Tempering Couverture Chocolate

From left to right: Chocolate Covered Strawberries, Chocolate with Toasted Almond, Dried Apricot and Cranberry, Chocolate Covered Cornflakes and Dried Fruits, Almond Chocolate Bar.
From left to right: Chocolate Covered Strawberries, Chocolate with Toasted Almond, Dried Apricot and Cranberry, Chocolate Covered Cornflakes and Dried Fruits, Almond Chocolate Bar. – photo by On Yi

In the last baking class, we were making Tempering Couverture Chocolate. Chocolate must first be pre-crystallized, before it can be used for moldings, garnishes, and other applications. Pre-crystallization requires three things: Time, Movement and Temperature. Chocolate is melted to 45°C. Then, seed with 15%-20% more chocolate pieces to the melted mass and gently stirred until the desired working temperature is reached. The working temperature for each type of chocolate is different – dark chocolate is 31°C – 32°C, milk chocolate is 29°C – 30°C and white chocolate is 28°C – 29°C. Tempering is very important for making tempering couverture chocolate. Tempering gives the chocolate pleasing surface sheen, pleasant colour, hardness, soft melting characteristics, good shrinkage and good breaking. However, if it is gone wrong, it will become grey-white speckled chocolate, grainy and brittle structure, rapid melting on contact, doesn’t shrinkage and sticking to the mold. Therefore, it is very important to monitor the temperature of the chocolate.

Time flies, it is the last baking class of this year. In these 12 weeks, I learned a lot from Chef. He has been working in the baking industry for 49 years. He taught us a lot through his life experience. We learned the skills and techniques that we never knew. He opens a new door for me and I want to learn more about baking. It is the last class of this course, but this is not the end of my baking journey. I will keep practice, and discover more recipes and share to you.

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Fruit Tart

Fruit Tart
My Fruit Tart – photo by On Yi

Today’s class, we were making fruit tart. Fruit tart is colourful, festive dessert that has sweet pastry crust that is filled with a rich and creamy pastry cream and topped with fresh fruit.

First, we need to make the sweet pastry crust. The Sweet paste is also known as sugar dough, cookie dough or shortbread dough. So, next time when you are making the sweet pastry crust and you have some leftover. You can use it to make some cookies. Second, we need to make the vanilla pastry cream. The vanilla pastry cream not only can be filled in the fruit tart, but also is a classic filling for cream puffs or éclairs. At last, we need to prepare and arrange a variety of fruits. Sadly, December is not much seasonal fruit, so most of our fruits are canned fruits. Although, most of the fruits on the tart are canned fruits, I still enjoy the colour and the flavor of the tart.

Porchetta & Co.

What comes to mind when you think of Italian food? First comes to mind must be pizza and pasta. But Italian food are not just pizza and pasta. Porchetta is one of delicious and traditional Italian food, you can’t miss. It is a savoury, fatty, and moist boneless pork roast. It’s a common street food in Italy. It’s usually sold by food trucks and it can be served in a panini.

Porchetta & Co. is a sandwich shop which provides the best porchetta sandwich in Toronto. Their porchetta sandwich is crunchy crackling. They marinate their pork shoulders in a blend of herbs, to garlic & olive oil, wrap them in sliced prosciutto and then roll them in lightly cured pork belly. The pork is very moist and tasty and their grainy mustard is perfect match for it.

Their price is a fair and reasonable. It’s perfect for takeout, just grab a sandwich and go. It’s fast and family friendly. Porchetta & Co. have two locations. The original location on Dundas West. It is small store with a few seats by the window. The second location on King West. It’s an industrial-looking urban eatery with some red stools at high top counters. You can enjoy your sandwich in a relaxed setting in this location.

 

Porchetta & Co.

825 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1V4 MAP
545 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1M1 MAP
website: porchettaco.com

Swiss Roll

Today’s class was making Swiss Roll. Despite the name Swiss roll, the cake is believed to have originated in Central Europe, but it is not from Switzerland. Swiss Roll is a type of sponge cake roll filled with whipped cream or jam and also can add some fruits and nuts.

There are a lot of preparations and steps to make Swiss roll. First, We need to bake the sponge sheet. We were making chocolate Swiss Roll, so we baked a chocolate sponge sheet and it was little bit messy. We were using our hand to fold the flour and cocoa powder into the egg mixture. Why folding by hand? Because we can feel when it is incorporated. When the sponge sheet was baking, we need to prepare chocolate glaze and chocolate buttercream. After everything is ready, we can start rolling the Swiss Roll. We brushed simple syrup or brandy syrup on the sponge sheet. Then, spread a thin layer of buttercream on the sponge sheet, sprinkle with raspberries and toasted hazelnuts. We rolled it and mask it with buttercream. Then, put into the freezer to chill for few minutes. After that, we coated it with the chocolate glaze and decorated it. It looks easy, but it is harder then you think and I think I need to have more practice of rolling the cake.

Black Forest Cake

Black Forest Cake is originated from Germany. It is called Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte in German. It means “Black Forest cherry-torte”. This cake is named for the Black Forest area in Southwest Germany. Black Forest area is famous for dark chocolate, Morello cherries, and Kirsch.

Black Forest Cake has multiple layers of chocolate sponge cake sandwiched with whipped cream and cherries. It is decorated with additional whipped cream, maraschino cherries, and chocolate shavings. In Germany, the cake layouts would be soaked with kirsch to provide moisture and a little extra flavor. But in Canada, we usually soak with simple syrup then kids also can enjoy it.

You can soak the cake with Kirsch.
You can soak the cake with Kirsch. – photo by On Yi

There are many versions of Black Forest Cake in the world. In Austrian, they add rum into the cake. In India, it is generally prepared without alcohol. In Hong Kong, they have their own version of Black Forest Cake. Hong Kong style Black Forest Cake is not only non-alcohol, but also “non-cherries”. They are using black currants jelly (jello) to fill in the cake instead of the cherries.

Cream Puffs and Éclairs

Éclair and Cream Puff (also called Profiterole), both are French choux pastry. Éclair is an oblong pastry filled with cream or custard and topped with fondant. And, Cream Puff is a pastry ball filled with whipped cream, pastry cream, custard, or ice cream. One of my classmates said you also could make savoury cream puff, filled with salad, cream cheese or smoke salmon. It is a delicious and fresh entrée that your guests will enjoy.

Both of the pastries make from choux dough. So, what is choux dough? Choux dough is a light pastry dough made with butter, water, flour and eggs. It uses high moisture content to create steam during cooking to puff the pastry, instead of a raising agent.

Rolltation

Rolltation is a hybrid food restaurant that offers Sushi Burrito. What is Sushi Burrito? Sushi Burrito is original from San Francisco. it is a freshly rolled burrito sized sushi rolls.

Rolltation is not only offering sushi burritos, but also poke bowl and salad. You can select their signature offerings that have been pre-selected for your convenience or create your own with their whole host of ingredients. They have traditional sushi ingredients and many multicultural selections including North American cheese and bacon, Korean kimchi and Tawainese meat floss.

I tried the Wasabi Tuna ($14.99). I like the combination of the ingredients. The crunchy lotus chip and fresh raw tuna combine with the fresh vegetables.  What are interesting texture. Also, I love the Wasabi mayo spices it up.

<You also can order online.>

< They are going to have their 2nd location.>

 

Rolltation

207 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5G 1C8 MAP
2291 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4P 2C6 MAP (Coming Soon)
website: rolltation.com

Piped Spritz Cookies and Peanut Butter Cookies

This week was cookies week. We were learning two kinds of cookie’s recipes, Piped Spritz Cookies and Peanut Butter Cookies.

For Piped Spritz Cookies, we need to use piping bag to make the cookies. We learned using piping bag last week for the Meringue. And because of last week practiced, this week was easier to handle the piping bag and the cookies that I piped were looking better than last week.

For Peanut Butter Cookies, We were using Kraft’s recipe. It is very easy and fast to make. Kids can make it too.


Peanut Butter Cookies

Recipe By Kraft

Prep: 10 minutes | Total time: 30 minutes| Servings: about 2 dozen

What you need

  • 250g Peanut Butter
  • 115g Brown Sugar
  • 1 Egg

Make it

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Mix all ingredients with large spoon until well blended.
  3. Roll into 24 balls; place, 4 inches apart, on baking sheets. Flatten with fork.
  4. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the cookies are soft, but set at the edges.

Meringue Kiss Cookies

Today’s class was so depressing. We were making Meringue, but half of the class includes myself failed on it.

Meringue is a simple dessert that made with egg whites and sugar. Whipping the egg whites and folds in the sugar until firm and glossy. Pipe it and bake it. It seems very easy, but we spent almost 2 hours to try to make the egg whites firm.

What’s go wrong? We are not sure. But, we guess there were few things went wrong. First, we were using liquid egg whites instead of fresh eggs. It might be difficult to whip to foam. Second, our mixer’s speed was not fast enough. It couldn’t wipe the egg whites to the firm texture that we were looking for.

I m very disappointed. I was really looking forward to have a nice beautiful meringue. So, do you know how to make meringue? Anything do I need to pay attention to? Do you have any good meringue’s recipe? Please tell me by leaving a comment. Hope I can do it right next time.

 

Soft Rolls

This morning, I was learning Soft Rolls in Baking Class. I had made bread using bread machine before. I was not enjoy making bread at the time. But, after this class I might try to start making bread again. It is fun after learning the skills.

Dough Divider
Old Style Dough Divider…Very interesting! – created by On Yi
Fresh Yeast
This is my first time to see fresh yeast. – created by On Yi

How to “wake up” the dried yeast?

  1. Warm water – around 27 °C. Not too cold or too hot. If it is too cold, the yeast will not “wake up.” If it is too hot, you are killing the yeast. (The water that you are using should not greater than the amount called for in your recipe.).
  2. Mix in some sugar
  3. Sprinkle the dried yeast into the warm water.
  4. The yeast will slowly sink. Stir the yeast gently.
  5. Wait around 10 minutes. If the yeast is “wake up”, it will have bubbly froth at the top.

Crème Caramel, Bread Pudding & Panna Cotta

It is already the fourth week of my Baking Class Journey. This week the biggest challenge is learning three different desserts (Crème Caramel, Bread Pudding and Panna Cotta with Raspberry Sauce) in one class.

Chef is teaching us how to make caramel
Chef is teaching us how to make caramel. – created by On Yi

Crème Caramel – It is not easy to make caramel. To make the caramel, need to cook the sugar until it melt, but it is really easy to burn and that will make the caramel taste bitter.

Bread Pudding – It is not difficult, but need to make sure all the bread cubes absorb milk and eggs mixing abundantly.

Panna Cotta with Raspberry Sauce – This is my favourite one in these three. It is rich, sweet, tangy, luscious, and creamy. Panna cotta and raspberry sauce is a prefect match.

The Alley

I love bubble tea. There are a lot of bubble tea stores in GTA, but it is not easy to find a high quality one. Recently, I went to one that I really want to recommend.

The Alley is the first Canadian location of a fledgling Taiwanese chain, located in Markham.

Their bubble teas taste different from the others, all because their bubble tea made from five special tea leaves (Assam, Iron Goddess, Jasmine, Royal No. 9 and Sweet Dew Oolong) and all imported from Taiwan. Also, their handcrafted tapioca made their bubble teas more unique and delicious.

 

The Alley

Unit 16, 505 Highway 7 E., Markham, Ontario L3T 7T1  MAP