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 ^^

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Super moist carrot cake with bailey's cream cheese frosting

My piggies especially Big, loves carrot cake. And Baby, he just can't get enough of bailey's cream cheese frosting!

So I decided to combine both. ^^

Super moist carrot cake (recipe from sallysbakingaddiction with modifications)
~ makes a 9x9 inch square cake
100g brown sugar
3/4 cup / 180ml neutral tasting oil
1/4 cup / 60g sour cream (original recipe calls for yogurt)
4 egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups / 250-280g cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg powder (a pinch is good enough for me)
1/2 tsp salt
3-4 carrots /300g finely grated carrots
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
3/4 cup raisins
4 egg whites
65 - 80g brown sugar

1. In a bowl, whisk 100g brown sugar and oil together. Mix in sour cream. Add egg yolks one at a time to the batter till well combined. Fold in vanilla extract.

2. In another bowl, sift cake flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together.

3. Place the dry ingredients, grated carrots, walnuts and raisins into the wet batter, and fold till just combined. Do not overmix.

4. In a clean bowl, beat egg whites till frothy, and slowly add in the 65-80g brown sugar. Beat till medium stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes.

5. Take 1/3 meringue and mix into the wet batter. Gently fold in the rest of the meringue till just combined. Do not overmix.

6. Bake in a preheated oven of 175-180C for about 35-38 minutes till cake is golden brown, or till skewer comes out clean.

Bailey's cream cheese frosting
125g cream cheese
2 tbsps / 30g butter
3/4 cup / 150g icing sugar, sifted
2 tbsps bailey's irish cream

Beat cream cheese, butter and icing sugar till light and fluffy. Fold in bailey's irish cream till well combined.

You know, I've always been wary of using vegetable oil in my bakes. I'm butter-girl! But I've to admit, this is one AWESOME cake! And I think I've figured it out ~ it's SOUR CREAM!!! ^^

If I didn't make this myself, I wouldn't even know this cake is made with vegetable oil! I'd think it was made with butter, using creaming and egg separation method. The texture and bite is exactly my kind of perfect cake! It's oh-so moist and springy plump "boing-boing". Gosh, you must think me mad for saying this.. well, it's almost succulent (as you would describe good ribs!), in a way. None of the flat, wet, sticky after taste texture you get from some veggie oil based cakes. PERFECT.

I've come to realize my post intros are getting shorter and shorter.. and there will probably come a time when I'll probably zip right to the recipe. After all, this blog is mainly to document recipes I've tried and liked.. and not ^^ But the post mortem and (over-)analyzing of my bakes is here to stay. Helps me to remember how I liked it and all ^^.

So for the record, I LOVE LOVE LOVE this carrot cake. A perfect carrot cake ~ just the way I like it. For once, it doesn't matter what piggies think (I didn't bother checking), "I" just think this is the best carrot cake I've made and had.. yet. ^^ A keeper!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Millionaire's shortbread

What could possibly go wrong when there's chocolate, caramel and sweet crust? ^^

You never know......

Millionaire's shortbread (recipe from deliciousmagazine)
~ use a 20x30cm / 9x13inch baking tray
175 g unsalted butter
75g caster sugar (50g is good enough for me)
250g plain flour

100g unsalted butter
50g muscovado sugar (used raw sugar instead)
50g golden syrup
2x397g condensed milk

200g bittersweet chocolate
50-80ml heavy/whipping cream, own preference 

* Get the instructions at deliciousmagazine.

So, what went wrong...

1. I did not check out other recipes, and just followed this recipe on blind faith because it looks so easy and doable. Mistake.

2. I had decided to just make half the caramel recipe. Wise decision. 'Cos I later messed up the caramel.. twice! Note: KEEP STIRRING THE CARAMEL AT ALL TIMES!!! This is not mentioned in the original instructions. Lucky for me, I had some leftover caramel from a previous bake, so I used that. I recommend using your own favorite caramel recipe, lest you waste 2 good cans of condensed milk like I did ^^||

3. Melting the chocolate.. The minute I put the chocolate over the pot of simmering water. I realize it was not going to work. How do you spread such a thick paste? So I recommend adding some heavy/whipping cream for a more spreadable ganache. It's also a whole lot yummier when the chocolate is a bit ooey-gooey (even after it's set from chilling).

4. BTW, don't be a duh like me. "Leave to set" means chilling in the fridge, unless you live in the artic.

Ok, the shortbread did make it to the Sultan, in time for supper last night. And it's delicious, even with all the modifications! Phew! ^^

Ya, ya, how could one not love chocolate, caramel and sweet crust? Well, when you mess up big time, there is that moment when you don't!

p.s. Here's a shout out to you, mel (@melspantrykitchen)! Thank you! Spot one of your "thoughtfulness" in this post ^^