Category Archives: constance

september-october: constance’s banana pudding layer cake

Hello friends! I’ve been a bit MIA for a while, so apologies! Following Kerri – I also had a hard time ‘deconstructing’, because frankly, I believe cake should be layered and not taken apart.  Anyways, it was the bff’s 30th birthday and he specifically requested banana pudding. So, I decided to cake-ify it. If there was any deconstruction and reconstructing going on, this cake it is. Plus, I got to use my handy new KitchenAid Stand Mixer.

Banana Pudding is very American recipe, pretty standard in most American family recipe archives. It consists of 4 things: Nilla Wafers, Bananas, Cool Whip and Vanilla Pudding. And typical to Hong Kong, Nilla Wafers were unavailable, so I made my own.

The Vanilla Wafers were really easy to make, and a lot yummier than the boxed Nilla Wafers.

I used both vanilla bean paste and vanilla bean extract which tastes miles better than the processed vanilla in the boxed wafers.

To make the cake portion, I made 3 layers of banana cake rounds in 9in cake pans. For the filling, I used a cream cheese and box vanilla pudding mix. To frost, I used a vanilla whipped cream frosting.

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To layer the cake, I cut of the domes and started spreading the vanilla pudding filling on the cake. Then, I added 10-15 vanilla wafers. Add the second layer of cake and repeat again. Place the third layer on the cake to complete and frost the vanilla whipped cream around the cake. Decorate the cake with the the remainder of the vanilla wafers.

You can find the recipe here.

cake

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September – October : Constance’s Compost Cookies

When I think of comfort food, freshly baked, gooey cookies always comes to mind. Christine Tosi of NYC Milk Bar’s Compost Cookies is one that ranks in all kinds of cookie awesomeness, well, because its the kitchen sink of cookies. We are talking about a hot mess of oats, potato chips, pretzels, butterscotch chips, coffee, graham bits with your standard cookie mixture.

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As with most Milk Bar recipes – the mixture requires a 10 minute creaming process. For best results, use a stand alone processor.

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Comfort food? You can pretty much add what your little heart desires – hence the name, compost cookies. This little cookie is magical, you will not look at a cookie the same again.

Recipe can be found here or from the Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook

january-february: constance’s chocolate and assam tea brownies

Breakfast for me is never complete without a piping hot cup of full-bodied black tea. So for this challenge, I wanted bring in my favourite black tea, Assam tea. I was pretty excited when I found this chocolate and assam tea brownie recipe based off Sydney’s Bourke Street Bakery cookbook.  You can find the recipe here. 

The recipe requires the prunes to be macerated with the tea for 24 hours. The brownies turned out wonderful, moist but with a  fudgey middle.  The tea balanced well with the dark chocolate and the flavour came out very well. The prunes add extra punch layer among the chocolate bits textured into the brownie.

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november-december: constance’s walnut salted caramel and honey pie

November,  also known as Thanksgiving, is a pretty busy baking time for me, and so when I came across this recipe, I thought it would be a perfect mash up between American pie fare and one of my favorite all time ingredient: salted caramel. I love caramel, it can take the shape of many forms, yet it is an incredibly basic ingredient – in a nutshell, it’s just burnt sugar.

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This pie is extremely straightforward…providing you used the correct pie crust! November is a busy year at school for me and of course, rushing home, I absentmindedly, in my teacher tired haze, rolled out a French short puff pastry crust over the traditional American pie crust. For those who don’t know, there is a bit of science behind the art of rolling out a pie dough but that can be saved for another day. I was a bit unhappy with the presentation, but never the less, my guests gobbled it up and already asking for more.

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For the sake of my first entry,  I went and did it again. I found that in the previous pie, the honey overpowered the taste of the caramel. This time, I readjusted the recipe to less honey and made the caramel reduction a lot thicker before pouring into the crust.  The end result was a lot more what I expected, a perfect balance of salted caramel accompanied by the honey and crumbly pie crust.

You can find the recipe here.