Sunday, April 24, 2011

Simple is Best

For some reason towards the end of the school year, I always go into a baking frenzy. It may be because I suddenly have more free time on my hands, but I think a lot of it is because I'm bored of the school stuff and need a distraction. This year is not unlike previous years, and these past few weeks I've been baking more than I did in the past few months.

Normally at this time of the year I'd be pretty stressed out from end-of-term projects and the looming final exams, so I tend to go for recipes that are quick and easy to whip up. Bonus points if they yield a huge batch so I have more for snacking! With this  in mind, recently I tried these recipes that turned out to be very simple to make and yet so satisfying, making them perfect for easy snacks.

The first one is Japanese steamed egg buns, or mushi pan. I find that these are more cake-like instead of being a true bread. They are sweetened with condensed milk, and the result is a moist, lightly sweet treat that is great for snacking. Steam-baking is something I had never tried prior to making this recipe, but it's just as easy as popping something in the oven as long as you use a large steamer and not an itty-bitty one like I did (I had to steam the buns two at a time!).

The second recipe I tried is for a simple yogurt cake. This is a very versatile recipe as you can jazz it up with whatever flavouring(s) you desire, or you can leave it plain if you prefer to keep things simple. I had some ripe strawberries, so after I poured half of the batter into the pan, I arranged strawberry slices on top, and poured the remaining batter to hide the strawberries. The hidden fruits provided some colour to an otherwise plain cake. The cake itself is great: moist, light, and not too sweet. It's a good anytime-of-the-day cake that I will be making again (with different variations) in the future.


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