Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tyler Florence's Beef Bourguignon

The above pic is my dinner that i couldn't wait to eat and hence just took a quick shot. Usually, i don't blog about dinner, but this Tyler Florence's Beef Bourguignon is so good and out of this world, that i just have to put in on record, just in case i! Intially i wanted to try Julia Child's but Tiffany of FoodFinery twittered to say Tyler Florence's (with cognac) is way better & she found the right recipe for me! I am so glad that i made's so good that i ate second helping..(cos' usu. i don't - those who knows me know i eat like a bird...but i eat a lot of times a!).

Thank you so much Tiffany!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Decorated Cookies

Finally found some time to bake and decorate cookies for Sunday School kids in Church. :) I received a box of cookie cutters, Christmas present from my dear friend and colleague - MH. These cutters definitely came in handy! :)

Cookie Recipe courtesy of Pam @ cookiecrazie
Royal Icing Recipe courtesy of Marian @ Sweetopia
Both of them have such great talent in cookie decorating! They are really good in what they do..check out their blog and you will be amazed at their creativity and awesome decorating skills. I'm always inspired by them and in awe of their beautiful & perfect work!

Snowflake cookies
I had a great time decorating these snowflakes cookies.
Loved that i can pipe any way i like and cookie still looked good. :)

Christmas Tree cookies
I love piping the little dots on the trees..

Ice-cream cookies
M&Ms as 'topping'

Snowman cookies
I didn't have time to wait for the white icing to dry before i pipe in red scarf.
Didn't help that my husband was nagging at me to finish up every 5 mins! Arggh..
Men, they don't get it, do they?

Cookies all packed and ready to go..:)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Chocolate Blueberry Cake (my son's birthday cake once again..)

My son's actual birthday falls on boxing day, so despite the disaster cake on Christmas Eve, i decided to bake him another cake (last min) so that our family can celebrate his birthday once again. I didn't plan on what design and the cake somehow ended up looking quite colorful - due to some designs which i piped and didn't like - then wanted to correct it and can't really do so and in the end the cake turned out in dual-tone green. Finally i ended up with this design...not exactly great..but i guess passable! Again, i decorated the cake with his favorite candy, M&Ms and Oreo's cookies!

Birthday Cake composed of chocolate sponge cake, whipped cream & blueberry filling. I wasn't sure if my son would eat the blueberry filling since he's one fussy boy. When he tried a bite, he liked it and ate up entire slice including the blueberry filling! :D Me Happy of course! Not easy to make him try new things!

I chose chocolate sponge cake last minute because I wanted something fast and at the same time, I wanted to try this recipe on youtube:-


which was recommended by Gracekitchencorner . The chocolate sponge cake has a strong chocolate taste but i find the texture of the sponge cake not as soft as the usual sponge cake recipes that i have tried before but it is really quick to make. It is indeed rather spongy behaving every bit literally like a sponge! However imo, i feel that texture wise it is rather coarse.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Eve Dinner & Cake Disaster...

Christmas Eve dinner supposedly to be at my bro's place but the day before Christmas eve, my sis-in-law called to say that she can't host as her brother-in-law (who is a pastor) has just passed away from cancer. So our family dinner was held at my sis' place instead. Usually, we would also celebrate my son's birthday at the same time. So, I baked a chocolate cake for my son and decorated with his favorite candy, M&M's all around the cake. On our way to my sis' place - bumpy ride in the car with me trying to manage the cake as well as the roast turkey - the cake slide and broke into two! Arggh...

Wanted to make Beef Bourguignon as planned but everyone in my family asked me to roast turkey instead. So i ended up making my usual stuff, roast turkey & shepherd's pie.
Roast turkey all cut up into pieces easier to eat..:) I forgot to take photo for the entire turkey. Right behind is my Shepherd's Pie.

Disaster birthday cake!
So sad..all the decorations gone..
Cake slide (i tried to put it back!) and cracked in the centre
Birthday boy doesn't really care actually..
I'm the one who's more upset since all my hard work turned into!
But nonetheless, the chocolate cake tasted great and my son loved it = he ate it! :D

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Butter Cookies

Made a batch of Christmas butter cookies to be given away...and this platter is reserved for Santa Claus - with a tall glass of milk.

Cookies all packed up in airtight container to be given away to my office colleagues.
It's not exactly pretty since ideally is to pack them in nice gift boxes.
But airtight container is more practical, since cookies in our humid weather turn soft very easily plus anything sweet attract ants in no time!

I'm hoping to find time to do decorated cookies for the kids in Church. I just hope i don't fall ill too...

Monday, December 21, 2009

English Gingerbread Cake

Rose's Heavenly Cakes, Page 75: English Gingerbread Cake

I had to make little cakes again as i have been so busy since i came back from Tokyo. There's pile of work in office, then there are Christmas cookies to be baked..and now my kids are both sick! My teenage daughter is capable of taking care of herself but I'm worried about my son as he is not able to tell us how ill he is or if he is in pain, but usually, i just know...but i still get worried quite a bit esp. when he is extremely picky of what he eats so that includes any type of medication. Initially wanted to skip this week, but i just couldn't bring myself to do so. Thus, i decided to bake in souffle/paper-cupcake cups so i don't have to grease any pan or cut parchment paper to line it plus baking time is faster too.

I didn't realise that i needed whole wheat flour to bake this cake until i read up the recipe again and oh dear, i don't have whole wheat flour! I don't remember seeing any whole wheat flour in the supermarket but then, maybe i haven't been noticing. I googled to see if i could substitute whole wheat for anything else but i couldn't find anything. So i just took a chance and used bread flour instead as substitute since whole wheat four has high gluten content, so the next high gluten flour i have in my pantry is bread flour. Another 'mishap' - i ran out of Lyle's golden syrup 3/4 of the way...and added another brand "Taikoo" (Hong Kong brand?) golden syrup to top the difference.

The cake is extremely easy to make except that i find that the batter developed little flour pockets so i had to stir a long time to remove it..and also used my fingers to nib the flour pockets floating onto the surface. Probably it is because of the bread flour? *shrugs* Oh yes, i also added 1/8 tsp of nutmeg in addition to the cinnamon & ground ginger. The batter yield 16 cupcakes and i baked it for only 25-30mins.

I was expecting failure but surprisingly my little gingerbread cakes turned out really well! It tasted really well with the lemon glaze. It's light and spongy inside with a soft chewy texture to it and the spices blend in amazingly. I really like it and so does everyone in my family! This is definitely a keeper! :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Last Day at Tokyo

On our way home..sad to leave Tokyo..(..and gotta go back to work next day..*sigh*)

Spent all the coins at this shop in airport while waiting for the plane...

Bought this..since we can't find this in Singapore: Green Tea Kit-Kat!
It's green-tea flavored white chocolate coated. Something different and unique.
Quite good, maybe because i like anything name it, i like tea ice-cream, cha-soba (cold), green tea macarons..and the list goes on..

Monday, December 14, 2009

8th Day at Tokyo

Whole Day - Mount Fuji.

On the road (bus) on our way to Mt Fuji. There's a theme park near Mt Fuji.

Mt Fuji - view taken from Kachi-Kachi mountain (i!).
I like this photo..doesn't it look like brochure quality or what? :)

My lunch! Yummy!

At 4th Station of Mt. Fuji

Japanese guy selling bbq sotong (squid) & corn

Summit View

Small town near Mt Fuji - to check out the spring pond..

Mt Fuji view from the town
Spring Pond

This is bean mochi.. i ate 2

more mochi

Today is the last day in Tokyo. Sad to leave...there are so many places that i have yet to see! 8 days definitely is not enough! Need 2-3 weeks! Hope to go Osaka & Hokkaido next!

Classic Carrot Cake w/ Dreamy Creamy White Chocolate Frosting

Rose's Heavenly Cakes, Page 122: Classic Carrot Cake with Dreamy Creamy White Chocolate Frosting

Baked carrot cake into cupcakes (yes..again! yup, me and my cupcakes! lol!) since I was running out of time and cupcakes seemed like a better idea - they take lesser time to bake & cool. :) The batter yield exactly 24 cupcakes and i baked them for around 30mins. Shredded about 5 big carrots and came out about 10g short..but i didn't want to shred another carrot halfway, if you know what i mean, so i left it as it is. Chose to add in raisins and hence deducted about 10g of sugar. I used Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder...not too sure if it made any difference though or just my imagination since i think my cupcakes seem a bit darker than the usual carrot cake. :)

As for the frosting, i didn't use white chocolate. I opted for the whiter frosting which Rose said to use icing sugar in place. Figured icing sugar helps stabilize the cream cheese & butter better so it will not melt too quickly in our hot climate. Made less cream cheese frosting since i didn't want to use 1-1/2 package of cream cheese (1 pack is like 225g). So i used only 1 pack of cream cheese & adjusted the butter & icing sugar likewise. Used mascarpone cheese in place of sour cream - added about 45g (that is because i have a tub of mascarpone cheese opened and it has to be used within 3 days otherwise it will turn moldy in my fridge..yup! same goes with all kinds of cream i find). I didn't weigh the icing sugar but just added it tablespoon by tablespoon and stopped when it tasted right (didn't want it too sweet). Also added 2-3 tsp of lime juice for an added punch of flavor. Finally, I topped a carrot gummy candy on top of each cupcake, how appropriate isn't it? :)

Verdict: DELICIOUS!! This is one of the best carrot cake i have ever tasted! And there's no nuts..which i like! LOL! Very moist and you can't really taste the carrots actually. I like the tinge of cinnamon flavor & the added raisins too! Glad i added the raisins! Since i had 24 cupcakes, i had plenty to give away. Everyone loved it! My family, friends, office co-workers & my neighbors - all gave the thumbs-up! :) I'm quite certain that this recipe is one that i'm going to bake often! :) So easy to bake & fuss-free.

PS: I want to apologize to the other HCBs (and whoever that's reading) for my terrible writing skills..:p. Esp. Marie who has to read my Monday posts! I know my writing times I write like i'm writing a report at work..:p - must be very boring and at times full of grammatical mistakes..which i do try to correct when i have time..:p!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

7th Day at Tokyo

Brought my son to Disneyland again since he has been pestering all day long. Since already in Tokyo, might as well bring him there again before we return back to Singapore. My daughter and nephews who came along with us followed our friends out to town more shopping.

I did shopping at Disneyland instead. I got more cookie cutters and butt warmers..seriously..i have to find time to take photos of's like pair of shorts and with design/print like Tigger's butt, Mickey's! Very cute!

My breakfast

Look at the baby prams!

Not much photos today since it is basically the same thing all over again..

Saturday, December 12, 2009

6th Day at Tokyo

We spend the entire day at Tokyo Beach - @ the shopping centre Decks & Aquarius. LOL! Wanted to go town but understand that weekend, Shinjuku is VERY crowded and not very ideal for my son..i didn't want to lose him accidentally in the crowd!

DECKS shopping centre

For Parking Umbrella

McDonalds - they have Ebi-Filet & Teriyaki McBurger..which we don't have here in Singapore.

Also...Bacon Lettuce Burger..which i ordered..

...and also McPork burger...and bacon potato pie!
Interesting...since in McDonalds is Halal definitely no pork!

My lunch

Giant Beetles for sale!

Explanation but i can't read...!

Snack - Octopus Taco Balls

Joypolis - Kids played there the whole afternoon - SEGA games..

Night view..(looks familiar? lol!..)

Mochi Ice-cream after dinner. I ate cold soba noodles for dinner but forgot to take photos..:(


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