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Archive for March, 2013

Crusty Brownies

March 23, 2013 3 comments

I wanted instant gratification today. I wanted to make something which is quick, fast, and doesn’t need pages of instructions to execute.

Hence,

Brownies.

brownies

With just a lil bit of melting and mixing, brownies are usually ready to go.

Butter & chocolate melted over fire, sugar stirred in, flour folded in and voila! Very foolproof.

That’s where i was wrong.

Because the way you melt butter and chocolate, the way sugar is stirred in, affect the way your brownie turn out.

Let me try breaking it down.

Brownie recipes usually start with

Here’s an extract of the recipe I worked with

  1. Place butter and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) simmering water; stir frequently until chocolate and butter are melted, about 7 minutes. Remove bowl from heat; let cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Stir sugar into cooled chocolate mixture until combined. Whisk in eggs one at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition. Whisk in vanilla. Gently fold in flour and salt.

See the instructions in red?

That’s where this recipe deviates. Because as far as i know it, brownie recipes usually ask for the sugar to be stirred into the hot butter chocolate mixture to let it dissolve, and to create that papery thin shiny skin in brownies.

But then again, this is a Martha Stewart recipe.

She’s Martha Stewart. I am me.

Who am i to point out something Martha Stewart surely, surely can’t miss.

brownies 1

So, off i go, proceeding with the recipe as written.

But just as I suspected, the resultant brownie was just… meh…

Instead of the shiny papery crust, i got a dull cookie like crust that seemed to form a dome above the cookie. I think the crust must have risen in the oven while the rest of the brownies stayed. This dome cracks when i slice through the brownies.

Also, all that undissolved sugar also seemed to settle at the base of the brownies, thus forming another sugary crust.

So unless i must have somehow mis-understood, or mis-executed the recipe. I guess this is not the brownie i would fall back on.

So, Martha Stewart, while your recipes usually rock my world, this one, unfortunately barely caused a tremor.

Still a big fan though.

XOXO

Click here to find out more!

Fudgy Chocolate Brownies

Taken from Marthastewart.com

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan or heatproof glass dish. Line pan with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang on 2 sides. Set aside. Place butter and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) simmering water; stir frequently until chocolate and butter are melted, about 7 minutes. Remove bowl from heat; let cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Stir sugar into cooled chocolate mixture until combined. Whisk in eggs one at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition. Whisk in vanilla. Gently fold in flour and salt.
  3. Pour batter into prepared pan, and smooth top with an offset spatula. Bake until cake tester inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. Run a knife or offset spatula around the edges of the pan. Using parchment, lift brownies out of pan and onto the rack. Transfer to a cutting board; cut into 2-inch squares.

 

 

 

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9 Layer Cake

March 16, 2013 3 comments

So I have been baking too many cheesecakes.

No one complained, but I decided to give my oven a break and work the stove once in a while.

So, here i go, returning to my south east asian roots, with a steamed 9 layer cake.

Why 9 layers u ask?

Well, I am sure there must be some pretty interesting story behind it.

I tried googling, expecting to be mesmerized by some folk story explaining the layers of the cake. But nothing came up.

So i guess no one would get all tight up about the fact that my cake only had 8 layers.(OOps!).

After all, 8 is considered a lucky number amongst us, Chinese.

So here goeslapis pepe 2

This cake is mildly sweet. It relies more on the richness of the coconut milk for taste. The texture of this cake is springy (think mochi). And like mochi, it is rather sticky too.

The texture of the cake makes it possible for us to peel it layer by layer before popping it into our mouths.

Which is what I used to do as a kid.

Or as an adult.

lapis pepe

I’ve used daun suji for the green colour batter of this cake. As for the red, i had to rely on red color food dye as i didnt believe beet juice would have given such a vibrant red.

9 Layer Cake

Adapted from Nasi Lemak Lover

400ml water
70g coarse sugar (I would increase this next time as i found the cake not sweet enough)
5 pandan leaves, knotted
400ml coconut milk ( squeezed from one shredded coconut)

180g rice flour
120g tapioca flour

Daun Suji water (achieved by pounding daun suji with water and then straining it)
Method

1. Simmer water with pandan leaves for about 5 minutes, add sugar. Stir in the coconut milk
2. Add in rice flour and tapioca flour, stir to mix well. Strain the batter.
3. Grease a 7″ steam pan with a little oil. Place the pan in a steamer and steam until hot.
4. Divide batter into 2 portions.

5. Add the daun suji water into one of the portions, leaving the other portion white.

6. Take 126 grams of the white batter, and add a few drops of red coloring
5. Pour 1st layer with green batter into steam pan, and steam for 5mins over medium heat.
6. Pour 2nd layer with white batter into steam pan, and steam for 5mins.
7. Repeat until all 7 layers set. End the layer with the red batter

Another Cheesy Post

March 8, 2013 5 comments

After the Oreo Cheesecake and the Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake earlier this year, you might think that i am done with cheesecake for now. After all, it’s only the beginning of March.

But nope, i went ahead and baked two more cheesecake. Even though it’s only the beginning of March.

So that makes it four cheesecakes in less than three months.

I am such an over-achiever sometimes.

So, let’s review my achievements shall we?

JEFFY BDAY

First up,

The good old plain cheesecake with fruit toppings.

JEFFY BDAY 1

Oh, so you noticed the “Happy Birthday” sign!;)

Yup, this cake is made for my dearest, dearest friend, Jeffy.

She was my bridesmaid the day i got married.

She woke up at the ungodly hour of 3.30 A.M that day.

She broke her back picking after my crazy train of a wedding gown.

She held my bouquet, wiped my sweat, fetched me water and food.

JEFFY BDAY 2

Yes, i owed this cake to her.

So, Happy Birthday Jeff!

xoxo.

Okayyyss. so there goes one, let’s move on to the other.

The Coffee Chocolate Cheesecake

coffee chocolate cheesecake

uh-huh, uh-huh. It’s cheesecake again, with coffee and chocolate this time.

coffee chocolate cheesecake 1

\And topped with chocolate rubbles.

coffee chocolate cheesecake 2

“Why did you make another cheesecake?” you ask?

Well, no particular reason.

I just wanted a coffee cheesecake with chocolate rubbles on it.

Geez. what a cheesy post. Sorry guys, you see It’s 5.47am, and i just fed my daughter. I am going back to bed now (PS: no judging. it’s Saturday!!). nite nite peeps!

Recipe taken from Use Real Butter
Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake

crust
2 cups / 180g plain cookies
4 oz butter, melted
2 tbsp / 24g sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

plain cheesecake
24 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup / 210g sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup / 8 oz heavy cream
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean)
1 tbsp liqueur, optional, but choose what will work well with your cheesecake

chocolate espresso cheesecake
24 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup / 210g sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup / 8 oz. heavy cream
4.5 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, melted
1 tbsp espresso powder
1 tbsp boiling water
1 tbsp vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean)
1 tbsp Kahlua or coffee liqueur

Preheat oven to 350°F. Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into your preferred pan.

Set crust aside. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) and cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and alcohol and blend until smooth and creamy.[For chocolate-espresso: combine boiling water with espresso powder. Add cream, chocolate, espresso, vanilla, and Kahlua to the cream cheese batter and mix until smooth and creamy.]

Pour batter into prepared crust and tap the pan on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface

Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. If cheesecake pan is not airtight, cover bottom securely with foil before adding water. Bake 45 to 55 minuteuntil it is almost done – this can be hard to judge, but you’re looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don’t want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won’t crack on the top. After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. Once fully chilled, unmold and serve.