Monday, May 21, 2007

Creme Caramel

It's a popular dessert which I made for customers last week end. That's very strange because some people called "Creme Caramel" but some people called "Custard", also some people called "Flan" but these three are same things.

We call "Pudding" in Japan and the most popular dessert for everybody from baby to adult. It's just simple ingredients and method which makes a delicious custard. The main ingredients are eggs, milk and sugar. Just egg and 1/2 amount of sugar mix together and add warm milk with 1/2 amount of sugar. Stir and strain once or twice then pour into ramekins and bake with steam. Some people use steamer on the stove but some people use the oven with Bain Marie(water bath)covered with a piece of aluminum foil. Ether one is OK but I recommend to use steamer for home and oven for commercial, just easy way to use steamer for home bakers because NO worry for moving the pan with hot water so.

Today's my Creme Caramel tastes pretty good but too rich for me because I used half cream + half milk and egg yolks+whole eggs. Since long time, my Creme Caramel is always used regular milk(Don't use fat free or less fat!) and whole eggs not yolks. I learned a delicious Creme Caramel when I worked for the pastry shop in Japan but I totally forgot that recipe.... Well, I will definitely try again with regular milk and whole eggs to make "Japanese Creme Caramel".

Oh, I just remember about "Pudding a la Mode" which is also popular pudding dessert in Japan since when I was a child. Just decorated with whipped cream and topped with melon, tangerine and pineapple pieces on the pudding.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Baby Shower Cake

Since I saw this cute idea for baby shower's cake from someone's picture on the net, I really wanted to make for someone. Finally a chance came to me! I got an order from our client lady who was planning for her daughter's baby shower. Her pregnancy daughter is expecting twin babies who are boy and girl. I can't imagine to have twin babies... sounds like little bit scary to me. But actually my grandma is one of twin so I'm sure I have a gene for getting twins...

Talking about my cakes, the party was 12 people so I used three 9" and one 6" cake molds to bake vanilla sponge cakes. I knew that's too much for only 12 people but I wanted make cake prettier so I just did it. (Actually I cut into small wheals, handle and cover so I really needed that much sponge cakes...extra pieces were gone to staff's stomaches!)

She requested me lemon flavor and raspberry so I filled with lite lemon mousse and fresh raspberries. Coated with lemon icing and piped cute pink and blue like flowers image for baby boy and girl. Oh yes, I set up cakes like stroller. It was a big hit! People around me liked my cake. Specially a banquet manager liked this cake so much and she asked me a possibilities to sell more cakes like this in near future. Sounds very interesting to me but I can't because I have too much work now and I don't want to have less time to make these creations. (It takes time more than I thought...)

Later on, I met a lady who is a member of our club and she told me my cake was so good and so pretty. Nice to hear anything like that! I think I got some clients for my future business.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

I've just finished Mother's Day brunch for 460 people last Sunday. I wasn't expected that much banquets I have in my work and need to make lots and lots of desserts for them. I heard from April to June are most busiest season for the country club. The weather makes people come to play golf or do all kind of events. Of course wedding season is in June! Fortunately, I don't need to make the wedding cakes so that makes little bit my stress off. But still I have parties and upcoming events every day.

Well, a great season has the great vegetables and fruits! Here rhubarb is one of my favorite unique vegetable. I never had and cooked before so my first time to cook Rhubarb was compote at the cooking school in London. Actually I didn't like it because too much fibers and tastes so sour. I thought my teacher gave me wrong recipe? Who knows! Well, I knew that rhubarb and strawberry are great combinations since I moved to California. Here is the best combinations spring dessert "Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp" which I made for regular dinning service in weekend for few weeks.

At the beginning, I didn't cook rhubarb before I put into oven with crumble so it was bit uncooked in the center and I found it out later(actually I gave my boss and his wife was complained about it!). Yes, rhubarb needs more time for cooking than strawberries. So I cooked rhubarb, sugar and lemon juice for about 10min on the stove then transfer to ramekins and mix with strawberries and put crumble on the top. I think that makes them cook faster and cook all way through so less time and no worry about uncooked rhubarb pieces. Much better crisp I made than before!
I adapted crisp topping recipe from my favorite Claudia Freming's dessert book "The Last Course". I arranged sugar amount and spice but this is my favorite crisp topping always.