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Posts Tagged ‘baking’

Happy Idul Adha

October 14, 2013 Leave a comment

This cake is made to honor the cows to be slaughtered tomorrow.

And to wish all my Muslim Friends Happy Idul Adha.

idul adha cake

idul adha cake 2

photo

Happy Holidays everyone!

 

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Categories: Cakes Tags: , , , , ,

Peach Pie

September 5, 2013 3 comments

I am taking a break from all the healthy, wholesome cooking to make way for this peach pie.

This pie is a full butter, double crusted, gluten-full pie made from refined white wheat flour.

The peaches came from a can which probably leached BPA.

White refined sugar was added to the peaches.

peach pie

While the overall goal here is to make healthier, whole foods to feed my family. I’m taking baby steps towards it.

That canned peach? It was something I unwittingly bought a few months ago. I am using it as I am clearing my pantry of the less healthy food items and replacing it with the healthier ones.

peach pie 1

Having said that, I don’t think i will go to the extremeties such as completely eliminating a certain food.

I ‘ll still use wheat flour to create gluten-full bread.

I will still dump cupfuls of sugar into my cookies. ( well, maybe I will hold back just a little)

peach pie 2

My version of “healthy” is defined in the most universal way. Health ideas that most of us can unanimously agree on. And my first focus would be to buy ingredients as fresh and as less processed as possible.

I really don’t like the idea of reading the ingredient list on  say, a pack of biscuit in the supermarket and not being able to pronounce some of the items listed there, be it preservatives, additives, or even coloring,  So if i were really craving for that pack of biscuit, i would load up my grocery cart with flour, butter, sugar and whatever it takes to make that biscuit.

So wish me luck everyone. *tosses empty can of peach*

Peach Pie

Makes a small pie with a diameter of about 12 cm

80 grams flour

60 grams butter, cubed and frozen

pinch of salt

pinch of sugar

1 to 1.5 tablespoon ice cold water

Filling

1 tbs beaten egg

1 cup of peaches (I used canned peach)

1 tbs flour

25 grams sugar

pinch of cinnamon

pinch of salt

1/2 tbs butter

1. In a food processor, add the flour, salt and sugar and pulse a couple of times.

2. Add the butter, and pulse a few times until the mixture resembles peas.

3. Add ice water and pulse. The dough should start to hold together.

4. Remove dough from the food processor, and place it over your working surface. Form the dough into two discs, cover in pastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.

5. Preheat oven to 425 F

6. Take the dough discs and roll it out till it’s at least 18 cm in diameter.

7. Place the rolled dough and arrange it into the pie dish. Brush the pie crust with egg whites so that it doesnt get soggy.

8. In a large bowl, place the sliced peaches. In another bowl, mix the flour, sugar cinnamon,salt and the beaten egg. Pour the mixture over the sliced peaches and mix gently with a wooden spoon.

9. Roll the second disc of dough to make the top crust. Cut small round holes into the disc to let air during baking

10. Spoon peaches onto the pie dish, cover with the second dough, folding the edges under.Dip a fork in the egg wash, and start pressing the edges with the tines of the fork.

11. Bake for 10 mins in a preheated oven. the reduce the heat to 350 F and bake for an additional 30-35 mins.

12. Cool before removing from pie dish,

 

 

Coconut Flour Banana Chiffon Cake

September 1, 2013 2 comments

I’ve been observing numerous foodblogs and their abstinence to grains.

A Grain-Free diet, as they call it, is a diet devoid of grains. This includes things like rice, barley, oats, etc.

To summarize, ALL the flours in my pantry, be it rice flour, wheat flour or corn flour unmitigatedly  breach this grain free diet.

“So what the heck are you supposed to bake with?” screamed the baker in me.

Well, take it easy, Because baking is still possible without the above mentioned flours. Days after days of blogstalking activities revealed that almond flour (almond being a nut, not a grain), and coconut flour (coconut is a fruit), are the top favourites amongst the grain-free dieters.

And since i live in the tropics where coconuts are aplenty. I am using coconut flour on this grain free adventure

 

coconut flour banana chiffon cake 1

but WHY ???? you ask. Aren’t grains good for you? Aren’t they full of fiber? Don’t they reduce the risk of heart diseases.

Well, i guess there are two sides to every story.

The followers of a grain free diet believe that:

1. Grain are inflammatory food due to its high starch content.
Grains that are refined have higher inflammatory index than unrefined grains. So a white flour is more inflammatory than a whole wheat flour.

2. Grain contain phytic acid which binds minerals and prevent absorbtion.
This pretty much means that you won’t be able to fully and effeciently absorb the minerals that the grains boasts about.

3. Grains are linked to tooth decay.
High starches in grain is a breeding ground for bacterial growth in your mouth.

There are probably a more extensive list of the detrimental effects of grains. But I’ll leave it up to you guys to research into it on your own. My brain is starting to hurt just by highlighting the three points above. I guess i could never look into health advisor as an occupation.

coconut flour banana chiffon cake 2

Sugar Free Coconut Flour Chiffon Banana Cake with blueberries

Makes two ramekins

5 grams coconut flour
1 egg yolk (preferable organic)

10 grams coconut oil

10 grams coconut milk

60 grams ripe bananas, mashed

1 egg white

a handful of frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 165 C (330 F).

Mix egg yolk, mashed banana, coconut flour, oil, and milk into a bowl. Stir till you get a smooth batter

Beat egg white till stiff peak.

Fold egg white into banana batter

Transfer batter into ramekins

Drop blueberries on the batter

Bake for +- 20 minutes or till the cake turns a golden brown

 

 

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.

 

 

Happy Birthday Baby Caitlyn!

July 10, 2013 5 comments

On this date last year, I was making breakfast for your dad when i experienced a bout of intense stomach contractions that made me grip the kitchen counter.

“Is this it?”, I thought to myself panicking. I glanced at my unpacked “maternity” luggage a few feet away from the kitchen door. I’m not due until two weeks later.

“Let’s not panic”, I thought to myself. First time mothers usually take up to 15 hours to birth their child, i soothed myself , remembering my doctor’s words.

caitlyn 1

I finished scrambling my eggs of a breakfast, and fetched my list of “to brings” that the hospital gave me.

I scanned the list. Another wave of panic attack came over me.  “Breast pump”, i whispered aloud. I cursed myself repeatedly for stalling in buying one. A vision of my sister who successfully breastfed her kids till they were two years old each came into my mind. ” You need breast pump. It is very, very,VERY important”.

caitlyn

I pushed that out of my mind, I wondered if I could actually purchase breastpump while IN labor. I went into the shower, and spent a good 15 minutes not doing anything. Just standing under the warm running water (Green activists can hate me for wasting water, but please bear with the panic stricken mother-to-be).

The warm water felt comforting. The contractions didn’t reappear. I composed myself. Maybe it’s just a false alarm. I got dressed and got ready for work, vowing to buy breastpumps later that evening.

caitlyn 3

On the way to work, another wave of strong contractions made me close my eyes and wince in surrender. I dialled the hospital’s number and made an appointment to see the doctor. It was the smartest thing I’ve ever done, because 14 hours later, a slimy screaming baby was pulled out of me.

caitlyn 4

“Happy Birthday Baby Caitlyn”. May you be blessed with a wealth of health and love.Mommy can’t even begin to describe how much she loves you.

PS: this is a two tiered cake. The first tier is a sugar free cake for Caitlyn, the second layer is just an average sponge cake for adults.

Sugar Free Sponge Cake with Pear Jam:

For a 10 cm cake

1 egg yolk

2 egg whites

35 ml pear concentrate (made by simmering 105 ml of pear juice till it reduced to third)

15 grams olive oil

25 grams AP flour

5 grams cornflour

Boil olive oil with pear concentrate till the mixture steams. Set aside to warm

Add in egg yolk to the olive oil mixture. Slowly stir in the AP and cornflour.

Beat egg whites till soft peaks. Fold into the flour mixture.

Bake at 170 degree till cooked (+-15 minutes )

Slice the cake halfway, spread the sugar free pear jam and sandwich it with the top layer.

Sugar Free Pear Jam

50ml of homemade pear concentrate (made by simmering 150 ml of pear juice till it reduced to a third)

1/2 tsp arrowroot starch, dissolved in a bit of water.

Stir the arrowroot starch into the pear concentrate.

Simmer till thick and bubbly

Set aside to cool

I am entering this post into the Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, organized by Amy simplysugarandglutenfree. Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays is a very delightful weekly linky which aims at sharing gluten and sugar free recipes. While this recipe is not gluten free, it is still a very healthful sugar free recipe 😉