Moreover, there are plenty of chores to catch up with at home. The upcoming weekends are also proving quite hectic for me, so opportunities for "respite" ought be taken advantage of where possible.
As much as dance battles are liberating for SWF contestants, kitchen experiments assume my creative outlet - a results-oriented, conversion-involving process, but a creative outlet nonetheless.
1) Marbled Banana Bread
Naturally, this also meant subdued chocolate flavours, and a generally less-banana-y profile. Nevertheless, it was scrumptious; SK's Marbled Banana Bread never ceases to impress.
- 70 g of golden yellow sugar instead of 60 g of brown sugar (simply to verify whether there would be a difference, taste-wise)
- Chopped semi-sweet chocolate couverture (Surfin) instead of chocolate chips
- Toasted, chopped pecans instead of walnuts
Sunday Baking's Black Sesame Raspberry Mousse had earned exceptional praise even during its first execution. Having been craving its nutty base and smooth mousse formula for weeks, I began to contemplate a matcha rendition, for acquisition of Momo Tea's Matsu was an act spurring great enthusiasm.
- Omitting the black sesame paste and black sesame seeds
- Adding a small amount of half & half cream for moistness (unmeasured)
- Maintaining the same quantity of flour (30 g)
- Adding 15 g of matcha
Without the presence of vanilla, the cake, admittedly, smelled a tad too grassy out of the oven. That said, the layer was structurally sound - fitting for use as the foundation - and distinctly matcha-flavoured. Given the low proportion of fat and liquid though, the joconde was difficult to spread evenly, ultimately emerging without a level surface. My results informed that summoning of an offset spatula was pivotal, rather than optional.
- Omitting the black sesame paste (just as with the joconde)
- Combining matcha powder with a small amount of hot water to form a paste; and
- Mixing the matcha paste with egg yolk, then gradually incorporating milk to remove large lumps
While its hue appeared promising, the mousse was not potent enough to constitute a matcha mousse. A larger quantity of matcha (than my 10-12 grams) would likely be required for discernible depth. The mousse merely sheathed the translucent layer of strawberry jelly, which dominated the cake with its sweet, fruity presence. This layer had been constructed from a jam containing less pulp than my traditional breadmaker formula, consequently making for a smoother jelly with clean edges. Upon sampling, I was stricken by its resemblance to Akko's Strawberry Mousse Cakes - a quintessential component of my childhood.
The overall consensus was that the individual cake elements lacked harmony. Matcha had failed to realize its full potential in the creation, allowing the strawberry jelly to take centre stage. In that sense, one might as well take to forkfuls of the jelly in the absence of the other layers. Needless to say, I was extremely disappointed in the turnout.
Since success with the matcha joconde was to be determined, concurrently constructed was a basic vanilla sponge. Should my attempts at an indirect substitution emerge a catastrophe, Sunday's genoise formula would pull through, in the very least. As such, ingredient quantities would remain unchanged, making enough for a two layers of cake - be it 6-inch or 8-inch.
No-bake cheesecake fillings were not viable, for cream cheese was not to be found in the fridge. However, I had just replenished the heavy cream inventory. Emptying the remainder of my open carton yielded 215 grams. Consequently, I halved the Chocolate Whipped Cream Sunday Baking had used in her Flourless Chocolate Banana Cake recipe. It was the perfect portion for filling and masking, and left a bit for decorative use prior to serving. Making the recipe even more attractive was the elimination of gelatin, for cocoa powder sufficed in stabilizing the cream without rendering it overly rigid.
I must admit: I was quite amazed with the effort-to-output ratio.