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Mango Orange Popsicles

Mango Orange Popsicles to cool off super hot summer afternoons!
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We made these the night before, froze them overnight, and had them the next day for an afternoon treat.

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Mango Orange Popsicle:

1/2 cup of diced, tree ripened, sweet mangoes

1 TBS orange Juice

1 cup Greek Yogurt, mixed with about 2 tbs of honey (or more to taste)

Instructions:
1. Blend mangoes with the OJ and 1/4 cup of Greek Yogurt. Spoon them to the bottom of the popsicle mold. Freeze for about 1/2 hour

2. Top with remaining Greek Yogurt, and freeze overnight

 

 

Minion Birthday Cake

October 5, 2013 4 comments

Just a short post, to flaunt my cake.

There are flaws in this cake. The straps of the goggles were falling off. Parts of the fondant was wrinkled.

But i choose to ignore them all and reach for a nearby banana.

seriously, the song was stuck to my head as i was creating this

“ba ba ba.. ba ba nana, BANANAAAH, Potato- naaahh”

 

brian's 4th bday cake 1

Happy Birthday to my nephew Brian who just turned 4!

brian's 4th bday cake 2

I hope you liked the cake auntie made for you!

brian's 4th bday cake 3

 

And I dont know how Gru creates his minions. But here’s how i created mine:

steps

Popay!!!

 

Indonesian FoodBlogger Challenge- Cassava & Yoghurt

September 25, 2013 2 comments

idfb 2

A glance at this photo wouldn’t have you guessing of the crazy that went behind making it.

This donut combines two of the most unfitting ingredients ever thought of in a challenge.

Cassava and Yogurt.

The Indonesian Foodblogger has outdone itself by challenging its members to use these two ingredients in a dish.

And if you think things couldnt get any worse, I’ve further outdone myself by choosing another fermenting component on top of my fermenting milk product (read: yogurt).

Yup, you guessed it, this donut is made from fermenting cassava.

IDFB5

While i would love to go on and on about the benefits of food that has been fermented, this donut is not it.

Because all the goodness in eating live organisms went out the window when i drowned these donuts in a pool of hot oil.

But what about the yogurt, you ask?

Well, the yogurt was sugared, egged and cooked to make pastry cream!

Oh wells, YOLO !

idfb4

So while this donut may not be the healthiest snack.I am glad I took up the challenge to combine two incomplementary product to make a mind blowing dessert.

Here’s to you, IDFB!

Donut tape Singkong (Recipe in Indonesian)

Taken from Sajian Sedap

Bahan:
300 gram tepung terigu protein tinggi
100 gram tepung terigu protein sedang
6 gram ragi instan
35 gram gula pasir
15 gram susu bubuk  (Saya pake creamer)
1/2 sendok teh baking powder
200 gram tape singkong
1 butir telur
175 ml air es
40 gram margarin
1 sendok teh garam
minyak padat untuk menggoreng

Cara membuat:

  1. Campur tepung terigu, ragi instan, gula pasir, susu bubuk, dan baking powder. Aduk rata. Tambahkan tape singkong. Uleni rata.
  2. Masukkan telur dan air es sedikit-sedikit sambil diuleni sampai kalis. Masukkan margarin dan garam. Uleni sampai elastis. Diamkan 15 menit.
  3. Kempiskan adonan. Timbang masing-masing 35 gram. Bulatkan. Diamkan 10 menit.
  4. Pipihkan adonan. Bentuk bulat lagi. Letakkan di loyang yang ditabur tipis tepung terigu. Diamkan 45 menit sampai mengembang.
  5. Goreng dalam minyak padat yang sudah dipanaskan di atas api sedang sampai matang. Dinginkan.

Yogurt Pastry Cream

  • 2 cups strawberry flavoured yogurt (Heavenly Blush)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine milk, sugar,and salt. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a simmer.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, and cornstarch. Whisking constantly, slowly pour hot-yogurt mixture into the egg-yolk mixture. Pour mixture back into saucepan, and cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until it thickens (about 2 minutes).
  3. Add the butter, and stir into the mixture. Let the mixture cool.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled. Pour into a pipping bag fitted with the longest pipping tip you can find at home.

To assemble:

Take a piece of the donut. Push the tip of the pastry cream filled pipping bag into the middle. Squeeze gently to fill the donut with the pastry cream

For the garnish, melt some hot chocolate over a double boiler. and dip the donut tops into it.

Cendol

September 21, 2013 2 comments

It’s such a shame if i were to miss this month’s Little Thumbs Up chosen theme of Pandan. Especially since i have an overgrown pandan shrub at my mini garden, outside my house.

I didn’t want to make a pandan chiffon cake. That’s a bit overdone

I wanted to make a cool refreshing cup of cendol, an Indonesian (or is it Malaysian?) dessert of coconut milk sweetened with palm sugar.

I’ve been reading a lot of blogs which contrary to our long standing beliefs, regard that coconut milk is good for you. especially when it’s served raw. Ditto for palm sugar in relation to our common out of the mill white sugar.

I didn’t have a problem with those findings. In fact, i am ecstatic. Indonesia is like a coconut depot. i can get a whole coconut for less than USD 50 cents and get:

  •  1. coconut water (another superfood),
  •  2 coconut milk,
  • 3. coconut shavings (which can be ground into coconut flour).

Talk about  making your dollar stretch!

So, back to my cendol adventure. I just had a very tiny, insignificant problem: I didnt have that fancy tool needed to make the cendol strands!

https://crustabakes.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/0f15e-images.jpg

*image taken from alatapa.blogspot.com

right, like i would let that get in the way.

So here i go, showing you a step by step pictorial on making cendol. If you’ve been following this blog, you probably noticed that i almost never do a step by step.

A good reason for that is my kitchen is like a hot mess each time i am in it.

a better reason is that i was always too lazy.

But here i am, laziness cast aside.

cendol 1

First, we snip the pandan leaves like so. Drop them into a blender and…

cendol 2

BLEND!

cendol 3

When all the leaves have been blended to pulp sized, and your water is a nice shade of green, you strain it to catch all the water, and discard the pandan leaves pulp.

cendol 4

Pour the green pandan water into your flour which is made up of hunkwee flour, rice flour, and sago flour. Whisk the mixture till well combined.

cendol 5

Restrain this flour mixture, to get rid of any lumps that might form during whisking.

Next, find the biggest cooking vessel at your home.

cendol 6

For me, it’s my giant chinese wok.

Cook over low heat while whisking till the mixture thickens like so:

cendol 7

If you have that fancy cendol tool, good for you!

If you dont, you just have to be extra creative.

cendol 8

Today i used a pipping bag.

cendol 9

Get out your oven mitt! Because you are gonna squeeze the hot pandan mixture into an awaiting bowl of ice cold water. Do not wait for the mixture to cool or it won’t gel!

Next we go to assembly.

cendol10

A nice serving of melted palm sugar (gula melaka)

cendol11

Spoon some of that cendol you just made in…

cendol12

Okay, without the cendol maker, these may be fatter than your average cendol. That’s ok. No one minds. I’m cool with it. You’re cool with it. We’re cool.

cendol14

Top with coconut milk, freshly squeezed of course.

cendol13

All the way to the top! *In my haste to taste the drink, I don’t have a picture of the finished glass of cendol with coconut milk all the way to the top.*

Pandan Water:

50 grams of Pandan Leaves snipped

325 grams of water

Blend the pandan leaves with the water till the leaves are pulped, and the water turns a nice shade of green. Strain the mixture.

The dry ingredients:

25 grams hunkwee flour (Mung Bean flour)

20 grams rice flour

5 grams sago flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 TBS sugar

Whisk the flours together. Add the sugar and salt. Stir to combine.

Pour the pandan water into the flour mixture. Give a good stir. Strain the mixture for any lumps.

Prepare a basin of ice water, ice cubes are welcome. Prepare oven mittens and a pipping bag.

Pour strained mixture into a wok. Cook over low heat till thickened

Pour it into a pipping bag. Using the oven mitts, gently squeeze the cendol into the basin of ice water.

To asemble:

1 L of Freshly squeezed coconut milk, salted with 1tsp of salt.

2 blocks of gula melaka, melted (add water if too thick).

Ladle some of the gula melaka onto an awaiting cup. Ladle some of the cendol, and top the glass with the freshly coconut milk. Enjoy at room temperature or with ice 🙂

I am submitting this post to Little Thumbs Up September – Pandan hosted by Joceline @ Butter, Flour & Me, organized by Zoe@ Bake For Happy Kids and Mui Mui @ My Little Favourites DIY.

Nigella’s Caramel Croissant Pudding

August 25, 2013 4 comments

What strikes me the most about Nigella Lawson is her beauty.

It’s almost a pity that she is hosting a cooking show instead of starring in a blockbuster movie. What a waste of pretty face, me thinks.

After watching numerous episodes of her show, I’ve come to conclude that Nigella’s style of cooking comes with a careless wanton. She is not very rigid on her measurements. It’s always a “drizzle of this” or a “handful of that”. That doesn’t sit well with me. My sense of estimation is tragically useless.

Thankfully, someone was able to convert her recipes into teaspoons, tablespoons and cups. Precise instructions are my bedrock. Without it, I am just a piece of wood drifting about cluelessly in the world of culinary.

So the recipe I’ve chosen for this month’s cook like a star , organised by Bake for Happy Kids, Joyce from Kitchen Flavours and Anuja from Simple Baking –  is Nigella’s Caramel croissant pudding.

croissant bread pudding 1

 

croissant bread pudding 3

What made this pudding stand out is the use of croissant instead of the common stale bread. This made a very soft, melt-in-your-mouth pudding texture which you barely have to chew.

So, grab a spoon and dig in!

croissant bread pudding 4

Recipe taken from Food Network.

Caramel Croissant Pudding

Ingredients

2 stale croissants
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons bourbon
1/2 cup whole milk
2 eggs, beaten

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Tear the croissants into pieces and put in a small gratin dish; I use a cast iron oval with a capacity of about 500ml/ 2 cups for this.

Put the sugar and water into a saucepan, and swirl around to help dissolve the sugar before putting the saucepan on the hob over medium to high heat. Caramelize the sugar and water mixture by letting it bubble away until it all turns a deep amber colour; this will take 3 to 5 minutes. Keep looking but don’t be too timid.

Take the pan off the heat and add the cream – ignoring all spluttering – followed by the bourbon and milk. Whisk to mix, then still whisking add the beaten eggs. Pour this quickly over the croissants and leave to steep for 10 minutes.

Place in the preheated oven for 20 minutes and prepare to swoon.

 

Caitlyn’s Sugar Free Cupcakes with Avocado Frosting

August 5, 2013 Leave a comment

I know, i know, majority of you would probably feel repulsed by yet another sugar free, gluten free baby food.

But i feel the need to post this recipe, namely because it’s a recipe I’ve developed myself.

After rounds and rounds of trial error, I’ve finally came up with a cake recipe i really loved.

A cake recipe that’s subtly sweet and soft as can be.

Considering that this is an entirely sugar free (refined/unrefined, synthetic/natural), this is quite a breakthrough. No stevia, no xylitol, or any of that fancy sweeteners was used here.

The goodness came from ripe bananas.

Cait's cupcakes

Working with my sugar free constraints, I also wanted to come up with a frosting that’s equally healthy for these cupcakes. For days, I find myself sometimes staring into blank space. I just couldn’t think of something that’s naturally sweet and is thick enough to pipe.

Then the idea hit me. avocadoes! At first I was skeptical, I didnt know whether blended avocadoes would be too watery. I also thought that avocadoes would be too tasteless as a frosting. That’s when i decided to drop in some medjool dates in. And boy, did it work like a charm! and most importanly, baby Caitlyn loves it!

 

Sugar Free, Gluten Free Chiffon cake with Avocado Date Frosting

Makes 3 of the above star shaped cupcakes

15 grams rice flour

5 grams sago flour

1 organic egg yolk

8 grams olive oil

11 grams raw almond milk

60 grams banana, mashed

1 organic egg white

Preheat oven to 170 degree celcius.

In a bowl, mix the yolk, raw almond milk, bananas, and olive oil together. Sift in the flours.

Beat the egg whites till stiff peaks.

Fold the egg whites into the banana mixture.

Pour into mold and bake till golden brown (+- 20 to 25 minutes)

Avocado Frosting

1 avocado

1 medjool date

With a blender, blend the avocado and the date together.

Using a piping bag, pipe onto cupcakes.

 

 

 

 

 

Durian Cream Puff

July 31, 2013 2 comments

Mr. Crustabakes is never one to care for diplomacy.

If i made something that didn’t appeal to his delicate taste buds, he’ll express it point blank.

He calls it “being honest”. i call it “tactless”

So when he said “I wish to eat this at least ONE more time in my life”. It was the crowning accomplishment of all my baking history.

I couldn’t believe it came from a cream puff.

durian cream puff 1

DURIAN cream puff to be exact.

I wish it were something more sophisticated, more cosmopolitan. Like a macaron.

But homeboy likes it “domestic” (He grew up in Singapore)

durian cream puff 2

Which is ironic because the durian in the filling came all the way from Thailand. I’ve splurged and bought the premier Monthong Durian which were guaranteed of its sweetness.

durian cream puff3

If you were wondering why i am making so many durian themed dessert,

It’s because i am entering my second post to July’s Aspiring baker: Tropical Spiky Month, hosted by Charmaine of Mimi Bakery House

durian cream puff

Also because i have a durian crazed husband, who loves durian in everything.

Choux Paste Recipe (makes 2)

50 ml water

32 gram butter

38 grams all purpose flour

1 egg

pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 180 degree celcius

Over the stove, heat the water and butter together till it comes to a rolling boil. Add all the flour and salt, and mix till it comes together in a dough. Set aside to cool.

Add the egg, and beat into the dough. Mix till well combined.

Put dough into pipping bag, and pipe on greased baking paper

Bake for 30 mins or till the choux turn golden brown

Cool completely before filling.

 

Durian Filling

Whipping cream 30 grams

Durian Flesh 90 grams

whip the cream till soft peaks, Add the durian flesh, and mix till well combined.

 

 

Durian Pancakes

July 29, 2013 3 comments

This dish is definitely not for the faint of heart.

Neither is it for the faint of nose.

durian pancake

 

I was folding the durian filling into this pancakes when i noticed the onset of a headache.

I thought i was imagining it. But then the hired help made a passing remark (she literally walked passed me and made the remark) “the smell of durian is making me dizzy”.

Geez, i didnt even know HOW that could be possible.

durian pancake 1

Nevertheless, headache or not, i still scarfed down three of these.

Strangely enough, eating these didn’t give me a headache.

So go figure!

PS: I am entering this to July’s aspiring baker

The theme for this month is : Tropical Spiky Month

hosted by Charmaine of MiMi Bakery House.

Thanks Charmaine for hosting!

Durian Pancake

250 gram all purpose flour

3 eggs

500 ml coconut milk (freshly squeezed)

pinch of salt

Whisk the eggs and coconut milk together. Add in the salt.

Slowly pour the coconut milk mixture into the flour

Cook it on a nonstick pan. I used about one spoon ladle for each layer of pancake.

Durian filling:

Durian flesh (+- 220 grams)

Whipping cream (70 grams)

whip the cream till soft peaks. Add the durian flesh and mix till combined

Spoon the durian flesh onto the durian pancakes and fold it like an envelope.

 

 

 

 

Cinnamon French Toast with Red Berry Sauce

July 27, 2013 2 comments

I’ve never really known how to spell “cinnamon”. I always get confused with double ‘N’s or double ‘M’s, or double both.

french toast with berry sauce 1

What i always do is, i type them in and try the different combinations till the red wriggly line, which signify a spelling error is gone. That’s on good days. Sometimes, i don’t even bother. Who cares if i spell “cinammon” wrong? I am pretty sure everyone still knows i am referring to that bark of a spice.

Nevertheless, here’s a cinnamon (Ha! I got it right @ first try) French Toast with Red Berry Sauce. I decided to make this because :

1. I’ve just made a loaf of sandwich bread, which means i could cut them up as thick as desired.

2. I’ve got spare berries lurking about in the fridge

3. I wanted to join the “cook like a star” organised by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids, Baby Sumo from Eat your heart out and Grace from Life can be simple.

Photobucket

 

The selected star for the month of July is Curtis Stone. I know him from watching snippets of “take home chef” whereby he surprises his guests going into their homes and cooking for them.

french toast with berry sauce 2

So, here’s your “berry” delicious toast Curtis. Enjoy the month of July where everyone will be flocking to your site to join the event. 😉

Cinnamon French Toast with Red Berry Sauce

Serves 4

Ingredients

Red Berry Sauce

1 6-ounce/170g package fresh blueberries
1 6-ounce/170g package fresh raspberries
1 4.4-ounce/125g package fresh blackberries
3/4 cup/180ml sugar

French Toast

6 large eggs
4 1/2-inch-thick slices brioche bread, halved diagonally
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup crème fraîche
Assorted fresh berries

Method

  1. To prepare the red berry sauce: Combine all the berries and sugar in a blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Strain the berry puree through a fine sieve, discarding the seeds, and into a small saucepan.
  3. Place the saucepan over medium-low heat and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Remove from the heat and keep warm while preparing the French toast.
  5. To prepare the French toast: Using a fork, beat the eggs in a 13×9 baking dish to blend. Place the slices of brioche in the eggs and let stand for 5 minutes, or until the eggs are absorbed, turning the brioche slices once.
  6. Melt the butter on a heavy large griddle pan over medium heat.
  7. Add the brioche slices to the hot pan and cook for about 2 minutes per side, or until golden brown on the outside and heated through.
  8. Meanwhile, stir the sugar and cinnamon on a large plate; set aside. Immediately place the hot French toast in the cinnamon-sugar and turn to coat completely.
  9. Divide the French toast among 4 serving plates.
  10. Top with a dollop of crème fraîche. Spoon the berry puree over the French toast.
  11. Scatter the fresh berries over and serve immediately.

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Meet the new popstar: Rainbow Pop!

July 24, 2013 4 comments

After my mini success with the homemade sprinkles, i was hooked.

Baby Cait is at an impressionable age where her senses and motoric skills are developing and need to be stimulated.

So when Eugenie of Eugenie kitchen came up with her Rainbow Pop, I couldnt be more delighted.

rainbow pop 1

This rainbow pop has got colors that captivate and freezing temperature to excite. And it’s made from 100%fruits with NO sugar, coloring, jello, or any other fancy shmancy.

Healthy food doesn’t have to be boring. All it takes is a little bit of time, effort and creativity.

And here’s a little “Cait comics” I made. It’s her first experience with a popsicle!

cait popsicle final 1

Rainbow Pop is made of

Watermelon Juice,

Orange Juice,

Pineapple Juice

Kiwi Juice

and Blueberry Juice

 

 

Homemade Sprinkles

July 18, 2013 3 comments

Ever since Baby Caitlyn started her solids, I’ve been really watchful of what she eats.

I go out of my way to ensure that all her meals were homemade and prepared with the freshest ingredients that were free of unecessary toxic chemicals. Yes, i am one of those pesky mothers who insist on organic produce.

I want her food to be healthy, wholesome and nourishing. I don’t want her to grow up mindlessly eating sugar laden cereal for breakfast, fast food burger and fries for lunch and takeaway pizza for dinner.

I want her to respect and enjoy food (and its preparation), the way I’m enjoying myself making meals daily for my family.

Geez, how can all the above sentences start with “I” when it’s all actually about her?

To be fair,  I (there I go again…) also dont want her to be the “weird” kid singled out at school with steamed brusselsprout in her lunch box.  I want Caitlyn to be the “cool” kid with the sprinkled chocolate bread in her lunch box.

Like so:

donut with homemade sprinkles 1

Made of icing sugar and cornstarch, this sprinkle is free of synthetic dyes, wax and whatever unpronounce-able ingredients that plague the storebought variety.

I used raspberry juice for the pink sprinkles,  and purple sweet potato for the purple one. banana chiffon with homemade sprinkles 9

I’m really excited about this. I bet i can make the whole spectrum of colors with other fruit juices and vegetables out there.

So come on, bring out the child in you and sprinkle some fun on your food!

Home made Pink sprinkle:

2 tablespoon of icing sugar

1/4 tsp of cornstarch

1 – 2  tsp of raspberry juice (strained of seeds)

Mix the ingredients together to form a thick batter of pipe-able consistency. The consistency of the batter should “sheeting” (batter should fall in sheets when lifted with spatula).

Fill your pipping bag with the batter. Cut ever so small an opening.

Pipe the batter in straight lines across a pre-greased parchment paper.

Let the piped sugar dry. It will harden as it dry

The sprinkle is ready to use.

 

 

Chocolate Bread Recipe:

This is actually a recipe for a doughnut, but instead of frying, i decided to bake it instead.

Recipe taken from Resep donut Ala Jco by Fatmah Bahalwan

A

225 grams bread flour

7 grams instant yeast

150 ml water

0.25 tsp salt

Mix the ingredients together and set aside to proof for 90 mins.

 

B:

50 gr bread flour

30 grams sugar

15 grams milk powder

30 grams shortening

1 egg yolk

Mix ingredients B together, then knead it into ingredients A.

Preheat oven to 170 degree

Continue kneading till the dough is no longer sticky and is elastic.

Set aside to rest for 10 minutes.

Shape the dough into balls and let it proof for another 30 mins

Bake at 170 degree for +- 15 mins.

When the bread is cooked and cooled, dip it into the chocolate and sprinkle the sprinkles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pink Macarons

June 26, 2013 3 comments

Said relative who recently opened a cafe wanted macarons on her menu. And again, i was tasked to experiment with recipes for both shell and filling…

So here you go!

macarons 1

I’m not exactly an expert on macarons.

macaron 4

But i hope these are good enough to display..

macaron 3

Laduree’s Macarons Framboise 
Raspberry Macarons 
Taken from Not So Humble Pie
Yields approximately 50-60 1″ cookies


Macaron shells 
275g (2 3/4 cups + 1 tbsp) ground almonds (almond flour)
250g (2 cups + 1 tbsp) confectioners (icing) sugar
210g (6 1/2) egg whites (I used fresh egg whites)
210g (1 cup + 1 tbsp) granulated sugar
a few drops red or maroon food coloring gel

To make the macaron cookies. Preheat your oven to 300°F with an oven rack in the lower third (If your cookies tend to burst, move the rack higher. If your cookies tend to brown, move the rack lower).

Combine almond flour and confectioners sugar together in a food processer and blend thoroughly. Sift the mixture through a medium gauge sifter to remove any lumps or large pieces of almond and repeat until fine.

In a large clean dry mixing bowl, beat your egg whites until foamy and then slowly add the granulated sugar beating on medium speed. Once the sugar has disolved, increase speed to medium high and beat until a thick glossy meringue forms. Add the food coloring and beat briefly to combine.

With a large flat rubber spatula, fold one third of your sifted almond/sugar into the egg whites until combined. Repeat, until you’ve added all the almond mixture. How much mixing beyond incorporation is the tricky part to describe.

If you’re used to my most recent macaron recipe, you’ll find that this recipe needs a few strokes more mixing. The batter is thicker and packs a lot of air and if you don’t deflate it during mixing your shells may have nipples or crack.

Pipe your cookies onto parchment or silicone baking mats (I used parchment and a Ateco round #11 tip) and then allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before baking.

Bake one sheet at a time for 15 minutes. To prevent hollows, I recommend snatching one cookie from the oven and breaking it open prior to removing the cookie sheet. If the insides are still overly moist or molten, leave the cookies in the oven for 1-5minutes longer until the insides are set. This will prevent the insides from collapsing during cooling and forming hollows.

Allow the cookies to cool completely on the baking sheet.

Fill the cookies with a small dollop of jam and then arrange in an air tight container. Refrigerate the cookies for a minimum of 24 hours to mature. Then bring to room temperature and serve.

Rainbow Cake

June 23, 2013 23 comments

I know, I know, rainbow cakes are ‘so yesterday’…

rainbow cake 4

But truthfully, even at its rage, where every baker, every cake shops, and every blog was speckled with at least one ‘rainbow’ item. I wasn’t tempted at the very least to make one. Mostly because of the amount of work involved. And maybe because of the amount of food coloring that went into it.

rainbow cake 7

Even now, as i sit typing this, the one slice of cake that i cut for the photos remain untouched.

rainbow cake 3 copy

So why make rainbow cake you ask?

Well you see, a close relative of mine has just opened up a cafe. She wanted rainbow cake on the menu and I was to experiment with a few recipes and decorating options.

rainbow cake

The cake had to be pretty enough to sit on her display chiller. So I decided to pipe rainbow roses around and on the cake.

rainbow cake 1

It’s a lot of work, a lot of piping bags, and a lot of bowls. But i came up with a good solution on how to minimize them. First, I tinted a good amount of buttercream YELLOW. I took my first pipping bag, and piped yellow roses on where it should be. Then i divided ALL yellow buttercream into two. Onto one bowl of my yellow buttercream, and added a few drops of red to make ORANGE. In a way, you can say that i am recycling my yellow buttercream to make orange. And when i am done with my orange roses, i added even more red coloring to make my RED buttercream.

To the second batch of yellow butter, I added drops of blue to make GREEN buttercream. Leftover green buttercream were added with more blue coloring to make BLUE buttercream. And when i am done, I took leftover RED buttercream, mix with BLUE buttercream and my final color, which is PURPLE buttercream.
Which pretty much means that instead of ending up with all 6 colors of buttercream, I was left with only leftover purple buttercream.

Geez, I hope i dont confuse you.

rainbow cake 8

Whatever the case, I hope my relative’s pastry chef has the patience of a Saint. Because if making this rainbow cake daily was one of the job descriptions, I would tender my resignation.

Rainbow Cake Recipe:

Taken from NCC Rainbows Week
SPONGE CAKE
by Hera
A:
16 egg yolks
8 egg whites
200 gram sugar
B:
160 gram AP flour
20  gr milk powder
20 gr cornflour
C
200 gr butter,melted

Red, Yellow, Orange, Blue, Green, Purple colorings

How To:
1) Beat eggs and sugar till ribbon stage
2) Sift ingredients B into a bowl. Slowly fold ingredients B onto the whisked eggs.
3) Fold in the melted butter.
4) Divide batter into 6, and add colorings into each one of them.

5) Pour each of the colored batter onto a tin measuring 20 cm in diameter.
7) Bake for 18-20 minute @ 175 °C  or till cakes are fully cooked (You can do a skewer test here)
8) When the cake layers are cool, layer each cake with the cream cheese frosting

Frosting Cream Cheese:
Bahan:
350 ml Whipping cream

250 gr Cream Cheese
110 gr icing75 gr butter unsalted
Cara:

Whip the whipping cream, set aside in the refrigerator.
Beat Cream Cheese, butter n sugar
Add Whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture and beat till well mixed.

For the buttercream frosting, i used Martha Stewart’s Swiss meringue buttercream.

Recipe can be found here

Happy Father’s Day

June 16, 2013 4 comments

Having a baby automatically adds three extra celebrations to your household. There’s the baby’s birthday, which is due next month. There is Mother’s day, which was spent unceremoniously in the mall, cause Mr. Crustabakes didn’t have a clue it was Mother’s day. And there is Father’s day.

father's day 2013

I am thrilled to have these three additional celebrations. I baked a cake for the occasion because I didn’t want to let the opportunity to celebrate ( and bake a cake) slide.

This was truly a “play it by the ear” cake. No planning was made for the cake. I just visualized Mr Crustabakes’ face and kind of go with the flow. While the eyes, nose and pink cheeks were inspired by Mr. Pringles. The blue collared shirt, spiky hair, and the day old beard are signature of Mr. Crustabakes.

Happy Father’s day, Tong!

In case you were wondering, it’s a two tiered red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting, Both tier were full fondant, with crushed oreo for “beard”

For the red velvet cake recipe:

Taken from Oprah.Com

Servings: Serves 12–16
Ingredients
  • 2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter , at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs , at room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp. liquid red food coloring
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract | Get the recipe!
  • 1 cup buttermilk , at room temperature
  • 2 tsp. distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 packages (8 ounces apiece) cream cheese , at room temperature
  • 8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter , at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar , sifted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract | Get the recipe!
  • Pinch of salt
Directions
To make cake: Preheat oven to 350°. Grease two 9″ x 2″ round cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper; grease.

Sift flour, cocoa, and salt into a bowl.

In stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat butter at low speed until creamy. Add sugar; blend on medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally, until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, mixing well after each. Scrape bowl; add food coloring and vanilla. On low speed, beat in flour mixture in thirds, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. In small bowl, stir together vinegar and baking soda. Stir into batter. Divide batter between prepared pans; spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges and turn layers out onto racks. Remove paper and flip cakes; cool completely. Freeze for 30 minutes.

To make frosting: In stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add sugar, vanilla, and salt. Blend on low speed for 30 seconds; beat on medium-high until fluffy.

To assemble: Cut layers in half horizontally with a serrated knife. Place 1 layer, cut side up, on a serving plate; spread with 1/2 cup frosting. Repeat twice. Add last layer, top side up. Ice cake thinly with 3/4 cup frosting to crumb-coat. Refrigerate 20 minutes; finish frosting.

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Cakes, Dessert

Sourdough Brownies

June 3, 2013 3 comments

Not bringing anything much to the table today. Just another sourdough discard recipe.

*hangs head in shame*

sourdough brownies2

I wasnt expecting anything extraordinary from this recipe. To me, it was just another recipe to help me save my daily sourdough discard.

sourdough brownies a

But i must say, i am pleasantly surprised at how they turned out. Dense, fudgy, and very chocolatey.

sourdough brownies 1

Just like how good brownies should be!

Sourdough Brownies

Taken from the Wild Yeast

Yield: 24 brownies (9 x 13-inch pan)

Time:

  • Mix: 10 minutes
  • Bake: 40 minutes

Final Dough Ingredients:

  • 300 g 72% cocoa (bittersweet) chocolate, chopped
  • 226 g unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 200 g sugar
  • 6 g (1 teaspoon) salt
  • 8.4 g (2 teaspoons) vanilla extract
  • 160 g (3 whole) eggs, at room temperature
  • 40 g cocoa powder
  • 220 g mature 100%-hydration sourdough starter

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325F.
  2. Butter a 9 x 13-inch metal baking pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment, and butter the parchment.
  3. In the microwave, melt together the chocolate and the butter. Check it frequently to make sure it doesn’t burn.
  4. Whisk in the sugar, salt, and vanilla.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking to combine after each addition.
  6. Sift the cocoa powder over the chocolate mixture and stir to combine.
  7. Add the starter and stir gently until it is completely incorporated.
  8. Turn the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 40 minutes, until a bamboo skewer inserted in the center come out clean.
  9. Cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then loosen the edges with a knife, invert onto parchment paper, and re-invert onto a cooling rack.
  10. When completely cool, cut into squares.

 

Another type of cheesecake

May 10, 2013 4 comments

This cake…

I don’t even know how to title it.

It has cream cheese in it.

It has white chocolate,

It has butter.

Yet it’s not exactly a cheesecake,

nor is it a buttercake,

and definitely not a blondie.

steamed cheesecake 1

Oh, and did i mention that it was steamed, not baked?

steamed cheesecake 2

But if i were to have a go at this cake,

I would say this is a cake between a sponge and a butter cake.

It’s light and soft, yet it’s “bulky”.

It’s sweet, but not sponge-cake sweet.

Its rich, but not buttery cake rich.

Oh well, whatever the case, i think it’s a pretty good cake, considering that it’s steamed.

Which brings me to another point.

Admist rising electrical bills (Having a baby really jacks up your bills!), and a full force electrical oven which drains 2200 watts each time i fire it, I decided that i should steam more often and bake less.

steamed cheesecake

So here it is!

Steamed cheesecake with white chocolate

Taken from Cake Kukus (Sedap)

(Makes 5 cupcake size)

38 grams cream cheese (double boiled till melted)

4 egg yolks

2 egg whites

63 grams sugar

1/8 tsp salt

63 gram AP flour

10 gram milk powder

1/4 tsp baking powder

50 grams butter, melted

38 grams white chocolate (melted with butter)

Beat eggs, sugar and salt till light and fluffy. Add melted cream cheese, mix till well combined.

Fold in flour, milk powder and baking powder

Add melted butter and white chocolate slowly, and fold till evenly mixed

Pour into cupcake tins that have been lined with greased baking paper.

Steam for 30 minutes or till cooked.

Indonesian Layered Cake

May 7, 2013 5 comments

I’ve recently joined a facebook group called the “Indonesian Foodblogger”

Like most groups you see on the internet, this group aims to bring together Indonesian foodbloggers around the world. It is a place where you can share or question anything food related.

To further engange its members, the Indonesian Foodblogger (IFDB) puts forward a challenge each month. And for the month of May, the theme is “layered cake”.

ifdb

However, there is a catch.

The challenge does not accept cakes that are baked, and then LAYERED with buttercream, ganache and the likes.

It accepts cakes which are layered WHILE they (the cake) is cooking..

Which pretty much means you gotta stand around, fiddling your thumbs while you pour your cake batter and watch it cook layer by layer. It involves a great deal of time.

So, i set aside an evening for it.

I carried baby Crustabakes on my hip as i started weighing my ingredients.It’s crazy, but I have developed some kind of superpower whereby i can balance baby Crustabakes on my left hip and still be completely functional with my right arm.

Like a good trade off, this cake is fairly simple to execute. A time consuming, but minimal labor kinda cake.

All you need is a simple whisk, and a lot of bowls.

Three bowls, for the three different colours on the cake.

lapis beras 1

I’ve chosen pink and green for this cake.

Because those are the colours stated in the recipe.

Also because those were the only food colorings i had at home. Yes, unfortunately, i used food coloring for this cake.

I may be functional with my right arm, but i am not THAT functional to be pounding at leaves or fruits to get natural food dye.

lapis beras

So off i go, steaming this cake, layer by layer.

8 minutes per layer.

Alternating the layers between white, green, then pink and repeating the sequence over and over again till the batter gets used up.It took a total of about 2 hours.

By the end of it, i had put baby C to sleep, took a shower, brushed my teeth and got ready for bed.

All while cooking a cake.

Talk about multi-tasking!

Lapis Beras

Loosely translated from 52 Resep Kue Berlapis

1.5 Litres coconut milk, squeezed from 2 heads of coconuts

3 blades of pandan leaves

1 tsp salt

300 gram rice flour

85 gram sago flour

300 grams granulated sugar

6 drops green food coloring

6 drops red food coloring

1. Bring to boil coconut milk, pandan leaves and salt, all the while stirring. Strain, and discard the pandan leaves. Set aside to cool.

2. Sift the rice flour, sago flour and the sugar.Slowly whisk warm (not hot) coconut milk into the flour mixture.

3. Divide the batter into 3 bowls. Drop green food coloring into one bowl. Drop red food coloring into another bowl and leave the third one white.

4.Pour 100 ml of white batter onto a greased square tin (18cm x 18cm x 7 cm). Steam for 8 minutes.

5. Pour 100 ml of green batter over the white batter, steam for 8 minutes

6. Pour 100 ml of red batter over the white batter, steam for 8 minutes.

7. Repeat the sequence of white, green and red, till all the batter gets used up.

8. For the last layer, steam for a final 30 minutes. Let cool before serving.

 

My very first Fondant Cake

May 4, 2013 5 comments

The reason why you’ve never seen a full fledged fondant cake on Crustabakes, is because i have a mortal fear of fondant.

I’ve heard all about it being sticky, and uncooperative to work with.

It cracks, it sweats, it tears, and the list of troubles goes on and on.

I’ve also never cared about its taste.

And the fact that everyone just tears out the decorative fondant after they’ve sung the birthday song and blown the candles didn’t help either. Imagine, all those endless hours shaping the fondant defunct in just a split second.

But something spurred me.

Baby Crustabake’s first birthday.

Her birthday is just in a little over more than two months.

And I would love to make something “passable” to celebrate that special day.

So today, i start practicing.

My very first full fledged fondant cake.

A simple cake with a bow of pastel colors.

bow fondant cake 1

The fondant did sweat, and it has fine “wrinkles”

I need to troubleshoot on that. It’s really a long, arduous journey ahead.

Me vs fondant.

Bread Pudding with Brown Sugar Crumbles

Using yesterday’s swirled sweet potato sandwich bread, i made this bread pudding, with brown sugar crumbles.

bread pudding with brown sugar crumbles

It’s a recipe re-visited, from HERE

bread pudding with brown sugar crumbles 2

Happy Friday everybuddy!

Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Banana Chiffon Cake

April 26, 2013 3 comments

Before you click this window shut due to its unappetizing title, let me just say that this was purely experimental.

I wanted to know whether i could beat egg whites to its “soft peak” stage (as required in chiffon making), without the use of sugar.

And if the egg white was successfully beaten till soft peaks, would it stay that way during the baking time in the oven? Would it aerate my chiffon the way it should when it is accompanied by its sugar sidekick.

So, to put it shortly,

Is sugar indispensable in chiffon making?

The answer is,

Nope!

And i’ve got proof,

banana chiffon cake 1

Here’s a banana chiffon cake, made completely without sugar. It rose VERY well,in fact i must say, it rose better than some of the sugared chiffons i made.

banana chiffon 2

So, to everyone out there who are opting the sugar-free ( to whom i offer the utmost respect and admiration ), and gluten free life

and to baby Crustabakes,

This gluten free, sugar free, chiffon cake is dedicated to you!

PS: this cake does not taste as horrible as i would have thought! In fact it’s so light, i managed to scarf down both cakes in one serving.

Sugar Free, Gluten Free Banana Chiffon Cake:

Makes 2 Cupcake size (Sorry about that, told you it was experimental)

15 gram rice flour

5 gram corn starch

5 gram oil

30 gram overripe bananas (mashed)

1 egg white

1 egg yolk

Sift the flour and the starch together.

In another bowl, mix oil and mashed bananas

Dump flour and starch onto the banana bowl, add egg yolk and mix till well combined

Beat the egg white till soft peaks (without sugar it wont be glossy, but it’s ok, it will still work)

Slowly fold in egg white to the egg yolk batter

Pour onto two cupcake cases,

Bake at 170 degree celcius for 30 mins or till fully cooked.

 

 

Minnie Mouse Themed Cake

April 26, 2013 3 comments

My sister texted me :

“Can you make a birthday cake for my friend?”

“She’s a very girly kind of girl”

“She likes pink”

“And Minnie Mouse”

 

Wokeh sista, considered it,

“done”

“done”

“done”

and, “done”!

minnie mouse cake 1

So, dear a friend of my sister, whoever you are, I hope you like the cake i made for you!

 

 

 

Pigs chillin in Mud Cake

April 8, 2013 3 comments

So i have seen quite a few versions of this cake dotting the food blogsphere. While i have no clue to the imaginative genius who came up with it, i must say that it’s absolutely adorable and cute.

And i absolutely have to make it.

So off we go with my version.  🙂

 

pigs in mud

 

pigs in mud 2

oink !

Categories: Cakes, Dessert Tags: , , , , ,

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.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake

February 23, 2013 4 comments

strawberry swirl cheesecake 1a

This cake would have been the perfect Valentine’s day Cake. But Valentine’s day this year didn’t fall on a weekend. It fell on a Thursday.

I couldn’t make a cheesecake on a weekday.

Not with the long baking hour involved.

So, I thought I would get my act together in the weekend (dates 16-17 Feb) to make this post Valentine day cake.

But nope, I waited another week. And made this cake today (23 Feb).

So here goes my post-post Valentine Day Cake.

strawberry swirl cheesecake

Hope everyone had a blast celebrating it.

Recipe taken from Use Real Butter
Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake

crust
2 cups / 180g oreo cookies without the filling
4 oz butter, melted
2 tbsp / 24g sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

strawberry swirl 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 Grand Marnier
1 cup strawberries, puréed
2 tbsps sugar

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.

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

For strawberry swirl: mix the sugar and the strawberry purée together then top the cheesecake batter with the mixture and create the swirl design by running a toothpick through 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday Sis!

February 8, 2013 8 comments

It feels G-R-E-A-T to be back to normal life. The great flood has made me appreciate things i have taken for granted in my life. Little things like clean running water, electricity, and the internet.

Water rose up to my knees in my home during the flood. Electricity was cut off. Our water tanks were contaminated with filthy flood water.

I evacuated my home on day#2 of the flood. Water level stayed stagnant for up to a week. And i know of some people and friends who didn’t evacuate their homes and stayed in their water logged homes for the entire week. I declare them as heroes.

Anyway, enough of my ramblings, Here is what i have for you today.

A pink Ombre Cake.

ombre cake 2a

A cake with piped roses of colours that gradually get darker.

Or so it was supposed to be.

Halfway pipping, i realized that i probably had too much white. Another layer of pink would have been nice.

Oh, in case you were wondering what the “happy birthday” was for, it’s for my sister.

Happy Birthday Sis!

 

Ombre Cake

Taken from Sajian Sedap

Recipe in Indonesian

Bahan-bahan/bumbu-bumbu:
15 kuning telur
9 putih telur
225 gram gula pasir halus
1/4 sendok teh garam
1/2 sendok makan emulsifier (sp/tbm)
185 gram tepung terigu protein rendah
30 gram maizena
40 gram susu bubuk
3/4 sendok teh baking powder
150 gram mentega tawar, lelehkan
75 gram white cooking chocolate, lelehkan

Pewarna Ungu

Bahan Filling:
200 gram cream cheese
100 gram mentega tawar dingin
50 gram gula tepung
175 gram white cooking chocolate, lelehkan
125 gram krim kocok

Bahan Olesan:
250 gram butter cream putih
75 gram butter cream biarkan putih
75 gram butter cream, tambahkan 3 tetes pewarna ungu 3 tetes, aduk rata
75 gram butter cream, tambahkan 7 tetes pewarna ungu
75 gram butter cream, tambahkan 15 tetes pewarna ungu
75 gram butter cream, tambahkan 1/8 sendok teh pewarna ungu
Cara membuat:

  1. Kocok kuning telur sampai kental. Sisihkan.
  2. Kocok putih telur dan garam sampai setengah mengembang. Tambahkan gula pasir halus sedikit-sedikit sambil dikocok sampai mengembang.
  3. Masukkan kocokan kuning telur dan emulsifier. Kocok hingga mengembang kembali.
  4. Tambahkan tepung terigu, susu bubuk, maizena, dan baking powder sambil diayak dan diaduk rata.
  5. Masukkan margarin leleh dan white cooking chocolate leleh sedikit-sedikit sambil diaduk perlahan.
  6. Bagi adonan 5 bagian. Adonan 1 ditambahkan 1/2 sendok makan pewarna ungu. Adonan 2 ditambahkan 3/4 sendok teh pewarna ungu. Adonan 3 ditambahkan 1/8 sendok teh pewarna ungu. Adonan 4 ditambahkan 15 tetes pewarna ungu. Adonan 5 biarkan putih.
  7. Tuang masing-masing adonan ke dalam loyang bulat diameter 20 cm tinggi 3 cm yang dioles margarin dan dialas kertas roti.
  8. Oven dengan api bawah suhu 190 derajat Celsius 20 menit sampai matang.
  9. Filling, campur cream cheese dan mentega tawar. Kocok hingga lembut. Tambahkan gula tepung dan white cooking chocolate leleh. Kocok rata. Masukkan krim sedikit-sedikit sambil dikocok perlahan. Aduk rata.
  10. Ambil selembar cake. Oleskan filling. Tumpuk dengan cake lainnya. Lakukan hal yang sama sampai habis dengan urutan warna yang paling gelap di bagian bawah.
  11. Olesan, kocok butter cream sampai lembut.
  12. Bagi 6 bagian adonan. Satu bagian biarkan putih. Sisanya ditambahkan pewarna ungu dengan warna bergradasi seperti warna cake.
  13. Tutup seluruh permukaan cake dengan butter cream putih. Semprotkan warna yang paling gelap di bagian paling bawah, bergradasi dengan warna paling muda di atasnya. (Kn)

 

 

 

 

 

Drowning sorrows in Oreo Cheesecake

January 17, 2013 7 comments

I am writing this post from a very sad sad place.

Here’s what it looks like

Penjaringan-20130117-00259

I am sure news of the great Jakarta Flood has reached international news. Trust me, it’s happening and it’s real.

I was supposed to go to work in the morning and have friends over for dinner tonight. I even baked a cheesecake for it.

That didn’t happen.

Yup, i am flooded in.

Oh wait,

work and dinner didn’t happen.

Cheesecake did.

oreo cheesecake

So while i wait for things to get back to normal.

I’ll just keep calm and eat a cheesecake.

Recipe taken from Use Real Butter
Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake

crust
2 cups / 180g oreo cookies without the filling
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

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.

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.

*note: I added crushed oreos into the batter before baking.

 

 

 

Kue Lapis Legit

January 3, 2013 9 comments

I have always shy-ed away from making kue lapis legit simply because there’s just too much on the line.

This cake is not only labour intensive, but it is also time AND capital intensive.

Why do I say so ?

The lapis legit, or the rich layer cake, is made by baking each layer individually. This means that you have to stand in front of your oven and top your baking tin with new cake batter each time the previous layer gets cooked.

It also means that you can’t pop it into the oven and run to feed your baby. You can however, bring the baby to the oven and hope she doesn’t get too cranky from hunger when her mom is hawking over the oven for her layers to bake.

Capital intensive, because it involves lots of butter and egg yolks. A 20 x 20 cm sized cake can use up to 40 egg yolks! Talk about “eggspensive”!

But when the Aspiring Bakers announced their 27th theme as Through Thick and Thin – Kue Lapis Classics. I decided to jump on the bandwagon because I know that if i let this chance slip, i might never never attempt to bake kue lapis !

So let’s take a stroll through my adventure.

lapis legit 1

Or should i call it my misadventure?

As you can see, this is not a great looking lapis legit.

1.The layers are uneven and the cake is reallly shorrttt..

I guess i only have myself to blame. I halved a recipe i found on the net thinking that i would compensate by using a smaller baking tin. Well, the tin wasn’t that small. I should have used 75% of the recipe instead.

2.The surface is all crinkly.

Can anyone help me troubleshoot this? My only guess is that i have my oven turned up too high.

lapis legit

Nevertheless, a lapis legit IS a lapis legit. I mean with that much amount of butter and egg yolks, i don’t think it can ever taste bad. This cake is really sinfully rich and delicious despite it’s appearance.

I would definitely try making this cake again, this time with more batter and lower temperature. Wish me luck !

This post is submitted to Aspiring Bakers #27 – Through Thick and Thin – Kue Lapis Classics. Do head over to Sweet Samsations to learn about it and join the layerings!

Kue Lapis Legit

by Fatmah Bahalwan

recipe HERE

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Tree Waffles

December 19, 2012 4 comments

I wish I could say this is my bright idea. but it wasn’t. I saw this on Pinterest a while ago, but somehow couldn’t find the link back to the person who came up with this.

Christmas waffle 1

But at least, i managed to replicate it.

I used pandan flavoured waffles for this.

And topped it off with a starfruit.

Happy Christmas everybuddy!

Christmas waffle

 

 

Pandan Waffles

Recipe taken from Cuisine Paradise

Ingredients:
125g All-purpose Plain Flour
50g Caster Sugar
1.5 Teaspoon Cornflour
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Egg, yolk and white separate
100ml Coconut Milk
80ml Drinking Water
1/2 – 3/4 Teaspoon Pandan Paste
30ml Salad/Vegetable Oil

Method:-

1. In a mixing bowl, whisk in coconut milk, pandan water(pandan paste mix with 80ml drinking water), oil and egg yolk till well-combined.

2. Using another bowl, sieve in all dry ingredients such as flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cornflour.

3. Next using a whisk, stir in wet ingredients into the flour mixtures till the batter is slightly lumpy and thick.(do not over mix at this stage)

4. Whisk Egg White with pinch of cream of tartar on medium speed using electric whisk till stiff peaks.(done is about 3 – 5 minutes. To test overturn the bowl and the white should remains without falling)

5. Gently fold white into the flour better till incorporate.

6. Preheat waffle iron and ladle 1 to 1.5 scoop(depending on the size of the scoop) of batter onto hot waffle iron. Cook according to the machine instruction manual until golden brown.

7. Serve hot with honey, jam, kaya, chocolate and etc.

Christmas is here! (almost)

December 8, 2012 4 comments

So i had a mini pre-christmas gathering yesterday. It was for a party of 10.

I would have loved to cook and bake myself silly. But i decided to abandon that over-ambitious idea. I decided it was almost impossible to be running back and forth from kitchen to baby’s room while food was cooking, or burning on the stove.

So i decided to bake. I decided it was less of a fire hazard for things to be baking in the oven rather than cooking on an open flame..

So here’s what we had.

1. A log cake

log cake

 

I have no inkling to the relationship between Christmas and log cakes. Why do people bake log cakes at Christmas?

I would have googled it, but really, i am too stoned right now to do anything productive.

Nevertheless, i followed cue. So, there was a log cake for my party.

2. Rudolph and Frosty

rudolph and frosty1

Now,at least,  i know about these. Rudolph, Santa’s red nosed reindeer. And of course Frosty, the snowman.

While these are not the best looking pictures around, and i am seriously contemplating not putting any post about them up. I am glad i did it. Cause I’m sure, it will be something i would love to look at down the road =)

 

 

 

 

 

Blackberry Japanese Cheesecake

November 2, 2011 13 comments

After making the Brownie Swirl Cheesecake, i had just under half a cup of cream cheese left in my fridge.
91 grams to be exact.It was pretty unnerving and I was really really itching to rid of it, but there aren’t many recipes that call for such a scant amount of cream cheese.

Then I remember the Japanese Cheesecake.

Unlike the western cheesecake, the Japanese cheesecake usually involve minimal amount of cream cheese. In fact, from the way it was made, and from its light and fluffy texture, this cake is closer to a chiffon cake rather than a cheesecake.


The Japanese cheesecake is usually subtly sweet, and rely on some kind of sweet jam for it sweetness.

I’ve used blackberry jam on this.

U can of course use other jams, (strawberry jams being most common).

Oh, you do want to be gentle when slicing into this cake. I really suggest in using a sawing motion with a serrated knife. Yes, this cake is THAT soft and delicate.

Japanese Cheesecake

I took the recipe from an Indonesian cookbook (50 Resep Cheesecake Variatif)

100 gr cream cheese (i only used 91 grams)

25 gr unsalted butter

50 gr heavy cream

1/2 tsp lemon zest

1/2 tsp juice of a lemon

40 gr cake flour

50 gr egg yolk

100 gr egg whites

1/8 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

50 gr sugar

Directions:

1. double boil cream cheese till it is soft, smooth and not lumpy. Add the butter and heavy cream. Mix well.Add the lemon zest and lemon juice.

2. Sift flour into the cream cheese mixture. Mix till combined. Add egg yolks gradually. Set aside

3. With an electric mixer, whisk egg whites with salt, cream of tartar. Gradually add the sugar, and beat till peaks form.

4. Fold in egg whites mixture to cream cheese mixture.

5. Pour into a baking tin ( my pan was 18cm x 18 cm x7). Put the baking tin into a larger tin and spoon in about 2 TBS of water into the larger tin to create a water bath.

6. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 for 50 minutes or till cooked

Midnight Black Sponge Cake

October 20, 2011 6 comments

This cake is so dark that you would mistake it as a brownie.

Except it wasnt a brownie, it’s a sponge cake, made from the pack of black glutinous rice flour that was bought wrongly. I made a chiffon cake from that flour before. It was soft, fluffy and the flour imparted an unmistakable aromatic scent into the cake.

I wanted to do something different with the flour today. So, i decided on a sponge cake.

Just based on its color, it’s apparent that this cake is very rich in flavor. The aromatic glutinous black flour  scent literally hit me smack in the face as i pulled open the oven door.

The scent hit me one more time as i took my first bite. I could feel it working  up my nose. It was as though i were inhaling the cake instead of eating it.

Taste wise, the cake was pretty good too. With just the right amount of sugar, the sweetness of this cake was subtle, without overpowering the wonderful smell from the cake.

I would love to give this cake an A and continue to rave on about it. Unfortunately, it is the texture of this cake that fell short. The cake felt rough on my tongue. Gritty almost.I suspect it’s because of the lack of liquid in the cake batter. There wasn’t water, or milk in the recipe. There was only oil.

Oh well, i guess you cant win them all!

* Note: I won’t be providing the recipe for this as i dont think it really made the cut.

Junior Brownie Swirl Cheesecake

October 17, 2011 13 comments

It seems like i have savoury  posts on my blog more than ever.

Today, i return to the familiar grounds of cakes and cookie land with this Brownie Swirl Cheesecake.

This cheesecake sits on top of a brownie crust, and has chocolate swirls on it.

And if u were wondering what those squares of brownies at the bottom of the cake are, they are brownie bites.

The brownie bites were baked from the same brownie base batter. But they were baked in a separate pan. This brownie batch is then cut into 1 inch cubes and arranged at the base of the cake (on top of the brownie base) before the cheesecake mixture gets poured in.

I hope i didnt confuse you.

But read the recipe, then you will get what i mean.

Making these brownie bites is a bit more of a work.

But it also means more brownies in the cheesecake.

 

There is a crack in my cheesecake.

I am not letting it get to me.

Instead, i blitzed a few oreo cookies and made a ring around the cake to sort of divert the attention away from the crack.

The recipe called for walnuts to make that ring. But since the cake is already yellowish brown in hue,  i thought the black oreo cookies would stand out more rather than the walnuts.

Plus, i didnt have any walnuts anyways.

Junior Brownie Swirl Cheesecake

Recipe taken from Suite 101

For the brownie crust and brownie bites:

  • 8 ounces bittersweet
  • or semisweet chocolate
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 11/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 extra-large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

For the Cheesecake:

  • three 8-ounce packages
  • cream cheese (use only full fat),
  • at room temperature
  • 11/3 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 2/3 cup heavy or whipping cream, plus 1 tablespoon for brushing
  • 2 ounces bittersweet
  • or semisweet chocolate
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

How To Make A Cheesecake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan and an 8-inch square baking pan. Line the baking pan (but not the springform) with parchment or waxed paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang over the sides. Wrap the outside of the springform with aluminum foil, covering the bottom and extending all the way up the sides.
  2. To make the brownies, melt the chocolate (page 23) with the butter and let cool. In a small bowl, combine the flour and salt. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with an electric mixer on high until light yellow and thick, about 3 minutes. With the mixer still running, gradually add the sugar, then the chocolate mixture and vanilla. Reduce the speed to low and blend in the flour mixture just until it disappears.
  3. Spread 2 cups of the batter in the springform to make the crust and the rest in the baking pan. Bake just until set around the sides, about 10 minutes for the crust and 25 minutes for the baking pan. (The centers will be slightly soft.) Let cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Leave the brownie crust in the springform. Lift the brownies out of the square pan onto a plate, using the paper hanging over the sides as handles. Cover both the crust and the square of brownies with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Cut the square of brownies with a serrated knife into 1-inch squares and set aside. Put one package of the cream cheese, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low until creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl several times. Blend in the remaining cream cheese, one package at a time, scraping down the bowl after each one. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat in the remaining 1 cup sugar, then the vanilla. Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after adding each one. Beat in the 2/3 cup of cream just until completely blended. Don’t overmix! Transfer 1 cup of the batter to a small bowl and set aside for the chocolate swirls.
  5. Cover the chocolate brownie crust in the pan with small brownie bites (12 to 16), covering as much of the crust as possible. Use only one layer of brownie bites in order to leave plenty of room for the cheesecake batter. (Eat the rest of the brownies!) Gently spoon the white batter over the brownie bites.
  6. Now make the chocolate swirls. Melt the chocolate (page 23) and stir into the reserved white batter until completely blended. Using a teaspoon, drop the chocolate batter on top of the white batter, pushing it down slightly as you go. Using a thin, pointed knife, cut through the batter a few times in a swirling “figure 8” design, just until chocolate swirls appear.
  7. Place the cake in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes about 1 inch up the sides of the springform. Bake until the edges are light golden brown and the top of the cake has golden and dark chocolate swirls, about 11/4 hours. Remove the cake from the water bath, transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for 2 hours (just walk away—don’t move it). Leave the cake in the pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until completely cold, at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.
  8. To serve, release and remove the sides of the springform, leaving the cake on the bottom of the pan. Place on a cake plate. Brush the remaining 1 tablespoon cream in a 1-inch border around the top edge of the cake (this helps keep the nuts in place). Sprinkle the walnuts over the cream, pressing the nuts down gently, making a 1-inch border around the top outside edge. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Slice with a sharp straight-edge knife, not a serrated one. Cover leftover cake and refrigerate or freeze up to 1 month.
  9. Makes one 9-inch cheesecake, about 3 inches high.

Read more at Suite101: Junior’s Brownie Swirl Cheesecake Recipe: Junior’s Cheesecake Cookbook Chocolate Fudge Brownie Cheesecake | Suite101.com http://donna-diegel.suite101.com/juniors-brownie-swirl-cheesecake-recipe-a76551#ixzz1b1FafxMG

 

Black and White Glutinous Rice Flour

October 12, 2011 6 comments

Truth be told, i had no intention to make this chiffon cake at all.

It all started when i was too lazy to head to the grocery store to buy some WHITE glutinous rice flour. And i happened to know that a friend was going to do her groceries anyway. I decided to take advantage of the situation, and asked her if she could pick it up for me.

Being a doll that she is, she came back with my glutinous rice flour.

But the black one, instead of the white.

I suppose, i could have gone to the grocery store and asked for an exchange.

But like what i said, i was too lazy to go  to the grocery store.

So i made this black glutinous rice flour chiffon cake instead.

 This chiffon cake is really popular in the Asian countries. It is soft, airy with bits of aromatic grits from the black flour.

That saved me a trip for the exchange.

But i still needed my white glutinous rice flour.

Because i wanted to make this.

This chinese dessert is known as tang yuan. They are balls of white glutinous rice dumpling boiled in a sugar syrup infused with ginger.

You can fill these dumplings as you want. But the popular ones revolve around red bean paste, ground peanut and black sesame paste.

I decided with the black sesame paste for this.

Black sesame seeds <not the afore mentioned black glutinous rice flour>, were toasted and ground, mixed with sugar and butter to form this filling.

While encasing the filling with the dumpling dough, you might want to make sure that the surface is smooth and is crack free, or they will burst open while cooking.

Hmm, black specks of  deliciously messy, ground sesame against white dough balls…

Black Glutinous Rice Flour Chiffon Cake

Taken from Ancoo Journal

4 Egg yolks
20g Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
50g Coconut cream (Kara brand)
2 tbsp Corn oil
30g Plain flour
55g Black Glutinous rice flour
1/4 tsp DA Baking powder

4 Egg whites
1/4 tsp Cream of tartar
50g Sugar

Method:
Sift plain flour, black glutinous rice flour and DA baking powder together and set aside.
Whisk egg yolks, salt and sugar together until sugar dissolved.
Mix corn oil and coconut together till combined and add to the egg yolks mixture, mix well and add flour ingredients into it and stir batter until smooth.
Whisk egg whites and cream of tartar till frothy. Gradually add in the 50g sugar and whisk till peak form.
Lower speed and slowly pour the egg yolks mixture into it. Stop machine and use a rubber spatula to fold mixture until well combined.
Pour batter into two mini moulds.
Bake at preheated oven at 160C for 25 mins and 150C for another 15 minutes.
Then switch temperature to lower grill and bake chiffon cake for another 5 minutes.
Remove chiffon cake from oven, invert mould onto table.
Allow the cake to cool completely before removing the cake from the mould.

Black Sesame Tang Yuan

Taken from Rasa Malaysia

Ingredients:

8 oz. glutinous rice (sticky rice) flour
180 ml water (3/4 cup water)
1/4 cup black sesame seeds
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 stick unsalted butter (1/4 cup or 4 tablespoons)

Ginger Syrup (姜茶):

5 cups water (reduced to 4 cups after boiling)
1 cup sugar
4 oz. old ginger (skin peeled and then lightly pounded with the flat side of a cleaver)
1/2 teaspoon sweet osmanthus (optional)
2 screwpine leaves or pandan leaves (tie them into a knot, optional)

Method:

Lightly toast the black sesame seeds over medium fire until you smell the aroma of the black sesame seeds. Please take note that the sesame seeds will start popping when they are heated, so use your lid to cover. Don’t burn the black sesame seeds; transfer them out and let cool as soon as they smell aromatic.

Use a mini food processor to grind the black sesame seeds until they become fine. Transfer the ground black sesame into a wok, add sugar and butter and stir well to form a thick paste. If they are too dry, add more butter. Dish out and let cool in the fridge. (This will make the filling easier.)

In a big bowl, mix the glutinous rice flour with water until it forms a smooth paste and no longer sticks to your hands. Divide it equally into 16-20 balls (depends how you like the size, the bigger the size, the easier it is to do the filling). Flatten each ball in your palm, and then use a pair of chopsticks to pick up some black sesame paste and lay it in the middle of the flatten ball. Fold the edge to seal the dumpling. Lightly roll it into a ball shape using both palms, very gently and delicately. Set aside.

Prepare the ginger syrup by boiling the water. Add the ginger and screwpine/pandan leaves (optional) into the water and boil for 10-15 minutes with medium heat. Add sugar and sweet osmanthus and boil for another 5 minutes. Lower heat to simmer and reduce to about 4 cups of water. Add more sugar to taste if you like.

Heat up another pot of boiling water. Drop the dumplings into the hot boiling water. As soon as they float to the top, transfer them out and into the ginger syrup. Turn off heat and serve the black sesame dumplings in a bowl immediately.

Star Studded, Caramel Walnut Cupcakes

September 28, 2011 6 comments

It’s been a while since i made cupcakes, so i thought why not?
I havent really found a vanilla cupcake recipe that i really really would fall back upon, but if my memory served me right, the Magnolia Bakery’s one wasnt too bad.

So using that as the cupcake, i have topped one with some homemade caramel and walnuts,

I havent really mastered the arts of caramel making, so i wont be posting the recipe.

This recipe seemed pretty runny when i frosted, but then again, it was also still warm. It did kinda thicken up after some time.

As for the walnuts, they were just toasted for a bit in the oven. I wanted to make candied walnuts, but got too lazy to go about doing it.

This next cupcake is for the little niece,

A star studded cupcake for the little star.

She wiped out the star gummies on this cupcake. And the frosting. 

The cupcake was pinched, crumbled and squeezed. I dont think she ate any of it. LOL

All packed up and ready to go !

Magnolia”s Vanilla Cupcake

Taken from foodnetwork.com

Ingredients

Cupcakes:

Icing:

  • Vanilla Buttercream, recipe follows

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line 2 (1/2 cup-12 capacity) muffin tins with cupcake papers.

In a small bowl, combine the flours. Set aside.

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not over beat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about 3/4 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.

Cool the cupcakes in tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

Coffee Crumb Cake with Lemon Cheesecake Filling

September 21, 2011 17 comments

I sometimes feel that butter cakes are rather plain and boring. And they are seldom their worth in calories ( we all know how much butter that goes into them, hence the name).

Sure, you can use very high quality butter to make them extra fragrant and delectable. But instead of doing that today, i have decided to use the extra money i would have spent on more expensive butter and bought some cream cheese instead.

Two slices of butter cake sandwiching a cream cheese filling.

🙂

And of course we have to mention the crumb toppings.

Crumbly crumb toppings made of butter, flour and brown sugar.

 

Boring buttercake no more!

Let’s DigIn!

Buttery Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
Recipe taken from Kitchen Lab
CAKE

1 cup (225g) butter (no substitutes)
1 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup sour cream (I used crème fraiche)
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

FILLING

2 (8 oz or 250g each) packages cream cheese, softened
1 egg yolk
1 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

TOPPING

1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup butter

Set oven to 350F (175C) with oven rack set to second-lowest position. Grease a 13 x 9-inch (or an 11 x 7-inch, baking time will need to be increased slightly). Cream butter with sugar (about 3-4 minutes), add in eggs and sour cream or crème fraiche; beat well (about another 3 minutes). In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt.Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture; beat well until combined (batter will be thick). Spread more than half of the batter in the prepared baking pan. In another bowl, cream together all filling ingredients, then carefully spread over the cake batter. Spoon the remaining cake batter over the top of the cheese mixture. Mix all topping ingredients, pinching together with fingers until the consistency is like crumbs, and sprinkle over the top. Bake for about 50-55 minutes or until middle feels set and not jiggly.

I spread Nutella on everything!

August 15, 2011 13 comments

So i like Nutella.

I like them in cookies,

i like them in brownies,

and i like them in pastries.

And  now i like them in donuts.

Chocolate hazelnut goodness piped into a piece of fluffy light deep fried dough.

It’s totally worth going to the gym for.

Speaking of which, I wonder whether most people go to the gym because they need to burn all the excess calories they ate?

Or do they go to the gym so that they can eat excess calories?

I belong to team eat first, gym later.

I will eat this, and vouch to go to the gym.

And 30 percent of the time, I deliver.

For the remaining 70 percent, i just sucked it in. Literally. I suck in my stomach.

And then i make more donuts,

this time for my niece, who loves sprinkles everything.

And like all girls her age (3), pink is her favourite crayon.

but lets not digress, for this post is dedicated to NUTELLA.

And i am not done with showing you what i’ve got.

That’s a generous spoonful of Nutella.

It took quite a bit for me not to just shovel it into my mouth.

Because i had grander plans,

And that’s to spread it on a piece of crepes

Then top it with Bananas

awesome-ness! 🙂

Mottling Bananas and Frozen Fruits

July 25, 2011 6 comments

I had a pack of strawberries in my refrigerator a few days ago. They were firm and fresh.

Besides eating them fresh alongside breakfast, lunch, dinner, and the occassional few i popped into my mouth each time i opened the fridge (That’s A LOT of strawberries judging at how often i visit the fridge btw), i had no other agendas planned for my strawberries.

I knew the window to use up these fresh strawberries was closing in on me. And before i know it, I would be feeding my trashcan with white, mossed strawberries in total remorse.

So i searched online for a strawberry recipe that would knock the socks off everyone while knocking out the chances of the impending fleece attack. But nothing screamed out at me. Nothing even whispered to me.

I chucked the strawberries into the freezer in resignation.

A few days later, i had the exact same problem.

This time, with another fruit.

Mottling bananas complete with its army of fruit flies.

Like the strawberries, i threw the bananas into the freezer, feeling incredibly grateful of this magical box where i was able to put aside my problems.

A couple days later, I bought another bunch of bananas and was faced with more of that mottling banana problem. Geez, when will i ever learn?

I yanked open the freezer door, and felt deeply unsettled with my growing frozen fruit forest AND the black speckled bananas in my hands.

I had to do something fast.

In fact, i had to do a COUPLE of things fast.

First I tackled the problem in my hands (literally).

A banana cake for my fully ripened bananas,

In case you havent already known, a banana cake is like the perfect docking place for all aging bananas.

A banana cake wouldn’t discriminate against how far along your bananas have gone.

In fact, the more spotty, freckled, and speckled your bananas are, the more precious your banana cake is because it will only get sweeter.

I’ve topped my banana cake with a bit of leftover chocolate fudge from a chocolate fudge cake i made earlier.

I dont think anyone minded. 🙂

Next up, i tackled the jungle of fruits i had in my freezer.

I heard that using frozen fruits, bananas especially, create the thickest shakes as you dispense with putting in ice cubes.

I decided to give it a whirl. In my food processor. Because i dont quite yet own a blender.

And you don’t really need a recipe for this.

I just went by feel.

A frozen banana, a handful of strawberries, and a splash of yoghurt.

PS: Pls ignore the advertorial texts on my cup. It’s a free cup from a local milk company.I havent gotten down to unpacking my usual props of plates and cups.

PPS: The strawberries at the sides are frozebitten, not fleeced with white moss. 🙂

Best Banana Cake from Dorie Greenspan Taken from Sugar and Spice

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

1  large frozen Banana

a handful of frozen strawberries

A splash of strawberry yoghurt

Icing sugar, to taste

1. Chop up the frozen bananas, strawberries.

2. Add sugar to taste

3. Add a splash of yoghurt

4. Whirl in your food processor till smooth and smoothie like

Bes

Chocolate Fudge Cake

July 22, 2011 16 comments

I needed to thank my dressmaker today.

The lady who designed my gown.

She put up with every of my whims and fancy,

and tailored with the most lovely and beautiful gown.

Photo courtesy of Edward Suhadi

See the beads on the chest?

I painstakingly chose each and everyone of them. Because somehow, i have developed this super- visual abilities. I was able to spot how some beads are larger than the others. Or how some beads have more shine to them.

I didn’t even care that the beads come from the same box

or that they are from same manufacturer.

Thank God, the patient lady designer put up with me.

She even put out her palms to collect my chosen beads, and incorporated it to the gown.

She really really deserves a cake.

If you read my previous post, you probably knew that i am still getting to know my new kitchen. Without the familiarity, i was almost afraid to bake something sensitive.

With all the beaten eggs, a sponge cake is sensitive in this point in time. I decided to forgo that and opted for the more stable chocolate butter cake.

I also knew that i wouldnt be able to refrigerate this before passing it to Patient Lady Designer. Because with the newer, smaller kitchen, was the new, even smaller refrigerator.

So unless i wanna excavate my refrigerator from its everyday residents of eggs, milk, fruits, and Reese’s PB cups just to make room for it, i needed a plan B.

Plan B was chocolate fudge, which is most perfectly malleable at room temperature.

Here’s what i did:

Dollop.

Drop another layer of cake, and dollop some more!

Smooth and frost,

Arrange a few decorational strawberries

Oh, and unless you are planning to keep this for more than a couple of days, i wouldnt really recommend refrigerating it as the fudge will harden up.

I am really hoping that Patient Lady Designer polishes this off before it had the chance to make that trip to the chiller!

Recipe:

Moist Devil’s Foodcake w Mrs Milman’s Chocolate Frosting

Categories: Cakes, Dessert Tags: , , , ,

Apple Cherry Butter Cake

July 4, 2011 12 comments

You can put a cherry on pretty much everything.

On a sundae,

on a milkshake,

in your cocktail,

in your cookies,

or for this instance, on a cake.

Don’t they just prettify ?

I have apple juice in this cake. And cherries both ON the cake and IN the cake.

Well, at least that was the intention. To have bits of cherries throughout the cake. But it seems like the Maraschinos had other plans. They all decided to go south to the bottom of the cake.

I patted the cherries dry before folding it into the batter. I sprinkled them with flour too. But neither seemed to work. I guess it must have been the batter which wasnt thick enough.

Anyways no point beating yourself about for sunken cherries. It just means you gotta dig deeper to get the good stuffs.

Or you can distract people by cutting the cake into fancy shapes, and of course, top it off with yet another cherry!

Lemon Cherry Cake

200 gr butter

125 gr caster sugar

4 eggs

200 gr AP flour

30 gr cornflour

15 gr milk powder

2 tsp baking powder

75 ml apple juice

100 gr maraschino cherries

1. Sift the AP, cornflour, milk powder and baking powder into a bowl.

2. Beat butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add the eggs gradually, making sure that each is incorporated before adding the next one.

3. Add the flour mixture alternately with the apple juice.

4. Fold in the diced cherries.

5. Pour into a pregreased and prelined 22 x 22 x4 cm baking tin.

6. Bake at 180 degree celcius for 30 minutes or till it gets cooked.

Creamy Lemon Bars

June 13, 2011 5 comments

All these while, i have only made stirred lemon curd. The type of lemon curd you labour over your stove over.

Which is quite the irony cause my competence in stove cooking is pretty much a joke at best.

So i decided to do what i do best (or at least better) and BAKE some lemon curd instead.

These are Martha Stewart’s Creamy Lemon Bars. Buttery shortbread crust with creamy lemon curd.

From the couple of lemon bars recipes featured on her site, this one stood out cause it had the additional “creamy” word in it, as opposed to just “lemon bars”.

Here’s why.

 This curd has a whole can (yes, all 14 ounces)  of condensed milk in it.  

And as opposed to just the average “lemon bars” which uses whole eggs for the curd, this “creamy lemon bars” topped them by using only the yolks, which i conclude produces a richer, thicker curd.

 

Thick, creamy curd which you can pretty much just spoon onto your plates had it not been for the crust.

And while the suggestion was to dust these with icing sugar. I decided a bit of leftover raspberry curd could join in the fun and add some needed colour to these pale beauties.

Get ready to pucker up with these two sourheaded fruits!

Creamy Lemon Bars from Martha Stewart.

Lemon Cupcakes with Pastry Cream and Raspberry Curd

June 11, 2011 9 comments

I think the local Indonesian confectioner’s sugar is not as finely grained as the rest of the world out there. Because each time i made the American Buttercream, which only involved beating the butter and sugar together, it comes out gritty.

My favourite buttercream to date is the Meringue buttercream. Sure, it is dreary and tiresome as it involves heating and beating egg whites before you add the butter in, but it’s really worth the effort in my case.

But what’s most frustrating is when i laboured over the said buttercream, fastidiously pipped them over the cupcakes,only to have them scrapped aside.

Because that’s what always happens around this health conscious household.

Ditto for frostings which involve whipped cream.

So i have decided to go on the safe road and used pastry cream for today’s cupcake frosting. If they had no qualms eating it as fillings for my Boston Cream Donuts, this pastry cream is pretty much insured from getting the brush off.

Using Martha Stewart’s pastry cream recipe, this pastry cream doesn’t even contain butter. And considering that i am using it as a frosting, this is as good as it gets. I dont think you can get any healthier than that.

Or any more boring.

So i’ve decided to jazz it up a bit.

And started off with a lemon cupcake.

With an apple corer, i decided to take a bit of the middle off,

And piped a perimeter of the pastry cream around it. A note when cooking this pastry cream though. To get that pippable consistency, i cooked the pastry cream way more than what the recipe suggested. At the end of the cooking, you should get a thick, gloopy mixture that sits (and not dissolve) when you let it fall back into your pan from your spoon.

Then i filled up the cavity I created from the apple corer with raspberry curd.

Raspberry curd. Sure, it might have a bit of butter, but definitely way lesser compared to a full fledged buttercream.

Besides, raspberries are fruits. They fall into the bottom of the food pyramid, which mandates that everyone eats more of. Which is why i created the cavity in the first place. And made sure that i filled it all the way up.

 

Lemon Cupcakes, pastry cream and raspberry curd.

That’s like sunshine on mah plate!

Of course, if for some reasons, you happen to squeeze waaaaay too many lemons for your cupcakes and have waaaaay more lemon juice sparing around, you could also make these lemon curd versions.

Like so!

Lemon Cupcakes with Pastry Cream and Raspberry (or Lemon) Curd

Lemon Cupcakes from Dash of Sass

For the cake:
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 teaspoons lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup sour cream

Directions:
– Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two muffin pans or line with paper liners. Set prepared pan aside.
– In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
– In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add sugar. Beat until light and fluffy, approximately 3 minutes.
– Beat in the whole eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, beating until fully combined before adding the next one. Wipe down the sides of the bowl between each addition.
– Once all eggs and yolks are combined, add the vanilla and lemon zest. Stir to combine.
– Add the lemon juice. Mix on low speed to combine.
– With the mixer still on low, mix in the dry ingredients in three separate additions. Between each addition of dry ingredients, add half of the sour cream. Wipe down the sides of the bowl between additions. Stir until fully combined.

– Fill each prepared muffin tin 1/2 way with lemon cake batter. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.  Rotate the pans halfway through to ensure even baking.
– Remove cupcakes to a wire cooling rack. Let cool to room temperature before serving.

Pastry Cream from Martha Stewart

Raspberry Curd from Annie’s eats

For the raspberry curd:
8 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 pint ripe raspberries or 1 12-oz. package frozen raspberries, thawed
5 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
2-3 tsp. fresh lemon juice

To make the raspberry curd, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the raspberries, egg yolks, sugar and salt, and cook, mashing the berries.  Stir frequently at first and then constantly at the end, until thickened, about 10 minutes.  Pour the mixture through a coarse strainer set over a bowl, pressing hard on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible.  Cool to room temperature; the curd will continue to thicken as it cools.  Stir in lemon juice to taste.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Lemon Curd from Martha Stewart

 

 

 

 

 

Lemon Curd, Pastry Cream Cake

June 6, 2011 13 comments

So i opened up the refrigerator this morning.

It looked like someone is hosting a tupperware home party in there.

Plastic containers and tubs were swarming my refrigerator shelves and door. All of which containing an array of leftovers from all my baking stints. Most of them were actually frostings. Cookie frostings, buttercream, jam, caramel.. you name it.

 A spring cleaning is definitely in order.

And today, spring cleaning starts with the tubs marked “pastry cream 02/06/11” and “lemon curd 27/05/11”.

And came out with this.

The lemon curd, pastry cream cake. A yellow cake sandwiching pastry cream and topped with lemon curd.

For the cake, i have used Rose Levy Berenbaum’s Favourite Sour Cream Yellow Cake which gave me the chance to use up “egg yolk 04/06/11”

Using only egg yolks without the whites, the cake came out deliciously rich and moist. But it was also tender. Mine came out a bit too tender and crumbly. I think i might have underbeaten it.

Nevertheless, this cake still played a very good host to the layer of lemon curd and buttercream. In fact, this is somewhat like your boston cream pie. With the lemon instead of the chocolate on top of course.

What i really loved about this cake is the slight tang from the lemon curd against the sweet pastry cream. It’s bright and refreshing.  And the cake provided just enough matter to make it more substantial and not too pudding-like.

And best of all, no one has to know that they are really leftovers!

Boston Cream Donuts

June 2, 2011 19 comments

While Boston Cream Pies are conventional, and Boston Cream Cupcakes are uninspiring, i was so excited when i thought i was the first one who thought of extending the Boston Cream family to donuts.

Boston Cream Donuts.

Sound good doesn’t it?

That’s when i typed the words into google and saw the deluge of recipes available from people who have done it before.

So much for thinking i was gonna be the pioneer in this.

I am not blaming the world for coming up with this earlier than me though. Cause seriously, it’s just too good to NOT think about.

True to the Boston Cream  family signature, these donuts are filled with pastry cream and topped with chocolate.

I’ve used a different recipe for the donuts. This one is pretty different. It called for the use of a new(at least to me) ingredient. The Japanese bread flour.

I am not very familiar with the ingredient, but from what i have been reading, this flour contains more protein than the usual bread flour. It results in better gluten formation, better rise and ultimately softer, super aerated donuts. In fact, when i bit into it, it feels like biting on a cloud of cotton.

And while they are probably not the healthiest snack around, they are quite “light” in the sense that you probably have to eat 2, to get full. Or maybe 7.

So if you prefer something with more bulk, these are not for you.

For me, i decided to add bulk my way. Not by the texture of the donuts, but by filling the donuts.

One was, as seen above, to fill it up with pastry cream.

And another, with peanut butter.

I’ve thinned the peanut butter with a bit of a cream, topped the tops in white chocolate, and decorated with the dark chocolate.

  Pretty good!

Doughnut Recipe

Ingredients:
DOUGH 1
* 850 Japanese ‘Komachi’ bread flour. *
* 30 gr instant yeast
* 10 gr gsalt
* 600 ml water

* You can use regular bread flour for this, just adjust  by reducing the water by  75 to 100 ml. 

DOUGH 2:
* 200 gr  Japanese ‘Komachi’ bread flour
* 10 gr salt
* 60 gr milk powder

* 125 gr sugar
* 100 gr eggs
* 125 gr shortening

 

 

Cooking Direction:
1.) Mix dough 1 with a mixer till it comes together, cover & rest for 90 minutes
2.) Mix dough 2 together. Knead dough 2 into dough one til smooth and elastic. Cover and rest for 15 mnts
3.) With a roller pin, roll the dough abt 1 cm thick. Rest for 10 mnts
4.) Cut with round cookie cutter. Rest for another 10 mnts
5.) Deep fry in low heat until it turns light golden yellow.
6.) Cool on cooling rack.

 

Pastry Cream Recipe can be found HERE

To assemble:

  1. Pipe cooled pastry cream into the cooled donuts. (I used a kitchen shear to tear an opening before jamming my pipping bag into the donut).
  2. Melt some dark chocolate and dip the tops of the filled donut
  3. Set aside to dry

Caramel Drenched Chocolate Loaf

May 13, 2011 18 comments

U know that pot of gold beneath the rainbow?

I think i may just have found it.

My very pot of molten golden caramel.

And like all basic commodity, you can pretty much apply it in anyway you fancy.

Like on a bed of lusciously dark, and almost black gold.

The good people at Wall street term “black gold” as anything ranging from coal, oil, or even coffee.

They must have unintentionally missed out on chocolate. What a shame.

But for us bakers, chocolate might be worth more than their weight in gold.   

And with this  lush chocolate cake topped with molten, sweet golden caramel.

I think we have hit a double gold mine here!

Caramel drenched Double Chocolate Loaf

Recipe taken from How sweet it is

Click HERE for recipe

Categories: Cakes, Dessert Tags: , , , ,

Coffee Cream Brownies

May 10, 2011 44 comments

Here in Crustabakes, we tend to get a little over-indulgent.

Take these brownies for instance.

They are pretty much delicious as they are. Chewy, fudgy, and moist.

But we just had to go the extra mile,

And spread some coffee flavoured buttercream. YUM!

Then, we like to go further and push the limits,

with this poured on chocolate ganache.

Chocolate brownies with coffee frostings and chocolate ganache. Can you really say no to that?

Coffee Cream Brownies

(Taken from Brownies  & bars from Taste of home )

1/2 C butter

3 Ounces chopped Chocolate

2 eggs

1 C sugar

1 tsp Vanilla extract

2/3 C All purpose Flour

1/4 tsp Baking Soda

Filling:

1 TBS whipping cream

1 tsp instant coffee granules

2 tbs butter, softened

1 C confectioner’s sugar

Glaze:

1 C ( 6 ounces ) semi sweet chocolate chips

1/3 C heavy whipping cream

1. In a microwave, melt butter and chocolate. Stir until smooth. Cool slightly. In a small bowl, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla. Stir in chocolate mixture. Combine flour and baking soda, gradually add to the chocolate mixture.

2. Spread into a greased 8 inch square baking pan. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the centre comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

3. For the filling, combine cream and coffee granules in a small bowl. Stir until the coffee is dissolved. In a small bowl, cream butter and confectioners sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in coffee mixture, spread over brownies.

4. In a small saucepan, combine chips and cream. Cook and stir over low heat until chocolate is melted and mixture is thickened. Cool slightly. Carefully spread over filling. Let stand for 30 minutes or until glaze is set. Cut into squares. Store in refrigerator.

This post has been submitted to 
Aspiring Bakers #7 – Chocolate Delight (May 2011) hosted by DG from Tested and Tasted

Cranberry Almond Yoghurt Cupcakes

May 9, 2011 14 comments

These might not be the prettiest cupcakes around,

But please, don’t let their modest appearance deceive you. For these are one of the most delicious cupcakes i have ever tasted.

I was quite surprised myself at how much i loved these cupcakes. Then i took a closer look at the recipe, and understood why the cupcakes turned out so great.

It’s quite a brilliant recipe me thinks.

For one instead of using regular sugar, these cupcakes call for icing sugar to be beaten with the butter.This results in a cake texture with the tightest crumbs and finest texture.

  

See what i mean?

Also, instead of regular milk, the recipe also call for yoghurt. And we all know how yoghurt always makes cakes so much more moist and soft. Plus i think the acidity in the yoghurt might have reacted better with the baking powder to result in a better rise in these cupcakes.

Of course, all these deductions are  just shallow observations from a home-baker and i might be gravelly wrong. I have never been professionally trained in baking and am no expert when it comes to how ingredients react with each other.

But i think i might have eaten enough cupcakes to know that these are good!!

Cranberry Almond Yoghurt Cupcakes

(Recipe from Cupcakes by Coco Kong)

110 gr butter

80 gr icing sugar

1 egg

50 gr unflavoured yoghurt

30 gr almond powder

120 gr plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

50 gr dried cranberries, chopped

1. Beat butter and sugar till smooth. Add egg in slowly before adding in the yoghurt.

2. In another bowl, sift flour, baking powder and almond powder together. Stir flour mixture into the butter mixture. Add in cranberries

3. Spoon batter into paper lined cupcake tins till they are three quarters full.

4. Bake at 150 degree celcius for 20-25 minutes, or till they are cooked.

Tres Leches Cake

May 8, 2011 18 comments

I am such a bad bad daughter. I didn’t even know that today was mother’s day until late last night. Between that and having just came back from my Singapore vacation, there was no way i could have whipped up a fancy cake to celebrate the occasion.

Nevertheless, i make do.

With this Tres Leches cake, or in English, The three milk cake. Three different types of milk that is.

Due to religious beliefs, my mom is a vegetarian. While she doesn’t eat meat, she does take in animal products like milk, cheese and even eggs. So i’ve decided to milk (no pun intended) on that with this cake.

Besides, Three milk cake, doesnt it sound enticing?

So we start off with a chiffon cake. But unlike most chiffon cakes, this cake has no oil.

NO oil? I know i know, you must be ready to condemn this cake with its predictable dry and rough texture from the lack of fats, but trust me it’s for a good cause.

But on the way to goodness, we have to first take plunges,

Plunges with a fork that is. This is to ensure even distribution in the goodness.

Next, the goodness

See, i told you there is no need to worry. Because that  dry desert of a cake is about to be inundated with a mixture of condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream.

Oh, and I’ve also added my own homemade vanilla extract into the milk mixture, just because i dont see why not.

And, make sure you get to all  parts of the cakes, the edges especially where it’s the driest.

… Don’t be shy with the pouring. I poured mine till i had a pool of milk mixture around the cake.

While the suggested frosting for this was whipped cream, i had some leftover pastry cream.

I decided to use that instead.

Yummmm, can you see how much of the milk the cake has soaked up?

Milky, moist, pudding-like cake.

And yet it still cuts well!

Have a happy Moo-ther’s Day everyone!

Tres Leches Cake, from Pioneer Woman

Recipe HERE

Categories: Cakes, Dessert Tags: , , , ,

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

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

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.

Nutella Crunch Brownies

April 15, 2011 17 comments

You know you made good when people come back for seconds right after they finished their first bars.

These brownies are one of it.

A chewy brownie base is topped with crunchy chocolate rice krispies, held together by chocolate and Nutella.You can of course use the original plain rice krispies. I used the chocolate ones to just re-inforce my excessive personality.

And having Nutella in any of your recipe is like having a latent insurance that your brownies will be in great demand. Trust me, i have done my market research.

I was half expecting the rice krispies to go soggy on me after being soaked in the Chocolate -Nutella mixture. But surprisingly, theystayed lightly crisp.

The chewy and moist brownie base was just of the right structure to support the frostings. You can lift each of these bars up without having the brownie base crumble upon you from the weight of the rice krispies frostings. Yet, they were also soft enough for your knife to slice through with the least resistance.

Like wise for the topping. I didnt refrigerate the brownies as i didnt want problems slicing through the hardened chocolate. But much to my delight, the frosting did set and dry on its own at room temperature resulting in a semi-soft, truffle-like consistency with crunchy bits from the rice krispies.

And i do love a good, dry chocolate surface. They are not as messy and you can easily stack them up together for storage. Not that these would be in storage for long though.

Nutella Crunch Brownies

Recipe taken from Pastry Chef’s Baking 

*(I scaled downthe recipe to fit an 8×8 baking tin in red)

5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled – 84 grams
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened – 102 grams,
1 ¾ cups sugar – 210 grams
3 eggs – 1 large egg + 1 yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour – 75 grams
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional) – omitted
 
Nutella Crunch Topping
1 ½ cups semisweet chocolate chips – 152 grams dark chocolate
1 cup Nutella – 135 grams
1 tablespoon unsalted butter – 9 grams
1 ½ cups crispy rice cereal – 1 C
1.  Preheat the oven to 350⁰F.  Grease a 9 x 13 x 2  (8x8x4)inch pan or line with foil and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
2.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the melted chocolate and butter and stir until smooth.  Add the sugar and stir with a wooden spoon until well blended. (I double boiled to melt both chocolate and butter)
 Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well.  Mix in the flour and nuts, if using, and stir.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
3.  Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the edges appear to be set (the center should still be soft).  Do not overbake.
4.  While the brownies are baking, place the chocolate chips, nutella, and butter in a medium saucepan.  Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until melted.  Remove from heat, add the cereal and mix well.  Allow this to cool for 3 minutes or so.  Spread the mixture evenly over the brownies once they’re baked.  Refrigerate until chilled before cutting. (didnt refrigerate)

Nuts and Seeds Torrones

April 14, 2011 19 comments

Never in a million years would i think that i would attempt making something like this,

A chewy vanilla nougat of egg whites and sugar, holding together a medley of nuts, seeds and dried fruits.

Also known as Torrone, this candy can trace its origins to its Italian roots.I know i am being severely out of season here by making this right smack in the middle of April, because these holiday candies are usually served around Christmas.

 It’s okay though, these can be my personal Easter candies.

I came across a bakery selling these nougats a few months ago, and have been breaking the bank buying them regularly to get my sugar-nut fix. Despite that, i wasn’t anywhere near to attempting them as i have heard numerous sticky messes that these candies brought upon its creator. Especially if they came unarmed with edible wafer papers. 

You can’t really serve these torrones without its wafer clothing, cause they will never get out of the pan, and they will probably stick to any and every surface they meet.

Despite all those warnings, this unwafered creator was unwavered.

Actually, my turning point came when i received a bag of salted almonds. I cant think of anything better to use these almonds up. Moreover, what’s a few egg whites and sugar in comparison to the bank breaking nougats i have been buying for months anyways?

So i rolled up my sleeves and gathered my hair in a tight ponytail ( pls do this, the last thing you want is gooey egg whites getting in your hair) and braced myself for the rocky road ahead.

 

As mentioned, I couldn’t find any of the edible papers which traditionally cover the surfaces of the torrones. So, i’ve decided on a coat of white chocolate, melted and spread on a pre-greased and pre-lined tin.

You want to have the base of your lining with overhang too. Mine was stretched all the way to cover the walls of the tin. This makes the torrone to be pulled out easily.

Over the white chocolate, you pile on the cooked torrone complete with its nutty company.

I would gladly have taken pictures of the process of heating up the sugar and egg whites here. But really, the window of temperature at which the cooking sugar should be poured into the egg whites is so critical that i couldn’t really afford to have my attention diverted to my camera.

But i can at least show you my nuts (no pun intended), can i?

A jumble of confused salted almonds, pistaschios, sunflower and pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries all thrown together.

Next, you want to cut out a piece of parchment, the size of the tin base and spread some melted white chocolate on it.

By placing this facedown over your torrone, this will act as the top “clothing” layer.

You then chill the whole tin for a bit for the chocolate to harden, then you can peel you parchment like so

Lift the torrone by its overhang,

And cut into bars

That wasnt too bad was it?

Did i convince you yet?

So go on, make this Christmas favourite on Easter,

Nuts and Seeds Torrones

1/2 C sugar

1/4 C + 1.5 TBS Corn Syrup

1/4 C Water

Pinch of Salt

1 Egg White

1 TBS Vanilla extract

1.5 C of Mixed Seeds, Nuts, and Dried Fruits 

Some white chocolate, melted

Grease your tin (I used an 8×3 ) lightly with cooking oil and line the base of your tin with at least two of the sides extended (You will use this to pull out your torrone).

Melt some white chocolate and spread it over the pre-lined base

Combine sugar, corn syrup , water and salt in a saucepan, and cook over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally, till sugar dissolves. Attach a candy thermometer at the side of the pan, and let the sugar boil away without stirring till it reaches a temperature of 315 F.

While waiting for the sugar to come to temperature, put the egg white in a clean bowl.

With an electric mixer, whisk your egg white on medium speed till it reaches a stiff peak but not dry consistency.

When the sugar reaches 315F ( I waited for the sugar temperature to reach 290 F before i started whisking my egg white. Whisked egg white which has been left too long will separate), pour  the sugar mixture into the egg white while whisking continuously.

Continue beating the mixture till it gets heavy and gloopy and the bowl gets cool to the touch. Beat in the vanilla extract. Scrape the sides of the bowl and pour in the nuts and seeds. Mix till well combined.

Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin with the chocolate base (Do this quickly, the egg whites hardens further as it cools). Spread the mixture evenly across the tin. Set aside.

Cut out a piece of parchment the exact same size as the base of the tin. Spread some melted white chocolate over it and place it face down into the tin, over the torrone.Press the parchment down making sure that every of the torrone surface makes contact with the chocolate.

Chill in the refrigerator till chocolate hardens. Lift up the torrone from the tin.

Cut into bars and enjoy!

Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Malted Whooper Drops

April 7, 2011 12 comments

I am sorry for the back to back post on malt/whooper cookies.

But you know the thing with malt powder and humidity? They don’t react too well with each other. They form these lumpy nuggets after a while.

I guess i could have fixed it with a tight, air and water-proof cannister. But i just didn’t have spare empty ones hanging around. So please bear with me as i try to use up my box of Ovaltine.

So anyways, today’s menu is Chocolate Malted Whooper Drops.

That’s a long name, but i am sure you can figure it out.

A drop cookie with malt and cocoa powder,

and topped with chocolate chunks and whoopers.

Oh, and cocoa and malt powder?

They work! They impart such a wonderful smoky, rich flavour in these cookies. I am tempted to introduce malt and chocolate as the next dynamic duo, right next to peanut butter and chocolate.

I would describe these cookies as cakey, but since they are generously horded with an army of big, boxy chocolate chunks, it’s inevitable that each bite was accompanied by something moist and fudgy.

Who can resist to that?

My mind subconsciously reached for them as i was trying to take pictures. I think i must have eaten at least, 3, or maybe 5 or 6, cause at the end of the photoshoot, i was feeling uncannily full.

 i have also planted my chopped malted milk balls onto each individual unbaked cookie dough drops, instead of mixing them into the cookie batter. Combining them into the batter makes them disappear, and i think i much prefer them to be visible.

Chocolate Malted Whopper Drops

(Taken from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen)

Ingredients:
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup malted milk powder
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick plus 3 tbsp butter (11 tablespoons), at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups (6 ounces) Whoppers, coarsely chopped
  • 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, malted milk powder, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until thoroughly combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla until combined. Add half of the dry ingredients and beat at low speed just until combined. Mix in the milk, then the remaining dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. With the mixer on low, mix in the malted milk balls and chopped chocolate.
  4. Drop the dough by rounded tablespoonfuls on to the sheets, leaving about 2 inches of space between each. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Let the cookies rest for 2 minutes before using a wide metal spatula to transfer them to the racks to cool to room temperature.

Zebra Cake

April 5, 2011 28 comments

Zebra cakes are very much like the more commonly seen swirled cake. In both cases,  two toned batters, usually chocolate and vanilla meet, mingle, and became best friends.

 

 The only difference between the zebra and the swirled cake,  is in how the two best friends hooked up.

In swirled cakes, the two batters meet spontaneously. They interact carelessly with each other, creating a swirly effect that was haphazard and unpredictable. The resultant effect is no less pretty than the zebra cake, that is of course considering the swirler is not me competent enough for the job.

The pattern in the zebra on the other hand, is more structured. The batters are poured alternately in specific amounts to get that orderly, systematic zebra-ish pattern.  The kind of methodical operation that is not exactly in my blood. Geez, my own handwriting is barely legible.

Anyways, back to the cake,

To check for done-ness,

Ah, good ole’ skewer test. Where would we be without it?

Whistling clean, just the way i like it 🙂

You couldn’t imagine how excited i was to slice through this cake. This is one of the incidents where the real thing couldn’t quite compare to the spoof. I dont remember being this excited to see the authentic zebra horse on my first trip to the zoo.

Moment of truth time. 

Honestly, i wasn’t very much impressed. This is definitely one of the prettiest zebras in the stable. Too much black, too little white. Too little spacing between the black and white. Plus the swirls are kinda squiggly.

Oh wells, let me claim the customary “A” for the effort at the very least.

So let’s get horsing around!

Zebra Cake

(Taken from AJ’s Cooking Secrets)

Ingredients
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup (8 oz / 250 g) granulated sugar
1 cup (8 fl oz / 250 ml) milk, at room temperature
1 cup (8 fl oz / 250 ml) oil (corn, vegetable or canola)
2 cups (10 oz / 300 g) all-purpose flour
1/3 teaspoon vanilla powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs and sugar. Using a hand-held electric mixer or wire whisk beat until the mixture is creamy and light in color

3. Add milk and oil, and continue beating until well blended.

4. In a separate bowl, combine and mix flour, vanilla powder and baking powder. Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and beat just until the batter is smooth and the dry ingredients are
thoroughly incorporated. (DO NOT OVERBEAT to prevent air pockets from forming in the batter.

5. Divide the mixture into 2 equal portions. Keep one portion plain. Add cocoa powder into another and mix well.

6. Lightly grease the pan with oil. If you don’t have non-stick baking pan, grease whatever pan you have then line it with parchment paper (baking paper).

7. The most important part is assembling the cake batter in a baking pan. This is what you do. Scoop 3 heaped tablespoons of plain batter (you can also use a ladle that would hold 3 tablespoons) into the middle of the baking pan. Then scoop 3 tablespoons of cocoa batter and pour it in the center on top of the plain batter. IMPORTANT! Do not stop and wait until the previous batter spreads – KEEP GOING! Do not spread the batter or tilt the pan to distribute the mixture. It will spread by itself and fill the pan gradually. Continue alternating the batters until you finish them.

8. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes. Do not open the oven door at least the first 20 minutes or the cake will shrink and will not rise. To check if the cake is ready, insert a toothpick into the center. It should come out clean when ready. Remove from the oven. Immediately run a small thin knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the cake, then invert the cake onto a cooking rack. Turn the cake back over and let cool. You can sprinkle the top of the cake with some powdered (confectioner’s) sugar or leave it plain.

Cappuccino Meringue Cookies

April 3, 2011 11 comments

I gotta be honest with these,

While they look cute as buttons, these Cappuccino Meringue Cookies  didnt exactly rock my world.

Because in my opinion, although the cookies were aromatic enough with cappuccino powder in it, they didn’t have the melt-in-your-mouth butter cookies texture.

They were the type of  cookies your mom would force upon you to keep your tummy filled rather than the fancy soft baked, chocolate chip studded ones that would satisfy your sweet tooth. These are practical sturdy cookies.

Thank goodness for the meringue filling – sweet egg whites beaten senseless with sugar. It was really the lifesaver for the cookies.

The recipe even foresaw our pain in the messiness involved in most frosted cookies, be it sandwiched or as a topping. It was sharp enough to include the extra step of baking the filled cookies to dry out the meringue.

Just so you can stack them up, roll them around or shake them about in the cookie jar and they will still look as perfect.

Speaking of cookie jars, i thought these would be one of those cookies which would last forever (and ever) in the cookie jar. I thought i would have the problem ridding these cookies before they eventually stale and meet the trashcan.

Thank goodness i have a brother, a true problem solver.

He emptied the cookie jar, in one sitting. I think he must be really hungry.

Or maybe these cookies werent really that bad, and i was just being a demanding nitpicker.

Cappuccino Meringue Cookies

Taken from a free Cookie insert from Saji (an Indonesian food magazine)

150 gr Margarine (I used Butter)

100 gr Icing Sugar

1 Egg White

1 Sachet (25 grams) Cappuccino premix powder, dissolved in 1 TBS hot water (set aside to cool)

225 gr AP

25 gr CornFlour

1/2 tsp Baking Powder

Meringue Filling

1 Egg White

150 gr Icing Sugar

1/4 tsp Lemon Juice (I omitted this)

20 gr Chocolate Rice

Directions:

For the Cookies

1. Beat margarine and icing sugar till creamy (about 1 min). Add the egg yolk and the dissolved cappuccino mixture. Beat till well oombined

2. Sift in the AP, cornflour and baking powder. Mix till just combined.

3. Roll cookie dough into 1 inch sized balls, then flatten them with a fork on a pre-lined and greased baking sheet.

4.  Bake at 150 degree Celcius (not F) till they get cooked (about 25 mins). Set aside to cool

5. Take a piece of the cookie, frost it with the meringue filling and stack another cookie over the filling.

6. Bake the sandwiched cookie in the oven for another 3 mins or till the meringue dries.

For the Meringue Filling

1. Beat the egg white till it forms soft peaks. Gradually add the icing sugar and beat till it gets really thick. Add in the lemon juice, and beat till they are well combined. Fold in the chocolate rice.

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

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!

 

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.

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.

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: , , ,

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.

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.

PoppyChow and CrackerJack

February 26, 2011 5 comments

I first saw poppychow at Michelle’s at Brown Eyed Baker. Looking at their images, i couldn’t really put a finger as to what they are exactly.

It was only after reading the description that i got interested.

Very interested.

These are actually Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn sprinkled and dredged in icing sugar.

I can’t find anything i didn’t like about that description.

Basically peanut butter and chocolate are melted before it is poured over the popcorn, then it gets refrigerated to set.YUMM

And of course, since i am making popcorn anyways, i cant be leaving out the classic Caramel popcorns (Also taken from Brown Eyed Baker).

Ah yess, sweet popcorn of golden hues. These popcorns are drenched in caramel brown sugar and then sent to the oven to dry out and to let the caramel set further so we have less of that sticky, gooey of a mess (not that they are not delicious of course).

So what’s the verdict on these two?

I think i am loving poppychow more than crackerjack this time. But then again, Poppychow is not as travel friendly as Cracker Jack. The chocolate and peanut butter gets melty and sticky in tropical room temperature Indonesia, but straight off the fridge, they are totally delish!


Chocolate & Peanut Butter Popcorn {Poppy Chow}

(Taken from Brown Eyed Baker)

Yield: About 8 to 10 servings (possibly more if you’re not chocolate/pb obsessed like me)

Prep Time: 25 minutes

9 cups plain popcorn
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup creamy peanut butter
¼ cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups powdered sugar

1. Put the popcorn in a very large bowl.

2. In a microwave (at 50% power) or over a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter until melted and smooth. Stir in the vanilla.

3. Pour the chocolate mixture all over the popcorn. Using a large spoon, stir until all of the popcorn is evenly coated with the chocolate/peanut butter mixture.

4. Sift the powdered sugar over the chocolate-covered popcorn and stir until each piece is evenly coated. Spread the mixture out onto a baking sheet and place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes or until the chocolate is set.

5. Break it up and serve! Store leftovers in an airtight container.

Homemade Cracker Jack

(Taken from Brown Eyed Baker)

Yield: About 10 cups of popcorn

Prep Time: 20 minutes | Bake Time: 1 hour

10 cups of freshly-popped popcorn (or 3.5-oz bag of microwave popcorn, plain)
1 cup light brown sugar
¼ cup light corn syrup
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons water
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup lightly salted peanuts

1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

2. Pop the popcorn. Coat a large mixing bowl with nonstick cooking spray, and then transfer the popcorn to the bowl; set aside.

3. In a small saucepan, whisk together the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, salt and water, and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Continue to simmer, stirring often, until the mixture reaches 250 degrees F on a candy thermometer, about 3 to 5 minutes.

4. Turn off the heat, and whisk in the vanilla and baking soda. Immediately pour the hot mixture over the popcorn. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the caramel into the popcorn until all of the popcorn is coated. Gently stir in the peanuts, and transfer the mixture to the prepared baking sheet, spreading it out.

5. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, and cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Gently break up the popcorn. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Peanut Butter Crispy Bars

February 20, 2011 14 comments

I chose this recipe because of two reasons. One, because it combines the celebrated chocolate and peanut butter duo, and two, because this is one of the rare rice krispies recipe which doesn’t list marshmallows as one of its ingredients.

Don’t get me wrong, I love marshmallows and totally luxuriate myself in smores and other marshy treats, but marshmallows are really hard to come by here in Indonesia, and like its texture, are plushy-priced.

Of course, the absence of the all important marshmallow mean that u gotta compensate in some other ways. For this recipe, it’s to dig out your candy thermometer and cook sugar *gasp* till it reached the soft ball stage. I suppose this was done to replicate that sticky, gooey marshmallow property that holds the rice krispies together.

As if chocolate ganache over chocolate peanut butter mixture isn’t enough, i had this prodigal idea to substitute rice krispies to cocoa puffs, the chocolate version of the rice bubbles.

Yes, i can be over-indulgent sometimes, but trust me, it’s totally worth it.

So after all that, what’s the verdict of this dessert anyways?

This treat really deserves all the love it can get. The rice krispies (or cocoa puffs) managed to stay crispy after being drenched in all that peanut butter. And that contradictory crispy crunch against the smooth, silky peanut butter and chocolate ganache is such a tease to the palate.

The only thing i might add on to this is that sprinkle of sea salt over the ganache. Amen.

(Taken from Christina of Sweet Pea’s Kitchen)

  • 1 3/4 cups crisped rice cereal
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 5 ounces milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 ounces dark chocolate (60% to 72% percent cacao), coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon light corn syrup
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
Directions:
  1. Lightly spray a paper towel with nonstick cooking spray and use it to rub the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan.
  2. Put the cereal in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Pour 1/4 cup water into a small saucepan. Gently add the sugar and corn syrup (do not let any sugar or syrup get on the sides of the pan) and use a small wooden spoon to stir the mixture until just combined. Put a candy thermometer in the saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat and bring to a boil; cook until the mixture reaches the soft ball stage, 235 degrees F.
  4. Remove from the heat, stir in the butter, and pour the mixture over the cereal. Working quickly, stir until the cereal is thoroughly coated, then pour it into the prepared pan. Using your hands, press the mixture into the bottom of the pan (do not press up the sides). Let the crust cool to room temperature while you make the next layer.
  5. In a large nonreactive metal bowl, stir together the chocolate and the peanut butter. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and cook, stirring with a rubber spatula, until the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl from the pan and stir for about 30 seconds to cool slightly. Pour the mixture over the cooled crust. Put the pan in the refrigerator for 1 hour, or until the top layer hardens.
  6. In a large nonreactive metal bowl, combine the chocolate, corn syrup, and butter.
  7. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and cook, stirring with a rubber spatula, until the mixture is completely smooth. Remove the bowl from the pan and stir for 30 seconds to cool slightly. Pour the mixture over the chilled milk chocolate peanut butter layer and spread into an even layer. Put the pan into the refrigerator for 1 hour or until the topping hardens.
  8. Cut into squares and serve. The bars can be stored in the refrigerator, covered tightly, for up to 4 days.

Of Clafoutis and Flaugnarde

February 17, 2011 14 comments

To be completely honest with you, both of these words “clafoutis” and “flaugnarde” are very alien to me. But i’ve seen them around the web, to know that they are baked custards with various fruits in them.

The more common of the two, is the cherry clafoutis. The term “clafoutis” is exclusive to this French dessert only when the fruit contained in it are cherries.

This guy here for example is a cherry clafoutis, and traditionally the cherries are submerged into the custard batter whole, with pits and all. The pits are supposed to impart a stronger cherry flavour into the batter.

Also, traditionally, this dish is served with a generous sift of icing sugar, yeah, i got no prob with that.

So what about flaugnarde?

Flaugnarde is the name used when the fruits used in this dessert are NOT cherries,

This guy here for example is a blueberry flaugnarde. They are still of the same flan batter though, just different fruits, and different names.

and, let’s not forget the signature icing sugar dusting 😛

 

So what’s the verdict on Clafoutis and Flaugnarde? or of cherries and blueberries?

Well, truthfully, i have never tasted this dessert before, and i don’t know exactly how they are supposed to taste.

But i think i might have overbaked mine, cause mine were like pancakes, the custard was too set and there was nothing soft and custardy about this dessert.

But then again, that might be how this dessert is supposed to be. That they are firm and are able to be cut through cleanly, cause after all, unlike flan, there is flour within the recipe.

Anyone?

Cherry Clafoutis

Recipe taken from Wendyinkk

65gm whipping cream
35gm milk
½ empty vanilla pod (I always keep the scraped pods for times where only a little bit of vanilla is needed), or use 1/8 of a unscraped pod
17gm or 1 ½ Tbsp sugar
1 egg
23gm or 3 Tbsp all purpose flour (sift before measure)
1 tsp Grand Marnier or Kirsch(optional)
A few fresh cherries, pitted or unpitted.
Icing sugar for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 160/180C
2. Heat milk, cream and empty vanilla pod into a small saucepan and bring to boil on the lowest heat. Put in sugar to melt. Set it aside to cool down.
3. Meanwhile, beat the egg in a bowl.
4. Fish out the vanilla pods and pour the cream mixture into the egg. Whisk to combine.
5. Put in flour and whisk to combine.
6. Put in liquer and stir.
7. Pour into a shallow baking dish. (no need to grease, it comes off nicely)
8. Put in pitted cherries and bake for 30 minutes until surface of the clafoutis is golden.
9. Dust with icing sugar.

 

 

 

 

 

Strawberry Charlotte

February 16, 2011 21 comments

I’ve always thought Charlotte cakes as being charming and very impressive looking. In fact, they were so majestic looking that i was always intimidated to attempt making one.

Most of the Charlottes i’ve seen have a ring of sponge fingers around them. I have never made sponge fingers before, and i was pretty damn sure that i will screw it up somehow. The batter involved the delicate folding of temperamental egg whites into egg yolks and flour. This batter is then piped into slug-like shapes before being sent to bake. I wanted my slugs to be uniformly fat and stunted in height, so i drew guiding lines across my parchment to make sure that happens (that’s quite anal, i know).

What i didnt know was how these sponge fingers would puff. My gang of slugs grew from fat to obese.  Well, that’s all right i guess, since they all managed to puff consistently, which meant that i still will have my crown of sponge fingers in a standard size and height.

Next came the mousse, the original recipe from Annie’s eats called for raspberry and blackberry mousse. I didn’t have any of these fruits on hands, plus they are real expensive here in Indonesia. So i subbed them with the more readily available (and cheaper) strawberries.

The recipe was also designed to make 4 to 5 mini charlottes, again i didn’t have mini charlotte molds, so i had to content myself with making a huge one instead.

I then decorated the top of the mousse with a medley of fresh cherries, blueberries and strawberries.

aaah, I love working with fresh gorgeous fruits, especially when they are of vibrant bold colours. They just made everything so much prettier.

Truth be told, i haven’t had a chance to taste this yet. I wanted to, but i haven’t really had the heart to slice into it yet. But rest assured, i did taste the sponge fingers, and the mousse individually before they were assembled and they tasted pretty damn good!! 🙂

Individual Berry Charlottes
(Taken from Annie’s eats )

Yield: 4-5 individual charlottes
Ingredients:

For the ladyfingers:
3 large eggs, separated
½ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted, plus more for sprinkling
1/3 cup granulated sugar
½ cup all-purpose flour

For the blackberry mousse:
½ cup strained blackberry puree
2 tsp. granulated sugar
½ tsp. gelatin
1½ tsp. cold water
½ cup heavy cream

For the raspberry mousse:
½ cup strained raspberry puree
2 tsp. granulated sugar
½ tsp. gelatin
1½ tsp. cold water
½ cup heavy cream

Fresh berries, for serving

Directions:
To make the lady fingers, place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Beat on medium-high speed until foamy.  Gradually add the sifted confectioners’ sugar, and continue whipping the egg whites until a stiff, glossy meringue forms.  Transfer the meringue mixture to a medium mixing bowl.  In the empty mixer bowl, now fitted with the flat beater, combine the egg yolks and granulated sugar.  Beat on medium speed until thick and pale yellow.  With a spatula, fold the egg yolk mixture into the meringue until smooth and blended, taking care not to deflate the egg whites.  Gently fold in the flour until no streaks remain.

Preheat the oven to 375˚ F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.  Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a plain round tip.  Pipe the ladyfingers onto the prepared baking pans, about 3 inches long and 1 inch wide.  Additionally, pipe small rounds for the bases of the charlottes (about 2½-3 inches in diameter).  Sprinkle additional confectioners’ sugar over the piped ladyfingers.  Bake until light golden, about 10 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking.  Let cool on the pans 10-15 minutes, then remove the ladyfingers and cake bases to a wire rack to cool completely.  (Yield: approximately 36 ladyfingers plus 4 cake bases)

To make the blackberry mousse, combine the blackberry puree and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil.  While the mixture is heating, combine the gelatin and water in a small bowl to soften.  Once the fruit puree reaches a boil, remove from the heat.  Stir in the softened gelatin mixture.  Let cool to room temperature.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form (be careful not to overbeat!)  With a spatula, gently fold in the fruit puree until well mixed and no streaks remain.

To assemble the charlottes, place a cake disk inside the bottom of each 3-inch ring mold on a flat plate or baking sheet.

Line the edges of the mold with upright ladyfingers, flat sides facing toward the center.

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip with the raspberry mousse.  Pipe a layer of the mousse into the center of the charlottes, leaving at least ½-inch of exposed ladyfingers to act as a rim for the berry topping.  Transfer the charlottes to the refrigerator to chill the mousse until ready to serve.

Before serving, gently remove the ring molds from the charlottes.  Tie a decorative bow around the outside of each cake.  Top with fresh berries and serve chilled.

Valentine LoveBug

February 14, 2011 20 comments

 

I was bugged when i saw these Valentine’s lovebugs at Wing-it vegan. They just wouldn’t stay off my mind. River made them so adorable and cute that i just had to adopt these bugs for myself.

I tried to re-create them at home. They weren’t as cute as the ones River made of course, but i am still pretty happy about it.

And u can pretty much apply them to however you deem fit,

I’ve placed mine on cupcakes, and strewn plenty of love into it with these cute valentine’s sprinkles

So let the lovebugs loose and spread a little love this Valentine’s

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

 

oh, and do head over to Wing-it Vegan. She has a very helpful step by step instruction on how to go about making these. 🙂

Peanut Butter Blondies with White Chocolate Chunks

February 11, 2011 7 comments

Truth be told, i am not a big fan of peanut butter solo. Eaten alone, i think peanut butter is just way too thick and rich. Sure, it can be aromatic and full of flavour, but somehow,i think it just tastes better when it is paired with something else. And i am guessing that why Peanut Butter Jelly and Peanut Butter Cups  are so popular.

So while it is typical and almost customary to pair peanut butter and dark or milk chocolate, the recipe for this drifted slightly and used white chocolate. I mean, this is after all a blondie, and i think there is some unspoken rule about blondies not allowing for dark or milk chocolate in its list of ingredients.

So, while peanut butter and white chocolate sounds like a duo on its way to reaching dynamicity, another ingredient in the list gave me the extra spur to attempt this blondie, – the brown sugar.

And my intuition was spot on, and i think i have to owe it to that brown sugar for that extra rich, moist and delicious blondie.

So while it’s a well known fact that chocolate and peanut butter form the dynamic duo, i think chocolate, peanut butter and brown sugar might have formed the terrific trio!

Ingredients

taken from UK TV.CO.UK

  • 125 g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 100 g butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
  • 150 g crunchy peanut butter
  • 175 g light brown sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 75 g white chocolate, chopped

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 170C/gas 3. Butter the sides of a 20 x 20cm square cake tin and line the base with greaseproof paper.

2. Sift the flour and baking powder into a small bowl and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and peanut butter together until very soft. Add the sugar, egg and vanilla extract and beat until well combined. Add the flour, baking powder and the chopped chocolate and mix to form a dough

4. Place the dough into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 25–30 minutes, or until golden brown and almost firm in the centre.

5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin, before removing and cutting into squares.

Happy Birthday Sis!

February 8, 2011 14 comments

This cake comprises of a triple layer sponge cake covered with whipped white chocolate ganache.

The pastel green scribbles is icing made of egg whites and icing sugar.

The sides of this cake is shredded strawberry flavoured pink chocolate

Sweet pastel colour palette, for the sweetest sister.

Happy Birthday sis!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Squares

February 7, 2011 12 comments

This is kind of dessert you know u should share around,

yet, you just can’t stop eating them.

I had every intention to set aside at least half of this batch of squares, and give it away to the good people at work.

Well, that didn’t happen cause between my family members, they disappeared in record time.

I don’t blame them (or us), really, cause in our defence, they are pretty flat and it takes just a couple more, or maybe 5 or 6, of them to satisfy that cravings.

These are actually your peanut butter cups, in a bar form.

I guess i don’t have to go on and on to how wonderful they are.

Cause everyone knows and probably loves PB cups.

Oh Baby Bars

Adapted from eatliverun.com

makes about 48 small bars

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 1/3 cup powdered sugar

1/4 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

7 ounces milk chocolate

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate

1 T butter

Blend together the brown sugar, powdered sugar, butter and peanut butter until it reaches a smooth paste-like consistency. Press into the bottom of a nine by thirteen inch pan.

Melt the chocolate with the tablespoon of butter over very low heat (or in a microwave). Pour melted chocolate over the peanut butter crust and stick in the fridge for an hour to harden.

Cut into squares and serve!

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Brown Sugar and Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake with Maple Espresso Glaze

February 4, 2011 18 comments

I was quite upset over my last entry, the bundt cake with the torn surface and the forgotten chocolate chips. I told myself not to beat myself over it, but i just wasn’t able to put it to rest.

I felt the need to rectify those flaws, I just had to attempt another bundt.

So here goes my next bundt, tear free and with chocolate chips IN the batter. Hola!

But i wasn’t that sure this bundt would come out perfect either, and i had a back up plan,

A glaze to cover up any imperfections (should there be another) on the surface.

And oh boy, what a glaze it was,

Who would have thought that maple syrup and espresso could come together in such a perfection. Seriously, i don’t even think i could find words fitting enough to describe this glaze.

This is the kind of glaze that you would close your eyes and moan to. Your sense of smell and taste would thank you in sheer gratification for this. It was all i could do not to drink this by the cupful.

So the glaze goes over the cake. Sorry about the messiness, i was trying to pour the glaze over the cake with my left hand while balancing the camera with my right.

My circus act resulted in something that looked like this

Once the glaze is on, the next step in the recipe is to let stand at room temperature until glaze is firm, about 1 hour.

I don’t know about you, but i am not waiting

I cut myself A big fat slice,

And this time with chocolate chips IN the cake.

The recipe also called for the chips to be sprinkled with flour before they are thrown into the batter for better suspension. I always thought this step was for fruits which have higher water content, but i guess you could do that to chocolate chips too!

Brown Sugar and Chocolate Chip Pound Cake with Maple-Espresso Glaze

(Taken from Food librarian who adapted from epicurious)

Cake:

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 12-ounce package semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 cups all purpose flour, divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons (or more) whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder

For cake:
Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter 12-cup Bundt pan. Spray pan generously with nonstick spray. Dust pan lightly with flour. Mix chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons flour in medium bowl. Sift remaining flour with baking soda, baking powder, and salt into another medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar in large bowl until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla extract and maple extract. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with buttermilk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Fold in chocolate chip mixture. Transfer batter to prepared pan, spreading evenly.

Bake cake until tester inserted near center comes out clean and cake begins to pull away from sides of pan, about 1 hour. Cool cake in pan on rack 30 minutes. Invert cake onto rack and cool completely.

GOOD TO KNOW:
Mixing the chocolate chips with a little flour before adding them to the batter helps the chips stay evenly suspended in the batter and evenly distributed throughout the baked cake (otherwise, they may sink to the bottom).

For glaze:
Combine powdered sugar, maple syrup, 2 tablespoons cream, and espresso powder in medium bowl. Whisk until smooth, adding more cream by 1/2 teaspoonfuls if glaze is too thick to drizzle. Spoon glaze decoratively over top of cake; let stand at room temperature until glaze is firm, about 1 hour. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome and let stand at room temperature.

Black Beauty

January 28, 2011 8 comments

If you look really closely at the picture, you would notice that there are two layers of batters involved in making this beauty. The bottom layer is a layer of a brownie so moist and fudgy that it is almost custard like. The top is a buttercake recipe so rich and luxurious, it is more fitting to call it a brownie.

But that’s not the highlight of the buttercake. The highlight of this cake is the use of a certain flour called the black glutinous rice flour.

Black glutinous rice flour comes from black glutinous rice (doh!). Like its fair counterpart (white glutinous rice), the black glutinous rice is an especially sticky rice that is most commonly used for Asian desserts.

It’s only recently (well, maybe not that recent) that this sticky rice is made into flour. In this flour form, which is so agreeable to baking, does it start to leave its powdery imprints in the world of cakes and other bakes.

The flour is generally grey with specks of black, and it leaves a gritty texture into the resultant cake. I know you must be thinking, gritty texture ?? Eeeww!! but trust me, this one doesn’t taste anywhere like the health food we so often force fibrous wheatgerms into. This one actually tastes delicious. U just gotta trust me on this. LOL

Besides texture, the black glutinous rice flour is also very aromatic. Unlike the white glutinous rice flour which is bland, tasteless and scentless, the black glutinous rice imparts a waft of delightfully sweet smell with each bite you take. Not wanting this to run in the danger of sounding like a perfume advert, i must assure you that the smell is not at all overpowering. It’s subdued, yet full bodied at the same time and very very very delicious. I guess i can attest the many uses of the black glutinous rice in Asian desserts to attest to that!

Black Beauty*

For the Brownie Batter

125 gr Dark Chocolate

62.5 gr Butter

75 gr egg

100 gr caster sugar

65 gr AP

12.5 gr milk powder

1/4 tsp baking powder

1. In a heatproof bowl, put together chocolate and butter. Set bowl over simmering water till the chocolate melts. Set aside to cool.

2. In another bowl, beat the egg and caster sugar at high speed till it is thick and pale yellow. Pour the melted chocolate into the bowl and whisk to combine.

3. In yet another bowl, sift together the flour, milk powder and baking powder. Fold the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture. Pour into a 8×8 inch pre-lined and greased pan.

For the cake batter

150 gr butter

125 gr icing sugar

25 gr condensed milk

150 gr eggs

113 gr black glutinous rice flour

13 gr cocoa powder

1. Beat the butter, icing sugar and condensed milk till light and fluffy.

2. Gradually add the eggs in.

3. In another bowl, sift the black glutinous rice flour and cocoa powder together and add it into the butter mixture.

4. Pour the mixture into the 8×8 inch pan and gently spread it across the above brownie batter.

5. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or till cooked.

*Note: Recipe adapted from an Indonesian cookbook, please pardon the poor translation. LOL

Marble Cake

January 26, 2011 13 comments

I cant tell you enough how many times i have been disappointed attempting to make the perfect butter cakes. Even recipes with promising titles such as  “the perfect butter cake” or “the best pound cake”, somehow, nothing met up with my expectations.

Most of them usually err to the dry side, and i find myself reaching for that dollop of whipped cream or even jam to be served alongside the cake.

Of course, there are recipes that call for milk, juices, or even water to moisten things up, but usually, the batter gets heavy, and needless to say, so will the eventual cake.

I guess my journey to find that perfect butter cake came to an end with this recipe. This recipe yields a good, soft, moist cake with very tight crumbs.

Without any liquid in the cake batter to counter the dryness so common in most butter cakes, this cake relies on only the butter for that moistness. From here, u can pretty much guess how wonderfully rich and lustrously buttery this cake would be.

The butter in the recipe is beaten and aerated, producing a cake that rose and was very light, but yet, this cake was still dense enough to carry all that buttery aroma in its fullest glory.

Although i am very much loving the marbled swirls in this cake, i must say that i am not really liking the chocolate batter as much as i do the plain one. The chocolate batter which had cocoa powder in it was naturally more bitter compared to the plain one. Also, the cocoa powder really took away all that wonderful buttery taste that i very much adore.

Kek Marble Susu (Milk Marble Cake)
(adapted from Ovenhaven)

250g butter
230g castor sugar
2 tsp ovalette
4 eggs
60g condensed milk
270g cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp chocolate emulco

  1. Preheat oven to 170°C.
  2. Beat the butter, sugar and ovalette until light and fluffy.
  3. Add in the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition.
  4. Add in the condensed milk, and mix well.
  5. Sift the flour together with the baking powder, and add slowly to the mixture, until it is well incorporated.
  6. Divide the batter into two, leaving one plain, and adding the chocolate emulco, cocoa powder and milk to the other.
  7. Drop alternate spoonfuls of the two batters into a 9-inch square pan, lined with baking paper. Bake at 170°C for 30-35mins.

Chocolate-Almond Buttercrunch Toffee

January 19, 2011 8 comments

I cant describe the wonderful crunch that comes with every bite of this toffee. You can probably hear someone biting into this 3 metres away from the site of action. it’s pleasantly brittle and it snaps with just the lightest pressure.

I am attributing this perfection to the a little device called the candy thermometer. I am sure many of you have experienced the nerve-wracking, chaotic guesswork involved in cooking sugar. I am for team thermometer and really, a candy thermometer really saves you from all these hassle and gives u the most awesome caramel for the most awesome buttercrunch toffee.

What’s of that awesome buttercrunch toffee anyways?

It’s a layer of almond, over which you pour that gorgeous, snappy caramel, and over which u sprinkle chocolate.

Did you get that?

Let me rephrase…

A layer of lightly toasted almonds are welded together with hot caramel. Chocolate chips are then strewn over the hot caramel to melt slightly before it is spread with a spatula.

Chocolate and Caramel. YUMM!

Oh, and let’s not forget that sprinkle of seasalt. Excluding the seasalt in this is like not inviting your mom to your graduation day, a situation almost tragic, at least for me anyways.

Although these cookies are hardly Chinese, and probably never a part of the usual CNY cookie platter,  I am including this in Aspiring Baker #3, My Favourite Chinese New Year Cookie hosted by Jess from J3ss Kitch3n. Just because i think these cookies are THAT good, and we’ve been taught to share good stuffs!

Chocolate-Almond Buttercrunch Toffee

Adapted from The Perfect Scoop

by David Lebovitz

2 cups (8 ounces, 225 g) toasted almonds or hazelnuts, chopped between ‘fine’ and ‘coarse’
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup (1 stick, 115 g) salted or unsalted butter, cut into pieces
a nice, big pinch of salt
1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (50 g) packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 ounces (140 g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped, or 1 cup chocolate chips

optional: Roasted cocoa nibs and fleur de sel

1. Lightly oil a baking sheet with an unflavored vegetable oil.

2. Sprinkle half the nuts into a rectangle about 8″ x 10″ (20 x 25 cm) on the baking sheet.

3. In a medium heavy-duty saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer, heat the water, butter, salt, and both sugars. Cook, stirring as little as possible, until the thermometer reads 300 F degrees. Have the vanilla and baking soda handy.

4. Immediately remove from heat and stir in the baking soda and vanilla.

5. Quickly pour the mixture over the nuts on the baking sheet. Try to pour the mixture so it forms a relatively even layer. (If necessary, gently but quickly spread with a spatula, but don’t overwork it.)

If using, sprinkle with a small handful of cocoa nibs and a flurry of fleur des sel. Sprinkle the remaining nuts over the chocolate and gently press them in with your hands.

Cool completely and break into pieces to serve. Store in an airtight container, for up to ten days.

Categories: Cookies, Dessert Tags: , , ,

Cat’s Tongue Cookies

January 10, 2011 16 comments

I guess it’s quite obvious how these cookies got its name. The cat’s tongue cookies can probably trace its origins from Spain, and are identified by their signature cat’s tongue shape.

These cookies are light, buttery and crisp. There is a very satisfying crunch as i bit into one, almost like eating a potato chip.  I suspect the lightness of these cookies came from all the beaten egg whites, which is rather unusual in a cookie recipe.

Despite its Spanish origin, these cookies are very popular in Indonesia, and come Chinese New Year, you can probably lap at these cookies at every household you choose to visit.

While these cookies are usually served plain, in its buttery glory, i have added a lil tongue twister into my versions.

The dual tone Cat’s tongue cookies, easily achieved by flavouring half of the cookie batter with chocolate. I loaded up my pipping bag with both batters before squeezing the two cookie batter onto the awaiting cookie sheet.

I love the taste of these cookies, it’s part vanilla, part chocolate and all buttery. YUM!

Then i made a blueberry flavoured version of the cookies, simply just by pipping a strip of bluberry jam onto the unbaked cookie dough. The jam will dry up and turn sorta chewy and it adds a very nice blueberry flavour to the otherwise very buttery cookie. Of course i am not complaining about that very buttery cookie, i am just saying it makes quite a refreshing contrast. 🙂 In fact, if i were to make this again, i will be sure to pipe a fatter line of a jam down my cookies.

I am also entering these cookies into Aspiring Baker #3 My favourite CNY Cookie hosted by J3ss Kitch3n. Thanks to J3ss for hosting the wonderful event! I can’t wait to see what the others come out with!

Cat’s Tongue Cookies by Me!

250 gr unsalted butter

200 gr castor sugar

225 gr AP flour

150 ml (about 5) egg whites

1 TBS Vanilla extract

Some Chocolate paste

1. Beat butter and sugar till light and fluffy.

2. Add egg whites gradually and beat till it turns even more light and voluminous.

3. Add in vanilla and beat till well mixed

4. Fold in flour

5. Divide batter into half and add chocolate paste into one of that half

6. Fill your pipping bags with batter (half chocolate, half white if you are attempting the duo coloured cookies)

7. Pipe onto greased cookie sheet

8. Bake at 350 for about 18 mins or till they turn dry and crisp.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

January 7, 2011 4 comments

‘Please don’t scrape away this frosting’ i thought to myself as i spread the caramel buttercream onto each of these cupcakes. It seems almost habitual for my family members to scrape away the bad, unhealthy frosting as they eat cupcakes, layered cakes or even filled cookies. I don’t blame them, i do that myself, but i am at least diplomatic enough to leave a decent amount of frosting to know its flavour, taste and texture.

You can pretty much imagine my delight when i see a naked half eaten cupcake. Naked, becase all of its frosting had been eaten, as opposed to pushed to the side of the plate. The half bitten cupcake lay undressed, and abandoned.

This must have been some pretty good frosting for my family member (my sister actually) to change her eating habit, and sacrifice that extra calories! And that is a major breakthrough for me.I know i am probably not convincing you enough with the pictures here. The colours are a bit on the pale side, hardly caramel-like. I guess i must have been too chicken to take the sugar to a further amber brown as i was making the caramel. But trust me, even its ghastly shade, the caramel flavour was definitely present, although not as much as it should have been. Hopefully on my next attempt, i would be gutsy enough to take that heat and sugar relationship to a deeper, darker level.

So for these cupcakes, i have decided on a lil sprinking of crushed caramel candies, and a drizzle of caramel sauce. Just because i am a firm believer that nothing goes better on caramel than MORE caramel. LOL.

 


Vanilla Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

Taken from the parsley thief ( Thanks so much for sharing! )

Cupcakes:
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
seeds from 1 vanilla bean
2 large egg whites
2 large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 muffin pans with paper cups.
Whisk the flour, baking powder & salt in a bowl. Set aside. Beat the butter in a mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, on medium speed, until light & fluffy. Add the sugar & vanilla seeds, beat until combined. Add the egg whites & then the whole eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Scrape down the bowl, as needed. Add the milk & beat to combine. Turn the mixer down to low & slowing add the flour mixture. Beat until just incorporated.
Pour the batter into the paper liners, until 1/2 full. Bake for about 18 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the cooking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let the cupcakes cool on a wire rack completely before frosting.

Frosting:
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup powdered sugar

Combine the sugar & water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil & cook, without stirring, until it turns a dark amber color, about 6-7 minutes. Remove from the heat & slowly stir in the heavy cream & vanilla. The mixture will bubble up quite a bit, so do this slowly, stirring as you pour! Set aside until cool to the touch.
Beat the butter & salt in a mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, on medium speed, until light & fluffy. Reduce the speed to low & add the powdered sugar. Beat until completely incorporated. Turn off the mixer, scrape down the bowl & pour in the caramel. Turn the mixer back on & beat until light & fluffy, about 2 minutes. Transfer the frosting to an airtight container & chill for at least 45 minutes before using.
Note: The frosting can be made ahead of time & stored in an airtight container for up to 7 days. Let the frosting come to room temperature before using.

Lastly, do head over to the parsley thief for a more accurate shade of the caramel frosting and for the most pretty pictures!

Pavlova

January 2, 2011 10 comments

I knew about pavlova from the endless hours i spent lurking about in food blogs and baking books. The truth is, i have never seen a pav (short for pavlova, of course) with my own eyes, and needless to say, i have never tasted one.

I came across the recipe for this on a book titled Cheesecake, Pavlova and Trifle which was marked down for a Christmas sale. I grabbed the book mindlessly, almost certain that i would have a post purchase regret as a baking book that focused on so little items ( cheesecake, pavlova and trifle) would usually mean a base recipe repeated over and over again, with perhaps different toppings or different flavourings. I am sure many of you have experienced tweaking your cookies with chocolate chips, raisins or whatever you fancy with your very trusted basic cookie recipe.

This was fortunately, not the case with this book. I was browsing the book (pictures first of course) when i noticed that each of the pavlova recipe featured was different. All of them however, had the mandatory egg whites and sugar, but even so, the two ingredients were of varying ratio with respect to each other.

And being me, of course, i had to choose what in my opinion was the most controversial and possibly most challenging recipe of the lot. A pavlova recipe of egg whites and icing sugar and.. get this, boiling water.

Basically, the egg whites, icing sugar, and water were whipped together. I poured my boiling water gradually as i didnt want to scramble my egg whites, and got really worried when i got a wet batter that didn’t look like it would thicken up the way whipped egg whites do.

It took much longer,  but eventually, the egg whites did turn voluminous and glossy with stiff peaks (PHEW!).

All that apprehension were not for naught though, for this recipe yielded a crusty meringue with a marshmallow-ey centre. It was like eating on a puff of clouds, sweet,soft, chewy, yet with a crusty exterior.

My pavlova was served with a dollop of whipped cream and a generous drizzle of berry sauce and a handful of fresh berries. All i can think of was WOW! That’s indeed summer goodness in a bowl!! It was fruity, zesty and very refreshing! The sweetness from the pav was able to offset the tartness from the berries, and the dollop of whipped cream, neutral and unsweetened, was the perfect middleman to bring the two together. 🙂

While this book is a thumb up with its multiple base recipe, it didn’t explain how each of the ingredients would affect on the overall texture or taste of the pavlova. I had recipes that called for cornstarch and vinegar, and some which only required the indispensable egg whites and sugar.

Besides the varying ingredients, the baking temperature and times were also different for each of the recipes.

Again, nothing was mentioned about how that would affect the overall result. HArruumpphh.

Well, whatever the case, i guess i just had to try each of the recipes and hopefully be able to spot the differences.

Pavlova & Berries

Adapted from Cheesecake, Pavlova & Trifle*

For the pavlova:

3 egg whites

320 icing sugar

125 boiling water

1. Place your baking rack on the lower third of your oven and preheat it to 375. Line your baking sheet with parchment.

2. Beat egg whites, sugar and water till stiff peaks.

3. With a large spoon, divide your beaten egg whites into 6 and drop them onto your baking sheet.

4. Bake with the lower heat on for 25 minutes or till the surface of the meringue and dry and crusty.

For the Berry sauce:

125 ml cranberry/ raspberry juice

1 TBS lemon juice

55 g caster sugar

1 TBS cornflour

1 TBS water

500 grams fresh berries

For the Whipped Cream, i used about 300ml.

1. Mix together the juice, lemon juice, sugar in a saucepan. Heat over the stove till sugar has dissolved, but take care not to let the mixture boil.

2. Dissolve cornflour in the water, add it into the mixture. Whisk while allowing the mixture to come to a boil.

3. Add the fresh berries.

*Note: The book is in Indonesian, please bear with my poor translating skills, but if you do have any questions, i will be more than happy to clarify.

I would also suggest making this close to serving time as the cream and berries would cause the pavlova to get soggy. A tip from the book also states that a pav made in advance might shrink a bit.

Merry Christmas!

December 26, 2010 4 comments

Just logging in to wish every one a happy happy christmas admist all the christmas mess and share two cakes i have baked.

Swiss roll cake coated with white chocolate whipped cream, and surrounded by a wreath of green tinted marshmallow cornflakes. 🙂

 

 

A 30th Birthday Sponge cake with white chocolate whipped cream and decorated with retarded oreo critters.

A lil Christmas Baking

December 22, 2010 12 comments

A mini post on other Christmas related bakings i’ve done 🙂

1. Christmas Biscottis

While biscottis are traditionally dunked in tea, or coffee, these are good enough to be eaten on its own. Crushed candy canes are mixed into the biscottis batter for an added touch of sweetness to the otherwise plain tasting biscottis.  I’ve done this cookie two ways, one is to dip them in melted white chocolate and sprinkle them with more crushed candy canes:

And another is to drizzle some white frosting on them and sprinkle even more candy canes!

A lil note though, the candy canes will lose their crunch and get a bit sticky after a while. But that didnt bother me as they were still delicious.

Recipe from Annie

Candy Cane Biscotti

Ingredients:
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup sugar
3 large eggs
2/3 cup finely chopped peppermint candies, plus extra for garnish
14 oz. white chocolate

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir briefly with a fork to combine.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until well combined, about 2 minutes.  Beat in the eggs one a time, mixing well after each addition.  Add in the dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until incorporated.  Fold in the 2/3 cup crushed peppermints with a rubber spatula until evenly incorporated.

Evenly divide the dough into 4 portions.  Form each into a 9″ by 1½” log on the prepared baking sheet, spaced evenly.  Bake until the cookies are light golden brown on top, about 18-20 minutes.  Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheet.  Reduce the oven temperature to 325° F.

After the logs have cooled for 10 minutes, use a sharp serrated knife to cut the logs into ½-inch slices on the diagonal.  Arrange the cut pieces on the baking sheet, laying on one of their cut sides so one cut side is facing up.  Bake for 15 minutes more, until the cookies are light golden brown and crisp.  (They may seem a bit soft, but will firm as they cool.)  Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Once the biscotti have cooled, melt the white chocolate in the top of a double boiler.  Dip one half of each cookie in the chocolate, shake gently to remove the excess, and transfer to a baking sheet or work surface lined with wax paper.  Sprinkle with extra crushed candy canes while the chocolate is still wet.  Let stand at room temperature until the chocolate has set completely.  Store in an airtight container.

2. Cranberry Bliss Bar

The cranberry bliss bar is a Starbucks breakfast favourite it seems, but the truth is, i have never tasted the ones sold there before. The Starbucks here (Indonesia) don’t have it on the menu! But if the ones sold taste anywhere as good as these, i could definitely relate to why they are such a hit.

The base of these bars are subtly flavoured with ginger and studded with cranberries and white chocolate. They are then topped with a lemony cream cheese frosting before being piped with a sugared icing.

Between the white chocolate vs cranberries, or, the cream cheese frosting vs the sugary icing, these bars are a good balance of sweetness and tartness. These will definitely zest up your mornings and double up as good wake up calls!

Recipe from Megan

Cranberry Bliss Bars
see on Brownies for Dinner, originally from My Little Mochi
(printable recipe)

Bars:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
6 ounces (about 3/4 cup) white chocolate chips (or chopped white chocolate)

Frosting:
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped

Drizzling Icing:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1-2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add eggs, vanilla, ginger, and salt and mix well. Gradually add flour and mix until smooth. Stir in cranberries and white chocolate. Pour the batter into the greased pan, using a spatula to evenly spread the batter in the pan. Bake 30-40 minutes, until edges are light brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Frosting:
Beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and lemon juice until completely smooth. Spread on the completely cool cake. Sprinkle the top with cranberries.

Drizzling Icing:
In a small bowl, whisk together 1 Tbsp of milk, powdered sugar, and vegetable shortening. Gradually add more milk until the icing has a thick but drizzly consistency. I used closer to 2 tablespoons. Put the icing into a ziploc bag and snip off a tiny bit of the corner. Drizzle the icing on top in zig-zags.

Cut into squares or triangles and enjoy!

3. Chocolate Hearts with Crushed Christmas Candies

These are yogurt cakelets made in a heart shaped pan, dunked in melted dark chocolate and sprinkled with christmas candies. The yogurt cakelets are incredibly moist and dense, but most importantly they pop out prettily from the pan 🙂

These are better refrigerated as the candies and the chocolate will get melty and sticky after a while. But i am definitely liking the dark chocolate contrast against the candies.

Recipe from Kirbie

Vanilla Yogurt Cakelets

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup vanilla yogurt
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour the cakelet pan.
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl and set it aside.
3.
In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, and eggs. Slowly whisk the dry
ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the
vegetable oil into the batter until well incorporated.
4. With a
spoon fill the cake pan with the cake batter about 3/4 full. Do not over fill it. Bake
in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean and
cake is lightly brown.
5. Remove from cake pan
once it is completely cool

With that, I would like to thank Annie, Megan and Kirbie for sharing the wonderful recipes! Happy Christmas everyone!

12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies, Week #12 – Potato Chips Christmas Tree

December 16, 2010 24 comments

It’s official. This is the last week of 12 WOCC, and i can’t tell you enough how much i loved and thoroughly enjoyed each of the 12 weeks.. I’ve gotten to know so many talented and creative bloggers out there, and seen so many of their inspiring cookies. I do sincerely hope that this event will continue next year, and i do hope that i am still actively baking and blogging then. 🙂 Once again, my thanks go to Abby for organizing the lovely event!

Anyways, for my final week, i made another Christmas tree. This time, with potato chips, and it looks something like this.

I was eating a bag of chips when i noticed how each chip is shaped like a leaf. I have also observed an on going trend of potato chips dipped in chocolate. And combining two and two, this tree idea got stuck to my head.

The idea is really simple. First thing first, i baked a blondie batter in a cone shaped vessel.

Why blondie batter ?

Cause i wanted something sturdy, which is able to stand up on its own and hold the weight of the potato chip “leaves”. I didn’t want any of that rising butter cakes and sponge cakes get. I also didnt want a brownie batter*, as a brownie batter, with its high chocolate content might be too fudgy and wet  for this structure.

*Believe me or not, blondies are actually brownies, without chocolate. LOL.

Do take note though, the batter will probably take more time to bake cause of the shape of the vessel which  has lesser surface area and thus less heat contact. Also, be sure to have something sturdy to prop the vessel while baking ( I used a square loaf tin)

Next, we slather buttercream onto the tree core.

Be generous with the buttercream. It will act as a “glue” for the leaves.

Then we stick on the “leaves”.

Wait, WHAT leaves?

White chocolate dipped leaves of course. White chocolate because i wanted a white Christmas tree. I couldn’t imagine a brown Christmas tree using milk or dark chocolate.