since my last batch of les canelés now that I run a café with my sister.

I’ve read somewhere that we can also rest the batter in room temperature for the better scent and texture. My curiosity rose as I wonder if the method would work in where I live. So I managed to make a double batches – resting one in outside the fridge and another inside just to be safe for a nice 36 hours.

The room temperature batch smelled like fermented dough on the baking day so I was having a high hope with my fingers crossed…. then something went wrong!

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shiny caneles VS pumice stone caneles

Those outside the fridge did not pop up the molds at all. I was thinking: good boys! but then I saw bubbles all over the skin once unmolded while those normal ones were so shiny as ever. Worried, I bit the pumice stone-liked ones just to find out the tad sour taste. THE BATTER WAS EXPIRED.

So here I am warning any of you out there to never rest the canelé batter outside the fridge if you live in hot city like Bangkok. Or you’d end up having rotten canelés like a loser.

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rotten ones!

Lucky I had a back up plan so I could still enjoy some with my afternoon Piccolo latte (excuse my lack latte art skill!). Happy baking! x

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baking

Flatbread: Foccacia

I had a baking date at my ex-colleague’s place who’s behind the blog,
Make Loaves, Not War.  Determined to trade my little canelés for the free lunch and some foccacia *wheeee*, I started baking since 9 a.m. in the hope to swing by the super market for some avocado and cherry tomato before landing to her place just in time for our lunch. FOCCACIA lunch

We had onion foccacia with a very good turmeric chicken, potato salad before ending the meal with an espresso shot and my canelé. Ain’t they look photogenic? And the taste was tres tres bon. I’d mark this one of best lunch I ever had in years.

Then I started making my foccacia batter/dough from scratch and no kneading involved!
FOCCACIA makingFOCCACIA dough

The proof takes 5 hours and a half as this is a no-knead dough. So we were killing time by watching cooking VDOs then we got inspired by Chouquettes VDO from French Guy Cooking. You know, with his mug measurement and chillness LOL. Our chouquettes didnt come out nearly as perfect as his though mistakes still taste good!  

  
We didnt have sugar nibs so we improvised with Maple sugar, Palm Sugar and Castor Sugar in the cabinet.

It’s been a fun cooking-sharing day with 2 batches of Focaccia and 2 test batch of Chouquettes. Yes, one with different sugar and another with vanilla pastry cream/blueberry cream.

Then my foccacia was ready. Et voila!

  
I have always enjoy baking at home for my customers but having a playdate somehow boost the excitement and it’s so much fun with friends around! 🙂

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Sugar experiment

Honestly, how many results are you expecting from different milk, butter, sugar, vanilla beans and some flour ratio?

My obsession still lingers. I have adapted – or tweaked if that’s what you call it –  a few recipes and got several different results. I couldn’t help thinking this reminds me of school science labs where each variable significantly counted.

Here is how I played with different types of sugar;

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I’m not going to get into details cus I haven’t found my favorite one yet. I actually played with other things like the baking techniques but results varied from the good looking ones to those ugly ones that you’d rather throw them right away before anyone can see. I love how my heart races every time I open my oven door and see each editions. My experiment won’t stop here though. Not until I find what I’m looking for.

Wish me luck!

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Brioche Feuilletée

so beautiful flaky brioche. if only I could find fresh yeast! #inspirational

ledoughnut

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I first ate brioche feuilletée in Philippe Conticini’s Pâtisserie des Rêves. His loaves and muffin-size buns are definitely worth a special trip…..I took it and was not disappointed! This is in fact one of his recipes. I guess the best way to describe what you’ll end up with is a cross between a rich brioche and a croissant. The dough requires some effort – it only takes a day to make, prove and bake, but since he recommends chilling the raw dough in the freezer you’ll need some muscles when it comes to rolling. You’ll never achieve the same result as a professional baker, but remember…..they usually use machines to do the hard work for them. What you will achieve is a sense of pride when tucking in to the finished loaf. So here goes…..

510g flour
1 lightly heaped teaspoon of salt
40g caster sugar
150ml semi-skimmed milk (at…

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Custard

I can never have enough of it!

ben's kitchen blog

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Custard is my ultimate everything. The simplicity of its creamy texture and sweet vanilla flavour is, simply put, beautiful. There is nothing better than eating freshly made warm custard.

Custard 
Serves 4-6 people
Ingredients:
  • 420ml cream
  • 420ml milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean
  • 75g castor sugar
  • 8 egg yolks (Save the whites for meringues- try my Chocolate Pavlova recipe)
  • 1 tbs cornflour

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Measuring milk with my Zyliss cup measurer
Method:
1. In a saucepan over a medium heat, combine the cream, milk and vanilla.
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If you’re using a vanilla bean, slice  the bean in half (I used my funky orange Zyliss knife for this part) and scrape the seeds out with the back of your knife or a spoon. Stir the mixture till just before simmering point, by that time little bubbles would have formed on the surface of the mixture.
2. In a separate bowl beat the egg…

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