Friday, 29 April 2016

Tiramisu

Hi
I know…  I know, the Tiramisu that I ate previously contained raw egg.  But I didn’t know it so it didn’t bother me haha!  Tiramisu is my favourite dessert but yet I never make it at home because most of the recipes I found contained raw egg.  But I chanced upon this recipe that egg yolk is partially cooked over bain marie and egg white is replaced by whipping cream.  Oh la la!  I know this is going to be my hubby’s birthday cake.
I love Tiramisu as it has a touch of alcohol and strong espresso with coffee liqueur soaked into the ladyfingers.  It also has a subtle sweetness and the bitterness from the coffee and cocoa powder which make it just right.  No wonder it is so well liked by people all over the world.

My hubby and children said this is the best Tiramisu they have ever eaten. *shy*




INGREDIENTS
The recipe I adapted actually came from all different sources which I’m not able to name them one by one. 

½ cup (120ml)                    Brewed espresso or very strong
                                                coffee, at room temperature [I used
                                                Nestle Gold Blend]
2 tbsp                                     Dry Marsala Red Wine
  [I replaced it with Brandy]
2 tbsp                                     Kahlua liqueur
2 tsp                                       Vanilla extract
3                                              Large egg yolks
¼ cup (50g)                         Granulated sugar, divided.
250g                                       Mascarpone cheese
¾ cup (175ml)                    Heavy cream
18-20 pcs                              Savolardi Italian ladyfingers
30g or more                         Cocoa powder for dusting.
20 pcs                                    Oreo cookies
 [remove the fillings sandwiched in between the cookies]

METHODS
Coffee
Combine expresso (or coffee), 2 tbsp brandy, vanilla extract and a tbsp of sugar in a wide, small bowl.

Cake Base
Place the Oreo in a resealable plastic bag.  Flatten bag to remove excess air, then seal bag.  Finely crush cookies by rolling a rolling pin across the bag.  Place the crushed cookies in a springfoam.  Add butter, mix well.  Then press it firmly onto bottom of the springfoam pan.  Refrigerate it.

Filling
Beat egg yolk, 2 tbsp of brandy in a heatproof bowl and set over a bain marie [i.e., place the heatproof bowl over a saucepan of boiling water, the bowl should not touch the water]. 

Reduce heat to low.  Whisk constantly using a handheld electric mixer, beat until the mixture is doubled in volume, hot to the touch, and texture is thick and foamy for about 5-10 mins. 

Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly, about 15 minutes. 

Whip cream in a bowl until stiff peaks.  Once the yolk-mascarpone mixture has cooled a little, gently fold in half of the whipped cream and then follow by the remaining half.  Fold until the mixture is fully incorporated (the whipped cream will deflate a little).

Assemble Tiramisu
Remove the Oreo cake base from the refrigerator. 

Spoon 1/3 of the mascarpone filling over the Oreo cake base and spread into an even layer. 

Dip half of the ladyfingers very quickly into the coffee, and arrange in over the filling.

Spoon another 1/3 of the mascarpone filling over the ladyfingers and spread it evenly.

Then dip the remaining ladyfingers very quickly into the coffee and arrange a second layer over the filling.

Spoon the remaining mascarpone filling over the ladyfingers and spread the filling evenly. 


In the Springfoam, it should have 1 layer of oreo cake base on the bottom of the Springfoam, 3 layers of mascarpone filling and 2 layers of coffee dipped ladyfingers.

Dust with cocoa powder.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours in order to let the filling set properly.  This will also give the ladyfingers enough time to absorb the liquids and soften to just the right texture.

Remove the Springfoam ring when it is chilled.  Dust it with extra cocoa powder before serve.   Tiramisu can be chilled up to 2 days, but no longer or else the ladyfingers will breakdown too much.

Note and tips I learned from various source.
A.Raw Egg White or Cream?
The recipe calls for use of egg yolk, which are cooked over bain marie partially.  Instead of using egg white which is left uncooked and whipped, it replaces by heavy cream.  Is there anything difference?  Mmmm… I’m not sure.  According to the source, Tiramisu made with egg whites will be a little lighter than with whipped cream.
Well, whether to use egg white or cream, it’s all depend whether you are comfortable with raw egg.  Tiramisu make with cream, it is just as delicious. 
  
B.Marsala Wine or Brandy?
Like salt, alcohol brings out the flavor in food. Whether you're cooking with wine, beer, or liquor, the alcohol in those beverages improves flavor.
I learned from the source that Marsala Wine lifts the creaminess of the filling and less potent.  If you don’t have it at home, the closest substitution will be brandy or dark rum. 
Coffee liqueur.  It is just coffee drink with a shot of liquor.  I added Kahlua just to enhance the flavor.

C. Savolardi Italian ladyfingers.  It is hard and often have a sugary top.  But not to worry, they soften as the tiramisu sits.  That’s why is it important to refrigerate for at least 6 hours before serving.  




Thursday, 28 April 2016

Roasted Almonds

Hi
I’m so blessed.  I received a pack of whole blanched almonds from my sister.  During the last bloggers’ meeting, I received a packet of Fleur Del Sel from Zoe [Bakefor Happy Kids] and a bottle of Natural Grapes Seed Oil Spray from Cecilia Yap.  They are my friends whom I know from blogging. 

Snacks in between the hectic work schedule keeps tummy happy and also make work happy! J  So I decided to roast almonds for my snack in office.

Happy Snacking!

INGREDIENTS
Whole blanched almonds 
Olive Oil and Grapes Seed Oil 
Sea salt or Fleur De Sel

METHOD
(1)Preheat oven to 180°C.

(2)Spread the almonds on the baking tray.

(3)Sprinkle or spray oil on the almonds evenly in a single layer.


 (4)Toast in oven until golden and fragrant for about 20 minutes.  Remove the tray occasionally to stir it evenly.


(5)Let the nuts cool completely.  When it is cooled, spray another layer of oil over.  Add salt and toss until almonds are well coated.






Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Nestum Walnut Chocolate Chips Cookies

Hi

I like the pictures of this lovely bouquet of flowers with my cookies.  I like flowers from daisy family and have a special love for Gerbara.  Other than daisy flowers, pink and champagne Roses are my favorite too.  This bouquet of lovely flowers was from my sister in law, Jessie.  She is such a sweet girl that never fails to send flowers to me on special occasion or even some time without any occasion, just to make my day.

Ok.  Back to my cookie.  
I discovered this recipe in type written format, sandwich in between one of my cookbook.  I really couldn’t remember how this recipe came about.  But I googled and it happened to be quite similar to the recipe by Nestle Nestum.
Apparently, I noticed many bloggers baked this cookie and it seems like this is one of the must bake cookie during CNY.   Well, my family enjoys this cookie very much even it’s not CNY.
These cookies were supposed to bake in a jumbo size.  But I prefer it to be in bite size.  Anyway, the cookies turned out good.  They are aromatic and crunchy.   

My 2 boys caught the aroma of these cookies, they ran to me, put their arms over my shoulder and said “Mom, cookies ready?”  
I felt sense of rewarding when I saw Titus started to pack the cookies to bring to school the next day.  

Seeing my kids loving those cookies, have made my baking and cooking for them even more accomplishing.  

HAPPY BAKING!

INGREDIENTS
[Yield about 70 pcs]

150g         Plain flour
½ tsp        Baking powder
¼ tsp         Salt
60g           Nestum All Family Cereal
50g           Chocolate Chips
50g           Walnuts – roughly chopped
150g         Butter at room temperature
120g         Light brown sugar
1               Large Egg
½ tsp        Vanilla extract


METHOD

(1)Sift flour and baking powder together.  Stir in salt and Nestum All Family Cereal, then add in the walnuts and chocolate chips.

(2)Place butter and sugar in a mixing bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and fluffy [about 5 minutes]

(3)Add the eggs and vanilla, continue beating until well incorporated.

(4)Fold in the flour mixture using the lowest speed to mix well.
To form cookies, place about 1 teaspoon of mixture on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. 

(5)Bake in a preheated oven 180 deg C for 15 mins [I baked for 20 mins] or until cookies are crispy and golden brown.

(6)Cool the cookies on a wire rack and store in airtight container.