Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mini Strawberry Shortcake

Have you ever heard of 'Strawberry Shortcake'? Yes, I have and maybe a lot of you do too……but the one that I heard very often is the "Strawberry Shortcake" cartoon that my little girl loves to watch in the Disney Channel,  :P  However, I do have a few recipes on Strawberry Shortcake that I have in my collection, that I planned to try out one of these days. Well, my "To Bake" list has increased tremendously over the year, each time the more interesting and more latest ones kept piling on the top and the older ones are all being forgotten and were kept on the bottom of the list already :P

Well, I think I have to stop the collection and start baking off the list as soon as I can, so that the new ones can be added in, hahaha. Anyway, back to Strawberry Shortcake, I get to finally try out this recipe, thanks to my dear nephew, Jason. He called me up on a fine day, asking if I have ever baked Strawberry Shortcake before. I told him that I haven't yet, but I do have a few recipe on this item. So, as I promised to test the recipe first before passing it on to him, I finally get to bake my 'Strawberry Shortcake'.

I went to buy a punnet of strawberries from one of the local supermarket and quickly get to work ……..in the kitchen I mean. I was very excited actually, because this is one type of cake that I am not familiar of, and heard quite a of lot comments about it. In fact, I have always wondered why people called it 'shortcake'?? It's small alright, but not short, hmm…….funny! Sometimes, you just don't know how they got their names. 

Anyway, I have selected the recipe that I have adapted from Smitten Kitchen as it looks so much easier and straightforward. Since my nephew prefers to opt for the easier and not so complicated one, then I would strongly suggest this recipe to him. I followed exactly what the recipe requires, and the only thing that I didn't wanna put into the ingredients was the 'egg yolks'. Don't worry, even I didn't put in the egg yolks, the shortcakes still turned out nice. The only thing would be the colour was not that yellowish or golden as it is supposed to be.

The final verdict for this Strawberry Shortcake would be …….the shortcake has a crumbly crust outside and a cake-like in the inside, overall it was fine for me. Then the filling, as the strawberries I bought was the local ones, so there are a bit sweet and sour, and when mixed with the whipped cream, it blends in really well, not too sweet. I like the final outlook of it as for a picture…..it really looks nice. Sadly, I have to say that I might not be making this again as it was not something that I would fancy or crave to eat in the near future……..maybe upon request, I will be baking it again, ^-^

Interested to see and taste how a Strawberry Shortcake is like? Check it out……..

adapted from Smitten Kitchen (Serves 6) 

224 gms all-purpose flour
50 gms sugar
1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon baking powder
2 hard-boiled egg yolks
1/8 teaspoon salt
84 gms cold unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch cubes
2 teaspoons lemon or orange zest (optional)
2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream

Shortcake assembly
1/2 pound strawberries, washed, hulled and quartered
2 tablespoons (25 grams) sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup whipping cream, beaten to soft peaks

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, egg yolks, and salt. Pulse to combine. Add the butter and zest, if using, and pulse until the flour resembles coarse meal. Add 2/3 cup of cream and pulse until the dough comes together.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gather into a shaggy mass. Knead a couple times to make it into a cohesive mass and then pat it into a rough circle about 6 to 7 inches in diameter, and 3/4 to 1-inch thick.
  3. Using a sharp knife, cut the circle into 6 wedges and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Alternately, you can use a cookie cutter to make shapes of your choice. Chill for 20 minutes (and up to 2 hours).
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush the tops of the shortcakes very lightly with heavy cream and sprinkle lightly with the coarse sugar. Bake until risen and golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Turn the pan around halfway through to ensure even cooking.
  5. While the shortcakes are baking, toss the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice together in a bowl. Let stand several minutes. (If the strawberries are extremely firm, do this 30 minutes in advance.)
  6. Split the shortcakes in half horizontally and set the tops aside. Place the bottoms on dessert plates and heap strawberries over them. Spoon whipped cream generously over the strawberries and replace the shortcake tops. Serve immediately with any remaining whipped cream on the side.

Happy Strawberry Shortcake baking!! It's as sweet as the cartoon….LOL

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

I have gone missing again I would have to admit…….not that I'm lazy to bake but…….just couldn't find the time to bake, to blog and to do most of what I like to do most recently, as I was being tied down so deep down with my work, sigh! Well, what to do, my 9-5 job is still my breadwinner, so couldn't afford to say "no" to it……therefore just have stick to it and follow with the rhythm …….if it goes low, then I will have a lot of time to do my stuff, but if it goes high (like now)…….I will just have to keep up with the pace :P

Anyway, no matter how busy I am, I still try once in awhile to squeeze in time, at least once a week to bake something , to heat up my oven and mixer………LOL. In fact sometimes, I like it when I heard my boys complaining to me saying, "Mummy, why you don't bake anything for us to bring to school lately? We hate to buy school canteen food." Hmm……I like the sound of that, hehe :P
By the way, coming back to this post, I actually can't quite remember when did I actually baked this, but I knew very well, it was very recent because after my little Angel's birthday project, I really didn't have the time to bake……unless I really squeezed in one very badly, ^-^  Well, who cares when, the main important is this cake is a really yummy and good one, a sure-keeper for me and I'm not going to hide it away from you, because I think you should try it. I remember hearing this from my MiL last year when I just started to bake, she said Pound Cake is just like Butter Cake. I'm not sure whether I have to agree with her or not, but when I googled on the internet, it says that Pound Cake got its name from the 'one pound' of each ingredients that it uses to make the cake………1 pound of sugar, 1 pound of eggs, 1 pound of flour and 1 pound of butter. Interesting huh? Can you imagine how rich and how big a cake with that measurement will be? LOL…..
Nowadays, I think this recipe has been altered by hundreds and many thousands and therefore, a Pound Cake is not made by using the above mentioned amount of ingredients already………but still more or less maybe. Anyway, back to this 'Cream Cheese Pound Cake' that I adapted the recipe from Smitten Kitchen , and the only thing that I opted out from the recipe was the 'Strawberry Coulis' as I don't think my kids and my in-laws would like that extra sauce for the cake. To tell you the truth, this cake turned out really good, both on texture and taste, in fact my my FiL complained that it was so soft, he couldn't even lift the cake from the plate……was that supposed to be good or bad? Hmmm………but my personal verdict was……it's really moist, very dense , the cream cheese blended in really well with the butter, therefore resulting a cake that is not very rich in cheese in taste, but just nice. I personally love it, I had 2 piece at one time and then swear I will not eat another piece again………haha, as to watch my waistline :P but I will definitely make this cake again.
Here is the actual recipe, I halve the recipe as I wanted to try out my newly bought 'Oval Shaped Cake tin', so I made two small cakes instead. You should try it:

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen, credit goes to you, Deb! 
1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 package (8 ounces) Philadelphia brand cream cheese*, at room temperature
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

**I added 1/2 tsp of lemon zest as I love the combination of cheese and lemon together

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F / 170°C. Lightly butter a 10-inch tube pan ( I used 2 small Oval shaped cake tin), then line the bottom with parchment paper.
2. Place the butter and cream cheese in a large bowl and cream with a mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar, increase the speed to high, and beat until light and airy, at least five minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the vanilla, then the flour and salt all at once. Beat just until incorporated.
3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and shake lightly to even out the top. Bake until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. (As I used 2 small Oval cake tin, my baking time was reduced to 50 minutes only).
4. Place the pan on a cake rack and cool for 20 minutes, then remove the cake from the pan and let it cool completely. Serve at room temperature.

Happy Baking!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mooncake ....or not? (1)

It's the month of September, meaning the Chinese calendar is in the 8th month of the year still.......and Mid -Autumn Festival aka Mooncake Festival falls in this month. When I was a little girl, I just don't seem to understand why mooncakes can only be eaten during Mooncake Festival and not any other day?? hmm......funny huh! 
Anyway, I think nowadays, people can make mooncakes to eat anytime and any day they feel like eating....eventhough it's not Mid-Autumn Festival. Last year, when I just started to bake in August, I was still very new to baking, so was not confident enough to bake some mooncakes, instead make some 'jelly mooncakes' for the kids.....something more simpler that does not requires so much research and skills....LOL 

This year, I challenged myself to try baking some tradisional mooncakes as Ian requested that I made some homemake 'lotus paste' mooncakes for him. Wah! that was quite a request though, as if he knew his mother would be able to bake some for him with just a snap of my fingers....:P
I started researching and googling in the internet, look through some other bloggers experience and tips on making mooncake, and of course bought myself a "mooncake cookbook" too.
Guess what, I didn't know that lotus paste or any other oft he mooncake fillings can be that demanding during this season.......almost all the cake ingredients chops in KK ran out of stock on these fillings. I went to BWM just a week before the actual Mid-Autumn festival, and was told that they sold every single pack of fillings (whether it is lotus paste, red bean, green bean or green tea or durian paste) a week ago. OK.......gotcha!! Now what?? I was asking myself what else can I stuff into these mooncake that Ian will eat? hmm.......
Then, consider myself lucky, one of the cashier at BWM told me that a lady informed them that she has extra packets of lotus paste and durian paste that she is willing to sell out to those interested at the same price she bought from BWM :)  She gave me the telephone contact number and I called to enquire, managed to secure a pack of lotus paste, phew!!!

And so, this year, I made some 'Mini Lotus Paste Mooncakes' for my family to taste for Mid-Autumn Festival, though I must say, I'm not very satisfied with the result of the mooncakes, it does not look as nice and pretty as the ones sold in the supermarkets........but one thing....it's edible and the kids loved it!! LOL
I will add this mooncake into my list of "To Bake" as I attempted to try it again, guess i found my weakness and mistake along the way, so, I'm not posting the recipes up here as yet until I have perfected it myself first.
Till then .................

Happy Mid-Autumn festival to you all!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

My Little Girl is 6 Years Old Today

I'm sure every mothers in the world agree with me that they will try their very best and effort to make their children's dreams and wishes come true as much as they can. This year, my little girl, Angelica has wished for a 'Barbie Doll' cake ……and she specifically wanted me to bake it. In fact she has been asking for this cake since her last year's birthday……but because I only started to bake last year August, I really wasn't confident that I'll be able to come up with such a beautiful 'standing' doll cake.

Therefore, not to disappoint a little girl's wish, I struggled to make a 'sitting Little Mermaid' cake for her last birthday instead……..hehe. I wasn't very satisfied with that cake but......My little girl is a very 'easily satisfied' girl, and she loved it just as much. Therefore, I made a promise to her that this year when she celebrate her 6th birthday, I'll make a standing Barbie Doll cake for her, just the one she has always wanted.

As she also wanted to celebrate this year's birthday with her classmates for the last time in this pre-school (as she will be proceeding to Primary One next year) , she wanted a "Princess in Pink" birthday theme……..and I am more than happy to grant her her wishes…..^-^

And so, I made her these "Princess" theme cupcakes with the major color 'Pink'…….we have all the Disney's Princess character like Aurora of Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White, Belle of Beauty and the Beast, Jasmine of Aladdin and Ariel of Little Mermaid……..of course, we also have some fairy magic wands, sweethearts, pink tiaras and some ice creams (one of Angel's favourite ……with lots of sprinkles on it) ;)

Besides that, I have also made some 'Sugar Cookies' for her to be packed into the party packs for her classmates. As this month's Daring Bakers Challenge is making 'Sugar Cookies', it's the perfect timing for me to bake some sugar cookies and also practice on decorating them too. Thanks to this month's Daring Bakers' host – Mandy from "What the Fruitcake?!".

Last but not least, the promised "Barbie Doll" cake that Angelica has always wanted. I'm glad everything came out perfectly as I wanted it to be, I'm very satisfied with the outcome this time, though I might not be perfect to some of you (who are much more experience in this field than me) but ….……for me, seeing my little girls' eyes lite up and her smiling face just froze there for period of time, the peck on my cheek and the little 'bear-hug' she gave me, tells me that she is very much appreciates my work and my effort in making her this year's birthday the 'happiest day in her life'........therefore all hard work and sleepless nights I put in for all these preparations……it all worth it! Cheers, Cynthia!! LOL

Happy Birthday Angel, my sweetie, you will always be my little angel and Mummy will try my very best to make your every wish come true!!

 May the good Lord bless you, Sweetie, Love you always……xoxo!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Yes, I'm finally baking something from my 'baking long list' again....LOL, but one sad thing is, my mixer broke down last Saturday after baking two batches of cupcakes......sigh***
I know, I know, it's time to get a more 'keng' (heavy-duty) one....that's what everybody is telling me :( I wish I can afford a 'Kitchen Aid' now, at this moment....that would be so cool and perfect at this timing, but hey, who doesn't know how much a KA cost......I'm not one that can easily come out with that kind of cash to buy something I wish I can.....as there are so many things that i need to take into consideration in. Well, that doesn't stop me from baking (sticking my tongue out, LOL), as I'm going to get a temporary one (to my affordability now) that will substitute my broken one just fine.......and can last me till beginning of next year, when I get my bonus, I'm going to get a really heavy-duty one for myself , if possible, a 'KA' , hehe
As mentioned, nothing can stop me from baking.......here's what I baked last night, one of the 'hot cakes' in the blogpost as far as I know for the past one month and is still hot now, it's called the "Fruit Pastry Cake".

Don't misunderstand me, it's not a 'fruit cake' that normally people bake for Christmas or Weddings, but this is something that is so perfect for an 'afternoon garden tea'.....well, why do I say that?? because the outlook of this pastry cake is just so beautiful, I would say, if you set it on a Victorian garden table, beside the expensive cups and saucers.....they'll just look great! So much imagination huh you would say.........LOL
Well, once in awhile, it's good to take your mind out and let it wander.......be imaginative and creative, and it'll be really colourful. I have had a very stressful and hectic past few weeks......so, I guess it's time I get back to my normal usual pace and unwind. Hope you agree with me that 'life sometimes are really full of surprises'.......'no matter it is for better or for worst, it always comes with a reason behind it, let's just be glad that we get to witness it', cheers!
I won't be drafting out the recipe here, as I have followed exactly from this recipe that I adapted from here, though the only thing I omitted was the 'blueberries, as I can't seem to find any :(

.........but the cake still turned out perfect, it's yummy and you'll love it.

Happy 'Fruit Pastry Cake' baking !! 

Monday, September 6, 2010

Learn2Bake September Challenge - Basic Sweet Bun Dough

Another of the Learn2Bake Challenge, and this time I have chosen 'Basic Sweet Bun Dough' for my members to do, since they have been baking cakes and cakes a lot....some of them even begged me to change to something else.......LOL , so 'kelian' (pity) ^-^
Ok, so buns and bread will be our topic for the whole of September!! Guess what, even I myself can't wait to quickly get this challenge done.....as I have told you before, I'm a bread person, and all my boys are.......even my little girl, Angel also started to like bread and buns too.....but she prefers the plain ones :)
Secondly is because I have been baking a lot of cupcakes lately since I started to go back to baking after a few weeks of absence, hehe....
I have given them a few parts to complete and choose, as most of you who are very familiar with bread baking, would know that, you only need a "basic sweet bun dough' to transform and create a varieties of other buns that are sold in local bakeries. I have selected the 'Basic Sweet Bun Dough' recipe from my cookbook collection called "BreadMagic" by Chef Alan Ooi, this is a good cookbook that you should invest  I would say.
As for the parts of the variety buns, I picked and chosed from a few cookbook......and I'm glad to announced that I completed my challenge pretty early this month and I'm so happy, as I have more time to do other baking list that I have........see ya!

Happy Basic Sweet Bun Dough Baking!!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Forgive me for my absence lately........

Gosh! Time has really flies by so fast without me realising that it's already September......and I haven't been posting any latest bake so far. Please forgive me as the last 2 weeks of August was a nightmare to me.......all my 4 kids were down with high fever, cough and flu and sore throat. I don't know when was the last time something like this happened in the past........but it sure gives me enough sleepless nights, and rushing up and in and out of the clinic, seeking for doctor's advice and requesting for medical leave for the kids, as 3 of my boys are hit at the time when the 2nd term examination is on.......Sigh!!

Therefore, I was left with no time to think of anything else (definitely not baking) but only what time and what doses of medicine to give to which kid.......round the clock. Come to think of it now, I'm quite good with the medicine names, doses and also the exact weight of each of my children, says the phamarcist when I went to purchase medicine for them. I can spell out everything she wants to know without a blink........LOL, I guessed this shows how much I'm a "Mumto4Angels" is.......LOL

Anyway, I promise I will try to go back to baking like usual this September........so not to neglect those challenges that I joined, and also to those who faithfully follow my blogs ^-^
By the way, I have just started to venture into a small cupcakes business on my own called "Cupcakes Fairytale" , from home, on a very small scale, just to cater to those friends who used to order from me. Please do feel free to pop into this link and well, if you would like to try .........I would be happy to be a part of your fairytale.

Lastly, this is what I found 'weird' during my absence while I was baking one batch of my cupcake orders, hehe. Seen anything like this before?