5/8?!?! what was i thinking? so i admit it was a stupid calculation error on my part. How in the world could i have gotten 5/8 when its supposed to be 5/12?!? by golly. that was so much of a difference.. I'm such a terrible role model for my tution kids. Bleah... *turning to them*..'now kids, that's why i say maths is important!'
towards the end of the incredibly long baking trip, i was faced with an uncanny seperation of two layers in my ramekin cups.. EWWW.. gross. isn't that fats? what in the world was going wrong? then i frantically stumbled through the Q&A section for this week's bakes only to find that no one else had encountered the same mishap as me.. hmph.. i begin to suspect that i had made a silly mistake somewhere down the line. And after a little investigation into the matter.. i found out that i had added excess cream!!! and quite a lot more since I had already reduced the portions to 2 servings instead of 6. ARGH!!!
dammit.. after all that inspiring thoughts of having a wonderful roasted green tea infused creme brulee. Still, I gently tipped the cup to remove the immiscible layer of oil into the sink and chuck them into the fridge for some hardcore chilling before i worked the sugar crust layer on top in time for after dinner dessert.
I accompanied the lovely dessert with a macha almond tuile which was essentially the star of the show. Crisp round the sides and moist in the centre, these thin cookies embodied the rich taste of macha as well as a gentle lingering of almond in the background. Lovely... plus they so conveniently made use of that extra egg white!! *woots* The creme brulee however had little taste of the roasted green tea. Too subtle for a large impact. and slippery as it was.. it was a little too sweet for my liking. Bless the small portions...*phew*.
Recipe for cookies as follows:
Macha Almond Tuiles
adapted from Martha Stewert Cookies
makes 1 1/2 dozen cookies
1 large egg white
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour, sifted
Pinch of Coarse Salt
4 teaspoon unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp heavy cream
1/4 tsp pure almond extract
1/2 tsp Macha Powder
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
- Line a baking sheet with Silpat or non stick baking mat
- Whisk Egg white and sugar until combined. 30 seconds
- Reduce speed to low and add flour, salt, macha powder until combines
- Add butter, cream and almond extract; mix 30 seconds
- Place stencil (optional) and spread batter in a thin layer in the desired shape.
- Bake until golden brown 6 to 8 mins. Lift cookies with a offset spatula and drape over wooden rolling pin quickly to cool. Repeat with the remaining batter
- Store cookies btw layers of parchment in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Please go to the TWD blogroll to check out the other creme brulees and of course to a million thanks to the dearest hostess Mari of Mevrouw Cupcake for the recipe for the lovely creme brulee
coz it's never too late...
after a whole week of slogging it out in the kitchen with an incessant amount of in-flowing orders and one very large catering deal for a special event. I was beat... the last thing i wanted to do was to set foot in the kitchen and slip on my apron. Hence i
decidingly lazily gave the last week's round of TWD: (Dimply Plum Cake as chosen by Michelle of Bake-en) a miss. hmph.. though i admit there was another reason to the delay. Probably because I was having such a good time snacking on the multitude of plums that had sneaked their way into my home fridge throughout the weekend. Red Plums, Black Plums.. overpriced Plums. All of them were so incredibly sweet and juicy! It was so hard to resist one especially after meals... *giggles*
I swopped the cardamon in the recipe for freshly grated nutmeg instead as i figured the combination of Vanilla and nutmeg was somewhat refreshing and exciting for a rainy afternoon. After about 35 mins in the oven, the cake was done.. It had rose beautifully, the plum leaving its crimson stains on the bottom of the wax paper. I was deeply thrilled by the moistness of the final product. All my fears of dried out surfaces and plums all vanished after seeing the juices oozing out to the surface of the plums.
Frankly, this cake was rather easy to put together. All except the step where I had to cut and core the plums and place them on the cake. It was so hard not to shove them in the general direction of your mouth instead. arghs.. I halved the cake batter and used a 6 inch round pan instead as I didn't want to yield so much cake in the end. My family weren't such great fans of spices unlike me. Weird..
This cake was entirely satisfying though my mum made alleged claims that it left her tongue tingling in numbness. I guess she's just over-reacting.. oh well.. I'll probably make this recipe again using peaches next time and the combination of lemon and basil as suggested by Dorie. For recipe details please head on down to Michelle's website!
Slowly disappearing, i'm performing my mystical vanishing act once again. Despite the nagging conscience urging me on, my efforts are weak and almost non-existant. I broke down this morning, unable to bear the brunt of the stress and the fact that other suffered because of my negligance. Somehow distracted by the many other occurances in my life, the big event bake-off (held at the funky Butter Factory night club) that had kept me occupied for 2 days and nights and whole lot of planning done before hand. It was crazy... a multitude of bakes ranging from lemon meringue tarts to buffet sized cake slices and tons of cupcakes. I was driven round the clock by this project, yet i didn't bear a single complaint...
It's the heart that drives people. And its obvious where my heart lies now... and probably the only thing I'm good at.
Olivia Wilde from 'House'; dress designed by Reema Arca
Marcia Cross from 'Desperate Housewives'; dress designed by Elie Saab
Vanessa Williams from 'Ugly Betty'; Designed by Kevan Hall
Love it or hate it?
*taking a bow*
Many thanks to the lovely Karen @ Something Sweet by Karen for passing my very first blog award to me. I found it pretty strange when i first heard the news because I was a frequent reader of Karen's Blog due to the onset of TWD. Her frequent postings and beautiful results turned out for every week beared stark contrast to my sometimes frustratingly crooked and upsetting outcomes. But somehow, seeing the responses from the other TWD members every week was just such a big form of motivation for me to improve. Karen was one of the encouraging ones and I would like to thank her for this award. It gives me a teeny weeny bit of hope that there are actually appreciative readers out there. *beams in delight*
And so to play the pass it on game. I have decided to pass the award to a few blogs that have been on my 'must open everyday lists'. Some have been my inspiration whereas some just manage to sneak in a smile on my face now and then. This is my token of appreciation to you!
They are... (by not order or merit... *drum roll*)
spork or foon?
My bitter sweet tooth
She paints the kitchen red
Unfortunately this award comes with a set of rules as well. And as you all, rules are meant to be abided to deserving awardees.. please take note!
Please find at least 10 more blogs of any kind which you deem to be excellent; but hey if you only come up with 3 or 5, that's alright. Quality over quantity folks! Post about the blogs you picked, linking back to me and to them.Once you’ve posted, return here to let me know your post is up, and of course let your 10 award winners know too.
If only I could turn back time...
With the warm afternoon glows from the sun peering thru the balcony, I was completely enchanted with the scene that stood before me. The soft scent of lavendar, the lovely smell of clean sheets and the soothing tang of bossa nova music in the background.. along with the strong reassuring grip of babe's hand as he stood by my side.
'Welcome to The Retreat, Sir and Mdm.'
Did i pray for the weather to be this way? Shucks.. i had forgotten. Yet the Lord generously bless this special occasion with the finest... I was grateful.
My first year anniversary with the most precious guy i know. My gift to him, a couple spa package stowed away in the more rural part of singapore. A private room with our own open-air jacuzzi and masseurs on the top floor of the hotel along with a lovely chocolate fondue set. Best thing was, i myself was surprised at the standard and the charm of the relaxed settings of the place.The day was perfect. we soaked around leisurely in the spa gulping down copious amounts of green tea on the side and enjoying the chocolate fondue. More important then not was the company of my most darling boy at my side.. Views from the hot tub were spectacular with the planes approaching changi airport flying close by. The massage therapy was etheral as well. More for me than him though as it was his first experience. I guess after having such a tiring week, I even manage to catch a little snooze during the action. The scent of aromatic oils drifting with me into a shallow slumber. Indeed a intimate and relaxing experience for the both of us.
Dinner was spent at La Cantina also located on the top floor of the Changi Village Hotel. The food though on the expensive side was comforting and generous in proportions. The Crabmeat Linguine was to die for with large chunks of crabmeat interspersed throughout the creamy pasta... Yum..
Another blessed day spent with my baby boy... Thank you Lord.
Gold Amedei Toscano 63% (Italy)
Gold Valrhona Manjari 64% (France)
Gold Valrhona Guanaja 70%
Gold Amedei Porcelana
Gold Amedei Chuao
Silver Amedei Toscano 66%
Silver Amedei Toscano 70%
Silver Amedei No 9
Bronze Valrhona Caraibe 66%
Bronze Hotel CHocolate St Lucia 72% (UK)
Bronze Amano Madagascar 70% (USA)
so for once in my life, a year of life with someone else other than my 'alter ego' and 'imaginary twin sister' did pass by pretty fast. To be honest, for me, this has been both an accomplishment (to a certain extent) and a comforting experience. Through our differences and personality clashes, we have lugged thru a tangle of conflicts, arguments and constant scubbles. Yet, throwing all the indecent and crude remarks spoken in the course of frequent war at each other, there was a lingering stronghold of love and need for each other that always seem to take control at the end. Leaving all else in the dust.
That was what i relinquished the most... someone whom i could depend on in times of trouble. Someone whom i could trust to love me the way i was and whom, that someone i could love wholeheartedly in return.
Thanks baby boy for helping me seek the light when i was lost in pitch darkness. You have made me love again, and in all respect, i give you my only gift, my love in return.
I love you babe!
Happy 1st year anniversary...
and I pray for many more to come...
p.s. thank you for the lovely Amedei and Michael Cluizel Chocolates.. *swoons* They certainly are out of this world!!!
finally managed to drag myself up in the wee hours of the morning to bake a batch of these lovely cookies. Chocolate Chunksters chosen by Claudia of Food for Fool. The end result, a slight burn on the thumb (darn those thinning mittens. think I've got to get myself a new pair soon), a trayful of gorgeously chewy chocolate cookies and a chocolate smear at the side of my mouth (ARGH.. someone stop me!!!)
The cookie batter had a very watery consistency and had spread like wildfire once they entered the oven. I reckoned it must have been me cutting down too much on the dry chunky ingredients. Kitchen on a tight budget these days... Worst still, I did not realise that my salted peanuts had lost their crisp and adding them into the cookie meant giving the final product a hard and even unchewable texture. trust me.. my jaw had a good workout! But then again, I must say that the cookie had a wonderful ooey-gooey brownie like texture towards the centre which i loved and slight crisp corners. Didn't look anything like Dorie's picture. But who cares.. just as long as they are good!!!
Next up: Dimply Plum Cake (rubs palms.. erm.. just right. plums are in season now!)note to myself: 2 more days to our 1st year of being together! *hugz*. love you babe!
So i end this mooncake making fiesta not with an empty stash of paste but on a note of dwindling passion. gasps.. whats new actually. Guess mooncakes all that fun really. Had to trash my intial plans of trying out the several snowskin mooncakes that I had scribbled down because of a several lack of time. groanz... blame it on my poor time management. Then again, with a little experience under my belt from this year's trial; I'll return back with a vengance and determination to conquer more intriguing flavors!
Last mooncake feature, a vanilla custard pandan lotus paste mooncake. The vanilla custard cracked up at several places. Perhaps because i oversteamed it a little. *buggers* But I'm certain that the flavor would be a hit paired up with a green tea snowskin. Next year.. next year...
So before i bid farewell to the season and ponder about what to do with my purchased mango lotus paste, chocolate lotus paste and remaining pandan lotus and black sesame pastes.. here's presenting to you a roundup of the mooncakes i've made.
Next big thing? OperationNeon-Love!!!
How do I brush my wilfulness aside. To tame that adventurous soul in me? i have always attributed the ill fate of my relationship downfalls to the other party's seeking of novelty. But I have never sought to self evaluation. What if the villian was me?
I should never have blame you for being boring. I just could not deal with the fact that dates were nothing more than mundane meetups over meals and in some cases urgent response action to some last minute shopping for ingredients. It's all my fault...
guess it's just a natual path of a relationship that I've yet to experience before. Now all I've gotta do is to get ready to trod down the path with you. hand in hand, in step.
I still love you babe.
Another new creation pops outta the oven! This time all with the help of my baby Zhiheng. We had ultra fun sitting in front of the tv measuring out the fillings and then wrapping each individual layer into the next one. These look so much like mini- hulks(you know the cartoon charater?) after wrapping the fried coconut innards into the pandan lotus paste.As for the name, 'All things Tropical' mooncakes. I guess its just that most of the flavors and ingredients put to use here are incredibly symbolic of asian heritage with a touch of tropical wave. Think fried pandan flavored dessicated coconut with toasted melon seeds enveloped in pandan lotus paste in a traditional mooncake. Sounds delicious doesn't it? Not to mention, the gorgeous neon green innards look incredibly enticing!
This recipe adapted from Mooncakes by Alan Ooi called for a little more work frying the coconut but with a few shortcuts (also due to a few shortage in ingredients), things weren't so difficult after all. Another plus point? my babe made a great weighing station manager... some strange abilities for grasping estimation really well. haha.
I know this post came in a little late. But if you guys are still interested in trying out these mooncakes. Do give the recipe below a go! I'm sure you'll enjoy yourself. Just a suggestion, you could always a different food coloring to the fried coconut to maybe bring out some color contrast. *smilez*
'All things Tropical' Mooncakes
adapted from Mooncakes by Alan Ooi
Ingredients for filling ( i used a 63g mini mooncake mould so i scaled the fillings to 40g each)
- 18g cooking oil
- 30ml milk
- 36g caster sugar
- 90g dessicated coconut
- 1/2 tsp pandan paste
- 9g melon seeds(roasted)
- 20g koh fun
- 200g white lotus paste
- Place cooking oil in frying pan to heat
- Add in coconut, milk, pandan paste and sugar and fry till dry. Add in toasted melon seeds and koh fun. Remove to cool and divide into 20g portions. Shape round.
- Divide the White lotus paste into 20g portions and shape round.
- Flatten the white lotus paste and wrap the coconut filling. Shape round.
to an island where we'll meet
spent 24 hours without babe today. More or less slogging it out in the kitchen. Mooncakes and orders all compiled into one massive heavening task. Thank God its over. Now I've got babe by my side once again. I missed him so...can't believe how useless i am without him. More baking on the calendar, monday is pratically knocking on my door already. Gotta gather the forces (a.k.a ingredients) and get ready to bake up a storm for the bakesale.meanwhile, the pursuits with mooncakes for this festive season ensues. This time with my first round of snowskin mooncakes!!! I must admit that after all that fussing, i much prefer making baked ones to the snowskin ones. It's just so much easier working with an oil dough! But i do agree that it's much easier to incorporate a flurry of interesting flavors into the snowskin version.
On my first try, i chose the Orange Snowskin with poppy seeds and red bean filling. Why? because i reckoned the tanginess of the orange exterior would help to balance the sweetness of the red bean innards. And it did! the toasted melon seeds were as usual.. soo good! adding a nutty crunch to the otherwise soft product. I wish i had added more of those. Then again, i thought it was a good first shot at making snowskin mooncakes besides the skin being a little too soft (i must have added too much liquids). Next up.. hmph.. what should i do? why don't you guys help me decide?
Orange Poppyseed Snowskin Mooncakes
recipe adapted from Aunty Yochana
Ingredients for pastry:
200 ml. Water
200 gm. castor sugar
100 ml. Orange juice
4 Tbsp. evaporated milk
60 gm. Crisco shortening
1/4 tsp. orange paste
190 gm. fried glutinous rice flour (Kou fen)
20 gm. Tang Mien flour
For fillings: Traditional mooncake paste or Pandan lotus paste (i used red bean paste, wanted a little color contrast!)
Method:(1) Boil water and castor sugar till sugar melts. Chill in the fridge till cold.
(2) Put fried glutinous rice flour and tang mien flour into a mixing bowl.
(3) Add in shortening and mix with the flour then pour in chilled sugar syrup, orange paste, orange juice and evaporated milk. Do not overwork the dough otherwise it becomes rubbery and hard to wrap with the fillings.
(4) Weigh dough into 60 gm. dough and wrap up with pandan lotus paste filling. Press into the mould, knock it out and chill it before serving.
wanna have a say in which mooncake flavor i embark on? Then please vote away!
After sitting around the room stacked up in the corner. My little moon-faced beauties were ready to face the sunlight!
My first ever attempts in making mooncakes were a success. Not that they were terribly good or anything but at the very least, no accidents happened and the mooncakes tasted.. oh well. like mooncakes should. I mean, Snowskin mooncakes were a hell lot easier considering you didn't have to lay them on a tray and bake them and then egg coat them and bake again right? Further more, you could incorporate so many different flavors in snowskins.. think, pandan, mango, chocolate, coffee etc.. and the fillings.. gosh.. endless. I was thinking perhaps a cheesecake centre would be nice. Or maybe a chocolate paste wrapped strawberry would deal well too!.. *gushes*. But still, lets start with the basics!
First time round, i decidingly settled for a chocolate skinned baked mooncake that involved incorporation of both melted chocolate and cocoa into the dough. The end result.. a lovely chocolate biscuit like coat for the mooncake filled with White lotus paste and almond nibs.
Then the other two, traditional mooncakes; one batch filled with White Lotus Paste and Toasted Melon Seeds; the other, a black sesame paste core encased by toasted black sesame seed studded white lotus paste to add dimension to the final product.
verdict: the bases were a bit charred and burnt in the process of baking. i reckon i would turn to my silcon baking mat instead of parchment paper. I can't believe i forgot to sprinkle water on the mooncakes before putting them in the oven. ARGH.. (makes a mental note to myself)
At the very least, I've got set by set performing quick disappearing acts from my house. Don't they make such awesome gifts for the upcoming mid-autumn festival?
Soon to come.. Snow Skin Mooncakes!
news about the upcoming bakesale at NUS science foyer bazaar!Meanwhile enjoy my current favorite song! "lucky" by Jason Mraz ft. Colbie Caillat
So with this week's choice of Chunky Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters by Stefany of Proceed with Caution, i decided to take the leap and bake these little beauties.. and as promised.. they were wonderful.. no... the best!!!
chewy to the maximum with a slight hint of peanut butter. I added some chopped toasted peanuts in the batter as well to add even more crunch to the end product. *Yummy*. and opted for the chocolate chips instead of the chopped chocolate chunks, saw it as a good opportunity to use up the giant bag of chips sitting in my drawer.
the verdict: Everyone loved it! and so did i of course. Presumably, i was fortunate to be with a group of people that enjoyed chewy cookies relative to the crunchy ones that more marketable here in Singapore. *phew*. glad it went down well!
interested in the recipe? pls head down to Stefany's site for the recipe. Or refer to the TWD blogroll on my sidelink bar for more views of wonderful cookies! you just can't get enough! (speaking of which.. i think my mum ate all but two cookies left in the jar!?!?! ARGHs...)
Next up.. more cookies! Chocolate Whopper Malted Drops as chosen by Rachel. yippee.. everyone is a cookie mood these few weeks. I wonder why..