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.

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