Saturday, June 28, 2008

Passionfruit Cheesecake

I've got a bad habit of buying things in a spur of moment, and why I baked this cake this weekend was because the sour cream i bought 3 weeks ago is expiring on Sunday. These days, sour cream and cream cheese are very costly, and hence i can't bear to waste it.

The last i did a baked cheesecake was at least 5 years ago, using Chef Wan's receipe book. This time round, i didn't follow the exact recipe, i modified quite a fair bit.

When i mixed the egg white to the mixture, i immediately realised my first mistake. I should have mixed the egg white GRADUALLY into cheese mixture, and not pour everything in at one go. As a result, i can't do a proper mix of the egg white into the mixture. Just have to pray that the cake will turn out fine.

After the cake is baked, the surface of the cake is fairly burnt, perhaps i should have put it to bake at the bottom of the oven instead of the middle rack. Anyway, this is still acceptable to me and the surface of the cake didn't crack which seems to be common problem.

My second mistake - it was either my impatience or eagerness to try the cheesecake, and thus i didn't waited for the cake to be chilled for the minimum 4 hours in the fridge. The result - the cake is still soft inside and the cake is rather 'uglily' cut, you can see the picture below.

I tasted the cake whilst cutting it, and thought the texture is still very soft. In my heart, i was thinking 'is this going to be another failure?' Whatever it is, i put back the cut cheesecake into the fridge and tried it about 2 hours later, luckily it didn't taste that bad and since the cake has 'hardened', the texture turns out to be nice and creamy.


250gm disgestive biscuits
100gm butter, melted
500gm cream cheese
500gm sour cream
360gm sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 passionfruit
3 tbsp custard powder
3 tbsp water
a pinch of salt
6 eggs, separated
1 tsp vanilla essence

1. Crush biscuit and add in melted sugar. Press into cake tin.
2. Bake in oven for 15 mins at 170 degree. Let cool.
3. Mix cream cheese, sugar, salt, vanilla essence, lemon juice till smooth.
4. Add in egg yolk, lemon zest and sour cream to (1).
5. In a separate bowl, beat egg white till stiff. Gradually add into cream cream mixture.
6. Pour mixture into cake tin.
7. Bake for 1 hour at 170 degree, in water bath.
8. Let the cake cool down in oven, with door ajar, for at least an hour.
9. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Cheese and Chocolate Chips Muffin

Hehehe.... just last week I told myself I'm not going to bake muffins until I've tried other recipes, but I still can't resist the temptation to bake something simple and nice. And also because we only had a meal throughout the day, I was feeling quite hungry whilst lazing in the bed with little zak, and I also wanted to "make up" for the previous lousy muffins I made.

I always like the type of cheese which you can find in those round pancakes sold at Mr. Bean. So when I was at AMKHub doing my groceries, I asked the aunty at Mr. Bean outlet which type of cheese they use, and she is so obliging to tell me and even show me the packaging. Immediately, I bought 1 pack of the cheese intended for my next muffins bake.

Following the same recipe from pax-recipe, I just replaced the mixed fruits to chocolate chips and cheese. Here's the recipe for easy reference.

120g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
60g sugar
60g oil
80g milk
1 egg, beaten
1/4cup chocolate chips (original recipe uses 1/2 cup) or cheese cubes (quantity is up to individual)

1. Sift the flour. Set aside.
2. Mix all wet ingredients using mixer.
3. Add all dry ingredients to (2), and mix well. Add in chocolate chips or cheese cubes. (*Do not over-mix, should be done in less than 5 minutes.)
4. Scoup mixture into muffin cups, upto 2/3rd full.
5. Bake in pre-heated over at 170 deg C for 20 minutes, in lower rack.
6. Check doneness by inserting toothpick and it come out clean.
7. Remove from oven and cool.

I've made 2 portions of muffins yesterday, and had a few left for this morning breakfast. They are still soft and moist. Lovely!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Berries-land Cake

These fresh berries are really irresistible!

You would probably be thinking 'what a name for a cake?', but since T was quite enthusiastic to name this birthday cake which I made for my dad, I shall oblige for once to adopt his suggestion..kekeke. Also, this cake is kind of our joint effort (T & me) - he was complaining that I don't have a very good judgement of 'nice decor' and so with some 'tussling', he eventually did the decor of cake for me.

Anyway, I had real fun baking and decorating cake, and would not hesitate to find every other opportunities to bake something for my family and friends. I used to fantasize and envy people who can bake a cake for someone else's birthday or a special occasion, cos these cakes or bakes will definitely be bursting with tlc (tender loving care), lots of love and sincerity.

This is my second attempt on making a sponge cake, which although is better than my first try, the cake texture did not yield what I would love it to be - soft and fluffy. Nevertheless, the freshness of the berries - blueberry, gooseberry, raspberry and blackberry - save the grace and make the cake more palatable.

Other than the very-berry cake, we had a sumptuous dinner to celebrate my dad's birthday. Hopefully he thoroughly enjoy himself tonite! Happy Birthday, we all love you ;-)

"Happy Birthday, Dad"

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Strawberry Mango Cake

This is my very first attempt to bake a proper cake, and with my recent bakes not being very successful, I was quite skeptical on baking this Strawberry Mango Cake today. Also, this cake requires the use of whipped cream, which the last time I did was a complete failure! Anyway, I still decided to give it a try to make this cake for my mum's birthday.

Every step of the making of this cake left me worrying whether it will take out fine - from buying the right ingredients, beating of mixture to make the sponge cake, preparing whipped cream, frosting the cake, to assembly of the fruits, etc. Maybe making this cake has a very special meaning to me this year, which is why I take this 'project' with extreme care....

Fresh strawberries bought from the supermart this morning

Spongecake just out from the oven

Chunky mango cubes slabbed on centre of cake

Frosting of cake with whipped cream
This is the end product from top view

"Happy Birthday, Mum!"

I've yet to taste how this cake turns out, hopefully it's as good as it look! I'm truly happy with this cake and give me more confidence to try out other cake recipes, thanks happyhomebaking!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Four Heavenly Kings

Like what other food bloggers say, baking is addictive and therapeutic, and what's more with an easy and trusted recipe which I've adopted from pax-recipe for all my muffins bake. Did the usual cranberry, blueberry, raisin muffins, plus chocolate chips which I just bought from Phoon Huat today, a total of Four flavours. It was a coincidence that one of the dishes we had for dinner tonite was "The Four Heavenly Kings" - which is actually brinjal, lady-finger, long bean and "smelly" pea (not too sure what's the name of this pea) stir-fried in sambal chilli - all my favourite!

Actually there are many more receipes which I wanted to try out, so I think this will be the last(?) muffins I'm baking, until I tried out other interesting recipes. Let's see how long I can refrain myself .....

Monday, June 9, 2008

Lemon Passionfruit Curd

I was reading the Sundaytimes and saw this receipe by Tan Hsueh Yun "Hunger Management", and the picture of tart with lemon and passionfruit curd is simply irresistible. I quickly know that this is something I must do it. I bought the passionfruit fresh from the supermarket, but I was simply too 'busy' baking my muffins till the passionfruit turns 'wrinkled' in the fridge.

I was thinking it's either the passionfruit really dried up and goes to the bin, if not, I've to do it really soon. The weekend is supposed to be good time to do any baking, but little zak always take up most, if not all, of my time. I started to grate the lemon zest, and zak keeps wanting me to carry and play with him. End up, I only finished grating the lemon zest in the evening when T is back from work. Luckily, the seemingly 'wrinkled' passionfruit is still very juicy inside.

My baking venture always has its 'mishap', this is no exception - I realised that my house runs out of sugar. So I 'pitifully' asked T to get a pack of sugar from nearby store - at 11pm! When I started putting all ingredients into the pot, I realised that the pot is too small for everything to be put in (oh no!), the mixture doesn't thicken after 20 minutes as the recipe says, there isn't proper glass jars in my house for me to store the end-product, etc.

Luckily, everything ends quite well! I'm going to use this curd for tarts, so till then, it is sitting in my fridge....

Monday, June 2, 2008

Muffins Craze

This post suppposed to go out last Sunday, but somehow the laptop decided to blackout before i save the contents, so it's 1 week late....

Did 3 variations of muffins last Sunday - mixed cranberries & blueberries (preserved), fresh blueberries from cold storage, and oreo. In fact, I just baked muffins with cinnamon apple a few days before this.... am i going into a muffin craze??

Galore of my muffins trio

My earlier bake on cinnamon apple muffins - still fresh in
the oven!

In fact, there are many more flavours of muffins I wanted to make, but as I always bake late in the nite, I don't have the time to do too many.

This batch of muffins has got the 'thumbs-up' from T, but my aunty S felt that the oreo muffins is dry and lack of flavour. I'll do a better oreo muffin the next time ;-)

Closer look of my muffins trio!