Sunday, July 29, 2012

Vanilla cheesecake

This weekend we were invited to Tinny's new place so I made a big vanilla cheesecake. I love both making and eating a cheesecake. ;)

Although I had a slight problem when I was making this cake (my baking tin's bottom was too loose that when I pour the cream cheese mixture, it started to ooze out...), it came out ok.

We had it while everyone (except sleepy me...) was playing poker. I was a nice midnight treat before bed. :D

Thanks to Tinny for a lovely time and letting us stay. ;)

Here is how to bake this baked cheesecake...
The World of Sweets: New York Cheesecake

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Bread, bread and more bread

Yesterday was all about bread in The WOS kitchen. I prepared the bread dough the day before and proved it in the fridge overnight so in the morning it was ready to be baked. I was up early to get started.

First off, "Chocolate twist". I had a pot of chocolate paste that was left from my "Billionaire's shortbread". So I used it to make those pretty looking pan au chocolat. ;D The smooth chocolate paste went very well with the sweet and soft bread.

Next up was "Raspberry mascarpone tear & share". We went to raspberry picking the other day and we had a lot in the fridge to use. So I thought "why not use them in my bread".
I made a quick raspberry mascarpone paste and put it inside the bread.
Hummm, it was so good that I couldn't keep it for long... ;)

And the last one, "Raspberry ball". I still had a bowl full of raspberries after making the tear & share, so I decided to make these cute pink balls.
I used the juice from the raspberry as the liquid of the dough, which gave the bread a really nice colour.
There was a nice bite with the pipes and a natural sweetness too!

So..., it was a really nice and tasty morning baking session and that reminded me how much I love making bread;) Yum yum yum.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Billionaire's shortbread

The order was "the biggest millionaire's shortbread I've ever made". So, I baked the shortbread in my big tart tin and poured caramel followed by a thin layer of white chocolate and velvety chocolate on top. I didn't even cut it, but I just delivered the whole thing.

The shortbread was nice and buttery, caramel was sweet and gooey, and the chocolate was smooth and silky.... this millionaire's shortbread was a little more indulgent than "millionaire" so I decided to call it "billionaire" instead. :D

Ok, so.., here is how to indulge yourself or someone...

Ingredients:

Shortbread
butter 200g
Icing sugar 100g
Flour 200g
Rice flour 100g

Caramel
Condensed milk 2tins (397gx2)
Butter 100g
brown sugar 100g

Chocolate
White chocolate 200g
Milk chocolate 200g
Dark chocolate 200g
Double cream 240g

1. Make the shortbread. Soften the butter. Cream butter and icing sugar together.
2. Sift flour and rice flour into 1. Bring the mixture together until it forms a dough. Wrap in a cling film and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
3.Preheat the oven to 180ºc. Press the dough on a tart tin (10 inch) and prick the dough with a fork. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until the top of the shortbread has become slightly golden. Let it cool.
4. Prepare the caramel. Combine all the ingredients for the caramel in a sauce pan. Place the pan on a low heat. Keep stirring until the mixture thickens and becomes light brown. Pour the mixture into the cooled shortbread. Let it cool.
5. Prepare the chocolate. Malt the white chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Pour over the caramel.
6. Make the chocolate topping. Heat the cream in a sauce pan over a gentle heat. 
7. Add milk chocolate and dark chocolate into the pan. Keep stirring until the chocolate has dissolved and the mixture has become silky. Pour over the white chocolate.
8. Make some swirls with white chocolate. Leave to set.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

お食い初め (Okuizome)

Today we had Lana's 100 days party called "お食い初め (Okuizome)" which is a Japanese tradition where we prepared a special "first meal" for Lana to wish her food in abundance and in the hope that she will never go hungry for the rest of her life.

Usually there is a grilled whole fish on the menu but I couldn't get one so I baked a "fake fish"for her... Fish-shaped brioche. Well, I did cook those Japanese dishes but I'm a baker after all... I couldn't help baking something for my girl! :D

Obviously, being only 100 days old Lana can't eat them yet... so we had them for her. Yum yum yum... ラナ、ごちそうさま。

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Biscuit assortment

Biscuits are simple. But perfecting an ultimate biscuit recipe is pretty hard. I've been trying to come up with an easy enough biscuit recipe which also have that "moreish-ness" to it.

So... yesterday I made 4 different biscuits that I've been meaning to test out. Normally when I do multiple recipe experiments, some of them fails miserably.... However, this time all of them came out awesome!

So here we are. There are what I made...

Jam biscuit (I used raspberry jam)

Flour 100g
Butter 50g
Sugar 50g
Jam 50g
Baking powder 1/2 tsp

1. Preheat the oven to 180ºc. Cream butter and sugar together.
2. Add jam and mix well.
3. Fold flour and baking powder into 2.
4. Knead lightly until the mixture come together and smooth.
5. Wrap with cling film and rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
6. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to 5mm thickness. Cut out the dough and place on a baking sheet.
7. Bake in the preheated (180ºc) oven for 10-12 minutes.



Salted vanilla biscuit
Same as the Lemon meringue's sweet pastry.
After making the dough, shape it into a stick and rest it in the freezer until it's hard. Cut the dough into 8mm thickness and bake. When the biscuits are done, sprinkle salt.

Cocoa biscuit

Flour 100g
Cocoa powder 15g
Butter 50g
Sugar 50g
Egg yolk 2
Baking powder 1/2 tsp

1. Preheat the oven to 180ºc. Cream butter and sugar together.
2. Add egg yolk and mix well.
3. Fold flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into 2.
4. Knead lightly until the mixture come together and smooth.
5. Wrap with cling film and rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
6. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to 5mm thickness. Cut out the dough and place on a baking sheet.
7. Bake in the preheated (180ºc) oven for 15 minutes. 



Almond ball biscuit

Butter 100g
Icing sugar 50g
Egg yolk 1
Almond powder 120g
Flour 130g

1. Preheat the oven to 180ºc. Cream butter and icing sugar together.
2. Add egg yolk into 1 and mix well.
3. Fold almond flour and flour into 2.
4. Rest the dough int the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
5. Take out the dough and make small balls. Place the balls on a baking sheet.
6. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.

My favourite was the Almond ball biscuit. I can see myself making it again pretty soon! :D

Happy 100 days birthday, Lana!

Time flies... Today is our baby girl's 100 days birthday. Happy 100 days, Lana. I know she can't eat cakes herself yet but she will get some treats through my milk...

I love you, you are my No.1 monkey girl! ;D xxxxx




Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Hazelnut latte cupcake

Andy ordered some cake to take to work. So, I made those nice and sweet hazelnut latte cupcakes.

The sweet flavour of hazelnut and a hit of coffee reminded me of Starbucks hazelnut latte. ;) Next time I'm tempted to make it alcoholic by swapping the espresso to kahlua and the hazelnut syrup to frangelico...

Hopefully those midweek treat will do for Andy's colleague to get through the rest of the week. :D

Monday, July 2, 2012

Nuts about nuts tart

This weekend, sun was out, my mum and dad came from Japan to visit us... So, we all got together for BBQ:) As usual, Andy was in charge of the grill and I did the pastry.

Although our oven got broken half way through my bread making, I managed to prepare buns and rolls... phew...

For dessert, I made Nuts about nuts tart. As the name says..., Not only is the sweet pastry filled with rich almond cream, but also it has a nice thick layer of caramelised mix nuts. Yes.., this is indeed a nuts heaven! Ooh, yum yum yum :D

The topping was a little bit hard but nice and crunchy like a peanut brittle. It can be made as its own and served with tea or coffee.

Ingredients:

Sweet pastry 1 (see my Lemon meringue tart)

Filling
Crème fraiche 25g
Sugar 100g
Almond powder 100g
Egg 1
Vanilla extract 1tsp

Topping
Mix nuts (roasted) 200g
Sugar 150g
Corn syrup 90g
Butter 45g

1. Prepare the sweet pastry. Follow Lemon Meringe Tart recipe 1-5.
2.Preheat the oven to 180ºc. Make the filling. Combine all the ingredients for the filling and mix well.
3. Pour the filling mixture into the tart case. Bake for 40 minutes.
4. Once the tart is cooled, make the topping. Combine sugar, corn syrup and butter in a sauce pan. Place the pan on a low heat until all the ingredients are melted.
5. Add mix nuts into 4. Stir until it is lightly coloured.
6. Quickly put the topping on the cooled tart and spread evenly.
7. Cool in the fridge until the topping is set.