Friday, 11 May 2012

Japanese Baking Numero 1

Inspired by Mr Mattox's baking blogs, here's my own zesty zany zumbunkious attempt. Yes they are words. Now at least.

I've discovered (the word discovered makes it sound like I did it, I can be misleading like that) that my (also misleading) microwave oven is able to be an actual oven, when it feels like it, from time to time. A nifty trick I'd say. So I'm going to bake. Oh god the microwave just made a really weird noise, does that mean the food's done or I've only got a few seconds left to run before it explodes? (I'm having Lasagne before I start, I've forgotten eggs anyway so this isn't going to be an early successful baking experience, more like a slaving until the early hours and then giving up sort of thing I expect. (Little did I know...)) The tune the micro oven (as it shall hence forth be known) makes is so merry, tis adorable.

Okay, let's do lots of photos like the pros do (Mattox

The new utensils needed to make this, each one was 105円 which felt like a bargain especially for the measuring scales and the glass lemon squeezer thingymabob:

The ingredients (sadly not so cheap. The cornflower was about 300円):


First I added the flour to the margarine and a pinch of salt and made them into bread crumbs.

So far so good.

Slowly but surely I added cooled water to the mix until a dough formed and then used an Umeshu (recall: 梅酒) bottle to roll out the pastry. It was remarkably neat and not as messy as feared and the pastry was perfect almost straight away. Oh little did I know how things would soon take a turn for the worse.

While the pastry was in the oven, baking blind, though I didn't have any baking beans sadly, I could have tried using rice, but I was feeling lazy and I don't think it would have saved my pie, I went about making the filling, which involved lemons and their zest. When grating lemons try not to grate your thumb, it's easier done than said.

and juice

Then it came to adding the cornflour, sugar and zest to a pan and mixing, while off the heat. Then the lemon juice was added and stirring commenced.

Oh and there was a secret ingredient:

Stir until sauce thickens.... then add the butter

There was a slight disaster when it came to add the butter to the filling only to find I didn't have enough. I needed 85g, but only had about 60g. Well it wasn't as liquidy (or fatty!) as it should have been, but I ploughed on, stirring away then leaving it to cool while I split the eggs, which is a beautifully messy task. I even split the yolk of one with my fingers, that trick they always show on cooking programs with Deliah and the delectable Nigella, letting the white slip between your fingers while the yolk dances around, trying to get away as it is de-robed... that sound a little disgusting to anyone?

and thickens...

Then one urine sample look alike was taken and stirred indefinitely until both arms ached: Oh the optical illusion of that tatami place mat's not fun.

There was also the matter of the failure to rise of the meringue. 

Well it rose, 

but once the sugar was added the whole thing flopped and became a glooplike consistency. Not ideal. So I tried to make another batch of it, after already having added the failed meringue to the top. I thought maybe using the granulated sugar was wrong (which it was) but I still don't know what the other type of sugar is. Its a lot less flowy than the other one that's for sure. When I opened this one, it clung to the bag, whereas the granulated slid down the moment the air pressure changed from opening it and then rolled around like dry grains of sand. The mysterious sugar was almost sticky. I did have a terrifying moment with the filling when I was adding the aforementioned sugar when I thought it might be icing sugar, but I'm PRETTY sure it's not. Not entirely mind.

Irrespective of obsticles faced, I persevered and put the pie in the oven, setting it for the recommended 18 minutes (well 20 but figuring out 18 was a little too much and based on how little the base seemed to bake I had a feeling the times would have to be stretched a bit and sure enough they did)

 My microwave oven seems to have its own little national anthem at the end of each task, it plays the tune proudly and triumphantly like a dog smiling and wagging its tail when it returns a stick you threw. Poor dumb dog.

Here's the final result. Well it's not pretty and it was a bit chewy and it didn't taste all too great either but..., wait shouldn't there be a silver lining? I had fun? No, don't think that was really fun, it was tiring and an effort, but not wholly fun, ahh it wasn't unfun!

Dean certainly has a lot of patience writing all the details down. And boy did it not taste good or turn out that well! Next time I'm looking for a recipe that is aimed for microwave ovens or just microwaves!

1 comment:

  1. Ahh I'm sorry it didn't turn out well, even us pro's have to make a second attempt before they turn out correctly :P

    Glad to see you bought a juicer too and didn't do as silly a thing as I did.

    I look forward to your next baking blog =]