Thursday, 29 June 2017

Glass Candy Lychee Cake


Birthdays are by grace of God.  I’m thankful for every birthday cake that I made.
A decorated cake with candles is a symbol closely tied to birthday.  Therefore, to me, birthday is an important day and no birthday would be complete without a cake.

It has been awhile since I made a layer cake.  I gladly volunteered to make one for my Life Group to celebrate the month of June birthday.

I started brainstorming 3 weeks ago and the idea of using glass candy to be part of the decoration on the cake was inspired by Hazel, a young lady whom I got to make friend with at the Bread Making Foundation class.  I saw her made a 2-tier cake beautifully decorated with Disney’s Frozen themed and she was using the glass candy to make the ice castle.  I was so amazed by her creativity.
This cake was well received.  It was extremely challenging to frost cake with fresh whipped cream in our hot and humid weather.  But I like fresh cream because it makes the cake “light” and refreshing with a hint of lychee. 

The cake was also infused with lychee syrup, adding rich flavor to it and ensuring that it won’t dry out.  In between the layers of cake, it was sandwiched with fresh cream and lychee.

The glass candy can look insanely difficult to make, but I tell you, it was worth a try.  It’s not difficult to make at all and looks incredibly impressive as it whips up a unique cake topper.

This is a birthday cake which specially made for Jaclyn and Chin Heng.  My wish for dear sister Jaclyn is that our God will fill her life with infinite happy moments and countless of love moments and for brother Chin Heng, I pray that he will enjoy good health and that all may go well with him.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY!


Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Caramel Nuts Tartlets


Hi

On Father’s Day, the boys hugged and wished their daddy before they were out for their programme.   Since there was no special celebration on Father’s Day, I decided to stay home to bake.  
While I was browsing through the book Okashi Sweet Sweet Treats Made With Love written by a Japanese lady named Keiko Ishida.  These pretty tartlets caught my eye and I decided to make this.  

My boss has bought a few cookbooks for me and this was the latest one from him which I received it on last Friday.  I’m totally into this book.  It’s so pretty and really able to make someone happy and alive by just looking at it.   
I love making sweet snacks on special or rare occasion.  Since it is Father’s Day and it was only hubby and I, so I decided to adore him with these pretty sweetie tartlets. 
My sweet tooth was totally satisfied and I've absolutely no guilt for these sweet treats.   Hubby and I had 5.  The boys had the rest and I kept a special one for my boss!

HAPPY BAKING!


INGREDIENTS
Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
140g           Unsalted butter at room temperature or softened
70g             Icing (Confectioner’s) sugar
A pinch      Salt
2 tsp           Vanilla extract
40g             Eggs
40g             Ground almond
260g          Pastry flour or top flour

Almond Cream
90g             Unsalted butter, softened
75g             Castor sugar
1 tsp           Vanilla extract
90g             Ground almond
75g             Eggs

Caramel Cream
75g             Castor sugar
10g             Glucose (which is also Light Corn Syrup)
100g           Whipping Cream (35% fat)
50g             Unsalted butter

Assorted Nuts
20g             Hazelnuts
20g             Almond silvers
20g             Walnut
20g             Pistachios

Dried Fruits
6 pcs          Dried Apricots
3 pcs          Dried figs (skipped, reason being I don’t have them in the fridge)
30g             Black raisins (skipped, reason being I don’t have them in the fridge)
30g             Dried cranberries


METHODS

(1)Prepare sweet short pastry.  Beat butter, icing sugar, salt and vanilla extract with an electric mixer until just completed.  Add egg yolk and beat well.  Add ground almonds and mix well.  Add flour and fold through completely.  Using a bench scraper, mix batter until a smooth dough is formed.  Wrap dough in cling film, then place in the refrigerator to rest for at least 3 hours.

(2)Preheat oven to 180°C.

(3)Unwrap dough and place on a non-stick baking mat or parchment paper. Roll out to a thickness of 3-5mm.

(4)Using a 9.5cm fluted pastry cutter, cut out 10 rounds from pastry.  Gently press cut dough into 10 round tartlets tins, each 8 x 3 cm.  Prick center with a fork.  [I short cut this step by dividing the dough equally, roll it in round shape and press it directly into the tartlets tin].

(5)Chill dough in the freezer for about 10 mins then bake for 20 mins or the tart shells are light golden brown.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool.  Keep oven heated.

(6)Prepare almond cream.  Beat butter and sugar until just combined.  Add vanilla and mix.  Add ground almonds, followed by eggs and mix well.  Do not over mix.  Spoon almond cream into a pipping bag fitted with a 1-cm pipping tip and pipe cream into tart shells, filling them up only halfway.  


(7)Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown in colour.


(8)Prepare caramel cream.  Place sugar and glucose in a saucepan and heat until sugar caramelizes.  Gradually add cream while stirring with a spatula.  Mix until smooth.  Remove from heat and leave to cool slightly.  Add unsalted butter.

(9)Bake assorted nuts in the oven for 20 minutes at 150°C without preheating oven.  


(10)Blanch dried fruit in boiling water, then drain and pat dry.  Cut blanched dried fruits into small cubes.  


(11)Stir toasted nuts and dried fruit into caramel cream.  Spoon mixture onto prepared tart shells and serve.




Thursday, 15 June 2017

Sausage Bread


Hi

I’m not trying to make wondrous bread that is artistic and extraordinary fabulous.  I simply want to know and enjoy the process of making bread.  The joy to see the result of my every 1st attempt, made me feel so proud of myself.  Thanks to my friends who have left a sweet and encouragement comments on my FB.
Sausage bread connects me to my old school days.  On the day which I needed to stay back in school for extra curriculum, my mum would sure to stuff a sausage bread into my bag.  I too, did the same for my children when they were in primary school. 
So far, I’m making straight dough method bread.  I have yet to venture into pre-fermented dough, which required a portion of dough to be fermented overnight. But straight dough method bread is good enough to fill my house with the aroma of freshly baked bread. 
 This is another recipe which is so easy to put together.  You won’t believe that how something so simple to make can taste as good as those in the bakery shop and I’m very pleased with this recipe.

 HAPPY BAKING!


INGREDIENTS
365g           Bread flour
2 ¼ tsp      Yeast
1 tbsp         Milk powder
76g             Sugar
¾ tsp         Salt
60g             Egg
30g             Ice water
130g           Water (room temperature)
60g             Butter


METHODS
(1)Mix all the dry ingredients together.

(2)Add in egg, ice water and water.  Knead to form smooth dough

(3)Add in butter and continue to knead until the dough is smooth and elastic.

(4)Round the dough and cling wrap it.  Keep aside about 30mins for it to ferment.

(5)Punch down and divide the dough into 60g each.  Roll each of the dough into a ball and let it rest for 10mins.


 (6)Take one of the dough and flatten it with rolling pin.  Take 1 sausage and roll into the shape that you like.  This is the shape which I was taught at the 4-day Foundation Bread Making Course.


 (7)Set aside and let it proof until it double the size.

(8)Glaze with egg wash and bake at 190°C for 12 mins or until golden brown.


Monday, 5 June 2017

Pepperoni Pizza


Hi

I said it in my last blog that you will be seeing me blogging about bread, right?  Here you go, my Pepperoni Pizza.
I have attended a 4-day bread making foundation course on theoretical and practical part.  In class, we discussed and talked a lot about fermentation and proofing.  We also talked about how yeast helps in fermentation process and carbon dioxide that makes the bread rise.   Surely, making bread is about chemistry experiments.   The process of making bread seems simple but there’s a lot of chemistry to it than meets the eye.  There’s science going on to the loaf of bread that you bake.
 Pizza dough is one of the simplest dough which I learn in class.  It’s straight dough method which doesn’t require sponge dough.
Besides learning, I also got to make new friends.  It’s always so nice to meet with like-minded people and I really enjoyed chatting and exchanging baking tips with one other.  
HAPPY BAKING!

INGREDIENTS
84g             Plain flour
½ tsp         Yeast
½ tsp         Sugar
1/8 tsp       Salt
1 tbsp         Olive oil
50g             Water

METHODS
Mix all ingredients in the mixing bowl except olive oil.

Knead it until it forms dough (not necessary to be sketch able)

Incorporate olive oil and continue to knead until the dough is smooth.

Let it rest for 1 hour.


Roll flat the dough in round shape on baking sheet.

Spread sauce and toppings **

Proof for 20 mins.

Bake 200°C for 8 mins.

** Pizza Sauce and Toppings
Sauce
100g           Onion (1/2 pce), chopped
227g           Tomatoes sauce (Hunts-come in can)
½ tsp         Sugar
1/8 tsp       Salt
½ tsp         Mixed Dried Italian Herbs or Oregano
1 tbsp         Ketchup
                   Black pepper

·        Mixed all the ingredients in the pot and cooked until onion is soft.












Toppings
Slice few pces of pepperoni thinly.
(There are many ready sliced pepperoni sold in cold storage.  But I chose to take this brand)


Grated Mozzarella cheese.



Sunday, 4 June 2017

Broccoli Patties (I haven’t been blogging but I have been baking!)


Hi
I haven’t been writing for my blog since February but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy in my kitchen!  A few of my friends have written to ask me where I went.  Haha!  I’m still here and still baking but no new post for my blog because I haven’t been baking something new or something which I find it interesting.

During the last few months, I have accomplished a few stuffs.  In April, I was away on vacation with my sisters in law.  It was a ladies’ trip and we were in South Korea for 12 days.  We went to many beautiful places in Jeonju, Busan and Seoul.  It was a great trip and good break for me too.  
I also attended a 4-day bread making foundation course, learning the fundamental and skills of making breads and also the theoretical and practical part.  So you will be seeing me blogging on breads soon.

In between, I had the opportunity to catch up with friends over meals and also helped out with impromptu baking and cooking session for the under privileged children.  Doing charity work is something that is always closed to my heart…  I’m grateful that I’m able to contribute in the area which I’m passionate in.

So now, allow me to entice you with these wonderful snacks.  Do you like broccoli?  I really like broccoli.  Usually I will steam them and sprinkle with olive oil or simply just fry it with garlic.  This is my first time cooking it differently from what I used to and my family really enjoyed eating it.
 This recipe comes from Sanju, my baking buddy from India.  Sanju and I met at the baking session organized by International Cooking Club and this is one of the wonderful recipes which we made together.

HAPPY BAKING!

INGREDIENTS

2                 Medium heads broccoli, cut into florets
¼ cup        Small diced onion, lightly sautéed.
¼ cup        Finely ground Japanese breadcrumbs
1                  Large egg
¼ cup        Grated parmesan cheese
2 tsp           Cajun spice

METHOD
(1)Preheat the oven to 180°C.  Grease non stick baking sheet with cooking spray.

(2)Steam the broccoli florets for 10mins or so until they are just tender.

(3)Thoroughly drain the florets and transfer them to a food processor.  Pulse the broccoli for a few seconds just until it breaks down into small pieces.  Do not over mix the broccoli or the mixture will be too wet to stick together.

(4)Measure out 3 cups of broccoli into a large bowl.  Add the diced onion, breadcrumbs, egg and Parmesan cheese and mix until thoroughly combined.

(5)Scope about 2 tablespoons of the mixture and make into patty.  Arrange them on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 1 inch apart.

(6)Bake them for about 20 minutes then flip over and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes or until crisped. 

(7)Remove the patties from the oven and serve them with ketchep, ranch dressing or hummus for dipping.



Thursday, 9 February 2017

"Jenny-like" Butter Cookies


Hi
Everyone went crazy when Jenny Butter Cookies set foot on Singapore.  My family fell in love with the cookies when we first received a tin that my brother bought it from Hong Kong.  The cookies are really nice and also addictive.  I must admit that I actually got a little crazy of it too *grin*.  But I’m not so crazy enough to queue for hours just to get it. 


I googled and hoping to find a recipe that is closed to it.  It was a surprise to see so many avid bakers have already come out recipes that is quite similar to Jenny Butter Cookies.
After taking reference from the various sources, I have finally settled with this recipe.  My siblings and 2 boys commented that it is nice and just like Jenny Butter Cookies, it has strong butter fragrant and melts-in-the-mouth texture.   Some of my friends commented the same too.  But majority commented it is too buttery for them. 
   
This is another cookie that I baked for this CNY.  Overall I’m happy with the outcome as every piece of the cookies that put into the mouth just literally melt into the mouth.   

HAPPY BAKING!


INGREDIENTS
200g         Butter 
50g            Icing sugar
50g            Rice flour
90g            Plain flour
60g            Bread flour

*Use Golden Churn Butter (Tin type) to achieve the strong buttery taste and fragrant

*3 type of flours are used to achieve the melts-in the mouth texture and yet able to hold the shape well.

METHODS
1)Cream butter and icing sugar until creamy.
2)Sieve the flours into the creamed butter and icing sugar.
3)With light and quick motion, fold in the flour using a spatula. Do not overmix.
4)Scoop the cookie batter into piping bag with Wilton open star tip attached to it.
5)Pipe cookie batter onto lined baking tray.
6)Bake in preheated oven at 160C for 20 minutes.


7)When done, remove from oven and let cool on wire rack completely before storing in an air tight container.