Saturday, October 22, 2011

Today's Bake; Egg Tarts & Brownies

I took leave today cause I was feeling tired and lazy. Cause I had been spending a lot of time reading a harry potter fan fic (very good fic indeed) and thought I might be able to take the day off, reading more fic. But i ended up baking egg tarts and brownies since this morning. What the hell! Hahaha. (recipes can be found here and here!)

Mama asked me why did I always bake during my off days. I told her that i would feel weird if I don't bake something. It's true. It's as much a part of my life as breathing and sleeping. All right, maybe i exaggerated a bit there but that's how much I love baking. :D

Today's bake is nothing new. I felt like eating some egg tarts and the last time I made a batch was probably sometime during the beginning of the year or something.

And for the brownies? It is a request from my dear old friend, Jacelyn. She insisted on paying for it and being my first customer but I guess I will try and see if I can convince her not to pay. hmm.... Anyhow, as I was mixing up my brownies this afternoon, I can feel that this brownies is gonna be just perfect. I don't know how I know but I just know. :D I also added 2 tbsp of kahlua.

Anyway, I have to go shower and off to meet the ladies! Hope they like my bake~

Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Chocolate-Chocolate Chunk Muffins

For the past months, I had been using Nigella's chocolate muffins recipe whenever i anyone request for chocolate muffins. Seems that some of my friends love it although to be honest, the chocolate doesn't feel enough for me. So this one, this recipe posted by Browneyedbaker had long since caught my eyes. The result is not disappointing. They are very chocolatey. The only thing to be blame was that I reduce the amount of sugar to 1/2 cup, therefore resulting in a less sweet muffin. I certainly would not reduce the sugar again the next time I make this. And yes, I will surely make this again and again and again and...

Well, let's just get on with the recipe, shall we?

Recipe is as below (copy from Ms Browneyedbaker -please do visit her lovely site)

Makes 12 muffins

¾ stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1¼ cups buttermilk
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter or spray the 12 molds in a regular-size muffin pan or fit with paper muffin cups. Place the muffin pan on a baking sheet.

2. Melt the butter and half the chopped chocolate together in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from the heat.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk the buttermilk, egg and vanilla extract together until well combined. Pour the liquid ingredients and the melted butter and chocolate over the dry ingredients and, with the whisk or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. Do not overmix the batter. Stir in the remaining chopped chocolate. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.

4. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from its mold.

Mixed dry ingredients together

Whisk the wet ingredients

Pour the wet ingredients + melted butter + melted chocolate into the big bowl of dry ingredients

Fold in chopped chocolates

Into the muffin cup they go~

My notes:
1. Her recipe calls for 2/3 cup of sugar. I used 1/2 cup of brown sugar instead. I would advise, don't reduce the sugar!!!

2. I think adding some chocolate chips would make the muffins even more heavenly!!

3. I use 190 degrees C.

4. I do not have buttermilk so i used 1 tbsp of white vinegar plus milk to make a cup. Let is stand for about 5 to 10 mins before using.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Happy Birthday to Sin Cheah

A birthday cake for Sin Cheah :D

We were lazy and used can whipped cream instead so.... the result did seem a bit sloppy. Pei Hwan sponsored the fruits and her mother help with the arrangements.

Japanese Cotton cheesecake [original recipe]

After the first attempt at the cheesecake, I decided to try again, this time with the original recipe. No reduction. The one with the 4 eggs.

Recipe refer to Passionate about Baking, adapted from Alex's Goh recipe.

More familiar with the steps this time, I took some pictures along the way =b

(A) 160g Cream Cheese, 25g Butter, 120g Milk
(B) 40g Flour, 30g Cornflour
(C) 4 Egg yolks
(D) 4 Egg whites, 1/8tsp Cream of Tartar, 100g Sugar, pinch of Salt

1. Grease and line the bottom of two 20-cm oval pans. Wrap outside of the pans in foil.
2. Place (A) in mixing bowl and stir over double-boiler until thick. Remove it from double-boiler.
3. Add (B) and mix until well combined. Add (C) and mix until well blended.
4. Whip the egg whites in (D) until foamy. Then add the remaining (D). Continue whipping until soft peaks. Add it into the cheese mixture from step (3).
5. Pour the cheese filling onto the prepared oval pans. Bake in water bath at 160C for 40-45 minutes or until well incorporated.
6. Remove cake from the oven. Remove the cake from the mould immediately. Set aside to cool.

1. I reduced the sugar to 90g.

2. I sieved the mixture after step 3.

3. I used 150C and must have probably took at least 2 hours to bake =_= I am not sure what I did wrong. It was still moist whenever i tested the cake.

4. I cover the top of my cake loosely with an aluminium foil as soon as I saw that the top is golden brown in colour, which is after, about 35 mins.

5. I used hot boiling water for the water bath.
6. I used a 8 inch round cake tin, greased the bottom and side of the cake tin and line paper at the bottom only.

7. For step 6, I used a small spatula to run between the cake and tin, and leave the cake to cool inside the tin.

This egg separator makes life a little easier for separating eggs.

The cream cheese mixture before sieved.

sieved them nice and slow =b

see how they become smoother now?

Beating egg white till soft peak

Poured them into my 8 inch cake tin

Ah, yes. The sponge is definitely taller than first attempt. :D

Japanese cotton cheesecake (75% of original recipe)

I had never made any sponge related cake before cause I have this phobia. Okay, maybe phobia is a little too much. But I am really really scared that my cake would collapse, too dense or dry or... that's why I had always made muffin. Cause they are easy.

My friend encouraged me to try. My mom as well, she told me that she used to make countless failed butter cake until she was eventually satisfied. Oh, she never follow recipe and only estimate by eyes.

So why started with Cotton cheesecake, you might ask? Well, I really want to make a dessert that my family would like. My parents are not big fan of chocolate and I remembered my younger brother told me he prefer light cheesecake compared to those heavier type.

I chose this recipe from wendyywy, who adapted from Alex Goh. Her cakes look really pretty and told. I also refer to another site from The Little Teochew which I find is very very helpful especially for a beginner like me. She offers several tips and tricks. Really really really helpful!

Baked this cake nearly 2 weeks ago but was too busy to post.

Wendy's recipe only calls for 3 eggs. She reduced the ingredients slightly for her 8 inch round cake tin. I only follow her cake recipe and did not do any topping like she did. Please visit her page for her fruit topping's instructions.

[Recipe below copied from Wendy, please visit her site]

125gm cream cheese

90ml milk
15gm butter

30gm flour
24gm cornstarch
3 egg yolks

3 egg whites
pinch of salt
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
75gm sugar

1. In a heavy saucepan, cook cream cheese, milk and butter until thick and smooth. Set aside.

2. Preheat oven at 160C. Boil some water.

3. After the cheese mixture has turned warm and mix in both flours. Stir with a whisk until smooth.

4. Put egg yolks into the cheese mixture and stir until well combined.

5. In another clean bowl, beat egg whites until frothy. Put in cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks, add in sugar gradually and beat until stiff (soft droopy peak that will hold its form).

6. Fold 1/4 of egg whites into cheese mixture, and then another 1/4 of the egg whites.

7. Pour the cheese mixture into the remaining egg whites and fold.

8. Pour batter into a lined pan (you can just line the base and grease the sides, it's not a must to line the sides as well. Springform or regular pan will be fine, but spring form's base must be wrapped.)

9. Place cake pan into a slightly bigger, shallower pan. Fill the bigger pan with boiling water and put in oven to bake at 150C for 45 minutes.

10. Unmould cake immediately upon removal from oven, if not, the cake will shrink a lot. (If you're using a regular pan you can release the sides by running a knife between the cake and pan, and leave the cake in the pan to cool down).

My note:
1. I reduced sugar to 60g which is just right for my family's standard. They don't like it too sweet.
2. I follow Wendy's instruction all the way. Except I sieved the mixture just as Little Teochew advised after step 4 above.
3. I used double boiler method to melt my butter, cheese and mixture in step 1.
4. I was really slow and preparation alone took me one and a half hour! Haha

The outcome of my cake is quite short. Slightly over 1 inches only. For a first timer, I think I might have done something wrong somewhere. I am not sure. But the texture and taste are great. They are soft and cottony.
My family love it. So was my brother, who is very picky at food. I cut out 2 small pieces for my fren, Hwan and she told me she loved it! :)

Such great joy when someone tell you that he/she loves your desserts.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Cranberry Orange Muffins

I bought a packet of dried cranberries last weekend (cause I love cranberries) and thought I could make good use of them for baking. I was initially planning to bake cookies but I woke up at almost noon today. And I was too lazy to take out my electric beater. So I settle for muffins. I had been eye-ing this recipe from Pam for a while now. And I finally did it. The muffin was soft and moist, and come out so orange-y. Haha. My parents think it's a bit too sweet for them but despite that, they asked for seconds.

Here goes the recipe. Adapted from Pam, with a slight changes made by me. Just very very slight.

2 cups of flour
1 cup of sugar (I used 3/4 cup of sugar - will be using only 1/2 cup next time)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp orange rind
3/4 cup of fresh orange juice
1 cup of dried cranberries
1/4 cup of canola
1 large egg
Coarse raw sugar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (200 degrees celcius). Coat a muffin tin with cooking spray or you can just use muffin cups like I do.

Place the dried cranberries and the freshly squeezed orange juice in a small sauce pan and heat over medium heat for 5 minutes. This helps plump up the dried cranberries.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and orange rind together until well mixed. In a separate bowl, add the orange juice, cranberries, canola oil, and egg and mix together. Pour this mixture into the dry mixture and stir until combined.

Pour the mixture evenly into the prepared muffin tin. Sprinkle a bit of course raw sugar on each muffin top. Place into the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for a few minutes. Enjoy.

My own notes:
I used the whole of 3/4 cup of fresh orange juice to heat up the dried cranberries. After that, I have about 1/8 cup of juice left in the pan (ya I measured them out). I wasn't sure whether I am suppose to allocate extra juice for the batter. I didn't add additional juice into the wet mixture until I pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture.

As expected, my batter was very very dry. So I added another 1/2 cup of orange juice + 1/8 juice (to top up to the same amount as stated in the recipe). And my muffin come out just great!

My baking time was 200 degrees c for 15 mins plus another 15 mins for 180 degrees c. (cause the top was already quite brown)

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Chocolate Chunk Cookies

First time trying out this type of recipe, i.e preparing the dough in advance, freeze them and chopped them into pieces.

I especially love using this recipe because I do not need to take out my cake mixer. Ya, I know I am lazy =b always looking for the easiest recipe. My only problem was that I really fail big times in my cutting skill. I was having a little problem cutting through those thick chocolate chunks in the dough and some squares just didn't... make it =A= Look at the picture above, they look so out of shape *orz

The texture of the cookies taste shortbread-ish and again, I really really love the taste of those big chocolate pieces melting in my mouth after I took a bite. It was so addictive I alone finished a whole container. When i was chopping them, I kept thinking, "I am never gonna use chocolate chunks again" But then, I definitely will, especially after I got a taste of them.

I remember waking up at 6 a.m. on a Saturday to bake this. Brought some to the office and was really glad they like it. There I go being long winded again, I am sure you are anxious to check out the recipe.

I came across this recipe in a chinese forum.
Please refer to the link above for a step by step picture instructions =D

120g butter (room temperature)
60g icing sugar
1/8 tsp salt
30g egg (about half an egg)
1/8 tsp vanilla
180g flour, sieved
45g chocolate (chopped into pieces) or any other chocolate

Decor (optional):
sugar/brown sugar

1. Use a spatula and and beat the room temperature butter until its soft.
2. Add icing sugar and salt and mixed into the butter until well incorporated.
3. Add egg and mixed well. Then add the vanilla
4. Fold in sieved flour and after that threw in the chocolate chunks!
5. Rolled the dough into rectangle log and wrapped them in cling film. Then into the freezer these log go!~ (I freeze overnight)
6. When it's time to bake, preheat the oven with 180 degree celcius.
7. Took the dough out, brush the surface of the dough lightly with water then rolled them in plate of sugar. This step is optional. I personally like the crunchy texture though.
8. Cut the dough into about 6mm in thickness
9. Bake for about 15 mins


*doubling the recipe made 2 small containers


Sunday, January 02, 2011

Strawberry Cream Cheese Muffins

I love making muffins because I can easily mix up a batch without taking out my electronic beater. For muffins, dry ingredients are often prepared separately from the wet ingredients. Then the prepared wet ingredients are folded into the dry ingredients.

During the folding process, do make sure that you don't over fold them. Mixture is usually lumpy but that is just fine for muffin.

So, one day, I told Shu Vun that I wanted to bake something different. Not the usual chocolate cake, cheese cake but something different! She recommended the Strawberry Cream Cheese muffins. This muffin give you surprise inside. =D

I found several links on the web and i chose to follow this and this. The latter link shows steps by steps pictures. This recipe is very well received by all my friends and family. They just couldn't get enough of it!

However, i changed the amount of baking powder used because my muffins didn't seem to rise much on the first tries. Taste wise is good. Really good. But i prefer my muffin to be taller. I had made this countless times and it always comes out good, soft and nice!

The cream cheese filling in the middle often cause people to think that the muffin is uncook so be sure to assure your guinea pig, ahem i mean, your friends that they are just cream cheese. Well, that usually happen if you consume the muffin right out of the oven.

Here's the recipe:-

This recipe make about 12 muffins

Dry ingredients:-
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cups of granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

wet ingredients:-
1 cup milk
1/2 cup/113g unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs (at room temperature)

1 cup fresh strawberries (chopped into pieces)

Cream cheese mixture:
4 oz/113g cream cheese (at room temperature)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract


1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the dry ingredients and set aside.
2. In another bowl, whisk the wet ingredients together until well incorporated.
3. Make a well in centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients.
4. Fold them until just combined. Mixture may appear to be lumpy but it's fine. Do not overmix
5. Spoon the batter into prepared muffin cases or tin. Fill each cup barely half full only.
6. Scatter a few strawberry pieces into each one.
7. Top the strawberries with about a tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture.
8. On top of that, add on another 1 or 2 tablespoon of the muffin batter.
9. And on top again, press a few strawberry pieces to the batter
10. Bake for about 25 mins or until top is brown in preheated oven of 180 degree celcius

Enjoy this wonderful recipe. =D

Something I think I should mentioned here, hope it's not too late
1. The batter should be watery
2. If you want to test the muffin with skewer for doneness, remember to poke the side of the cake. If you poke through the middle, the cream cheese section would be forever moist!

Mr Haines' Chocolate Cake

Mr Haines was my Combined science teacher back in year 1997 from STPRI. Our school love to celebrate Teacher's day by holding the day off and having each class organised their own party. Then each teacher would visit each classes and sample the dishes brought by the students.

So, My Haines @ our homeroom teacher would bring his special chocolate cake everytime with nice chocolate icing on top. He didn't only bring it during Teacher's day, he would even bring it if we students requested it. I don't remember how it taste like now, after 14 years. but it does bring back a lot of happy memories from back then. I probably try to bake it once some 10 years ago. Haha. I think he went back to New Zealand several years ago. Wonder how he is doing now?

So it was 4.30 p.m., i was halfway watching Kimi ni Todoke when i suddenly feel bored. Then i look for Mr Haines' old recipe and started to scout for ingredients around the house. I didn't have milk so i substitute with chocolate milk. My cocoa powder wasn't from the best brand and my margarine was the Farm Cow brand (which i never really like). But I'm really dying to bake something. So i go ahead with all those ingredients in hand.

Here's the recipe for any of you who would love to try it.

1 cup hot water
4 tbsp cocoa powder
4oz margarine (really, i would prefer using butter)
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups self raising flour (sifted)
2 cups sugar


1. preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.
2. Mix together hot water, cocoa and margarine.
3. Add baking soda dissolved in milk, vanilla and eggs into the first step and mix well.
4. Beat in sifted flour and sugar until well combined.
4. Pour into baking pan and bake for about 25 to 30 mins.

Cool and then ice with your own chocolate icing recipe. The cake taste fine without icing of course.

My oven took 40 mins to bake this cake. So each oven's baking time varies. This is a really easy recipe. I didn't even need to take out my electronic beater and just mix everything with my whisk. =D

The result? soft and fluffy. I like!
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