Sunday, March 11, 2012


I didn't expect I would have time for any baking after Zak's birthday celebration last Sunday. I guess I really need a little baking-time to off-load some work stress. As we don't cook at home, there's no eggs in the fridge unless I plan to bake something. After baking my boy's birthday cake, I'm left with 3 eggs. Not wanting to throw them in the bins, I separated the egg white/yolk yesterday, of course with half-mind yearning to bake a macaron or two if time permits.

Other than baking, another good way to de-stress is definitely spending good quality time with my little boy. We don't have to spend dozen to be happy or lavish on expensive food to feel fed, a simple bus ride and a piece of roti prata made boy & mum extremely contented! Our happiness is not dampened by the 'lousy' roti prata we had at Jalan Kayu, even my boy lamented that it's really not nice. We then proceeded onwards to Ikea to satisfy his incessant-liking-for-long-bus-rides. Both of us had our retail therapy at Ikea, followed by lunch of hotdog and donuts. When we stepped out of Ikea, realised that it was raining so heavily. Our initial plan to take a return bus trip was thwarted as there's no covered shelter to the bus stop. It's actually quite a relieve (for me) as it's a good excuse to take the cab home after hours of walking and heavy stuff to carry.

Back to the macarons, they were done when it's daddy's turn to bring little boy for their fun bus-train-LRT-bus rides on a lazy Sunday. I was half doing work & half macaroning. And half the macarons turned out feet-less, and the rest with short-feets. Nothing is wasted (except one odd shell that is left), they were slabbed with godiva dark chocolate ganache, waiting to be matured and devoured days later.

72% cacao dark chocolate macarons
(macaron recipe adapted & modified from Tartelette, refer for more details)

Ingredients/ Method
45g egg white (ideally aged for 3 days, but mine was aged 1 day)
15g caster sugar
100g powdered sugar
55g ground almonds
powdered colour (optional)
1 tsp vanilla bean paste/essence (optional)

1) Whisk egg white until foamy, and gradually add sugar until glossy meringue. Do not overbeat or it will be too dry.
2) Added sieved almond and powdered sugar, (colour & vanilla bean paste) to the meringue. Give it a quick fold to break some of the air and then fold the mass carefully until you obtain a batter that falls back on itself after counting to 10.
3) Use quick strokes at first to break the mass and slow down. Whole process should not take more than 50 strokes. (To test - if tops flatten on its own, you are good to go. If there is small beak, give batter a couple of turns.)
4) Pipe batter on good baking sheets. Rap the tray 2 times to let any air bubble escape. Sit macarons for 30 mins to 1 hour, until a firm layer on shell forms.
5) Bake in pre-heated oven 150 deg C for 15 - 20 mins.
6) Let the macaron shells cool down and remove from the baking sheet.
7) Spread any favourite fillings on the shell and keep in air-tight containers. Keep macarons in fridge for at least 1 day to let taste mature.

Chocolate ganache
70g 72% cacao Godiva dark chocolate
3 tbsp whipping cream
1/2 tbsp unsalted butter

1) Put all ingredients in a bowl and microwave on medium heat for about 2 mins.
2) Stir to mix them evenly and keep in fridge for about 10 mins to harden ganache for easy spreading on macarons.

I'm also submitting this post to this month Aspiring Bakers #17: March Macarons Madness! (Mar 2012) hosted by Alan of Travellingfoodies.

Monday, March 5, 2012

My boy turns 5!

Pardon my lack of update on this blog and though I still visit my favourite list of blogs, I seem to have lesser time to do so these days. Lesser time to bake as well. Hopefully I'll be freer come 2nd quarter of the year!

Today is an exceptional and joyous day, my boy turns 5 and he sure has grown and changed alot! Long before his birthday, he'd made many requests and threw ideas on how he wanted his celebration. Not one, but two parties; one with family members and another one in school. A Monopoly cake and an Angry Bird cake. Since AB cake is more readily available at the bakery, I did a Monopoly cake for the family celebration. I'd to bring out the Monopoly boardgame to mimick the details, not an easy feat since I had not been baking or playing with the fondant for a while :p And instead of name of places, my boy specifically and repeated reminded me that we should have our family members' name on the board. I'm pretty happy to know how much thoughts he put in for his party and everyone was pleasantly surprise to see their names on the cake. Even the peanut-butter cream for the chocolate-flavoured cake, which was an instant hit with the guests, was decided by the birthday boy. The at-least 3kg cake was 'wolfed' down and requests for 2nd servings/ 'ta-baoing' (packed) would made any baker a happy (wo)man.

My best wishes to my lovely darling to be ever so healthy, all-rounded and successful person. Not forgetting to have fun and smell the roses along the way <3<3<3

Here's some pictures on Zakris' Monopoly-themed 5th birthday party and cake.

With Feb's month Aspiring Bakers' deadline extended, I'm glad to be able to participate and therefore submitting this post to Aspiring Bakers #16: Fun with Fondant! (February 2012) hosted by Yvonne of iceamericanos.