Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Bakes Before the Year Ends & Happy 2012!





Two of my Christmas bakes for this year, a classic log and butter short bread that melts in the mouth. Almost left them behind before the year ended. Guess I have been rather think-free for past few weeks since my son's school holiday started. Or may be I am loosing the momentum for blogging? Nevertheless, I am still very much in love with baking. I wish I have another few more weeks to go before I have to ferry my son to classes few times a day, and 5 times a week! All these holidays have allow me to keep on trying out new bakes and I could afford to do trials with any rush!

Tonight everyone will be counting down for the new year. And I am hoping we can join cousins for the fireworks at her working place. Since my son who's a early bed time, wonder can he stay up for the late night..... How is every one's plan for this new year's eve? Cooking up a storm? Talking about that, I have yet to have any idea what's for tonight's dinner.

Here I wish the world, Happy 2012!!!!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Pain Au Levain . 天然酵母の食パ



                                    This bottle is full of 'Live' which gives us the healthy loaves.



Making my very own bread leavening for the first time, following the books that I have, I managed to make a few of them to experience the whole working process from that magical liquid made from just organic raisins and purified water. Although the bread are mostly the European choices. But I managed to use the same leaving dough to make our usual white loaf. However, it didn't turn out to be as soft as the those I often made using dried yeast. But, if we can have the loaf on the same day as it's baked, it doesn't make that much difference if you are going for something that has more flavour and texture. 

The only down side of making these bread, would be the time needed for the whole process. It's took up much much time that I could imagine. Due to our wet and cool weather for the recent weeks, it took longer than what the book instructed. I even threw away one of the dough that was over proved, as I thought the proving hours could take longer than it should be. So, there are actually a lot of attention paid to just make a simple loaf. Hubby wonder is it worth the time and effort..... I am supposed, after a few more rounds of trial and practice, I should get better and better( I hope).  I will soon share the recipe and making of the starter dough when I finish up the current batch. Hope many of you would give it a try, if you are crazy enough like me!! 

Ingredients:
 Bread floour   300g
Salt  7g
Sugar  9g

Fermented dough / starter dough  21g
Bread flour / wholemeal flour  42g
Water  42g

Malt syrup/ honey  1g
Water  177g
Butter   9g


Method:

1. Have all ingredients mix together. Knead till the dough is springy and smooth on the surface. 

2. Cover the dough with cling film in a bowl. Let the dough rise for 2 hours at the temperature of 35'C. 

3. Press out the air in the dough, and have a second rising for 60 minutes. 

4. Again, press out the air in the dough, and divide them into two equal portions, shape the dough and place them in a bread tin and let it have the last proofing. This should take about 90-180 minutes till the dough reach as high as the bread tin. Spray some water on the dough before baking in pre heated oven  200'c for 35-40 minutes. 



Monday, December 26, 2011

Haiji Snowmen

With the well liked Haiji bun recipe, I turned them into the adorable snowmen to go with the season of Christmas. Shaping bread dough is one of the most interesting thing I like to do whenever time allows .
Have fun!!

















Have some cute little animals to join the festive season.




Busy busy weeks had passed, all the shopping, parties,course, and now getting ready for the next big thing which is the coming CNY. I am left with the next few days to really relax, do what I want and rest before the daily routine starts again. Hopefully these few days I could try out as many new bakes as possible before schooling days starts again. These days, besides buying books through the net, I seldom go to my favourite book shop Kinokuniya unless they have the 20% discount and of course to get those books I couldn't get from the net. Last week, me and cousin went on a book shopping spree. Got few books on homemade yeast from scratch which I have tested out couple of them. Lately, I notice I have a little problem when taking normal bread made with dried baker's yeast. I get that bloated and upset tummy if I take too much of certain amount in a week. And I started to find out more...  Learnt that, eating natural fermentation bread can be so healthy and benefits us so much. that my problem with bread can be elevated by switching to natural yeast. However, I do know such bread would not quite easily yield something as soft as the normal dried instant yeast does. So, I am now on some trials and hopefully I can come out with some 'Miracles'. Of course, whenever I get to go town, I would not fail to grab my favourite English White loaf from the particular bakery I frequent, as it's made of natural yeast. Some friends asked me how do I know they are truly using natural fermentation... and I said, '' because my tummy would never ' complain' even I had it for the whole week of the seven days!''

It's coming to the end of the year of 2011. Time seems to pass so fast as we grow. Remember couple of weeks back, when me and hubby were at our regular wet market buying breakfast, we had a short chat with the lady selling carrot cakes. She mentioned something which made me feel better, as I felt each year passes too quickly ( which means we all grow older quicker!!) hahah... She said:'' If you think your years passing too fast, that means you are happy in life! So I think it's good that you feel time passes fast." and she gave me a very kind and that motherly smile on her face, which I still have it vividly on my mind. It's so true that, to keep a happy and healthy mind is so important  in our lives. Well, I am still in the learning journey of being positive and keeping a simple and happy life, which would actually bring me more good than anything else. And I know this is what I should bring to my son. These days when I met friends or people I know, who have that negative mind set had made me handicap when comes to communicating with them. I am no master of preaching neither am I good enough to make them see the same ways as I do. But I really really wish, people around me would understand and know more about the 'Good brings goods, and Bad brings bads'. Has anyone started reading 'The law of attraction' yet? Or has anyone started to know about how important is that to be good to ourselves first before we could love our next kin? Sounded so simple but yet don't really know how to hey?? There were even people commented that all these sounded very selfish!!! But, just think of this, if we don't love and treat ourselves good and keep a happy soul, how much love can we share and give to the people we love most? When a person is not happy, living in long term stress, frustrations, blaming of others, and all kinds of negative thoughts in her/ him, how well can that person be and how much right energy and love can that person give to their loved ones? Ask ourselves that. I am supposed, learning to love ourselves is not a difficult task in any way. Instead, carrying some kind of hatreds , and living in the past could only bring us more suffering and pain. Let go the baggage and lead a life that you wish which is within our means and there we will see things around us change as we change for better. A simple logic would be, if we don't have a healthy and able body, how could we give the best to our children?! Hence, I hope our new year resolution would be " Love ourselves MORE'' !  :) What's wrong with that?!!!!! Wish everyone out there, A Happy New Year and brings you a greater lives! Cheers cheers.......!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

X'mas Cup Cakes


Merry Christmas to all!! 









Each cup cakes seems like a present on it's own........



Enjoy the making of each cup cake deco with fondant, can be quite therapeutic to me. Seeing the final results was even more rewarding. Using the chocolate cake recipe for the cup cakes and with some amount of fondant for the decorations. What a great gift!

Joining this month's Aspiring Bakers #14 Creative Christmas Bake host by Hankerie. Wish everyone Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Pororo















My twins nephews requested for these Pororo Cakes , for their 8th birthday this year. The snowy effect does match the season of Christmas. How great if we could have snow in Singpore too. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Scorching Butter Chiffon







It's been a rather busy weeks for me, finally get the time to post something that's been sitting behind for more than two weeks. Another great chiffon cake by 福田淳子. The simple taste of this cake is similar to a vanilla chiffon but this one with a hint of nutty and burnt taste in it as the butter used in the recipe was being boiled till it turned brown, therefore the tint of burnt taste is in this cake. As usual, all her recipes churn out great chiffon cakes! 



Ingredients: (17cm chiffon tin)

Butter   50g
Yolk   3
Caster sugar    70g
Water  50ml
Top flour   65g
Almond powder  30g
Baking Powder  1/2 tsp
Egg white   5


Method:

1. Boil butter in a thick sauce pan till it turns brown .

2. Mix yolks, 1/3 of the sugar in a bowl and stir till well combined. Pour in cool butter and mix well. Sift in all flours and mix well. 

3. Whisk all egg whites will foamy, and slowly add in the rest of the sugar. Whisk till stiff and mix 1/3 of the white to yolk batter and mix well.

4. Fold in the rest of the white using plastic spatula. Pour in the tin and bake in pre heated 180'c for 30 minutes. Invert the cake tin after it's baked, and let the cake cool completely.  



Saturday, November 5, 2011

Marron Pan . Chestnut paste Bun






Have been keeping this bread recipe in my to-do list for the longest time, despite I have 2 cans of marron puree( chestnut puree) in my pantry. As the recipe showing the picture of the chestnut spread ( in the picture above) is different from those cans that I have. Therefore, I wasn't too sure if they taste the same. The chestnut puree can was meant to make Mont Blanc actually.

Last week, while I was doing some shopping at Meidi-ya, I was thrill to see the chestnut spread mentioned in the book is now on the shelf. And the price is pretty reasonable! Without much thinking, I grabbed one jar and that's when I know my to-do list will have one item less. Following the sweet bread dough recipe in the book, together filled with this chestnut spread, and further top with a zigzag Marron cream. The chestnut spread not quite giving the bun a very distinctive flavor of chestnut, but it has that mild nutty and rather sweet taste. Somehow, I don't know why, I decided to open one of the cans of the Marron puree to see if they are the same or taste the same. The result is.... they are the same in taste, the only difference is the texture. The jar bought from Meidi-ya has a smoother cream compared to the can puree.  

Using the same bread recipe as Chikuwa Bun, and just spread over some Marron spread then roll up like a Butter Roll. Before baking , squeeze on some chestnut spread as well as a sprinkle of almond flakes ( I used almond powder) on the bread. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Earl Grey Tea Pound Cake
















A small gift as a appreciation to a friend ; Jas, who always bring me teas from London whenever she flies there.  Jas happen to be a tea cake lover as well as her mom, a lady who I respect a lot. A great mom she is!






I must thank 鲸鱼蓝蓝for sharing this great recipe. My very first tea flavoured pound cake, and it's the perfect one I must say. The sweetness and the moist crumb are to our liking, together with the very mild Earl Grey flavour which actually balance out the rich texture and taste. 

The day I decided to give this cake a try, was the day my friend was coming back from London, and she brought me my teas. We have been friends for more than a decade, she'd been a cake lover for the longest time. It's a pity that we live far apart from each other ( though Singapore is not really that big country), or else she'd be my first and all time guinea pig! ho ho..... hope she doesn't read this!! 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Black Forest Cake



                                 A special request by a lovely lady for her darling hubby's birthday.


                         Wish it's cherry season now, so I could use fresh cherries for decorations...

Friday, October 28, 2011

Anpanman Buns











                                                                    Say RED BEAN!!!!



The 'Goodies'in the monthly magazine pack really hard to resist, and it's really fun to have them when the kids could fix up the interesting paper toys! Through all these fun goodies, my boy learn through play. What a fun! Indeed the ideas of the goodies packed with the magazine really drive the kids to learn without them knowing. How smart!!!



















Very cute little buns that would win most children's hearts. Though it's a Japanese red bean bun, but my boy didn't quite like the red bean paste in the bun. ( of course he was attracted by the cute looking Anpanman face) And he 'Ordered' another round of Anpanman that's with cheese filled in it instead of red bean. So I guess we got to call it Cheeseman pan!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Putu Ayu





Here I am joining this month's Aspiring Bakers#12 Traditional Kuih (Oct 2011) hosted by Small Small Baker.

The sweet fragrance of Pandan and coconut milk infused in a soft and light steam sponge top with fresh coconut rind. I am not quite a kuih maker, as I always find it's very challenging to achieve a good results. There are so many kuihs in my mind I'd like to try making and yet I put them on hold, till don't know one day I have right energy to go ahead! To me making kuih is some much depend on mood. I got this recipe from a book that teaches all about kuihs. I had a first trial before I managed to make this right, as I was going through the recipe, I did realize the ratio is not quite 'Workable', however, being first time making it, I followed through. And......, it didn't turn out well! So I gave it another try by adjusted the recipe hoping it'd work better. 

Original recipe as below, if anyone of you manage to make it right, please do let me know!!

Ingredients:

3 Eggs
300g Sugar  ( I used 240g)
300g  Plain flour (I used 260g)
300ml Coconut milk ( 160g)
100ml  Pandan leaf juice 
150g coconut rind
1 tbsp  Tapioca flour
Dash of salt


Method:

1.Beat eggs and sugar till creamy and fluffy. In order, add plain flour, coconut milk, and pandan juice. Mix well.

2. Mix coconut rind, tapioca flour and salt together. Place into the base of mold and compress tight. Pour the batter in till full. Place onto steaming tray.

3. Bring water in the steamer ti boil. Place the molds in and steam for 15 minutes. Cool the kuih on wire rack.

Thomas and Friends for Dennis's Birthday




These days I have ran out of idea of buying birthday presents for the children. I thought making my own cakes would be more meaningful and unique ( I think), as there would unlikely a repetition of presents in the party. Of course, I had fun while making them!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Home Made Ten Don



   Our favourite one dish meal - Ten Don. Of course the preparation was hot, messy, oily.... but I think making it at home worth the effort and we could enjoy to the fullest when we could  have more than 2 shrimps, 2 slices of sweet pumpkin..... and for me, the most important part of this dish is the SAUCE. Why?? because I have yet to convince myself to accept using the dipping sauce as the Ten Don bowl gravy. Ten Don sauce suppose to be thick and little sweet, which it needs a long time boiling to reach the right taste and consistency. So far the only place I have had it, is at the cake shop/ cafe - Tampopo at the basement of Liang court. Where they sell the Ten Don in take away boxes. As for me, I have not reach the level of cooking my own Ten Don sauce, even though I have the recipe. But the good news is, we can buy this sauce off the shelf!!! Where?? It's available at Meidi-ya supermarket. I must tell you, I was thrilled to see the sauce selling in  bottle form and it's so convenient! Best of all, I it's available in Singapore!!!! The taste is great, and love the thick consistency. Now I have more reasons to cook Ten Don at home without paying so much to enjoy more shrimps in each bowl of our Ten Don!

After so much about the sauce, I will definitely to share the picture, since it is sooo good!!


                             For those who are ready to try this out, happy cooking and happy eating!!!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Let's Roar On Children's day!!















A long over due post.... these little cup cakes were made for the children in my son's school couple of weeks ago. Something very very simple and no mess at all, yet the little dinos were colourfull enough to cheer the little ones! Let's roar children!!!!!!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Chikuwa Pan
























A kind of Japanese bun I had never tried before, till I baked them myself. Chikuwa = Japanese grilled fish cake. One of my favorite fishcakes, which I usually cook it with udon soup. A little sweetness in the fishcakes stuffed with tuna onion mayo, is so very Japanese, though it may not be the traditional way. I find it quite addictive as both the combination are my favorites!

This can be a full meal as a quick lunch, all I need is just a bowl of green salad with sesame dressing!








Stuffed Chikuwa:

Half a can of Tuna flakes.
3 tbsp of Japanese Mayonise
Small amount of chopped onion
7 Sticks of Chikuwa





Ingredients for Bun:

Bread Flour   250g
Milk  80g
Water  80ml
Sugar  25g
Salt   3g
Egg yolk   1
Instant Dried Yeast  3g
Butter   25g


Method:

1. Mix all ingredients to form a sticky dough, and continue to knead by hands till smooth and springy. Cover the dough and let it rise for an hour.

2. Press the dough to let out the air, and give a few gentle kneads and divide the dough into 7 portions, let the dough rest for about 20 minutes.

3. Wrap in the stuffed Chikuwa and let them rest on baking tray for another 45 minutes. Bake in pre heated oven for 11-12 minutes at 190'c.

3.

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