Mushroom Soup on Wholemeal Bread Bowl

I have been neglecting this blog for quite a while. Have been busy with repeated bakes, attending workshops and also watching my Korean dramas. All these are pretty addictive. On this public holiday, I have decided to make bread bowl soup for lunch for my children. I like to explore baking foods.

I was glad the food turned out pretty well though I would like my soup to be thicker. I guessed I must've added a bit more water. But the overall taste was good. And everyone polished off their bread bowls too!

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Recipe for Mushroom Soup on Wholemeal Square Bread Bowl
(Serves 6 persons)

Wholemeal Square Bread Bowls, modified from here.
(Makes four 4" square bread loaves)

Ingredients:
50g Wholemeal flour
450g Bread flour
40g Castor sugar
9g Salt
50g LIV unsalted butter
360g Fresh milk
6g Instant yeast

Method :
1. Mix all ingredients (except butter) into a dough using low speed for 3mins.
2. Add in the butter and continue to knead until the dough is pliable (smooth, soft and elastic), about 5-6mins on medium speed.
3. Shape into a ball, cover to rest dough for about 1 hour or double in size.   
4. Flatten the dough into a rectangular shape.  Divide equally into 8, approximately 140g each. 
5. Pre-shape it and let it rest for 10mins. 
6. Roll up swiss-roll style and tighten the dough.
7. Place 2 doughs into one loaf pan.
8. Cover and leave to proof for about 50-60 minutes.
9. Bake in a preheated oven, fan forced, at 200°C for 30 minutes with cover. (I baked them on a baking stone, on the lowest rack.)
10. Remove from the mould and let it cool completely before slicing.

Mushroom Soup
4 punnets of Button mushrooms (a mixed of brown and white), approximate 150g each, sliced
2 large Onions, sliced
1 cube Chicken vegetable stock
1.5 litres Water
400ml Cream (I used heavy cream)
Olive oil
4 cloves Garlic, chopped

Method:
1. Heat up a medium pot on low. Add olive oil.
2. When it's hot, add chopped garlic to cook till browned. Add onions and cooked till soft.
3. Add in mushrooms and cooked till it reduced to half the quantity, and soft. Turn up the heat to medium.
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4. Spoon out 5 tablespoon of mushrooms to keep for later.
5. Add in the water and chicken vegetable stock. Close the lid and let it simmer on medium heat.
6. Lower the fire. Use a handheld blender to blend the soup. Then add in the mushrooms from #4.
7. On low heat, add in the cream, and stir.
8. Simmer and bring it to a boil, then turn off the heat.

Prepare the Bread Bowl
1. Cut the loaf bread two 2, each about a height of 2".
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2. Use a short knife, cut into the bread about 1 cm from the sides. Then cut into quarters into the centre.
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3. Remove the soft breads to make a hole in the centre.
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4. Spread the sides with butter.
5. Toast the bread lightly to make it crispy so as to hold the soup.
6. Toast in fan forced oven at 160C for 8 mins.
7. Remove immediately.
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8. Scoop the mushroom soup directly into the bread bowl.
9. Sprinkle with black pepper and serve.

Enjoy!
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Steamed Chocolate Cake

A frosted cake is made usually with an occasion or a request. However, I had a sudden urge to bake a nice chocolate cake recently. One recipe that got me tempted was this One-Bowl Milk Chocolate cake. But at that time, my helper was on home leave, so I couldn't find the time to bake it. Then, I saw Zoe's post on this Steamed Chocolate Cake and I was sold! 
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It answered my temptation for baking a good chocolate cake. So I decided to bake Zoe's cake instead. It was really simple, and it tasted moist and soft too! I really like her recipe and I'm sure to make it often to satisfy my craving for chocolate cakes! Recording the recipe for my own reference. I strongly encourage you to try this cake. You'll be hooked.
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Recipe for Steamed Chocolate Cake, adapted from Bake for Happy Kids.
(Makes an 8" round cake)

Ingredients:
180g Unsalted butter
60g Caster sugar
60g Light brown sugar
180g Evaporated milk
2 Large eggs, about 70g each with shell and lightly beaten
1 tsp Vanilla extract
100g Plain flour
50g Dutch process cocoa powder
1 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1/4 tsp Fine sea salt

Method:

1. Line the bottom of the pan with a piece of baking paper. Preheat steam oven.
2. Add butter, both sugars and evaporated milk in a large saucepan. Place the saucepan over a low heat and use a hand whisk to whisk mixture while cooking until sugar is completely dissolved and mixture is smooth.
3. Remove saucepan from the heat. Allow mixture to cool until it is nearly like room temperature or cool enough to touch.
4. Add eggs and vanilla into the butter mixture and whisk until combined.
5. In another bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 
6. Sift flour mixture into the butter mixture and whisk until all are just combined. Do not over mix. Cake batter is runny.
7. Pour batter into the prepared pan and place the pan into the steamer. Cover pan with a large piece of foil.
8. Set the steam oven for 70mins at 100C. 
9. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool completely in the pan before removing it onto a wire rack. 

Chocolate Frosting

Ingredients:
50g Dark chocolate, 55% cocoa & above
60g Unsalted butter, soften at room temperature
1/4 tsp Vanilla extract
30g Icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp Boiling hot water

Method:

1. Place chocolate in a heat-proof bowl and melt chocolate by stirring it over a pot of simmering water until just melted. Set aside for the chocolate to cool slightly.
2. Using a whisk, beat butter, vanilla and icing sugar until light and creamy. 
3. Add warm chocolate and hot water into the mixture and mix until just blended. 
4. Do not whip! Spread immediately on the completely cooled cake.
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The frosting was very runny. However, it hardens when refrigerated. What is nice about the frosting is, even after taking out from the fridge, it turns soft and can be eaten immediately. I find that the proportion of the frosting to the cake is just nice...on the surface is more than sufficient. Enjoy!
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Updated  a week later:
After finishing this cake, I was addicted and tempted to bake this again. I tried the 2nd recipe this time, and it tastes just as good (on its own too!) However, I found that this 2nd recipe yields a more "holey" texture and feels fluffier. I made it into a 8" cake without frosting and it was just as nice. My conclusion is, the 2nd recipe seems to yield a lighter cake for me. I will stick to it for now. 😄 You just have to try it
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Lingonberry Coconut Scones

It's been a long while since my last blog post. My hiatus was mainly because (1) I was busy with house shifting in December, (2) January was busy baking for Chinese New Year, (3) February was away for a holiday in Europe. Finally I get to settle down now. Testing out my new oven with existing recipes. I also bought a new steam bake oven and trying it out with existing recipes. So many things to try, but so little time on hand!

In order to test out my new smaller oven, I try it with scones. The heat was more intense than the bigger oven. Has to watch the oven very closely. Needs to do more recipes in order to understand my new ovens.
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Recipe for Lingonberry Coconut Scones, adapted from Delia.
(Makes 17 minis, approx. 1.5" diameter)

Ingredients:
225g Self-raising flour
40g Caster sugar
75g Salted butter, cold, cubed
20g Lingonberries (or other dried berries)
40g Toasted desiccated coconuts
1 Whole egg, approx. 55g, beaten
45g Whole milk
Some milk for brushing

Method:
1. Place flour and sugar into a bowl.
2. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture looks crumbly.
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3. Add in dried fruit and desiccated coconuts.
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4. Pour in the beaten egg and milk.
5. Mix with a spatula, bringing the mixture together using your hands. The dough should come together.
6. Form the dough into a ball and turn it out onto a lightly floured working surface.
7. With a floured rolling pin, roll it out very lightly to a thickness of about 3cm. 
8. Then take the pastry cutter and tap it sharply so that it goes straight through the dough – do not twist or the scones will turn out a strange shape!
9. When you have cut as many as you can, knead the remaining dough together again and repeat. 
9. Then place the scones on the baking sheet, and brush with milk.
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10. Bake in a preheat oven of 200C for approximately 10mins. 
11. When they’re done they will have risen and turned a golden brown. 
12. Remove them to a cooling tray and serve very fresh, split and spread with butter and jam.

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Cinnamon Condensed Milk Butter Cake

Inspired by a cinnamon drink from Seoul Hotpot, I decided to add cinnamon to the condensed milk and swirl it. However, the batter for the cinnamon was too little to have a full taste. Glad that those who tried it said the cake is nice, and the cinnamon taste was good even though it was very little. 
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Recipe for Cinnamon Swirl Condensed Milk Butter Cake, adapted from A Family Feast.
(Makes a 7"cake)

Ingredients:
160g Plain flour
3/4tsp Baking powder
1/2tsp Sea salt
226g Unsalted butter, room temperature
40g Caster sugar
3 Large eggs
175g Sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp Vanilla extract

10g Cinnamon powder

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line your 7" cake pan with baking paper.
2. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy – about 2 minutes. 
4. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each egg until well blended. 
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5. Add sweetened condensed milk and vanilla to the butter mixture and mix until combined.
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6. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry mixture to the wet mixture (increasing the speed of the mixer as needed and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed) until well combined.
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7. Take some batter out and mix in cinnamon powder until well incorporated.
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8. Pour the main batter into the prepared pan. Then randomly drop in the cinnamon batter. Swirl it with a skewer.
9. Bake for 50 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
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10. Cool for 10 minutes, then turn the cake out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
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Gula Melaka Butter Cake

Whenever I want to bake on Sundays, I would need to find an easy recipe to do so, because I only have mornings to do my baking. It's been a while since I bake a cake for my in-laws, so I decided to bake this Gula Melaka Butter Cake, also known as Palm Sugar for Gula Melaka. Thanks to Victoria, the cake was really fragrant and nice. 

I also made a Gula Melaka swiss roll incorporating the palm sugar into the whipped cream. I used Jeannie's recipe for the vanilla swiss roll. Thankfully, the swiss roll turned out well, the gula melaka in the whipped cream was really light and nice, not too sweet for our palate.
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Recipe for Gula Melaka Butter Cake, adapted from Victoria Bakes.
(Makes 3 mini and 1 regular)

Ingredients:
A
200g Gula melaka (Palm sugar), chopped
100g Coconut cream
B
250g Unsalted butter
23g Brown sugar
C
5 Eggs, large
D
200g Top flour (or cake flour)
1/2tsp Baking powder
1/8tsp Baking soda
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Method:

1. Place A in a saucepan with low heat. Stir until gula melaka has melted and bring to a gentle boil. Let it cooled totally.
2. Sift D and set aside.
3. Place B in a mixing bowl and beat till light and fluffy.
4. Add in C in 3 batches. Ensure they are thoroughly mixed in each batch.
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5. Alternate A & D in 3 batches, ending with D. (I sieved out A as there was some charred bits.)
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pans - 3 mini and 1 regular pan loaves.
7. Bake in preheated oven of 160C for 40-45mins. I removed the minis from the oven after 40mins and continue baking the regular for another 5 mins.
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8. Let it cool before cutting and serve.
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Whole wheat Rye Artisan Boules

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It is still in my interest to bake artisan breads. Breads that command a longer fermentation with little or no sugar and yeast. I referenced "Flour Water Salt and Yeast" by Ken Forkish for this bread. The recipe was adapted from his Whole wheat loaf. Somehow, I mixed in coarse and fine whole wheat with the quantity of water stated, and the dough was way too wet. So I added more plain flour until I do not know the exact quantities anymore. I have to admit, the bread turned out to be really good. Unfortunately, I do not know how to replicate this bread again. >_<"
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I did twice stretch and fold with an interval of 30mins each. Then I put it into the fridge for 24hours for cold fermentation. After 24hours, I took out from the fridge and divide it into two, weighing about 548g each. And let it proof in floured bannetton for a further 45mins. Then I baked it in a pre-heated oven of 220C with dutch oven. Dutch oven here refers to the dough being enclosed in a "container", trapping the steam within. After 20mins, I removed the dutch oven and continue baking it on baking stone for a further of 20mins at 200C.

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The bread turned out to be really crispy outside and soft inside. It produced a crackling sound when removed from the oven. I am proud that the crust was very well baked. And one of the boule has a pretty scoring. I hope I can continue my artisan bread baking as none of my family likes this type of breads.

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