vendredi 29 août 2014

National Toasted Marshmallow Day Eve

As everyone knows, tomorrow is National Toasted Marshmallow Day, and while I’ve never done an actual toasted marshmallow video (because that would be ridiculous), I do have something even better to celebrate with...this s’more ice cream pie! Not only is this very easy to make, and a proven crowd-pleaser, but just think of all the money you’ll save on sticks. Follow this link to read the original post. Enjoy!

jeudi 28 août 2014

Piglet Mooncakes

Finally get my hands to bake these adorable piglet mooncake.  Was fascinated to see many bloggers creative bake of their piggy mooncake and hesitated with the scrulpturing of the piglet. Well, my version is not perfect but it's sure adorable to the eyes.. and it taste good too! though many of my friends don't bear to eat it! 









Recipe adapt from Anncoojournal.com with the step by step guide to making these cute piglet!

Original recipe makes 5 Piglets , I have doubled the ingredient to make 10 piglets.
Make more as you will have many asking you for it!

Recipe
300g Hong Kong flour
180g Sugar syrup/golden syrup
6g Alkaline water
76g Peanut oil( I used vegetable oil)
 

Filling
10 x 70g Lotus Paste, store bought

Tools to make piggy shape
:

1 x 1/4tsp spoon
1 satay skewer
A small piece of aluminium sheet
20 Black Beans, rinsed& pat dry

Egg wash- 1 egg yok + 1tsp milk (lightly whisk to combine)  
 Bake at 180C for 5mins, rest for 15mins, apply egg wash, bake again at 140C (fan forced) for 25mins (adjust oven temperature according to your type of oven, every oven is difference).

 
Just like any other traditional mooncake, you will need to let it sit for 2 days to go through the "return Oil" process which will make the pastry softer and with shine.


I have tried different flour 1) HK flour and 2) Plain flour for the 2 batch of piglet mooncake.

The Plain flour gives a dryer texture which is easier to manage but the texture for HK flour is softer.

I prefer using plain flour for piglet mooncakes and the skin should be thicker like Zhu Zai Ping. For traditional mooncake, I would recommend HK flour.

 




Special request from a friend for his son birthday party which coincides with the festive celebration



 
Different piglet design- using Black bean and sesame as eyes which do u prefer?
 
 
 
 

Coq Au Vin – Rock Out with Your Coq Out

Some recipes just shouldn’t be translated to English. It’s not that telling your guests they’re having “Cock with Wine,” sounds so bad, it’s just that after dinner I want them tweeting about how great the dish tasted, not how funny/inappropriate the name was.

 The other issue would be one of false advertising, since I have no idea where you get an old rooster these days. I like to use bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs instead, which I think work perfectly here. Like all braised dishes, tougher cuts with lots of connective tissue work best, and on a chicken that would be the thigh/leg section.

Of course, someone will ask if they can use chicken breasts, and technically you can, but please don’t. They just will not add that sticky goodness to the braising liquid that the thighs will.

This really is a simple recipe, and all gets done in one pan, but there are several steps, as you build up fond after fond. Before any wine or stock hits the pan, we want a thick, gorgeous layer of caramelization, which is where much of this recipe’s flavor comes from.

I don’t want to sound cocky, but this really was delicious, and as I say in the video, the mushroom, bacon, and onion mixture alone is worth making this for. I hope you give it a try soon. And please, use the French name. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 2 large portions:
8 oz sliced bacon
6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
salt and pepper to taste
*note: after cooking bacon and browning chicken, discard all but 1 tbsp of the fat before cooking the vegetables
2 shallots, sliced
1/2 large yellow onion, diced (traditionally they use pearl onions)
10 large button mushrooms, quartered
2 tsp butter
2 tsp flour
1 1/2 cups red wine
1 cup chicken broth
6 springs thyme
- Braise for about 1 hour 375, or until the thighs are tender

mercredi 27 août 2014

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese frosting红萝卜蛋糕 (Using Rice Cooker)


This Ang Mo carrot cake using rice cooker has been sitting in my baking list and finally ..
Love Love Love the ricer cooker cake which have not fail me so far..

The cream cheese frosting is a must to enhance the carrot cake!

Frosting the cake:
Just plop it onto the center of the cake and swirl it around. You can slice the cake into half horizontally and fill it with more cream cheese!
 
I decorated mine with some crushed walnut at side and top of cakes.
Decorating the cake is just as fun as eating it.
 
Carrot cake, like banana bread, tastes best the next day after the flavors have settled and have gotten friendly with one another. 

Recipe adapt from Singapore Blog Award with change to cinnamon and sugar quantity,


Ingredients for Carrot Cake:
• 128g plain flour
• 1 tbsp baking powder
• 1 tbsp cinnamon powder
• 4 eggs, whites and yolks separated
• 80g sugar
• ¼ tsp salt
• ½ tsp vanilla extract
• 85g of vegetable oil
• 150g carrot, peeled & grated
• 1 tbsp orange zest
• 30g walnuts, toasted &

   finely chopped





 Cream Cheese Frosting
• 250g cream cheese, room Temperature
• 115g unsalted butter, room temperature
• 100g icing sugar
• 1 tsp vanilla extract

• 1 tbsp lemon juice.

1.  Sift the flour, baking powder and cinnamon. Set aside.
2.  Whisk the egg whites using an electric mixer until foamy and white.

     Add ½ of the sugar, continue to whisk till incorporated and glossy.
     Add the rest of the sugar and continue to whisk till the meringue is soft-medium peak
     and looking silk-glossy. (when you lift the whisk, the tip should fall gently)
3.  Add the egg yolks and salt, mix to incorporate completely.
     Follow by the oil and vanilla extract until it’s incorporated and add the grated carrots
     and orange zest till mixed completely.
4.  Incorporate the pecans/walnuts.
5.  Using a spatula, gently incorporate ½ of the flour into the egg batter. Add the rest of
     the flour and fold gently until there are no lumps (DO NOT OVERMIX).
6.  Pour the batter into the greased inner pan. lightly Tap the pan on counter to release
     air bubbles.
7.  Select “CAKE” program (it’s auto set to 40min – if you need to change the cooking    
     time, you can easily change it by pressing the “Min” button). Press “START” and wait
     until the rice cooker beeps. You can give it a check at 30min, if it’s ready you can off
     the rice cooker.
8.  Press “Keep Warm/Off” button to turn off the rice cooker. Unplug the powder plug.
9.  Take the inner pan out, let it cool for 2-3 mins… Turn the pan upside down onto a
     tray, the cake will easily slip out.
10. Allow the cake to cool on a wire rack to room temperature.
                  

While waiting for the cake to cool, prepare the frosting.

Method for frosting:

1. With an electric mixer, mix the butter, cream cheese and vanilla extract, about 3 minutes on medium speed until extremely light and smooth. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure even mixing.

2. Slowly add the icing sugar on low speed beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and add the lemon juice



Method for Assembly:Spread cream cheese frosting and spread it all over the cake. Decorate with crushed walnuts and chill in the fridge for few hours. 

                                           Another cake décor using cream cheese frosting

mardi 26 août 2014

Bread & Butter Pickles – One of the Great Depression’s Greatest Hits

During the Great Depression, sandwiches weren’t quite what they are today. Forget about choice of aioli, or did you want roast tri tip or smoked turkey; back then it was more like, “Did you want cucumbers in your sandwich, or nothing in your sandwich?” Okay, cucumbers it is.

At the end of summer, the excess "cuc" crop was sliced, salted, pickled, and put up in jars for the cold, lean months ahead. If you thought summer Depression-era sandwiches sucked, it was much worse in winter, when you couldn’t even find a bland vegetable to slap between your slices of buttered bread.

I can just imagine what a treat it must have been to fill a sandwich with these sweet crunchy coins, or "bread and butter pickles," as they came to be known. I’m sure it was a wonderful break from what must have been a fairly flavorless existence. Happily, times are a bit better now, and we only make these because they taste really good.

So, make a batch, experience a little piece of American culinary history, and as you’re tossing them on that burger, think back to what those days must have been like. I mean, especially with no YouTube! I hope you give these bread & butter pickles  a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for about 2 pints:
2 lbs pickling or other firm, little cucumbers
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
2 red jalapeno pepper, sliced
3 tbsp kosher salt
2 cups sugar
2 cups white distilled vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 tsp black peppercorns
2 cloves garlic, sliced

vendredi 22 août 2014

Lattice Top Peach Pie – How to Weave Dough Like a Dream

We are right in the middle of peach season, and what better way to show them off, than in this classic, lattice-top pie? And by classic, I mean the peek-a-boo crust design, not the filling, which has a few ingredients that are definitely not classic.

By the way, if you’re peaches are too ripe to peel, then you can remove the skin by cutting an “X” on the bottom and dipping in boiling water. Of course, if they’re really ripe and juicy, you probably shouldn’t be making pie with them anyway. Those are the kind of peaches where you take off your shirt and just eat them over the sink.

Above and beyond beautiful, this lattice design is also very practical. When you’re making pie with something like peaches, the relatively open top allows for lots of moisture to evaporate, which helps prevent the dreaded “watery pie syndrome.” That’s also the reason we boil the excess juices down to a syrup. 

So, whether you use this lattice-top technique for a peach pie, or other juicy fruits, I hope you give it a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for One 10-inch Pie:
about 3 pounds fresh peaches, peeled and sliced (about 2 lbs 12 oz once trimmed)
1 cup white sugar, divided
tiny pinch of salt
1/4 cup flour
1 tbsp cornstarch
pinch of cayenne
1 tsp lemon juice
pinch of cinnamon
enough pie dough for a double crust pie (get recipe here)
- Bake at 350 F. until browned and bubbling. Mine took about 1 hour 15 minutes, but I peek a lot)

jeudi 21 août 2014

Traditional Moon cake (Low sugar Lotus Paste with single Yolk)

My 1st attempt at making a traditional mooncake. Preparing the ingredient was easy and inexpensive, the wrapping is a challenge and proportion of the dough must be balanced. This recipe turned out ok in one piece but need to practise on the wrapping and moulding.

One important step is to let the mooncake go through the "return oil" process which will makes the skin softer and taste just like any $9 mooncake u bought at store!







Prepared some for my friend in overseas and bought some from store as well for comparsion and surprisingly my version was preferred. If you like mooncake, strongly encourage you to try bake it yourself ! Fresh home bake mooncakes are still the best!

Ingredients:
  • 100 gm plain flour
  • 60 gm golden syrup
  • ½ tsp alkaline water (this is the key to a brown colouring)
  • 28 gm vegetable oil
Fillings:
  • 420 gm lotus seed puree/paste store-bought
  • 20g Melon seed
  • salted egg yolks 
 
Egg wash:
  • 1 egg yolk + 1 Tbsp milk + 1 Tbsp water
Method:
 
  1. Mix the golden syrup, alkaline water and oil in a bowl.
  2. Sift in the flour. Use a spatula to combine all ingredients. Don’t over-stir. Knead into a dough. Cover with a film wrap and rest for 40 minutes.
  3. Steam salted egg yolk  Wipe dry the yolks with kitchen paper. Set aside.
  4. Mix melon seed with lotus paste and divide into 5 portion(Ard 70g)and roll each portion into a ball shape.
  5. Preheat oven to 180C (356F).
  6. Divide the dough into 5 equal portions (Ard 35g) and roll each portion into a small ball shape. Ratio of the dough and filling  1: 2 
  7. Take a lotus paste ball and use finger to poke a hole in the middle and place egg yolk inside. Roll and shape into a ball.
  8. Wrap and seal the lotus paste ball with the dough disc.
    Place the stuffed mooncake into the mould.
    Transfer the mooncake onto a lined baking tray.
  9. Bake at a pre-heated oven at 180c for 7mins.
  10. Remove mooncake from oven and set aside to cool for at least 15mins.
  11. Apply egg wash and bake at preheated oven at 170c for 15mins.
  12. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. Store in an air-tight container. The pastry will become soft, called “回油” (process of softening the dough)and shiny in one or two days.

       
                

mercredi 20 août 2014

Eggless Irish Cream Tiramisu

This is my first attempt at making a eggless tiramisu the taste is somewhat similar to recipe with egg but personally I feel its creamier with egg.  I also tried using the canned coffee as recommended but still prefer mixing instant coffee powder that gives a stronger coffee taste.

  



Was requested to bake a cake for my friend and tried this and it was so well received that my friend stop us from finishing all and want to leave  a piece for her hubby to try.
Makes me happy!
 
Recipe adapted from The Baking Biatch

Ingredients (1x6"x 6" Square) and (1 x 8"x8" square) 2 layers sponge
 
 
(A) Cream mixture
500 grams mascarpone cheese
2 tbsp vanilla bean extract
4 tbsp caster sugar
5-6 tbsp. Baileys 
5 tbsp thickened cream or whipped cream
(B) Coffee mixture for dipping sponge finger (easier way)

6 tbsp instant coffee mix in 300ml hot water
3-5 tbsp of coffee liquor such as kahlua/ Baileys

For decoration
4 packets Sponge finger biscuits 
Cocoa powder
Shaved Dark Chocolate  
 
Method
 
1. Whisk (A) whipped cream and sugar till soft peak, add Mascarpone cheese, vanilla extract, baileys till well blend. Keep in fridge
 
2. Mix (B) together Coffee and coffee liquor  
 
3. Dip sponge finger inside coffee solution (very quick one not soak in it) and place in the your cake tray
 
4. Fill a layer of cream cheese mixture on top and repeat step 3, total 2 layers of finger sponge and cream cheese mixture to top the last layer of sponge finger. If want a taller cake, repeat for 3rd layer.
 
5. Chill in fridge (at least an hour but would recommend overnight) 
 
6. Remove tray base from cake slowly and dust with cocoa powder to cover the top of cake
 
7. Lay the sponge finger on side and secure with a ribbon round the cake
 
8. Shave dark chocolate flakes on top of cake and decorate with fruits(optional) 
 
Dip sponge finger in coffee mix(B)

Lay out in the square tin

Cream Mixture (A)
 
 
Spread cream over the layer sponger finger
 
Lay 2 layer of sponge finger
 Spread cream over the 2nd layer sponge finger
 
 Dust Cocoa powder on entire cake and shave dark chocolate and
chill in fridge overnight
 
 
Serve with strawberry or banana (Optional) 
                                      
     ===========================================                                                      

Another Tiramisu birthday cake décor - 2014


Bought cake box/base from Phoon Huat and it look just as good from
a bakery shop
 
 

===============================================================
 
For Mother's Day Celebration - 10 May 2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

Next Up: Peach Pie


Easy “Squeezy” Corn on the Cobb

I saw this technique on the Huffington Post a while back, and while it wasn’t the first time I’d seen, or used the micro-method, it was the first time I’d seen it in video form, thanks to the lovely and talented, Carl Blemming. By the way, I’m assuming Huff Po didn’t pay him anything for it, so to make up for that, neither will we.

This proves something that I’ve known for years…no matter how great a kitchen technique is, unless you use it regularly, you’ll forget about it. Usually, as soon as I get home from the store, I shuck the corn, and go from there, but as soon as I saw that ear go into Carl’s microwave, it all came back. Now I can forget about it all over again.

I’ve heard through the grapevine that some other food channels have also published this “hack” recently, but since I don’t watch anyone else, I can’t confirm those reports, but I couldn't have been the only one. The point is, it works. It works perfectly, and I hope you give it a try soon. Enjoy!

lundi 18 août 2014

Under My Panzanella, ella, ella, ella…

I’ve never been a big fan of panzanella salad. I love the flavors in the dish, but stale, soggy bread just isn’t something I crave. The sogginess is understandable, as this dish was invented as a way to ingest rock-hard bread, but now that we’re just making it for fun, and not to avoid starvation, we can tweak a few things for texture’s sake.

The key is frying the bread cubes in loads of olive oil, in a skillet, which obviously makes them crispy, but the healthful fat also soaks in and renders them semi-waterproof, or should I say dressing-proof. The same goes for the dusting of Parmesan we apply halfway through.

You may be tempted to save some work and bake them in the oven, but don’t. By using the pan, you get nice, crispy surfaces, but the very center of the crouton stays just a touch chewy. The oven tends to dry the bread out, and you don’t get the same texture.

The gorgeous pool of tomato juices, oil, and wine vinegar will still soak in, and soften the bread, but you’ll still get a little crunch in each bite. For me this makes all the difference in the world. I know adding things like peppers, onions, and cucumbers is quite common, but I think they simply get in the way.

Having said that, it’s your “little swamp,” which is what “Panzanella” translates to, so throw in what you like. Speaking of which, I’m not giving ingredient amounts. I’ll give a ratio, and maybe a recommendation or two, but this isn’t the kind of recipe where you should be washing measuring cups and spoons. Taste and adust, and as always, enjoy!


Ingredients:
(I like equal parts bread cubes to tomato salad)

For the bread:
stale bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, soaked well with olive oil
enough finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano to cover bread
-- fry until crispy and browned

For the tomato salad:
cherry tomatoes, halved
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of sugar
a little minced garlic
equal parts red wine vinegar and olive oil, to dress generously (add enough to create a very “swampy” mixture)
freshly sliced basil

Flaky yam swirl mooncake

Its the mid autumn festival and my colleague started the snow skin mooncake making topics which one followed by another the gals started to make our very  own snow skin mooncakes...durian, lychee, chocolate and mango fillings etc..

I become ambitious and wanted to venture and explore the teo chew flakly yam swirl moon cake which i can bake something with low sugar and my mum can enjoy having mooncakes ...so I did and it turns out wonderfully on my 1st attempt which the 2nd attempt was so good that many suggested that I take on orders. It was more for the fun of it then making it into a business concept.










The swirl yam mooncake, It seems challenging with the folds and roll tactics but I can assure you that its really easy by just following the step and have spare 6 hours to prepare 16-18 yam mooncakes (from preparing the yam paste and with a small oven) 
Yur friends and relative will be marvelled by your baking skill. :)
I used some left over filling for snow skin mooncake.

Dont underestimate yourself...as long as u try and u will realised that things aren't complicated as it seen..the same philosophy in life.



Recipe:
Flaky Swirl Yam Mooncakes(Make 18 pcs)
芋頭酥
(recipe source: adapted from Nasi Lemak Lover, Carol)*



Yam filling
625g yam peeled, cut into chunks
100g caster sugar
38g salted butter

Method
1. Steam the yam chunks at high heat till soft. While still hot, add
    in sugar and butter, mash the yam till creamy. Set aside to cool.
2. Weight 30g each and shape it to ball.

Purple sweet potato filling(Optional)
200g peeled, steamed and mashed
20g confectioner's sugar
20g unsalted butter
Method
1. While the mashed sweet potato is still hot from the steaming, add in the butter and sugar in. mash with fork till all incorporated. Set aside to cool before use.
2. Weight 20g and wrap over yam ball, set aside.

Oil dough
255g cake flour
120g Ghee or shortening
1/4tsp yam essence
Few drop of Pink/purple food coloring

Method
1.Mix cake flour, essence and ghee together till it's soft and paliable. Then add the food coloring and knead till the color is uniform. Cover and let rest 20 minutes or chill in fridge till needed.

Water dough
300g plain flour
23g icing sugar
105g ghee or shortening
115g ice cold water

Method
1.Mix everything together and knead till it comes together into a
pliable soft dough. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes.

To make flaky swirl yam mooncake
1. Weight water dough 60g each and oil dough 40g each, shape into ball.

2. Flatten water dough and wrap oil dough inside.
3. Roll out into long shape and roll up like swiss roll.
4. Roll from the shorter side into long shape and roll up like swiss roll from shorter side.
5. Cut the dough into 2 portions and repeat the rest of the dough
    until finished.
6. Flatten the dough start from the swirl side and roll out into a
    round disc.
7. Flip over and wrap in yam filling and seal it tightly, seal edge
    facing downwards.
8. Place on baking tray and bake in preheated oven 170C for 25-
    30mins

                                   Carol Taiwan website with video