Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tiramisu with Love, lots of it.

This was my 1st attempt at making my very own Tiramisu after having it outside at restaurants, cafes over the past few years. And for this year's Mother's Day, I decided to make it special by making my very own Tiramisu for my mum and myself, being my 1st Mother's Day :) I'm extremely pleased with the results, it tasted really good and heavenly, I couldn't stop at one slice :p

Making Tiramisu is actually pretty simple, just needed to gather the recipes and ingredients. I must say making this cake is not cheap though, a tub of Mascarpone cheese costs more than RM20. So this cake will only be served during very special occasions :)



Ingredients to making Tiramisu

It was nice and set, the layers firmed up really nicely




Ingredients:
(makes a 8" cake, I used a springform pan)
Recipe from here

Espresso Syrup:
1 tablespoons instant espresso/ strong coffee powder (I used instant coffee powder)
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup (125ml) boiling water
1 tablespoon Marsala (I used rum)

Filling:
250g mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons icing sugar
2 tablespoons Marsala (I used Rum)
1 cup (250 ml) heavy whipping cream
A pack of sponge fingers
50g dark chocolate cocoa powder, to dust
dark and white chocolate shavings (optional)
strawberries for decoration (optional)

Method:

To make the Espresso Syrup:

Dissolve instant espresso coffee powder, sugar in boiling water. Leave to cool. Stir in 1 tablespoon Baileys Irish Cream. Set aside.

To make the Filling:

In a mixing bowl, with a manual whisk, whisk mascarpone cheese with icing sugar, vanilla extract, Baileys Irish Cream and 3 tablespoons of the espresso syrup until blended. With an electric mixer whisk the whipping cream until soft peak (do not over whip). With a spatula, fold in 1/4 of the whipped cream to the mascarpone mixture. Fold in the remaining whipped cream to the mascarpone mixture.

To assemble the cake:

One at a time, gently dip (do not soak) sponge fingers in the espresso syrup and use them to line the base of the pan (do this quickly).
Cut the sponge fingers into shorter lengths if necessary. Use the leftover pieces to fill the gaps.
Spoon over half of the filling onto the layered spongefingers. Spread evenly. Grate the dark chocolates over the filling.
Repeat with another layer of sponge fingers and spoon over the remaining filling. Spread and smooth the top. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, best left overnight.

Just before serving, unmold the cake and dust the top with cocoa powder. Decorate with dark and white chocolate shavings and strawberries (as desired). (I cut strawberries to halves and placed them onto the half-set Tiramisu, melted some chocolate and drizzled over the strawberries, and left it to set).

(*Note: If you do not have a springform pan or a pan with a removable base, you can improvise by lining a normal round pan with a large sheet of aluminium foil. Give allowance of about 1~2 inches for the foil to hang over the rim of the pan. Place a cake board inside the lined pan (this is actually optional). Follow the steps above. To unmold, simply lift up the cake from the pan by gripping the foil. Transfer the cake onto a serving plate and carefully remove the foil. )


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Devilishly Moist Chocolatey Banana Cake

haha... the name sounds devilish, dark and evil eh? :) This was the kind of recipe I was looking for, dark chocolate flavour, enough to satisfy any choco cravings if you have. Since I was going to make a Chocolate cake, might as well make it a really really chocolatey Chocolate cake right? :) I've always loved eating Chocolate Banana cake since I tasted my first slice from Secret Recipe. So since I'm into baking again, I decided to give this a try, my maiden attempt in making Chocolate Banana Cake! I'm very happy with this cake, everyone enjoyed it too! It was really rich, one slice was enough to last me for a while.

I made this cake for my sis as she was moving out to her new place. Sort of a farewell gift from us to her, since we won't be leaving under one roof anymore :( Glad she liked the surprise! :)


Fresh from the oven, love the dark chocolate colour
Cake cutting ceremony hehe

Made a simple heart in the centre to show her how much we all love her!



Nice twist to the pix above, you can play around from here

Banana chunks and yummy chocolate in every slice


Devilishly Moist Chocolatey Banana Cake
Recipe from Happy Home Baking

Ingredients:
(makes one 9" cake)

1 1/2 cup (161g) all purpose flour
3/4 cup (61g) natural cocoa powder
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt1
2/3 cups (332g) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (80ml) safflower or other neutral vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
2 large eggs
1/3 cup (80ml) whole milk (I used low fat milk)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup (240ml) boiling water

Method:
Preheat oven to 325 degF. Grease bottom and sides of a 9 x 3 inches round cake pan. Dust the pan with flour and set aside. (I lined the bottom with parchment paper.)

Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add in sugar and mix at low speed until blended. (I used a spatula to mix in the sugar).
Add in the oil and mix a few seconds until the dry ingredients are crumbly. (I used a spatula to mix in the oil).

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs until blended. Whisk in the milk and vanilla extract until blended. With mixer at low speed, add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix until blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl necessary. (I used a manual whisk to do the mixing. The batter will be very thick at this stage).

Add in the boiling water gradually and mix just until blended and smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. (The mixture will become very thin and watery.)

Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 55 mins until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan for 20mins before unmoulding. Let cool completely.

Ganache recipe

1 bar of 200g cooking chocolate
1 packet of heavy whipping cream (200ml)

Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized stainless steel bowl. Set aside.

Heat the cream in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir with a whisk until smooth.

*I omitted the butter in the ganache as I wanted just chocolate flavour minus any buttery flavour.

To assemble this 20cm chocolate banana cake:

Slice two large bananas, lengthwise into halves. Squeeze some lemon juice over if you want to prevent browning. (I skipped this step)

Slice cooled chocolate cake into 2 layers. Use a really sharp knife, i.e. serrated knife.

Spread one layer with the chocolate ganache, arrange the sliced bananas on the cake layer to form 2 concentric rings. Cut the bananas as necessary in order to form the two rings. Layer the other cake slice on top of this.

Coat the top and sides of the cake surface with the remaining chocolate ganache. (I only coat the top and let it drip down to the sides. Decorate with heart sprinkles and sliced bananas on top if you wish.
Let it cool in the fridge to set. Once set, slice and serve! :)

Recipe adapted from The Cake Book, by Tish Boyle

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Getting a new babe SoOn!

Am planning to get a new oven soon, been waiting for my Jusco vouchers to arrive, and it arrived yesterday!!! Yipeeee... can't wait to bake in an oven with bigger capacity. Now I bake with a conventional oven :)

Looking for something at least 35L or more. Will have to go oven shopping SoON!

Cheers!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Pan-fried Red Bean Bun

Pan fried red bean bun, also known as Hakka cheen loong bao is an old-fashioned traditional chinese dessert. It is usually wrapped with roasted groundnuts or red beans paste. It's actually very easy to make.

I added matcha to the dough as I thought it would be a nice complement to the red bean paste! The colour turned out well and was pleasant to the eyes and tastebuds.







Recipe from here

Filling

200g red bean paste, I used the one that I made (shape into balls)

Skin:

200g low protein flour (cake flour) (I used cake flour)
1/2 tsp baking powder(dissolved in a little water)
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
15g caster sugar
30g shortening or butter, (I used butter)
100-150ml water
2 tsp matcha (green tea powder)

1. Sieve flour and set aside
2. Pour in the baking powder,instant yeast,sugar, matcha and shortening in the flour, mix well
3. Pour the water in a gentle stream
4. Slowly work to form a non-sticky soft dough.
5. Leave the dough in a clean bowl to proof for 1-2 hours
6. Scale the risen dough at 40g portions and shape into balls
7. Flatten each ball of dough and wrap the filling in and seal
8. Leave the flattened buns on a tray and wrap with a wrapping paper and proof a second time for 30 or until double in size
9. Arrange buns in a flat frying pan and pan fry it over low heat without OIL till both sides are golden brown
10. It takes about 10-15 minutes.

Makes 8

Serve hot.

Tips:Dissolve the baking powder in water to prevent the dough becomes yellowish. I didn't have to worry about this as I used matcha powder.

Both of us walloped most of it that night :p It tasted extremely good especially when the red bean paste was self-made. But nonetheless, it would taste good with ready bought red bean paste too!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Cuppycakes





Made these cupcakes for my hubby's family when they came down from Singapore to spend the long weekend in Melaka.

I would love to share this recipe with you but honestly, I just can't find it...! I don't want to pick a random recipe and share here for fear that it might flop... no good lah like that!

Anyway these are very simple vanilla cupcakes made the night before we went down. Dusted with pretty stars and hearts to capture their hearts and eyes! :) It was really delicious with raisins, almonds and chocolate chips in every bite.

I am still on the hunt for lovely cupcake recipes to file in my recipe library! :)

*Tip: If you don't have muffin tray which holds individual cupcake cases in place, just use a few cupcake cases, it should be strong enough to hold its shape once batter is in and while it's baking!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Pretty Jellies



Bought a packet of Konnyaku jelly, peach flavoured and made these jellies with apple for fun :) I also bought a mould from 100 yen with various shapes, it's so pretty to look at!

This jelly is more chewy than the normal agar agar or jelly. Very refreshing to bite into it on a hot day :)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Matcha Marble Pound Cake

Remember the Azuki beans which I made earlier? I've decided to make a matcha pound cake with the paste. I've always loved the marriage of matcha (green tea powder) and red beans. I love green tea ice cream with a nice dollop of red bean paste on the side, I love green tea flavoured of almost anything! Biscuits, cookies, cakes, ice cream, you name it... and I never fail to have a glass of green tea everyday. For the matcha, I was searching for it high and low for a long time before I finally found it in Carrefour at Tropicana Mall. I've seen it later at Juscos as well, they are not cheap though, a small packet/tin can cost from RM15 or more. Yesterday I saw a stall at Sunway Pyramid selling matcha in a tin that cost RM58!

Anyway, I found the recipe for this pound cake at Youtube, you can find it here. The guy on the video shows you the steps on how to make this pound cake, video instructions are much better and easier to follow! I find him pretty cute cos I've always liked guys that are domesticated and good in the kitchen :) I've taken the liberty to type out the recipe for you so that you won't have to scribble down when you watch the video!


Batter ready to go into the oven

Fresh from the oven, love the browning effects and the beautiful swirl marks


I love to play with my photos on this site, you can have fun with it too :)

People admiring my pound cake hehe


The chocolate flavour was stronger than the matcha flavour as I was a bit 'stingy' with the matcha, not using all of it hehe...

The red bean paste created a nice texture when you bite into the cake!

Recipe For Matcha Marble Pound Cake

(I used a 9-inch loaf pan)

Ingredients:

100g soft butter

100g sugar

100 plain flour

3g baking soda

2 eggs, beaten

50g chocolate, melted

5-10g matcha

1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees celcius, grease baking tin and sift flour and baking soda

2. Whisk butter till pale

3. Add sugar slowly till creamy and white

4. Add flour, fold into mixture gently

5. Divide batter into 2 bowls

6. For 1st portion, add matcha, 2nd portion add melted chocolate, mix well

7. Combine both mixtures alternatively in prepared tin, make a swirl to combine the batter to create a marble effect (I like this part, it's so fun!)

8. Bake for around 40-45 minutes

9. After 20 minutes, make a slit on the batter so that batter rises evenly

10. Bake till toothpick comes out clean.

Enjoy! :)


Matcha Coffee

Ever heard of green tea flavoured coffee??? I came across this for the 1st time in my life yesterday at Jusco! There was a promoter giving out free samples of coffee, and when I saw this packet, I couldn't believe my eyes... I just had to try it out!

For a green tea enthusiast like me, this is definitely new to me, I've tried green tea ice cream, green tea biscuits & cookies, cakes and drinking green tea itself but never coffee! You can't imagine how excited I was... after I tasted it, it was nice, very strong coffee with a subtle hint of matcha flavour... I was sent up to the skies... floated for a while then grabbed a pack and off I went to pay! :) Hubby also loved it, he said it was unusual, unique and something special!

You guys might want to try it, it was going for RM12.90 per pack for 15 sticks.


Linguine

Ingredients and preparations

Linguine topped with sausages and sauce, with baked potatoes,

carrots and asparagus on the side

Ingredients for this dish wasn't measured out, was just estimated by hand :) You can see the ingredients used in first picture.

Prepare pasta:

1. Cook linguine till al-dente in boiling water with salt and a bit of olive oil.

2. Once cooked to your liking, drain and set aside on serving dish.

Prepare side accompaniments:

1. Boil potatoes till soft, remove skin and cube.

2. Peel carrots using peeler, cut asparagus and blanch in boiling water.

3. Place blanched vegetables and potatoes in a pan, season with salt, pepper and drizzle lots of olive oil. Toss to coat all.

4. Place pan in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes at 180 degrees celcius.

5. Once potatoes start to brown, you can remove pan from oven and place vegetables on serving dish.

Prepare sauce:

1. Heat up olive oil

2. Fry sausage, onions, raisins till brown and fragrant

3. Add chopped cherry tomatoes and fry till skin starts to peel, mash it as you fry with all other ingredients

4. Add yellow mustard, seeded mustard and mix well

5. Add some water for some sauce

6. Season with salt, pepper and chilli flakes.

7. Fry till mixture starts to thicken, add more water and seasoning if you prefer more sauce.

Finale...

Pour sauce over pasta on serving dish with side accompaniments, drizzle olive oil over everything and add dash of black pepper.

Serve and eat while hot! :)