The Cooking Road Map

produces delicious foods – everyone's happy if our tummy's stuffed!

Archive for dessert

Secrets to Perfect Cookies

Cookies couldn’t be simpler to make. so why do they so often turn out irregularly shaped, unevenly baked, and lacking the desire texture? Here’s everything you need to know to bake the perfect batch.

article by: Keith Dresser, from Cooks Illustrated Feb 2011

1. MAKING THE DOUGH

Measure accurately –  in tests, we’ve found that the most common way of measuring dry ingredients-spooning them into the measuring cup-is also the least accurate. Since even the slightest variation in an amount can have a direct effect on your cookie (a tiny bit too much flour, for example, and the cookie will be dry; too little and the cookie will bake up flat), it’s important to measure precisely.

preferred method: for the greatest accuracy, weigh sugar and flour.

second best: dip a measuring cup into flour or sugar and scoop away excess with a straight edge.

Use Butter at Optimal Temperature

whether softened of melted, proper butter temperature is as critical in a simple sugar cookie as it is in the fanciest cake.

  • properly softened butter (65 to 67 degrees, or roughly room temperature) allows air to be pumped into the butter for tender texture in the final cookie. two good cues: the butter should give slightly when pressed but still hold its shape, and it should bend without cracking or breaking.
  • when a recipe calls for melted butter, make sure it’s lukewarm (85 to 90 degrees) before adding it to the dough. butter that’s too warm can cook the dough (or the eggs in it) and cause clumps.
Speedy way to Soften Butter
avoid microwaving to soften cold butter-it’s easy to soften it too much or even melt it. instead, cut the butter into small pieces. by the time you’ve preheated the oven and measured the remaining ingredients, the pieces should be near 65 degrees.
2. PORTIONING THE DOUGH
Drop and Roll
with drop cookies, we usually go beyond merely depositing tablespoons of dough on the cookie sheet. instead, we prefer to roll the dough between our hands to create uniformly shaped balls that bake evenly.
A Better Way to Roll
with roll-and-cut cookies, there’s always a danger of working too much flour into the dough during rolling and producing dry cookies. we like to roll out the dough between two large sheets of parchment paper instead of on a floured counter. chill the rolled-out dough in the fridge for 10 minutes to make cutting easier.
3. BAKING
Don’t Forget to Preheat
to keep cookies from spreading too much, it is important to expose them to an immediate blast of heat. it takes at least 15 minutes for a standard oven to reach the desired temperature.
Use an Oven Thermometer
oven temperatures can be off by as much ash 50 degrees. always use an oven thermometer to tell you what’s really going on inside. (our new favorite is profiled on page 11.)
4. PREPARING THE PAN
Use a Parchment Liner
don’t grease your sheets-the extra fat can cause cookies to bake unevenly. instead, line the baking sheet with parchment. its slick surface allows cookies to easily release. (Waxed paper isn’t a good substitute-high temperature can make the wax coating melt.) To keep parchment flat on the pan, put a small dab of dough on each corner of the baking sheet.
Make a Sling
with their gooey centers, it’s nearly impossible to remove some bar cookies from the pan without tearing or crumbling. Here’s our easy solution:
  1. place two sheets of foil or parchment paper perpendicular to each other in the baking pan, pushing into the corners and up the sides. spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. after the bar cookies have baked and cooled, use the overhang to lift the whole thing from the pan. cut into portions.
5. TROUBLESHOOTING
Problem: the last cookies always seem short on chips.
Solution: reserve some morsels to add later
           When chocolate chips, nuts, or raisins are in the mix, the last few cookies from a batch never seem to have as many of these goodies as the first few. to get around this, reserve some of the mix-ins and stir them into the dough after about half of it has been scooped out.
Problem: cookies don’t add up to the correct yield.
Solution: use a portion scoop.
            When cookies are portioned our larger or smaller than the recipe directs, they may not produce the intended texture. to ensure consistent size and the proper yield, we use a portion scoop. (We keep many different sizes on hand for just this purpose. a typical cookie requires a #30 scoop.)
Problem: cookies keep burning on bottom
Solution: use a light-colored baking sheet and line with parchment paper.
            We typically don’t like light-colored bakeware since it doesn’t paper heat as well as darker finishes, leading to spotty browning. But the cookie sheet is the exception. all of the dark nonstick cookie sheets we’ve tested consistently overbrown the bottoms of cookies. light colored sheets, on the other hand, prevent overbrowning but are prone to sticking. we get around this by baking cookies on parchment paper.
Problem: chewy cookies that aren’t chewy
Solution: underbake
             To ensure a chewy texture, take cookies out of the oven when they are still lightly underdone, which often means they will droop over the end of a spatula. crevices should appear moist and edges on smooth cookies should be lightly browned.
Problem: cookies run together
Soloution: bake in staggered rows
             When scoops of dough are placed too close together on the sheet, the cookies can fuse together. to ensure enough space between cookies, alternate the rows. For example, place three cookies in the first row, two in the second, three in the third, and so on.
Problem: unevenly baked batches
Solution: rotate during baking
            The temperature in most ovens varies from front to back, top to bottom-even side to side. to prevent uneven baking, rotate the cookie sheet partway through baking so that the back side faces front.
Problem: it’s hard to tell when dark chocolate cookies are done
Solution: press the middle
             Most cookies, irrespective of texture, are done when pressing them lightly with your finger leaves just a slight indentation.
Problem: cookies left in oven too long
Solution: cool immediately on rack
             If you become distracted and leave your cookies in the oven a minute or two too long, all is not lost. remove the baking sheet from the oven and, instead of allowing the cookies to set on the sheet, immediately transfer them to a wire rack, where they will cool more quickly.
Problem: overly crisp edges
Solution: briefly chill dough and don’t use a hot sheet
             If your kitchen is particularly hot, the butter in the dough can start to melt, softening the dough and leading to overcooked edges. if the dough seems too soft, chill it for 10 to 15 minutes before portioning.
            Putting raw dough on cookie sheets still warm from the oven can cause them to begin spreading, leading to burnt edges. always allow baking sheets to cool completely before adding more batches. to expedite cooling, rinse warm-but not hot-sheet under cold tap water.
Problem: chewy cookies dry out too quickly
Solution: store with bread
             To keep chewy cookies from turning dry and brittle, store them in a zipper-lock bag at room temperature with a small piece of bread (no more than half of slice) placed inside.
Freeze n Bake Cookies
almost all cookie dough can be successfully frozen. but instead of freezing it in a solid block, try portioning the dough first. this allows you to bake as many cookies as you like-even just three or four-when the craving strikes. simply portion the dough on a parchment lined baking sheet and freeze until hard. transfer the cookies to a zipper lock bag and return them to the freezer. there’s no need to thaw the dough before baking: just increase the baking time to 1 or 2 minutes.
Advertisements

Cheese pleasers

CHEESE lends itself to so many occasions-barbecues, stand up cocktail parties, sit down dinners or buffet meals; and it’s also ideal for when you’re asked to ‘bring a plate’.

cheese for starters

fresh and soft cheeses are lovely served antipasto-style with drinks at the beginning of a meal, barbecue or picnic.

try South Cape Persian Fetta or Goat’s cheese, prosciutto wrapped bocconcini, and even a pepper cheese like South Cape Cracked Pepper, with olives, salami, asparagus, roasted capsicum and cherry tomatoes. serve with crispbreads and crusty bread.

cheese for afters

an ideal cheese selection starts with a soft, white cheese, such as Tasmanian Heritage Brie or Camembert, a blue cheese like King Island Dairy’s Roaring Forties, and a firmer style – perhaps Mersey Valley Vintage or South Cape Swiss-style cheese.

serve with crusty bread or crispbreads, seasonal fruit – grapes, pears, figs or green apples – and something sweet, like quince paste or dates.

one special cheese

after dinner, sometimes just one special cheese – like king island dairy’s endeavour blue, drizzled with a little scented honey and served with a sticky dessert wine – is all you need.

cheese etiquette

  • allow 20-30 grams of each cheese per person
  • serve cheese at room temperature – remove from fridge 1 hour beforehand
  • provide one knife for each cheese
  • present cheese on an over-sized plate so there is room for cutting
  • cut a “starting slice” on each cheese to indicate to guests how it is best cut

DID YOU KNOW?

the rind of soft cheeses is edible but the rind of firm cheeses can be dry or brittle, so is usually avoided.

ask the foodie

got a cheesy question? you can ask Naomi Crisante at www.cheesematters.com.au

source: better homes and gardens 2008

Hotcakes with honey rum and apple butter

preparation time: 15 mins plus 40 mins standing time

cooking time: 35mins

makes 24 hotcakes

ingredients:

  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 1/2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 60gr butter, melted. extra 60gr butter, for greasing
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp white rum

apple butter:

  • 110gr jar pureed apple baby food
  • 250gr cream cheese, chopped
  • 1/4 cup pure icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  1. measure milk into a jug, add white vinegar and stand for 20 minutes. sift flours into a bowl, add sugar and stir to combine. make a well in the centre, add egg, milk mixture and melted butter, and whisk until smooth. stand for 20 minutes, to settle.
  2. to make apple butter: beat apple puree, cream cheese, icing sugar and cinnamon in the small bowl of an electric mixer until combined and smooth. set aside.
  3. heat a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. smear a little extra butter onto several thicknesses of scrunched paper towel and grease base of pan. pour quarter-cupfuls of mixture into pan, 3 at a time, and cook for 2 minutes until bubbles appear in batter. turn hotcakes over and cook the other side for 2 minutes.
  4. stack hotcakes on a plate and cover to keep warm. repeat cooking process with remaining batter. whisk honey rum in a small jug until combined.
  5. serve hotcakes drizzled with honey rum and a dollop of apple butter.

source: better homes and gardens 2008

Summer Berry Trifle

made with frozen berries, this sweet trifle is the perfect full stop to a light summer lunch.

preparation time: 20 minutes

serves: 6-8

ingredients:

  • 85gr pkt cherry jelly crystals
  • 250ml (1cup) boiling water
  • 200ml cold water
  • 250gr bought plain round sponge cake
  • 60ml (1/4) cup Cointreau liqueur, sweet sherry or rum
  • 300ml double thick cream
  • 160ml (2/3 cup) bought custard
  • 3tbsp icing sugar, sifted
  • 500gr box creative gourmet frozen summer fruits
  • 500gr mascarpone

methods:

  1. make up jelly following packet directions and leave in the fridge to set.
  2. cut the sponge in half through the centre to form two rounds. place one of the rounds in the base of a 2.5L round glass serving dish. brush over 2tbsp of the liqueur.
  3. whisk the cream, 125ml of the custard and 1 tbsp of the icing sugar until just combined. spoon half the frozen summer fruits over the sponge. spoon over half of the jelly. pour over the cream mixture.
  4. repeat layering with the remaining sponge and liqueur. whisk the mascarpone with the remaining custard and remaining icing sugar. spoon over the sponge. top with the remaining jelly and remaining berries. cover the top of dish loosely with plastic wrap. place in the fridge for at least 6 hours to allow the flavors to develop.

cooks tip: thickness of mascarpone varies between brands. if you find the mixture a little thick, simply whisk in extra custard.

recipe by:

source: better homes and gardens 2008

Crème Brulee

ingredients:

  • 600ml thickened cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 120gr demerara sugar

method:

  1. Preheat oven to 120°C.
  2. Place the cream, vanilla bean and seeds in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to scalding point, then remove from heat. Remove vanilla bean and discard.
  3. Whisk together egg yolks and caster sugar in a bowl for 2-3 minutes or until pale.
  4. Pour hot cream over egg yolk mixture, continuing to whisk until well combined. Strain mixture into a jug, evenly divide between 4x200ml ramekins.
  5. Carefully place ramekins in a deep roasting pan lined with a folded tea towel. Pour boiling water into pan to come halfway up the sides of ramekins. Cover pan loosely with foil.
  6. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until the custard has just set. Remove ramekins from the water bath, and set aside to cool.
  7. Sprinkle demerara sugar evenly over the surface of the baked custards. Run a kitchen blowtorch over the custards, or place under a preheated grill until the sugar bubbles and caramelizes, and serve.

serve: 4

recipe from: Masterclass, Masterchef 2010, by George Calombaris.

Foods Getaway

As i promised, you will get so many informations about foods in this blog. Foods don’t always mean recipes, but also the cool restaurants to go! These are the restaurants that you guys should try:

Marche Restaurant

Marche is a swiss restaurant, that has a very unique kind of system. We usually eat in a restaurant which the waiters and waitress come into our tables, and asking what are our orders. We don’t find that kind of system in here. Marche is a market restaurant. So, when you go inside the restaurant, the waitresses will give you a card, and that card is somehow your life. If you leave out that card, you will have to pay 1.000.000IDR as a fine. As i said, Marche is a market restaurant, so you will have to find your own table and after you found your table, you have to change the status of the table into ‘reserved’. After that, you’re free to go around the restaurant and order the food at the stall that you want, when you ordered the food, the chef will give a stamp on your card. Each stall has a different stamp. After finished eating, you have to go to the cashier and the cashier will ask your card and detect the price from the stamps.

The foods:

  • pasta
  • rosti
  • vegetables
  • sandwiches
  • rotisserie

And they also have a super super good dessert! I love the ice cream, I love the mousse, I love the cakes. My favorite dessert of Marche is Bee Sting. You guys have to try that!

Note to remember: the average price for eating in Marche is 120.000-150.000IDR per person. It’s not that it’s the cheapest price, but just in case. Especially if you’re eating complete dishes (appetizer, main course, and dessert) it will definitely reach 150.000.

Places: Plaza Senayan – 5th floor, Grand Indonesia Shopping Town – level 3A, facing the musical fountain.

The Edge – Roof Top Resto

The Edge ini di design sesuai dengan tema Kemang Icon dengan menggunakan unsur alam. Jadi otomatis kita bisa ngeliat ada unsur api, air, dan logam di sini. The Edge ini juga pernah masuk ke dalam scene film Nagabonar Jadi Dua loh.. karena ini adalah roof top resto, kita jadi bisa ngeliat pemandangan-pemandangan oke, seperti sunset view yang bisa made our day ;). Kalo kesini makanan yang harus di coba itu Charcuterie Plate, ini adalah appetizer nya. what is Charcuterie Plate? Charcuterie Plate terdiri dari roti yang crusty dan ikan salami. For the main course, makanan yang wajib dicobain itu Char Grilled Asian Lobster. Lobseter nya… angkat dua jempol deh enaknya! udah lezat, lunak lagi. tapi secara itu enak dan high quality, harganya juga high dong.. Harga dari Char Grilled Asian Lobster itu sekitar 145.000IDR. dan ga ketinggalan dessertnya yang harus dicobain adalah.. BAKED NEW YORK STYLE CHEESE CAKE that will never let us down!

Address: Kemang Icon lt.5 – Jl. Kemang Raya no.1

Average price: Rp. 25.000-Rp.145.000++

Rhubarb Crumble Souffle

this recipe below is one of my favorite recipes from masterchef australia season 2. as i don’t have the complete ingredients to make these beautiful souffles (in Indonesia, it’s kind of hard to find the exact same ingredients that they were using) so, i’m going to postponed making this until i have the complete and good ingredients to make this dessert. but you guys HAVE to try this recipe, or not you’ll regret, because IT’S DISGUSTINGLY AMAZING! when i saw Gary cooking this from the TV screen, i tried not to eat anything in front of me (it was reeeeaallly tempting!) let’s take a look at this recipe, and let’s go make it! good luck!

souffle:

  • 4-6 sticks (500gr) rhubarb, cut into 1-2cm pieces
  • 150gr caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 150gr fresh or thawed frozen blackberries
  • 1/2 lemon, zest finely grated
  • 1 tbsp cornflour mixed with 1 tsp water
  • 4 egg whites
  • vanilla ice cream, to serve
  • double thick cream, to serve

crumble topping:

  • 75gr plain flour
  • 100gr softened butter
  • 50gr brown or white sugar
  • 50gr rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup roasted hazelnuts, finely chopped.

Method:

  1. preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius
  2. place rhubarb in a saucepan with 75gr of the caster sugar and 1/4 cup water. cover and place over medium heat and cook for 5-10 minutes until softened. Add blackberries and lemon zest and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes until softened. Add 1/2  of the cornflour mixture and stir for 3-4 minutes until thickened, then cook for a further minute to cook out the cornflour. Set aside in a bowl to cool to room temperature for at least 5 minutes.
  3. for the crumble toping, combine flour, 50gr of the butter, sugar and a pinch of salt in a bowl, mix it with your fingers until combined and the butter is in pea-sized lumps. add the oats and hazelnuts and toss gently to combine.
  4. Place the crumble mixture on a lined baking tray and bake for 5 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside. Increase oven temperature to 200 C.
  5. Grease 125ml soufflé moulds with remaining butter that has been slightly softened. Butter base and sides with a pastry brush, then brush up the sides – you want an even coating of butter. Refrigerate for 5 minutes to set the butter, then repeat the process – for the second buttering, be a bit more generous with the butter. Sprinkle sugar into each mould and roll ramekin around so the sugar coats the butter, tipping out any excess. This forms a lubricated crust so the soufflé can rise easily.
  6. place egg whites in a big, clean, dry bowl with 1 tablespoon of the remaining sugar and beat with a hand beater on high until soft peaks. gradually sprinkle in the remaining sugar and beat for about 30 seconds – 1 minute until you have soft and shiny peaks.
  7. Mix an equal amount of beaten egg white with cooled fruit puree until combined, then add the same amount of egg white again and fold through gently, turning the bowl, then lifting and folding the mixture to keep as much air in the mixture as possible. Spoon into buttered, sugared moulds, taking care to avoid getting any mixture on the side of the ramekins until the moulds are full. Scrape the mixture off the top with a palette knife so you have a really smooth surface, then run your thumb around the very inside of the rim so you have a clean rim.
  8. Bake for 6-7 minutes until risen about 1 cm above the rim. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the crumble topping over the top and return to the oven for another 3 minutes until they have risen another centimetre.
  9. serve with vanilla ice cream and a dollop of thick cream.

Enjoy! (makes 6-8 souffles)