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Archive for August 2010

To think about it, I’m not the only ecstatic soul running amock, yelling, “Yipee! We have an oven!” Apparently,  my mom has gotten into the act.

About two weeks ago, my mom went into a baker’s frenzy (a term for a person who bakes uncontrollably) and baked what I call, yin-yang muffins. They weren’t a type of muffin, but more like in two batches, each with its own flavour. Why yin-yang? Let’s say when both factions met, one whole-wheat chocolate while the other, ham and cheese, they likened the yin-yang insignia.

Regretfully, I lack photographic evidence on my claim. However I assure you that I laughed so hard the armies of muffins nearly fell off their cooling racks.
Talk about like mother, like daughter.

Admittedly, the past evening’s success of baking Chocolate Syrup Brownies, made my head bloat. Believing the prospects of a baked and healthy breakfast was the ideal meal to jumpstart my morning, boy oh boy did I validate history to repeat one’s self.

Speaking about history, I probably haven’t share with you that Baked Cauliflower, Portabello & Brown Mushrooms breakfast. It was a Sunday morning and it passed languorously. However, a seemingly major disturbance arose when the tray holding a spread of Cauliflower simply refused to fit on the same rack holding the mix of mushrooms. Blame it on the size of the oven. The wait for breakfast was no less than torturous, staring down at the raw produce luxuriously taking its heat bath.

Let’s say I am just one of those proud believers of quick & easy breakfasts. 😛

So, why the second attempt? My question to you is: Tomatoes don’t take long to wilt under heat and more so, eggs allow for one to cook to a preferred doneness. Surely, quick & easy is already in sights.

WRONG to ‘easy’.

The tomato cups (a full tomato with its contents dug out with a spoon) were prepared the night before, along with the cubed ham. All I had to do was to incorporate all the ingredients in the vegetable shell.

Well, that and a bread cup which my mom was compelled to try out after watching those cooking programs. Same concept, just that the bread replaces the tomato.

After fashioning a crustless enriched white bread into a muffin cup, the shallowness of the vessel proved itself and once the eggs were poured into the bread cup, the egg white dribbled slowly but surely off the tin.

Let’s say the bread ended up on a tin foil like a pseudo-French Toast.

Soon after, the cups went into the oven and out came a barely-holding-its-form tomato and a medium-well done egg. It was nearly a mush and frankly, overcooked. Later, I realised the doneness of the egg depends on the cook so the cup needn’t be in the oven as stipulated by the recipe…

Well. The taste wasn’t half as disaster the tomatoes were becoming. The ham lent its saltiness to the egg, where its yolk has lustrously coated. On top of that, the tomato held its natural sweetness, though thoughtfully, it could do better with a punctuation of salt.

Salt + Oven never seem to be a likely pairing for my bake cycles. Sorry mom. Sugar triumphs!

(Photos will be posted soon!)

… That makes me crave it in one moment and flare up in a heartbeat.

Baking.

Make no mistake, I adore baking. Even went crazed enough to bake 2 days in a row. That was before. Anyway, the emotions I experience whilst baking is the interesting bit.

Should anyone ask what is it about baking that I truly adore, I’ll say: Whisking (with an electric beater of course).

Though before I get to that, I must say that the preparation process never fails to leave me moderately frustrated. Something about chopping ingredients, bending over 1m high dining tables to measure out concise portions  in measuring cups and scrambling for missing ingredients during whisking (keeping in mind that’s my favourite part), leaves my flustered.

Somehow, I just hate to be interrupted in the midst of a calming whisk.

Whisking with a handheld electric beater surely beats tumbling ingredient after ingredient into a large mixing bowl (of a cake mixer). With the handheld device, you can actually feel the pull of the batter against the whisks, instantaneous rising clouds of flour puffs upon incorporation, that split-second tear when steel meets yolk… Bliss. I never want to be interrupted. Period.

However, I realised that my tweaking of recipes often leave me scrambling for missing ingredients halfway through whisking, which very much instills a bothersome niggle that my half-whisked mixture is sitting way too long, way too still. That is some serious baker trepidation.


So when I do forget and scramble for the ingredients, my mind would wander to the time when the raw good sits in the oven for a nail-biting 30 minutes. How will it turn out? Will it rise? If it doesn’t, what went wrong? My carelessness in preparation or a misstep in the recipe?

At last, when oven calls out and the baked good is visibly successful through the looking glass, YES! My heart sings in rightfully glee.

Ah, luckily enough, my heart continues to swell in positivity as every one of my first attempts turn out fine.


Cheers, to continuous bake feasts!