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Archive for April, 2011

Cookie Dough Truffles

April 30, 2011 14 comments

This post is inspired by the cookie dough with the hard boiled egg i made yesterday. Even though it was unbaked, using cooked egg means that it was salmonella free and safe for consumption.

Shamefully, no one but the bakers know the wonders of unbaked cookie dough. The rest had to eat it baked.

This cookie dough truffles however, will change that.

With no raw egg, and no raw flour, these are even safer havens for the people around me to have a taste of the uncooked cookies that i (the baker) get to indulge in every now and then.

There is a couple of  much experimented (and proven) equations that i’ve had since i started baking. They go something like this.

Peanut Butter + Chocolate = Winner.

Chocolate + Salt = Bigger Winner.

These truffles, composed of the three components of peanut butter, crushed salty pretzel sticks and chocolate chips just scored a hat trick.

They are then enrobed in more chocolate, and (if you fancy), sprinkled with more sea salt. Yes, i tend to get over-indulgent.

So please, make these and let the people out there know the perks of a baker in the world of raw cookie dough!

Peanut Butter, Pretzels and Chocolate Chip Truffles

4 TBS Butter

1 C Peanut Butter

1 C Confectioner’s Sugar

1 C Crushed Pretzel Sticks

1 C Chocolate Chips

For coating:

1/2 Pounds Chocolate

1 TBS shortening

For Garnish:

Some Sea Salt

Some Hundreds and Thousands

1. Cream butter and peanut butter together. Sift in confectioners sugar and beat till well combined, scrapping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

2. Stir in pretzel sticks and chocolate chips.

3. Refrigerate cookie dough for about 15 minutes, or till they are easy to handle.

4. Roll the dough into 1 inch dough balls (I used an ice cream scoop) and place them on lined cookie sheets. Cover the balls loosely with plastic and freeze them for another 15 minutes.

5. In the meantime, melt the chocolate with the shortening (I used the microwave at 10 seconds bursts).

6. Drop the frozen balls into the melted chocolate, and sprinkle with desired toppings ( I used seasalt and hundreds and thousands)

Hard Boiled Egg Chocolate Chip Cookies

April 29, 2011 14 comments

I am quite adventurous when it comes to my food. And a recipe titled hard boiled egg chocolate chip cookies intrigued me more rather than gross me out.

If you are skeptical about it, take it from me. You won’t even notice it there.

See the surface of the cookies? No traces of boiled egg at all!

But why put a boiled egg in anyway? Why not the conventional raw egg into the batter?

Well, for one, the egg adds extra moistness in the cookies.

And second, adding a hard boiled egg as opposed to a raw one makes a dry cookie dough. You know how sometimes cookie doughs get muggy and mud-like? Or how they need to be refrigerated before they can be handled?

Well, this is not it.That would safe a bit of time.

On top of that, the raw cookie dough are also salmonella safe, which made me an extra happy baker this morning, sneaking in chunks of dough into my mouth instead of the awaiting cookie tray.

Recipe taken from Tablespoon.com

For recipe, click HERE

Jam Filled Scones

April 28, 2011 8 comments

These scones have been pre-filled with jam,

Just so you don’t have to.

I was reading Amber’s suggestion in my comment box on posting a scone recipe to get into the English mood, for the upcoming Royal Wedding. Because, what can be more English than scones right? But my impression of scones was that they were chunks of dry, tasteless pastries.

I did however, have this recipe bookmarked for the longest time.  A scone filled and baked with jam as filling. That would definitely jazz up these pastries. So what better time to make these than now right?

Besides the wonderful jam filling, these scones were also winners as it calls for pre-toasting the flour and the oats before they were sent to bake.

If you haven’t already tried it, you should really try tossing your oats in a saucepan and heat it over medium heat. The fragrance and the flavour the heat brought out from the oats was just so incredible!

I held my head over the saucepan and felt as if i just walked up to a popcorn stand in a movie theatre. I know oats and corns probably came from different plants. But the aromatic nutty smell from them was uncannily identical!

Needless to say, my scones were extra flavourful today. Of course, if you still doubting these scones to dry and flavourless, you can always pile on the whipped cream. Amber suggested using clotted cream, but i have no inkling on how to go about making them, and settled with the regular one (Sorry Amber!).

Or maybe some butter?

The possibilities are endless!

So with these scones, i wish Will and Kate a happy wedded bliss. And to Amber too, for making such a wonderful suggestion!

Recipe taken from Sugar Plum,

Click HERE for recipe.

Very Vanilla One Bowl Cake

April 27, 2011 18 comments

This would be one of the times where “less is more”. A simple Vanilla cake dusted with icing sugar

Using custard powder as one of its ingredients, this cake is very deeply scented with vanilla. Of course, a heavy dose of my homemade vanilla extract doesnt hurt.

This cake turned out rich,moist, and quite chewy. It’s like a cross between a blondie and a butter cake. While i would have preferred this to be more light and fluffy, I liked the gorgeous rich yellow the colour of this cake turned out.  It totally epitomizes the widely used boxed “yellow cake” mix. And making this cake is almost as easy as the mix.

 But what i am loving most about this cake is still the strong vanilla flavour in this.

Quite possibly the best scent around!

Recipe from My Diverse Kitchen : Very Vanilla One Bowl Yellow Cake

Grandma Sylvia’s Salt Butter Cookies

April 26, 2011 13 comments

Grandma Sylvia’s Salt Butter Cookies. That’s quite an odd name for a cookie isn’t it?

But nonetheless, it caught my attention all right.

 I really like it when a name gets attached to a recipe. Take Mrs Milman for instance. She makes pretty good chocolate ganache frosting

I am kinda hoping Grandma Sylvia would work her magic as well. She seems to know her stuff, cause she had the word “salt” in her butter cookies (We don’t even need to go on and on again about how i love salt in my desserts). By using salted butter, i think Grandma Sylvia and i might just make the best of friends!

 

Besides the salt, these cookies also sandwich a chocolate filling.  While the cookies were perfectly crumbly, tender and deliciously buttery (i think this might just be my to- go butter cookie recipe now), i am not too sure about the filling. The filling was a bit on the runny side for me. It runs down the sides of the cookie, and make messy globs where it lands. That is even after i refrigerated it for a bit. I guess i should have added more confectioner’s sugar to get it to set.

But I am not running away from this runny frostings cause it was pretty delicious. All that confectionar’s sugar in the filling recipe went very well with the subtly sweet butter cookies. I went forward and spread it to one side of the cookie. But instead of generously piling the frosting on like i always do, i had to be quite strategic about it. A mini blob on each cookie. Nothing too much as it will spill over the sides of the cookies and make quite the mess.

Once you are done with that one, make a couple more strategic blobs,

to get more cookies.

Don’t forget to bring them to work. They would make you popular person of today!

Grandma Sylvia’s Salt Butter Cookies

Taken from America’s Test Kitchen’s Holiday Cookies

Cookies
2 sticks salted butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks

1 tsp. vanilla2

1 tsp. whiskey (I omitted this)
1/4 cups AP flour
 
Filling:
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup water
2 cups confectioners sugar
 
Preheat oven to 350. Adjust rack to middle position. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
1. In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat butter and granulated sugar together til fluffy, about 2 minutes.
2. Reduce speed and add the yolk and beat til combined.
3. Add the vanilla and whiskey (if using)
4. Sift in flour and beat till just combined.
5. Shape the dough into 3/4″ balls (I used the smallest cookie scoop i had). Space half the balls 1″ apart on baking sheet.
6. Bake til lightly browned around edges, 10 to 12 minutes.
7. Cool cookies on sheet 2 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
 
Filling:
 
1. Combine chocolate and water in a small saucepan and stir over low heat till the chocolate melts.
2. Off the heat, whisk in confectioners sugar til smooth.
3. Spread filling (I just dropped a blob in the middle) onto one cookie and top with another to make sandwich.
4. Let filling set til hardened.  ( I sent it to the refrigerator)
 

New York Cheesecake

April 25, 2011 20 comments

I gotta say, baking a cheesecake is like a training ground for your patience skills. Not only does it take a long time to bake, it also needs to be refrigerated (preferably overnight).
That’s not exactly easy for me. I am one who restlessly jabs at the elevator button when it doesnt arrive in 2.2 second despite being fully aware that the action is wholly useless.

For this cheesecake however, i battled my demons and victored.

I have heard of the many pittfalls making a cheesecake involve. One of the more common one is the cracked surfaces. I was quite convinced that my cheese cake was going to have Harry Potter’s lightning scar across its surface that i had a backup plan. I made more of the cookie graham cracker base than what was required in the recipe and had every intention to sprinkle it over whatever scars the cheesecake cracked for me.

Like so.

But turned out, i didnt need it! At least for this time

Look ma! No cracks! :)

So i learnt that to prevent your cheesecake from breaking up on the surface,  you have to leave the cheesecake in the oven for hours after it is done baking to ensure that it cools slowly.

A cheesecake which has been left to cool rapidly will crack up (no pun intended) under the pressure.

There is also the issue on under or overcooked cheesecake

An undercooked cheesecake will probably not set, while an overcooked cheesecake would be tough and dry.

I think my cheesecake did ok. It sliced well without being too tough. It was also dreamily creamy and smooth. I guess it’s a beginner’s luck!

But as a general rule of thumb, u want to bake your cheesecake just till the surface jiggles slightly when you shake the pan. It will further set as it cools and  firm up when refrigerated.

I have taken the repressed pastry chef’s recipe for this. I think the success of this cheesecake is because of her failproof recipe.

So here is to NYC and its cheesecakes!

This post has been submitted to Aspiring Baker #6: Say Cheese, hosted by Jean of needmorenoms. Thanks for hosting Jean!

Awards

April 24, 2011 10 comments

I can’t be any more honored to receive the following awards from my fellow bloggers.

I cant thank

Edith from Precious moments,

Small Small Baker

Jasmine from Sweetylicious, and

Rita from rtcrita

enough for presenting  me with the  credits. Thank You so much guys! I am so very very flattered.

Here are the rules to abide in order to accept this award and they are:
1. Post linking back to the person that gave you the award
2. Share 7 random things about yourself
3. Award 15 recently discovered blogs
4. Drop them a note and tell them about it.

The randoms:

1. Although currently residing in Jakarta, Indonesia, I did most of my growing up in sunny Singapore

2. Being mostly educated in Singapore, I am supposedly proficient in both English and Chinese. While i do OK with English (sometimes fumbling with grammar), i am deficient in Chinese. I stammer, stutter and break up in cold sweat whenever the need for me to read, write or speak in the language arises.

3. I am a self/internet taught baker. I have never had professional training in my life. So, I don’t expect any fancy, sophisticated French pastries and desserts posts up in this blog, because frankly, i am clueless about them.

4. I work for a chain of restaurants. While i am sometimes involved in the very pleasant process of creating and tasting new menus, most of my days are spent facing the computer, computing mundane administration stuffs.

5. I force upon share most of what i bake with the good people at work. That way i won’t be left unsupervised with a tray of desserts all by myself. I just dont trust myself that much.

6. I bake and photograph in the mornings, because nothing beats natural light in the A.M. And because then i can immediately pack up and bring my bakes to work. Refer to #5  :)

7. I am a Mall worshipper. You can probably catch me riding up or down the mall elevators on most days.

1. Beth from Delicious Inspiration

2. Kristina from Paddle Attachment

3. Grapefruit from Some Needful Things

4. Samina from Samina Cooks

5.  J. from Kawaiikitchen

6. Lora from diaryofamadhausfrau

7. Amy from tinytearoom

8. Raymund from angsarap

9. Betty from scrambledhenfruit

10. Maria from scandifoodie

11. Erin from makingmemorieswithyourkids

12. Yvette from yvettesblogs

13. Brianna from itsybitsybrianna

14. Swee San from thesweetspot

15. Christina from thiswomancooks

Categories: Uncategorized

The Rabbits and the Lamb Buns

April 23, 2011 8 comments

Instead of making Hot Cross Buns to celebrate Easter this year, i made  these bun(nies)

This bunny definitely taste better than rabbit foods.

And they are pretty easy to make too.

It started with a dough looking like this.

I have stuffed a generous ball of Pineapple Jam within the rabbit head and a line of the same jam along the ears.

See the ball of golden pineapple jam? (Sorry wabbit for the surgery)

As for the facial features, i just melted a bit of chocolate and drew them on.

Pretty easy right?

And since i was already on the hare-y journey, i have decided to get acquainted to another hairy friend.

The lamb

Unlike the bunnies, big guy here is pretty huge.

Each bunny is made of one ball of dough (pictured on the right), weighing 35 grams. So u can pretty much imagine how many bunnies it would make to make up Big guy here.

Anyways after baking in the hot oven, big guy here gets lotioned with good moisturising mayonnaise,

The hairy business comes next

I have used Chicken floss for “hair”.

While this lamb may look all fluff and airy without much substance, i promise you that it is not. Because within each ball of dough, i have fitted a mini sausage.

Like  so.

And as usual, i have used my bun recipe to make the dough for this.

Happy Easter everybuddy!

Easter Cookies

April 22, 2011 13 comments

Guess who just bought a set of Easter cookie cutters?

All mine!

Can you spot the bunny cookie cutter? That’s my favourite from the set of 5, which include an egg, a tulip, a butterfly and a duck cookie cutter.

While the bunny and the egg are cruxes of Easter, and i can somewhat assimilate that butterflies and tulips probably hang out in the garden where the bunny hid the eggs, i am not too sure about the duck. Shouldnt it be a chicken ?

Anyways, duck or no duck, this is my first time experimenting royal icing. Believe me or not, after baking for donkey’s years, i have never decorated my cookies with royal icing. I guess my track record of retarded looking pipping works might have to do something with it.

I have used meringue powder for the icing instead of egg whites as i was giving these away and i didn’t want to take any chances with salmonella issues. I gotta admit though, that didn’t taste that great, but it wasnt bad enough to stop me from licking the icing off my fingers as i worked with it.

So while these are not the best looking cookies around, i am glad i decided to embark on the royal adventure on the meringue icing, and now, it doesnt scare me that much anymore.

I clung on to every word on Bake at 350 ‘s instructions on the icing. She is truly the Queen of cookie-dom. So do head over to her site for the most beautiful cookies and the most intricate and creative frostings.

Almond Brownies With Sliced Cheddar

April 21, 2011 11 comments

Some of you areprobably wrinkling your nose in disgust at the title.

Brownies with cheddar cheese? Really?

If you have noticed, i really like salt in my dessert. They are like my personal fairy dusts, powerful and magical, and at the rate i am sprinkling them, you can call me a seasoned salt sprinkler.

By using cheddar cheese, i was expecting to introduce the same kind of savoury depth into these brownies.

You might need to use your super sight powers to spot the slice of cheese in here. But it’s there, almost at the bottom of the brownies.

Okay, a word of warning, the next picture might gross you out as i had to practically mince the brownies to reveal the cheese.

Whoops, sorry for the carnage.

While putting cheddar into your dessert may sound foreign, it’s very common here in Indonesia. We sprinkle grated cheese on our cakes,and cookies all the time. And the fact is, the combination works, for me at least, or maybe it’s an acquired taste, since i grew up with it.

But do give this a shot! who knows you might like it too!

Almond Brownies with Sliced Cheddar

(Taken from Sedap Magazine)

150 gr Butter

200 gr Dark Chocolate

3 eggs

125 gr sugar

30 gr AP flour

15 gr cocoa powder

50 gr almond flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

3 tsp almond extract

15 gr sliced almonds (to be sprinkled)

1. Heat butter till melted. Add chocolate and stir  till both are melted and  well combined.

2. In another bowl, beat eggs and sugar till they get slightly thick. Add  the egg-sugar mixture to the chocolate mixture and mix well.

3.   Sift AP flour, cocoa powder, ground almonds and baking powder into the chocolate-egg mixture. Add the almond extract and mix till just combined.

4. Pour half of the batter into a pregreased and prelined (with overhang to lift the brownies easily later)8×8 baking tin. Arrange cheese slices over the batter, the pour the remanining batter over the cheese.

5. Bake at 180 degree Celcius (not F) for 25 minutes or till they are well cooked

6. Slice into squares to serve.

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