Saturday, November 24, 2007

Mum-in-law birthday

M-i-l's birthday is next Tue. Another reason to make yet another choc tart. This is what's left after the attack. Heheh. .

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Cupcakes from HC

Yeay! Cupcakes for tea!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The beginning of soo much more....

Haha, the chocolate tart was just the beginning. Now that I know how simple it is to make... and how amazingly dreamy it taste. [Yup, despite my throat infection, I couldn't resist a sliver of the tart. I swear it was a sliver!!]

Well, my crust turns out thicker than I imagine. I suppose cos I used a 8-inch fluted tart tray instead of the 9-inch that the recipe indicates. But I liked it, that way the ganache wasn't too overwhelming. Dad said that the choc's a bit bitter. I used Van Houten. But I thought it was alright... not too sweet.

Sis apparently read my blog before I left the house and was all anticipating the arrival of the tart.

I've decided that I'm gonna try other choc recipes. Recipes that in the beginning I thought was too advance. Anything that requires me to double boil or melt choc was too overwhelming for me. Cos I'm not a very neat or cautious person, and was afraid that I might just end up spilling all the choc all over the cabinet top or even the floor. I saw a flourless choc cake recipe somewhere... and my Jamie Oliver cookbooks has got a baked choc tart... the picture shows a sugary sweet crust of choc on top. Yummy... maybe will try it when Kavs came by. She'll go crazy.

I went to the grocery store nearby my home and saw this Indonesian brand cooking choc. I recalled Mum said that it's quality is just as good as those top notch brands. And I remembered wanting to buy the 2kg slab I saw at Mustafa's. And it is soo dirt cheap... like $5.20 for the 1kg pack that I bought.

And at the back of the pack it says that it's suitable for ganache, coating... etc etc. Well, I suppose they really know what they are talking about. 1kg will make about 5 of the tarts that I made yesterday and at 1/5 of the price.

There's still another quarter of the tart in the fridge... Hmm... maybe just another sliver.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Throat Infection and Chocolate Tart

I think it was the endless soda that I drank... and the leftover chocolates from Eid celebration. I am down with a throat infection. It's really bad. Doc said that my lymph node swells up and with all the anti bodies fighting in me, it gave me a slight fever. So I've been eating porridge for the whole day today. That explains the picture of the mushy looking thingy up there. It has minced meat, peas and carrots. I've never cooked porridge for myself before in my whole existence. Oh well... there's always a first.

Although my throat can't swallow anything solid now... I've been wanting to bake a choc tart for the longest time. I still had that bar of baking choc from my attempts to make choc covered pretzels. I had downloaded the recipe from the internet... now this one I cannot remember exactly where I got it from. It was from someone else blog I think.

Mum gave me this antique-looking pie baking tray that she had for as long as I can remember. I don't remember her making pies or tarts when we were young though. But I remembered once when she made this really yummy puff pastries filled with minced meat and veggies and potatoes... I ate soo much I couldn't eat dinner!!

I'll be bringing the choc tart down to Mum's place tomorrow. Sis will definitely get her share too since her home is en route to the bustop for me to catch my bus home from Mum's place. How convinient!!

Well that means I get to play with Miramon... and see how big Ulfa is now. Heheh.

Okie dokies.. this time round, i followed the recipe to the core. However, I didn't have enough choc, the bar I have is only 7.05oz. And I realised that the smallest whipping cream packaging (I used Emborg) is 200ml. OK... so I didn't really follow the recipe to the core... But i hope you will and tell me how yours turned out.

It says here that it was adapted from Baking: From my home to yours; Dorie Greenspan. Mann... I seriously cannot remember where I got this from. I printed the recipe the minute I saw it..

My crust didn't look worthy enough to be pictured...

For the Crust:
1 1/2 Cups of plain flour
1/2 cup icing sugar
130g cold salted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk (in Singapore, I find the eggs very small, so I usually use 2)
A 9 inch fluted tart pan
1 piece of aluminium foil large enough to cover your crust

1. Put the flour, sugar and butter into a mixer (i used a Kenwood mixer with the K Beater) and beat to combine. (if you don't have a mixer, you can put the ingredients in a bowl and rub it with your fingers.... kinda remind me of my secondary school home econs class..)

2. when mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs, add in the yolk and continue to beat. When ingredients are mixed uniformly, turn it out to a work surface and knead the dough to incorporateb any dry ingredients that might have escaped the mixing.

3. butter a 9 inch fluted tart pan with a removable botton. Press dough evenly over the botton and up the sides of the pan. Freeze the crust for at leats 30mins.. preferably longer.

4. centre a rack in the oven and preheat oven to 180 degree celcius, butter the shiny side of the aluminium foil and fit the foil, buttered side down, tightly against the crust.

5. Put the tart pan on a baking tray and bake for about 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil. If the crust puffed, press it down gentlly with the back of a spoon. If you prefer your crust to be more brown and crisp, bake for another 8 mins or so.

6. Transfer the tart pan to a rack and cool completely before filling it up...

For the filling:
8 oz bittersweet choc, finely chopped
1 cup plus 2tbs whipping cream
55g butter, at room temperature, cut into small pieces

1. Put the chocs in a heatproof bowl and have a whisk at hand. Bring the cream to a boil, the pour half of it over the choc and let it sit for 30sec. Working the whick, very gently stir the choc and cream in small circles, starting at the centre if the bowl and working your way out.

2. Pour in the remainder of the cream and blend it into the choc, using the same circular motion. When the ganache is mooth and shiny, stir in the butter piece by piece. Don't stir the ganache any more than you must to blend the ingredients - the less you work it, the darker, smoother and shinier it will be.

3 Por the ganache into the crust and gently turn the pan from side to side to even the ganache. Refrigerate the tart to let the ganache set.

The tart had been in the fridge for the last 1 hour... but I've opened the fridge at least twice to check it out. Heheh. I feel like a little kid... I always do everytime I start a baking project. I will kept peering at the oven to watch the cake rise. I suppose it is the anticipation of it. And once the cake is out of the oven... before it even cools off, I'll be the first to eat i. Well, there's only F & I at home. And most of the time when I baked, he is either at work or sleeping. So heheh... I'm always the first. I'll save the cake for a few days. During that few days, F will be the one eating the cakes... and by then I totally lose interest in the cake. I'm weird like that.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Tuesday's Breakfast recipe

It was a last minute decision to make the banana cakes. So I did not follow any written recipe. I just throw in all the ingredients into a bowl and mix well... here goes..:

Banana Cake
Yields 12 (muffin size) cup cakes

4 Delmonte Bananas
1.5 cups flour
125 g salted butter
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vaniila essence
1 cup brown sugar
2 small eggs
A handful of raisin...

Heat oven to about 140 degrees celcius
Placed everything in a bowl and mix well....
Pour batter into the cups
Bake for about 30mins or until it is nice and brown

The whole department gets to enjoy the banana cakes. That shows how small my department is...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tuesday breakfast

Tuesday's breakfast is banana cupcakes ;-). Made them last night. . . Recipe coming up later. Blogging from my hp now.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Oats and fruit bar

Haha!! Tried out my new hp with the new option to sent pix that I take from the hp camera straight to the blog. How cool is that!!!!! The other week, tried my hand at making the chewy oat and fruit bar.

It was actually a request from F after he tried the cornflakes cookies. He wanted a chewy oat bar with dates, raisins and choc chips and all the other goodness found in the cornflakes cookies. Well basically it was sliced almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and white and choc chips. He wanna eat it before he go on his cycling... it supp to act like a Powerbar.

So I did some research on the internet and came up with a recipe from Recipe Bazaar. It is their recipe #22206 - Chewy Fruit & Oatmeal Bars. Tried it but it turned out more cake-like than those Chewy Quaker Bars or Granola bars that you buy from the stores. Gave some to sis and she said that Miramon loved it....

Attempt #2 came out more like the real McCoy.... It came straight from the grandfather of oats himself... Mr Quaker.... Heheh

Quaker's Fruit & Oatmeal Bars

1/4 cup honey
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) margarine or butter
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
One 6-ounce package diced dried mixed fruit (about 1-1/3 cups)
1-1/2 cups crispy rice cereal
1 cup Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)

Preparation Steps

In medium saucepan, heat honey, margarine, sugar and cinnamon over medium-low heat until margarine is melted, stirring frequently. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat. Stir in dried fruit, rice cereal and oats until evenly coated.
Press mixture evenly onto bottom of ungreased 8-inch square baking pan.
Cool completely. Cut into bars.
Store tightly covered in refrigerator.

I had some golden syrup from my attempts to make sticky buns. The golden syrup had been in the fridge for like the longest time. It kept calling out to me but really, my sweet-tooth was asleep during all those time. So instead of using sugar that was called for in the recipe, I replaced it with the golden syrup... the liquid gets prepared faster. Also I couldn't find the normal rice krispies that the recipe called for. So I used Cocoa Pops.
For the dried fruit, I have cranberries and raisins in the fridge, leftovers from Eid's celebration cookie making session. There was also pumpkin seeds and sliced almonds. That goes in as well... together with white choc and choc chips.

You wouldn't call the bars healty. But it's packed with goodness... Tony the Tiger would agree, or maybe that Monkey on the box, whatever his name is....Heheh.

No pictures of the ready product... cos I just popped it in the fridge after it cooled down and cut it into bars a few days later.

Bol Kentang

It's my second off day today. The office needed me to come in cos there was not enough people on the floor, but noooo...... it's been awhile since I tried something new in the kitchen. Well, the dish is not exactly new new cos mum cooked it in her kitchen before. But the dish was not introduced in my kitchen before.

F enjoyed it but he felt that it is not satisfying (for his tummy). He wants rice...
He ended up eating last night curry with fried chix and a hard boil egg.

I enjoyed my Bol Kentang. It's simply mashed potatoes (or Kentang in Malay) made in a Ball (thus the word Bol)... with minced beef and mixed veggies stuffing.
I sauteed some onions, garlic and ginger. Add the mince beef and mixed veggies. Stir it around till it's cooked. Salt and pepper....
The boiled potatoes are mashed, mixed with a bit of butter, milk and ohh.. I found some grated Parmesan cheese in the fridge. So I used them in the mashed potatoes. Heheh...
The potatoes ball are fried in a little oil to firm it up. And you eat it drench in a nice hearty bowl of beef stock soup. Yummy....

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The seamstress' daughter

My mum was a seamstress... she dun sew much these days. When we were younger, with the Eid celebration round the corner. Our small living room will be filled with colourful clothes that the neighbours sent for sewing. We stayed in a modest 3 room apartment and there is a pipe that runs along the living room to the kitchen. Mum will hang the ready clothes along the pipe. It's like as if our living room had turned into a night market. There is a 6 seater dining table where mum will cut out all the cloth for sewing. My job is to go under the table and collect all the cloth remains and put it in a plastic bag. If I'm good, mum will make a a little doll from the cloth. Heheh... it was a simple life.

I tried my hand at sewing but never get good results with clothes. I still have not master sewing sleeves or rounded edges....

So I tried easy projects like throw pillows covers and curtains.

October October October...

October had been a crazy month.

But I had fun. There was the Eid celebration... and there was F's bike race. That's another story to tell. The fact that I slept on a park bench while the bike race goes on around me.... heheh

October gave me the opportunity to utilize all my baking desires that had been bursting to escape ever since I got the new home and oven...

Managed 5 batches of oatmeal and raisin cookies, 5 batches of cornflakes choc chip cookies and 3 batches of the hershey choc cake. Made the choc cake into little mini cup cakes. Mum gave me the metal thingies to hold the cake together while it bakes. The name just slipped my mind... what do one call those things anyways... She said that if I dun place the paper cups in the metal thingy then my choc cake will turn out square... well I definitely want round cupcakes....

Squeezed the batter into yellow paper cups and it turned out like little sunflowers. The inside is moist but the outside is crispy when you first took it out of the oven. I kept it in the fridge to serve when guests come over to our little corner home.

Recipe for the Choc Cake... taken from the back of the Hershey Cocoa box


2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

You can view the instructions from here.

I replaced the sugar with brown sugar. I love the taste of brown sugar in baked goods. But I've not learnt enough baking to know what's difference in terms of texture.. or flavour or what happened when you mix one with the other. I just like it...