Archive | August, 2013

Tips to make iced tea*

24 Aug

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Today I’d like to introduce you some tips make an iced tea! Iced tea is quite easy to make but you cannot simply make by putting ice into the tea.

First of all, you need to know that there are tea leaves suited for the iced tea. In other words, there are tea leaves that are not suited for the iced tea. When you cool down iced tea, sometimes you notice that the tea becomes white and creamy in color and not transparent (it’s called cream-down or milk-down). This is caused by the tannin and caffeine contained in the tea leaves. So if tea leaves contains a lot of these two items such as Darjeeling tea and Assam tea, it is not suited for the iced tea. The tea leaves that contains less of tannin and caffeine are Sri Lankan tea, Earl grey tea, and some flavored teas.

However, these teas also contain some amount of tannin and caffeine, so as the time goes by it will slowly start becoming creamy in color. So, try to reduce the tea extraction time so that you can refrain tannin and caffeine from coming out and do not keep it in the fridge and drink within the same day!

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This is one of my favorite flavored teas that I got from my student – Strawberry Flavored Tea from FORTNUM & MASON. It tastes nice especially cold, and whenever I serve this tea in the class, students asked me where this is from. FORTNUM & MASON is a popular brand worldwide, but unfortunately I haven’t seen it in Malaysia… (The closest you can get is in Takashimaya, Singapore?)

But you can get many kind of nice tea leaves in Malaysia these days (like TWG and Harrods), so enjoy your tea time keeping those “tips” in mind^^!

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How to make a beautiful madeleine*

17 Aug

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When you make madeleine, you want to see this “belly button”, a little bump in the middle of the cake. Some French people say that without this belly button it’s not a madeleine! That’s why many times madeleine is served this side up and not the other shell-shaped side.

 

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So how to make this beautiful shape?

First of all, you need to know that the baking powder reacts to heat. So if your melted butter is too hot, baking powder will start reacting before you put the cake into the oven! (Unless your recipe has a lot of baking powder… but you don’t want so much.) So the key is to keep the butter temperature around 40-50 degree C.

 

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We normally rest madeleine in the fridge for couple of hours, and this is to cut off the gluten caused by mixing flour and also to combine the ingredients well. However, baking powder will also slowly react during this period. So you normally don’t rest the batter in the fridge more than overnight.

 

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But you don’t need to worry too much of a resting time because you keep them in the fridge. I tested a few madeleine the other day with different recipes and different resting time. Some I rested 3-4 hours and some for overnight, but they all turned out nice!

If you have learnt madeleine in my class before and was wondering about this “belly botton” mystery, please dig out your recipe and try out again! Thanks!

 

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My daughter helping me bake^^.

 

Tea time* Darjeeling tea

15 Aug

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Today’s tea time~

I had darjeeling tea (second flush) with home-made madeleine for today’s tea time.

Speaking a little bit about tea, Darjeeling tea is known to be one of the three best teas in the world – together with Keemun from China and Uva from Sri Lanka. Darjeeling is grown in the Northern east part of India (West Bengal) and there are more than 8o over tea farms in this district. There are three picking seasons for darjeeling tea and those are first flush in spring, second flush in summer and autumnal in autumn. The second flush I had today is known to have its unique muscatel flavor. Because of its nice color and fragrance, darjeeling tea is called “The champagne of Tea”.

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Just like coffee, the grade of tea leaves is described more and more in details these days and you can often see which farm it came from in the package. The one I had today was from Risheehat, one of the most popular darjeeling farms among Japanese tea buyers.

By the way, I recently bought these tea cups and really like the color and the design. It’s made in Turkey. Matching the cups and plates together with the cakes is another joy during tea time. I enjoyed the darjeeling aroma and had a relaxing time today!

 

Classes*

7 Aug

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We had macaron class today! We made Caramel Factory’s best selling two flavors – Chocolate and Vanilla flavors! Students macarons all turned out nice and I was happy to see them excited, rushing back home to practice before they forget the procedure. Yes, it’s best to practice immediately after you learned! Macarons are a bit tedious to make and you might need a couple sessions before it turns out successful, but please don’t give up.

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By the way, we have Japanese souffle cheesecake and Japanese cream puff classes this weekend, both Caramel Factory’s specialty! For Japanese cream puff class, I am going to teach you another recipe – Eclair au chocolateither demonstration or hands-on depending on the time (most probably hands-on). So for those who are joining Sunday class, please look forward to it!

The class schedule is;

Japanese souffle cheesecake & Diamant vanille:  August 10th (Sat.) 11:00am-2:30pm

Japanese cream puff, Eclair au chocolat & Vanilla viennois:  August 11th (Sun.) 11:00am-2:30pm

Have a great Raya Holiday!!!

Tomoko

Red bean buns*

6 Aug

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I got this Red bean bun from one of my students! It’s her hand-made bun^^! She told me that ever since she learnt the snow white bread from me, she is making buns for her family on weekends. Wow!

She also made the red bean paste from the scratch!

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We are so used to the already made red beans, but this one tasted less sweet and very warm^^. We enjoyed the buns for our breakfast. Thank you, WY!!!

Apple Caramel Pound Cake*

5 Aug

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We just had Apple Caramel Pound Cake class last weekend! This is one of my favorite pound cakes to bake ^^. It has caramelized apple, caramel, and some cinnamon spices and goes very well with coffee. I took back a few slices from the class and had them for today’s breakfast with Guatemala coffee. Yum yum…

A couple more days and it’s going to be Raya Holiday! Got any exciting plan? As for me, I have 3 more classes to go and will be on a maternity leave! I don’t have any plan to go anywhere but perhaps will take my daughter to KLCC aquarium. And of course, I wish to bake some more before my baby is born!!!