Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Lemon Poppy Seed Whoopie Pie

This week I've been thinking about Spring. What comes to my mind is all tart and tangy taste of Lemons. I've been loving the idea of Lemon and Poppy Seeds together, so I did some research and I came across Woodland Bakery Blog. If you've seen my previous post, I've tested a lot of Woodland Bakery Blog's recipe. Gretchen Price is the pastry chef of Woodland Bakery Blog and I've been watching her ever since her previous channel (which I don't want to name because it was more entertaining than informative).

To continue, Gretchen Price posted a recipe for Lemon Poppy Seed Whoopie Pie (<-Click here for the recipe). I made my own adjustment to the recipe, and I like how it came out. I'll explain more after the recipe, but picture first!

Even though I only use a 2 inch in diameter scoop, the batter spread double. They came out to be jumbo 4-inch cookies.

Here is the recipe,
Lemon Poppy Seed Whoopie Pie
yield: 5 4-inch Whoopie Pie Sandwiches

Ingredients:Unsalted Butter 6 Tablespoons (84g)Granulated Sugar ¾ cup (150g)Eggs Large 1 (50g)Lemon Zest 1 lemonLemon Juice from half lemon (1 tablespoon)Buttermilk ½ cup (120ml)All Purpose Flour 1¾ cup (227g)Salt ¼ teaspoonBaking Soda ¼ teaspoonBaking Powder ½ teaspoonPoppy Seeds 2 teaspoons

  1. Cream the butter and sugar together for about 3 -4 minutes. It will not get as light and fluffy as we are used to many of our mixes to become due to the ratio of sugar and butter here.
  2. Add the egg and mix well
  3. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and add it, all at once to the creamed butter mixture.
  4. Mix well and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  5. Add the buttermilk with the lemon juice and zest, slowly while mixing on low- medium speed.
  6. Add the poppy seeds last, mix to combine
  7. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (or overnight) before baking or they will spread too much
  8. Preheat oven to 350°F
  9. Scoop cookies to desired size I used a 2 ¼ inch scoop.
  10. Bake for approximately 15 minutes slightly golden brown and not raw in the centers
  11. Cool completely and then fill with your choice of filling.

The Difference:

There is a slight difference between the original recipe and the one above. I don't like using Extract beside Vanilla. I love the Natural taste of fresh fruit, so I tend not to use any extract especially almond. 


This recipe is very easy to whip together if you have all the ingredients. There is a substitution for Buttermilk if you can't find it in your country; Add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to 1 cup of whole milk, let sit. That's my go to ratio for whenever I feel lazy to go buy Buttermilk, but having leftover buttermilk means Buttermilk Pancakes (from Laura in the Kitchen) the next day or the Red Velvet Cake from WoodlandBakeryBlog. 

You must let this rest; I actually let it rest for over an hour. For the size of my ice cream or cookie scoop, I could only fit 6 onto a half sheet pan; any more and they will touch which alter the classic round shape of a whoopie pie. Bake for 15 minutes until the edges just start to get the golden brown color, the tops will look pale (sorry that's natural for this recipe). While it cools down, the bottoms will continue to get darker. 

As for the filling, I made WoodlandBakery Blog's Swiss Buttercream. This is what I recommend for everything, I've used it in most of my friend's cakes and they like the taste of it. 

I added 1/2 Lemon Zest to the buttercream; I also added Fresh Lemon Juice, a teaspoon at a time, to taste (I ended with 3 teaspoons). It will separate, continue whipping it and will smooth out. Trust me. 

I filled my Jumbo Whoopie Pie with about 4 tablespoons of buttercream. Seems like quite a bit, but I like A LOT of icing. 

Here are more pictures, 

I used an offset spatula to spread the filling, but I could've used a pastry bag for a cleaner look. The crumb is very tender and airy; it is surprisingly light and with the slightly crisp edge creates a good experience. I have to say eating it fresh is much better, but letting the whoopie pie sit will create a softer similar to a cake texture. 

Taste: This has a fresh and light lemon taste, very refreshing like this New York City weather compared to the 5 degree winter weather we've been having for the last 2 weeks. 

I really hope you would try this recipe and let me know how it turns out. 

If you have any question for me, leave a comment down below.
Subscribe and like if you enjoy these types of post.

If you want to follow me on Instagram, I'm at @andyliang89. I post the same pictures that are found here on my Instagram feed like a Sneak Peek to what's found in detail on this blog.

Thank you for all the support and love from everyone!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Chocolate Layered Marshmallow Cheesecake

Hi lovely people out there,

This time I don't have a long essay regarding my updates on my pastry career. Instead I have a recipe!

It is (like the title says) Chocolate Layered Marshmallow Cheesecake.

This is what it looks like in the pan:

Actually this was a mistake since I wanted to be a Chocolate Swirled Marshmallow Cheesecake, but I'll explain later why this turned out instead of the swirled effect.

First of all, I didn't come up with this base recipe for the Marshmallow Cheesecake recipe, so I did my research and it took me to I have to give credit to Mary Frances, the creator of the blog, for the base recipe of the Marshmallow Cheesecake. Her rendition includes a fabulous swirl of raspberry sauce, which does provide a lovely balance of sweet and tart.

Base Recipe:

My rendition of this Cheesecake has a thin, crispy Oreo Cookie Crust and an extra special layer of chocolate on top.

The picture above doesn't show a springform pan; I've used an 8-inch cake pan. Nowadays I don't like using a springform pan because I have to wrap the entire pan with foil so no water sips in. It's just easier to spray the cake pan with nonstick cooking spray and line the bottom with a parchment paper circle. The recipe below will have details on how to unmold the cheesecake.

Chocolate Swirled Toasted Marshmallow Cheesecake
Yield: 12 servings

Equipments: 1 8-inch cake pan, Parchment paper, Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup Oreo Cookies, finely crushed
2 tablespoons butter, melted

3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup packed marshmallows (16 large ones)
2 tablespoons butter
¼ cup milk
70g (about 3 oz) melted semisweet chocolate

Preheat the oven to 350F.
Mix together the Oreo cookie crumbs and butter until it resembles wet sand. Pour it into an 8-inch cake pan. Press it flat without going up the sides. Bake it in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. Let cool outside.

For the filling, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth, about two minutes.
Add eggs, and vanilla together one at a time; mixing until smooth. Set aside.
Toast marshmallow under the broiler until almost black. Flip it over with a large offset spatula.
Melt marshmallows, butter, and milk in a small saucepan. Stir constantly for a couple minutes until mixture is completely melted. Strain through a chinois or a fine sieve.
Stir marshmallows into cream cheese mixture.
Pour the cheesecake batter over the cooled crust; leaving behind about a cup of batter.
Add the melted chocolate stirring quickly until smooth.
Pour the chocolate cheesecake batter on top and swirl until your desired marble effect.
Place the cake pan into a larger baking pan to create a water bath by filling the baking pan halfway the side of the cake pan with boiling hot water. A water bath will ensure more even baking (and will prevent the top of the cheesecake from cracking.)
Bake for 50-55 minutes at 350 degrees. Turn off the oven, crack the door slightly open and let cool slowly until room temperature.
Remove from oven and let cool completely.
Refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight before serving. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 2 months.

To unmold a cheesecake out of a 8-inch cake pan, your going to need:
           a flat plate or plastic wrapped 8-inch cake board,
           serving plate
           a blow torch, gas stove, or a large pot of hot water
If your using the;
           Blow Torch: flip the cake pan onto a plate or a plastic wrapped cake board (if you have one), torch the bottom and sides.
           Gas Stove: Turn the flame to medium-low. Using oven gloves, hover the cake pan bottom and sides over the flame (this may take up to 2 minutes to unmold).
           Hot water: Dip the cake pan until it reaches halfway up the pan. Let it sit for 45 seconds. If it doesn't melt the fat, dip the sides. (This would be my last choice because I don't want water in my cheesecake.)

To tell if the fats have melted, the knife will slide easily between the pan and the cake. Flip the cake over and lift the pan out. Flip the cheesecake back over onto your serving plate. Cut your portions and enjoy!

I have pictures!:

My Opinion: I was disappointed on the marble effect and that's mainly blame on myself because I didn't swirl it enough. I also left too much of the batter in the second pour for the chocolate layer, so it became more of a chocolate cheesecake instead, but I LOVE my mistakes and it actually looks good. The taste of this cheesecake is GOOD! The initial flavor is the cream cheese, then the semisweet chocolate, and lastly the very light taste of the toasted marshmallow. It was very creamy and crispy from the cookie layer, added another dimension to this dessert.

I really hope you would try this recipe out one day. And I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I've enjoyed writing this.

If you have any question for me, leave a comment down below.
Subscribe and like if you enjoy these types of post.

If you want to follow me on Instagram, I'm at @andyliang89. I post the same pictures that are found here on my Instagram feed like a Sneak Peek to what's found in detail on this blog.

Thank you!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Seriously Long Overdue Update

To begin with, I have to apologize for the long overdue update. It's been about a year and a half since I've written a post. I have to say it's been a crazy year and a half with great fun and support from everyone I'm around with.

Let's continue from where I left off,
As you all know I attend a culinary school at New York City called International Culinary Center in Soho. After a month of searching a job, I found a "home" at Lafayette restaurant as an Extern at first. I've worked as a Banquet Cook, Garde Manger, then Hot Apps (in that exact order) for about 9 months in total.

As I was working as a Line Cook, I saw a position in Lafayette's Pastry department. In a matter of a couple of weeks, I became the new Pastry Cook. I've worked Brunch, Lunch, and Dinner services. Even though it was only a month that I was a Pastry Cook, I learned a lot from the chef there and would've loved to continue my career there. Unfortunately, I couldn't stay in the restaurant I called "home" (because it was my first restaurant fresh out of culinary school), but I found a new "home" and I'm enjoying every minute of it.

Fast forwarding to the present now, I'm currently working at a Soho restaurant called The Dutch as a Pastry Cook. Again, I'm loving every minute I step into the restaurant because the vibe the Pastry team has just feels like home with supporting teammates helping out.

During the "flying" couple of months, I've been testing different cake recipes and I think I found one that my entire picky family actually enjoys. It is actually from Woodland Bakery Blog.

The recipe is called Yellow Cake:

This is an oil-based cake, so it stays moist even from the fridge (it doesn't make it into the fridge). I've made it into a 12-inch cake for a friend, a rectangular cake for a family dinner (with homemade strawberry jam in both of them).

I also took the cake and rolled it into a Swiss Roll with Whipped cream and diced fresh strawberries a filling. It didn't turn out that well because the cake just wanted to tear and make holes (probably the cake doesn't have enough gluten since it uses cake flour). Nonetheless, the final result tasted good and that's my culinary side of me doing the talking. Additionally eating the cake just as a snack, is really good for curing that sweet tooth.

Begin new to the Pastry industry, I've been having concerns on my pastry knowledge and skills, and my culinary knowledge as well. Not having the formal training has always made me feel insecure about how well I'll do in the industry, but the best advice for those who made the same transition as I've made, is to keep your head down, learn as much and fast as you can. I did that for 6 months now and I've never regretted my decision to follow my passion in Pastry.

Now I don't know if anyone has felt this but as a Young Cook who made the transition from Culinary to Pastry, I feel like I've been losing my touch from working on the Culinary side. All the knowledge that I've gained from the Culinary program is disappearing; leaving me with the knowledge of Pastry.

I've been reading a specific book called "The Pastry Chef's Apprentice" by Mitch Stamm. This book interviews a handful of pastry chefs and it talks about the journey that each one has been threw over the years. During each interview, I've compiled specific words that stood out relating to the title "Pastry Chef".

This is the picture I've picked from the Word Cloud Program:

I hope you enjoy my Seriously Lone Overdue Update. I have to say I miss blogging and sharing my experiences with certain recipes. I definitely enjoy testing recipe especially those that satisfy my sweet tooth. 

Please subscribe if you want to see more upcoming post. I'll try to post in the coming weeks about recipe testing and any updates I have in my Pastry career.