Monday, September 27, 2010

Sugar Roll



Despite the failure of my 1st attempt of swiss roll, I didn't intend to give up. It took me quite a while to finally decide to give another try, I know I have to do it or else I will need to "out-source" if I have craving for swiss roll :P.
 
I love the sugar roll from Polar so this time round, I set my target at this.



The sponge cake layer was thin and more layer than Aunty Yochana's so I guess it was due to I was using bigger cake tray (11" x 14").

I believed I might not have handled the battle well enough during the folding process, the texture is not very fine although still spongy when I pressed it.


Both Butter Cream and Sugar Swiss Roll are adapted from Aunty Yochana.

Butter Cream
Ingredients : (yield about 150g butter cream)
33 gm sugar
14 gm water

35 gm egg white (from 1 egg)
100 gm butter

Method :
1. Boil sugar and water till thick but flowy.
2. Whisk egg white till fluffy, then pour in the hot syrup.
3. Continue whisking the egg white till cool.
4. Slowly add in the chilled butter and let it beat till thick and fluffy.

Sponge Cake :
Ingredients :

4 egg white
80 mg caster sugar (I reduced to 60g)
4 nos. egg yolk
1/4 tsp vanilla essence/extract
100 gm. cake flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
40 gm corn oil

Method :
1. Whisk egg white for awhile, then add in caster sugar gradually.
2. Drop in the egg yolk one by one into the beating egg white until finish and continue beating for another 3 mins.
3. Stop the machine, fold in the cake flour and baking powder.
4. Fold in corn oil and pour into a 11" x 14" tray or 10" x 14" tray (I suggested to use small tray than 11" x 14" size) and bake at 200C for about 10 mins.
5. Take out from tray and leave on the wire rack to cool.

To Assembly :
Ingredients :
1 sponge cake
150 gm butter cream
invert sugar - very fine sugar (I don't have invert sugar so I replaced by castor sugar)

Method :
1. Spread butter cream onto the cooled sponge cake and roll into a swiss roll.
2. Sprinkle some sugar onto a greaseproof paper and roll the swiss roll to and fro until evenly covered with the help of the greaseproof paper.
3. Slice and serve.

Verdict?
Despite the thin layer of sponge cake and was not as soft and fine as Polar, the swiss roll still tasted delicious. The sweetness is just nice for me, overall I was very satisfied with the result, at least, I got a decent swiss roll during my 2nd attempt.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Brioche



I am very suaku (country bumpkin), I don't remember I ever eat brioche before. I did seeing brioche served in the breakfast buffet spread in the hotel that I was staying during oversea trips but never cross my mind to pick up one and try.

When I started to curious about the taste of brioche after seeing a few bloggers blog about it, I had no luck to find it in the breakfast buffet during my previous trips . So since I can't manage to get "free" brioche to taste it and happened to see this recipe from a cook book and it sound not difficult to prepare so I went ahead to bake it.



Recipe adapted from A Step by Step guide to homemade dessert by Mary Lau. I made in a loaf, too lazy to shape into individual bun :P.

Ingredients :
300g plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp instant dried yeast
3 tbsp granulated sugar (I reduced to 2 tbsp)
6g milk powder
3 eggs (about 160g)
90g milk
100g unsalted butter
2 tsp lemon zest (I omit)
1 tbsp rum

Method :
1. Mix plain flour and salt in the mixing bowl.
2. Add instant dried yeast, sugar and milk powder.
3. Slowly pour in the beaten egg and milk into the flour.
4. Knead into soft dough.
5. Add soften butter, lemon zest and rum.
6. [First rise] Put the dough in an oiled large bowl and cover with oiled cling film. Let it raise for 30 mins until double in size.
7. [Second rise] Re-knead the dough and second rise for 30 mins.
8. [Final rise and bake] Grease the baking tin twice.
9. Shape the dough and put into the prepared baking tin and let it final raise for 15 mins.
10. Egg wash the bread and bake in pre-heated 180 degree oven for 30 mins

Verdict?
This brioche tasted tender, a bit chewy and crumby. It tasted totally bland without spread of jam, butter, peanut butter etc. Even with the generously spreading of peanut butter and butter, I personally still prefer soft white loaf. However it tasted so much better if I toasted it with butter and eat it while still hot.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Non Bake Oreo Cheesecake




I supposed to post the birthday cake that I had made for my grandma, a Banana Custard Ice Cream Cake. So sad that I was not able to trace the photos in the memory card, dunno what's went wrong :(.

This cake was an order from my best friend M's colleague, the 1st cake order that I have accepted. There were many people asking about ordering cakes from me but I always laugh it off as I am not sure whether are they joking or serious about it :P.

M has been "boast' about how nice and delicious my bakes was to her colleague E. So E asked me through M whether can I bake a birthday cake for him. Since I thought I will be available and E was seriously requesting for it so I agreed to take up this order.


I didn't know the date was crashed with my mooncake making, dunno why I do not have much mood to make mooncake this year compare to last year (probably cos last year was the first time making mooncakes so full of enthusiasm) but still dragged myself to do so to fullfil my promises. Since I had tight schedule so I decided to make a non bake cheesecake which I can save some of the times on frosting of cake.

I made a non bake oreo cheesecake that I had made many times due to the great responses. My pipping and decoration skill still has not got any improvement, guess I must be more hardworking to practise more :P. Hope E won't mind it and will like this cake.

Recipe adapted from Aunty Yochana.

Biscuit Base:
100 gm Digestive Biscuits - crushed with roller
50 gm melted butter

Mix them together and press into an 8" springform tin. Chill it.

Cream Cheese Filling:
250 gm Cream cheese
50 gm Icing sugar
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup (I can't find my maple syrup so I replaced with manuka honey)
60 ml milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
10 Oreo cookies - chopped coarsely
260 ml whipped cream - whipped till medium peak
1 Tbsp gelatine powder + 70 gm water

Some extra crushed Oreo Cookies for sprinkling on top

Method:
1. Measure water into a bowl and sprinkle in the gelatin (without stirring with a spoon). Set aside to allow the gelatin grains to swell (10 mins) before setting the bowl over a pot of simmering hot water. Stir with a spoon and once the gelatin melts, remove the bowl from the pot and set aside to cool to room temperature)
2. Beat cream cheese with icing sugar till well combined.
3. Add in fresh milk and mix till well combined. Add in gelatine mixture and mix well.
4. Fold in whipped cream and divide mixture into 2 portions.
5. Fold in chopped Oreo cookies into 1 portion and maple syrup or honey and vanilla extract into the other portion.
6. Pour in the white portion into the chilled biscuit base. Level the cream cheese filling and put it into the fridge to let it set.
7. Pour the Oreo cream cheese filling onto the set white cream cheese and level it.
8. Put into the fridge to let it set for 2 to 3 hours. (I put in freezer to have ice cream alike texture)
9. Remove from freezer to decorate as desire and put back to freeze it.
10. Slice and serve chilled

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Chocolate Banana Muffins






This Chocolate Banana Muffin has been in my baking list since I first saw in Honey Bee Sweets. I can't recall what was holding me back for taking so long to bake this muffin, but I am glad that finally made myself available for it.





Recipe adapted from here.

Ingredients (makes about 16)
250g unsalted butter, room temp
200g caster sugar (I reduced to 180g)
5 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
300g cake flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
80g unsweetened cocoa powder
200ml fresh milk
300g very ripe banana flesh, mashed
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I ran out of chocolate chips so I used duo chocolate (white & dark) chips)
2 ripe bananas, peeled and cut into 2 cm in length, dust in 1 tbsp of all purpose flour

Method:
1. Cream the butter and sugar together till light and fluffy.
2. Then crack in one egg at a time and mix well before adding another.
3. Add vanilla extract and stir well.
4. Sift the cake flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Then add in 1/4 of this flour mixture into the egg mixture and mix well. Then add 1/3 of the milk in. Repeat this until all the flour and milk has been added in and mixed in.
5. Add in the mashed bananas and stir well. Then sift in the cocoa powder and again blend well. Lastly stir in the chocolate chips.
6. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
7. Scoop the batter in to the muffin paper liners to about 3/4 full. Then insert a banana wedge into the middle of the muffin. Repeat till all the batter has been used.
8. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or till the tester comes out clean.

Verdict?
This muffin is moist and soft, kind of melting in your mouth, the finest texture of muffin that I had ever ate. What's more, it tasted super chocolately and with the bite of banana chunk definitely added extra marks! I had reduced the sugar slightly since I was using very riped bananas, overall the sweetness is just right for me. This muffin is best eaten when warm.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Braisd Ee Fu Noodle



After I married for many years, I don't do any cooking cos I have no chance since kitchen is MIL's territory. Well, probably also she is quite a good cook that I do not wanna 献丑 (embarrassing myself).

Even when my MIL started to have her majong sessions that she will be out during weekend, we will usually packet food back home or go out to eat. I simply never think of cooking for my family, I will rather bake than cook if I am available :P. I really dislike the sweaty feeling and the smoky smell on me during and after cooking.

We had home cooked food on Sunday (Saturday is my 娘家日 (visiting day to my mum's place)) only until my ex helper picked up cooking. She learned cooking from my MIL and my mum, as well as instruction from me. See, I rather use mouth to teach or instruct her and she did the cooking. I would stayed away from the wet kitchen, stand at the dry kitchen to oversee her through glass window or glass door while she was cooking, went in wet kitchen occasionally to check on her cooking.


My FIL thought I do not know how to cook, he told that to my ex helper. He was so surprised when my ex helper replied him that I can cook quite well . So he asked my helper why didn't I cook for him :P. I was quite puzzled when she told me that, so I asked her how did she know that I can cook. I forgot that I ever cooked congee at my mum's place and she fell in love with my congee, not bad right consider she as a non-congee lover :). My dear brother also shared with her that he love the fried rice that I used to cook very often before married.

Ever since I started to bake, my interest in preparing some simple dishes arises too. Now that my ex helper had left for good since 6 months ago and my current helper, hmmm... I can't rely her like what I did to my ex helper, since she can't even slice fruits according to the samples that shown to her. So if I want to cook during Sunday, I have to do everything by myself. My favourite of course is one dish meal, much easier for me to manage and I do not need to stay in the smoky kitchen for long period :P.

When I saw the guest post of Braised Ee Fu Noodle by Little Teochew in Pigpigscorner's blog, I immediately bookmarked it as I like ee fu noodle especially with lots of shiitake mushroom and bean sprouts. My FIL can't consume these 2 ingredients due to his grout but dear husband love bean spouts in noodle so what I did was to omit the shiitake mushroom, steamed the bean spouts and added steamed bean spouts after dished out the portion for FIL.

Recipe adapted from here.

Ingredients : for 4 - 5 servings
Braising sauce : (mix altogether)
4 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp dark sauce for colour (I added more as I felt the color of noodle is too light for me)
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp hua tiao wine
Dash of white pepper (I forgot to put in)
2 cup water

A :
2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
5 to 6 handful beansprouts, tails removed (I bought S$0.30 from the wet market and used all)
4 1/2 dried mounds Ee Fu Noodles
some char siew, slice thinly (I bought S$2 from the wet market)
10 stalks of chye sim vegetables
1 can straw mushroom, slice thinly
1 big fish cake, sliced thinly
2 to 3 tbsp vegetable oil + 1/4 tsp white sesame oil

Method :
1. In a wok, heat vegetable oil and sesame oil. When it is very hot, add in garlic and fry briefly before throwing in the ingredients A and stir fry for about 1 minute.
2. Add braising sauce and allow to simmer (about 1 minute). Maintain medium-high heat throughout.
3. Add in Ee Fu noodles, making sure you submerge them in the braising sauce as much as possible. Cover with a lid and let the noodles stew in the sauce for 2 to 3 minutes. Open lid and check for doneness. There should be little or no braising sauce when the dish is done. Do not overcook or the noodles will become soggy. Allow the residual heat to continue cooking the noodles till al dente.
4. Dish up on serving plate and garnish with cut chives or coriander.

Verdict?
The noodle is very tasty, dear husband helped his 2nd serving. When I asked him to rate the noodle, he paused for awhile and said "8.5, if prawns are added, will be 9!" He was a bit upset that I forgot to add prawns despite he had reminded me (sorry but I am old liao so memory not so good mah). He said with the prawns, the presentation of the noodle will looks much better too :P. He also kept shaking head on the way I presented the dish, next time should ask him to do the job :P.
FIL finished his share too, a big big portion that had dished out for him before the bean sprouts added. So Dad, are you convinced now that I can cook too? :P

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Marinated Guavas and Apples


This was made for Bee Bee to thank her for helping me to collect the lotus paste that Shirley had helped us to purchase. And also of her generosity to share with me one of the two Korean peaches that Shirley had given her. On top of that, Bee Bee also passed me 2 moonies that she made, I am already have 口福 :P. Initially I thought of just taste a bit (since I have to watch my waistline) but at the end, I finished one moonie by myself hahaha... very delicious that made me wanted to have more :)

Thank you Bee Bee and Shirley!

Bee Bee likes to eat achar but I have yet to learn how to make it (of course I can't let a cooking cum baking expert to be my guinea pig :P) so I made a simple and easy version of appetizer for her. I had made this appetizer before and it tasted so addictive that you just can't stop eating, it was a hit in my office when I brought to share with my colleagues
.

This appetizer needs to marinate for 6 to 8 hrs in order to be more tasty, the fruits will turn softer when marinated time is longer. I prefer crunchiness than soft, so I do not want to marinate it overnight cos by the time I passed to Bee Bee which is the next day late afternoon, the fruits will definitely become soft.


So I woke up early morning at 6am plus to make this appetizer. While I was slicing the guavas, dear daughter woke up and cried for me so I had to go to her and tug her to sleep again. I shown the sliced guavas to my helper and asked her to follow those as samples and help me to slice the rest of the fruits.

After dear daughter had fell asleep, I went back to the kitchen to continue the preparation. I was upset when I saw those sliced fruits, my helper had sliced the fruits so thick compared to mine. When I asked her, she still replied me innocently that she sliced according to my samples. Hello! Even BABIES also will know that the thickness are so different, the thinnest that she sliced are still thicker by at least 2 times of mine. Urgh.... I told her she is making me more busy than helping me, I need to re-slice all the fruits again.

Hope Bee Bee will like this appetizer, the balance of about 1/2 portion that I kept for own consumption had finished the next day and dear daughter likes it a lot.

This is the preserved mandarin peels that I used.

Recipe adapted from Kitchen Caper forum.

Ingredients :
3 large guava *
2 medium size apple *
2 packet preserved mandarin peels, 15g per packet (you may increase if you prefer sweeter and saltier)
1 chilli (optional)
10 limes (you may cut down if you dun like too sourish)

* total weight of 1.3kg for the guava and apples after remove the core and seeds. ** ingredients for original recipe are 3 guava, 2 packets preserved mandarin peels and 1 chilli (optional)

Methods :
1. Seeded the guavas and apples and slice thinly, approx 2mm thick or your desire size. (You may remove the skin)
2. Slice the mandarin peels thinly.
3. Remove the seeds of the chilli, and slice the chilli thinly into stripes.
4. Obtain the lime juice and chop up 1 lime.
5. Mix guavas, apples, mandarin peels, lime juice, chopped lime and chilli together. Toss to mix well.
6. Transfer into a plastic container and store in fridge for 6 to 8 hrs b4 serving.
7. Serve chilled.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

My 1st attempt of Swiss Roll - Oreo Swiss Roll



You must be curious, why the title is swiss roll and yet the photos that posted are otherwise. Let me share with you the story now.

When I 1st saw the oreo swiss roll from Honey Bee Sweets, I immediately copied down the recipe. I love swiss roll (gosh, seem like dear daughter has the gene of me, we love to eat so many kinds of food :P), my favourite swiss roll are sugar roll from Polar, pandan swiss roll from Rich & Good cake shop.

I used to dislike swiss roll cos of the buttercream, basically I just dislike any creamy cake when young. The only cake that I consumed then was Pandan Chiffon Cake. But as age gets older, I seem to welcome most of the sweet treats (that is why my weight keep creeping up).


Although how much I wanted to bake this cake, I had sit on it for quite sometimes. I don't have much confidence to handle swiss roll, in fact that apply to all cakes that are more sensitive to folding. So whenever I am craving for swiss roll, I will just go to Polar or bakery stores :P.

The urge of making swiss roll is still in me especially when seeing posting of swiss roll in other blogs. So one day, I finally cannot resist the temptation any more. Everything went smoothly, the cake was baked for 12 mins and skewer came out clean. I dare not bake longer cos afraid the cake might be too dry that will cause it to crack when rolling. When the cake was removed from the fridge and unwrapped it, my fear had became real. The cake was cracked terribly and some even stick on the wrapper :(.The cake was cracked so miserably and messy that I can't even slice it for serving.



Since the cracked cake cannot make it as swiss roll, I turned it to other presentation. I sliced some cakes that were able to make it to either square or rectangular shape, made it into mini cakes, layered with oreo cream and dulce de leche. I even frosted some with oreo cream and dusted oreo crumbs on the cake top.


For the balance cake that was not able to make it as mini cakes, I mashed it into cake crumbs, mixed it with some dulce de leche and toasted crushed almond till combined. Rolled them into small cake balls, coated with melted chocolate then rolled with hundreds and thousands, toasted crushed almond, coconut flakes, chocolate rice and oreo crumbs. I even wrapped a small teaspoon of dulce de leche inside some of the cake balls to make it more sinful :P.



Verdict?
These treats were well received by my family. I freeze the frosted mini cakes in the freezer, the oreo cream tasted like ice cream. The cake is soft, fluffy and when paired up with the rich but not too sweet oreo cream, it tasted heavenly. The mini layer cakes were gone very fast, dear sister kept "complaining" to me that the cakes were too yummy that made her can't stop eating. For the chocolate cake balls, it tasted a bit compact. So this became slow moving product as compared to the mini layer cakes. I will definitely make this cake again if I am able to master well on swiss roll! If you are interested to bake the oreo swiss roll, pls hop over Honey Bee Sweets' blog for the recipe.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Apple Cinnamon Cake



I have a lot of apples that bought for more than a week, normally dear daughter can clear the stock fast (she can eat as many as 3 apples per day if we didn't stop her) but dunno why she seems to lost interest on apples during last week. Since I am baking a cake for her kindergarten teachers, so must well bake an apple cake to clear off those apples.

There are many apple cakes recipes in my folder but I finally decided to bake this apple cinnamon cake from Anncoo. As I do not have walnut at home, I used another recipe for the crumble topping instead.



My original plan was to bake the cake on the night before dear daughter bringing it to school. However, I dozed off (which happen all the time :P) while tugged dear daughter to sleep. The next moment I woke up, it was near 6am and school bus pick up time is 7.40am which I had tight timeline to complete the cake.

At that moment, how I wish that someone is there to give me some helps so that can fasten the process but as it was still early, I do not wanna wake my helper up. So I was like crazy woman with messy hair, half close eyes and half awake mind trying to multi-task by preparing and measuring the ingredients, beating the batter, slicing the apples etc at the same time.


Luckily the cake was done before expecting time, I was still able to let the cake cool a bit and took some photos (which I thought I have to skip the photo taking, phew!) before packing to the cake box.

When dear daughter saw the cake, she asked me "Mummy, this is the cake for teachers? Why so ugly!" My smiling face just fade away, I asked her is it really ugly. Guess she can read my disappointment so she used consoling tone "Because the cake is black! But actually, after seeing it again, the cake is quite pretty lah." She is always so diplomatic, even how she dislike my bakes, she will force herself to eat a bit to entertain me and tell me the bake is nice.



Recipe for apple cinnamon cake adapted from Anncoo Journal, crumbly topping and glazing adapted from Kitchen Snippets.

Ingredients : (for 10" cake pan and 1 cupcake)
For Cake :
275g plain flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
1/3 tsp salt
190g butter
190g sugar (I reduced to 170g)
3 large eggs
1 1/4 tsp vanilla flavor
50g whipping cream
2 1/2 apple ~ peeled and diced (not too small)

Topping:
1 big or 2 medium size apples – peel and sliced
2 tbsp sugar (I reduced to 1 1/3 tbsp)
1 tsp cinnamon

Glazed:
1 mini bottle (28g) of orange marmalade + 3 tsp hot water and mix well

Methods:
1. Sift all the dry ingredients together.
2. In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy then add in whipping cream, continue to beat till light.
3. Then add in vanilla flavor and eggs one at a time.
4. Scrape bowl and add the flour ingredients, mix well.
5. Add in all chopped apples and use a rubber spatula to fold well and pour into a 8"round lined cake tin.
6. Lightly toss all the topping ingredients evenly. Arrange sliced apples on top of the cake.
7. Bake in preheated oven 180C and bake at about 50 mins or until skewer comes out clean when test.
8. Removed from oven. Let it cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then turn it out on the cooling rack.
9. Brush the orange marmalade mixture all over the top of the cake.

Verdict?
The cake is soft and moist, delicious as what Ann has claimed. And I totally agree with her that the aroma of the cinnamon is so strong during the baking that left the whole house so fragrant and I kept deep breathing to inhale the nice aroma. Although I don't really fancy cinnamon but the fragrant and taste of this cake bought me over. I love the sweet cinnamon apple topping too, crunchiness from the apple slices and sugar, fragrant from the cinnamon has added extra flavour. However the cake is very sweet, even dear husband also shared the same comment. Probably the cake is sweet by itself and combine with the sweet crumbly topping has doubled up the sweetness. I will definitely bake this cake again but will use the original crumbly topping from Ann's recipe.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Sour Mango Salad



This is super easy to prepare, the 1st time I made this sour mango salad to standby for the blogger gathering. As that was last min decision and was very late at night, I just put in whatever I can think of and can find in my kitchen. Surprisingly, dear daughter like it very much so I made another patch as per her requested to go with our western dinner set.


Ingredients :
1 unripe mango, slice into strips
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp plum sauce

Method :
1. Toss the onions with sugar and lemon juice and allow to steep for about an hour.
2. Mix in the rest of the ingredients and toss to mix well.

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