November 30, 2013

Hello kitty fondant cake


A simple mini 6" cake fondant cake decorated with a hand molded Hello Kitty figurine.


July 28, 2013

Brownie cookies


They look like cookies but taste so much like brownie... chewy and fudgy with a lil bit of saltiness.  I used cacao barry 66% chocolate- I love my chocolate to be bittersweet. This will be an absolute favorite chocolate lovers out there. If you are looking for crunchy cookies, please skip this recipe! They are meant to be slightly crisp on the outside and chewy like a brownie on the inside. 


RECIPE
Adapted from Benjamin Chocolatier 

Makes 12 med-large cookies

225g dark chocolate
30g unsalted butter
2 eggs
130g sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp baking powder
35g plain flour
sea salt flakes, optional

1. Preheat oven to 175 degree C fan or 180 degree C convection.
2. Place chocolate and butter in a microwave proof bowl and heat until melted. *or use a double boiler
3. Whisk eggs, vanilla and sugar until light and fluffy
4. Slowly pour in chocolate mixture, whisking constantly, followed by flour and baking powder
5. Spoon batter out and sprinkle sea salt flakes
6. Bake for 10-12 mins.

July 11, 2013

Durian Puff


Collapsing choux pastries are bad enough.. How about a interview session turned critic session? Double the heartache. Question- How can we have job experience if there are people out there who doesn't give us a chance because we doesn't have a job experience? Get me? 

I admit, I am not looking for a job as enthusiastic as I was 1 month back. It's a bittersweet kind of thing.. Having a full time job means that I'll be leaving my part time job. I've been with the company for almost 4 years and I've been given so many opportunities. 

Sometimes I felt really bad during interviews because... I LIED. Hey, I can possibly say 'I am not open to changes', 'I don't really enjoy interacting with people'.. Can I? Guess I'm going off topic now. Ermmm, sorry I need to vent out my frustrations. 
   

My pretty decent looking choux pastries. Look at the crispy cookies topping or you can call it craquelin. My first batch of choux pastry collapsed and shrink like a deflated balloon. Looking at all the miserable looking collapsed choux pastries, the first thing was to blame the myself from using a different recipe when I already have a foolproof recipe. Turns out, it's my impatient personality to blame. All I have to do was to leave it in the oven longer for it to be drier. Lesson learnt!

Don't they look like beard papa's cookie cream puff?  
 

RECIPE

Adapted from Nasi Lemak Lover

Craquelin:

75g butter
75g brown sugar
90g all purpose flour, sifted

1. Beat butter and brown sugar till light and creamy.
2. Add in sifted flour, mix to combine.
3. Keep in fridge to harden.
4. Place dough in between two sheets of plastic sheet, roll into thin sheet (1-2mm).

*I cut the dough into squares and refrigerate them to harden and transfer the harden dough onto the choux batter. Dough will break apart if you try to transfer them when there are soft.


 Choux:

125g milk
125g water
125 salted butter/ unsalted + 5g salt
5g sugar
250g eggs ( 5 medium eggs ), lightly beaten
163g all purpose flour, sifted

1. Boil together milk, water, butter and sugar in a saucepan over medium high flame.
2. Remove from heat, using a wooden spoon, quickly stir in sifted flour until combined and mixture comes together into a ball. Return to low heat and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture leaves the sides of the saucepan and film forms on the bottom of the pan (3-4mins).
3. Transfer the dough to a clean mixing bowl and stir the dough till reach room temperature(no steam).
4. Gradually add in egg mixture and stir to incorporate using a wooden spatula or mixer. Mix thoroughly until desired texture (batter should hang down about 20s before dropping down).
5. Pour batter into a piping bag fitted with a #1A piping tip. Pipe on a baking tray line with non-stick baking paper, allow 2"-3" gap in between each batter. Place prepared craquelin topping on each batter.
6. Bake at preheated oven at 190c for 20mins.
7. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.


Durian cream:

100g non dairy cream (I used dairy and added some icing sugar)
120g durian flesh, mashed well

1. Whisk cream until stiff
2. Stir in durian flesh and icing sugar (if using)

June 30, 2013

Japanese cheesecake


New York, German or Japanese cheesecake. Baked or non-baked. They belong to cheesecake family but with a different type of preparing method. Some are heavy while some are light. Some uses whipped egg whites while some uses whipped cream.. 

And here's my take on the cotton soft Japanese cheesecake. Japanese cheesecakes are light, cottony and soft, almost like eating clouds. Why is the cheesecake so soft and fluffy? Egg whites are whipped till stiff and folded into the cream cheese mixture, this produces a really cottony and fluffy cake.  
    

Speaking about egg whites... Let me share what I've been doing. I've embark on a whole new teaching journey of cake decorations and baking. I'm just a beginner and a freelance instructor and it means a lot to me. I enjoy sharing what I know to the students (who are all older than me), and also that's the reason why I started this blog.. SHARING! 

Alright, back to the egg whites story. I was teaching a group of students on how to beat egg whites until stiff peak. Egg whites can be hard to handle. Why? Firstly, egg whites are really 'sensitive' to oil. You would not be able to whip up the egg whites if it got into contact with oil and even the yolks. Next, depending on your mixer, it can take sometimes to whipped up the whites- patience and practice is the key to success. A student asked me whether it matters, soft or stiff peak because it was taking 'forever' to whip. Of course it does, it would affect the batter! 

Now I understand how teachers feel when their students are chatting and not listening to instructions.. Haha, I felt extremely apologetic to all my teachers right now.


RECIPE
Adapted from Just One Cookbook
Makes a 9" cake

400 g (14.1 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature 
60 g (6 Tbsp.) granulated sugar 
60 g (about 4 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, at room temperature 
6 egg yolks, at room temperature 
200 ml heavy cream, at room temperature 
10 ml (2 tsp.) lemon juice 
1 Tbsp. rum 
80g (2.8 oz/about 8 Tbsp.) all purpose flour 
6 egg whites 
100g (10 Tbsp.) granulated sugar for meringue 

1. Preheat oven to 320F (160C) degree. 
2. Wrap foil at the bottom of the spring form pan to prevent water from sipping in. 
3. In stand mixer, beat cream cheese and 60g granulated sugar until smooth. Add in butter and beat well.
4. Beat egg yolk first and then add to the mixture. 
5. Then add heavy cream and mix until well combined.
6. Add lemon juice and rum and mix until the batter is very smooth.
7. Sift flour twice. Add in the flour all at once and mix. Leave batter aside. 
8. Whisk egg whites and add 100g sugar in three separate times. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks. 
9. Fold egg whites into cream cheese mixture.
10. Pour batter into prepared pan. 
11. Steam bake at 320F (160C) for 60 minutes or until light golden brown. Then reduce temperature to 300F (150C) degree and bake for 30 minutes. 
12. When the cake is nicely baked, keep the oven door ajar for 15 mins before removing the pan from the oven. This will prevent the cake from collapsing due to the temperature difference. 


June 25, 2013

Despicable Me Minions


Featuring the cute minion from Despicable Me. The haze was really bad for the past couple of days and luckily it's a lot better now. Since the haze was terrible and I do not need to work, I've decided to practice making some fondant figurines.

Wanted to do a step by step tutorial but the lighting was really bad since I can't open the window so here's the cute minion figurine. 


It is rather easy to make but due to the humility, the body of the minion was so soft even with lots of tylose powder added. (I'm using satin ice fondant) If I've to make it again, I'll definitely allow the body to harden up for a day before proceeding to add the other elements in. 
  

June 19, 2013

Banana cake



What happened to over ripe bananas that is way too mushy and well, not so appetizing? Ermm, and don't forget about the annoying fruit flies. No, neither am I going to leave it there until somebody eats it (not in my family for sure... There's always leftovers) nor am I going to throw it away. 

Bananas ain't one of my fav fruit (love lychees!) but banana CAKE is. Love adding lots and lots of mashed bananas into my batter, and probably cheat a lil by adding in a tiny drop of banana creme flavour oil from LorAnn. Yes, just a tiny drop.. You don't want the cake to taste too artificial. You can totally omit the essence/oil but I like the banana flavour to be stronger. 

Sour milk or sour cream? I've tried using recipes that uses both and here's my pick.. Recipe that uses sour cream. Both are good but sour cream produces a cake that is moister and that's one of the key factor I am very concern with my cakes. I like my sour cream to be FULL FAT. How about sour milk? Sour milk or buttermilk is one ingredient that also helps in producing a moister cake. It is very easy to make sour milk if you do not have buttermilk in your fridge. A real easy substitute- 1 cup milk and 1 tbsp lemon juice/white vinegar, stir well and leave to rest for 5 mins. 

Off topic.. Singapore has been experiencing bad haze for the past few days due to the burning of forests in Sumatra island(Those poor animals/creatures are now homeless..). The haze is so bad that all the high rise buildings in Raffles Place are blurry. PSI has crossed the unhealthy range and it's now at 161. Ahh, better stay at home and bake. 

Anyway, back to my banana cake. I did some tweaking of the recipe..

RECIPE

180g butter, softened
160g sugar
2 eggs
5 ripe bananas, coarsely mashed
1/8 tsp banana essence, optional
4 tbsp sour cream
240g plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt

Toppings:
2-3 ripe bananas, thinly sliced &

1/4 lemon juice
or
Sprinkle cinnamon
or
Sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture


1. Preheat oven to 180 degree C
2. Sift tgt flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt
3. Cream butter, sugar and essence until light and creamy
4. Lightly beat eggs tgt
5. Add in beaten eggs into butter mixture slowly to prevent curdling
6. Mix sour cream and mashed bananas tgt in a bowl
7. At low speed, add in flour, alternately with banana mixture in 3 additions
8. Pour batter into a greased and lined 8" pan and bake for 45-50 mins