Tuesday, 28 February 2012

An Uncalled For Cake Exchange

It's been a long time since I baked my last chiffon cake which I recalled being an unpleasant bake. It was a strawberry chiffon cake which I have not posted up because it was too sweet and sour to share.

So here's another lemon chiffon cake attempt using the same recipe I baked a while back. Since I baked the chiffon cake last night and left it to cool overnight, someone must have gotten hungry, unmolded it last night and took a chunk out of it. Who's the culprit? Well, this morning I still managed to capture pictures of the remaining cake before it became breakfast for my hungry siblings.

This morning I also happen to drop by my cousin's place with some slices of lemon chiffon cake to share. And they had just finish baking a banana cake which was really very moist and delicious (thank you G ^.^). So I exchanged a slice of chiffon cake for a slice of moist banana cake and joined them for breakfast with a nice cup of hazelnut coffee. A warm and pleasant morning to begin the day with, sweet enough for me.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Fascinating and French: An Almond Friand

Did you know that "friand" means "fond of"? Je suis friand de chocolat means I am fond of chocolate. I find the french just absolutely amazing; how they come up with such exquisite creations, one will always wonder. A friand is actually a bite-sized cake traditionally made from almond meal, butter, sugar, egg white and flour. They usually have a flavor folded through them such as assorted berries, chocolate, citrus, and other fruits. 

Today was my first time baking a friand and my second time eating a friand. The first time I ate a friand and heard about it was my cousin's strawberry friand. It had a slight tang, subtle sweetness, and nice moistness. As we made the almond friand, I noticed the beautiful consistency of the batter. When it was being baked, each individual friand rose with such elegance. Taking a bite of it was every bit as palatable and delectable. It truly is a bake to be fond of.

Almond Friand
Makes about 40 mini cupcake-sized

1 1/2 cups (185 grams) icing sugar
1 cup (150 grams) plain flour
5 egg whites, lightly beaten
180 grams butter melted
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 packet (approx. 100 grams) almond flakes


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Prepare a two 24 mini muffin mold non-stick baking trays.
  2. Sift and combine the icing sugar, plain flour and almond meal together.
  3. Mix the egg white, melted butter and vanilla essence together then add to the dry ingredients mixture and stir until just combined.
  4. Spoon the mix into each mold and fill 3/4 full. Sprinkle almond flakes on top of each. 
  5. Bake for approximately 12-15 minutes or until the tops are browning or when a skewer is inserted, it comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the tray. Enjoy (;

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Baking Cookies For A Best Friend

On this sunny morning I decided to bake some cookies for a best friend as we were catching up later since each of us had gone on a long holiday away from home. And I've been wanting to try this recipe for quite some time, so I seized the opportunity to bake it.
I had such a jolly good baking time; beating, mixing, folding, rolling, and flattening the cookie dough. I even divided the recipe into three different flavors; vanilla, Milo (which looks like choc chips), and green tea.
My friend must have been in the same baking mood as me. She baked an assortment as featured below! So many Chinese New Year cookies and traditional Malaysian cookies. Of course, she knew my favorite was the chocolate nutty cookie-I'm all for anything chocolatey and/or nutty ^.^
Maybe it was the weather that made me giddy, or maybe I was just happy to be going out on this fine sunny morning.

Melt-in-Mouth German Cookies
Makes 60

125 grams butter, softened
40 grams icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence (optional)/ or 1 teaspoon of cocoa or matcha powder or Milo (optional)
125 grams potato starch
80 grams cake flour


  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Prepare a non-stick baking tray or line a tray with baking paper.
  2. Mix butter with icing sugar in a bowl. Then add vanilla essence or desired flavouring.
  3. Sift potato starch and cake flour into the butter mixture and incorporate it using a spatula until it becomes dough-like.
  4. Divide and roll the dough into 1 inch sized balls (you can leave it in the fridge to harden for 10-15 minutes if too soft to work with). Then press the dough ball gently with a fork.
  5. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the surface of the cookies is slightly browning.
Recipe adapted from Happy Home Baking

Sunday, 5 February 2012

For the Love of Macarons

A good church friend gave me the gift of a macaron cook book not too long ago. I have been reading through it ever since but haven't had the courage to explore new macaron flavour combinations until today, when my little cousin requested blue macarons for afternoon tea. I hesitated...

Blue macarons? How could you make a pleasing blue macaron? What flavour would it be? I didn't really want to attempt to make such a concoction, but seeing as she was working ever so hard doing her homework, I eventually agreed. 
These little concoctions turned out to be just gorgeous. With the vanilla custard cream, they were delightful. 
As you can see, there weren't just blue vanilla custard filled macarons. There were also matcha vanilla custard filled macarons too.
I had wondered why it was so quiet this afternoon and to my delight, my little sister was exercising her brain doing her homework from the first week of school back. So I took the liberty of making half the batch of macarons green using matcha green tea powder because she likes green. 
Something about macarons and motivation that just mesh together on days like this.

Recipe source: I Love Macarons by Hisako Ogita

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Food As Sweet As Love

It's nice to be able to serve up a plate of desserts on a Saturday-church-lunch-fellowship-love-meal. Everyone brings a plate of home cooked food to share with others and you can bring whatever your heart desires as long as you are willing and able to do so. At church, during meal times, everybody takes the food and eats it with delight despite the different cuisines, preferences, quantity or quality-it's a love meal, meaning the food is made with love, shared with love, and eaten with love.
I took the opportunity this week to try baking something chocolate-y. And not just any chocolate. It had to use white chocolate, contain no nuts, and be easy to make so I could make a larger quantity without spending too long in the kitchen. I subconsciously kept these requirements in mind because when you make things for a group of people, it has to be practical, appropriate, and pleasing too.
I remember serving up a plate of slightly burnt custard puffs. My conscience pricked me. I felt bad. I took a step back from baking anything more for a while. But the eventual lesson learnt: "let failure be your teacher, not your executioner". At times we may experience failures in different aspects of life but we shouldn't let that stop us from pursuing our goals or dreams. 
I once made a resolution that I would like to make the people around me happy. Today I have took one step further to make that resolve true.

Mini White Choc Muffins
Makes 48

cups plain flour
tablespoon baking powder (I used two teaspoon)
½ teaspoon salt (I used just a pinch)
12 ounces white chocolate , finely chopped (I used 12 oz. white chocolate chips which is about a packet of 375 grams of Nestles' white choc buttons)
tablespoons butter, at room temperature
large egg, at room temperature
¾ cup caster sugar (I use 1/2 cup)
¾ cup milk (do not use nonfat)
teaspoon vanilla extract (I used vanilla essence)

1. In a mixing bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt until uniform; set aside.
2. Add 4 ounces (about a 110 grams) white chocolate and all the butter in the top of a bowl set over a pot of simmering water.
3. Stir constantly until half the chocolate and butter is melted.
4. Remove the bowl, continue stirring, away from the heat, until the mixture is smooth; let cool for 10 minutes.
5. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg and sugar until thick and pale yellow (takes about 2 minutes).
6. Whisk in the cooled chocolate mixture until smooth; whisk in the milk and vanilla.
7. Use a wooden spoon and stir in the remaining chopped white chocolate.
8. Stir in flour mixture just until moistened.
9. Fill muffin tins that have been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, 3/4 full.
10. Bake in a 180°F oven for 14 minutes OR until muffins are browned with sightly rounded tops OR pick comes out clean when poked into muffin.
11. Set pan on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.
12. Turn muffins out of pan; cool on wire rack for 5 minutes.
13. If storing or freezing muffins, cool completely before sealing in airtight container or in freezer-safe plastic bags, or else enjoy muffin warm or cool (:

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