Macarons

29 November, 2007 at 4:01 pm | Posted in » Crunchy Cookies | 3 Comments
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Macarons 

Macarons… it has been a craze in Singapore for sometime now, it’s also the thing that makes the baking world crazy!

Many fellow food bloggers have made their attempted to make these little sweet things, some of them are very successful on the first attempt but some are not… some can’t get the ‘feets’ or ‘skirts’…

Today, I make an attempt to try out these little things. Well… it did not turn up so well for me… I guess it’s quite normal for a first timer who makes it. The ingredients was simple, it’s just egg whites, ground almond and icing sugar. And yet, despite the simple ingredients… the process of making one with ‘feet’ was not so easy.

When I have the ingredients all mixed, it batter was quite sticky… wonder if that should be the consistency… I tried to pipe out the batter into rounds, but it ends up all kinds of deformed shapes except rounds! Sad  I wonder how can I make it into rounds  Ignoring You ?? I can’t even get them into rounds, not to mention getting the little ‘feet’ Sad Haiz… I gotta dump the whole batch…

Maybe I’ll try again… or maybe not… part of me wana try again as a challenge for myself… but part of me, after the disaster of today’s attempt dun wana go through another one in case it resulted in the same result…

Considering the difficulty level of making these macarons, it’s a no wonder why they are selling so expensive at about S$1.30 – S$1.50 EACH !

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X’mas Cookie Cutters

26 November, 2007 at 12:56 pm | Posted in Others | Leave a comment
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Cutters

I have just received these x’mas cookie cutters and icing stencil from Shop n Bake on Sat. Maybe will try them this week.

Peanut Butter Cookies

25 November, 2007 at 2:29 am | Posted in » Crunchy Cookies, » Recipes | 7 Comments
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Peanut butter cookies

Saw a peanut butter recipe in my cookies book and decided to try it out as I have not make any cookies with peanut butter before. The cookies are nice, with the aroma of the peanut butter.


Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter, soften
1 cup creammy or chunky peanut butter (I use chunky ones)
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup soft brown sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
1/2 salt

Method:

1. Beat butter, peanut butter and the sugars together until creamy. Beat in eggs until well combine.

2. Sift in the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Mix until evenly combined. Then put into the refridgerator for 1 hour.

3. Shaped into 1-inch balls. Place on baking paper and flatten with fork in a crisscross pattern.

4. Preheat oven at 190oC. Bake for 10 mins or until cookies are light golden brown.

Double Cheese Corochan

25 November, 2007 at 1:45 am | Posted in » Cooking, » Recipes | Leave a comment
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Corochan

As I still have a few potatoes left from the previous baked potatoes, I made these double cheese corochan this afternoon. I put in two type of cheese in the centre of these corochan.

Look at the oozing cheese from the center!

Oozing cheese


Ingredients:
Makes about 8 rounds

2 medium potatoes, boiled and mashed
1 onions, cut into quarters then slice
1 medium sized carrot, diced
1/2 chicken breast fillet, minced
1/2 parmesan cheese
2 slices of cheddar cheese, each cut into quarters
1/2 cup water
crushed black pepper
1 pinch of salt
japanese bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
corn oil

Method:

1. Heat the frying pan with abit of oil, put in the onions and stir until fragrant. Then add in carrots with water, stir until the water dries up. Add in the chicken stir fry until cooked.

2. Remove the stir fried ingredients from the pan into the mashed potatoes and mix well. Add pepper and salt to taste.

3. Shape the potato mixture into balls. Flatten the ball and put some parmensan cheese and 1 quarter of the cheddar cheese. Wrap up the the cheese and make sure that the cheese is properly covered by the potato mixture and flatten abit. Repeat until all potato mixture is used up.

4. Dip the cheese filled pototoes rounds into the egg then into the japanese bread crumbs.

5. Heat the frying pan with about 1 cup of corn oil. Put in the potato rounds and cook until golden brown.

Almond Jellies

24 November, 2007 at 6:10 pm | Posted in » Desserts | Leave a comment
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Almond Jellies

I have made these almond jellies using a rose silicon mould I bought from Pantry Magic about a month ago… this was the first time I’m using this mould. Look so pretty!

Milk Loaf

21 November, 2007 at 7:20 pm | Posted in » Fresh Breads & Buns, » Recipes | 2 Comments
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Have been down with dehydration these past few dayz and feeling kinda of restless after all the resting & medicines. Feeling better today, I make an attempt to make a Milk Loaf.

Milk Loaf 

Using the recipe I saw from Happy Home Baking and with the bread making technique from the book ‘Bread’ by Eric Treuille & Ursula Ferrigno, the outcome was wonderful!! The crust is crispy, the inside is nice, soft and fluffy. It has a very very nice aroma too !The book says to apply steam to the oven when baking breads so as to achieve a crisp, crusty exterior. There are 3 methods to do so: using a sprayer, using ice cubes or using ceramic tiles. I have neither the sprayer nor ceramic tiles, so I used the ice cubes method. To apply steam with ice cubes is very simple, just place a wide tray or dish filled with ice cubes on the bottom rack or the floor of the oven while the oven preheats, then place the loaf in the oven before all the ice cubes melts. When the ice cubes have all melted, carefully remove the tray or dish from the oven.

Before rising
Dough before rising…

After rising
Dough after rising… look at the doubled up size

Roll out
1st & 2nd Roll out…

Final proving
Final proving & into the oven !

Finally! Yeah!
Finally… Yummy !


Ingredients:

143g fresh milk (I used full milk)
35g egg
25g caster sugar
5g salt
250g bread flour
4g Instant yeast
38g butter (unsalted, if using salted then reduce the salt)

Method:

1. Place milk, egg, followed by caster sugar, salt, bread flour and yeast into the pan of the bread machine. Set to Dough function. Add in the butter after 8 ~ 10 mins into the kneading cycle. Continue to let the bread machine do the kneading. Stop the machine after the kneading cycle. Re-start the machine and let the dough knead for another 10mins before stopping the machine.

2. Remove dough from the bread pan, let it proof in room temperature in a mixing bowl, covered with cling wrap. Let proof for 60mins.

3. Remove dough and punch out the gas. Divide dough into 3 equal portion. Roll and shape into balls. Let the doughs rest and relax for 15 mins. (this ‘relaxing’ time is needed so that the dough will be easier to roll out and shaped).

4. On a lightly floured surface, flatten one dough and roll out into a longish shape. Roll up the dough swiss-roll style. Do the same for the two remaining doughs.

5. Flatten the rolled-up dough and roll out again into a long rectangular shape. Roll up tightly, and make as many rolls you can, swiss-roll style for the second time. Do the same for the two remaining doughs.

6. Place doughs in lightly greased bread tin/pan. Let the doughs proof for the second time, until it fills up 80% of the tin/pan. Cover with cling wrap.

7. Bake at pre-heated oven at 180 ~ 190 deg C for 30 to 35mins.

8. Unmould the bread immediately when removed from the oven. Let cool completely before slicing.

Sentosa Day

19 November, 2007 at 4:10 pm | Posted in Others | Leave a comment

Yesterday was my hubby company’s family day @ Sentosa. I can’t remember when was the last time I actually went to Sentosa during the day time, it must have been quite long. Sentosa have changed quite alot.

We didn’t stay too long the company event, just go there to show face then head off to venture on our own…hehehe. Yesterday’s weather was so bright and sunnie that I got abit of sun burn…

On the way to Harbourfront
On the way to Harbourfront

At Palawan Beach
At Palawan Beach

My loving hubby
My loving hubby

The bridge I most scare of
The bridge I most scare of

What a view
What a view !

1st time on an open top bus
1st time on an open top bus

Dolphin lagoon
Dolphins lagoon

Underwater world
Underwater world

Going Italian

19 November, 2007 at 3:07 pm | Posted in » Cooking | Leave a comment
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Ever since we bought a Pasta Cookbook a few weeks ago, hubby has been wanting to have some home-cooked pasta. We finally got down to cook it last saturday for lunch since hubby is not working… and to go with it, I also maked some baked mashed potatoes.

The meal was so delicious ! And best of all, we enjoy each other company in the kitchen preparing food together… haven been doing that for quite sometime.

Enjoy the pix !

Mashed potatoes
Mashed potatoes with bacon bits & cheese toppings

After baked
After baked

Ingredients for pasta
Ingredients for pasta

Bon Appétit
Bon Appétit !!

Egg Tarts !!

16 November, 2007 at 2:30 pm | Posted in » Bite-size Tarts | 3 Comments
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egg_tarts2.jpg

Ever wonder how egg tarts comes about? Do you know that egg tart is related to the English-style custart tart, a pastry commonly enjoyed in the Bristish Isles, Australia and New Zealand?

Well, the earliest record of Egg tart in the east is in a royal banquet for the Kangxi Emperor as part of the Manchu Han Imperial Feast.

Custard tarts were introduced in Hong Kong in the 1940s by Cha Chaan Tengs, and western cafes and bakeries to compete with dim sum restaurants particularly for yum cha. It later evolved to become egg tarts today. At the time, egg tarts were twice the size of today’s tarts. During the 1950s and 1960s when the economy started taking off, Luk Jyu (陸羽) took the lead with the mini-egg tart.

One theory suggests Chinese egg tarts are a Chinese adaption of English tarts with custard filling. Guangdong had long been the region in China with most frequent contact with the West, in particular Britain. As a former British colony, British food naturally assimilated to local Hong Kong tastes. Custard tarts made of shortcrust pastry, eggs, sugar, milk or cream, vanilla, and nutmeg have long been a favourite pastry in the British Isles, Australia, and New Zealand. According to Laura Mason and Catherine Bell’s Traditional Foods of Britain: An Inventory (Prospect Books, London, 2004) a version of custard tart has been made in England since the Middle Ages. The medieval recipe was a shortcrust pastry case filled with a mixture of milk or cream, eggs, sweetening agents, and other spices. Gary Rhodes’s New British Classics (BBC Worldwide, London, 1999) states the recipe of making the modern version of English custard tart has been more or less set since the Tudor times.

There are two types of egg tarts, namely, Hong Kong-style and the Portuguese-style.

Today egg tarts come in many variations within Hong Kong cuisine. These include egg white tarts, milk tarts, honey-egg tarts, ginger-flavored egg tarts (the two aforementioned variations were a take upon traditional milk custard and egg custard, which was usually served in Cha Chaan Tengs: chocolate tarts, green-tea-flavoured tarts and even bird’s nest tarts. Overall, Hong Kong-style egg tarts have two main varieties, divided according to the type of the outermost layer or crust:

  • Butter-flavoured shortcrust pastry (牛油皮): made with shortcrust pastry. It is named “butter skin” in Chinese since it possesses a cookie-like flavour with a rich butter aroma.
  • Puff pastry (酥皮): made with puff pastry and with an extremely crisp texture. Lard is typically used in making the base rather than butter or shortening. This type is regarded as the most traditional and correct form of egg tart by food critics.

Other varieties becoming more popular in the ever increasing focus on health are:

  • Milk-centered egg tarts. It is composed of a smooth milky egg-white center and is considered by some to be somewhat healthier than traditional egg tarts.
  • Bird’s nest egg tarts. Bird’s nest pieces are added to the egg center.

Compared with the original English custard tarts, milk is normally not added to the egg custard, and the tart is not sprinkled with grounded nutmeg or cinnamon before serving. It is also sometimes (though not always) served piping hot rather than at room temperature as per English custard tarts.

Portuguese-style egg tarts were evolved from “pastel de nata“, a traditional Portuguese custard pastry that consists of custard in a crème brûlée-like consistency caramelized fashion in a puff pastry case. It was created more than 200 years ago by Catholic Sisters at Jerónimos Monastery (Portuguese: Mosteiro dos Jerónimos) at Belém in Lisbon. Casa Pastéis de Belém was the first pastry shop outside of the convent to sell this pastry in 1837, and it is now a popular pastry in every pastry shop around the world owned by Portuguese descendants.

The Portuguese-style egg tarts known in Macau (葡式蛋撻, more commonly simply as 葡撻) originated from Lord Stow’s Café in Coloane, owned by a Briton named Andrew Stow. Stow modified the recipe of pastel de nata using techniques of making English custard tarts. It has since become available at numerous bakeries, as well as Macau-style restaurants and Chinese, Hong Kong and Taiwan branches of the KFC restaurant chain. There was a craze in Singapore and Taiwan in the late 1990s.

(Source from Wikipedia)

I have my try on making Portuguese-style egg tarts yesterday… unfortunately, it does not taste as nice as it looks in the pix =( 

Maybe it’s the recipe… or maybe it’s the tactic… nevertheless, I will keep trying until I get the perfect recipe for the perfect egg tarts…  =D

Here are the pix,

Ready to bake
Ready to bake

Done!
Done!

Close up
Close up

Butter cake

14 November, 2007 at 12:08 pm | Posted in » Yummy Cakes | 5 Comments
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Few dayz ago when we were at a bakery buying waffles, hubby looked at the butter cake and ask me when I gonna bake one for him ? I told him will make on coming Sat… but got an urge to bake yesterday… so I brought forward my promise and make him his butter cake… =)

Before going in the oven
Before going into the oven

Freshly baked
Freshly baked

Yummy slices
Yummy slices

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