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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

"Stained Glass" Cookies

Here's our 2nd batch of cookies we made on Christmas Day itself. It's made with the same sugar cookie recipe that I have been using only that I've used a smaller cookie cutter to cut the middle portion and filled it with a hard candy for the stained glass effect. For the cookies here, I used Fox candy. I simply unwrapped candy from the wrapper and placed it whole in the cut-out then baked it as usual. For the smaller cut-out cookies, I outlined them with royal icing then dipped it with coloured caster sugar. I quite like the effects. =)


To make coloured sugar for decoration, you'll need:
- a small container with a tight lid
- a few tbsps of caster/fine grain sugar
- a few drops of food colouring of your choice


Method:
- place sugar in container, add food colouring
- place lid on, make sure it's secure, then shake vigorously till sugar is coated with colour


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Mini Xmas House

This year as part of our Christmas activity, I thought it'll be fun to build a gingerbread house with my darling Fat cheeks. I remember that IKEA used to sell the ready-made DIY kits so I was really disappointed when I couldn't find it. Perhaps I was too late in my shopping. Anyways not wanting to disappoint my baby, I thought we could build our "gingerbread house" with regular crackers instead. We had a gooey messy but very fun giggle-ly time building our houses. We were suppose to build a house each but Fat cheeks was over ambitious and her mini house collapsed coz it was just too heavy with candies. =)

Here's the recipe for the royal icing which I used to glue the house and the candies with. You may wish to half the recipe if not building many small houses.

Ingredients:
- 1.5 tbsp meringue powder
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tbs water

Method:
- Mix all ingredients and use electric mixer beat for 5 mins.

Christmas Cookies

Merry Christmas everyone! I finally cleared some of my housework (after months of neglect) enough to start baking in the kitchen. This is a rule I set myself, no work = no play, housework not done = no baking. So here's our 1st batch of Christmas cookies. I baked the cookies while my sous chef fat cheeks did most of the designing and decorations. I really liked how it turned out and I think the cookies are adorable. Hubby is really proud of us too. =) Fat cheeks my sweetest asked me "Mummy, do you know why these cookies are special? It's because it's made with Love."  I can't agree more. Here's wishing everyone Love, Peace & Joy. 


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Cupcakes - Part 2

Made these for my friends. It's been a while since we've met. Had a great time catching up and especially excited for them as 3 of the lovely ladies are expecting! One is even carrying twins! How exciting. =) I'm really happy for them and will be anticipating the arrival of the cutie babies! 

I had fun decorating the cupcakes. The bear and bunny are made from marshmallow fondant which I have shared in my earlier post  here.  I wish I have more time to indulge in my baking but for now, my studies come first. Exams are coming soon, I better buck up!!!

Trying very hard to concentrate. =(

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Strawberry Buttercream Cupcakes

We made this last week as part of Fat cheeks birthday celebration. Each and everyone of them is prettily decorated by my darling baby herself. We had loads of fun & the buttercream was delicious. Unfortunately over the weekend, baby caught a flu bug & has been sick since. The infection was bad with persistent fever;  I spent the last few nights sponging  her. Today finally her fever is under control much to my relief. Nothing makes me happier then to see her up and about with her non-stop chatter. Already she's asking me when our next cupcake session will be.  =)

For the cupcakes, I used the same recipe as my steamed cakes but instead of steaming, I baked them in the oven at 180 deg c for 10mins till golden brown. I personally like the texture very much. It's light, fluffy and it complemented the buttercream very well without making it heavy. As for the buttercream, I reduced the icing sugar as I didn't like it too sweet. We will definitely be doing this again very soon. 

Ingredients:
- 110g butter (I used salted ones)
- 3/4 cup icing sugar
- 2 tbsp of starwberry preserve (or jam)

Method:
- sift icing sugar to get rid of lumps
- cream butter till fluffy
- add sugar & continue creaming till light & fluffy
- fold strawberry preserve
- spoon or pipe on to cake
My pretty Fat cheeks in her princess costume celebrating her birthday in school

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Mini Steamed Sponge Cakes with Cranberries.

I did this a couple weeks ago; My 1st attempt at making steamed cakes and I'm quite happy with the results. I've been wanting to try this for quite some time but just never got to it. The steamed cake is really spongy and tastes just like the Ma Lai kou they sell at dim sum places. The texture is slightly denser than baked ones and have a more "eggy" taste. It's a nice change from the usual baked ones. Fat cheeks likes it much and it was the perfect snack for her to bring to school. =)

Ingredients:
- 2 eggs
- 80g caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 100g self raising flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 50ml milk
- 1/4 cup cranberries or raisins (soaked in water till soften)

Method:
- prepare steamer & bring water in steamer to a rolling boil
- grease and lightly flour mould, set aside
- sift flour & baking powder
- whisk the eggs, sugar & vanilla essence till pale & fluffy
- fold in flour then milk in alternating batches
- fold in cranberries
- spoon into moulds and steam for 5 - 7 mins

Monday, September 26, 2011

Walnut Mooncakes


This is the 2nd type of mooncake I managed to make this Mid Autumn festival. It has a buttery crumbly pastry which I thought complemented the lotus paste filling well. I'm not a walnut fan, but here the walnut not only makes the mooncake look pretty, it also give the mooncake an extra crunch which is very nice. Hubby likes this one while I prefer the flaky flower mooncake. Fat cheeks? She loves them all. =)

Ingredients:
(I managed to get 20pcs)
- 360g plain flour
- 25g custard powder
- 50g icing sugar
- 220g butter (I used salted ones)
- 50g shortening
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp sodium bicarboate
- 1/2 tsp ammonium bicarbonate (can get this at Phoon Huat)
- 1 egg for glazing
- handful of walnuts

Method:
- cream sugar, shortening, butter, vanilla & ammonium bicarbonate till slightly white
- slowly add eggs, incorporate well
- add flour & mix well till soft dough is formed
- cover with cling wrap & chill overnight
- divide dough into 20 portions
- roll filling into balls & wrap with dough
- decorate with walnut
- brush with egg wash
- bake at 160 deg c for 10 mins
- remove tray from oven & let it cool for 10 mins
- brush with egg wash again & bake further for another 10 to 15 mins till golden

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Flaky Flower Mooncakes


My poor blog has been neglected! =(  I've been busy lately coz I've actually gone back to hitting the books. I'm probably a generation older than most of my classmates. But I guess late is better than never ya? Truth be told, I was really reluctant when I resumed my studies. Lectures, homework and exams just didn't equate to happiness for me. But in a surprisingly turn of events, I actually very much enjoy it now and I look forward to my classes but impending exams still stresses me. So anyhow, in between my work, studies and mummying, I manage to make time to bake 2 types of mooncakes with my darling Fat cheeks. The Flaky Flower Mooncake recipe can be found in my previous post here. I will be posting the other Walnut Mooncake soon...I hope. =)

I bought ready made lotus paste this year. Fat cheeks rolling them into balls.
She looks so cheeky coz she wants to eat the filling. =)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Inari Sushi

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Meatballs in Marinara Sauce with Vegie Brown Rice

Made this for dinner last night. Prego's Marinara  sauce was on offer, so I bought a bottle for days when I'm too lazy to make the sauce. This time I served the meatballs with vegie brown rice. Just simply brown rice cooked in chicken stock with chopped onion, celery and french beans. I wanted to add carrots too but I didn't realize I ran out it it. The vegie rice complement the meatballs & sauce very well. Fat cheeks gave me the thumbs up & requested that I cook this again. I like it very much too coz not only it's yummy, I actually feel healthy eating it. It was also a great way to make hubby & Fat cheeks eat up their vegies and brown rice without any complains. =) The meatballs are from my earlier recipe here.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Our 1st Sushi Attmept


No baking today coz my baby Fat Cheeks is complaining of itchy throat. All heaty stuff is off the list for a while then. Instead we made sushi! It's our 1st attempt so nothing too complicated. Just some eggs, imitation crab meat, tuna & cucumber. I like it very much coz it's healthy, fast & yummy. Baby & hubby loves it much too. Will be making more of these during the weekends. =)

Ingredients:
- 2 cups sushi rice
- 2 cups of water
- 1 tbsp Mirin
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar ( I got mine from Daiso)
- 2 tbsp of sugar
- 1 tsp salt

Method:
- rinse rice several times until water runs clear
- add rice & 2 cups water into rice cooker to cook
- when done, fluff lightly with spoon
- mix rice vinegar, sugar & salt in a cup
- sprinkle evenly over rice & toss to mix well
- cool rice before making sushi


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Hot Dog Mushroom Bento

Much has happened recently & I need my kitchen therapy pronto!! I hardly have any time for baking so for a quick fix, I found bento making! It gives me my much needed space & peace in the sanctuary of my kitchen & mostly...it makes my princess smile. I can't wait to see the twinkle in her eye when she takes a peep at her breakfast tomorrow morning. =)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Blueberry Yogurt Muffin

Holidays are here! My darling fat cheeks is excited and can't wait to get started in the kitchen. First on the list... blueberry muffins. Blueberries must be in season coz 2 punnets of blueberries only cost $3.99 at NTUC. Muffins are much easier to make compared to cakes. All we had to do was to mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. The catch is not to over mix the batter. I instructed fat cheeks to pour the wet ingredients into the dry, then mix them together in no more than 10 strokes. She did just that and we get a lumpy batter with bits of flour here & there which was perfectly fine. Fold in the blueberries with another 2-3 strokes, spoon into muffin pan & we're done. =) The muffin was moist, soft with juicy bites of blueberries. Very nice, it also kept well and was still soft & moist when we had it for breakfast the next day. Will try to add some nuts in our next batch. =)

Ingredients:
- 350g cake flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1/2 cup of vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
- 1 egg
- 1 cup yogurt
- 1 punnet of blueberries
- zest of 1 orange

Method:
- preheat oven to 190 deg c
- in a large bowl, sift dry ingredients except sugar together
- reserve 1 tbsp of flour mixture & dust/coat blueberries with it
- whisk sugar, oil, egg, yogurt and orange zest till well blended
- add wet ingredients into flour mixture, mix with no more than 10 strokes
- add dusted blueberries, stir with another 2-3 strokes
- spoon into muffin pan
- bake until golden brown, about 20-25 mins
- cool in pan, serve warm

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Apple Custard Crumble

Last weekend I made this very yummy Apple Custard Crumble for hubby. Hubby loves all things apple and orange. This is one of his comfort food when he is stressed. He's been working really hard recently, so I thought I'll make his day by baking one of his favorites. I really like this pastry coz it's a combination of apples and custard. Fragrant crunchy topping with fruity apples and velvety custard. Very nice. The sweetness is just nice to me but hubby who has a real sweet tooth prefers it sweeter. Fat cheeks loves it much too and I think she would have finish all of it if she could have it her way. =)

Ingredients:

Pastry
- 155g plain flour
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 80g salted butter, melted & cooled
- 1 egg yolk

Apple Custard
- 3 apples, peeled, cored & diced
- 20g butter
- 4 tbsp caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 185ml whipping cream (I used evaporated milk instead)
- 1 tsp vanilla ( I added vanilla beans fm 1 vanilla bean pod for extra oommp!)

Crumble topping
- 60g plain flour (I used about 8pcs of wholewheat crackers & crushed them up finely)
- 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
- 40g walnut (I replace this with instant oats)
- 60g salted butter, melted

Method:
- preheat oven to 180 deg c
- Lightly grease & line a 28 x 18cm baking tin
- to make pastry, sift flour and sugar, add butter, egg yolk & 2-3 tbsp of water till dough comes together
- rest dough in fridge for 20mins
- roll out dough & fit into baking tin, prick dough all over with fork, bake 15 mins, leave to cool
- for apple custard, place apple in saucepan with butter, half the sugar & 2 tbsp of water
- cover & cook over low heat till soft
- uncover and cook till all liquid is almost dried up, leave to cool
- to make custard, whisk eggs, cream, remaining sugar & vanilla
- spread apple mixture over cooled pastry then pour over cream mixture
- bake 20 mins or till custard is half set
- to make crumble topping, mix the cracker crumbs, brown sugar & oats
- stir in butter & mix well
- sprinkle over custard top & bake for another 15 mins
- cool in tin before slicing

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Chocolate Ice Cream with Maraschino Cherries and Oreo Biscuits

Last week hubby & I celebrated our 11th year anniversary. Times files, 11 years of wedded bliss in just an blink of an eye. =) Instead of the usual gifts of jewelry, watches and handbags he got me a ice cream maker! I cannot tell you how happy & excited I was. I just love my cooking toys like men love their gadgets I suppose. I've made ice cream without the ice cream maker before; It takes quite a bit of time and it's less smooth. Now with my new toy not only I can make ice cream like a professional, I can also try making frozen yoghurt, granitas and sorberts! I can try all sorts of flavor and add whatever we fancy! This time I made chocolate ice cream with maraschino cherries and oreo biscuits...all of our favorite things. Fat cheeks loved it so much, we fought for the last spoonful in the tub. =)


Ingredients:
- 4 egg yolks
- 100g castor sugar
- 300ml milk ( I used low fat milk)
- 300ml double cream
- half cup of dark chocolate buttons
- maraschino cherries & oreo biscuits chopped up

Method:
- beat egg yolk & sugar with hand whisk in a heat proof bowl
- bring milk to boil, then pour bit by bit into egg yolk mixture while whisking constantly
- return milk & egg mixture into pot and stir constantly till mixtures thickens and can coat the back of the spoon when spoon is dipped into mixture
- remove from heat & let it cool a little
- add chocolate buttons while mixture is still warm & stir till all buttons are melted
- leave to cool & chill in fridge
- when chilled, add double cream & pour into ice cream maker & allow to freeze until desired consistency
* if making without an ice cream maker, whip double cream till soft peaks form. Fold whipped cream into chilled mixture. Pour into container and freeze in freezer. Bring container out every 3-4hrs to break up ice crystals with a fork. Repeat 3-4 times till you get smooth consistency.


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Jaffa Swiss Roll


It's been a long time since I've made swissroll. Thus far I never seem to be able to get my swissrolls right. Nevertheless, just for the fun of it I decided to give it a try again. And coz I had tons of oranges in my fridge, I added the zest of 1 orange into the batter & filled the swissroll with chocolate. Orange & chocolate never go wrong. =) The recipe I've attempted is from my previous post here. The mixed peel was replaced with 1 orange zest. Doesn't look too bad ya? =)



Saturday, April 2, 2011

Hawaiian Pizza and Pepperoni Pizza

We made these pizzas sometime ago and honestly I can't wait to make them again. I know I know...with all the cheese the fats and calories are astounding but it's sooo very yummy & we had so much fun making them. Daddy claims it's as good as Pizza Hut's ones leh! =) The ingredients I used are very simple and I didn't even buy the pizza sauce. I simply covered the pizza with can tomato paste, then sprinkled dried oregano & basil before piling toppings & cheese. I like thin crust pizza, so I stretched it as thinly as I could. Hawaiian pizza was topped with ham & pineapple chunks while the pepperoni one is topped with pepperoni, onion slices, tomatoes & fresh button mushrooms. Thank you Happy Home Baker for sharing the pizza dough recipe. Please view recipe here.





Saturday, March 19, 2011

Hot Dog Buns and Ham Buns


Buns!! There's nothing like a freshly baked bun; It's nice & crusty outside while soft & fluffy inside. It's been so long since I've baked buns, kneading them sure gave me a good workout. Hubby and Fat cheeks enjoyed the buns much, so I should try baking them more often. The ones baked at home is different from store bought ones. Homemade ones are more substantial, are hardier and more chewy. I like them this way. Yumz. =) The recipe can be found here.