10 Jul 2014

castle cake


 Made this castle cake couple of weeks ago for a customer. Took me hours just to complete the towers nevertheless enjoyed every hour making it.


The complete cake.



8 Jul 2014

coconut tart




 The weather these past few months has been insanely hot, so much so that running an easy errand seems like walking  into a hot furnace...I can feel my skin is being roasted  into a perfect pork crackling.
How I miss the rain!

I made these bite size mini coconut tarts for tea and it was delight. For the tart shell recipe and how to do, please see below under "tart shells" and click.



A
2 eggs
125g sugar
1/8 salt
100ml milk


B
60g melted butter


C
30g flour
1tsp baking powder
140 shredded Hawaiian coconut



Preheat oven to 170 deg cel.
Beat A till creamy and add B. With a spatula add C and mix well. Pour filling on top of the pastry and bake for 30min till the coconut gets a nice golden colour. Cool the tart and gently lift it out.
Enjoy.....jue

1 Jul 2014

Tart shells


It's been a nice quiet week. I figured I would dig out my sewing machine and try my hand on sewing meself a skirt. Mind you I can only sew a straight stitch. With that vast tailoring experience I did pretty well cutting out the pattern, got the sides 'edged' and sewed one side of the skirt. 
Now the zip...sigh...initially I planned to use a  garter BUT, lets leave it at the but!

Meanwhile baked some tart shells for something. Here's the basic recipe.
170gm  butter
50gm icing sugar
1 small egg
290gm plain flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
tart shells
Beat butter and sugar gently until creamy but not too long. I suggest you use a spatula. Then add the  egg and extract and mix till combine while adding the flour bit at a time. Knead it till it's soft. Wrap it in a cling wrap and chill in the fridge overnight.
Pinch a small amount and gently press into the shells. Prick the bottom. Bake it in a preheated oven - 170 deg cel for 25 min. Leave it to cool completely.  Remove tart from shells and keep in an air tight container.  
I got about 36 tart.
Have a nice day....jue

22 Jun 2014

Pavlova


I've been meaning to make pavlova again for a long time but each time I get the fruits ready, Tim (my son) would munch  up all  the strawberries and the passion fruit. 
This time I threaten him so good that he left it alone....there were some strawberries missing!

The first time I made pavlova, I burned it to the ground, simply failed to set the right oven temp!!  Anyway, I ate my mistake (whatever I could scrape off) and here it is, Pavlova take 2.

Prepping is equally important (as I've learned the hard way). You need to make sure the egg whites are at room temperature and go with caster sugar  rather than white granulated sugar as it dissolves faster into the egg white, hence avoiding over beating the meringue.

Be absolutely sure not a particle of grease or egg yolk gets into the whites and all the utensils are  grease free. I learned this too the hard way!.

Pre-heat oven to 150 C.  Line a baking tray with baking parchment  and draw a 7 inch  circle on the paper. Turn the parchment paper over so the circle is on the reverse side.

 4 egg whites
200g caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoons cornflour

200ml whipping cream, whipped with 2 tbs of icing sugar
You may use kiwi, strawberries or passion fruit or whatever  that is  around!

In a large bowl, beat egg whites to a soft peak but not dry.
Gradually add in the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition.
Beat until thick and glossy. Over beaten egg whites lose volume and deflate when folded into other ingredients.  
Using a rubber spatula gently fold in vanilla extract, lemon juice and cornflour.



Spoon mixture  on the parchment paper. Working from the centre, spread mixture towards the outside edge, building edge slightly. This should leave a slight depression in the centre.
Bake for 1 hour.Turn down the oven temperature to 120 deg.

The lady at joy of baking suggests  to 'bake for 60 to 75 minutes or until the outside is dry and is a very pale cream color. Turn the oven off, leave the door slightly ajar, and let the meringue cool completely in the oven. (The outside of the meringue will feel firm to the touch, if gently pressed, but as it cools you will get a little cracking and you will see that the inside is soft and marshmallowy.)' 

Yes that bit helped. Remove the parchment, and place meringue on a flat serving plate to cool. The cooled meringue can be made and stored in a cool dry place, in an airtight container, for a few days.
When you are ready, fill the centre of the meringue with whipped cream, sweetened if desired.
Top with whipped cream and scoop the passion fruit on top and arrange fruits of your choice. 
Now, treat yourself with a huge slice. 

Happy baking.....jue

7 Jun 2014

Island get away 2... snorkeling cake


My husband never misses his yearly snorkeling trips with his brothers and this year we went to the Redang Island in Terengganu. 
This is my second snorkeling trip and this time around I kinda got the hang of it and really enjoyed myself. I was really looking forward to see some beautiful corals but found a small patch...was a bit disappointed to see so many dead  corals. I suppose the blame goes to the many motor boats plying the area, spilling oil onto the sea.  Sad to say I won't be going to that island again. Tenggol Island was so much better.

No amount of sun block worked despite slathering myself with 110 SPF  sunscreen. 
We Malaysian hate the sun, yes I said hate,  if we can pitch a tent in the sea while snorkeling  we would do it.  Besides the unforgiving heat it was a fantastic trip.

Made this snorkeling  chocolate cake for our get together. I used fresh cream to ice the cake and used fondant to decorate the cake, which is a big no no cause in no time the fondant just melted away. I knew that but I still did it. Hmmm...
Happy baking...jue.

15 May 2014

Guacamole



I never did care so much for avocados or give a glance at the supermarket but these days I'm always looking  out for a bargain for this delicious fruit but sadly the price is never down. 
Unfortunately that didn't stop me one bit from buying and enjoying this delicious  dip...aka guacamole.
How do I eat em... I just scoop a tablespoon on a toast or rye cracker.

2 ripe avocados
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tbsp of fresh lime juice or lemon juice
2 Tbsp to 1/4 cup of minced red onion 
1 pip of garlic, minced
1 green chili, seeds removed, minced
2 tablespoons cilantro (leaves and tender stems), finely chopped
A dash of freshly grated black pepper
1 ripe tomato, seeds and pulp removed, chopped
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp of apple cider vinegar

Cut the avocados in half. Remove seed. Scoop out avocado from the peel, put in a mixing bowl.


Using a fork, gently  mash the avocado, it should be a little chunky. 

Sprinkle with salt and lime (or lemon) juice. The acid in the lime juice will help delay the avocados from turning brown. 
Add the chopped onion, cilantro, black pepper, and chiles.
Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole to prevent oxidation from the air reaching it. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Give it a go...jue
 recipe modified from simply recipes

4 May 2014

Giant cupcake

My daughter Belle and I had a nice time baking and decorating this giant cupcake. Made this cake for my nieces Ree and Sym for their cupcake party. 
We used Wilton's cupcake mold which made baking this cake a breeze.  



And for the second cake...
We loved it so much that we almost kept it for ourselves. Promised her to make one for her. Below is Belle (second from left) busy sifting flour.


Jue

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