[Home]MidnightBaking

SeleneTan occasionally gets the urge to use her toaster oven as an oven rather than just a toaster. She usually gets this urge anytime between 10 pm and midnight, with the baked goods appearing around midnight or 1 am. The baking is generally somewhat experimental, and tends to have consistency issues.

Recipes!

These recipes were generally taken from the Internet, so I've mentioned where I got them. I also give them a rating, which is based on a 5-point "did this experiment come out well" scale. And I mention the problems that I should have realized while making them.

Crumbly Scottish Shortbread

(adapted from http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/usrecipes/shortbread/ )

This is a great-tasting shortbread. It's just a little bit on the crumbly side.

Rating: 4/5

Ingredients:

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 300F

2. Grease a piece of foil that has been placed on a baking tray. (Foil = less cleanup! Hooray!)

3. Mix up the butter and sugar. If you forgot to let the butter get to room temperature first, use a microwave to help

4. Add the flour (both types) to the bowl and mix it into a dough.

5. Use your hands to form the dough into a ball.

6. Flour a piece of aluminum foil on a flat surface and your hands. Place the dough on the surface, kneading it round, turning it over, but not over-handling it.

7. Dump the dough into the baking tray. Use a washed, empty rootbeer bottle to roll it flat. Supposedly you should keep rolling in different directions so it doesn't shrink when you bake it.

8. Place in the oven for 35-40 minutes. Leave to cook until it is slightly golden at the edge but still quite soft in the middle.

9. Once it is ready, take it out and cut it into the segments straight away.

11. Leave the shortbread to settle for a while

12. Bring into lounge with Nutella and jam

In retrospect:

To make this less crumbly, use less mochiko and more plain flour. Or even just less mochiko period. Mochiko lacks gluten, which is the part of flour that makes doughs sticky. That's why using mochiko instead of plain flour makes the shortbread crisper and more crumbly.

Gooey Fruity Brownies

These brownies are really yummy. They have just the right amount of fruity flavor. They're really gooey though, and kinda sticky and hard to pick up.

Rating: 4/5

Ingredients:

Method:

1. Put the brownie mix in a bowl

2. Add the apple sauce.

3. Realize you don't have the 1 and 1/3 cup of apple sauce the brownie mix wants

4. Reason that "apple sauce is preserved apples, strawberry preserves are preserved strawberries, therefore I can substitute them!"

5. Add about 1/3 cup of preserves to mix

6. Mix mix mix. Inhale the luscious chocolate fragance.

7. Um, the brownie mix box has the baking instructions. Put it in for less time than it tells you to.

8. Remember from somewhere that adding sugar makes things bake faster. Rescue brownies before they burn.

9. Realize brownies are still gooey, but are somehow also close to burning.

10. Shrug and take them out into the lounge anyway.

In retrospect:

The difference between apple sauce and preserves is a lot of sugar. Consulting a cooking guide reveals that adding sugar to cakes makes the cakes moister and, well, gooier. This might work better starting from scratch (i.e. not mix) and replacing some of the sugar with the preserves.

Irish Soda Bread-Like Substance

(adapted from a recipe at http://breadnet.net/real-irish.html)

This recipe results in something that looks like batter, not dough. The result is spongy, kind of like really dense pancakes, and a little salty.

Rating: 1/5

Ingredients

Method

1. Mix everything together.

2. Get to watch the fun bubbling reaction of the buttermilk and baking soda/powder

3. Realize that the result is kind of liquid-y and not very dough-like

4. Re-read the directions to "Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Knead for approximately 3 minutes. Shape into an 8" round."

5. Shrug and try to follow them anyway

6. Realize that the batter is going "gloop" and not "knead"

7. Shrug and decide to try baking it anyway

8. Realize that you might have some problems transferring it from the kneading surface to the baking tray

9. Improvise using your feet to transfer the foil with the dough from the kneading to the baking tray

10. Preheat the oven to 350F

11. Bake it for about 10 minutes

12. Do the standard check for done-ness -- stick a fork in, if it comes out clean, it's done.

13. Take out into lounge to serve with butter and jam.

In Retrospect

I've made crepe batter, and this recipe has a similar ratio of flour to liquid. Other bread recipes usually have a 4:1 to 2:1 ratio of flour to liquid. i.e., I think this recipe is borken. Also, the first site I saw with instructions on self-raising flour said to add a half-teaspoon of salt. Other instructions apparently suggest "a pinch of salt" or no salt at all. That would probably have improved the taste.

Irish Soda Bread, Really I Mean It

(adapted from http://www.ehow.com/how_13818_make-irish-soda.html )

This is a yummy, crusty bread. No major problems that I can see.

Rating: 5/5

Ingredients

Method

1. Mix together flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder until the mixture looks pretty even.

2. Realize you don't have caraway seeds and decide to substitute sesame seeds instead. Caraway seeds supposedly have a really strong flavor, and sesame seeds don't, so you won't be breaking anything.

3. Add the buttermilk and mix it until it looks like dough. This time it actually does look like dough, hooray!

4. Put the dough on the floured, foiled sheet you use for kneading.

5. Realize you forgot to pre-heat the oven and get up to do that.

6. Knead the dough for about 1 minute, realizing afterwards that you forgot to flour your hands so the dough won't stick to them.

7. Try flouring your hands and split the dough into two approximately even lumps. Put the lumps on a greased, foiled baking sheet.

8. Try to follow the directions which say to "Cut an 'X' 1/4-inch deep across the top of each loaf with a sharp knife." Fail because 1) you used a butter knife and 2) the dough just sort of sags around the "cut".

9. Stick the sheet into the toaster oven for 45-55 minutes.

10. Check on the bread at ~45 minutes and realize that the top looks a lot more cooked than the bottom, due to being closer to the toaster's heating element. Do the doneness check with a piece of uncooked spaghetti since you can't find your toothpicks.

11. Take the bread out and let it cool off for a bit.

12. Take out into the lounge with butter, jam, and cream cheese for the adventurous.

In Retrospect

I'd say my only real mistake was not flouring my hands enough when handling the dough. It would have made the bread a little more aesthetically pleasing. Also, I'm thinking of trying a version where I have two flatter lumps, so that the top doesn't get quite as browned. Maybe more sesame seeds too, or actual caraway seeds. Basically, I'd be looking at minor tweaks rather than major ones.

Basil-Garlic "Cracker" Bread

(adapted from http://www.recipesource.com/munchies/snacks/02/rec0270.html )

This is pretty good stuff, but it's... not crackers.

Ingredients

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 350~ F.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, garlic, and basil.

3. Mix the shortening into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

4. Add the water, little by little, and blend to form a dough that will hold together in a cohesive ball.

4b. Accidentally add too much water and add more flour to compensate

5. Divid the dough into 3 equal portions for rolling. (And also because it won't all fit in the toaster oven.)

6. Roll it as flat as possible. Try to follow the recipes instructions to fold over and roll, and realize they don't seem to be doing anything.

7. Transfer to a sheet, cut dough into squares with a knife, and prick holes in dough with a fork.

8. Bake for about 30 minutes for a very bread-like product.

8b. Bake at 400 F, then, 300 F, for 40 minutes each for a harder, vaguely more cracker-like, product

9. Eat!

In Retrospect

Well, for one, these were supposed to be crackers. Ah well. Note to self: find a recipe that uses less baking powder for less poofiness

Also, the resulting crackers seemed a little too salty for my taste. They seem like they would go well with cheese, although I didn't have any at the time. :(


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Last edited May 7, 2006 19:24 (diff)
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