Friday, March 27, 2009

March Daring Baker's Challenge

The March 2009 challenge is hosted by Mary of Beans and Caviar, Melinda of Melbourne Larder and Enza of Io Da Grande. They have chosen Lasagne of Emilia-Romagna from The Splendid Table by Lynne Rossetto Kasper as the challenge.

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.

And then, despite kneading the dough for close to an hour, it still stuck like a fiend, to EVERYTHING. Rolling it thin was no problem, the problem was getting it off the surface in one piece. And so in the end, I cut the dough into little balls, drowned it in flour, and rolled it out little by little, making patchwork lasagne layers.

Also, following the instructions for a thin layer each of bechamel and regu [I used canned pasta sauce. Busy month =(], the lasagne came out extremely dry. I felt like I was eating a solid block of carbohydrates.

But, during a very busy month, it was still fun to potter around the kitchen for a day, as it always had been and hopefully always will be =)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Suntec City, 'Just Acia'

Where, you might ask, does one find such gorgeous teriyaki salmon at a very reasonable price? My very smart buddy, Lindy, took a card, for which I'm sure many people will be thankful for because now they know exactly how to track down these fabulous slices of savory sweet salmon
Just Acia

Just Noodles Suntec Pte Ltd
3 Temasek Boulevard #B1-57
Suntec City Fountain Terrace (Tower 3)
Singapore 238826
These are truly the best-tasting, most value-for-money teriyaki salmon I've ever tasted. There's THREE fairly thick slices. THREE. For the price of around S$12, with free flow soft drinks and ice cream! Not only is there a lot of the fish, all of it taste fantastic. It's fresh, its tasty, its cooked just right so its soft and flaky, not hard and chunky. Seriously, need I go on? If u are in Suntec, HEAD THERE!
Thanks buddy, for bringing me there! =D

Monday, March 9, 2009

The 2009 birthday post

Behold, the best birthday cake, EVER.

Its like I have 8 birthday cakes! From the 6 O'clock cake, clock-wise, I present: Tiramisu cake, Coffee cake, Chocolate Banana cake, Raspberry Chocolate cake, Walnut Cheesecake, Brownie Cheesecake, Chocolate Gateaux, and Black Forest cake. All cakes are from Hans, and I highly recommend the raspberry choc and the choc gateaux. To die for =D

A closer look at the Chocolate Banana...

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!!

Its big [ger], its brand new, it comes with that rotating thing for baking chicken, and I love it.
Now, let's give a hooyah! for my late oven. Though it was small, it was wonderful, and must be credited with everything I made on this blog. Dear friend, thank you for serving me so well for the past 7 years. If ovens get reincarnated too, may you be my oven again in your next life.

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

  1. Use your brain
  2. Move your ass

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Almond Sticky Chocolate Buns

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.

310g plain flour
1 large egg
160g butter, softened
125ml milk [Warmed. Just til comfortable to the touch. Any warmer and you'll kill the yeast]
1 sachet instant yeast
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp each of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Adjust as desired.
1 tbsp softened butter

5 tbsp sugar

1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup brown sugar
25g butter
3 tbsp honey/golden syrup
1 cup almonds, roughly chopped [substitute with any nuts u like]
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Beat together yeast mixture, egg and butter.
  4. Beat in the flour.
  5. 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.
  6. Cover and let rise for an hour while preparing the topping.
  7. Combine brown sugar, butter and honey in a pot, and cook until everything comes together. Pour into a baking pan lined with foil.
  8. Sprinkle nuts evenly over the caramel mixture and set aside.
  9. Once dough is rised, punch down and knead until smooth.
  10. 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.
  11. Lightly spread butter over the dough, then sprinkle with sugar, then the chocolate chips.
  12. Roll it up, length wise.
  13. 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.
  14. Bake in a hot 210 degree celsius pre-heated oven for around 30 minutes, or until browned.
  15. Once removed from the oven, turn the buns out immediately, or the caramel will harden and you'll never get it out.
  16. Ta-da, sticky buns, ready to be feasted upon =)