More Sourdough… ;)

I realized about a week and a half ago that Canada Day was landing on a Thursday. Thus, no bread class. And because I had decided to continue to ‘feed’ my sourdough starter since the last time I made Sourdough in class, I now had enough starter to bake some more bread. So, that’s what I did today! 😉

I will admit I was a little nervous. Let’s face it, I have only made Sourdough once before, and it was in a large culinary chef’s kitchen, with state-of-the-art ovens, mixers and proofers. Well, I began the process at around 2:30pm, and unlike in class two weeks ago, this time I did everything by hand. No commercial grade mixers this time. Nope, just shear muscle a la Jacenta! Ha! 🙂

It is definitely a longer process doing it all by hand and having to wait for dough to proof/rise on its own, but luckily my first few bread classes were taught in the true artisan style of bread making (in other words, all down by hand), so I wasn’t too stressed out. But I did it. The bread turned out amazing. Actually, even better than before because the starter had now been fed for almost three weeks. Therefore, much more sour in taste. Yum!

Yup… I am proud of myself!

Yummy Sourdough.

Peach Yogurt Mousse Cake

In last night’s Art of Cakes class we made Yogurt Mousse Cakes. And more specifically… with peaches. But you can always substitute peaches for other fruits and flavours. 😉

Essentially, a Yogurt Mousse Cake consists of layers of Hot Milk Sponge Cake, Yogurt and Whip Cream Mousse, and peaches chopped into little chunks. Then the top of the cake is decorated with peach slices (in any design you choose), and coated in a apricot glaze. The outer edge is iced with the mousse and rimmed with almond slivers. Yum!

The most surprising thing about this cake is that to lift, it was very heavy. Therefore I expected the taste to be heavy or very filling as well. But instead it was very light and fluffy, and very delicious!! A perfect cake for the summer time. 🙂

Peach Yogurt Mousse Cakes.

Netherlands beats Slovakia… Woohoo!

I just watched the World Cup match between the Netherlands and Slovakia live.. and Holland won!!! Woohoo!! 😀

The final score 2-1 over Slovakia. It should have been 2-0, but the stupid referee gave a penalty kick to a Slovakian player who was faking a fall with less than 30 seconds left in the game. Thus allowing them to score that single point. Totally undeserved.

This afternoon, Brazil plays Chile, and the winner of that match plays the Netherlands this Friday July 2nd in the Quarter-Finals.

Cheese Bread and Pullman Bread

In last night’s bread class we made Cheese Bread and Pullman Bread. Both are essentially white breads, but the Cheese Bread had grated cheddar and swiss cheese mixed into the dough. Both breads turned out so yummy!

An interesting twist was that instead of baking the Cheese Bread in a typical loaf pan or free form, we used traditional cheese bread pans where the loaf of bread is baked in an encased pan into a cylindical shape. The pan bakes four loaves at a time. The effect is nothing I have ever seen before in bread. After the baked bread had been removed from the pan, it looks almost a little bit like cake. Facinating!  😀

(L to R: Pullman Bread and Cheese Bread).

The Netherlands moves on to next round in World Cup!!

June 14th, in Johannesburg, the Netherlands beat Denmark 2-0.

June 19th, in Durban, the Netherlands beat Japan 1-0.

Today, June 24th, in Cape Town, the Netherlands beat Cameroon 2-1.

Group E: State of play
The Netherlands became the first team to book their place in the Round of 16 after their 1-0 victory over Japan and Denmark’s defeat of Cameroon on Saturday June 19th. With today’s win over Cameroon, the Netherlands guaranteed their first place standing in their group. Yay!! 🙂

Linzer Torte

In last night’s cake class we made a Linzer Torte. Its a dense cake – like a coffee cake – packed with yummy mouth watering spices. Just the smell of the cinnamon and the nutmeg, as they filled the air during baking, let you know how good it was going to taste. The interesting added yummy factor is a thin layer of raspberry jam in the middle. So delicious! There were also ground hazelnuts and almonds mixed into the batter, in addition to the almond slivers decorating the top. 😀

Linzor Tortes.

Sourdough Times two!

In last night’s bread class we made Sourdough! Sourdough times two that is! And by that I mean we made proper Sourdough (made with a starter), and a Quick & Easy Sourdough (made with a Sourdough Base).

I began the starter a few days before class. I ‘fed’ it flour every day and knocked out the air several times a day. The starter actually had the perfect consistency and texture, which resulted in gorgeous tasting and looking Sourdough Bread. 🙂 I ended up with two large loaves, both of them plain.

For the Quick & Easy Sourdough, we didn’t use a proper sourdough starter, but a sourdough base. The bread ended up looking great, but the taste is not exactly the same as when you use a starter. Now that’s not to say that the one with the sourdough base was bad. It actually tasted good. The thing about it is that it just didn’t taste like real sourdough. There is something about it that was ‘off’ in terms of the sourdough flavour – and it became apparent when I compared it to one of my loaves with the proper sourdough starter. But on its own, it was perfectly fine. It still tasted really good.

For the Quick & Easy Sourdough, what I ended up doing was making three cute loaves. One was plain so I could compare the flavour and texture to the Sourdough made with the sourdough starter. I second loaf with chopped fresh rosemary. With this pungent herb, about two or three tablespoons (4 – 5 grams) per kilogram of dough is enough to provide a distinct rosemary flavor without overpowering. Because my loaf was smaller, I ended up folding in 1.5 tablespoons of Rosemary. The third loaf is my deluxe loaf. I first folded in lots of chopped fresh thyme. I then folded in little chunks of cheddar cheese, pitted kalamata olives (without pits, and chopped into smaller pieces), and diced and sauteed red & yellow sweet peppers. All three turned out super yummy!!!

(Pictured above – L to R: Plain Sourdough loaf, Rosemary Sourdough loaf, and Deluxe Sourdough loaf.)
(Pictured above – L to R: Three Sourdough loaves with sourdough base, and two larger loaves with Sourdough Starter.)

June 14th, 2010 – Congratulations to the new Miss Universe Canada 2010!!

Congratulations to the new Miss Universe Canada winner at last night’s pageant – Elena Semikina!

Elena was crowned Miss Universe Canada 2010 before a packed house at The John Bassett Theatre, Metro Toronto Convention Centre June 14th. It was the 59th Annual Miss UniverseÂŽ Canada Pageant. 62 Delegates from across Canada competed for the title of Miss UniverseÂŽ Canada 2010. The 6’1″, 26-year old model, is currently completing her studies at York University with a focus on Marketing and Finance. In addition to her school workload, she is also enrolled in oratory, neuro-linguistic programming, acting and dance classes. Semikina will represent Canada in Las Vegas at the televised Miss Universe pageant August 23.

The top 5 were as follows:
Elena Semikina    2010 winner! 
1st Runner-Up      Aleksandra Malkin 
2nd Runner-Up    Ashley Callingbull
3rd Runner-Up     Neda Derakhshanfar 
4th Runner-Up     Zahra Al-Aubiydy

Orange Chiffon Cake

At last night’s Art of Cakes class, we received a demo for Angel Food Cake, and we prepared Orange Chiffon Cake. Essentially Orange Chiffon Cake is like Angel Food Cake in that it is very light in texture, it just has an added zing of orange flavour to it. It is definitely super yummy, and I had to wait until after I came home and my cakes were completely cooled before I could make and add the sweet orange glaze for the top. Yum yum yum!

Orange Chiffon Cakes.

Chop Suey Bread and Challah Bread

In last night’s bread class we made two totally different types of bread – Chop Suey Bread and Challah Bread.

Now Chop Suey Bread has absolutely nothing to do with chop suey. In fact, I have no idea where the name came from. But what I do know is that bread is so delicious, with cinnamon, raisins, choped walnuts and candies fruit inside, and drizzled with a sweet icing on top. Yum!

What made the Chop Suey bread interesting is that the dough is chopped up into lots of small pieces and tossed into the bread pans, along with the fruits and nuts, but unlike tear-away breads the inside of these loaves bake into a solid loaf although they look like a tear-away from the outside. We also made two sizes of Chop Suey Bread – regular bread pan size, and smaller mini loaves in pretty decorative pans.

Two different sizes of Chop Suey Bread - regular size and minis.

The other type of bread we made was Challah Bread. Challah Bread is a traditional braided egg bread.

Challah Bread.