Monday, February 28, 2011

Strawberry ice cream sandwich

It's an ice cream day today, is it not?! While I was busy with my Mango kulfi, Andy made cute strawberry ice cream... Somehow, ice cream making seems to be a bit addictive activity to hungry monkeys.

Steve got me this train ice cream sandwich mould from America, and you know what I'm like..., "I want to try it immediately!" That's how Andy's lovely ice cream has turned into an ice cream sandwich.

And of course, I made the cake too! Normally ice cream is sandwiched between two cookies, but I decided to go for something different...., cake, yes... pink cake to go with pink ice cream;) The moist buttery cake has absorbed ice cream, it feels heavier than the cookie ones...

Verdict... Great for a main course, a little too big for a dessert... All in all it'll fill a hungry monkey's cake hole;D

Mango kulfi

It's still cold and wet in London but I don't care about weather or seasons when it comes to ice cream! In fact, having a cool ice cream in a warm heated room in cold winter is pretty nice;)

So..., today... I opted for the Indian ice cream, Kulfi. The Indian ice cream tend to be more milky than the western style ice cream since it has lots of dairy products.

The last time I made it (have you seen my pistachio kulfi?), I went through a lot of effort in actually condensing the milk. However, this time, I chose a quick way, and there is even no need for an ice cream machine. Easier but still,... tastes amazing:D

To see the recipe, visit The World of Sweets Recipes, India.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tiger cake

This lovely marble cake is called Tiikerikkakku, meaning Tiger cake. Does that look like a tiger? Hum, yes I think it does...

I love marble cakes because they look like you put a lot of effort although the process is quite easy. The beauty of a marble cake is that you can arrange the recipe in many way. It works with not only chocolate but also, strawberry, blueberry, caramel, all sorts! You never know how the marble patter is going to come out. Wait and see until you put the knife in... Tiger? or zebra... cow.. what's yours look like?

To see the recipe, visit The World of Sweets Recipes, Tiger cake.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Pandan chiffon cake

This is another delicious pandan cake recipe. Unlike the pandan pancake (the one I made on the other day!), Pandan chiffon cake has a very light texture, which almost feels like melting in your mouth.

I added coconut flakes to give an even more exotic kick to the cake. Honestly, pandan and coconut work so well. They're best mates to each other!

As long as you prepare the eggs properly, making chiffon cake isn't hard.  Make sure that you mix the eggs well with an electric mixer so that the cake will rise well and have a very nice delicate texture.

To see the recipe, visit The World of Sweets Recipes, Indonesia.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mexican Churros

Churros is a nice finger snack, which originated in Spain and popular in Latin American countries.

I first came to know this unique shaped guy when I was at school in Japan. A very popular doughnut company started selling it. At first I thought it didn't look like a doughnut but the name sounded cute..., so gave it a try. It was like a new sensation to my doughnut world! Ever since then, I'm a big fun of Churros:D

A Mexican chain restaurant in London has it on their dessert menu too. Very delicious:)

Today, I made a little twist to the recipe by adding pistachio, which gives it a hint of nutty flavour in every bite. Some are straight and the others are curly funny shape... it's a great fun to make! Just be super careful when you deal with the hot oil.

To see the recipe, visit The World of Sweets Recipes, Mexico.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tres leches cake

So, here she comes. Tres leches. It's a perfect cake for someone like me who loves milk products.

The sponge (yep, the one I made earlier. Beautiful Sponge Cake 2.) is soaked in a milky liquid which is a mixture of condensed milk, evaporated milk and cream. To be honest, when I licked the mixture I was already satisfied with the taste. It was sweet and a little creamy but not to heavy.
I let it rest in the fridge. When I came back to it, all the liquid was soaked up, which has given the sponge a unique almost pudding like texture... humm lovely:)
Whip whip whip, decorate the cake and done. Thanks cows for giving me your milk...

To see the recipe, visit The World of Sweets Recipes, Venezuela.

Beautiful Sponge Cake 2

As I mentioned on Beautiful Sponge Cake, the key to a successful sponge cake is "be gentle"... Yes, that's it. A careful preparation with eggs will make all the difference.

This time, I went for the egg separating method (...I don't know the proper way of calling it... if anyone know, please let me know...). I didn't use any raising agent, but only with the power of eggs it turned out really well. I'm making Tres Leches with it. Good start so far. :D

It's simple and easy. All you have to do is... yes... "be gentle".

Ingredients:

1. Preheat the oven to 180º. Melt butter.
2. Beat egg yolk and sugar (50g) until its colour turns whiter and the texture becomes fluffier.
3. Beat egg white and sugar (1tbsp)  until it stands up in soft peak.
4. Gently fold 2 into 3.
5. Sift flour into 4. Gently fold in.
6. Pour melted butter and vanilla extract into 5. Gently fold in.
7. Pour 6 into a cake tin. Bake it in the preheated oven for 45 minutes.

Egg yolk 2
Sugar 50g
Egg white 2
Sugar 1tbsp
Flour 50g
Butter 30g
Vanilla extract 1/2 tsp

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Singaporean pancake, Kueh Dadar

We've had a hairy coconut that Andy bought a few weeks ago. To be honest I didn't know what to do with it...  but this evening, Andy finally decided to cut it. Not only that he even grated it for me to use for this beautiful pandan green cake called Kueh Dadar from Singapore.

As soon as I started cooking the coconut, the kitchen was filled with an exotic flavour and I tasted bits of it, ... ooh, amazing... I was like "it's gonna be good...";)

The pancake's colourful green is from the Pandan flavouring which I got when I was in Malaysia. Pandan leaf is widely used in South Asian cooking, and known for its unique flavour.

When you bite into it, the exotic taste expands in your mouth.... I didn't know the freshly made sugary coconuts are so addictive...;)

To see the recipe, visit The World of Sweets Recipes, Singapore.

いちご大福 (Ichigo daifuku)

As I promised yesterday, I turned those azuki bean paste into pretty little mochi dessert called "Ichigo daifuku". Ichigo means strawberry in Japanese and Daifuku is a kind of mochi sweet. But also, daifuku means "a big luck" from the way it's written, so...everyone, feels lucky today, huh?

It's got Azuki bean paste and strawberry inside. When you bite it, the juicy strawberry and sweet azuki bean meet the unique mochi texture... it's simply gorgeous...

When you make the mochi, it's quite sticky so make sure that you've got plenty of corn starch ready.

Visit The World of Sweet Recipes, Japan to see the recipe.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sweet azuki beans

あんこ(Annko) is the sweet azuki bean paste in Japanese. I just love them. Azuki is widely used in Japanese cakes and desserts, including Mochi, Dango, ice cream, cakes, and there is even something like a sweet azuki bean soup called "Zenzai".

There are two ways to prepare the sweet azuki paste. One is called "Tsubu Ann". In this way, the azuki beans are mashed roughly so that you can still feel the texture of soft skin of beans. The other is called "Koshi Ann". In this way, the azuki beans are mashed and strained so that the texture is so smooth and you don't get any skins.

So, maybe I should stop my "Azuki lecture" here, and get back to where I'm coming from...

Yes, I cooked Azuki beans. You can see it... I know they don't look particularly pretty YET. But they will turn into a lovely cute Japanese sweets. I promise.... please come back tomorrow....

Oh, here is how to make Annko:
Ingredients

Dried azuki beans 250g
Sugar 150g
Salt pinch

1. Soak the beans overnight.
2. Put the beans in a large pot with enough water to cover the beans. Bring it to boil.
3. When the water is boiled, pour the water away and replace with fresh water. Bring it boil again.
4. Turn the heat down. Add sugar and salt. Simmer until the beans are soft.
5. Mash them in the way you like. 

Pudim de leite

The Latino baking continues.... Today, I made Pudim de leite, milk pudding from Brazil.

This pudding is much more milky and less custardy than the french creme brulee since it's got condensed milk and normal milk in it.

I personally love puddings, and this one was Oooh, YES, sweet spot straight on! So good...

It's a super simple and easy recipe. Be careful not to burn yourself when you make the caramel. If the caramel got solid on the bottom of the cup before spreading it evenly, just put it in the microwave for 10 seconds or so to make it runny again. Mixing the milk mixture well is also important, but when you have a baker's best friend, Electric mixer, it's easy peasy:)

To see the recipe, visit The World of Sweets Recipe, Brazil.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sweet potato cake for Peru

From my whole Sunday afternoon research, (ok.., maybe not literary but at least a good few hours...) I came to a conclusion that sweet potato is originally from Peru. And it is true that sweet potato is often used in South American cuisine including some desserts.

...So..., there were three sweet potatoes looking at me for last couple of days. I thought, "well... maybe it's time to say thanks and bye to them...". I mashed them and turned them into a lovely moist sweet potato cake. I'm going to give the credit of this treat to Peru, the origin of Ipomoea batatas. (that's what the sweet potatoes called there.)

To see the recipe, visit The World of Sweet Recipe Peru.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The World of Sweets website is now online!

Today is a big day for The World of Sweets! We've finally launched our website! YES, we did it!! Thanks all those we helped me to get here;) Everyone, please visit
http://www.theworldofsweets.com/

We still need so many recipes to explore to cover all the countries in the world. There are also more functions and fun features that we're still working on. We're also very excited to hear about unique recipes from fellow sweets lovers around the world. Please send us anything you know even if you've never made them, which will help us achieve our goal massively. We'll love to try anything and everything out!

Oh..., by the way, he is Hairy, who supports me every now and then. Well well well, let's get the party started....

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cherry dots cake

With the cherries I made on the other day (see my lovely Homemade cherry in syrup), I made cherry cake. And I decided to call it Cherry dots cake because the cherries in it looks like cherry dots (well, tell me it's not a very creative name, is it... )

A moist and hearty texture is a great company with afternoon tea, or beer in today's case;) Thanks to Brian and Andy for tasting this dotted cake in the pub.

It's an extremely easy recipe but tastes great! You can of course use a tinned cherry too.

Ingredients;

Flour 180g
Almond powder 50g
Butter 100g
Sugar 100g
Egg 2
Cherries in syrup 150g

1. Melt butter. Pre-heat the oven to 180º
2. Beat egg and sugar until it's fluffy.
3. Add 1 and 2 tbsp cherry syrup into 2, and mix well.
4. Fold flour and almond powder into 3.
5. Fold cherries into 4.
6. Pour 5 in a cake tin. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 50 minutes.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Happy Birthday gift

This post is specially for my mum-in-law, Chris. Happy Birthday!

 We couldn't get a chance to see her and bring a big birthday cake today. So instead, I sent her my love with The World of Sweets cookie selection gift, which she told me arrived in time. (Thanks to Royal Mail!)

There are three different types in the box. Almond cookie, digestive biscuit, and strawberry flavoured baked doughnut. Let's hope those little treats will make the birthday girl happy:D

Happy Birthday again, xxx from The WOS kitchen.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Homemade cherry in syrup

There is a vegs & fruits stand just down the road and lots of cherries there were looking at me on the other day. Yesterday, I looked at them left in the fridge looking bit soft and sad...;( So, I turned them into cute shiny cherries in syrup.

It's really easy to make when you have a cherry stoner (I use OXO Good Grips Cherry/Olive Pitter, which is simply amazing...). Just pop pop and pop, then cook with sugar and wine, done. Great with ice cream, pancakes, cupcakes, and now I'm thinking to make a cheesecake with them. Hummm, it'd be nice:)


Cherry

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Heart Icecream

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Whomever we're sending love to, it's nice to have a day when we can express our feeling a little bit more.

I don't normally do girly girly stuff, but today I did.
I made heart shaped ice cream. The ingredients is very simple. Single cream, strawberry and home-made cherry compote... I added a little twist with a biscuit base on the bottom of the ice cream.

These look great for a dinner in on a special occasion (and of course, for everyday....). Ice cream also won't be as filling as cakes, so good for a romantic night, huh?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Chocolate mountains & Strawberry rings!

It seems that people are getting more and more crazy about Valentine's day every year. A big heart , a little ball..., whatever their size and shape are,  chocolate is sure to be the most popular gift.  And So..., I'm too preparing for Valentine's day with my cakes.

I made two types. One is chocolate cake. Because the middle of the cake has risen a lot and looked like a mountain, I decided to name it "Chocolate mountain". :D The other cake is baked strawberry doughnut. No need to explain, I'm calling it "Strawberry ring". I personally love the colour combination of chocolate and pink. It feels really bitter and sweet, just like love... ah, cheesy me...

Those mountains and rings will be sent to those who deserve a bit of love and sweet tomorrow:)

I'm making a Valentine's day dinner dessert tomorrow too. Stay tuned!

Friday, February 11, 2011

One of the best Cheesecake ever!

Today, I was so determined to make this New York cheesecake (in fact, it was decided last night. See my digestive cookie preparation!)

Carefully design and planed the recipe in my head, I went in the kitchen and started. Everything had gone as I planed before a catastrophe happened at only a few steps away from the end...

I took out the cake from the oven. Then when I was taking the tin off the cake, my hands slipped. Next thing I saw... my lovely cake was up side down...  My mind couldn't take it in... then gradually it came to me... "NOOOO! SH*****T!" But, strangely I felt... sort of ok..., and took a deep breath, started making another one without no messing up...

Aaaanyway, take two went smoother than ever thanks to the failure from earlier. Indeed, this cheesecake is the best I ever tasted! I'm really glad that I didn't give up...

Today I learned that a strong determination is the key to success!

Ingredients;
*Base (15cm deep cake tin)
Digestive cookies 80g
Sugar 25g
Butter 50g

*Filling
Cream cheese 250g
Single cream 100g
Sugar 50g
Egg 1
Egg yolk 1
Corn flour 1 1/2 tbsp
Lemon juice 1/2 tsp
Vanilla extract 1/2 tsp

1. Put digestive cookies and sugar in a plastic bag. Smash them finely.
2. Melt butter and put it into 1. Mix well.
3. Place 2 on the bottom of a cake tin evenly. Bake 2 in the pre-heated oven (180º) until it's golden. Cool it down.
4. Meanwhile prepare the filling.
5.Mix cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla extract together.
6. Add egg and egg yolk into 6. Mix well.
7. Pour single cream into 6. Mix well.
8. Add corn flour into 7. Mix well.
9. Pour the filling mixture on the base.
10. Bake in the oven (180º) for 45 minutes. When the top of the cake starts to get brown cover it with foil.
11. When the cake it baked, turn the oven off and leave the cake in the oven for another 30 minutes.
12. Take out the cake from the oven. Let it rest in the fridge at least a couple of hours before serving.


New York Cheesecake

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Digestive cookies

I often get a craving for baking in the late evening, and indeed, tonight was one of those nights...

I'm thinking about making a New York style cheesecake tomorrow. That's why I decided to make digestive cookies myself tonight so that I can use it as a base for my tomorrow's cheesecake. Oh... by the way, some people might already know by now that I love making stuff from scratch.. (have you seen my lemon curd and dulce de leche ?)

These cookies are extremely easy to make. Mix everything up, put them together, rest, bosch in the oven. It's nice as it is or with butter, jam, cream, etc. And of course, it's great for a cheesecake or tart base too! :)

Ingredients;

Plain flour 80g
Wholemeal 80g
Brown sugar 40g
Honey 40g
Margarine 50g
Milk 30g
Baking powder 3g
Salt pinch

1. Melt margarine in the microwave.
2. In a bowl, combine sugar, honey, milk and melted margarine. Mix well.
3. Sift flour, wholemeal, baking powder and salt together into 2. Mix well to form a dough. Wrap the dough with cling film and rest it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
4. Roll out the dough on a baking sheet to about 3mm thick.
5. Make square shapes with a knife and little holes with a fork. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes.

70 little ones for Scanners Night

Tonight I did something I'd never done before. I went to a thing called "Scanners Night" where creative people get together and everyone helps you to make your big idea happen. So..., I went there with my cakes to tell them what my idea is! Yes of course, it is The World of Sweets!

Going there and thinking I'm going to give these cakes away to people I'm going to meet the first time was already nerve racking but the most terrifying thing was John, the founder of the Scanners Night, let me speak in front of everyone! Yek, I felt like I was a wobbly jelly... really nervous... But thanks to John, I manage to spread my little ones to everyone in the room.

Seriously, that was the biggest promotion ever done for The World of Sweets! Thanks to all the people who took my cake tonight:)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Kulfi

We invited Andy's mum and dad for dinner last night. The theme of the night was....INDIAN! Even though there were only four of us, we made a table-full of feast with curry, curry and more curry...

To cool down our curry heated mouth, I made an Indian ice cream, Kulfi. It is a simple recipe but takes quite a long time to make since you have to condense milk by reducing the amount of liquid.

It came out really well. Andy even thought I used condensed milk. I was like..."NO! I Condensed the milk!" The hint of cardamon and pistachio was a good match with the sweetened milk. Having no cream, it's low fat and fairly healthy. Great idea for a refreshing dessert!

Ingredients;
Milk 1.5l
Sugar 50g
Cardamon pot 8
Pistachio 50g

1. Place milk in a large pot, boil it over high heat.
2. Put cardamon pots in the pot. Turn down the heat and simmer for 11/2 hours until the liquid is reduced to about 600ml.
3. Take cardamon pots out. Pour milk in a jug, add sugar and stir well. Cool it down.
4. Chop unshelled pistachio finely.
5. Pour the milk into an ice cream machine.
6. When the milk starts to thicken put pistachio in, and mix another couple of minute.
7. Put the ice cream in the fridge to make it properly set.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Another amazing dinner out at FRANKIE'S BRAGANZA in Chiswick

We went to Marco Pierre White's restaurant in Chiswick, FRANKIE'S BARAGANZA tonight.

I had halibut for main. I didn't know that the simple white fish could taste that good, probably the best halibut I ever had. The courgette fritter and spinach with chill we got for side were both really nice too.

And we moved on to our second main, I mean dessert...!
I had panna cotta with strawberry and Andy had creme brulee. The panna cotta was very smooth, rich and creamy. As it is already tasted beautiful, but when I had it with strawberry it was fresh and went down nicely straight into my stomach. Of course, I had a little taste (or a couple of big spoonful...) of Andy's creme brulee. Again, it was lovely. The crispy top and creamy bottom were simply one of the best dessert on earth.

So...now, two very satisfied monkeys are back to base with a big belly:)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Melktert

Melktert, meaning milk tart, is a South African dessert which has a lovely milk flavour. It is much more milky than those custard based tarts.

There are quite few different versions of recipe for this sweet tart, some have eggs in the pastry, use butter instead of margarine, and so on...

This time I went for a bit of change from the traditional recipe. Instead of using normal milk, I used condensed milk in order to give this cutie more rich milky taste.

It may not be traditional and raise some eyebrows, BUT taste amazingly nice and sweet.

Try this recipe if you want to twist an usual recipe up!

Ingredients;

*Pastry
Margarine 60g
Sugar 45g
Flour 130g
Salt pinch
Ice water 25ml

*Filling
Condensed milk 200ml
Water 200ml
Egg yolk 3
Egg white 1
Sugar 40g
Flour 15g
Vanilla extract 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon stick 1
Cinnamon sugar 1tsp

1. Prepare the pastry. Cream margarine and sugar until it's fluffy. 
2. Add flour, salt and cold water and mix well with your hands.
3. When the pastry has stuck together, place it on a floured surface and knead for a couple of minutes.
4. Wrap the pastry and let it rest in the fridge.
5. Meanwhile, make the filling. Mix condensed milk and water well.
6. In a separate bowl, mix well egg yolk and sugar.
7. Place the milk mixture on a low heat. Heat it up until it becomes just a step away from boiling. (Be careful not to burn!)
8. Slowly shift in flour. Mix well so that there is no lump.
9. Take the pot off from the heat. Wait 1 minute, and then pour egg mixture in.
10. Mix well to make it smooth.
11. Put the pot back on a low heat. Simmer until it's thickened. Take off from the heat, and let it rest.
12. Back on the pastry... Pre heat the oven to 180º. Roll out the pastry about 5mm thick. Place it on a tart tin. Make sure the pastry is stuck on the tin tightly.
13. Pour the filling into 12. Dust cinnamon sugar on top.
14. Bake in the pre-heated oven (180º) for 30 minutes.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Happy Chinese New Year!

Happy Chinese New Year!
To welcome the Year of the Rabbit, I made fortune cookies with of course a lot of good fortunes inside:)

Making those is fun, especially the shaping process, but you need to be patient and quick.

My tip is..., prepare everything you need before you star baking the cookies. A cup, muffin cases etc. Shape the cookie while it's still hot. When the cookie gets cold, it breaks so you can't shape it anymore... (of course, you can eat them...;b).
Don't try to bake too much at once. I reckon you should start with only 2 or 3 at once.

Great cookies not only for New Year, but also any party time!

Ingredients;

Egg white 2
Flour 60g
Sugar 60g
Arrowroot 1 1/2 tsp
Vanilla extract 1/2 tsp
Almond extract 1/2 tsp
Vegetable oil 3tbsp
Salt pinch
Water 3 tsp

1. Pre heat the oven to 180º.
2. Mix egg white, vanilla extract, almond extract, vegetable oil together with an electric mixer until it's fluffy.
3. In a separate bowl mix flour, sugar, arrowroot and salt well.
4. Add 2 into 1 and water. Mix well with the electric mixer.
5. Take a table spoonful of mixture and spread on a baking try. Make a 8cm circle. Make only two to start with.
6. Bake in the pre-heated oven (180º) until the edge of the cookies become brown but still white in the middle.
7. As soon as you took out the cookies, remove one cookie from the tray. Place a fortune inside and very gently fold it in half. Push middle against the edge of a cup very gently.
8. Place the shaped cookie in a muffin case to keep the shape.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sponge cake jam sandwich

Here we come...The World of Sweets's cake delivery is back!

Today's cake is the every one's classic favourite, Jam Sponge Cake! Simply sandwich whatever jam you like between the lovely home-made sponges (or why not ready-made one if you can't be bothered to bake one). This time I opted for the raspberry jam, and little change with the vanilla icing too.

Hope everyone has got a good sugar supply:)