Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sticky and Buttery

Yesterday Tiffany and I made Sticky Buns!

The dough making process was pretty involved. As Tiffany puts it, you first make the dough, then add a ton of butter to it...! Then there's a lot of waiting involved: 6 hours in the fridge after the dough has come together, and another 2-3 hours after the buns are shaped. The worst wait is of course the last one: 20-30 torturous minutes of cooling in the pan after they come out of the oven.
The result? Beautifully sticky and at the same time flaky. Not bad for our first attempt at making a Brioche dough!
(Buns with raisins shaped by me, Sans raisins by Tiffany)

(I won't mind if you stare at my buns. Just this once)

Tiffany's awesome cinnamon rolls... fun sized!

Sadly, I did not take pictures while we were making them, but we hope you enjoy these pictures of the freshly baked buns.

And just in case the evening wasn't unhealthy enough, here is a key lime cheesecake just in case

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Part I: The Beginning and Bambi?

A few people may already know that story behind this project, but I think there are enough people who don't that I shall tell it from the beginning.. As I'm nearing completion of the bamboo bike frame, I've been bouncing around a few names that would be suitable... The first one I've come up with is "Bambi"... (maybe I'll put it to a vote later.. haha)

It was the third or fourth day of lecture when I was sitting in MatSci 201 (Into to Material Science) and the professor pulled out a question, and asked us about material selection. Still a little disoriented from trying to find my way around the Frances-Searle building to the lecture room, I didn't think much into the question: What materials would make a bike frame? My classmates were raising their hands and answering with somewhat obvious answers: titanium! carbon fiber! etc.

Maybe this moment wasn't really as pivotal as I seem to remember, but our professor casually mentioned how sometimes it's good to consider/try out uncommon materials and explore how they perform. That's when he gave the example of using bamboo as material for bike frames.

I went back to my normal routine for a while, and the interesting notion of using a nicely sustainable, yet theoretically ideal material (insert discussion here about axial strength, elasticity under transverse loading, etc etc) for a bike frame kept popping up. A quick internet search led me to Calfee Design ( and their beautiful bikes. I was a bit discouraged by their $2500+ price tag, but they were a good inspiration and proof that it can be done.

(Calfee bamboo bike)

This project was placed high up on my proverbial shelf of to-dos and stood there collecting dust for at least a year... Though the next time I revisited this project and found the determination to finish it, it was thanks to BME..

(to be continued!)