Sunday, December 4, 2016

Till we meet again

This has been a year of goodbyes.

One of my besties lost her dad a week-some ago. A good blogging friend lost her beloved mum. Chubby pig had to put his loyal rottweiler, Bravo, to sleep. And Big and Baby pig sent their fearsome fighter rabbit, Yeti Little Paw, to bunny heaven.

It's not easy to lose someone we love and care for. I know.

For again, I have lost someone very dear.

The dreaded C took aunt away a few days ago. It was a verdict we fought tooth and nail over, but as with most death sentences, no appeal worked. The only consolation out of this was that she was never in pain, and her discomfort minimal. God has been kind. 

And I'm grateful. For Sei Yee is the bestest, kindest, most supportive aunt anyone can ever be blessed with.. she's that angel, heavens sent to watch over us kids. She is unconditional love and care. She is nasi lemak, pancakes, tea, cakes and all so food, i mean good. 

My love affair with butter and old fashioned butter cakes, came from her. I will bake a butter cake in her honour, once I get over this dumpy feeling.. which I know will pass. Cos I know she's already in a better, beautiful, peaceful place with mum and uncle.   

Surprisingly, I'm not crying as much. I'm worried cos that's rather unusual for me. I do wonder if it's cos I've been crying so much the last few weeks when she was hospitalized, that there's not much tears left. I'm fearful I'm in denial, and my feelings are all boxed up and the storm will come, and it'll be a tsunami. I pray not. 

Yet, I'm hurting somehow and I don't sleep very well. The heart feels empty and tight right now. I just hope all this will pass soon.  

For now, I will reminisce over the good memories. And hold her in my heart for that bit longer.


She has fought the good fight. She has finished the race. She is in a better place.


 Here's to finding comfort and peace soon for all those who have loved and cared deeply.


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Bailey's chocolate chip cheesecake


Happy Birthday, Chubby! ^^

Bailey's choc chip cheesecake (recipe adapted from here)
~ fits a 9 or 10-inch square tin
Crust
200-220g oreos, crushed (or use crushed graham crackers+2tbsps cocoa powder+2tbsps icing sugar)
80g unsalted butter, melted

Filling
500g cream cheese
100g sugar
200ml sour cream
3 egg yolks
125ml/10 tbsps bailey's irish cream
2 tbsps flour, sifted
100g chopped dark chocolate/choc chips
3 egg whites
70g sugar

Chocolate frosting
100g dark chocolate
100ml cream
3-4 tbsps bailey's chocolate luxe, optional

1. Mix crushed oreos and melted butter together. Press crushed cookies evenly into a lined baking tin, till nice and firm. Bake in a preheated oven of 170C for 10-15 minutes. Remove and leave to cool. If lazy, omit the baking part and just stuff the crust into the fridge and chill for a bit..

2. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese till light and fluffy. Then add sugar till well blended.

3. Fold in the sour cream into the cheese batter.

4. Gently mix in the egg yolks one at a time till well combined. Next add bailey's irish cream.

5. Fold in the flour and the chopped chocolates.

6. In a clean bowl, beat egg whites till foamy, and add the sugar bit by bit. Beat till soft peaks form (no need to beat till stiff unlike for chiffon cake).

7. Mix 1/3 egg whites mixture into cheese batter till well combined. Fold the rest in gently.

8. Place batter over crust and bake bain marie in a preheated oven of 150C for 50-55 minutes (the center should still be a wee bit jiggly ^^). Leave to cool in the oven with the door slightly ajar for about 1 hour.

9. In a clean bowl, melt chocolate and cream over a pot of simmering water. Add bailey's chocolate luxe, optional.

10. Spread chocolate frosting over warm cheesecake. Chill in the fridge overnight before serving.

Hehe.. so I drizzled a bit of salted caramel over Chubby's cake. But let me assure you, it's creamy, dreamy, melt-in-the-mouth, and just as delish, without the liquid gold ^^


Friday, February 5, 2016

Oatmeal cookies


I hardly ever prepare much, especially bake cookies, for CNY. However, when the oatmeal raisin cookies I ordered arrived, it was not quite what I had in mind.. And that's how triggered the great oatmeal cookie chase ^^||

Oatmeal raisin cookies (recipe adapted from david lebovitz)
227g unsalted butter
185g brown sugar
65g caster sugar
2 eggs
245g all purpose flour, sifted
3/4 tsp baking soda, sifted
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder, sifted
1/2 tsp sea salt
175 g rolled oats
250g raisins
* for oatmeal choc chip nut cookies: replace raisins with 200g choc chips and 100g toasted chopped walnuts

1. Beat butter and sugars till light and fluffy.

2. Add in eggs and mix till well combined.

3. Fold in flour, baking soda, cinnamon powder and sea salt. Lastly mix in the rolled oats and raisins (or choc chips and nuts).

4. Roll cookie dough into balls, or drop it freestyle into a lined baking tray. Bake in a preheated oven of 175C for 20-22 minutes, or till golden brown, and depending on how chewy or crunchy you want your cookies to be. If you want chewy cookies, do not overbake. I baked for about 22 minutes. as I wanted mine crunchy ^^


Now these cookies are exactly what I imagined oatmeal cookies to be ^^ Perfect!


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Nothing salted caramel can't fix ^^


This should be one of my last post for the year. 

It's been a slow year in terms of blogging and baking for me. I've seem to lost my mojo for a bit. And when I do bake, it's always the same old things. 

Though lately, I've been exploring (made it thrice!) a "cooked-dough" chocolate sponge cake recipe shared by jeannietay, This recipe is perfect for those who are "heavy-handed" and can never get sponge cakes right. Interestingly, I noticed the recipe is pretty much like that of an ogura cake..  

Anyway, my cakes turned out absolutely gorgeous, moist and cottony soft every time! It's the perfect foil for my salted caramel. banana and peanut buttercream combo. However, I felt there was a slight aftertaste (which no one noticed! ^^||).. possibly due to my use of greek yogurt in replacement of milk.. or my burning the oil! So I'm still working on getting it right. ^^

Well, for a change, I decided to switch up the recipe and made a plain sponge cake with some lemon zest and juice today. Not the best idea I'm afraid.. I forgot to save up the lemon juice to make lemon glaze! So the cake was rather plain, and I could taste a slight aftertaste (greek yogurt, perhaps??? sorry, I'm going through a greek yogurt phase! ^^||). Of course, I couldn't just leave it at that! And just to put it on record, there's really few things that salted caramel cannot make right ^^ I drizzled loads! And voila, a yummy cake is reborn! ^^ 

soft, fluffy plain  jane
Chubby pig who was visiting, pronounced the cake as "not bad", happily took a loaf home. Now what did I tell 'ya, there's nothing that salted caramel can't fix! ^^ ^^ ^^

Merry christmas and happy holidays! ^^


Friday, November 27, 2015

Caramel frankenstein cake ^^


I made this messy, frankenstein-ish cake for Baby pig who turned 14 yesterday ^^

His eyes were exceptionally bright and sparkling when he saw the caramel overload, haha! And when I heard his tell-tale soft humming after he had a slice of cake, I knew he was extremely happy! la-da-da-da... ^^ ^^ ^^

In case you fail to recognise the cake due to the mess, it's actually a decadently indulgent treat made up of tish boyle's deep chocolate sour cream pound cake, smothered with peanut butter buttercream frosting, layered with sliced bananas and drowned in oodles of salted caramel sauce ^^ oooooohhh, so so yums!!!

Tish Boyle's Deep chocolate sour cream pound cake (recipe from rima@bisouatoi)
90g all purpose flour
29g cake flour
21g dutch processed cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
170g unsalted butter
200-210g granulated sugar
2 large eggs (I used the egg separation method, for a bouncier cake) 
1 tsp vanilla extract
120g sour cream

This is 1/2 the original recipe, which I baked in a 7" round cake tin at 170C for 60-65 minutes. For the step by step to making this cake, please head on to bisouatoi.. hehe, am too lazy to write it out, 'cos it's the usual way of cake making ie. butter cakes ^^
* I sliced the cake into 2 layers, and piled on the frosting, bananas and caramel sauce to make this birthday treat!
* I also tried the DIY wet cloth/towel wrapped around the cake tin method for even baking and to prevent a cracked domed top.. and it WORKS!!! No cracks at all, and the top was nicely flat and evenly baked ^^
* note to self: cake was soft and had a nice texture on day it was baked, but turned a touch dense after being refrigerated.. maybe a chocolate sponge cake would've been better as a cake base? 
* question to self: wonder if using a dutch-processed cocoa powder makes a difference? Answer: Yes, there's a difference.. stick to dutch processed cocoa if the recipe says so!!!

Peanut butter buttercream 
100g creamy peanut butter
30g unsalted butter, softened
80-100g icing sugar, sifted
30g-60g heavy or whipping cream, add to own desired consistency
* make more if planning to ice the whole cake

Beat peanut butter and butter together till soft and fluffy. Add sifted icing sugar and beat till well combined. Slowly mix in the whipping cream to your desired consistency. Do not make frosting overly runny/soft like I did (I even did it on purpose because I wanted a soft, runny frosting.. bad idea! this is what happens to amateurs who don't know much about frosting, haha!), or you'll end up with a frankenstein-y mess! ^^||

Bananas, sliced

Salted caramel sauce (recipe from sallysbakingaddiction or check here)
200g granulated sugar
6 tbsp butter (salted or unsalted is fine)
1/2 cup / 120ml heavy or whipping cream
1 tsp sea salt, or add to taste
* keep leftovers in the fridge, drizzle over ice cream etc.. yums yums! ^^
For best step by step to making caramel, see my favorite guy, david lebovitz's post. That's where I learned how to make caramel.. no thermometer needed!

An epic, frankenstein-caramelly-good birthday cake for an epic, caramel-toothed boy! Love you caramel-loads, Baby pig ^^

taken with phone under slightly better lighting ^^

** p.s I've actually played around with this combo of flavors before.. it was last year (see here), and it was for the same caramel-toothed person. But I didn't manage to make it then. 'Cos last year, we made an amateur Dr Who Bow Ties Are Cool cake, which almost ended up on Cake Wrecks, haha!   


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Happiness is..


Chubby pig was here for a sleepover recently. And spent the ENTIRE time playing BFME and goodness-knows-what-other comp games with Baby pig!

Now what has that to do with me? Well, it just means I got to bake.. LOTS ^^. And finally the chance to use my new enamel pie plate, a gift from one of my favorite people.. you know who you are! ^^

My babies were well fed. I'm happy ^^ ^^ ^^


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Almond-crisped peaches


Big's leaving tonight. He's off to spend a semester in Athens, Greece. And then back to college in the states. I will miss him oh-so much.

This time it'll be a long time before he comes back home. He's thinking of interning during the next summer break. So we are not sure when his next trip home will be. Perhaps I should brave the long flight and visit him in the states.. well, only if the exchange rate is favorable. ^^

Almond-crisped peaches (recipe adapted/from smittenkitchen)
10 peach halves (I used canned peaches)
100g almond meal
scant 1/2 tsp baking powder
60g sugar
6 tbsps rolled oats
90g cold butter, diced

1. Wash the syrup off the canned peaches, and dab dry with paper towels.

2. In a clean bowl, mix almond meal, baking powder, sugar and rolled oats together till well blended.

3. Whizz or cut the butter through the dry ingredients till it resembles breadcrumbs.

4. Place peach halves into a greased baking tray, and top with crumble mix.

5. Bake in a preheated oven of 200C for 30 minutes, or till tops turn golden brown. 

I just had to bake a peach-something for Big before he leaves. He loves peach desserts and I didn't manage to bake him any throughout the 3.5 months he was home. So on the excuse of his grandparents visit, I made a quick dessert just before I left for the all-important yellow rally.

And speaking of yesterday, I'm really happy to report it was a most peaceful rally of yellow. I'm seriously an unfit person. But I managed to brave and survived a crazy long walk under the hot sun and scorching heat (we parked crazy far away thinking the lrts were not going to work!). And what do I get? A whole night of migraine, dead legs, a knee in bandage.. and a clear heart.. and dare I say, perhaps hope for the future? ^^ I'll be honest, I'm sceptical that rallies will bring about changes overnight, if at all any. But yet I was there because I'm hopeful. This is home.

Anyways, back to this recipe, whether you call this a crisp or a crumble, they pretty much spell the same thing.. delicious! I know 'cos I left them at noon and came back to none ^^