Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Mom's Apple Cake

Morning peeps! Let's do a quick update before I finish some work and make a dash to meet some darlings with Rima! Rima has brought along my new baby as well, yeay!

Before that....I made this cake on Saturday....a traditional Apple Cake I would call it. MIL loved it, but hubs and I thought that we like the version with buttermilk in the batter. Anyway, here's the recipe that I got from the Smitten Kitchen!


Mom’s Apple Cake
6 apples, I used Granny Smith's
1 tablespoon cinnamon
5 tablespoons sugar
2 3/4 cups flour, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
1 cup walnuts, I added


Preheat oven to 170C. I used my spanking brand new Nordic pan, hehe! 


Peel, core and chop apples into chunks. Toss with cinnamon and sugar and set aside.


Stir together flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, orange juice, sugar and vanilla. Mix wet ingredients into the dry ones, then add eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the bowl to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.


Pour half of batter into prepared pan. Spread half of apples over it. Pour the remaining batter over the apples and arrange the remaining apples on top. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours, or until a tester comes out clean.


This is how the top of the cake looked like...no pictures of the sliced cake...it was dark by then, and we finished the cake that night! The cake was nice and all, but I thought it would have been nicer to serve it warm with Creme Anglaise :p

....and here's some photos of 3 of my 6 broods!


Hajar


Muhammad!


Umar!

...and some cakes I made some yesterweek ago!



Pink Rainbow Cake for Sugarpaste Artist I admire, Fadzlina! Must borak with her some more after this! Tqs Ina!


 A Rainbow Cake for Irfan, tqs hot mama Farrah!


Some macarons for Intan, and Doreen!


Doreen also ordered this Victoria Sandwich cake! Tqs Doreen!


Triple Chcocolate Caramel Cake ordered by Shalkina for her daughter's 4th birthday, tq!


Pink Rainbow Cakes for Hanna's birthday do...


...and a Pink Rainbow Cake, too. tqs mama Junita!


I feel in love with him while doing this cake...a Victoria Sandwich Cake for a 16 year old girl who adores Justin Bieber, tqs Sharlyza for this order!

ok, over and out for now, tra! 

Monday, 26 March 2012

Pavlovalova!


Hiya you alls! It's Monday and I was in a meeting from 9 till 1.40 just now! Phew...I didn't even have any time to stop and think about anything.....and no, no lunch for me today. The brunch that I had should be good to last till dinner tonight!

I made this Pavlova on Friday, and served on Saturday after lunch...you know whenever I bake something to fulfill my orders, my kids would always ask if any of the bakes were for them...kesian...and I know they have been wanting this Pavlova for a while!

...and of course, as with every egg whites that I handle, there must be a story behind them! Put it this way...I have this love hate relationship with egg whites, and I knew this from the first day I attempted making macarons. And the story continues when I make Pavlovas, urghhhh!

I remember there was an occasion when I called Sherina at about midnight (knew from twitter that she was still baking!!) to ask her why my meringue nest collapsed...and I had an order to deliver at 9 the next day....and I called her again on Thursday to ask about this "mereng" meringue, haha!

But, I think I got the answers....and some tips which I'd like to share from http://www.whatsforlunchhoney.net/2012/03/black-forest-pavlova-quark-cherries.html#more.....

Here's the recipe that I used on Friday:

Ingredients
4 large egg whites...please use the freshest eggs you can find! Discard when you notice any trace of yolk in your white! Just trust me here, ya!
220g caster sugar
2 tbsp corn flour
1 tsp vinegar
400ml whip cream, abt 30% fat content, hubs didn't like the one with custard
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp icing sugar
abt 400 g berries fruits...the more the merrier for my family!

Method
Preheat oven at 150C. Make sure your bowl is squecky clean without any trases of oil or grease.

At medium speed, slowly whisk egg whites till stiff peak, about 3 minutes. Slowly add sugar, tablespoon by tablespoon, I'd like to work hastily all the time, but nah, not for this....go slow...and whisk for about 30 seconds before you add the next tablespoon of sugar. After you add all the sugar, whisk at medium high for about 4 to 6 minutes till you get a glossy and silky  meringue texture. Scrape down the bowl and add corn flour and vinegar, whisk at medium high for 2 minutes.

Prepare a baking tray with parchment paper, I used an 8 inch cake tin to draw an outline for my template for the meringue nest. Bake for 1 1/2 hours at 120C, once done, leave the Pavlova in the oven to cool.

To top, I whip the whipping cream with icing sugar and vanilla to soft peak and scatter with fruits.

Nope, there were no cracks when the meringue nest was done and the cracks you notice in the picture were due to the pressure when I pushed down the fruits, haha!

...and the interior of the Pavlova...just like how I wanted, moist masrhmellow-y....the whole Pavlova was gone in one sitting, what do you expect from 6 kids digging in into such a lovely light beryylicous Pavlova, hehe!

Tra...and have a productive and healthy week!


Friday, 23 March 2012

New Opportunities!


Pink Ruffle Hantaran Cake for Myza....I got her date mixed up, and so as not to disappoint her and myself, the cake was sent after solat Suboh before the function that was at 10 am!. Tqs Myza!

......it's time that I break some news! I have been saying lately that I have a few new opportunities coming my way, and this is one of them.... From April until the next six months I will be seconded to the Company's Group Legal team. 

When first asked by my boss if I wanted to go, I had mixed feelings...I loved doing what I'm doing at work...and I also love my baking hideout at nights! But I knew if I took this opportunity, I might not be able to oblige my orders, or even my leisurely baking...work is your life at the Group level! But then, if I didn't take this opportunity, I do not know when such opportunity would come again!  


A cake as a gift for her in laws, tqs Sazlinda for this order! And tqs for reading my blog!

....so, with much sadness I wish to say that I will not be taking any orders from April onwards, I will oblige those orders that I have already confirmed. If I could I would be taking orders again, but let me first plunge into this new life, new routine, I couldn't imagine how I would be if I couldn't bake, hehe!

...hmmm...some news to chew over the weekend....I will be going for a Roses Class with Anissa this Sunday and a photography workshop next weekend....but uncertainties of what I would do next in terms of my career...I'll cross the bridge when I got there! Happy weekend you alls :p  

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Toffee Date Pudding with Vanilla Ice-cream

....okay, done with drafting one agreement, I need to see the world! Haha!

I made this delicious dessert last Sunday. I made it once, but was not to my liking! I had this recently at Bens  (the proprietors used to own Delicious chains of restaurants), and couldn't thinking about it. Truth is I love dates and I love cakes with dates in them!

This recipe that I got from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes book, was a quick one to do!...and the Toffee Butterscotch Glaze...my my...I wish I could just slurp them! Will use them in Apple Cake topping soon!


Ingredients
Date Pudding
1/2 cup butter, soft I used salted butter
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup brandy, I omitted
8 oz plump moist dates such Medjool, half and pitted, I used Maryami??
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1 cup packed dark brown sugar, I used the local gula merah
2 large eggs at room temperature

Method
Preheat oven at 170C, I didn't use muffin cups, instead i used a square casserole 8x8 inches(should have used 10x10). Boil dates in water till soft, let cool and puree in a food processor.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Beat sugar and butter till light, fluffy and pale. I used my wooden ladle! 
Add eggs one at a time. Add flour in three batches, alternating with two additions of sate puree. Bake for about 30 minutes....and smell the brown sugar date aroma linger in the entire corners of your house...mmmm

Toffee Butterscotch Glaze
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup packed brown sugar
4 tbsp unsalted butter, soft
1/4 brandy, I omitted
1/4 tsp salt

Bring cream, brown sugar and butter to boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cook 3 minutes, add salt and cook about 1 minute more.

You know waht? Contrary to what I thought, the pudding was not sweet at all, and to serve it warm with ice-cream just made my Sunday afternoon complete!

*************************************


....for the CEO...


....for the meeting...


....for the meeting...tqs Ely for the very encouraging promotion of  The Kitchen Guardian, hehe!


Hantaran Macarons for Khadijah's teacher....the least I can repay her!


Hantaran macarons for Zana! Tq!




I made some 16 dozens macarons, tqs Aina, Roha, Salbiah, Izalina, Intan, Alisha!


Devil's Food Chocolate Cake wt Cream Cheese, Choc Ganache and Strawberries, tqs Aina for all this orders!


A Hummingbird Cake, tqs Moriani...

...and a Pavlova for Bella! 

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

She Did It!


Alhamdulillah, she did it! Khadijah didn't get straight As for her SPM (Malayisan equivalent of O Levels examinations), but scored 8 As! And the other four subjects she had Bs!...and we are all so proud of her!



Her best friends also did very well! Most scored all As! For Khadijah, she will continue her A Levels which she had started since January based on trial results, in Taylors College. For me, I'll scout for a scholarship.... Khadijah wished to further her studies in the UK, we have set aside some funds for that, but a scholarship would definitely help! 

...it was business as usual for Khadijah after she got her results,.....back to college! And me back to my day job...and baking that will resume tonight....some people suggested that I should reduce my baking and concentrate with my kids. But, "berat mata memandang, berat lagi bahu memikul"...only I know why I'm doing what I'm doing....yup, with my kids, I just let them do what they wish to do, I don't sit down with them to see them with their homeworks......but, I feel a mom's presence at home as very crucial! My mom didn't had much education, only up to primary school...but I had her morale support, and she ensures that there was always a meal on the table, and she never guided us with our homework! We are all now successful, in our own ways!...of course, with my kids I wish I could do more!

So.....Yusof would be doing his British O Levels next year, he's doing much better with homeschooling...We just have to work harder to pay his tuition fees. And we aspire to send Ibraheem and Umar to MRSM that does the British GSE program in the next few years. At the moment they are attending this integrated Islamic school called ADNI!


...anyway, I gotta run back to my documents! I have not uploaded any pictures of my orders, but I can't thank enough of your support! Enough said, let's strive and slog for our children! Tra for now!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Sicilian Orange Cake

....and my new Nordic pans hehe! Yup, a cake that you can whip in 15 minutes and bake in half an hour!


Mak came over two weekends ago with Anis. It was a Saturday, we had lunch, and Mak had herusual nap afterwards....later, I got a text message from Shida Diarimama that my pans have arrived!

Yeay! I ordered them in December from Amazon, but shipped here by one of Shida's friend who lives in there! When Mak saw this, she immediately asked me to make some Orange Cakes! I knew she would ask for her cakes, so, on the way home from Shida's house I got some oranges....


Ingredients
250g butter, soft
250g caster sugar
4 medium eggs
250g self raising flour
1 1/2 tsp orange zest
85ml orange juice
1 tsp vanilla, I added

Method
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy ( I did this with orange zest and vanilla). Add eggs one by one, and continue mixing, I used my wooden ladle. Add sifted self raising flour in 3 additions, fold just to incorporate. Last incorporate orange juice.

Bake in a preheated oven at 170C for about 30 minutes to 40 minutes.


I love the texture of this cake when baked in this pans. They didn't stick at all on the pans, and were golden all over.....nice, very very nice!:p 


The Weekend That Was!

...I couldn't even describe how last week was, busy was an understatement! But thank God, I managed to pull through...was catching a cold on Saturday, but after I popped one Clarinase, and downed loads of water, I bounced back!

...and talking about orders, all except for one were collected on Saturday! Pheww...and I dropped off with pleasure this cake and finally came face to face with a baker (I wouldn't consider her as a junior)who makes Macarons the Italian Meringue way for orders....whom I have great respect....Farhannah , a Psychology student who bakes and takes orders. It was like "drama Hindustan" where and when we met...you must imagine this, I was waiting at a bus stop in Kelana Jaya LRT and as Farhannah was walking hastily towards me, I was doing the same! She just got back from college activities...I was going to a nephew's birthday do! Farhannah ordered a Red Velvet cake for her brother's birthday...her brother is Khadijah, my eldest daughter's age, so, really Farhannah is fit to call me aunty, haha!...anyway, next time we met we will exchange our macarons:p



...Farhannah and me, picture taken using my BB....

That was Saturday. Yesterday I made this for lunch.....


Pan Grilled Kembung (Mackerel)
Clean and wash 2 kembungs and drain. Pound fresh turmeric, about 2 inches with some salt. Coat the fishes with turmeric and salt and 2 tablespoon blended chili.Grill on a non-stick pan with 2 tbsp oil. Serve with Sambal Kicap....sedaap!



....I made a quick dash to Pasar Taman TTDI yesterday, and got myself some Pucuk Paku, Terung Pipit, Pisang Muda, Basil Leaves...and made this..

Masak Lemak Pucu Paku With Terung Pipit
Take the young shoots and leaves from Pucuk Paku, wash and drain. Smash the Terung Pipit with a pestle, set aside. Pound some cili padi, 2 cloves garlic and fresh turmeric, about 2 inches with salt. Add this to a cup of coconut milk in a medium pot. on medium fire cook this with Pucuk Paku and Terung all at one go. One it stared to simmer just about to boil, turn off heat.

I also made Assam Pedas Ikan Kurau yesterday, and fried salted kembong.......it was a complete ala kampung kunch yesterday...until I made Toffee Date Pudding for dessert and tea later, hehe! Awesome!


...and here's the Red Velvet cake I made for Farhannah, no fancy shmancy decoration, just me and my Red Velvet cake! Tqs a lot Farhannah for this order and most of all for the opportunity to meet you, weeeee!

#ps, the recipes are no brainers, but I think they will make you tick :p



Friday, 16 March 2012

Hi!



....what I made last night!The second of this ruffle flower cakes I made! First made this last Friday in hues of pink and mauve! Tq  Sazlinda for this order!

I have been darn busy, I couldn't even downloand pictures or compose a short post...just be patient...

I am working on this, work and some other new opportunities...call me crazy, but think that's the power of subconscious mind or what I call "doa"....I wanted to do new things and venture into uncharted territories, they are here...wait...I'll tell you more later :p

Tra , xoxo for now!
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Monday, 12 March 2012

Macaron Day


Hi beautiful"Mac" people! I have been away from MacTweet challenge for quite sometime due to work commitments and orders...but I wouldn't want to miss this challenge..http://mactweets.blogspot.com/2012/02/mac-attack-27-macaron-day.html . Yeay!!

To me this month's challenge is very special! I learnt and improved my macaron making so much after I started following Mactweet...bravo!...so for this special occasion, I have created last weekend the macaron flavours that I consider as my classics!

...hence, I made Vanilla Bean, Hazelnut with Nutella Ganache, Pistachio with Lemon White Choc Ganache, David Lebovit's Double Choc and Illy Coffee and Caramel Buttercream macarons. To me David Lebovit's Choc Macaron recipe is simply the best! ...and I have been using Jill's Macaron recipes for my macarons, by tweaking here and there, tqs a million Jill!

...and tqs so much Jamie and Deeba for having this blog for all of us to meet and learn and thing a two about macaron making:p





Thursday, 8 March 2012

Confetti Cake and Pulut Sambal

Hi! How are you? I have been busy, never been this busy before!And, I'm sorry I had not been able to reply to your comments. Someone asked where I got Valrhona cocoa powder in KL. My answer would be to ask Gourmandines...I know there is an importer, but he only sells to hotels....he didn't want to layan me!

Anyway...I still have some emails I have not replied, I will....by this weekend ya!

I made this Confetti Cake last Sunday. It is another white cake recipe, as in a cake that uses egg whites only. And, for Rainbow Cakes people usually use a White Cake recipe...don't know about the rest, but, yup, I do....and I like Dorie's White Cake recipe for my Rainbow Cakes!

...but, for this cake, instead of dividing the batter into several colours, the batter consist of jimmies....you know that colourful hundreds and thousands look alike!...and , here's the recipe which I got from Sweetapolita's blog.....




Ingredients
1 cup whole milk (237 mL), at room temperature
6 large egg whites (180 grams), at room temperature
2 teaspoons (10 mL) pure vanilla extract 
1/4 teaspoon (1.25 mL) almond extract, I omitted
2 3/4 cups (315 g) cake flour, sifted
1 1/2 cups sugar (300 grams)
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder (19.5 grams)
3/4 teaspoon salt (5 grams)
12 tablespoons (6 ounces/170 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into cubes
~1/2 cup rainbow jimmies
Method
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease, line with parchment, and flour two round 8-inch pans.
2. In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine and stir the egg whites, 1/4 cup of milk, vanilla and the almond extract. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients, including the sugar, together on low speed (I use the “stir” setting on my mixer) for 30 seconds.
4. Add the butter and blend on low speed for about 30 seconds, then add remaining 3/4 cup of milk, and mix on low speed until just moistened. Increase to medium speed and mix for 1 1/2 minutes.
5. Scrape the sides of the bowl and begin to add the egg/milk mixture in 3 separate batches; beat on medium speed for 20 seconds after each addition. Gently stir in the rainbow jimmies, until just combined.
6. Divide the batter in two, spreading it evenly with a small offset palette knife. If you have a kitchen scale, weigh the batter in the pans to ensure 2 even layers.
7. Bake 25-35 minutes or until a cake tester comes clean when inserted into the center. Be so careful to not overbake. Check cake at 20 minutes, but not before, and once you feel it’s almost ready, set the timer for 2 minute intervals. Let cool on racks for 10 minutes before loosening the sides with a small metal spatula, and invert onto greased wire racks. Gently turn cakes back up, so the tops are up and cool completely.
8. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature for up to 2 days, refrigerator for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 2 months. Best eaten the same day as baked.
*Adapted from Classic White Cake recipe on Baking Bites and Rose Levy Beranbaum’s White Velvet Cake. Thank you Sweetapolita for this recipe.

I topped this cake with a classic Vanilla Buttercream which I added with a dash of whip cream, yahoo! 



...to be honest, I'm not really a white cake person, except for Dorie's...but, I love this one! And so does the children and hubs! Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

Here are the bakes I made last week!




Macarons and Cupcakes for Engagement Hantaran, there was one new Macaron Flavor, Raspberry and Lychee in Cream Cheese and the sugarpaste flowers were made by moi! Thank you Arasy!


Also another Hantaran, ordered by Zira..... 



...who ordered 5 dozens more for makan-makan, tqs Zira!



I made this for Aini, my Corporate Finance colleague for her nephew's engagement. Tqs Aini!


A Red Velvet Cake for Haziq, from momma Leha...Haziq loves Chelsea FC, hence the blue pearl dragees!


A half recipe of Devil's Food Choc Cake Recipe with Berries for daddy, ordered by Farrah. Tqs Farrah!


Some more Macarons for Alisha and Najmi, tqvm! Waiting for your next orders!


...and my first attempt at cooking pulut...glutinous rice or sticky rice. I love, love this! Made this for breakfast on Sunday.....wash and soak sticky rice overnight, drain water. Preaheat your steamer, steam sticky rice for about half an hour (I added pandan or screwpine leaves), then add about a cup of coconut milk (for 300g sticky rice), pinch of salt, steam for another half hour. Both Muhammad and moi had a hearty breakfast last Sunday! I made Sambal Bilis to go with it.....ahh, this reminds me of my grandma who used to make this for us when we were kiddies!


...and here's Hajar in her solat attire....she's been asking for this, which I got from this particular shop in TTDI market!

Okay, I'll catch up with you later, take care and be healthy!xox


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