Okay, so after much procrastination; it boiled down to the point of having to bake the cookies because the blueberries that I had purchased were on the brink of spoiling if I had left it any longer in the refrigerator. Arghs.. but don't worry, this precious little recipe came out to be SOO worth it after the whole internal conflict situation I encountered along the way.
introducing this month's cookie carnival recipe from Emeril as chosen by our Kate from the cleanplate club. A simple recipe that calls for minimal ingredients yet yield such a delectable goodie all a very short span of time. We're talking about express cookies on the go over here! *yum*. couples with a few special ingredients, for example, blueberry in a cookie? boy.. now that's unconventional... and others such as almond essence and lemon rind. It all heightens the flavor of this cookies. Best still, its fat and chewy in the centre! just how i like my cookies done!
So for anyone keen on using the freshest blueberries in the market season without having to do the classics like blueberry muffins and blueberry pies. Please do consider these lovely biscuits. I'm sure u'll enjoy these just as much.
* One-half cup shortening
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 egg
* One-fourth cup milk
* One-half teaspoon almond extract
* One and one-half teaspoons grated lemon zest
* 2 cups all purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* One-half teaspoon salt
* 1 cup blueberries, rinsed and picked over
1. In a large mixing bowl, cream the shortening, sugar, egg, milk, almond extract and lemon zest, mixing well after the addition of each ingredient. Slowly add the flour, baking powder and salt. Fold in the blueberries and mix until well blended.
Makes about 4 dozen.
no don't worrie, i'm not suffering from a broken heart. In fact, I couldn't be happier. hearing about Babe's many unfortunate incidents and his horrible day, and then him ending off with 'you're my comfort' just makes me guilty to show that little tinge of happiness in my heart. Yet a little smile escapes my lips.
A little insight into the life of a baker cum tuition teacher cum IA student; currently slowing down her pace as the holidays approach and the end of IA draws closer. Still i can't help but feel a bit of sadness. i will miss the place and all its lovely people within. on the other hand? i smell fun and adventures looming nearer as my 1 month trip to Australia awaits me! *woots* Hope the rest of you aero students out there are gonna get some good rest before the crazy final year!
Have been surrounded by baking the past few weeks; from the gigantic orders (think a 4kg oreo cheesecake for the company) to the numerous cupcakes and cakes that I have to bake. My most recent one being the weeping willow which caught the eye of one of my readers. Apparently, it isn't exactly for sale yet. But under strong requests, i obliged...
in the end, they loved it to bits! guess my self-created recipe of green tea and black sesame cheesecake sure works wonders! i'm glad... a major thanks to all those who have sent their compliments. It sure is a major booster for me, to knoe that somehow others do appreciate my bakes.
Meanwhile, more bakes around the corner. orders! plus blueberry drop cookies and almond sticky buns fresh outta the oven soon! stay tuned!
these few days have been a rather rough journey for me.
took a few tumbles, receieved a few bruises on the knee.
got a hangover from a company function held at Harry's. must have been the repeated cycles of beer, wine, beer wine... took a rap on the head and ended with a nasty bump
woke up in the wee hours of the morning to bake for orders.
thank goodness for the delightful response i got from one of my customer regarding the weeping willow she had ordered and eaten earlier. tt was nice...
besides that, life looks pretty dire. 2 more weeks to end of IA; can't figure out how i should be feeling. mixed feelings...
SHF #43: Citrus
i know this is gonna sound a bit out of the ordinary. But hey! Whats a little dessert before dinner going to do any damage yar?
Since our dearest Tartlette has annouced Citrus for this months Sugar High Friday; i shall skip the hassle of the dinner and zip to the finale instead? hehe. alright alright. Perhaps a morself of savoury goodness will suffice later.
But first, let me introduce you to my entry for this month. *drum roll*... okay, so it was tough. Citrus? lemons, grapefruits, pomelo, orange, blood orange, lime... the variety just stumps me. Oops, before I launch into a long discussion of the different kinds of citrus fruits there are in the market. lets talk about what I made, lest you guys fidget in your seats too much.
here you go...
Oops, got that wrong again. That was the Sherpherd's Pie i made for dinner with the family instead. kk, here you go.. *nudging gently*
the Orange and Lemon Souffle (completed with a dash of cointreau; only because we've got strictly adults in the house. heh). Adapted from Gordon Ramsay's 'Just Desserts'; the recipe was easy to follow. Starting off with a Crème Patissiere base; i then proceeded to fold the reduced orange and lemon juice into it followed by the whisked till stiff-peaked egg whites at the last moment before dishing into the souffle dishes. and then it was off into the oven.
soon, the light batter had risen to monstrous proportions. towering over the sides of the dish. I was awed by the amazing structure. and even more bewildered the fast rate at which the mighty structure fell once it had left the helms of the warm oven into the airconditioned room.
In fact it was a little too fast even for me to dish them, dress them with orange segements and juggle the dishes out to the living room before running into my room frantically in search for the missing camera. By the time I had steadied myself, the towering structure had sunk gracefully into its crater. I was disappointed.. BUT WHO CARES! the souffle tasted great nonetheless. The orange and slight tinge of lemon so predominent with every bite. Paired with Brown Brothers Orange Muscat and Flora, a light dessert wine that complimented the fruity flavors of the dessert even more. It all seemed to fall into place, the orange and lemon souffle acting as the perfect and light ending to our seemingly heavy dinner.
Moving back in time, to pre-dinner hours. As I had said earlier, dinner was proudly presented to the family by Zhiheng and I. Babe was responsible for the cheese and grape platter complimented by his choice of white wine. Whereas I was responsible for both the entree and the desserts. The cheese platter was a show stopper. Featuring 3 different types of cheese of various textures, complete with crackers on the side, fresh cucumber chunky cuts in a center piece and sweet grapes. Mum being a cheese lover fell head over heels for this one and contemplated skipping the mains for a chance to gobble down all the cheese. FAT HOPE mum! hehe. mains are on me!
now.. lets see whats cooking for next week? any suggestions for easy fuss free dishes peeps? Come on.. i need a little help here!
The recipe called for ingredients that were nothing too exotic nor expensive. However, with a simple concept of science, the proportions fell into place and creating something magical. fresh madeleines out of the oven were nothing short of a miracle for me.
I did a few alterations to the traditional recipe though. Adding 2 tsps of earl grey tea to the melted butter for that infused earl grey taste as well as to put the madeleines tray into the freezer instead of the fridge (to produce that signature hump). Pardon me once again, i like things done express. I just couldn't wait that long to eat them!
I had enough batter for 17 madeleines instead of the 12 as stated on the recipe. No harm of course, the more the merrier. However, being to anxious the first time, i rapped the tray against the counter causing the fragile little babies to slide and fall out of the trays immediately. some crashed onto the cooling rack and suffered split ends. I was devastated. Thank God for the second batch which turned out perfect. Crispy sides with moist spongy centres filled with the pleasant aroma of earl grey tea with every bite. Perfect with for afternoon tea.
next up: Dinner on the rocks (courtesy of Zh and me) and SHF #43: Citrus! (watch out of the collapsing tower, you have been warned!)
and finally as promised.. here is the low down on my recent trip to Ochacha with the gang brought together by ladyironchef! thanks a million once again Brad for organising everything. It was swell! and thank you Evan for the wonderful photos! Be prepared for a green invasion!
I had met Vicki (my new found young friend i made during the baking competition over at house; darn! makes me feel so damm old!) earlier in the evening where we then took a stroll down from my workplace to raffles city shopping centre where the dinner event were to be held. After a considerable amount of walking and plenty of talk mostly regarding food and baking; that makes us so typically singaporeans. we had worked up an almost sizeable appetite and even more of a thirst and crave for something to ease the throat. Soon after, we settled down in the cafe together with Evangeline with whom which I then introduced to Vicki. Soon everyone was friends! haha.
Unfortunately many of the other participants were not as early as the few who had arrived earlier and the scheduled dinner at 7 30pm was pushed back to 8pm. By that time, i was to be honest.. VERY VERY thirsty. and obviously the complimentary potato chips weren't going to help... *argh*
the menu for the night:
Drinks: Matcha Rocks, Azuki Freezie, Ochacha Rocks, Ochacha latte or ochacha silk (3 cold and choice of 1 warm)
Soup: Shiitake Mushroom or tomato soup
Sandwiches: Sakura Egg, Wasabi Tuna, Furikake Salmon
Desserts: Matcha Cotton, Matcha Azuki, Financier, Matcha Panna Cotta
the night of feasting began with a round of shooters, NO, not lethal alcoholic ones of course but samplers of the drinks served up in the cafe.
top: Ochacha Rocks, essentially green tea with a choice of skim milk or whole milk
middle: Matcha rocks, on the rocks! yeh.. hard core stuff!
lowest: Azuki Freezie, matcha ice-blended with bits of azuki red beans strewened throughout the drink. MY FAV! its a real thirst quencher... pity the glass is soo puny...
after a incredibly slow round of drinks and an almost murderous amount of camera whoring (of the drinks of course) by the photographers all around. Apparently it came to my realisation that almost everybody present at the dinner had a dslr. dammit. oh well, so all i could do was to sit back and try to avoid blocking the lighting for the sake of my fellow diners who were more concerned about their photos then actually tasting the food. hehe. kidding. Still, i must comment that they (evan and Vicki) were a bunch of very harsh critics. *phew*. was feeling the heat for the newly opened cafe back there.
soup was served next. and my bad in ordering the tomato soup over the shitake mushroom soup. Took a little dribble from Evan's bowl and a-kinned it to the soup spoon version! darn again.. the tomato soup on the other hand was salty, sweet and everything in between. my ulcer was feeling the pinch again.
with some gently coaxing from the kitchen, the mains were served next. All of which are sandwiches of course but with a multitude of fillings. The first one set on the table was sakura egg sandwich, a rather fancy name for something so simple that i can re-create anytime at home. But what was simply delectable about the dish was the etherally soft bread; apparently it was shipped in from Japan; i have my doubts... wait till i get a hold on the bread distributors.. hehe. the next sandwich was the tuna wasabi which i skipped, hence the absence of any comments; and lastly the Furikake Salmon. That was divine! the spicy rice flakes compliemting the grilled salmon slices. eaten together with the dill cream cheese spread on the breads, everything just fell into a perfect place, all contributing to heightening each others flavor. i was sold.
from top: Sakura Egg, Wasabi Tuna, Furikake Salmon sandwiches
moving on, our desserts followed after a substantial break. We were served the sponge cotton, Matcha Azuki layered cake, matcha financier and the matcha panna cotta. All were relatively good with the panna cotta being the most impressive and most reasonable priced. It was much lighter in texture in comparison to a normal panna cotta. However my only grudge was that there was minimal matcha flavor present throughout the dessert. The matcha azkuki cake was alright, but would do better if its sponge layers were soaked in green tea syrup just to kick the flavor up a notch and provide additional moisture to the cake.
Matcha Panna Cotta
The lady in charge Miss Lee Yin Siau was an extremely gracious host in the entire event and often took time to explain things to us, attending to our every needs. I had an extremely good time meeting up with my gfs as well as sampling all the green foods. in the end, i would probably consider coming down here again.. despite the harsh lightning and the white walls remind me of an asylum. argh. SAVE mE!!!
#B1-44F Raffles City Shopping Centre
Tel: 6333 5886
Firstly here's wishing all mothers a Happy Mothers' Day!
after a whirlwind of baking activities the past few days. I'm back folks! finally got a good rest after days of slaving away in the kitchen. Settling in with a full mind of plans to offer sets in the future for upcoming festivites. Perhaps this would help immensely to ease the work load. So before i go catch some eye-shut. Here are some pictures of the lovely bakes I've done for mothers day. Not all, but a few that i have managed to capture on camera. Not easy considering the sugared and buttered fingers. Thanks to all the lovelies who have ordered from me. All your compliments and praises have made the sleepless nights all worth while!
Second agenda, enter my first masterbaker entry! and here's introducing the good ole' vanilla cupcake. Trust me, do not fooled by its harmless exterior, biting into one laden with addictive vanilla swissmeringe buttercream, i'm sure you'll be blasted off to seventh haven straight away.
Recipe for Vanilla Buttercake (adapted from women's weekly)
90g butter softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
1 cup(150 self raising flour)
8 tablespoon milk
- preheat the oven to 160 degrees celcius. Line the cupcake trays with liner.
- Beat butter, extract, sugar, eggs, flour and milk to saucepan and just combined. Beat mixture in electric mixer on low speed until ingredients are just incorporated. Beat until mixture is pale in color.
- Divide into cases and bake for 20mins.
yum!!! swoons, warm cupcakes being served up immediately. hardly anyone can say no to one of these!
top row: Banana Chocolate Chipped cupcakes, Second row: Good Ole' Vanilla Cupcakes, Bottom Rom: Oreo Cupcakes
and tada! the final product for cupcakes sets for mothers day. adorned with the lightest swiss meringue buttercream. mmm.... i sneaked one of these for breakfast. woops.. naughty! but here's to all mothers around the world again. Its your day!
and finally, photos of some other baking orders i had to fulfill.
cookies for mum. Dark chocolate Valrhona heart-shaped cookies frosted a lovely tinge of pink and purple.
and oreo cheesecake for a wife who's birthday coincidentally falls on mothers day. now i was thinking, that would be way too easy for the children in future. 2 in 1!
and finally, more cuppies! a fine mixture of chocolate chipped banana cupcakes with whipped ganache frosting and Cappuccino cupcakes with vanilla cream cheese frosting ordered by a lady for her sweet colleagues. *smilez*
to end off the post, here's a lovely version of Stop and Stare by One republic. Enjoy...
Stop and stare
I think I'm moving but I go nowhere
Yeah I know that everyone gets scared
But I've become what I can't be, oh
Stop and stare
You start to wonder why you're 'here' not there
And you'd give anything to get what's fair
But fair ain't what you really need
Oh, can u see what I see
next up: Lady Iron Chef's Food event at OChaCha. Its gonna be a green tea feast!
what else can you expect from a mother's day wkend. Copious amounts of orders to fulfill... worst still since I haven't posted an official annoucement for mothers's day orders. they still came, in all strange shapes and sizes...
frosted cookies, cheesecake, carrot cakes, chocolate cake, and lots and lots of cupcakes. gosh.. look at me, i've got cream on my hair. *groanz*. the sight of the war-torn kitchen just erks me. to be very frank, if it doesn't shock you already, i love baking but never the activities that follow after. haha. figures huh? I'm sure many of you bakers out there would agree with me.
so whilst i wait for the batch of cookies to miraciously emerge from the oven.. the overpowering aroma of freshly baked valrhona chocolate. i can only swoon at those of course since they are for orders.. oh well. be updating some of these photos soon and be adding some new bake sale items just for you guys!
Meanwhile, here are some backdated baking entries. Black sesame bread made from a recipe using Tangzhong starter. Again another more or less sucessful bread baking attempt. *applauds*. however, there is still much room for improvement. groanz. i need time to experiment with this!
By the way, need i remind u guys. its mother's day this wkend. so PLEASE get off your butts and do something nice for your mum. as for me, I'll be going out for a lovely lovely dinner tonight. hehe. my treat of course. gosh.. *rummaging thru my empty wallet*. woops.
i'm not getting enough rest; evidently from the pale purplish circles that have sneaked its way to under the ring of my eyes. Occasionally i get caught snoozing; never at the work place of course; the hustle and bustle of the place and the major activity centre built with its core derivant from Boss somehow manages to perk even the most weary souls. Yawns are common nonetheless.
Like a train derailed, I have been lost in a ever-growing pile of office work, upgrades, modifications and quality management affairs to attend to. motivation to work dwindles by the slightest amount everyday. Still hearing a sigh and a compliment so simple such as 'i wonder how are we going to deal without you' somehow just puts you back on track. I'm the luckiest girl to have such a gracious boss; one whom never fears to taunt, reprimand and chastise; yet is so generous and forthcoming with his praises and credits.
Guess that is work life, it has its ups and downs. 1 year will pass soon. and perhaps i do stand a chance of getting a spot back there. that would make me once again, very very happy.
Still, there are many things left to do. First things first, i shld be in bed now. hugging my pillow drifting away to the land of wispy clouds. Second, I've got loads of orders on my mind. With mothers day ard the corner, I've got a few (not a huge amount but still significant) orders for sweet goodies for mum. Worst still, they vary in types. *gulp*; dinner with the majesty beckons. pray the foie gras don't disappoint. Third, report to complete. now that's still the least of my worries with the continous amount of work still left to do. *bah*. guess its time i cut myself some slack then.
time to hit the sack, how else would u realise that til' the screen becomes a swirl of incoherent colors?
before i embark on a long epic tale about the baking competition held last Sunday at House, Barracks and Camps at Dempsey Road. Lets first take a little detour... here's my much needed preparation for the competition...
its Friday with Babe. oohh.. some quality time spent with my Babe just sets me in the mood. and since I'm already at it, i might as well make my apology. Sorrie dear for the failed trip. rest assured there will be a next time alright. Let the future unfold it slowly, dun rush.. perhaps the Lord will be a little more gracious. i love u always. Its hard to even imagine a day without you.
now lets move on to the baking competition before u guys pass out either from the over dose of sacharine or excessive gagging. oh well... so here are some snap shots from the lovely day at house, barracks and camp. If you guys haven't gone there yet. PLS DO! the food (*nudges* especially the 7-layer pancake) looked divine!!!
everything was in a blur as organisation was a bit poor towards the beginning of the event. However, things picked up fine once the judges made their appearance. By then, my cheesecake had been standing in the sweltering heat, boosted only by the aid of the minimal air-con which proved useless with the doors of the glasshouse mimicked resturant swung wide open. Given another chance, I would have definitely done something a little different; perhaps a tart of cheese doughed puffs.
The BIG BAKE OFF! was a competition held in the name of charity with all proceeds from the bake sale and competition registration going to the rainbow children's charity. So besides being able to participate in such a wonderful event, the cause for charity was an added bonus.
The theme of the competition was 'green' meaning that at least one of the ingredients used had to be substantially green. okay.. i can all ur heads churning away already. Well, with little time on my hands, i decided to stick to the tried and tested and re-produced my green tea black sesame cheesecake; this time tasting better than ever after a little R&D. Given the time, i wld have tried my hands at an avcocado white chocolate tart or a pistachio studded cake. its reallie a pity.
The competition proceeded on with few hiccups.. the introduction at the beginning was a little intimidating for me since i've never had the penchant for public sharing. However, it wasn't that difficult after all; how hard could it get when you're talking about cakes and your passion?
On the whole, the event was alright; time was squandered at a merciless rate with the judging carried out at an excrutiating pace. Thank goodness for the company of my family members, babe and the few new frens that I've made along the way! *cheers*. all the gossip and the presence of certain celebs did brighten up the whole affair. (saw the MTV twins May and Choy at the event. Choy was a participant btw and apparently she bakes? her lime coconut cupcakes with lime curd stuffing and coconut meringue were quite good too)
With the event coming to a close at around 2pm. It was a photo frenzy moment as everyone squeezed in for last minute shots. It had a good vibe from it all; i do however suspect that it was the work of the glass of Santa Rita white wine that i had gulped down. But still, though i had no special mentions nor shot at the top prize. It felt good to be there. Doing what I liked, mingling and just hanging out with people who had the same likemindedness. A passion for baking.
Special Mentions going out to Vicki; owner of the lovely sunflower cupcakes. She's only 17!!! gawd i feel so freaking old already. see the silver whiskers growing from under my chin? *yikes!*.. do visit her sales site at http://mysweetniblets.livejournal.com/ . Lets stay in touch yar. Great to be around a young spirited person sometimes... hehe.
Alright that's a wrap folks...
next up, more adventures from the scrubby kitchens. hehe.
today is the 1st of May, labour day. Spent a good half of the day rotting away at home whilst my bread poofed up gently in the breadmaker. Baking on a public holiday. Yep, now that's my idea of rest and relaxation. No way you're going to pull me out of the house into the throngs of people lining the streets of town. Home, me bed and my dearest oven. that's where i want to be.
Furthermore, it proved to be a good opportunity for me to hone my breadmaking skills. It officially starts from zilch by the way. Have had tough luck so far with all my bread making attempts. Hence with so much time on my hands, I knew it was only right that i embarked on another try at making it. This time i choose to make 65°C Chocolate wassant, recipe courtesy from Florence of do what i like.
okay.. if u guys haven't tried this bread yet. you must!!! and i repeat again that u MUST try this bread from Provence bakery over at holland village. They do the bestest version I've ever tasted anywhere else! Trust me, you'll be hooked on the tiny little moulds of bread. They are oh.. so incredibly soft... and please do not trust my potrayal of it in my photos. the real deal looks much nicer! that upsets me though. *sobz*
Okay back to my attempt; it all went well at first. Woke up after a pleasant nap to find that the bread had poofed up to the brim of the container after its 1st proving. after removal and placing it in another bowl, i covered it with a wet cloth to aid the proving. At the same time, i worked on my chocolate paste, cooking it gently till it formed the right textured paste, cooled and rolled it out and then refrigerating it.
All this was done at a snails pace, then again, i had all the time in the world...
the final step was horrendous. rolling and folding the chocolate paste into the bread dough proved to be a living nightmare as the chocolate threatened to burst out from its seams in every corner. argh!!! perhaps i had added too much chocolate paste?
nonetheless, it had risen beautifully and i was almost certain that the bread would be soft and tender. and in the end, it was.
as ugly as they looked, they tasted beautiful...
and that's all that matters right?
note: I will be taking part in a baking competition this Sunday at Dempsey House! Watch out for updates regarding the crazy jump. Wish me luck too! *crosses fingers*