Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal wedding

I'm not sure I was this excited even at my own wedding... (I guess I was more nervous...) Yes, today is a big day for Britain, Royal Wedding! Oooh, bless them. What a gorgeous wedding! Watching the happy couple, people with such a joy made me feel warm and happy too:D

Here are cakes, little square cakes and union jack batternburg for our royal wedding tea party.. we'll just enjoy the festive atmosphere by ourselves on TV because we aren't invited....

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Ultimate custard ice cream

There are so many things we can do with those left out egg yolks after making macaroons or chiffon cakes, and sometime, those yolks with a look of "use me up!" gives me great ideas:)

This time, I opted for a simple custard... but it wasn't just custard, it was for my ultimate custard ice cream! I've always wanted to make really rich cream-brulee-like ice cream, so the time has come!

I've made the custard with brown sugar for a change from normal white sugar, which worked well and gave the custard a good body. Hum, looking already good:) Since I still had dulce de leche from the other day, (remember Torta de hojas I made?) I mixed it in the custard and made lovely marble. Wooow, I could already see it was going to taste amazing.... I even had a spoonful before putting it in the freezer... cheeky...;)

Having waited whole afternoon, I finally got it out for dinner. The texture wasn't rock -hard like the ones you sometimes get, but so smooth that I could serve it straight from the freezer. The taste... oh..man..! This is what I call "The ultimate custard ice cream"! Yum yum yum...

Ingredients;

Corn starch 15g
Brown sugar 120g
Water 80ml
Egg yolk 2
Single cream 160ml


1. Boil sugar and water in a sauce pan. When the sugar is fully melted, turn the heat off.
2. Mix corn starch, egg yolk and cream together. Add them into 1.
3. Put 2 back on a low heat and mix well.
4. When the mixture has become creamy and shiny, turn the heat off. Let it cool.
5. Add dulce de leche in 4 and mix roughly to make marble.
6. Put 5 in the freezer to set.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Coconut macaroons

Coconut macaroons again! (have you seen my cocadas?) I made them last night to take with us for camping today:) We're busy getting ready and by the time we finished packing it was already late. But, how can we go off without sugar supplies, right?
So, I quickly got coconut, sugar, eggs, and almond powder out, and mix, fold,  bisch basch bosch, done... chewy texture, lovely coconuts flavour... Not bad... ;) With a pink food colouring, even the simple quick macaroons are now looking pretty:D

Well, let's do one! We're off!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter cakes

Easter treat made by Andy's mum, Chris! Awesome! Not only was it a giant cup cake but also it had a nice surprise of jam, dolly mixtures and chocolate eggs! Oohoo, and the butter icing was so good that I kept scraping it...

There was another cake also made by Chris, a traditional Easter cake. Look at the marzipan! They are so nicely coloured:)

Thanks for all the nice goodies!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter eggs

Happy Easter weekend!
Nice looking chocolate eggs and bunnies are everywhere this time of the year. However, unfortunately I don't eat chocolate, so I won't get those cute sweets for myself... humm, shame;(
But, never mind because this year I made coconuts cake eggs! When I found this egg shape cake mould in a supermarket, I was like.." Yest! this is what I was looking for!"
The recipe was quite an experimental one, but it did go well with Andy's help:) Thanks, buddy!

The cake is semolina sponge cake, which is coated with jam and coconuts icing. They aren't the traditional chocolate eggs but I'm really happy that I'm going to have my own Easter eggs this year ;D

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Torta de hojas

"Cake of leaves"...., Torta de hojas is a Chilean treat that has a stack of cookie-like layers and a rich caramel filling between the layers.

I've always interested in making this cake, but I've sort of avoided trying it until now, knowing it's a very time-consuming recipe. However, today I finally made my mind up and went in the kitchen to start a long prep session. Fun fun fun...:D

First of all, because my oven isn't big enough to fit all the layers at once, I had to run 4 sessions to bake all 8 layers..., which took me... about an hour.
Then, while I was baking the layers, I made the caramel filling, dulce de leche. Since I've made it before, I was thinking... "it shouldn't be too hard, but it just takes time...". Ok..., I was wrong. It was pretty tough to watch out the caramel and the stuff in the oven at the same time, but I was doing well....yes..., until the dulce de leche made a little explosion... Luckily, it wasn't major and there were only few drops of caramel on the hob... phew...
All in all, I finished the prep in 3 hours or so, which was what I consider as a success!
The only part left was to stack the layers! Yes, this is the bit I've waited for! The authentic torta de hojas uses brandy between the layers, but I avoided it this time as I didn't want the cake to be alcoholic. I also mixed whipped cream in the filling so that it's more spreadable and lighter to eat;)

Here we go... it's looking pretty, no?

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

Sunday, April 17, 2011

あずき練乳アイス (Azuki Ice cream)

Sunny Sunday! I can really see the summer is really coming!
And in my math (I'm terrible at math, by the way...) Summer = Ice cream!
One of my all time favourite is "Azuki Milk Ice cream", we call it あずぎ練乳アイス (Azuki rennyu ice). And last night, I found a stock of condensed milk and azuki in the cupboard, and there was some cream left in the fridge. Yep, perfect. I could already tell it was going to work!

After 2 minutes prep, my ice cream went in the freezer...

The following morning..., I rushed to see it nicely set. One, two, three scoops... I had a taste with a big spoonful. "......Oh.. home.... Japan..." That was just the taste I expected, nostalgia.. Childhood, a humid lazy summer's day. It tasted really like the Azuki Ice cream from "551 Horai" if you know them... (It's a very popular Buta-man shop in Osaka.)

It's very easy! When you want to feel a taste of Japan, try it!

Ingredients:

Ready cooked sweetened azuki 500g (see my post -Sweet Azuki Beans)
Condensed milk 150g
Single cream 150ml

1. Mix all the ingredients.
2. Put it in the freezer until it set.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Record Store Day

Today is Record Store Day, which was started from 2007 and since then celebrated on the third Saturday in April every year.
So...as usual, I made something to show my interest in the art of music.... on this special day... Edible record cookies!   I can't listen to them, but at least, I'll nibble them while I enjoy nice music from CDs...

Happy Record Store Day! I'm going to head to a record shop and find some nice tunes...:D

The famous WOS Cheesecake

Hooooo Laaaa Laaaaaaa, do you remember the New York style cheesecake I made a little while ago (see my post). These cheesecakes are so good that their taste is beyond words!!! Any words I could use to describe it would pale in comparison to what it was really like! I'm usually modest (yes..., I am...) but when it comes to these indescribably tasty cheesecakes, I just want to the whole world to taste it. I might start selling them, and I'm not even joking...


This time, I made two different ones. One with berries. The berries add a fresh juiciness to the rich cheesecake, which make you easily finish the whole cake with one go!
The other one is hazelnut liquor. A couple of drops of the liquor is enough to give a hint of nutty flavour, which make the already-rich cake even richer:) This one tastes a little more grown-up.

On top of their amazing taste, they are a perfect size for two (or one hungry monkey) since they are 10 cm in diameter.

Aaah, my cheesecake shop might come to your town in the near future...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Basboosa

I don't know why, but I've always thought Middle Eastern sweets are quite complicated to make. That might be the reason why I haven't tried many recipes from those places. However, today I'm happily admit that I was WRONG!

This semolina cake from Egypt, Basboosa, is so simple to make. It's also a great recipe for those who are looking for something different from normal flour cakes. Semolina's slightly gritty texture seems to work nicely for absorbing the lemon syrup as well as making a good combination with coconut flakes.

One bite, you'll feel the juiciness expands in your mouth followed by exotic flavour of semolina and coconut:)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Potica

Since I haven't done a yeast baking for a little whole, I thought I should give it a go with this Slovene nut roll, Potica.

Making potica is a great fun, but also a little time consuming, so be prepared:)
Normally, when I make bread, I love the time I wait for the dough to rise. I sometimes even sit there and just watch them to get bigger and bigger... However, with potica I didn't have time for that. I've got to prepare the nut filling! Crush, crush crush the walnuts.. and mix and mix... By the time I finished with the filling, the dough was looking..., good...:)... a quick finger test... yes, perfect!
Spread the lovely walnut filling, roll it up and bosch in the oven...

Out of the oven, Potica was smelling really good... humm, nice texture too. Oh and, I can see the nut roll inside! And most importantly, the taste was... gorgeous... sweet nut filling and rich buttery pastry filled my mouth with a pure pleasure after a long preparation.

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

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Speculaas

Christmas is still a way away, but that doesn't stop me making these tasty spiced cookie called Speculaas;) They are traditionally eaten on St. Nicolas Eve in Netherlands, and often have images related to the stories of St. Nicolas.

Since I don't have those special cookie cutter, I opted for a very simple cookie shape. As soon as I started working on the dough, the kitchen was filled with that spicy aroma of Christmas! ...hummm..., maybe this year we're having Christmas twice (or at least twice!) ....

The key ingredients of this recipe are, of course, the spices. To get the best effect of them, you must let the dough rest so that the spices spread through the dough and give the cookies a nice spicy taste:)

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

Thursday, April 7, 2011

30 seconds dessert

Tonight was one of those nights I have crazy cravings for desserts as my dinner. This happens time to time with no reasons... Does anyone have the same thing as me?

Unfortunately, I couldn't get a chance to make any cakes or desserts during the day today. However, I knew there were some goodies in the fridge... Ready-made pudding and Mango kulfi from other day! I say "ready-made", but of course, they were made by me;)

So..., quickly put kulfi on top of the pudding and sprinkle some mixed nuts, seeds and berries. In less than 30 second, I've got a pretty dessert in front of me. Hopefully, this will give me a nice sugar supply and let me have a good night sweet dreams...;D

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Mamon

Mamon is a very simple sponge cake from Phillippines. They are very easy to make, taste homely. They are what I call "no-frills cake".

But, don't get me wrong. These individually baked sponge cupcakes are nice tea time snack. In a way, they remind me of my childhood, make me feel a little nostalgia... They're great as they are, but if you like sweeter ones, try adding sprinkle of icing sugar on top. Huum, gorgeous;)

You can easily finish a couple (or even more!) of these soft and light little sponge cakes in one go!

To see the recipe, visit The World of Sweets, Phillippines.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Super simple pudding

Egg yolks were left aside quietly because they didn't make it into those macha financiers I made yesterday. There are quite few things you can do with egg yolk such as turning them into nice home-made custard, egg tarts, ice creams, cookies... but they can be a little time consuming... (Oh, don't get me wrong, I love those time consuming process too!)

Basically, after the financiers I've cleaned up all the tools, so the last thing I wanted to do was do those washing up and cleaning up again late at night....

My choice for saving those left-alone egg yolks were... Pudding! Yes that's it, a super easy peasy one! All you need is mix, put them in the oven, sit back and relax while you wait. With so little effort, you get a smooth creamy slightly nutty pudding. Not bad, huh?

Ingredients;

Egg yolk 3
Almond milk 250 ml
Maple sugar 1 tbsp

1. Preheat the oven to 200º. Mix all the ingredients together.
2. Pour 1 into pudding cups. Place the cups in a baking pan. Pour water in the pan until the water reaches to half the height of the cups.
3. Place the pan in the preheated oven (200º). Bake for 45 minutes.
4. Cool them in the fridge. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Macha Financier

On the other day, we took a day trip to France to get some nice bits there. Aaah, I love french supermarket. Especially, their kitchen section has more variation of baking moulds.
There I found a petite financier mould made with silicon, which make up 20 small financiers. Very pretty... immediately..., it was in the shopping basket...

So... today, I used my lovely new mould to try a French-Japanese fusion cake, Macha Financier. I love macha. It is another taste of home for me;) A table spoonful of macha powder is enough to get the unique flavour and beautiful green colour of macha (see the picture!) :D

A hint of macha flavour in the light yet moist almond cake really made me want to have a strong Japanese Hojicha. Great way to feel the French and Japanese in the same mouthful!

Ingredients;

Egg white 3
Almond powder 50g
Flour 50g
Sugar 120g
Macha powder 1tbsp
Butter (Melted) 130g

1.Preheat the oven to 200º. Beat egg white until it's fluffy.
2. In a bowl, mix together almond powder, flour, sugar and macha powder.
3. Make a well in the centre of 2, and pour 1 into it. Fold in lightly.
4. Add melted butter into 3, fold in.
5. Pour the mixture into a financier mould.
6. Bake in the preheated oven (200º)for 12 minutes or until the edge of financiers become slightly brown.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Dr Pepper's birthday

Our friend, Pepper is having his 30th birthday happy today. Happy Birthday, Pepper! I mean... Dr Pepper ;)

So, as usual, I made a cake for him. Since he's pepper, and he once told me to call him "Dr Pepper", my choice for his cake was, yes!, Dr Pepper's cake!

I used one of my favourite giant cup cake mould, which make a cup cake 25 times bigger than a normal one....Awesome...and Of course, there is a whole bottle of Dr Pepper in it. Rich and  moist, very sugary...  covered with more sugar... I just love the whole process of making a cake and decorating it pretty for people. Well, we're off to see him now. I hope he will like it. ;)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Poisson d'avril

Everyone, it's April Fool's Day today. Did you do any naughty stuff or something stupid and funny?
Well, I made dinner... yes, fish and chips... Huh? you think that's nothing special? Yeah... it is...

It's not those deep fried fish and chips, but they are made by The World of Sweet and so..., of course, it's SWEET! Look closely, the big yellow eyed fish is a almond milk pudding, the peas are marzipan, and even the chips are sponge cake! Humm..., I have to admit I'm pretty happy with my Poisson d'avril dinner :D

Not only does it look nice, it tasted yummy too, and there was no need for dessert!

Here we are..., happy April Fool's Friday..., done;)