Monday, August 31, 2009

Happy Teachers' Day

Made this last night... started after Sheen hit the sack @9pm, and didn't finish until 3.30am. I know I am a slow baker... and really need to have a plan in place to do things faster and better

The base is chocolate cupcake (I will post the recipe later), with ganache. All the decorations are made with sugar paste (fondant)... I had fun playing with all my fondant cutter etc.


Updated 6 Sep with recipe and fondant tools:

this is part of the serrated round cookie cutter set:

New fondant press to create leaves and flowers:

this is used to neaten the fondant edge:

Flower plunger:

edible dust which I used to create the shimmering hearts:

The fondant roller and wheel - the roller is very useful cos it has the band on both sides to make help me roll out the fondant to even thickness Rose leaf cutter:

Roller to create the spiral imprint:

Chocolate Cupcake
Recipe source : Joy of Baking
Makes about 16 cupcakes

1/2 cup (50 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 cup (240 ml) boiling hot water
1 1/3 cups (175 grams) all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar - I used 150g
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C – I used 175C). Lightly butter, or line 16 muffin cups with paper liners.
2. In a small bowl stir until smooth the boiling hot water and the cocoa powder. Let cool to room temperature.
3. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
4. Then in the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat only until incorporated. Then add the cooled cocoa mixture and stir until smooth.
5. Fill each muffin cup two-thirds full with batter and bake for about 16-20 minutes or until risen, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

Baker’s Notes:
I subscribed to Joy of Baking and received notification on all the new recipes. The first time I saw this recipe I was not about to use it for only 1 reason - it requires an additional step to mix cocoa with boiling water. And this cocoa mixture is only added to the batter in the final step - quite unconventional from the way I usually make cupcake.

Anyway a popular local blogger used this recipe and recommended it. So there I went... On hind sight, I could be better off with my vegan chocolate cupcake recipe!

Personally I find it difficult to make the mixture smooth in step 4. I stopped when it was 90% smooth (means still have few small lumps). Those lumps turned up as white spots amidst the dark cupcake.

Also I do not find the cake as moist, and soft as I expected. But it could be me. If you feel otherwise, pls leave a comment for me.

Chocolate Ganache
200 grams unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
200 grams whipping cream

1. boil the whipping cream until almost bubbling.
2. Pour over the chopped chocolate, stir until smooth.
3. let cool to room temperature.
4. In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the mixture until smooth and creamy (~1 minute).

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Goldilocks Polvoron

It is a filippino specialty - a cross between the shortbread and sugee cookie. And very very sweet. Not a surprise cos we know filippino has sweet tooth. But it is sooo great, my sensitive tooth withheld the ache so that I can savour the Polvoron in pleasure!

Apart from the sweetness, it is also high in Fat (41.5%) and Carbs (46.2%). I wanted my mum to try this but of not the one from goldlilocks cos the sugar level will kill her (no thanks to diabetes). Found the recipe now... just need to go out to get the sugar replacement.
Recipe from here

1 cup plain flour
1 1/2 cup full cream powder milk (like Nido)
1/2 cup sugar ( preferable very fine sugar)
1 cup melted butter or half marg. half butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup roasted pinipig (an immature glutinous rice - read more about pinipig here )


  1. Roast the flour in a wok (slow heat to avoid burning) Roast flour until it is slightly brown. Take it off the heat

  2. Mix milk, sugar, pinipig, salt and melted butter with the flour. Bind them together.

  3. Try your molder : Mold one and if it is still too loose, add more butter to it. make sure that you could pick up the polvoron without it crumbling straight away

  4. Wrap them with papel de hapon.


If you visit Philippines, you can easily get it from the mall. The local told me Goldilocks is the best brand. Since I had no time to go shopping, I buy these from the airport, presumably at a premium :-(

Beary Happy Family

This is the cookie cutter I used:

Btw, I like to share this ecological idea - use the clean shower cap to replace your glad cling wrap. It is a more sustainable approach to the environment, you can use them over and over again!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

My ABin5 which didn't quite make the cut...

I am using exacting the same instant bread recipe which I successfully got it right several times. But not this time, which you can already see.

The only thing I did differently was that this dough sat in the fridge for about 10days before it was baked. But this shouldn't be the cause of failure cos the recipe clearly says that it can be kept upto 14days.

So, my fellow friends who ranted endlessly about the bread failure... now you know you are not the only one!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Chocolate Bundt Cake

I realised some strange phemonenom; when you served cupcakes and bundt cake side by side, cupcakes are usually the one to go.

is it the individualism that cupcake can offer?
Or is it the human nature to keep things intact?

I don't know.

But I will make a bundt cake when I'm hit by the guilt for creating a small heap of waste from the cupcake cases.


Recipe is from here.
Instead of using corn oil, I used butter. This makes the cake taste buttery rich.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Tuna Bun

This is basically the same trusty sweet-sandwich bread recipe which have served me well over the past year!

I used this reliable recipe to try out the fresh yeast that I have bought. Also I am trying to make it eggless. Finally I add a little more wholemeal flour to make it look better on the nutritional chart.

As for the filling, I drained the tuna, then add some chopped onions. Simple does it!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Do you call this a World Peace Cookie?

I picked up a pack of butterscotch chips from Cold Storage at my weekly groceries trip... partly becos I never eaten a butterscotch before. Eager to bake a batch of cookies with the new "sweets", I went google...

After all the research and reviewing, I decided to stick to my same old World Peace Cookie . I certainly do not have a love-at-first-sight affair with WPC, but over time, as I repeatedly baked for people who requested for it, I slowly fell for this morsel.

I replaced the chocolate chip with butterscotch chips, and after so many round of hopeless attempts to get the nicely sliced cookies, I shaped them free hand instead. I used a 10ml measuring spoon to measure out the dough so that the cookies can be even sized.
The cookies is great - very chocolately as always, and the butterscotch is sweet and soft... I do not have sweet tooth but do enjoy this combination. Only that I will reduce the sugar if going to use butterscotch next time.

And now I wonder... after all these substitutions and changes, do you still call them World Peace Cookies?

Monday, August 3, 2009

65°C TangZhong Cinnamon Roll

Strangely... almost every respectable blog is having a cinnamon bun recently or am I seeing mirages due to my overaching wants?

I was reluctant to make this as J does not like cinnamon... and I usually end up gorging myself the whole lot which ain't too good for the growing waist line! Also, the last round of shaping gave me some grief!

But it's only so long I can resist. Last weekend, I put on my apron and slogged to feed my appetite.

I used the tangzhong bun recipe as a base - double the sugar content to 50g. The speckles on the bun surface is wholemeal flour. I replaced some bread flour with wholemeal flour to increase the fibre content. My last attempt to lie to myself that it is good for me!!!

Of course, it can't be health food... but it feeds my soul. I was a happy soul as the heady cinnamon aroma engulfed my kitchen. To add to the sin, I drizzled the bun with some icing which makes this an absolutely fabulously sweet treat. This is a treat that I deserved nothing more than once in a blue moon!

The bread is the same soft and moist - typical of tangzhong bread. But I do realised that this bread benefit some from light dusting of flour (rather than grease) when shaping. Is this the same experience you have?


65°C TangZhong Cinnamon Bun

Recipe for the tangzhong and main dough is here. I doubled the sugar quantity.
Or use any of your sweet bread recipe or this from Art of Eating.

As for the cinnamon filling, instead of mixing my own, I took the easy way by using the cinnamon sugar. I got this from Cold Storage, from the section where they carry these bottled berbs and spices.

Shaping: Leave a 1 cm border at the end of the dough. Do not add butter or filling to the border; or it will not seal properly.

After spreading the cinnamon sugar/mixture, roll up like swiss roll. Pinch to seal. It looks patchy now, but it will iron out nicely after proofing. Cut into 1 inch thick pieces, and place onto the pan. I placed them close to each other (1 inch apart) so that I get bread with soft sides.

When out of the oven, unmould immediately and drizzle icing over the bread.

PS: Notice that the 2 trays like slightly differently? I made them on both sat and sundays! Talk about indulgence!!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

If Mango is the food of love...

I baked this mango mousse cake for my sista' family who will be visiting on a Sunday.
I made the sponge using Baking King optima flour... heehee, this is basically a cake mix but it is so handy!

The sponge cake is : here and the mousse recipe here - just replace strawberry with mango.

Ha, need to learn to slice the cake more evenly!

The cake is really good - a very reliable and simple recipe. BTW, I was told that the bakery also use similar sponge premix in their cake so there's I do not feel guilty about taking short cuts!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Pizza Hut Delivery for Dinner?

No thanks, I have it piping hot from my tiny kitchen! :-)

Pizza is one of the highest value added item - consider that for a bread base, you are paying almost $20 at Pizza Hut.

The day we dined at Pizza Hut, Sheen literally removed all the toppings - the tomato chunks, chicken, ham, capscium... eating only the bread base and cheese. That's when I decided to try my hands on the cheese pizza.

Just use any bread recipe that you like. After proofing, shape into a round and put whatever toppings you like ( i use only the pasta sauce + morzarella cheese). Bake and enjoy!

Just like bread, it is unbeatable when just out of the oven! Yummy!

1 New Toy and 1 New Discovery of myself

Ya, I've finally got a new toy... A "surprise" from J. Some will think that this is a very unromantic gift but I have absolutely no complaints!

I have been swinging my mind between Kitchenaid and Kenwood in the last 2 weeks. If I may add to the dilemma, I love the clean lines of Kmix too!

The more I think, the more blur I get. The more clarify I try to seek, the more confused I get. In the end, I resort to putting it down in writing, comparing side by side what i want vs. what they offer. (J says this is a typical analyst's approach!)

after rounds of ticking and cross out on my little excel table, I decided I should forgo the sexy KAid for the fuddy-duddy Kenwood. The one I got cost a little more but supposedly functionally better. My sister-in-law has been using hers in the last 16 years. She uses her machine regularly since she sells her bakes, mind you.

In this exercise, I finally come to realise that I am a down-to-earth boring mummy after all. It brought me years back when my Presea was due for scrape, and I was ding-donging between a lemony beetle and RAV4. Beetle was hot then... and I thought it would enhance my hippy image for my friends to envy... while RAV4 is the sporty SUV that is a lifestyle car for the young (and rich).

1 month later, I signed on the dotted line for a uncle-ly Camry. No hippy image, no lifestyle car. I got a car which my parents can comfortable get into the back seat without breaking their back or the help of a ladder.

As for my dreams???

I left them in the dreams.

That's where they should be.