Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Pandan chiffon cake turn malay kueh

Tried making a pandan chiffon cake today. I know it is a difficult cake and i am not
overestimating myself, just that my family is sick of chocolate cakes 
and my fussy little  eaters like pandan cake.

I hv coconut milk in fridge so I thought I give Aunty Yochana's Pandan chiffon cake a try.
Thank you Aunty Yochana for sharing the recipe.

How embarassing. The cake is a total failure. Mixing the egg yolk part is quite a breeze (I wouldn't know if it has gone wrong anyway). There isnt anyone around to confirm my "beating the egg white (which is a first to me)" is correct. Anyway I folded ard 1/3 of beaten egg white  into the egg yolk mixture first then the rest of it. There is still streaks of white thou.

On the cooking portion. The recipe calls for 40 - 45 minutes, but at abt 20 - 25 minutes (but i did half the recipe), I saw the cake rise , dome shape, and cracks in the centre. I even witness a crack starting from the centre, working its way to the side of the cake (like ice cracking in ice age movie). According to baking book, the dome shape is the symptom of temperature too hot. A pity my oven thermometer is not at a correct angle for me to chk properly.

As I can see the inside through the crack, I think it looks cooked, so I tested it. The satay stick comes out clean. I declare its cooked and took it out of the oven. While testing, 
the dome has already sank back to be levelled with the rest of the 
cake, so I thot it will not sink any further and so did not follow
 what the recipe says abt cooling it inverted. 
After a minute, or maybe less, the cake collapsed further. Look at this sorry sight.

I did not wait for it to cool too long cos i wanted to taste the cake. This is the look of the inside.
I can imagine how it will look if it has not collasped.

Hubby tried and say not bad, taste like malay kueh. I also find the taste very pleasing, not too sweet, just nice. 
Infact I think I love the taste. Got to try this again soon.

Some minor changes i want to note here.
- Half the recipe is used
- Only 65ml coconut in the packet, so 10ml if HL milk is added to make up the liquid content
- 8 inch square pan is used instead of tube pan (now considering shd i go buy a tube pan instead)
- I lined the pan, bottom and sides (not sure if this affects the rising of the cake)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Dinner - Baked rice

Sick of cooking the usual dishes and think that it has been a long time since i do bake rice. Had 2 recipes cut out in my recipe file, but i choose to source recipe online from my fav food blog - Happy Home Baking blog.

Read it a couple of time last night, but i did not jot it down. So I simple rely on memory. Start cooking the thighs, cut up the meat when cooled. Chopped ingredients (just use my own) red green capsicum, button mushroom, tomato, and the usual garlic and onion when cooking chicken. After that I use butter to stir fry the garlic and onion, followed by the other ingredients, then pour in the nestle pouring cream that has been sitting in my fridge for a long long time (wanted that cream to do the cake frosting) then the stock. In goes the last impt ingredient, cooked rice. I placed a few slices of crabmeat stick (those frozen ones) and sprinkle on the mozz cheese generously (almost used all of the packet that i bought from 

The cheese took quite some time to start turning brown. Kids are complaining that they hungry (time is 545pm). Finally, after 30 minutes of ard 180 deg C, I can serve my baked rice.

Its the first time i use cream.  All previous attempts uses tomato ketchup, or tomato puree (my other cut out recipe), or canned soups. Camera low batt and got to feed kids, so only manage this foto.

My hubby commented that it is tasty leh .. yay. My kids, also say nice, accept they keep picking out the mushroom.

Monday, October 22, 2007

I baked my Girl's bday cake

Daring hor. With these kind of skills still bake bday cake for my girl. As usual, i chose an easy recipe. She asked for chocolate cake even thou i proposed strawberry flavour. Its called "family chocolate cake". I feel that we hv been eating too much chocolate related cakes. Hubby at the end of the celebration also ask me if i can try other recipes like those very eggful flavour ji dan gao cake.

Ok, heres how the end product look.

How is it? Pretty? (if you are not asking for a smooth frost done) Well looks can be deceiving.

Hubby commented that the frosting is too yulky. Asked me how come i did not try it out in small amount first and told me I shd just stick with using chocolate. Cake wise, he at first said it taste like huat kueh, but after a few tries, without the frosting, told me is ok, but he dun like. The kids? They are only interested with the gummy hearts. I find the cake ok leh. The frosting (the recipe call it fudge) is really very powdery in taste, not to my liking too.  I post the recipe at the end. Try (if you chance upon this blog) and tell me so that I can compare to see if i did the right thing.

This recipe uses water in making the cake. I hv not come across such recipe so far, that is y tempt me to try. This is the in progress picture.

The mixture "grows" when boiling (perhaps the bicarbonate) so better prepare a bigger saucepan. I added in flour and egg all in one go cos the mixture is very watery. The flour at first appears in lumps but I hand mix the mixture with spoon first. Then I used the mixer to beat. I am not sure if i m right in beating the mixture. 
I beat for quite sometime before I am satisfied.
Anyway the mixture is almost at the ribbon stage.

The cake rose beautifully in the oven. Since I halved the recipe, so I thought I shd half the baking time too. But when i checked at end of 30 minutes, the cake is not cooked even though the cake rose high high. Guess what happen after the prick test. The cake cracked in the oven while still baking! So finally after 50 minutes (as per recipe time), the cake is out from oven.

Finally, the cake did not sink back down. This time the cake measures ard 3.5cm tall (i used a 8 by 8 inch square pan). How happy I am. A pity i cant test the cake at that moment, but as I need to trim off the cracked top for a flatter look to frost, i did try the bits and pieces from there. Quite ok, soft then. Heres how it looks inside.

 tall right? Did it look alright to you?

ok, heres the recipe taken off from the book "The Australian Women's Weekly, CAKES biscuits & slices". This book is borrowed from NLB.

Family chocolate cake -Preparation time 20 minutes, cooking time 50 minutes (plus cooling time)

2 cups (500ml) water
3 cups (660g) caster sugar
250g butter, chopped
1/3 cup (35g) cocoa powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3 cups (450g) self raising flour
4 eggs

Fudge frosting
90 butter
1/3 cup (80ml) water
1/2 cup (110b) caster sugar
1 1/2 cups (240g ) icing sugar
1/3 cup (35g ) cocoa powder

1. Preheat oven to moderate (180 dC). Grease deep 26.5cm x 33cm baking dish; line base with baking paper.
2. Combine the water, sugar, butter and sifted cocoa and soda in medium saucepan; stir over heat, without boiling, until sugar dissolves, Bring to a boil then reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to large bowl; cool to room temperature.
3. Add flour and eggs to bowl; beat with electric mixer until mixture is smooth and pale in colour. Pour mixture into pan; bake about 50 minutes. Stand cake 10 minutesl turn, top-side up, onto wire rack to cool.
4. Spread cold cake with fudge frosting.

Fudge frosting -  combine butter, the water and caster sugar in small suacepan; stir over low heat, without boiling, until sugar dissolves. Sift icing sugar and cocoa into small bowl then gradually stir in hot butter mixture. Cover; refrigerate about 20 miutes or until frosting thickens. Beat with wooden spoon until spreadable.

Try it and let me know.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

What is this, you may ask. This is the steamed moist chocolate cake, recipe taken from my friend's blog.  Thanks Pris and the originator (if she ever chanced upon this). I did not put any frosting, cos i did not hv condense milk.
Anyway it is already very soft and moist and delicious.
Hubby say very nice leh.

Not difficult to make since it doesn't require mixer, and no need for oven too (not heaty then i suppose). Wonderful! BUT my kids are not eating it :(.

Just wondering, did u see the holes? Are the holes suppose to be there?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Non bake oreo cheesecake

Was saying earlier boy "complaint" I did not buy him an oreo cheesecake from McCafe right, so I make one using the recipe from Happy Home Baking.  

I replaced the base of digestive biscuit with square cracker called "Soh Da Bia" ( or maybe call Graham cracker ), cos I thot my cracker is wheat cracker, not as sweet so less 

Hubby say base doesnt go well with the cake. My boy ate one piece and when
 asked, he say he wouldnt want another tmr.  My girl din like the cream (which is the white cheese part). *she also dun take the cream frosting from cupcakes!*

Anyway, here are the pictures :-
  (Sorry, did not bother to clean the knife :) )

I hv to jot down here to remind myself, never mix milk into melted chocolate. Wanted some melted chocolate to deco the cake, but is not "watery" enough for dribbling, so i add in fresh milk.
The mixture changed texture to a sticky paste.  I even went to the extent to add hot water and it still doesnt work. In the end,  I added in butter (For the 2nd try hor. First try just cant make it). Somehow, i decide that even if it is not good enough for dribbling, i just use a spoon to "pour" the melted chocolate on top. Abstract art ya ? :-)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Baked brownie muffin yesterday. Used this recipe from JY's Baking Journals. I did not know it is a brownie muffin until i revisit the recipe
 at night. No wonder need to add so much chocolate.

However, mine is a mini muffin tray and I do not know how to adjust time of bake,
so i think very likely my muffins are overbaked. Similar to the chocolate butter biscuit I baked earlier, there are many oil oozing out from the muffin during the baking process. So there are puddles of oil beneath the paper liner when i took out the muffins.

With the oil oozing out, muffin is dry and compact (or maybe called dense?). Hubby likes it thou. Oh there are also unmelted raw sugar on top of the crust (cos cant get caster sugar so substitue with raw sugar). I did not use mixer, so lazy me did not 
wait till the sugar dissolves.

Anyway definitely edible, but cos of this failure, no mood to take pictures.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Different types of cakes - info from net

Question always bothering me.

What are the differences between the different types of cakes ? butter cakes, sponge cakes, chiffon cakes, muffin, cupcakes etc etc

So i googled it and here's one of the helpful link. Have to save it up here cos just too much info to digest at this hour.

16th Oct -  created a "QnA" section for me to save up the URL of answers to my questions.

failed AGAIN - Chocolate banana sponge cake

I tried this recipe before, and I did it quite alright. I think the cake texture is right then but this time round, definitely a failure. The cake did not rise, is hard and dry.

I had the batter till ribbon stage, thou not sure if it is ribbon enough. Took me ard 15 minutes. However, i m not happy that i took quite a long time folding in the flour mix. Besides that, I used raw sugar instead of caster sugar (NTUC run out of stock) and I am short of 8g butter. Now, did that 8g butter make the cake so dry ? Its only 8g!

Got to keep trying. Very dishearten with all the failures recently.

I hv to note down this. I really hv problem blending in the flour properly with the least strokes. I find that there are dark chocolate coloured mix settling down at the bottom of the bowl.  Now, my mix bowl has a flat base, just like every others.
Will a small base bowl helps ?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Another failed sponge

Even thou I did not have the paper cups, I thought no harm trying on a regular pan, so I used the recipe that suppose to produce the crystal jade paper cup shaped cake. It is straight forward, just flour, egg, sugar, sponge stabiliser beat till ribbon stage, mix in butter and bake.

I tried that once without stabiliser and it doesnt keep its "tall look" after out from oven. Advice given to me is to use that, else sure will collapse. Since i m not too keen to use that, i did not think abt the recipe till recently when my mother bought her tub of stabiliser after the PH demo. BUT it still din work out!

Ok, i made a mistake too, forgot the milk, but I don't think that is the cause. The ribbon stage (at least to me) is reached slightly after 5 mins. This surprised me, cos previously a sponge cake recipe took longer than that. I could hv fold the butter a little too long, but too bad lah, my "kung fu" not there yet. Infact, after long folding, i could still see streak of oil at the side of pan after pouring batter inside.

Look of the cake is dense and compact since it has collapsed. Taste wise is still ok, my kids say nice (very definitely cos of the strong egg taste). Texture is smooth too. *sigh* must try again.

Here are the pixs for record purpose.

 Cake not high, so stack the pieces higher to compensate lah haha.

  ok, just another presentation in "indoor" mode (mode of camera)

Besides the above, i tried coconut tarts too. The recipe is from the baking class that my mother took in CC. Its a total flop. I think i will never try it again till i dig another recipe from elsewhere. The crust is ok, cos it is from a biscuit recipe, but the coconut filling .. it isnt anywhere near those selling outside. With the amt of egg, the coconut never binds together. Imagine eating coconut tarts with biscuit crust and dessicated coconut as filling?

Monday, October 8, 2007

failed Brownie ?

Was told brownie wasnt a difficult item for a newbie so off I went to "collect" the ingredients required and finally attempted it today.  The result (the look) is not satisfactory and I am not sure if that is the right result (the taste) anyway. The recipe is from Happy Home Baking. Its call Nut and Chocolate Chip Brownies.

I am getting lazier to clean up the mixer these days (luckily I have not invest on a KitchenAid or Kenwood) so I tried mixing the mix with my hands. However, the amount of sugar and egg make it so difficult for me to whisk (old woman liao lah) so all I could do is to swirl the mix round and round.  After much swirling, I finally get tired of it and mixed in the melted chocolate then sifted in the flour and off goes the mixture into the oven.

After 35 minutes, it came out looking like this after standing for some time. It isn't like this when it first came out from the oven.

 Look at the "squarish" hole in the centre.

 The pieces of brownie are only 2cm tall!

Patiently waited for it to cool down, then cut and taste it. It is very very sweet (even thou i reduced sugar to 180g thinking that my Van Houten baking chocolate should be a semi sweet chocolate). It is indeed moist (a consolation since it supposed to be) and maybe it is fudgy (since I am not sure how fudgy taste like) but it is flat (since it collapsed).

Only my gal wants to try upon me asking, but my boy rejected my offer. Now I am stucked with many pieces of fattening brownie 
(I am too fat to keep eating these nice stuff). I must go buy
smaller pans. My kids have not been eating alot of my bakes
accept the egg tarts. I should start "recruiting" testers 
(don't want to stop cos i like baking leh).

I forgot to mention, i even hv problem leveling the mix for oven cos it is very gooey.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Non bake Orea cheesecake akan datang

While taking dinner atMcdonald's West Coast (with McCafe besides). Boy suddenly say i did not buy him a slice of orea cake as promissed.  So i told him i will make him one.

so that's the next thing i m gog to do .. and will update when i complete it.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Tips from magazine

Doing housekeeping of the various paper cuttings I have and I came across little tips from the tips page in the magazines. I have been keepig them but not refering to them. So now i shall "enter" them into this blog for easier reference. I still do not know how to use the other features accept just to type and type. I hv yet decide on how to classify my posts.

Anyway here's the first, taken off from The Singapore Women's Weekly - Feb 2004, Reader Hints page.

To clean your oven rack, wrap it with foil - dull side out. Heat it on high for 10 to 12 minutes. when it's cool, remove the foil. All the burnt grease and food will fall out, and the rack will be spotless!
Contributed by Glarista Grant, Bedok North Avenue 2

Another bake - spiral cheese scones

Since the kids don't like the butter bicsuit, i tried to do another type for them. Its ard midnight that i finish this spiral cheese scones from the baking book that my mother bought. It taste very good the last round i did it, but this time, after changing the type of cheese, it not only taste terrible and also looks terrible.

Instead of rubbing butter into flour by hand, this time i use a processor. Anyway the first time I don't think I achieved the "bread crumbs" look, and this time using processor, i also did not produce the "look".

Heres what it shd look like (thou the look of the first attempt did not come close to this as well)

Ok, here's how mine turned out (sorry for showing u the ugly product)

This new cheese make this scones a little too hard, and maybe the amount of time used to process the butter into bread crumbs also affects? Furthermore, the dough is similar to the first attempt, so soft even after chilling that i had problem cutting it. I used a thread to cut. Since the dough is soft, the shape is not there too. Also the cheese oozes out from the spiral, not too sure y .. was it the temperature too hot ? Maybe next time (ya will hv next time , cos this item is quite tasty) will try lower temperature and bake longer. The cheese also turn into a very ugly brown.

But I guess I will never be able to solve the "y did the cooked producs still sticks to the greased baking sheet. Oh, another thing, i chopped up my cheese
instead of buying the grated one. Maybe that affects the texture of the product too.

Chocolate butter biscuit

I am not sure if this bake is a success since i cant say i know the taste of butter biscuits. This recipe taken from a borrowed book from the library, has no pictures to refer to. My end product look like this.

 Taste wise, alright to me, but my kids did not like it. It is too bitter for them (I love bitter chocolate). They are also very crumbly, easily breakable. I really cant describe it, since i m not good in english.

Recipe mentioned to use processor to "produce" the bread crumbs, but i use hand to rub in the butter. Anyway i did not manage to get any "crumbs". This step ends up producing a soft dough but i continue with the next step anyway.  The final dough is quite difficult to handle too. So soft even after chilling it for ard 45 minutes and I do not hv the time to chill it further to test (got to complete and rush my kids to sleep). I cant even use my car cookie cutter from daiso on it.  

During baking the first batch, I can see oil bubbles (like oil boiling) coming out from the biscuit. So fattening. The 2nd batch, I did not use baking paper and the biscuits swim around the pan (which  had boiling oil too).

Now I wonder will my dh finish it for me. Butter biscuit you know .. so fattening! Think this will be the first and last try of this biscuit.

If you want to try this recipe, please refer to the book titled "Fresh Baked" by Louise Pickford. I borrowed this from NLB.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Egg tart again

My friend has started her baking blog http://www.ningxuworld.blogspot.com not too long ago. I also itchy hand started 
one today lor. Actually i start this for fun.
This blog will not only document my baking sessions and all, but also my crafts from other hobbies like beading, or anything that deals with my hobbies like photography (besides the above two)

My kids love egg tarts (so do I). Today is the 4th try. Previous 2 tries used cake flour, but i run out of that so i used top flour on 3rd try and found the crust crispy, and to my liking, so i continued with using top flour for the crust. Here are some pictures.

 The empty egg tart before bake, all hand moulded.

 Thats the final results. Sorry for the tart mould not being removed. Totally forgotten abt it cos rushing to get the pictures done so as to wake my kids. As for the egg there .. it is just for fun, hoping it will not be another boring picture of just an egg tart.

 Here's one taken indoor, without the sunlight, on my dining table.

Besides this, i also made ondeh ondeh. This is the 2nd try. The dough is as usual,  so sticky that i hv to wet my hand for every ball that i roll after putting in the gula. Anyway, they ended up in odd shapes and sizes, haha, but they are tasty to me.  This is one of my favorite snack anyway, just like the egg tart. So no wonder i m doing it often. However, the gula did not really melt thoroughly  inside the tapioca balls. Here are some pictures.

   nice orange color right?

Thanks to Priscilla for sharing with me this recipe. And for the egg tart recipe, i really cant remember where i downloaded it from. But i am certainly one who is not creative, modify the recipe etc. So I just follow directly from what is documented. Is it right for me to post the recipes here?

I learn alot from Happyhomebaking as well as priscilla. Thanks to them.

Will not be adding any links yet since i do not know how to do it.

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