Archive for the 'Cakes' Category

the big post

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

i’ve squashed in everything from my wandering brain into this post! except the PD post, that, is another story ;D

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roughly…my current top 11 places to visit

1. ITALY
everything. everything. the land. the food. the culture. towns. stone houses. the sea. the people. not the colossus.

2. a place in MEXICO
utterly beautiful. some villa, I read about it in a travel mag

3. JAPAN
blossoms, sushi, culture

4. SPAIN
sun, colours, culture

5. MALDIVES and BALI

crushingly beautiful

6. HAWAII
sun fun, culture, fun, fun

7. PARIS
dessert, patissieries, eiffel tower, culture, street lamps, dance around the city, wear red shoes, curl my hair, drink in everything

8. SOUTH AMERICA
visit the incan empire..machu picchu

9. nyc, AMELIKA
shop, feel, eat a big apple, a hot dawg from a stand, get lost, shop, travel around

10. SOUTH AFRICA
beautiful, get close to a lion, climb table mountain

11. LONDON

use pounds £, fancy street lamps, open air double deckers, red telephone booths, trench coats

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most creatively wrapped christmas gift 2008:

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for a precious friendo called vonno.

(haha finally!!! get to post up a pic cos if i posted it up last time, NO surprise right!)

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what we had for christmas

roast beef
yorkshire pudding
mushroom soup (made from scratch ok!)
chocolate truffles

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recipe
chocolate cake, mashed
buttercream OR cream

- mash all together make into round balls, or squares

rum & raisin version
1 tsp or 2 tsp of rum
50g plump raisins

- add to choc cake mixture

melt some chocolate and dip inside then put into paper cups.

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violin bows matter for sound. wow. thicker the better! and the more used up, the more rosin = awesome sound.

my christmas gift last year, plus a crafty thing my cousin made

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at 2am, january 1st, 2009
I…

…had a beer for new years eve.

..and a float. :)

…am grateful for long nails. so useful for scratching mozzie kisses! ugh.

…discovered that shooting on Aperture creates SUCH a better vibrancy!!!!! NO MORE will I use Auto sans Flash or P! adjusting the settings yourself give awesome colour contrast!!! we’re talking ultra blue skies, solid colour tones, getty image like pictures…!

…just killed a mozzie. finally!

…am wondering if Canon is a better choice for SLRs. cheaper too. ?

…am excited, and expectant for 2009.

TWD #4: Linzer Sablés!

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

This Tuesday’s edition with Tuesdays With Dorie is Linzer Sablés!

Made of almond meal & flour, Linzer Sablés is a more European-style cookie which I really enjoyed because it’s not the sugary floury stuff we’ve been making of late. Or a rich shortbread sort of thing. It’s light on the palate, and easy on the stomach! Haha. Again, I keep thinking it’s a healthy recipe but it’s not reaaaally. Just healthier, and it doesn’t give me a sick feeling trying some of em! Guilt ease, guilt ease.

Anyways! I completely forgot about the challenge, but I woke up early in the morning to prepare the dough, roll it out and stuff it in the fridge. When I came back home, it was there all waiting for me to cut it out and bake as you can see in the next process. One of the easier recipes in town!


Process. As you can see, there was meant to be an ultra hip snowflake version of Linzer Sables. But they fell, and shattered into a thousand pieces. Hence, no pictures. :(

I rolled the dough VERY THIN and not 1/4 inches like said in the recipe because of the comments on it on TWD. I kinda rolled it TOO thin I think! I got it right on my next tray in the oven! I got a total of FORTY ONE (41) flipping cookies and that is not a bad thing! It went in the oven for 10 minutes and came out good. I suggest watching it and taking it out when pale brown already, and DON’T wait for it to turn golden brown! That’ll be too dry. But only listen to me if you’re rolling it less than 1/4″.


Beautiful cookies aye?

When they came of the oven, I tried one and said “ARGHHH I’m never making these again!”. But the next moment my sister took one and goes ITS GOOD MAKE THESE AGAIN! So there you have it, two schools of thought. I now agree with the sister though, because the rest of them said the same thing.

I took whatever jam I had in the kitchen, gave it a quick stir and spread it over the cookies and gave it one nice pat with the sandwich half. Oh I forgot to mention, I used a bottle cap for the holes. I saw over at Kim’s blog that she used the other end of a piping tip. BING DURRR!!! I did the correct end of it and got such tiny holes that I thought, surely Dorie has some fancy schmancy huge piping tips for this…. :P

Moving on! It’s not too sweet, and the jam just complements it so well. I give it good ratings!

To conclude, I give it an A. I got good comments from the family on this one, and I agree! I much prefer this to the American-style cookies that make me feel like I owe the gym my whole life. It doesn’t make my mouth feel floury and buttery. It leaves a really good taste! A clean taste, I’d say. Wow. What I mean nowadays, is beyond even my comprehension.

Due to the almond meal, it’s really nice, crumbly and nutty. Le bro said “eh champs I like this. it’s not floury like I expected.” The addition of the jam (I used Giant’s Blackberry Jam haha. Cheapskate but GOOD!) was great! I wouldn’t have liked the Chocolate as it’d be heavy-on-heavy.

Hop on over to the hip and happening blog of Noskos (or Dennis!) to get the recipe for the Linzer Sablés.

NEXT UP! Silvery Blue (my theme this year!) Christmas Carrot Cake for Sheryl. I’M SO SORRY BABE! I did different wordings. Thank God it’s okay! I feel really bad….but it is really pretty! So here you go:

Question
What are some Christmas flavours you have cemented in your mind & tastebuds?

I can only think of presents. HAHA. No food ideas! I’m trying to plan a Christmas menu with traditional things, before I put a twist on them. Would appreciate your feedback!

Miniature Chocolate Banana Cream Cake

Monday, November 17th, 2008

I like digging in our kitchen. Actually scratch that, I love rummaging through our kitchen for my gramma’s old cooking things. It looks like my gramma was quite the baking freak in her day too (although no where near as shall we say, adventurous, as I am. See, that’s why all her stuff turn out perfect! I on the other hand am a recipe junkie hehehe) – I keep finding new old stuff that I can use again. I love finding this new old stuff we always had!

One of the old treasures found were these tiny little cake pans. Around 3 inches in size. I couldn’t wait to use em. With some leftover chocolate cake batter, I put them in the two little trays and sent them straight to the oven without their supper. It was very fun thinking what to use for 20 minutes later! I scratched my beautiful head and creased my gorgeous brows (eunice me oh my getting conceited are we!?) and finally my brain farted Chocolate Banana Cream Cake! Mini-style, of course. This recipe is perfect for you cupcake bakers because as you know, we always have SO MUCH darn buttercream leftover right? And then there’s chocolate – always ready at your disposal…and bananas, lunch to some, snacks to many, freely available. So what’s stoppin ya?

ME! Mwahahah! I withhold the recipe! Oops, I meant, I HOLD the recipe. Cos I’m nice like that, here it is!

Mini Chocolate Banana Cream Cake

2 mini cake pans

Around 3 1/2 or 4 inches

Chocolate Cake Recipe
(makes 14 cupcakes, use enough for each pan and then use the extra for cupcakes!)

1/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
3/4 cup boiling hot milk (I used powdered milk)

1. Grease the pans and line them
2. Mix the ingredients in order and start beating the oil, egg & hot milk in (slowly).
3. Pour & bake in the preheated oven at 180C for 20 to 25 minutes until cooked. (test with skewer)
4. Take out of pans and let cool

Buttercream

Vanilla Buttercream
100g butter
100g icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla

(you may have extra – if you’re not sure, use 60g of each & 1/2 tsp vanilla. I was using leftovers so I’m not sure of the exact amount. If you’re making this, let me know how much cream you needed so I can update this recipe! THANKS :D)

1. Whip all together until light & fluffy white!
2. We’re now assembling the cake, so take one of the cake bases and spread cream over.

1 Banana
1. Slice this and layer over the cake generously, 2 layers of bananas is yummy! You can spread some more cream over the first layer of bananas then add another layer of bananas so they stick. To your liking. I, was just trying to minimise my cream usage.

Chocolate Buttercream
Leftover Vanilla Buttercream
1 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted

1. Whip together till smooth
2. Spread over the the bananas
3. Sandwich the cake with the other cake base
4. Now, with the rest of your cream, give the cake a crumb coat (not too much cream!) to seal in the crumb and even out the edges. It’ll level the edges for a smooth & perfect application of the chocolate ganache. Put it in the fridge for an hour now, or enough for the cream to set to prepare for the chocolate ganache. We don’t want things melting into each other!

(I was lazy, AND trying to avoid over-creamage so I skipped this step and had a very, very ugly side! So don’t follow my pictures…just cream it!)



Courtesy of Cookies & Cakes. Click to read this article on Crumb Coating
Kinda like this. You can scrape away the extra cream after getting the sides smooth.

Chocolate Ganache
60g chocolate, melted
1/2 tsp milk
1 1/2 tbsp cream

(I honestly just melted the chocolate and skipped the milk & cream! But since I’m writing this recipe..I think a softer chocolate coating is cool. So, here’s the addition! Let me know how it goes, people-out-there-reading-this-blog-who-I’d-love-to-know-of!)

1. Whip all till smooth. Make sure it’s cool.
2. Using a spatula, spread ganache over the chilled cake. Make it as smooth as you can.
3. Put it in the fridge for another hour, at least, to chill some more.
4. Decorate with fresh flowers & sift icing sugar over the top
5. Pig in in moderation
6. Go to the gym for your regular workout
7. Eat tons of fruits & veggies
8. Drink heaps of water
9. Take lots of pictures
10. Link them in the commment section so I can see your beautiful (see, I’m like a proud anticipating mom to this recipe! haha) pictures!

And that’s all for tonight folks. xoxo.

TWD #1: Mango Kugelhopf

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

I’ve been enjoying a food blogging event called Tuesdays With Dorie for a while now. During my foodblog-hopping (a very enjoyable thing!), I was puzzled by an acronym – TWD – that foodies talked about it a lot.

It’s an insane(ly awesome) community baking through a book strangely titled “Baking” by Dorie Greenspan – yup, all 491 pages! Anyday is baking day, but Tuesday is blogging day!

Today I stand before you, officially a TWD noob member! Whee!! *blows kisses* Yeah baby, No. 350 but no less excited! This week we’re making Kugelhopf.

Kugel-wha???


A French concoction with an identity crisis.

Also known as a cake bread, kugelhopf is apparently a dream baked in a slice. Simple, the goodness of the richer brioche (okay so I’ve never eaten brioche in my life…) but light. I got a little anxious here as 80% of my yeast baking experiments have rocked. Like, literally.

I read through the recipe on Sunday and thought “man, is this worth 6 hours of my life!?” and promptly began Monday night (…I do plan my time so well!)

How It Was Made.

Contrary to a lot of bakers, I had a lot of fun making this! I was done at midnight, starting at 8, completely disobedient to our great mama Dorie, but having a lot of fun in the process. I punched as I like, and mixed whither I fancied.

I didn’t start out so cocky though. My heart sank when I mixed in the eggs. The dough, if we could call it that, was soooo wet. At this rate, I thought, I’ll never be able to call myself a real baker! Keep reading folks…

The recipe? It’s pretty straightforward. First you boil the raisins & let em dry. Then you mix the yeast in the warm milk. No trouble there. Next, mix the flour & salt.

>> I used brown sugar & sea salt. I do think her loaf could’ve done with a little more of a savoury flavour. Anyone agree?

Now Dorie says to attach yourself a dough hook and mix up the dough with the beaten eggs added in slowly. Now don’t despair if it looks NOTHING like dough cos, it will! Read the next paragraph!

I don’t have a dough hook, so I attached my regular butter-and-sugar-creaming-hook and looked at the dough square in the eye, hands on my hips with the air of a hero. I am a hero. I will be a real baker! 5 minutes on and hey, it’s doing pretty good! It looks remotely doughy. So no need to invest in a dough hook! But beware of the dough riding up into the mixer. The yeast in my dough was terrifyingly lethal – nothing like the “shaggy” Dorie had pronounced!

I put in the brown sugar & butter, all the time fighting with the dough riding up to destroy my poor little mixer. Suddenly I got a little creative. Hmm, how bout a Mango Kugelhopf hey? I put in 1 tbsp of mango essence…

>> Dear friends, please know that any flavour in bread will totally evaporate if you put it in at such an early stage.


Although 2 days into this post, the kugelhopf has a tinge of mango flavour sweetly seeped in, I would rather have put in dried mangos, boiled ala raisin boiling-method.

My confidence and the dough rose throughout this time and I even had time to have a guest over and chat. It was an awesome experience peeking back at the dough and having it rise SO HIGH. Hello yeast where have you been all my life?

Dorie said to punch the bread down till it could rise no more, but dude. I only have one night and every flippin time I punched it down it rose right up again! Defiant, that bread is. All I did now was keep on punching and munching (said for poetic effect, last statement is not true) until I figured it was high time to stuff it in the oven! :) I skipped the refridgeration part. Time, time, time.

Ooh. I remembered the molds my granmma has for making her famous Kuih Buluh, a traditional Malaysian Chinese treat. No one said fusion was bad right? Well we were gonna try a little french-chinese mix right over here…


My gramma’s old detailed pans being Kugelhopf-ed.

Last but not least, I let it all rise again. Before, I had still very little faith it would rise up again, so I’d switched my bundt pan’s tower into a plain cake pan with upright edges. Wrong move! It rose.

AND ROSE.

In the oven, it rose some more! 20 minutes, later, it was done. I reduced the temperature to 160 though, as things (and burnt tops) were heating up way too fast!

I completely forgot about the icing sugar part though I spread melted butter & some brown sugar on top.

Verdict
It isn’t a rich bread, it’s very light, and a nice breakfast to have!

Ratings: B+
I liked the light loaf! Didn’t regret making it at all. But it wasn’t my favourite. It was great while it was hot, but my sisters said it was dry the next day. It may be because I didn’t keep it airtight, or kugelhopfs are just not so cool. I think it’ll be deeelightful if toasted though. It was pretty kewl..gelhopf. I wished I added more flavour like candied mango slices, more mango extract, maybe some light alchohol and I wisheddd I didn’t leave out the icing sugar! The butter also didn’t soak because, I very embarassingly, didn’t turn it upside down.

Thanks Yolanda of The All Purpose Girl for hosting this week! Go check her out for the recipe and most importantly, check out the other great bakes on the TWD Blogroll. Have fun!

Next up on TWD: Arborio Rice Pudding! (who can say ew!??? well we’ll see next week!)

(PS: Please keep me (and mankind) in your praaayurs because I’m going for my first driving lesson tomorrow morning at 8am!)

The Forgetful One

Thursday, August 7th, 2008

I’m so bummed my almost-no-fail chocolate recipe failed me today!!! Could it be because I put in the eggs straight from the fridge..take note bakers: we can’t afford to be lazy! Good thing Cas (the very lovely person ordering!) has changed the pick up day to Saturday. *phew!*

update: i know why… I FORGOT THE BAKING POWDER! Aw man. Why do I have to be

so amazing like that? More work. Grumble mumble ;-)


isn’t it beautiful? the pre-devoured strawberries. so deprived. but then again, maybe that’s
what makes it taste good aye. much to my sadness!


Marshmallow Cupcakes


Chocolate Vanilla


Nutty


the wannabe Guitar Hero ;-)

Schedule for tomorrow: practise peeyanow for the very mini recital, bake & decorate the remaining cupcakes + cake, plan plan plan…

Also, my cupcake trays are giving me problems. I bought one from Cake Connection but Christine’s from IKEA is way better in terms of height and width. Unfortunately, I’ve already given it back! Anyone have any ideas/where you bought your good ones from?