when marion cunningham passed away earlier this summer, the new york times published her famous coffeecake recipe — a truly wonderful recipe (not too sweet, well balanced, comforting like a mother’s hug).
i baked it following the recipe to a tee the first time around — loved it! the second time around, i decided that it would go nicely with the sage that i had growing in a pot on my window sill. i used about 6 sage leaves, chopped up and folded into the batter at the very end. next time, i’d probably use double the amount of sage, as the flavour wasn’t quite strong enough.
if you haven’t already, do bake marion’s favorite cake (with or without the sage)!
in case you’ve been wondering if i still bake, yes, i do…however, i’ve been doing a miserable job keeping up with the posting!
in the past few months, i’ve been spotting the emergence of “tofu bread” at japanese bakeries around the NYC area. i’ve purchased a few loaves. i can’t say that the flavour of tofu is actually detectable, but the texture is good, it seems to keep for a longer time than normal bread, and well the idea of eating tofu in my bread seems virtuous and healthy.
so, i decided to track down a recipe on a japanese website (which i’ve since lost track of — otherwise, i’d link to it). the flavour and texture is pretty good (a tight crumb) and moist…altho i didn’t quite get the rise that i had anticipated (perhaps i messed something up in translation or my yeast had sat in the freezer for too long).
anyhow…here’s how i made tofu bread…version 1.0
japanese tofu bread
(makes one 9″ loaf)
||250g + 50g (reserve)
||30g (at room temp)
|Active dry yeast
- Heat milk until just warm (but not so hot that it kills the yeast). Pour about 1/3 of the sugar into the warm milk. Then pour in the yeast. Set aside, allowing the yeast to bubble and froth (about 15 minutes).
- In the bowl of your standmixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together butter and sugar until well-combined. Then add in tofu. Mix for about 2-3 minutes.
- Next, pour in salt and bread flour. Mix for another 2-3 minutes.
- Finally pour in milk-yeast mixture.
- Change to dough hook. Mix at medium speed until a ball of dough forms and the all the excess has removed from the sides. The dough should not be tacky. We added about 50g of additional bread flour until we got it to the right consistency — something like a soft clay.
- Transfer to a bowl. Dust with flour, cover with plastic and allow to rise until it doubles to triples in size.
- Then, form it into a loaf to fit into a 9″ loaf pan. Again, allow the dough to rest in a warm place until it rises to the just above the lip of the pan.
- Heat oven to 385°F and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
i’ve had flo braker’s baking for all occasions book for a while now. . . and just came across her recipe for any day all-occasion snack cake (p. 66). it’s a simple to make and deliciously versatile cake. one can drop in anything from berries to carrots to raisins to diced apples. Continue reading
i know, i know…i’ve fallen off the posting wagon of late. i’ve got a lot of material and not a lot of time to type them up! at any rate, we’re back with japanese cheesecake! Continue reading
blame it on harry! i’ve been so tied up taking care of the little fluff ball that i haven’t had much time to bake…or in this case steam. (plus, he turns into a little gremlin when he knows there are sweets around) . . .
the other day, i got a hankering for this steamed cake that my mother makes. really, it’s the only cake she made with any sort of regularity during my childhood. it’s not very sweet — or just sweet enough in my book, and has a wonderfully moist texture.
my mom refers to it as fa gao, which loosely translates into prosperous cake — it’s something typically made during chinese new year’s. after my visit to tim ho wan last november, it struck me that this cake is actually quite similar to the ma lai gao that they serve there. i think that if you actually substitute the milk in the recipe below with evaporated milk, you might end up with ma lai gao.
anyhow, i called up mum and she sent me her recipe . . .
Mom’s Steamed Cake Recipe
(makes 1 nine-inch round cake)
||2 large ones
||1 ½ cups
||1 1/3 cups
||½ cup (I used light brown sugar; although usually uses dark brown sugar, which gives it a richer colour and molasses-y flavour)
- Set a bamboo steamer on top of a wok filled with water. Then, grease a 9″ cake pan and set aside.
- Whisk together flours, baking powder and baking soda in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
- Beat eggs for 1-2 minutes or until well mixed.
- Add in brown sugar and beat for another minute.
- Add in milk and oil. Mix for another minute.
- Finally pour in the dry ingredients you had previously whisked together in step 2. Turn mixer down to lowest speed and mix for 1-2 minutes until evenly combined.
- Pour the batter into the greased cake pan. Place the pan inside the bamboo steamer. Cover with the steamer’s lid. Steam for 40 minutes.
- Resist the urge to open the lid . . . as this will prevent the cake from blossoming — and yes, if you’ve made this cake properly, the center is supposed to crack open!
- When the 40 minutes are up, turn off the heat. Allow the cake to cool inside the steamer with the lid on for 15 minutes. Then remove the lid and allow the cake to cool completely.