7 Apr 2014

sugar cookies




My go to  sugar cookies. 
 
3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup sugar
1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ½  teaspoons pure almond extract - I omit this

Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
Combine the flour, salt and baking powder and set aside.
Cream the sugar and butter until light in color.
Add the egg and extracts to the butter mixture until just combined.
Add the flour mixture in 3 parts, each time beating until just combined. Don’t forget to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and don’t worry if the dough is a bit crumbly. You can simply knead the bits in before you roll it out.

Roll out your dough, cut your cookies, and transfer them to an ungreased baking sheet. I prefer to position cookie dough in between sheets of parchment or wax paper.
Place the baking sheet with cookie dough cut-outs in the freezer for 5 minutes (this helps the cookies to retain their shape).
Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes, keeping an eye on the oven around 8 minutes as small cookies tend to bake faster.
Let the baked cookies sit for a couple minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to wire racks to cool.
Recipe from bake@350

Happy baking ....jue

21 Feb 2014

Wedding cake...purple roses

Had a hard time imagining how this cake would turn out...In my cake decorating experience, what you draw so intently on a paper, with all the details in place would never come off  on  your intended cake. Does that happen to you.
I had it on the paper to  create a quilt pattern all along the sides of the cake...instead I made a  cornelli patterns. Don't even ask me how I ended up with that!
Catastrophe happens...sometimes a good catastrophe. I love the cornelli.
  


Anywho, I have to thank hubby for constructing this beautiful cake...definitely couldn't have done it without his help. 
Made this cake for a beautiful couple, so glad they loved the cake.

Pretty ha.

Jue

9 Feb 2014

Fondant roses




Been really really busy these past week. You guessed it ...making these gorgeous roses for a purple and white theme wedding. Must say it is a time consuming work, nevertheless it was fun and really hope the bride and groom will love it as well.



Can't wait to show you the final display.
Jue

15 Jan 2014

Rose Swirl pattern

Another take on the rose swirls.
Love this pattern  so much that I had to make another one. 
 I used 1M Wilton tip with fresh cream frosting. Best if the frosting is firm. I piped two flowers then refrigerate both the frosting and the cake for 5 min before proceeding to the next two. Repeat the process till cake is covered. 
If you skip this part, the frosting tends to be soft and you won't get a firm looking rosette.

.
Here's how I did the fresh cream frosting
1½ cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1½ tsp. Unflavored Gelatin
4 tsp. water

mix the water and gelatin in a large microwave safe bowl until all the gelatin is dissolved. 

Let the gelatin cool off to a lukewarm temp before adding it to the cream, but don’t let it get cold because it will become a gel. 
Meanwhile with an electric mixer whip the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla on high or until thickened. Add the gelatin to the whipped cream slowly and beat on high until the whipped cream forms stiff peaks.


You're good to go.
 Delicious chocolate cake underneath! 
 Pretty eh?
Here's a similar rose swirl cake I did earlier...in lavender color.

 
Happy decorating...jue

21 Dec 2013

Siew Pau aka chinese pastry



The very first time I tried this delicious pastry I was hooked...really hooked.  R would always grab a couple  of pau  if he sees a shop selling one.   A cuppa coffee and this siew pau just makes my day. 
Unfortunately I never  did give a second thought of wanting to bake this pastry (though I had the recipe) until I came across a blog page that did this pau so effortlessly.  

My SIL was kind enough to make the char siew (barbeque pork) filling and the rest is history.
Surprisingly it was pretty easy to make the pastry thanks to this blog.
It uses two different pastry,  an oil dough and water dough.  Mix them together and you get a scrumptious  flacky  pastry.
I took a lot of  step by step pic, hope it helps, so do give a go.

 I used the recipe from this book, Alex Goh Irresistible pastry book. 
Since I did not make the  barbeque filling, you may wish to  refer to the blog above or you can use your own filling.



Ingredients for oil dough

200 gm flour
130 gm shortening

Ingredients for Water dough 


200 gm all purpose flour
40 gm icing sugar
40 shortening
100 ml water

20ml oil

Egg wash

1 egg - beaten
some sesame seeds 








 Mix all the ingredients of oil dough together and knead till you get a soft dough. Set it aside to rest for 30 minutes.
Mix all the ingredients of water dough together and knead till you get a soft dough. Set it aside to rest for 30 minutes. 
Divide both dough into 20-22 equal pieces. Wrap the oil dough into the water dough and flatten it 
Roll the dough out into a longish flat piece. Roll it up like a swiss roll. 
Turn 90deg, and roll out again and roll it up like a swiss roll. 
Press dough with palm and lightly roll out into a circle. 
Place filling in the center (do not put too much filling in, see the above pic, the filling is leaking out), wrap and pleat into a pau shape.  
Place on a greaseproof paper.
Brush pie with lots of egg wash, sprinkle with some sesame seeds and bake at 200 deg cel for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Was that hard to follow, nay. Do try, it's worth a go. Happy baking.
Jue

12 Dec 2013

Pigs in the mud cake

Had a fantastic time modelling these pigs and baking/frosting the cake for my niece's class party. 


Pigs in the making... I like this little pig, giving himself a scrub.





jue

21 Nov 2013

jam doughnut



I'm never a doughnut fan.
Nope. 
I don't think dough should be dipped in oil and fried.
But when I saw  TGBBO program and the beautiful jam doughnut, I was converted. I used Paul Hollywood's jam doughnut recipe. I must say this is the best doughnut I've tasted and  would definitely make em again. The doughnut was soft and supple unlike to the store bought ones which are rock hard and ridiculously  sweet.

I simply dust most of the buns lightly in caster sugar and filled the rest with jam and a couple dipped in melted chocolate with toasted almonds.

The only adjustment I made was to reduce the size of the dough. I suggest you divide the dough into 20 small balls  instead of 10 as he did...err that would make a huge  doughnut  size of a  football!  If you find 20  too much just do a half batch as doughnuts really have to be super fresh to be enjoyed at their best.

I hope you would give this doughnut a go.

jue

5 Nov 2013

Puri


We had Puri for dinner last night and it was quite a pleasant change to our usual menu. 
Rice! 
I have a divided household, half of us are a die hard rice eaters and the other half just hate it! 
So you can sorta see why I'd jump for joy if I don't have to prepare dinner. 
This is a truce, we happily dined.

It's been a while since I made this and was really  surprised how quick it took me do it.  
This flat bread is best eaten hot, straight from the pan normally with potato, in this case I made some mince pork. Yum.

There are a number of puri recipe that do not use fat in the dough but the one that I'm doing has  ghee. I would definitely like to try the one without fat just to compare which taste better. 
For now, let make some puri.

125g whole wheat flour
125g plain flour
1 tsp salt
60g ghee
water to bind
oil for deep frying


In your work table, sieve both the flours and salt.
Rub the ghee into the flour and gently knead it until the ghee is well incorporated.
Now add a little water at a time and knead it until  the flour begins to form a soft dough, so go slow with the water. Once you're happy with it, start kneading it for about 5 min  till you get the right consistency.


 Cover with a damp cloth and leave it in a warm place for 20 minute.
Divide the dough into 8 portions. 
Roll each balls between your hands till they are smooth and without cracks.

 
 


 Roll each ball into a 5" circle (4mm thick). Heat the oil/ghee for deep frying in a thick-bottomed flat pan on a medium flame.  Deep fry the Puri one at a time, pressing very gently on each side with. This will help the Puri to puff up! Fry one the first side till golden then turn over and fry the same way on the other side. Drain on paper towels and serve hot immediately.

 Enjoy....jue

2 Nov 2013

Chelsea rolls

It's been a while since I baked some rolls/bread  and I miss the smell of freshly baked bread,  it's kinda  therapeutic for me, calms my knotted nerves.


Cinnamon rolls have always been my favourite sweet rolls. I like the taste of  the slightly burnt caramelised raisins  in between the layers of the buns, but my boys hated the raisins and grumbled as they ate up! 
Let's bake. Recipe from BBC food 

For the filling I used slightly more of the  ingredients as noted since I love the buns cinnamony and sweet. 
I omitted the glaze, don't really like the extra sweetness on the already sweet bun. 
If you like your buns glazed, simply  heat the 2 tbs milk and 2 tbs sugar in a saucepan until boiling. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes.Glaze over the buns when it's out .


500g bread flour  plus extra for dusting
1tsp salt
1 x 7g sachet fact-action dried yeast
300ml milk
40g unsalted butter softened at room temperature 
1egg
vegetable oil for greasing

for the filling

25g/1oz unsalted butter, melted
75g/3oz brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
150g currants/raisins
  1. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and add the yeast.
  2. Meanwhile, warm the milk and butter in a saucepan until the butter melts and the mixture is lukewarm.
  3. Add the milk mixture and egg to the flour mixture and stir until the contents of the bowl come together as a soft dough. (You may need to add a little extra flour.)
  4. Tip the dough onto a generously floured work surface. Knead for five minutes, adding more flour if necessary, until the dough is smooth and elastic and no longer feels sticky.
  1. Lightly oil a bowl with a little of the vegetable oil. Place the dough into the bowl and turn until it is covered in the oil. Cover the bowl with cling film and set aside in a warm place for one hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
  2. Lightly grease a baking tray.
  3. For the filling, knock the dough back to its original size and turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll the dough out into a rectangle 0.5cm/¼in thick. Brush all over with the melted butter, then sprinkle over the brown sugar, cinnamon and dried fruit.

  1. Roll the dough up into a tight cylinder , cut ten 4cm/1½in slice and place them onto a lightly greased baking sheet, leaving a little space between each slice. Cover with a tea towel and set aside to rise for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.
  3. Bake the buns in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until risen and golden-brown.
  4. Meanwhile, for the glaze, heat the milk and sugar in a saucepan until boiling. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Remove the buns from the oven and brush with the glaze, then set aside to cool on a wire rack.

    Enjoy...jue

7 Oct 2013

No bake brownies


A lazy bake off day....couldn't move a muscle but I was dying for something sweet and it's the weekend. The boys and R would want some dessert, so I was more than  delighted to have an instant dessert made in no time. 

It took me fifteen minutes to prepare and another three hours to get it set  in the fridge. That's the bit that annoyed me but mind you, this no bake brownie was really good and would give any baked brownies a run for their taste.  

 I used
 20 Mcvites digestive tea biscuits 
10  Mcvites digestive biscuits
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup roasted and roughly chopped almond- let it cool
2 tsp brown sugar
200gm condensed milk 

1/4 cup currants
1 tbs Baileys ( or more)

Crush the biscuits coarsely. I left small bits of biscuits in this mixture to give the brownies some extra texture. Add the cocoa powder to this and mix well.
Add the sugar, nuts and currants and give it a good mix.

Add  Baileys or any liqueur that you prefer, or you can even omit this.
Lastly add the condensed milk  ( I didin't use all of it as I don't want it too sweet. So it's up to you) to this mixture. Mix well.

Line a pie dish with parchment paper with some butter.  Gently pour the mixture and press firmly with wet fingertips until the mixture is uniformly spread.
Refrigerate at least for 4 hours or overnight if possible. IF POSSIBLE.

Cut into small squares and serve. Best eaten with a scoop of ice-cream.
Enjoy.....jue 
Modified from edible garden

27 Sep 2013

chicken pie with puff pastry

                                          

Are you a Downton Abbey fan. 
I am.
So happy the series is back on telly, it's one of my fav.
Feels so empty watching without Matthew Crawley around. Tonight's show appears to have given hints that all is not going to be well in future episodes...as long as they don't kill off any one...especially Maggie Smith, love the dowager and Mrs Patmore, the cook.

I found a roll of puff pastry hidden in the freezer and I thought why not bake a chicken pie.
1 chicken breast
3 tablespoons  oil
salt
pepper

 2 tablespoons  butter plus 2 tablespoon oil
1 cups chicken stock - I used homemade
1 chicken bouillon cubes

2  onions, chopped 
3 pips garlic - chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup heavy cream or milk
1/2 cup diced carrots, blanched for 2 minutes
1/2  cup package frozen peas  
1/2 cup sliced mushroom
chopped parsley




Place the chicken breasts on a plate and sprinkle  with salt and pepper.  Heat a non stick pan on a medium heat, place chicken and cook through both side. Set aside until cool enough to handle,  Cut the chicken into bite size dice.

In a small saucepan, heat the  butter and oil. Saute onions and garlic till light brown.
Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick. Add 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and heavy cream or milk. 
Add the cubed chicken, carrots, peas, mushroom and parsley. Mix well. 
Remove from the stove and set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 180 deg cel.
Thaw frozen puff pastry. Line the base of your pie dish accordingly. Pour chicken filling and cover evenly. Place another sheet of pastry on top and  pinch the sides. Slice the top with a knife. 
Brush the top with egg wash and bake for 45-50 min.

Enjoy.....jue

7 Sep 2013

Moist chocolate cake




Finally, season six of Doc Martin is on telly.  Love this show,  been waiting like forever to watch it. Can't ask for more when I  got a slice of moist chocolate cake with chocolate mousse.  Perfect.

This cake earned me a feather on my cap. 
Normally I would dread baking chocolate cakes,  I could never get it tasting like the ones in  Secret Recipe. This time I nailed it and  finally redeemed myself with my boys and hubs.  
Ok, presentation wise it  needs some  deco work, I'll get around to it.

jue

3 Sep 2013

Spicy lamb and chicken nuggets




I prefer cooking without a recipe, it gives me the freedom to visualise the dish that's on my mind  and to play around the taste. How the dish turns out largely depends  on my mood that particular day. I know it's a lousy way to cook but what can I do...

I got some minced chicken and lamb in the fridge  and was wondering what I could do for dinner.... tada,  Nuggets.

It was good, had the nuggets with some curry and rice.  One time we had it with some mash and slaw.

Now for the lousy part, if the family were to ask me to repeat this dish again....I can't,  I'd probably get  80% of it and the rest, well it's  good as gone. 
My boys and hubby are clever, they'd enjoy the dish to the full cos they know it'll never come around tasting the same again.

So if I were to type it out, here's the 80% of it.

250g each of mince chicken and lamb
1 egg
1 cup of bread crumb

chopped fine

1 green chili
1 red chili
1 large onion
5 pips garlic
1 bunch coriander leaves

1tsp each of

paprika
onion or garlic powder
dry chili flakes
pepper
salt - 2 tsp
Chinese five spice powder
Worcestershire sauce
Sesame oil 

Yup..that's it.

Put all the ingredients above in a large bowl and give it a good mix.
Roll into  golf size ball and set aside.
Heat oil in a non stick pan, over medium heat. Gently fry till golden brown.
Remove nuggets and place it on a kitchen roll to absorb any excess oil.
Serve hot.

Enjoy...jue

14 Aug 2013

apple crumble with roll oat


My mornings ..... having a  cuppa hot coffee, sitting in the kitchen ( with a load in the  washing running)  makes my day.  Just that.  

So peaceful and quiet... but today,  thinking of you mum.

Made apple crumble with roll oats last night for this morning's breakfast...and later for snack with a dollop of ice-cream on top.
Okay the pic may make the crumble looking a little undesirable...I don't care, it taste good. 

For the crumble 
2 cups roll oats
1/2 cup of melted butter
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of almond meal

For the filling
3 green apples, skinned and cut into small pieces
1/2 cup of toasted chopped walnuts
1/2 lemon zest
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup golden raisins - optional


Preheat oven 160 degree C.
Mix all the ingredients for the crumble and set aside.
Mix all the ingredients for the filling and put it in a oven proof dish. I used a oven proof rectangle glass dish.
Spread the crumble over the apple evenly to cover. 
Bake for 30 min or until the top is browned evenly and the apples appears soft.
Serve hot or chilled. 

Enjoy...jue

19 Jul 2013

Chicken Pie with oil pastry

I love baking pies but the very notion of making  pastry with loads of butter often make me cringe that I just chuck the idea off. 
Butter and I have this love-hate relationship, while I love a good spread on my toast, I  just hate it when blocks of it goes into baking,  knowing that  I can't cut short on the amount required, and  to compromise it's taste and texture.

I've found a healthy, simple, tasty and cost effective way of making and enjoying pies!  Yes, with oil.  You read me right.
What better pie to make if not chicken.



I was really amazed with the  pastry, apprehensive at first but the first mouth converted me.  This is my go to pastry from now on, absolutely flaky and delicious .




 Got this fabulous butter dish yesterday (David Mason Design, Happy Hen), isn't if pretty, it really brightens up the kitchen and cheers me up,  hmmm butter.
  
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 canola or corn oil
5 tbs water

Mix flour  and salt in a bowl. 
Pour the oil in and stir,  "cut" it with a fork until you've got pea size clumps
Sprinkle the cold water over the flour and continue mixing until it all balls together.
Wipe your counter top with a damp cloth and spread a piece of wax paper on it.

Form a little more than half of the dough into a disk and place it on the wax paper. Cover it with another piece of wax paper.

Roll the dough from the centre out in all directions, keeping it as circular as possible.
Periodically peel off the top piece of wax paper, then lay it gently back on top of the crust.
and continue rolling until your crust is about two inches bigger than your pie pan. - then use the bottom piece of paper to lift the crust and place it over your pie pan. 
Gently peel off the wax paper.

Fill in with the filling of your choice. ( I shall post the chicken filling sometime soon). For the top cover, use the balance dough and repeat the process.  Rub the top with some beaten egg. Snip dough with knife. Bake for about 1 hour at 180 deg c. until the pie is golden brown.
Adapted Recipe from here 

Enjoy your pie.....jue