30 April 2012

Goldfish Crackers (Or are they Gingerbread man?)

It's raining heavily. I walked home from the groceries only to find a young man walking the same way in front of me. He had a silver shoe, a mid-long purple coat with a large belt tied around it. With a clear plastic umbrella and a pink bracelet, it was not difficult to figure out.
I walked faster, in hurry to reach a dry comfort that is my house. Then, I realized, he was walking faster too. I could see his face angled a little to the left, his complexion as pale as pearl, hair like a bieber gone worse and he was peeping back at me.

Suddenly, a car zoomed past leaving the both of us shocked. After recovering from the awkwardly high pitched squeak I thought impossible coming from a grown man, I walked even faster. Right there and then, it was obvious and I had to lay it out there.
I'm not fricking following you!
If you do that again, I'm going to follow you just to see if you cry.
Anyway, we all love Goldfish crackers. These are in cute Gingerbread man shapes. Some happy, some less happy, some evil.
Recipe from: Tasty Kitchen (makes about 75 - 100)
8 oz Red Sharp Cheddar
4 tbsp butter
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp cold water
1. Pulse everything together (except water) until it forms a bread crumb texture.
2. Add water and pulse until it forms a ball.
3. Gather the ball of dough in plastic and refrigerate for 20-40 minutes. Preheat oven to 175C/350F.
4. Roll out into 1/4 inch thick and start cutting them up.
5. On a lined baking pan, lay the pieces out making sure not to touch each other. 
6. Bake for 15-20 minutes each batch.

Not stalking material,

27 April 2012

Zebra Pound Cake

I don't have a bundt pan. I'd kill to have one. 
Really. Tell me who, I'll bring my razor along.
That being said, I hope you'd be able to justify these cakes not with how they are, but how they could have been (like Baker's Royale). Treat it like you would treat your gothic teenager. 

This cake reminds me a lot of my kiddo days. Simply vanilla and chocolate was all I know, was all I thought i would ever eat, was all the flavors I thought existed. 60 cents worth of cake wrapped in clear plastic wrapper. 3 layers, no bigger than your 10 year old palm, each glued by chocolate chantility cream. I take on the slice layer by layer, up to the last layer, the last bite. The conquest was about to end, I was about to wake from the dream, it was unbearable. I wanted more, just one more.

But no, there's always only 1 for each of us. No more, no less. It was a simple little treat. It wasn't a meal, it wasn't dessert. Just a break from the day. Just 10 minutes of silly chocolate-covered-teeth smile to let our mom know, we're happy today, we're doing fine today, thank you for today. 

I had to share this experience with you foodies. It's not always about how expensive the ingredients are. It's not about how pretty the cake is adorned. It's not the box or the wrapper it comes in. It's just us, the cake and that very day. 

24 April 2012

Plum Jam with Black Tea and Cinnamon

How far are you willing to go to prove a point?
I'd go pretty far. Just my bad mixture of pride, competitiveness and a hint of suck-it-bitch-! attitude.

Anyway, here's plum jam for you. Who knew plum jams can be this good?! With cinnamon and black tea, it's no ordinary jam. (gasp!) Yea, you heard me.
Thanks to Noelia for the post here. Although mine turned out more red than purple, I assumed I'm doing it right.

 Plum Jam with Black Tea and Cinnamon
600 g Plum 
300 g Sugar
1/2 Orange juice
2 Tea bags
1 Cinnamon stick
1. Cut and core the plums. Add sugar and orange juice and let rest for at least an hour. (At this point you could opt to pulse everything in a food processor)
2. Add all ingredients and transfer mixture into a medium pot.
3. Cook the plums until mixture thickens. (According to personal preference)
4. Take out the tea bags and cinnamon stick. Sieve if desired and transfer into a canning jam.
5. Turn the jar upside down whilst jam is still piping hot. This will keep the jam in tip-top shape for 1 year if jar is not opened. Let cool.
So how far are you willing to go to prove a point?
Are we stubborn people.

Jams Up,

21 April 2012

Sweet Potato Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

It's Miss Wu's birthday. 
Although it was on the 16th of April, it's never too late to bake her a cake and have it all to myself?! As a present, I'm giving her my fat tummy!
Miss Wu brings people together with a simple wave of her magic wand, sexy-as-hell bodz and her cooking is crap-on-a-fricking-cracker-marvelous. Although currently living her life in London, failing to mail me a can of snow, I still love her very much!

Ms Wu always exaggerates my desserts and exaggerates me as a person. She even admitted that I make her life beautiful and special. How can I not be smittened. 

So, I baked her a Purple Sweet Potato Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Recipe from bon appetit at Epicurious, adapted by moi.
The cake is beautiful on its own. Cinnamon tackles the potatoey feel of the cake (feel free to use other spices). The color, enchanting, like yours truly. BUT lets take it up a notch! My go-to cream cheese frosting by Janni from Allrecipes, adapted by moi.
I finally found a full-fat tub of yoghurt. Big difference, please use full-fat.
So let's all wish a happy birthday to my dearest friend, Ms Wu!

Happy Birthday my dear,

14 April 2012

New York Cheesecake with Strawberry Glaze

What is your favorite cake?!

One sunny afternoon, the Mr asked me, “do you know what’s my most favorite cake?” I yelled in pride because “Doh! Brownies!!” I knew I was right! I knew it!
I wasn’t.
“That’s a bar, not a cake.” He chose one moment to be picky and I must say, very well chosen!
(Rolls eyes) “What then?” already, I'm thinking it would be blueberry or chocolate.
Beep Boop! Wrong again. It’s well along the sides of strawberry, cheesecake and pie, or all the three in one! 

Anywho, the Mr loves cheesecakes but doesn’t like cheese. Smearing cheese on everything is “Eww”. As opposed to me, I want a cheese tower every occasion possible. Yes, a cheese tower. Ok, maybe just a cheese platter. (*hints)
So! I baked him a cheesecake. There’s no special occasion, yet no occasion more special than this. Simply thanking the man. Thank you, deer, so much for our similarities but... even more for our differences.

10 April 2012

Cinnamon and Rum Raisin Cookies

I needed snack. So I made cookies.

Crispy and crunchy with chewy raisins that stick in between your teeth. I personally love that.

This cookie is not overly sweet, letting the rum soaked raisins stand out. And did i mention that this will turn your house into a cookie land? Oh yeees, cooooooookiee land... say it... come oon, saaay it.. 
Coooooo-keeeeeey Laaaaaand

Cinnamon and Rum Raisin Cookies 

(adapted from BakerBettie)

Oatmeal and Spiced Rum Raisin Cookies w/Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs, rm temp
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3 cups old fashioned oats
2 cups raisins
Place raisins in a small bowl and pour in enough spiced rum to cover them.  Let them soak overnight.  Strain them before adding to the cookie dough. You can also use, whiskey/bourbon, red wine, or fruit juice.  The liquid allows the raisins to plump up and gives them a different flavor
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  With the mixer still on, add the eggs one at a time.  Add the vanilla.  With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients.  Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl as needed.  Fold in the oatmeal and raisins.  Use a large scoop and put rounded mounds of dough onto cookie sheets lined with parchment or foil.  Bake in a 374 degree oven for 11-14 minutes, until the edges are slightly browned.  Slide the cookies off the cookie sheet as soon as they come out of the oven to cool.

I am awesome (?). So I got an award.

Jokes aside, thank you to While He Was Out for awarding me this blog award. I have extreme fun replying and writing comments to her. She is what I like to call yes-m'am-you're-an-awesome-individual. And although I got jealous of her all the time, a fair amount is always healthy...
Rules to this award:
1. Thank the person who nominates you and link back to them in your post
2. Share 7 facts about yourself
3. Pass the award on to 15 more bloggers that you enjoy
4. Contact the people you have nominated

You can find my 7 facts in this postOne other fact the Mr has noticed is: I'm A-ball-of-contradiction.
And for the 15 bloggers, I'll do a 7+1 instead. These are blogs I've recently encountered and they amaze me.

1. Jessica @ She Bakes Here: Because her name is Jessica! I kid I kid... Jessica's desserts really make you think what you can do with your recipes! I mean, you'd think there's only so much muffins (or cookies, ohh her cookies... -drools) until you've seen her website.
2. Mrs F @ The Cheekiest Monkey of All: No! Hold that thought! Mrs F is the cheekiest monkey! One exchange of comments and you know she's nice to be around!! And just so you know, her pictures (kick pebbles) are. so. good. great. excellent. sigh :')
3. Kristina @ Spabettie: hee hee. I love the name "Spabettie". -eherm She's very pretty. Gawd, what's wrong with me?! Oh right, her cakes and bars must be making me giddy.
4. Laura @ Laura Loves Cakes: Look, girl, I'm still trying to figure out how to do that Hazelnut caramel whisps thingy! And not to forget how you make everything look so purty!!
5. Antonina @ Dulcegarii culinare: Although I don't understand her posts and Google Translator worsens everything, I look at her pictures as an inspiration.. Just like a plain canvas painted by the artist, her pictures look complete.
6. Elizabeth @ Sugar Hero: Oh...mother...of... (enough said)
7. Yudith @ Blissfully Delicious: Yudith, you are amazing! I would like to thank you for being awesome and for the many many goodies you treat my eyes with. Although it never reaches my palate, but for now, (until technology advances) I'll be satisfied with just watching.
+1. Tara @ Butter Dish: Tara, my dear, I await for your return! :)

Most of you might think "Hey, I'm awesome and stuff, why the award?!" Well, I'd like to think that this is a chance for a fan like me to express my thoughts ;)
Cookie Monster (rawr),

08 April 2012

Homemade Cream Cheese

So, you know how expensive cream cheese can be? I mean, no wonder a slice of cheesecake is sold for  $7 - $10. That's Philadelphia diabolical plan! I have to solemnly admit that Philadelphia cream cheese is best as of cheesecake. HOWEVER, in an attempt to minimise Philadelphia's monopoly, hence, allowing prices to be manipulated by the ingenious company, let's make our own cream cheese.

This homemade Cream Cheese requires only 1 ingredient. And using this method, you will save $10 each time you bake a cheesecake. Instead of spending $29 for 5 blocks of Cream Cheese (8 oz are sold at $5.80), you're going to spend a maximum of $19 for enough yoghurt to produce the same amount of cream cheese. Assuming, then, that all of you love cheesecakes (I mean, who doesn't?), you will soon save hundreds of dollars. Meaning I get to buy an ice cream maker with that money.
Granpa sarcastic : "and i created an alcoholic hippo (referring to Homer)"
Homer angry : "you never showed it to me "
Granpa sarcastic : "a Stupid alcoholic hippo"
Homer whines : "i still wanna see it!"
Granpa groans : "there is no hippo!"
Homer mad: "then why did you say it?!"
Granpa shouts : "cuz you're the hippo!"
Homer folds hands : "are you just saying that cuz you don't want me to see the hippo?"
Granpa on the verge of giving up : "i don't have a hippooo...!"

Seriously, who wouldn't want a tray like this for a breakfast in bed? A tall mug of coffee, Cream Cheese and Crackers! Might throw 2 pieces of bacon in there too. This cream cheese has yet to be turned into its fateful state of a New York Cheesecake but it's good enough as a dip/spread. A little salt and pepper, you're ready to go.

Away with the norm,

PS: As mentioned by Anonymous, please do note that this is only a substitution. Actual Cream Cheese requires huge machines and what not. I'd still use this for my cheesecake. But Anonymous can't have any because he/she is a stick in the mud!

06 April 2012

Two Type Rolls with Cinnabon-like Dough

I started reminiscing this morning. The days when "chilly" weather exists, when wearing a scarf was not "silly", when walking home is a leisure. Be glad that you've touched snow and made snowman and snow angels and snow bunnies!

Then I began thinking further back, the innocent years I've had. Mostly not really that long ago until I started waking up at 3 am only to find out that the public media isn't at all appropriate. Dem you channel 9, give me back my innocence!

Years having my family around, conned by my brother and his friend to a buy-2-get-1-free drink (yes, I paid for both, no, I wasn't trying to impress his friend, yes, I'm just an idiot.). Even in those days, I was not worry-less. Yet, we bring our asses to gather around the table to have a dinner together.
I return to those memories, though fading and blurred by hurts and mistakes, missing those few people who actually mattered. Gradually, nothing of the little disagreements mattered. This was a family. Blood is thicker than water. This is my family.

Indeed i would like to try a different approach in my future which i have yet to consult with the Mr who claims a proposal doesn't have to be done with a knee and a ring then presumes that silent means consent. I kid. No, really, we girls want rings! Holla if you agree (so that i'll get my ring).
Anyway, due to high demand in the house, this is my third "Cinnamon" roll. By now, you should gather that I love my variety, so I made two versions. In simple steps, make dough, make 2 filling, divide dough, roll, spread butter, sprinkle filling. Of course you can skip dividing the dough. However, garlic and bananas might not complement each other. 

01 April 2012

Brownie Layer Cake with Chocolate Pudding and Caramelised Almond Flakes

I wanted a full head-on brownie, the best brownie ever. Dark. Bitter. Heavy. Chocolatey. But more than the usual "slice of brownie".
Interesting fact me #1: 
I often talk to myself, "this goes here, that goes there". Of course, not loudly (that would be crazy). But the hand gestures seem to freak people out. 
Interesting fact me #2: 
I am 96.125% sure if people know what's going through my head, I'll be killed within the amount of time it takes for people to gather around, holding torches, chanting "die! die! die!" (because that's the fun way of killing someone).
You see, folks, I love my "I-can-eat-everything-i-want" days. Usually followed by moments when I was pleased with Mister Scale-o, or after days when I succeeded to lay off the Kettles chips. But also because brownies is Mr's favourite! And the way to a man's heart is through his stomach!
Interesting fact me #3:
Whenever I giggle for more than 10 seconds, i would have a hard time stopping. This could go on for minutes even hours. And it tends to happen when I have something in my mouth. I'm a sprayer!
B-back to the brownie. Since i have the day off to  eat whatever I want, I wanted cake! Of course, nothing new there. But what could go well with those bitter, dense brownies? What could make brownies even more salivating than it already is? Something smooth. Velvety. Sweet. Light. Something that speaks the epitome of comfort.
Interesting fact #4:
I am very afraid of animals. All kinds of them. Even Hamsters.
 Interesting fact #5:
 I appreciate the gesture and effort of a gift more than the gift itself. Doesn't matter if it was a vintage $5 spoon or a $1000 DSLR. 

Puddings! Gooey dark brownies with sweet milky puddings. Love is on the plate. Of course, when there's so much in a bite, I always like to add a little extra topping to set it on the go. Caramelised Almond Flakes!
Interesting fact #6:

Sometimes my body refuses to go back to sleep after 3 am. Occasionally, it needs to bake something.

Interesting fact #7:

I think I'm a closet dancer (gasp!).

Hence, Brownie Layer Cake with Chocolate pudding and Caramelised Almond Flakes was born.
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