tiistai 28. elokuuta 2012

Misisippi...Missisippi... oh Mississippi!

Hey guys, I've missed you!
The last weekend and week has been such a busy time for me so therefore this post is a litte late. Hopefully you don't mind. :) I'd also mention that I started to work on Monday so I'll work really hard to get these posts here on time. I've made some sort of schedule for my bakings that I'd be on time with them. I'll try my best to post at least every weekend something. I also have a day off every Tuesday so there might be some extra every now and then. (;
Anyways, in last weekend I finally got to bake the mississippi mud pie. That was actually the first recipe which got me to start this blogging so I was very eager to finally make it! In the end, it was a basic mud pie with some fancy whipped cream and chocolate chips on top of it. Despite of its ordinary ingredients, the flavor knocked our socks off. The whole pie was gone in 2 days. Even though I had the right size dish for that, there was still some extra filling. Therefore I made some 1 portion size pies.This time there wasn't any problems with that filling like with chocolate meringue pie. Everything went nice and smooth .

I also tried my new macaron mat on the next day. Unfortunately it wasn't a success.. For some reason the macarons didn't cook as they're supposed to so I ended up to have 42 macaron halves stuck to the mat. I've had some problems earlier with other silicon products. They don't heat up in the same way than normal tins and pans so I've had lots of raw dough when I've used those. So that's the next problem I'm going to solve when I have some time. :)

In the end I want to say that when i baked all this, on Friday, it was all for my granny. She passed away exactly 3 years ago on that day. When I was little, we always baked together gingerbreads in Christmas, cinnamon rolls, and all kinds of pies. She basically got me into baking and I always had awesome time with her. I love you granny!

tiistai 21. elokuuta 2012

Uh Oh Daddy-O!

Hello there!

Yesterday was the time of celebration. My dad had his name day and as a gift, I baked some basic cinnamon rolls. Since there's not that much to celebrate in a year, I think it's nice tradition to have something special even on such a day as a name day. 
I had some troubles with the cooking time/ temperature since I forgot what I did in the last time. Haha, that's what you get when you don't write those down! Oh, there's also one good point about these cinnamon rolls. It's easy to put the "extra" ones to the freezer for the future. Nothing's better when you defrost one of those in the microwave and get a cup of milk with that! :3

I also did some shopping earlier on that day. I finally got myself a mat for macarons! :) It's definitely going to be easier to get perfectly round macarons with that so I can't wait to test it! I didn't want to buy that before I had made the first macarons. I wanted to be sure that I'm patient enough for macaron baking so I'd actually need the mat. The pallet knife and tart tin have also been in my mind for a long time. From those three the tin was the most challenging one to find. I had the measures for that but it seemed like none of the stores I've been to sells that shape. Luckily after long research I found it! It was supposed to be 30x10 (according to one recipe) but 35x11 was the closest one I could find. 
The actual shopping was terrible. I think I visited in three different stores and every time I had to remind myself "Just get what your looking for, do NOT even glance on anything else!" :D Because once I start looking around, it's a disaster. I start to go "Oh, I've always needed this! This would be great in my kitchen!" 
Oh well, more about this week. I'm sure there's going to be some sort of baking later on although the decision hasn't been made yet. Is it going to be macarons? How about some sort of pie? We'll see that. Maybe even a video! :)

But for now, I wish you all good night and chictastic time for the rest of the week! :)

sunnuntai 19. elokuuta 2012

We are the champions!

Delicious evening from the Pchic residence!
I've finally made it my chicsters. Here I present you the first macarons ever made by me!
It was a dark and stormy night.. Maybe that's too dramatic, let me try again.. At 9 AM this morning I woke up full of excitement. I headed straight to kitchen and got everything ready for my ordeal. I had read the recipe numerous times beforehand so I would be capable to make those in half asleep. There isn't any fancy colors etc since I was just testing these. The filling are lemon curd (on the left) and chocolate.
Usually I'm not that precise with the measures but since they really matter in macarons, I followed those very strictly. I even filtered the flours in case so there wouldn't be any clods. When I got to the point where you whisk the egg whites, I got worried. The recipe warned about whisking those eggs too much since the dough has to stay perfect. Not too hard, not too liquid. I kept whisking it with the lowest possible speed and checking every once in a while. It might have been beginner's luck but I still made it. :)
Next thing I know, I'm putting those in the oven already. Now that was tricky! They said how the temperature and time depended on the oven. Luckily I had four oven shelves so I had plenty of material to test that on. The first shelf came out pretty brown, as you can see from that lemon curd one. After that I baked the rest of them on the lowest point in the oven so they got little less brown. I still have to test the temperature in the future a bit since I already lowered the given 150°C (300 F) to 120°C (248 F)
Overall I'm so proud of myself. On top of the macarons, I also made the chocolate ganache (the filling) for the first time. Therefore how things went today, I'm definitely going to master the art of macarons.
I'd say this was perfect way to end this week! :) See ya my chicsters!

lauantai 18. elokuuta 2012

Baking square and fare

Yummy weekend for you all!
Yesterday I got together with my best friend by suggesting that we could bake something delicious for the weekend. Chocolate Caramel squares were the outcome. The recipe had some new ingredients which I've never heard of but everything went better than expected! :)
The squares were made in three different sections so we started off by making the dough for the bottom.

We measured 115 g (4 oz) of butter, 175 g (6 oz) of flours and 55 g (~1,9 oz) of fine golden sugar. Surprisingly this was totally a new experience for me. I've always worked on my doughs by hand but this... oh lawdy, this was so easy! I'm definitely going to use the mixer a lot more in the future! It doesn't even matter that our mixer is over 10 years old. It's still working amazingly well. The only problem we had was the size of the cake tin. I never seem to have the right size tins so we had to improvise itsy bit. Then again you have to remember when you're hardcore baking you can't avoid accidents. :D

Despite the little difficulties we were done with the dough and ready to move on to the caramel filling. At this point I encountered the most bizarre ingredient I have used so far. A can of condensed milk. I did some Internet research and found out that it's not that common product in Finnish grocery stores. The fact that you really can't replace that with anything else (you're welcome to prove me wrong!) made me even consider for a visit to the local Russian store. Fortunately I headed first to the biggest grocery store around and found what I was looking for! The next surprise was revealed at the point where I was opening the can. It was all gooey and I wouldn't call that good until I built up my courage to taste it.. The very common phrase "don't judge a book by its cover" was very clear to me at that moment. That gooey milk product tasted like vanilla pudding! I tried to convince my friend and brother to taste but I think the gooeyness was too much :D

Anyways, we added that can of condensed milk à 397 g (~14 oz), 175 g (6 oz) of butter, 115 g (4 oz) of fine golden sugar, 3 Tbsp of fructose corn syrup in the pan.
After heating it up and mixing for a while it got pretty thick so we were ready to pour that on the dough.

After pouring the caramel the masterpiece was put the fridge to settle until it was firm. It was already late and my friend left before I melted the chocolate for the top so I don't have any pictures of that. Although you can see from the first picture that they came out pretty nice. :)
What about the taste?
I'd say that these are perfect for big parties. These are pretty sweet and according to persons I fed these, said that one square is definitely enough. Overall everything went as expected and the outcome was very good. I'd definitely give 4 out of five stars for this recipe.
For tomorrow I've plans to make my first macarons so wish me luck! :) There isn't going to be any videos from that since I want to focus as much as I can in to the making process. All I can say that it's going to be awesome day tomorrow and I hope you guys have chictastic time until then!

keskiviikko 15. elokuuta 2012

They see me rollin'

Great Wednesday for you all! :)
Since my brother started his freshman year in high school, it inspired me to bake something for him. I know from experience that those long 8 AM to 4PM can be very tiring so instead of making him sammiches from boring normal bread, I made these. Honey oat rolls. I bumped into this recipe accidentally while surfing on the mysterious world of Internet and the first thought was "well, why not give it a try!"
I remember making rolls like this at school many, many years ago. Unfortunately the only memory I have from that is how awful they tasted. Well actually, they didn't taste like anything. That is why I haven't been so into baking bread or bread related stuff ever since I got out from jr high. 
Today, as a matter of fact my friends, today was my lucky day! The rolls came out just perfect! They are squishy, they are moist and the most important fact: they taste SO good. I would say that the recipe had a great part of this. The honey is the key word. Even though there was only 1/2dl (about 1/4 cup) of honey, it made the difference. The recipe said that there were going to be about 20 rolls but fudge that. I got only nine since I thought that one of those little ones wasn't going to fill him up. He's a teenager for God's sake!
Basically you bake them like any other rolls but here's the incredients:
1/2l (2 cups) Liquid (milk, water or even beer)
50g (~1,8 oz) Yeast
5dl (2 cups) Rolled oats
1/2 Tbsp Salt
1/2dl (~ 1/4 cup) Honey
~7dl (3 cups) Flour
50g (~1,8 oz) Melted butter
Anyways, the rolls are great and I have to say that I have some troubles to keep my hands off them. Although I COULD blame on our dog if something happend to them... :D
Alright, see you next time chicster!

tiistai 14. elokuuta 2012

Didn't expect this..

Well hello there chicsters!
It has been a week since we cooked together and for this time I wanted to have something more challenging. Perhaps it was too challenging when looking back for that. :D Chocolate Meringue Pie. Oh how delicious you looked in the picture. I have to admit that when I saw the 'corn starch' in the recipe, I had some second thoughts. I've always been pretty bad at using that in cooking. Whenever I even try to make some kind of sauce, I always end up to have very watery sauce. The picture above gives a great illusion of a perfect pie but of course it's far away from that!
So back to the Sunday's disaster. If you have seen the video, you can see how everything's going great in the beginning. I had high expectations and I was so keen to taste it later. Suddenly I find myself from adding crazy amounts of corn starch into the filling but nothing changes. It was so frustating! I felt like "here we go again" -.- When I filled up the cake tin I tried to stay positive and think: "well after it's been in the oven, it's gonna be great!" Well longer I had it in there the meringue got darker and darker but the filling was being the same ol' liquid self. After 18 mins I had to take it out before it was going to burn. The result was a mess as you can see..

Eventhought the sight was horrible, the pie was gone in 2 hours! The taste was absolutely amazing so therefore I promised to remake that someday soon. Hopefully with better success. :)
Then to the other news from P-chic's life. Today I launched the Chictastic Baking facebook page. I wanted to make it easier for you, my chicster, to follow my actions and latest videos. Feel free to give feedback and development ideas on there!
I also got this great sushi book yesterday. At first I borrowed it from library. I really wanted to buy that but since it was a lot of money (in my scale) I decided to let it be. Fortunately I found the exact same book from another store and it was on great sale! Oh, that was a happy day. :) 
Therefore I wish you have chictastic time until we meet again and hopefully there's going to be a sushi episode soon! :3

lauantai 11. elokuuta 2012

Why can't I hold all of these limes?!

Greetings fellows!
The tuesday after Lemon poppy seed cake was more american again. Key lime pie caught my eye instantly once I saw it in a game. I know, I know, even though it was in pixels on my computer screen, there was something delicious in that which made me want to bake that. Mostly I was surprised by the fact how easy it was to be baked. Even the filling was instantly thick enough to be cut. The flower on top was just silly experiment with whipped cream and green food color I wanted to test together.
Anyways, here's the ingredients and instructions for the pie.
The crust
500g (~17 oz) Digestive cookies
200g (7 oz) Butter
The filling
8 Egg yokes
2 Cans of condensed milk
5 Lime's juice and grated peel
On the top
3dl (1,25 cups) Cream
+ 23cm (9 inch) buttered cake tin

First I crushed the cookies in the mixer and added the melted butter in that. Pretty much a basic crust that many pies have, just cookies and butter. After that I pressed it tightly into the cake tin. The crust itself had to be baked in the oven for 20mins in 170°C (325 F). It got a bit darker in there but without that, there was no difference. Remember to turn the oven cooler at this point. To 150°C (300 F).

The it was time to make the filling. Basically just mix all of the filling ingredients together with a ball shaped beater until it's nice and smooth. In the book they said that their green color was all from the limes but I disagreed. My filling came out more yellow than green so I added some green liquid food color at this point into the bowl.

After the crust had cooled down I poured the filling on it and put it in the oven for 20-30mins. It depends a lot on the oven so you just have to figure out your oven's perfect cooking time. When taking out the pie from oven, make sure that the filling is solid and little soft in the middle. After that the pie needs to fully cool down and it has to be put into the frige at least for an hour. The recommendation was for over night. Then simply just whip the cream for the top and voilà! There you have a glorious Key lime pie! You can also decorate the pie with some grated peel of lime. I accidentally ran out of lime so I had to improvise.
Overall my expectations were proved right and actually this was even better. I knew those pixels weren't lying! :D I strongly recommend this recipe since it's very easy to bake and the flavor compared to the easiness is very good.

Next time we're going to bake a Gooseberry pie so have a chictastic time until then!

tiistai 7. elokuuta 2012

The Chocolate Heaven Sunday

We had a great weekend by kicking off my vlogging on YouTube. For those of you who haven't seen the video, click the link Rocky Road Bars and check it out!
I got some great feedback form you, my chicsters, and good improvement ideas especially from my daddy-chicster. So thank you all so much for your support and hopefully there will be even better videos in the future. :)
Back to the Sunday's action. I decided to start off with something easier for the beginning to get into this world of baking vlog. I got this recipe from the book "The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook". As soon as I saw the picture of these amazingly delicious bars I said to myself: " This is going to be the first episode of Chictastic Baking."
I left some ingredients out just to modify the recipe a little bit to look more like me. Like I also mentioned on the video, I didn't have time to convert those measurements for that occasion. Therefore I give them to you here:
1 kg / 2,2 lb  Milk chocolate
100 g / 3,5 oz  Marshmallows  
175 g / 6 oz  Chocolate covered corn balls
100 g / 3,5 oz Dried apricots
2 x Mars and Snickers bars
2 x Kismet bars (or Kiss Me bars as my boyfriend likes to call them :D)
Unfortunately I had to cut of the tasting part from the video since it would have been too long for YouTube. I still have to figure out some things in editing and filming so I hope you're patient with the little flaws there might be. :) Anyway, the bars were overall irresistible! I thought they would be way too sweet but I was proved wrong. The kinda salty peanuts in those Snickers bars brought amazing flavor in them meanwhile those squishy marshmallows gave nice color. So in total, once you ate one you couldn't resist to take one more... and maybe even one after that :D Even my brother complained that "why don't they sell bars like this in the stores." 
Some great news from today also: I finally got the two books from library I've been craving for! The cutest possible book about Cake Pops "POP Bakery" and the macaron book "Pariisilainen macaron-leivos" including 77 different recipes of those colorful treats. I've been so excited after reading those over and over again, trying to pick up the most interesting and cutest ones to be baked for you guys!
So have a chictastic time and check out the new video soon!

lauantai 4. elokuuta 2012

That's The Way The Cookie Crumbles

Hello my fellow chicsters!
This is my first post here and I can't even describe how excited I am!
I'm starting a new series of documenting my adventures in the world of baking. The documenting is going to begin on here and spread later on YouTube. Therefore, subscribe ThePchic on there for the future's videos.
At this point I probably could tell you more about how all of this began.. I'm young, just graduated girl from Finland who has inherit the artistic way of life from her father. Since elementary school I've dreamed about getting into the university of art. Finally in this spring I applied to there but got turned down after the entry exam. I was devastated.
Weeks after my graduating party I still got great feedback from my relatives about my cakes and other baked goods. I baked for a week straight and went to sleep late at night with my legs aching. Tears weren't far away after a long day but i still felt like it was worth it. In total I had baked, 4 sweet cheese cakes, 4 salty ones (with trial and error), 4 different kind of cookies, dozens of pigs in the blanket, 2 different dry cakes.Unfortunately everybody was so busy celebrating that no pictures were taken of the table. Still feeling bad about that!

During the last month I've been getting more into baking after constant great feedback. I feel like baking is surprisingly close to my art form, ceramics. I get to work with my hands and create amazing creations. Therefore, I want to increase my knowledge of baking. This is some sort of journey for me and what could be more fun than take that journey with someone!

Enough of me now, what about the blogging?
When I'm in action, I mainly use recipes from books and Internet. Maybe someday I try something by myself! I can assure that this blog is going to be full of baking but as usual, there's still some extra ;)
Four things I couldn't live without: chocolate, sushi, art and love. If it was possible, I wouldn't eat anything else but first two of those. :D As one might guess, yes, there are going to be sushi sections once in a while. If you have any suggestions that you want me to try and bake, go for it! I'm very open minded! On the list there is so far different types of pies, bars, cakes. (many of these are surprisingly made out of chocolate! lol) As being a macaron-virgin so to speak, I will try my skills, and nerves, at making those famous and oh so delicious macarons. Of course I'm very VERY eager to try the new trend here; Cake Pops!

So let the journey begin and have a chictastic time until we meet again!