bakerisbetter

Honey Dinner Rolls

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Dinner rolls have been on my baking bucket list for as long as I can remember 🙂

Recipe Used:

What I Changed:

  • Only wound up using 2.5 cups of flour.
  • Froze half of the dough before the first rise (though I’m thinking it may have been better to let it rise, shape, and then freeze?)
  • Kept it in the fridge during the first rise due to time constraints (sounds like lab…) and then let it rise for ~30 mins once I got home. Baked for 13 minutes.
  • Shaped the rolls before the first rise (so just after I kneaded). I’ve never understood why the dough has to rise before shaping, especially considering that shaping effectively deflates the dough and thus makes the whole process less efficient…something to look into, I suppose!

What I Liked:

  • Soooooo fluffy…nothing beats fresh bread. Nothing.
  • That layer of honey at the bottom was SO GOOD.

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Pretty bottoms!

What I Would Change:

  • Egg wash! Not sure why mine didn’t turn out with that pretty gloss 😦

Comparable Recipes:

Other Comments:

  • I ate three in one sitting…maybe I should have just made all 12.
  • I looked for a tangzhong honey dinner roll recipe but couldn’t find one I liked :/
  • I could totally turn these into cinnamon buns…or garlic knots!
  • I need to get a video of the rolls being pryed apart..but I don’t have enough hands. Struggles.

Carrot Cake/Bread with Buttermilk Pineapple Pudding and a Honey Cream Cheese Frosting

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Made the little ones with Phoebe! But later I missed having pineapples in my carrot cake so I made a pineapple pudding and a second batch 🙂

Recipes Used:

What I Changed:

  • Used the full amount of sugar called for in the carrot cake (which I didn’t do last time)
  • Added a few trader joe’s frozen pineapple chunks into the mini-cupcakes

What I Liked:

  • The texture was incredibly smooth for carrot cake!
  • Again, cooking the carrots in advance makes them 129489361 times easier to grate AND improves the texture a ton.
  • The pineapple chunks were so good! But I missed the…lingering essence? of pineapple in other carrot cake recipes from pineapple juice being incorporated into the batter…need to find a way to incorporate the pineapple juice into this one somehow. I wonder if it would totally mess up the texture and make the cake mushy if I just added some into the batter…
  • The frosting was SO GOOD. A bit runny, but deeelicious! Honey and cream cheese taste amazing together! The lack of butter really ensures that the flavor of the cream cheese stands out.

What I Would Change:

  • I used the finest size grater I had, but I think next time I might go with the slightly larger size–I kind of miss the texture of a more crumbly carrot cake. If anything, I think boiling the carrots in advance will help prevent the cake from being too crumbly while using a slightly larger grater will prevent the cake from becoming too homogenous in texture.

Comparable Recipes:

Other Comments:

  • I want to see what happens when I try boiling the carrots in some kind of juice, like the juice from the canned pineapple, or maybe orange juice? I wonder if I’d be able to taste the difference…
  • I actually froze some of the baked minis and tried thawing them out later in the fridge to (1) see if it would make them more moist (2) see if they actually turned out okay. Didn’t seem more moist, but definitely froze/thawed well overall 🙂
  • I also actually tried to freeze some of the batter and baked it later to see what would happen. Unsurprisingly, the cake didn’t rise as much and the texture was even more homogenous/less air-filled. I’ll probably avoid doing this in the future unless I have to. It’s not the worst, (especially if the cake is covered in a delicious frosting heh) but it’s less than ideal.

Pudding Cups

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So many flavors!

Recipes Used:

What I Changed:

  • For the two puddings, I made sure to mix the sugar and cornstarch to minimize lumps, and then I added that mix to the liquid ingredients. Lastly, I just mixed in the chips/butter/anything else the recipe called for.
  • Had to whisk CONSTANTLY. The white chocolate pudding turned out super smooth but the butterscotch was left to sit for a minute and it got SO lumpy with cooked egg. Strained both of them anyway!

What I Liked:

  • I think I left the white chocolate one a bit too runny
  • The peanut butter mousse was just barely sweetened, so it helped balance the sweetness of the pudding

What I Would Change:

  • The butterscotch was wayyy too sweet! The white chocolate pudding was also super sweet but it wasn’t as overwhelming.
  • Need to add more pretzels if I’m trying to add contrast to the sweetness! But overall the pretzels helped change up the texture a bit too, which was nice

Other Comments:

  • I think next time I make butterscotch pudding, I want to use a recipe that involves making the butterscotch from scratch. Hopefully it’ll make the pudding less sweet!

Crepe Cake

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I used the remaining vanilla pudding in this miniature crepe cake! Got to try my first ever crepe cake with the lovely ladies of 1412 last weekend 🙂

Recipes Used:

What I Changed:

  • Left out the sugar in the crepe batter because the pudding was filling enough
  • Medium heat, 2-3 minutes on each side
  • Not really a change but just to mention a technique that worked well–poured the batter into the center while the pan was off the heat and swirled. If the swirling wasn’t enough to spread out the batter, I would spread it out with a clean spatula (it never worked well with a spatula that had batter remaining on it from the previous crepe). Then, I would cover the pan with a lid to retain the heat within the pan and help cook both sides simultaneously. Using a ladle really helped to maintain an even thickness of the crepes.
  • Let the crepe batter rest for half an hour or so

What I Liked:

  • SO good 🙂 Not as rich as the Lady M crepe cake we had, but still really yummy–I feel like this is one of those desserts you can’t go wrong with
  • These crepes turned out wonderfully, and I definitely like this recipe better than the others I’ve tried. I think that now that I’ve nailed the technique a bit more, I’ll go back and try the other recipes just to be sure that it wasn’t the technique that improved the crepes rather than the batter
  • Again, this is definitely on the healthier side of the desserts I’ve made, considering the filling wasn’t some terrible-for-you buttercream or pastry cream
  • After a period of refrigeration, the crepe cake held up to being sliced pretty well–definitely not runny/jiggly the way I had expected it to be!

What I Would Change:

  • It’s always hard to whisk the flour into a smooth mixture…next time I’ll try whisking a small amount of liquid into the dry ingredients and incorporate slowly
  • The butter also becomes solidified in small bits the second it hits the cold milk and eggs–I have to remember to incorporate room temperature liquids into it and to do so more slowly as well

Other Comments:

  • I got about 3 circles from each crepe, on average. Sometimes I got four–not all the of the circles were perfect but as long as the majority of circles look decent the cake still turns out looking pretty!
  • The whipped cream still held up a few days later!!! Fingers crossed that it’s due to the stabilizer haha
  • I wanted to drizzle the top with a syrup but I was too lazy lol
  • Just like the first pancake never turns out well as you adjust the heat, the first two or three crepes never turn out too well, either. You can see the difference!

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Hawaiian Sweet Rolls

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Such a wonderful bread! Recipe is definitely a keeper 🙂 The crumb is so pretty and it slices SO nicely!!

Recipes Used:

What I Changed:

  • Made a half batch
  • Used corn oil instead of olive oil
  • Didn’t brush the top with butter, just used the egg wash

What I Liked:

  • Super easy to make
  • The dough was easy to work with, the knead was very manageable by hand
  • This has been on my bucket list for a while! Now to obtain the actual Hawaiian Sweet Rolls from some place (never seen them in stores before) and see how the homemade ones compare…
  • I love the subtle pineapple scent that these rolls have!
  • Very soft
  • So pretty to look at, especially after the egg wash!
  • I made french toast with them the next morning…omg they were perfect!! Held up to the custard/soaking so well!
  • A pretty healthy bread for a “sweet” bread, no? Though admittedly the sweet taste was very subtle

What I Would Change:

  • Nothing! This is a solid bread recipe 🙂

Comparable Recipes:

Other Comments:

  • Apparently this bread is also known as Portuguese Sweet Bread…I LOVE all things Portuguese ❤
  • I want to see how these compare to homemade brioche…or to a homemade challah bread 😮 (more excited about trying my hand at brioche though…mostly cause I love eating brioche hehe THANKS ARUSHI 🙂 )
  • The gif on the website containing the recipe was SPOT ON.

Malted Milk Cupcakes with a Malted Milk Swiss Meringue Buttercream


photo 1 (2) photo 4 photo 1 (1)Malted milk is one of my favorite flavors!

Recipes Used:

Cupcake

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Pouring Sauce

Truffle

  • Eyeballed cream cheese and crushed oreos–about 15 cookies and 1/3 block cream cheese

What I Changed:

Cupcake

  • We only had salted butter so I just eyeballed the salt to add little less than what was called for
  • Baked 18 minutes
  • Added the truffle before I put the cupcakes in the oven–the batter was thick enough to support the truffle and prevent it from sinking to the bottom

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • Had about 3 Tbsp of butter leftover–the buttercream was plenty fluffy and had reached its full volume, as far as I could see
  • Heated the egg whites and sugar until I couldn’t feel any granulated sugar between my fingers
  • Omitted the chocolate because I didn’t want to add in any other flavors; I wanted to stick with vanilla malt. I was originally going to do a black and white swirl (recipe in the comparable recipes section) but I thought it would add too many flavors–I already added a flavor that didn’t match as perfectly as I would have liked it to when I added in the oreo truffles
  • Had to beat for foreeeeever to get to stiff peaks
  • Omitted the crushed whoppers–I wanted a smooth frosting

Chocolate Pouring Sauce

  • Made a half batch
  • Used about 2 tablespoons of water–I was really worried about the idea of adding water since I’ve never heard of adding water to a ganache, but it really helped me get the consistency I needed!
  • Used granulated sugar and mixed it with the hot heavy cream to ensure that it was dissolved

What I Liked:

Cupcake

  • Sweetness of the cupcake was spot on!
  • This cupcake was WAY more dense than the chocolate buttermilk cupcakes that I’m so used to making. At first I thought the cupcake was a little spongy, but I realized it was simply the density and fine crumb of the cupcake that was making me think that–I think the cake flour really helps prevent a spongy texture from forming

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • Like a malted milk cloud–creamy, light, not overly sweet 🙂
  • It didn’t curdle!

What I Would Change:

  • I don’t think the flavor of the oreo truffle was a good match for the malted milk, I wish I had left it out or used a different filling
  • The frosting wasn’t too sweet, but I could have reduced the sugar slightly if I wanted to

Comparable Recipes:

Other Comments:

  • I was really afraid of adding warm water to the chocolate because I’ve never really done that before but it worked really well in terms of thinning out the sauce! The chocolate didn’t seize at all. I did a test run with the pouring sauce without the water (photo below) and it didn’t really work lol. In fact I added that sauce when it was still a little too warm so it melted the frosting a little OOPS.
  • I wanted to do an extra swirl on top of the syrup because I’ve seen that before in some designs on bakersroyale but it was too slippery when I tried piping…I’m not sure whether letting it set would really make a difference because the addition water makes it so that the sauce never hardens the way ganache does :/

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The pouring sauce without water is in the middle, and the “extra swirl” design is on the right…every failure is delicious 🙂

 


Cookies n’ Cream Cupcakes stuffed with an Oreo Truffle

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I’m not the biggest cake person but cupcakes are too cute for me to resist baking them 🙂 Also I love all things cookies n’ cream flavored!!

Recipes Used:

What I Changed:

Cupcakes

  • My go-to chocolate cake recipe 🙂 Omitted the extra espresso granules because I didn’t want the espresso flavor–going for the chocolate/cookies and cream flavor, here!
  • Baked for 5 minutes, then added the truffle to the center–a little trick I remember reading about at some point. It helps prevent the truffle from sinking to the bottom!
  • Baked for about 20 minutes total
  • Mixed until most lumps were gone, this batter is pretty forgiving in terms of under/over mixing

Frosting

  • Left out the smashed cookies because I wanted a nice contrast between the cupcakes and the frosting
  • Used clear, imitation vanilla extract instead of pure vanilla extract because, again, I wanted a nice contrast between the cupcakes and the frosting. Pure vanilla extract always adds a tinge of brown to the frosting, giving it an off-white color.

What I Liked:

  • The frosting was really light and fluffy thanks to the heavy cream! Almost the texture of a whipped cream frosting as opposed to a dense buttercream frosting–thank goodness, I’m not the biggest fan of plain buttercream frostings
  • The cake recipe never fails to be soft and moist!

What I Would Change:

  • The frosting was wayyy too sweet for my taste; I definitely want to see how much I can cut back on the sugar while still having a frosting that retains its shape. I’ve made some simple vanilla buttercream frostings before but it may have been before I started blogging…I couldn’t recall a post off the top of my head but maybe I should have just done a quick search through old posts lol
  • I had quite a few truffles left over so maybe I could have made them bigger
  • The truffle was hard to taste on its own and didn’t really contribute much to the cupcake. I’m not sure whether it was a matter of the size of the truffles (as in, maybe it would have had a more significant impact on the taste/texture if it were a bigger truffle). Even in terms of aesthetics it didn’t contribute much; it would have been better to use Golden Oreos inside or something
  • I think next time I’ll consider dropping a whole cookie at the bottom of the cupcake or even in the middle of it. Maybe broken cookie chunks? I imagine that any of those would add a nice crunch, as opposed to having a truffle that goes unnoticed lol

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The truffles are hard to see but they’re there!

Other Comments:

  • This was my first time using imitation vanilla extract! I’ve wanted to see whether it would make a buttercream look more “white” for quite some time. I think I would have been equally as happy with pure vanilla extract lol, there is enough of a contrast between the chocolate and “off-white” frosting. Maybe for super fancy cakes or red velvet cakes I can stick with the imitation vanilla extract.
  • It’s sort of exciting to me that I can no longer remember all of my blog posts! Haha…here’s to hoping I have at least 50 before the end of my break!