Wednesday, December 7, 2011

upset :(

am really upset... by so many many things...

i made some cupcakes end-oct and happily, i thought i will be the first few to submit my entries for AB, but i totally missed it!!!

was admitted to hospital for a good 8 days from 9 - 16 Nov, so there goes (almost) 2 weeks of chance of posting my bakes... afterwhich, it was a crazy catch up period for work, meeting with a 'lost and found' sec school friend, preparing X'mas present etc... and during my medical leave on the last 2 days of Nov (was planning to do my post then) had to rush to the hospital with my dad and sis who was about to give birth! what an exciting month i had right?

i am drafting this post from office right now.. coz i am totally moodless (is there such a word?) to work... upset over work, over colleagues who are forever not understanding, and the list goes on... for the first time in my 20+ months into this job, i had the sudden thought to just quit and leave! but my current situation does not permit so...

anyway, just to share the cupcakes i made... made these for dear's birthday as a surprise, but was kinda dissapointed with the response i had from him (i am just to lazy to write about it).... recipe, please see the post before this...

all the cupcake toppers were made by yours truly (except for the '33' candle which i got from Daiso)... printed them in color, cut them out and sort of laminated them... but all were of course thrown away after the cakes were shared by dear and his colleagues...i also made them a tad bigger using some pretty cupcake liners for a few friends...

just when my mood starts to get a bit better, i hear thunder rumbling and the coldness of the office starting to set in... sigh... what a day...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

my baking diary #39 red velvet cupcakes and pandan chiffon

nope, this is not the surprise i mentioned in my earlier post, but a step to it.. haha... think it should be up in my next post...

it was a public holiday, and i din go out with dear coz he was busy preparing for his exam... so whatelse to do when i have a whole day at home, other than to bake!! i pre-empt my mum on my baking since last sunday, and was glad she din nag at me... afterall, i am back at work, and my health is alot better :) except for this wound on my knee coz clumsy me had a fall when alighting from the bus... hate to have injuries on my knees, elbows etc coz these areas usually have a lot of movement i.e. the bending, straightening etc... and coz my immunity level is lower than usual, it seems to take a longer time to heal...

anyways, i was glad i get to satisfy my baking urge! haha....

i like the chocolate and vanilla cupcakes i learnt from my previous baking class.. but want to expand more varieties to it, and hence, my attempt on red velvet cupcakes... i got the red velvet cake recipe from Norms I Must, coz i saw Cathy trying it as well...

end result? i like it! though i only took a small bite.. but my mum and colleagues said the cakes taste good... so must be good! haha... coz my colleagues are rather honest and give me real comments on my bakings :)

i thought the mixture look abit too red before it went into the oven, but after it was baked, i find the shade quite nice wor...

i topped the cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, also from Norms I Must... i am glad i halved the recipe coz it was just nice to frost the 16 cupcakes i churned out... but i guess due to the heat from the oven, my warm hands, the frosting turned out a tad too runny... and i should have used the simple, round piping tip... so with all these, my frosting turned out really ugly so i just sort of smooth and spread it on the cupcakes..
while looking for some cupcake ideas, i chanced upon another recipe from Norms I Must - Pandan Chiffon! My colleague was pestering me to give her a chiffon cake recipe as her girls love chiffon cake... I gave her the recipe to the rainbow chiffon i baked before, but being her first time baking chiffon, she was worried she will get it wrong... This recipe from Norms I  Must uses less ingredients, so if she really gets it wrong, the wastage is reduced... So i made a copy of the recipe for her, and for myself...

I could not resist trying the recipe out since it look rather simple... so while my red velvet cupcakes were in the oven, i quickly gathered the ingredients for the pandan chiffon.

result? with the recipe, i made a small chiffon (the pan from daiso) and 6 paper cups... other than the missing brown crust one will usually find on a chiffion (maybe my oven was not hot enough?), i was shocked at the shrinkage, as you can see from the picture at the bottom left... but the taste was good - soft, slightly moist... i wonder if its because my mum packed it in container before it was really cooled down, the top of the cake seems a little moist and sticky in the evening when i gave one to my niece... but the taste was still good! the one i churned out from the mini tube pan, i gave it to my colleague and ask her to bring it back for her gals (though it seems too small to be shared by 2, so i gave her 2 red velvet cupcakes too)...

1 more day to the weekend... am looking forward... haha :D

Friday, October 21, 2011

my beading diary #2 can you identify what this is?

At one glance, when you look at this little thing, are you able to identify what it is?

I was showing it to my mum and asking her what does she think it is, when my niece of 3 years old shout out "CUPCAKE"! Not that bad on my first attempt at 'baking' a felt cupcake.... haha!

I chanced upon this blog when i was blog surfing the usual baking blogs... and was really hooked on to the nice pictures of cupcakes like this and this...

So being me, addicted to all kinds of hobbies and crafts, can't resist attempting the felt cupcakes... But as there was no dimensions given, i did my own 'agaration' (estimation)... and really it was kind of last min, i used a ribbon as the cupcake casing....

The above was a plain cupcake... And with some 'toppings', here you go, another version :)

Am planning for a real baking session soon, for a surprise!! Praying hard nothing will come and disrupt my plans... Look out for my next post.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

my baking diary #38 Agar agar Mooncakes

i had wanted to publish this post on 12 Sep, but alas, was busy over the weekend and Monday... hope its not too late to wish all fellow bloggers and readers a Happy Mid-Autumn Festival, 中秋佳节快乐.

though i like baking, the thought of baking my own mooncakes have never strike my mind... guess all along, i thought baking mooncake is a very tedious and long process... but after seeing all the lovely mooncakes, moontarts and snowskin mooncakes, i am looking forward to the mid-autumn festival next year, where i can try my hand on baking my own mooncakes...

i am not a fan of mooncakes actually, will only take a small piece or 2 to try it out every year... but one of my favourite was the walnut moontart by Habourview restaurant (or something like that), and i would get that for my mum ... But since last year, i could not find it in the shopping centres where they have lots of different hotels, bakeries promoting their mooncakes... This year, i bought Carlton's moontart, thinking it should be very similar... Well, its very similar in terms of look (i did not taste it myself but bought it for mum and dear's mum), but the yolk in the moontart was soooooo little compared to the restaturant one which i recalled had a whole yolk in each moontart (which explains the price of almost $6 - $7 each if i did not remember wrongly)...

even though i did not bake any mooncakes, but i am glad agar agar mooncake does qualify for this month's Aspiring Bakers, so i went around looking for mooncake moulds :) Requested my colleagues to lunch at the Kallang Bahru market so i can get the moulds at Kitchen Capers (though i find it rather expensive, i still bought 5 moulds which cost me a total of $10!).

Coconut Milk Agar Agar...

Agar Agar with mixed fruits...

Agar Agar Mooncakes
1 pkt agar agar powder (i used swallow globe brand agar agar powder in white)
1 litre water (for coconut milk version - 500ml coconut milk and 500ml of water)
250gms sugar (i usually adjust according to taste as i prefer it less sweet - healthier?)
Colorings of your choice (if you are using white agar agar powder like me)
Mixed fruits

1. Disolve 1 pkt of agar agar powder in 1 litre of water. Add sugar and bring to boil over low heat
2. Pour into mould (i usually cool it down a bit first) and allow it to cool completely before putting it into the fridge

As i usually use white agar agar powder, i will divide the liquid into different batches so i can do up lots of colorful agar agar... I had wanted to try putting in different fillings into the agar agar (like those ang ku kueh agar agar) like cream style corn, blueberry fillings, chocolates etc.. But due to time constraints, i only made coconut milk agar agar and agar agar with mixed fruits...

Here's some more pictures of the agar agar i made... did not have enough mooncake moulds, so i used some of the other moulds i had... Can you spot the Hello Kitty ones?


These mould had chinese character on it... But i ran out of the coconut milk liquid to differentiate the characters... I used Hosen mixed fruit can, and used the papaya balls inside as a 'yolk' for these agar agar.. do look quite like a 'mooncake with yolk' huh?

And if you noticed, most agar agar were pink and purple in colour! this is because my niece was sitting in the kitchen while i was doing the agar agar and she asked me to do pink, red and purple colour...


Most of the agar agar mooncakes were packed and given away...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

my baking diary #37 lavender chiffon cake

it has been a while... a long while actually, since my last post on baking... the last i baked was in May! no choice, due to my (sudden) operation and being down with sickness, i was sort of banned from baking.. so much so that my mum actually moved my oven to another location in the kitchen which makes it more troublesome to bake! if i need to bake, my mum will have to shift stuff here and there, so there is no way i can bake secretly!
i have been feeling loads better but do get tired and restless on occasions after my treatment etc... but had the urge to do some baking! so while i was clearing some stuff (and giving to my colleague for her hari raya baking), i told my mum i wanna bake! but i will keep a simple so maybe just a chiffon cake. surprisingly, no objection from her! so i went ahead and plan to bake on the hari raya holiday as i was scheduled for a medical appointment the next day and did not had to work.

been wanting to do a lavender chiffon after my colleague, S, gave me a packet of lavender flower tea way back in Feb/Mar and seeing Cathy's Osmanthus Chiffon Cake, i was very tempted to do a lavander version of it! but there are just so many nice bakes fellow bloggers are doing, it just got push back in the to-bake list! i also got my hands on a box of earl grey tea recently, so i wanted to see how the lavender chiffon will turn out like before i attempt an earl grey version!

and ta-dah! here's my lavender chiffon!

it rose quite nicely when it was in the oven despite having some crack lines... but think my tube pan is a bit too big...

the ugly side when i unmold it :( seem to have lose some 'baking touch' after resting for so long... my batter was not mixed properly, hence, could still see some yellowish batter (p/s: i added some purple colouring to the original yellow batter coz its meant to be lavender mah...) Was i also too impatient in not waiting for it to be really cooled completely?
the side view... i only tasted a small small portion of this slice coz i am supposed to cut down on sugar intake, and also i am more keen in baking rather than eating it! my mum and bf's feedback was the lavender fragrance is there (rather strong actually) but the cake wasn't sweet enough...

i bought slightly more than 2/3 of the chiffon cake to the office the next day as i had to go back and settle some stuff before being on MC for the rest of the week... guess what? they were a hit with my colleagues! i wonder if they are just being nice, but i was really all smiles when i saw them enjoying the cake and telling me it taste nice! so hopefully soon, i will be able to attempt an earl grey one for them :))

i followed Cathy's Osmanthus Chiffon Cake receipe for this, except that i omitted the wolfberries and replaced osmanthus with lavender instead... the lavender can be reduced to perhaps 1 or 1.5 tbsp if you do not want the fragrance to be too strong...

next up! a trip to the shops to get some mooncake moulds! hope i can get them! *cross fingers*

Thursday, August 4, 2011

my beading diary #1 beaded cardholder

taking a break off baking (cant understand how my parents can associate my illness with baking :( ) but i am planning to bake soon! some of my supplies at home are expiring soon, so hopefully this excuse will work! haha!

now that i am not baking during my 2 months mc, i have to turn to my other hobbies like reading and beading... spend a couple of days tidying up my beading material trolley... as i havent been beading for a while, dust accumulated and hence, have to empty out the 4 drawers and wipe all the boxes and bags one by one... still have some sorting out to do, coz i have been buying new materials every now and then, but have not been diligently been packing them into the right boxes...

aside to Cathy and Jasmine if u are reading this post... i have yet to send the cupcake rings to u! i still remember it! so sorry! I will be going to get some stamps and post them out real soon! btw Jasmine, i dun think u have me ur add for me to mail the ring to u wor... pls email ur addy to me at :)

i love to make 3D figurines using crystal beads... some of the previous ones i made are all packed up in boxes as i am sourcing for some new furnitures and fixtures for my bedroom... made a Sanrio Tuxedo Sam character, but got the sailor hat on the wrong side :( gotta undo it another time and redo.. will post a pic when i am done ya!

in the meantime, here's a pic of some cardholder i made previously and recently... these cardholder holds a ezlink card snugly and are made of acrylic round beads... its quite time consuming to do these, as all are tollay handbeaded by urs truly :)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

my baking diary #36 agar agar

taking a break off baking, but can still do some non-baking stuff... coz of my recent illness, it had gave me a chance to meet up with friends i lost touch with for a couple of years, in particular my dear polymates...

we been through alot together during our 2 years as classmates and project mates... working on projects after school, weekends etc... last we met was kim's wedding like 2 - 3 years back... after which, we were all busy with our own life, be it work, family, etc...

knowing i am not feeling well (i am feeling loads better acutally) and that i am on 2 months MC, we took this time to meet up... since i cant bake, i decided to make some agar agar, and try out the new piggy silicon mold i bought!


Though i did not make alot, but i spend quite sometime on doing these agar agar... piggies' eyes, ears, nose, and all the different colourings to make it all really colourful! i like the piggies ones especially, so cute right?

I hope to get some baking done soon, before i start losing interest in it... haha

Friday, June 24, 2011


though i will be staying at home, yes not working, since early June to early August, its not the best time for me to do any baking... am supposed to be resting and recovering from an recent operation... though i may feel ok, but my parents will definitely not agree to me doing any baking due to whatever reason they can think of... sigh... its so boring staying at home with nothing to do... and i feel tired if i am out too often (though doctor do not encourage staying at home)...

how i miss baking when i see all the bakes fellow bloggers are posting... *drools*

hopefully i'll recover soon enough with minimum follow up visit required...

Monday, May 30, 2011

my baking diary #35 randomssss....

in a blink of the eyes, the month of May seems to slipped past me without me noticing it... there were many ups and downs, and too many for me to list down in details...

upon S's request, i baked cookies and cupcakes for her son, J's, 1st birthday... i dun think it was very well done as i did not realise i ran out of Valrhona cocoa powder, and had to use Van Houten... I did not managed to taste the cupcakes as they were snatched up rather quickly by the guests... Also, my estimation was wrong, and filled up the batter a bit too much... resulting in the cake overflowing, and making the cups looks messy...

it was a rather last minute request, and S asked for Elmo themed cupcakes - other than a set of sesame street cupcake rings i bought previously, i din have another sesame street related stuff... tied up with work and all, i din exactly had time to go sourcing for nice toppers and even a bday present! so the thick-skinned me told S these will be my bday present for her son :P

other than chocolate ganache, i dunno of other frosting i could use as i dun really like the idea of using buttercream... but now wanting all my cupcakes to be all chocolatey, i chanced upon Wilton's ready icing at PH and hence bought one to try... here's the cupcakes i frosted with the ready icing, topped with cupcake rings :) feedback from the guests - icing was too sweet... only then, did i recall i could have used cream cheese frosting! but i though the color combination turned out rather well...

the rest of the cupcakes were coverd in chocolate ganache... again, my piping were not successful, hence, i could only spread the ganache on the cupcakes... but this helped to cover the 'ugly' mess i made of the cupcakes... i save the 'overflowed' cupcakes by pressing them into the cups... and topped the chocolate ganache with cherries and sweet sugar decos.... and of coz not forgetting, a msg for the b'day boy!

S was showing the cupcakes to most of her guests, and even told them to book me 1 month in advance if they wanna order! some guests (who were ex-colleagues) did ask me if i could do something similar for their kids' b'day! but i dare not take up the orders coz i might not have time to do it... so told them to check with me when the date approach...

here's the cookies i baked... S wanted a mix of characters in each cookies bags, and i had to bake these cookies over a spread of 2 days (with my niece sneaking into the kitchen and taking them from my rack!!)

during that week when i did all these baking, i had to work late and possibly due to the earlier antibiotics i was taking for my infection, i ended up with some form of indigestion... for a whole week (coming to 2), i had to put up with a bloated stomach... repeated visits to the co's GP doesnt seem to work, and finally, the doc referred me to a Gastro doc... i m heading to Mount E to see the doc this coming Wed, hope things will be fine... as usual, my parents attribute this to the bakings i did... so basically after the cupcakes i baked, my oven had been on hiatus... i hope all the things around me will settle down soon - work, my health, etc etc, so i can start baking again...

i m looking forward to an enjoyable June, coz its my bday month! short getaway at bintan, more cupcakes baking with my new book - Beautiful Cupcakes by Chef Kevin Chai, and lots more!!!

signing off now, coz am experiencing some discomfort in my stomach again...

Monday, May 9, 2011

my baking diary #34 chocolate chip and double chocolate chunk cookies and #35 chocolate and fairy cupcakes

I spend my whole of polling day in the kitchen baking... except for that short period where i walked to the polling station with my parents to cast our votes... there was a polling station right at the void deck of my block, but we had to make a trip to a school located 3 bus stops away to cast our votes! And we din take a bus, we walked there! Ok lah, walking through the void decks of the other HDBs etc, the distance wasn’t really that far... but still, i thought it was rather unproductive coz there was a polling station right at the void deck of my block and another one in the schools diagonally opposite! My mum said the other aunties (old grannies) were complaining coz they have to walk so far instead of being able to cast their votes downstairs... anyway, its all over, and i am glad the votes garnered at the grc i am living in, managed to let the ‘different voice’ get more seats :) i was resting at home the whole of Sunday but din hear any vans coming to say ‘Thank You for Your Votes’, wonder if they left us out??

Anyway, like i said, i spent the Saturday baking, and yes, really the whole day... after i took my breakfast in the morning after i woke up, i started on my chocolate chips cookies... this was done with the Betty Crocker mix which i bought when i first started baking... the mix is expiring in Jun, so its time for me to work on it rather than throwing it away... while the cookies were still going into the oven in batches, i worked on another Betty Crocker mix – double chocolate chunk cookies... Saw this as a value pack along with a brownie premix, so bought it to try as well... since using premix save me quite a fair bit of time in ingredients preparation, i did both :) but after trying the cookies, mum commented she still prefer the oatmeal cookies, and asked when i will do them... seeing its Mothers’ Day the next day, i told her i will bake it in the evening...

#34 Chocolate Chips and Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies 

Betty Crocker Chocolate Chips Cookies
1 pkt Chocolate Chips premix
½ cup butter
1 egg
Betty Crocker Double Chocolate Chunk
1 pkt Double Chocolate Chunk premix
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoon water (can add another 1 - 2 tablespoon of water if the dough is too stiff)
1 egg

For both cookies:

1. Mix all ingredients and stir till a soft dough is formed
2. Drop by tablespoon (or teaspoon in my case) on to baking sheet
3. Bake in pre-heated oven at 170C – 175C for 8 – 10 minutes
4. Cool on hot baking sheet for a min or 2 before removing and store upon completely cool

There you go, using premix is the easier to satisfy any baking cravings!

I am submitting this to Aspiring Bakers #7 - Chocolate Delight (May 2011) hosted by Doris from Tested & tasted.

#35 Chocolate and Fairy Cupcakes

After votes were cast and dinner taken, it was time to start baking again... i could not make up my mind to bake cupcakes or oatmeal cookies for my mum... in the end, i decided on cupcakes... while half way through my chocolate cupcake baking, i came across the Green’s Fairy Cupcake premix (again!)... I got this in either Dec last year i think, wanting to try them out for my niece’s birthday... it ended up sitting in the cupboard (and got packed into a box coz my mum complained my ever-increasing baking stuff i am bringing home!), till i saw it on Saturday! So there and then, i decided to bake this Fairy Cupcakes and the chocolate cupcake which i was halfway through, instead of doing another vanilla cupcake which is going to take me time to prepare the ingredients and i can also bake some oatmeal cookies for my mum!

Chocolate Cupcakes (from the baking class i attended at Paisley & Cream)
3/4 cup plain flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt (i omit this)
60gms unsalted butter, soften
2/3 cup caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 170C - 180C
2. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt and set aside
3. Beat butter and sugar until light and creamy
4. Mix in egg and vanilla essence
5. Mix in flour and milk alternately into batter, starting and ending with flour (i.e. flour, milk, flour, milk, flour)
6. Scoop batter into cupcake liners or cups
7. Bake for 25 mins or until springy to the touch
8. Apply a layer of glaze (i.e. apricot glaze mix with water) on the top of the cupcakes to retain the moisture

Green’s Fairy Cupcake
1 box of Fairy Cupcake mix
Vegetable Oil
1 Egg

1. Mix all ingredients on slow speed till combined.
2. Mix on high speed for 2 mins
3. Scoop the batter into cupcake liners and bake in pre-heated oven at 170C for 10 - 12 mins
4. I apply a layer of the apricot glaze on these cuppies as well, and hence, the glossy finishing you see in the picture above

The box of premix came with 12 cupcake liners, a pack of pink icing sugar and edible sugar dust glitter. But i used the mini cupcake lines along with the new cupcake tin i bought on a recent shopping spree at PH, so i had about 20 mini cuppies
I only used the pink icing to decorate a couple of the small cuppies (see the cuppies with heart and stars) and attempted to use it for writing a message... i should have put a layer of choc ganache before i wrote on it, but working into the night while watching out for my oatmeal cookies in the oven and keep an eye on the tv for the election results, i was just trying to finish my baking as soon as i can!

i tried to frost some chocolate ganache, but still fail.. think coz of the hot weather (and my poor piping skills), i cant seem to get the chocolate ganache in the right condition to pipe nice flowers on the cupcakes.. so again, i just spread it on the cupcakes, and scatter the colourful sugar decos...

I am submitting this to Aspiring Bakers #7 - Chocolate Delight (May 2011) hosted by Doris from Tested & tasted.

Well, i dunno if my mum was appreciative of what i did, coz i ended up with a severe abdominal and gastric pain the next morning (yes, on Mum’s Day!) and my mum had to attend to (almost) every need of mine... helping me apply medicated oil on my feet (coz they were getting cold with the pain i was enduring), cooking porridge for me, making Milo on my request (which was rather often – i lost track of how many cups i had in that single day!), going to the market to buy bee hoon soup for my dinner, and of course listening to how i moan and groan over my pain... and my mum attribute all these to my whole day spent on baking! Though after seeing the doc it was due to the side effects of the antibiotics i was taking, resulting in gastric... and think she only ate one of the mini cuppies, before packing some off to my nephew who was over at my aunt’s house (across the road)... we are bringing her out for a dim sum lunch this week to make up for it coz my sis was also busy with her studies during the weekend (and to avoid the crowds)...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

my baking diary #33 no-bake cupcake pop!

attempted cupcake pops this time round, with the cupcake pop mold i bought since January... instead of a cake pop, mine is a no-bake version from the creator of the cupcake pop mold, My Little Cupcake.

though in the mood for some baking, but wasn't totally in the mood - not sure if you understand what i meant, haha... partly because of some personal reason, guess it wasn't a good time to work on these cupcake pops... i was anxious to see how the output will be like so did not really monitor the time required to chill the dough closely... result? my dough were soft and some gave way when i try to put the stick in :( out of 12 cupcake doughs, only 5 managed to stay on the stick and be a cupcake pop... or rather a round ball pop! coz the dough was soft, after dipping it in chocolate and candy melts, i cant see the cupcake shape anymore!!

but tastewise, its rather ok. I dont fancy the candy melt coz there a weird taste to it (it may be me only) but for kids (esp my nieces), i guess they don't mind :)

and not knowing how it wil turn out, i only use the rainbow coloured rice for topping... will definitely try this out again one of this day, and hopefully i get some pretty cupcake pops then!

1 packet Oreo (1 packet of Oreo in US is 42 pieces of Oreos)
1 block of Creamcheese (8oz) - i use Philadelphia creamcheese
Melted chocolate (for dipping the base of the dough)
Melted Candy Melts (for coating the top of the dough)
Any toppings of your liking - chocolate rice, mini choc chips, m&ms, etc...

1. Grind the oreo cookies
2. Mix the ground oreo cookies and creamcheese using hand till it form into a dough. It should be of a playdough consistency
3. Chill the dough for about 15 mins after which, roll the dough into balls of about 1"
4. Chill the rolled doughs again
5. Place the dough into the mold, close and press, open and take out the cupcake shaped dough (if you do not have a cupcake mould, you can just roll the dough into round balls or just shape it with your hands)
6. Chill the cupcake shaped dough and prepare the chocolate and candy melt for dipping
7. Dip the base of the cupcake into chocolate, and poke the lollipop stick in. At this stage, you can use some egg trays to help hold the cupcake pop
8. Holding the cupcake pop from the stick, dip the cupcake into the candy melt to coat the cupcake, and top with your desired toppings

For a more detailed instructions, please pop over to My Little Cupcake and watch the video :)

In line with this month's theme, I am submitting this as an entry to Aspiring Bakers #7 - Chocolate Delight (May 2011) hosted by Doris from Tested & tasted.

This coming Saturday is Polling Day... have you made your choice? Me? I am residing in the constituency where the seats are the hottest (its obvious where right?) and yes, i have already decided which box i wanna cross on Saturday... But this, is just part of my agenda for the weekend holiday... I have already listed down the bakes i am going to attempt! Look out for more posts soon :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

my baking diary #30 pizza, #31 smoked duck crepe rolls and #31 no-bake cheesecakes!

after a short hiatus, i finally had time to do some baking - not the usual cakes or cookies, but some minimal baking to make sure my oven is still in a good, working condition :P

#30 Quick and Easy Pizza

my next visit the dentist is in mid-may, so i will get to have my usual bakes on most saturday morning when dear is working... had wanted to bake some oatmeal cookies, but dear requested for pizza... so pizza it is! and i did not even get to taste the pizza! dear finished it up on his own!!!


i prefer an 'hawaiian' style pizza topped with ham and pineapple chunks, but not dear.. so this time, the pizza is only ham and cheese... realised i forgot about the cheese in the morning, so a trip to the supermarket after having breakfast at the market near my place... being a supermarket in the market area (prime supermarket btw), it is rather small and hence, products they carry are rather limited... could not find my usual cheese, and was rather panicky till i set my eye on this block of kraft cheddar cheese! only solution, so i gotten a block and grate it myself...

there are recipes for doing the pizza crust - i tried a couple myself but thought it was too tedious to do it up from scratch (i am just plain lazy since i stopped baking for a while...) so i used a packet of Betty Crocker pizza crust premix! Read about this in a forum, and though a premix, still gives a diy feel to it...

Quick and Easy Pizza
1 packet Betty Crocker pizza crust premix
Pizza or Pasta sauce (i used the tomato pasta sauce)
Ham (and whatever toppings you want)

1. Mix the pizza crust premix with half cup hot water (not boiling water). I add in some mixed herbs into the mix for some flavoring (but not sure how the taste turn out since i did not get to eat it!)
2. Stir the mixture till dough is form. Leave it for 5 mins or so before you start working on it - this will make the dough much easier to handle
3. Flour surface and hands before kneading out the dough to desired size
4. Place dough in baking pan, top with pasta sauce, cheese and ham
5. Bake in preheated over for about 10 - 12 mins

Note that one packet of premix churns out about a 9" size thick pizza crust. I split the dough into 2 and hence made 2 smaller and thinner pizzas

I am submitting this to Aspiring Bakers #6: Say Cheese! (April 2011), hosted by Jean of Norms I Must

#31 Smoked Duck Crepe Rolls

next up on what i did over the weekend... smoked duck crepe rolls!

the more common one is Peking Duck rolls, which we usually see at most restaurant... hmm, price for some may be on the high side, so how often does one order this dish whenever we dine at restaurants...

this was first introduced by my colleague, C, when we had a popiah party in the office for J's farewell! Since its a popiah party, of course we had to had popiah and kueh pie tees... Wanting to provide more varieties, C suggested preparing some smoked duck which we can wrap with popiah skin...

the smoked duck provides an alternative to peking duck, and it's really quick to fix this up at home!

Smoked Duck Crepe Rolls

1 box of frozen smoked duck meat (note this is breast meat so no bones!)
1 packet of crepe
Sweet sauce (or hoi sin sauce)

1. Microwave the frozen smoked duck meat according to instructions on the box (alternatively, some supermarkets like NTUC does sell ready cooked duck meat at the deli section) and slice
2. Cut the crepe and zucchini into suitable size.
3. Apply some sweet sauce on the crepe, top it with the smoked duck slices and zucchini
4. Roll it up (and pop it into your mouth!)

a quick and easy dish to put together!

#32 Oreo and Mango no-bake cheesecake

set my mind to prepare this for aspiring bakers after the theme was announced since its a chesse theme this month! but only got around to doing this after a month!!

i got this recipe from Kraft, but modify it, especially the amount of sugar required.

Cheesecake (adapted mainly from Philadephia Peaches N Cream no bake Cheesecake)

Digestives biscuits and Oreo cookies (without the cream) - Amount largely dependent on how big your baking pan is and how thick you like the base to be
Butter, soften (i use moderate amount to make sure the biscuit mixture sticks together) 
Sugar, divided 
4 blocks Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
Dry Gelatin (i used Knox Gelation - see picture below)
Cubed Mangos
Whipped Topping, thawed

1. Crush or grind Digestives or Oreo cookies - i usually divide my recipe into half so i can do the cheesecake in two flavours
2. Mix crushed bisuits or oreo with some sugar and soften butter (note: you can refer to Kraft webby for the exact measurement, but i usually go with gut feel as i want to control the level of content in my cheesecake)
3. Press the mixture into pan and chill in the fridge while working on the cream cheese mixture
4. Mix soften cream cheese and sugar till well mixed
5. Mix in dry gelatin (i used about 2 - 3 pkts of gelatin for 4 blocks of cream cheese. and this gelatin does not require any water, can use as it is)
6. Stir in cubed mangos (or coarsely chopped oreo cookies or other fruits) and whipped topping and mix well
7. Scoop mixture into the chilled biscuit base and leave in fridge to set (for at least 4 hours or overnight)

this is the usual recipe i turn to when doing cheesecake... started on this way before i got my oven since this is a no bake cheesecake... have made a couple of varieties over my attempts - peach cheesecake or topped with blueberry fillings.... otherwise, keep it plain for an original taste!

I am submitting this to Aspiring Bakers #6: Say Cheese! (April 2011), hosted by Jean of Norms I Must

 i like this brand of gelatin - its fine enough to be used in the cream cheese mixture, without giving a 'sandy' taste... i tried using other gelatin mixed with water before, but did not like the texture of the cheesecake... so far, i only managed to locate this particular brand of dry gelatin at Sheng Siong.

sneaked a quick trip to Sun Lik today since i had some time to while away before a meeting at 4pm! got some sugar decos, so will be working on some cupcakes this weekend if possible

Monday, April 18, 2011

my baking diary #29 what did i 'baked' over the weekend?

usually, Saturdays are my baking days, as it's the weekend... however, these few saturdays were spent at the dentist instead... due to my wisdom teeth, it causes some decay to my molar... and now, i gotta do root canal to 'save' my molar... spent a bomb on it and had to experience pain and numbness. over a spread of 3 saturdays, i had about 6 - 7 injections into my left gum... sigh... finally, the root canal is done... a month from now, its a trip to the dentist again to do a crown for my molar...

so after spending the mornings at dentist, what else could i bake? a trip down to chinatown, and i found some pretty and lovely 'ingredients' for my 'bakes'... presenting my "strawberry and chocolate cupcakes" and "raspberry macarons"

i am into rings recently, especially 3D types of rings with cute cakes and all... was told by the shop staff that there will be more lovely cakes and sweets available, so i will be making a trip to chinatown again!

i would love to give these 'bakes' away (if anyone wants them in the first place) if you would like one, please email me your name and address details, so i can mail it to you...

i have 3 "strawberry" and 2 "chocolate" cupcakes and 3 "raspberry macarons" to be given away... you can indicate your preference over which you want, but i will allocate it based on first come first serve...

work is also getting busier this week coz M is on leave... though we have a new gal on board, but will need to give her time to adjust and pick up things... whenever i have time, i will log online to check out the blogs... but am being a silent reader for the time being...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

my baking diary #28 tri-flavoured melt in the mouth cookies

happy news... my colleague P is finally back from her 1 month mc... and the new girl is coming next Mon... the past 2 months have been tough...

bad news... M is going on her holiday for a week, so during this week, i will have to juggle between my work, covering some for M, and also have the new girl to shadow-study me (like what my boss said)... but i am glad things are settling well... the initial period when J left, along with all the rushed jobs, was really very stressful for me.. resutling in such a long cough... now i can finally take a breather, my cough is so much better...

had a sudden bout of sharp pain in my abdominal during the weekend, and went to the doc on monday... turned out to be a sort of infection... and my sugar level rather high from the test as well... doc was concerned, so i had to see him today to draw some blood for testing.... *praying hard things will be fine*

there are lots of things i wanna bake... cake pops, cheesecakes (for Aspiring Bakers), the oatmeal raisin cookies, cupcakes and more... but the problem is, i have no time!! had plans to meet K and D for lunch, hence squeeze in time last evening after work, and baked the 'melt in the mouth cookies' for them... after baking the plain and chocolate version the last time, i have been wanting to try baking it in green tea flavour...

so this time, i baked them in 3 flavours... plain, chocolate and green tea... from there, i mixed and matched them.... chocolate version gave a more overwhelming taste, hence, when put together with either plain or green tea version, only chocolate can be tasted... green tea on its own is not too bad...

Melt in the mouth cookies
125gms butter (can be salted or unsalted...)
40gms icing sugar
125gms potato starch
80gms plain flour (replace with 20gms cocoa powder + 66gms plain flour for chocolate version; 10gms green tea powder + 70gms plain flour for green tea version)

1. Beat butter and icing suger till fluffy and light in colour
2. Sift in potato starch, flour (and cocoa powder or green tea powder) and mix to form a dough
you can do the cookies in the size you like.. for me, the plain and 2-flavoured version are 1/2 tsp size, whereas the tri-flavoured ones are 1/3 tsp of each flavour and rolled together

3. Place the rolled doughs on baking paper and press lightly using a fork (dip the fork in water before pressing on the dough)
4. Bake the cookies at 150C for 20 minutes (don't have to wait till the cookies turn brown) and transfer to cooling rack to cool before storing them

i packed these cookies in the lovely heart-shaped containers... first saw Jasmine using these containers over at The Sweetylicious, and found them at Phoon Huat... Finally found a use for them... After packing them and bringing them to the office, lunch appointment was cancelled :( but at least it was a chance for me to bake... :)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

my baking diary #27 vanilla and chocolate cupcakes

to make sure i remember what i learnt during the baking class, i tried baking the cupcakes today... i prefer to make a smaller version, hence i used the smaller cup cases...

these are the chocolate and vanilla cuppies, before they are frosted... the colour seems a shade darker because of the apricot glazing... not sure if its because of the different brands of butter used, i thought the shade of my vanilla batter was much lighter than what was achieved during the lesson... i'll try again using the same butter used in class and see if there's any difference... the chocolate one was all right - i bought the valrhona cocoa powder for this cuppies, instead of using the van houten one i had...

i made chocolate ganache last night, hoping to pipe some nice flowers for the cuppies... but guess its different working in a kitchen and working in the airconditioned classroom - the temperature sort of melt the chocolate ganache, making it difficult to pipe the frosting properly... if i use it straight out from the fridge, its too hard to pipe out :( but of course, the main problem is me! my piping skills sucks big time! haha... just gotta keep practising i guess...
anyway, i don't wanna present my cuppies with such ugly frostings, and seeing the chocolate ganache melting to a more liquid condition, what i did was basically spreading it on to the cuppies! and topping it up with the sugar decos etc... this turned out pretty well...

i will post up the recipe later, as i need to back-up my iphone and get it replaced due to some malfunctionings... and going to meet dear for our movie tonight <3

my baking diary #25 butter cookies, #26 chiffon cake and award!

Many thanks to Edith from Precious Moments and Nancy from Bake for a Queen who passed this lovey award to me... this is my first award! and it motivates me to bake more and keep up this interest of mine!

Here are the rules to abide for accepting this award :
1. Post linking back to the person that gave you the award.
2. Share 7 random things about yourself.
3. Award 15 recently discovered blogs.
4. Drop them a note and tell them about it

7 Random Things about Me...
1. I love 'My Melody' character from Sanrio, hence my blog name... Though a fan, i don't (and can't afford to) collect lots of MM stuff... But knowing my likes, friend and families usually get me MM related stuff for birthday, X'mas etc... :)

2. I move on from hobby to hobby rather fast! Reading is one of my hobbies which i never grow out of - i will tend to buy books whenever i step into Popular (now its recipe books!). Other interesting hobbies include collection (unopened) tissue packets with cute and pretty packaging, cute characters plasters (and i still have them though it way past their expiry dates!), and phone cards (those in sets) versus the boring stamps, coins etc (hope i don't offend any of the readers!). I still have these items with me though i am not adding any more into my existing collections... The most recent hobbies prior to baking was Gashapon (turning capsules and collecting those keychains, mini toys and whatever) and accessories making/beading... i am still doing accessories/beading stuff like figurines etc from time to time... I have this whole trolley of beading materials i bought (and they do cost me a bomb if you were to add up everything!) and lots of those japanese beading books... I tend to 'invest' alot whenever i pick up a particular hobby... The newest hobby? Yes, baking! Hope this will last (and i am guessing it will!)

3. Can i add on additional hobbies as another random item? Other hobbies includes paper crafts (i bought this set of alphabets and those cute puncher!), cross stitching, reading and collecting comics books etc... Basically, i am a 'craft-y' person... Hence, like to prepare handmade gifts for birthdays, X'mas etc...

4. I always have an interest in baking ever since home economics classes in secondary school, but the home oven at that time wasn't working, so no chance to bake... I am glad i can now get an oven and more baking tools now that i am financially independence (this explains why i feel that my baking hobby will last long)!

5. I like Harry Potter - both books and movies... I read the books countless times, and at least watch each of the movie at least twice (if not more!) and am looking foward to the last one which will be release in July 2011!

6. I love to shop online - clothes, cute stationaries, baking stuff etc...

7. I ran out of random items about me though i think there could be more (but i don't know what to write!)... If there is anything in particular you wanna know about me, ask me! Haha

I find it difficult to pass this award to 15 recently discovered blogs - most of the blogs i am following seems to have been awarded recently... and mainly, there are more than 15 blogs which i recently discovered and i am still discovering many more lovely blogs...

~above updated 4 Apr 2011~

following up with my last post, my boss came back from his business trip, which means more work for me (in terms of more meetings, appointments, etc)... hence, did not have time to bake after a long working day... was staying late in the office rather frequently, so even on weekends, i need to spend more time catching up on sleep, spending time with dear, getting errands run... so again, no time to bake... i could only read up on other blogs in between travelling from place to place, or when i have that little time during work... seen so many nice bakes, but i can't do any... and i totally missed the March Aspiring Bakers! Did not manage to submit any post for that! Will make it a point to do something for April Aspiring Bakers!!!

#25 Butter Cookies
last week, i baked continuously for 3 evenings, all for my dearest niece, YX's, 3rd birthday... i do feel kinda guilty for only making butter cookies for her party favour, when i made butter cookies and horlicks doggies for XH's 1st birthday... but i din have much of a choice, was too tied up with work... and although only butter cookies, i had to forgo at least 2 - 3 hours of sleeps for that 3 days to bake for her!

i used the butter cookie recipe from Cathy... it's really a breeze working with this recipe coz the dough does not require any chilling before you can cut it into your desired shapes, and does not stick to the rolling pin!

after doing it for 3 continuous day, i can almost memorize the process (coz i prepare and weigh all ingredients for 3 batches on day 1).

But as these cookies were for YX to bring to childcare for her schoolmates, i reduced the sugar level a little more, and also, i used those edible sugar decos to top the cookies...

90g Butter
75g sugar (i reduced this to 70gms)
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla essence (i used vanilla essence for 2 batches of cookies, and orange essence for 1 batch)
135g plain flour
45g corn flour

1. Cream the butter and sugar together for one minute.
2. Mix in egg yolk and vanilla essence (or orange essence).
3. Stir in plain flour & corn flour. Knead briefly.
4. Roll out the dough (i find that rolling between 2 sheets of baking paper is easier to handle the dough) to about 2-3mm thick and cut into shapes with cookie cutters.
5. Bake at 180°C for 15mins.
This recipe is definitely a keeper, and i will be doing it soon to try my new Rilakkuma cookie cutters!

#26 Rainbow Chiffon (again!)

yes, its rainbow chiffon again... i dun seem to get sick of this, and i found this rather easy to bake... hence, on a friday evening where i got to leave office early (erm, early in this case means leaving on the dot, able to catch company bus and reaching home before 7pm provided i dun spend too much time doing retail therapy at Phoon Huat!!)... so my mum asked me if i am baking tonite, my reply was "do you want to eat chiffon cake? if yes then i bake lor".. and with my mum's reply, here's the chiffon cake for breakfast tomorrow :)

You can get the recipe here, or the orginal here... it's up to your own to decide what colours go into the chiffon... for mine, i chose yellow, green, purple and pink... I bought mango and lychee flavours from Phoon Huat sometime back, and hence added some into the yellow and pink coloured portions... the mango fragrance was rather strong when i was mixing the batter, but after it came out from the oven, it was not as strong...

the top of the cake seem to sunk down - was this because i unmould it when it was not really cooled down yet? and also, i wonder why my chiffon doesn't have the brown crust around the cake which i seen on other blogs... anyone care to advise why?
and working with a bigger pan is much more difficult then the smaller one, hence the batter wasn't that even... but taste wise, still ok lah :)

work has been really stressful recently, like what i mentioned in my earlier post... hence, what's the best remedy to destress? Retail Therapy!! But recently, my retail therapy does not include clothes, shoes or bags... but instead, its all about baking, baking and more baking!!

these are the newly acquired stuff, tools, ingredients... which includes silicon mould - for madeleines, donuts and a silicon baking mat! i also got this thing for cookie cutters... haha, just can't resist buying cookie cutters - rilakkuma, princess tiara and a whole box of 100 cookies cutters which include shapes, alphabets etc... the lastest latest item acquired, is the I Love Macarons recipe book by Hisako Ogita! Tapped on Sis's order and got this from Flipping through the pages, the macarons are really cute and pretty... I am going to bake more butter cookies so as to get egg whites to do my macarons!!

i went to a baking class on monday with my friend, D. we got the voucher from sometime back in Feb for this baking class at Paisley & Cream for only 50 bucks! we had initially planned to go for the class in eary Mar, but due to my work commitment, could only attend the class during end-Mar.
During the class, we learned to bake vanilla and chocolate cupcakes, and do chocolate ganache and buttercream frosting... it was really fun decorating the cupcakes! So much fun that i decided to bake the cupcakes this weekend, and to make sure i really learned the techniques of baking as well! so, lookout for my next post ya!