Friday, July 31, 2009
Friday, July 3, 2009
Its the holidays, and my incredibly bored sister made all the pictures into montages, so you guys decide if its good or bad news.
I have no love for squiggy food, and the frangipane layer was as squiggy as squiggy comes, so I really can't say I enjoyed this challenge, though it does look rather pretty.
The June Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart... er... pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800's in England.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Recipe here =)
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
So imagine my surprise when May rolled around, the challenge was revealed, and everyone in the Daring Baker community [and beyond] told me that strudels actually looked like this:
However, I [and my family] was extremely pleased with the filling. I filled the pastry with flambe-ed peach halves in rum and butter, and let me tell you, it was AWESOME, and so quick to whip up. Flambe-ing the peaches were a ton of fun too!
- Melt butter and add sugar to it. Cooked til dissolved and very bubbly.
- Add peaches to butter mixture and cooked til peaches take on a brown sheen and smells awesome.
- Remove from heat [****VERY IMPORTANT! DON'T ADD THE ALCOHOL OVER OPEN FIRE****] and add the rum. Stir well.
- Place back on fire and ignite either with a long matchstick or one of those stove lighter things.
- Sit back and enjoy the pyrotechnic. The fire will burn down once all the alcohol is burned off.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
I forgot to put sugar into the crust, so I compensated by making a thick syrup out of the cooking juices of the pear and drizzling it over the crumble. Worked very nicely, and I'm keeping the left-overs for making vanilla lattes. However, this didn't turn out exactly as I expected, because despite adding a whole vanilla bean to poach with the pear [scrapped with pods thrown in], the vanilla scent was MINIMAL. I have no idea what went wrong, and if you do, please enlighten me.
Vanilla Poached Pear Crumble
- Poach pear, sugar, split vanilla beans and pod in just enough water to cover. Until tender.
- Drain pears and leave open to dry out as much as possible.
- Take 3/4 of short-crust pastry 'crumbs' and press into a pan/pie dish/whatever. Poke full of holes and bake at 180 degree celcius for 15 minutes or until cooked. You'll smell it when its cooked.
- Mix remaining 'crumbs' with other ingredients.
- Arrange pear slices over crust, spread crumble evenly over and bake until browned at 180 degree celcius.
- To make syrup, simply reduce juice with sugar until desired consistency. I find reducing to be best done in a flat pan like a non-stick pan. Water evaporates so much faster!
- Dig in! =)
Friday, May 1, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
I kept it simple, as my body demanded no nonsense delivery of fats and chocolate to my fried brain cells.
There's a walnut-digestive base, which is simply out-of-this-world, REALLY.
And finally, the piece de resistance, a layer of caramel dark chocolate ganache. Can I say YUM?!
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
My own attempts to make waffles have also frequently ended in disaster, but those days are over, because I found a great waffle recipe!
- Pay close attention to the amount of steam coming out of your waffle maker to determine when to remove the waffle. Right at the beginning of the cooking time, loads of steam will be emited. When the steam slows down to a gentle stream, that's when to remove the waffle. It also depends on how brown you like your waffles to be
- Mix with a whisk. Actually, this applies to all things. Whisks mix really well!
- Don't fill the waffle maker to the edges. Drop the batter in the middle, close immediately and tip the waffle maker to spread the batter around instead.
- If you want to try other recipes, always use one where the egg whites are beaten and folded in separately. It's just not the same without =)
Recipe from Mr. Breakfast =D
BEST WAFFLE EVER
1 and 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 beaten egg yolks
1 and 3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup vegtable oil
3 egg white, beaten stiffly
- Mix all the dry ingredients, set aside
- Combine all the wet ingredients, except for the egg whites. Add vanilla extract if you want, I think it makes the waffle so much better =)
- Combine dry and wet ingredients. Beat away, no need to be gentle
- GENTLY fold in the egg whites.
- Cook in the waffle maker. Done!
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
First, we began the night with some fantastic mexican food at the fabulous Cuba Libre at Clark Quay. 1-for-1 mojitos, whole night on mondays! Look how pretty Singapore River looks at night =)
Then, because the band doesn't play at Cuba Libre on mondays, we headed for Timbre Art House for some chillin', some live music, some beer and some crazy good pizza
And then, after the final set from the band, craziness and too much good food set into the lovely, crazy heads of my girlfriends. We decided that what we needed right then, was some good old KTV!
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Once I tell you what Hue is known for, you'll immediately know why I love that place. Hue is the 'historical' city of Vietnam, because it was the capital of Imperial Vietnam way back in the days. The Imperial palace and tombs are still there, and those are the main tourist attractions which we visited.
The interesting thing is you can find incredibly old gates all around Hue, remnents of an imperial past, and they are still standing strong and in use, as you can see below
First, we went to the Palace. Its nice and 'historical', even if it has been completely 'tourist-fied'. Back in the days, when China's tributary system reigned supreme, Vietnam was China's most valued vassel state in Southeast Asia, and the palace reflects the importance Vietnam placed on Chinese influence as well. See the Chinese-style architecture?
The girls and I having a little fun in the palace =) Can you see us as cheeky princesses running around the palace? Ok, maybe not princesses =P
Isn't it fascinating to see traffic and everyday life just running along their business right beside a centuries old palace? Not simply a building, but a piece of history that is hardly remembered today. Who knew that Vietnam had an imperial past, had Emperors and dynasties?
Next, even more interestingly, because of the [slightly] morbid nature of the attractions, we visited the imperial tombs of past emperors. As these tombs are located right on the fringe of the city, its much simpler and cheaper to join a day trip instead of trying to DIY.
While I was really interested in the tombs, I found, to my surprise, that these are not really tombs.
And, the tour guide tells us, the Emperor isn't even buried there! This is for fear of grave robbers and such. So, in Imperial Vietnam, 'tomb' is actually lingo for 'holiday chalet'. And each Emperor had one. If I remembered correctly, there's 10+ of these around Hue, all beautiful, all lavish, all empty.
And after a hard day of sight-seeing, nothing more welcomed than a steaming bowl of soupy noodles, cooked lovingly with a special recipe, filled to the brim with ingredients.
Friday, March 27, 2009
This recipe did not work out for me. Everything felt wrong. There seemed to be wayyy too much spinach, so much so that the pasta felt a little stringy from all the fibre. The recipe asked for way too little eggs, I had to add twice the stipulated amount to get the dough to look like dough. But I must have added too much, because the dough became really wet. So I added more flour to try and correct the dough, and that didn't work at all.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Just Noodles Suntec Pte Ltd
3 Temasek Boulevard #B1-57
Suntec City Fountain Terrace (Tower 3)
Monday, March 9, 2009
And the Brownie Cheesecake.
And, as if the perfect birthday cake wasn't enough, my parents got me the perfect birthday present. May I present, my spanking new Tefal Activys!!
And, a big THANK YOU must go out to my dear parents and my sister, and also to all my friends, for putting up with the crabbiest girl in the world and sum up the enthusiasm to celebrate the day I was born =D
Special birthday broadcast: Amelia's quote[s] of the day
- Use your brain
- Move your ass
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Q: What is the worst thing that can happen to a baker with sticky buns on her mind?
A: Realizing that her yeast is dead [way before expiry date] after all the ingredients have been prepared.
And that was exactly what happened to me today, but unfortunately, that wasn't the end of it.
I don't know if its my oven finally throwing in the towel after 7 years of loyal service, or if I did something wrong, but the middle part of my sticky buns got completely burnt. The wonderful, perfectly golden brown sides taunting me with what-my-sticky-buns-could've-been.
Still, making these buns were a perfect way, for me, to end the midterm breaks, and to help me face school tomorrow. I particularly liked how the buns were lightly perfumed with the scent of the spices without overwhelming the taste buds. And, chocolate ALWAYS helps.
5 tbsp sugar
1 cup chocolate chips
- Combine sugar, 1 tbsp of flour, yeast and milk. Set in a warm place for around 10 mins until it is frothy. Very important to see froth, otherwise your yeast is dead and you need to make a trip to the supermarket.
- Combine flour and spices, set aside. Important to note: amount of flour given in any bread recipe is always an approximation. Stop adding flour when dough looks dry, and add more if it looks too wet.
- Beat together yeast mixture, egg and butter.
- Beat in the flour.
- Once flour is combined, either start kneading with hands or use the dough hook of the mixer. I don't like kneading, so dough hook for me. Knead until everything comes together into a bowl and pulls cleanly away from the sides of the bowl.
- Cover and let rise for an hour while preparing the topping.
- Combine brown sugar, butter and honey in a pot, and cook until everything comes together. Pour into a baking pan lined with foil.
- Sprinkle nuts evenly over the caramel mixture and set aside.
- Once dough is rised, punch down and knead until smooth.
- Turn out and roll out into a rectangle shape, roughly 1/3 of an inch thick. Anything will do, no need to stress out over this.
- Lightly spread butter over the dough, then sprinkle with sugar, then the chocolate chips.
- Roll it up, length wise.
- Cut into individual rolls, of desired size, and pack closely, seams inwards, onto the baking pan with the topping. Let rise for around 1/2 hour.
- Bake in a hot 210 degree celsius pre-heated oven for around 30 minutes, or until browned.
- Once removed from the oven, turn the buns out immediately, or the caramel will harden and you'll never get it out.
- Ta-da, sticky buns, ready to be feasted upon =)