May 15, 2010


My first time to San Francisco three years ago, I stumbled upon this little Italian bakery in North Beach called Stella Pastry. I had this cake there that was amazing! The best way to describe it is a tiramisu without the coffee and chocolate.

When I was recently in San Francisco, I wanted to go back to this bakery because I forgot the name of the cake. I had the cake again and it was still amazing. This time I wrote down the name, it's called sacripantina. As soon as I got home, I searched for a recipe. I found one from Food Network, but somehow, it didn't seem right.

The cake is basically a genoise with a zabaglione filling. So I decided to create my own recipe. I used the zabaglione and pastry cream recipes (with some alterations) from Daring Baker's Tiramisu challenge. I thought about making my own genoise, but I was too lazy, so I used store bought ladyfingers. I created a simple sugar syrup to dip the ladyfingers in and sacripantina.

The results? It's a bit too sweet for me, but over all it's very good!! I think if I made my own genoise (stupid lazy me), I wouldn't have needed the sugar syrup, and then the cake would be perfect. The filling is really good, so I wouldn't change it. Of course, Stella's is much better, but this will hold me over until my next trip to San Francisco. heehee =P


For the zabaglione:
2 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar/50gms
1/8 cup of marsala wine
1/4 teaspoon/ 1.25ml vanilla extract

1. Heat water in a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler, place a pot with about an inch of water in it on the stove. Place a heat-proof bowl in the pot making sure the bottom does not touch the water.

2. In a large mixing bowl (or stainless steel mixing bowl), mix together the egg yolks, sugar, the Marsala wine, and vanilla extract. Whisk together until the yolks are fully blended and the mixture looks smooth.

3. Transfer the mixture to the top of a double boiler or place your bowl over the pan/ pot with simmering water. Cook the egg mixture over low heat, stirring constantly, for about 8 minutes or until it resembles thick custard. It may bubble a bit as it reaches that consistency.

4. Let cool to room temperature and transfer the zabaglione to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight, until thoroughly chilled.

Vanilla pastry cream
1/8 cup sugar
1 tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup/175ml whole milk

1. Mix together the sugar, flour, lemon zest and vanilla extract in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. To this, add the egg yolk and half the milk. Whisk until smooth.
Now place the saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring constantly to prevent the mixture from curdling.

2. Add the remaining milk a little at a time, still stirring constantly. After about 12 minutes the mixture will be thick, free of lumps and beginning to bubble. (If you have a few lumps, don’t worry. You can push the cream through a fine-mesh strainer.)

3. Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl and cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic film and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight, until thoroughly chilled.

Whipped cream
1 cup chilled heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Combine the cream, sugar and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Beat with an electric hand mixer or immersion blender until the mixture holds stiff peaks. Set aside.

Simple sugar syrup
1 cup warm water
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp marsala wine

1. Combine all the ingredients in a shallow dish.

75g mascarpone cheese
24 ladyfingers

1. Have ready a rectangular serving dish (about 8" by 8" should do) or one of your choice.

2. In a large bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese with a spoon to break down the lumps and make it smooth. This will make it easier to fold. Add the prepared and chilled zabaglione and pastry cream, blending until just combined. Gently fold in the whipped cream. Set this cream mixture aside.

3. Workings quickly, dip 12 of the ladyfingers in the simple syrup, about 1 second per side. They should be moist but not soggy. Immediately transfer each ladyfinger to the platter, placing them side by side in a single row. You may break a lady finger into two, if necessary, to ensure the base of your dish is completely covered.

4. Spoon one-half of the cream mixture on top of the ladyfingers, then use a rubber spatula or spreading knife to cover the top evenly, all the way to the edges.
Repeat with the other layer, using 12 ladyfingers and the cream mixture for each layer. Cover carefully with plastic wrap and refrigerate the cake overnight.

5. To serve, carefully remove the plastic wrap and sprinkle the cake with crumbled bits of ladyfingers.

May 8, 2010

Soft apple roll

I've been on a bread baking kick. After the scallion bread, I realized how much I enjoy kneading dough and the lovely aroma of the bread when it's baking. I turned to Pook from Daily Delicious because she has really great bread recipes on her blog. I decided to try the Soft apple roll because of the title of that post. It's "Soft Apple Roll: Soft bread for an easy afternoon". That title just painted such a wonderful picture in my head that I knew I wanted that easy afternoon for myself too.

The only thing I changed in the recipe is I cut the the dough into 9 pieces and baked it in a 8" square pan. The result is a wonderfully soft bread with a little sweetness from the apple chunks. It's a really nice roll, the perfect amount of sweetness. I really liked it. Here's the recipe.

Soft Apple Roll
adapted from Daily Delicious

For the bread:

160g Bread flour
40g Cake flour
6g Instant yeast
40g Sugar
2g Salt
10g Dried milk
10g Unsalted butter
1 Egg
80g Water

For the filling:
230g Apple (peeled and cut)
25g Sugar (see note)
1 tsp Lemon juice
100ml Water
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract

For the egg wash:
1 egg + 1 tbsp water

For the Icing glaze:
Icing sugar (Powdered sugar)

Make the dough:
1. Put all the dry ingredient into the bowl, whisk to combine. Pour the water and egg into the bowl. Use large spoon (or pastry scraper) to mix everything together, and knead briefly to bring all the ingredients together.

2. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead, you will see the dough will be elastic after about 2 minutes. Add the butter (see note) and knead by using the heel of your hands to compress and push the dough away from you, then fold it back over itself. Give the dough a little turn and repeat. Put the weight of your body into the motion and get into a rhythm. Keep folding over and compressing the dough. Knead for 10-15 minutes or until the dough is soft, pliable, smooth and slightly shiny, almost satiny.

3. Put the dough into a light buttered bowl. Let the dough rise in a warm place until double in size (can be 1 hour or 1 hour and a half check often depend on the temperature). Meanwhile, make the filling (see below).

4. Brush an 8" square pan (see note) with butter. Roll the dough into 20x30 cm square. Spread the apple over the dough, then roll into the cylinder. Cut into 9 pieces and place into the prepared pan. Let the dough rise until almost double in size (about 20 to 30 minutes).

5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. When the dough is ready, brush with egg wash, then put the dough into the oven. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown. Let the bread cool on the wire rack.

6. Mix the icing sugar with water and drizzle over the roll.

Make the filling:
1. Put all the ingredients into a small pan, bring to boil and reduce the heat.
Boil until most of the water almost evaporate, remove from the heat and let cool completely.

  • *The original recipe calls for 50 g of sugar for the apple filling. I decided to cut down on the sugar because I didn't want it too sweet.
  • *When you start to knead the butter into the dough, it will fall apart and look like it's completely ruined. Don't worry, keep kneading the butter into the dough and the dough will come back together.
  • *The original recipe calls for a 18cm round pan. I decided to use an 8" square pan and cut the dough into nine pieces instead of six.

May 1, 2010

Scallion bread

My whole apartment smells so wonderful right now with the aroma of scallions and fresh baked bread! This recipe is from My Kitchen. Lydia from My Kitchen was so nice to translate this recipe so that I can recreate it in my own kitchen. I think the original recipe uses onions, but I wanted to use scallions instead.

The bread came together pretty quickly and I love the braiding technique, it's so pretty!! The only thing I did differently was adding one tbsp of butter in the dough. I think next time I might add some bacon bits in there. Here's the recipe.

Scallion Bread
adapted from My Kitchen

250g bread flour
2 tsp dry yeast
2 1/2 tbsp sugar
100ml warm water (40C)
1 tbsp butter, room temperature
2 large stalks of scallions, finely chopped, about 1 cup
1 Egg - for egg wash

1. bring together 125g of bread flour, yeast, sugar and water in a large mixing bowl, mix with a spatula until well combined. Add the remaining bread flour and knead until it's smooth and no longer sticky.

2. Knead in butter until it's incorporated into the dough.

3. Cover dough and rest for 30 minutes or until it is doubled in size. You may also prepare dough in bread maker.

4. Punch down dough to remove air. Divide and shape dough into 2 balls. Cover and rest for another 10 minutes.

5. Roll out each ball into 20x25cm rectangle, spread scallions over the surface.

6. Roll it up from the long side, then make a cut lengthwise leaving 2cm uncut at the end. Plait and pinch the ends to seal.

7. Let it rise for 20 minutes or until doubled in size. Egg wash and bake in the preheated oven at 350 for 15 minutes.

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