Green Tea Chiffon Cake

12 March, 2008 at 10:14 pm | Posted in » Recipes, » Yummy Cakes | 1 Comment
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I made this cake yesterday. Instead of the usual pandan flavour, I have used green tea powder. The texture of this cake is very moist, soft, spongy and the sweetness is just right. Hubby and I love it. We wanted to bring some for my MIL but, we didn’t even have enuff for ourselves!

The inside of the cake…
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Ingredients:
(A)
4 egg yolks
30 grams castor sugar
1 tablespoon honey
pinch of salt

(B)
4 tablespoons of warm corn oil
80 ml warm water + 2-3 teaspoons green tea powder
2 – 3 teaspoons rum

(C)
100 grams cake flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder

(D)
4 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartart
30 grams castor sugar

Method:

1.    Cream ingredients (A) with hand whisk till sugar dissolved.
2.    Add in ingredients (B) in the respective order and mix well before adding the next item.
3.    Sieve in ingredients (C) and mix till no lumps.
4.    Beat egg whites with electric beater till frothy, sprinkle in the cream of tartar. Beat till white in colour and add in sugar by thirds. Egg white should be beaten till stiff peaks are formed.
5.    Put half portion of egg white into yolk mixture and mix it with a hand whisk in 6 strokes.
6.    Pour yolk mixture into the rest of the egg white and mix well with hand whisk.
7.    Put batter into a chiffon cake pan, bang the pan on a hard surface several times to release the bubbles and bake at 170C – 180C for 35 -45 minutes or till cooked.
8.    When the cake is cooked, remove from oven and give it another bang on a hard surface to loosen the cake texture then invert cooked cake on a wire rack to cool for 15 – 20 minutes. Remove cake from cake pan and leave aside to cool completely.

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3rd Daring Bakers Challenge – Julia Child’s French Bread

29 February, 2008 at 4:11 pm | Posted in » Daring Bakers, » Fresh Breads & Buns | 11 Comments
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It’s been sometime since I have baked any breads… and I had a strong feeling that this month challenge will be on breads and boy how right could I get ! I was stressed out when I saw this month’s DB Challenge recipe… it was like 11 – 12 pages long!!! Really can faint! I have to read it a few times, dig out all my bread books to research on the technics, and then think of how to do it before I can get myself started on it….

But thanks to our sweet hosts for this month, Breadchick Mary of The Sour Dough and Sara of I Like to Cook, I was able to have a go at this lovely Julia Child’s French Bread, which again I have never done before… Since young, I have been very fond of French Bread and never would I have thought of myself baking it until now…

The recipe is actually very simple, just Yeast, Water (warm & tepid), Salt and of course All-Purpose Flour. So how difficult can this be right? Just add all the ingredients together and mix lah…. if it’s really so simple, the recipe will not be so long and I would not have been so stressed… Yes, the ingredients are very basic… but the steps/technics are not…. I never known that making French Bread could be sooooo tedious!! And the waiting time for the dough to raise and to be totally cool down after baking is really long…. the total time stated from start to end for this recipe is 7 – 9 hours…

We are given the options to make the bread into several shapes and size shown below:breadshapes.jpg

I  have chosen to make mine into tire-bouchons for easy consumption and save the hassle of cutting the bread. It is required to make 1 loaf of plain bread without any toppings, as for the rest of the remaining loaves, I have added roasted white sesame seeds, shredded pasley, chopped garlic and powder cheddar cheese respectively on the top for different type of savoury flavours…

All is well until the first raise… it was suppose to raise up to about triple the original size… but after 3 hours plus, it’s still at it’s doubled size… so I just went ahead with the next step… the second raise & the final proving seems ok…

This is how it looks like after I took it out from the oven, it’s looks quite deciving from the outside…
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but inside…. =( 
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My bread crust turns out to be crispy…. but it’s too hard… and the inside is quite dense… unlike those I bought from those bread shops… =(

Nevertheless, hubby says the taste is not bad… but the crust too hard… For me, I think the yeast smell is too strong, dunno why…

Even though it did not turn out quite well for me, I would say this month is a very good challenge for me… all thanks to the hosts Breadchick Mary and Sara for coming up with such a wonderful recipe.

I would definitely try to make french bread again… but most likely not with this recipe… it’s too tedious. I will try using my other Bread Books for this.

You can read how the rest of my fellow Daring Bakers did here.

P.S. I’m not going to post the recipe for this month as it’s too long, however you can get the recipe here.

Delicious Thai Agar-Agar

21 February, 2008 at 11:14 pm | Posted in » Desserts | 3 Comments
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Went to Golden Mile Complex for steamboat lunch with my in-laws about 1 month ago… it wasn’t the first time we went there for the steamboat… but having went there so many times… hubby & I have not been to the Thai supermarket above until last month… how mountain tortoise we are !!… but there really alot of things to see lor… alot of Thai stuff…

As usual, I was attracted to the baking section… and I found this…
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MIL has been asking me to make those agar-agar with a layer of coconut… so I went ahead and bought it…

They have been sitting in my kitchen for about 1 month until I took it out and went ahead to make it yesterday…

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It’s really nice… a combination of salty (coconut layer) and sweet (green layer)… MIL loves it… but hubby finds it abit weird cos of the salty layer… hahaha… I will definitely buy more of this in different flavours next time =)

Belated V. Day

18 February, 2008 at 10:27 am | Posted in » Cooking | 1 Comment
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It’s kinda spoiler that this year V. Day is on a weekday… moreever it’s falls on a Thursday… not here not there… so hubby and I decided to postpone the celebration to Sat. Well, it’s not much of a celebration, no fanciful dinner or gifts…. just a home-cooked dinner…

I decide to cook an assorted western food for hubby… it’s been long time since I have cooked that…

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There’s pan-fried fish with white sauce and black pepper steak… and to go with it we had Campbell soup, I have oso made some mashed potatoes for a complete look… heehee

Orange Angel Food Cake

17 February, 2008 at 11:23 am | Posted in » Recipes, » Yummy Cakes | 3 Comments
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Having left with alot of egg whites from the Double Berries Cheese Lapis (see below post)… I have been searching for recipes that make use of egg whites and I found the Angel Food Cake recipe, just the recipe that I need!

I have added some orange juice to the original recipe… but I did not put enuff orange juice to have the orangery taste and fragrant as I afraid that it will be too sour if added too much.

Nevertheless, the cake still taste nice… it’s already about half eaten after it’s just cooled down! It’s like Chiffon Cake but lighter, more spongy texture… more holey…

Ingredients:

250 grams egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
110 grams castor sugar
100 grams Cake Flour
2 tablespoon orange juice

Method:

1.    Preheat oven at 175 deg C.
2.   
Whisk egg white with cream of tartar until foamy, add in sugar gradually and whisk until peaks formed.
3.    Fold in orange juice and flour and mix well.
4.    Pour into a 20 cm chiffon pan and bake in preheated oven for 40 mins or until skewer comes out clean.

Double Berries Cheese Lapis

12 February, 2008 at 4:32 pm | Posted in » Yummy Cakes | 1 Comment
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Some time back I bought an interesting recipe book on all layered cakes. I decided to try to make one for CNY, and I have choose the double berries cheese lapis cos of its color for CNY…

The cake does look nice…. but the recipe of this cake is not nice…. it’s so tasteless…. so bland… dunno if the rest of the cakes in the book are as bland as this… maybe I’ll try another one next time. If it turned out to be as bland then I dun think I’m going to use any of it’s recipes for cakes but the techniques of the layering… even if I’m going to use is again, most likely I’ll add more sugar…

Pineapple Tarts

3 February, 2008 at 12:53 am | Posted in » Bite-size Tarts, » Recipes | 13 Comments
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How often do you see pineapples tart on the shelves other then during the CNY period? I would say the chances are low… Pineapple tarts are usually available during CNY period… it’s strange that why this lovely treats are only available during that time of the year… and maybe becos of this, it’s so special and a must have during CNY.

This year I did not make my own pineapple paste, instead, I bought those ready made from my regular baking supply shop… hubby was complaining that the paste is not nice, not moist enough and lack of flavors… I guess he is too used to the pineapple paste I made… heehee

Personally, I dun really like those ready made pineapple paste as well… I always find that it’s too hard for my liking that’s why I always insists on making my own… but this year I’m kinda lazy to make the paste… so I just make do with those ready made…

I modified my usual recipe abit to add some milk… and the outcome turns out quite well, the crust is flaky and kinda melts-in-the-mouth…

Ingredients:

550 grams plain flour
350 grams butter
2 tablespoon icing sugar (if you like your pastry to be sweeter, you can add more)
1 teaspoon bakin powder
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
3 egg yolks
1 egg white
3-4 tablespoon of ice water / cold milk

pinch of salt
1 egg, beaten to glaze
1 kg pineapple paste

Method:

1.    Sift flour and baking powder together with salt. Add icing sugar.  Rub in the butter until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
2.    Lightly work in the vanilla essence, egg yolks and egg white. Add in ice water a teaspoon at a time until dough is soft but not sticky.
3.    Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (350 F).
4.    Press the dough into a disc, use a pineapple tart cutter to stamp out the tart and arrage on ungreased baking sheet.
4.    Glaze with egg. Place a smaller ball of pineapple paste on the centre of the tart and press lightly.
5.    Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

Almond Sugi Cookies

30 January, 2008 at 1:40 pm | Posted in » Crunchy Cookies, » Recipes | 3 Comments
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Some called it Suji, some called it Sugi, and some called it Sugee… no matter which name you called it, they all have a common ingredient, which is Ghee. 

This is the first time I’m making sugi cookies for CNY and I have added in ground almonds to the basic recipe… hubby says its texture is like shortbread cookies and he like it…

Ingredients:

100 grams Ghee
120 grams castor sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
70 grams ground almonds
150 grams plain flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Method:

1.   Mix first 4 ingredients, then add almonds and mix.
2.   Sift flour, baking soda and salt. Mix and add to above. Mix to form a dough.
3.   Scoop dough with a teaspoon, shape it with your hands and arrange on lined tray. Brush with yolk glaze.
4.   Bake in preheated 180 degrees C oven for 12 to 14 minutes till yolk glaze on cookies look golden yellow and bottoms of cookies are golden brown.
5.   Allow cookies to cool completely on a rack and store in container.

2nd Daring Bakers Challenge

28 January, 2008 at 10:39 am | Posted in » Bite-size Tarts, » Daring Bakers, » Recipes | 17 Comments
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It’s that time of the month again… yup! It’s time for the DB Challenge! This month’s challenge is Lemon Meringue Pie hosted by Jen of Canadian Baker. I have never tasted any of these pies/tarts before… not to mention to bake one so I was looking forward to taste these lovely tangy pies.

The pie requires three components: crust, curd filling and a fluffy meringue. We were given the option to make one single big pie or a couple of tartlets… I made my in the tartlet form cos I feel that it will be more convenient and easiler to eat in the tartlet form.

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Hubby says it looked like little porcupines…

Overall, I really like the taste of it, although the lemon curd is abit too sour but, with the combination of the sweet meringue top it blends nicely… not too sweet & not too sour. Even my hubby says it’s nice…  Goofy 

… maybe next time I try using different flavour for the curd… heehee

Check out how the rest of the Daring bakers did here.

Ingredients:
Makes one 10-inch (25cm) pie

For the Crust:
3/4 cup (175 grams) cold butter; cut into 1/2 inch (1.2 cm) pieces
2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
1/4 tsp (1.2 mL) salt
1/3 cup (80 mL) ice water

For the Filling:
2 cups (475 mL) water
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (30 grams) cornstarch
5 egg yolks, beaten
1/4 cup (58 grams) butter
3/4 cup (180 mL) fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon zest
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract

For the Meringue:
5 egg whites, room temperature
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) cream of tartar
1/4 tsp (1.2 mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) vanilla extract

3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar


Method
:

For the Crust:
1.        Make sure all ingredients are as cold as possible.
2.       Using a food processor or pastry cutter and a large bowl, combine the butter, flour, sugar and salt. Process or cut in until the mixture resembles coarse meal and begins to clump together.
3.       Sprinkle with water, let rest 30 seconds and then either process very briefly or cut in with about 15 strokes of the pastry cutter, just until the dough begins to stick together and come away from the sides of the bowl.
4.       Turn onto a lightly floured work surface and press together to form a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 20 minutes.
5.       Allow the dough to warm slightly to room temperature if it is too hard to roll. On a lightly floured board (or countertop) roll the disk to a thickness of 1/8 inch (0.3 cm). Cut a circle about 2 inches (5 cm) larger than the pie plate and transfer the pastry into the plate by folding it in half or by rolling it onto the rolling pin. Turn the pastry under, leaving an edge that hangs over the plate about 1/2 inch (1.2 cm). Flute decoratively. Chill for 30 minutes.

6.       Preheat oven to 180ºC. Line the crust with foil and fill with metal pie weights or dried beans. 
7.       Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden. Cool completely before filling.

For the Filling:
1.        Bring the water to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan. Remove from the heat and let rest 5 minutes. Whisk the sugar and cornstarch together. Add the mixture gradually to the hot water, whisking until completely incorporated.
2.       Return to the heat and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. The mixture will be very thick. Add about 1 cup (240 mL) of the hot mixture to the beaten egg yolks, whisking until smooth. Whisking vigorously, add the warmed yolks to the pot and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil.
3.       Remove from the heat and stir in butter until incorporated.
4.       Add the lemon juice, zest and vanilla, stirring until combined.
5.       Pour into the prepared crust. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming on the surface, and cool to room temperature.

For the Meringue:
1.        Preheat the oven to 190ºC.
2.       Using an electric mixer beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar, salt and vanilla extract until soft peaks form.
3.       Add the sugar gradually, beating until it forms stiff, glossy peaks.
4.       Pile onto the cooled pie, bringing the meringue all the way over to the edge of the crust to seal it completely. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden.
5. Cool on a rack. Serve within 6 hours to avoid a soggy crust.

Free-Style Lemon Tartlets
1.        Prepare the recipe as above but complete the following steps:
2.       To roll out tartlet dough, slice the dough into 6 pieces. On lightly floured surface, roll each circle of dough into a 5 inch disk. Stack the disks, separated by pieces of plastic wrap, on a plate, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3.       To bake the dough, position rack in oven to the centre of oven and preheat to 180ºC. Place the disks of dough, evenly spaced, on a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely.
4.       To finish tartlets, first place oven rack in the upper third of the oven and increase heat to 220ºC.
5.       Divide the lemon filling equally among the disks, mounding it in the centre and leaving a 1-inch border all the way around.
6.       Spoon the meringue decoratively over each tartlet, right to the edges, in dramatic swirling peaks.
7.       Return tartlets to oven and bake for about 5 minutes, until the meringue is golden brown.

Traditional Peanut Cookies

27 January, 2008 at 3:47 pm | Posted in » Crunchy Cookies, » Recipes | 11 Comments
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How time flies!! Chinese New Year is around the corner again… which means more baking!! Yeah!!
This year will be quite different for me as:

1.   This is the first CNY after I got married, which means no more Ang Baos to collect!!! Sad  But the good thing is I don’t need to give Ang Baos for the first year… hehehe

2.   All the CNY baking will be done in my own house… previous years the baking was done in my mummy house.

I can’t remember when it started… ever since the first time I made these peanut cookies, I have been making it for every CNY that it has become a tradition in my family and thus it’s named Traditional Peanut Cookies. These lovely cookies have a melt-in-the-mouth texture and gives out a very nice peanut aroma…

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Ingredients:

500 grams gounded peanut
2-1/4 cups corn oil
200 grams icing sugar
500 grams plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 egg, beaten for glazing
some roasted peanut halves

Method:

1.    Combine and mix all the dry ingredients together in a big mixing bowl.
2.    Add in the oil and mix well until a dough is formed.
3.    On a work surface pressed the dough into a disk form, use a biscuit cutter to cut out each cookie and arrange on baking tray.
4.    Brush with egg and add a piece of roasted peanut on top of each cookie.
5.    Bake in preheated oven at 180 deg C for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.
6.    Allow cookies to cool about 5 mins before removing from tray.

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