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Showing posts from 2014

"The Stars And A Cat" Mango Tart

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Here's a confession. When making pies/tarts, I seldom do it the right way. This link will show you how to make pate brisee or pie crust the right method. But look at those many steps and chilling and waiting, only to make the crust! Who has got time for that? I'm sure the right method will make the best taste and texture, but with a very active kid always around I often just want to cut the process short as much as I can.

So here's how I do it, try it when you crave for some pies and want it fast. But if you got spare time, also try the right method at least once in a lifetime. I think it would be worth it.


For the crust:
Disclaimer 1: this recipe is enough for a layer of around 20 cm thin crust, simply double or triple it if you prefer a thicker crust or want to make a double crust pie. Disclaimer 2: Most pie crust recipes call for 2-3 parts flour to 1 part butter. For example, the recipe in the link above calls for 2,5 cups (350 grams) flour and 1 cup (226 grams) butter. Bu…

Bread-Making Madness #3: Baguettes

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This is the real madness. Making my own baguettes when I can easily buy them from any bakery. No 14-hours-proofing, no all-morning-waiting-anxiously-for-the-result. But I just thought, hey, isn't it cool if I could make my own baguettes?
Well, no, because it didn't turn out as expected. In order to get the beautiful deep golden brown shade, I baked them up till 30 minutes. Wrong. It was far too long. When still warm, the baguettes are as hard as rocks, and once cooled down, chewing them felt like chewing a tire. No kidding!
But maybe it's not all about the baking duration, there must be something I missed on the process. The interior of the baguettes was not as it's supposed to be: airy, with large, irregular holes. Mine looked just like another bread. They tasted good, though.
This is really not over yet, my friend. I definitely will have another try. 
Anyway, if you feel challenged, find the complete instructions on making baguettes here.

Saturday Lunch: Gratin Dauphinois

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Potatoes are delicious in any way, gratin may be one of the best. Baked in a bath of milk and cheese, what's not to love? I would eat it on breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, anytime.
Recipe is roughly modified from here.

Bread-Making Madness #2: Buns

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#BakingWithKid. Did you know that children are good at kneading bread dough? Just give them a try. Let them pinch it, punch it, turn it over, slam it, press and squeeze it, as much as they like. When they're done, the dough are done too! 
Recipe is from the back of the instant-yeast box. A great and foolproof one. Will post it here sometime in the future.

The Chocolate-Chip Cookie Journey

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As a chocolate-chip cookie lover, I'm always on the quest of finding the best recipe on earth. Every time I think I found it, there comes a new recipe to try, with better taste and appearance than the former best. Perhaps recipes don't matter too much, there are many, many versions of them that make great cookies. Maybe it's the experiences that you gain from trying so many slightly different recipes that shape the best cookies.

After all, every people have their own preferences. One prefers slightly crisp cookies whilst other prefers gooey under-baked ones. There are fans of super thick and fluffy cookies as well as the flatter ones. Some people don't mind with the generous amount of sugar used in the recipe, others prefer to reduce it and get lesser-than-expected texture.

However best a recipe someone claims to be, you always have to tweak it a bit to your own preference.

This picture is from 2008. The cookies were made using the very first chocolate-chip cookie reci…

Bread-Making Madness #1: Rustic Bread

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Warmest good morning from homemade rustic bread!

(I totally, completely forgot which recipe I used for making this bread. So, no recipe link yet...)

Can't Get Enough Of This, Too!

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My Favorite Lemon Meringue Pie, recipe from here.

#BakingWithKid: Chocolate Cake With Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting

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Another baking session with the kid, with a little more effort this time. And another popular thingy that I've been wanting to try to make: salted caramel. I think this one is more understandable. I mean, it's CARAMEL. Plus, salted. It can't go wrong. 
I was drooling when I saw this beautiful cake picture here. Look at that caramel drizzling! But please, please don't compare it with my result. I followed the recipe as closely as possible, yet the result is messy, no beauty. But the taste, OhMyGod. I was right, people were right, salted caramel can't go wrong.

Green Tea Cookies

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What's with all this green tea craze? People seems hysterical about anything with green tea in it. I'm intrigued, and my curiosity is enough to bring me to buy some green tea powder on the baking-supply store. Quite expensive for such minuscule package, I must say. Anyway, let's turn that famous powder into cookies! Of course! 

Pick your favorite cookies recipe. Add generous amount of green tea powder to the flour mix. Substitute brown sugar with white sugar, and chocolate-chips with white chocolate-chips. Because I think green tea would go well with white chocolate. And I'm right. The cookies are sooo good I wanna cry. 

But I think it's because, you know, cookies are like my most favorite snack in the world. Not because the green tea. I still don't get what this green tea madness is all about. 
Anyway, this is how I bring them to the next level:

Let's start chocolate-chip-cookie-ice-cream-sandwiches craze!

#BakingWithKid: Lazy Saturday Afternoon Cake

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When the kid insists on baking a cake on a lazy Saturday, let's just do it as simple as possible. Easy chocolate cake, with basic buttercream frosting and ready-to-use blueberry jelly in between. No need to trim the edge. Just top with more buttercream and let the kid sprinkle as much chocolate chips as he wants. Done! Now let me go back to my book, will ya?

Homemade Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

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Strawberry cheesecake is good enough, how about strawberry cheesecake ICE CREAM? Total NOM! P.s. no machine required.
Start by preparing strawberry pie filling. There's a step-by-step to make it here.
Then make crumbs. I used crushed digestive biscuit + melted butter.
For the ice cream, mix together butter, cream cheese, whipped cream, sweet condensed milk, and lemon juice. 
Throw in the crumbs, stir. 
Then throw in the strawberry filling. Fold gently, do not overmix!
Yum! At this point, sneak a spoonful or two wouldn't kill. Just remember to pour the rest into a container. Cover and freeze overnight. 
Enjoy!
You can view the complete recipe here.

Oreo-Stuffed Cookies

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Remember this cupcakes? Well, I made too much frosting. What to do with leftover frosting? Make cookies! I got the idea by googling it. It's very simple, just add 1 cup flour and 1 egg to 1/2 cup frosting. I had 1 cup frosting but didn't double the recipe, so the cookies are more chewy and moist. To make them more special, put oreos under every cookie dough balls, so during the baking the dough will spread and hide them. Cookies with a surprise inside!

Chocolate Cupcakes With Vanilla Frosting

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Nothing very special about this post, just ordinary chocolate cupcakes with ordinary frosting. I just want to keep notes about the chocolate cake recipe. It is adapted from Smitten Kitchen's Everyday Chocolate Cake. That recipe is a keeper, the cake is tender, moist, but not too soggy. Definitely will frequently use it for any need of chocolate cake.

Can't Get Enough Of This!

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Warm-gooey-giant-chocolate-chip-cookie under baked in ceramic plate that keeps the cookie warm longer. Served with its soulmate: ice-cold milk.

Baked Potato Donuts

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They're baked in a pan on the stove. So easy and simple. Sweet potatoes could also be used instead of potatoes.
Baked Potato Donut Recipe

Banana Raisins Bread Pudding

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Perfect, warm, comfort food on rainy afternoons.
Recipe from here

Making Cheesecake Using Homemade Cream Cheese

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Having regularly made homemade cream cheese, I'm intrigued to try to make cheesecake out of it. It makes slightly different taste and texture but enough to satisfy my cheesecake craving. 
Strawberry Cheesecake Roughly modified from here
For the crust: 100 grams digestive biscuit, finely crushed 50 grams butter/margarine, melted
For the cheesecake: 150 grams homemade cream cheese 50 grams powdered sugar 1/2 tbsp cornflour 1 egg 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice a pinch of salt 150 grams plain yogurt (You could use sour cream. Plain yogurt is all I have in hand)
For the topping: 150 grams strawberries, chopped 2 tbsp sugar 1/2 tsp cornflour a squeeze of lemon
Methods: Crust: combine crushed biscuit and melted butter/margarine together, then press into a 16-18 cm pie pan. Set aside. Cheesecake: whisk all the ingredients together until smooth. Pour into the pie pan, bake until set. Let cool. Chill in the refrigerator a few hours or overnight.  Strawberry topping: Throw chopped strawberries,…

Low Budget Pizza

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Wanna make your own pizza but you don't have mozzarella? No worry, shredded processed cheddar cheese will do. And pizzas could taste great too even without any meat on it. Prepare the dough the night before to get richer taste. I used this simple recipe, it makes delicious pizza crusts. Then you could top it with whatever you currently have in hand. 
Homemade tomato sauce + onion + green bell pepper + shredded cheddar + oregano flakes
Homemade tomato sauce + onion + pineapple chunks + cheddar cubes + shredded cheddar + oregano flakes

Crispy Chocolate Cupcakes

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Chocolate cupcakes topped with a mixture of chocolate cereal and melted chocolate. Could it get any more chocolatey than this?

Overnight Oats

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Sliced banana + old fashioned rolled oats + cocoa + almond milk = my kind of easy Sunday breakfast

Classic Butter Cookies

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As classic as it sounds. Butter cookies with assorted toppings: cappuccino spread, lemon jelly, blueberry jelly, and nutella! 

Quick (Cheat) Bread

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Have you ever had a sudden craving for some home made bread but didn't feel like having to wait for the dough-rising process? I often do. But thanks to Jamie Oliver's Fantastic Cheat's Pizza recipe you can hack yourself some quick bread in no time. You should really check this step by step for making quick pizza. It's so easy. I was not in the mood for making pizza so I tweaked it a little to make my own plain quick bread. Oh, by the way, you don't need oven for this recipe. Simply pan-fry the dough on the stove top, preferably using a heavy-bottom pan. See why it is called cheat bread?

Simply add some shredded cheese on the top, et voila! Something nice to munch.
The sweet version, with palm sugar coating that's caramelized during cooking.

Giant Cookie!

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It really was a very large cookie. It didn't stay intact for too long because we couldn't bear to pinch a considerable portion as soon as it came out of the oven. Yes, while it was still sizzling hot.

I ate it for breakfast accompanied by full cream milk, ice cold. And I was not sorry. Goodbye, waistline!

Come, look closer! Yum-yum. 
Note: I quartered this Jacques Torres' recipe and baked the dough in a 24 cm pie plate, which resulted in rather thick cookie.

Aren Sugar Butter Cake

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This is an ordinary butter cake that is made extraordinary by switching white sugar with aren sugar. It creates certain aroma, a bit similar to caramel. Hmmm, luscious. And from what I know, natural made sugar like aren sugar is healthier than white refined sugar (CMIIW).

This recipe is adapted from here.

Aren Sugar Butter Cake
By Cokelatia

Ingredients:
120 grams butter/margarine
150-200 grams aren sugar, shredded
2 eggs
200 grams cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
150 ml milk
almond slices for topping (optional)

Methods:
Preheat oven to 180 celsius.
Butter a square cake pan. I used a 24 x 24 cm pan, but a 22 x 22 cm pan would result in a nice taller cake.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.
Mix butter/margarine with shredded aren sugar until pale and fluffy.
Add eggs, continue mixing until very pale and thick.
Gradually add flour mixture and milk alternately, stir after each addition.
Pour into prepared pan, sprinkle with almond slices.
Bake until g…