Friday, October 29, 2010

Chocolate Cream Cheese Muffins



When I saw this chocolate cream cheese muffin at 人生加油站, I was convinced by her raved about this muffin and decided this must go into my To Bake List.





Recipe adapted from 人生加油站 and 平平凡凡,简简单单.

Ingredients : for about 6 muffin
80g butter
50g brown sugar
2 eggs
60ml fresh milk
140g cake flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder

Cream Cheese Filling :

80g cream cheese (soften)
1 tbsp icing sugar


Method :
1. Sift cake flour, cocoa powder and baking powder together and set aside.
2. For cream cheese filling, use spoon to mix well the cream cheese and icing sugar till soft and smooth.
3. Cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
4. Add in egg one at a time and beat till the mixture is well combine without any egg trace.
5. Add in 1/2 of the flour mixture into the egg mixture and mix well.
6. Add in fresh milk, mix well and add in the balance of the flour and mix well.
7. Scoop the chocolate mixture into prepared muffin cups to 1/2 full, scoop a spoon of cream cheese filling and scoop the chocolate mixture till 80% full.
8. Bake in preheated 150 degree oven for about 20 - 25 minutes or till the skewer comes out clean.

Verdict?
As I baked the muffin late at night, I only got to eat the muffin the next day morning. I tasted when it was cooled which I wasn't quite impressed with the taste. However I changed my mind when the muffin was eaten when warmed. The muffin is soft, moist and chocolaty, taste delicious when every bite with melted and soften cream cheese, in my opinion this muffin definitely must eat only when is warmed. I think the cream cheese filling was a little insufficient but my department girls thought it was just nice, they like it very much and gave a thumb up. But I will still increase the amount of cream cheese filling if I am going to bake this recipe again.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Chocolate Chips Sour Cream Marble Cake



This is not a donut, if it is, it will be a 10.5" gigantic donut :P.

When I saw this chocolate chips sour cream marble cake from Honey Bee Sweets, from the way she described the cake I know that I just have to bake this cake.

If you are a loyal reader of HBS, you will definitely know that she loves and uses a lot of Valrohna chocolate. She kept mentioning how good is valrohna chocolate, tempting me to buy it . Yes the temptation is great but it still took me a while to finally decided to make the purchase. Firstly of course is the price, it costs much more than other baking chocolates. Secondly, the baking supply stores that I always frequent (nearby my house and office) do not carry Valrohna.



My resistant of temptation finally came to the end after seeing this chocolate chips sour cream marble cake post, Bee Bee had reminded me again on Valrohna. So I went straight to the baking supply store that carry this brand to make the purchase, I bought both 1 kg chocolate block and cocoa powder (despite I still have 4 boxes of Hershey cocoa powder stocked in my cabinet :p) and some other baking ingredients, I left the place with a "hole" in my pocket but fully satisfied :).


Recipe adapted from Honey Bee Sweets, I reduced the ingredients to fit my 10.5" bundt cake pan.

Ingredients :

Chocolate Paste
2.5 tbsp cocoa powder (I used Valrohna, feel free to use any brand you prefer)
2.5 tbsp hot water

Cake Batter
210g unsalted butter, room temperature (I used salted as I took the wrong one)
275g caster sugar (this amount of sugar had slightly reduced from HBS's recipe)
4 medium eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
175g sour cream
350g all purpose flour
2 1/3 tsp baking powder
1/6 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (I omit since I used salted butter)
1/3 cup chocolate chips (I used 55.5% cocoa)

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 180C. The generously grease a 10.5" bundt pan.
2. In a small bowl, mix the cocoa powder and the hot water together to make a smooth paste.
3. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together till light and fluffy. Blend in the eggs and then vanilla. Then add in the sour cream, and scraping the bottom of the mixing bowl to make sure it is evenly combined.
4. Fold in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and blend well. Lastly, mix in the chocolate chips into the batter and mix well.
5. Remove 1/3 of the batter and mix in the chocolate paste in to it.
6. Spoon in big scoops of vanilla batter into the bundt pan and alternating with some spoons on chocolate batter as well to create the marble effect. Repeat till all the batter has been put in.
7. Place in the oven to bake for 35 to 40 minutes (I should have baked for 30 mins since I used reduced the ingredients to fit 10.5"), depending on your oven. Bake till golden brown and the tester comes out clean. If the top of the cake browns too quickly, cover with foil first until done.
8. Once baked, remove from oven and let cool on rack for 15 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool completely.

Verdict?
The cake is just as delicious as what Bee Bee had described, it tasted soft, velvet, moist except a little bit dry at the edge that probably I had slightly over baked the cake. The cake tasted even better the next day, this cake can only survived in my and dear mum's house until the next day :).
Valrohna cocoa powder indeed gives the deep, dark, intense chocolate flavor to the cake. It tasted a little bitter to me when bite into the 55.5% cocoa chocolate chips but it still tasted good. Consider I am a milk chocolate lover that never fancy on dark/bitter chocolate, I am starting to love bitter chocolate in my bakes, it balance off the sweetness of the cake that tasted simply irresistible. My family loves this cake a lot too, even my mum also kept praising on it, definitely a keeper.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake



I feel like baking a cheesecake since dear sister likes cheesecake a lot, I wanted to bake something with Dulce de Leche so went to search my DLL recipes folder and got this DLL cheesecake.



Recipe adapted from My Kitchen Snippets with minor modification.

Ingredients : (for 6" to 7" cake pan)
Biscuit Base:
80g oreo cookies
30g melted butter

Filling :
250g cream cheese
4 tbsp of sour cream (I used 2 tbsp sour cream since I left with only 2tbsp)
4 tbsp of sugar (I reduced to 2 tbsp)
3 eggs
1 tsp of vanilla extract
4 tbsp of light cream (I used whipping cream)

some dulce de leche

Method :
1. Prepare a spring form pan and greased it with some butter. Pre-heat oven to 160 degree.
2. Blend the oreo cookies finely in a food processor and add in melted butter. Press firmly to the baking pan and set aside. (I used roller to crush the oreo)
3. Mix all the filling ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour the filling on top of the crust.
4. Drizzle some dulce de leche over the cheesecake filling then use a skewer to swirl the DDL around. (mine all sank in the bottom)
5. Bake in the pre-heated oven at 170C for 50-60 minutes or until the center of the filling set.
6. Cool complete and drizzle more dulce de leche on the top before serving.

Verdict?
The cake tasted creamy and smooth, lighter version of chicago-style cheesecake. The dulce de leche topping gives extra flavour to the cheesecake. All given thumbs up on this cake, dear sister and brother likes the cake a lot. My department gals were so excited when eating the cake, kept telling me is very yummy. One of the girl even wanna lick the plate, she said how she wish that I am selling the cake so she can order another slice immediately hahaha...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Cook and Feed with Love @ Peace Connect - My 2nd Blogger Meet Up


Edith had suggested to us during our 1st blogger gathering that we can make our next blogger gathering more meaningful, cooking for the needs.With great responses from us, she went ahead to organise this event - cooking and feeding for the old folks near her place - with committee members of Josephine, Shirley and Zhouyuan. Through words of mouths, more bloggers and even friends and relatives of bloggers participating in this event.

These are the participating bloggers including the committee members :
Edith @ Precious Moments
Shirley @ Kokken69
Josephine @ Sugar & Everything Nice
Zhuoyuan (Baker Tan) @ Baking Library :
Jane @ Passionate About Baking
Judy @ A Busy Gran's Kitchen
Wendy @ Wens' Delight
Doris @ Tested and Tasted
Winnie @ Winnie Bakerz Corner
Christine @ Yummy Koh
Esther @ Baking on Cloud 9
Sheryl @ Sweet and Happy Ending
Eelin @ The batter Baker

Please hop over the blogs for for more photos and write up if you are interested.






The committee members had meeting, discussed and came out these low salt, low sugar and healthy dishes and churned out with the help of volunteers for the elderly @ Peace Connect :

Edith's Taukwa with Beansprouts
Josephine's Stir Fried Mixed Vegetables
Shirley's Braised Mushroom with Meat Sauce
Jane's Fried Bee Hoon
Zhuoyuan's Red Bean Soup

When Edith asked me which dish I would like to cook, I told her of course dessert since I can't cook well :P. I am afraid I might over cook the dishes, green veggie become yellow, tender pork become hard like rock hahaha...

I cooked pulau hitam (black glutinous rice dessert) and tau suan (split green beans dessert) before but not red bean soup,when I have craving, I simply request my mum to cook for me :P.

According to ZY, the red bean may need to cook for up to 2 hours or more to soften, soaking the red bean overnight will helps to fasten the process. I soaked the red bean overnight, woke up at 6am to cook the red bean soup since I need to leave the house at 9am plus. I put a porcelain spoon in the red bean soup to cook with it, this method can fasten the cooking too, the red bean soup was ready in about one hour. When I asked my mum to try the sweetness of the red bean soup, then I realised that I used the wrong red bean, instead of the small red bean that commonly use, I used the bigger version :P. Well, size doesn't matter, as long as it is still delicious heeheehee...

I am a lucky sister that having wonderful and helpful sister and brother. Both my late" wakers' sister and brother, one who volunteer to drive me there and one to look after my active daughter so that I can concentrate helping in the center, woke up early despite they only slept for little hours. However I was still late for the event, the time to meet up was 10.15am to 10.30am but I reached at about 10.45am when all the volunteers were inside a small room for the briefing from the Center Manager, Lucy. The journey from my mum's place (oh ya I stayed over at my mum on Fri night) to the center is about 20 mins but we took about an hour to reach. Beside the traffic jam due to car accident, dear brother's GPS failed to perform that took us more than 15 mins to hunt for the centre :(.

Beside cooking the dishes, we were helping to serve the elderly with the food. The elderly enjoyed the food so much and they were so happy, our effort were being appreciated as I can kept hearing the elderly saying thank you to us. I believed beside enjoying the food, they appreciated our accompany and effort too.

I am really glad that I was able to be part of this event, contributed a tiny bit of my effort to these needy elderly. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you Edith for her initiative to organise this meaningful event, thank you the committee members and the volunteers. And also happy to meet up again with blogger pals and also get to know some new friends - bloggers and non blogger. Looking forward for our next session, hopefully a yearly event and also our next gathering.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Peanut Butter Biscuits



I woke up at 5am, having urge of baking something easy. I flipped through my To Bake List, I selected this peanut butter biscuits, only required 3 ingredients, simple and easy. I can start making it immediately unlike other recipes that I need to wait for the butter to soften.




Recipe adapted from Corner Cafe.

Ingredients : makes 40 biscuits of each weigh about 9-10g
260g (1 cup) smooth peanut butter
170g (3/4 cup) caster sugar (I reduced to 100g)
1 egg

Method :
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line baking sheets with baking paper.
2. Combine peanut butter, sugar and egg in a mixing bowl and mix well.
3. Roll dough into balls of about 10g each (or 20g each for bigger biscuits, about 1 tbsp).
4. Place balls onto lined baking sheet about 5cm apart, then flatten each ball lightly with a fork.
5. Bake for about 15 minutes or until browned lightly. (my biscuits still looked a bit pale after 15 mins baking so I baked additional 5 mins but the biscuits turned a bit charred after 3 mins of baking so I quickly removed the biscuits from oven.)
6. Stand biscuits 5 minutes before lifting onto cooling racks to cool.

Verdict?
When I sent in the biscuits to the oven to bake only for a few mins, the strong peanut butter aroma immediately filled up the whole house, smell really very nice! The biscuits tasted delicious and addictive, I brought more than half portion to my mum's place and was finished in mins :D, mostly by dear brother. This is an easy and simple recipe that yield fantastic result, definitely a keeper.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Steamed Glutinous Rice




My family loves the steamed glutinous rice that I cooked for them. As glutinous rice is not easy to digest and dear husband has sensitive stomach, so I seldom cook this dish (well, in fact I seldom cook also lah, I bake more often instead heeheehee...).

We went Giant supermarket for groceries shopping on Sunday morning after sending dear daughter to her enrichment class. We had our breakfast at the food court, I dunno what food to eat so finally, I bought a small packet of steamed glutinous rice. I let dear husband tasted some and he told me that the steamed glutinous rice that I cooked previously was so so much better :D.



Since dear husband is craving for it, of course I need to cook for him right :). So I cooked the steamed glutinous rice using the same recipe for our Sunday dinner and on top of that, I cooked additional for him to bring to office for his staff next morning as per his requested. I brought a small portion to my office for my department gals as well.

Ingredients: (for 15 to 20 pax)
6 tbsp chopped garlic
15 shallots (sliced)
250g dried shrimps (washed) - I soaked for 1 hrs + to soften the dried shrimps a bit
1.5kg Glutinous Rice (soaked overnight) -I soaked for about 13 hrs +, I woke up at 5am+ so I soaked it and cooked at 6pm+)
15 pcs preserved Chinese mushrooms (washed and soak overnight to soften, discard stems and sliced thinly) - I just soaked for 2-3 hrs
5 chinese sausage (sliced thinly)
5 taiwan sausage (sliced thinly)
400g chicken fillet (sliced into stripes)
250g pork belly (slice thinly)
3 cup water (I used the water soaked with mushrooms)

Seasonings:
6 tbsp Dark Soya sauce
6 tbsp Oyster Sauce
3 tbsp Dark Sweet Sauce
6 tbsp Sesame oil
3 tbsp Chinese Rice Wine
6 tbsp chinese cooking wine
some pepper

Garnishes:
choice of toasted peanuts, spring onions (chopped), red chili (sliced)or fried shallots.

Method:
1. Wash and drained the soaked glutinous rice.
2. Heat up a wok, add in oil, followed by garlic and shallots. Fry for about 2minutes till fragrant.
3. Add in dried shrimps, fry for another 3minutes till nicely golden brown. (I fried till the dried shrimps became cripsy, gave crunchiness when eating the rice, yummy)
4. Add in the meat, sausage and mushroom.
5. Add in Seasoning, followed by rice. Mix.
6. lastly, add in water, Mix and remove wok from the flame.
7. Scoop rice mix into a dish for steaming.
8. Steam over high heat for 30 to 40 mins, depending on how u prefer your rice, (soft or chewy)
9. Garnish and serve.

Verdict?
This dish is well recieving by all, those that have tasted it. My husband said the glutinous rice is so addictive that he kept craving for more. All his staff and my department girls gave thumbs up, said is no. 1 yummilious lol. Some even suggested that I should open a stall and sell it and some commented that a lot of "liao" (ingredients). Both me and dear husband think that the glutinous rice tasted even better the next day, more sticky and chewy.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Lemon Yogurt Cake



This cake was baked when my nephew came to my house to stay over weekend. He was very interested and persistant to try out baking so I decided to pick one easy recipe for him . Since I had many lemons to clear, this lemon yogurt cake fit nicely into my requirements.


I used the 8" x 3.5" x 3" cake pan that yield shorter cake. If you prefer taller care, feel free to use smaller cake pan.

Recipe adapted from 橘色陽光下.

Ingredients :
Wet Ingredients :

4 eggs
115g yogurt original flavour (I used 1 bottle which is 140g)
1 lemon zest (from 1 whole lemon)
1 tbsp lemon juice
110g butter (soften in room temperature)
110g castor sugar (I reduced to 100g)

Beat all the above ingredients till welll combined.

Dry Ingredients :
150g cake flour
1.5 tsp baking powder

Sift the above dry ingredients.

Lemon Syrup :
1 tbsp icing sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice

Stir to mix well and set aside for later use.

Method :
1. Fold in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, careful not to be overfold.
2. Pour the cake batter to the cake pan and bake at pre-heat oven at 180C for 35 - 40 mins.
3. Remove the cake from the oven and drizzle with lemon syrup.

Verdict?
The cake is refreshing, light, moist, soft and compact. Tasted much like lemon butter cake that I baked sometimes ago but for personal preference, I will prefer lemon butter cake for its buttery taste and crumb, fluffier texture.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Zebra Butter Cake



 My parents-in-law are not cake lover but they love butter cake, if I bake butter cake it will finish real fast.



When I saw this zebra butter cake, I immediately told myself I must try it. The butter cakes that I baked previously mostly call for milk but this recipe calling for milk powder which made me curious how the cake will taste like.


Recipe adapted from 萍水相逢 and 平平凡凡,简简单单.

Ingredients :
( A )

200g butter
160g castor sugar
210g eggs (about 4)
250g all purpose flour
10g milk powder
1 tsp baking powder
5g salt
50g water

(B)
7g cocoa powder

Method :
1. Beat butter and sugar till white and fluffy.
2. Add in egg one at a time and beat till well combined after each addition.
3. Fold in sifted flour, baking powder, milk powder and salt, alternate with water until well mixed.
4. Seperate batter into two portions. In one portion of the batter, add in the cocoa powder and mix well.
5. Then spoon in plain and chocolate batter in the cake pan alternately until finish.
6. Bake at pre-heated oven at 160 degree for 45 - 50 mins or until skewer comes out clean.

Verdict?
The cake is moist and very soft, very fragrant with the buttery and milky smell. It is so addictive that I cannot stop at one slice, I wanted to have more but I had to control since I need to take care of my waist hahaha... Just by looking at the photos, I am missing this cake, wish I can have a slice now :P. Definitely a keeper.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Crispy Oatmeal Raisins Cookies



Dear husband recently has gastric problem that he cannot let his stomach empty for too many hours. Thus, I decided to bake him some cookies for him to munch as snacks in the office. This cripsy oatmeal raisins cookies caught my attention cos of the words "oatmeal" which is sound much healthier :P and "crispy". Although I still like chewy cookies but crisy texture is my preference :).



However, the cookies finished during weekend before he can bring to office and I was so lazy to bake another batch, so dear, next time ok :P.

Recipe adapted from My Baking Cottage.

Ingredients:
8 tbsp rolled oats
120g plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
125g butter
120g granulated sugar (I reduced to 100g)
1 egg
3 tbsp raisins
1 tbsp milk

Method:
1. Sieve flour and baking powder.
2. Put oats, flour and baking powder together in a big bowl, add butter and mix together using the rubbing-in method or blend with pastry blender.
3. When mixture resembles breadcrumbs, add in sugar and raisins. Stir in egg.
4. Add 1 tbsp milk, continue mixing (The mixture should not be too wet. It should drop from a knife if shaken very sharply.
5. Drop the mixture by teaspoonful onto baking tin, allowing space for the cookies to spread.
6. Bake for 12-15 mins at 220°C (preheated) near the top of oven. Remove cookies while still warm.

Verdict?
The cookies turned a bit soft when cooled down, so I popped all back to the oven and baked for another 3 mins. Dunno why, the sugar didn't melt away, probably I need to use castor sugar instead but I find that not bad too as it gave the cookies extra crunchy bite. According to Aimei, the original name of this cookie is called butter oats cookie, she suggested to use the best butter for best result. Indeed, the cookies are crispy, fragrant and, a very delicious treats that I was not able to stop at one or two.

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