Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Bostini

Rose's Heavenly Cakes, Page 351 : The Bostini

Simple and easy recipe. I don't have any latte cups except the free Madonald's colored coke i ended up using that instead..:p   

The pastry cream was easy to do..steps just like making any custard. :) So i knew exactly what to do.  I had only 400g of pure cream and ended up using the rest in sour-cream.  Didn't affect the taste and in fact tasted quite good.   Since i used non-stick cucpake pan, i didn't grease or flour the pan. I had no problem removing the chiffon cakelets out of the pan either.  Since mine is cupcake pan, i put in 2 chiffon cakelets into the coke glasses and poured in the chocolate sauce.  

Since i don't own any long spoon, i ended up using bubble-tea straws (i just had bubble tea this afternoon..:p) as prop for photo-taking...LOL!

VERDICT:  DELICIOUS! The chiffon cakelets can be eaten by itself and it's yummy and soft! Together with pastry cream, it is yet another dessert.  Taste and look complicated when it's really pretty simple to do. Great dessert to serve your guests if you're entertaining at home. I really like it.  My daughter enjoys it too.  My husband doesn't like all these creamy stuff..but he ate 2-3 cupcakes without the cream at one sitting..he said it's really good!  I do agree with him, the cupcakes are heavenly on its own and rather addictive. :D I've been munching on them since they were out from the!  So i am now left with more pastry cream than cupcakes..:p

Marie Helene's Apple Cake

After seeing Monica, Jenn & Vicki's blogroll on Marie Helene's Apple Cake for their French Friday's with Dorie posting, i knew i had to bake this as well.  I have the book and was already eyeing at this recipe. It's super easy and fuss free.   True enough, this recipe is a winner.  Very yummy and delicious!  I wonder if it will go along with the bostini pastry cream.... :D

Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween: Cookies & Marzipan Finger Cupcakes (guest-post @ PinkLittleCakes)

Thank you Kathia for inviting me to guest post! :D

Hi! I'm Faithy! I have no idea what Halloween is since we don't really celebrate here in Singapore.  So when Kathia of Pink Little Cakes asked me if i would like to guest post in her Halloween series, i figured it would be fun and agreed.  How difficult would it be since I've seen gift shops selling halloween related stuff etc...?

I thought for a really really long time (almost a month since i opted to be the last in line ...) and couldn't come up with any ideas at all! Everyday I would read all these wonderful creations that other awesome guest-bloggers were creating. And as the date for my posting came nearer, i panicked!  So on Sat i rushed out to the shop and bought some halloween cutters and made these cookies....

However, because of my bad time management and no planning, I rushed through to ice these cookies on Sunday. My husband was nagging at me all the time to finish up quickly cos it was past midnight and I needed to get up early for work the next day.  Hence, I felt I didn't do a good job with these cookies.  

The next day, I thought about it again and decided that maybe i should make cupcakes! With the halloween theme, I'll make marizpan finger toppers for the cupcakes!  These, i thought to myself, would be soo cool!!   So, right after I came home from work, i sat down to mould these finger toppers with marzipan..   But while making these fingers from mazipan, i was quite disturbed and frightened..cos they began to look more and more realistic to me.  I wasn't sure at this point if i wanted to use them as cupcake toppers so i just took some photos of them as 'lollipops'.  

My husband came home, saw these and said i should cut off the stem to make them look more realistic - and he added that if i wanted to do something like that, i should make them look as realistic as possible. With his advice, I cut off the stem and they ended up looking even more frightening and morbid..!?!  I took these photos really I was felt rather gross! 

Creepy isn't it?  Well, as i was saying, i was pretty disturbed, so i packed these fingers into a box and brought it with me to work the next day. I showed everyone who came to my office to see what they had to say about the fingers. Most took it as a matter of fact and didn't seem very disgusted or shocked.  Some even encouraged me to use it as toppers for my cupcakes..saying they don't mind eating the cupcakes even with these fingers on it. They thought it would be fun and in line with the halloween theme.  I was encouraged....but wasn't totally convinced.  Took me 2 days to think about it and the fingers sat in my office for 2 days before i had the courage to bring them back home again..hahaha...

Finally I made chocolate cupcakes with frosting and placed the marizpan fingers on each cupcake. So I ended up with these....

If you want the "shock" factor for your halloween party, i think these marzipan fingers are the way to go... definitely be the talk of the party!   :S

Finally, i'm sharing with you the recipe to chocolate cupcake (as seen in the photos above). It's very light, soft and moist just like what the book said it would be.  However, I didn't find it as chocolatey as i would like though..

Chocolate Sour Cream Cupcake 
adapted from the book Cupcakes! by Elinor Klivans

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1-1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 180c.
2. Melt the chocolate in microwave.
3. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside
4. Beat the butter and sugar until fluffy about 2 mins using electric mixer
5. On low speed, mix in the melted chocolate. Scrape side of the bowl.
6. On medium speed, add eggs one at a time until each is blended into batter
7. Add vanilla and beat until mixture looks creamy, about 1 min
8. Mix in sour cream until no white streaks
9. On low speed, add half flour mixture, mixing to incorporate it. Mix in water, then mix in the remaining flour mixture until it is incorporated and the batter looks smooth.  
10. Spoon the mixture into cupcake cups and bake for 15-20mins (depending on size of the cup).

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cats Cookies

This design is taken from this book "Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits" which i bought recently. I had limited time after work to pipe these, i used parchment cone only instead of the usual bag & tip, so less washing up to do ..:)

The ball of yarns, i wanted messy yarn balls (to be different from the book) but in the end they looked more like Cha-Soba (green tea noodles) ...LOL!  

Initially i wanted to make halloween cookies but somehow ended with these because i fell in love the design after seeing them in the book. Perhaps i just don't get the halloween thing since we don't celebrate here at all. We have the Chinese 7th-month "Ghost month" which is like the equivalent of halloween i think.  Back to the drawing board..hahaha...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Many Splendored Quick Bread

Rose's Heavenly Cakes, Page : Many Splendored Quick Bread 

This is a simple and quick recipe anyone can put together very quickly.  Despite it being super quick and easy, everything went wrong for me..Oo..   

I don't think i've cooked with zucchini i was wondering if i should remove the skin and the seeds?  Anyway, I ended up removing both.  When i was about to weigh the walnuts, i found out all 3 packs of walnut that i had turned rancid...and i'm only left with some cashew and pistachio nuts.  After much thought..i decided to use cashew nuts..i mean how bad can it turn out right?   

I grated the zucchini and carrots...and after grating them equally extra-fine..i realised that i should have grated the carrots medium-fine!  At this point i noticed the recipe called for instant oatmeal..mine was the regular oatmeal that has to be cooked...opps..too late..i can't remove it out of the flour..and i didn't have any instant unflavored ones either.  *Arrgghh*.. What's wrong with me today!!

Made a slit after baking 15mins and then baked for a further 45mins.  The cake ended up looking ok. I was worried it might not cook at all because of the oatmeal.  

VERDICT:  It tasted more like weird banana cake to me. LOL!  I think it was all my doing and most likely had nothing to do with the recipe.  The cashew nuts tasted weird in the cake..hahahaha..just doesn't blend in...and i think the regular oatmeal didn't help either when paired with the carrot and zucchini...and it tasted very bland! Super Weird Taste! :P  It went straight into the trash.  Nobody liked it.  

Me: Disqualified in this round. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Flora Painted Cake

This is just a practice (to-paint) cake and for nobody in i'm typing this, this cake is still in the fridge!   I had major fondant issues with this cake and the fondant kept tearing...bugs me to see tears/crack lines on the fondant. Strange.. i could only blame it on the weather and for me not turning on the air conditioning.   

I painted this free-hand and it's my first time painting directly on the fondant cake.  It feels different and not like the usual painting on paper..:S.  Definitely more room (lots in fact!) for improvement for sure! I need to find the right consistency for the paint - food colors i meant.  **The flower pattern that i've painted is made with reference to Donna Dewberry's paint work in her book.** 

I've been slacking in commenting on my blogger friends' blog posts (you all know who you are..:D..but i do try to catch up whenever i can..)..because i have been busy with translating Pierre Hermé's Macaron book to English with the help of google! it is...

Don't ask me why I bought this since it is in French and I don't read or write or speak French. I suppose this is THE Pierre Hermé Macaron book and it was sitting on the bookshelf staring at how can i not buy it?! LOL!  So far, i've translated 20 initial pictorial pages and google translate has been doing a very good job for me. LOL!  I can safely say i can now understand the ingredients listed in French in this book.  :D

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Molten Chocolate Souffle and Lava Cakes

Rose's Heavenly Cakes, Page 359: Molten Chocolate Souffle and Lava Cakes

I wasn't sure if i wanted to make this cake till very last min, ie Sunday evening.  When i flip through the recipe, i realised that i had to make the ganache beforehand and chill it and then make the batter and chill it again.  So i did the short cut way..actually i did a lot of short!  After baking from this book from almost a year, i find Rose's recipes very long-winded. 

For the ganache centers, i microwaved the chocolate and cream instead of using a double-boiler and whisked them together. Then i spooned them into egg carton as instructed and i put in the freezer for 30mins instead of waiting for several hours.  Works pretty well. :D 

Then while waiting for the ganache to 'freeze'..i went ahead with making the batter.  I used non-stick paper cups instead of silicon containers.  Again..instead of double boiler..i just microwave the butter, chocolate and cocoa powder and whisk them together till smooth. Works very well and save time.   Not a lot of egg whites for me to bring out my KA mixer out of the cabinet, so i just used a hand mixer instead.   After mixing the chocolate mixture with the eggwhite, i filled the paper cups with the batter.  Not too sure if i should fill it to 3/4 or not since i think my cups pretty huge..and i pushed the ganache centres right to the bottom..then i realised immediately after that i shouldn't! :P  Too late!  

I think i must have put too much batter into the cup...since the batter ballooned up above the cup while in the oven but it did shrink quite a lot after it cooled.

Because of these non-stick paper cups, the souffle just shrank away from the sides without the need to pop it out will just pop out anyway when you turn it!   

I put them in the freezer for 1 hour so we can eat 2 hours later instead of the next day...and transferred it to the fridge for another hour plus.  After, took it out from the fridge and turn the cup around and the souffle just came out easily.   My souffle looked quite ugly!  

Microwaved for 20 secs and then all ready to be eaten.  See the 'lava' oozing out..except as i mentioned earlier, i pushed it too way down to the bottom, so the chocolate is oozing out from the bottom instead of from centre.   That's one ugly looking molten lava!   

Verdict:  It's yummy but i think it's a bit bland as well as a bit bitter. Well, i don't mind since i love dark bitter chocolate, but i think for those who doesn't like dark chocolate, probably will find it on the bitter side.   Best eaten with a scoop of ice-cream.  If you ask me for my opinion, i don't really like this souffle texture on the outside and i prefer the rich original molten lava cake, ie, rich on the outside as well as on the inside...and also less time consuming to make.  However, my daughter, husband and helper all said it's delicious (they are all not chocoholics like me..)...or rather in my daughter's words "feels healthier since it's not as rich".

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

ABC - Orange Chiffon Tweed Cake with Milk 'n' Honey Sabayon

ABC:  Baking for All Occassion by Flo Braker, Page 120
Orange Chiffon Tweed Cake with Milk 'n' Honey Sabayon

When i first saw the recipe for the first time, i had in mind that i didn't want to make the Milk 'n' Honey Sabayon since i have to use 6 yolks again and left with all the egg whites.. (i have TONS of eggwhites in the freezer..and i have no time to bake macarons to get rid of my whites..)..  However, after baking the orange chiffon tweed cake, i changed my mind and continued with the sabayon.  I have to say that i didn't regret making it cos it is absolutely delicious!!  

Making the chiffon wasn't difficult...but i was a bit shock at the 1 tbsp of baking powder, I thought i read wrongly in the beginning and had to look at it thrice to reconfirm that i didn't.  Well, the 1 tbsp of baking powder didn't change anything to the texture and the chiffon is light and soft but yet has a nice texture to it.  The orange and chocolate pairing is totally yummy..and it's my fave flavor combo. 

My orange chiffon turned upside down for cooling... somehow i like this's like a lamp..and an unusual!

For the sabayon, i didn't use liquor but instead added the orange juice with a tiny bit of triple sec and folded in 200ml (the entire tub) of pure cream instead of 120ml cos i didn't want left over pure cream..but it tasted great anyway..i think it tasted slightly more creamy which i! 

VERDICT: Totally delicious yummy chiffon with sabayon sauce. The perfect combination i have to say!! Do not skip the's light and so yummy!   

Monday, October 4, 2010

Caramelized Pineapple Pudding with Homemade Brioche

Rose's Heavenly Cakes, Page 342: Caramelized Pineapple Pudding with Homemade Brioche

Made the brioche over a few nights after work.  I made it on Thursday and baked it only on Sat.  The bread turned out absolutely tasty despite it looking lopsided..LOL! I think i didn't press it down hard enough or i didn't seal off the open seams properly enough and hence you see the 'air bubbles' on the raised side.   I was quite surprised how easy it is to make and i can drag the process over a few days on my own time without rushing to bake it immediately. :D So tasty that i'm not too sure if i would have enough left for baking the pineapple!

Ok..i did have left overs for the pudding because i wrapped it so well that nobody wanted to open the wrapping and eat the! Despite not very sure if anyone would like the pudding or not, i went ahead to make it anyway.  Finally, for the first time (i think), i managed to take step by step photos while i'm baking at the same time.  In order to save time uploading the photos, i made them into a collage instead.

I didn't have any leftover of the can see from the tray, it's all absorbed up by the bread. Probably cos i didn't read instructions and ended up pouring all the cream & milk into the saucepan instead of keeping half..i only realised my mistake when i read further and it asked for the other half of the milk and i was like 'eh..where's the other half?!?!?"..nevermind..i proceeded with it anyway..without the extra cream which i didn't think would make huge difference.

Roasting the pineapples is such a hot at 200c and to bast it every 5 mins and not even sure how long i had to roast them either....i didn't even want to stand near the oven let alone open the oven door to bast the pineapples with the super hot heat all around..i can't even open my eyes! And i have to be honest that part of my mind kept wondering if my nice shiny wmf pan would be stained with all the dark pineapple caramel juice....:p.. as you all know by now i like all my stuff to be super clean and grease or stains if i can help it (ya..even my oven after 2 years is still quite!).   Oh..couldn't find canned pineapple juice, so i used the juice from the other half of the pineapple instead.  My domestic helper helped me core the fresh pineapple and remove the buds..this is one thing i don't know how to do (besides ironing as well..i totally suck at ironing :p)..and she from Philippines can do it very well..see that nice pattern she cut in a decorative line down and this will remove all the buds of the pineapple.

And i want to complain about the caramel! (I followed instructions without misreading anything this time).  The caramel stayed at the bottom of the ramekins and didn't quite dissolve after 40mins in the waterbath..and i had to microwave it to soften so i can pour it out. But the moment it is poured on top of the pineapple, the caramel hardens really HARD like toffee candy (and at times like spun sugar like strings)! How to eat?

VERDICT:  I think this pudding can do without the's super sweet with the caramel the caramel kept harding into toffee like candy on top..(see above lump).  The bread pudding on it's own tasted really good paired with the juicy roasted pineapples and the fragrant pineapple-caramel juice.  Everyone enjoyed it but this is not something i would like to bake again..too much time & effort and it's really not worth all the trouble imo.

The Brioche on the other hand wins a thumbs up from me.  Super yummy, super light, buttery and delicious! And it is easy to make..and i reiterate again that like the fact that it can be staggered over i can make then over a course of a few nights after work and bake only when i'm ready...:D


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