Thursday, September 28, 2017

Ube ensaymada / Filipino-style bread rolls

Ensaymada is a Filipino-style bread adapted from a sweet pastry bread originated in Mallorca , Spain  , called Ensaimada de Mallorca. The first time I've made Ensaymada de mallorca was more than 5 years ago . Those homemade ensaymada reminds me of the one I usually ate when I was young and not the brioche-like ensaymada that is popular back home nowadays .  

This recipe is from The Great British Bake Off book ( 2016 ) which I slightly modified . At first , I wasn't keen on using the recipe as the photo of the mallorcas look dense , not the fluffy brioche-like ensaymada that I was looking for . So I tweaked the recipe a bit , added more flour , used some plain yogurt and reduced a bit of butter . And kneaded until it pass a window pane test or show a characteristic as it is a buttery dough  . Okay , I didn't knead it myself as I used my bread machine  . My modified version certainly created a buttery and fluffy sweet bread though not in par with the almost cakey version of Muhlach ensaymada . My tweaked ensaymada will stay soft for 3 days stored in a plastic food bag at room temperature.

This mallorca dough is very wet and using a bread machine or a stand mixer is a must . If you're not a " native " or don't like ube halaya or can't find it in your neck of the woods , you can omit it and just  brush the dough before rolling it with melted butter instead . Nutella , peanut / almond / cookie butter or jams / preserves are some fillings that you can explore , just skip the cheese topping 😁 And if you think that adding grated cheese topping is a bit weird , yeah , with a bit of butter cream , too , the combination of sweet , salty , almost savoury is actually delicious and addictive , but then taste is subjective ......

Recipe adapted from The Great British Bake Off at Home with my modification in blue ( instructions are mostly mine ) 

Makes 10 

Mallorca dough : 

350 grams bread flour 380 grams ( Casarine ) bread flour 
7 grams active-dried yeast 6 grams 
40 grams caster sugar
5 grams fine sea salt
3 medium eggs , at room temperature , slightly beaten ( weight ranging from 61 to 64 grams ) 
5 tablespoon cold water 50 grams ( sweetened ) plain yogurt + 25 grams water at room temp
150 grams unsalted butter , cut into small cubes , softened 120 grams 

Filling : 

( homemade ) 350 grams ube jam / ube halaya 

1 egg , beaten ( for egg wash ) 

To finish : 

some grated cheese 
60 grams butter ( softened )  and 40 grams sugar ( whisk until butter is smooth , add sugar and mix until just combined ) 

* Pour in the eggs , yogurt and water into the bread machine pan , followed by sugar , salt and flour . Make a small well on the flour and add in the yeast , cover yeast with some flour . Select dough programme and add in the butter after 20 minutes . Turn off the dough programme then start it again and let machine knead the dough for another 20 minutes . The reason for this is that my machine kneading cycle which is 23 minutes is not strong enough to knead the dough well so another extra time is needed to make it smooth and elastic .

* Form dough into a smooth round ball then place it in a lightly-oiled mixing bowl , cover tightly with cling / plastic wrap . Let stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes then place in the fridge to chill overnight .

* Tip dough on a lightly floured the work surface ,  knead briefly to form into a smooth round ball .  Divide dough into 10 portions @ ( approximately ) 77 grams each ( my final dough is 773 grams ) . Let rest , covered , for 15 minutes .

* Lightly-greased 10  4 1/2  x 3 1/4-inch brioche tins , set aside .

* Roll dough , one portion at a time ( keep the rest covered ) , into about 9 x about 5-inch rectangle . Spread 35 grams of ube jam on top of the rolled dough , leaving a bit space on all sides . Starting on the long side , roll dough into a log and gently pinch seam to seal . Roll the log until seam is smooth and about 10-inch in length , coil into spiral and tuck end underneath . Place roll on a prepared tin and place tin on a baking sheet , lightly cover with plastic wrap or clean tea towel . Continue with the rest of the dough .

* Let dough rise until double in size , about 1 1/2 hours , depending on ambient temperature .

* Place oven rack on lower middle position and preheat oven to 190ºC .

* Gently brush the top of each roll with egg wash .

* Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until rolls are golden brown .

* Transfer tins to wire rack and let cool for about 10 minutes before removing rolls . Let cool completely before adding the toppings . 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

No-bake ( homemade ) ube halaya / ube jam mini cheesecakes with ube milk jelly topping

I saw some fresh ube from the market weeks ago and got a bit teary-eyed .  You're such a weirdo , self 😁

The last time I had fresh ube was early this year and boy , I had a blast making ube goodies lol From ube halaya , ube ice cream , ube roll cake , ube cupcakes with ube cream cheese frosting ..... Yup , there are still a lot on my to-make ube list . 

Ube or purple yam ( there's also a white variety ) is a tuberous root vegetables . The tubers are usually vivid purple or lavender thus the name ( Wiki  ) . I think here in smoggy Hongkong , ube is a winter crop , during that time , the colour is more vivid and there's this hint of sweetness compare to what I bought few weeks ago . Back home in the Philippines , ube is commonly use in different kinds of desserts or just steamed and eaten on its own . Ube halaya or ube jam , is a popular dessert made of boiled / steamed and mashed / grated ube . You can find different versions on how to cook it online . Will post my recipe next time . 

This is such an easy recipe to make . I added a bit of yam paste to enhance the ube taste . Colour of the cheesecake will depend on the ube jam that you're using . You can adjust the amount of sugar according to preference . Recipe can be easily doubled and will nicely fit in a 7 or 8-inch round pan . 

Recipe inspiration  from 2人免焗小蛋糕 / 芝芝[著]. 芝芝  ( No-bake desserts for 2 ) 

Makes 3x2-2/3 inch mini cheesecakes 

Crumb base : 

80 grams ( Biscoff ) biscuits 
25 grams salted butter , softened 

* Place biscuits and butter in a mini food processor and whizz until mixture is well combined .

* Divide crumbs evenly into 2 ( 3x2-3/4 inch ) mousse tins , flatten crumbs with a metal teaspoon . Chill or freeze for about 20-30 minutes .

Filling : 

5 grams gelatin sheet
5 grams drinking water
100 grams whipping cream
40 grams milk
100 grams ( homemade ) ube halaya / ube jam
1/4 teaspoon ube paste ( optional ) 
100 grams ( Kiri ) cream cheese , softened 
25 grams caster sugar

* Soak gelatin in cold water for about 10 minutes until softened . 

* In a small mixing bowl , pour in whipping cream ( if it's too hot in your side of the world , chill bowl and beater first and place some ice cubes in another bowl under the bowl with cream in it before beating ) and beat until stiff peaks form . Chill in the fridge until needed .

* Combine ube halaya , milk and ube paste , mix well .

* Beat cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy , add in the ube-milk mixture ,  beat until well combined .

* Squeeze off excess water from softened gelatin and combine with water in a small bowl ; place bowl into a pan with barely simmering water . Stir until gelatin is completely dissolved .

* Stir gelatin mixture into and the cream cheese batter and mix thoroughly then fold in the whipped cream and mix well . Divide mixture evenly and pour into the mousse tins . Chill cheesecakes for about an hour before pouring in the jelly topping .

Ube milk jelly topping : 

50 grams mashed ( steamed ) ube
about 1/8 teaspoon ube paste ( optional ) 
1 1/2 teaspoons caster sugar
50 grams milk
2 grams gelatin sheet , soaked until softened

* Combine milk , sugar and softened gelatin in a small bowl , place bowl in a pan with barely simmering water .

* Stir until gelatin is completely dissolved , take off heat and add in mashed ube and ube paste , mix until well combined .  Divide mixture evenly and pour into the chilled cheesecakes . Chill overnight .

To un-mould the cheesecakes : 

* Ran a hairdryer around the sides of mousse tin for 1-2 minutes . When top begins to melt slightly , lift up the tin/ring . Chill for about 30 minutes before serving .

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Cherry-cream cheese oatmeal bars

Hi all ! Hope all is well in your side of the world ......

Still remember me ?! 😁

Anyway , I need to clear up a bottle of cherry jam and and a block cream cheese to make way for another purchase of yup , more jams and more cream cheese lol 

Hey , cream cheese is life ! And speaking of it , have you tried Kiri cream cheese ( see photo below after the recipe )  ?! No ? If you love to make cheesecake you should try this brand . I've been loyal to Philly cream cheese for years but after I tried Kiri , there's no going back . 

Since you'll be the one who'll mostly consume these bars , okay , I'm talking about me , the brand of cream cheese that you'll use in this recipe ( or other recipes ) is important . 

I'm not really fond of oatmeal in bakes and haven't baked oatmeal cookies since forever . However in this recipe , combined with pecans the taste of oatmeal seems like ambrosia heh ! to me okay , maybe it's the cream cheese between layers 😀 

This is a 4-layer cookie bar , basically made of pecans and oatmeal crust , the bottom crust is baked first and cooled before the filling is added . Filling consist of cream cheese and cherry preserves then top with another layer of the pecan-oatmeal mixture . Once baked , it is important to let it well-chilled before cutting ,  chilling it overnight in the fridge is a must .

Since there's still lots of fresh cherries at the market , I decided to add some to cherry preserves for texture contrast . Halfway through baking , I opened the fridge and saw the cherry slices still lurking inside ! Oh well .......

It's pretty easy to make and the texture and flavour combination is hard to beat !

Recipe ( with some minor tweaks ) adapted from Chef Joey Prats via Bake Happy Manila Facebook page 

Makes 12 or 16 bars , depending on the preferred size 

Crust : 

150 grams all-purpose flour
100 grams quick cooking oats
100 grams light brown sugar
1 gram baking soda
75 grams pecans , toasted and finely chopped
100 grams salted butter , cut into 1-cm cubes

Filling : 

250 grams ( Kiri ) cream cheese , slightly softened
35 grams caster sugar
25 grams whole egg

250 grams cherry preserves

* Preheat oven to 180ºC . Lightly butter an 8-inch ( loose-bottom ) square pan and line bottom and sides with parchment .

* Sift flour into a large bowl , add in oats , sugar , baking soda and pecans , using a wire whisk , stir until well combined . Add in the cubed butter , use fingers to rub butter into the dry ingredients until mixture resembles coarse crumbs .

* Transfer 350 grams of the crust into the prepared pan and press to form an even layer , use the back of a spoon to smoothen the top . Bake for 15 minutes or until crust is starting to turn brown . Let cool for about 15-20 minutes .

* Meanwhile , combine cream cheese , sugar and egg in a mixing bowl , beat on medium speed for 2 minutes or until mixture is smooth and creamy .

* Using a small offset spatula , spread cream cheese mixture evenly on baked crust . Top with cherry preserves and spread evenly . Sprinkle the remaining crust evenly on top of the cherry preserves and lightly press . Bake for 35 minutes or top is golden brown .

* Remove baking pan from the oven and set to cool completely on a wire rack . Cover pan with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill overnight .

* Unmold then cut and serve .