Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Rolls

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Rolls

Carol Hu's "The Second Book of Baking for Beginners" was my first bread making and guide book when I first started exploring baking. The book had served me well as a self learner, providing me with a wealth of information with detailed written and pictorial instructions. Until today, I would still recommend this book to anyone who wish to pick up baking skills on their own. It is a must have starter book for beginners as the methods are very straight forward and recipes proven to yield good results.

Lately, I have been alternating between 周老师的美食教室 "天然手作麵包101道" by 周淑玲 and another book as reference for bread making. This book was given by an old old buddy of more than 20 years who took the trouble to go around books store to get me lots of good baking books. Unlike Carol's book which is packed with pictorial illustrations, this 周老师's book is less comprehensive but it compensates by bundling with one free DVD tutorials covering the necessary aspects of bread making.

For this bread, I opted for a No Knead Soft Bread Dough recipe as the base bread to compare it against other bread dough recipes which calls for considerable kneading works. This recipe derives its softness through its high content of oil and sugar, which are also essential factors in producing soft breads.

No Knead Soft Bread Dough 基本面围

270g Milk
4.5g Instant Yeast
450g High Protein Flour
90g Low Protein Flour
4.5g Salt
1 Large Egg
90g Unsalted Butter (melted)

Cinnamon Roll Filling 
80g Dark Brown Sugar
Cinnamon Powder

  • Combine all ingredients into a mixing bowl. Use the end of a flat rolling pin to stir the contents with each addition until incorporated.
  • Add in melted butter and continue using the tip end of the flat rolling pin to stir the dough for 5-6 mins until combine and the dough becomes soft and elastic. (I did not complete the entire process but rather dump the dough into the stand mixer and allow the mixer to do the kneading. According to the recipe, if one prefers to knead using this 'no knead' formula, the outcome of the bread would be even better and chewy). 
  • Place dough into a slightly grease bowl. Sprinkle water on the dough and cover the bowl with cling wrap. Place the bowl in a warm area and allow it to proof for 60 mins for until double in size.
  • Punch down the dough. Divide and roll the dough into 2 equal parts. Cover and allow to rest for 10 mins.
  • Lightly dust the work top with bread flour.
  • Flatten dough and roll into rectangle shape of 16x12cm of 5-6mm thickness. 
  • Evenly spread sugar over the rectangle dough and follow by cinnamon powder (adjust dosage based on preference).
  • Lightly spray a thin coat of water over the dough to allow the sugar to stick onto the dough. Roll up the dough (beginning from the long side) into a long roulade and pinch to seal the seams securely.
  • Cut 8 equal size rolls and arrange side up on a greased baking pan. 
  • Repeat the same for the other half dough to create another 8 equal size rolls to be arranged onto the same baking pan.
  • Cover and allow the dough to proof for another 50 mins.
  • Apply egg wash over the cinnamon doughs. Sprinkle another thin layer of brown sugar over the doughs.
  • Bake the rolls on the 2nd lowest level of a preheated oven at 180C degrees for 20-22 mins. 

Light Strawberry Cheddar Cheesecake

Baked this batch of cheese cake for my buddy as my hubby went there for business trip two weeks ago. Unlike the normal cheesecake which is dense and creamy rich, this recipe only use small dosage of cream cheese. I have adapted this recipe from the original as I was trying to use up the leftover cream cheese in the fridge. 

I was hoping for the cake  to turn out like the souffle cheesecake, however, after baking the cake ended up like a hybrid between the chiffon and sponge. In my opinion, this cake will serve well for those who are less keen on cheese as there is only a mild tinge of cheesy flavor to it.  

Light Strawberry Cheddar Cheesecake

Ingredients (A)
140g Evaporated Milk
30g Cheddar Cheese
30g Cream Cheese
50g Butter

110g Superfine Flour

5 Egg Yolks, 
1 Whole Egg
1 Tbsp Strawberry Extract (I use blended fresh strawberries)
5 Egg Whites
110g Castor Sugar
1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar

Fresh Strawberries for Decoration (optional)

  • Preheat oven at 150C degrees (Upper and Lower Rack).
  • Line and grease bottom and sides of an 9" x 9" square cake mould with parchment paper. 
  • Using a hand whisk, combine and boil (A) in a heat proof saucepan / mixing bowl over low heat. Keep stirring until butter and cheese is fully melted. Remove from heat.
  • Sift in (B) to (A) mixture while it is still warm. Mix well. 
  • Set the above mixture over hot water to keep warm. Add (C) and combine well.
  • In another clean and oil free mixing bowl, whisk egg whites and cream of tartar in (D) until frothy. Add sugar in 2 batches and continue beating until soft peak is formed.
  • Fold 1/3 of the egg whites mixture to egg yolk batter. Mix until just incorporated. 
  • Pour the batter to the remaining egg white mixture. Mix well.
  • Transfer the batter into the prepared pan and bake at under the lower rack 150C degrees for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 130C degrees and continue to bake for another 35-40 minutes till skewer inserted comes out clean. 
  • Remove cake from oven and immediately drop the cake pan at a height of 30cm onto the kitchen counter top to release the hot air inside the cake.  This process helps to reduce sinkage / shrinkage of the cake upon cooling. Unmould the cake immediately. 
  • To unmold, place a large plate or baking sheet on top of the cake pan, invert the cake pan onto the plate / baking sheet. Remove the cake pan and the parchment paper on the base and sides of the cake. Place a cooling rack on the base of the cake, invert the cake right side up onto the cooling rack and leave to cool immediately. 
  • Chill the cake in the fridge for 2-3 hours or overnight before serving.


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