Monday, 26 April 2010

Bitter Sweet Chocolate Cake

Posted by Sweeter side of life at 23:17:00 1 comments Links to this post


This cake tastes awsome! I personally liked it a lot, its so chocolatey and slightly bitter :) Not at all too sweet. The chocolate flavour was so intense but not too rich on the palate. There was a large addition of cocoa powder in comparision to the wheat flour added.



Double boil the chocolate and butter together



Mix evenly with a whisk till smooth



Sift cocoa powder and flour together and set aside.



I probably didn't do a good mix at the end because the cake was pretty fudgey in the centre but the outer part of the cake had a sponge-like texture.

The cake cracked in the middle, so i used some fresh strawberries to cover up. I think it cracked due to temperature too high, perhaps i might reduce the temperature by 5C next time round.



If i am right, the strawberries stole the limelight away from the cake. Hmm, it is too prominent :)
Berries are in season right now, grab them while they are really a bargain :D



Recipe makes an 7 inch cake, use pan with removable base, greased and coated with flour

Adapted from Keiko ishida(2009), Okashi, Pg 134, Marshall Cavendish Cuisine: Singapore, 1 New Industrial Road

Ingredients

35g Pastry flour( i used cake flour)
50g Cocoa powder
100g sweet chocolate at 55% cocoa solids ( i used van houlten cooking chocolate)
80g Unsalted butter
50g Castor sugar(i used 30g)
4 Egg yolks
50g Whipping cream

4 Egg whites
110g Castor Sugar ( i used 50g, i don't have a sweet tooth)

*Preheat oven to 170C

Methods

Melt chocolate and butter using double boil method set over a pot of simmering heat, taking care not to let any water go into your mixture.

Remove from heat, add in sugar, yolks and cream one by one and mix using a whisk

In a clean bowl, whip egg whites till frothy, gradually add in sugar till it reaches stiff peak

Take 1/3 of the meringue( egg white + sugar + whipping action) into chocolate mixture*

Fold flour mixture into chocolate mixture using spatula

Add in all of the remaining meringue and incorporate.

Pour into the pan and bake for about 50 minutes (i think 45 minutes is sufficient for me)

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Oreo Cheese Cake

Posted by Sweeter side of life at 00:18:00 1 comments Links to this post

Who doesn't like oreos??
I guess not many, so oreo cheese cake is always an crowd pleaser.
I may have over-baked slightly as the rim of the cake is on the drier side. Luckily it became more moist after chilling it in the fridge.



For some reason, my quartered oreos were 'floating' in my batter instead of being incorporated into it. As you can see from the picture, there were oreos at the surface of the cake. My friends said it might taste better if i process the oreos into the cheese batter, making a homogenous oreo cheese batter.

The recipe actually called for 336g of cream cheese, which was really a weird amount to use since the cream cheese bought in the supermarket is 250g. As a result, i substitute the remaining 86g with plain unsweetened yoghurt and omitted the lime juice since i didn't have any anyway.
Try this!

Makes an 7 inch cake, use a springform pan

*preheat oven at 175C

Ingredients

100g oreo cookies, biscuit only
20g unsalted butter
250g cream cheese, softened
195g condense milk
1/2 Tbs flour
2 small eggs
1/2 Tbs Vanilla Essence
7 oreo cookies, quartered

Method

Set a 9 inch x 9 inch cake pan with warm water upon preheating* at the bottom of the oven

Crush cookies only into crumbs and mix with butter

Press into the bottom of the pan and bake for 10 minutes at 175C and leave to cool

Cream the cheese till creany, add milk to smooth out

Add flour to combine followed by eggs gradually

Add in vanilla essence and yoghurt

Fold in quartered oreos and bake at 150C for 50-65 minutes

Cool in oven for 1-4 hours with door ajar

Run a warm knife around the edge of the cake after cooling and chill for 4 hours or overnight before serving.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Hot Dog Bun 1

Posted by Sweeter side of life at 20:06:00 4 comments Links to this post





Just a lot of cheese :)


Add all the dry ingredients in




Add in the liquid ingredients to form a coarse dough



Add in butter to form a smooth and elastic dough
Proof to double in size by covering with cling wrap at room temperature



Wrap hot dog to form a submarine shape and cut to sections(but not all the way)
Twist the parts outwards, cut side up

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Prune Almond Bun

Posted by Sweeter side of life at 19:21:00 7 comments Links to this post


Hey people!! Thank you for all your support : D i would have never be able to sustain this blog without you guys. This is actually pretty healthy : D One could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Original recipe was actually goji or wolfberries but i replaced it with prune and raisins. It was made with prune juice hence it had a nice brownish hue.



The almond gave a really nice texture to the buns. i only halved the recipe since i have a family of four and it produce 9 fist sized buns. The dough produced was 500+/- grams. I got the recipe from Wendy Koh's Bread Code. The good thing that i appreciate about the book is that everything is in grams, makes measuring easier. It made my house smell so good with the freshly baked bread whafting through the house.


Recipe makes 9 buns

IngredientsA

30g Prunes
150g water

Ingredients B

275g of bread flour
4g instant yeast
20g milk powder
10g sugar
5g salt
25g egg(half an egg)

Ingredients c

15g butter

Ingredients D

60g chopped prunes (i used a mixture of prunes and raisins)
35g sliced almonds

some wheat bran (optional)

* Preheat oven at 190C

Method

Soak 30g prunes in the water for 30 minutes and then blend in blender or processor

Measure ingredients b and mix evenly, gradually add Prune juice to b and mix till a coarse dough is formed

Add in the butter and knead till smooth and elastic

Shape to a smooth round and allow to leaven for about an hour or till double in size in the kneading bowl covered with a damp cloth or cling wrap

Poke a finger into the dough and check that the indention stays. If indention is filled out quickly, it means leavening is incomplete. Cover and wait for another 10 minutes and then do the test again

Once doubled in size, punch the dough to remove air. Using a scraper, turn out dough on working table.
Using two fists, press gently on the dough to remove air pockets, making an elongated shape at the same time.
Make a swiss roll with the dough and divide to 9 portion, cutting with scraper.

Preheat oven for 5 minutes at lowest temperature ( mine was 60C)
Shape to small rounds again, meanwhile making sure the rounds are covered with damp cloth to prevent it from drying out.
With rolling pin, flatten the rounds to oval shape
Sprinkle Ingredients D and make roll up the dough, pinching the ends to seal.
Take the ends of the longer side and try to bring them together by pinchung slightly
To make nice rounds, cup over the dough on the working surface with your hand and move clockwise or anticlockwise till you get a nice round.
Proof for 30 mintues in the oven that is already off but still warm (keep the dough covered)

*After it has doubled in size, make 2 slits with serated knife to attain a criss cross.

Brush with remaining egg wash (from that half egg) and sprinkle with wheat bran if desired.

Bake for about 13 Minutes


Friday, 9 April 2010

No Bake Post

Posted by Sweeter side of life at 22:05:00 6 comments Links to this post
Hey all, this post isn't about my bakes although it is about baking-my passion. I am only 18 years old this year, still single and i don't have lovely children :) thus i am pretty troubled by the amount of food that is always left at home.
My father isn't all that supportive of me baking thus he doesn't eat the food that i've made, my brother is too busy with church to be bothered with eating and my poor mother is health concious, she is worried about her cholesterol. Sometimes it makes me depressed that no one appreciates the things i've made. Usually what my readers see are just the better side of the picture, the ugly parts are hidden away, tucked under my bed, never to see daylight.
By ugly i mean occasional mishaps in the kitchen like how my cake didn't rise and how bad it looked. These are too raw to be seen by others, they'll feel sad for me. Sometimes i blame myself for unable to resist the food that i've made- i overeat and it makes me feel really bad (I am still struggling to control) I'll get annoyed for the whole day, sometimes throw my temper - which is very immature. The amount of ready-to-eat food i have at home makes me eat almost every hour and that is disastrous. At times i think; where is your discipline?? You are such a failure. I have all these negative thoughts that i never ever want to bake again, it is just too disgusting.
I know exercise helps but the food in the fridge and kitchen counter seems to be calling my name, trying to get my attention. Strangely enough, i responded to them! I know i shouldn't be doing this(thats what my brain is telling me), but subconciously, my hands reach towards the food, picks it up and sends them to my mouth. Amazingly, chewing starts, i salivate and swallows the food doun my digestive tract. Ah ha! You've just added more calories, now stop or you shall regret! (thats what my brain says) Well maybe part of body broke down, it no longer responds to my brain but only to my food. The whole episode repeats, maybe a few times ( all the while i am telling myself this will be my last bite but somehow it wasn't) Untill i don't know when but i'll stop eventually, right now i am probably staring into a half emptied cake box. !!! I've ate so much! (That's the actual realisation)
Afterwards, i start counting the calories i've taken in probably another 300 or so, i get really scared by now thinking of the fats that these extra calories can become. It is really daunting since i am not that sort of really skiinny girls who can never get fat no matter how much they eat. I think my body has a problem, it is really sensitive to calories.
Respondence level is almost immediate- it makes me want to cry at times. I start blaming myself again, when will these ever stop?
I am always sadded by the fact that i can cook- my mum hardly cooks for me. I really miss the days when i was young and my mum will cook meals for the family, i can hardly feel any warmth in the family now;It seems that no one cares about eating except for me. This results in me cooking up portions that's able to feed 2 or more but ended up all me my stomach since nobody's eating. It makes me feel horrible again, i am yearning for time to reverse to the period where i was in primary school, i ate what i like and didn't feel like i was getting fatter.( i think i didn't) Now it seems that whatever i eat makes me fat, am i having some eating disorder? My mother always comment that i'm weird and it makes me feel even worse than ever. My hands and legs are not proportionate at all. Is my passion spoiling my life? It could very well be on the road of swirling into my own vortex of darkness.
I Need strength from my wonderful god who gave me my talent and the chance to bake. I pray for your help, empower me to have greater control over what i do in this life you've planned for me. I want to glorify you :D Please help me to love myself for who i am no matter how fat i can become, perhaps you've planned for it to happen to...(my future husband likes fat girls? maybe?)

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Spring Onion Crisp

Posted by Sweeter side of life at 22:38:00 7 comments Links to this post



This is a savoury snack that would probably only appeal to adults. The sight of green' is intimidating to children. In addition, these crisp contains deep fried shallots which has a unique fragrance which can be quite appalling to them as well. Made from similar ingredients as to making bread, you can actually alter the flavour by substituting grated cheese or add in toasted sesame seeds. To be able to make very thin crisp, one must make sure the gluten of the dough is fully developed.



One thing to note is that if they are too thick, they'll puff up and taste bread-like. Use a rolling pin and directly roll the dough on your baking sheet, making it as thin as possible.



These crisps taste like cousins of paper prata! I can't wait to try out cheese flavoured crisps :D

* Preheat oven to 190C
Ingredients

150g Plain Flour
5g Instant Yeast
3g Salt
1g Baking Soda
80ml Milk
30g Unsalted Butter
30g Spring Onions
SOme Fried Shallots

Methods

Mix all ingredients together except the last two.
Knead till smooth and elastic, cover with cliong wrap to relax for 20minutes
knead in the last 2 ingredients*
Using a rolling pin, roll dough thinly on baking pan and bake till golden brown
score the baked dough with a pizza cutter and break them apart to get a nice squares of crisp

note: mine took about 7 minutes to bake till golden brown

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Red Bean Bun

Posted by Sweeter side of life at 22:15:00 2 comments Links to this post



I can't believe my buns are so soft and fluffy!! The bread smelled wonderful and buttery, the red bean paste was so satisfying. It was really worth the effort to stay up till 2am the night before so i can shape the dough after the first rise.

The only thing is that there was too little bread and too much red bean paste but it was still so good.



No words can express my elation and satisfaction when the bread rose so beautifully in the oven. I failed bread making so many times! This is a boost for my confidence in bread making. THANK YOU Happy Home Baking! I used your Sweet Buns recipe :D



The thought of able to put any sort of filling is so exciting! I could put cheese, ham, chicken, tuna fillings...oh the list is endless.

Mushroom Spinach Risotto

Posted by Sweeter side of life at 00:39:00 1 comments Links to this post


This is my first attempt at making risotto, perhaps not very authentic beacause i didn't use arborio rice but used a short grained brown rice to make this risotto but it turned out creamy! It tasted wonderful and made me feel so healthy, made with just vegetable stock, mushrooms and spinach :D


The only bad thing about this dish is that it is pretty time consuming. The stock must be added bit by bit, it must be stirred continuously to prevent burning. Despite all the effort, it was definitely worth it!

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Baked Tuna Puff

Posted by Sweeter side of life at 22:25:00 2 comments Links to this post


When people hear puffs, they think it's deep-fried. However, it is really not good for the body since all the oil is absorbed into it. In fact, this recipe was originally from marymoh's blog on spiral curry chicken puff, i adapted the recipe and baked it instead.



It was an experiment and it is my first time to make savoury puff but i am quite happy with the results, but of course her puffs will be way better than mine in terms of taste and texture. It was fun to make these puffs too :D



I didn't have chicken so i used canned tuna with added tomato paste, a bit of tabasco, a tad of ketchup and tom yum paste with chopped onions! It was pretty good!

I baked for 30 minutes in total at 200C, it is definitely more convenient to just deep fry if you are not so health concious like me

Friday, 2 April 2010

Chocolate Almond Biscotti

Posted by Sweeter side of life at 10:45:00 1 comments Links to this post



Who says cookies have to be fattening? Italian biscotti is a low-fat treat that is almost guilt free. The chocolate flavour is intense and compliments very well with the almonds.
They go very well with a cup of your favourite drink :D They are really crunchy if baked sufficiently, the added espresso might have sprinkled some magic dust onto these cookies cause they are addictive!




The original recipe calls for hazelnuts but since i didn't have any on hand, i used almonds. I think different nuts yields a different flavour, feel free to use whatever you like and tell me about it ;)

Well the only bad thing about making this is how STICKY the dough was. You really have to dust and flour your hands thoroughly. Otherwise, the dough sticks like crazy! It is better to have a dough cutter or scraper, cleans up the bowl better(reduce wastage!)



Biscotti are not cheap if you are a starbucks fan, they are sold at about 2 dollar plus if i'm not wrong? Why not make a batch, save some for yourself and bless your friends and family members? :D



Recipe adapted from joy of baking

Makes about 30 cookies
*Preheat oven to 150C

Ingredients

1 cup Almonds
120g Bittersweet chocolate, chopped
150g light brown sugar
230g Plain flour
30g Cocoa powder
8g Instant espresso powder
1 Tsp Baking soda
1/4 Tsp salt
3 Eggs
1 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Essence

Method

Using food processor, process chocolate and sugar together till fine crumb forms
Sift flour, cocoa powder, espresso, baking soda and salt together in a bowl
Using a whisk, beat eggs and vanilla in a larger bowl for about 30 seconds or till combined*
Add the dry mixture to the egg mixture gradually in batches, adding in almonds halfway through.
Line baking pan with parchment paper, lightly flour the paper and generously flour your hands
Using a scraper, divide dough into 2 portions and transfer onto the baking pan.
Mould and shape into log shape thats 10" long and 2" wide keeping the logs about 3" apart since they will spread a bit.
Bake for 35-40 minutes and cool for 10 minutes on a rack.
Slice the logs diagonally using serrated knife and place the cut side on the pan, baking an additional 15 minutes for each side.
Cool completely before keeping in airtight container.

Total Baking Time is about an hour.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Home-made Honey Granola

Posted by Sweeter side of life at 15:09:00 3 comments Links to this post


Crunchy, nutty flavour and healthy morning food- granola. Usually, store-bought granola are laden with sugar and BHT(Butyl hydroxytoulene) One of those antioxidants that allows your breakfast cereal to stay crisp for years! I thought- why not make these manufacturers a run for their money ;) ? Let's have home made granola!



This is simple! Not much equipment needed, just make sure the ingredients that you are using are of the best quality that is available to you.



(BEWARE)I can't stop munching on them, it takes quite some will power to stop the habit of grabbing handfuls of that granola and transferring them to the mouth for digestion and absorption :D

They taste wonderful with yoghurt too. These oats have a slight hint of cinnamon flavour, i might try and experiment with cocoa powder next time :)



Really, make this and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Joy Of Baking

Yields about 5 cups

*Preheat oven at 165C

Ingredients

3 1/2 cups of old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup each of raw almonds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds
1/4 cup of sesame seeds
1/2 tsp of cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp salt
90g of water
10g of vegetable oil
1/2 cup honey
1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Method

boil water, oil, honey and salt on a sauce pan*
In a large bowl, mix oats with the rest of the ingredients(dry)
Pour in the liquid mixture into the dry mixture and stir till evenly coated with liquid

(I omitted the brown sugar in the original recipe and made adjustments to my liking, if you have tried the original recipe, let me know about it :D )

Food Tasting Session Invitation

Posted by Sweeter side of life at 09:11:00 0 comments Links to this post
Hello readers! I recieved an invitation by Neo Group of Caterers for a food tasting session for their Orange Clove catering's new menu . They asked me if there was anyone i would like to bring along. Therefore, those who lives in Singapore or will be in singapore on 16 April 7.30pm - 9.30pm, you are welcomed to join me : D
Email me at sherry_4ever@hotmail.com by 3pm today if you are available.
 

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