Archive

Archive for March, 2011

Happy Birthday Cousin!

March 31, 2011 30 comments

It’s cousin Irien’s birthday a couple of days ago!

And ideally, I would have loved baking, frosting and decorating a no expense spared, collosal cake with all the works. A monster sized  cake just as big as her heart. 

But cousin Irien is so tiny! Barely into her twenties, she could be the dictionary illustration of “fashionably thin”. She could be a pea sharing  a pod with Nicole Richie, and boy would they rock that pod.

So i crossed that big collosal cake idea, and went for something small.

Inspired by Grace of La Mia Vita Dolce, these are called the Hot Fudge Sundae Cupcakes. But i strayed away from her recipe and settled on something i was familiar with. I guess i was not comfortable with experimenting with a new recipe when the stake (the birthday) is high.

So i started with baking cupcakes. A certain moist, and delicious chocolate cupcake

to which i piped on a white chocolate ganache frosting

And, dont worry, there is no need to go digging out your fancy pipping tips for this. In fact, i just loaded up my pipping bag sans any tip.

Because it will be covered with a good drizzle of melted chocolate.  YUMMM..*licks spoon.

Some fancy coloured sprinkles,

And of course a cherry on top to officiate the Sundae look.

Taa-Daaah!

That was easy peasy wasn’t it?

I’ve said it once, and i will say it again.

“Happy Birthday Cousin, may you stay eternally pixie cute, and be abundantly showered with love!”

The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake. Ever.

(Taken from Pioneer Woman)

Ingredients

  • FOR THE CUPCAKES: (Makes about 12)
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • 4 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa
  • 2 sticks Butter
  • 1 cup Boiling Water
  • ½ cups Buttermilk
  • 2 whole Beaten Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla

Preparation Instructions

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt.

In a saucepan, melt butter. Add cocoa. Stir together.
Add boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Pour over flour mixture, and stir lightly to cool.

In a measuring cup, pour the buttermilk and add beaten eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. Stir buttermilk mixture into butter/chocolate mixture. Pour into cupcake lined tins and bake at 350-degrees for 15 minutes.

For the White Chocolate Ganache

200 gr White Chocolate, chopped

200 gr Whipping Cream

1. Double boil white chocolate till it fully melts, set aside to cool slightly

2. Whip the whipping cream to soft peaks. Drizzle in the cooled melted white chocolate, and whip to firm peaks (You want this to be of pipe-able consistency)

For Decorations:

Some melted chocolate

Some Fancypants sprinkles

Some maraschino cherries

Triple Chocolate Espresso Brownies

March 29, 2011 25 comments

Just popped by for a quick brownie post.

A brownie with the thin, crackly, shiny crust

That almost always promises the richest, fudgiest and most chocolatey treat

These were also spiked with espresso,

to help you get going on your busy day ahead.

And of course, a dollop of some leftover Caramel Whipped Cream  from my Chocolate Caramel Cream Pie wouldnt hurt too!

Triple-Chocolate Espresso Brownies
(Taken from Tracey’s Culinary Advernture who took it from Baking Illustrated)

5 oz semisweet (or bittersweet) chocolate, chopped
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut in quarters
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 1/2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups (8.75 oz) sugar 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (5 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour 

Preheat oven to 350 F with a rack in the lower middle position.  Spray an 8×8-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Line the pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on opposing sides so you can lift the brownies out easily once they’re baked.  Spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

Add the semisweet (or bittersweet) chocolate, the unsweetened chocolate, and the butter to a medium heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water and, stirring occasionally, melt until everything is smooth.  Whisk in the cocoa powder and espresso until incorporated.  Set the bowl aside so the mixture can cool slightly. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt until combined, about 15 seconds.  Add the warm chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and whisk to combine.  Finally, stir in the flour with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon just until incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking ban, spreading evenly with a rubber spatula to cover the bottom of the pan.  Bake the brownies for about 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.  (Do not over bake, or the brownies will dry out.)  Transfer the pan to a wire rack and allow the brownies to cool completely in the pan.  Use the foil to lift the brownies out of the pan and slice before serving.

Caramel Whipped Cream

Taken from Martha Stewart

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Salt
  • 1 1/4 cups cold heavy cream
  • Directions

  • Prepare an ice-water bath. Heat sugar, water, and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.
  • Cook, without stirring, until mixture is amber. (Do not let caramel burn.) Carefully pour in 1/2 cup cream in a slow, steady stream down the side of the saucepan, whisking constantly, until smooth (caramel will bubble).
  • Remove from heat, and place saucepan in ice-water bath. Let caramel mixture cool, stirring occasionally, until cold, about 20 minutes.
  • Whisk remaining 3/4 cup cream in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Gently fold caramel mixture into whipped cream, and whisk until stiff peaks form. Use immediately.
  • Categories: Uncategorized

    Sleek, glossy Chocolate Cookies

    March 28, 2011 14 comments

    Like a spanking brand new leather wallet, i was totally drawn into the glossy, smooth, dark surfaces of these cookies.

    I once had one of those gleaming, slick, leather wallet with the unblemished surface in my early teens (It was only later that i found out that the leather was synthetic…  doh teens).  I loved how sleek it looked, and how it caught the light.  I was totally infatuated with the wallet, till one fine day when it got its first scratch.

    It was not a bad scratch, just a light score across the  surface of the wallet.  But i felt as if my perfect wallet has been disfigured for life, and vowed to take better care it. But of course, as they always do, accidents happen. I remember dying a little inside each time my wallet met its next scar.

    It has been a long long time since that incident of course, but i have learnt my lesson and my subsequent wallets were always the dull textured, practical, albeit boring type. I guess that’s part of growing up isnt it?

    But enough about wallets, lets talk about cookies,

    These cookies started out as a roll and cut butter cookies. That is you roll the cookie dough out and use a cookie cutter to cut out each individual cookies.

    And when you do that, you tend to get cookie scraps.

    I dont know about you, but i like to bake these cookie scraps. 

    My cookie scraps look like the polynesian islands.

    And these are the actual  cookies, before hair and make up.

    If you are the type who likes your chocolate cookies with a pronounced chocolate flavour, these are definitely for you. There is a high content of cocoa powder in this recipe, so you might want to use a higher grade cocoa powder for these.

    But what i really liked about these cookies is how effortless the dough handling is. It was an agreeable dough, it rolled well and cut well without being too soft and sticky.

    From my experience, co-operative cookie dough usually results in bad cookies. The high flour content which makes rolling a child’s play can never match the butter-full dough which threatens to melt on you with the slightest touch from the warmth of your hands.  But these cookie dough was a bit different. Instead of relying on flour, the dough had milk powder listed as one of its ingredients. That’s quite a smart way to overcome dough stickiness and introduce  a milky flavour at the same time. But having said that, the cocoa powder still remained the dominant flavour in these cookies. I can barely trace any form of milky taste.

    Oh, in case you were wondering, those white lines are made of white chocolate.

    So if sleek, glossy, chocolatey cookies are your thing, here goes:

    Sleek, Glossy Chocolate Coated Cookies

    Taken from a free insert on an Indonesian Magazine Saji

    100 gr Butter

    75 gr Icing Sugar

    1/4 tsp Salt

    1 Egg Yolk

    100 gr Cake Flour

    25 gr Cornflour

    25 gr Milk Powder

    30 gr Cocoa Powder

    1/4 tsp Baking Powder

    Enough Dark Chocolate (to coat)

    Enough White Chocolate (to pipe)

    1. Beat Butter, icing sugar and salt till light and fluffy. Add in egg yolk, beat to combine

    2. Sift in the flour, cornflour, milk powder, cocoa powder, and baking powder. Beat till just combined

    3. Gather dough into a flat disc and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes

    4. Roll your cookies to about 1/2 cm in height, and using a cookie cutter, cut them to shape.

    5. Bake at 150 degree Celcius on a pre-greased and pre-lined baking sheet for abt 25 mins or till they are cooked

    6. Drop chocolate into the melted dark chocolate, wait till set, then decorate as you wish with the white chocolate.

    Categories: Cookies Tags: , , ,

    Chocolate Caramel Cream Pie

    March 27, 2011 19 comments

    Let’s face it. I am not good with chilled desserts. There is just something about “Refrigerate until filling is chilled and firm” that i can’t seem to abide. I am terribly when it comes to that part of the recipe, constantly snooping into the refrigerator and poking my nosey finger into the dessert to see if it is “firm”.

    And this is just one of those desserts.

    A silken chocolate pie.

    I guess i only have myself to blame. I could have the most elegant looking slice of pie, prim and proper with the neatest cut. But instead i got this slipshod.

    But just as Joe is sloppily delicious, so is this pie.

    Being used to chocolate pies with rich chocolate ganache filling, this pie was new to me.

    For one, the filling was light and super soft.

    It was like a cross between a pudding and a custard. The texture of the filling was silken and smooth. If you are familiar with the Asian silken tofu, this is it, but slightly softer and less set. Eating this pie is like eating a cookies (the crust) dipped in soft serve ice cream (filling), hmm, that does sound good, doesnt it?

    And as if that wasn’t enough, this pie has got another trick up its sleeves, because over the satiny, barely set custard, was a generous dollop of caramel infused whipped cream

    With its pallid colour, i know i am probably not convincing anyone of its caramell-y goodness. I guess that’s what happens when you pour a liliputan bowl of caramel into a sea of whipped cream, and moreover, my caramel was a strong amber colour.

    But trust me, while the whipped cream was laxing in colour, it did make up in flavour. The caramel taste was definitely tasteable and frankly speaking i wouldn’t have this any other way. A strong caramel whipped cream would probably overshadow the chocolate filling.

    So there you have it,  soft, creamy chocolate filling topped with pale but delicious caramel whipped cream.

    But what about the crust?

    Well… this is akward, but really, the crust was just like a hamburger box to a hamburger. It served the pie well by walling up the wonderful content, but i really wouldn’t miss this crust if the filling was served on a bowl instead.

    So if you have chocolate pie on your craving list, but have chocolate on your “say no to” diet list, this is definitely for you. With only 110 grams of chocolate and a couple of egg yolks, this pie is definitely less evil than its ganachey , full-on chocolate  counterpart (Not that i don’t love them though)!

    Chocolate-Caramel Cream Pie

    Taken from Martha Stewart

    Ingredients

    • All-purpose flour, for surface
    • Chocolate Pate Sucree
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/4 cup cornstarch
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt
    • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
    • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (preferably 61 percent to 70 percent cacao), finely chopped
    • 4 large egg yolks
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • Caramel Whipped Cream
    • 1 thick block bittersweet chocolate, room temperature, for garnish

    Directions

    1. On a lightly floured work surface, roll pate sucree to 1/8-inch thickness. Fit into a 9-inch pie dish. Trim edges, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Tuck overhang under dough so edges are flush with rim, and crimp edges. Lightly prick bottom of dough with a fork. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
    2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line dough with parchment, and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until edges begin to look dry, 20 to 22 minutes. Carefully remove weights and parchment. Bake until crust is darker around edges and bottom looks dry, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. (Chocolate crust can be stored overnight.)
    3. Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a small bowl. Heat milk and chocolate in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until chocolate melts.
    4. Whisk 1 cup hot milk mixture into sugar mixture until smooth. Whisk milk-sugar mixture into the remaining milk mixture in the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until bubbling and thick, 4 to 5 minutes total (about 2 minutes after it comes to a boil).
    5. Whisk yolks in a medium bowl until combined. Pour in milk mixture in a slow, steady stream, whisking until completely incorporated. Return mixture to saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it just begins to bubble, 1 to 2 minutes.
    6. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla. Let custard cool in saucepan on a wire rack, whisking occasionally, for about 10 minutes.
    7. Pour custard into chocolate crust. Press plastic wrap directly on surface of custard. Refrigerate until custard filling is chilled and firm, at least 4 hours (or overnight).
    8. Spread caramel whipped cream over pie. Using a vegetable peeler, scrape chocolate block at a 45-degree angle to make a small mound of shavings, and sprinkle over whipped cream. Serve immediately, or refrigerate and serve within 2 hours.

    Caramel Whipped Cream

    Taken from Martha Stewart

    Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Salt
  • 1 1/4 cups cold heavy cream
  • Directions

  • Prepare an ice-water bath. Heat sugar, water, and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.
  • Cook, without stirring, until mixture is amber. (Do not let caramel burn.) Carefully pour in 1/2 cup cream in a slow, steady stream down the side of the saucepan, whisking constantly, until smooth (caramel will bubble).
  • Remove from heat, and place saucepan in ice-water bath. Let caramel mixture cool, stirring occasionally, until cold, about 20 minutes.
  • Whisk remaining 3/4 cup cream in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Gently fold caramel mixture into whipped cream, and whisk until stiff peaks form. Use immediately.
  • Cook’s Note

    The caramel mixture must be very cold before the whipped cream is folded in. Otherwise, the whipped cream will collapse.

    In-built Hot Dogs

    March 26, 2011 14 comments

    So while the most common way of eating a hot dog is to take a hot dog bun, slice it in the middle, stuff it with the hot dog and pile and/or squirt your favourite sauces and relishes, i decided to plant the sausages in the dough.

    That makes convenient eating doesn’t it?

    You can just pick one up as you walk out the door.

    But of course having said that, there is also the drawback of not having the full fledged hotdog, and the obligated fresh tomatoes and lettuce. Because while i managed to incorporate the sausages into the dough and sent it to bake, i dont think i can do like wise with the fresh vegetables. Not unless i want a vegetable slushie in my hot dog anyways.

    So, while it is tempting to just forget the greens (or red) altogether, i decided to serve in on the side instead.

    With the hope of whoever is getting a plate of this would not just pick up the hot dog and leave the rest uneaten.

    This is the third yeasted bread i made with the help of the bread softeners, and like the previous two, these buns were also cotton soft. However, there is a slight deviation from the first recipe with this. This recipe had more water, and lesser fat content, and instead of using a combination of AP and bread flour, this recipe called for 100 percent bread flour.

    Due to the high water content, this was a wet wet dough, and it sticks to any and every surfaces. And like a cane to every naughty child, it’s good to come armed with a scrapper to handle this bugger.

    The resultant buns from this recipe was also rather different. Although they both share the same level of softness, the pores on this buns are more structured and less fine. As such, each pore pocket is able to house more air, creating a bun that was more aerated, and thus fluffier.

    Okays, sorry to bore with all the boring scientific details, let’s go back to hot dogs.

    I drew a circle of tomato sauce and a sprinkle of dried mixed herbs to garnish these hot dogs, and was really surprised by how those few specks of herbs was able to knock me giddy with the most aromatic scents as i first opened the oven door to retrieve the dogs.

    And of course, a dip of the mandatory tomato sauce (i ran out of mustard) doesnt hurt either!

     

    Soft Bread Dough

    (Adapted From Roti Modern)

    Ingredients A

    1 kg Bread Flour

    15 gr Instant Yeast

     

    Ingredients B

    30 gr Milk Powder

    200 gr Sugar

    12 gr Salt

    10 gr Bread Softener

     

    Ingredients C

    125 gr Egg

    80 ml Evaporated Milk

    460 ml Iced Water

     

    Ingredients D

    50 gr Butter

    50 gr Margarine

    50 gr ButterSub (A butter subtitue)

     

    1. With the mixer on low speed, mix ingredients A together, add ingredients B and C, continue beating till they are well combined

    2. Add ingredients D gradually, and beat till it gets tacky and elastic

    *note I hand kneaded this

    3. Leave the dough to proof till it doubles in size (+- 40 mins)

    4. Punch the dough down, and scale them to 50 grams each. Let the scaled buns rest for 5 mins

    5. Roll the scaled dough like a rope, and twirl it around each sausage and let rest for a second proof till they double in size (+- 60 mins)

    6. Brush the surfaces with evaporated milk and sent it to bake at 180 degree Celcius or till they get a nice golden tan

     

     

     

     

    Hot Cross Buns

    March 25, 2011 11 comments

    I had the “hot cross bun” song in my  head the whole time i was making these. My subconscious brain just seemed to have the song on “repeat”. It was quite annoying actually, considering that it was one of my least favourite nursery rhyme.

    But song or no song, i am glad i made these though.

    After all, Good Friday and Easter are just around the corner.

    Okay, who am i kidding? With about a month or so away, Good Friday and Easter are not exactly around the corner. But after that chocolate rolls, i just wanted to find another excuse to make another batch of ultra soft, ultra moist and ultra chewy yeasted buns.

    Plus it’s always good to be armed with a good recipe right?

    While the original hot cross bun is spiced and studded with dried fruit, mine was plain, and filled with custard.

    The same custard which i used to pipe the crosses over the surfaces of these buns

    And like the chocolate rolls, the recipe really lived up to its name and worked its magic again in creating the most tender crumbs and the finest of pores. And I absolutely loved how the subtly sweet soft bread carresed my tongue and the roof of my mouth. These buns are perfect for breakfast, with a cup of tea.

    Now, all i need is for the song to stop treadmilling in my head!

    Recipe for the yeasted bun Here!

    Categories: Yeasted Breads Tags: , , ,

    Chocolate filled Sweet Rolls

    March 23, 2011 14 comments

    If you have ever been to an Asian bakery, you will see that they are full of sweet, soft breads with various fillings and toppings. These are one of those breads.

    They are just like your dinner butter rolls, only, way softer.

    I have tried many many recipes that yielded a bread almost as soft as those sold in said bakeries, including the famed Tangzhong Method, which involves pre-cooking part of the dough. While that have had more success than others, it was still just a tad less soft, a tad less moist, and a tad less chewy than the commercially available ones.

    I decided to take in a sucker punch, and jumped right into the world of bread softeners and emulsifiers.

    It was ground breaking.

    This dough texture was so much more enhanced. Kneading was much more easier due to the malleable consistency of the dough. The gluten strands that form within the dough was more elastic and by the end of the kneading, i was able to  stretch the dough so thin and membrane-like that it was almost see through (window pane test).

    I then gathered the kneaded dough into the tightest ball, with the tautest, and the smoothest surface before i laid it to rest for its first proofing.

    Ditto for shaping the dough. You can pretty much coax the dough to form whatever shapes you fancy.

    Filling these dough with chocolate was also a breeze as the dough pretty much seals easily. Throughout my bread making experiences, i dont think i have ever worked with a dough something so agreeable.
     

    And the result of that wonderful dough was a bread with crumbs that was ultra tender and soft with pores are so so fine, you just want to tear right into them.

    I even got a compliment from my dad, who never comments on my bakes over breakfast today (I did admit that i got a mini boost from the bread improvers though).

    Having said that, i haven’t really read much into bread softeners and emulsifiers to know what health implications it might have. I can’t say whether i am for it, or against it. But for now, i am just going to bask in the glory of my chemically improved, bakery-worthy breads.

    Bread Dough

    Adapted from and Indonesian Cookbook Roti Unyil by Chendawati (Please pardon my poor translation)

    Ingredients A

    700 gr Bread Flour

    300 gr AP Flour

    250 gr Sugar

    5 egg yolks

    2 egg whites

    150ml evaporated milk

    275 iced water

    20 gr instant yeast

    10 gr bread softener

    50 gr milk powder

    Ingredients B

    75 gr Butter

    75 gr Margarine

    50 gr Butter Substitute

    10 gr Bacom (Bread emulsifier)

    15 gr salt

    1. Combine Ingredients A till the dough stops sticking all over the surface and starts getting tacky and elastic.

    2. Gradually add ingredients B and knead till the dough gets so elastic, you are able to stretch it into a thin membrane skin.

    3. Gather the dough into a ball, and leave for its first proofing for about 30 mins.

    4. Punch down the dough, and scale the dough into balls weighing 30 grams each. Let it rest for 15 minutes.

    5. Roll the dough, fill with chocolate filling, and roll it as you would a dinner roll.

    6. Let it proof for a second time till it doubles in size (60 minutes).

    7. Brush evaporated milk over the surfaces

    8. Bake at 200 degree CELCIUS till the surface turns a golden brown.

    9. Brush melted butter over the surface of the hot rolls to maintain that flexibility softness in the skin.

    Categories: Uncategorized

    Chocolate Peanut Brittle Boo-Boo

    March 22, 2011 15 comments

    It’s getting to be too predictable isn’t it?

    That i just had to chocolate coat everything and anything.

    And today, it’s peanut brittle.

    Toasted Salted Peanuts held together by caramel,

    and coated with chocolate,

    And sprinkled with coarse grained seasalt.

    and broken into shards.

    Everything was going pretty well,  then it hit like a wall, and i was shaken out of  my salted chocolate peanut brittle fantasy.

    Cause while they the caramel was a gorgeous shade of milky brown, they were harder than nails.

    I should have spread the peanuts thinner, and not have such a thick slab. I guess this is what i get for being greedy.

    Or maybe it was my caramel sugar, cooked to a temperature too high (300 F)? —–> Can anyone clarify this ?

    I had to plunge the tip of my knife, and use my wooden spoon to hammer it in to break them into mini crumbs, then eat with a spoon.

    Not a very cool thing to do.

    Ps: I will not be posting the recipe for this lil’ misadventure, but pls pls pls, if you have any advice, opinions, and other caramel making tips and tricks, i would glady hear them!

    Categories: Uncategorized

    Salted Butter Breaks Up and A Chocolate Dip

    March 21, 2011 7 comments

    So the most recent French Fridays with Dorie feature a certain giant sized buttery cookie with a hint of saltiness. And just from reading that description, i know that this is exactly my thing. I lcve a good, generous sprinkle of salt in my desserts. 

    Plus, this is a Dorie recipe. Any recipe with Dorie’s name on it have an imaginary stamp of guarantee for me. I knew i was working with something fail proof (unless i messed up due to my idiocacy), and extra delicious.

     

    Making these cookies is very liberating to say the least. Unlike pies and tart dough, which call for you to exercise your architectural instict, and roll your dough in a certain circular fashion, you can pretty much roll this dough in any direction you fancy, just as long as you keep them of the same thickness.

    You then bake you weird shaped dough as a giant cookie.

    Then comes the more liberating part of breaking these cookies as you please, in even more stranger shapes or sizes.

    And keeping up with my over-indulging tendencies, I decided to serve this with a chocolate dip.

    Why not right?

    But having said that, dipping these cookies in chocolate did mask away some of that salted, buttery goodness in the cookies. So if you have made some heavy investments in buying French butter, or some fancy sea salts, i wouldnt really recommend the chocolate dip.

    Or alternatively, you can just serve the dip as a side, letting your guests choose to dip, or not to dip.

    Keeping up with FFWD, i will not be posting the recipe for this, but u can find it in Serious Eats if you are interested. So hop over!

    Categories: Cookies, Pastries

    Chocolate Cupbread

    March 19, 2011 23 comments

    So while everyone needs no introduction to the universally celebrated cupcakes, i shall present cupbreads!

    Here in Indonesia, these breads are known as “bloeder”, or sometimes spelt as “bluder”. And I am guessing, from its name, it is probably western influenced. These breads are very much like French Brioche, without small head of a dough on top of it.

    Similar to the brioche, the bloeders is very high in both butter and egg content, they are indeed very rich and tender crumbed. I don’t even think you need to chew on these. Besides butter and egg, these bread are also very high in sugar content, which makes it pleasantly sweet tasting even when eaten on its own. But having said that, still, i have decided to fill them up with a generous chunk of milk chocolate. Because really, since i am already eating something sinfully delicious, why not go all the way? LOL

    The proofing time for this bread takes a wee bit longer than usual. I suspect it might be because of all that butter and sugar, which might dampen the yeast activities. The total proofing time for this bread was about three hours, and in my tropical weather, that’s considered very, very long.

    The dough for these bloeders are also quite different from the dough i am used to. Being high in butter content, these breads are very slimy. My hands kept sliding off the dough as i tried to knead it. Sealing the chocolate chunks within the dough was also not easy with the grease coating all over the dough.

    As for the texture of the final product, these breads are so fluffy that you tear a huge chunk off these bread, thinking you will get full after a few mouthful, but in reality, being voluminous looking because of air, these bites just dissolve into nothingness.And you risk looking like a glutton when u reach for your second piece.

    I also think i might have overbaked this dough as it turned out quite dry and crusty at the sides, and i must definitely keep closer watch over these next time!

    Chocolate Filled Cup Breads

    Recipe from an Indonesian cookbook “Roti sisir & Roti Sobek” by Lanny Soechan

    15 egg yolks

    250 gr granulated sugar

    1 kg bread flour

    20 gr instant yeast

    50 gr milk powder

    300 ml fresh milk

    250 gr butter

    1 tbs salt

    some chocolate chunks

    some evaporated milk

    some chocolate chips

    1. Beat egg yolks and sugar till it thickens and turns pale yellow

    2. Combine flour, yeast, and milk powder. Add in the egg yolk mixture gradually and stir till well combined.

    3. Add in the fresh milk, salt, and butter. Knead till elastic

    4. Leave to proof till double in size

    5. Punch down dough, cut and weigh each dough to be about 60 gr. Wrap the chocolate chunks within each dough and drop them into papercups. Let it proof a second time till double in size.

    6. Brush the surfaces with evaporated milk and sprinkle some chocolate chips.

    7. Bake at 160 degree celcius till the surfaces turn a nice golden brown.

    Lemon Bundt Cake

    March 18, 2011 15 comments

    I am quite the oddball in the family. As a kid, my popsicles are always in alternating shades of red (strawberry) and orange. This is a deviation from the family’s standard of dark brown , chocolate popsicles.

    I caved in once, and conformed to the norm, and immediately regretted my decision as i took my first bite. I was missing the bright, refreshing, and tangy flavours of my fruit based pops! And from then on, i’ve nevered wandered, and always stood tall and proud with my vibrant coloured treat admist its dull coloured counterparts.

    So fast forward to present day, one of my favourite things to do in baking is to zest lemon peel. I love inhaling the citrus smell of that squirt of fresh juice as i pressed my zester against the skin of the lemon. Juicing lemon juice is pretty fun too. I lean my weight against the juicer to exert the maximum pressure to wring out every last drop of lemon juice.

    And that brings about today’s choice of baking, the lemon bundt cake.

    And whilst the cake baked away in the oven, i settled myself with a morning warm lemon tea 🙂

    And when it comes to bundt cake, i know exactly where to seek my recipe from. The food librarian with her series of “ I like Big Bundts”  has a very comprehensive library when it comes to bundts. The original recipe (from Martha Stewart) called for Meyer Lemons. I’ve never seen a Meyer Lemon in Jakarta before, so regular ones will have to do for this.

    Ah, the glaze, the citrus flavours of the bundt cake came mainly from the glaze. The cake batter only had lemon zest in it while the glaze had both lemon zest and juice.  As you would have guessed, the glaze was both sweet and tangy, and would totally zest your mornings into fanci-ness.

    And of course the mandatory circus work of pouring glaze and taking pictures with my favourite two hands, which leads to some unevenes in the division of glaze across the whole cake surface

    I am cutting myself a slice from the part of the cake with MORE glaze of course, and shall save the slices with the trickly glaze to the dieters.

    The cake was baked to a perfect golden brown, texture wise, it is rather dense, and not fluffy soft. I think i might have overbaked it, cause the edges became quite crispy and cookie like. And i think i enjoyed picking at these crisp crumbs more than i did the cake!

    A cup of lemon tea and a slice of lemon cake for a Friday breakfast!

    Meyer Lemon Pound Cake

    (Recipe taken from Martha Stewart)

    Ingredients

    Makes 2 loaves

     I made 1/2 the recipe and baked it in 10-cup Bundt cake pan.
    Ingredients

    • FOR THE CAKE
    • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
    • 4 cups sifted cake flour, plus more for pans
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 4 teaspoons baking powder
    • 2 3/4 cups sugar
    • 8 eggs, room temperature
    • 1 cup milk, room temperature
    • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    • Zest of 1 Meyer lemon
    • FOR THE GLAZE
    • Zest of 1 Meyer lemon
    • 2 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, plus more if needed
    • 1/4 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice
    1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour two 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pans and set aside.
    2. Sift the flour with the salt and baking powder two times and set aside.
    3. With an electric mixer, cream the butter until fluffy. Add the sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy.
    4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with the milk and vanilla. Stir only until thoroughly blended. Gently fold in the zest.
    5. Pour batter into the prepared pans and level tops with an offset spatula. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours, until a cake tester comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan about 10 minutes; then remove to a wire rack to cool thoroughly.
    6. Make the glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk all glaze ingredients to combine. If necessary, add additional confectioners’ sugar to desired consistency.
    7. Pour glaze on top of cakes and serve.

    Ding Dongs, and Devil Dogs

    March 16, 2011 14 comments

    Apparently these chocolate cake sandwiching white buttercream are called Devil Dogs.

    I don’t know how how the name came about, but as the pioneer woman mentioned, these are typically Ding-Dongs, without the chocolate coating.

    Let’s go step by step on these

    First up, we bake a chocolate sheet cake. And i must say, this cake is really moist and veerrryyyy delicious.

    To which we cut squares from, to make each individual dog. You will be getting quite a few scraps from this. That’s okay, i am sure you know what to do with them. For me, i eat them to give me the energy to finish the rest of this task.

    Next we squeeze a bit of frosting on each square,

    Like so,

    then, a second square of chocolate cake goes up

    A second, mini squirt of buttercream

    And a final glace cherry to top it off.

    And before i go on, the buttercream here is not your average swiss, italian, or american buttercream. Instead of using egg whites, this buttercream uses a bit of cooked flour. * Recipe follows. 

    Making buttercream this way is a bit new for me, and taste and texture wise, it deserves a double thumbs up !

    The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake. Ever.

    (Taken from Pioneer Woman)

    Ingredients

    • FOR THE CAKE:
    • 2 cups Flour
    • 2 cups Sugar
    • ¼ teaspoons Salt
    • 4 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa
    • 2 sticks Butter
    • 1 cup Boiling Water
    • ½ cups Buttermilk
    • 2 whole Beaten Eggs
    • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
    • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
    • _____
    • FOR FROSTING:
    • ½ cups Finely Chopped Pecans
    • 1-¾ stick Butter
    • 4 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa
    • 6 Tablespoons Milk
    • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
    • 1 pound (minus 1/2 Cup) Powdered Sugar

    Preparation Instructions

    In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt.

    In a saucepan, melt butter. Add cocoa. Stir together.
    Add boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Pour over flour mixture, and stir lightly to cool.

    In a measuring cup, pour the buttermilk and add beaten eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. Stir buttermilk mixture into butter/chocolate mixture. Pour into sheet cake pan and bake at 350-degrees for 20 minutes.

    While cake is baking, make the icing. Chop pecans finely. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add cocoa, stir to combine, then turn off heat. Add the milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Stir together. Add the pecans, stir together, and pour over warm cake.

    Cut into squares, eat, and totally wig out over the fact that you’ve just made the best chocolate sheet cake. Ever.

    That’s the Best Frosting I’ve Ever Had

    Ingredients

    • 5 Tablespoons Flour
    • 1 cup Milk
    • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
    • 1 cup Butter
    • 1 cup Granulated Sugar (not Powdered Sugar!)

    Preparation Instructions

    Bake your favorite chocolate cake and let it cool.

    In a small saucepan, whisk flour into milk and heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens. You want it to be very thick, thicker than cake mix, more like a brownie mix is. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. (If I’m in a hurry, I place the saucepan over ice in the sink for about 10 minutes or so until the mixture cools.) It must be completely cool before you use it in the next step. Stir in vanilla.

    While the mixture is cooling, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. You don’t want any sugar graininess left. Then add the completely cooled milk/flour/vanilla mixture and beat the living daylights out of it. If it looks separated, you haven’t beaten it enough! Beat it until it all combines and resembles whipped cream.

    Grab a spoon and taste this wonderful goodness. If there is any left after your taste test, spread it on a cooled chocolate cake.

    Cut yourself a piece and put it on a pretty plate. Grab a fork and prepare to experience the most divine pairing you can imagine. This frosting on chocolate cake is to die for. Sure, the recipe sounds strange — it has flour in it — but it’s sublime. Try it, you’ll see. You’ll love it so much you won’t go back.

    You are Toasts!

    March 15, 2011 14 comments

    Let’s have a toasty good time with these!

    Banana Flambe Toast

     

     

    Chocolate Almond Toast

     

     

     

    Sunny Side Up Toast

     

     

     

    Salami Toast

     

     

     

    Ice Cream Toast

    And in case you were wondering, no, i didn’t make these. I don’t think i have ever mentioned it in this blog, but i am currently working for a chain of restaurants, and these toasts are part of our menu items!

     

    Samoas Scones

    March 15, 2011 12 comments

    If you think that scones are just tasteless, dry, breakfast pastries, you got something coming at you today.

    Meet the Samoa Scone- a spin off from the Samoas Cookies

    Inspired by the Samoas Cookies, these scones are dipped in chocolate, topped with caramel and coconut, and drizzled with more chocolate.

    These scones are first baked at a moderately high temperature to get that beautiful golden crust outside, while the insides remain moist, soft and crumbly.

    To facilitate that, the scones are brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with coarse sugar which caramelises quickly.

    Off the oven, the scones are dipped in melted chocolate. 

    After which, coconut and caramel are spooned over their tops.

    And to top it off, more drizzled chocolate over the caramel. YUMM!

    Take a bite into these scones, and you will first experience the chewy caramel. You might need to battle a slight bit with the sugar threads as you pull the scones away from your lips.

    Beneath that chewy, stringy caramel, we arrive at a soft pastry so subtly sweetened so as not to overwhelm you with a sugar high. The scone is downplayed to allow you to truly savour the smokey, butterscotch flavour within that caramel.

    Your journey with the bite ends with a soft “cluck” of the chocolate base, and now you get to taste them altogether as your mouth works on that blissful combination.

    So, take the journey, and give these blissful scones a try!

    Samoas Scones

    (Taken from BakingBites)
    3 cups all purpose flour
    1/2 cup sugar
    2 tsp baking powder
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/2 cup butter, chilled and cut into pieces
    3/4 – 1 cup milk
    6-oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
    1 cup prepared caramel sauce (store bought or use recipe below)
    3/4 cup shredded coconut

    Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add in chilled butter and cut it into the flour mixture until no pieces larger than a pea remain visible (this can be done in a food processor).
    Add in 3/4 cup milk and stir to combine. Gradually add in remaining 1/4 cup milk until dough comes together into a ball.
    Divide dough in half. Working with one piece at a time, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and flatten into a disc about 1/2-inch thick. Cut into quarters and place on baking sheet. Repeat with second piece of dough.
    Bake for 16-20 minutes, until scones are a light golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

    Melt the chocolate in a small bowl. Use a small knife or spatula to spread a thin layer onto the bottom of each scone. Place coated scones on a cool baking sheet lined with a piece of wax or parchment paper to set up.
    Combine caramel and shredded coconut in a small bowl. Spread about 3 tbsp of the caramel and coconut mixture onto each scone and drizzle with remaining melted chocolate. Allow chocolate drizzle to set for at least 30 minutes before serving.

    Makes 8 scones.

    Homemade Caramel Sauce
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/3 cup light corn syrup
    1/4 cup water
    1/8 tsp salt
    7 tbsp heavy cream
    1/2 tsp vanilla

    In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, water and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until syrup turns dark gold. Working carefully, stir in cream and vanilla. Caramel will start to steam and harden when you add the cream – continue to cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until caramel is smooth. Transfer caramel to a refrigerator-safe container and cool. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

    Note: You may have extra caramel sauce if you use it for the scones, so feel free to use it as a topping for ice cream, etc.

    Cappuccino Brownies

    March 14, 2011 13 comments

    It was only when i tried typing “cappuccino” that i realized that i didn’t know how to spell it. The word looks kinda odd, with the double “P”s and double “C”s.

    But that don’t matter, cause this is a food blog, not a spell check.

    So what about this brownies? Besides being a spell challenger?

    Well, for one, it is frosted with white chocolate ganache.

    I don’t know if u have noticed, but brownies, in their darkest and fudgiest glory, are usually served on its own.

    But this brownie is a step up from all the common brownies out there.

    Also, let’s not downplay the coffee in this, cause coffee powder in this brownie is a big winner and in my opinion, not optional. The coffee fragrance in this was strong, yet not overpowering, and it  gave another dimension, and a slight (very slight) bitterness to what could otherwise be a cloyingly and blandly sweet dessert.

    And not to mention the extra caffeine boost so much needed for a Monday morning such as today.

    So if you find yourself dragging your feet to work, this might just be your solution 🙂

    Cappuccino Brownies

    Taken From Amandeleine

    Brownies

    • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, diced
    • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar
    • 3 large eggs
    • 2 tablespoon instant espresso powder
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 3/4 cup all purpose flour

    White Chocolate Ganache

    • 6 ounces high-quality white chocolate (such as Lindt or Perugina), chopped
    • 5 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    Directions

    1. Brownies: Preheat oven to 325°F. Fold 16-inch-long piece of foil to 8×16-inch strip; place in 8x8x2-inch metal baking pan, leaving overhang on 2 sides. Repeat with another sheet of foil in opposite direction, lining pan completely. Spray foil with nonstick spray.
    2. Stir butter and chocolate in heavy large saucepan over very low heat until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat; whisk in sugar, then eggs, 1 at a time. Whisk in espresso powder, vanilla, and salt; sift flour over and stir to blend well. Transfer batter to prepared pan.
    3. Bake brownies until puffed and dry-looking and tester inserted into center comes out with some moist batter attached, about 35 minutes; cool completely in pan on rack.
    4. Ganache: Place white chocolate in medium microwave-safe bowl. Bring cream to simmer in small saucepan. Pour cream over chocolate in bowl. Let stand 30 seconds, then stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. If necessary, microwave on low power in 10-second intervals until white chocolate is melted completely. Chill until ganache is thick but still slightly pourable, about 25 minutes.
    5. Using foil as aid, lift brownies from pan. Turn over onto sheet of parchment paper; peel off foil.
    6. Pour ganache onto center of brownies; spread to edges (some may drip over). Sprinkle with cinnamon. Chill until ganache is set, at least 2 hours. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and keep chilled.)
    7. Cut brownies into 4 strips. Cut each strip crosswise into 5 or 6 pieces, or cut each strip into 6 triangles.

    Nutella Ravioli

    March 13, 2011 10 comments

    I love Nutella. I love it spread on a sandwich bread, a cake, or even a cookie. But most of all, i like my Nutella just with a spoon.

    Like so.

    But all of us know, that is very highly frowned upon, and you don’t get to do it when someone is in the room with you.

    So, i decided to make little raviolis out of it,

     

    and fill it up with Nutella as much as i could (or dared), without having the whole ravioli bursting.

    Like so.

    So u can imagine, the day started with rolling and shaping dough,

    And i have used a square cookie cutter which was plenty helpful as it eliminated all that architectural work of measuring and slicing the dough against your ruler.

    It’s pretty easy actually, basically you just sandwich the Nutella between two pieces of the cookie cutter dough, seal it, and crimp the sides with your fork.

    voila!

    On a side note though, the Nutella did dry out, and lost its fluidity to become a more solid mass.

    Not that i mind.

    Nutella Ravioli

    (Taken from the purple foodie)

    For the Ravioli dough

    Ingredients:

    12 0z (330g) plain flour
    3.5oz (100g) icing sugar
    6 oz (180g) butter
    1 egg yolk
    2 tbsp cold water

    1. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead gently. Flatten to form a thick disk and wrap it in cling film and chill it for at least an hour.
    2. Put the flour and icing sugar into a bowl and rub the butter either with your finger with gentle, quick movements or with a pastry cutter until you achieve breadcrumb like texture. Add the egg yolks and cold water until the mixture comes together.
    3. Roll out the dough to 3-4 mm (1/8th inch) thickness and use the cookie cutter to cut it into uniform squares.

    To Assemble:

    1. Dollop some Nutella chocolate cream on one piece of dough

    2. Take another piece of dough and cover over the Nutella.

    3. Seal the edges by gently pinching the sides with your fingers and then crimping the edges with a fork.

    4. Pop this into the fridge for about 15 minutes. Once that’s done, remove it and bake it in a preheated oven at 170C/350F for 10-12 minutes.
    Next, pull it out to brush it with a little egg wash for a nice, golden sheen. Pop it back into the oven for another 5-7 minutes.

     

    Have a SPAMming Good time!

    March 12, 2011 8 comments

    Its the weekend again! which means i get to muck around in the kitchen the whole day without the usual weekday morning rush. Translated, that means i get to spend some precious time with yeast and play some dough.

     

    I have decided to go on savoury for this one, since all of us know that there is enough dessert items in this blog to last us a couple of lifetimes. So i settled on this bacon and cheese bread from Happy Home Baking – A loaf bread studded with bacon bits on topped with shredded cheese.

    I’ve made a few changes though, making do with whatever i had in my pantry. I subbed bacon for canned luncheon meat (or better known as SPAM), mozarella cheese for cheddar, and added my own dried herbs to the party.

    So i kneaded the dough and waited for the first rise, and kneaded, and waited some more for the second rise, (now you see why i need the weekend?) before i was able to pop them into the oven.

    I was really surprised by how much further the dough grew in the oven. What went in as an average heighted loaf, promised a much taller outcome. A good payoff, to put it in financial terms.

    The only drawback i had on this was the kink at the sides of the bread. Instead of a square loaf, my loaf had a waist, which i suspect was due to me taking out the bread too soon.

    Nevertheless, i am still pleased at how cottony soft and moist this bread turned out. It’s a good contrast the to slightly crusted cheese on top. Needless to say, between the cheese and luncheon meat, this bread is good enough to be eaten on its own.

    So go SPAM!

    Bacon & Cheese Bread

    (Taken from Happy Home Baking)
    Ingredients

    A:
    3 slices of bacon; finely chopped
    1/2 tsp black pepper

    B:
    250g bread flour
    15g caster sugar
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp instant yeast
    150ml water, lukewarm
    20g unsalted butter

    C:
    40g grated mozzarella cheese
    1/8 tsp black pepper
    some dried parsley

    Method:

    1. Pan-fry finely chopped bacon over low heat, until brown and crisp. Drain off any excess oil and mix in the black pepper. Set aside to cool.
    2. Place all ingredients B, except the butter, in the pan of the bread machine (according to the sequence as stated in the instruction manual of your bread machine). Select the Dough function of the bread machine and press start. After about 8mins of kneading (the ingredients should form a smooth dough by now), add in the 20g of butter. Let the machine continue to knead the dough. After the kneading cycle has stopped (20mins), Stop and Restart the machine. Continue to let the machine knead for another 10mins.
    3. Add in the bacon and black pepper mixture and let the machine run for another 1~2 mins until the bacon mixture is incorporated into the dough.
    4. Stop the machine and remove dough from the bread pan. Shape the dough into a smooth round and place in a lightly greased mixing bowl, cover bowl with cling wrap and let dough rise till double in volume for about 80 ~ 90 mins.
    5. Remove dough and give a few light kneading on a lightly floured work surface. Press out the trapped air as your knead. Shape into a round dough and cover with cling wrap, let the dough rest for 15mins.
    6. Flatten and roll out the dough into a rectangular shape (20cm by 15cm). Roll up swiss roll style and pinch the seam in place. Place dough in a loaf pan (size, 7.5″x4″x4″, lined with parchment paper, both bottom and sides), seam-side down. Cover with cling wrap and let dough proof for 50~60mins or until the dough reaches about 90% of the height of the pan.
    7. Sprinkle top with grated cheese, black pepper and some dried parsley.
    8. Bake at preheated oven at 190 degC for about 30mins until the bread is golden brown all over. Cover the top with a sheet of aluminum foil if the surface browns too quickly.
    9. Remove from oven and unmold immediately. Let cool completely before slicing.
    10. Recipe adapted from 孟老师的100道面包

     

    White Chocolate Coconut Blondie

    March 11, 2011 111 comments

    Pictures don’t exactly do these blondies justice. With no frosting or any of the usual studded chocolate chips, or dried fruits, these blondies look plainer than Jane.

    But underneath that simple exterior, these blondies sure packed up a HUGE deal in the flavour department.

    There might not be any visible embellishment in these brownies, but take a bite into it and be prepared to be pleasantly greeted with a creamy and textured experience in the form of shredded coconut.

    I have used freshly grated unsweetened coconut in these to double up on the flavour.

    I simply loved how the flavours from the white chocolate and the coconut seemed to meld. The combination worked, and the resultant blondie was something that was altogether fudgy from the white chocolate, and chewy from the coconut.

    Of course, we can’t be excluding the white crackly top, which always promises the densest of the moistest brownies.

    So if you are looking into something to jazz up your white chocolate fudgy blondies, or give it a somewhat tropical kick, these are definitely worth a try!

    White Chocolate-Coconut Brownies

    (Taken from Brown Eyed Baker)
    Yield: 24 brownies

    Prep Time: 25 minutes | Bake Time: 30 minutes

    1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    11 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
    1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
    1½ cups granulated sugar
    ½ cup packed light brown sugar
    5 eggs, at room temperature
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1 cup shredded coconut

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9×13-inch glass or light-colored baking pan. Line the pan with parchment paper.

    2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour and salt together.

    3. Put the white chocolate and butter in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be room temperature.

    4. Add 3 eggs to the white chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.

    5. Sprinkle the flour mixture and the coconut over the chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour and coconut mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible.

    6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Let the brownies cool completely, then lift them out of the pan using the parchment paper. Cut into squares and serve.

    7. Store at room temperature in an airtight container or wrap with plastic wrap for up to 3 days.

    Mini Brown Sugar Muffins with Coffee Glaze

    March 10, 2011 13 comments

    I have always had the impression that muffins in general are practical breakfast items. Unlike their petite counterpart, Miss Cupcake with her fancy dress-ups, muffins are effortless, and they are also ready in no time at all.

    But sometimes, practicality can be boring. Yet, with the time constraints imposed on the everyday morning rush, practicality is indispensable.

    So u can pretty much imagine my delight when i saw these muffins from daily delicious. I think these muffins make good compromises between practicality and boring. 

    Muffins with coffee glaze.

    I love how glazes dry up. They are fuss free and they are no-smudge. You dont have to worry about getting them all over your hands, or your face. or your hair. 

     You can also pretty much muck around with them anyway you want, like stack them up.

    LOL.

    I also love how easy glazes come together. With this, some instant coffee gets dissolved in some hot water, to which icing sugar is added into the mixture to get them into that drizzling consistency. No heavy whipping required here, in fact, i managed to get everything incorporated just by a whisk of my fork (not even a balloon whisk).

    Glazes aside, these muffins are also wonderfully moist and soft. And i think it has got to do with the the brown sugar, which is known to attract more moisture than the regular white.

    I am also fancying the petite sizes these nuggets come in. They appear innocous and are warm in inviting the strictest of the dieters.

    But of course that doesnt guarantee that you will be able to stop at one!

    Taken from Daily Delicious
    110g …………………………. Cake flour
    1½tsp ………………………. Baking powder
    60g …………………………… Unsalted butter
    50g …………………………… Brown sugar
    1 ……………………………….. Egg
    45g ……………………………. Crème Fraîche
    ½tbsp ……………………….. Honey
    …………………………………… A pinch of salt
    Coffee glaze
    30g ……………………………. Icing sugar
    ⅓ tsp …………………………. Instant coffee granule
    1tbsp ………………………… Hot water
    Preheat the oven to 170°C 
    Put paper case in 14 mini muffin pans.
    Sift cake flour and baking powder together, set aside.

    Beat butter salt and sugar together until light in color, add the egg, beat to combine.
    Pour the honey into the butter and beat to combine. 
    Add the flour to the butter in 3 parts, alternating with the Crème Fraîche
    Divide the batter into prepared pans.
    Bake for 15-17 minutes or golden and spring when touch lightly.
    Let the muffin cool on a wire rack.
    Mix the hot water and instant coffee granule together, add the icing sugar and stir to combine.
    Drizzle over the muffin and serve with a smile^^.

    Makes about 14 mini muffins

    Matcha Meringue Kisses

    March 9, 2011 12 comments

    I wanted these meringue to be of a bright, bright green colour,  to get into the St. Patrick’s Day mood.

    But they turned out pale faced and ashen. In fact if you take a closer look at it, they do like upturned green casper ghosts.

    I  guess i was a bit apprehensive when adding my matcha powder into the batter as i was afraid the green tea flavour would be too overpowering for the people who would be eating it.

    Plus, i was kinda skimping, cause green tea powder are pretty hard to come by, with only certain specialty stores carrying it.

    In my defence, the batter colour was of vibrant green, the colour that i was aiming for. But i guess as the cookies dry in the oven, so does the colour.

    No harm done though, cause these cookies were delicious. In fact, they taste exactly like green tea macaron shell, minus the almond nuttiness in it. They were so delicately crispy on the outside that you can break them with your tongue instead of having to chew on them. The insides were just slightly chewy. And i must say, between all that, these kisses were so tiny, yet addictive. You just want to keep popping them into your mouth, break them with your tongue, and have them kinda dissolve into nothingness, then repeat the whole procedure over and over and over again.

    The green tea flavour was quite distinct, without being too overpowering. In fact i think i am quite glad that i skimped a lil on this!

    Ps: The tips of this meringue browns and gets dark in colour very easily, so u might want to watch out for that and keep the low oven temperature in check.

    Matcha Meringue Kisses

    (Taken from Hungry Cravings )
    Printable Recipe

    2 ounces powdered sugar
    2 tablespoons matcha tea
    2 ounces egg whites, at room temperature
    2 ounces sugar

    Preheat the oven to 175ºF. Sift together the powdered sugar and matcha. In a mixer fitted with a whip attachment, whip the egg whites on medium to soft peaks. With the motor running on high, gradually add the sugar. Continue to whip on high to stiff peaks. Gently fold the matcha mixture into the meringue. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip and pipe 1 ¼-inch kisses about an inch apart onto a parchment-lined baking tray. Bake for an hour to an hour and 15 minutes, or until dry. Transfer kisses to a rack to cool.

    Lemon Cookies

    March 8, 2011 14 comments

    When life gives u lemons….

    I say run down to the store and get yourself a pound of sugar,

    And make cookies!

    I can’t think of anything more suited than good ole plain granulated sugar to offset the sourness of lemons.  There are of course other sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, etc… But each of them has their own distinct flavour and scent, and thus tend to mask the citrus-ey goodness in lemons.

    So i have paired the two together in this chewy lemon sugar cookies,

    And a little goes a long way with the lemons, cause one lemon, with its juice and zest, was able to zing up a whole batch of cookies.

    And what i love best about these cookies is the sugar crunch on the surfaces. The dough of these cookies are rolled in sugar before they are sent to bake.

    The crunch was not only deliciously sweet, it also gave a very nice contrast to the softly baked, chewy cookies.

    And to maintain that chewy, and soft texture, i have baked these till they are just of the palest, lightest colour.

    So if you are in need of a lil’ sunshine, give these light refreshing cookie a try!

    PS; I am also submitting this to Aspiring Baker #5 : Fruity March. Thank you Jess at Bakericious for hosting the wonderful event! I cant wait to see what the other bloggers came out with! 🙂

    Chewy Lemon Cookies

    from Patentandthepantry.wordpress.com

    • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup butter, softened
    • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • zest of one large lemon
    • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 1/2 cup sugar for rolling cookies

    Preheat oven to 350F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

    In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

    In a larger bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, vanilla, lemon zest and juice.

    Add in dry ingredients, beating until just combined. Roll rounded spoonfuls of dough into balls and then roll in sugar. Place on lined cookie sheets, about 1 or 2 inches apart.

    Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. (Mine needed barely 8 minutes; they were not yet golden but I wanted them still pale and tender.) Remove from oven and let stand on cookie sheet for 2 minutes before removing to cook on wire racks.

    Makes 24 – 36 cookies.

    Categories: Cookies, Dessert Tags: , , ,

    Happy Donuts

    March 6, 2011 11 comments

    I was looking over my archives when i realized that it’s been ages since i mucked about with yeasted dough.

    I guess i was somewhat put off by the labour and time intensive effort involved.

    Between all that kneading, rising, and re- rising, yeasted breads are definitely something i would never attempt for breakfast on a weekday morning.

    But it’s a happy, sunny Sunday today. I jumped at this opportunity to make doughnuts, a classic favourite in this household.

    Especially when they are dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with colours.

    And this green one is just for u, St. Pat’s, cause your big day is just around the corner!

    Doughnuts

    (Taken from Alan Ooi)

    Ingredients;

    (A)300g high protein flour
    200g plain flour
    80g sugar
    5g salt
    20g milk powder
    10g yeast
    (B) 230ml water
    1 medium egg
    (C) shortening/oil/butter/margerine

    Methods:
    1. Combine (A), add in (B) and knead into dough. Add in (C) and continue knead until smooth, elastic and shiny dough.
    2. Cover the dough and let it proof for 30 minutes (double bulk), Roll out the dough for 1cm thickness.
    3. Use doughnut cutter to cut out doughnuts, let it on tray and proof for another 20 minutes (double bulk).
    4. Use medium heat to deep-fry the doughnut till golden brown. Remove, place on absorbent paper.

    Samoas

    March 5, 2011 8 comments

    It seems like the girl scouts of America isn’t all about camping and earning badges. These girls also have got a winning product to sell.

    The Caramel Delites, or better known as Samoas, are indeed delightfully caramel-ey.

    Truth be told, growing up in Indonesia, i have never came across Samoas before. But from stalking various blogs, i knew that they were shortbread cookies topped with coconut in caramel, and dipped and drizzled with chocolate.

    Geez, who could say no to that??

    So since there was no way in the world i would come across an American girl scout setting up a table in Jakarta, i figured the only way to get these was to replicate it in my own Indonesian kitchen.

    I must admit though, between the baking of the cookies, cooling the cookies, and then dipping the bases in chocolate…

    hang on i am not finished yet…

    making the finicky caramel,  dipping the tops of the cookies in the caramel, cooling the caramel to set

    AND finally drizzling the top of that caramel in melted chocolate *wipes sweat off brow*, these cookies are not exactly a walk in the park.

    But damn, are they worth every single spoon, fork, pot, pan, baking tray, and mixing bowl dirtied (Yes, they do use up a lot of kitchen utensils too).

    So if u can’t find a girl scout in handy, you should definitely definitely give these a try.

    Homemade Girl Scout Cookies: Samoas

    Taken from Jaime at blogs.babble.com

    2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter at room temperature
    1 cup superfine sugar (or granulated)
    1 large egg
    1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
    Dipping Caramel (recipe follows)
    1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (available at health food stores)
    12 ounces of chocolate chips

    1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Add in egg and beat until well incorporated, scraping down the bowl, if necessary. Add in vanilla. Beat until smooth. With mixer on low, add in salt and flour. Mix until completely incorporated and dough is uniform. Pull dough together and shape into a cylinder with a diameter of about 2 1/2 inches. Wrap in parchment paper and freeze for at least 25 minutes.

    2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice dough into 1/8 inch disks and place on baking sheets, about an inch apart. Once you have made 30 cookies, wrap up the cookie dough, freeze, and save for another time. Use a tiny circle shaped cookie cutter or a large round cake decorating tip to cut a hole in the center of each disk. Refrigerate for an additional 10 minutes. Bake for 8 minutes, or until crisp. Let cool completely.

    3. Add coconut into the caramel. Warm the caramel in the microwave for about 10 seconds if necessary. Take cooled cookies and gently dip them completely in the caramel. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Freeze until set, about 5 minutes.

    4. Melt chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second intervals, stirring well after each interval, until fully melted. Place the caramel coated cookies in the chocolate. Use a fork to pull them out of the chocolate and place them on a parchment line cookie sheet. Use the chocolate still on the fork to drizzle stripes over the top of the cookies. Refrigerate until set.

    Dipping Caramel

    1 1/2 cups granulated sugar)
    4 tablespoons corn syrup
    6 tablespoons water
    pinch of salt
    6 tablespoons butter
    6 tablespoons heavy cream* (DO NOT use plain whipping cream)
    1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

    1. In a heavy bottomed saucepan with high sides, combine sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt. Whisk until combined, and set over medium-low heat. Swirl the pan every now and then to help distribute the heat. Use can use a pastry brush dipped in water to brush the sugar crystals down the sides of the saucepan. When the sugar dissolves completely, raise the heat to medium. When it comes to a boil, watch very carefully for the bubbles to become more viscous (this means that the water has evaporated and that it is ready to go through the candy stages). As it is bubbling away, you want it to turn a deep amber color. When it does, remove the heat and, working quickly, use the spoon to scoop up a small amount of the candy and drop it into the small glass of water. If the blob turns hard like lollipop, then it is ready. If the blob is still soft, put the pan back on the heat. Keep testing until the candy is hard. Remove from heat.

    2. Whisk in butter, 6 tablespoons of cream, and vanilla (Careful here, as the mixture should bubble violently for about 10 seconds). If the caramel isn’t smooth right away, return the pan to low heat and whisk until smooth.

    *To clarify, this cream should be heavy cream, or heavy whipping cream, not whipping cream.

    Peanut Butter, Banana and Honey. All in a cookie.

    March 3, 2011 15 comments

    I know you must be thinking … no, not another banana post!

    I apologize,  but you know that how it goes when u have a bunch of bananas going black on you.

    My bananas were mottling and were starting to attract fruit flies. I had to do something to those, and yet i know between the banana cake with cream cheese frosting and the banana espresso muffins, the good people at home, or at work have hit their quota on banana cakes for the month.

    So i turned to cookies instead, and what was slightly different about this recipe from two peas and their pods is that they have a peanut butter honey glaze.

    And seriously, who would have minded a glaze over their cookies? Not me for sure. 🙂


    The glaze was made of peanut butter, icing sugar, honey, and a little bit of milk to help it get to that workable drizzling consistency. I love this glaze. It’s really easy to whip up and it tastes so good against the mildly sweet cookies.

    My cookies were a little bit on the rounded side. I wish i had flattened them a bit before they went into the oven just so that i could have more surface area on each cookie to accomodate more of that frosting.

    Ah, there is always next time isn’t there.. 🙂

    Peanut Butter, Banana, and Honey Cookies

    (Taken from Two Peas and their Pods)

    1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
    1 tablespoon honey
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 large egg
    1 large ripe banana, mashed (about 1 cup)
    2 cups old fashioned oats

    Peanut Butter Honey Glaze:

    3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
    1/2 cup powdered sugar
    2 tablespoons milk
    1 tablespoon honey

    Directions:

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

    2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter and sugars, mix until smooth. Add peanut butter, honey, vanilla extract, and egg. Combine until smooth. Next, add the banana and mix until combined.

    3. Slowly add in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in the oats.

    4. Drop cookie dough by heaping tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets that have been lined with parchment paper or Silcone baking mats.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 12-15 minutes or until golden. Remove cookies from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

    5. To make the glaze-combine peanut butter, powdered sugar, milk, and honey in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth. If it is too thick or thin, adjust by adding more milk or powdered sugar. Drizzle glaze over cooled cookies.

    Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies

    Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins

    March 2, 2011 14 comments

    The espresso in that irregular shaped banana cake was so impressionable that i just had to attempt another recipe with the same banana, espresso combination.

    I knew i found gold with Tracey’s Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins

    Cause not only were they easy to whip up, they also have a third delightful ingredient – Chocolate Chips.

    While this recipe adopts the convenient muffin method of just mixing wet ingredients to dry ingredients, u do have to set aside time to peel and puree the bananas.

    Frankly speaking, i am not a huge fan of measuring pureed bananas in cups. I find that it is not as accurate as the reliable metric measurement. I know i am being a bit of fussypants here, but really, the last thing i wanted was for me to add excess banana puree which would cause the muffins to have this weird wet gummy texture.

    Not a biggie, a quick search on the internet revealed the weight of a cup of mashed bananas at 227 grams.

    The extra step at weighing was definitely worth the effort cause i got a lovely banana cake done just right with none of that gelatinous,  wet, pudding-like interior.

    And of course, let’s not be forgetting about that espresso, which added not only an extra depth in the flavour department, but also that mandatory boost of caffeine in your breakfast.

    And of course, let’s not forget to set aside a handful of chocolate chips to strew on top of your batter  just before they go into the oven!

    Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins
    Taken From Tracey’s Culinary Adventure

    1 1/2 cups mashed, very ripe bananas (about 4 medium bananas)
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
    1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
    1/4 cup milk (I used 1%)
    1 large egg, at room temperature
    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    1 teaspoon salt
    2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips

    Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.

    In a medium bowl, stir together the bananas, sugars, butter, milk and egg.  Whisk together the flour, instant espresso powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.  Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients.  Stir until just combined.  Fold in the chocolate chips.

    Distribute the batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling each about three-quarters full.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.  Move the muffin pan to a wire rack, and let cool for about 10 minutes, then remove the muffins from the pan to the rack to cool completely.

    Muffins can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

    Yields 12 muffins

    Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Honey-Toasted Almonds

    March 2, 2011 12 comments

    Try as i might, i just cant seem to get a decent shot of this bugger here.

    It might be because of the lighting, or the props, or the way it is frosted.

    The cake started out as a banana cake,

    Over which cream cheese frosting is piled onto

    Geez, i think that’s it!

    I think the poor shots are probably due to the cream cheese frosting. Yummy as the frosting is (how can u go wrong with cream cheese, butter and icing sugar?), the consistency is not exactly suitable for frosting. It is a tad too liquid, and you don’t even wanna think about pipping with this frosting. I might need to add more icing sugar into this to get to the consistency that’s workable.

    And try as i might, frosting this cake made it look somewhat like a huge cloud of shapeless blob

    I am sorry, i tried my best. Honest.

    But, looks can be deceiving, cause it is still a good cake,

    I was kind of weirded out when i saw espresso powder in the cake recipe. But i dipped my finger into the cake batter before i sent it to the oven. It was like a flavour breakthrough. Who would have thought espresso would go so well with bananas?

    I have also added some candied honey almonds for an extra crunch, and for that bit of saltiness i so enjoy in all sweet desserts. So don’t judge a book by its cover this time around!

    Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Honey-Toasted Almonds (makes 1 double layer cake, or 1 single layer cake and 6 large muffins)

    For the cake: (taken from Baking with Buttermilk)

    2 1/2 cups (350 g) all-purpose flour (I used white whole wheat)
    1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    1 1/2 tsp baking powder
    3/4 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 cup (8 ounces/230 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1 1/2 cups (300 g) sugar
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1 Tbsp instant espresso or coffee powder (I omitted this)
    2 large eggs, at room temperature
    6 Tbsp (90 ml) buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream (regular or low-fat), at room temperature (I used Fage 0%)
    2 cups (50 ml) banana purée (3 to 4 very ripe bananas) (I used 4)

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C)
    2. Spray with oil or butter 2 9-inch cake pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper. (If making muffins, prepare one cake pan and 1 muffin tin)
    3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, soda and salt. Whisk to combine.
    4. In a stand mixer bowl (or large mixing bowl if using a hand mixer or spoon) beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. It should take about 3 to 5 minutes. Incorporate the vanilla and espresso powder. Beat in eggs one at a time until each is completely mixed in. Add half of the flour then the buttermilk and banana purée. Add the remaining flour and stir until combined, but don’t over mix.
    5. Divide the batter between the two prepared pans (or pan and muffin tin) and bake until golden and toothpick comes out clean, about 40 minutes. (12-15 minutes for muffins, or until tops spring back to the touch) Cool in pans on wire racks.

    For the frosting: (Taken from Baking with Buttermilk)

    1 stick butter
    4 oz. cream cheese
    1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1-2 Tbsp. almond milk

    In a large bowl, beat together butter and cream cheese until very light and fluffy. Slowly add powdered sugar until well mixed. Add vanilla extract. Tip in a Tablespoon or two of milk, if needed.

    For the almonds:

    1/3 cup sliced raw almonds
    1 Tbsp honey
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/8 tsp salt

    Place almonds in a small pan over medium heat. Allow to begin toasting, 1-2 minutes. Add honey, cinnamon and salt, stir until golden. Add water 1 tsp at a time if clumping together. Toast until fragrant but not burnt, about 5 minutes. Pour onto lined baking sheet or Silpat when done until ready to use.