Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Colours of Love


I love these tools which were brought back from Sweden by my sister in law.  They are simply so lovely and colorful.

Life is beautiful as it’s filled with God’s Love.  Let’s try to fill colors in this black and white world that we are living in and get it infected in everybody’s life.


Goodies Flew Back from Sweden

These goodies from Sweden were brought home by my sister-in-law whom had recently gone backpacking alone to Scandinavia for 3.5 weeks.

It was really an adventurous trip for her.  I guessed she might have gained many insights from this trip.  The bliss of being young:   Daydreamed without pain, without fear and without lost.

I hope she will continue to enjoy as much as she can as these are the good old days that’s going to be missed in the years ahead…




Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Rainbow Delight


Hi

This cake is for my nephew’s 5 years old birthday.  It’s special to him because it is a home baked birthday cake from 姨妈 (that’s me, his only aunt.)


This is an excellent cake for someone like me who has, yet, pipe a cake skillfully.  And you know what?  The colourful M&M chocolates have covered the flaw of the cake that I have created when doing creaming.  Ha ha!


My nephew was so thrilled and totally blown away by this colourful cake.  It has his favorite M&M chocolates and Kit Kat on it.  He doesn’t know how to express his gratefulness to me.  But from his happy face, it’s already made me feel so accomplished.


As the cake is full of chocolates and candies, so I decided not to have chocolate cake.  As usual, I used my favourite Plain Sponge Cake recipe.  But this time, the cake didn’t turn up to be as good as the Pineapple Birthday cake, which I baked for my friend’s birthday.  The cake is a bit hard and I think I must have over baked it.  I should have shortened the baking time for 10” cake tin. 

 Nevertheless, it was still yummy as commented by my siblings.  Feeling so encouraged…

“Rainbow Delight”  - It was named by Helen, my colleague because it’s a happy and colourful cake that makes people feel delightful.

INGREDIENTS

2 nos.       Plain Sponge Cake
250g         Non-diary Whipping Cream
Packets     Various kind of colourful candies and chocolates


METHODS

1.     Whipped the whipping cream till stiff.
2.     Smash 2 packets (or to your desire) the Loaker waffle into small pieces.
3.     Spread the whipped cream on the sponge cake.  Top up with the smash waffles and spread another layer whipped cream on top of it.  Place the other piece of sponge cake on top.
4.     Cream the balanced whipped cream on the whole cake. 
5.     Stick the Kit Kat and Loaker Waffle alternately around the cake.   You can choose to use all Kit Kat instead.
6.     Sprinkle the amount of M&M chocolates to your desire on top of the cake. 

7.     You can tie around the cake with ribbon of your choice to enhance the decoration.



Monday, 22 July 2013

A Pineapple Birthday Cake


Hi.

I’m sure everyone loves cake with pretty decoration.  I love to stand in front of the cake shop looking at those beautiful frosted cakes.  Many years ago, I asked myself when would I be able to make these beautiful cakes…  
This is my 2nd cream cake that I have made so far.  But it's my 1st time making it for someone outside my family.

This cake is specially made for a friend whom I have known for over 2 decades.  Great friends are hard to find.  I’ll always make an effort to maintain friendships. 

The very 1st cream cake I made was Durian Fresh Cream Cake and the creaming was horrible.  To master the piping technique is not an overnight thing.  It really requires a lot of practices and I still have a long way to go…

I wasn’t confident how the cake would turn out to be.  I’m prepared if it turn out to be not presentable, I’ll keep it for my own consumption and I think my family would be happy to have it.

The dried pineapple flowers which are something that I didn’t expect it to turn out so pretty.   I got the idea from MarthaStewart.  These flowers make a very unique and eye-catching cake garnish.  That’s reason why I decided to go for it.  The baking of pineapple took a lot longer than what I was expected.  In order to speed up the drying process, slice the pineapple as thinly as possible and bake it slowly at low temperature.  

This is a 2 layered 8” cake.  The sponge cake is not from a new recipe.  It’s my usual Plain Sponge Cake recipe.  I have used up about 1½ fresh pineapple for this cake.  A whole pineapple was used to make dried pineapple flowers.  As I wanted the cream to taste fruity therefore I blended the other half pineapple and mix them with the whipped cream.  

As I didn’t have a chance to have a piece of the cake, I just hope that it won’t taste too odd to have such combination. 

This is a wonderful cake and I felt so accomplishing!


INGREDIENTS
  • A 8” Sponge Cake
  • 1½ nos. Fresh Pineapple
  • 250ml Non-dairy whipping cream
  • 1 can Rambutan stuff with pineapple.


METHOD

1.  Select 7-8 nos. of nice looking rambutan stuff with pineapple.  Set aside.

2.  For the balance, remove the pineapple and slice the rambutan into small pieces.  Set aside.

3.  Cut the other ½ fresh pineapples into the small pieces.  Remember to remove the cord.  Put the small pieces of pineapple into the blender and blend it until smooth.  Set aside.

4.  Whip the whipping cream till stiff with electric mixer. Fold in the whipped cream with the blended pineapple.

5.  Slice the cake horizontally into 2 layers.  Spread pineapple whipped cream on the surface of the first layer of the cake.  Arrange the sliced rambutan on it and top up with the pineapple whipped cream until it covers the rambutan.  Place the other layer of cake on top of it.

6.  Spread a thick layer of the balance pineapple whipped cream on the whole cake.  But set aside some for piping the border.

7.  Stick the dried pineapple flowers around the cake and pipe the border.

8.  Last step.  Place the selected rambutan which stuff with pineapple on top of the cake and that completes the decoration.

9.  Keep the cake in the refrigerator before it is served.



Sunday, 14 July 2013

Cranberry Chocolate Chips Muffin


Muffins are for everyone.  It tastes wonderful.  Both old and young will love it. 

Muffins are good for gathering family and close friends.  It whisks up the gatherings.

I like muffin which rise up “high and mighty”.  Therefore, I filled the batter into the muffin cups up to the brim.  As you can see from the picture, every single muffin really turned out tall and proud!

This is a very simple and easy recipe and I promise it’ll be a success!


INGREDIENTS
(Makes 18 large muffins)

  • 250g         Unsalted Butter
  • 2 tsp         Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 250g         Fine Sugar (I reduced it to 200g)
  • 6 nos.       Eggs
  • 450g         Self Raising Flour
  • 120g         Non Fat Fresh Milk
  • 180g         Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 180g         Cranberries 


METHODS

1. Preheat oven.
2. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with 12 muffin liners
3. Place the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until light and fluffy. 
4. Gradually beat in the eggs and milk until combined.
5. Sift the flour into the batter.  Stir until blended.
6. Stir in the chocolate chips and cranberries
7. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling each cup up to the brim.
8. Bake the muffin at 180ºC for 22-25 minutes.



Saturday, 13 July 2013

Chinese Lotus Root Cake



Hi.  This is another meal which I had prepared for my family weekend lunch.

The disadvantage of Air Fryer is that it has little space.  It’s only suitable for small family to cook easy and simple meal.

The basket in the air fryer is made of wire mesh.  So it has the tendency that the meat will stick on it and make washing difficult.  Therefore, I place a small plate that could nicely fit into the basket then the meat on the plate instead of placing the meat directly on the wire mesh.


The meat was fry evenly as you can see from the pic.  I simply could’t achieve this if they were fry over the gas stove.  The best thing I like about Air Fryer is that very little oil is used.

For this recipe I made about 18 pieces.  It took me 2 rounds of frying.  To achieve this, I actually stacked up the flatten meat ball on top one other and midway of the frying, turned the meat around.

 So Air Fryer is not only can do nice, crunchy and delicious fries, it also cooks nice and healthy meal.


INGREDIENT
  • Medium size prawn
  • Mince pork
  • Lotus root (can use water chestnut too)
  • Parsley
  • Olive Oil
  • Corn starch
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Water


METHOD
  1. Remove the shell and the vein from the prawn.
  2. Mince the prawn.
  3. Chop the lotus root into tiny pieces.
  4. Chop the parsley.
  5. Mixed the mince pork, mince prawn, lotus root and parsley together and marinate with olive oil, corn starch, salt, pepper and some water.
  6. Put in refrigerate to marinate for minimum 30 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle with some olive oil on the small plate that was placed on the Air Fryer basket.
  8. Divide the meat into small balls (about 6cm diameter) and give a slight press on the meat balls to flatten it a bit.
  9. Drop about 8-9 flatten meat ball on the plate which was placed on the Air Fryer basket.  I also stacked the flatten meat ball on top one another. 
  10. Airfry at 200 Deg C for abt 12-15mins.  Turn the meat around in the midway.  



Monday, 8 July 2013

Oreo Chocolate Chips Muffins

The great thing about making your own cake is knowing exactly what had gone inside your ingredient.


My sibling and I feel that the texture of this muffin is more on the dry side.  But my hubby and kids think they were good and enjoyed it very much.  Personally I'd prefer the very moist muffins...

The recipe required to bake the muffins at a very high temperature of  210° C for the initial few minutes.  The reason given is that the few minutes of high temperature will provide a crucial rise to help to form that beautiful dome.  I don’t find the tip is useful as problem lies on individual oven.  All oven are in different temperature control.  

For my case, the outcome of my muffin turned up to be hard on the outer layer.  I followed what the recipe said to bake muffins at 220°C for first 5 minutes and then turned the temperature down to 190°C for next 25 minutes.

If you prefer muffin more on the dry side, this recipe is for you.  However, I would recommend to maintain temperature at 180°C for about 22 minutes so the outer layer will not be so crusty.

Also, I realised that no butter is needed.  The recipe replaced butter with corn oil.  There must be some reason for that and I have yet to find out why.  Can anyone tell me why?  However, I used corn oil for sponge cake and I simply love the texture.

INGREDIENT

Dry
330g  Plain Flour
4 tsp  Baking Powder
1 tsp  Salt

Wet
2  Eggs
200g  Sugar
240ml  Milk
120ml  Corn Oil
½ tsp  Vanilla Extract


METHOD

1.    Preheat oven to 220°C (425°F).  Line the paper cups on the muffin tray.

2.    Beat briefly (A) in a bowl to mix.

3.    Mix (B) in a medium bowl - eggs and sugar first, followed by the rest.

4.    Add (B) to (A). Fold gently to combine - until no streaks of flour remain. The batter should look lumpy and thick.

       Tip
        Combine the ingredients in as few strokes as possible. The less we handle the batter, the fluffier the muffins. Start folding in long, broad strokes, scraping the ingredients from the bottom of the bowl in an upward motion. 

5.    Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.  Would recommend to bake the muffin at 180°C for 22 minutes.




Friday, 5 July 2013

Niederegger Dark Chocolate Marzipan Loaves

My boss will always bring back something special for me each time she travels. 

This was from her latest  vacation trip to Germany.  
It’s from Lϋbeck, which is the place of its’ origin.

The taste is simply delicious for someone who loves chocolate marzipan and I love it so much!



Crush Almond Chocolate

Gift from hubby’s friend from Japan.
Lovely packaging
(if you can understand Japanese language)

It was all gone in less than an hour after it was opened.  Yummy!

Not sure whether can it be found here.




Highland Maid Butterscotch, a Traditional Scottish Sweet and Treats – It’s sure to water your taste buds!

This Scottish goodies was from my dear colleague. 

This is temptingly tasty and it’s really my family’s favourite.
It is rich and chewy.  It has caramel texture and gives strong butterscotch flavour.

Perfect for butterscotch lover like me.


Yum!