Sunday, February 17, 2013

unfortunate (hot.milk.sponge.cake)

yesterday was unfortunate ... more than half way into the parking spot, the driver opened his driver's door, and it hit the fog light bumper of my car, there is now a small dent ... (for reasons i don't want to put into detail here) i literally could do nothing ... yesterday was like salt over open wound ... negatively, i asked myself  as i stared at the dent "how much worse is coming?" i was pissed and really really angry, but bursting into impulsive actions won't fix anything at that specific situation (if my situation was different, i would have  done something to justify what was done) ... and so, with utter reluctance and anger, i brushed it off my shoulder and headed into the grocery store ... the driver also headed into the store, and seeing him was making me disgusted to the pits of my stomach (i really wanted to vomit straight into his face, if technicalities were set aside, he would have paid for fixing that dent). i made sure i didn't cross paths with him in the store. 

anyway, yesterday i really wanted to do my grocery, so, i went about grocery shopping, trying my very best to distract myself from what happened. choosing some really good limes and lemons for zesting, some not-so-ripe plum tomatoes, fresh scallions, my two favorite basic spices garlic and onions, picked up some nice italian parsley, some mushrooms (whose price has gone up), carrots, one of my favorite vegetables called chayote, some brussel sprouts, ginger, lettuce, avocados, grapefruit, tofu, cereal, oranges, bananas and some nice citrus kiwi. (i wanted to bake, but my golly was i really really angry inside, the feeling of pure anger is very ugly.)

that evening, i made use of the brussel sprouts, by blanching them shortly, and sauteing them with thinly sliced  carrots, over some chives, basil, oregano and fennel seeds, adding some soy sauce and half a cube of beef bullion, then adding some freshly chopped scallions, and finishing it off with fresh lemon juice (about a table spoon). fennel has a really distinct flavor, kinda nuttish-herbish-with-a-very-small-hint-of-sweet? (was that a good-enough-description?) i paired this with some warm white rice which i mixed with some of the chopped scallions.

woke up late this morning, still on the "trying-to-brush-off" feeling but still pissed. so, i decided to bake the hot-milk-sponge cake (again, so that i get it right this time).


for this one, i made two batches, one was baked into pastry cups with a slices of ripe blue berries and another was simply the hot milk cake itself. again, i made some changes on mine, since i try to bake with less sugar, and more of the core ingredient. 

changes are:
- used 1/3 cup sugar
- ripe blue berries (sliced in halves)

- 2 tbsp dark.chocolate
- 1 tsp dark.cocoa.poweder
- 2 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp butter
- 4 tsp milk

i made a dark chocolate glaze instead. heating up the milk and letting the butter, dark chocolate, sugar, dark cocoa powder melt while mixing them. it was not thick at first, but as the mixture cooled down, it thickened, but more of a glaze consistency. i chose to bake one batch into pastry cups, but since i don't have a muffin tray, simply fill a small glass plate (about one and half inch deep) with the pastry cups, putting them as close to each other as possible, so that when the batter expands, the pastry cups would lean against each other and still hold their shape (at least those are my thoughts).

filled the pastry cup with a thin layer of the batter, put in the sliced blue berries and covered with another layer of the batter (i learned that you should not fill the container all the way to the top, because the batter will rise). the recipe calls for a baking time of 35 minutes, mine was actually done by about 21 minutes, then letting it sit in the oven for about 3-5 minutes (my oven is not state of the art technology, just to mention). so far, i would say i'm getting closer, the cake turned out light, with that that touch of sponge, but not yet really a sponge cake (which has a totally different recipe) also, looks like the pastry cups maintained its shape.

half of the cake in the pastry cups i simply dusted with confections sugar, and some i topped with a little of the dark chocolate glaze.

after making these cakes as pretty as i can ... (don't you think they look a wittle pweety?) gave a fresh batch of the ones in the pastry cups to the neighbor, the kids says they really like it and that it tastes good, however, i think i need to work more on it (hopefully i am not becoming too cynical on myself etc.) also, chatted a bit with the neighbor regarding parking situations, rules, suggestions etc. by the time i got back into the apartment, it was a little past 2:30'sh in the afternoon, so, heated up some espresso, cut me some slices of the cake with a thinly topped dark.choc glaze, sat down and ... gobbled them up all together like a starving person (kidding) ate them all though.

there is a song whose album is titled "waiting for my rocket to come" (if i'm not mistaken) then again, there is a saying called "making it happen" and then there is a saying "not everything or every situation has an instant result" - anyway, i'm reading about making puff pastry from scratch, so far, i am getting more and more acquainted with the different types of doughs (and learning the process along the way).