Sigh

I haven’t had much luck with bread making lately. The problem is definitely my oven- the dough was soft and supple and rose beautifully but the tops getting burnt when they’re baked! Really annoying because the oven needs to be quite hot to properly bake it, but the tops get much too black. I’ve placed a piece of foil over the top but my oven doesn’t really deal well with this- it never gets baked properly.. I’m guessing the heat doesn’t really reach the bread/cake that’s covered with foil properly. It’s been burning quite a few of my cakes and bread lately, probably the temperature setting thingy’s malfunctioning or something. But on the other hand.. for an oven its size and capacity, it’s also produced a crazy number of good cakes, muffins, cupcakes, bread, cookies, pastries. So I still love it, oh yes mama still loves you little microwave oven *crazy eyes*

Mini Croquembouche

I made this croquembouche several weeks ago. It’s made with a pâte brisée base, 23 choux puffs and filled with vanilla bean crème pâtissière. It’s assembled with caramel, then decorated with crystallised rose petals I made the night before, nibbed sugar and spun sugar. It came up to only about 9-10″ tall,  so it was a really cute and teensy croquembouche.

It’s not too difficult to make, but it’s pretty nerve-wrecking! It needs to be assembled not too long before eating as the caramel that glues the whole thing together and the spun sugar melts relatively quickly. So don’t mess up- you won’t have time to redo the whole thing! No pressure, though.. ha.

Toffee and Pear Gingerbread Loaf

I bought Williams pears last week and it’s been looking more and more pitiful as the days went by so I’ve finally baked a cake with them. It wasn’t really meant to look like this- I had planned on making it an upside-down loaf, with the sliced pears arranged neatly on top when it’s been flipped over. The pears floated into the cake batter instead of staying put at the bottom so it’s now.. a normal pear loaf, sans upside-down awesomeness. Oh well, was still delicious though- I used this recipe.

Rhubarb

I left Maltby St market last week with a massive haul of fresh produce, amongst them 5 stalks of bright pink forced rhubarb. I roasted them with two (!) vanilla beans and added a splash of rose water at the end. I ate them atop oatmeal with some syrup stirred through, and in this occurrence, with greek yoghurt, oat bran and crumbled ginger biscuits.

 Baked Rhubarb

♡5 stalks rhubarb
♡250g sugar
♡250g water
♡2 vanilla pods
♡rose water

1. Scrape vanilla pods and place the seeds and scraped pod into a pan with water and sugar. Bring to a boil until the sugar has dissolved.

2. Rinse and dry rhubarb, then chop into pinky-sized chunks.

3. Pour syrup over rhubarb in a roasting tin, and bake for 15-20 minutes at 150º until “al dente”. Add a splash of rose water, to taste.