Sunday, 30 June 2013

Durian Fresh Cream Cake

I never expect to make another durian cake. It’s such an excitement to bake this cake.

As there was still some durian left in the fridge so I have all reason to make another durian cake.  I have chosen to try out fresh cream cake cake.

The sweet flavour and the thick texture of durian makes this cake so perfect.


Durian cake is hard to decorate.  You can’t simply decorate it with fresh
fruits. 

My skill in creaming the cake is really suck!  I’m just so lousy at it.  To make it simpler and easier, I should have covered the whole cake with durian fresh cream.


For a first timer, I think I have done it fairly well.  The sponge cake is not as fluffy as the previous one I made and I thought the height of the cake would have made it better.  Well, my family and siblings enjoyed it and indeed, durian drives us crazy!!

INGREDIENT
(one 7” round pan)

Sponge Cake
I made my usual plain sponge cake (click here for the recipe).  As the cake is baking, I prepared the durian.

Durian fillings
  • 300g Durian pulp
  • 150g Whipping Cream
Whipped Cream
  • 300g Whipping Cream
  • 1tsp Vanilla essences
  • 30g Icing sugar

METHOD

1.     Whipped the whipping cream until it’s soft peak.
2.     Add the whipped cream into the durian puree.  Mix well and set aside.
3.     Take another bowl, whip whipping cream, vanilla essence and icing sugar until soft peak. 
4.     Cut the cooled sponge cut into 3 layers.  Place the first layer on the turntable, spread durian fillings on the on it and then sandwich it with the second layer and followed by sandwich it with the 3rd layers as shown on the pic.



5.     Cover the cake with cream using a spatula to smooth the sides and top.  Decorate it with piped cream border and keep the cake chilled before it is served.


Saturday, 29 June 2013

Durian Cheesecake – A Great Delight!

I chanced upon this Durian Cheesecake recipe on the internet and decided to give a try since my brother-in-law's parent brought some durian over from Muar.


Here I go...  venturing into something new that I have never tried before.


Ingredient
(One 7" cake pan)

Sponge Cake
I made my usual plain sponge cake (click here for the recipe).  As the cake is baking, I prepared the durian.

Fillings
·        250g Cream Cheese
·        3 Egg Yolks
·        150ml Fresh Milk (non-fat)
·        200g durian flesh
·        3 Eggs Whites
·        40g Caster Sugar

Method
1.     Slice the sponge cake into half.
2.     Place 1 slice on the bottom of the cake pan.
3.     Preheat the oven to 180 Dec C. 
4.     Beat cream cheese, egg yolks in low speed.
5.     Add milk, durian flesh and mix them well.
6.     In a clean mixing bowl, whisk egg white and caster sugar until soft peak.

7.     Mix it into the cream cheese mixture in 3 batches. 



8.     Pour mixture into the sponge cake.
9.     Steam bake 180 Deg C for 20 minutes.  Reduce the temperature to 140 Deg C and bake for another 1.5 hours.
10. Leave cake in the oven to cool for an hour.  Chilled the cake in the fridge for overnight.


The cake required steam bake.  What does Steam Bake means?  So I run a check on internet and here I found the answer.

In baking most (or nearly all) of the cheesecakes, it is often required to "steam bake" the cake, so that the cake won't be too dry.  Steam bake are basically means baking the cake in the oven by placing a tray of water on the lower rack below the cake rack and bake them together.

But the cake still cracks little...  could it be over heated?  Perhaps should lower the temperature.


Friday, 28 June 2013

Plain Sponge Cake–A Simple Charm…

Baking sponge cake is rather challenging.  It’s either the cake rises too much or it turns up to be horribly hard.

I've never succeeded in baking sponge cake from my old oven previously and had given up trying to bake sponge cake.  

This is my 1st attempt in baking sponge cake successfully.

Look!  It really tastes good.  It's so puffy and soft.  It's light too.  I was kind of shock at first to see the cake shrank a little bit when it’s cooled down.  Later I found out that it is because no stabilizing agent is used. So there’s nothing to worry.

It is a good recipe to use it as a basis for many kinds of layered cake.  Invert the cake and let the bottom be the top for spreading cream and decorating. 


A cup of coffee to go with piece of sponge cake, it’s not a great accomplished afternoon tea but it’s has a simple charm that makes it a pleasure.



Ingredient
(7" square pan)
  • 15g Caster Sugar
  • 4 Egg yolk
  • 50g Corn Oil
  • 60g Fresh milk (non-fat)
  • 1/5 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 90g Cake Flour
  • 4 Egg white
  • 1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar
  • 40g Caster Sugar
Method

Method

Step A
1.     Whisk egg yolk with sugar.
2.     Add in corn oil and milk, stir to continue.
3.     Add in cake flour, mix well, set aside


Step B
1.     Add cream of tartar into egg white, beat ill foamy.
2.    Gradually add in sugar, beat till stiff peaks at speed.

Step C
1.     Take 1/3 portion of egg white mixture and use hand whisk to mix with the egg yolk mixture till light.
2.     Fold in the balance of egg white mixture into egg yolk mixture, combine well.
3.     Pour batter into the pan. Line the baking tin with baking paper. 
4.     Bake at pre-heated oven at 180 Deg C.  Then put the pan into the oven and bake at 180 Deg C for 27mins.
5.     When it’s baked, remove the sponge cake from oven and cooled the cake upside down on a wire rack before unmolding.

Tip on Whipping Egg Whites
1.      Whipping of egg whites has to be extremely careful.  The mixer attachment and bowl have to be washed clean.  Whipping of the egg whites will be affected negatively if there’s slightest of remains stick on the utensils.
2.      Eggs at room temperature whip better than eggs straight out from the fridge.
3.      If you want the cake to rise well, add the whipped egg whites immediately onto the batter and do not keep the batter too long after the whipped egg whites has been folded in.
4.      Always fold the lighter ingredient and there’s egg white into the heavier ingredient, which is the batter.






Sunday, 23 June 2013

Chocolate Chip Banana Cake

It was a sunny Sunday afternoon when the haze PSI reading was at  88-96 range.  It's still in an unhealthy range though. I'm joyous amidst the haze at least we could see some clear sky after so many days of thick haze.  Life will be brighter and more exciting when all these are over because we will appreciate life more and will be more prepared for the next ride. 

While everyone in my family is at home, Titus, my youngest son who's always shows his utmost support in my baking, requested me to bake butter cake.  While I was going through my must-do list of recipe, I stumbled upon this recipe on Chocolate Chip Banana Cake.  So I decided I should give it a try since I have some bananas which are quite ripe sitting on the kitchen counter.

So I spent few minutes reading through the recipe.  The recipe is taken from Mrs Field Cookbook, which my ex-colleague lent it to me many years back.  I have halved the recipe because it is for 2 loaves pans.  Just like the Chocolate Pecan Brownies that I baked, you just required a mixing bowl.  It really makes washing so easy. 

The aroma of the banana permeated my whole kitchen and into my living room when the door of the oven was opened.  Immediately I could hear my boys shouting out from their study room...  "Wow Mum!" and the next moment all gathered in the kitchen around the cake.

The cake is moist and heavy with gooey melted chocolate inside.  Even if it's without chocolate chips, the banana cake itself, tastes great.



Ingredient
(One 9" Loaves)
  • 1.5 cups (180g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 190g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (220g) granulated sugar (I replaced it with 150g brown sugar)
  • 3 Aloha "Little Petey" bananas (I put 5 instead)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g mini semisweet chocolate chips

Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 Deg C.  Lightly butter a 9" by 5" loaf pan.  Line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar.  Add the bananas and eggs, beating until well blended.  Beat in vanilla extract.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture and blend well.  Stir in the semisweet chocolate chips but do not overmix.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until golden brown and stick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Set the pans on a rack to cool for 15 minutes.  The turn out the pan to cool completely.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Healthy Salmon

Beside my oven, the next best thing in my kitchen is Philip Air Fryer.  

With Air Fryer, it makes my weekend meals so easy to prepare now - No oil; No mess; Fast; and Tasty.

Here sharing with you the 1st recipe - Salmon with My Air Fryer.

Ingredient
  • 1 pce of Norway Salmon
  • Carrot - slice thinly
  • Onion - cut into ring
  • Parsley
  • Lemon juice - 2 tbsp 
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Olive Oil

Method
  • Sprinkle the piece of salmon with black pepper and salt
  • Spread lemon juice evenly on the salmon
  • Arrange carrots, onion rings and parsley on the salmon (you can also add in Japanese Mushroom, too)
  • Wrap them all in the aluminum foil
  • Air Fry at 200 Deg C for 15 minutes

Here u go - A Fabulous and Healthy Dish!!
Don't forget to drizzle some olive oil before serving.







Philip Air Fryer - Next Best Toy in My Kitchen


Philip Air Fryer is the next best thing in my kitchen.  I bought it in December 2012 and still fall in love with it deeply.



It makes my weekend meals so easy to prepare.  The guys at home have no problem making their own snacks too. It requires less oil or simply no oil; fast and easy to use; no mess in the kitchen; and retain the food moisture and make the food tasty.  It's small but serves us (family of 4) well.

I've been experimenting many recipes using Air Fryer and I'm still experimenting it.  I'll share some good recipe the next time I cook with my Air Fryer.

Philip Air Fryer works and it works well for me.  I have no regrets getting it!!


Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Durian Cream Puff - A Simple Indulgence


We brought back some 猫山王durian from my brother-in-law’s plantation in Muar during our last trip.

Boys used to like durian so much but I realised their love for durian have diminished.  Now they no longer eat durian as much as last time… 

I was thinking what should I do with those durians which is vacuum packed in my fridge?  So I thought … mmm…  what can be yummier than the durian puff and here I go in the mood of making durian puff.

It’s my first attempt in baking durian puff.  There’s only one word could describe how I feel and that is “Accomplishing!”

The process was rather tedious and challenging.  No matter how difficult it was, it’s worth the effort as the outcome was so unexpectedly good.  **blushing**

Simple indulgence…  and here I present you the recipe, taking from various sources and combined them into my own recipe.


Ingredients
(Yield about 12)
  1. 1 cup water
  2. 1/2 cup (125g) butter
  3. 1/4 tsp salt
  4. 1 cup (120g) all-purpose flour
  5. 4 eggs
  6. 1/4 cup (50g) caster sugar
  7. 2 tbsp milk (for brushing over puff)
  8. 1 egg yolk, light beaten (for brushing over puff)
Fillings
  1. 350g durian flesh
  2. 200g heavy whipping cream (should not be equivalent to the amount of durian flesh)

Method

Part A
  • In a large saucepan, bring the water, butter and salt to boil over medium heat.  Add flour all at once and stir until a smooth ball forms.
  • Remove from the heat; let stand for 5 minutes.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Continue beating until mixture is smooth and shiny.
Part B
  • Drop about 3" size of mixture, 3" apart onto greased baking sheet.

  • Combine milk and egg yolk; brush over puffs.  Bake at 200 Deg C for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
  • It is important not to open the oven door when the puff is in the midst of rising during the baking.  Otherwise the puffs will collapse.
Part C - Fillings
  • Remove the durian flesh from the durians.  Mesh them with a spoon until it becomes almost smooth.
  • Whip the heavy cream in a bowl using electric mixer.  Tilt the bowl and beat until it forms soft peaks.
  • Fold the whipped cream into the durian until it's well blended.
  • Chill the durian cream in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before using it.
Part D
  • Remove the puff on wire rack.  Immediately cut a slit in each for steam to escape; let it cooled.
  • Split puffs open; scrapped off and discard the soft dough from inside with a fork.  (I missed out taking a pic on this part)
  • Stuffed the puffs with durian cream.  Refrigerate the durian puff and serve them when it's chilled.  

Last but not least, sprinkle some icing sugar on top of the puff before served could make the puffs look stunning!!



Monday, 17 June 2013

Chocolate Cream Cheese Brownies


I feel so proud of myself.  I couldn't believe I made these. This is a good recipe.  I'm not sure where I got this recipe from.  It's in my recipe file and one of my must-do recipe.

It's a combination of a dense and fudge-like brownies with cream cheese filling.  It went well together perfectly.  It's really yummy with bits of cream cheese coming in between. What a perfect way to enjoy brownies and cheesecake at the same time!!

Here is the recipe and do give it a try.  

Ingredients
(Yield about 2 dozens)

  • 4 ounces (114g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tbsp (43g) butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup (150g) brown sugar - I reduced it to 120g
  • 1/2 cup (60g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecan nuts
Fillings
  • 2 tbsp (28g) butter 
  • 3 ounces (85g) cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup (50g) - castor sugar - I reduced it to 30g
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Method

Part A
  1. In a saucepan, melt chocolate and butter; stir until smooth.  Cool.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs.  Gradually add sugar, beating until thick and pale yellow.  
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to egg mixture.  Stir in the melted chocolate and nuts.  
  4. Pour half of the batter into a greased 8" x 8" square baking tin; set aside.
Part B (Fillings)



For filling, in a small mixing bowl, beat butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.  Gradually add sugar, beating until fluffy.  Blend in the egg, flour and vanilla; mix well.

  1. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the batter in the pan.

  

  1. Spoon remaining batter over the cream cheese filling.  With a knife, cut through batter to create a swirl pattern.
Part C
  1. Bake at 160 Deg C for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack.  Cut into bars when it's completely cooled. You could also store them in the refrigerator when it's cooled to get a firm cut.  Store the cut brownies in a container and store in the refrigerator.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Chocolate Pecan Brownies


The beauty of making Brownies is that you only need to use just one bowl, a wire rack and a spatula.  There's no need to pull out your electric mixer and it makes washing so easy.

During my 1st attempt of making brownies from my new oven, I have discovered that the size of the baking pan uses to bake brownies will affect the baking time.

The recipe instruction is 7" x 10" pan and bake at 170 Dec C for 35 mins.  As I don't have such pan, I replaced it with 7" x 7" baking pan and my brownies turned out to be under baked.  The middle is too watery and it's far to soft to cut.  Hence, I gradually increased the baking time to another 25 mins but it turned out too be hard - it was over baked and simply reached the point of no return!!

Brownies are not supposed to be cake-like.  It should dense with moist and not as gooey, and with just right amount of dry cracked crust on the top with deep chocolate flavor.  To retain the chewiness, just slightly under bake it for a minute or 2.  I'm glad that I have achieved such result in my 3rd attempts just before my boss's birthday.  I was so proud that I could bake for her as a birthday present this year.  Her hubby whatsapps to say that the brownies were very nice and it's so encouraging. 




Test it with a toothpick by inserting it into the center of the brownies to see if it's done.  The toothpick should have some batter and few moist crumbs sticking on it.  If the toothpick comes out clean, this will mean the brownies have been over baked.

Ingredients
(make a 7 x 10 baking tray)
  • 120g Unsalted Butter
  • 240g Fine Sugar (I actually reduced it to 170g)
  • 100g Dark Brown Sugar
  • 190g Dark Couverture
  • 1.5 tbsp Golden Syrup (use Tate Lyles brand)
  • 3 nos of Eggs
  • 170gm Plain Flour
  • 3 tbsp Cocoa Powder (use Manhatten brand)
  • 0.5 tsp Baking Powder
  • 80g Pecan Nut Chop

Medthod
  1. Place the butter, sugar, couverture and golden syrup in a bowl.
  2. Put the bowl on the Bain Marie and stir until is smooth.
  3. Mix the eggs until is creamy.  Remove the bowl from the Bain Marie and pour eggs into it.
  4. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder together and then  add into the mixture.
  5. Lastly, add in the chopped pecan nuts and mix it well.  Keep aside 30g of whole pecan nut to sprinkle on the top of brownies.
  6. Line the baking paper on the bottom of the pan.  Pour the mixture onto a baking pan* and bake at 170 Deg C for 35 minutes
  7. When it's baked, take it out from the oven and put it on the rack to cool.
* 35 mins for 7" x 10" baking pan.
* 45 mins for 7" x 7" baking pan.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Chocolate Chips Cookies with Striped Almond

Since my boys have been asking for Amos Cookies, I thought may be I should try making it.  This recipe was given by my ex-colleague from a cookbook, if I'm not wrong, should be Mrs Field's Cookbook.  I tried baking once using my old oven and the result was not too bad.  

Here you go.... none other than the simplest and the most familiar Chocolate Chips Cookies.  As I have some left over striped almond, I decided to add them in and unexpectedly the crunchy texture of the cookies went well with the almond. 
The cookies are so good that the guys in my family love it so much and you know what? It's so simple to make  that I actually made another batch again the next day.

The cookies are very crunchy and a bit like Amos Cookies texture.  I'd like to try out cookies that is crunchy and yet has chewy texture inside.   

I really enjoy baking with my new oven.  There are so many must-do recipes in my list and I can't wait to try them all out.  But I repeat each recipe at least 2 time, just to perfect it before moving to the next recipe. So it's going to take me a little while to complete the list.

Ingredient
(Yield: About 3 dozen)

  • 300g all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g dark brown sugar
  • 80g granulated sugar (raw sugar also can)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 150g striped almond
  • 200g semisweet chocolate chips

Method
1.     Preheat the oven to 150 Deg C
2.     In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt
3.     In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars.  Beat in the eggs and vanilla until just combined.
4.     Add the flour mixture, striped almond and chocolate chips, then beat on low speed until just blended.
5.     Drop the dough by rounded tablespoons, 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden.  Transfer to wire racks to cool.


Sunday, 2 June 2013

Butter Cake - Just simply love it!


Butter cake is my family and siblings all time favourite.  Butter cake is very good on its own - soft and light.  But I added some chocolate chips to it.  It turned out that all chocolate chips sank to the bottom of the cake tin.  Nevertheless, the cake is still tasted delicious.

The recipe is so simple and straight forward, and certainly a keeper!

Ingredient
(make 1 round 9" round cake pan)
  • 5 Eggs
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 250g self raising Flour 
  • 80g chocolate chips
Methods
  1. Preheat oven to 180 Deg C.  Grease the side of the round pan.
  2. Sift the flour and put aside.
  3. Beat butter and caster sugar together in a bowl.
  4. Add egg one by one into the mixture and beat until it's soft and creamy.
  5. Add in the sift flour and mix it evenly.
  6. Lastly, add the chocolate chips into the mixture.
  7. Pour the mixture into the 9" round cake pan and put in the oven to bake 55mins at the temperature of 180 Deg C.
  8. When the cake is done, remove from oven.  Turn the cake around and leave on the wire rack to cool down.

Begin with Oven...

I’m not kidding.  Choosing an oven can be quite a daunting task.  I started to do research on oven months back by studying the specification, reading comments and reviews from various online forums.  I was surprised to learn that there're so many features and functions available in built-in-ovens.  Well I know I sounded quite ignorance... it's because I've been living with my Sona Oven for 7 years.  It’s a table-top oven slightly bigger than a toaster. It has only a very basic heating element at the top and bottom.  As compared with a basic built-in oven, it has got more than just a basic heating element at the top and bottom, it also comes with fans on the both side as well as at the back. 

After I have studied and compared the specification of various brands in order to fully know what I really want.  I have finally decided that I'll just need a very basic built-in oven that comes with fans control.  I don't need one that comes with hydro baking, pizza setting as well as self-cleaning functions that will burn the stains on the walls to ashes, as I'm quite sure I won't be doing a lot of roasting and grilling.

Finally I have decided that Bosch HBN331E2J is my choice of oven after reading many good reviews about it.


Specification
> Capacity: 67 litres
> 5 Heating matters
   *Top and bottom heat
   *3D hot air
   *Bottom heat
   *Hot air grilling
   *Full width variable grill
> EasyClean enamel coating
> Electronic clock with timer
> Double glazed glass door
> Heating up indicator
> Energy efficiency class: A-20%
> Country - Germany technology

> Made in Turkey
> Retail Price: $719