Monday, 30 May 2011

Happiness Is Making Others Happy!

Classic Butter Cake with Vanilla Buttercream, thank you Suhaila
Coconut Macaron, Salted Caramel and Pistachio Macarons, tq Aida, Fadzrain, Tini, Wani in Penang (tqs Stefan for delivering this to Penang!).  
Pink Velvet Cake and Starwberry Shrtbread Tarts with Starwberry Toffee Drizzle, thank you Yong
Devils's Food Choc Cake with Choc Ganache, Cream Cheese and Starwberries, thank you Norizan.
 Victoria Sandwich Cake wrapped in homemade fondant, a hantaran cake, thank you Id, thank you Herta!
Am mesmerised by this!
200 Pink Velvet cuppies, thank you Yong!
Red Velvet Cake, tq Amy!
Red Velvet cuppies, thank you Dena!
 Thank you Id, thank you Herta!
Think I lost 2 kgs doing this.....thank you Yong! Almond Macarons with Chcocolate Orange Ganache and Peanut Butter and Jelly fillings. Need to improve my work on this in future...wait up!

You know, it is still madness in my kitchen this week...tired, yes, dont want to know, my hands...even Burts Bees Hand Repair Cream is not doing justice now....but most of all I must say that am extremely happy because you all beautiful peeps are happy because of all the above...thank you for your support pple...muahs!!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Devil's Food Chocolate Cake Slice and SHbredow.....

Hi! Remember in the previous post that this week was going to be a storm...indeed...literally it rained cats and dogs over the weekend and I had to prepare large orders of macarons! It was hell!And, I think where I live that is almost at the collar of Banjaran Titiwangsa, the lush greenery surrounding my house helped contribute to extra moist...hence, from any batch of macarons, there were cracked ones...grrr....anyway...we'll wait and see the outcome of that all ya!

Here, I wanted to talk a little about the Devil's Food Chocolate Cake (and not Devil's Cake...please!Like some people call this cake!) and my colleague, our intern who came all the way from Hamburg, I call SHbredow!

SHbredow, or Stefan will complete his internship with our division next week...he was to learn and familiarise himself with all he legalities knowledge in technology, telco and media (his chosen core).Instead, I think he got more than that...he could go home and start a food journal, a food blog of somesort, hehe.....we the legal eagles just love love to eat! And, thank god for Stefan, he has a natural penchant and is very adventurous with food! Think we got him to taste all the delicacies that one considers a must while in Malaysia! And...SHbredow in return, and while his boss came visiting got me some good ...err excellent chocolate from thinking of ways and means to slowly consume them to last till the time hubs and I visit the Eastern Europe!

So....I decided to make this me a classic, but to some people here another chocolate moist cake or a Devil Cake....well...even if you wish to plagiarise, name the cake correctly, please!

This cake is an all time favourite amongst those lovely people who orders from me, it is a best seller! And, due to overwhelming requests, I'm putting the recipe again! I got this recipe from Shelly Kaldunski book on Cupcakes. Shelly is a freelance food stylist and a baking and pastry consultant in California and is a food consultant with Martha  Stewart, please please give all the credits to her!
....and so, here goes Devil's Food Chocolate Cake....
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup granulated sgar
1/2 cup brown sugar...thank god for this! i love brown sugar!
4 tbsp butter
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1/4 cup buttermilk
1.Warm your oven at 160C, prepare your baking tin...I decided to double this recipe and bake in a 9x12 inches tray and slice the cake!
2.Sift flour,cocoa powder, salt, bicarbonate soda in a bowl.
3.Whisk butter and sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy, add egg and vanilla and beat until combined.
4.Add the flour mixture in 3 additions alternating with water and buttermilk, beating on low speed until just combined. Pour in cake tin.
5.Bake for about 35 minutes. Serve with Chocolate Ganache.
I got 24 slices from this tray...brought 16 slices to my office, and the rest were left at home...SHbredow smiled from ear to ear when he got the cakes....and now that the volcanoes are erupting again in Europe, he's thinking that this would be his good excuse to overstay...haha, his visa is expiring on 31st May! Well, Bredow, bring your girlfriend and be our neighbours :p!

Friday, 20 May 2011

Snickers' Macarons?!

I was wondering what to leave you peeps for the weekend...I have been busy this week, and has not been able to attempt any new, maybe you can make this macarons!

I made this using the one egg white macaron recipe. Think the original recipe came from Jill Colonna's book, which I have divided and meddled as usual, hehe.... and because the theme for Mactweet's mac-attack-19-ballpark-snacks , was all about a ball game...I thought of adding Kacang Tumbuk (as I call it, Roasted Peanuts combined with caramel and crushed and made into small cubes) into the batter (I added 1 teaspoon into the almond icing sugar mix), sprinkled on the shells and added also in the chocolate ganache and a dollop of Italian meringue buttercream. Kacang Tumbuk is a type of peanut titbit that you usually find from any corner shop or any grocery shops here or particularly the Chineses grocery shops overseas....and the best part, I didn't think that it would turn out to taste like eating a Snicker bar! I haven't been to any ballgame, by the way!

I used  fresh egg white and the French meringue method to make this macaron, think they are more authentic, but very finicky! Hubs loved this macarons, and prefers macarons using the French meringue compared to the Italian meringue method!'s my version of Snickers' Macarons for MacTweet No. 19!
Instead of colouring the shell, I decided to create a marble effect!
The Kacang Tumbuk (crushed peanuts) are wrapped in paper like this!
Have a productive weekend peeps...I will!Keep well!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Tenggiri Fishball Soup

People always ask how I find time to cook...the truth is that the recipes that I chose are super simple and easy to make....a no brainer (to me) as I call it...I haven't the luxury of time, I have six children and I haven't a helper either...but then, good food is homecooked food, right! about this fishball soup....well, they weren't really round to call fishball, but yeah, that's what they were meant to be! I had made them last Saturday for lunch, besides my usual Gulai (Curry) Ikan Merah (Red Snapper)!
These were the ingredients......

Tenggiri fillet, about 350g, minced in a food processor...or like I did, using my batu lesung (motar and pestle)
1 inch ginger, pound with fish
1 inch ginger, 2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
2 small tomatoes...I have them in almost all my meals...they are flavour enhancers
1 medium potato skinned, and cubed
1 medium onion, coarsely sliced
about 10 dried anchovies, also a flavour enhancer
a sprinkling of black pepper powder
1 tbsp cooking oil
Heat oil in a medium saucepan...err I am still using the Visionwares that I got from my uni days! Sautee garlic and ginger until, fragrant, add the dried anchovies. When golden, add in 2 cups of water, let simmer, add potatoes. When potatoes are about 80% cooked, make balls from the minced fish and add to the simmering soup. Add tomatoes, onion, a dash of black pepper and salt to taste.

After that...ENJOY, ENJOY, ENJOY...with a bowl of steaming hot rice...mmmmmm..... 

PS: You know it was Teacher's day and the one person that have left out whom I should be thankful to have is my sugarpaste teacher...Wiz! TQVM...muahs! 

Monday, 16 May 2011

Happy Teacher's Day!

Blogger went hiatus last week, I couldn't sign in, and hence, I wasn't able to update my blog! It was alright on Saturday, I think, but I was busy with my baking and a bit of cooking, so I wasn't able to put any new updates. And today, while many people take the opportunity to stretch their weekend and take today off, because tomorrow is a public holiday, I'm in the office...but guess what, my LAN line is off, and the mains toi my notebook is also off....I have about 30% power left...might as well update my blog, oh yeah! is Teacher's Day....brought me to the days when I used to be very talkative in class, and was always made to stand up as punishments....Zura, I'm sure you remember this! I did that a lot in primary school, was better in secondary school as I was a school prefect! But, I resumed my "behaviour" when I went to a borading school...this time, I loved to sleep in the class or read a story was my Mills & Boons time then, haha! I can still remember my Modern Maths teacher banging on my desk ...errr I dozed off you see...and he said, "Muka Saja Pandai, Tiap-tiap Hari Tidor!" (read: intelligent looks but sleeping every day!)...ahh, he is soo funny, and yes I got the same result for Modern Maths and Add Maths, when I think I should do better in Modren Maths, right!

And then there was Sister she's a tigress who taught Commerce when I was in St Nicholas Convent...a true nun! I need not say more!...and then there was Pn Raskinah, our Alevel's English teacher, I knew she wore "crossed' bra...well, even the boys noticed that, it was so evident from her daily attires! I confirmed that when I first set foot in Marks & Spencer in Oxford Street....there were such a bra, ha ha...and who can forget Madam Wong our Applied Maths lecturer during was during this time that I really enjoyed learning...ooops.... a bit late ain't it! Yeah, I loved my Alevels' subjects: Economics, Accounting and Maths....

And, with a string of credible results I flew to Aberystwyth....the oh so conducive place to just relax and have an ice cream while strolling on the beach! My "teacher" then, was Prof John Andrews who was the Head of the Legal department who also lectured Criminal Law, Company Law and English Legal System...he was also my mentor! Of course I will always remember the day before I started my final year, when I was summoned to see him....his advice "Yani, you are a goverment scholar, please go home with Aces"....well...I did! I actually became a good girl and pulled my socks and studied and came back  with an honours degree...phewww!

Life goes life now is my teacher! I learn so much from my daily take ins....I have met great people whom I look up to, who are my mentors now...I don't have to name them...and of course, I have become more sensible and I read now...I mean I read real more Mills & Boons...the authors are the likes Peter Druckers, John Maxwell, and I so love Richard Branson's lifes I ramble more and my battery is at critical now...Happy Teacher's Day to all my teachers, I wouldn't be here had you not been there for me!

Here are the bakes and cakes of  last week...
Red Velvet Cake and Cuppies...thank you Hezzie, BJ!
Nizzar's Ultraman Cake...Double Choc Cake with Choc Ganache, tqs BJ! 
Macarons (Orange with Lemon Curd, Rose with Raspberry, Hazelnut with Chcocolate..all using Italian Meringue Buttercream, shells were using French Meringue!) and a Marble Nutella Cake, thank you Ann!
Pink Velvet Cake (Hubs' current favourite) and a hundred of them cuppies for the Principal! tqs Emylia! 
Aisyah and her macarons! Probably the last batch before I convert to Italian Meringue...Thank you Aisyah! 
Chocolate Macarons with Chocolate Ganache using Valrhona cocoa, tqs Ain!
Double Choc Cake with Choc Ganache, thank you Farah!

Have a productive week, peeps! Am having a rather quiet week this week, but am preparing for a storm next week :D

Monday, 9 May 2011

Be Bold, Be Different, Be Pink....Pink Velvet Cake

...and so it was Mother's Day and my Birthday yesterday! Of course I didn't plan for any birthday celebrations except that I wanted to make this cake and make some macarons! However, it was a very merry weekend and my FIL and BIL and my parents and Kay and hubby turned up to join the modest celebration, somewhat...with us! Great!!

I woke up on Sunday morning very early (as usual) to finish a cake and ice my Pink Velvet Cake! Yes, Pink Velvet cake and filled my Dusky Pink Italian Meringue Macarons! I made Nasi Lemak (Rice cooked in coconut milk using Basmathi rice) and Sambal Bilis (anchovies cooked in chilli paste).

We, including FIL and Khairul (Ib's bestie) finished almost the entire pot of rice! Hubs took the children to swim, while I cleaned up, bathed and send some cake and macarons to Zira! Later....we went to Porto Romano for some pasta and pizzas, before my mak and ayah and Kay and her hubs came to join for tea....and guess what was for tea!?? Ubi Rebus with Sambal Bilis and Mangoes from Vietnam (Yeop brought them from his recent trip) and fresh Nangka (Jackfruit) from Kay's home! Nothing was left when everyone left except a few slices of the cake and some macarons!

And today I'm on leave, Aunty Roopa has taken leave to bring her mom to the, I'm left with the kiddos, did some more cleaning up, made some macarons for Mactweet, prepared dinner and am making Gina's Steamed Fruit Cake and reply emails when this little ones took their naps! Of course am watching a DVD as well later, of those rare occasion where I got to veg up on the bed with the little ones and do nothing!'s Pink Velvet Cake....recipe from Australian Women's Weekly April 2011! 
125g butter, at room temperature
330g caster sugar
2 eggs
225g plain flour
2 tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
250ml buttermilk
1 tbsp rose pink food colouring, I used 1 tsp and added a bit of gel colour
1 tsp distilled vinegar
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
50g dessicated coconut for frosting
1.Preheat oven at 170Celcius. Grease two 22cm round cake tins.
2.Beat butter, vanilla, sugar and eggs until light and fluffy.
3.Stir in sifted flours, cocoa and the combined buttermilk and food colouring, in two batches.
4.Combine vinegar and bicarbonate soda and let it fizz, and then fold in the cake mixture.
5.Divide the mixture into two pans, and bake for about 35 minutes.

Mascarpone Frosting
250g cream cheese
160g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g mascarpone cheese
300ml thickened cream

Beat cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, sugar and vanilla until well combined, then, beat in the cream.

Well! I made my ordinary cream cheese topping using philly cheese and later coated the cake with dessicated coconut and sprinkle with some silver dragees on the cake, hehe...I used whatever there were at home!
I also made this macarons using the Italian meringue method...I just can't get enough of the smooth texture...and I must say that the taste is contrary to what I have thought! The sweetness is bearable and I love love the crunchiness of the outer shell...of course, the inner part is still chewy and soft....mmmm....totally enjoyed them with Italian Meringue Buttercream and drops of Three Berry Jam that MIL brought from her December trip to NZ!The smooth shell made me felt like a pro macaron maker, hehe!
And guess what? Wiz appeared on late Saturday evening to deliver this gorgeous cake with a lippy....tqvm Whiz! Hubby gave a new ring, hehe with a sheepish smile I said thank you! and my sister gave me this key chain that has sisterly notes...I am blessed! Can't thank God enough for this lovely people around....and of coourse.....we had this late lunch yesterday! 
Hubs wanted to bring us all to Delicious, but it was fully booked! But Porto Romano......we just love all the pasta and pizza spread there! And FIL had Seafood Paella...sedaaap!Never had paella ever since I returned home from UK...

So! Let's pray for a long life for another Mother's day and Birthday next year:p 

Friday, 6 May 2011

Strawberry Shortbread Tart With Strawberry Toffee Drizzle

Hmmmm...some time last month, I have been approched to show how to make fruit tarts! Me!? Moi!???...hehe...the last time I had attempted to make fruit tarts were about several moons ago...but I obliged the requests of Aina, last Saturday!

I had browsed Dorie's recipe for almost all purposes shortcrust pastry, but I have decided to stick to this one! It is super easy to prepare and the pastry just crumbles in your mouth, literally!....of course, for the filling I had to tweaked and twisted one or two ways, here and drizzling Strawberry Toffee....which actually was a nice complement and cuts the sweetness and made the tart more tarty....hmmm, waht am I rambling now.....whateava!

So, here goes!
Shortbread Tarts
227g butter, I used Tatura salted
72 g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
210 all purpose flour
30g cornflour
pinch of salt

1.Cream butter and icing sugar until pale. Add vanilla extract, and add sifted all purpose flour and cornflour in 2 or 3 additions. Do not knead (or you'll end up with paratha roti canai dough!) just fold the flours, adding some more corn flour if the dough sticks to your fingers.
2.Then, take a tablespoon scoop of dough and mould into your tart moulds (please make sure that you have greased the moulds first ya!).
3.Bake at 160Celcius for about 20 minutes or until they are golden in colour, let cool, and prepare the filling in the mean time!.

Cream Cheese Filling
250g philly cheese
390g condensed milk...yezza!
80ml lemon juice...I omitted, didn't have any lemons in the kitchen at that time
zest of one lemon

Just blitz cream cheese and condensed milk, and add lemon juice, or vanilla extract like I did!

Sticky Strawberry Toffee Drizzle
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp strawberry jelly, I used St Dalfour's
500g strawberries to top the tarts!

On medium heat, caramelise the sugar until amber colour, turn off heat and add the strawberry jelly, let cool before use., once all the tart casings were cooled, just pipe the cream cheese and top off with strawberries and drizzle served chilled...well, mine didn't get to that stage!
Well! ENJOY ENJOY ENJOY! so looking forwrad to this Mother's Day Sunday, that happens to be my birthday still thinking of what to bake for self, haha! Happy weekend peeps! 

Bakes and Cakes

It was a rather quiet week last week, and am grateful for that.....the next wave is coming sooon, yes! I'll embrace with open hearts and arms! And now, it's time for thank yous!
Victoria Sandwich Cake wrapped in baby pink hued fondant for a wedding Hantaran (gift). Thank you Kak Ana!
Classic Butter Cake Topped with Buttercream for Saturday tea, thank you Kak Inah!
Traffic Stopping Cake ....Red Velvet Cake coated with luxurious Cream Cheese and Red Velvet crumbs...thank you Sherizat and Amy!
Made several dozens of these macarons....Double Choc (using Valrhona Choc buttons and cocoa powder), Red Velvet, Lavender (using organic dried lavender flowers) with Blueberry Curd filling, Green Tea with Raspberry French Pastry Cream filling, and Lady Grey with Salted Caramel French Pastry Cream filling...thank you Zira, Aisyah and friends!

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Tuna Leek With Hazelnut Crust Pie...A Rustic Pie!

I have been wanting to make a savoury pie, but I always find the reasons not to, ...maybe because I have always been intimidated by the steps to make the crust, the base, hehe.... anyway, I couldn't put off any longer, I am waaaaay long overdue to submit my post to an online magazine! And, I thought, this would be a good one!

I was toying with the idea of making pizzas or this...I'll make pizzas later... and for this savoury pie, I have decided to choose a rustic one, one where the base is made of plain flour and hazelnut flour!....and why tuna and leek and not salmon...I got put off by the salmon fishy smell...I only like the orangey crimson colour, hehe.....anyway, I wanted to make something that close to home, one where all the ingredients are within reach, you see!

For the vegetables, I chose leek, probably the best complement for tuna, and onions, and roasted cherry tomatoes...the onions would have been better tasting if I had sauteed them a bit, but...whatever....I just did what I wanted to know me! And....the recipes were from Dorie and ABC's Delicious magazines which I had tweaked and changed here and there!

For The Hazelnut Shortcrust Pastry
60g hazelnut flour
215g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1/2 tsp salt
125g chilled butter, chopped...I used Buttercup that came straight from the fridge...ahah!
3-5 tbsp iced water

For The Filling
1 large egg , and 2 large yolks, lightly beaten
150ml double cream
75g cheddar, I used Goon's Extra Tasty Cheddar
A pinch of cinnamon powder
Sprinklings of black pepper
Salt to taste
Half a stalk of leek, sliced
250g cherry tomatoes, roasted
1 onion diced
1 can of tuna flakes in sunflower oil, Ayam Brand

1.For the pastry, mix the hazelnut flour, plain flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter, rub together using your fingers  until the mixtures resembles crumbs...well, you can use a food processor, but I was lazy to wash mine :p. Poour over the iced water, and using a knife, mix until the batter comes together. Add some more water if necessary, you know when you had to add more water ya! Knead briefly to form a soft dough...and please do not knead this batter, or you'll end up with a roti canai dough....nevermind if there were crumbs not sticking together, just pacth them when you were covering you pie dish (tin). I them rolled lightly on a floured surface (my cleaned kitchen top-lah!) and cover my pie dish! I made two batches, so there were enough for 2, 6 inches pie tins and 1, 9 inches pie dish, voila! Then, wrap them with cling film and chill for about 30 minutes....well, I prepared the filling in the mean time!
2.Preheat oven at 200Celcius.
3.Mix the lightly beaten eggs with double cream in a jug, add salt and pepper and cinnamon powder.
4.When 30 minutes wre up, remove the cling film, and blind-bake the pastries for about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, and when cool, gently remove them from pie tins/dish.
5.Spread the leek, onions, tomatoes, tuna and cheddar cheese on pastry, add spriknlings of black pepper, and pour the egg and double cream mix just enough to cover the fillings....
6.Turn down heat to 180Celcius, bake until golden brown or the filling just set! Serve hot or chilled!

Well! After all that said and done, it wasn't that difficult to make a delicious rustic pie, and it was a great choice that I added hazelnut flour into the pastry as it gave that added umph, had I chosen a pastry with the bland plain flour! All in all it took me about 30 minutes to prepare the pastry and another 40 minutes for me to prepare the filling and, come on you alls, make a hearty healthy rustic pie for your loved ones, cheers! 
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