pains au chocolat for breakfast

BEHOLD! full sized pastries! tat-tat-ta-daaaaa.....!!

turns out the missing link was indonesia's hot and humid climate. yeast just loves it :)

yes, so here i am in the family home in jakarta; very happy to finally have a full house of people to eat my food, and proud to present to them what i've learnt and experimented with these past few months. my parents have a pilates instructor come in twice a week at 6.30am to give them private classes which is pretty awesome, but she was not impressed at what we were going to have for breakfast after! but you'd have to agree that a freshly baked pains au chocolat is definitely worth a couple extra crunches.. :)

here they are before proofing

aand after 2 hours of proofing!
look how puffy they got :)

my sister tania helped to brush them with egg wash..

and they got fatter still in the oven!


i got to use french butter to make these too! i usually use local butter back in auckland, but in jakarta all imported butter costs just as expensive... so.. i thought it was a good opportunity to try "beurre de france"! i found that french butter has a slight tanginess, yet a subtler flavour compared to the nz butter i am used to. yum! c'est delicieux!

x talita


teacups' cake stall with my buddy chel

hi guys! so, today was the third time teacups cake stall has been open for business. and i must say, it has been quite a transformation from our first stall to our third - and possibly last for now.. (i will go into this later.. quite bittersweet..)

our first stall at cassette supermarkets in the month of march of this year:
cupcakes, cakepops, mustache cakes and macarons.

i had just finished a course in cake decorating when i decided to put my new skills into practice. these were my first batches of macarons, i found that though they were very time consuming to make, they are rewarding, fun and dangerously addictive!
(and not as hard as people make them out to be! you just gotta believe in yoself!)

our second stall was at crafternoon tea in the month of april:

 it was easter time so i made easter themed cakepops! easter eggs, bunnies, chicks and.. easter.. owls? children loved them, kept asking their parents to buy them one! happiness on a stick!

after taking some time off for schoolwork in may, we were back in june at crafternoon tea with a vengeance!

i've only made four types of macarons for other stalls in the past, but i couldn't stop envisioning a long row of neatly aligned macarons in every colour of the rainbow. i was so excited about how neat and eye-catching they would look. and true enough, people were definitely more inclined to buy more when there are more flavour selections! in the previous markets, customers would only buy around one or two, but this time, we were selling them in lots of four and eight! boo yeah!

flavours from the left.. 
caramel, vanilla, blueberry, blackcurrant, plum, pistachio, hazelnut, rose, passionfruit, white chocolate/raspberry and dark chocolate/orange.

martin took all the pics in this post fyi :) i am very grateful he could come along..

i initially planned to have twelve different flavours, but one flavour - lemon - got very mushy as the filling was too watery.. i added some lemon juice to the zest-buttercream as i thought it didn't taste lemony enough.. which.. ended up.. backfiring.. hehe.. whoopsie.

i made 242 macarons in total!

and sold over 200! 
we had some left over in the end which we gave away to neighbouring stall holders at the end of the day!


mini pastries!
i woke up at 7am this morning to bake these babies after they were left overnight to rise rise rise!

yummy chocolate croissants..

and sultana pastry wheels..!


they were very popular indeed :)


and last but definitely not the least favourite:

mini tarts! (guess you would've figured out by now that i like my food to be bite-sized..)

lemon, dark chocolate and dark chocolate/passionfruit.

aren't these roses pretty? i thought they would bring life onto stall. 
roses are my favourite. aren't they yours?

martin takes 'em pictures good.

anyways... thanks for getting right to the end of this extremely long post! i just want to do a quick mention to my beautiful friend and stall partner chelsea.. who is like a sister to me. a belle of many talents, this girl can do it all! we also have a band together called teacups with our buddy liz - hence "teacups' cake stall" (if you didn't know hehe)! 

and thank you so much for all the people who came and and visited our stall today - and especially those who heard about it from chelsea's plug on her "oh my blog" segment on 95bfm. we have had so much fun being part of the crafternoon tea market, and therefore quite saddened by the fact that this will be our last stall for a while.. i'm going to jakarta next week you see.. for my grandmother's 75th birthday party.. and then after that, i'll be going to paris start my cuisine and patisserie diploma in le cordon bleu for 9 months.. but fear not! our stall will be back next year better than ever of course! ;)

a bientot!



pains aux raisins

I learnt a few things this week about making "laminated (layered) dough": which according to baking911.com is "the process of encasing butter in dough, and taking it through a series of folds, rolling and turns to produce layers of butter in between sheets of dough". We need to take care to work with the dough in a cool room to prevent the butter from melting and fusing the folds you've so painstakingly rolled and turned. I decided this time to make the "pains aux raisins" with the croissant dough. So I set my alarm for 7.30am this morning to begin rolling the dough that has been rested in the fridge overnight.

first, i rolled it to a 60x30cm rectangle..

and then folded it in three..

refrigerated for 30 minutes, then rolled again!
you need to do this three times to create the many layers of pastry :)

after completing the three turns, 
i rolled the dough out to a 65x35cm rectangle.
spread the creme patissiere and rehydrated sultanas..

and rolled it into one big sausage!

covered it with cling wrap, 
and placed it in the freezer for 45 minutes for ease of cutting!

i then sliced the pastry sausage into 2 cm rounds.. 
and left it in a warm place for 1 hour to rise.

brushed them with egg wash, 
and off they went into the oven @ 170 degrees C for 15 minutes..

.... and here they are!

I am happy with how much the dough expanded
during proofing and cooking time..

look at the difference!

i will be making more of these for this saturday's crafternoon tea market,
where teacups cake stall will be open for business!

18th june, 10am-2pm at the trinity methodist church on 400 new north road.
y'all won't wanna miss out on these!



pizza margarita

hello! so. i bought a new mixer.. a kenwood chef km300.

i know i was supposed to get the kitchenaid.. but decided against it for a few reasons:

1. it's too heavy - i can not bring it to paris with me
2. it costs more than double this one
3. the kenwood chef looks like a lol sewing machine.
4. i haggled this thing down quite passionately tonight at "the good guys". it's their last machine in the store, their display, and i got it for $170 less the rrp :)

so. for now...

i am pleased.

i still have not given up on my kitchenaid artisan in pistachio, though. i will get it. eventually!!!!

to celebrate the newest addition to my kitchen.. i decided to make pizza margarita with it for dinner.

isn't it weird that sometimes the fewer the ingredients the more delicious the dish is. i had the same apprehension about pizza margarita as i had about garlic spaghetti.. where do all the flavours come from?! anyway. tomato + basil + italian herbs + mozarella = yea mate.

here's my foolproof delicious thin crust recipe:

8g package of dry yeast
1t sugar
1c warm water (water from the tap almost too hot to touch)
2.5c high grade flour
2T olive oil
1t salt
1/2t italian seasoning (or a little bit of oregano, rosemary, basil
and thyme.. whatever you have on hand)

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. In a medium bowl,
dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about
10 minutes.

Stir in flour, italian seasoning, salt and oil. Beat until smooth. Let
rise for 1 hour. (you can skip resting if you're short for time - the result is still good!)

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, halve in two, and roll each into a round shape.

forming the pizza dough to a nice perfect circle was really hard! 
mine was not perfect.

one can of pureed italian tomatoes for the base of two pizzas

some fresh tomatoes on top..

good time to season now with salt and pepper..


martin made salads, pinenuts are growing on me..

i love making my own pizza at home, 
as i can regulate the amount of cheese that gets put on it.
i did not put very much on, and this pizza was not greasy at the slightest.

the fresh basil really makes the pizza margarita.

man. one of the best pizza's i've ever tasted, if i may say so myself hehe.. 

y'all need to come over for this.

in other news, teacups cake stall has received confirmation about opening up shop at crafternoon tea next saturday 18th of june in kingsland.  I AM EXCITED. we will be selling 12 different flavours of macarons, some mini tarts, croissants and cake pops. it'll be a huge week of baking for me coming up to this fun event. please do come and find my stall buddy chelsea and i, and sample some of the delicious pastries and cakes we'll have on offer :)

'til then!

x talita

ps. thank you to mi amor martin for taking most of the pictures!


french revision

thursday nights = revision for my friday morning french lessons.

croissants with all that waiting time.. seemed to be the perfect thing to have going on .. on the side :)

a few months ago i threw my good buddy ben a three-course dinner party for his birthday - complete with a triple chocolate mustache cake. he and our 6 guests loved it. to say thank you, he gave me michel roux's pastry book as suggested by book-store friend henry. 

martin txted me from work a couple of weeks ago, about a delicious maple syrup and almond croissant he was eating. salivating, i asked him to get me one. the next day he went to the cafe and they sold out.. the day after that, he forgot. him forgetting and them selling out went on for a couple of weeks. which annoyed me. and i still have not gotten my croissant! so i decided to try to make my own. just plain and chocolate though, for now :)

meryl streep cooked up chocolate croissants in the movie "it's complicated" for steve martin's character, in the middle of the night in no time at all. can you imagine my surprise to read that the recipe takes roughly 8 hours of waiting time?!?! i mean sure, "magic of television" blah blah blah.. but this is plain ridiculous. damn split screen and cross editing.

but too late. mind made up. i want them croissants.

4-hour chilled dough.
3 turns and rolling out with 30 minutes of chilling time in between. 
every time the timer went off my heart skipped a beat.

finally. the fun part!

cutting out triangles with a cardboard template.

cute little things eh :)

brush with egg wash.. 2 hours of rising time..

12 minutes at 170 degrees.. and voila!

i have never tasted croissants fresh from the oven.. crispy and warm.. until now.

and i gotta say.. 

goodness gracious me.


ps. thank you to geoff dearest for taking the first few photos.