Saturday, January 29, 2011

Lamington

Lalala.. lamingtons...Popular cake in Australia. Aussies even have a day called "National Lamington Day", awesome....

This time I made the sponge and the three types of coating myself (lemon curd, dark chocolate and white chocolate), but if you can't be bothered, then get a ready-made sponge (or you can even use a left-over sponge...) and a jar of lemon curd.

The sweet and sour lemon curd soaked nicely into the sponge, and hint of coconut flavour is ....hummm, yummy...

And of course, it's all about presentation...three lamingtons nicely wrapped in a bag with WOS sticker (oh, YES!), ready to put smile on people's face:D

Homemade Lemon curd

Another thing to try when you have time, Lemon curd.
Freshly made sweet and sour lemon curd is very versatile. It can be used to spread on bread, pour on icecream, add in a muffin, put in a pie... so on and so on...

Thinking of that lemony flavour and taste makes my mouth wet... is that only me...?

Ingredients;

Fresh lemon juice 100ml
Sugar 120 g
Egg 2
Butter 35g
Lemon zest 1/2 tsp

1. Melt butter in a microwave.
2. In a pan, combine all the ingredients and mix well.
3. Place the pan on a low heat.
4. Simmer until it thickens (Be careful not to burn.)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Beautiful Sponge Cake

It's quite easy to make a nice sponge cake when you have an electric mixer. The key to make smooth and even sponge cake is to be "Gentle". All you have to do is not to mix but "Fold in" gently after adding flour. Then, you'll have a gorgeous sponge to play with.

I am going to cut them in pieces and let them rest in the fridge for tomorrow's Lamingtons;)

Ingredients;

Flour 90g
Sugar 90g
Egg 3
Butter 30g
Vanilla extract 1/2 tsp

1. Mix Sugar and egg with an electric mixer until it's fluffy and smooth.
2. Sift flour into 1, and fold in very gently.
3. Melt butter in a microwave.
4. Pour melted butter and vanilla extract into 2 and fold in gently.
5. Bake for 25 minutes in the pre-heated oven (160º).

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Melomakarona (Greek olive oil cookie)

Greece is know for their olive oil. Almost all the Greek dishes seem to have olive oil in a way or another... And, their sweet is not an exception.

This sweet and spicy cookie, soaked in honey syrup is eaten at Christmas time. Because it doesn't contain butter, but uses olive oil instead, the texture is lighter. It's a fun to see the cookies sucking the syrup in when they are soaked in it.

Sweetness of the honey syrup is a real treat on a cold day;)

Ingredients;

Flour 120g
Semolina flour 50g
Baking soda 1tsp
Sugar 65g
Olive oil 110g
Orange juice 45 ml
Brandy 1tsp
Cinnamon powder 1/2 tsp
Salt pinch
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*Syrup
Sugar 100g
Honey 100g
Water 100g
Cinnamon 1/2 tsp
Glove 1/3 tsp

1. In a bowl combine orange juice and baking powder.
2. In a separate bowl combine flour, semolina flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon powder.
3. Pour 1, olive oil and brandy into 2. Knead until the dough sticks together.
4. Take a ping-pong ball size of dough and make an oval shape.
5. Place a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes in the pre-heated oven(180º).
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6. When the biscuit is cooled, make the syrup.
7. Put all the ingredients for the syrup in a pan. Let the syrup boil for a few minutes, and the turn the heat off.
8. Put the biscuits in the pan to soak them in the syrup for 30 seconds.
9. Take the biscuits out and sprinkle chopped nuts. Pour the syrup over again.

Thai Coconut Pancake

Breakie breakie!

If you are looking for a pancake that is a bit different from the usual ones, then this Thai style pancake is the way to go.

There is no plain flour but rice flour, which gives the pancake a unique flavour. Not only that, the exotic taste of coconut hits you every bite, lovely...

Try for breakfast, it's really easy to make;)

Ingredients;

Coconut milk 200ml
Coconut flakes 20g
Egg 1
Sugar 2tbs
Rice flour 80g
Baking powder 1 tsp
Oil 1 tbsp
Salt pinch

1. In a large bowl, combine rice flour, coconut flakes, baking powder and salt, and mix well.
2. Beat egg and sugar together until it's fluffy.
3. Add 1 into 2. Mix well.
4. Add oil into 3. Mix well.
5. Spray oil on a pan. Pour the mixture, and cook both side.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Waffle

I've got a waffle iron at Christmas, and after a month I've finally tried it. It's a proper iron and gets really hot, which makes a great crispy-outside-and-soft-inside waffles.

The waffle iron is quite heavy so it's a bit awkward to use in the house, but I'm sure it would be a great fun to try all sorts of waffles when you're camping. I can't wait to go camping with my waffle iron:)

I strongly recommend to get the proper iron one instead of electric ones because it's so much fun to do it yourself!
 Solid Cast Iron Waffle Iron




Ingredients;

Strong flour 100g
Plain flour 80g
Yeast 7g
Sugar 30g
Salt 2g
Melted butter 30g
Milk 200ml
Egg 1

1. Warm up milk to body temperature. Add melted butter and egg, and mix well.
2. In a large bowl, put flour, yeast, sugar, salt.
3. Pour 1 into 2. Mix well. Let it rest for 1 hour.
4. Spray oil on the waffle iron and let the iron get hot. 
5. Scoop the mixture in the iron, cook it until the out side it crispy.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

SmartSaver cupcake

I'm doing design works for iPhone Apps. One of the apps I'm working on has just been released, called "SmartSaver". It's a kind of finance app that helps you save money. And...., the icon of this App is the piggy on these cupcakes!! His unique eyes are hard to ignore!

Yesterday, we met up with the developer of this app, his wify, a friend of ours and his girlfriend for an app release celebration dinner. I brought these cupcakes. As well as it had the iconic piggy on top to promote the app, it's a honeycomb cupcake which our friend, Andrew, gave me the idea of. Thanks to him, crunchy and sort of biscuity cake was lovely and addictive.

Honeycomb is a great fun to make! Try this mini science experiment, and of course... SmartSaver!

Ingredients;

Sugar 100g
Golden syrup 3 tbsp
Bicarbonate of soda 2 tsp

1. Put Sugar and Golden syrup in a pan. Place the pan on a low heat for about 10 minutes. Stir well to prevent burning it. 
2. As soon as the syrup reaches the stage where dropping a little syrup into a glass of water and it snaps cleanly, remove the pan off the heat. Add Bicarbonate of soda and mix well. You'll see a little volcano.
3. Pour 2 into a cake tin. Let it cool, then break it into chunky pieces.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Pavlova

Beautiful contrast of white meringue, whipped cream and different types of berries..., Pavlova named after a legendary Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova, who was as pretty and delicate as this dessert.

There seem to be a lot of argument where this dessert originally came from. Some say Australia, the other say New Zealand. However, the World of Sweets is going to put this one in New Zealand since our Kiwi friend told me it is theirs....

To all the Aussies, please don't be angry...
Anyway wherever it's from, this is really tasty:)

Ingredients;

Egg white 2
Sugar 120g
Vanilla extract 1/2 tsp
White Vinegar a few drops
Cream of tartar 1/3 tsp

1. Pre-heat the oven to 120º.
2. Beat the egg white with an electric mixer to make a meringue.
3. Add sugar, cream of tartar, vanilla, vinegar to 2, and mix well.
4. Scoop up the mixture with a spatula and place it on the baking sheet to make a oval shape.
5. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 1 hour.
6. When it's done, turn the oven off and leave it in the oven for another hour.
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Decorate with whipped cream and fruits you like.

Traditional Pavlova on Foodista

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Alfajores

Crumbly and buttery Argentinian biscuit, Alfajores. Home-made dulce de leche is sandwiched between them.

When I was making the cookie dough, I was a little worried whether they were going to stick together. But after a few hours rest in the fridge,  it seem to be settled nicely.

When I was just about to cut it into a round shape, I realised I didn't have cookie cutter...;( So, I used the edge of a champagne glass, and look! it worked surprisingly well:)

With my sweetie dulce de luche, they are a perfect match with a strong cup of coffee or tea.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dulce de Leche

I've wanted to make this for ages but I always thought it would be difficult and a hard work.
However, tonight, my heart was set for a kind of cooking that requires patience, so I told my self... "why not try this..."

Actually, to make Dulce de Leche is not too difficult. All you need is a patience since it takes time for milk to thicken and turn into caramel colour.

After an hour of work, I tasted the smooth milky caramel... I was like..."What the...! this is too delicious....! It's already late in the night. I shouldn't have too much sugar. I should put this away somewhere I can't reach..." In other words, please try it... Dulce de Leche will go well with cakes, icecream, bread, cheese... pretty much anything...

Ingredients;


Milk 400ml
Sugar 100g
Baking soda 1/2 tsp
Vanilla extract 1tsp
Salt pinch

1. Add milk, sugar, baking soda and salt in a pan, and bring it to boil.
2. Turn the heat to medium and keep stirring until the mixture thickens and turns into caramel colour.
3. Cook until the mixture is smooth caramel sauce consistency. Poor in a bowl and cool it in the fridge.


Dulce De Leche

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Plum cupcake

I love seeing colourful winter veges and fruits sitting neatly at the market stall on a beautiful sunny day like today:) There are lots of plums around now, and we got so many of them on the other day. They were still a bit sour after a week, so I decided to turn them into plum cupcakes;)

First of all, I made plum compote. When I cut the plums into chunky pieces, I thought..."humm, it's a bit more than I thought...". But when they were being cooked, an amazing amount of water came out and eventually they sized down to 1/3.

Plum and almond got on really well, so I mixed almond powder with flour.

Smelling beautiful, I could already tell those cakes were going to be tasty when they were still in the oven.

Here they are out of the oven..., ooh..., they're really really lovey:) The taste of slightly sour but sweet plum, and the nutty flavour and texture of almond...

Honestly..., really good.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Gorgeous desserts plate

We visited Mahalia, Brian, and Skyla yesterday.

Mahalia cook lovely veggie burger and pea soup for us. Her pea soup and veggie burger had a really nice flavour and went well with the cheesy bun beautifully. She is really a good cook! and mum..., and wife..., and singer...;)

For dessert, I got a big portion of treats! Mahalia's key lime pie was, again, lovely. Smooth key lime filling and biscuit base with icecream filled my cake hole nicely:)

I brought my cupcakes too. I loved seeing Skyla's big smiley face when she licked icing. Nothing can beat seeing people eat your cakes with joy:D

Thanks to Mahalia, Brian and Skyla for an amazing evening;)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Carrot cake

Carrot cake is a great way of using up the sadly left out carrots in the fridge. This time I went for the carrot cupcake with a hit of coconuts. I used coconut milk and coconut flakes.

Exotic coconut and cinnamon flavour and moist texture is just what I wanted.

Dressed up with pink icing and animal sugar crafts, they are ready to meet Brian's kid, Skyla, tomorrow;)

Carrot on FoodistaCarrot

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Creme brulee

We went to Villandry in Chiswick with Catherine and Danny.

The food there was lovely. I had french onion soup for starter and Grilled portbello mushroom, aubergine and courgette with goat cheese.
And of course, to finish it off, creme brulee with rhubarb compote. Initially, the compote was bit bitter for me, but it was really nice when I had it with rich creme brulee.

I liked the atmosphere there too. I'd love to go back there at some point.

Sweetheart cake

We went out for dinner with Catherine and Danny tonight.

They recently got engaged, so I made a little gift for them, Red velvet sweetheart cake. I used this lovely little 10 cm tin that I just got (Faringdon Collection Bakers Pride Non Stick Mini Springform Cake Pan 10cm). The cake came out really well, and it is a good size for two.

I hope they enjoy it. And again, congratulations to Catherine and Danny;)

Ingredients;

Flour 100g
Sugar 100g
Butter 100g
Egg 2
Cocoa powder 1tbsp
Red food colouring 1 tsp
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Ready made marzipan
Ready made icing

1. Sift flour and cocoa powder together.
2. Mix butter and sugar together until it's fluffy.
3. Add egg into 2, and mix well.
4. Add food colouring into 3, and mix well.
5. Fold 1 into 4.
6. Bake in the pre-heated oven (180º) for 25 minutes. 
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To decorate
1. Roll out ready made marzipan to 3mm thick. Make a heart shaped hole in the middle. Cover the cake completely.
2. Roll out ready made icing to 5mm thick. Make the same heart shaped hole as 1. Add on to 1. Make the surface smooth.


Red Velvet Cake

The World of Sweets sticker

I've fought with the printer for last 30 minutes. Finally..., I got this right.

I made "The World of Sweets" sticker to go on the packages to my cakes and sweets.

It is getting there. Website is almost ready to go online too. Exciting stuff;)

Last night experiment, Cottage cheese cake

I'm nowhere near Heston Blumenthal, but I love experiment.

Last might I saw a pot of cottage cheese, sitting in the fridge, waiting to be used up. So, I got up and started to sift flour, not really knowing what I was doing yet.

After a bit of calculation about the ingredients, I took my best friend, Electric Mixer. Mix, mix, fold, and bosch in the oven.

The result was... It looked alright..., tasted alright too.
I was like a lighter cheese cake. Cottage cheese is much less in fat compared to cream cheese, so this outcome is not too surprising.

The verdict... the experiment was fairly successful.

The recipe might need a bit of change, but if you like...

Ingredients;

Flour 100g
Sugar 100g
Strained Cottage Cheese 300g
Egg 1
Vanilla extract 1tsp
Dry fruits 100g

1. Sift flour.
2. Mix egg and sugar together until it's fluffy.
3. Add vanilla extract and cheese in 2, and mix well.
4. Fold 1 and dry fruits into 3.
5. Bake in the pre-heated oven (180º) for 50 minutes.


Cottage Cheese

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Desserts at FishWorks

I was in charge of our monthly date this month. I chose a fish restaurant called FishWorks in Richmond (http://www.fishworks.co.uk/).

The amazing couple of large slice of smoked salmon for starter, and the perfectly cooked whole grilled sea bass for main..., at this point, I was pretty much done. But, of course, I can't leave a restaurant without tasting the desserts.

So, here we are... I had vanilla, honey icecream and lemon sorbet. Andy had Eton Mess.

Once again..., amazing three scoops and an beautiful Mess...  I'm happily full and going to sleep well tonight.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Nandos mince pie

We went to Nandos after bowling. They didn't have some stuff we wanted to have due to the delivery issue so they gave us a mince pie each for free.

I'm normally not a big fun of this pie. But Nandos' mini mince pie was lovely. The short bread style pie with spicy filling in it went really well with hot drinks we were given also for free. Very good service in the end...

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Last cake of 2010

To say "Bye bye 2010... welcome, 2011:)", I made cupcakes with a Gold butter icing on top. Quite rich icing... but it's OK... because all the sugar intakes of 2010 go back to ZERO on New Year... right?

Thanks to Nneka and Ony for inviting us and a lovely evening:)