Saturday, September 24, 2011

Chocolate Snowskin

Finally, on my mooncake post. After the first try on mooncake, I am determine to make another batch so that I can participate in AB. The previous try was a snowskin premix powder, so this time I make a trip to Phoon Huat to understand about the ingredients.

I still have sesame paste not used up, but my boy only eats chocolate paste. We bought one box of snowskin from a bakery in JB and he only eats the chocolate snowskin with chocolate filling. As he did not try what  was made in the first batch, I am determine to make a chocolate skin with chocolate filling for him.

I googled the net for quite sometime, but no recipe seem simple enough. Then my mother came to my help with her mooncake recipe book which she borrowed from the library a few days ago. There is a recipe on chocolate snowskin mooncake with chocolate lotus filling. I went to gather the ingredients, snowskin powder and lotus filling. I cannot buy chocolate lotus fillings  because I will have too much filling to clear.

I am not satisfied with having only one type, so with lotus filling, I made the chocolate lotus filling and I made the chocolate skin as well as the strawberry snowskin from HHB's recipe. Luckily I did not use sesame filling, because I ran out of time. Initially my friend (with her kids) are interested to join me in trying out making mooncakes but after much consideration, I felt that time is too short to allow kids. It was a mad rush and my kids are happy to be able to play with each other instead of helping me out too (thank goodness). Good thing I am still on time to send my girl to school.

I did not make alot of chocolate filling since it is a trial batch. I reduced half the lotus filling with the recipe so that the filling can be more chocolatey. So with two types of filling, two types of skin, there are four combination of mooncakes.

The chocolate lotus filling is dry. Pretty sure it is so because of the additional chocolate. The chocolate skin is ok, not too wet to handle but it gets more difficult to handle as time ticks by.  Initially we (my mother came over too) try 20g skin, 30g filling but it is too difficult for us to handle, so we sticked back to 21 - 22g skin, 28g filling. I will challenge the 20,30 next year perhaps.

We still did not get nice prints on the mooncake but I think it has nothing got to do with the mould since my friend can create nice mooncake from the same mould my mother bought from Phoon Huat. The strawberry skin is pretty easy to handle (all thanks to HHB's fine tuning). I did not add any colouring and the pink is very acceptable to me.

I still have both types of filling and the snowskin powder left. Not sure when I will be doing mooncakes but if I do not, what else can I use the powder for?

Here's sharing the chocolate snowskin mooncake recipe from "月餅精選" Published by One Publisher

130gm water
70gm brown sugar

40gm cooking chocolate
10gm coco powder
10gm chocolate elmuco (I omitted this)

20gm shortening
60gm fried glutinous rice flour

300gm lotus seed paste
1/2 tbsp chocolate elmuco  (I omitted)
60gm cooking chocolate (melted)

1) Cook (A) till boil.
2) Add in ingredient (B), mix well. Leave to cool. Then add in ingredient (C). mix become a smooth dough, divide into equal portions.
3) Wrap in chocolate filling, press into the mould and knock it out. Chill to set.

I am not sure how many can this recipe make ? I forgot to count and I have eaten them all up. :)

I am submitting this to Aspiring Bakers #11 : Mid-Autumn Treats (Sept 2011). Too tired again to write any further.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Banana Walnut streusel Pound

It seems that I have tried alot of recipes in July. Besides the ice cream, the strawberry trifle, the crispy skin chicken wings and garlic bread (thou posted in Aug), I also baked a Banana Walnut Streusel Pound Cake. I have referred the recipe from HHB. It was a great success.

It is almost two months ago that I attempted this recipe. My super ripe bananas is the pushing factor. The bananas stayed in the fridge for a few days before I took the time to bake this pound cake. Thanks to my friend who told me that the banana will stay fresh in the fridge even though the skin turns black. I washed and cleaned the equipment and tray in the morning and the actual action started in the afternoon. I find this method of "slicing up the whole baking job" works for me.

The process is just like any other cake, putting the ingredients one by one into the KA. However, my batter curdles even though I patiently dribbled the eggs in. Not sure if it affected the final product, but even if it did, no one noticed. The new thing about this bake is the streusel. Usually I will totally omit any extra work, but this time, I had the walnuts, the whole ones! I wanted to just sprinkle the walnuts bits (yup, I broke open them and smashed them to big bits) on tops but I am afraid they get burnt. So I obediently followed the recipe and made the streusel dough. In the end, I am so happy with the end product and I am also very happy doing the grating of the streusel dough as it is very fun.

The cake is a hit but the walnut bits are left behind. My kids are not nut people. Please tell me walnuts are healthy and not fattening because I ate all the walnut bits!

I will end this post with the pictures of this lovely cake. Please refer to HHB's blog for the recipe. I must find a time to backup the recipe.


Finally, I am quite up to date on the bakes and makes. The final one will be the snowskin mooncake that I tried this morning for AB challenge.  But I must go sleep now .. it is 3.21am .... zzzz....

Easy chocolate Ice Cream - no machine needed

I googled this recipe off the internet. Luckily I photographed it down with the link. I was trying to use up my Baileys so have to find other ways besides just drinking. This ice cream was made in July 15th.

Here is the recipe from David Lebovitz The Easiest Chocolate Icecream Recipe .... Ever

Easy Chocolate Ice Cream : No Machine Needed
(Makes 4 - 6 scoops)

You will need :
55g Dark chocolate (around 50% cocoa), chopped
80ml milk, whole or low-fat
80ml Baileys liquor
1 medium-sized ripe banana, peeled, and cut into chunks
1 tablespoon (about 15ml) dark rum

Directions :

1. Put chocolate and milk in a medium bowl and melt in microwave. Use 20 second burst and stir well after each.
2. Pour that chocolate milk, Baileys, chopped banana and rum into a blender and whiz together until smooth.
3. Tip into a plastic or metal container, cover, and freeze for at least 4 hours. And that's it.

Isn't that simple? No need for ice cream maker. Did not even mentioned have to take out and whiz for a few times. Well, I find that the texture is not like ice cream. It is more like Gelato texture and it melts very very fast. I read that the banana is there to help create the creamy feel but I did not feel it. This time I do not have nice magazine pictures to tempt you but my melting away one. :-)

Well, I don't think I am going to try this recipe again. Luckily it is a small portion, otherwise I will gain alot of weight just by eating this one.

Strawberry Trifle

My index are getting more and more disorganised. I started this blog to help me organise the tried recipes but don't think it is helping. Only the recent ones are helpful as I tend to forget what I have baked or made. Wonder if it is possible to revamp the whole index. Haiz.

Anyway, I remembered I made layered desserts before (should be a recipe from HHB) and this should not be my first one, but I could not locate the previous try in my blog (will try harder when have time). I made this on July 7th (as my picture is dated).

It looks very pretty, like this, from the magazine

But mine looked like this :

I do not have much time to bake, so I use the small amount of time to make these simple desserts.

I cannot remember which magazine I have got this recipe from, but it goes like this :-

Strawberry Trifles (Makes 4 servings)


1 tbsp icing sugar
250g strawberries, finely diced and 4 sliced strawberries to garnish
200g sponge cake or pound cake, diced
250g Yoplait Creamy Light Strawberry Yogurt
2 gingersnap biscuit, finely crushed


1. Sprinkle the icing sugar over the diced strawberries and let them stand for 5 minutes.
2. Line the base with a wine glass with the sponge cake. Top with 1 tbsp strawberry yogurt and 1 tbsp strawberries. Continue to layer until the glass is almost full.  Repeat with remaining glasses.
3. Top each cup with the sliced strawberries and sprinkle the gingersnap biscuits over. Serve immediately.

Of course I did not buy any gingersnap. I have used the last few pieces of Sara Lee pound cake so I have scrapped off the pound cake skin sticking to the aluminium foil tray and sprinkled them on top. You did not see it in my cups here because the kids cannot wait till I finish photo-ing it.

I guess desserts cannot be anymore simpler than this assembly job. I did not create the layers but am sure you can. Give this treat to yourself and your family. :-)

p/s : now I am thinking of making it again.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Brownie suitable for breakfast?

There are nothing for breakfast tomorrow and I am not willing to buy bread today as I am doing marketing tomorrow, so I quickly took out the magazine that I have renewed  a couple of times just because I have not tried out the few recipes in it. There are 3 recipes I wanted to try in this Australian GoodFood Magazine but I only have most of the ingredients in one recipe - Triple Chocolate Fudge brownies.

Look how tempting this recipe is with this picture from the magazine.

I marked down this recipe due to the flaky top. I once baked such a brownie but I lost the recipe. However I did not achieve that and I cannot even explained what happened during the whole baking process when it is such a straight forward recipe. Perhaps I should not have meddle any single bit of the process and ingredients.

First, I replaced some white chocolate with cookie and cream chocolates I got from my Perth trip and I even reduced the amount of white chocolate. Then I used chocolate chips as milk chocolate. As the sugar is added into melted butter so I used normal sugar instead of caster sugar as I guessed they will melt anyway. I also reduced the sugar to 50g since my cookies and cream chocolate is very sweet. I also beat the eggs vigorously instead of lightly as instructed because I was thinking of adding more rising power to the brownie (LOL). Perhaps I am all wrong....

The mixture became like a dough. It did not even stick to the sides of my pot. I felt that if I did not reduce the white chocolate amount, I will get an even firm mass of batter.

I have chosen to try out fan mode again. Actually I am not too sure if the mode called "turbo" on my oven is the same as fan mode. The manual said that "convection makes hot air circulate around the food ..." so doesn't that sounds like fan mode? Anyway, halfway through the baking process, the cooking in process batter turned to this below -

The surface has alot of oil, all bubbling. I am not sure why is that so. When baking time is up, I see that the top did not achieved the flaky look, so I turn on the top heat and wanted to dry up the top. This process went around 3-5 minutes. In the end, the brownie seems kind of dry but I still did not get the flaky top. The kids like it thou. I guess it will go well with vanilla ice cream like my friend suggested. Presenting my dry top brownie :-)

After I settled the "no breakfast tomorrow" problem, now I started to wonder if this bake is suitable for breakfast tomorrow..... *sigh*

Here is sharing the recipe from the magazine (Australian GoodFood April 2011) -

Triple chocolate fudge brownies (Makes 16 Prep 10 mins plus cooling Cook 25mins)

125g cold unsalted butter, chopped
200g dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar (I used normal sugar and reduce amount to 50g)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cup (185g) plain flour, sifted
180g white chocolate, chopped ( I think I used around 130g)
100g milk chocolate, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 180dC or 160dC fan. Grease and line a 20cm square cake pan.
2. Place butter and dark chocolate in a small saucepan on low heat and stir until melted. Stir in sugar. Cool for 10 mins.
3. Stir in egg, then flour, and then white and milk chocolate. Spoon mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 20 - 25 mins, until firm to touch, Cook in pan. Cut into 16 squares and serve.

So simple and yet I did not make it. Haiz. I think I will find a time to try this again, follow to the perfect T (but really worried about the sugar and the sweetness).

If there are any health concious readers, the following information that came with the recipe would be helpful to you (but not me :-( ) -

In each brownie 1216 kilojoules, 4g protein, 16g total fat (10g sat fat), 33g carbohydrate (23g sugar), 1g fibre,  31mg sodium.

*phew* I managed to update my blog today with today's bake! :-)

Friday, September 9, 2011

A recipe good to keep - Soy & Ginger Chicken noodles

No, this is not a baking recipe but I have to type this recipe down for easy reference as it is still a new recipe that I have not put into my routine menu. I cooked this for yesterday's dinner and the whole family love it so much. My kids even ask me to cook it again for today's dinner! It is a one dish wonder - Soy & Ginger Chicken Noodles. This is how the dish looks like in the Kitchen Culture - Food & Travel Magazine Dec 2010 issue.

This recipe has very simple ingredients and very easy to cook. It uses yellow noodles but I am afraid my kids cannot accept the yellow noodles "alkaline" taste so I change the noodle to spagetti. I am so happy that the whole family likes it.  I know I will be cooking it again real soon but will add in more ingredients like button mushrooms.

The recipe is as follows (extracted from Kitchen Culture - Food & Travel Dec 2010) :-

2 chicken thighs fillets, skinned
1/2 cup light soy sauce (I converted to 2 tablespoon soy sauce)
1/4 cup mirin (I converted to 1 tablespoon)
2 tbsp sake or white wine (I use chinese cooking wine)
1 tbsp sugar
2 thumb sized pieces of ginger (about 40g)
2 tbsp canola oil
250g fresh yellow noodles
A large handful of kailan or chye sim, sliced
Red chillies, spring onions or coriander leaves to garnish

1) Cut chicken into large dices and place in a bowl with light soy sauce, mirin, sake or white wine, sugar and ginger. Leave to marinate for about 10 minutes.

2) Heat oil in a wok or large frying pan.

3) Remove chicken from marinade (reserve the marinade) and fry over high heat until half cooked, about 2 minutes.

4) Add noodles and 2 tbsp of marinade mixture, and stir fry till evenly mixed. If it looks dry, add a little water.

5) Add vegetables and fry for a further minute, adding more water or marinade of the mixture looks dry.

6) Once the vegetables turn dark green and are cooked through, transfer to a plate and serve, garnished with red chillies and spring onions or corriander leaves.

Mine doesn't look that nice without the chilli and spring onion garnish. Perhaps I should try using dice red bell pepper as a replacement. I must remind myself to go easy on the oil too, cos the last portion of noodles from the bottom of the wok is rather oily. Perhaps due to the extra half tablespoon of sesame oil I put inside the marinate. I have intended to reduce the 2 tablespoon canola to 1.5 tbsp and to change the 0.5 tbsp (of the 1.5 tbsp) of canola into sesame oil for that extra fragrance.
I made a mistake by adding the sesame oil into marinating the chicken meat, so the end product is rather oily as I did not reduce the canola portion. Anyway, there will still be second time to make amendments.

My kids super love this dish. I hope yours too.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

First try on Mooncakes

*This post has to supercede the older bakes and makes cos I need to ride on this post to show some pictures of a plant for a forum purpose.

Mooncakes ah mooncakes ... this item always in my to do list .. just like any others and the CNY cookies. I casually mentioned during my visit to my in law that I wanted to try make snowskin this Sept holiday but has not purchase the powder yet then one of my sister in law promptly gave me a packet of snowskin powder. I declined as I am afraid I will not be able to find the time to purchase the rest of the ingredients but she insisted so I roped in my mother to help (got extra push factor mah).

We have decided that yesterday morning will be D day. It is not her first as she has done it many years ago but it certainly is my first and my kids' first. She came over after my hubby left for work and when we are about to start, I noticed that my laundry hanging outside has been "attacked"!

So we have to spent some time tidying up the mess, rinse the laundry again and it is noontime. I have to cook lunch while my mother go ahead to make the skin for the mooncake. She also taught my kids how to wrap the mooncake but my boy gave up halfway. I managed to make 4 pieces and am quite satisfied with my kungfu. Hee hee. See below and you will not be able to tell which is done by me, my mother or my girl. (ya so my girl is the smartest lah :->)

The designs are not very clear. Not sure if it is due to the insufficient mooncake to fill up the mould (but the mooncake did come to the brim) or the mould is not good (LOL) but I am satisfied that they look pretty decent. We did not try any fancy favour as it is the first time after all. Not too difficult to wrap in my opinion. It is after some read up that there are certain ratio to follow for certain weight of the mooncake. This time it is 20g skin with 28g filling. I must go research more and perhaps try our HHB's strawberry flavour (using strawberry milk).

Below is the cross section of one that I made. I like that the skin thickness is balance all round. Not sure if that is the only one out of the four thou. I don't think I will be able to submit this post to AB challenge since I do not have any recipe. The skin is from premix powder that has shortening packaged together and my mother has threw away the packaging before I can see the amount of ingredients. I hope I can try again soon.

Snowskin mooncake with black sesame filling

Before I go off, I have to use this post to show the plant that fell from the "sky". I need to ask experts how to take care of the plant as I am hopping to adopt it. The rest of my plants died cos I gave them overdose of fertiliser. :-(

I hope I can complete the other post sometime soon, very soon.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Playing with the same recipe

No one to be blame but myself. I have not been able to stay up late lately. Used to the early rest routine. Not able to motivate myself to try new recipes too, with lack of time I dare not buy new ingredients while trying to finish the old expiring ones. PC has been collecting dust when all I did was to post what I baked and cooked and made to Facebook using the phone.

Today deliberately drank another cup of coffee so that I can stay up to transfer my scribblings (the experiences I had on my bakes) on the pieces of papers stucked on my strong room door to the blog. It really helps when I can just come into my blog on my phone and refer to the recipes that I have tried before. I even told myself that I should do "last out (from oven), first in (to blog)" but now that I am staring at the scribblings, some just did not make sense. I still have to try my best.

I am still busy as ever with "do not know what", but has to use up the expiring ingredients and to provide variety of snack choices for kids to bring for recess, so I did a few rounds of muffins with oat, and chocolate. I had combined the recipe 1 from the banana muffin trial with Nigella's chocolate chocolate-chip muffin (NOTE : this link brings you to Small Small Baker's blog since I refer to the recipe from her site). My "recipe" goes something like this since I half the portions :-

125 g SR flour
37.5 instant oatmeal (Quaker brand - red packaging)
92g sugar
30g butter, melted
92g milk
1 egg
1 tbsp cocoa powder
75g chocolate chips (save 1/4 for topping)

I did worry if the lack of banana and addition of the cocoa powder will make the muffin dry. I cannot remember what is the outcome as this batch is baked in Aug 15th. I vaguely remember it is rather hard and they could be overbaked. However, they were still tasty as the kids protested when my mother took quite a few pieces.

The 2nd time I used the same recipe is on Aug 24th. I had the time, so i tried out fan mode with two trays of mini ones (minis are easier for them to bring to school). I remembered I read that using fan mode, one must turn down the temperature roughly by 20 dC, so I used 190dC this time for 15 minutes. I had a hard time deciding if the muffins were cooked because I was not sure the stick (testing doneness) turns out chocolately due to it being uncooked or that I had poked into a chocolate chip, so I added 3 more minutes. The top tray had hard crust while the bottom try was fine. It is school holiday week now, so let me see if I still have the chance to try this recipe again. This time I must make sure I update the blog asap.

Initially I thought that things will not get burn in fan mode as there is no direct heat, but I was wrong. Some of the chips in the top tray got burnt but the rest are all just nice. The chips inside the muffins are still darker in colour (towards the colour of being burnt) rather than the nice brown on the outside of the cupcake. I still have not solve the mystery of "inside darker colour chololate chip". Haiz.

I am dozing off (at 4am!) so will leave the other items till the next time (hopefully tomorrow night). I hope I talked sense at 4am.

Here's a picture to share that depicts all my "complaints".

The burnt chips on top and those inside

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