Sunday, March 29, 2009

Cinnamon Raisin Bun

I was really upset today...supposedly have dinner with a relative but i was in no mood and condition so i went back home and decided to bake cinnamon raisin bun instead. I made the sweet bun dough using Chef Alex's Sponge & Dough Method. It took a longer time but i wanna see what's the difference with the 'longer' proofing time and it if does make any difference. Also, i hand kneaded the bread dough too..btw, kneaded bread dough is a good way to vent out any anger and frustration! lol! Chef Alex didn't have the recipe for cinnamon raisin bun so i had to search other books for the filling..and managed to find one that i think i like.

I really thought i made a mess..look at the shape of the buns! Seriously..after proofing, the buns got larger and became huge..hahahaha..and plus i didn't roll the buns well and cut them quite unevenly too..quite ugly looking imo...BUT thankfully they turned out to be delicious!! I was soooo relieved, that despite failing in the 'looks' department, at least i scored taste wise! hahahaha... And also the sponge and dough method really makes the bread fluffy and light, so much better than the earlier bread (roti-papa) i did! :) So the hard work pays off..:D

My friend, MH said that i should put the buns in a square tin close to each other so that the buns will not lose their round shape (like mine which is out of shape!) when proofing. Such clever idea! I learnt something from her today! Next time try again and hopefully will score better. :))

Friday, March 27, 2009

Chocolate Almond Cake

Made this cake from Dorie Greenspan's book - Paris Sweets : Great Desserts From The City's Best Pastry Shops. I fell in love with this book because of it's cute cartoons and illustration :P ..hahahaha..but also because it is Dorie Greenspan's book. This cake recipe uses potato starch and dutch cocoa powder as the 'flour' base, fine blanched amonds, sugar - confectionary sugar and natural leavening, ie eggs/seperated and egg whites whipped and folded into the egg/flour mixture.

I like this cake quite a lot cos it is not sweet and has a light feeling to it, simply not over-powering. It's a great after meal dessert when you want some dessert yet not too much. Goes great with a scoop of whipped cream or even ice-cream. I suppose if i want it sweeter, i can also glaced it with chocolate glaze but i am just too lazy..hahahaha..and i like it plain too. :D Oh..i should dust the cake with a bit of icing sugar for better presentation...before i took the photos (ps: not uploaded here - too plain)! LOL! Ok..let me try and take pics again... I did it..i 'dressed-up' my cake with icing sugar, a tiny bit of green-tea ice-cream (yup..i am too stingy..hahaha) and some chocolate balls.. then i changed and put a gummy bear on top of the cake, isn't it cute?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Chocolate Nut Drop (M&Ms)

Recipe taken from M&Ms website here. This recipe uses chocolate pudding mix as one of its ingredients. I thought it was pretty interesting so i tried it, plus i have one package of that at might as well put it to good use! LOL! As you can see from the photo, the first batch of the cookies are very pretty isn't it? I put M&Ms on the cookies' surface before i baked them - otherwise you can't see them cos they are embedded in the cookie dough. The 2nd batch onwards not so pretty anymore cos the M&Ms were ate up by my son..hahahaha...thus i have no more M&Ms to put on the cookies' surface! Also i added white chocolate chips to compensate for the lost of M&Ms..LOL! !

Anyway, perhaps i am not such a great fan of white chocolate - i find these cookies too sweet for me!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Roti-Papa ("my version")

I just bought another book on bread by Chef Alex to complete my collection of all the books he has written. As you can see, he is one of my fave local chef..his recipes are all so simple and so easy to follow. The very first time i made bread (no-knead bread) was a failure, and it took so much time to 'proof' it..i got tired of even wanting to try. However, after reading Chef Alex's book, i just wanna try again cos he has 3 ways to do sweet bun breads - all with different 'proofing' period - to suit your needs (hahaha)? I didn't know what's bread improver until i got his book! So now i know. :)

After looking at his recipes, i decided to concoct my very own version of roti-papa..hahaha.. Ok..first i had a hard time kneading the take forever to knead the dough to 'elastic' kitchenaid mixer became really very HOT after an hour (i think i set it wrongly!)?! I thought my dough was gonna be messed up! I also 'cut' short the proving time since i am running short of time.. FINALLY...i top up the bun with coffee flavor topping! Baked for 15 mins (actually 10mins is enough - my buns over-baked at 15mins) at 200C.

So the verdict???? My family LOVES it! Hurray!!!! The bread however is not as light & soft as the real roti-papa la..but ok i suppose considering i didn't let the dough relax long enough and i also think i kneaded way wrongly..anyway..for first timer, i suppose 'pass'...:D

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Cookies n Cream Cheesecake

This is also a no-bake cheesecake. I used Mini-Oreo instead of the usual oreo. I prefer mini-oreo better maybe cos i find it contains less 'cream' in the center. I suppose any chocolate cream cookies also workable. This cheesecake is much sweeter than the strawberry one. I also prefer the cookies-n-cream base than the digestive biscuit base. Anyone who loves oreo and have a sweet tooth will love this cake.

Photos not that great, cos i my camera ran out of battery and i had to use my phone to take picture of the 2 cakes i made last night. It was pretty fast considering i made 2 cakes last night after say about 1.5 hours?

Strawberry 'Wine' Cheesecake

This is a no-bake cheesecake. The original version asked for 60ml of white wine but it also said can be replaced with sparkling fruit juice which i did. I replaced with sparkling apple juice.

Although i said i like the oreo-crust base better, the digestive crust base here blends quite well with the strawberry cheese and also cos it is not as sweet and taste more 'ice-cream' like.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Melting Moments

This cookie is really easy to make and quick. Yes, the whole cookie will melt in your mouth, but it will also absorbs your saliva making your mouth dry, so best eaten while drinking a cup of hot tea or coffee. Not the type of cookie that you pop one after another! (Perhaps i am too stingy with my glaced cherries..instead of half, i quartered it!!)

NOTE: These cookies taste soooo much better after the next day! Strange but it is less powdery and has buttery taste to it..and not as dry as when it first came out of the oven! Lesson to be learnt: Cookies always taste better the next day? hahahahahaha

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Chiffon Cheesecake

Another recipe from Chef Alex Goh. I am still dismay over the imperfection of my earlier cake.. Anyway, back to my chiffon cheesecake - I think i used a too large tube pan for this cake, but this is the only size i have, so what to do? At least this cake turned out's lighter and less cheesy than the earlier cotton cheese cake which is but of course since this recipe uses only 40g of cream cheese. Now that i am left with 50g of cream cheese..what to do with this left over leh? I suppose eat it up?!

Japanese Cotton Cheesecake

Recipe taken from Chef Alex Goh. I am upset!! The cake was gonna be almost perfect but i just had to mess it up! I was trying to take the cake out of the pan and then i used the base of another pan to prop it so it can pop out and guess what? The top of the cake got stuck to the bottom of the pan and the whole cake looks ugly now! ARGGHHHH!! This is soooooo upseting!!!!!!!!!! I learnt my lesson today, NEVER use the base of the pan to prop out soft-textured cake even if it is supposedly non-stick! The consolation is that this cake taste really soft and good and best of all it is not very sweet which i like. However, i would prefer the texture of the cake to be less moist..and not soo soft though. Hey, maybe the cake is like this cos i 'cheated' ..instead of using milk..i combinedlow fat milk & double cream (cos wanna expire already so i figured better use up some..hahahaha)...maybe that's why the texture is extremely soft.

This recipe uses only 160g cream cheese. So what to do with leftover cream cheese? i proceeded to bake another cake from his cookbook - ie, Chiffon Cheesecake! post..

Thursday, March 12, 2009

White Chocolate, Chocolate Cookies

I was searching for a double chocolate recipe that uses both white and dark chocolate and found one great one here submitted by Amy on I followed her recipe and i must say that the cookies does taste great! Also i added almonds in them and hence yield more than 36 cookies as mentioned in the recipe. I like crunchier cookies, so i baked them at 14mins instead of 8-10mins which yields chewy cookies. I have found another blog which has a similar recipe but equally interesting at Confections of a Foodie Bride, which is linked to Browned Eye Baker who said the cookies taste like immitation oreos, and in turn linked to Annie's Eats. This recipe of theirs contains no eggs..maybe i'll try this next to see how it taste.

· 1 cup unsalted butter

· 1 cup white sugar

· 3/4 cup packed brown sugar

· 2 eggs

· 1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder

· 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

· 2 teaspoons baking soda

· 2 cups white chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition. Combine the cocoa, flour, and baking soda, gradually stir into the creamed mixture. Finally, fold in white chocolate chips. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets.

3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until puffy but still soft. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Cookie Press

I bot a cookie press last night. I have been thinking about it a long time since last december if i should or not. So in the end, i succumbed and bought Avanti Cookie Press/Icing Set from Robinsons (actually, i preferred the Wilton Pro UltraII Cookie Press but the shops here only carry the total plastic ones).

Tried to make a batch of cookies but it was much harder than i thought! hahahahaha.. I dunno what consistency of the cookie dough to expect and struggled for a while but finally got the hang of it. But the recipe isn't that great..quite bland imo. I tried to 'jest' it up with some the end was ok but not what i was expecting - ie, full of buttery flavor. So i think i gotta go find another good recipe in place!

And i didn't temper my the chocolate not shiny at all..:P

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Chocolate Coca-Cola Cake

This cake is basically quite similar to the Guinness Cupcake that i made recently except that instead of using Guinness Stout, it uses Coca-Cola. Recipe called for springform pan but i used a bundt pan instead and it worked beautifully. No problem with releasing the cake from the bundt pan. I less 10g of sugar from the original recipe and also half the icing sugar from the frosting. Also for frosting, i used dutched-process cocoa powder instead. True to the author's words, the recipe is indeed very moist and yummy. I prefer this cake than the guinness cake. Recipe can be taken from coca-cola site here and here. Another variation to the cake can also be found on Patricia Scarpin's site "Technicolor Kitchen".

This is completely cake or food unrelated but i just have to mention it cos i am burning right now! Argghh..the weather today is soooooo HOT! I wanted to make egg-tart but the weather so hot, i think my pastry will melt in just the few seconds it is out from the fridge so i rather do it another time when the sun is not so scorching hot! The butter i took out from the fridge in just a min became room-temperature! That was fast!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Pandan Cake - *Success*!!! Yipee!

FINALLY!! I tried the recipe again and i got everything right this time! I even turn the pan upside down and cool for an hour and the pandan cake turned out really fluffy & soft! Yipee!! Finally, i got to make it right again after my last failure. I am also happy cos my son loves it! He is such a food snob..he didn't even want to try the last failed cake.. hahahaha.. this time round, he ate it without any hesitation!!

Also i cheated a bit with the flour and with the pandan juice. I used 80g of cake flour (err..that's what's left over..) and the rest i top it up with top-flour. Then i was too lazy to grind the pandan leaves for it's juice, i just used pandan paste! :P Seem to problem!

I found a site "e-how" on how to make pandan cake..the instructions pretty comprehensive but only thing is the photo uses a square pan and not the tubepan and you can find it here! Another site that provides a good recipe is Lilys Wai Sek Hong's site "Hearth And Home".

My sis just said that she tasted a bit of salt towards the end of the piece she ate! Opps! Must be the salt not evenly folded in with the flour! Cos the few pieces we ate at home was ok, no saltiness at all. Next time perhaps i gotta melt the salt into the coconut milk first so it will become evenly distributed.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Mom's Birthday Cake

I wasn't sure if i wanted to bake a cake for my mom's birthday. I was searching for a good chocolate cake recipe then found a sponge-cake recipe that requires 9 egg whites and buttermilk (and i have all these in my fridge!!). So i decided to make the sponge cake since it has only egg whites, buttermilk and no butter, which is a healthier choice for my mom who is already in her 80s.

In my haste, I think i didn't fold in the flour properly and i thought i saw that the batter still have 'flour pockets' when i poured it into the pan. Also due time constraint, i didn't follow the recipe exactly and did my own frosting variation in the end. Ok ok, i admit, it didn't work really well, cos the strawberry jam didn't get absorbed into the cake (i should have cut top crust layer of the cake which i didn't..cos i wanted to assemble the cake quickly) and i also didn't wait for the cake to cool completely, so the whip cream in between the layers melted! was pretty messy! I have limited time during weekdays so this is kinna like a rush job. I can work under pressure but i certainly can't bake under pressure!

However, i still managed to put the cake layers together and frost the whipped cream all around the cake. The cake is kinna lopsided though, cos some of the cream melted and flowed out from the sides making it lopsided..hahahahhaa. I piped out some wordings to say "Happy Birthday". This is my first time piping words. My handwriting is horrible, so you can imagine the piped out words were even worse..hahahahaha..but still legible la.

I told my mom about my horrible cake and that maybe i shouldn't give her the cake at all! Since it is quite a mess, maybe i should just cut the cake and eat it on my! (Seriously, i had this in mind, at least if it taste horrible, i can throw it away)! How can anyone have an ugly and horrible tasting cake for their birthday right? But my mom said nevermind, can try. Err...let's see how it goes...hahahahahaha..the cake is still in my fridge!

Here's the cake! Alas it is ok, no flour pockets can see the layers..the cream is very very little and no strawberry jam left! Not great, but can do, i suppose. Everyone said the cake was good and ok, but i think they said it to just make me feel better! But at least my mom is happy!!

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