Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Snowskin mooncakes

I did these mooncakes last Saturday and was happy that I managed to use up all the pastes i bought. In total, I had made 71 mooncakes within a day and includes packing them in boxes as gift for my relatives, also brought some to my colleagues on Tuesday. I started preparing in the late morning and finishing with the cleaning up at 2+am. It may look unnecessary to do all these and get it from the store, but it's always the passion that pushes me ahead. I do feel i'm missing something if i do not bake or making something or blog, these days.

There are white lotus, pandan and green tea, and all these are supposedly to be low-sugar. Why supposedly? Cos they aren't that low-sugar, my relatives and I find them to be on the sweet side still. Wonder what it would taste like if i had bought the normal paste? However, if these mooncakes are chilled enough, the sweetness seems to be alright. Perhaps i need to prepare my own paste the next year??

These snowskin mooncakes are using the same recipe as what i did last year. However, i did try to make a variety of snowskin flavours like oreo, blueberry, green tea, pandan, and of course the original. There are no artifical flavourings added, just au-naturel, hence there's only very slight hint of flavour in them. Should i contemplate with artifical flavourings, the next round?

Still few more days to Mid-Autumn festival, would i be making more mooncakes?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Green apple & orange cake

I've not been 'lucky' in my cake-making these days, the cakes that are been churned out doesn't turn out yummi-delicious, although they are still edible. Perhaps the so-called 'kitchen god' has gone for his/her holiday??

This is not a chiffon cake, but a 7" round cake with uncooked centre removed!!! OMG!!
Orange-y fishes & green apple-ferns

Anyway, this is a birthday cake that i 'owed' to my aunty cat. Why? Cos when i first started out baking, my aunt has been very encouraging, even until now, and I had agreed to bake her a birthday cake then. However, my company had sent me to vancouver & london for a seminar/ training this time last year - lucky me right! Still this very belated cake is disappointing, "double whammy".

Please, please kitchen god, do not take too long a break! I need you!

My nephew's 1st birthday

Following my earlier post, I finally had a chance to try out the fondant recipe for my little nephew's 1st birthday. It's really really fun to mould the fondant (like playing play-doh) and make any designs that fancy me or suitable for the occasion. These made paying for the baking class at Sugar Inc. worth every cent! However, before 'venturing' into fondant making, there are other 'investments' to be made, like getting a microwave oven - luckily my aunt got a spare one, & she happily pass it on to me as it free up her kitchen space...hahaha, alphabets cutter, big round 'base' cutter, wilton colourings, wanted to buy the 'pizza cutter' & 'jagger cutter' but they are rather expensive, so will have to find cheaper alternatives the next time.

Presenting my little fondant venture..... I'm happy with the outcome ;-)

Monday, September 14, 2009

My 1st fondant

I've been longing to attend a baking class or 2, but it's not easy for me to fit it to my sort of busy/ tired schedule. So far, i only attended PH's baking class but it was quite tiring as the class ended like 10++ pm, and on a weekday! Many of the classes these days doesn't come cheap, and you really need to turn up if you have registered for it.

For me, i prefer cake decorating classes at this moment and was eyeing at classes available at Sugar Inc. I missed the registration for the last round, and when they open up new classes again, i sign up almost immediately without thinking too much as to whether I can make it on that day, whether T can handle little zak when i gone for classes, etc. Almost not able to make it due to my back problem, and it seems a totally busy day; morning prayers at the temple for my mum, ferrying my mil for tui-na in the afternoon, had our late lunch, sending my mil home, and i was LATE for the class!

Luckily i didn't miss much of the class, and i must say the fondant class and trainer Ophilia is very good and patient! Thumbs up!! However, making those little designs for small cupcakes can be quite a 'neck-breaking' experience ;-)

Actually, i'm quite 'mountain tortoise' (ignorant), this is also the first time i've tried a fondant.

In total, we decorated six cupcakes..... all are impromptu designs, except for the rose and ribbon.

ONE of the cupcakes is missing in the above picture..... cos it went to little zak's stomach straight after my class!!

The MISSING cupcake.....

Fondant is really for little children only ;-) Too sweet for adults.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Steamed yam cake

Maybe I've been carrying heavy load (i.e. little zak) for a prolonged period, my back suddenly gave way last Friday. Although not to the extent of 'paralysed', it was rather agonising. Imagining me walking like a penguin or a little hunch like a old lady, i had great difficulty getting up from my office chair. Yes, i did went to work that day as it only acted up when i left home. If i knew it earlier, i would have taken the day off! Anyway, I endured till end of the day, and straight after work, T brought me to a TCM at Bedok Reservoir road, which he had got me 1st in the queue. The TCM was very effective, I was able to walk and get up without much difficulty the next day. Thanks for that, if not i won't be able to prepare anything for my mum's prayer today. I would love to prepare more food stuff for her, but i was resting in bed for almost the whole of Saturday.

Ingredients/ Method:
(Recipe adapted from Aunty Yochana with slight modifications)

220g rice flour
300g yam, cut into cubes
50g tapioca flour
2 tsp five-spice powder
850ml water (divide into 2 equal portion)
8 shallots - sliced thinly

30g chinese sausage, diced
50g dried scrimps, soaked and chopped coarsely
7 no. mushroom, soaked and diced
2 tbsp cooking oil
1 tbsp cooking oil (to be added into boiling water)

1.5 tsp salt
1 cube chicken stock
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil

1) Fry yam and 2 tbsp oil and toss with five-spice powder, set aside.
2) Fry shallots until fragrant with 2 tbsp oil. Dish up 3/4th of it into a bowl. Continue to fry remaining 1/4th of shallots till lightly brown and crispy. Dish up and set aside.
3) Put back the 3/4th shallots into wok and add in dried scrimps and fry till dried scrimps start to 'jump', then add in chinese sausage, mushroom. Dish up and set aside.
4) Mix rice flour and tapioca flour with 425ml water. Add in seasoning and stir.
5) In a wok, boil 425ml water till boiling. Add in 1 tbsp oil. Off heat, pour in flour mixture and stir till mixture thickens. On heat again and cook over low heat till mixture thickens, pour in dried scrimps mixture and stir till well mixed.
6) Pour into 8" oiled square tray and level the top.
7) Steam for 45 mins.
8) Leave to cook before slicing.
9) Sprinkle garnishes like shallots, spring onions on top.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Football cake

This is a cake where i loves how it look but doesn't like how it tasted! So sorry, my uncle Simon, that this birthday cake did not taste good & must have disappointed him ;-p I'll try harder the next time. At least now i got to know that his favourite soccer team is Arsenal.

No narratives, just pictures this time!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Hotdog sandwich bun

The last i baked a bread was about 2 months ago, and although i keep wanting to bake a loaf after seeing so many delicious looking recipes put up by Kitchen Corner and Honey Bee Sweets, it didn't happen.

I was eyeing either oats bread or water roux bread. The latter method of bread making seems very popular among many bloggers, and those who tried all gave their thumbs-up. Unfortunately, those recipes that i've seen before seem rather complicated (or so i think) and hence the thought of water roux always put me off. However, Kitchen Corner's recent water roux breads and her simple steps made me more daring to try it out. Finally had a chance to try this out on Saturday night. Alas, it didn't turn out well for me; not the water roux, but my carelessness. I omitted the crucial ingredient in bread-making, which is the YEAST! As i usually write down the recipe, i somehow overlook to put this down, and although it did cross my mind why there's no yeast added, i did not double check the original recipe. Only realised my mistake after the 2nd proofing, sigh, feed the trash bin again. I went to bed very disappointed that night ;-(

Not giving up and with left-over water roux, i tried to make this sandwich bun on Sunday night. The dough rises properly, the bun rises nicely in the oven, towards the last few minutes, the smell of fresh oven-baked bread fills the house, it's like addiction kicking in. Finally, water roux sandwich bun..... and it became our this morning breaky!

Ingredients/ Method:

Water roux
250g water
50g bread flour

1. Cook 250g water with 50g bread flour at medium low heat, keep stirring until becomes thicken and no lumps left. Cook until 65 deg C, or if you do not have a thermometer, cook until mixture resembles baby porridge.
2. Transfer to clean bowl and cover with cling wrap to prevent skin forming.
3. Water roux can be stored for 2 days, and if colour turn dark grey, to discard.

Sandwich bun (make 9 buns)
195g bread flour
90g plain flour
12g milk powder
30g caster sugar
6g salt
60g eggs, beaten
65g water
75g water roux
45g unsalted butter
6g yeast

1. Put all ingredients in sequence as per bread machine, and use dough function and knead for 30 mins. The BM pre-set kneading time is 20 mins, re-start the dough function and knead for a further 10 mins.
2. Proof for 40 mins in clean bowl cover with cling wrap.
3. Divide dough into 9 portion and shape it into smooth ball shape. Rest for 10 min.
4. Flatten dough and roll into longish shape. Roll it up to a sausage shape and seal tightly.
5. Prepare some water on clean plate and place a kitchen towel over it. Roll the surface of each dough over the damp kitchen towel, followed by rolling it over a bowl of sesame seeds.
6. Place dough on baking tray and let dough proof for 40 mins.
7. Bake at 180 deg C for 15 mins.
8. Sandwich bun is ready to be served with your favourite ingredients.


Update (2 Sept 09):

Yesterday little zak's childcare centre was closed for Teacher's Day, and i took leave to accompany him for the day. I warmed up the bun by heating up the oven at 180 deg C for 5 mins and off the oven, pop in the bun for about 5 mins or so. The bun turns out very soft and with egg mayo, i think it tasted more deli-yummy ;-) A lovely breakfast with my little darling!

Easy to guess which sandwich is for mummy & baby!