Monday, December 26, 2011

Xmas macarons

Wishing all a (belated) Merry Christmas 2011!

It has been an extremely busy period for me now as my other half has got himself injured during our recent family holiday. Initially we thought that it's a not-so-serious bone fracture, but upon returning home, the CT scan showed that the crack is in rather bad shape. He was almost immediately admitted for an operation and will be in clutches for a long while. Hopefully he will recover and back in action soon! Meanwhile, pardon me for not being able to leave messages in your blog for this period, however I'll still be browsing your blogs as and when possible.

Here's my bake for our family xmas party which was 'constructed' after 2 failed macaron-ings, and even the 3rd attempt was 'haphazardly' done up and put into the oven. That's why you will realise that there's no pretty even shape macarons. As a result, only the little children in the family gets to eat the 'special' reindeers and xmas tree macarons. I guess a clear mind is definitely needed even for a tried and tested recipe.

I'm also submitting this post for this month Aspiring Bakers #14: Creative Christmas Bakes (December 2011) hosted by Hankerie.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Super-moist apple cupcakes

I was completed sold when I saw Jo posted this Super-moist apple cake, and the heavenly cinnamon-nutmeg-sugar toppings! By now, some of you would know that I'm quite a cinnamon person. The sweet scent of cinnamon baking in the oven is like aphrodisiac and give you a high feeling, if you get what I mean.

For this recipe, instead of baking it as a 10-inch cake, I baked mine into 12 standard sized cupcakes and 2 mini loaves. This is mostly because I want to submit to this month Aspiring Bakers #13: Enjoy Cupcakes (November 2011) hosted by Min's blog. Actually, my baking was not smooth sailing... 1st my heavy cream turned bad even before it's expiry date, so got to rush T to buy for me when he just stepped into the house after a day's work. Then, I was being too greedy and put too much batter into each cups and ended up with a overflowing cupcakes :-( Like Jo, I was quite apprensible how the cake would turn out with the heavy cream being poured over the cake just before putting them into the oven. True enough, the cake did not turn out soggy at all. It was moist and the crumbs are so soft that it does not hold well if you are using a fork to eat. Overall, it's still a good recipe that I would try again when I have cinnamon cravings. I'm copying Jo's recipe with slight modifications here for future reference.

Super-Moist Apple Cake
(makes 12 standard cupcakes + 2 mini loaves)

Ingredients/ Method:
a) 1 1/4 cups sugar (I reduced it to 1 cup)
170g unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 large eggs
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon cake flour (not self-rising)
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk (whole or low-fat)
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 medium baking apples, peeled, cored, halved, and thinly sliced (I used Granny Smith)

b) 3/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup sugar + 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon + 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (I used brown sugar)

1) In a large bowl beat 1 1/4 cups of the sugar and the butter for 3 to 5 minutes until light in color. Scrape the bowl as needed with a rubber spatula and continue to beat the mixture until it is very light in texture and color, several minutes more.

2) Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl between additions. Then add in the vanilla extract and beat to incorporate together.

3) Sift together the flours, baking powder, and salt. Alternately add the milk and dry ingredients into the butter mixture, stopping to scrape the bowl as necessary.

4) Pour the batter into the prepared lined cups not more than 3/4 full using ice-cream scoop. Spread it evenly with a rubber spatula. Arrange the apple slices overlapping on top of the cake batter to completely cover the top of the cake. Pour the cream evenly over the apples.

5) Stir together the 1/3 cup sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon and sprinkle the mixture over the top of the cake.

6) Bake in pre-heated oven at 175 deg C for 35 minutes for cupcakes or 40 minutes for the mini loaves or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven, transfer it to a rack, and let cool completely.

7) Invert the cake onto the rack, remove the parchment paper, and invert it once more onto a serving platter. Serve warm or room temperature. Once cool, the cake can be stored tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Update - 30 Nov 2011:
I kept the unfinished mini loaves in an air-tight container and left it in the fridge since Sat. The cake still taste fresh and superb on the fifth day that they were being baked. I microwaved on mid-high for about 1.5 mins after taking them out from the fridge. A keeper recipe that I would recommend to everyone!

See how the cake looks like on day 5! Nice!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Bloggers potluck Nov 2011

Yesterday, I attended another bloggers gathering initiated by ZY and Eelin has kindly allow us to hold the event at her cosy home! This time, the theme of party is American and Asian and we have to prepare our bakes/food according to the theme. We have 14 food items and 2 cold/hot drinks for 9 adults and 2 kids! Isn't it too much for everyone? All in all, it was really a fun & enjoyable afternoon gathering, with great hosts, company, food, ambience & backdrop music! I shall let the pictures do the talking....

Cinnamon buns (water roux/tangzhong) recipe here

Thanks again everyone for the yummy goodies and great time, and ZY for initiating and Eelin for hosting! Till we meet again <(*v*)>

You can also hop over to the wonderful blogs of my bloggers friends!
Eelin of The batter baker
Jane of Passionate about baking
Zhuoyuan of Baking library
Chris of Yummy bakes
Doris of Tested and tasted
Judy of A busy gran's kitchen
Bee Bee of Honey bee sweets
Shirley of Kokken 69

Monday, November 7, 2011

Kawaii panda bread

I'm a late bloomer in making this kawaii panda bread. Actually, I've seen this many times and always marvel at how cute it is but it never cross my mind to bake it till now. As usual, I would spend my time before going to bed to visit baking blogs or watch my k-dramas, and this cute panda loaf pops up again. Since today is a public holiday (as Hari Raya Haji falls on a Sunday), I can spend some time baking. Checking back, the last I baked a loaf of bread was almost 2 years ago!

Perhaps I did not greased my baking tin properly or I was too eager to dislodge the loaf from the tin, my panda came out 'disfigured'...sob sob. It need a little cosmetic surgery to look like a proper panda!

Panda bread
Ingredients/ Method:
(Recipe adapted from Do What I Like and pictorial guide from originator Taro Taro)

230g bread flour
70g cake flour
30g sugar
milk + 1 yolk = 210g (I used low fat milk)
4.5g salt
18g unsalted butter (I used 20g)
4g yeast
8g green tea powder dissolved in 10g boiling hot water
8g cocoa powder dissolved in 8g boiling water

1. Heat up milk and yolk to temperature of 38C. (I beat the yolk lightly with milk and send it to the microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds).
2. Put everything in bread machine and set to dough cycle. Let it knead for 20 minutes. Stop the cycle and restart the dough cycle and let it knead for another 15 minutes.
3. Divide dough (about 560g) into 3 parts: 75g for the chocolate, 210g plain and the rest of the dough which is less than 280g for the green tea.
4. Add chocolate to the 75g dough and knead till the colour is even. Add green tea mixture to the 280g dough and knead till colour is even.
5. Proof all 3 pieces of doughs on separate greased plates covered loosely with oiled cling wrap for 30 – 40 minutes. (1st proof))
6. Punch air out of dough and proof for another 20 – 30 minutes. (2nd proof)
7. Use 90g plain dough for the face and 2 pieces of 27g chocolate dough for the eyes. (Refer to photo guide in Step (7) in TARO’s site).
8. Fill the hollow of the eyes with 30g plain dough. (Refer to photo guide in Step (8) in TARO’s site).
9. Roll remaining plain dough over the patterned dough. (Refer to photo guide in Step (9) in TARO’s site).
10. Divide the remaining chocolate dough into 2 pieces (17.5g each) for the ears. (Refer to photo guide in Step (10) in TARO’s site).
11. Use 70g of the green tea dough to fill up the hollow between the ears. (Refer to photo guide in Step (11) in TARO’s site).
12. Wrap the rest of the green tea dough all around the patterned dough. (Refer to photo guide in Step (12) in TARO’s site)
13. Place dough into a well-greased loaf pan and cover it with a lid and proof for 50 – 60 minutes in an enclosed area eg. microwave oven. (3rd proof)
14. Bake at 200 deg C for 25 – 30 minutes.

1. As my BM has broke down, I uses my KA mixer and knead for about 20 mins or so, till the dough looks smooth.
2. My 1st proof is 2 hours (unintended) though Florence uses 60 minutes, 2nd proof is 30 minutes and final proof is 60 minutes.
3. I bake at pre-heated oven 185C for 25 – 30 minutes.
4. Original recipe calls for tin size 206 x 108 x100mm (600gm). My bread tin is smaller 10 x 4 x 4' for 400gm, but the dough still manage to fit well.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Pandan chiffon cake (water roux/ 汤面)

Still feeling unsettled for not trying out Happy Flour's recipe, I baked another pandan chiffon cake yesterday ..haha... 2 pandan chiffon cakes, 2 different recipes, in 2 days. Anyway, it feels like a proper closure.

The recipe is pretty easy to handle but my batter was quite watery and not as 'gluey' as Happy Flour's. In terms of pandan flavour, it's not prominent enough, so I would probably add a few drops of pandan paste the next time. Texture wise is fluffy & spongy except for some spots which I didn't do a good job in mixing the batter evenly. Also I did not manage to achieve the nice brown skin like Happy Flour... will continue to try! Regardless, it still a good recipe.

Pandan chiffon cake (water roux/ 汤面)
(Recipe adapted from Happy Flour)

Ingredients/ Method:
5 egg yolk
70g coconut milk (I diluted with 50% water as I don't like the strong taste of coconut milk)
30g pandan juice (see below for making pandan juice)
50g unsalted butter
1/4tsp salt (I reduced to 1/8 tsp)
90g cake flour (sifted)

Egg whites:
5 egg white
1/3 tsp cream of tartar
85g caster sugar

1. Preheat oven to 175C.
2. Mix egg yolks and pandan juice together, set aside.
3. Pour coconut milk, salt and butter in a sauce pan, boil over low fire till butter melted about 60-65C (when few bubbles started to appear on the surface).
4. Remove from fire, add in flour and stir till it form a soft dough.
5. Slowly add in egg yolks mixture, whisk till smooth batter and set aside.
6. Use a cake mixer, whisk egg whites and cream of tartar till frothy.
7. Gradually add in sugar and whisk till stiff peaks form.
8. Fold in 1/4 of the meringue into the egg yolk batter until combined. (By now, the egg yolk batter should be lukewarm.)
9. Then fold in the rest of the meringue in two portions until well combined.
10.Pour batter into a 23cm tube pan, smooth the surface.
11.Place pan into a preheated oven and bake for 40-45mins.
12.Remove from oven, invert cake onto table top and leave it cool.

To make pandan juice:
1. Blend 10-12 blades of pandan leaves with 100ml of water, squeeze out the liquid from the puree.
2. Pour the pandan juice into a bottle, cover and chill in the fridge overnight for the residue to settle down.
3. Discard the clear liquid, use the residue left at the bottom of the liquid. This concentrate part of pandan juice give cakes a nice and light fragrant of pandan leaf.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pandan chiffon cake (Christine's)

This is a pandan chiffon cake that is not meant to be.....but don't get me wrong, it still turned out good!

I had previously bought a bunch of pandan leaves for kueh making but didn't get to use it. Not wanting to waste it and because there's some left-over coconut milk, I decided the best way is to bake a pandan chiffon cake. Onwards searching for good pandan chiffon cake recipes and found many available such as Jane's, Christine's, Happy Flour's, etc. But seeing that Happy Flour uses a rather different technique -汤面- I decided to use hers. However, when I was preparing the ingredients for the cake, I somehow clicked on Christine's recipe instead. These days, I baked without printed recipe; I would put my iphone beside me and constantly refer to the recipe from the small screen. Thereafter, I had problem sequencing what I should do? I used to utilise both my KA mixer and handheld mixer whenever the recipe calls for egg white meringue. As my handheld mixer has broken down months ago, I thought I could just use another bowl and KA mixer to beat the egg white. But all the bowls I used didn't fit. Ended up changing 4 bowls and only got it right on the 5th try and it's back to using the KA bowl. Got to wash and dry the bowl spotlessly knowing how sensitive the egg white can be. Trouble didn't end here, instead of Cream of tartar, I added baking powder to the egg white and had to scoop them out carefully. After losing so much egg white, beat another egg white to make up for it but it seems to be too much! My soul must have left my body whilst I'm baking this cake. I felt kinda lost & drained after that! What else can happen on a Thursday night baking!

Pandan Chiffon Cake(Recipe adapted from Christine's Recipes)
Ingredients/ Method:
5 egg yolks
20 gm caster sugar
100 gm cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
100 ml coconut milk
2 Tbsp pandan juice (see below for making pandan juice)
a few drops pandan essence/pandan paste, optional
3 Tbsp olive oil

Egg whites:5 egg whites
60 gm caster sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

1. Preheat oven to 170C. (Note: I would turn up to 175 the next time cos the cake didn't brown that much.)
2. Beat the egg yolks with a balloon whisk and mix in 20 grams of sugar. Add coconut milk, pandan juice, and a few drops of pandan paste (if desired). Combine well.
3. Sift in cake flour and baking powder in three batches into the egg yolk mixture. Mix well. Lastly, add olive oil. Set aside.
4. Use a large clean bowl, making sure there’s no water or oil in it. Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until bubbles form. Add the cream of tartar. After mixing well, add the 60 grams of sugar in three batches, about one-third at a time, and beat well between additions. Continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
5. Spoon out 1/3 of the beaten egg whites and fold into the egg mixture. Lightly fold in the rest of the beaten egg whites with a spatula, until just combined.
6. Pour into the cake pan and bake in preheated oven for about 35 to 40 minutes.
7. Remove cake from the oven. invert the pan immediately. Allow it to cool completely.

To make pandan juice:
10 pandan leaves
1 1/2 Tbsp water

1. Chop pandan leaves into chunks, pop in a food processor and add about 1 1/2 tablespoons of water. Process to small pieces.
2. Place pandan leaves in a muslin bag and squeeze out the juice. You need about 2 tablespoons of it to make this cake. If you don’t have a muslin bag, just use your clean hand to squeeze out the juice.

As bad as my baking experience, I could only take one not-so-decent picture of the chiffon cake on a Friday morning before rushing to work. Pardon me ;)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Purple Sweet Potato Ang Ku Kueh (红龟粿)

As mentioned earlier, I'm not into making kueh-kueh so far because of its perceived difficulty, and especially if it calls for homemade paste-like fillings. Until now that AB's theme is traditional kueh that I started 'looking seriously' into kueh recipes from books as well as many wonderful blogs.

There are many recipes that caught my eye, especially this purple sweet potato ang ko kueh from Frozen Wings and Honey Bee Sweets. I'm sold! I love the purple hue, and what's even more comforting to know is that the colour is 100% natural from the root, no addictives! Since I've have some left-over lotus seed paste from my earlier hakka pumpkin kueh post, it makes life easier (haha .... being lazy). Like HBS, I love peanut fillings ang ku kueh, so this would be next on the list. Of course, the mung bean fillings seems pretty easy & straight-forward to prepare, so I would give it a try too!

Ingredients/ Method:
(Recipe yields 24 pieces)
Purple sweet potato ang ku kueh skin
200g sweet potato, steamed and mashed
300g glutinous rice flour
1 tbsp rice flour
2 tbsp caster sugar
4 tbsp cooking oil
200ml water (I added slightly more as the dough was a bit dry)

*Filling: About 200g - 250g lotus seed paste

1. In a large mixing bowl, knead all the ingredients together and gradually adding the water as needed. The dough should be a soft pliable dough but not sticky.
2. Cover the dough and let rest for 20 minutes.
3. Rinse the banana leaf with hot water and dab dry it. Cut out oval shapes slightly bigger then the kueh size. Brush with some vegetable oil on the surface.
4. Divide the dough into 30g each and roll round.
5. Flatten the dough, place about 1 heap tbsp of filling in the middle, then wrap and seal nicely.
6. Place in the mould which is slightly dusted with rice flour and press down with some pressure.
7. To unmould, knock on the side of the table and let the kueh gently fall out on to your palm.
8. Place kueh on greased banana leaf and arrange on a steaming tray.
9. Steam at medium high heat for 10 minutes.
10.Brush some cooked oil over the surface of the cooked kuehs to prevent sticking.

I'm submitting my post to Aspiring Baker #12: Traditional Kueh hosted by Small Small Baker this month.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Steamed Rice Cake (蒸米糕)

Today is a public holiday in Singapore as all our Indian friends celebrate Deepavali. For us, it's a good day to go out for a nice family lunch and R&R at home. Also gave myself an indulgence by arranging a masseur to our house for a full body rub ~ heavenly! Of course, there's some time for making some steamed rice cake. BUT, the supposedly quick & easy recipe became a pro-longed preparation. Sigh. Anyway, the colourful cakes brought along smiles and fond childhood memories, especially with extra coating of red sugar!

Steamed Rice Cake (蒸米糕)
(Recipe adapted from "Make Your Own Pastry - 自己做糕点, yields 14 cups)

Ingredients/ Method:
200g rice flour
200ml coconut milk
160ml boiling water
2 tsp double-acting baking powder
120g sugar (i reduced to 100g)
1/4 tsp vanilla essence

1. Sift rice flour and 1 tsp baking powder.
2. Combine rice flour and coconut milk and mix well.
3. Add boiling water, mix well and set aside to cool.
4. When cool, stir in 1 tsp baking powder and set aside for 1 hour.
5. Add sugar and vanilla essence in batter and mix well.
6. Line aluminium cups with paper and arrange on steamer tray. (I used small paper cups instead.)
7. Pour batter in cups until 90% full and leave to rise for 30 mins.
8. Steam over rapidly boiling water for about 15 mins.

Note: (1) The next time I make this, I would probably dilute the coconut milk with half portion water. (2) Add just a drop of your favourite colour to the batter (about 130ml).

I'm submitting my post to Aspiring Baker #12: Traditional Kueh hosted by Small Small Baker this month.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Hakka pumpkin kueh (客家南瓜饼)

This post has 2-firsts for me, first time making lotus paste and first time making this type of kueh. Although making the paste is easy, I won't say so for the kueh. Because I'm not used to handling this type of sticky dough, I sorta regretted when I first started. Not wanting to waste my efforts and ingredients, I persevered and finally completed them. If you ask me whether I will do it again, I will hesitate and that's because the kueh turns out good despite the 'daunting' experience for me.

Homemade lotus paste
(Recipe adapted from Amanda's blog)

Ingredients/ Method
200gm white lotus seeds
160ml oil
120gm sugar (reduced from 180gm, but I still find it too sweet for me)
1tbsp condensed milk
1 tbsp honey
A pinch of salt

1. Soak pumpkin seeds in hot water overnight. (I bought my lotus seeds which green centre already removed. If fresh lotus seeds, please remove green centre.)
2. Wash and drain lotus seeds. Cook lotus seed with water till soft and tender.
3. Blend the lotus seeds till smooth.
4. Heat up a wok/pan, melt half the sugar until it turns golden brown in color.
5. Pour in blended lotus seeds, remaining sugar, oil and salt.
6. Cook over medium flame, stirring all the time until the lotus seed paste thickens.
7. Stir in honey and condensed milk. Continue stirring till paste leaves the side of the wok/pan.
8. Cool before use.

Hakka Pumpkin Kueh (客家南瓜饼)
(Recipe adapted from 汗牛养生馆 - 家常点心 yields about 20 pieces)

Ingredients/ Method
150gm glutinuous flour
100gm wheat starch/ tim sum flour (澄面粉)
500gm Pumpkin
100gm sugar (reduced to 80gm)
100gm homemade lotus paste

1. Deskinned the pumpkin and slice the pumpkin into small pieces.
2. Steam for 10mins on high, and mashed.
3. Add sifted glutinuous flour, tim sum flour and sugar into the mashed pumkin to form pliable dough.
4. Steam dough for 10 mins. Remove and allow to cool.
5. Divide dough into 30g each. Flatten dough and wrap with lotus seed paste. Roll to form a ball and light flatten. (The dough is quite sticky to handle, dust some dim sum flour on working surface and hand.)
6. Add some oil into wok. Pan fried till golden and ready to be served.

I'm submitting my post to Aspiring Baker #12: Traditional Kueh hosted by Small Small Baker this month.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Gourmet pizza

Following my earlier post on pizzas, I made another attempt again the following Sunday using another recipe posted by Batter Baker. This time, I bought my ingredients days ahead so that I can be ready before the children's class ended. Somehow, the timing didn't work out and only two of the pizzas were churned out by then. Something must be seriously wrong with my time management ;-(

These gourmet pizzas were made after 'consultations' with the two men in my house, cos they would be the main customers anyway. They are 3-cheeses, portobello & basil, and italian sausage pizza. The pizza dough is by Jamie Oliver.

Overall, the customers were happier with the outcome of the pizzas this time.

Pizza Dough, by Jamie Oliver
(Doubled the recipe of Batter Baker's, and made 4 x 7" thin pizza)

260ml lukewarm water
1tsp sugar
2tsp instant yeast
2tbs extra virgin olive oil
400g bread flour
1tsp salt

1. Sprinkle sugar and yeast over water. Set aside for about 10 min till frothy.
2. Pour yeast mixture and oil into flour and salt.
3. Knead till smooth and springy (about 20 min by hand, 10 min by machine).
4. Place the ball of dough in a large flour-dusted bowl.
5. Proof for about 30 min or till it doubles in size.
6. While you wait, prepare the pizza topping.
7. Generously flour your work surface.
8. Tip out the dough and flour the top.
9. Press or roll out dough to a 7" circle. If dough keeps springing back on you, let it rest for a few minutes.
10. Prick the dough with a fork (so the dough won't balloon in the oven).
11. Brush the pizza base with little olive oil (this is to prevent the base from becoming soggy.)
12. Spread pasta sauce generously on the pizza base.
13. Place dough on a pizza stone sprinkled with bread crumbs or cornmeal, or on a greased and floured baking pan.
14. Bake at 220 deg C for about 10min.
15. Remove from oven and top with your favourite ingredients.

Pizza Toppings
(for 4 x 7" pizza)

250g mozarella cheese
200g pizza topping cheese
Pasta/ Spaghetti sauce

(a) Mozarella cheese
(b) Pizza topping cheese
(c) Gouda chese

Portobello mushroom & basil:
(a) 1 pkt portobello mushroom, sliced & sauteed
(b) 1 pkt basil leaves

Italian Sausage
(a) 2 italian sausages
(b) Yellow & green capsicum

1. Spread half of mozarella cheese and followed by the ingredients.
2. Add the balance mozarella & pizza topping cheese.
3. Put back to the oven and continue to bake for another 10 mins at 220 deg C, or till brown.
4. Slice and ready to serve.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Our Sunday lunch

After seeing batter baker's half & half pizza, my hands were itching to make them too! Originally intend to make it for the kids' snack after class, but I took too long to do my 'marketing' in the morning. By the time I reached home, the class had almost ended and making the pizza from scratch took a slow-motion me a 2.5 hours. Undoubtedly, we had late lunch again! As we had a movie to catch, we had to literally take our half-an-hour afternoon nap straight after our lunch. Me can't survive without afternoon naps, especially on Saturdays and Sundays!

I've copied batter baker's pizza base recipe for my future reference, and doubled her recipe as well to make 2 pizza.

Pizza Base
Recipe for 1 thin 12" (30cm) pizza base.
(Slight modifications on the baking steps.)

120ml lukewarm water
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp instant yeast
2 tsp olive oil
200g bread flour
1/2 tsp salt

1. Sprinkle sugar and yeast over water. Set aside for 10 min till frothy.
2. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix till a dough forms.
3. Knead till smooth and springy (about 20 min by hand, 10 min by machine).
4. Place the ball of dough in a large flour-dusted bowl.
5. Proof for about 30 min or till it doubles in size.
6. While you wait, prepare the pizza topping.
7. Generously flour your work surface.
8. Tip out the dough and flour the top.
9. Press or roll out dough to a 12" circle. If dough keeps springing back on you, let it rest for a few minutes.
10. Prick the dough with a fork (so the dough won't balloon in the oven).
11. Place dough on a pizza stone sprinkled with bread crumbs or cornmeal, or on a greased and floured baking pan.
12. Bake at 220 deg C for about 10min.
13. Remove from oven and top with your favourite ingredients.

Pizza Toppings
(for two 12' pizza)

250g mozarella cheese
200g pizza topping cheese
Pasta sauce (can refer to batter baker's, but being lazy I use the usual spaghetti sauce)

1st half:
(a) 1 canned pineapples, drained & cubed
(b) 150g Pinic ham, cut into small squares
2nd half:
(a) 1 pkt Shitake mushroom, sliced & sauteed
(b) 1 pkt basil leaves

1. Brush the pizza base with little olive oil (this is to prevent the base from becoming soggy.)
2. Spread pasta sauce generously on the pizza base.
3. Next, spread half of mozarella cheese and followed by the ingredients.
4. Add the balance mozarella cheese and put back to the oven and continue to bake for another 10 mins at 220 deg C, or till brown.
5. Slice and ready to serve.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Mini egg tarts

This is my second attempt to make egg tarts within 2 weeks using different recipes. The reason why I did not post it earlier is because the first attempt was a failure and I had to feed the bin. It was a dim sum style/ puff pastry type of egg tart that I tried, and using a recipe from a local magazine. I think I fail big time, both the pastry as well as the egg custard. I wonder how reliable the magazine recipe can be or is it because of my lack of skill in handling the puff pastry? Anyway the next time I'm going to make the dim sum egg tart will be using recipe from the reliable blogs; I've book-marked a few that look so good that you would want to eat them from the screen.

Now that lil Zak goes for his montessori class on every Sunday morning at my neighbour place, I had the luxury of time to do some baking. Further, I can share my bakes with my neighbours and their kids after their class. This helps in a big way as earlier I had 'problem' of finishing my bakes...kekeke. Thankfully, these egg tarts using recipe that I got from Cook.Bake.Love were very well received, and the little kids came back asking for more! I'd doubled the recipe and it produced 45 mini tarts and with about 15 tart cases left over, which I kept in the fridge unbaked.

Easy & Delicious Egg Tarts
(makes about 45 mini egg tarts)

300g plain flour
2 tbsp custard powder
2 tbsp milk powder
1 tbsp sugar
50-60g egg (1 egg)
200g butter

Rub-in Method (cold butter) - I used this method
1. Cut cold butter into small cubes.
2. Combine flour, custard powder and milk powder and mix well.
3. With fingertip, rub in the cold butter, add sugar, mix well.
4. Add beaten egg, mix to form a soft dough (do not knead).
5. Wrap with cling wrap and refrigerate before use.

Easy Method (melted butter) - For reference only.
1. Melt butter.
2. Combine all dry ingredients and mix well
3. Add melted butter and beaten egg.
4. Using a pair of chopsticks mix to form a soft dough.
5. Wrap with cling wrap and refrigerate before use.

280g water
120-140g sugar
200g beaten egg (3 large eggs or 4 medium eggs)
80g evaporated milk
Few drops pure vanilla extract (optional)

1. Heat up water and sugar till sugar dissolved. Let cool.
2. Add beaten egg, evaporated milk and vanilla extract and mix well.
3. Sieve 3 times.

1. Roll into ball and press the dough into tart moulds. (I did not measure the dough for each tart.)
2. Spoon in the fillings till 80% full. (I poured mine almost 100% full.)
3. Bake in preheated oven at 180C for 20 mins.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Mooncake or not?

These days the monthly Aspiring Bakers event is one that gave me the little push to continue baking 'something'. So far, the theme of each month had been very interesting and it really serve as a good on-line encyclopedia for all who loves baking. Kudos to Small Small Baker who initiated this splendid AB, and to all hosts who spent so much time and effort to compile all entries every month!

Being the 8th month of the lunar calendar, naturally it's Aspiring Bakers #11: Mid-Autumn Treats (September 2011) and hosted by Happy Home Baking. Of course, I'm submitting this post for this month's AB event. BUT....

Back to the title of this post.... I'm not very convinced that mine is a mooncake, though what I've "researched" from wikipedia skewed towards the answer "yes". What is a mooncake? Crust - can be chewy, flaky or tender, glutinuous rice, jelly. Filling - can be lotus seed paste, five kernels, durian, chocolate, etc. Shape - can be round, rectangular, piglet, cute cartoon characters, etc. Not wanting to do the snowskin mooncakes which I did previous years, and have not got the time to try baking traditional mooncakes, I did mine using 老婆餅 (wife's biscuit) recipe and shaped using the mooncake moulds/plunger that I just bought from Elyn of ShopnBake. The previous set of mould/plunger was given to my sis-in-law, and I only ordered this new set and collected on Sunday. You'll see how I always do my things at the last minute (oh no...)!

You will decide whether this is a Mooncake or not?

Anyway, Wishing all 中秋節快樂 or Happy Mid-Autumn Festival 2011!