Sunday, June 02, 2013

Of Baking and Me

The baking spirit within has been reignited, like a dormant volcano erupting.  Once, I was so passionate about baking that I baked very often - Cheesecakes (oreo, original, Japanese), Kaya Cake, Mango Cake, Muffins, Banana Bread, Choc Chip Cookies (my signature) etc.. I have books of recipes tucked in my cupboard.  Then, all of a sudden, that passionate died down and I kind of stopped baking, except for the choc chip cookies which I still baked once a year, until recent years when I stopped. 
Now, I'm back! With a vengeance. Kinda.  The problem with me stopping baking is because I don't eat what I bake, so if there's no occasion or anyone to give the baked goods to, no use baking.  It is with renewed passion and a drive that I have started to bake again, this time only trying Nonya cakes.  It is a do or die, no room for failure attitude that I have to take, for this is something I must master hopefully to perfection or at least reasonably good standards.  Bengawan Solo? I don't dare to dream now, but hopefully good enough for the mass public.  Of course, I have guinea pigs who have volunteered themselves to try out the results.
So far, I have tried 3 different baked goods:
Tapioca Cake
The Tapioca Cake, which was a success!! I'm happy with the results.  But this is a very labour intensive process.  Had to manually grate 1kg of tapioca using a hand held grater.  30mins of pure grit and muscle to whittle down the tough tapioca into strands.  But I'm happy that the taste is good.

Pandan Cake

 Second attempt at Pandan Cake.  The first attempt was too sweet and too wet.  Taste was ok but not up to standard.  Second time - Better!  The colour is more realistic, and drier texture.  Sweetness ok but not sweet enough for the kids.  Next time, work harder on getting it fluffier.
Ondeh Ondeh
Ondeh Ondeh - A small devilish ball of flour + sweet potato puree with a burst of melted Gula Melaka within.  I love this.  Relatively easy to make but hard to master that burst of melted sugar when you bite into these in your mouth.  I still have yet to master it entirely.  There is a burst but only a small burst, and at times, the liquid sugar just flows out instead.  Need to grasp the correct proportion of sugar and dough mix to make the experience a little better.
Nice to be baking again.  Gets me into the zone when I'm in the 'baking' mode, where I just concentrate on getting the ingredients right and nothing else.  Then slump into my chair and wait...
Next week, what should I make?

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