Apple Pumpkin Bread Tart

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hi old friends (and new)

it is I, back with a recipe that is actually almost exactly the same as this one but transformed–

My intention was to make something crazy. I was thinking along the lines of… an apple oat crisp and a pumpkin cinnamon bun having a baby, only the baby would not only be cute but also elegant and posh and be able to stand on its own two feet at a high tea.

I’d say I got halfway there. You can’t tell from these photos but figuring out how to arrange the apple slices in an aesthetically pleasing way was actually such a dilemma. I felt very discombobulated, so I gave up and placed the slices around in a circle (how boring) but somehow it ended up looking like a rose (elegant!!). Then I couldn’t bear to cover that with an apple crisp topping around the edges, like I initially planned out in my head.

So no, I guess the apple oat crisp pumpkin cinnamon bun baby will have to be born another day.

Baking this bread, and these photos, will forever be associated with good memories. Why? It was a special, special day.

I had started the bread off, proofing my yeast. But it was 10 minutes until 10:00 am, which was when the COLDPLAY TICKET PRESALE opened up, and whenever it’s that kind of environment (think course registration) I end up not being able to do anything but sit around and twiddle my thumbs and click refresh. It’s the anticipation, okay. Let me have my fun.

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Red Bean Challah

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I’ve been baking as a hobby for a long time now, since I was eight or so. And it never ceases to amaze me– the transformation that takes place in the oven. My heart still beats a little faster from the excitement as I turn on the oven light to check in on whatever I’m baking. Sometimes I get panicky if I see that something’s overflowing, like a bubbling pie that I forgot to put a tray under, or muffin cups that I’ve eagerly overfilled. Most of the time I can tell that something’s almost done baking… its scent starts to waft through the house.

This challah is a perfect example of that. It came together so fast that I was disappointed it was over already. Literally less than 10 minutes to measure out and combine the ingredients. After that, all the work is done by the mixer to knead the dough, and by the yeast to perform its magic to aerate the dough.

Then you weave and shape the challah– therapeutic, really– and after a transformation in the oven, you’ll quickly be rewarded with a tender, soft, light bread.

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Frangipane stuffed Pineapple Bookies

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I’ll be running my first half-marathon TOMORROW (cue heavy gasping), and my superbly disciplined, nonexistent training regimen has left me *really* prepared. Actually, I’m pretty sure I developed shin splints from chronic never-stretching after running long distances, and my legs are getting payback at me, big time. I’ve also been preparing by eating really nutritious, healthy food, as evidenced by these buns (sigh). I should know better. So right now my body is nowhere near where I’d like it to be for Sunday, but I will sure as heck give it my best.

I’m counting on that marathon magic and adrenaline of having a zillion runners next to you. That helps too. Continue reading →

Hot Cross Buns

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Happy Easter, guys!

My weekend = working, studying, training for my first half marathon, and doing some wedding planning stuff for my brother. It’s pretty low key/casual, which is good, since everything I know about weddings come from Pinterest.

He mentioned wanting hipster wedding favours for the guests (I’m not sure if he was serious), but why the heck not. I’m imagining things with mason jars and succulents and Chemex coffee maker vases. (Kidding). Earnest ice cream pints with little wooden spoons would be really cute, right?

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What I won’t so readily admit is that much of my excitement behind their wedding lies in the minute detail that I will be making their wedding cake. I’ve started a board on Pinterest for ideas. It’s official. Apparently, my sister-in-law likes green tea, but in general doesn’t have a sweet tooth. And I know that my brother wants something with apple-cinnamon, which is very fall-appropriate, but I haven’t quite figured out how to make that combination work aesthetically. Cinnamon-apple (reddish brown) plus green matcha green? Maybe if I make it look like a tree……………. (uhm).

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Honey Challah

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If you ask me at any given moment, would I rather live in the past or in the present, I would unfailingly choose the past. My nostalgia can be overwhelmingly hopeless at times… as if I were clutching onto fragile branches of the past, while the currents of now and today are grasping at me, relentlessly pulling me deeper into turbulent water.

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With two unexpected events that occured within the past two months– my grandma’s passing, and my brother’s wedding reception date set– I felt like I’ve been ripped away from what I’ve always known and thrown into the deep. While one is a cause for mourning and the other celebration…neither of those events did I ever expect to happen now. Continue reading →