23 December 2011

Pink Ombre Layer Cake - Another Birthday Post

 Happy Birthday, Christina.

To be honest, when I first came back after my time abroad, I was afraid. Afraid how I would settle in, afraid of what's different and what's new, afraid how i need to re-connect with my "old" friends.

 They were the people I spend my every days with. We'd be in school together, have our lunch together, shop together and hang out every weekend together. However, as I left for my commerce degree, we started to grow apart. The years I've missed are the very years they needed someone. The years I was away were the very years our characters were built. We've changed. I've changed.
Yet, as gentle as they were, it was as if i've never left. They welcomed me. No awkwardness, no ice breakers, no need for hugs or tears, it was just the way it has been and should be. 

Specially to C. We've confide in each other, we've shared our moments, played mean pranks to one another (maybe that's just her), embarrass one another (again, just her) and had too much fun and laughs (maybe just me).

As she goes through her toughest points in life alone, I could only bit my lips and curse the people who made it hard for her. But not anymore. C, amongst the presents and cakes you've received today, my utmost present for you is. 
"A true friend is one who stays through trials of deserts and storms"

11 December 2011

Marbled Cinnamon Ginger Almond Loaf Cake

Realising the arrival of December was a shock to me. No matter how much i've prepared for these last 4 weeks of 2011, I could never comprehend how my time went by. How did Christmas creep up so soon? Did i fulfill all the goals i've aimed for during this time last year? What will be my new goals then?

Once these questions popped, my thoughts were  in disarray and my heart begins to beats like an R&B song. I was worried, I was afraid, I was excited. And my eyes were blinking in jitters as if it was trying to replay what it has captured.

I thought about everything that happened. All the memories i should keep (because it tends to auto-delete), all the memories i should let go of. This year was a year of transition for me. Graduating from my Bachelor's degree, moving back to where i grew up, where i was born, working an office job, and revamping my blog to what it is now. I went though fearsome events, surprising events, remorseful events and happy joyous events.Going through all that change is never easy. I have a lot to forgive and forget, a lot more to be forgiven for and most of all to be thankful for. 
One of the most amazing joyous events I have went through, is how I improved my baking skills. I went through angel food cake, macaroons, cinnamon rolls, 6-layer cakes, rainbow cake, flaky crusts, swiss rolls and  mousse cakes. I now know what's creaming the butter, what's "mixing it like crazy" and what's "do not over mix". So, why not put that to use?

I'm not a big fan of ginger, how it tastes and how it smells. However, i'm the biggest fan of Gingey the gingerbread man (and i means "biggest" literally). Hence, when media shows its victory (once again) as i purchase this $25 can of ginger cookies, which i don't adore, i had to put it to use.

Immediately, pound cake came to my mind. I've never made one before and never succeeded in making cakes with that buttery, soft, yet dense texture. As far as my baking adventurist goes, I had to make one. Hence, when i saw this at Technicolor kitchen, I knew it was perfect for me. There wasn't too much ginger and the play of Almond with spices intrigued me.

06 December 2011

Brownies - Birthday Post

Growing up, I've never spent a birthday without being in tears. The day is always full of self-pitying and self-self-self. By the time I reached 18 years old, I despised it. I hated making a big thing out of such a day.With facebook and iCloud and iCal, there are hundreds of people to wish birthdays to. Birthdays are no longer as "special" as it seems. 

Out of the 500 friends you have on facebook, how many times do you actually wish "Happy Birthday" genuinely? But even then, I still couldn't comprehend, why people thrive their hardest to make someone else's birthday so special. What if you don't get the similar effort in return? What if you end up being alone in the bathroom, in tears? 

Being such an extremist about this subject came with consequences. I was bound to be proven wrong. And I was. As though my whole view of birthdays were crushed. All of a sudden, I could comprehend, staying up for hours into the dawn to complete a project, taking out ingredients before the rooster's crow to bake. (Of course there was no roosters involved). But this goes to show that... there ARE people, you would be irrational for. Their smiles are already a sufficient gift in return. So, Happy 20th  Birthday to Yz! Thank you for being the person you are. I truly hope that I will not miss your next birthday and the birthdays to come. I wish that you stay smiling always :)

Now, onto the recipe. Many people love brownies. If they were any less sinful, it would be our staple food. However, there are a few types of brownies. Fudgy, Cakey and Chewy. You can tell from these pictures, the recipe I played around with resulted in a cakey/chewy type of brownies. However, there's good news. If you want it fudgy, just take them out of the oven earlier. However, if you want to go all out fudgy, I reckon you look for a different recipe :) (Personally, I'm the chewy type of brownie girl).

03 December 2011

Cream Cheese Infused Cinnamon Roll Dough, filled with Gula Merah (Dark Palm Sugar), Choc Chips and Apple Bits.

There are usually lots of things on my mind. Aside from being a female and as occupied as that already is, I tend to think even more. I think ahead and as far as that goes, i forget whats right in front. Hence, when someone told me that metabolism rate increases with the work of your brains (aka thoughts), I would have to politely scoff.

With that amount of brain-work, comfort food, dessert bingeing and random tubs of ice cream nights are mostly necessary rather than an inability to control (maybe not but its a good excuse). The only problem is when these cravings necessities affect the people around you.

Because, sweeties from all around the globe, when you're on your baking experiments, (and seeing as how delicious your works of art are) people eat. When people eat, they gain weight. When they gain weight, they blame people. Who else to blame but the person who thinks "hmm, chocolate with chocolate would taste great" (they are a match made in heaven by the way). 

You might then question yourself, "but we eat the same goodies as well or even more". Good news for all of us, we may have gotten used to it! Yay! So, let's get down to business. 

Recently, as much a craze I have for chocolate, I have been addicted to using Dark Palm Sugar or Gula Merah (translation for Red Sugar in Bahasa Indonesia). This sugar easily melts at body temperature. When baked, it turns into a nice browned crisp with a gooey inside and of course, the smell is just intoxicating. Surprisingly, unlike how it seems, it is  not as sweet as our usual white sugar. 

I added plenty amounts of dark chocolate chips just to give it that bitter cocoa bite. I have apple bits in there as well, after all, they're cinnamon's best friend. However, i keep the fillings to personal choice. Instead, I'm here to introduce this amazing Cream Cheese infused Cinnamon Roll Dough by Joy the Baker
For clearer instructions, please visit her link, they're much better looking as well.

26 November 2011

Tuna Casserole topped with Crispy Hash Browns

Its coming to the end of November. It's getting colder in the states, hotter in Australia and same ol' humid in Asia. This pronounces holiday season, we would gain a few pounds, know a few more people, learn a few new things and 2011 would pass. 

Having Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Years in mind, I started to crave for Casseroles. Rustic, Sticky Crispy Carbo casseroles. Being too lazy to head out for groceries, I had to think up a way to combine the ingredients at hand. I was recently gifted with some chinese sausages. For those who has no idea what that is, the closest I could describe is a sweet chorizo. I had a spicy can of tuna and handfuls of Macaroni, Spaghetti, Egg Noodles and Hash Browns.
So, here we have, 

19 November 2011

Six Layer Chocolate Rum Cake with Swiss Meringue Rum Buttercream

Have you ever thought of being a little kid again? Where days went by without you worrying about what's going to your hips and thighs. Where running around 5 minutes made you perspire like 45 minutes extreme yoga. Where eating 2 slices of cake was "awww, so cute".

I do. A lot. You would know that exact second when I decide to indulge my inner child. Especially when i proclaim random resolutions like "I ain't sharin' my burger!" or "All meat no vege!" or "I'm eating straight from the pot!" Unfortunately, I kid not.

That's where the 6-layer cake comes in. And the rum...is just to congratulate us for getting over being a 5 year old. The cake I was looking for is a "black" cake. When I was searching for "the" recipe, I go to my favourite cake site and found this. However, things seemed a little too professional. Hence, I went to my new favourite site and found this same recipe. Who could resist challenging themselves, when 2 trusted individuals have tried-tested the recipe. 

13 November 2011

Portuguese Egg Tarts

Don't we always have a reason for choosing what we bake. Especially when your to-bake-list is growing to be as tall as you are. I find myself wanting to bake brownies when I'm feeling down, lemon meringue pies when I'm busy at work, cookies when I'm hungry at work, Hamburgers...possibly any time of the week. Then, there are the miscellaneous items. This one goes to Mr Kelvin. I'm honestly just trying to be funny. At the same time, "Dem! those pictures made me crave for egg tarts!"

Let's cut to the chase. Portuguese egg tarts! I would never have known if it weren't for Auto-correct (Thank you, Steve Jobs) that I have been misspelling Portuguese. First, I must say, I didn't use puff pastry. I used the flaky pastry recipe from this post. Reason: I am not confident enough to make myself some puff, plus, this flaky crust isn't that far apart (aside from the 50+ less layers of happiness).

Second, this egg tart filling recipe is not my own recipe. I found it in a mysteriously secluded website around 3 years ago, when copyrights didn't cost you millions of greens. Unfortunately, the only thing i could remember was that it had an all pink background. However, do not get worked up about it, the recipe  does not differ much from other recipes. You see, custards/ Egg yolk + milk + sugar is bound to taste awesome! 
Lastly, I've baked this a few times too many. However, I've always used a ready-made puff pastry. Hence, for those of you who need to whip up anything quick and impressive, this one goes to you. Remember, the excess egg whites could easily be stored to be used for other cakes such as "Angel food cake, White Eggs cake, Buttercream, etc etc". And if you have extra shells, this is one awesome way to add another dessert to the menu.

09 November 2011

Honey Granola - Request for tips

Need a snack fix and not feel guilty? Garrett popcorns too expensive for you? Cheetos makes your teeth yellow? Here's a quick fix! Granolas. Get it in the oven in 8 minutes tops. Bake for 20 minutes, mix it around, bake for another 20 minutes. Smell that? Yeap, it's done! Take it out from the oven. Let it cool. And you've got your snack and breakfast.

Right at this point, I would like to share with you a happy parcel I received from my mother. (Thanks mom!) I'm nothing but a mere junior at all of this. Hence, when friends asked me how did i manage to produce pretty pictures, I was embarrassed. I look forward to playing around with these new little gems. However, before i begin, I need tips from you (yeah, YOU) pro's! So, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE leave me some tips/ comments on how to improve my pictures or email me or poke me or something. I'll send you a lollipop! 

A few things I can't alter: 
1. Stupid angles where the daylight chooses to shine in my apartment. 
2. My running speed to chase after the ever-so-changing angles of the morning sun.
3. My camera lens.
4. I have no clue on how to use the P's F's V's X's whatever they are :(  (if someone can teach me)
5. My ability to learn no. 4.
6. My ability to annoy people in 5 seconds. (If this matters)

Back to the Granola, this is my second try with Granolas. Unlike the previous "Honey Granola without Honey", I followed the recipe. I would have to admit my previous try was as yummy but less healthy. This tells you... tweak the recipe, heck, re-vamp your own and just play around. 

05 November 2011

Flaky (Almost like Puff Pastry) Apple Pies

After various mishaps in the past, from deep within my stomach, i remind myself "people exaggerate". The most delicious steak is not the "most" delicious steak. The tastiest soup are probably too tasty for human beings. And the most buttery cake would probably be butter itself with a tablespoon of flour. So, as i search for THAT "best apple pie" recipe once again, I had to admit, I was full of doubt and distrust.

I google'd "Flaky pie crust recipe" and when the results popped up, my mind was chanting "people exaggerate, people exaggerate, people exaggerate". I was proven wrong. Aside from the 5% reviews commenting on the difficulty of working with the dough, everyone else described it as the perfect flaky pie crust. The pictures, unfortunately, weren't convincing. I choose to group myself with the unfortunate 5%, and put the recipe aside. 
Boom ba da Boom. Look at how each piece of the crust separates itself from the other? That's "flaky". So, you ask, which recipe did you end up using? Moving on from that recipe, I went on to search more "pie crust" tips. I ended up clicking to my all time favourite food blogger, Smitten Kitchen's Pie Crust Tips and remember her cute little apple pie cookies? Coincidentally, that was the same pie crust recipe!

30 October 2011

Mango Upside Down Moist Chocolate Cake

Firstly, let me start by warning you, you're going to want to make these. So get prepared to buy some cocoa. I took 30 minutes to get the batter ready and left it to bake for 1 hour whilst meeting my girl friends for dinner. When we came back, the dessert was ready.

This cake isn't the fluffiest cake you will ever eat, neither is it the prettiest classy girl in class. However, I assure you, you would want seconds and thirds, each a thicker slice than before. It's so very chocolatey yet not sickeningly sweet, perfectly moist yet not buttery, airy yet dense and with a simple addition of citrus/fruit, it's simply addictive. 

Before we begin with the cake, I would like to thank all of you for the support. I am utterly grateful that I have people reading putting up with what I have to say. So here's to all our hopes and dreams! :)

Mango Upside Down Moist Chocolate Cake! So you follow Jes' blog and you ask yourself, "ooh... mango? she said she hated mango cakes? Caught ya!" Let me explain. I love mangoes, as a fruit, especially these ones from my mother's hometown. These mangoes were from a village called Pasuruan in Indonesia. Even in the capital city, Jakarta, these mangoes are rare and much more expensive than other mangoes. 

This mango is called Mangga Harum Manis, translated to Fragrant Sweet Mango. They're so sweet and fragrant that it is difficult to cultivate (due to attracting insects). Hence, when an aunt of mine brought 10 of these mangoes to my arms, ripening at the same time, I had to come up with something. Whilst I would prefer to have them the way they are, it's almost impossible to consume all 10 within a few days. Hence, I decided to whip up a mango chocolate cake (chocolate because I love it) for the usual friday "gathering" with the girls. In conclusion, no you did not "catch me".

23 October 2011

Cheddar Cheese Cookies

There are always a few recipes which would remind you of old times. Today, I'd like to share with you one of mine. As a kid, I was the odd one out to pursue kitchen-work. Hence, my baking endeavours were limited to cornflake cookies, chocolate cheese mousse cups, checkerboard cake, ice cream cake and failed Sacher torte. (Ambitious much, at 13 years of age?) - Nobody told me to start out with the basics.
It was difficult, when the environment I was in do not support baked goods or western cakes. Hence, baking was seen as a pile of cleaning rather than an anticipation. Fortunately, when I was in Australia, I stayed with a family who appreciated baked-goods and the friends around me are always amazed by that little ability i have.
Thus, I baked, day and night, midnight and ungodly hours, I baked. Soon, little paper pouches with ribbons, cupcake moulds and fancy containers were often received well. Then, these treats came. The first time I baked these was @ 3 am for an early class. 
I made 4 -5 pouches and was shockingly received well. Ever since, my girl friends and the family I was staying with would occasionally ask me when I would bake them again. However, due to the heavy kneading labour required, (not to forget we all hate repeating the same recipe over & over again) I seldom baked these cookies.

20 October 2011

Angel Food Cake

Its coming to the end of October and this year has been going way too fast. Some of us are now with children, some of us are working adults, some of us are studying and some of us living the dream of being a full time baker. Yet, we all have one thing in common... We love to serve that perfect dish just to see those smiles.

Sadly, that doesn't come easily. It is with practice, many many finger-crossing, many many more short little prayers and most of all, research and study. Even then, we have days that just go wrong. Days where butter decides to fail us, days where cream goes bad for no reason and days, weeks, months and years of little accidents that consistently, persuasively and unfailingly happen to us.

 Well, this one goes to you. When exams are coming, when work is overwhelming, when kids are a little annoying or when life is just a little more than hard to get by. Cheer up! Stop your busy schedule, take a stroll, look up the sky and take that moment to smile. You're not alone, my friend.
So here's a lot little extra sugar for your day!

I decided to color it marbled pink because:
1. the friend i wanted to cheer up loves pink, it always makes her a little bit happier.
2. I'm not a pink lover, I love Angel Food Cake's white as cloud color.
3. Its NBCAM. It's gotta be pink! 

14 October 2011

Mango sponge mousse layer cake

 There were a few stories I had in mind for this post
One, was how this doesn't fit in with the fall/thanksgiving/halloween mood everyone else is experiencing. Two, was how much I love reading other fellow (not-to-mention superior) food bloggers! Hence, seeing as everyone is with their apples, cobblers and puddings, let's do something different here in the tropical country! Three, was the vast number of Mango cakes sold in every cake store, yet not too many a solid recipe posted on the internet. Thus,  my believe that my friend is out to test me and my skills.

Then I chose this story. A story of what i've gotten myself into when i decided i was able to bake layered cakes. Frostings! Frostings! Frostings! I love simple frosted cakes. Those with 7 different types of fruits and 8 different piping methods, they're not my cup of coffee. Most likely because I love cream but I know they're bad (for my hips) and so my conscience tells me that cream tastes bad. And remember how i suck at frosting?! I still do. But i ain't givin' up.

 My point is, I don't really have one. The reason for this blog was just to journalise what i've accomplished, do what i've been loving to do, pursuing to be what i want to be. Conquering each and every ingredient possible (not a fan of mango mousse or mango cake- purely under the request of a friend) and meanwhile, if i'm able to meet some new friends, and make the old ones go gaga, wouldn't that just be a treat?!

08 October 2011

Quiche Frenzy - Traditional Quiche Lorraine. Spinach & Brie, Potato crisp quiche. Chicken breast & mimolette quiche. Self-saucing Chocolate Rum cake quiche.

The results for the rainbow cake was shocking. All of a sudden, friends and family no longer looked at me as the kid playing with play-doh. In layman's term, the rainbow cake was served to test and nobody's dead (except for Steve Jobs, may he rest in peace).

So, this week I promised to bake something savory. I'm never good at this. After-all, the food I like to eat are limited to warm and cold salads, occasional chunk of steak, ocassional burger fetish, sandwiches, eggs, cheese, soups and traditional Indonesian dishes that uses at least 10 different spices that i hardly can translate to English.

My friends often ask, how can I be a "chef" or "baker" if I don't eat. I'm not picky with food, i hardly hate any specific ingredients except eggplants and olives, I just do not have the stomach. I love cakes. I love them to death! However, I don't mind eating a bad cake (over and over), I'm easily impressed over simple presentation or just melted chocolate. I do have a few comments for cake stores who act all high-and-mighty but have bad cakes, yet, I do not have my set of passion to finding the best cake in town.

Atmosphere. Atmosphere is utmost importance to me. Even if the cakes were meh-ok, even if drinks are a little overcharged. That traditional overly midget wooden coffee table, sofas that do not have matching colors, songs played in an acceptable volume and people who serves cheerily. I want that. I want to open that. That's how I got to this quiche.

02 October 2011

Rainbow Cake

One week ago, I came home after a tiring day at work only to be greeted with "I want a rainbow cake!". Not to get excited with myself, i asked my beloved sister "Where should i order?" 

It was always like that between me and my sister. We are so different that we meet each other at the other end of the circle. Preparing to fail, I decided not to tell her about baking this cake and booked another cake from a local bakery. The process was worthy of comment, rushing to bake and cool 6 layers of cakes, rushing to take pictures of the process and rushing to clean up any visible detail of colorful mess.
 We successfully hid it for one day only to be found out the next day, during the icing process. I could see it in her eyes, maybe for a millisecond, she was shocked, a little pleasantly surprised (if I'm up for it) and that was all I needed. I was content. Until i horribly failed my icing, 3 times, that is (details will be hidden very well down the sink).

24 September 2011


Before I begin my rambling-for-the-week, I would like to say the picture from the post before was ACCEPTED IN TASTESPOTTING! It was 3 am, I saw comments for this blog, became extremely fabulously happily excited, quickly went to my blog, and saw 300 VIEWS!! At that point of time, i did something stupid to test if i was dreaming (but that's for another day). Knowing it's not me, I checked Traffic sources and Voila!

Previously, I have submitted a few but was rejected. It was really a big deal for me because either my photography improved or my annoyance towards the Tastespotting committee finally got me through. So, thank you and please know that I SINCERELY SINCERELY and HUMBLY thank you for every visit! 

Back to rambling, its DONUTS! (I recently realized its actually spelled as Doughnuts - Dunkin Donuts got into my head). The thought of donuts always brings me to Homer Simpson! Anyone a fan of The Simpsons, please be my friend. I need to be able to quote Matt Groening and feel less ridiculed.

"Kids, you tried your best, and you failed miserably. The lesson is never try"
- Homer Simpson

Yes, I'm a nerd and searchquotes.com comes in handy to crack me up. Especially this one:

" When my girlfriend and I fight, I tighten the top of every jar and bottle in the house,
just so i can say "Oh yeah, you need me now, huh?" "
- Unknown
Back to the donuts. I used to love Jam-filled donuts, Chocolate topped donuts, Peanut butter-peanut butter-peanut butter donuts. I still lo-ooo-ve them but as I grew taller and (*coughs*) rounder, I started preferring these Cinammon-Spiced-Sugar-Coated donuts. Alright, as I grew rounder I should have quitted donuts entirely but hey, who can? 

This recipe was first introduced to our household ages ago, slowly perfected and now, a classic dessert that "mysteriously" disappears right after it was served. We never get the chance to see the "Donut Monster" (we call it) but it's always there on time.

This donut recipe is chewy, rather moist compared to other donuts but fluffy at the same time and in one word "YUM!". Personally, I'm not a huge fan of small things, or crispy donuts, we make them thick and in all honesty, I would have them even without the toppings.

17 September 2011

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake - Nigella Lawson (adapted)

This is how it's going to be, what i'm going to tell you is totally in confidence. (The fact that this is on internet doesn't help my point but i would hope as time goes by, nobody will remember this.) My sister has an event to go to. She was going to bring some Konyaku Jelly and some Fried indonesian snacks. Then i asked, "do you want me to bake something for you?" Of course she said no. I became gloomy and soon enough, the words coming across the table was "PLEASE LET ME BAKE FOR YOU!". Alright, i know this is pathetic but my need to feed people just runs one level above all the shame and embarrassment I'm going to get for this.

 If you understand how i felt, please continue reading. If you don't, you can skip one sentence. This sentence.

After relentlessly annoying my sister, she finally said yes. Then my heart skipped a beat. "CRAP ON A CRACKER, what should i bake". No cookies, no muffins, no safety net baking goods (well amongst the things going across the table, i may have said "COOKIES, MUFFINS? ANYTHING, PLEASE, I'll give you a lollipop". Okay, before i move forward, i should say do not try this at home but I baked a chocolate cake I have never baked before. 

 This post would have turned out horrendous if the cake did not turn out well. However, the brave and annoying side of me decided to test the world, challenge life, go against gravity or whatever you call it. 

Bringing a cake to an event that needs to impress my sis & her friends.... I decided to wager:
1. The new food processor.
2. The tweaked untested chocolate cake recipe 
3. The uncertainty of both the above.

 Back to the cake. Once i was sure i wanted to bake a "whole" cake, i know it has to be a simple simple chocolate cake. Then i thought, what's better than those from Nigella Lawson's quick and yet "old-fashioned" recipe? If you've known me better, i'm easily attracted to the words: Authentic, old-fashioned, rustic, traditional and... you get my point. The tweaked recipe has 2x more liquid and less sugar. It was my decision, out of fear, after hearing those dry flaky reviews regarding the recipe.

11 September 2011

Macaroon with XO Chocolate Ganache filling.

This would be a short post. Reason being: my macaroon didn't turn out beautiful. As all bakers would know, when you spend 5-6 hours of hard work just to have things end up wrong. For example, when you crossed your fingers as you turn over your chiffon/Angel food cake just to find that half of it was stuck in the pan, or when you baked a pie to realise the crust was soggy and just distasteful, or in this case, have your worst fears come true. That is, following the recipe and every other tip to the letter does not always mean it will work out. But we shall not give up, so get prepared for MANY MORE failed macaroons on the way.

At this point of time, I realised it would be a mid-success. It was never a problem with how it tastes, Macaroons are a piece of art. When I saw (camped hugging my knee watching the macaroons in the oven) how my macaroons have no feet (feet is the crack at the side of the macaroons), i knew it went wrong somewhere. 

As we all always do, we blame something. I blame the humid weather. Emboite (chose it over Tartletteblog.com because it contains much lesser sugar) says the more humid the weather, the harder for the layer of shell to form. Guess what, it didn't form at all... I was suspicious of over-beating it as well as the crust not forming even after resting for 1 hour (It was raining)

Hence, looking like Whoopie pies. Pulling myself together, i grade it a C because any lower wouldn't do the ganache any justice (i used Tartelette's ganache recipe).
Rock on, 

08 September 2011

To do list.

On my to-bake list (not in order):

1. Macaroon - All bakers should conquer their fears. Plus I've simply been procrastinating.
2. Angel food cake - Failing once (on chiffon)  (wheeeeeeeee)
3. Chiffon - because of the above.
4. Chocolate chip cookie - that i would consider a success. (I finished writing a post about my success in chocolate chip cookie, all's left is to actually succeed in it)
5. Banana bread - Fluffy (anyone has a good recipe for this? I want bread texture instead of cake texture)
6. Sweet & heavy muffin - (When my mom leaves and nobody at home has a secret fetish for fluffy food)
7. Savory pie - any ideas?
8. Apple pie - once again, that i would consider a success.

Added: Macaroon (2nd time) that would be considered not-a-whoopie-pie.

On my to-do list:
9. To draw the following lady bug on my own hands. (This was my sister's. After seeing my popcorn nail, she wanted one. However, 10 popcorns will be too "glamorous", so she asked me to draw other designs, except she forgot to say "draw compatible designs".) -- she hated the ladybug because it has weird eyes.

(mostly from cutepolish)

Try it,

06 September 2011

Ham (Smoked Turkey) and Cheese (Cheddar and mimolette) Muffin

For a long time, about 5 minutes, my head was revolved around one simple question. Who dislikes Ham & Cheese? Speak your mind now, or forever hold your cheese peace. I'm serious! Don't you think they are born to be soul mates, perfect complements for each other, etc etc.

I often caught myself going into a trance with that droopy look and salivating mouth whenever someone mentions "Ham & Cheese". So I was walking back home (I lied, I was on the bus being pushed and squeezed by 60 year old ladies), I had a thought in mind, Ham & Cheese....

Then, comes the -Drools- Homer's Style.

What can i whip up within 1 hour and still have enough time to shower and take a slow trip down the "see but no eat" lane until I start to fall sleepy.  

"Challenge Accepted!"- Barney from HIMYM.

So, I went to the Groceries, bought some decadent smoked honey Turkey ( I know, I know, why Turkey? Well, you would be surprised but it's delicious! and that honey taste is just... Okay, it was on sale!) and some Mimolette cheese.

04 September 2011

Honey Granola

How I met your mother Season 6 Episode 16

Marshall: "It's time to grow up"

Marshall: "Mom! can you make us some PB & J's for the road"
Ted whispers "Crusts cut off"
Marshall: "Crusts cut off!"

Marshall: "No, Ted what are we... We're men."
Marshall: "Mom! Leave the crusts on!"

Okay, not as funny when I narrate it. But hey, they're cute.

Anyway, if anyone has been reading this blog, you would know I started working about 3 months ago. My mother, relieved after all three of her children learnt how to fly, however, afraid that we flew too far from the nest, made sure we stay close to her wings. Anyhow, she wanted all the three of us to give her a treat. We went to Jones the Grocer. (it was my turn to pay)

(Wagyu beef and blue cheese burger)
Obviously, i need to improve on my shaky focus.

(Eggs Benedict)
This was the most "normal" order we had on the table.

(Salmon Cape/Tape/Taup)
I can't really remember but this was the least normal order.

Another pasta, 3 slices of cakes, and all of this for the 3 of us (sister was having high tea) and a hole in my pocket.

Back to the first picture, if anyone of you is still awake, it's honey granola! I jotted down the recipe from JoyOfBaking since 2 months ago, then, that piece of paper was stacked below 10 other recipes and was left to collect flour, cocoa powder and something yellowish that until now, I can't reason out (or smell out).

3 cups (300 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 cup (75 grams) whole raw almonds
1/2 cup (45 grams) raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup (45 grams) raw pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup (30 grams) sesame seeds
1/2 tablespoon (5 grams) wheat germ (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (60 ml) water
1/4 cup (60 ml) canola oil
1/2 cup (120 ml) honey
2 tablespoons (25 grams) light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup dried fruits (cranberries, cherries, apricots, dates, figs, and/or raisins) (optional)
In a large bowl combine the rolled oats, nuts, seeds, wheat germ, ground cinnamon, and salt. 
In a small saucepan, stirring constantly, bring just to a boil the water, oil, honey, brown sugar, and vanilla extract. Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients and toss together, making sure all the dry ingredients are coated with the liquid. 
Spread onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 25 -40 minutesor until golden brown, stirring occasionally so the mixture browns evenly. (The browner the granola gets (without burning) the crunchier the granola will be.) 
Place on a wire rack to cool. You will notice that the granola may still be sticky when it is removed from the oven but it will become crisp and dry as it cools. 
Make sure to break up any large clumps of granola while the mixture is still warm. Once the granola has completely cooled, store in an airtight container or plastic bag in the refrigerator. It will keep for several weeks.
The recipe I jotted down was the above but I ran out of a bunch of ingredients.
1. I ran out of oats,
2. I ran out of Honey
3. I ran out of brown sugar
4. I ran out of raisins.

Okay, now you know, this was an impromptu  bake-out.
I added chocolate chips, butter instead of oil, Granulated sugar instead of brown sugar. Try it out, 15 minutes to get all of it together, 40 minutes of baking time, 2 episodes of HIMYM, and save $15. VĂ³ila!


01 September 2011

Red Velvet Cupcake

When did cupcakes become the craze of every town? It's not McDonald's every 2 steps of the way down the street. It's no longer 3 Tiered cakes baked a month in advance laid out in a wedding ceremony. Those Beautifully adorned, colorful, soft and yummy to-an-extent cupcakes that has taken over the era, terrorizing the village, BoomBaDaBoom.

It has evolved into the perfect gift for a sick friend, a valentine's present for the cute boyfriend, a welcome back party dessert, or just the occasional binge solution. Of course, it all started with Red Velvet Cupcakes (it is the most popular one, and never would a cupcake store fail to include one in their inconclusive number of flavors to pick from). 

Would a cupcake taste better than a comprehensive slice of the original recipe? No. It is adding different flavors to the same batter to barely tap on the richness of the actual creation. Why is it then, such a crowd pleaser? One small box could contain four flavors of different cakes. Who would not cut such a deal?

I would have to say, I've fallen for the trick first hand. Hence, many many bakers try to incorporate as much of the originality to every cup, discerning stores that stand out from stores that do not. Beautifully, Red Velvet is one of those that do not fall far from the cake itself. After all, it is simple and red.

17 August 2011

Japanese (Osaka) Cotton Cheesecake

This is how it works, you yearn for some cheese, you yearn for a guiltless afternoon, and that's how you   have to have a slice of this. Its like the combination of Angel food cake and New York Cheesecake. Sit in a laid back summer chair, enjoy the breeze and watch the white curtain floating. Then, you'd know, that minute, that moment, you didn't miss anything better.

From the way i described this, you should know by now, how little amount of butter this cake contains. Imagine the woman in the painting, wearing her retro yellow lemon dress, curly red hair and a basket of white daisies. We all wish we were her.

As a matter of fact, this is my third Japanese cheesecake. Third time is a charm, as they always pronounced. However, i will always fight for an even better cheesecake, until i get that texture i've long remembered. The first time i had this cake and I could never forget that feeling. 

The secret to all these fluffy, heavenly cakes, is stiffen egg whites (and lots of research). Do not ever be discouraged by them, i remember my first time with these egg whites. I cried. I perspired. I worried. The only thing to look after is dry dry utensils, room temperature eggs and a pinch of salt. Voila. 

Japanese Cotton Cheesecake
adapted from Diana's Desserts


140g/5 oz. fine granulated sugar 
6 egg whites 
6 egg yolks 
50g/2 oz. butter 
250g/9 oz. cream cheese 
100 ml/3 fluid oz. fresh milk 
1 tbsp. lemon juice 
60g/2 oz. cake flour /superfine flour 
20g/1 oz. cornflour (cornstarch) 
1/4 tsp. salt or cream of tartar

1. Melt cream cheese, butter and milk over a double boiler. Cool the mixture. Fold in the flour, the cornflour, egg yolks, lemon juice and mix well. 

2. Whisk egg whites with cream of tartar (or salt) until foamy. Add in the sugar and whisk until soft peaks form. 

3. Add the cheese mixture to the egg white mixture and mix well. Pour into a 8-inch round cake pan (Lightly grease and line the bottom and sides of the pan with greaseproof baking paper or parchment paper). 

4. Bake cheesecake in a water bath for 1 hours 10 minutes or until set and golden brown at 160 degrees C (325 degrees F). 

Makes 1 (8-inch) cheesecake, 12 servings.

One tip before pushing the tray into the oven is to tap it onto the table a few times. This is so that you wouldn't end up with bubbles as you can see in my cakes. (Honest, these pictures do not give enough credit to the actual texture of the cake.)
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