Thursday, December 31, 2009

It's Over

Soon enough, xmas is over. 2009 will be over in about 10 hours!

This is the last of my xmas bake for my good friend DK, using allergan-free cupcake recipe from Martha Steward's new book CUPCAKE.

I made a promise to myself that if I buy a book, I must bake at least 5 recipe from the book. In a way, it is meant to break myself from the habit of buying too many book without really using it. It does not help when i am only allocated 3 shelves in the book cases, and it is already overflowed to the bedside table, dining room, living room... Let's see if I do better in 2010.

I also wished that in 2010 I will bake more and buy less. I often get enticed by the ingredient, baking pan or a fondant cutter... and to use it only once. Many accompished bakers have done alot more fantastic stuff with half of what I own, I bet!

I also wish that I will learn to take things easy - the recent being forgetting to take a photo of the Xmas cupcake which I made for Sheen's celebration. I had not success convincing daddy J to go to school to take the photo for me. I brood over it for 2 days... cos I thought they look too good to have missed the photography session. LOL!

How about you? How have your year been, and what's up for the next decade?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Chocolate Moulding Class at Artistiq Sugarpaste

I guess I should have known better that this is a chocolate moulding class when I signed up. For only $60, I should not expect to learn about tempering chocolate - a process where temperature control forces chocolate into one particular crystalline form so that when molded it forms a stable solid with a smooth shiny surface.

But again, if it is simply melt and pouring into the mould, I have already done it with Sheen before.

Since I am already here, I might as well have some fun!

These are included in the course fee - 2 chocolate mold + 1 small pack of colour choc candy:

I made these 2 lollies in the class:

and 2 of the bear lollies. Oops, I broke the ears:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Class at Culinary Adventures

Early this month, I attended a culinary class with my colleagues. It is quite interesting cos it is the first time in my life that i was told NOT to follow the recipe strictly when baking.

For example, the recipe calls for 185ml fresh milk. I only added 50ml, the Irene (the instructor) told me it's enough.

The same go for flour, cocoa powder etc. Everything is added based on "agatation" cos there's no weigh scale for us to check the weight.

How interesting, we add, stir, and whisk with only our instinct. Everything was 跟着感觉走 ! I was so eager to taste the cake once it was out of the oven cos it is the first time I make an "aga" cake. Strange as it can get, the chocolatey cake actually turned out to be yummilicious!

However I do see others flopped. I can see the butter bubbling on the surface of the cake while they are being baked. To me, that's pretty much like frying the cake, then baking!

Whichever the case, I had good fun with J and HI at the class. Thanks Ladies!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Butter Cookie

Time really flies... I can't believe it's already Christmas. I have some really nice cookie cutter that I was waiting to use for the xmas cookie but my energy level is not to the elaborate process of cookie art. So I took the easy way out bu making the spritz cookie.

The recipe comes from Betty Saw's Cookie Galore. But i made some major modification to it. I am too lazy to type it out. If you want the recipe, pls leave a comment and I will get down to it soon.

Instead of the piping bag and tip which Betty uses, I used the Cookie Press thinking that this could be easier to manage.

Mistake. It is just as tricky, if not more. Many times, the dough will not drop from the press. Other times, part of the dough dropped. Even more times I had to scoop the dough back into the press!

Having said, Sheen and I had a fun afternoon doing this. He was always eager to help me put the M&Ms, quinns, or sprinkles over the plain cookies.

For me, I had fun seeing how the pretty cookie take shape as they wiggle thru the metal plate.

haha, I burnt the cookies towards the end... cos I was just too tired to watch the oven closely.

Once I empty the cookie jar, I will certainly be back playing with these plates as the crumbly crunchy cookies are so light and buttery. I can already see myself using this recipe over and over again!

UPDATED 25/12:

Butter Cookie
240g butter, cut into cubes
90g icing sugar
270g Top flour (or Hong Kong Flour or Cake Flour)
2 tsp vanilla essence
Some full cream milk


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  2. Cream butter in mixer till fluffy. Add 2 tbsp of milk & vanilla essence. Mix until well combine.
  3. Sift icing sugar over butter, followed by flour. Mix till combined. Do not overmix.
  4. This is the tricky part: Check the consistency of the dough - it should be soft enough to be piped thru the cookie press. If not, add 1 tbsp more milk until it is soft enough.
  5. Fill the dough into cookie press and use as per the press instruction.
  6. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes till cookies are light golden brown. Allow cookies to cool.

Recipe Notes:

  • This is a very simple recipe which needs the best butter you can get. I use Lurpak.
  • Press and bake immediate.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Marble Black Bamboo Charcoal Bread

What happens when you can't make up your mind whether to use the black charcol powder?

I stared at the powder, and remembered seeing my neighbour drinking the ashes of a talisman. :-)

Anyway, by the time I decided to try it out, the bread is almost done with 1st proof. So I just try to knead in the as much charcoal powder as I could.

Luckily it turned out to be quite ok. More importantly, Sheen loves it!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

High School Musical Cake

This cake is for my lovely niece Gwen In who turned 8 last Saturday.

She loves HSM, and specifically asked for a HSM birthday cake. I gladly obliged. But this will probably be the last time I make a icing image cake unless I can find a more reliable printer. *

Happy Birthday Fortunately, her smile and appreciation made all the efforts worthwhile!

Since Sheen had some free time on Sat morning, we decided to make some choc coated marshmellow for the small party!


My grouse:
For some reason still unknown to me me, the lady whom I ordered the icing image (with pre-payment) decided to do a disappearing act on the day of appointment. I waited for 2 hours at the workshop near her bugis... Thanks to her neighbouring shop who was kind enough to offer me a seat in his comfy shop that I was spared of the oppressive heat.

She is an on-line baker who have just set up her business, and I wanted to order from her to support her enterprising causes. Now I think I am just too gullible: Her charges ain't a cent cheaper than the more established store, and I had to make interbank transfer first.

All these are trivial now. I was left to fumble and scramble to fulfil my niece's birthday wish!!! I joking told a colleague, when push comes to shove I will print out the picture on the A4 paper. Just tear it off before cutting the cake. hahaha :-)

Monday, December 7, 2009

My Rant and Rave

This was a long overdue post.
I have been so busy last few weeks arising from organisational change. I had to call up each and every staff to explain the situation, why and how... and the toughest part, managing their morale and emotions.

This is the first time in my career that I faced a gloom prospect, going thru' the same pain that most other firms are or had.

I am a half-glass-full person, I look at the bright side that the organisation is treating each and everyone with respect, and therefore gracious enough to provide the long notice period, and to provide alternatives to them.

Myself, i am just as drained at the end of each day. I am so stressed out by the time I leave the office. And I wanted to blog about it cos it does wonders for me to; I feel much light and relax. But I can't. I knew some funny poeple from the workplace spies here to fuel their next lunch gossips... you know who you are!

WhatI did: I blogged, then saved it in the draft. Only now when it is less sensitive that then I can click "publish". *tsk*

I made this batch of cookies after reading a post by a talented blogger/baker, Ovenhaven. She gave useful baking tips which really yield the nice crunchy cookies I soooo loved. If you read the angmoh recipe books, 99.95% of the recipes lead you to the chewy cookies. And the whole trouble is that I never like the chewy type. To me, they are like stale cookies. You know, like those left out in the dew for a night...

So I am quite thrill to use her method and got crunchy Sonoma's cookies, finally!

Incidentally, apart from following Ovenhaven's tips, I also double stack the cookie tray in the oven so that the cookies does not burn too fast, giving them more time to crisp up in the oven.

PS: This was intended for post in October but due to the work-related content, I kept it in the draft box until now.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

my new mini bundt tube pan

Got this from Pantry Magic in Holland V. It is quite ex... but at the moment I felt I had to have it.

Well, just say that I have the same weakness like all passionate bakers!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Sheen's new hobby...

...he is into making jelly.

This 1st creation was sent to my sister's place together with the black forest cake. Here's another batch: Lychee Konnyaku Jelly.