Monday, July 26, 2010

VITARIUM - Gluten Free pancake mix

Thank you to Genevieve from HAYSTAC for sending me a few VITARIUM products, she actualy let me pick and one of them was a pancake mix.

I havent really used my wilton color pastes, and have always wanted to make rainbow pancakes after seeing this post. Very small dabs of icing were needed to yield these bright colors so i'm very impressed, i'll never go back to liquid food colouring :)

The pancake batter was a bit thick, so they were slow to spread on the pan, and also burned quickly before the pancake was completely cooked (that could be my lack of pancaking skills), but it did taste nice, not as fluffy as i thought they would be though.

I loved making these rainbow pancakes, one packet made 7 large pancakes.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Rainbow Cake

I've always wanted to make a rainbow-layered cake, but got discouraged from the many baking tins needed (if not, then the re-using of one cake pan which would take forever). BUt when my bestie Ann asked me on facebook if i wanted to make this, i couldnt say no :)

2 sticks (226 g) butter, room temp
2 1/3 c (466 g) sugar
5 egg whites, room temp
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 c (375 g) flour
4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 1/2 c (355 g) milk, warmed for 30 sec in microwave to bring to room temp
Red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple GEL food coloring. Liquid will not be vibrant enough!

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Oil and line how ever many 9” cake pans you have (I have three and I just reused them).

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Cream the sugar and butter, then add the egg whites (I cracked them all into one bowl) and add them a little at a time. Add the vanilla and mix until fully incorporated. Then, alternating between wet and dry, add the milk and flour mixture in two parts.

Divide the batter amongst 6 bowls (I did it by weight. Weigh your mixing bowl before you begin adding ingredients and then subtract the weight of the bowl from the final measurement after the batter is completed. Divide that number by six and add that weight of batter to each bowl), and then whisk a fair amount of the appropriate food color into each bowl. Pour into the pans and bake for 15 minutes each.

When you remove them from the oven, let them rest on the cooling rack, in the pan, for ten minutes. Then flip, cover, and stash them in the fridge to cool quickly.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

To fill and crumb coat:
9 egg whites
1 ¾ c (350 g) sugar
4 sticks (532 g) of butter, room temp
2 tsp lemon extract

To frost:
5 egg whites
1 c (200 g) sugar
2 sticks (226 g) butter, room temp

Cook the egg whites and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved (test by rubbing some between your fingers. If it's completely smooth, it's done). Pour into another bowl (a stand mixer is preferable) and whip on high speed until room temp. Then, on a medium-slow speed, add the butter, waiting until each piece is completely incorporated before adding the next. After all the butter has been added, turn the mixer back to high speed and whip until it has come together, about five minutes.

If the buttercream seems soupy after all of the butter is added and does not come together after whipping, refrigerate for 5 to 7 minutes and continue whipping until it becomes fluffy and spreadable.

Monday, July 12, 2010

QUORN Product Review - Meat free Soy free Sausages

The final product i was given in the QUORN range were these sausages. I've had my fair share of not so great meat free sausages, usually they have a rubbery texture, not much flavour, and a bit sickening to eat. So i wasn't going to get my hopes up for these ones.

Straight out of the box, they didn't look too appetizing, but after pan frying them over medium heat in two tablespoons of vegetable oil, they turned a nice golden colour.

I didn't want any carbs with these, so i sauteed two small onions in a pan with a table spoon of olive oil, when they were soft i added 1/4 cup of honey, and 2 tablespoons basalmic vinegar, and let the basalmic vinegar evaporate before plating up.

I was aiming for a 'caramelized onion' look, but failed :( They still looked pretty white, and weren't as soft as i wanted them to be. Will need to read up on that sometime..

The verdict: these sausages are the nicest vegetarian ones i've had, by far. They are a lot like the texture of chicken sausages, these were my favourite kind of sausages back in my meat eating days. The onions were a nice accompaniment :O)

I would definitely buy these again, and maybe try a bangers and mash style meal. Big thanks to James for letting me use his camera, and also helping out with photo-taking :)!!!