Monday, October 25, 2010

Fah Sang Wu



When I was young, this is the dessert I look forward to at the end of the nine course dinner at wedding banquets. I love this more than the shark fin soup. It is served with 'woh peng'..a kind of red bean paste pancake...yummy. Now that I am older, I would still go ga ga over it. When I saw the recipe featured in one my favourite magazines - Flavours - a bi-monthly food magazine from Malaysia, I immediately put it on my 'to bake/cook' list.

You will need :
400g smooth, unsweetened peanut butter (Blend 400g roasted, skinned peanuts with 4g salt)
85g brown sugar or to taste
1 litre hot water
2 tbsps rice flour mixed with 4 tbsps water to a smooth paste
  • In a saucepan, combine the peanut butter,sugar and water and stir until smooth, bring to boil over medium heat.
  • Stir in rice flour mixture and bring back to boil over low heat, stirring continuously.
  • Remove from heat and serve hot or cold.

You can make homemade peanut butter too by blending 80g of honey into the freshly blended peanut paste. For chunky peanut butter, stir in chopped roasted peanuts. So, I guess it is healthier but I am not sure how long it can be kept. There is another easier way of getting the peanut paste. You can buy freshly blended peanut paste from Carrefour. You can save time and do not need to roast and blend the peanuts on your own :)...I have yet to try.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hokkaido Chiffon


When I first came across the recipe here, I knew I had to try it. It is basically chiffon presented in cupcake style. The twist is the cream which you have to pump in after the cake is done. The texture is soft and fluffy. Really good. The cakes will shrink once out of the oven. So,it was obvious that I was happy at first when freshly baked and then, almost the next second, the tops start to wrinkle. I am not sure if that's normal. But as long as they're nice, who cares?




The recipe :

3 egg yolks
1/8 tsp salt
20g sunflower oil
20g milk
a few drops of vanilla essence
25g top flour
1/8tsp baking powder


3 egg whites
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
45g castor sugar


Custard cream filling :

60g non dairy cream
abt 1 tbsp custard powder
40g milk

  • Preheat oven to 170*C.
  • Mix egg yolks and salt together. Add in oil and milk and mix them really well.
  • Sieve flour and baking powder into egg yolks. Add in vanilla essence.
  • Next, in another bowl, whisk egg whites with cream of tartar till foamy.
  • Add in sugar slowly and whisk till stiff.
  • Fold in half the egg whites into the egg mixture.
  • Add in the remaining half of the whites and fold in evenly.
  • Fill mixture into cups and bake for abt 15-18mins.
  • Leave to cool.



The beaten egg whites.


The batter in the cups, ready to be baked!


Finally, prepare the filling. Whip the cream till thick. Mix custard powder with the milk and mix into the whipped cream. Chill the cream while waiting for the cakes to cool. When they are cooled, pipe the cream into the cakes and there you have it....HOKKAIDO CHIFFON. Seriously, I have no idea why the name 'Hokkaido'. Maybe the recipe originated from there.But hey, the recipe works...that's more important.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Macarons again

Yes. It's been a while since I last made these cute but sweet (very sweet) little things. I recently bought Hisako Ogika's 'I Love Macarons' and got really inspired. I find the book useful with all the tips including what you can do with all the leftover egg yolks. I made a batch of pistachio macarons today and I really love the natural pastel green colour. They might not be the most perfect macs but good enough for me.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Double Choc Cupcakes



I guess you can't go wrong with chocolate. Really. It's one of those things that makes you go 'hmm..'.
I baked these cupcakes in a muffin tray and I have reduced the recipe so it only yields about 5 muffin sized cakes. I supposed I will get more if I use a smaller size tray.

Ingredients :
70g butter
20g sugar
2 egg yolks
40g chocolate (melted)
some chocolate chips (as desired)
30g self raising flour
2 egg whites and another 50g sugar (to be beaten till soft peaks)
  • Firstly, cream the butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
  • Next, add in the egg yolks one at a time.
  • Add in the melted chocolate and mix well.
  • Sieve in the flour and fold in the batter together with the chocolate chips
  • Lastly, fold in the egg whites gently.
  • Scoop the batter to prepared paper cups and bake at 180 degrees celcius for about 20-25minutes or till cooked through.
  • Take the paper cups out from muffin tray and let them cool on a wire rack.

Frost as desired. Here I have simply frost them with melted chocolate.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Pancakes for breakfast

Saturday and everyone is at home. No school and no work. Made pancakes for breakfast. The only thing missing is maple syrup. I also wish I have some bananas to top them with. Probably drizzle some chocolate sauce and whipped cream...totally wicked! Berries will not work because none of us really know how to appreciate them. Be it fresh, made into jams or in any other forms. We are just not conditioned to eat them. Thank God we can still accept grapes in whatever forms...fresh, dried and in wines of course! Okay, back to the pancakes. I like the even browning. And the taste is good. Nice and light for breakfast. I got the recipe from this book which I borrowed from the library.


The recipes are all in small portions which I find it useful for home baking. I mean, we are not feeding an army and I hate it when I end up with big portions. We either have to eat them for days on end or give them away to neighbours who will give you a weird look. AGAIN?!

Here is the recipe which I have changed a bit :

100g self raising flour
1 egg, separated
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp honey (coz that's what I have at home)
30g sugar
about 100ml milk ( add more if the batter is too thick)

Firstly, sieve the flour into a bowl.
Then in another bowl, mix egg,milk,oil and honey together.
Pour the liquid mixture to the flour gradually, stirring constantly so that it will not get lumpy. Keep stirring till you get a smooth batter.
Whisk the egg white till foamy and turned white. Add in the sugar(like in 3 batches or so) and whisk till stiff peaks.
Fold in the egg white to the batter gently.
Heat up your pan with some oil(not too much - just enough to oil the surface). Use a ladle and scoop in the batter in batches. Once you see bubbles forming, flip the pancake to brown the other side. Do not use your spatula to press it.


Pointers for me to note :

  • Do not use a lot of oil
  • Make sure the pan is hot enough before you scoop the batter in to get even browning
  • Turn the pancakes once bubbles formed
I will definitely make these for breakfast again!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cookies

Everyone has got their own version of these cookies. Some like it crispy and some like it chewy. I personally prefer the crunch more than anything else.



Baked these for the kids today and they are so loving it! With chocolate chip. I would love to add some nuts but the kids will protest and I will have to end up eating them myself. So, I think I can scoop some batter up the next time and add in the nuts for myself. Why didn't I think of that?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Kek Lapis

Layer by layer and not knowing if the cake will turn out good. Will I attempt it again? Well, not anytime soon unless there is a good reason for it.

After the long baking hours, thank goodness it turned out okay. Now, I can proudly tell mum that I made my own Lapis. Taste nice too! I used the recipe from this blog. Only 10 egg yolks instead of 20 or 30 in some recipes. The only difference is I have used 5 egg whites instead. No particular reason. I just thought it was easier to split the egg whites in half because I used 10 yolks. The remaining 5 egg whites were kept aside just in case I messed up with the whites when beating them.

Pointers to note if I ever bake it again the next time :

  • Do not bake the layers for too long

  • Use a smaller baking tin so that I get thicker and more layers

  • Beat the egg whites to very stiff peaks. I felt I didn't really beat it to stiff peaks today





The baked layer of the cake.




Adding the batter in for the next layer. Noticed the batter will melt as the previous layer is still very hot. But according to the recipe, you need not wait till it cools down.








Mission accomplished!






Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Easy Orange Cake


Surprised that the cake actually turned out well. It is really a simple cake using simple ingredients. Even hubby gave the thumbs up! How cool is that? There is a burst of orange flavour and goes really well with a cup of coffee. What's more? It's home baked. You know the ingredients and can eat it with a peace of mind. Here is the recipe :

150g butter
About 1 tbsp finely grated orange rind
150g caster sugar
3eggs
225g self raising flour
60ml milk
About 2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
  • Preheat oven to 180 degree celcius. Prepare a loaf pan (greased and lined with baking paper)
  • Cream butter,sugar and orange rind till light and fluffy.
  • Add in eggs one at a time.
  • Add in milk, orange juice and fold in the flour till all combined.
  • Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50minutes till golden brown or till cooked through( test for doneness)
  • Let it cool in the pan for a while then turned out onto a wire rack to cool completely.



Sunday, August 29, 2010

Something Egg-gy


Egg tarts have always been my favourite. I have been toying with the idea to bake them for almost a week now. I finally did it today.The recipe I used is from KUALI and yields exactly 12 tarts. This is just perfect for a small family like mine. No fuss. There are even extras to giveaway to my neighbour who has been sharing her bakes as well. Isn't it nice to have nice people staying in your neighbourhood?


This recipe is a keeper.The crust is just nice. The custard soft and smooth. Yummy!


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Braised Chicken Wings

Super fast and quick dish. Mom used to say no reason not to cook when it is this easy. She taught me this when my kids were younger. This has been one of our lazy day dish ever since.

All you need is :

2 packets of mid joint wings ( from NTUC)
Thumb size ginger - cut into slices
1 clove of garlic - smashed with the back of the knife
Soya sauce, dark soya sauce,oyster sauce and sesame oil ( about 2 or 3tbsp each ,according to your taste. I don't really measure.)
some pepper


Basically, throw everything in a pot to marinate.Let it stand for about 5mins or so. Then, fill up with water till all wings are covered. Bring to boil under high heat. Once it starts to boil, lower the heat and let it simmer for about 20 or 25mins till soften. Mix in some corn starch solution to thicken the sauce.


This is how it looks like when marinating.




Ready to serve. It goes well with rice or porridge.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Banana Cake





I think this has to be the most easiest cake to make. All less than 15mins to mix. One thing to note is the banana must be really ripe. This is inspired by my elder son. He actually came back some time back with some banana cake from his home econs class. He was excited and eager to get each one of us to try his cake. Obviously, he was proud that it tasted good. I am proud of him too. Really. He was beaming and I can understand the feeling because I felt the same each time when I bake.The best part about the experience is he offered to bake together with me today. I was surprised. What a way to bond. Here is the recipe we used (actually from his text book! Ha!) :



100g butter
80g sugar
100g self raising flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs - lightly beaten
1 banana (we used 2 but not ripe enough)- mashed
2 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla essence

1 loaf tin (greased and lined)

  • - Preheat oven to 180 degree celcius.
  • - Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
  • - Add in eggs gradually, add in milk,vanilla essence and the mashed banana. Mix till combined.
  • - Sieve flour and salt together and fold into the batter.
  • - Pour into the prepared tin. Bake for about 30 mins or till cooked through.




Turn out the cake when cooked to cool completely.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Life is good


I feel good.


Work. Life . Balance .


I have been thinking lately. Life is what you want it to be. Simplicity can be such a wonderful thing. Me,hubby and the little one can be having dinner in our room watching TV on a small table and that warms me anytime better than a fine dining restaurant.


I want to slow down and really enjoy every little details. Treasure every moment.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

I'm back

I have been lazy to post my bakes even though I have been baking. But I think it's time to do something about it. Funny thing is I decided to post something on a weekend that I did not bake. I was watching Rachel Ray this morning and well, you can say I have been motivated again. I was thinking, can anyone throw salt over your shoulder for luck at home? Well, certainly not me. I wouldn't want to clean up unnecessarily. But I love her shortcuts. That you can still look good after preparing a decent meal for the family...

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