Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Yang Terbaik Itu Datang Dari Allah

Debbi Brown's Enchanting Magical cake book, bought during Superwomanwannabe's recent visit to UK.Cake stuff that I ordered along with the book, thanks a million Shila!
Cakes as TQs for a dear lecturer, thank you Aisyah!
Harith and Arsenal, thank you Ria for this order!
Carrot cake for a "bag lady", thank you Lina! It's amazing the lovely people you meet in this blogsphere! Thank you Lina for the bag, too!
Barney and friends for a shy boy, thank you Puteri, one of this days we must borak! It was lovely meeting you, another wonderful encounter through this blogsphere!
I can't guarantee that she will maintain her slender figure if she keeps on the trend of ordering weekly! Thank you Idrina!
It has only been a week since I last wrote here, but it seems ages and loads have taken place. At work, at home, my sil, my baking....all pointing towards change and transformation required from me.
I would't want to dwell much about work, suffice to say that I am 'swallowing' all I can, and praying that I have the strength to go on and meet my dateline to retire as planned. As at present it is suffocating!
At home, my eldest girl and boy have been showing their opposite colours that are very bleak and dull. For whatever that they have done whether they did intentionally or not, the actions have definitely reaped apart my heart, no words can describe that. I never thought that I have to go through what I went through, but I'm bracing for more of those. Not that I am asking them to surface, but apparently it is common traits of kids of their age. During that incident I turned to my dear wise Kak Tan, whom apparently went through the same at some point of her teenage life of her daughters....and thank god for quirky fun and sensible friend Sham for lending her ears and wise words....made me reflect upon myself and sum up all in all this challenges have brought me closer to my creator, alhamdulillah.
My baking....I have a presentation to make for some project, am praying that that will materialise, inshaallah.
My sil? Indirectly her doctors have indicated that she is done with her chemotheraphy treatment if her fungal infection and stomach TB (that resurfaced due to chemotheraphy), and that's it! Hence, let's hope that the sickness does not relapse or else??? My husband's and bil's bone marrow didn't match for a transplant, so, if I read between the lines, that is the end of the road of treatment for my sil? She is now recuperating at home.
She was so disturbed last week after the result of the bone marrow not matching that she called me. I had a meeting around the area, so I dropped by to console her...but how do you speak to one about death when you yourself is not prepared for one?
But, at the end of it all, it only shows kebesaran tuhan, and only He knows what is best underlying it all...and for me this week's ordeal left me with more kesedaran keinsafan and more ayat-ayat suci Quran to read.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Work Hard and Play Hard!

6 best girl friends and one bride to be, a miniature cake for bertunang after party! Thank you Idrina for this order !
I loved this bow and the blossoms!
The blossom and the 'disco' glitter, tq Whiz!
Vanilla cuppies for a 7 year old Japanese girl, thank you Faridah for this order!
For a demure lady's hantaran, thank you N! Am so so happy for you, alhamdulillah!
And first time try with 3D book, chocolate fondant and the book measures about 11 in x 8 in. I used my law textbook as a replica when doing this!
Happy Birthday Siti, and thank you for this order Siti!
Moist chocolate cupcakes with fresh strawberries for a young boy's birthday, thank you Maria!
It's only March, and work had started flooding in. With 'transformation' in the mind of my CEO and two of his pet projects this year already on my table, I foresee a very busy year for me! Indeed, last week was the beginning of a work hard and play hard week! With network expansion and other procurement contracts, I left home from work late almost every day last week.
At home, thank God the kids have finished their sports' day and exam won't start until after the short school break. So, it was a case of taking a quick shower, making sure that they have taken their dinner, homework, and I hit my baking tools....except for Monday, my oven and my work top were working every night...I had three novelty cakes orders and the usual cupcake orders. And, alhamdulillah, there were enquiries as well for future orders.....well, you can tell I'm more excited with my baking than my documents....
Might as well! The management had released two MSSses for those who wanted to take up, or rather for those whom they felt are not so relevant to the company anymore. As for me, I wish to be able to voluntarily leave the company in glory (think am in my glorious years now!), without anyone insinuating me to leave. And most probably after this transformation phase, I'd be a bit aged already, I'd better concentrate on other things that I want to achieve in life.....

Enjoy the pics, have a brilliant week...I have to dash for my meetings already!

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Take 5!

Moist Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Fudge for Noni, tq Noni.
KG trying her keras tangan at cars and jalan raya....and the letters....need to practice more. This is for Fariza, one of my strong supporter! Tq Fariza.
This is also for Fariza, due to short notice, the figurines were plastic toys.
It's getting crazy in the office, with datelines after datelines, and my baking too, it's not too bad at all, I can't complain. I know when the going gets tough, the tough gets excited and exhausted all the same...pssstt...I'll reply all comments soonn.....TQ

Have a productive and brialliant week ahead you all!

Monday, 8 March 2010

Not Quite Martha's!

Strawberry Marble Cheesecake!

I had fun and panic doing this yesterday! I had looked for fresh raspberries last week, but to no avail, and I forgot about the frozen ones! Anyway, yesterday as I started taking out my bowls and ingredients, I realised I had strawberry conserve, instead of raspberry! I couldn't turn back or run to get raspberry conserve as the digestive biscuit base were already in the oven, ha ha!! So, strawberry it was!!

And, the verdict after all the running and feeding Muhammad and screaming at Umar and Ibraheem because they wanted to have the cream cheese batter RAW......a velvety smooth tangy cheesecake....akin to The Loaf's Uhu Hu's Strawberry Cheesecake, voila!

Here's the recipe, of course already tweaked by me!

Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake
2 cups finely ground digestive biscuits, Martha's was just 1 cup
6 tablespoon butter, melted, I used salted butter, Martha's was just 3 tbsp
11/2 cups sugar
200 g strawberries, I used 170g strawberry conserve and added 30ml water and blitz in a food processor and pass through a fine sieve
900g cream cheese
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
juice of about half a lemon, Martha's didn't have this

1. Preheat oven to 170C. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners, I used a medium paper liner, no 8. Stir together ground digestive biscuits and melted butter. Press 1 tablespoon crust firmly into the bottom of each lined cup. Bake until set, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

2. Process the strawberry conserve and liquid, pass through a fine sieve. I omitted sugar as I used conserve, otherwise if you are using fresh strawberries, add 2 tablespoons sugar.

3. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat cream cheese until fluffy, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. With mixer on low speed, add 1 1/2 cups sugar in a steady stream, add salt and vanilla until well combined. Add eggs one by one until well incorporated, do not over beat at this point!

4. Spoon 3 tablespoon filling over crust in each cup. Dollop 1/2 teaspoon strawberry puree in a few dots, and using a toothpick, swirl the puree into the filling. Place each tin in a roasting pan, pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come to three quarters of the way up sides of the cups. This is to prevent the cakes from sinking when baked.

5. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes. Carefully remove tins from the water bath and let cool completely and chill in the fridge for at least for hours before removing from the tins. Mine couldn't wait that long, Ibraheem, Umar and moi were waiting anxiously! Altogether I made 32 medium cheesecakes and one 6x6 square casserole cheesecake for the family. The minis were given to friends and neighbours to taste!

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Thank you....

...for these orders... Rozlina, whom had worked with me in Affin those days, but we never met then...
Yusni of Bukit Antarabangsa....
Jalal at Menara....
Farrish, my adik, my colleague.....
Idrina, latest addition to our team!

Terimakasih daun keladi, lain kali order lagi!

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Banana Bread or Simply Kek Pisang!

Being a kampung girl, I love love bananas...pisang, especially Pisang Emas! So, last Saturday, during my usual trip to the Pasar Tani I got hold of some Pisang Emas. The initial plan was to use the bananas for Banoffee Pie that I wanted to try using a recipe from a new dessert book that I bought in December. But, I was too busy ferrying my kids as hubby went back to Ayer Baloi to settle his chores there, and the bananas turned very ripe!

So, I turned to my Domestic Goddess book by Madam Nigella and bake this wonderful and moist Banana Bread, or orang kita panggil Kek Pisang. It is so, so easy to make, I got mine baked from scratch that only took 1 1/2 hours! So, I don't take any excuses from you all, okay! And, the Kek Pisang has become my breakfast for yesterday and today....with the moist and nutty texture from the bananas and walnuts, it's the best companion for my lonely hot black Nescafe in the morning.....mmmm....

Banana Bread
100g sultana, I omitted, there weren't any in my kitchen at the point of baking
75 ml bourbon or dark rum, am a Muslim, I don't take alcohol
175g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
1/2 tsp salt
125g unsalted butter, I used salted butter and added salt on top, lebih lemak!
150g sugar, I used 120g, I figured the Pisang Emas was very sweet already
2 large eggs
bananas, about 300g without skin, I used 450g Pisang Emas
60g chopped walnuts, I should have used 80g
1 tsp vanilla extract
23x13x7 loaf tin

1. Preheat the oven to 170C.
2. Sift flour, bicarbonate soda, baking powder and salt, set aside.
3. Mash bananas, chop walnuts, all set aside.
4. Melt butter in a heavy pan, but please don't boil the melted butter! Pour into a large bowl. Add sugar to the melted butter, mix until well incorporated. Add in eggs one at a time. Add in the walnuts, bananas and raisins.
5. Fold in the flour, bicarbonate soda, baking powder and salt mixture in three batches. Mix well and pour into baking pan.
6. Bake for about 45 mins to an hour, I baked mine in 45 mins and had a skewer inserted came out from the cake with a bit of moist. Let cool, and it tasted better when served the next day!

For those chocolate lovers, you can omit 60g of flour from the batter and replace with cocoa powder and 100g chopped dark chocolate or dark chocolate chips....which makes chocolate banana cake, yummeh!!

Monday, 1 March 2010

Hello everyone!

Bride and groom!

Assalamualaikum and hello everyone! Kitchen Guardian is back on the roll...well, almost! I have done a lot of thinking and reading and started baking, so, inshaallah am ready to brace any hiccups! Thank you to all of you readers and friends for your endless support...

The bride and groom was a result from my tutorial with the fabulous Mamamin! I have always wanted to do this, so, any takers for a bride and groom cake toppers!? Think I will have more private sessions with her in the future or time and financial permits with her gurus...Peggy Porschen, Debby Brown and Alan Dunn!
And, here's Tiramisu that I made using the recipe from my cooking and baking guru Saf. I have always loved Tiramisu, the only setback if I were to purchase outside is that it is sometimes contain alcohol (which of course I will pass) and the cheese is too overpowering! I learnt this when I was pregnant with Muhammad, and since it uses raw eggs I didn't attempt until lately. But, for these, I used pasteurised eggs, so, I had no worries when giving my children...Hajar called this ice-cream!

It's very easy to make, except that you need an electric mixer to beat the yolk and egg white.

Tiramisu (recipe fiddled by me between Safura's and David Lebovitz's)
400 g lady fingers
350g mascarpone cheese
3 eggs separated, I used pasteurised eggs
pinch of salt
5 tablespoon sugar
400 ml espresso, I used strong Nescafe
cocoa powder, I used Herscheys

1. Mix together the Nescafe with warm water, set aside.
2. Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form, beat in half the sugar until stiff and glossy.
3. Beat the yolks with sugar until pale and fluffy. Using a spatula or whisk beat in the mascarpone cheese until lump free.
4. Fold in the beaten egg whites, then the remaining half just until fully incorporated, do not beat or the egg whites will deflate.
5. Prepare a casserole bowl, start layering the egg cheese mixture and the soaked lady fingers. 6. I began with a layer of egg cheese mixture, then the lady fingers. (I dipped the lady fingers in the Nescafe mix just to get them saturated, any longer or you will get a mushy lady finger!) Then, I dusted with cocoa powder (this is not in the recipe), and continue layering until all is done.
7. Chill for at least four hours, better still overnight.
8. Before serving shake cocoa powder generously on top and serve with chocolate shavings (I didn't!).

Give it a go friends, and indulge...mmm...I love love Tiramisu!!
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