All about Food. B:9 Most of the blog will be about my various cooking experiments with some reviews of local restaurants thrown in once in a while. Reviews/food experiences from other place will be included also.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Sloppy Joe

We had some leftover hamburger buns that I bought last Friday from Bali Bakery. Instead of making burgers, I decided to try sloppy joe, which I've never attempt to try in the past. I looked online and found a recipe, but then all the reviews of that recipe kept changing things. In the end I just took the list of ingredient and made something up myself.

I browned the beef, chopped green pepper, and chopped onions in the pan. I then added quite a bit of ketchup. The recipe called for 3/4 cup of ketchup for 1 lb of meat, but I thought that was too much and possibly had too much ketchup flavor. Luckily I found some old BBQ sauce (2004!!!) and dumped it into the pan. I also added some yellow mustard, some red wine vinegar, water, a tiny bit of salt, and black pepper. While the sauce was simmering, I dealt with the roasted potato in the oven.

I spooned the sloppy joe mixture onto freshly toasted buns and served them to the family. Everyone really liked the smell and the flavor. I think Wid's dad was planning to eat only half of it, but then he took the other half and ate that as well. The hamburger buns were surprisingly good. I think it's the best bun I've tasted in Bali so far. The roasted potato was a hit once again. Maybe next time I'll melt a slice of cheese on top of the sloppy joe mixture.

I will definitely try this dish again since it's so easy and many of the ingredients are found right in the fridge.

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Tale of Three Sponge Cakes

Last Thursday I wanted to make the orange sponge cake for my language teacher's birthday. I was fairly successful in my previous attempt. Wid's dad loved it and so did Bonnie the dog who hates oranges. I thought it would be easy to make the cake, and I did everything perfectly until the very end when I took the cake out of the oven. When I inverted the cake to cool, it plopped onto the counter. I guess the 1 hour cooking time as suggested by the cookbook wasn't long to cook the cake completely. I immediately figured out possible sources of problems: oven temperature wasn't high enough, I'm just not quite used to new oven yet, and the pan was too small (it was around 9.5" instead of 10" tube pan).

Since it was so heart breaking to see my cake failed so spectacularly like that, I was determined to try again as soon as possible. My chance came pretty quickly because Wid's mom wanted me to bake a cake for Wid's brother's birthday. She wanted a Japanese cheesecake, which I made, but I decided to make the sponge cake also. This time I used the same pan and recipe except at the end, I took out enough batter to make six cupcakes. The cupcakes were done in about 40 minutes. The cake was in the oven for one hour and 20 minutes. I think the cake might have been done around one hour and 10 minutes, but in the end the cake passed the upside down test and was cooled over night at room temperature.

The cupcakes cooked quickly so I put it in the living room. Wid's dad asked for one, scarfed it down really quickly, and asked for another one immediately. It's pretty cute because of he was so enthusiastic and happy about eating the cake. He said it tasted like a traditional cake (I guess it's similar in taste and texture of a madeline-like cake that's available here) and he liked the cake because it doesn't have a tough/hard crust. This makes the third cake to met his seal of approval. Wid and I ate two of the cupcakes for snack later in the night and in the morning Wid's dad ate another cupcake.

When we brought the two cakes to the birthday lunch, the orange cake was gone the first, followed by my cheesecake (a crowd pleaser usually), and then Wid's sis's (failed) cheese and carrot cake. The orange sponge cake was light and fluffy like before. It wasn't as wet as before but the level of the moisture in this cake was perfect. The crust stayed mostly intact as well, unlike the first cake, because it was taken out of the pan after it was cooled completely. Plus this time no complaints about the cake being under done. For some reason Indonesians think cakes should be oily or bone dry. Overall, I'm very happy my cakes turned out well. Now I'm tempted to try the cheese carrot cake challenge that Wid's mom proposed.

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