Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Panna cotta

Have I done a post with Panna Cotta before? I can't remember but it wouldn't hurt to do another one :)
One of my mother's request for our GA summery dessert was Panna Cotta. It's SUCH an easy dessert, I would gladly make it any day! it's almost as easy as making... jello. I really hope you are not lactose intolerant :( or maybe I do, so I can have yours too!

I've done Panna Cotta with many recipes, but this time I went with Giada's on Food network. As I read other Panna Cotta recipes and compared the amount of gelatin to liquid ratio, Giada's used a little less gelatin. And while some people like the soft almost pudding-like panna cotta, I like one that's got more body to it. So I used 1 HEAPING tablespoon of gelatin :) recipes like this isn't that sensitive, so you can use a little more or a little less, it's not going to lead to a complete failure :)

I also like Giada's recipe because she used mostly honey as sweetener. It adds a very nice mild floral sweetness to this already creamy mild dessert. I have made panna cotta with greek yogurt and mascarpone and stuff. But this one here is the most simple and basic. (and in my opinion, one of the best because of it's purity)



Ingredients

1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon unflavored powdered gelatin
3 cups whipping cream
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon sugar
Pinch salt

Place the milk in a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over. Let stand for 3 to 5 minutes to soften the gelatin. Pour milk mixture into a heavy saucepan and stir over medium heat just until the gelatin dissolves but the milk does not boil, about 5 minutes. Add the cream, honey, sugar, and salt. Stir until the sugar dissolves, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat. Pour into 6 wine glasses so that they are 1/2 full. Cool slightly. Refrigerate until set, at least 6 hours.

I topped mine with home made blueberry sauce. but you can use any berries you have. I just don't like to use raspberries or blackberries, for their seediness. but if you are willing to take the time to sieve the sauce, I suppose it will all be good. I put about a cup of berries into a sauce pan, add about 2-3 tbs of sugar, a GOOD squeeze of lemon juice and zest of one lemon (and some cognac). bring it to a simmer and simmer for... maybe 10 min. blitz it in your food processor or a blender and let it cool before topping the panna cotta.



Hokkaido milk bread

Hokkaido milk bread using Yudane.

I think it is many of our fear to tackle bread. Especially larger bread. I feel like I am more likely to try rolls or even better, cinnamon rolls, for their smaller in size -making it less obvious for mistakes, not to mention the sugary filling that might mask the bad...

But I had been eying the recipes for a good white bread with tangzhong (yudane). I was so enthusiastic, that I even bought a pull man loaf tin :) (which I used with this, of course)
like any other recipe, there are TONS of options when you start researching. I followed this one from Warm Oven Wafts. Don't let this extra step scare you! It's just boiling flour and water, that's it!

This recipe was easy to follow and I basically followed it to the T. One change I had to make was using active dry yeast. So instead of adding the yeast with the dry ingredient, I warmed the milk with some of the sugar (to 105degrees) and bloomed the yeast in it and poured that into the well with other wet ingredients. Make sure to give your yeast more than just couple of minutes. I usually let it do it's thing for about 5.

I also do not have a very good stand mixer that kneads well, so most of the kneading was done by hand. it's really not bad though. just do knead for about GOOD and VIGOROUS 10 minutes! make sure your dough becomes nice and elastic before you call it a day.



Tangzhong
Yield 240 grams
Ingredients:
1/3 cup bread flour
1 cup water (1 cup milk, or 50/50 water and milk)
Directions:
1.) Add flour and water in a pot and mix until smooth. Cook mixture over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a whisk.
2.) Continue stirring mixture until lines appear in the mixture as you stir.
3.) Remove mixture from heat and transfer mixture to a clean bowl.
4.) Cover the mixture with cling wrap making sure the cling wrap wticks to the surface of the tangzhong. Allow mixture to cool and chill in the fridge for several hours, preferably overnight
5.) Let tangzhong come to room temperature before use. 







This is the consistency you are looking for. just like pudding.



Ingredients for the bread:
(adapted from Warm oven wafts)
makes one pullman loaf: GREASE your pan.

2½ cups bread flour
3tbsp+2tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
½ cup milk
120g tangzhong (1/2 of tangzhong from above recipe)
2 tsp instant yeast
3 tbsp butter (cubed, room temperature)

Directions
1. First nuke your milk to about 105 deg. mix in half the sugar and yeast and let it get foamy.
Combine the flour, salt, and other half of sugar in a bowl of a stand mixer. Make a well in the center. Add in milk, egg, yeast/milk mixture and tangzhong. Fit the dough hook attachment on your stand mixer and begin mixing on medium speed. Knead until your dough comes together and then add in the butter little by little, and continue kneading. Keep kneading until the dough is smooth, not too sticky on the surface and elastic for about 20 minutes.

3 Knead the dough into a ball shape. Place dough into greased bowl and cover with a wet towel. Let ball of dough proof until doubled in size, about 40 minutes.

4. Transfer to a clean surface. Divide the dough into four equal portions. Knead into balls. Cover with cling wrap, let rest for 15 minutes.

5. Now, you somehow fit these into your pullman loaf pan. I would look at Christine's blog for reference.
Basically, make a ball out of your quartered dough. Roll it into a disk. fold both sides in so it is folded in third. Roll that into a strip. Take one of the the strip and roll to the other end. repeat with all four and place them into the loaf pan seam side down.

6. Beat an egg and brush egg mixture on top.

7. Bake at 325 degrees F for approximately 30 minutes. If the top gets dar too fast, cover with foil at mid point. let it cool a little, until you can touch the pan, and pop the loaf out. cool it on a rack completely before storing. I went ahead and tasted when it was piping hot with some good butter. YES.




My raised dough. be patient, you have to let your yeast do its thing


quartered dough


Off to the final proofing!



I peeked. I happened to have a car in the garage that was still hot around the hood from running errands today :) perfect spot for my dough.



close-up for my pretty



Friday, July 19, 2013

Corn Potage

Now we can see corn in our grocery stores for like 20 cents an ear!! why wouldn't you gorge on them while they are so sweet and amazing (and cheap!!)

I think fresh corn looks like peals, don't you?





In Japan, we are just so fond of Corn Potage, for some reason. It's even sold in a small can in vending machines, hot, especially in the winter :) There's something that happens when you add that little bit of potato to this recipe. it makes it... corn potage-y.

As it usually happens to me, I didn't have exactly what the recipe called for, but close enough.
I got the general recipe from Foodjimoto, and followed all the steps as listed.


She has step by step pictures. It's very helpful!

Ingredients:

5 ears of corn, cooked (I only had 4)
1 medium sized potato, diced
1/2 medium sweet onion, diced (I used a whole medium onion)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour (I probably only used about 2)

4 to 6 cups corn cooking water
2 tablespoons Better Than Bouillon Chicken bouillon
1 cup whipping cream (I only used about 1/3 cup of cream)

sea salt
white pepper (i only had black pepper)

garnish with chopped chives and cayenne pepper or paprika

Go to Foodjimoto for the instruction and more photos!