Sunday, January 22, 2012

YEAR OF THE DRAGON 2012 APPROACHING


The "english" New Year has approached not so long ago, and NOW the Chinese Lunar calendar 'NEW YEAR" is approaching. Wow! isn't it great to celebrate two 'new year' in a month? LOL.........does that make any difference in the celebration or the preparation that you are doing? Well, ti's all up to you on how grand or simple you want to celebrate it. 
For me, the English New Year was celebrated with some feasting in the house alongside some close friends and relatives.Then, for this Chinese New Year, you would be surprise to hear that I'm not baking or preparing as much as i did in the previous years, well.........hehe, I'm going AWAY this Chinese New Year, and that is why I'm taking the 'IDLE" mode this time to not jam myself with too many bakings for the celebration. I will be away with my 'family' (hubby and the 4 kids) for a 'first-ever' holiday , just US on a plane , hehehe, hahaha......sounded so sad, and yet so happy right? LOL......
Well, don't be surprise to hear my quoting 'first-ever', as seriously, Hubby never gets to be in the 'holiday plan' if it was not in Chinese New Year, and HE is never the type that likes to fly........so 'DUH', you know what I meant :P


But, hey, guess what.....as 'man' grows older, they tends to appreciate the 'quality time spend with family (wife and kids) and start to realize that , $$$$ is not everything, kekeke.........and he made the proposal to go off to somewhere so we can have some 'family quality time' together. You bet, the moment I heard this proposal, I switched on my VAIO laptop then and bought whatever the destination is on the screen , not too expensive and not too far, as we have only 4D3N ........hehe, and the destination was picked , though it's not overseas, but a good start, for Hubby at least , wink*

Ok, enough of my blah-blah-blah, hehe, knew you would be bored by that. So, like I said earlier, I did not do much baking since I'm away, I only baked Lemon Cornflakes Cookies (as I'm quite bored with the usual tradition of baking "pineapple tarts/ cookies" .....so for a change, I baked something else, :p (although MiL still baked a batch of it). Well, wishing everyone a very happy "Tuan Yuan" dinner and I'm off now to do some last minute packing and checking before we head out tomorrow early morning to the airport....toodles!

Lemon Cornflakes Cookies
275gm Cornflakes , crushed to bits (but I managed to find this 'tiny' baby sized cornflakes that saves me from crushing)
200gm butter, room temperature
50gm shortening
100gm castor sugar
150gm HK flour
1 Tbsp full cream milk powder
2 egg yolks
1 tsp Emplex (optional, but I used)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp lemon juice
1Tbsp lemon zest

Method: 
  1. Cream butter, shortening and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
  2. Add in the egg yolks one by one mixing well.
  3. Add in the Emplex, if you are using, then the baking powder, blending in well and then add in the lemon juice and zest.
  4. Stir in the flour, folding in and make sure that it is all completely well mixed and smooth. (I did this part by hand, not the mixer)
  5. Pour the cornflakes into a big bowl, set aside. 
  6. Using a piping bag, place the cookie batter into the piping bag, snip off a 0.5cm tip and pipe a small dollop into the bowl of cornflakes. Using your hands, roll them around until they are neatly covered with cornflakes, place them on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  7. Bake in preheated oven at 150~Celsius for about 20-30 minutes, depending on individual oven.
  8. Completed cool on a wire rack before storing them in an airtight container.

Happy Chinese New Year to you all!!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Marble Cheese Brownies .........finally made it !



Wow! I have been wanting to make this for so long that it has been sitting in my "To Bake" list for ages.......luckily before the year 2011 ends, I finally attempted it and with success! Phew ;P
It's not something that is very special or what , it's just something that I wanted to bake and try it out, but just couldn't find the time to do it , sigh!! Enough said about my time management.....duh!!


Anyway, this is a good recipe, yields a very moist brownie and the cheese layer on top just makes it even tastier....don't really know how to define it. However, credits goes to this site , where I found the recipe :) Thanks Rima for the yummy brownies , cheers!


I made this for New Years Eve as we are having some guests to the house, and MiL was worried that there wouldn't be enough dessert after the main courses. So I assured her that this will be a hit and surely it was, of course , besides the Buco Salad earlier, hehehe...... According to MiL, all the guests kept praising these two desserts and also the Cheese Baked Rice, that was all prepared by, yours truly ME.....*blushing*


Ok lah, enough of praising, let's get into business, LOL.....I mean baking :P




MARBLE CHEESE BROWNIES
Ingredients for Brownies
250gm butter, room temperature
1 cup cocoa powder, good quality ones definitely makes a difference;
3 eggs (Grade B)
1.5 cups castor sugar
1/2 cups evaporated milk
1.5 cups flour (I used HK Flour)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
1 tsp Vanilla extract

  1. Preheat the oven at 175~Celsius, grease and line a 10" x 10" brownie pan.
  2. Melt butter in a saucepan, and mix in the cocoa powder. Stir well to blend.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate soda , set aside.
  4. Hand whisk the eggs and sugar until combine, add in the butter cocoa mixture and mix well.
  5. Add in the evaporated milk, and then the flour, bit by bit and stir until well combine. Lastly add in the vanilla extract.
  6. Before you pour the batter into the pan, keep 2 - 3 Tbsp of the batter for the marble effect later. Pour the remaining batter into the pan and bake for 20 - 30  minutes.
  7. While waiting for the brownies to be baked, prepare the cheese layer.

Ingredients for Cheese Marble Layer:
250gm Cream Cheese (I used Philadelphia Brand), room temperature
1 cup castor sugar
1 egg (Grade B)

  1. Beat cream cheese until light and creamy.
  2. Add in sugar and beat well.
  3. Add in the egg and mix till well combined.
  4. Pour onto the baked brownies, then pipe on the 2 - 3 Tbsp brownie batter that was left aside just now on top in vertical lines, and using a toothpick, scale it lightly to create the marble effect.
  5. Bake it for another 20 minutes , let it cool on the pan for about 10 minutes before taking it out and cool on the wire rack. Cut it into squares and it's ready to serve.


Till then, Happy baking!!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Buco Salad aka Coconut Salad


Happy New Year again to you all! What's the New Year resolution? hehe.....we always reset this button when the new year comes, and whether it is achievable or not, that's another story, right? Well, it's only normal that we set a standard for ourself to achieve and change, as life is always full of challenge ;)
Anyway, this year, I'm not setting anything outrageous or unusual for myself, I'm just hoping that I will be able to try something new, something more than I'm usually doing right now, and of course, if possible, may this year be even more fruitful than last year!!


Another 3 more days, school will be re-opening and I'm still kinda in a 'sleepy' mode from the day the holiday starts last year, LOL........how lazy!!! Well, but when come to think of it, it's time to get the kids back to school, as they are showing signs of 'laziness' already too ......... :P




As for you today, I have something easy to make and yummy to eat to share and you definitely would like to try this out. The ingredients are easy to gather, and maybe a little difficult for some of you, but I can be assured that it's worth it after all.......anyone having trouble locating young coconuts?? hehe.......


Have you try "Buco Salad" before? If you have been to The Phillippines, you must have heard so much about this dessert, and to tell you the truth, you will not believe me that it is sooooooo easy to make.........preparation time less than 10 minutes!!




Here's the ingredients :
  • Young 'Buco" / coconut, shredded - 4 cups ( I used 3 coconuts)
  • Nata de Coco - 12 ounces (I used 2 cans)
  • Mixed Fruit Cocktail - 15 ounces ( 1 used 2 cans)
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk - 14 ounces (I estimated by myself according to the sweetness I want)
  • Heavy Cream - 7 ounces ( I estimated too according to how creamy I want it to be, hehe)
Here's how to prepare it :
  • I used a 'coconut shredder' to scrape out the coconut from it's shell, and put it all into a big salad bowl;
  • Drain the Nata de Coco, and Fruit Cocktail from the can using a strainer, then pour it all into the bowl where the coconut is;
  • Mix it a bit, and then pour in the sweetened condensed milk and heavy cream, stir it well until evenly mixed and coated.
  • Wrap the bowl with a clingwrap and refrigerate it for at least 4 hours before serving.
Till then, have a good new year  and catch up with you soon.......bye!