Thursday, 31 March 2016

Son’s Birthday Cake

Hi

My 2 boys are March babies.  I was looking back through my children’s pictures and can’t believe it’s another year.  Every year seems to go by faster and faster…
Titus is my youngest boy.  He is very cheeky since young and little stubborn too.  He upsets me the most but he is also the one who keeps me laugh every single days. 
 He is such a blessing from God as he brings so much joy and fun to us.
This is the cake that I made for his 16th birthday.  With the knowledge and inspiration I gathered from bloggers and FB friends, and also my skills in baking chiffon cake, I think I have achieved a great accomplishment on this cake.


I’m so pleased that this cake brought a smile to everyone’s face.

Here’s the recipe which I adapted from various sources.

HAPPY BAKING!

CAKE ASSEMBLY
(1)Cut away the top of the chocolate cake to slightly flat. Then cut cake into 2 slices.

(2)Place one slice of cake on a cake cake tin. Spread the refrigerated Oreo Cream Cheese filling on top and cover with the 2 pcs of cake over it.  


(3)Spread Ganache Cream on the whole cake evenly and chill the cake in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.  Then decorate the cake as desired.


(4)These are the ingredients I used to decorate the cake.





(A)CHOCOLATE CHIFFON CAKE

4              Egg yolks
80ml        Milk
50ml        Canola oil
20g          Castor sugar
80g          Cake flour
20g          Cocoa powder
¼ tsp        Baking powder
¼ tsp        Baking soda
¼ tsp        Salt
 4             Egg whites
60g          Caster sugar
¼ tsp        Cream of tartar

Method
(1)Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.

(2)In a large mixing bowl, place the yolks, oil, salt, milk and 20g sugar and beat with a hand whisk until all ingredients together. Add in flour mixture and mix until incorporated.

(3)Beat the egg whites until frothy before adding cream of tartar. Continue beating until fine foams then gradually add in the 60g of sugar. Beat to stiff peaks.

(4)Add 1/3 of meringue into the yolk batter and mix well with a hand whisk to lighten the batter. Add another 1/3 and mix till combined. Lastly add the final portion and whisk briefly to combine before switching to spatula to scoop batter from bottom and fold up until no more streaks of yolk batter can be seen.

(5)Pour into 20cm tube pan and tap on the table top to remove bubbles and also to even out the batter.

(6)Bake at 170C for 60. Remove from oven and invert immediately to cool. 


(B)OREO CREAM CHEESE
[Adapted from Kraft recipe with modification]

250g         Cream cheese, room temperature
80g          Caster sugar
1 tsp         Vanilla extract
100g         Whipping cream
40g          Oreo cookies crumbs
1 tbsp       Lemon juice

Method
Whip the cool cream until it is soft peak.

Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until blended. 

Gently stir in cooled whipped cream and oreo cookies crumbs.
Refrigerate for 2 hours


(C)GANACHE CREAM
[Adapted from Anncoo Journals]

250g         Semi-sweet chocolate, chop to pieces
200g         Dairy whipping cream
30g          Butter
½ tsp        Vanilla extract
 1 tbsp      Kahlua liqueur or rum (optional) – I skipped

Method
(1)Combine chocolate pieces, butter, vanilla extract and whipping cream in a sauce pot.

(2)Bring to a boil at med low heat. Turn off the heat and stir chocolate mixture until it is smooth.

(3)Leave to stand 10 minutes before frosting.



Saturday, 26 March 2016

Honey Brandy Roasted Chicken



Hi

I was confused between the difference of roast and grill, so I checked it out and here’s the explanation I got.

*Roast and bake are cooking with heating simultaneously from all sides in the oven.

*Grill is cooked by applying heat from one side and need to turn the meat over frequently.  Usually it is heated from below on a charcoal grill or electric grill pan.  Perfect grilled should have crisp and crackly skin.  Some people will prefer to have a skillet to run through the meat on the grill rotator. 

I like meat to be either roasted or baked.  It is a healthier cooking method as it requires little oil or even no oil at all.  It also captures the flavor and retains the nutrients in the food. 
 Roast chicken is pretty easy to make.  Honey gives out the sticky sweet flavor and with a little brandy added to the marinades, it gives bronze glaze on the chicken and also enhance flavor.

I like this dish very much because the oven does most of the work – cooking and browning.  I don’t have to do anything except flipping the chicken thigh over so that it will be cooked evenly. 

This dish didn’t disappoint me.  It is delicious and finger-lickin’ good.  My family enjoyed it very much.

HAPPY BAKING!

INGREDIENTS
3 pcs         large chicken thigh

Marinades
1 tbsp       oyster sauce
2 tsp         light soya sauce
¼ tsp        dark soya sauce
1 tsp         honey
1 tbsp       brandy
                 Pepper to taste

METHOD
(1)Clean and rinse the chicken thighs; drain and then pad dry with kitchen towel.

(2)Marinade the chicken thighs for about 3-4 hours.


(3)Place in the roasting pan or wire mesh and bake at 190°C for about 20mins or until golden brown.  Turn chicken thigh over and continue to roast until the other side turns golden brown too.



I’m submitting this to March Little Thumbs Up on Honey.  This is organized by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen of My Little Favourite DIY and hosted by Joyce of Joy 'N' Escapde.


I’m also submitting this to Bake Along Event #93 on Roasted Chicken organized by Joyce of Kitchen Flavors, Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids  and Lena of Frozen Wings.



Monday, 21 March 2016

Ginger Honey Grilled Chicken Wings


Hi

How time flies.  My elder son had just passed his 20th birthday, which was on 12 Mar.  He is no longer a teenager but young adult now.   
Grilled chicken wing drumette was one of his favorite snacks when he was a little toddler.  Whenever I see him eating chicken wings, I can’t stop reminiscing how he enjoyed nibbling on it when he was a little toddler.  Back then, I didn’t know how to cook so I used to buy it from the hawker stall for him.  It was really a joy to see all his 10 little fingers were sticky with sauce and his face was smeared all over with sticky sauce, too.  :D

This is another one of the chicken wings recipe which my family likes it a lot.  It is very tasty with a slight sweetness from the honey and ginger flavor.  I like the marinades, which actually turned into a beautiful golden glaze but I tell you the chicken wings are tastier than it looks.
HAPPY COOKING!

INGREDIENTS
[I chanced upon this recipe from the internet and make a little tweak to it.]

1.2kg        chicken wing drumettes
1              green spring onion, thinly sliced diagonally
2 tbsp       white sesame seed, lightly toast it in oven

Marinade:
¼ cup       light soy sauce
3 tbsp       honey
1 pce        1” grated ginger
3 cloves    garlic, finely minced
1/8 tsp      sriracha hot sauce     

METHODS
(1)Combine the marinade ingredients and marinade the chicken wings for at least 2 hours or overnight.

(2)Preheat the oven to 200°C and line aluminum foil before the grilling rack.  This is for easy washing after grilling.

(3)Arrange the chicken wings drumettes on the grilling rack.
Brush the remaining sauce on the chicken wings drumettes before putting it into the oven to grill.


(4)Grill for 15 mins.  Remove from oven and use tongs to turn the wings over.  Brush the chicken wings drumettes again with the remaining marinades and grill for another 10-15 mins or until they are nicely browned.

(5)Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and thinly sliced spring onion over the chicken wings drumettes, and serve.


I’m submitting this to March Little Thumbs Up on Honey.  This is organized by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen of My Little Favourite DIY and hosted by Joyce of Joy 'N' Escapde.


Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Cranberry and Chia Seeds Banana Cake

Hi
If you are baking banana cake, I urge you to use brown sugar.  Like what Diana from The Domestic Goddess Wannabe said, the darker the sugar, the deeper the flavor will be and brown sugar yields richer flavor as compared to caster sugar.
Look!  This is such a wonderful cake.  It’s so easy to put together and the cake is deliciously moist.  Cranberries and banana combination is fantastic and with chia seed added, it gives a slight crunch to the cake.  
I have a big pack of Chia Seed from Australia.  My children don’t like it to be added into their drinks or oats so the only way for them to consume Chia Seed is to bake them into a cake. 
 I like to bake banana cake because I like the aroma of the banana cake from the oven permeated my kitchen and to my living room and then the next moment, before you realized it, there are already people surrounding around the cake :D
HAPPY BAKING!

INGREDIENTS
2              large eggs
4              large bananas, mashed
125g         unsalted butter, melted
175g         plain flour
150g         caster sugar [replaced by brown sugar]
2 tsp         baking powder
½ tsp        bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp        salt
1 tsp         vanilla extract
80-100g    dried cranberries
1 tbsp       chia seeds

METHODS
(1)In a big bowl, stir together melted butter and sugar.

(2)Once the butter and sugar have been mixed (there will still be gritty bits), add the eggs, one at a time, and beat each into the mixture using a wooden spoon or spatula. As it mixes, the egg will change the consistency of the mixture. Make sure you work rather quickly otherwise the eggs will scramble because of the residual heat from the butter.

(3)Add the mashed bananas and vanilla extract and mix.

(4)Add the chia seeds and cranberries and stir some more to mix.

(5)Fold the sifted dry ingredients into the mixture. Do not over mix – just stir until the flour has just been moistened.

(6)Pour the batter into a lightly greased and lined 9×5-inch loaf pan.

(7)Bake at 170°C for 45-55 minutes, or until an inserted skewer emerges cleanly.

(8)Allow the banana bread to cool completely in the pan.
Then simply slice, and serve!  


Sunday, 6 March 2016

Korean Red Ginseng Chicken Soup


Hi
My boss bought me this Korean Red Ginseng during his last trip to Korea.  They are 6 years old Red Ginseng.  I read from some source that 6 year old Korean Red Ginseng is universally recognised as being the most efficacious and highly prized of all ginsengs.
I wasn’t sure the best way to consume ginseng as I’m not a purist in traditional herbs.  According to my mother in law, just by adding red dates, huai shan (淮山) and wolfberries to the ginseng and boil it with half a chicken is already good enough to obtain all the beneficial from the Ginseng.  There isn’t necessary to add in any other herbs or whole bunch of other things. 
 Wow!  Look at the cooked Ginseng.  
See how the ginseng puffed out after it is cooked.  Also the chicken, you can see the meats are falling off.  The slow and gentle boiling of the soup actually brings out the wonderful herbal taste and I really enjoy the taste so much!
Thanks so much Boss!

INGREDIENTS
10g          Red Korean Ginseng (The one I used is 12g)
2 tbsp       Wolfberries
6 pcs         Red dates
2 pcs         Unprocessed dried Huai Shan (Chinese Yam Root)
2 pcs         Chicken drum sticks with thigh
1.5 litres   Water
Pinch of salt

METHODS
(1)Rinse all the dried ingredients to get rid of the dust and dirt.

(2)Put all the ingredients into a pot and bring to boil over high fire for about 15 mins.  Reduce the fire to medium or low and simmer for about 1.5hrs and until the chicken meat falling off from the bone.



Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Chocolate Chip Fleur De Sel Cookie (Bake for the Day Bakery)


Hi
I made this cookie again because Zoe said I must try the original recipe with caster sugar and sprinkle of salt then I would know why these cookies are causing riot if they are running out in the bakery.
Sweetness doesn’t seem necessary sweet when a pinch of salt is included.  It actually balances things out. 

I’m glad I have tried the original recipe.  This is so far the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever baked – crispy on the edges; soft and chewy on the inside.  With the pinch of salt, the flavor of this cookie is like no other chocolate chip cookie I have tasted before. 
 HAPPY!

This recipe is by Bake For The Day Bakery
You can find the recipe I baked without Fleur De Sel here.

for Bake-Along #92