Saturday, September 29, 2012

Happy Mooncake Festival 2012 to ALL


Wow, time really pass by so fast....it's Mooncake Festival again!! It seems like its just not too long ago I was  baking and molding mooncake, and now its here again, hehe.
Anyway, Mooncake Festival is a time where family members gather for a reunion dinner and then for a 'mooncake' feast under the bright moonlight with a pot of Chinese brewed tea, chit-chatting about the old times and laughing about it. As for the younger generations, they will lite up their lanterns and walk around the neighborhood on a group. That's how we celebrate it every year too, and to keep this tradition from dying off, I made sure I have homemade mooncakes, colorful lanterns and a pot of green tea or 'Teik Kwan Ying' ready for the sighting of the beautiful full moon with my family.

Therefore, this year I made a varieties, I really meant 'varieties' hehe for this celebration, since there were so many 'outrageous' designs and flavors postings in the blogging community, you just can't resist the temptations, but to make it too, LOL



Thanks to ANNCOO's Journal , I have some cute fat piggies for the kids to enjoy their mooncake this year with a little difference, hahaha, thanks Ann! *wink*



Then, of course I made the all time favourite, Snowskin Mooncakes of different fillings flavor from my previous last year recipe that I still find it to be the best one so far :)




However, the older generations still prefers the "traditional baked mooncakes" and of course, I wouldn't miss that. This time for the baked mooncakes, I tried Anncoo's recipe that is the one used on the piggies, and I liked it instantly, as the baked mooncakes turned out very nice, and the patterns are still very distinctive and clear after baking. you might want to give it a try  :)



And so, this year's Mooncake Festival will be of varieties and I'm glad I managed to post it in time before it ended, ahahaha, where I normally did.

Here's wishing all my fellow followers and bloggers, "Happy Mooncake Festival and have a happy and joyful family reunion".




Saturday, September 22, 2012

Durian Tarts


Its been awhile, I felt lazy updating my blog, as I guess I just have so many things to say, and it's kinda hard for me to put them in words to share it with you.  However,I owe it you guys who are a loyal follower of my blogs.......and to compensate it all, here's a really good recipe that I recently tried , which I plucked it out from one of the old cookbook owned by my MiL, hehe



Durian Tarts
Tart crust ingredients:-
240gm plain flour
50gm castor sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
125gm butter, cold and cut into cubes
1 egg

Filling ingredients:-
150ml evaporated milk
4 'Grade A' eggs
140gm durian flesh
100gm caster sugar
250ml water
10gm instant custard powder

To prepare the crust:-
  1. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
  2. Add in the cold cubed butter and rub with your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. Add in the egg and mix until it becomes a ball of dough.
  4. Press the dough into a tart mould, trimming off the edges and the excess with a knife.
  5. Blind bake with some beans on a preheated oven of 180 degree Celsius for about 10-12 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and put on a wire rack to cool , remove the beans.
To prepare the filling :-
  1. Combine the durian flesh with castor sugar, custard powder, water and evaporated milk, whisk until well blended. 
  2. Add in eggs, using an electric blender, just pulse the mixture to allow the durian flesh to be pureed, do not blend too long as lots of air bubbles will appear on the tart surface later when baking.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a jar and fill each tart casing with 3/4 full.
  4. Bake on a preheated oven at 200 degree Celsius for 20 minutes or until the durian egg mixture looks set. 
  5. Let cool on the wire rack for about 10 minutes before turning the tarts out of the mould.
Hope you like this, as my family loves it so much, the tarts actually disappear so fast, I had to hide a few for photo taking, LOL....Oh yes, the picture below is the second batch that I made the day after, and this time I made the tarts slightly smaller in size......perfect for a bite-size :)


Till then, enjoy and see you soon!


Monday, July 2, 2012

Viva La Espana.....UEFA Euro 2012


Football anyone? hehe.....I'm a big fan of football (but definitely not the Malaysian ones lah) LOL :p I love watching UEFA Euro games, FIFA Worldcup and of course the English Premier Leagues too. Well, you could have guessed that this posting will be all about football....yes! UEFA EURO 2012 that is!! 
I don't know how many ladies in my group would be that crazy to set their alarm clock to 2.30AM everyday for a month to get up and sit in front of the TV to watch the match, hahaha, but I'm one of them. Hubby would love to company me, but each time when the alarm clock rings, he would say, he would love to continue sleeping and dreaming instead ....huh! I don't care if I'm watching it alone, I just want to watch!! That's how crazy I can be :)

Anyway, a month has passed by, and today is the last "final" match of the Euro game, and that left the two team to compete for the UEFA EURO Cup 2012  -namely SPAIN vs ITALY. I am a fan of both, but when  given a choice to choose only one, Spain is my favourite ....all the way from WC2010. My favourite players would be Fernando Torres, Sergio Ramos, Iniesta, Fabregas, David Silva and in fact , the whole team , LOL 

What's more, Spain started with a 2-0 in the 1st half and another 2 more goals in the 2nd half, closing the game with 4-0 to Italy.......I jumped and screamed to my feet with joy, LOL. That was an awesome match and everyone performed really well, and I can feel the joy of Spain in celebration........but also the sadness of Italy for losing so badly :(

Spain beats Italy in the final of the UEFA EURO 2012 with a 4 - 0

Wow!! that was great news and how could I not celebrate this victory? So I decided to bake a batch of  "Double Chocolate" flavour cupcakes to celebrate with Spain, hehe :P
I actually posted these cupcakes in my other blog - Cupcakes Fairytale, but however, I am featuring it here to so that you could join me in the baking and celebrating of this great moment :) 
And so here is the recipe to the "Double Chocolate"flavour cupcakes.....courtesy of Cupcakes Fairytale , hope you like it :)

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES
(Makes 18 cupcakes)

250gm plain flour, sifted 
250gm butter, softened to room temperature
180gm castor sugar
4 Tbsp of cocoa powder, sifted together with the flour
1 tsp Rum / Kahlua / Brandy *Optional
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
3 eggs
40 ml milk

For the Chocolate Ganache
100gm Chocolate, chopped into small pieces
50ml Double cream
  •  Heat the cream in a saucepan to boil , then take it off the heat. Pour in into the chopped chocolate and leave it for 1 minute. Stir it to melt the chocolate, and leave it to cool slightly, until ready to use.
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 160 degree Celsius. Line the cupcakes cases on the baking tray.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. 
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and bicarbonate soda, set aside.
  4. Lower down the mixer speed to medium-low and add in the eggs , one at a time, making sure that it is well combined.
  5. Add the milk and Rum/ Brandy / Kahlua, whichever you are using, and mixed well.
  6. Add in the cocoa/ flour into the mixture , slowly , batch by batch and mix until all fully combine.
  7. Scoop the batter 1/3 into the casing, then scoop a tablespoon of the chocolate ganache into the center of the batter, and then top it with another 1/3 of the batter, filling 2/3 of the casing. Repeat this to all the other casings.
  8. Bake at the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes depending on individual oven. However, the cupcakes are done once a skewer inserted in the centre, comes out clean.
  9. Leave it to cool on the wire rack.

To make the decoration, cover the top of the cupcakes with buttercream , smooth it to the brim (I used 'pink' tinted buttercream)and place a piece of the specially ordered  'UEFA EURO 2012 logo edible image icing that I ordered from one of the local provider - Sugar Art.

Well, till then......have fun making these cupcakes and again ....."Viva La Espana!!!"


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Strawberry Sorbet....to cool off


Hi peeps!! How are you all doing? i have been feeling a little irritated and lousy lately.....well I blamed it totally to the 'fiery' hot weather. It's like an overheated oven in the morning till late evening, then it started to pour in the middle of the night. Then lately, it's getting more heated up where not a drop of rain was being released from heaven.....sigh!!
However, the reason me being irritated was not really the cause of the heat, but more to the irritating 'trying to control everybody, especially the kids' kinda attitude of my MiL. Well, not that she only started to be like this lately, it was since long time ago........but lately it's getting more overboard, and sometimes I just can't take it anymore .....but still persuaded myself to keep calm and cool. With the weather and the heat like these days..........I sometimes just don't know how long I can bear to withstand and not burst!!! LOL.......
What on earth was I thinking when I agreed to Hubby to move back into that house??!! Well, I know damn well why I agreed.......I was left with no other choice :(
Argh!!!! I need a punching bag where I can punch and kick my heart out.....and yet, not in the sight of Hubby, as this will put him in a difficult position ........ya, ya, I know how it works, and I hate it!!!! I really envy those of you who has your own little nest, it doesn't have to be big, it doesn't have to be bold, as long as it's something that you can call your own @-@ The most that I envy of you all  are those of you who still has a 'mother' to go home to when your mind are troubled by all these stupid things!!! Well, I know I can only just wish and wish .....but nothing will happen :P
Sorry to bored you peeps with my little 'babble'....LOL....so I made "Strawberry Sorbet" for you to compensate for the boredom ....hahahaha, kidding! Anyway, this Sorbet was really good, though I find it a little sweet, but will definitely cut down the sugar next time I make again. Angel likes it to the max, and she is the only one patronizing it, as the boys don't fancy 'strawberry' which they thinks that strawberry is for 'girls'.......hmm, that make me wondered a while, then what's for boys?........Banana? Watermelon? hmm........

Its super easy to make, but I must say this only works well if you have an ice-cream maker, as for those of you who asked me if you can do it without the maker.....totally, I doubt!! For hot humid weather like ours, this sorbet is really refreshing and cooling and though its sweet, it still is a perfect solution for times like this!!


Here's the recipe, and the source of this is from "Sweet Scoops" by Shelly Kaldunski (Page 74, initial recipe title was 'Strawberry -Basil Sorbet', but I choose not to put the basil, cos the kids don't like that)


STRAWBERRY SORBET
Makes about 1 quart

Ingredients
3 cups strawberries, hulled and cut into half
2/3 cup sugar, you may want to decrease if your strawberries are the sweet type
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
Pinch of salt

Method
  1. In a bowl, stir together the strawberries and sugar. Cover with cling wrap and let stand at room temperature until the berries release some of their juices and the sugar is completely dissolved, about half an hour.
  2. Pour the strawberry mixture into a blender or food processor and add in the lemon juice and salt. Blend until very smooth. Transfer the blended fruit to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours or up to 1 day (mine was half a day).
  3. Pour the cold strawberry puree into an ice-cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions. Spoon the sorbet into a freezer-safe container  and place a piece of parchment paper or waxed paper directly o the surface. 
  4. Cover tightly and freeze until firm for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days. 
Enjoy!


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Blueberry Yoghurt Oreo Chiffon Cake


This week has been quite a busy week for me, as I was flying to 2 destinations within a period of one week, though there was a few days break in between. I was in KL on a Friday and back on the same day, then the following Wednesday, I was on a 2D1N to Sandakan. The last trip I was in KL was during the Chinese New Year, and whereas the last time I was in Sandakan was last October for our company's roadshow.
Anyway, since I was back in time for the weekend, and Saturday was a PH - Wesak Day, so I planned it out that I will bake something.
I have recently been busy with my 'Sugar Cookies' preparation for two June wedding orders. Though you might say that I still a month to get things done, but because I'm doing every little piece of work all by myself, so I really need the time planned out nicely , in order I don't have to rush things last minutely :P
As you might have known, I'm a mother of 4 and juggling work and orders at the same time.........it has never been easy, but I like it, as I find that these are the things that keeps me young and energetic (or at least I thought so, hehehe).
OK, today I chose to bake something light and healthy, not something that is rich, creamy and cheesy  (although that is what I normally like).......and tadah......."Blueberry Yoghurt Oreo Chiffon Cake".
Hope you like this cake, as I found that it's really soft, moist and light at the same time. My kids used to comment Chiffon Cakes to be a bit dry, although they like the fluffy soft texture, but this one, the whole cake was gone in a short half and hour. Luckily, before I lay it on the dining table for them to eat, I managed to cut 1/3 of it to be given to Ian's friend (Jonathan)'s mum, Judy.  She texted me the following morning saying that her husband and Jonathan loved the cake very much, but they find that it's a little bit sweet. I could have guessed as I did not lessen the sugar usage (which I should have, forgotten about it) and because the blueberry yoghurt is already a sweetened one, so it definitely adds additional sweetness to it. (p/s: So remember to adjust your sugar level when you make ya, as I will be posting the original recipe, without my alteration) ^-^

The 24" inch tube pan.........ready for baking now

Here it is the recipe for :
BLUEBERRY YOGHURT OREO CHIFFON CAKE
Ingredients
150gm cake flour
100gm blueberry yogurt (I used Nestle Low fat blueberry yoghurt)
6 eggs yolks, room temperature
1 tsp baking powder
100gm castor sugar
A pinch of salt
100gm vegetable oil (I used Canola oil)

6 egg whites, room temperature
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
100gm castor sugar (please decrease if you want a less sweet cake - 70gm would be fine)
50gm Blueberry Oreo Cookies, cut into tiny chunks
some blueberry paste or purple colour for the purplish look, optional *

Method
  1. Pre heat your oven to 150 degree Celsius, middle rack.
  2. Whisk the egg yolks and castor sugar in a medium bowl , till light pale and double in size.
  3. Add in the blueberry yoghurt, and then the oil. Mix in till blended, then add in the sifted flour + baking powder and salt. Mix until the batter is fully incorporated, set aside.
  4. In another mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar till frothy, slowly add in the sugar in a few batch while whisking. Whisk until soft peak and glossy.
  5. Add 1/3 off the egg white meringue into the egg yolk batter and gently fold in using a spatula till combined. Add in the remaining egg white meringue to the batter, and continue to fold in until its fully incorporated.
  6. Pour half the batter into a 22" inch tube pan (I used a 24" inch tube pan, cos I don't have a 22"), sprinkle the Blueberry Oreo chunk bits on it, then pour the remaining batter and sprinkle the rest of the Oreo blueberry chunks.
  7. Bake in the oven for about 50 minutes or less (depending on your oven), or until the skewer inserted to the centre of the cake, comes out clean.
  8. Take the cake out of the oven, turn your tube pan upside -down and let cool. Once it's cool, use a sharp knife to release the side and the centre of the cake, and bring the cake to completely cool on the wire rack. 
  9. Enjoy!!

Happy Baking ladies and Happy Wesak Day to those who are celebrating!!

p.s : By the way, just a sneak peek for you guys on how my little girl, Angelica invent her own play toys and stuffs. .....hehe

She used a box to build her 'house'....
Angel taking a nap in her 'house'......
See how slumber my little girl is, sleeping in her DIY 'Home Sweet Home'.....hahaha

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Lavender Cookies....something unusual but nice

I actually forget to tell you guys that when I went to the 'chinese medical herb shop' the other day to buy my Osmanthus Flower, I didn't only just settle for that......but I ended up buying Rose Flower and also Lavender Flower. According to the shopkeeper, he advised that Rose Flower helps in promoting beautiful skin, whereas Lavender Flower helps in Insomnia, it promotes better sleep and also relaxes the muscles and the mind after a tiring day. 
In fact this is the first time I actually bought dried flowers .........as I don't normally make flower teas, but more to Green Tea and of course, Coffee!!! LOL 


As far as I can remember, I have never bake with any dried flowers before too......so, it's time to start now, eh....hehehe. After the Osmanthus flower attempt in making the Konnyaku, I have also started searching in the internet for other relevant recipes in baking and cooking using these flowers.
Don't be surprise you start seeing me posting topics on baking or cooking with Rose, Osmanthus, Lavender or maybe Chrysanthemum and Jasmine, LOL.....:P
Anyway, these batch of Lavender Cookies were baked by the suggestion from my BFF, Marilynda. She told me that she loved these Lavender Cookies after her first time tasting it years ago, when her neighbor gave a box to her after her return from England for a holiday. The brand of the cookies that she tasted was from 'Marks & Spenser'.......oh, I see.....now that makes me even more lighted up with the urge to quickly work up a cookie dough and bake it, hehehe :P

I promised her that I will come up with the recipe after a search from the WWW and by Monday, I'll be seeing her for lunch with a box of Lavender Cookies for her taste testing :)
And so I search and manage to find a few........but I only need one that is the BEST!!....and after thoroughly going through the ingredients, I finally decided with my own, where I altered here and there........trust me, its' the easiest and the promise of a good cookie crunch is sealed!


Give it a try, it's not asking for a thousand things........just plain simple ingredients that I'm sure you can easily them on your kitchen cupboard......of course, except for the "Lavender Flowers".

LAVENDER COOKIES (Makes about 3 dozen)
Ingredients
315gm all purpose flour (I used HK Flour)
250gm butter , softened
190gm Icing sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 Tbsp of dried Lavender flowers, I used it whole, you might like to chop it if you wish :)

Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degree Celsius and line 3 cookie trays with parchment papers.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter  with icing sugar until light pale and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add in the egg, and mix thoroughly until well combined.
  4. Sift together the baking powder and flour, and slowly add in to the mixture on low speed until combined.
  5. Add in the lavender flowers and stir thoroughly.
  6. You can use a spoon to scoop the dough and place a dollop on the cookie tray, OR like me, I use my cookie piping gadget (that I bought 2 years ago, but haven't try it out yet, so this is the chance, hehe). I scooped enough of the dough and insert it into the tube, locked the top. Then, I placed a disc of the pattern I chosed, and locked the bottom, and start piping it on the parchment paper :)
  7. Bake the cookies at 170 degree Celsius for  18 minutes (on my oven).....you kindly adjust the time according to your oven ya.

Transfer the cookies to the tray, let it cool for about 5-10 minutes and transfer it to the wire rack to cool completely before storing it into an airtight container. 

 Here are some beautiful pictures that caught my attention . Just look at those beautiful Lavender field.....like a carpet.....hmmm...aaaahh!!


How I wish I was the owner of this house.....sigh!!
Can you imagine yourself walking on these lovely Lavender field with you loved ones.....aaw!!
Lastly, imagine yourself sipping a cup of English Tea with a small plate of Lavender cookies.....baked by me, LOL
Cheers, hehe!!


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Hinava.......something very local



Here I am again, crazily craving for something really weird! I'm a 100% Chinese but craving for something really Kadazan.......hahaha, told you I can be really crazy at times :P
Anyone heard about this local delicacy called "Hinava"?? If you are a Kadazan or Sino- Kadazan, this is nothing unusual to you, right? But I also heard my friend saying that there is a Philippine version of this dish, where they add papaya into it......hmm, I would not think I'll like that.


Anyway, to cut things short, I know there are already a few people waiting for this post to be uploaded since the day I posted my Hinava picture in my Facebook page 2 days ago. Sorry ladies, you know I'm always lagging in my blogging updates, however, this is still fresh as the dish itself.....hehe. Oh by the way, this recipe I got it form my best friend , Marilynda, thanks 'Pu Ngiong'....hehehe


Hinava.....a very local delicacy
Ingredients
- About 600-700gm of Tenggiri fish meat, de-boned it, cut into small slices, make sure its really fresh
- Lime juice from about 5 - 6 lime, enough to cover the fish meat in a bowl
- Red shallots, chopped to very small pieces
- Bitter gout , thinly slice, rub with salt, let it soaked for awhile, then rinse with warm water to get rid of the bitter taste
- 1 big chilli, cut into small pieces
- A small piece of ginger, grated and squeeze out the juice of about 2 tsp
- 1-2 Tbsp of Bambanggan seed, you can get this in the local market (tamu)
- Salt and  MSG to taste






Method

  1. Clean and slice the fish meat to small slices, rinse quickly with some hot water, taking care not to cook it. 
  2. In a medium size bowl, put in the fish meat, chillies, shallots, Bambanggan seed and pour in the lime juice, enough to cover the surface of the fish meat. Stir and thoroughly mixed and blend well all the ingredients. You will be able to see that the fish meat is slowly changing its color after being cooked by the marination of the lime juice.
  3. Add in the bitter gout  and ginger juice and stir to mix in. Then add your salt and MSg to taste according to your liking.
  4. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate it overnight for better taste and marination. 
hope you like the combination of this recipe, according to Marilynda, some people like to add 'chilli padi' into it for a little spicy taste. Well its all up to your taste bud, you can even try adding papaya, just like the Philippine version of Hinava...hehe. Tell me how you like this dish ya  ;)

Till then, ciao!


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Osmanthus Konnyaku Jelly



The other day I bought a Groupon Voucher for a quite a good deal. The voucher was a 2 person for RM12.90 (actual value is worth more than RM30.00) for 2 bowls of Assam Laksa, 2 Iced-lemon tea and 2 pcs of Osmanthus jelly.


I would say overall, the whole meal was really worth it and it tasted really good too. Well, as you may have know, why this post was created , it was due to the Osmanthus Jelly that we had there, it was so refreshing and it tasted really yummy. Especially with the awesome weather that we have here in Malaysia, you'll constantly think of ways to soothe and cool yourself........like drinking as much cool drinks as possible, or eating something that is really cooling, calming and most of all, refreshing, sometimes I would think of storing the watermelon into the freezer and later, using s scoop to scoop out the fruit to eat it, wondering if it'll turn into 'watermelon ice cubes or better still, 'watermelon Ice blended!! LOL......


Other times, I would make some agar-agar or konnnyaku jellies, as the my kids are a big fan of these two dessert. So, this is how I got the idea of making this 'Osmanthus Konnyaku Jelly'.....thanks to the outlet that I went to, hehe :) The two of us was complaining not enough after we gobbled up the little piece of jelly, and when we check the menu for the cost of this small piece of dessert, it cost RM3.90 per piece (the size of 1.5 x 1.5 inches) and therefore I assured my friend that I'll come up with the recipe and I'll make a lot and we can share then, LOL

Here is the recipe......hope you like it as much as me and my friend did :)


OSMANTHUS KONNYA KU JELLY
Ingredients
- 1 packet of Konnyaku Jelly powder, mine was the one in the picture, you can get other brands in the supermarket
- 950ml water, as required in the packet (as stated in the packet)
- 240gm castor sugar (as stated in the packet)
- 1 - 2 Tbsp of Osmanthus flower tea
- Some wolfberries, optional and quantity up to your own liking






Method

  1. Soak the wolfberries , if you are using, into some warm water to softened. Set aside.
  2. Bowl the water on medium heat. When it starts to boil, lower down the heat and pour in the Osmanthus flower tea into the pot, stir for awhile and let it simmer for about 4-5 minutes. Let it flavored the water.
  3. While its simmering, mix the Konnyaky powder and the sugar together in a bowl and slowly pour into the pot.
  4. Constantly stirring until the sugar is all melted and let it boil on medium low heat for about 6-8 minutes. 
  5. Add in the wolfberries and stir it in. Turn the fire off .
  6. With the jelly moulds ready on the table counter, slowly spoon in the mixture.
  7. Let is set a little at room temperature before storing it into the refrigerator for about 2-4 hours.
  8. When it's cold and fully set, dis-mould it, and serve .......the kids will love it!!


Enjoy!

Konnyaku

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake



Today was being declared a Public Holiday as our new Agung is being coronate. To the kids, it was the best of news was a holiday is being announced. For us who are chasing datelines, another unforeseen holiday means another day of delayed work, haha.
Well, no matter what, we just take it and enjoy ourselves with our loved ones - Hubby and the kids. It's been quite a while now, that the boys have not followed their old man and woman (me and hubby) for our weekly 'yum-cha' and window shopping on Sundays. Only my little girl , Angel accompanies these two old fellas......LOL
Therefore, since today is not a Sunday, but it is a holiday, I bribed the boys to go for a breakfast with us in exchange for them to play their PC games later in the afternoon, how sad right? haha.......kids nowadays, they can just sit in front of their laptop all day without having to eat, drink, pee and poo........how shocking , right?
What can I say, internet rules the world now!!
Anyway, after coming home from our breakfast, that was around 1pm, I decided to bake something for afternoon tea later, since MiL is out playing her mahjong, which means that dinner time will be delayed , hehe :P


I decided to bake this Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake that I have listed down to bake months back. Well, nothing special about this cake, just that I love lemon and this bag of "blue Poopy seeds" were given to me by my MiL months back too.......and I hate to see it sitting in the cupboard without being touched. So, that is how and why this cake was being chose.




Here's the recipe :-


LEMON POPPY SEED POUND CAKE
(Yield 8" inch Round baking pan)


Ingredients
200gm butter, softened
250gm SRF
5 eggs, room temperature
200gm castor sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
3 Tbsp evaporated milk 
3 Tbsp lemon juice
Zest of one lemon
30gm poppy seeds ( I used blue poppy seeds)


Method 

  1. Pre heat oven to 175~Celsius, greased and line the bottom and sides of an 8" round baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 4-5 mins on medium speed.
  3. Add in the lightly beaten eggs, portion by portion, making sure that its fully incorporated.
  4. Add in the vanilla , milk , lemon juice and zest, one at a time and see that it's completely mixed in.
  5. Sift in the SRF , mixing well on medium speed until fully incorporated. Pour in the poppy seed and lightly fold in.
  6. Pour batter into the prepared baking tin, and bake for 1hr 15 minutes or until the skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  7. Put it on a wire rack to cool, and then take it out of the baking tin, slice and serve.
Enjoy!!

Conclusion, I would say this cake is medium moist, nice texture and not too sweet, I like it at this sweetness, and the poppy seed with lemon is a perfect combination. Give it a try and tell me about your preference :)

Happy Baking!






Sunday, April 1, 2012

My very first Cake Decorating Class.........Sugar Art

That's me and SugarArt award winning instructor , Mr Kelvin Chua of Vinism SugarArt
Anyone heard of Vinism SugarArt or Mr Kelvin Chua before? I'm pretty sure you all did, if not you can always check him out at eBlogger or Facebook , Youtube and etc. He is a very fine 'young' man that has a sky-high talent in creating and making very fine and mystique designs using royal icing. Don't be surprise when I tell you that he doesn't bake, not as good as us (ahem), hahaha......as his passion is not in baking, but only the decorating, and using only 'sugar' and that is why it is called "SugarArt".
Sometimes, it really amazed me when I think of what 'sugar' can do. I have never attended any baking or cake decorating class before , not that I don't want to, but generally time is not on my side. Now that I have been baking for about 2.5 years , this is the first class that I have ever attended :P
Well, I'm a bit choosy when it comes to attending classes like baking or decorating, I very much prefer a 100% hands on classes, and definitely not classes where you just sit there, with a notepad and pen, jotting down what the chef is doing in front of you, and later only get to taste the finished product :P,  Secondly, at times when I found one that I like to attend, it's either the timing is not right for me, or it's somewhere not in my location.......so there is always something that came up :(


Day 1 - Flow of Fantasy
Anywhere, this time I finally got myself signed up in not one, but two classes on SugarArt Cake Decorating jointly organized by Sugar Art of Kota Kinabalu (Mdm Fanny Chin) and Mr Kelvin Chua of Vinism SugarArt. In fact, it was a 3-day course for three different theme, but the 2nd day, I have an order to fulfil, so I had to skip. I must say, I have learnt a whole a lot of tips and tricks and really useful information on decorating a cake using royal icing. I have not had the privilege yet to try out on royal icing as a decorating factor for my cake orders, but definitely, with this techniques learnt, it will help in many ways!!
These 2 classes that I have attended, it was all about 'piping, piping, and more piping!! However, we had so much fun and lots of laughter in the room, though our hands are trembling with the pipings......LOL


I'm very happy with the outcome of the class at the end of the 2 days session........look what I have created, and I'm impressed with myself too!!


Day 2 - Black Charm


This is the group photo with those awesome 'Black Charm' creators on Day 2
Overall, I would say, I highly recommend those of you who wishes to explore into Royal Icing creating to join in classes like these to learn the techniques and for those who is already into royal icing piping, further sharpen your skills in embroidery painting, filigree piping and lots more!!


Lastly, my heartfelt thanks and honour to the privilege in meeting and knowing, and most of all, learning these wonderful skill from Mr Kelvin Chua of Vinism SugarArt.


"I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I remember" - by Pablo Picasso





Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Matcha Kasutera Cake ........It's Green & Good



Someone told me that once you get something working out for you, the drive to keep doing it is 'just so unbearable', and I totally agree , LOL. The funny thing is that I didn't just got myself crazy about it, but I have 'a number' of bakers in Facebook going 'goo-goo ga-ga' over this cake too!! Oh gosh, I hope this is of a good cause, hehe........but I wouldn't say it's not, and I would dare to say, "once you try , you will want it ".......hahaha


Anyway, I would be a little surprise if you don't like this cake, though I know some of you that really doesn't. For me, now that I know how to bake this Kasutera Cake, I would choose this over any cakes , seriously!! I wasn't quite a 'cake person' though I do love to bake them........but , Kasutera is just something different, hehe


After trying out the original version of it, I was so in the drive to make another one and another one.....you might think I'm nuts!! My MiL thought so........she just doesn't get it why this cake is so special and so nice?? (Well, she doesn't really like it that much as she complaint that the honey has an after-taste after being bake........but I totally loved it!! I guess that is the 'indifference' between MiL and DiL.......kekekeke, sssssHhhhhhhh, just between you and me ya ;)


Well, like I said earlier, I just wanted to bake another one after the first, so I decided to try the 'Green Tea' flavor as I saw RotiNRice's Match Kasutera Cake was gorgeous, hehe




.........and so it was being baked. Verdict :  "This is even better than the original. I don't know is it because it was "Green Tea" in flavor, that I love it even more! Anyway, you wouldn't understand what I'm trying to tell you here, unless you try it :p


The recipe to the first one was exactly the same, the only additional item added to it was , of course "Matcha Powder aka Green Tea Powder" - 2Tbsp, try to use the very good quality ones ;)

Let me know how you like it ya....till then, toodles!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Blueberry Crumble Pie



Sometimes when it comes to afternoon tea-time, our minds will start running wild thinking about pastries, puffs, cupcakes, cookies and some goes for paus (buns) or bread......but I would prefer pie......for today, that is :)
To tell you the truth, I always juggle my lunch and teabreak together, as when I'm in the office, my lunch time was never on time (which is between 12.30 pm to 2.00pm). I'm always late and sometimes, when I'm too busy, I actually forgot about the time and also I tend to ignore the growling of my stomach, hehehe.......cruel of me huh,  in fact I sometimes purposely do that as an excuse to go on a diet, LOL


Anyway, today, as I still have a portion of the leftover 'Sweet Shortcrust Pastry' that I have after baking my 'Mini Apple Pie' the other day, I decided to have another pie treat for tea-time ....and 'Blueberry Crumble Pie' takes the crowning , haha


So, here is the recipe for this treat, use back the 'Sweet Shortcrust Pastry' recipe and also the method of rolling out the pastry for the pie pan. As for the Blueberry filling, I bought a small tub (25ogm) of ready-made Blueberry Pie filling from BWM ( I didn't use all, too much and little sweet too) and as for the crumble, please refer below.




Crumble topping
1/3 cup + 1/2 Tbsp all purpose flour
35gm butter, room temperature, cut to cubes, not melted 
1/3 cup ground almond, pulse it in the food processor for a more fine texture
2 1/2 Tbsp castor sugar


In a medium bowl, place the flour and butter and using your fingertips, rub the ingredients together until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the ground almond and sugar and mix it in. Sprinkle over the blueberry filling and bake at preheated oven of 180~C for 30 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling.




Serve with your favourite English Tea or..... coffee is just as good too!




Happy pie baking, dear!


Thursday, March 8, 2012

To Kasutera With Love (2nd Attempt)



Hehe, from the title of this posting, you would have guessed it right that my 2nd attempt was a 'SUCCESS'. Yes, how could it not be, when after the last attempt (dated back then May 17, 2010), gosh!! can you imagine how long was that? I must be too terrified to even schedule the 2nd attempt., LOL

Anyway, after all these while, I have not stop looking and searching for a more simpler and straight to the point recipe for this cake. In fact, it happen right about the same timing, that just two days ago, Ann of AnnCoo Journal made her Castella Cake and posted it on Facebook. It kinda stir me up a little to give it a try again, and it's about time to overcome this fear of failing.......LOL





I took her advice to look out for the links that she has given - Roti N Rice and Yummy Workshop.com , and finally decided to give it a try. However, since the recipe that Ann got was from Roti N Rice, and Roti N Rice got hers from Yummy Workshop.com, I decided to use the later one, as it requires very few things that I already have it all in my kitchen. That's how my successful story begins........


Anyway, what I wish to say is that, I read back the recipe that I used last time, it was so much complicated and overly detailed , that makes you feel that you need to be really cautious when making this cake. In fact, after baking my 2nd Castella, the truth behind this cake is........it's nothing that complicated, or hard, it's just that you need to keep it "SIMPLE" to your own understanding. Conclusion, I'm sorry to say, the previous recipe I used, is just too much unnecessary highlights :P


CASTELLA / KASUTERA CAKE  aka JAPANESE SPONGE CAKE
Yield a 7' inch Square Cake


Ingredients
5 egg yolks (room temperature)
4 egg whites (room temperature)
125gm Castor sugar
100gm Bread flour (sifted)
15gm brown sugar ( I didn't measure mine, just sprinkle enough to cover the surface )
50gm honey + 2 -3 Tbsp hot water (stir to dilute)


Method: 
I would strongly recommend that you guys check the 'step-by -step' method illustration put up by YummyWorkshop.com.
You will not get it wrong.....trust me!


OK, the additional things that I did apart from what YummyWorkshop mentioned in her recipe was......I threw my baking pan from a foot high to the table top counter , not once, but thrice!! LOL....ya, I know I can be quite crazy at times, that's how extreme I can be sometimes :P Guess what, I am really amazed as my cake did not sink or shrink a bit after the cooling down process!! Well, I don't know if the "throwing" really has an effect or maybe I'm just lucky , hehe


After wrapping my Castella Cake with parchment paper and cling wrap, stored it into the fridge for an overnight rest. Gosh, you seriously don't know how long the night has been for me to wait for the day to come, LOL





Today, early morning when I opened my eyes.....the first thing that came to my mind was ......my Kasutera Cake in the fridge!! I ran down, opened the fridge, took it out, and slowly unwrapping the package....like opening a bomb, haha........it was still gorgeous, and it's moist from the outlook of it. Using a really sharp knife, I trimmed off the sides, and then slice it to a thick small 'square shape' pieces as all Kasutera Cake looks in those blogs. I guessed that's how it was presented to people when you serve Kasutera Cake :)


In every cut, I can feel the cake is springy to the touch, the air-holes are so refine and there is no loose crumbs dropping from the knife, which shows how 'intact' this cake is eventhough it is so soft, like sponge, I really meant 'a piece of sponge' .....especially when you tear it, it really is like tearing a piece of sponge, LOL


Sigh, I better don't confuse you too much , if can't understand what I'm trying to say here, copy down this recipe and start baking it....you will understand exactly the way I feel about this cake :) I have fell in love with it, and you will be seeing me baking another version of Kasutera very soon.......the Green Tea flavor one , wish me luck ya!!


Till then, bake a Kasutera , and you'll love it, I can 100% guarantee you ;)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Mini Apple Pie.....a 'purr-fect' afternoon teatime companion



I had a terrible 'stiff-neck' when I woke up this morning , and I told myself......"what the.....it'a Sunday!! No!!" How can this happen on a Sunday? Oh......well, that wouldn't stop me from having and spending my Sunday like I wanted it to.....huh! Well, I still had a awesome Sunday with Hubby and the kids like any other Sundays, hehe. When I'm at Popular Bookstore, I was as usual browsing all the cookbooks that were being displayed at the racks, one by one, making sure I did not miss out any of it........especially the 'New Arrivals'.

As I was flipping through one of the Women's Weekly Magazine about Pies, I instantly remembered I have not been making pies recently....or should I say, quite a long time, :P OK well, let's make pie then for today's afternoon tea.....and that sounds good, hehe

Right after we reached home, I headed into the kitchen to dig out my pie pan that must have rusted in the cupboard, LOL....kidding! So, to start , I made my 'Sweet Short Crust Pastry', and as I have a tub of Apple Pie filling sitting in my fridge (can't remember when did I bought it, but it's still long before expiry, phew!), I'll take this chance to use it up ;)

Here's the 'Sweet Shortcrust Pastry' that I normally use whenever I make my pies and it's really easy-peasy, hehe...




MINI APPLE PIE
Sweet Shortcrust Pastry (good for any fruits / savoury pies)
200gm Plain Flour (I normally use HK Flour)
20gm Milk powder
110gm butter, cold and cubed
35gm Icing Sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3 Tbsp ice water

500gm Ready-made Apple Pie filling (you can also choose to cook up your own apple pie filling)

Method
  1. Sift the flour, milk powder and icing sugar into a big bowl, add in the salt. Stir to mix well. 
  2. Add the cubed cold butter into the flour, and using your fingertips, rub it until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Add in the ice water one tablespoon at a time and knead the mixture to form a dough. Monitor in order that the dough will not be too wet or too dry. If either happens, that's OK, just more flour if it's too wet, or add a bit more water if it's a little on the dry side....no worries :)
  4. Shape the dough into a ball and using a cling wrap, warp it up and let is sit in the freezer for about 15 - 20 minutes.
  5. After 15-20 minutes rest, take the dough out of the freezer and roll it out in between 2 pieces of parchment paper...remember not too thin or too thick.....about 0.3mm would be good :) By the way, I'm using a 6" inches pie pan.
  6. Place the pastry onto the outer ring of your pie pan, gently pressing it in to the sides to fit the bottom of the pan. Using the rolling pin, gently roll across the top of the ring to trim off of the excess of the pastry.
  7. Take a fork and lightly prick the surface of the pastry to release any air bubbles trapped beneath and use your fingertip to lightly press on it.
  8. Put the pastry back into the freezer to rest for another 10 -15 minutes. 
  9. Preheat the oven to 175~C, and place a piece of aluminium foil on top of the pastry and blind bake it with some dried beans (I used soya beans) for about 20 minutes.
  10. Remove the dried beans and foil after baked, and let it cool for about 5 minutes on the rack. Then fill the pie pan with the apple pie filling , not to full, just below the brim of the pan will do. You can decorate the top with the leftover of the pastry , cut it into strips of about 0.5cm width and weave it like a basket . 
  11. Bake it for about 25-30 minutes , take it out, let it cool on the rack before removing it from the pie pan. Serve hot......it's really yummy!!
p/s: Don't forget to make a good aromatic cup of coffee to go with it ~wink!