6 Baking Myths I would Never Bust, Cos Hey! they are not Myths!

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Have I ever told you that I’m as lazy as lazy can get? I could plunk myself on the couch and watch TV for hours together. The doorbell better not ring or the visitor is in for some grouchiness. Baking and laziness aren’t the best of friends, considering how laborious and procedure-driven baking is. Don’t ask me how, but on days that I’m baking, I lock up my laziness in a closet. However easy it is to bake your cake, you still can’t afford to be lazy with baking, period.

You might have chanced upon a zillion links that convince you about baking hacks, shortcut methods, skipping steps and all of that.  I’ve witnessed my favourite TV Food hosts throwing every ingredient into the KitchenAid and whacking it all together in one go (NO, not Mary Berry!). The cake might look beautiful and brown, it could be delicious even, perhaps not as delicious or as soft to the touch.

You see, there might just be a degree of difference between creaming butter and sugar a minute longer or a minute lesser, but it is still a difference and these fractions of differences are what makes your cake a tad more perfect or a tad less perfect.

You want perfection? I say stick to the Old School way when it comes to some things. Here are some baking myths I would never bust, because hey! they are not myths!
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Filed under Theory of Baking

Mom’s Krack Jack Custard Pudding

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My mamma was a baker herself; have I ever told you that? When I was about 15 or 16, she went to baking classes on weekends. And then she bought herself a tiny OTG, (which btw I used till a few years ago) and baked like there was no tomorrow. That was around the time I outgrew my clothes. She would try out all these eggless desserts taught to her by her baking teacher. You see, my grandmother didn’t allow eggs in the kitchen.
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2 Years, Several More to Go + One Bowl Chocolate Cake with Mocha Swiss Meringue Buttercream, Ganache & Candied Pecans

2 years. 160 posts. Many happy baking days, some sad ones. Many “Omg! Spot of yellow has gone into my carefully separated egg whites,” days. Many futile evenings that started with recipe development and ended in hours and hours of House of Cards marathon. Many sleepless nights spent too, wondering, “WTH am I doing with this blog.” Many envious hours spent too, lurking at fellow bloggers’ blogs that led to quiet days, without any baking, no batter, no butter, no whisking, nothing!

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Super Cool Smoothie

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What gets you going in the mornings? A hot cup of coffee? Or is it Cha that gives you the kick? Or is it a nice fluffy omelet with a glass of orange juice? I was never the breakfast type. Back in the day, I would barely have time to eat breakfast. I’d sleep in late, after an all-nighter of tequilas and more tequilas, I’d wake up, bathe, get dressed, gulp down my coffee and run to work. Clearly, health wasn’t one of my priorities. The story of pretty much most youngsters who’ve just begun to earn their moolah, some might say. But it’s so wrong!
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Mango Éclairs with Coconut Lemon Glaze

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3a I dream of desserts. I do. You know that zone where you are slipping into a comatose and you have all these images appear in front of your mind’s eye? Sometimes, well, most times, those images for me are floating cupcakes, cookies, candies, breads… you get the drift. Imagine a black hole and all these colourful desserts are emerging out of it; that’s the state of my mind when I am entering the deep sleep zone.

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It’s like this dessert solar system where macarons and muffins are orbiting one after the other. And it’s also the time when some of the prettiest desserts get conceived in there. Unfortunately, I am in no state to wake up and put them on paper. I’m on the pot next morning with several dessert epiphanies waiting to jump out of my brain, but they just wouldn’t because they are all muddled in one big fog, in some corner of my subconscious realm.

 

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This time, I dreamt of éclairs. Perfect brown oblongs with gleaming chocolate on top. That’s all I remember. But oh wait, I’ve already made éclairs here. First attempt success with éclairs is not something someone forgets that easily. I’m not saying I didn’t have troubles while making them, I encountered many. But the end result was something I am still proud of.

I also realized that I haven’t indulged in a pretty French pastry in the longest time. But chocolate éclairs were off the table. Then I thought about summer fruits. This is a country of beautiful tropical flavours; why go after raspberries and blueberries when our soil is home to some lovely mangoes and coconuts? Thus was born the idea of Mango Éclairs with Coconut Lemon Glaze.

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For éclairs, you can get the choux pastry recipe here where I have given a detailed account of how to pipe éclairs. To master choux pastry, check out my tips and tricks to perfecting choux. For my mango crème patissière, I used actual Alphonso mango pulp, no synthetic mango flavour – it’s one of those things you can eat buckets of. And for the coconut glaze, I made a concoction of icing sugar, coconut milk and zest of one lemon.

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Mango Éclairs with Coconut Lemon Glaze
Yields 6
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Prep Time
1 hr
Total Time
2 hr
Prep Time
1 hr
Total Time
2 hr
Ingredients
  1. For éclairs refer link given above
  2. For mango crème patissière or mango custard
  3. 4 egg yolks
  4. 3.5 tbsp (50 g) caster sugar
  5. 1.5 tbsp corn flour
  6. 1.5 tbsp plain flour
  7. 300 ml milk
  8. 1 cup Alphonso mango pulp
  9. For coconut lemon glaze
  10. 1 cup icing sugar, sifted
  11. ¼ cup coconut milk
  12. Zest of one lemon
Instructions
  1. Make choux pastry, pipe and bake them as per http://doughmydear.com/2013/05/31/chocolate-eclairs/
  2. For mango custard, whisk yolks and sugar in a clean bowl. Add both the flours and continue whisking. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring milk to the boil.
  3. Add half the boiling milk into the egg mixture while whisking (if you don’t whisk the custard will curdle due to heat). Pour back the egg mixture into the saucepan of remaining milk and keep whisking in gentle heat till the custard thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
  4. Now, add mango pulp, a spoon at a time and keep whisking. Once done, cover the custard with cling film and set aside. The custard will thicken as it cools down.
  5. For the coconut glaze, beat together coconut milk and icing sugar until smooth. Add the lemon zest. The glaze should be thick (of glue consistency).
  6. To assemble, drill two holes on either side of the underside of the éclairs using a 1.5 inch plain tip.
  7. Fit the same tip into a piping bag and fill the bag with mango custard. Pipe the custard into each hole of the éclair until the éclair feels plump and filled out. Repeat for all éclairs.
  8. Drizzle the coconut lemon glaze on top.
Notes
  1. Leave the baked eclairs overnight and pipe the custard the next day for better results.
Doughmydear|Baking up a storm in my little oven http://doughmydear.com/

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Date and Honey Buns

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I let my first drop of summer sweat yesterday. No amount of air-conditioning is enough. Fans are practically redundant. Sometimes, I wish I was in that bucket of ice instead of those beers. But beers come to my rescue always at this time of the year – I’m literally transported to a la la land when the cold beer flushes down my throat; that it bloats my tummy to the size of a large gym ball is a different issue altogether. Happy Summer to you.
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Homemade Bourbon Biscuits

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Chocolates or biscuits? Well, I’d go for biscuits any day. Even as a child, I’d prefer my snack-pack to have a variety of biscuits – butter, salt, chocolate or those freshly baked bakery kind that would just seamlessly melt in my mouth. I was the kid who sat at the edge of the sofa and unabashedly gawked at the plate of biscuits kept in front of me when invited over by friends and family, until I heard a kind voice say, “go ahead, eat them,” (much to my parents’ embarrassment of course.)

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Apricot Eton Mess

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 For me, what makes food so interesting is its history and culture. Now we don’t know if Marco Polo brought with him spaghetti and gelato from his escape to China or Croissants were actually invented in Vienna to rejoice their victory over the Ottomans, but if you strip a dish off its little anecdote of how it came about it or its diasporic quality, I wonder if it will continue to remain interesting.

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Strawberry Tiramisu

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Hey guys! How was your weekend? Mine was fabulous! My cousin had us over for a party at her place. There were conversations, music, dance, drinks and food – lots of it. You can’t put a price on house parties, they are simply amazing!

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Filed under Cakes, Cheese, puddings

The Best Birthday Cake Ever!

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Some traditions are not worth questioning. Beers on a hot Sunday afternoon. Popcorn and fizzy drinks at movies. While at the beach, the joy of blowing soap bubbles that ever so beautifully radiate myriad shades of infinitesimal colours and your pupils intently following them as they float and burst within a few seconds. Deep, dark, debaucherous chocolate cake on your birthday. 

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