Winner for the "Cuisinart Classic Waffle Maker"!

Thank you everyone for taking part in this giveaway!

I have excluded those non-Canada & US residents from this selection. From the random number generated from Random.org, the winner for this giveaway is Jolene!


Congratulations to Jolene!

Jolene, please send your home address to my email (aloyallyanders@gmail.com) so that I can forward it to CSN store for your new gadget!  Enjoy your waffles...

Made of friendship, love and food

Dear Grace,

Thank you for hosting me at your place again. You asked if it was too far for me. My answer is, even though I had to take a bus, followed by Circle line, NS line, then LRT to your place, it's all worth the journey, knowing that I'll be treated well, fed well, and will be having a great time with you. Love Friendship conquers all.

The wholemeal pancakes with homemade peanut butter and blackcurrant jam for breakfast was just fantastic. Your homemade kaya was also truly good! I've learnt more about your secrets of photography. Thanks for sharing it so openly and willingly with me.


Since our friendship started a year ago, we've been the best of baking friends. I've always been a great fan of your beautiful bakes and blog.

For lunch, you made for us Rosemary Chicken Drumsticks, Onion Rings and Bruschetta. It was simply overwhelming! The drumsticks were juicy and tender. The onion rings were so crispy that even when dipped in mustard mayo, the crispiness can be felt through the teeth! The fresh tomatoes and herbs on the toasted homemade Ciabatta made me want to have more! With such sumptuous lunch, how can I still have my dessert?


Your Cream Cheese Dark Chocolate Mousse is something I would die for! The cream cheese is not overpowering, the chocolate mousse is so light it just melt in the mouth. You said I don't have to to finish it, how could I let such divine food go to waste? Especially when it was made with tender loving care?


We spent the lazy afternoon going through recipes. You have so generously shared your favourite recipes with me, teaching me how to make them and making me understand them. I'm ever so grateful to you.

Unfortunately, time don't stand still for us. Even though we spent the whole day together, the day just seemed so short! You still managed to feed me with your Raspberry Swirl, and Chocolate Mint ice creams before I left. I simply love the mint ice cream!


You not even fed me to the maximum, you've also given me your bakes to bring home!! No words can describe how happy I am to have know you. Your Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake, Lemon Pound Cake, Almond Tuiles and Homemade Kaya will be shared with my beloved family. The cake container shall be treasured and used by me often.


Finally, I hope you like my little gifts to you. You have been a great friend, a wonderful buddy and a fantastic chef! Take care my dear friend. Hope to see you real soon!

I hope your wish will be fulfilled soon.

Love,
Jane

Feather Swiss Rolls

Lately, I've been referring a lot to the recipes from "Baking Code" by Alex Goh. I found that his recipes are easy to understand, rather easy to make and it's very much our Sin-Malaysian style!  Here's one swiss rolls which I made from his book. However, I made a couple of changes to it.


Recipe for Feather Swiss Rolls.
Ingredients:
A
5 Eggs
120g Sugar

B
130g Plain flour
1 tsp Vanilla extract

C
100g Corn oil

D
1 tsp Chocolate paste

Method:
1. Whip A until light and fluffy. Fold in B, mix until well blended.
2. Add in C, mix until well incorporated.
3. Take out a tablespoon of the batter. Add in the chocolate paste and mix well.
4. Pour the original batter into a lined 13" x 11" cake sheet pan.
5. Place the chocolate batter into a piping bag. Pipe lines on top of the batter. Then use a skewer to make patterns on batter.
6. Bake at 190C in the middle shelve of the oven for 20mins.
7. Remove it immediately from the mould when baked.
8. Allow to cool.

Frosting:
50g Chocolate Ganache
20g Dessicated coconut

Assembly:
1. Roll out the cake sheet with the feather pattern face down.
2. Spread chocolate ganache on the cake.
3. Sprinkle dessicated coconut evenly.
4. Roll it up tightly.

Walnut & Flaxseeds Wholemeal Rolls

I've been quite slow in updating my blog lately. Partly was because I got put off by having to type in the recipe, and partly because I was venturing and reading new recipes. However, no matter how long I put it off, I knew I just have to update them one day. Therefore, this a delayed post.

I made Walnut & Flaxseeds Wholemeal Rolls last weekend. I added the flaxseeds myself as it was not in the original recipe. This recipe was extracted from "Baking Code" by Alex Goh.


Recipe for Walnut & Flaxseeds Wholemeal Rolls.

Overnight Sponge Dough
(makes approx. 155g dough)
Ingredients:
100g Bread flour
60g Water (room temperature)
1/4 tsp Instant yeast

Method:
1. Mix the instant yeast with 20g of water until well-blended.
2. Add in the remaining ingredients and knead to form a dough.
3. Let it proof for 30mins.
4. Wrap in cling film and keep in the refrigerator overnight.

Main Dough
Ingredients:
A:
200g Bread flour
100g Wholemeal flour
15g Brown sugar
3g Salt
5g Instant yeast

B:
60g Overnight sponge dough
1 tsp Molasses
190g Cold water

C:
20g Butter

D:
70g Walnut, chopped
10g Flaxseeds

Method:
1. Mix A until well-blended. Add in B, knead to form a dough.
2. Add in C, knead to form a smooth and elastic dough. Add in D, mix until well-combined.
3. Cover it with cling film, allow it to proof for 60mins in a warm place.
4. Divide the dough into 60g each and mould it round. Allow it to rest for 10mins.
5. Flatten the dough and shape it into oblong shape. Place it onto a greased pan (or put them into a bundt pan like what I did), allow it to proof for another 60mins.
6. Bake at 200C for 12 mins.

For me, in order to finish up my overnight sponge dough, I made 2.5x of the original recipe. The rolls remained soft even after three days. With the overnight sponge dough, it really retains the softness of the bread even after three days!

Time for a Giveaway!!

It's time for a giveaway exclusively for Canadian and US residents. Fancy having your speakers mounted on the beautiful speaker stands from Racks and Stands?  This is made possible, thanks to CSN Stores for hosting this great giveaway!

This is what you stand to win ... A Cuisinart Round Classic Waffle Maker!
 
Bake delicious waffles fast with this gleaming stainless steel Cuisinart Classic Waffle Maker.

Features:
• Bakes one large traditional-style waffle
• Five-setting browning control
• Regulating thermostat
• Red and green "ready to bake/ready to eat" indicator lights
• Nonstick baking plates
• Brushed stainless steel housing

How to win yourself this fantastic classic waffle maker?
Leave a comment on your favorite kitchen appliance or gadget. Please include your name and your email address.

The giveaway will be open for ONE WEEK. The closing date will be 28 April 2010. The best comment will be picked as the winner. Once the winner has been picked, your name and email address will be sent to CSN Stores for them to follow up with the shipment.

Start putting your comments now, good luck!

No Yolks No Butter

Ever since I started baking, I've seldom come across recipes without eggs and butter. Oh, I know there are, but it's either without eggs or without butter, but not without both. Even there is, I guess I've not tried them before.

However, when I got my hands on this book-Dessert's Temptation, I can't help but to try out one of the recipe the moment I got home! This recipe uses no butter and egg yolks. In fact, it was really healthy, using olive oil and egg whites only! Even the quantity of sugar used was extremely low! How would one not like it?

Having said so, the challenge was folding the thick flour mixture into the fragile meringue. I did have a hard time folding it, even though I did it with some tender loving care. But still, I thought the cake didn't rise very much though.


I was quite surprised that it turned out to be pretty soft & light. Light as in the cake was really light. But because of my heavy dates and raisins and the rest, the cake was heavy in its weight! My “very health conscious” colleague said it was very nice, while the rest of them also commented it good! However, my hubby didn't like it! He said it tasted weird! Then it occurred to me that he doesn't like healthy food! *sshh* Don't tell him I said so!


Recipe for Nutri Cake, modified from “Dessert's Temptation – Wendy's Delights”

Ingredients
(A)
40g Olive oil
60g Whole milk
(B)
100g Cake flour, sifted
1 Egg white
(C)
5 Egg whites
50g Fine sugar
(D)
8 Iran Dates, chopped finely
1 ½ tbsp Flaxseeds
1 ½ tbsp Rye oats (or rolled oats)
15g Raisins
20g Walnuts, chopped

Method:
(1) Heat olive oil and milk together up to 50°C.
(2) Remove from heat.
(3) Fold in (B).
(4) Put in (D) and mix well.
(5) In a separate bowl, beat egg whites and sugar until soft peaks form.
(6) Take some egg whites and fold gently into the flour mixture.
(7) Then add the flour mixture back to the egg whites bowl and stir gently.
(8) Pour into a 7” cake pan lined with baking paper.
(9) Bake at 180°C and bake for 30mins or until done.
(10) Cool completely before serving.

Water Chestnut Kueh

After I have attended the Tim Sum workshop, I was tempted to try the Water Chestnut Kueh because it was assumed to be the easiest amongst the three recipes!

It's always good to attend workshops with friends. Why? Because when your friend tried the recipe before you, you can always relied on their experience to help you.  This was very much so for my water chestnut kueh. My friend, Sharon, tried the recipe almost immediately after the workshop. And so, she shared her experience with us. Like what size of pan is needed, how much sugar, how much water chestnut etc etc. She made so often she updated me each time on this recipe. Thanks for sharing your tips, Sharon.


Unfortunately, I think I didn't do it as well as hers. It seemed that my water chestnut was not enough to fill up the kueh. I gave some to my colleagues and they liked it. As for me, I've not tried it yet. I'll try to pan-fried it as it was supposed to taste better this way!

Banana Walnut Cake


With abundant bananas on hand, and some left over toasted walnuts from my Walnut Pie, I decided to bake a banana walnut cake. As the amount of banana was quite a lot, the cake has a full banana taste! It was really tasty and sweet! My colleagues love the banana cake and could tell immediately from its smell and look that it's banana!


Recipe for Banana Walnut Cake, extracted from "Baking Code" by Alex Goh.

Ingredients
A:
2 Eggs
170g Sugar

B:
250g Banana, mash
1/2tsp Salt

C:
90g Whole milk

D:
250g Plain flour
2tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Baking soda

E:
150g Corn oil

F:
50g Chopped Walnuts (add more if you like)

Method:

1. Whip A until light and fluffy.
2. Add B into A and whip until thick.
3. Add in C, mix until well blended.
4. Add in D, mix until well combined.
5. Add in E, mix until well incorporated.
6. Add in F, mix thoroughly.
7. Pour into a 7'x7" pan, and sprinkle chopped walnuts on top.
8. Bake at 180C for 50minutes.
9. Cool completely before serving.

Chocolate Praline Tart

I'm sure many of you would like to try the Chocolate Praline Tart mentioned in my previous post. In order not to make the previous post too lengthy, I've separately re-created the recipe for the tart here. Extracted from "The Pie and Pastry Bible" by Rose Levy Berandaum.


Recipe for Chocolate Praline Tart

Sweet Nut Cookie Tart Crust
Makes a 10 x 1-inch tart

Ingredients:
57g Walnuts
45g Fine sugar
113g Unsalted butter, cold & cut into cubes
142g Plain flour
1/8tsp Salt
1 large Egg yolk
28g Whipping cream

Method:
1. In food processor, pulse the nuts and sugar until the nuts are finely ground.
2. Add the butter and pulse about 15 times or until no loose particicels of nut/sugar mixture remain.
3. Add the flour and salt and pulse again about 15 times or until the butter is no larger than small peas.
4. In a small bowl, stir together the yolk and cream.
5. Add it to the mixture and pulse just until incorporated, about 8 times.
6. Dump the mixture into a plastic bag, and press it together.
7. Remove the dough from the plastic bag and knead it lightly until it holds together.
8. Flatten into a 6-inch disc, wrap the dough well.
9. Refrigerate for at least 30mins or until firm.

Pre-bake the crust:
1. Roll the dough between lightly floured sheets of plastic wrap.
2. Remove the top plastic wrap and place your overturned tart pan on it.
3. Turn the plastic over and let the dough sit onto the tart pan.
4. Remove the plastic cover and press the dough gently and nicely on the tart pan.
5. Cover it with plastic again and freeze for a minimum of 15mins before baking.
6. Preheat oven to 190C.
7. Bake for about 10mins, or until the dough turns a pale gold, feels set but still soft to the touch.
8. Leave the crust in the tart pan and let it cool.

Chocolate Pralline Filling

Ingredients:
114g Valrhona Guanaja Feves (or any bittersweet chocolates)
57g Unsalted butter, softened
39g Almond praline
3 large Eggs

Method:
1. In a large bowl set over a pan of hot water, combine the chocolate, butter and praline and let them stand.
2. Stirring occasionally until smooth and melted. Set aside.
3. In a large mixer bowl, set over the same pan of simmering water, beat the eggs until they are hot to the touch, about 5mins.
4. Remove the bowl from the heat and beat until cool.
5. Using a wire whisk or rubber spatula, fold half the eggs into the chocolate mixture until almost incorporated.
6. Fold in the remaining eggs until just blended and no streaks remain.
7. Fill the pastry crust with the chocolate fillings.
8. Bake the tart for about 10-15mins at 180C, until the fillings looked set. Do not overbake.
9. Remove the tart from the oven and let it cool for at least 30 mins.
10. Serve warm or at room temperature.
11. Suggested serving: garnish each serving with a dope of whipped cream and mint leaf, then enjoy!

Back to Baking

Gee, I can't believe I've not been baking for two weeks! The past weekends were busy going out or doing some other non-baking-related things. So on Saturday, I decided to invite my parents and my sisters with their families, over for dinner. It will give me an excuse to do some baking, otherwise, I'm going to lose touch with my appliances and ingredients soon!

The morning started with me steaming a Radish Cake from Florence's website. Doris had previously recommended this Radish Cake to me and I hadn't had the chance to try it. I took the opportunity to do it early in the morning on Saturday. It wasn't too difficult. I didn't use as much radish as in the recipe. I only used about 650g of radish. I followed the rest of the ingredients from the recipe.


Then I proceeded to prepare a Chocolate Praline Tart from "The Pie & Pastry Bible" by Rose. The tart base was made from grinding walnut and keep in the chiller for a couple of hours. The base was very very soft. It just wasn't possible to mould it without it being hard! I had a difficult time trying to put it in the mould. After moulding, it had to be placed in the freezer for about 15mins before baking. Very tricky.

I made the chocolate fillings after the tart base has cooled. I realised that my base was rather thick and it wasn't possible to make a full recipe of the fillings, so I halved it. The fillings were just right for the depth of the tart base. I baked it for a further 10mins to let it set, then let it cooled.


Next, I prepared my chicken pie. I rolled out the pie dough first, then cooked the fillings for the chicken. Filled up the dough with the fillings, then covered the top with a puff pastry, and off to baking it went!


While leaving the pie to bake, I prepared the salads. Two types of salads were planned for-greens and tomatoes. For the greens, I added butterhead lettuce, coral lettuce (both from Jusco supermarket), capsicum, onions, olives, raisins & nibbed almonds. Add a dash of black pepper and some vinegrette dressings.


For the tomatoes salad, here is the recipe.


Recipe for Tomatoes Salad
Ingredients:
6 Kumato Tomatoes
1 packet of Baby Romas Tomatoes
3 tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 tsp Mixed herbs (better if use fresh basil leaves)
A dash of black pepper
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

Method:
1. Slice Roma into half, Kumato into quarters.
2. Put all the seasonings into the tomatoes and marinate well.
3. Let it sit for at least 30-45mins before serving.

The chocolate praline tart was served with a dope of whipping cream, an applemint leaf (bought from Jusco) and a walnut at the side. It received very good comments from my family.

Good Friday Buys

My sisters and I had been planning to make another trip to Johor Bahru (JB) on Good Friday. However, the day before, my younger sister couldn't make it as her son was not feeling well. Then my youngest sister decided not to go. My hubby and I decided to proceed.  We also monitored the traffic at the checkpoint to ensure that there wasn't any jam before we left.

However, we were really caught by surprise after we left the checkpoint at Tuas. There was truly a long jam before the JB checkpoint. We were caught in the jam for about one and half hour! As mentioned in the papers earlier in the week, with the long weekend, many Singaporeans are travelling to Malaysia for a short holiday, and coupled with the F1 Grand Prix during the weekend, so it was unusually heavy traffic at the checkpoint!

By the time we reached Jusco Bukit Indah, it was already half past 12. It was time for lunch. We settled for Sushi King. After lunch, we stayed in the shopping centre, wandering around. The best part of the centre was the Jusco Supermarket! The fruits and vegetables were very fresh. I was stuck at the fresh vegetable section deciding which vegetables to buy! Even the tomatoes were so pretty and fresh! We bought quite a fair bit of food from the supermarket, and I believe we spent most of the time in the supermarket!


My hubby and I have always love shopping at the supermarket.  It started when we were studying in Melbourne some 15 years back. We like to visit the local supermarkets, look at the fresh produce, compare the prices and admire how fresh and beautiful they were! It hasn't changed since then. Up till today, we still like supermarkets, even though our local ones cannot be compared to those in Melbourne, it's better than not having it!

Anyway, we were truly happy with what we had purchased from JB with this shopping trip. We had dinner in their KFC before heading home. It was a shopping trip worth the jam!

Watch my next post on how I used the tomatoes bought from the supermarket.

Jusco Bukit Indah

No. 8, Jalan Indah 15/2, Bukit Indah, 81200 Johor Bahru, Johor Darul Takzim.
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