December 27, 2009

First Cookware X'mas Present!

I received an early X'mas present this year.. Not from my buddies, not my dd, dad and mum... it's a winning entry for contributing a question to the magazine Kitchen Culture: Food & Travel.

Nope nope I'm not trying to advertise for them. I definitely don't get any credits for doing that. ;) I'd just like to share with you people how lucky me won an Emile Henry Flame Top 1.0L stewpot by sending in a question. :D

If you think this sturdy-looking black stewpot looks massive enough to cook up a big pot of soup or stew, you are wrong. This stewtop has a small capacity, 1.0L and for someone like me who bakes much more than I cook, I can only think of using it to cook noodles. :P Definitely I'll have to give it to my mum to put it to good use.

Here it goes.......

Apparently this problem had been bothering me since the day I made buttercream icing (simple buttercream by beating icing sugar and butter) to go with cupcakes. I did approached some bloggers out there but they didn't seem to have the problem as mine. Having explored all possible causes, like sifting the icing sugar well, adding a bit at a time, beating butter and icing sugar well and evenly.... but still the buttercream was never as smooth as what I expected. Could I have a too sensitive tongue that I can feel the tiniest presence of sugar in a buttercream icing?
To be honest I had never eaten a cupcake with those dollops of buttercream (as such I do not know what should be expected) until I attended a baby shower recently and tried out the cupcakes that they ordered from a much reputable online catering pastry shop and to my surprise, their buttercream icing had exactly the same gritty texture as mine.

I do not know whether that finally answered my problems but I definitely believe buttercream should not taste and feels like this. I am contemplating trying an Italian or swiss meringue buttercream someday. I think that will be challenging! The process however, seems very daunting to me. I'd definitely have to be mentally and "equipmentally" well-equipped before I am going to attempt it. For now, I'd have to bake more basic cakes to be able to get a foolproof result first. hehe... :)


Small Small Baker said...

Hi Aimei, I've been a faithful reader of the Food & Travel magazine. I read that question you submitted too, didn't know it was you! :) Hm... maybe I should think of some questions to ask too. But I never have such luck.

Anyway, wish you a wonderful year in 2010 and best wishes for you and your loved ones. :)

Evy said...

Hello..Ai Mei..I m one of the regulator readers of your blog...Last a few days ago I saw you and your DD at casueway point :D

evan 이벤젤린 said...

congrats on yr win, aimei! i agree with what the column said and i can personally vouch for italian meringue buttercream. i'm using that and its stiff enough for piping at the same time not so sweet. it doesnt melt as easily too and can withstand long hours in room temp.

don't ever use american style aka. shortcut buttercream. its way too sweet and uses too much icing sugar, real crazy! do give a italian meringue buttercream a try, you'll like the texture :)

Aimei said...

Hi SSB, thanks! wishing you and your love ones a great year ahead in 2010 :D

Hi Evy, Oh yea i was at causeway point on sunday. Hehe... :P

Hi Evan, thanks so much for this comment. I almost see the shortcut buttercream recipe everywhere and really wondered if that was the original kind of buttercream. So is that the reason why I always get the sandy texture of icing sugar? I always like your cupcakes, looks simple and good, deosn't seem too sugary to me. :)kes :)

Anonymous said...

Keep posting stuff like this i really like it

benbes said...

I am happy for your stewpot prize, looks like a good one.

Aimei said...

Thanks Benbes!