"HUAT" Ahhh...

Last weekend, my parents-in-law (PIL) gave me a big sieve, a cake pan & a cane "basket" for baking. It all started when we discuss about steaming "ji dan gao". So since they have stopped baking long ago, they decided to give me their "inheritence" so as not to go waste. For me of course I'll gladly accept. Anything to do with baking, I'll be glad to be "garbage" collector!

I remembered I had a recipe of the Pandan Delight Fatt Koh from Yochana. So I decided to steam this tonight, so that I can give my PIL tomorrow when they drop by. I had a packet of HK flour which I didn't use since the last time I made pao! This recipe was pretty easy and nice. I hesitated for quite a while, don't know if I should use muffin trays for smaller Fatt Koh or the cane basket. Finally, I decided to use the cane basket. I lined it with baking paper, and steam it in the wok. It took much longer than what is in the recipe because mine was a big basket, about 7". However, I was very happy with the result when I opened the wok cover! My Fatt Koh "smiled" at me!! Yippee!! But I steamed until my wok was dry, lucky it was ready!!

The nice green was from the pandan leaves. There was no colouring added.

While waiting for my Fatt Koh to proof, I did up the Almond Cream or Frangipane for my Strawberry Tarts. Baked the tart crusts last weekend, but haven't filled them up yet. I wanted to fill them up so that I can finish them. I filled them with frangipane, and had Strawberry Frangipane Tarts!

Say "Ba-na-na"

It's another banana day! I'm always very tempted to use the bananas hanging in the kitchen wall when I see it. I'm not a banana person. However, since I took up baking, I've like to use bananas as my ingredient to bake cakes, especially chiffon cakes and butter cakes.

This evening, after browsing through my recipes, I decided to bake banana cupcakes. I added walnuts to the recipe. Then decided to frost it as the look of it was quite ordinary. Finally, I came out with my own version.

Banananut-banana walnut cake with chocolate fresh cream frosting, sprinkled with chocolate rice. My children love it so much and I'm left with almost half the cupcakes only! ;)

Recipe extracted from Crazy About Cupcakes-Banana Cupcakes (with my own modification).

Makes 24 small cupcakes
113g unsalted butter,
80g granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 mashed ripe bananas (should be about 130g)
87g all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 tbp milk
20g chopped walnuts, lightly roasted

1. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Line cupcake pans with cupcake papers.
2. With an electric mixer on medium speed cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add the eggs to the mixture, and beat well. Add the bananas to the creamed mixture and mix well.
3. In a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
4. Add all the dry ingredients to creamed mixture at once. Mix until the dry ingredients are completely integrated.
5. Add the milk. Mix batter for 1 minute on medium speed.
6. Fold in the walnuts lightly, but thoroughly.
7. Fill cupcake liners three-quarters full with batter. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in a wire rack.

Cocoa Whipped Cream Icing (from another recipe)
150g Whipping cream
30g Icing Sugar
15g Cocoa powder

Chocolate Rice

1. Beat cream until slightly thickened.
2. Gradually add sugar and cocoa powder.
3. Beat until stiff peaks form.
4. Start frosting the cupcakes when it's cooled.
5. Sprinkle chocolate rice on the frosting generously.

A New Attempt

It was another day of "busyness" in the kitchen. My best companion has its mood swings at certain time. He is none other than my Delonghi! He was hot at 190C sometimes or at 100C. Either mad in the head, or mad in the heart. He "sees" red most of the time while I tried to monitor his temperature with the oven thermometer. Heehee...Okay, back to what I bake today.

Purple Sweet Potato Chiffon Cake
This was a TOTAL FLOP (even though the colour was really attractive!!) The end result was exactly like my Mango Chiffon Cake two days ago. I don't know what went wrong, but the smell and taste of the cake was really nice. Another recipe from Kevin Chai. Is it him, or is it me?? :p

Pizzas, baked pastas & Garlic breads with Rosemary
Five pizzas with different toppings: Teriyaki Salmon, Teriyaki Prawns, Minced Pork with Black Bean Paste, Bacons & Mushrooms. Baked pastas with mixed herbs and garlic breads with fresh rosemary herbs.

Intense Chocolate Souffle
This was requested by my sister. She wanted souffle for dessert tonight. So I tried to surf the web for a good recipe. I've not tried this before. It's a new attempt! Since my younger sister just bought the Ghirardelli chocs for me, I managed to find one recipe from that site: Intense Dark Souffles. I halved the recipe. I was quite reluctant to use up the whole packet of the chocolates since I only have one packet. So I saved half for myself! ;)

On a separate note, I bought the purple sweet potato last Saturday. So I told my helper to add it to the porridge to cook (like normal sweet potato). Finally, we had purple porridge for lunch. The sweet potatoes were really sweet and nice. Makes the porridge so yummy!

Where's my "feet"?

After having successfully attempted the macarons, I wanted to add flavour to my macarons. So I used the same recipe and added 25g of cocoa powder to it. I was actually contemplating between this recipe that I've used before, or Yochana's recipe. I finally fell back to this recipe that I've "tested & proven" myself.

Unfortunately, I wasn't so lucky this time! I've over beaten the egg whites and the resultant was macarons-without-feet! These are the "handicap" chocolate macarons that I made. It actually tasted very good (minus the hollow chewy part, though it's also chewy). I put added orange, coffee and chocolate cream to them, and they are as good as "non-handicapped" ones! No feet, nevermind, still eat! Hahaha...

I also did a 6" Mango & Passionfruit Chocolate Tart.

[Post Mortem (27 Oct 08): Cross section of the tart.]
My family said the tart was nice and chocky. It was because I mixed dark couverture chocolates to it. ;)

Showing Off - Ghirardelli

Okay, call me a show off! But I'm just so excited when my sister returned from San Fran and helped me to buy all those Ghirardelli Baking Chocolates! Ok lah, I'm not advertising for them. But I found their bakings chocs to be of reasonable price. So I gave my "shopping list" to her to get for me if she could find it! Wasn't I lucky! Heehee... These are my loots from the USA thanks to my youngest sister! :))

Since she had helped me to buy so many packets of chocolates, she requested I baked chocolate cakes for her. I promised her I'll bake her the Flourless Chocolate Torte using the 72% Cacao Extra Bittersweet Chocolate packet! This will be so so yummy but sinful!

Apple Crumble Tart

I was left with more than half the tart dough after my Strawberry flans. So I've decided to make Apple Crumble Tarts since I personally like apple pies, and topped with crumbles, it will taste better. Unfortunately, I've "charred" my crumbles due to the high power of the oven. :p But nevertheless, it tasted very good too! :)

Pastry Cream (Creme Patissere).

Cooked green apples and raisins.

Apple Crumble Tart

Another...Failed Attempt

It's another failed attempt - Mango Chiffon! I wanted to give it a try again today since I haven't baked a cake for a couple of days. Who knows this time, it's not "KPE" anymore, it's the "Great Depression"! Take a look at my "depression" which tasted like "kueh". I think next time, I don't have to find any recipe for kuehs, it just comes naturally with this Mango-Chifon-turned-kueh-cake! :p

Long Bar Steakhouse

My hubby and I went out for our long overdue dinner tonight. We wanted to go earlier this month to celebrate his birthday. However, because I was not well, plus our eldest son's exam was too close, we decided to postpone it. In the end, we decided to go to Raffles Hotel's Long Bar Steakhouse since we have the Feed at Raffles card. It was actually a reminder from my sister last week as her husband and her went to Jaan because of this card too!

Generally, the overall experience at Long Bar Steakhouse was pretty good! If not for the Feed at Raffles card, I don't think I will step into this restaurant! :p
Enjoy the "course"!

Cheezy Cheese

I took half day today again to coach my son for his final paper tomorrow. As usual, I wanted to dedicate the afternoon for him. As I reached home before he did, I quickly get down to shaping my bread doughs which I had already mixed it last night and left it in the fridge.

I managed to shape all of them before he finished his bath & lunch. Then it was revision time. After an hour or so, I left him to a paper while I baked my breads. I had pizza bread this morning from a baker shop. So I thought of doing something similar. My helper has told me about a slab of mozzarella cheese which was going to turn bad. So I shredded it and use ALL 200g of it on my breads! What a batch of expensive breads!!

I had different fillings for the buns. I used up my remaining white lotus paste. For the mozzarella cheese with spring onion, I rolled it up with mozzarella cheese and topped it with mozza too! The other mozza bread, I also rolled it up like swiss rolls with mozza in it, and added some mixed herbs. Finally, the pizza breads with lots and lots of mozza cheese too!

Another Successful Attempt

This week, I was on leave for a few afternoons to coach my son for his exams. I told myself that I cannot bake in the afternoon. The afternoon timing is purely committed to coaching him. So far, I'm quite successful in this! So, I don't bake in the afternoon, I bake at night! :p If I wasn't on leave in the afternoon, I would have baked in the evening too! So I won't be so guilty. :p

On Monday evening, I bake my successful Chocolate Banana Chiffon cake. The recipe was extracted from Kevin Chai's Chiffons are Done!! I was very happy with the consistency of the "holes" in my chiffon cake. I added chocolate rice to it, which explained some of the bigger "holes".

A slice of my Strawberry Flan.

Rumballs that I did for my friends.

Strawberries in Season

The strawberries are in season lately. It seems like I've been baking strawberry-related pastries lately. But it's alright, nobody is complaining anyway! Early Sunday morning, I woke up to make Strawberry Flan. Just feel like eating some pastries, so I decided on strawberries since I bought them yesterday and cannot be kept for long.

Initially, I had wanted to do Apple Crumble Flan, but I changed my mind after seeing the strawberries. In the afternoon, I had wanted to just bake my Cinnamon Rolls. However, my hubby suddenly told me it will be his mum's birthday this coming weekday, and asked if I was baking any cakes. I told him I had no time since I'm baking my breads. But I thought for a while, I should have time to manage both. So I decided to use the remaining strawberries for the cake. I quickly whipped up a vanilla sponge cake while the dough was proofing. Actually, I was quite fast. From 1pm, I started the bread dough, by 4.45pm, I had finished frosting the cake for my mother-in-law, and baked the cinnamon rolls.

Standing on my feet for almost four hours, I was really dead tired! But I'm happy that I managed to churn out a cake for my MIL. :) I hope she liked it!

Morning Produce: Two Strawberry Flans

Afternoon Produce: Strawberry Cake for my Mother-in-law

Cinnamon Rolls

Unfortunately my cinnamon rolls turned out to be quite dry on the surface.