Friday, June 28, 2013

Mac Mac Mac Macarons!!


I am trying this again, after 2 attempts previously. My 1st, it was disaster.. No feets and super sweet.. But my kids happily ate up the empty shells, enjoying their sugar treat. My 2nd, it finally have feets. But the texture, kinda chewy, still fail for my expectations. Tastewise, it is rich and packed with chocolate fragrance. And then today, why I did it after 2 not successful attempts? I saw the Match Macarons in Anncoo's blog. I am fascinated. 

I replaced Matcha powder with Hershey Coco powder. And today I really sieve it twice. Very hard. And my KA, so difficult to beat up 1 white. (30g white is approx 1 egg white). I have to beat it, hand whisk, beat again, hand whisk to thick and glossy. Tiring. And I was pressing hard with a spoon to sieve the dry ingredients as smooth as I could. Muscle training in progress..


As I mix, thoughts running through my mind. What cream should I make? Should I use Nutella? Should I use Vanilla SMBC? Or perhaps Creamcheese? Creamcheese frosting does sounds appealing, at least it will even out the chocolate Macarons shells? Hahha. But I shan't be happy so soon cos I still don't know if my Macarons shells are successful. Lets wait and see.. *fingers crossed*

Yeah! The 'fingers crossing' works, the shell came out pimple free and nice. I put in my heart shapes first and remember to put middle rack. All came out nicely baked with feets. For my 2nd tray which is round shapes, I forgot and jus 1 rack above the empty rack, all cracked like crazy, some with feets and some without. And only 2 survive without cracks and with feets. Hahah~

I simply mix up 57g Butter + 1tsp Vanilla extract + 1 Tbsp Lemon juice + 1/4cup Icing sugar. Mix it smooth and well to make Lemon Vanilla buttercream. It goes well with my Chocolate shells. Yummy.. Am so gonna attempt again...

Chocolate Macarons (adapted from AnncooJournal)
37g Ground Almond
3g Matcha powder
40g Icing sugar

30g Egg white
40g Icing sugar

1)  Sieve dry ingredients twice. Leave aside.
2) Beat whites til foamy, add icing sugar. Beat to stiff peak. (thick and glossy)
4) Fold in dry ingredients in 2 additions. Pipe onto baking paper. Leave in rm temp for 30mins.
5) Bake in middle rack,  with a empty tray beneath for 10mins at 150deg. This is to prevent burnt bottom.
5) Shift empty tray above and bake for another 5-8mins. Once shell is cooked, it will be easily removed from baking paper. 
6) Leave to cool and put your preference of cream.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Soft Custard Bread (Wholemeal version)

I simply fell in love with this recipe, the custard TZ that require only 1hr of fridge, I can simply whip it up in the earlier part of the day then do the bread dough around late afternoon. By evening, I would have a loaf of freshly baked bread or some buns.

My hubby is a whole-grain, Wholemeal or multi-grain bread lover, cos it is healthier than eating white bread. I heard before from a fren that too much yeast is not good. So what is Yeast?

Generally, the yeast we are using for bread is classified under Baker's Yeast. So click on the link, you will read more about it. So is there any health benefits or harmful side effects? In my own personal view, having 1tsp of yeast in a bread loaf to last the family for a week, for that 1-2 slices in the morning, I believe it should be alright. But then again, which type of food doesn't causes harm to your body/health when you consume too much? My belief is that, not too much of everything will do you good. And bread is a staple food in everyone's breakfast, tea break or even supper. So can we really do without it? Even eating too much cakes/pastries, the amount of calories and fats is also harmful so........ 

Alright, back to my bread. I use the Custard Bread recipe and did some modifications. I normally use 265g Bread flour though the recipe calls for 250g Bread Flour + 15g Milk Powder cos I don't have milk powder at home. Today I use a combination of 230g Bread flour + 35g Wholemeal flour. As for liquid, I increase to 120ml of milk as I noticed that Wholemeal bread tends to be slightly drier. The rest I kept it the same.

Today I roll the traditional way, just wrap the mini hotdogs up. I braided the Raisin loaf but forgot to cover when it is having 2nd proof, so no choice, ended up with a not squarish loaf.. 

Verdict: I think can up the amount of Wholemeal flour, perhaps do in ratio of 1:3. Bread is still soft and taste good.. Jus not enuf Wholemeal 'flavour'... Haha~ and here's our comfort food for dinner - Cabbage & Carrot Soup w/Fishball, Minced Meat, Prawns & Scallops. Great for a warm, humid day... And yes, cabbage & carrot for my boy's diet..

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bake-Along #46: Coffee & Cinnamon Baked Cheesecake


Saw Ann from AnncooJournal posted this new recipe recently in Facebook, it got me so interested and I so so wanna try. 1 thing that makes me hesitate is that it is coffee-flavored, which means I won't give to my kids. But never mind, my neighbor likes Coffee!! Hahahha~

The aroma that spread thru the whole house while baking, it is therapeutic. Should have baked it earlier while the whole house smell of the 'burning' smell from the bad haze. Regret~ Anyway, I didn't add any coffee oil/paste as I don't have any. I added 1Tbsp of Instant Coffee Granula instead of 1/2. And I mixed the Creamcheese to 100g Creamcheese + 150g 60% less fat Creamcheese. It makes you feel less sinful eating it. Will you?

Verdict: This is really soft, fluffy and nice. It doesn't really shrink much, maybe 10-15% max. But I think perhaps I didn't add Coffee oil/paste, the Cinnamon taste kind of overpower the coffee flavour. But over all, a good recipe.. Nice~

I am submitting this post to Bake-Along event hosted by JoyceLena and Zoe.

Thanks Ann for this yummy recipe too... 

Coffee & Cinnamon Cheesecake (adapted from AnncooJournal
4 Whites
85g Sugar

140ml Milk
50g Butter
250g Cream Cheese (100g Creamcheese + 150g 60% less fat Creamcheese)
4 Yolks
1Tbsp Instant Coffee Granula
1tsp Vanilla extract
1Tbsp Cinnamon Powder
40g Plain Flour
40g Corn Flour

1) Melt Milk and Butter over double-boil method. (I use microwave)
2) Add in Creamcheese and stir til smooth. Stir in instant coffee Granula.
3) Add yolks, then sifted flour(s) & cinnamon powder. Lastly add vanilla extract.
4) Beat egg whites with sugar til soft peak form. Fold 1/2 to batter, then fold in remaining 1/2. 
5) Pour into greased tin, lined bottom of tin. **I sprinkle choc chips on the top of cake*
6) Bake at 150deg for 50-55mins.

BBQ Chix Rice

Been searching online for food that helps to relieve constipation for toddlers, apparently Kale, Cabbage, Brocoli, Cauliflower and some peas, can't remember what peas, helps. So today I decided to go for a fast dinner preparation cos I aldy spent some time on my cheesecake. 

Decided to do the lazy way, marinate the Chix thighs with Heinz BBQ sauce. Sprinkle some parsley on top and bake. More healthy choice. And the veg to go along with is Stir Fry Cabbage with Tang Hoon & Canned Pork Chop - a dish I grow up eating. Simple and fast to prepare. 

Little boy has been having 2-3 times of difficult poo-ing episode in a month. Yes, sometimes I am a bit slack and forgot about the fruits. But I do make him drink water, yes sometimes. Haiz, I really need to buck up. So I just stock up on dried prunes, prune juice, pear juice and peach juice. I am so gonna pump the fruit juice (Heniz Kids Juice) and also fruit. Wil get a slice of papaya every alternate day when I go for my kopitiam session. Seems so difficult to find a nice papaya at Cold Storage. But if someone have a good way to boost his chances of lesser constipation frequency, pls leave me a msg. So heart pain cos sometimes he can try to 'gek sai' for 1-2 days and nothing comes out. Worse than when I was giving birth. 

Lastly, here is my simple recipe.

BBQ Chix Thighs
5 Chix Thighs, washed
2Tbsp Heinz BBQ Sauce
Some Parsely flakes

1) Jus marinate with BBQ sauce, sprinkle parsley and bake for 30mins or til cooked. Serve warm.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Orange, Mixed Berries & Choc Chips Butter Cake

Been wanting to try this recipe but last week was so hazy, humid and warm at home. Worried about getting N95, worried about hydrating the kids, giving them their dose of Vitamins and blah blah blah.. 

This week, finally the PSI reading seems better, the wind direction supposedly will blow the other directions so we can expect a few days of good air conditions?? But staying at home is still as humid.. So I decided to put my time to good use, I decided to bake the cake in my mini loaf pan. 

I replaced some and added some ingredients to the recipe. Using whipped cream to substitute yogurt, added dried berries, choc chips and used orange paste instead of orange zest. Keeping my fingers crossed that it will turn out yummy!! And I realized something, I think I only used 120g of flour instead of 190g!! Oops..

Luckily, it still bakes well. Fragrant butter cake with Orange flavour, packed with mixed berries & choc chips. Yummy....

Orange, Mixed Berries & Choc Chips Butter Cake (modified from Culinary Kitchenette)
190g Unsalted Butter
190g Sugar *140g sugar used*
190g Plain Flour *read recipe wrongly and use 120g Cake Flour*
60g Ground Almond
1tsp Baking Powder
1/2tsp Salt
3 large eggs
1tsp Orange Paste
1tsp home made vanilla extract

1) Cream butter and sugar til fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, mix well.
2) Add in dry ingredients in 2 additions, until incorporated. Add in whipped cream and orange paste and vanilla. Stir in mixed berries, choc chips.
3) Bake at 170deg for 40-50mins or til skewer comes out clean.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Quick Fix Dinner - Cheat Pizza

Just to share my family favorites for dinner, or even snacks or lunch!! Using Mission Wholegrain Wraps as pizza base, you can add mushrooms, tomatoes, baby spinach & cheddar.. Practically any toppings work... 

Sometimes I take frozen nuggets or Chix strips and cut into thin slices, or even fresh scallops or prawns.. Many variations that you can play around with. As for the pizza sauce, I am using Prego Tomato and Basil pasta sauce

Try it when you are feeling lazy but yet on the mission for preparing dinner!! Sure to wow!! I normally serve it with a side platter!! Yum yum...

1 pc Wholegrain Wrap
2Tbsp Prego Tomato & Basil Sauce
Toppings as preference

1) Preheat oven at 200deg
2) Spread sauce thinly over wrap. Scatter a bit of cheddar over wrap and put toppings around.
3) Put more cheddar to cover the pizza top.
4) Bake for 10-15mins or until pizza top starts to brown. Serve warm.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Another minced meat that is easy to prepare

Since tonight hubby is not coming back for dinner. I have to think of something simple and not so much of trouble to prepare. And my kailan is aldy cut and washed, I have to fry it. So I decided to use my balance salted egg whites from Bak Chang to steam minced meat.

I marinate a small portion of minced meat, mashed 1/2 salted egg whites and mix with the meat. Put on the steaming plate and crack an egg on top. Yummy. Great for kids as it is flavourful and simple to prepare. And yes, I steam it on top of the rice while cooking it.

And that's our dinner....

Method: (all based on estimation as I didn't weigh them)
About 3-4 Tbsp Minced Meat
Marinate with sesame oil, lt soy sauce, pepper and cornflour
Mash 1/2 salted egg whites, mix with above minced meat.
Put on plate and crack an egg.
Steam on rack while cooking rice in rice cooker. Serve warm.

Sof Custard Bread - Part II

Today I am trying it again, after missing out the milk on the custard paste on mon. Hahaha~ Thanks to someone who corrected me that it is paste, instead of TangZhong, at least now I know why it doesn't need to be fridge for at least 16hours. And I chanced upon Smallsmallbaker who also did the same bread and now I know this recipe originate from 猛老师.

Today everything is correct, following the recipe correctly, I find that dough is really soft and easy to manage. I braid 300g into a Raisin Braid and the balance into 30-33g each, into Cheesy Crabmeat w/Chili sauce, and 2 mini raisin rolls at 24g each. And guess what?? My braided roll becomes a loaf, maybe cos i covered my pullman tin instead of leaving it open... Hahahah~ Great!! I bet my gal will be thrilled as she kept asking me buy the Gardenia Raisin Loaf.. And $3++ for 1 loaf, I might as well buy a packet of flour!!

Today the bread is even softer than the 1st attempt with all the ingredients in. And I reduce sugar in bread dough to 20g instead of 30g. Sweetness is just nice now.. Yummy... Will be using this in future.. Definetely easy and great to handle... 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Cooling drink in this hazy weather

Due to the fire in Imdonesia, once again we are experiencing the bad hazy days.. This time round, it is quite bad and last night the haze was as high as 152 by night time. Today, it started off at 100 odd and came up progressively to 120++ as the days goes. Really bad bad for the old people and children. Dear all, please do refrain from a lot of outdoor activities, more water, vitamin C and more rest. 

I remembered I read somewhere that white fungus is good for lungs, and since I still have 1 more china pear at home. I decided to brew it with white fungus, red dates, nan bei xing & rock sugar. I came up with my own concoction and simply put them together. 

I am sharing this recipe here as it is easy to make and you can have it chilled or warm or room temp. Good for a hazy and hot day.

China Pear w/White Fungus
1-2 Dried White Fungus, soaked til expand and soft
Handful of Red Dates, approx 12-15 pcs
1 China Pear, cut
1 Soup Spoon of Nan Bei Xing
Rock Sugar to taste
3 Cup Water

1) Soak hits fungus til soften and expand. Cut away dirty parts, remaining cut into smaller pieces so you can also eat. (Eating it is better) 
2) Wash all ingredients, drain and put into pot. Add 3 Cups of water.
3) Bring to boil and simmer for 20-30mins til pear soften. Serve as per preference. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Custard Bread Loaf *edited Jun 19*

Been a while since I baked bread and since I happen to run out of bread at home, I tot I can try out some new recipes that I have seen recently. The first one I gonna try is this Soft Custard Bread that I saw on Culinary Kitchenette recently.

I hurried to make the custard tang zhong and went to pacify my kids, coax my lil boy to nap. Been quite busy and tired cos I am alone with the kids this week. Hubby busy with conference and grandma not around. Phew.. Thank God that I managed to get things done. Bread and dinner done in a day..

Today we went library again. Then at Mac's for lunch. The kids so enjoy themselves though I had a hard time disciplining them... But after all, still manageable... 

After I settled dinner, bread is done with 2nd proof.. I simply missed the aroma of the bread while it is baking.. The bread is soft, fragrant and nice. I will use this recipe in future too.. Yummy!!

Custard Soft Bread (adapted from Culinary Kitchenette
custard Tang Zhong
10g Caster Sugar
15g Bread Flour
1 Yolk
65g Milk 

Bread Dough
250g Bread Flour
15g Milk Powder *i use bread flour as I don't have milk powder
30g Sugar
1/4tsp Salt
4g Yeast
100g Milk
25g Butter

1) Mix dry ingredients in mixing bowl. Add Milk & Tang Zhong to form dough.
2) Add in butter and knead til soft and smooth. (Do the dough test)
3) Proof for 1hr or til doubled. Divide dough into 4s (approx 115g each)
4) Roll out dough and fold into long strips. Placed in bread pan and proof til doubled.
5) Bake for 20-30mins at 180deg.