Ah, Rosenmunnar - Swedish Thumbprint Cookies!
I probably broke my record for baking. I baked two items in 2.5 hours!
It was the day before Chinese New Year, and my boss treated us with a meal (we Chinese call it tuen-lin-faan) to celebrate the end of the lunar year. Finishing our work day early, I still only managed to get home around 3:30pm to prepare for the family tuen-lin-faan which as usual I had to bring dessert. I definitely had enough time to bake Deb’s (and now my) oh-so-famous red wine chocolate cake, but then I heard Father Marci will be joining the dinner, so definitely a change in my game plan.
So who’s Father Marci (not his full name)? He’s a family friend of ours, and probably the funniest catholic priest one would ever meet. There are some really amusing stories involving him that one would not imagine from a priest, something about playing cards at my grandma’s home and snooker at some sketchy place with his students? I love having meals with him, and I love baking things for him. I haven’t seen him in quite some time, so I decided to bake something extra for him to take home that evening.
I only decided on baking these cookies after I popped my cake into the oven. Thinking hard for something easy to make with the limited supplies I had, this recipe came up. It’s quick and simple. Yes, four ingredients, and half an hour, it’s all done. Somehow it seemed harder when I last baked them when I was a Uni fresher… Haha, my baking skills must have improved a lot! :)
For some reason the original recipe said it will yield 6 dozens, but don’t trust it. I halved the recipe and got 16 cookies only!
You will need:
1/2 cup butter (I used unsalted)
1/4 cup white sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
Jam of your favourite choice (I got a jar of blueberry jam)
Steps:
Prepare a cookie sheet with baking paper, and preheat oven to 190C (or 375F) 
Cream butter and sugar in a bowl until fluffy
Add in sifted flour and mix until it forms a smooth ball of dough which is firm and not sticky or crumbly.
Shape dough into one inch balls and place them onto cookie sheet with sufficient space for each cookie for sideway expansion (otherwise they will stick together when you pull them out from the oven)
Use your finger to indent the top of the dough ball (that’s the thumbprint!) add a small drop of jam onto the indentation (stress on the small and don’t be greedy, otherwise the jam will flow out when the cookies flatten in the oven. You can always add more jam when you take the cookies out from the oven) 
Pop cookies into the oven and bake until golden (around 15-20 minutes depending on the strength of the oven)
Remove from oven. Let them cool and harden in a cooling rack. Done!

Ah, Rosenmunnar - Swedish Thumbprint Cookies!

I probably broke my record for baking. I baked two items in 2.5 hours!

It was the day before Chinese New Year, and my boss treated us with a meal (we Chinese call it tuen-lin-faan) to celebrate the end of the lunar year. Finishing our work day early, I still only managed to get home around 3:30pm to prepare for the family tuen-lin-faan which as usual I had to bring dessert. I definitely had enough time to bake Deb’s (and now my) oh-so-famous red wine chocolate cake, but then I heard Father Marci will be joining the dinner, so definitely a change in my game plan.

So who’s Father Marci (not his full name)? He’s a family friend of ours, and probably the funniest catholic priest one would ever meet. There are some really amusing stories involving him that one would not imagine from a priest, something about playing cards at my grandma’s home and snooker at some sketchy place with his students? I love having meals with him, and I love baking things for him. I haven’t seen him in quite some time, so I decided to bake something extra for him to take home that evening.

I only decided on baking these cookies after I popped my cake into the oven. Thinking hard for something easy to make with the limited supplies I had, this recipe came up. It’s quick and simple. Yes, four ingredients, and half an hour, it’s all done. Somehow it seemed harder when I last baked them when I was a Uni fresher… Haha, my baking skills must have improved a lot! :)

For some reason the original recipe said it will yield 6 dozens, but don’t trust it. I halved the recipe and got 16 cookies only!

You will need:

  • 1/2 cup butter (I used unsalted)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • Jam of your favourite choice (I got a jar of blueberry jam)

Steps:

  1. Prepare a cookie sheet with baking paper, and preheat oven to 190C (or 375F) 
  2. Cream butter and sugar in a bowl until fluffy
  3. Add in sifted flour and mix until it forms a smooth ball of dough which is firm and not sticky or crumbly.
  4. Shape dough into one inch balls and place them onto cookie sheet with sufficient space for each cookie for sideway expansion (otherwise they will stick together when you pull them out from the oven)
  5. Use your finger to indent the top of the dough ball (that’s the thumbprint!) add a small drop of jam onto the indentation (stress on the small and don’t be greedy, otherwise the jam will flow out when the cookies flatten in the oven. You can always add more jam when you take the cookies out from the oven) 
  6. Pop cookies into the oven and bake until golden (around 15-20 minutes depending on the strength of the oven)
  7. Remove from oven. Let them cool and harden in a cooling rack. Done!

sherlocksmoustache:

GIVEAWAY

Programme for Coriolanus - signed by:

  • Tom Hiddleston
  • Mark Gatiss
  • Hadley Fraser
  • Deborah Findlay
  • Peter De Jersey
  • Elliot Levey
  • Birgitte Hjort Sørensen
  • Helen Schlesinger

*Note: Eliot Levy signed in the space of Jacqueline Boatswain. 

It’s got some nice rehearsals pictures, and an interesting article. I’m aiming to get it signed by the remaining 4. 

So if there is anyone that wants this, I’ll be giving it away. I’ll ship internationally. 

Rules: 

  • Reblogs only please.
  • You don’t have to be following me if you don’t want.
  • Winner will be chosen at random. 
  • Ends 27/01/14.

Things that make UBC so special (part 2): kids who live on a high floor in Marine Drive/Walter Gage/Ponderosa res

whatweshouldcallubc:

literally.

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LIKE HOW APPLICABLE IS THIS GIF SET. (pats self on the back)

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extra points to photoshop :) thank you A for the photo

The first thing I said when I moved into Marine Drive 5 last year.. #IMissUBC

englishsnow:

Edinburgh

I never realised how much I miss this city that I called home for a year.. Why do I get so much reminders of the food, people and buildings in the past couple of weeks?

(via questionsleftunanswered)

The softest bread you will ever bake (and they can stay soft for quite a while!)
When I was in Canada and Scotland, one thing I really missed was the soft bread that Hong Kong bakeries sell.. The yummy sausage buns, pai-bao (排包, the sweet buns) and the pineapple buns (that really has nothing to do with pineapples).. hmmmm, freshly baked, they are the best when served warm. I can only find them in those Chinese groceries, but god knows how long ago they were removed from the oven. In Canada, it’s probably easier to find good ones with supermarkets like T&T. Even so, I still think something’s missing from these made-in-Canada Hong Kong style bread… I am never a big fan of really dry western style breads unless they are for sandwiches, so I am really glad Hong Kong people know how to make good bread.

Of course, I am back in Hong Kong now, so I get easy access to these tasty buns, but as a baker, I’d love to try baking some of these nice soft breads…. One of my favourite recipe blog has the answer. Thanks to Christine Ho's blog, she explained the method in creating the soft, fluffy Hong Kong style breads.

The method that she used is called the Tangzhong method (湯種), which involves adding an extra mixture of water and bread flour (5:1 ratio) into your regular bread dough mix. This magical mixture involves an extra cooking process that will only take maybe 10 minutes, but it results in a complete difference in the texture for your average bread.
I’ve tried two recipes recently, the first being a regular white bread loaf and then I tried a herb and cheese loaf (as seen above). Below is the recipe from Christine’s bacon and cheese loaf:

Ingredients of tangzhong (湯種 The amount is enough to make two loafs):
50gm/ 1/3 cup bread flour
250ml/ 1cup water (could be replaced by milk, or 50/50 water and milk)
Ingredients of bread:
350gm/ 2½ cups bread flour
55gm/3tbsp+2tsp caster sugar
5gm/1tsp salt
56gm egg (equals to 1 large egg)
7gm/1tbsp+1tsp milk powder (to increase fragrance, optional)
125ml/ ½cup milk
120gm tangzhong (use half of the tangzhong you make from above)
5 to 6gm/2 tsp instant yeast
30gm/3tbsp butter (cut into small pieces, softened at room temperature)
Fillings:
bacon, to taste you favourite herb mixture, preferably freshly chopped (I only had my mum’s dried thyme, but it turns out ok. the amount is up to your own preference)
cheese, to taste (like above, choose your favourite cheese, I used some Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese from my local bake shop which they claim is good for bread making because of the heat resistance, well, I am no expert! again, amount is up to your personal taste)
Method of making tangzhong:
Mix flour in water well without any lumps. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring consistently with a wooden spoon, whisk or spatula to prevent burning and sticking while you cook along the way.
The mixture becomes thicker and thicker. Once you notice some “lines” appear in the mixture for every stir you make with the spoon. It’s done. You get the tangzhong. (Some people might like to use a thermometer to check the temperature. After a few trials, I found this simple method works every time.) Remove from heat.
Transfer into a clean bowl. Cover with a cling wrap sticking onto the surface of tangzhong to prevent from drying up. Let cool. The tangzhong can be used straight away once it cools down to room temperature.  Just measure out the amount you need. The leftover tangzhong can be stored in fridge up to a few days as long as it doesn’t turn grey. If so, you need to discard and cook some more. (Note: The chilled tangzhong should return to room temperature before adding into other ingredients. )
Method of making bread:
Combine all dry ingredients: flour, salt, sugar and instant yeast in a bowl. Make a well in the center. Whisk and combine all wet ingredients: milk, egg and tangzhong, then add into the well of the dry ingredients. Knead until you get a dough shape and gluten has developed, then knead in the butter. Mind you, it’d be quite messy at this stage (That’s why I used a bread maker). Keep kneading until the dough is smooth, not sticky and elastic. To test if the dough is ready, you might stretch the dough. If it forms a thin “membrane”, it’s done. The time of kneading all depends on how hard and fast you knead. (Note: I use bread maker to do this hardest part and messy job for me. I added the wet ingredients into my bread maker first, then followed by the dry ingredients. The yeast is the last to add.) 
Knead the dough into a ball shape. Place in a greased bowl and cover with a wet towel or cling wrap. Let it proof till it’s doubled in size, about 40 minutes (Note: the time will vary and depends on the weather. The best temperature for proofing is 28C. I still used my bread maker in this stage. And my bread maker has a heater.)
Transfer to a clean floured surface. Deflate and divide the dough into four equal portions. Knead into ball shapes. Cover with cling wrap, let rest for 15 minutes.
Roll out each portion of the dough with a rolling pin into an oval shape. Sprinkle bacon herb and cheese evenly as much as you like. Roll from the upper, shorter end down to the bottom (as picture shown). Flatten the dough with your rolling pin. Then roll once again. Then seals face down.
Arrange the rolled-up dough in a greased or non-stick loaf tin (as picture shown). Leave it for the 2nd round of proofing, about 40 minutes, or until the dough rises up to 3/4 of the height of the tin inside.
Brush whisked egg on surface. Bake in a pre-heated 180C (356F) oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and tin. Transfer onto a wire rack and let cool completely. Slice to serve or place in an airtight plastic bag or container once it’s thoroughly cooled.
Read more + detailed photo guide: http://en.christinesrecipes.com/2010/03/japanese-style-bacon-and-cheese-bread.html#ixzz2bdsQ7Pp3

While I say the bread can be kept soft and fluffy for a couple of days, that would not happen with my bread, they are generally gone in a day or two anyway. Half of the herb and cheese loaf was eaten the day it was made when my mum requested me to bring it up as afternoon tea for her mahjong-playing friends.

The softest bread you will ever bake (and they can stay soft for quite a while!)

When I was in Canada and Scotland, one thing I really missed was the soft bread that Hong Kong bakeries sell.. The yummy sausage buns, pai-bao (排包, the sweet buns) and the pineapple buns (that really has nothing to do with pineapples).. hmmmm, freshly baked, they are the best when served warm. I can only find them in those Chinese groceries, but god knows how long ago they were removed from the oven. In Canada, it’s probably easier to find good ones with supermarkets like T&T. Even so, I still think something’s missing from these made-in-Canada Hong Kong style bread… I am never a big fan of really dry western style breads unless they are for sandwiches, so I am really glad Hong Kong people know how to make good bread.

Your average Hong Kong bakery...

Of course, I am back in Hong Kong now, so I get easy access to these tasty buns, but as a baker, I’d love to try baking some of these nice soft breads…. One of my favourite recipe blog has the answer. Thanks to Christine Ho's blog, she explained the method in creating the soft, fluffy Hong Kong style breads.

The typical Hong Kong style bread tears open like this!

The method that she used is called the Tangzhong method (湯種), which involves adding an extra mixture of water and bread flour (5:1 ratio) into your regular bread dough mix. This magical mixture involves an extra cooking process that will only take maybe 10 minutes, but it results in a complete difference in the texture for your average bread.

I’ve tried two recipes recently, the first being a regular white bread loaf and then I tried a herb and cheese loaf (as seen above). Below is the recipe from Christine’s bacon and cheese loaf:

Ingredients of tangzhong (湯種 The amount is enough to make two loafs):

  • 50gm/ 1/3 cup bread flour
  • 250ml/ 1cup water (could be replaced by milk, or 50/50 water and milk)

Ingredients of bread:

  • 350gm/ 2½ cups bread flour
  • 55gm/3tbsp+2tsp caster sugar
  • 5gm/1tsp salt
  • 56gm egg (equals to 1 large egg)
  • 7gm/1tbsp+1tsp milk powder (to increase fragrance, optional)
  • 125ml/ ½cup milk
  • 120gm tangzhong (use half of the tangzhong you make from above)
  • 5 to 6gm/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 30gm/3tbsp butter (cut into small pieces, softened at room temperature)

Fillings:

  • bacon, to taste you favourite herb mixture, preferably freshly chopped (I only had my mum’s dried thyme, but it turns out ok. the amount is up to your own preference)
  • cheese, to taste (like above, choose your favourite cheese, I used some Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese from my local bake shop which they claim is good for bread making because of the heat resistance, well, I am no expert! again, amount is up to your personal taste)

Method of making tangzhong:

  1. Mix flour in water well without any lumps. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring consistently with a wooden spoon, whisk or spatula to prevent burning and sticking while you cook along the way.
  2. The mixture becomes thicker and thicker. Once you notice some “lines” appear in the mixture for every stir you make with the spoon. It’s done. You get the tangzhong. (Some people might like to use a thermometer to check the temperature. After a few trials, I found this simple method works every time.) Remove from heat.
  3. Transfer into a clean bowl. Cover with a cling wrap sticking onto the surface of tangzhong to prevent from drying up. Let cool. The tangzhong can be used straight away once it cools down to room temperature.  Just measure out the amount you need. The leftover tangzhong can be stored in fridge up to a few days as long as it doesn’t turn grey. If so, you need to discard and cook some more. (Note: The chilled tangzhong should return to room temperature before adding into other ingredients. )

Method of making bread:

  1. Combine all dry ingredients: flour, salt, sugar and instant yeast in a bowl. Make a well in the center. Whisk and combine all wet ingredients: milk, egg and tangzhong, then add into the well of the dry ingredients. Knead until you get a dough shape and gluten has developed, then knead in the butter. Mind you, it’d be quite messy at this stage (That’s why I used a bread maker). Keep kneading until the dough is smooth, not sticky and elastic. To test if the dough is ready, you might stretch the dough. If it forms a thin “membrane”, it’s done. The time of kneading all depends on how hard and fast you knead. (Note: I use bread maker to do this hardest part and messy job for me. I added the wet ingredients into my bread maker first, then followed by the dry ingredients. The yeast is the last to add.) 
  2. Knead the dough into a ball shape. Place in a greased bowl and cover with a wet towel or cling wrap. Let it proof till it’s doubled in size, about 40 minutes (Note: the time will vary and depends on the weather. The best temperature for proofing is 28C. I still used my bread maker in this stage. And my bread maker has a heater.)
  3. Transfer to a clean floured surface. Deflate and divide the dough into four equal portions. Knead into ball shapes. Cover with cling wrap, let rest for 15 minutes.
  4. Roll out each portion of the dough with a rolling pin into an oval shape. Sprinkle bacon herb and cheese evenly as much as you like. Roll from the upper, shorter end down to the bottom (as picture shown). Flatten the dough with your rolling pin. Then roll once again. Then seals face down.
  5. Arrange the rolled-up dough in a greased or non-stick loaf tin (as picture shown). Leave it for the 2nd round of proofing, about 40 minutes, or until the dough rises up to 3/4 of the height of the tin inside.
  6. Brush whisked egg on surface. Bake in a pre-heated 180C (356F) oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and tin. Transfer onto a wire rack and let cool completely. Slice to serve or place in an airtight plastic bag or container once it’s thoroughly cooled.



Read more + detailed photo guide: http://en.christinesrecipes.com/2010/03/japanese-style-bacon-and-cheese-bread.html#ixzz2bdsQ7Pp3

While I say the bread can be kept soft and fluffy for a couple of days, that would not happen with my bread, they are generally gone in a day or two anyway. Half of the herb and cheese loaf was eaten the day it was made when my mum requested me to bring it up as afternoon tea for her mahjong-playing friends.

Meanwhile, in UBC linguistics

whatweshouldcallubc:

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extra points if you know why there is a “G” in night :) 

simplyessentials:

450 square feet, WOW! - specht harpman

This is like, my dream home!

(via joannalannister)

"The Red Wedding is based on a couple real events from Scottish history. One was a case called The Black Dinner. The king of Scotland was fighting the Black Douglas clan. He reached out to make peace. He offered the young Earl of Douglas safe passage. He came to Edinburgh Castle and had a great feast. Then at the end of the feast, [the king’s men] started pounding on a single drum. They brought out a covered plate and put it in front of the Earl and revealed it was the head of a black boar — the symbol of death. And as soon as he saw it, he knew what it meant. They dragged them out and put them to death in the courtyard. The larger instance was the Glencoe Massacre. Clan MacDonald stayed with the Campbell clan overnight and the laws of hospitality supposedly applied. But the Campbells arose and started butchering every MacDonald they could get their hands on. No matter how much I make up, there’s stuff in history that’s just as bad, or worse."

George R.R. Martin on the Red Wedding (via existentialcrisisfactory)

OMG! Now it makes complete sense, and I have actually heard of those stories before when I was in Scotland!

(via wicnet)

A (stereo)typical UBC Graduation Ceremony

whatweshouldcallubc:

the grads finally back on campus after finals

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hopelessly trying to pin on your regalia #nope

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how you look to your fam

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how you look to your friends

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how you walk across the Chan Centre

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getting your diploma

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You’ve worked for this moment for 4+ years and suddenly it’s all over in 2 hours. 

Meanwhile, regarding UBC’s Department of Anthropology

MUAHAHAHAH! Go Anth!

whatweshouldcallubc:

  • most people

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  • ANTH 

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