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Macaroni & Cheese

We’re making the classic child pleaser today. The Macaroni and Cheese.

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I made fresh macaroni to make this. All thanks to this handy dandy machine.

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It makes fresh noodles, and pasta out of flour, water, and if you fancy, some eggs.

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This is how the macaroni looks like. They will all differ in terms of length because they have to each be cut individually.

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Add the boiled fresh macaroni, to some milk, cream and eggs, and homemade macaroni and cheese is ready.

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Much better than the boxed ones.
Here’s the recipe in Indonesian, where I am from.

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Loosely translated:
Ingredients:
Macaroni & Cheese
150 grams Macaroni
2 TBS Butter
4 slices Smoked Beef, diced
50 grams Onion, chopped
100 grams Cheddar Cheese
200 ml Fresh Milk
100ml Cooking Cream
1 TBS Parsley
1/2 TSP Black Pepper

For the tops:
Parmesan and Cheddar
Instructions:

  1. Boil the macaroni as according to package instructions.
  2. Saute onion with butter till fragrant. Add the smoked beef, parsley and black pepper
  3. Add the fresh milk ,the cooking cream, and the cheddar. Stir till the cheddar has fully melted. Turn off the heat, add the boiled macaroni.
  4.  Spoon the macaroni into heatproof bowls. Sprinkle some parmesan and cheddar
  5. Bake in a 170 degrees celcius preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or till the tops have turned a nice golden brown

Whipping Cream Cake

September 9, 2018 Leave a comment

In this recipe, I was trying to use up a carton of whipping cream before it goes off. Because food waste is not cool!

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The resultant cake was tender, and moist (sorry for the word “moist”).

 

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I’ve topped the cake with some chocolate ganache which used up even more whipping cream.

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Whipping Cream Pound Cake

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2 tsp Baking Powder

1.5 cups heavy cream.

1 tsp vanilla.

2 1/4 cup flour.

3/4 tsp salt.

3 large eggs.

1 cup sugar

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Preheat oven to 375 degrees
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 In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Sift flour mixture and set aside
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In a large bowl, (preferably chilled), whip the whipping cream till stiff peaks. Add the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla, beat till well combined. Gradually add the sugar.
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Fold in the flour, and pour into a greased bundt pan. Bake for about 25- 30 minutes, or till fully cooked
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For the Ganache
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1/4 cup whipping cream. 60 grams of dark chocolate (chopped)
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Heat the whipping cream till bubbly. Pour the dark chocolate and stir till they melt. Pour ganache over cake. 
Categories: Uncategorized

Unicorn Toast

September 1, 2018 Leave a comment

Unicorn Toast Without Food Coloring

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Dear my Unicorn-crazed child,

It was an exceptionally hard week for you.

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Naturally Colored Cream Cheese

Daddy went away on a business trip.

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Rainbow Toast

You had an emergency visit to the dentist.

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Pastel Colored Cream Cheese

And you had a school workload DOUBLE the normal to make up for the previous week you were down with HFMD.

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Unicorn Toast

But the weekend is here. It’s time to rest and play! And a reminder to celebrate every tiny things in life!

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Baby Shark and Unicorn Toast

** I tried to keep this healthy by not using any food coloring.

The Colors were made as follows:

Purple: Cream Cheese with Mulberry Jam
Pink: Cream Cheese with Freeze Dried Strawberry
Yellow: Cream Cheese with Freeze Dried Mango
Green: Cream Cheese with Matcha

 

Gingerbread Men

January 15, 2015 Leave a comment

“What’s that Mami?”, the little one asked.

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She was pointing to a page on a book I just purchased the day before.

“It’s gingerbread men. They are cookies.”, i told her.

“Cookies? one, mau (want), one” she said. She was telling me she wanted a cookie.

“You want a gingerbread cookie?”

“Mau! (“want” in Indonesian), she said affirmatively.

Seeing that we absolutely had nothing planned for the day. I led her to the kitchen.

We started mixing the dough. It was a foolproof dough, where no chilling was necessary.

I gave her a piece of dough to work with. She rolled it out.

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And started stamping.

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It really didn’t take any time at all.

When the gingerbread men were all baked, we went back to her book.

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“Same!!!” she exclaimed gleefully, placing the cookies right on the spot on the page where the gingerbreads are.

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“Yes, they are the same”, i told her.

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“Gingerbread Men”, i prompted her.

“Men!”, she repeated after me, smiling as she took a bite.

Very forgiving Gingerbread Men Cookie

  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
  • Directions: Beat together the coconut oil and coconut sugar. Mix in the eggs and vanilla.
  1. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, and ginger.
  2. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. On a floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/8-inch thickness, and then cut with gingerbread men cookie cutters.
  5. Place the cookies on a parchment/silpat-lined baking sheet. Bake for 8-9 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool completely
Categories: Uncategorized

Wontons!

January 4, 2015 4 comments

It’s always nice to have company when you are doing something so long and labourious.

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Such is the case, when i made these wonton skins from scratch today.

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All i did was just give her some scraps of dough.

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And she was happy imitating what i did.

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It made the whole cooking process so much lighter, instead of being a chore 🙂

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And two hours later, lunch was served. We had chicken and shrimp wontons 🙂

Wonton skin

1/3 cup water

1 egg

2 cups of flour

1/2 tsp salt.

whisk the egg with the water. in another bowl, sift the flour with the salt. Make a well in the centre and pour the egg mixture in. Mix and knead till the dough turns elastic and smooth. Set aside, and leave to rest for 15 minutes

For the filling

150 grams ground chicken,

100 grams ground shrimp

2 tablespoon sago flour

1 egg

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp sugar

2 tablespoon soy sauce

5 shallots, chopped and lightly stir fried

1 tsp sesame oil

20 pieces of wonton wrappers

mix the all ingredients together. Place one tsp of the mixture on top of the wrapper, and wrap it up. Continue to do so, until you have finished using up your wrappers. make sure to dust the surface that you will be laying your wontons to prevent it from sticking. Bring a pot of water to boil, drop in the filled wontons, and cook till they float. Fish wontons out of the water and serve.

Categories: Uncategorized

2015 Blueberry Cheesecake

January 1, 2015 3 comments

When your child is as obsessed about blowing candles as mine, you find every reason to bake a cake and place candles on it.

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And when she gives you a pleading face like that,

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You cave in and allow her to stick her fingers into the cake.

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Happy 2015 to all of you ! I wish you the happiest New Year ahead!

Vanilla bean cheesecake with blueberry jam

For the crust:
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tbs corn starch
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup sygar
2 large egg yolks
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F, generously butter the bottom and sides of a 9 inch springfom pan. Wrap the outside with aluminium foil, covering the bottom and extending all the way up the sides.

Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer on high until creamy. Add the egg yolks and vanilla. Beat until blended. Reduce the speen to low and mix in the flour mixture just until it disappears and a dough forms. Work the dough with your hands until it comes together in a ball. Chhill for about 30 minutes.
Flour your hands and place the dough in the centre of your pan and begin pressing with the heels of your hands from the centre outward toward the edges, working in circular motion around the pan, and up the sides. Keep pressing until the crust is flat on the bottom. Prick the crust in several places with a fork. Bake the crust just until it’s set and golden (about 15 minutes).

For the cheesecake
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean (about 7 inches long), scrapped
900 gram cream cheese
1/4 cup corn starch
1 tbs pure vanilla extract
2 extra large eggs
3/4 cup heavy cream

For the blueberry jam
250 gram blueberries
1/2 – 1 cup sugar
2 tbs lemon juice
Make and bake the cake crust, and leave it in the pan. Keep the oven on.

Put one 225 grams of the cream cheese, 1/3 cup of the granulated sugar, cornstarch and the scraped vanilla beanin a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low until creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl several times. increase the mixer speed to mendium and beat in the remaining 1 1/3 cup of sugar. Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after adding each one. Beat in the cream just until completely blended, be careful not to overmix. Gently spoon batter on top of the crust.

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 is slightly golden tan (about 75 minutes). Remove the cake from the water bath. transfer to a wire rack and let the cake cool for 2 hours (just walk away!)

LEave the cake in the pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until completely cold, preferably overnight or at least 4 hours

Wash and drain blueberries. Over low heat, cook blueberries, with sugar and lemon juice until thick and syrupy.

Spoon over the cheesecake and chill.

Categories: Uncategorized

Ghost Custard

October 28, 2014 1 comment

ghost custard

Boo!

Another kid friendly Halloween special!

These ghost are made of stirred custard. Stirred custards are cooked over the stove top instead of the oven.

It will take you only 5 minutes!

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When stirred custard have finished cooking, they will be thick. All you have to do now, is pipe your ghosts and add cacao nibs or chocolate chips for “eyes”.

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Yum!

Ghost Custard

125 ml milk
25 sugar
1/4 tsp salt
15 gram arrowroot flour
Cacao Nibs for eyes

Mix all ingredients together. Cook till bubbles appear. Pour custard into pipping bag. Pipe into ghostly figures. Add cacao nibs for eyes

Categories: Uncategorized

Green FrankenSmoothie

October 28, 2014 Leave a comment

Hi everyone! Just dropping by to post a few healthy halloween snacks before it gets too late!

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U can pretty much put in any of your favourite green smoothie here. But my toddler’s favourite green smoothie always involve frozen bananas. I’ve also added cacao nibs on top of the smoothie to create a “hair-like” effect

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From the photo, creating the frankenface is pretty self explanatory.

All i did was cut up some black colored paper and stick it to the top of the glass for hair and another smaller piece shaped like stitches. I adhered all the pieces (googly eyes included) with a double tape. Dont worry, they will come right out when you peel the tape out!

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Green FrankenSmoothie

1 frozen banana cut into pieces

1/4 cup coconut water

a bunch of kale

Cacao nibs for “hair”

Blend all the frozen banana, coconut water and kale. Top with cacao nibs. And serve onto decorated glass!

Categories: Uncategorized

Biscuit with Gravy

October 13, 2013 1 comment

When i was making these biscuits this morning. I didn’t think that i was going to write  a blog post about them.

All i wanted was to use up the gravy that i made the day before.

My impression of biscuits was never fantastic. Gone were the days where I would nibble on a piece of tasteless, unsavoury Popeye’s biscuits.

In addition to that, biscuits were never photogenic.

Biscuits doused in pale, white-ish sauce were even less impressive.

However, i decided to weather all the negativity. Because it is of utmost importance that i were to journal this recipe.

The recipe that had the power to erase all the bad judgement i passed on all the biscuits that i ecountered before.

I’m sorry Biscuits, I’ve been harsh on you.

biscuits and gravy

Original recipe makes 6 grand sized biscuits Change Servings
(taken from allrecipes.com)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1/3 cup shortening ( I used butter)
  • 1 cup milk
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Gradually stir in milk until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.
  3. Turn out onto a floured surface, and knead 15 to 20 times. Pat or roll dough out to 1 inch thick. Cut biscuits with a large cutter or juice glass dipped in flour. Repeat until all dough is used. Brush off the excess flour, and place biscuits onto an ungreased baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges begin to brown.

And in case you were wondering about the gravy, the recipe can be found HERE

Semi Rainbow Steamed Cake

January 7, 2013 7 comments

Remember the lapis legit cake that used up 857239875023745 egg yolks? Well, someone’s gotta use up the egg whites too. So here’s what i did.

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This cake is the perfect antipode to the lapis legit. Not only it is all egg white, it also uses minimal fats. I didnt say that this is a healthy cake though. Because what it lacks for in richness, it makes up for in sugar.

Also, this cake is steamed as opposed to baked. It only has three layers, which makes it less time and labor intensive than its multiple layered cousin.

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Well, they did say to eat a balanced diet after all. What better ways to observe that advice by eating foods that are of polar ends of each other?

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Recipe Adapted from NCC, Here

*note: I changed the coffee essence to vanilla

*note: I changed the mocha and chocolate paste to food colourings of yellow, red and green

Steamed Cupcakes

December 14, 2012 2 comments

I got the recipe for these steamed cupcakes from a forum i recently joined. This forum focuses on feeding your kids healthy, homemade meals. Which is why you don’t see baking powder and baking soda in the recipe.

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To abide by the “heathy” context. I blended green suji leaves (A leaf usually used for food colouring) to give the cakes a bit of a green tinge.

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The success of this steamed cake is judged from its surface. If the surface breaks and looks like a volcanic site. It means you did well.

I am glad for my mini volcanoes. Cause it means i did pretty okays! 😉

 

Poached Egg

December 7, 2012 2 comments

The initial plan was to have poached egg with hollandaise sauce this morning.

But while i scored at poaching the egg, i bombed on the hollandaise.

I guess you can’t win them all.Image

For the step by step, i followed smitten kitchen’s method of creating a vinegared whirlpool.

And what do you  know? It worked 🙂

 

 

Okonomiyaki

November 9, 2012 2 comments

Can i tell you how grateful i am for baby carriers?

Baby Crustabakes seems to want to be carried all day. She wails whenever i put her down.

I have to “wear” Baby Crustabakes to get anything done.

ANY-thing.

Which includes cooking this okonomiyaki.

A savoury Japanese Pancake of seafood and cabbage.

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I really dont mind carrying my baby all day. I kiss the top of her head a million times a day as she is snuggly strapped against my chest. It’s a wonderful, intoxicating feeling.

I just worry for her safety as i move around the kitchen to get breakfast served.

Is this a phase that babies go through?

Super mommies out there, can i get advice/solution or any form of insight on the situation?

 

Okonomiyaki

Taken from zencancook

    • 1 cup flour
    • 2/3 cup dashi
    • 2 eggs
    • 4 cups chopped cabbage
    • 2 scallions chopped
    • 1/2 lb pork belly, sliced
    • 1 cup octopus tentacles, chopped
    • okonomi sauce
    • kewpie mayonnaise
    • bonito flakes
    • ao-nori or furikake
    • canola oil
    • For the okonomiyaki:
    • Mix the flour and dashi together. Add to the chopped cabbage and scallions and add the eggs. Mix well. Add the chopped octopus, if using.
    • Heat some oil on a griddle or a large pan. Make four mounts of the cabbage mixture (work in batches) and shape them like pancakes. Top with slices of pork belly.
    • Cook on medium heat until golden brown and flip over, about 7 or 8 minutes per side.
    • Top with okonomi sauce, kewpie mayonnaise, bonito flakes and ao-nori or furikake.
    • Serve hot

    Note:

    I made my own Okonomi Sauce by heating the following ingredients:

    – 1 TBS ketchup

    – 1 TBS worchestershire sauce

    – 1/2 TBS soy sauce

    – 1//2 tsp sugar

     

 

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Of Pancakes and Waffles

October 20, 2012 2 comments

I was feeding Baby Crustabakes last Sunday morning, when i received a phone call from my dad.

“Make pancake batter” he said. ” I am going over.”

Assuming he was coming over for breakfast, i did as i was told. And soon enough he arrived. He had a huge brown box in his arms.

The box had the words “waffle maker”.

I narrowed my eyes with suspicion. “Waffle maker?” I inquired. “I thought we were making pancakes!”

“Oh, they are from the same batter” he said simply.

Feeling highly doubtful of his “same batter” theory, but knowing better than to argue, i busied myself with cleaning the huge contraption called the “waffle maker”.

We decided to skip reading the instruction manual and proceeded to lowering MY pancake batter onto it. We fiddled with some knobs and switches, and used whatever common sense we had.

And what do you know! A Waffle was made!

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From A PANCAKE batter indeed!

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So if i were to have a lesson learnt from this. I guess that maybe, just maybe, life shouldn’t be that complicated after all. So toss that instruction manual. Use your common sense, sit back, relax and enjoy the some waffles!

 

Fluffy American pancakes (Or waffles)

Taken from Junglefrog Cooking

 

 

Ingredients:

135 gr plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

2 tbsp caster sugar

130ml milk

1 large egg, lightly beaten

2 tbsp of melted butter (allowed to cool slightly) or olive oil, plus extra for cooking

Directions:

Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar into a large bowl. In a separate bowl or jug, lightly whisk together the milk and egg, then whisk in the melted butter.

Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and, using a fork, beat until you have a smooth batter. Any lumps will soon disappear with a little mixing. Let the batter stand for a few minutes.

Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add a knob of butter. When it’s melted, add a ladle of batter (or two if you frying pan is big enough to cook two pancakes at the same time) It will seem very thick but this is how it should be. Wait until the top of the pancake begins to bubble, then turn it over and cook until both sides are golden brown and the pancake has risen to about 1 cm thick.

Repeat until all the batter is used up. You can keep the pancakes warm in a low oven, but they taste best fresh out of the pan.

Serve with lashings of maple syrup and extra butter if you like.

 

Indonesian Steamed Cakes (Bolu Kukus)

October 13, 2012 2 comments

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I remember i didnt like this kind of steamed cakes growing up.

Their subtle sweetness just didn’t cut it for my then junk-food trained tongue. I crave for soft baked chocolate chip cookies, or fudgy thick brownies.

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I am not saying i dont crave for such rich, sinful dessert now. I just learnt to accept food that are milder in flavour…Grown up food.

Because life is not all about Ben and Jerry’s or McDs. There are other stuffs too. Like Broccoli, and delicate Indonesian steamed cakes.

 

 

Chocolate Chip Muffins

October 9, 2012 2 comments

I’ve always had an attitude towards muffins. It’s not a good one.

To me, muffins are just effortless, dry, tasteless mini cakes.

But when you’ve had a baby and your world goes crazy, effortless doesnt sound like such a bad idea after all. Plus i could always overdose on the chocolate chips. There is almost nothing that an overdose of chocolate chips couldn’t right. Not even effortless, dry, tasteless mini cakes.

So early this morning, my fingers were manouvering the familiar set of measuring cups and spoons while my toes were crossed in the hope that Baby Crustabakes doesn’t wake up. Not before the batter goes into the oven anyway.

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And that’s the beauty of muffins. It is THAT quick together.

And another beauty?

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Definitely the “Muffin Method” of barely mixing wet and dry ingredients. No need for the racuous handheld mixer to startle the baby!

So, here’s a toast to muffins!

Chocolate Chip Muffins

Taken from My Baking Addiction

 

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners or spray the wells of the pan with non-stick cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugars, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

3. In medium bowl, whisk together melted butter, eggs, milk, and vanilla, mixing until well combined.

4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the liquid ingredients into the well. Stir until ingredients are just combined – do not over mix the batter. Fold in the chocolate chips.

5. Evenly divide the batter into the prepared muffin pan wells. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

6. Remove muffins to a wire rack and cool for at least 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature

Categories: Uncategorized

DoryFish Fries

October 28, 2011 7 comments

Do not let appearance deceive you,

For although these may look like potato wedges, they are actually Doryfish fries.
Frozen Dory fish fillets are sliced into thin wedges and deep fried in hot oil.

They are just like the average fish fingers. Except they are cut thinner and longer. You get the maximum batter over fish ratio this way.

I served this with a bit of mayonnaise. Because fried food and mayonnaise are a lifelong couple. I would have gone for tartar sauce ( which  is also a mayonnaise based sauce). Too bad i didnt have on hands.

 

 Dory Fish Fries

Taken from Allrecipes

Ingredients

  • 1 (10 ounce) fillet dory catfish
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1/2 cup corn flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 quart oil for frying
 

Directions

  1. Lay dory fillet horizontally on cutting board. Cut thin 1/4 inch wide strips from the filet at a 45 degree angle. This is easy if your knife is sharp, and the filet is partly frozen.
  2. Dust fish strips moderately with cayenne pepper, and gently tumble together to evenly coat all strips. They should look pink all over when you are through. On the Bayou, this is called a dry marinade. Place dory fish strips on a plate or pan, and set aside for a few minutes to thaw.
  3. Heat oil in deep-fryer to 365 degrees F (185 degrees C). Place enough corn flour to bread your dory fish on a bowl or plate, and season with salt and black pepper.
  4. Place thawed dory fish into seasoned corn flour, and tumble gently until all strips are evenly coated. Deep fry in hot oil for about 3 minutes, or until done. Fish should be golden brown, slightly crisp outside, and moist and flaky inside when done.
Categories: Fish, Uncategorized Tags: , , , ,

It’s Christmas all year round in San Francisco

August 26, 2011 6 comments

I literally gasped when i laid my eyes on this.

When we were driving up the hills to capture the shot, the name “Christmas tree point” came up on the GPS.

The perfect name for the perfect spot.

Can you guess which city this is?

Maybe this might help,

That’s the Bay bridge all right,

and this is the beautiful beautiful city of San Francisco.

And i am so appreciative of each and every twinkling light from the city that made this crazy view possible!

Categories: Uncategorized

Exploring L.A-la Land

August 22, 2011 8 comments

Hi all!

Sorry i havent been baking.

I have  been busy celebrity sighting

That’s right. That’s the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

I am currently vacationing the city of Los Angeles! And i absolutely absolutely love it here!

Can you spot the celebrated “hollywood” sign?

Sorry for the bad picture. This was taken while i was on board a city tour bus.

I didn’t know how to get nearer to the sign.

Is it even possible to get nearer to the sign?

Well, at least this sign is bigger.

THE Beverly Hill.

The city with the most luxurious homes and perfectly manicured lawns.

Homes of the rich and famous.

Not to forget Rodeo Drive.

The shopping district tenanted by the highest fashion brands, with the corresponding steep price tags to prove.

I also had a milkshake.

A milkshake crafted by teen sensation, Miley Cyrus. for the Milkshake shop, Millions of Milkshake.

It was vanilla ice cream, blended with cookie dough and reese’s PB Cuups.

Miley really knew how to design a milkshake.

I smiled for a mile as i walked and drank this milkshake.

Despite all that, i unfortunately didn’t spot any celebrities.

except for these two bozos, Buzz and Woody.

Two best friends chilling and chatting on the streets of Hollywood. 🙂

 

With all these going on, baking will have to wait for now.

I have to explore this wondrous city of LA.

Where the people are all so friendly,

And the weather so fine and balmy.

YAY for LA!

Categories: Uncategorized

Moving house!

July 18, 2011 10 comments

I know i haven’t been updating lots recently. But i have a  totally legit reason for that.

I am in the process of moving out.

And you know how it is moving…

First you pack things up in your old house, then you bring them over to the new house and unpack.

Sounds easy right?

Except that u realize that the oven doesn’t fit into the sedan. Not the boot, not the front seat, not even the back seat.

Then you call up for a truck company. And arrange for the transport. But wait, they are not available till next week.

Right.

How about the new house then?

Whoops, seems like there is an electricity limit of 2000 watts.

That’s not quite enough to power up your oven at 2200 watts isnt it?

I wonder whether the electric man ( is that how you call them?) is free this week to help me with that…

 

And that unlimited supply of bright and natural sun rays you use as lighting for your photography?

Hmm, that’s quite hard to replicate when your windows had permanent grills on them and whatever food you put under your windows had grill shadows on them.

Despite all these, i am working hard to rectify the matters so i could continue baking and blogging… So till then, wish me luck!

 

Categories: Uncategorized

Boston Cream Pie

July 14, 2011 13 comments

Just a short post on Boston Cream pie.

It’s not a pie, its more of a cake.

With pastry cream filling and chocolate frosting 🙂

Categories: Uncategorized

Chicken Pie

June 24, 2011 14 comments

My chicken pie comes in a tube today.

If you have ever made puff pastry before, you would probably be familiar with the repetitive process of rolling your dough into a rectangle, and then folding the two ends (top and bottom) so that they overlap in the middle. This process is repeated for a total of 4 times (according to my recipe) before your puff pastry dough is ready for use.

I was doing just that this morning. As if on autopilot mode, i was either rolling the dough upward, or downward to maintain the rectangular shape of my dough. And that was what happened even after i completed my fourth turn. Instead of rolling my dough into a circle for the base of the pie, i spacily rolled it to its accustomed rectangle.

 

But instead of beating myself up over it, i decided to make do with my blunder. Rather than docking my puff pastry into a pie plate, i pipped the fillings for this pie down the long side of my rectangular puff pastry then rolled it from the short side  up to seal.  Which pretty much explains the tunnel of chicken pie.

But then again, no one had to know of your carelessness, cause this looks perfectly normal as a roulade.

Filled with chicken, potatoes, broccoli and carrots, this pie is pretty much a meal on its own. Warm, hearty and satiating. It made a good breakfast menu for me, but i am already thinking about it for lunch, AND maybe if there’s some left, dinner.

Slicing into this pie was a dream too. I absoultey loved hearing the soft crunch as my knife sliced into the top of this very tender and flakey pie.

And as you can see, the puff pastry didnt rise much when weighed down with the filling. However, at the sides where i sealed the skin together, it rose up quite a bit!

I am no expert when it comes to rolling pie pastry, and i must say i am pretty happy with the way this puffed up!

And biting into a raised puff pastry is messy. But it sure is delicious. So be sure to hold a plate under your chin to catch the crumbs!

Chicken Pie

Taken from Baking Made Easy by Agnes Chang

*my notes in red

Puff Pastry :

360 gr plain flour, mixed with 1tsp salt, sifted, + 60 gr butter

8 – 10 TBS cold water, mixed with 1 tsp lime juice

180 gr pastry margarine

1 beaten egg, mixed with a pinch of salt (for glazing)

Filling:

300 gr diced chicken meat, mixed with 1/2 tsp cornflour and 1 tsp concentrated chicken stock (I omitted the cornflour, and used powdered chicken stock)

2 sausages, diced

1 cooked potato, diced

10 button mushrooms, diced (omitted)

1 big onion, chopped, + 3 TBS butter/ oil

salt and pepper to taste

pinch of nutmeg (omitted)

2 TBS flour, + 1/2 Cup water

1. Pastry: Put the sifted flour into a big mixing bowl, Rub in butter, add enough water to mix into a pliable dough. (I placed flour, salt and butter in a food processor and blitzed it before gradually adding the water mixture) Knead till smooth. Rest for 15 mins. Roll into oblong shape. Put pastry margarine into 2/3 of dough, fold into 3 layers. Roll again into oblong shape and fold into 3 layers again. Repeat 3 more times ( rest pastry for 15 minutes each time)

2. Filling: Heat up butter/oil in a fruing pan. Sautee chopped onions till fragrant. Add chicken meat and fry till fragrant. Add potato, carrot, button mushrooms(omit), nutmeg powder (omit) and salt and pepper to taste. Dish up. Heat up another 1 TBS oil and fry plain flour till fragrant. Add water to form a thick sauce. Mix in the chicken meat mixture. Dish and leave to cool.

3. Roll the pastry into 3 mm thickness. Cut into rounds and press into the pie dish. (I rolled it into a long rectangle, piped the filling down the middle, and rolled it up from the sides to form a roulade)Add filling and cover up with another piece of pastry. Glaze with beaten egg and slit on top to let steam out during baking. Bake in a preheated oven at 200 degree celcius till golden brown (about 25 – 30 mins). Remove from oven and ready to serve.

Garlic and Rosemary Focaccia

May 31, 2011 12 comments

It seems like my sweet tooth is gone on a little vacation.

Cause for once in my life, I am favouring savoury foods instead of my usual staple of cakes, cookies and candies.

Take today for instance, i started out with an ingredient rarely mentioned in this blog.

Garlic.

A neglected and underrated vegetable (or is it root?) here in Crustabakes.

So along with dried rosemary (Well, ideally, i was supposed to use fresh ones), i have taken the garlic and massaged it into a focaccia bread dough to create the most wonderfully smelling kitchen.

And of course the most wonderfully smelling bread too.

The recipe for this focaccia was taken from Sweet Pea’s kitchen. As with most of the recipes on her blog, this recipe was pretty straightforward.  And although this is my first time making focaccia, i thought it went quite well. I pretty much adhered to the instructions, substituting only on the scale to fit the bread into a 9×13 pan instead of the 12×14 pan.  

The resultant bread had a good crisp skin and a chewy interior. And with its dimpled surface and aromatic flavours, this is as focaccia-ish as it could be. Oh, instead of the usual spray of cooking oil on the pan to prevent sticking, i drizzled garlic oil on it, to infuse even more flavour on the bread.

With all the garlic, rosemary and seasalt, this focaccia is actually good enough to be eaten on its own. But i did have some leftover tomato dip which went along very well with the bread.

Oh, and you might want to brush your teeth again after that. Or at least get the breathmints ready. 🙂  

Garlic and Rosemary Focaccia

Taken from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen

Cranberry Pistachio Cupcakes

May 22, 2011 19 comments

While the average person tries to spend as minimal time in the grocery store, i am one of those weirdos who loves to walk through each aisle leisurely.  I dawdle, i deliberate, and i drive my supermarket companion (whoever is unfortunate enough to be with me ) nuts at my unprogressive rate.

It was during one of these trips that i spotted this Pistachio instant pudding mix from Jell-o.

I grabbed one knowing exactly what i wanted it for.

A pistachio cream cheese frosting from my Cream Cheese Jelly Berry Pie. The original recipe was for filling a pie, but the texture was so thick and the taste so creamy that i decided that it would work as a frosting too.

But as an insurance, i did omit out the liquid (milk) in the recipe. I wanted this frosting to be really thick and full flavoured.

And since i was going fancy with the frosting, i didn’t one plain vanilla for the cupcakes. So i took an orange cupcake recipe but subbed the orange juice in it for cranberry juice.

Cranberry Cupcakes with Pistachio Cream Cheese anyone?

It didnt work out so well though, i couldn’t taste the cranberry flavours for one bit. I suggest on using cranberry extracts for this.

Having said that, the real star here is the frosting. Really, it could have been just be a piece of stale bread underneath and it will still taste delicious!

Cranberry Cupcakes:
2 eggs
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups sifted cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup orange juice

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F). Line your cupcake pans.
  2. Beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add in the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla.
  4. Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt. Mix well.
  5. Combine the milk with the cranberry juice.
  6. Pour one third flour mixture into the butter mixture, then half of the milk mixture. Repeat ending with the flour mixture. Mix well.
  7. Spoon batter evenly among cupcake liners.
  8. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool before frosting.

Pistachio Cream Cheese Frosting

1 Can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese

1/4 c cold milk

1 Package (3.4 ounces) Pistachio Instant pudding mix

  1. In a large bowl, beat sweetened condensed milk, cream cheese, and pudding mix for 1 minute.
  2. Spread over cooled cupcakes.
  3. Sprinkle chopped pistaschio and dried cranberries over to prettify!

On a hiatus

May 6, 2011 6 comments

Hi all!

Just a quick pop to say hi ! I am currently vacationing in Singapore now (YAYYSS!) . Does anyone have any recommended Singaporean baking books by local authors they would recommend to me?

Thanks in advance!

Categories: Uncategorized

Awards

April 24, 2011 10 comments

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

I cant thank

Edith from Precious moments,

Small Small Baker

Jasmine from Sweetylicious, and

Rita from rtcrita

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

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

The randoms:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Beth from Delicious Inspiration

2. Kristina from Paddle Attachment

3. Grapefruit from Some Needful Things

4. Samina from Samina Cooks

5.  J. from Kawaiikitchen

6. Lora from diaryofamadhausfrau

7. Amy from tinytearoom

8. Raymund from angsarap

9. Betty from scrambledhenfruit

10. Maria from scandifoodie

11. Erin from makingmemorieswithyourkids

12. Yvette from yvettesblogs

13. Brianna from itsybitsybrianna

14. Swee San from thesweetspot

15. Christina from thiswomancooks

Categories: Uncategorized

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

April 17, 2011 30 comments

Whoever Mrs Milman is, Thank YOU!

Thank you for sharing your wonderful fudge recipe.

It’s been a while since i made a frosted cake, and i was itching to glide my spatula across some creamy, luscious frostings. I know it’s weird but I tend to have all these weird impulse to do something baking related, be it kneading dough, folding eggs, or beating butter.

So i went poking around Martha Stewart’s website for a cake recipe, and an image of a chocolate cake with the glossiest chocolate frosting called to me.

Moist Devil’s Foodcake w Mrs Milman’s Chocolate Frosting, the title says.

So, i went about making the cake, starting with the frosting first, since it needs a cooling time of about two hours.

And i wouldnt shortchange that two hours. The frosting should be thick enough to frost with. It shouldn’t as runny as mayonnaise. Mine worked out quite fine, it got to a consistency slightly thicker than Nutella :). So two hours, people!

Oh, pretty, glossy fudgey frosting!

Unfortunately, it wasn’t anyone’s birthday today (i wished it were!). And much as i wanted to decorate this cake silly, it won’t be justified. So i just did that swirly thing with my spatula, and hope for some rustic charm.

And a couple of  glaced cherry wouldn’t hurt.

So we slice,

Ooops, the frosting in the middle got a bit runny. I don’t know how i could have waited all that two hours for the frosting to thicken, yet not wait  for the cakes to cool. Is it possible for anyone to get dopier than that?!

Anyways, runny frostings or not, we still charge forward with a fork

Yums!

Recipes, pls click!

Moist Devil’s Food Cake

Mrs Milman’s Chocolate Frosting

Categories: Uncategorized

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)

Butterscotch Praline Cream Pie

April 9, 2011 14 comments

When i first saw the name Butterscotch Praline Cream Pie, i was very vague on what was going on.

Frankly speaking, i don’t know my butterscotch from my toffees, or my toffees from my caramels. All i know is that sugar cooking is involved.

So to set things straight, here goes!

Caramel is a beige to dark-brown confection made by heating any of a variety of sugars

Toffee is a confection made by caramelizing sugar or molasses (creating inverted sugar) along with butter, and occasionally flour

Butterscotch is similar to toffee, but for butterscotch the sugar is boiled to the soft crack stage, and not hard crack as with toffee

-Thanks Master Wikipedia !

Right, now that we are all a little bit smarter, let’s get back to the matters on hands.

Butterscotch Praline Cream Pie– A tender, flakey pie crust containing a deep, smokey butterscotch custard.

Let’s start with the pie crust. A buttery patee brisee with a scant amount of sugar.

And you know something, between all that rolling, chilling and blind baking, I am never one to agree with the term “easy as pie”.

They should really change it to “Easy as pie eating“. That i can definitely relate to.

So anyways, into this crust, i pile on the butterscotch custard.

I met with a bit of a technical difficulty with this butterscotch. It was not the lush luscious custard that i was expecting.

If you can see it closely, it is quite lumpy. They are not really serious and significant, but they are still visibly noticeable.Thankfully, the sandiness didnt present itself when u spoon the custard into your mouth. I suspect it’s globules of fats from the cream which was not well incorporated as i poured it into the hot caramel. Thankfully it was not intolerably rough, but it was enough to make me grit my teeth (no pun intended).

Grits or no grits, i soldiered on to the whipping cream, which was pleasantly folded with praline.

Praline – a family of confections made from nuts and sugar syrup.

Although the suggested nut in the recipe was hazelnut, i used good ole peanuts. Just because that’s the only nuts i have.

I wouldn’t advise on skipping the whipping cream to save the calories though. The lightness of the whipped cream was so pleasant against the dark, smoky butterscotch custard. A good balance of complex and simple flavours. But then again, i wouldnt skip on the praline either, just cause it gives a good crunch.

And so there you have it, A crash course on toffee, butterscotch, caramel, and a Butterscotch Praline Cream pie!

Butterscotch-Praline Cream Pie

Taken from Martha Stewart

Ingredients

  • All-purpose flour, for surface
  • 1/2 recipe Pate Brisee
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup dark-brown sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Crushed Hazelnut Praline

Directions

  1. On a lightly floured work surface, roll pate brisee to 1/8-inch thickness. Fit into a 9-inch pie dish. Trim edges, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Tuck overhang under dough so edges are flush with rim, and crimp edges. Lightly prick bottom of dough with a fork. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line dough with parchment, and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until edges begin to turn gold, 15 to 18 minutes. Carefully remove weights and parchment. Bake until crust is golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. (Crust can be stored overnight.)
  3. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until butter browns. Stir in sugar until it dissolves, about 5 minutes. Slowly pour 1 cup cream down the side of the pan, stirring constantly until smooth (caramel will bubble). Remove from heat.
  4. Whisk cornstarch, salt, and milk in a small bowl until smooth. Whisk into butter mixture until well combined. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until bubbling and thick, about 7 minutes total (about 2 minutes after it comes to a boil.)
  5. Whisk yolks in a medium bowl until combined. Pour in milk mixture in a slow, steady stream, whisking until completely incorporated. Return mixture to the saucepan, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it returns to a boil, 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. Immediately remove from heat, and stir in vanilla. Let custard cool in saucepan on a wire rack, whisking occasionally, for 10 minutes.
  7. Pour custard into piecrust. Press plastic wrap directly on surface of custard. Refrigerate until custard filling is chilled and firm, at least 4 hours (or overnight).
  8. Whisk remaining 1 cup cream until stiff peaks form. Reserve 2 tablespoons praline, and fold remaining praline into cream. Spread cream over pie, and sprinkle reserved praline on top. Serve immediately.

Crushed Hazelnut Praline

Ingredients

  • Vegetable-oil cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Salt
  • 1/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skins rubbed off with a damp cloth

Directions

  1. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Heat sugar, corn syrup, water, and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Continue to cook, without stirring, until deep amber. Remove from heat, stir in nuts, and spread evenly on baking sheet. Let cool completely on sheet on a wire rack.
  2. Break praline into medium pieces, and transfer to a resealable plastic bag. Using a rolling pin, crush into pea-size pieces. (Crushed praline can be stored for up to 1 month.)

Triple Chocolate Espresso Brownies

March 29, 2011 25 comments

Just popped by for a quick brownie post.

A brownie with the thin, crackly, shiny crust

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

These were also spiked with espresso,

to help you get going on your busy day ahead.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Caramel Whipped Cream

Taken from Martha Stewart

Ingredients

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

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

    Chocolate filled Sweet Rolls

    March 23, 2011 14 comments

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

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

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

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

    It was ground breaking.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Bread Dough

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

    Ingredients A

    700 gr Bread Flour

    300 gr AP Flour

    250 gr Sugar

    5 egg yolks

    2 egg whites

    150ml evaporated milk

    275 iced water

    20 gr instant yeast

    10 gr bread softener

    50 gr milk powder

    Ingredients B

    75 gr Butter

    75 gr Margarine

    50 gr Butter Substitute

    10 gr Bacom (Bread emulsifier)

    15 gr salt

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

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

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

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

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

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

    7. Brush evaporated milk over the surfaces

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

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

    Categories: Uncategorized

    Chocolate Peanut Brittle Boo-Boo

    March 22, 2011 15 comments

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

    That i just had to chocolate coat everything and anything.

    And today, it’s peanut brittle.

    Toasted Salted Peanuts held together by caramel,

    and coated with chocolate,

    And sprinkled with coarse grained seasalt.

    and broken into shards.

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

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

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

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

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

    Not a very cool thing to do.

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

    Categories: Uncategorized

    Two-Tone Fudge Brownies

    January 5, 2011 9 comments

    Often times, i find myself staring into the candy aisles section of a supermarket, trying to decide whether i wanted a bar of dark or white chocolate. They are both wonderful of course. Dark chocolate being stronger in flavour and slightly more bitter in taste, and white chocolate, smelling like vanilla and tasting much more sweeter.

    Imagine my joy when i found the recipe for this dual tone brownies. This dual tone brownie is definitely the recipe to go for when you find urself in such challenging chocolate selection affair, cause choosing your chocolate, that is not mere child’s play (not for me anyways). :p

    This dual tone brownies combines both the dark and white chocolate and quite frankly, i can’t think of anything better sounding than that. It might be called a brownie, but it is part blondie too.

    I love the shiny paper thin crust off a brownie even though I can’t take a decent picture of it without the light bouncing off the surface. Something about this crust just promises dense, dark, fudgy and lusciously moist brownies in the waiting.

    And true to its expectations, that dense, dark, fudgy and lusciously moist brownies is what was delivered.

    So let’s get a bite (or rather my second) bite of that delight!

    Recipe from Brownies, Fudges and Toppings (by Periplus Mini Cookbooks Series)

    Chocolate Mixture:

    60 gr butter

    90 gr dark chocolate, roughly chopped

    125 gr caster sugar

    1 tsp vanilla

    1 egg, lightly beaten

    60 gr plain flour

     

    White Chocolate Mixture:

    60 gr butter

    90 gr white chocolate buttons

    125 gr caster sugar

    1 tsp vanilla essence

    1 egg, lightly beaten

    60 g plain flour

     

    1. Preheat the oven to moderate 350 F. Lightly brush a 8 inch square tin with melted butter or oil and line the base with baking paper, extending over the 2 sides.

    2. To make chocolate mixture:

    Stir the butter and chocolate in a small heatproof bowl, over a pan of simmering water until just melted. Using a wooden spoon, beat the sugar, vanilla essence and egg in a medium bowl until combined. Stir in the chocolate mixture, add the flour, stirring until just combined. Do not overbeat.

    3. To make white chocolate mixture:

    Stir the butter and the white chocolate in a small heatproof bowl, over a pan of simmering water, until just melted. Using a wooden spoon, beat the caster sugar, vanilla essence and beaten egg in a medium bowl until combined. Stir in the white chocolate mixture. Add the sifted flour, stirring until just combined. Do not overbeat.

    4. Drop large spoonfuls of the mixtures alternately and evenly, next to one another in a single layer in the tin. Gently smooth the surface without combining the mixtures. Bake for 35 minutes, or until firm. Allow to cool in the tin before cutting into small pieces.

    Categories: Uncategorized

    Jasmine Tea Chiffon Cake

    January 4, 2011 8 comments

    I was drinking a cup of jasmine tea. It was strong and wonderfully fragrant having been made from jasmine tea leaves that had been steeped for quite a while.

    Habitually, i wanted to imitate that tea drinking experience into baking. Geez, it seems like i almost always want everything to be emulated into baking..

    So anyways, i went online and did a search and decided to make a tea flavoured chiffon cake. Chiffon cake is generally good enough to be eaten on its own, and since i wanted to max out on the tea flavour, i didnt want interference from the frostings or buttercream party.

    The recipe required me to rip a open 3 teabags and throw its contents into the batter, but i decided on using the tea leaves as i thought tea leaves are generally stronger in flavour and i heard that they are of more premium quality as compared to the ones found in teabags.

    The downside to using tea leaves is the additional step of pounding them into powder form, for while i am a fan of tea leaves, i don’t think anyone would really fancy chewing those leaves along with the cake.

    I pounded the leaves till they were small enough to pass through my sift. I am not sure how strong the tea flavour would be if i were just to use the contents of the teabag, so i cant gauge on how the resultant cake will score on the fragrance meter. However, pounding those tea leaves resulted in a cake that was rewardingly aromatic. It felt like i was inhaling jasmine tea cake instead of merely eating it. The texture of the cake was moist and incredibly moist, a true chiffon indeed.

    I am also loving the black speckles in the cake. It just looks fancy to me, like a fashionable leopard print. 🙂

    Recipe from Happy Home Baking (Thanks so much for sharing!)

    Earl Grey Chiffon Cake

    Ingredients
    (makes one 18cm cake)

    A:
    1 tablespoon Earl Grey tea powder (about 3 satchels)
    100g cake flour
    1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    3 egg yolks
    40g caster sugar
    50ml vegetable oil
    75ml water

    B:
    3 egg whites
    40g caster sugar

    Method:

    1. Sieve flour, baking powder and salt together, set aside.
    2. Separate egg yolks/whites and bring to room temperature. (It is easier to separate eggs when they are cold.)
    3. Place egg yolks in a mixing bowl, add in sugar, in 3 separate additions and with a manual whisk, whisk till the mixture becomes sticky and turn pale.
    4. Drizzle in the oil, whisking at the same time till the mixture is well combined. Repeat the same with the water. Sieve over the flour mixture and whisk until flour mixture is fully incorporated into the batter. Add in the earl grey powder and mix well.
    5. In a clean, dry mixing bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer until mixture becomes frothy and foamy. Gradually beat in the sugar and beat on high speed until just before stiff peaks form* (after note: after several attempts at baking chiffon cakes, I learned that the whites should be beaten until just before stiff peaks form).
    6. Add the beaten egg white into the egg yolk batter in 3 separate additions, each time folding gently with a spatula until just blended.
    7. Pour batter into a 18cm (7 inch) tube pan (do not grease the pan). Tap the pan lightly on a table top to get rid of any trapped air bubbles in the batter.
    8. Bake in pre-heated oven at 170 degC for 45 ~ 50mins or until the cake surface turns golden brown, and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
    9. Remove from the oven and invert the pan immediately. Let cool completely before unmould. To remove the cake from the pan, run a thin-bladed knife around the inside of the pan and the center core. Release the cake and run the knife along the base of the pan to remove the cake.
    Categories: Uncategorized

    12 Weeks of Christmas, Week #10, White Choc Mousse X’mas Tree in Choco cups

    December 2, 2010 22 comments

    I cant believe we are already in our 10th Week of WOCC. I vividly remember deciding my first submission for this event like only it was yesterday.

    I really had lots of fun through this event, and have gotten to know so many talented bloggers out there. I cant thank Abby enough for organizing this event. But i guess all good things come to an end don’t they? Sigh. I can only wish that i would be able to participate in this all over again next year!

    Anyways, let’s move on from the gloom and embrace the festivities at its max! For this week, i have decided to make a white chocolate mousse Christmas Trees in chocolate cups.

    The original plan was to shape them like white christmas trees. But i guess my retarded piping skills sort of got in the way. So instead of pipping them tall with tapered tops, i could only make them short and stout, kinda like a dwarf versions of a tree.

    No one guessed that these were Christmas Tree wannabees though. They just thought of these as some other fancy dessert.

    Despite the obvious little yellow stars i made out of cookie icing, and painstakingly positioned on their tops.

    Or the decorative sprinkles around the piped mousse.

    But that’s okay. Even with their obvious height issues, they were still able to draw an “ooh, that’s so pretty!’, and a “these are cute”  from some of their end consumers.

    Oh well, i guess u can’t win them all.

    As for how they tasted?

    Well, they ARE chocolate cups and white chocolate mousse. I mean with that kind of double chocolate, i dont think anyone can go wrong.

    So till i get better at piping, these will have to do.

    Recipe :

    For the chocolate Cups:

    200 gr Dark chocolate

    – In a double boiler, melt the dark chocolate until smooth. Dip a paintbrush into chocolate and paint a thick coat of  to the inside of the cupcake liners. Set aside to cool and harden*. Apply a second coat if necessary and let dry.

    * You can of course speed up this process by placing it in the refrigerator, but somehow, my chocolate cups sweat when i do that, so i rather let them air dry at a cool room temperature.

    For the white chocolate mousse:

    150 gr white chocolate

    150 gr heavy cream

    1. In a double boiler, melt white chocolate till smooth, set aside to cool to room temp.

    2. In another larger bowl, beat heavy cream till soft peaks. Drizzle in melted white chocolate and beat till you have a thick, pipping consistency.

    Once chocolate cups are cooled and dried, peel cupcake liners off the chocolate cups, and pipe white chocolate mousse in its cavity. Decorate as desired.

    Categories: Uncategorized Tags: ,

    Strawberry Shortcake Birthday Cake

    November 16, 2010 16 comments

    The cake is frosted with lightly sweetened whipped cream, topped with fresh strawberries and slapped with graham cracker crumbs on the sides. It is made up of 4 layers of chiffon cake sandwiches alternating layers of freshly whipped cream and strawberry jam.

    I sent it along to the birthday girl without tasting this.

    Geez, i hope it tastes fine.

    Categories: Uncategorized

    Of Macarons, Mangoes and Dear Mommy.

    November 6, 2010 11 comments

    I have been wrecking my brains over my mom’s birthday cake for the past couple of weeks. I wanted something different for her. Something that doesn’t involve chocolate.

    My mom does enjoy an ocassional bite or two of chocolate. But she is not BIG on them the way my brother, dad, nephew and bro-in-law are. And the truth is, i am getting quite sick of making the same chocolate cake again and again. Each of their birthday cakes had the same sponge cake and the same frosting. It was getting mechanical for me. The only room for creativity i had was on the appearance of the cakes.

    And it wasn’t as if i didn’t try, i do ask each of them what kind of cake would they like before their big days arrive, secretly hoping i get some challenging answers. But equally mechanically, each of them was so firm in their answer – “CHOCOLATE!”.

    For my mom, things are different. I didn’t have to ask her what she wanted, because she is the easy goer in the family. And i decided, what the heck, i am the baker, i should have a say on what i do too right?

    So, i was toying on a green tea mousse idea. If u knew my mom, she is quite the tea drinker. A tea flavored cake would be pretty much perfect.

    But then, lo and behold, a box of mangoes landed before my nose. My dad loves mangoes, but i think this season he got a lil bit carried away. A WHOLE box of mangoes, probably 30 of them for a family of 6. Do the math, that’s 5 mangoes a piece.

    And with that arrival, it was byebye green tea, hello mangoes

    So i went scouring the world wide web, so determined in using all those mangoes and not letting anyone go beyond their expiry. I saw a couple that i liked, but i settled on Rei’s Mango Mousse cake.I have been following Rei’s blog for quite a bit, and i am pretty sure her recipes work. You guys should really check her out!

    Rei’s instructions were also clear, but what sealed the deal was a bonus green tea macaron recipe, which meant that i could still impart my original tea flavored cake plans into this cake. Thanks Rei for sharing the recipe!

    Now, macarons, macarons, i know i am getting ahead of myself. I am sure many of you have heard the many standards of the perfect macarons. From it’s feet to its domes. I am not an expert on it, and my macarons are less than perfect. Thank goodness these macarons are not the main players here, only mere sidekicks. No one will be scrutinizing them to their last details. PHEW!

    Yes, I know i need lots of help in my macarons. But, thats for another time. Let’s concentrate on the cake for now.

    I am pretty surprised at how well this cake came together. It is probably one of the easiest cake to decorate too. All i had to do was just pour the mango mousse into the springform pan, pour the mirror glaze over the mousse, stuck a few macarons, and arrange a few strawberries ( okay maybe not that easy). But having said that, this cake takes time though. Time is needed for the mousse to chill, and also time needed for the glaze to set. So, do set aside enough time before u go on making this. 🙂

    For better version of this cake, head over to Rei’s

    Mango Mousse Cake

    Sponge Cake Base :
    (A)
    2 Egg Whites
    40g Fine Sugar
    1/4 Tsp cream of tartar

    (B)
    2 Egg Yolks
    30g Fine Sugar
    1/2 Tsp Vanilla Essence
    50g Milk
    24g Corn Oil

    68g cake flour
    1/4 Tsp bicarbonate of soda

    *Sift together

    Method
    1) Prepare and line a 7 x 7 inch baking tin. In a clean bowl, whisk egg white and sugar. Add cream of tartar and whisk till peak.

    2) In another bowl, whisk egg yolks, sugar till pale and fluffy.

    3) Add vanilla essence, milk and corn oil to egg yolk mixture then fold in sifted flour mixture.

    4) Fold in egg yolk mixture into egg white mixture.

    5) Bake at 150°C for around 30 to 35 minutes or till skewer comes clean. Let the cake cool and slice horizontally 2 slices and trim them into 6.5 x 6.5 inch square.

    Mango Mousse :
    17g Gelatine Powder
    60g Hot Water

    350g Whipping Cream
    3 Tbsp Icing Sugar

    300g Mango Puree (if regrigerated, bring to room temperature)
    1Tbsp Rum

    200g to 220g Cubed Mango

    Mango puree topping:
    150g mango puree (bring to room temperature)
    1 Tbsp gelatin
    4-1/2 Tbsp boiling water

    Slice/Cubed fruits *optional

    Method
    1) In a mixing bowl, whip whipping cream with icing sugar to mousse state. Refrigerate to chill.

    2) In a small bowl, dissolve gelatine powder in hot water. When the gelatine powder is fully dissolved, add to mango puree. Add rum to the mixture. Mix well.

    3) Add the mango mixture to whipped cream. Mix well till incorporated.

    4) Use a 7 x 7 inch cake ring, place a layer of cake and pour in mango mousse, or use a large piping tip to pipe the mixture. Do take note of the corners. Add mango cubes and cover them with some mousse. Let it slighlty set for about 10 minutes in the fridge.

    5) Lay another cake layer and pour the remaining mousse. Let it set for 30 to 45 minutes in the fridge.

    6) Meanwhile,dissolve gelatine in hot water for mango puree topping. Mix in mango puree. Wait till the mousse is set and the topping is cooled, arrange sliced fruits, if using, pour in the topping carefully. Let the cake chill for at least 3 hours before removing the cake ring and decorate with macaroons (optional, recipe found here and here) or chocolate shards.

    *Note : If you pour a little of the mango puree topping on the fruits, you do not have to glaze them again.

    Categories: Uncategorized

    Candied Orange Slices

    October 31, 2010 10 comments

    I love the way candied orange look. Their flesh are translucent, and the glossy sheen just seems to catch any light coming their way.

    They are supposedly quite easy to make too. You just have to boil, then simmer them in sugared water.

    I guess u can pretty much use them wherever you like.

    I placed mine on a cake and watched it transform from boring to ravishing!

    But while these candied orange are decorational, i have to be brutally honest. They don’t taste that great after all.

    Or maybe it’s just mine. I think i might have tried candied orange slices before once or twice in some upscale restaurants. If my memory serves me right, they are supposed to be crunchy, relatively hard and sweet. I guess it might have been like eating on a thin piece of hard candy.

    Sadly, my batch didn’t really turn out that way. They were hard and candy-like all right, but they were bitter. I suspect it might have been the way they were prepared.

    For a whole orange, i boiled 1/2 cup sugar with some water till they dissolve. I dumped the sliced oranges in and basically just let them simmer till the sugar water mixture turned thick and syrupy.

    I let them cool for quite a bit before fishing them out with a pair of chopsticks and laid them on a piece of parchment.

    The whole process took barely half an hour. Really, i thought these steps were too quick and easy to make candied oranges. I mean, something’s gotta be done to take away the bitterness of the pit right?

    Did i not cook it long enough?

    or was there insufficient sugar?

    Am i even using the right oranges?

    Anyways, i am not providing a link up, because this recipe didn’t really work. Hopefully it will save you from repeating the same mistakes.

    So, until i found a better way to make candied oranges, these shall just be props to my cakes.

    Props that are conveniently flicked aside while i dive into my cake.

    Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , ,

    Lil’ Miss Uptight

    October 4, 2010 2 comments

    You know you are uptight when u need two oven thermometers in your oven.

    I so need to lighten up.

    Categories: Uncategorized

    12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies!

    September 20, 2010 4 comments

    I can’t think of a better way to welcome Christmas than by baking cookies!

    12 different cookie recipes to scout, bake and share! Boy, am i psyched!

    Thanks Abbey Sweets for letting me join the fun in this bake along.

    Categories: Uncategorized

    Hello world!

    April 15, 2009 1 comment

    Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

    Categories: Uncategorized