Monday, December 26, 2011

Pavlova with Fresh Strawberries and Strawberry Coulis



Pavlova is one of the dish on my to-bake list. With the long weekend ahead I managed to spend one day to make it. Being the organized me, I need time to ready myself with the procedure. What to do after this, where to put that. I have always organize the things I need beforehand. Otherwise, it would be a disaster in the kitchen and MORE mess to clean up afterward. 


Tell me, who in the right mind loves mess?
Right.




In Malaysia, it's hard to find raspberries and blueberries. The only berry I can find was strawberries. And it's quite expensive. One tiny box for RM19.90.


After I have assembled all the ingredients needed, I wiped my bowl and beater with vinegar. You see, if there's even a little grease or moist the egg whites won't thicken. Yea, you need clean, dry, grease-free bowl and beaters.


I was having second thought when I started whisking the egg whites and sugar. It wasn't thickening! I thought it was because I haven't wipe off the grease in the bowl and beater. I trust my hand-held mixer to do the job so I kept on whisking. The meringue started to thickened. Then, I set the speed to 3 and soon enough the meringue started to hold stiff peak. YEAY!




The same problem with the whipped cream. It was my first time whipping cream. My initial intention was to use the store-bought whipped cream but those were expired so I had to make some of my own. I didn't have much time to get ready but all in all, I made it! DOUBLE YEAY!


The strawberry coulis was the easiest thing to do! I didn't use the blender to puree, but I use the masher to mash 'em and then strain them. And I added orange juice to make it sweet and sour.




After a few photos were taken, it's time to indulge!

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I was dissapointed because it didn't taste that great. This is my first time eating pavlova. For me the taste was sickeningly sweet. I do love the crunchy outer layer though. I ate that with the coulis and strawberry. Yummy! But my sister like the whole thing. If she could, she would have eaten the whole thing. But she said she doesn't want to be diabetic so she had to control herself from eating more.




Pavlova and Whipped Cream
Adapted from Joy of Baking


Ingredients:
Pavlova

  • 4 large egg whites - I got 130 grams
  • 1 cup castor sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon corn flour

Toppings:
Whipped Cream
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon icing sugar ( or more for taste )
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Strawberry Coulis
  • 1 1/2 cup strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon/orange juice


Fresh fruits - raspberries, blueberrie, strawberries, kiwi, passionfruit, mango. Any tart fruit will complement the meringue.


Methods:
Pavlova
  1. Pre-heat oven to 130 degrees C. Draw a 7" circle on a parchment and it over so the circle is on the reverse side.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites on medium speed until they hold soft peaks. Then, start adding the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, and continue to beat until they hold very stiff and shiny peaks. *Test to see if the sugar has dissolved by rubbing a bit of meringue between your fingers. If it feels grainy, keep beating until it becomes smooth.
  3. Beat in the vanilla. Sprinkle the corn flour and vinegar on top of the meringue and fold in gently using a spatula.
  4. Spread the meringue in the circle drawn, smoothing the edges with the spatula and create a well  by making sure the edges is higher than the center.
  5. Bake the meringue for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes.
  6. Once done, turn the oven off, left the oven door slightly ajar and let the meringue cool completely in the oven. - I waited 2 hours for it to cool completely.

Whipped cream
Whip the cream in a large bowl or your mixing bowl until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and vanilla.


Strawberry Coulis
Add all the ingredients in a medium saucepan and wait until boil. Mash the strawberries or you can puree them in a food processor. Strain the liquid through fine strainer.


Assemble:
  1. Before serving, place the meringue on the desired plate and mound the whipped cream on top of the meringue.
  2. Sprinkle the strawberry coulis on the whipped cream. Arrange the fruits randomly or in a desired pattern.
  3. Serve immediately.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sisterly love goes a long way...

Being the eldest daughter is hard. You have to set a good example to the young ones and at the same time be their friend. You know, be someone they can look up to.




Too bad my young sisters doesn't have that kind of impression of me. But it's okay, I don't expect them too. Just as long as they can give their respect I think that would be enough.




Being the eldest, whenever my sisters ask me for help I couldn't help but to please them. I feel flattered that they came to me for help (although I rarely show it...). So this weekend I make an effort to bake a red velvet cake and cupcakes for my sisters.




The red velvet cake is for a friend of my sister. My sister, ID, is giving it as a present to her friend. The red velvet cupcakes is for my sister and her roommates in IIUM.




The recipes are the ones that I've used the most. My trusted red velvet recipes. You can get the recipe HERE for the cake, and HERE for the cupcakes.




Enjoy the weekend! I already did. *burps* Opppssss!



Sunday, October 2, 2011

Caramel-topped Flan for my Abah

The only thing that I knew my dad loves to eat is the caramel. You might know it as flan or creme caramel, depending on where you came from. In my country, we just called it caramel. It's a dessert where you only need just 6 ingredients, according to the recipe you follow. But the basics are the same, water, sugar, eggs and milk.




My dad loooooooves it so much that every year during fasting month we would have a tray of caramel to enjoy. He ate most of it. So after I started baking I told myself to learn on how to make it myself. He did so much for me, this is the least I can do to repay him back.




And so I did. Only I have such a strong recipe to start with. Dorie Greenspan can never go wrong. All the recipes that I have tried from her book, not single one of them went wrong. She explained in details in the method section. That's why you can never go wrong if you just follow what she tells you.




In the end, what my dad thinks is the upmost important part. Aaaaaaannnndd, he loves it! I'm a happy daddy's girl.


Caramel-topped Flan
Adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours


Ingredients:

For the caramel
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tbspn water
For the flan
  • 1 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tspn vanilla


Method

Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a roasting pan or a 9-x-13-inch baking pan with a double thickness of paper towels.  Fill a teakettle with water and put it on to boil; when the water boils, turn off the heat.

Put a metal 8-x-2-inch round cake pan -not a nonstick one- in the oven to heat while you prepare the caramel.

To Make the Caramel: Stir the sugar, water and lemon juice together in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan.  Put the pan over medium-high heat and cook until the sugar becomes an amber-colored caramel, about 5 minutes-remove the pan from the heat at the first whiff of smoke.

Remove the cake pan from the oven and, working with oven mitts, pour the caramel into the pan and immediately tilt the pan to spread the caramel evenly over the bottom; set the pan aside.

To Make the Flan: Bring the cream and milk just to a boil.
Meanwhile, in a 2-quart glass measuring cup or in a bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks and sugar.  Whisk vigorously for a minute or two, and then stir in the vanilla. Still whisking, drizzle in about one quarter of the hot liquid-this will temper, or warm, the eggs so they won't curdle.  Whisking all the while, slowly pour in the remainder of the hot cream and milk.  Using a large spoon, skim off the bubbles and foam that you worked up.

Put the caramel-lined cake pan in the roasting pan.  Pour the custard into the cake pan and slide the setup into the oven.  Very carefully pour enough hot water from the kettle into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the cake pan.  (Don't worry if this sets the cake pan afloat.)  Bake the flan for about 35 minutes, or until the top puffs a bit and is golden here and there.  A knife inserted into the center of the flan should come out clean.

Remove the roasting pan from the oven, transfer the cake pan to a cooking rack and run a knife between the flan and the sides of the pan to loosen it.  Let the flan cool to room temperature on the rack, then loosely cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. 

When ready to serve, once more, run a knife between the flan and the pan. Choose a rimmed serving platter, place the platter over the cake pan, quickly flip the platter and pan over and remove the cake pan-the flan will shimmy out and the caramel sauce will coat the custard.

One-Bowl Chocolate Cake

To say that I have no time to write and update the blog would make me a liar. In all honesty, the baking and blogging seem to have lost its charm for a while. Yes, I have been baking all these while, but I just don't blog.


Well, there you go. After this I might be putting some photos and the recipe. Or a few scribbling and rambling. We'll see how it goes on after this. 




Every once in a while, we need a chocolate fix. Right on that very moment. So all the hassle of waiting the butter to softened, creaming the butter with sugar and all that aren't going to make it any easier. I am really thankful that some people really invest some of their time to do research on conjuring up a recipe which not only easy, but super fast too. Honestly, that's the only kind of recipe that got me hooked. If it has less than 5 ingredients and could be whip up in one bowl, I am all for it.




Long story short, I needed a fix on my chocolate craving and this recipe just does it for me. No creaming the butter and sugar, no softened butter needed, and using just one bowl. It's as easy as counting the numbers, I tell ya! 

I made the cakes as is. So the taste was pretty okay for me. Next time I might whip up some chocolate ganache to accompany those lonely chocolate cakes. Just some idea....



One-Bowl Chocolate Cake
Adapted from Sips and Spoonfuls


Ingredients:
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 cups caster sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tspn baking soda
  • 1 tspn baking powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tspn vanilla
  • 1 cup hot brewed coffee
  • 2 eggs

Method:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 175 degrees C and grease a 9' pan. I did mine 180 degrees C and uses cupcake liners to line my muffin pan.
  2. Mix together all the dry ingredients. Create a well and add the rest of the ingredients except coffee. Mix until combined.
  3. Add in coffee and mix well.
  4. The batter will be runny so I poured 1/4 cup of batter into each well. I even sprinkle some chocolate chips and bake for 20 minutes. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Red Velvet Cupcakes

I baked these toothsome cupcakes just before Ramadhan came. Just to indulge my colleagues with some sugary dessert. =)


I already had a go-to red velvet cake recipe. This recipe was stumbled upon and I got attracted to it because the recipe uses oil instead of butter. And the amount of cocoa powder used was a lot compared to my go-to recipe. I actually prefer a recipe that doesn't use butter, mainly because I don't like to measure the butter and wait for it to softened. Yea, I'm lazy (and cool) like that.


This recipe produced more chocolat-y red velvet taste. And it's very moist, which I loveeeeee! And the cream cheese doesn't use a lot of icing sugar so it's not sickeningly sweet but just nice. You still have the tangy taste of the cream cheese and the sugary sweet of icing sugar. In one word, PERFECT.


I forgot to take pictures of the babies. This is the only one that I have.


Red Velvet Cupcakes
Adapted from My Baking Addiction


Ingredients:
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tspn salt
  • 2/3 cup sunflower oil
  • 3/4 granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract
  • 2 tbspn red food colouring
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk - I used combination of vinegar and fresh milk. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
  • 1/2 tspn baking soda
  • 3/4 tspn vinegar

Method:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C. Line the muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. Sift together cake flour, cocoa powder and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, beat oil with sugar until well combined. Add the egg and mix until well blended.
  4. With your mixer on lowest speed, add vanilla and red food colouring.
  5. Add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk in 2 batches, starting and ending with flour. (Flour, milk, flour, milk, flour)
  6. In a small bowl, add baking soda to the vinegar and mix. Add into the batter immediately with the mixer running. Beat for 10 seconds.
  7. Divide batter into the muffin tin (approx. 3 tablespoons each well), filling about 2/3 full.
  8. Bake for 20-24 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.


Cream Cheese Frosting


Ingredients:
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 5 tbspn unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • 2 tspn vanilla extract


Method:
  1. In a mixer bowl, cream together cream cheese and butter until well combined.
  2. With the mixer turn on low, slowly add the icing sugar gradually and mix until smooth.
  3. Add the vanilla and mix until smooth and fully incorporated.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Chocolate Orange and Chocolate Chip Cupcake with Orange Buttercream Frosting



I've been meaning to find a good cupcake recipe for me to practice my frosting skill. And I wanna find a go-to chocolate orange cupcake recipe. This recipe is actually for chocolate cupcake but I altered it and add orange zest and orange juice.




Don't you just love the combination ? I do, a lot and a lot and a lot ! But in this recipe the orange flavour is very subtle in the cake. That's why I accompany the cake with an orange buttercream frosting. The result ? YUMMY times 10 millions ! 




Next time I'm doing this I'm gonna use 2 oranges to get the full flavour of orange.




Chocolate Orange and Chocolate Chip Cupcake


Ingredients :
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup hot brewed coffee ( I used 2x1/4 cup )
  • 1 1/3 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 3/4 tspn baking soda
  • 1/4 tspn salt
  • 8 tbspn ( 113 gram ) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2-3 tbspn orange juice
  • 1 tspn orange zest
  • 1 tspn vanilla
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Methods :
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C. Line muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. Place cocoa powder in small bowl. Whisk in hot coffee until smooth and let cool until mixture is lukewarm, about 5 minutes.
  3. In separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt with a fork.
  4. In medium bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time. After second egg, scrape down the sides and bottom and beat again. Beat in vanilla and coffee mixture. 
  5. Beat in orange zest and orange juice.
  6. Stir in flour mixture. Try to mix as little as possible because if you do the cupcakes will turn out tougher as usual. Stir in chocolate chips.
  7. Divide batter evenly by using 2 tablespoons, filling each cup about 3 quarters full. Bake for 20 minutes.
  8. Transfer muffin tin on wire rack and cool for 20 minutes. Cool completely out of the muffin tin.


Orange Buttercream Frosting
Adapted from Bake Space


Ingredients :
  • 137 gram unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 3 tbspn orange juice
  • 1 tspn orange zest

Method :
  1. Beat butter and orange zest together until creamy.
  2. Gradually add icing sugar, beating until well blended.
  3. Stir in 2 tablespoon orange juice, adding additional orange juice if necessary, to reach desired consistency.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Orange Cake with Orange Icing



I have always loved the citrus flavour ever since I can remember. When dining outside I will order fresh orange juice or iced lemon tea. Those two are the only drinks that I'd order. And I love the colour orange when I was in secondary school. That didn't fade when I reached 25, but I had grown up to love other colours MORE than orange. But orange is still in my list of fav colours.




So I baked the orange cake when I chanced upon a website (whose owner has baked the orange cake). To be honest, I didn't like the taste at first because it kinda has this subtle orange flavour to it and the butter overpowered orange. I had my mom, aunts and cousins to taste it and they said that it was great. Despite my reluctance of letting them to taste the cake.




I hold to the principle 'If you don't like it, don't serve it'. I forgot where I saw/read it. This cake proved that princple can't be applied all the time. So from now on, I'm not gonna beat myself too hard. ;)


Orange Cake with Orange Icing
Adapted from Technicolor Kitchen


Ingredients :
  • 127 gram unsalted butter, softened
  • 162 gram caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 225 gram plain four, sifted
  • 1 tbspn milk
  • finely grated zest of 1 large orange
  • 4 tbspns orange juice


Method :
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C. Butter loaf pan, line with parchment and butter the parchment.
  2. Beat butter and sugar in a bowl for about 8 minutes or until light and creamy.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time; beat well for each addition. Add flour and baking powder, mix well.
  4. Add milk, juice and zest; mix until smooth.
  5. Spoon mixture into prepared pan and bake for 55 minutes or until golden.
  6. Cool completely before unmold.


Orange Icing


 Ingredients :
  • 175 gram icing sugar, sifted ( I used only 150 gram )
  • 2 tbspn orange juice

Method :
Combine sugar and juice in a bowl and mix to form a paste.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Brownie Muffin



It has been a month since I was a student. And it has been a month I've been slacking at home doing nothing productive in my life. All my classmate is applying jobs here and there, some has already got a job. Honestly, I have no intention of getting a job this time soon. Why ? Because I'm a slacker. That's why. Not good for a 25 year old, I know.




I feel bad because at 25 you should have a job (or planning to have one) and should not depend on your parents entirely. My dad is a pensioner and my mom is set to follow suit this coming July, so I should probably start to worry about our family's financial state.




That's where my baking comes in. I plan to bring in money with my bakings and help my parents financially. For now, I am still trying to figure out how and when. In the mean time, I'm going to practice, practice, practice !




This toothsome brownie muffins are the best ! I could eat it all if I don't really care about others. *yikes* For a chocolate lover I think the chocolate-ness in it is just right. But my mom beg to differ. She thinks it was too chocolatey. So if you're not into chocolate that much you can just omit the cocoa powder and use less than 55%-60% cocoa chocolate. 




Chocolate Chocolate Chip Brownie Muffin
Adapted from Happy Home Baking


Ingredients :

  • 80 gram unsalted butter, room temperature ( I used 100 gram )
  • 150 gram dark chocolate, chopped ( I used Lindt 70% chocolate )
  • 165 gram brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tspn vanilla
  • 100 gram plain flour
  • 1 tbspn cocoa powder ( I used Tudor Gold )
  • As many chocolate chips you want

Methods :
  1. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees C. Prepare muffin cups on baking tray. I used 38x30 mm paper muffin cups.
  2. Sift together flour and cocoa powder; set aside.
  3. Place butter in saucepan and melt over low heat. Once the butter start to melt, add in sugar. Stir to prevent sugar from getting burnt. Add in chocolate and stir until smooth.
  4. Transfer chocolate mixture to mixing bowl and let cool slightly. Stir in eggs gradually, followed by vanilla, then dry ingredients. Stir until just incorporated.
  5. Divide batter into muffin cups. I used 2 1/2 tablespoon for each cup. Sprinkle chocolate chips and bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Let cool for 10 minutes on the tray and cool completely on wire rack.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

German Hazelnut Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese



At last I get to write a new post. Earlier this month I went for a vacation with my friends. Just spend a week at my friend's place in Taiping. I have never set foot there so why not ? Why not get to know more about one of the oldest town in Malaysia. So there I was for a week exploring the town. 


This post was not meant to write about my vacation.


So a couple of days before I get the baking mode back after a week leave. And it was for my best friend's birthday. I have never bake him anything and once when I told him about my new hobby he said I haven't bake anything for him. So for his birthday, I baked him a cake !




I didn't know what kind of cake is his favourite so I just went on and pick one myself. I have been meaning to use my ground hazelnut stock which has been forever sitting in the fridge. I baked the German Hazelnut Cake ! I don't know why it's called what it's called, but I have a soft spot for anything German, say, Thomas Muller. *wink*


My verdict ? This cake was delicious the day after ! I baked two of the cake, one for my friend and the other one for my family. It tasted not-so-tasty the day it was made, but the day after......YUMSSS ! But not enough to satisfy the chocolate cake lover in me.




That's why it has Chocolate Cream Cheese frosting on top ! With chocolate chips !




Overall the cake was okay. Not delicious enough for me to bake it again. But maybe that's just me.


My friend hasn't even taste the cake yet. He said it was a shame to cut a beautiful cake. I think he's just touched that I took all the trouble to bake him one, which is not the case as I've always bake with lots and lots of love in it ! A labour of love, that is.


German Hazelnut Cake
Adapted from ........... ( I forgot to bookmark the website! )


Ingredients :
  • 70 gram hazelnut, ground
  • 80 gram unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 200 gram caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tspn vanilla
  • 170 gram plain flour
  • 1 1/4 tspn baking powder
  • Pinch of salt

Method :
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease and line a 9" cake pan.
  2. Melt butter and set aside to cool.
  3. In large bowl, beat eggs, sugar and vanilla until thick and lemon coloured ( about 2-3 minutes ).
  4. Add flour, baking powder, salt and ground hazelnuts; mix well.
  5. Continue beating while adding the melted butter. Mix well and pour into the pan.
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes ( mine was done after 30 minutes ). Cool in pan for 15 minutes and remove from pan and cool completely for 30 minutes.


Chocolate Cream Cheese frosting
Adapted from Cupcake Project


Ingredients :

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups icing sugar ( I used 1 cup because that was all that I had )
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder

Method :
  1. Mix cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy.
  2. Mix in icing sugar, one cup at a time.
  3. Mix in cocoa powder.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Swedish Visiting Cake



Ever since I had Dorie's book I can't seem to not wanting to bake anything from it. Everytime I think I want to heat up the oven automatically my hands will reach out to this book. So for today's recipe, it's one of Dorie's and you can find it from her book Baking : From My Home to Yours, or you can google the title and there are numerous blog that has this recipe included.




There's this one specific website created for those who have purchased the book to join. Every week one of the members will choose one recipe for the whole team to bake and post on to their blog at the same time. I had fun reading the blogs, but decided not to join the website as I live in a country that has limited supplies of what they have. 




According to the book, this recipe was originally from mother of a friend of Dorie. Those days in Sweden, they would bake this cake whenever they saw visitors or guests walking down the walkway to their house. That would only mean one thing, a simple and easy preparation, which was why I wanted to bake this cake despite the absence of chocolate. Hehe.




It turned out very good. The prep time was short, I think about 10-15 minutes before the pan is in the oven. I really like the texture. So moist and dense. I can taste the lemon. Although the almond on top was a bit off for me AND I forgot to sprinkle the sugar. I wonder if the cake would taste even better if chocolate was added to it, say, chocolate sauce ? I'll try that the next time. ;)




Swedish Visiting Cake

Ingredients :
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract ( omitted )
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 stick ( 113 gram ) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds

Methods :

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Butter 9 inch round pan and line with parchment.

2. Add lemon zest to sugar and blend together with your fingers until sugar is moist and fragrant.

3. Whisk egg one at a time until well blended.

4. Whisk in salt and extracts, if using.

5. Stir in flour. Fold in butter.

6. Pour butter into pan and smooth the top. Scatter sliced almonds over the top and sprinkle sugar.

7. Place pan on baking sheet and bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until golden and crisp on the outside. Let cool for 5 minutes.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Baking Related #2

I have a big plan for my quarter century birthday.


For the first time in my life, I wanted to bake my own birthday cake.


But the oven decided to ruin the plan for me.


It died.


Worse, my birthday is today.


;(((