Sunday, August 11, 2013

Carrot cream cheese cake

This is a cake that sounds and looks better than it tastes, if that's possible ^^||! Well, at least in my mind, that is.

Don't get me wrong, this is a good cake (recipe from houseofannie) ^^. It's just that I had built up the wildest, imaginary taste and flavor for this cake in my mind.. soft, gooey cream cheese swirling in the midst of cake.. just like my favorite rye bread dotted with lots of cream cheese and dried fruits ^^. Alas, the actual cake fell a little short of the one that I had dreamt of. No fault of the recipe.. it's just me.

I've made carrot cakes using the butter creaming method before and the cakes were numero uno good! So I had a higher than high expectation for this cake with the addition of cream cheese in the cake batter itself! But this is a slightly different recipe, and I now know I made a few mistakes, which I must remember whenever I make carrot cake again.

1. Use brown sugar! Previously I had only used brown sugar in all my bakes ~ hence all my carrot cakes looked golden brown, not golden yellow! And tasted a little different too..

2. Cinnamon. I forgot this time round ~ hence the lack of a subtle layer of zing..

3. Use more carrot! This recipe called for 200g, I used a bit more ~ 2 medium carrots.. And it's still not quite enough! Use at least 3-4 medium ones!

Back to this cake. The cream cheese (go all out ~ use 250g! ^^) in the cake is a wonderful idea! Cake looks amazing when sliced! ^^ And tastes delish too! The subtle cream cheese filling goes really well with the cake. ^^ Check out houseofannie for the recipe.

Well, it's finally Sunday today.. my last cook-and-bake-out marathon day. I'm happy to report I've had a really productive holiday.. cooking and baking to my heart's content ^^! And not spent on mall crawling ^^||.

And to end the long weekend with a bang, I have melt-in-the-mouth (I hope ^^!) maple chipotle pork ribs baking in the oven ~ Cheers! ^^

Friday, August 9, 2013

Bacon and brie quiche

Not too long ago, during a period of "uninspiredness", I asked my muse, big pig, to give me something, anything.. off his mind. He said, "bacon and brie".

Bacon and brie (and spinach) quiche
Pastry (recipe from Dean Brettschneider's Sausage, Sun-dried Tomato & Potato Tart)
160g flour
120g butter, diced
a pinch of salt
2-3 tbsp fresh milk

150-180g bacon, sliced thinly
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
a handful of spinach (fresh or frozen)
125-200g brie, chopped roughly (use more! ^^)
5 eggs
1 1/2 cup fresh milk (or heavy cream, if not on diet ^^)
salt and pepper, to season

1. Prepare pastry. Blitz flour, butter and salt together with an electric mixer or processor, till they resemble breadcrumbs. Add fresh milk and mix till a dough is formed. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 mins or overnight. Or shortcut by rolling out pastry immediately and place on greased 22-cm round or rectangular tart tin, prick the base and then cover and refrigerate ^^.

2. Bake-blind pastry shell at 200C for 15-20 minutes. Remove foil and weights and bake for another 5 mins. Or just use as it is, straight from the refrigerator, no baking required.. it works too! ^^

3. In a non-stick pan, cook sliced bacon till brown and fragrant. Remove and leave to cool.

4. In the same pan, saute onions for at least 40 minutes on medium heat for caramelized onions. Add a bit of water to soften onions if you wish. When it's nicely softened, remove and set aside to cool.

5. Wilt spinach quickly in a pot of boiling water. Drain and squeeze out the water from the spinach. Leave to cool.

6. In a bowl, mix eggs, fresh milk, salt and pepper till well blended.

7. To assemble, place spinach evenly on the pastry shell, followed by caramelized onions. Then add cooked bacon. Dot chopped brie all over. Gently pour the egg mixture over.

8. Bake in a preheated oven of 200C for 40 minutes, or 220C for 30 minutes, till golden.

This is another fabulous quiche that had big pig "wincing" deliriously ~ yes, it's that good! ^^ You'll just have to believe it as I didn't have any.. I didn't want to take any "joy" off big and baby who really dig this!

Of course, I had another quiche made just for me ^^!

Some tomatoes, some leftover bacon and minced chicken meat.. a big sprinkling of grated cheddar cheese ^^ ~ and voila! a baby quiche just for me.. and fatty. ^^

It feels really good to be baking like this ^^. Now, what should I do next? ^^

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Deliciousness ~ kuih akok ^^

I've been a bad girl! Not cooking nor baking for the past few weeks..

Well, I just couldn't resist all the deliciousness at the pasar ramadans! I've been having a whopping good time pasar ramadan hopping, checking and bingeing (of course! ^^) on all the yummies on offer! ^^ A whole month of bliss, aah...! ^^

Of course my happy run had to come to an end.. but there's the long weekend hols to look forward to ^^ Yay!

So to celebrate the first day of the long hols and to make up for lost time, I decided on a marathon cook and bake-out! ^^

Kuih Akok Kelantan (recipe from aziejaya, original from myresipi)
~ makes 12 pcs
5 eggs
200ml coconut milk (I like Kara coconut milk ^^)
100ml water
120g gula melaka, chopped roughly (I used gula melaka from Terengganu which comes in discs)
30g all purpose flour
3 pandan leaves, tear/cut into smaller pieces
a pinch of salt

1. In a pan, bring water, gula melaka and pandan leaves to a boil, or till gula melaka has dissolved. Remove from stove.

2. Add coconut milk to the gula melaka water.

3. When mixture is cooled, add eggs and flour. Mix well. Sieve mixture into a bowl/pouring jug.

4. Preheat oven at 200C and place WELL-OILED (more is necessary to ensure cakes doesn't stick to bottoms) muffin tin into oven as well.

5. Divide mixture and fill up muffin tins evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes for a nicely browned kuih ^^.  

This is my current favorite malay kuih ~ I just love the browned/burnt crust and moist, pudding-like insides (note the holey, crumpled, ultra-soft texture in the pix above) ~ overtaking my all-time kuih bakar by a whisker ^^

I had to make this kuih because I missed out on it the last weekend at the pasar ramadan in tg lumpur when I was back home in kuantan. To appease my craving, I decided to have a go at this kuih during the hols. And believe me, this tastes as lusciously good as the stall-bought ones! ^^

They say the best akok is sold in Kelantan, so I guess a trip to Kota Bahru is in order. But till I get there, this recipe works just as well! ^^