It's Giveaway Time Again!

CSN Stores is a wonderful site that has 200+ online stores and over one million products. If you are thinking of renovating your bedrooms, you can check out their platform beds which comes with free shipping! They have many wonderful sites like CSN Stores, Cookwares, All Modern, Luxe by CSN and many more!

Thanks to them again, I'm able to giveaway a Hamilton Beach FreshChop Food Chopper to one of my readers!
Source: CSN Store

With a large 3 cup capacity and 2 pulse speeds this compact chopper will fulfill all your needs, without taking up too much space. Stainless steel blades cut through food with easy precision. Hide-away cord wrap and dishwasher safe bowl, lid & blade make for quick clean up and storage.

In order to stand a chance to win this chopper, here is what you need to do.
1) Visit any of the links above.
2) Tell me what you would like to purchase from the online stores and why you would want to buy it.
3) Provide the link to the item.
4) Provide your name and your email address.

This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only. This opportunity for you is opened till 4 July 2010 extended to 11 July 2010. After which, I will use the random number generator to select the winner.

Good luck!

Pastries Workshop

Past few days have been really hectic for me. There were so many things to be done during this school holidays. I just have to spend some time with the children besides my own activities.

Anyway, after a hectic weekend, going for a workshop on a Monday evening isn't my idea of resting. It so happened that all these activities were packed back to back. Fortunately for me, Doris agreed to attend this workshop with me. And surprisingly, we saw another of our baking kakee. It was a pastry workshop conducted at Chef Cooking Studio. What I was interested to learn, was the Royaltine Cake. This workshop was conducted by Chef Celeste. Chef Celeste is very experienced and has a good sense of humour. She is also very direct and shares some tips with us, like how to keep a tetra pak of whipping cream in the fridge. A very nice lady and forthcoming.
Three hours didn't seemed enough for us to complete three items. Each of us had our fair share of the items that she demonstrated and baked.

Chocolate Mayo Cake with Vanilla Bavarian Mousse. She used vanilla beans. She explained that this is best eaten with it removed from the cup and topped with berries or fruit compote. The chocolate mayo cake was really special, very chocky and rich.
Chocolate Mousse. This chocolate mousse was really nice. Most of us know that eggs used in chocolate mousse is uncooked. However for hers, she used cooked sugar syrup to whip her eggs. It was really light and delectable. The best part was, she topped our chocolate mousse with her homemade Burnt Butter ice-cream! It was really a great combination!
Chocolate Le Royaltine Cake. There were more steps involved for this cake. We learnt to make the feulletine base, the cake sponge, the mousse filling and the ganache. She was rather fast in her explanation, however, she did not hesitate to repeat them until we fully understood. This is my favourite amongst them.
As what she kept emphasing, the recipes that were given to us are just a guide for us. There are many possible ways to tweak them and turn them into different combinations. We just have to explore and experiment them ourselves. I totally agree with her!

Baking Workshops

Workshops from Palatable has been re-launched!

Starting next month, there will be a series of repeated popular workshops, and new workshops coming up.

Roses Decoration Workshop will kick start the series. This is an advance workshop for bakers who will like to enhance their delicious bakes with simple decorations.

The Perfect Pound Cake Workshop is a basic workshop for newies who are new in baking and wants to learn more about creating a perfect pound cake.

Hurry, sign up now and gain yourself another skill! :)

Lemongrass Creme Brulee

As promised in my earlier post, here is the recipe for Lemongrass Creme Brulee, modified from AFC.

Ingredients:

56g Lemon grass
8 Egg yolks
90g Sugar
375g Whipping cream
375g Whole milk


Method:

1. Whisk egg yolk and sugar till thickened.

2. Heat up the milk and cream, don't boil. Then add in chopped lemon grass in. Let it infused till warm.

3. Strain the mix with a fine strainer.

4. Mix in the mix into the whisked yolk and sugar.

5. Stir well and pour into individual baking cups.

6. Place onto a baking tray and bake with water bath at 160C for one hour.

7. Place it into the chiller till the mix is stable.

8. Before serving, place a teaspoon of sugar into each cup.

9. Using a blow torch, caramelised the sugar, then add berries if required.

Notes:
~ I used 4 lemongrass bulbs. However, the fragrance was not strong enough. Needs at least another two bulbs I presumed.

~ I baked eight small cups for 40mins at 160C. However, it was not firm enough. The top were firmed, but the centre was still very liquid. Therefore, it will be better to bake longer, maybe a total of 60mins will be good.

Recipe for Refreshing Lemongrass Drink.

Ingredients:

4 Lemongrass, chopped and mashed lightly
2 litres water
6 tbsp Sugar
1 Lipton tea bag

Method:

1. Boil lemongrass and water in a pot.

2. Remove from heat.

3. Add tea bag to infuse, followed by sugar.

4. Remove tea bag after about 5 mins.

5. Let the lemongrass infused in the water overnight as it cooled.

6. Strained into a bottle and refrigerate.

7. Serve with ice.

Note:
This drink is rather bland in terms of sweetness. More sugar can be added according to your preference, so is tea. However, I like that the tea is mild while the lemongrass is subtle.

Need fondant ideas for Father's day cake? Check it out here! (this is an unpaid advertisement!)

For Invited Guests Only

We have been talking about coming over to my place for a while. So I took this opportunity since it's a school holiday to invite the lovely couple over. I also invited one of my swinging single friend over. Even though they do not know one another, I didn't think they would mind knowing more friends.

So, it was for my special invited guests only- for dinner. I didn't prepare the dinner, all were done by my helper, except for the dessert. It was meant to be a simple dinner, just happens that it falls on my birthday week.

My invited guests are none other than Grace & her spouse! Both of them are no stranger to me, but are definitely new to my family members. It was the first time they met my children and my spouse, and of course, my friend, Lee Juan.

The simple dinner fare was a mix of West & East. East were all done by my helper, while I just prepared the West. The dishes served were (1) yellow plum tomatoes in olive oil and basil leaves, (2) Japanese cucumbers with almonds, (3) baked swiss brown mushrooms with garlic and cheese, (4) potato wedges with olive oil and rosemary, (5) stir fried shanghai green with oyster mushrooms, (6) stir fried yellow and red capsicum with prawns and (7) 3-cup chicken. I also served them with refreshing lemongrass tea which I made.


After dinner, I proceeded to prepare desserts for them. Grace was eagerly waiting for my desserts. She was sure I will have one served. She knows me too well. I made Lemongrass Creme Brulee for them, I baked the custard the day before. Before serving, I used a blow torch to caramlise the sugars. The overall look was rather presentable. The taste was pretty nice. However, as I didn't bake the custard long enough, it was a bit watery towards the bottom instead of firm. :( I will bake longer in future. As this was my first attempt, my guests were very forgiving, they finished it all despite "drinking" it towards the end. I'll provide the recipe for Lemongrass Creme Brulee at my next post.


Ah... then came an unplanned surprise event. Grace baked a light chocolate cheesecake for me. When I brought it out, they insisted they wanted to sing me a birthday song. Despite my resistance as I was getting rather shy, Grace spouse insisted and gathered my children. Aiyo...*shy*shy* And so... it was birthday song for me again. I felt like I'm growing older again. It was really such a wonderful feeling and be blessed by their sincerity. Grace's cheesecake needs no further elaboration of the taste. ;)



After all the locomotion, the ladies sat around to chit chat, while Grace's spouse joined my spouse and kids to watch some movies on the tv. We chatted and share baking and cooking experiences as we browse through some recipes.

It was really late when they left my place. Even though we were tired, we enjoyed the night thoroughly. Grace not only gave me presents, she also gave me her bakes - Wholesome Blacky breadpandan kaya, peanut spread and chocolate chips & nuts cookies! It's very HER! Lee Juan also bought a box of wonderful assorted biscuits which my kids opened up and almost finished them off after they left! Hahaha...

It was a memorable evening for me. By accepting my invitation, it means that I'm worth it. By coming over, it means that they treasure our friendships. I'm so just so happy to have friends like them. Thank you for such a lovely evening, dear friends!

Blueberry Chiffon

I bought some blueberries a supermarket last weekend when they were having sales. Decided to bake a blueberry chiffon cake yesterday and was happy with the outcome. Constant practice for chiffon is required for me so that, (1) I won't forget the batter and (2) I can remember how the egg whites should be beaten. The recipe was provided here, adjust it according to your pan size.

When I overturned it after baking, it dropped, and resulted in an indent in my soft, cottony chiffon. *Poin!*

Then I realised it developed a waist...
However, despite some mishaps, I still like the texture and considered it almost perfect for me!

Happy Birthday to me!

One after another, it was the month of birthday celebrations. Finally, it was mine today. And since it was mine, I don't have to do any bakings. My small celebration started last weekend at my mum's place. My sisters got me a Tiramisu cake from Amici's.


My hubby bought me a Chocolate Marmalade Feuilletine Cake from Lavender's, Malaysia. I chose it myself while we were there last Friday. This cake was really deliciously wonderful and refreshing!


And to treat myself better, I bought myself a set of macarons from Bakerzin and finished it all at one go! Hahaha... That's the only time when I can get such privileges and indulgences!


Finally, my sister was kind enough to spend a day with me today. We had some retail therapy. Thanks to my wonderful sister. I also want to thank all  my friends who took the time to drop me a message and wish me.

Thank you!! 谢谢!! Terima Kasih!

Fondant Miniature Figurines Workshop

I've long waited to attend this workshop conducted by Gina. I've postponed it once, and finally I got my chance to attend it on Saturday.

I arrived her place much earlier before the workshop started. As I had known her for quite sometime already, we chatted before the workshop started. I've not been to her place before too!

When the rest of the participants arrived, we started with some basic do's and don'ts for fondants. She went through some basics before we started the modelling.

These were the miniature figurines which Gina did.


These were some of those that I did.


We found that time just flew too fast! Even with extension of the time, we weren't able to complete moulding all the figurines! However, we're happy that we have picked up some modelling skills from Gina. She shared her experience openly with us. I was glad I attended this workshop to sharpen my fondant modelling know-hows! :)

A Simple Gift

I have a colleague who shares the same birthdate as me, and another who is one day later. Both happens to be my good friends. Coincidence? Nah...Probably our horoscope just click, despite we are some years apart.

When I saw HHB's cookies, I knew I just had to bake it! She was right, it's truly a healthy cookie, low sugar, low butter and all the other healthy ingredients. I didn't hesitate to make 2x the recipe. It turned out really good, as expected! My friends didn't like desserts that are too sweet, even though they have sweet tooth.


Besides the cookies, I also wanted to make something "bigger" for them. So I chose this Perfect Fudgey Brownies from Eat and Be Happy blog. It was truly fudgey and good. My friends loved it, and one of them wanted to order this from me again! I have not tried this recipe before, and it was quite daring for me to bake this to give away. :p Fortunately, this first time proved to be a success. Therefore, this is another keeper for me.


May-June period sees a couple of birthday celebrations. My brother-in-law, my father-in-law, my nephew and myself, one after another (not in chronological order). Last weekend, I baked a mocha pound cake again from Rei's blog. And covered it with fondant. My nephew has a stuff toy panda, which I tried to follow it. As I didn't have much time, I decided 3D was too much for me to do, so I made it into 2D only. He was elated when he saw his panda on the cake. I was glad he loved it.

Chinese Food - Tim Sum Workshop

My ex-baking buddy, Doris, has been hooked and organising chinese cooking workshops lately. She is a good baking/cooking virus which infects most of us. She really knows what she wanted, liaised with the chef trainer, and gathered us for the workshop. From buying ingredients to coordination, to preparation, she did it all single-handedly. I really take my hats off her! On top of it, the workshop was held at her place again. Not only did we use her utensils, we also used her utilities and dirtied her place! She had to do all the cleaning herself (Sharon, did you help her?) after we left (as she has no domestic helper). Isn't she such a fantastic buddy to have? And the best part which I like was, she has all the props that chef trainer needs! Her place is a like a minimart! Heehee...

I hesitated for a while before deciding to join them in the workshop last Sunday. (Sharon said I was very wishy washy.) I only confirmed my attendance last Wednesday where all of them had confirmed weeks before! Hahaha... Anyway, these were what we learnt.

1.  炸酱面 (zha jiang mian)

"Freshly made noodles cooked to perfection and a good sauce made with fermented beans, minced pork and chilies and the addition of simple topping of finely shredded cucumber made it a perfect meal!"

Even though we didn't make the noodles from scratch, the noodles that were purchased by Doris was really nice to go with the sauce. The sauce was cooked from scratch. And it took quite a while to cook it to perfection. Chef did it once to show us, then we did the noodles ourselves. It was really good, and filling too!


2. 生煎包 (shen jian bao)
"A tender meat filling, an explosion of juices which is absorbed by the soft skin and lastly a crispy caramelised skin to tease your palate."

From the filling of the bao, to the skin, to the pan fried and steaming, we went through each step carefully. We also had hands-on wrapping the bao. Dip the baos with vinegar and shredded ginger was simply tantalising! Give me five, I could finish them all!


Guess which bao was wrapped by me? [answer at the end]


3. 豆沙鍋餅 (Red bean pancakes)
"Shanghainese red bean pancakes. Generously filled with sweetened red bean paste, this dessert is meant to be served hot to savor its crispiness!"

This was the main reason I attended the workshop! Haha... Even though we didn't make the red bean paste ourselves, the pancake tasted really good! The thought of it made me salivate (*greedy*). Chef showed us how to mix the dough, prepare the pancake and fried it. Then each of us took our turn to do it hands-on. Chef is really good. He always encourage us to try. He always tells us that "if you don't try, you won't know how to do it when you are home." and "if you can do it as well as a me, the you don't need to attend my workshops anymore." A very humorous, but attentive chef trainer he is. No wonder all the "aunties" like him! *grin*


Bao #5 was made by me. Compared to Chef's #2 & 3, mine have less than half the pleats of his. However, I thought it's still not too bad for a starter like me, yah?
Related Posts with Thumbnails