A Piece Of Kek

Month: March, 2015

Basics of Baking: MERINGUE (Chocolate Meringue Kisses)

Bonjour (or Grüezi/Ciao/Allegra)!

By saying hello using the national languages of Switzerland (French, German, Italian, and Romansh), you probably think that I just came back from a vacation there. Sorry to disappoint but no, I did not return from skiing in the Alps yesterday. Not that I wouldn’t like to ski… However, I did a bit of research and found out that the meringue was invented in a village called Meiringen in Switzerland (if you look closely, the pronunciation is almost similar to meringue). That was a new thing because all this while I thought it was discovered in France. A meringue is basically egg whites beaten with sugar until it transforms into this white thing that looks like marshmallow fluff (refer photo below). Since meringues are made up of sugar, it is no surprise that meringues tend to be very sweet. It is widely known to be crunchy on the outside and soft inside (after baking, of course). For those who do not know, French meringue is the most popular type of meringue normally used to make macarons and, well… meringues. Unlike the Swiss meringue or Italian meringue, the egg whites are neither cooked by a double boiler nor by boiling sugar syrup. It isn’t cooked! Because of that, I try to avoid using French meringue but replace it with Swiss meringue whenever a recipe calls for meringue. Although this might not be a common practice, I like it because I can adjust the sweetness of the meringue. I know, right?! I can already hear the shrieks of terror from some of you out there but let me state this again:

I reduce the sugar in my meringues.

From my previous attempts, I discovered that Swiss meringue always comes out much smoother than French meringue. I don’t know how people do it but I can always feel bits of sugar (lots of it) whenever I make the latter. The last time I made a pavlova using the French meringue, the meringue collapsed and the sugar hardly dissolved and it was visible all over the surface. I hated it even more when I paired the already sweet pavlova with mangoes. It was horribly, terribly sweet.

This is what a meringue looks like. If you're still not convinced, that really is just egg whites and sugar.

This is what a meringue looks like. If you’re still not convinced, that really is just egg whites and sugar. The meringues are in the state of STIFF PEAKS.

But all that changed this month (March 2015) when I

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Basics of Baking: BUTTERCREAM (Swiss Meringue Buttercream)

Hello!

In my previous post, I taught you about the basics of cake making. I hope you’ve done your homework because now I am going to cover the topic of buttercream. Before that, can we just take a moment and ponder on the wonderfulness of your teacher telling you at the end of the lesson to go home and bake a cake and then bring it to school the next day so he/she can taste it? I can’t tell if I want to be the student who has to bake a cake as his homework or be the teacher who gets to eat 40 cakes made by his/her student… You know what, I’d pick both! That is, unless somebody presented me with a burnt cake or one of my students accidentally used salt instead of sugar and sugar instead of salt. Oh, what a disaster. But I don’t think that would ever happen to any of my students or you because I’ve done my part (which was teaching you as best as I could!). Like any of you would have tens of kilos of salt in your pantry, right?

Look at this beauty.

Look at this beauty.

Now back to our topic: buttercream. Read the rest of this entry »

Strawberry Compote

Hey guys! I have an improvised version of the strawberry compote down below.

AND IN CASE YOU DIDN’T NOTICE THE BOX ABOVE THIS, I MADE A VIDEO!

YES!!!!!!!! I MADE A VIDEO!

(Make sure you watch the video) Read the rest of this entry »

Basics of Baking: CAKE (Victoria Sponge Cake) | Asas Pembuatan Kek

PERHATIAN: JUGA DITULIS DALAM BAHASA MELAYU!

Arial

The idea to start this blog sparked some time in July of the year 2014. The reason why I created this blog was so that I have a medium where I can share some of the recipes I tried. Besides that, I wanted to help my fellow Malaysians to start baking since it isn’t a common thing in the household.

Not anymore.

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