Archive for March, 2008

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Steam Pandan Cake – Experimenting

March 29, 2008

Steaming craze continue to manifest in me… and now it has made it’s way to my mummy! *evil laughter* both of us have been spending a lot of time in the kitchen together, steaming. >,< yes, trying to discover the steam pandan cake which suits our taste. Really enjoy her company in the kitchen, where we discuss and work our way to perfecting our recipe. It feels like a project, starting from brainstorming to planning to development to evaluation(we munch as we steam! By the end of 3rd batch, we both cleared 6 of them >.<) *rub chin* But this project is so much enjoyable than any others! 😛 love ones + hobby = CLOUD NO. 10. (Somewhere higher than cloud no.9!) *giggle*

We did 3 batches… :p as u can see~ with slight variation among the ingredients. As it progresses, the color gets better just as the taste 😛 mummy freshly squeezed pandan juice just for this steaming session 😀 Here’s the pics of our 1st batch…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Followed by 2nd batch~ with additional pandan juice.

 

3rd batch! With additional coconut milk + pandan paste (for the nice green tone) 🙂 taste like soft moist pandan chiffon cake!

Family members are all very satisfied with the 3rd batch… Daddy brought some to work, and was telling me that these remain soft and moist. His car was also filled with the nice aroma of pandan + coconut! hee~ will be experimenting more with this recipe! *nod*

– .: Amanda :.

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Steam Banana Cake

March 26, 2008

My all time fav. steam cake! ❤ Recently pulled out this old recipe =X “magnet-ed” under the collection of display magnets on the fridge door. Always wanted to make this myself, that’s the main reason y the recipe was on the fridge door. Time flies and it has been there on the fridge door for close to 3 years. >.< This beautiful recipe was generously shared by a friend’s mother… every time she made this, she will always be sharing it with me! it has been a long time, therefore i decided to pull out the recipe and make some for myself! 😛 Handed down traditional recipes are wonderful recipes! *nod* I love the soft fluffiness and simplicity of this cake. + the nice aroma of bananas~ *inhale*

YUM YUM! instead of steaming 1 huge cake, and slicing them up for serving, i steam them in my muffin pan lined with muffins cups. 😀 In 2 days, i made these 4 times! :X they are really easy and great! mummy’s friends love them so much that they requested to pack some home for their family! LOL! I felt good… *float around* though it was not my own recipe, but i was given a really good one! 😛

Ingredients: (6 big muffins)
2 Eggs
100g sugar
2 ripe bananas, mashed (200g)
150g Self-raising Flour
1/8 tsp Baking Soda
75g oil (any flavorless oil)

Steps:

  1. Sift together self-raising flour and baking soda, set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together Eggs and sugar till ribbon stage.
  3. Mix in mashed bananas, beat till combine.
  4. Gently fold in flour mixture and Oil, taking care not to deflate the eggs and sugar mixture.
  5. Pour Batter into muffin pan, lined with muffin cups.
  6. Steam over high heat for 15mins or till an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Verdict?
it is sooooooo good! u MUST try it! + it is easy to make 😛 healthier and they store very well. As u can just throw them into the fridge, before consumption, heat them in the steamer for a couple of mins, and u get hot, soft and fluffy cake! 😛

-.: Baker Lee :.

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Healthier Choice?

March 25, 2008

*laugh* sometimes i feel like some animal in the zoo =X well, i shouldn’t be complaining since i have a colorful selection of healthy fruits 😛 2 serving of fruits and vegetables a day for a healthy balanced diet! have you taken yours?

Recently the steamed goods virus got into me, i am in fact more keen in steamed goods than baked goods! For the past week, I have been experimenting with them! 😛 made a few different kind of steam cakes… ❤ steam cakes, as they are a much healthier option compared with baked ones. 😀 They store really well, simple ingredients and are supposed to be very soft and fluffy (if u get the proportion right!) ~ 😀

1st up, generously shared by Aunty Yochana. Hong Kong Style Ma Lai Koh, which is in fact steam egg sponge cake. Normally serve in dim sum restaurants.

Next, Cecily’s Steam Sponge Cake! Added some raisins in and made them into muffin size. Grab and go! 😛

Steam steam~ 😀 more steam goods coming for sure!

– .: Amanda :.

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Easter Special III – Hot Cross Biscotti

March 23, 2008

*wave*
Happy Easter! 😀

Part 3 of my Easter Special, is just like the previous two parts, all following the hot cross theme. Key ingredients, dried fruit, spices and top with a cross. Last night, my conversation with good pal, Ling goes something like…..

Me: girl… what should be my next hot cross product? Hot cross cake? Hot cross biscotti? Or? O.o

Ling: Biscotti of cos!! Cos I love them. Plus cinnamon and dried fruits goes well with biscotti.

Me: LOL, >.< alright! That’s it! But I have never baked biscotti before! Dare to be my guinea pig n test it out for me? 😛

Ling: I DARE!!

So off I went in search for a biscotti recipe which consists of the stated key ingredients when I came across Tartelette’s post on Lenox Biscotti, based on the Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home To Yours. 😀 a perfect chance for me to try out another Dorie’s recipe before investing on her book! Tartelette did abit of tweaking to the recipe and made a cranberry version of this recipe, it was that delicious that she made another batch right after!

“If you want a foolproof recipe that you can adapt to your heart’s content, well look no further.” – Tartelette

WOAH! I’m fully convinced that this is the recipe for me! 😛

Lenox Biscotti, from Baking From My Home To Yours

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups (190g) flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (140g) cornmeal
1 stick (113g) butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar (220g)
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
3/4 cup (70g) sliced almonds

For hot cross version: (optional)
2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 cup (60g) of dried cranberries

Melted white/dark/semi-sweet chocolate (topping)

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 175 Degree C.
  2. In stand mixer (hand held is fine) cream the butter and sugar.
  3. Add the eggs, beating well after each addition. Add the flavor extract you chose.
  4. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, cornmeal (and cinnamon powder) and add to the butter mixture.
  5. Fold in the nuts (and cranberries).
  6. Scrape half the dough onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  7. Using a spatula and your fingers, form the dough into a log, 12 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide.
  8. Repeat with the second portion of the dough.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes or until the logs are light golden but still soft to the touch.
  10. Let cool for 30 minutes but keep the oven on.
  11. With a long serrated knife cut slices from each log and spread them out onto baking sheets.
  12. Return to the oven for another 15 minutes until firm.
  13. Cool on wire rack before storing into air-tight container.


Verdict?
Cornmeal enhances the texture of this biscotti, special crunchy/sandy texture. I enjoy them! am pretty happy with my 1st attempt as well! 😛 though the next time I will make sure that they are being slice thicker. Gave 1/2 to Ling and another 1/2 to Adela, both
Biscotti Lovers and coffee lovers. I hope I didn’t fare too badly for my 1st attempt~ *fingers crossed*

– .: Baker Lee :.

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Easter Special II – Hot Cross Donut Muffins

March 22, 2008

Easter is a time of rebirth and resurrection; celebrating the Resurrection of our Savior, LORD, Jesus Christ on the third day after His crucifixion.

Yes, part 2 of my Easter Special~ 😀 This time, Hot Cross Muffins~ *wink* Like my previous hot cross cookies, they follow the hot cross theme. Dried fruit(Cranberries and raisins), spices and top with a cross(cheese slice into strips, adds a taste of saltiness to the sweet topping! – the kind of experience when u have fries dipped with sundae ice-cream. That’s the way i love to have my fries 😛 ) These are my new favorite muffins! veeeeeeeeeeeeeeery soft, fluffy and yet easy to make! DEFINITELY A KEEPER!

As you can see, i made a few plain ones as well… simple,beautiful and classic look. This recipe yields me 8 big muffins. Mummy took 2 of them for breakfast. After breakfast, we are left with 4, i was intending to share some with my relative who stays just across the street, but they are so good that mummy refused to share! Claiming she wants them for tea! *laugh* I guess I will make more when I stock up on milk later! 😛

Like all muffins, these are 1 bowl recipe. Just mix till just combine, scoop batter into muffins cups, into the oven. TADA! 😀 Muffins! Hee~ This yummy recipe is taken from Hillbilly Housewife. Many thanks to the baker who created this recipe! My family is very very thankful! *curtsy*

 

Ingredients:
1/3 cup (60g) shortening
1/2 cup (110g) sugar
1 medium egg
1-1/2 cups (190g) flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup (180g) milk

For The Topping: (mix and set aside)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon


Melted margarine/Butter

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 175 Degree C.
  2. In a mixing bowl mash together the shortening and sugar.
  3. Add the egg and whisk it all up until it is smooth.
  4. Measure the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg into the bowl.
  5. Pour in the milk.
  6. Mix the batter with a whisk/fork until it is just combine. do not overbeat.
  7. Drop the mixture into muffin cups. Make sure not to over fill the muffin cups, 1/2 to 2/3 full is full enough.
  8. Bake for 25-30mins, till an inserted skewer comes out clean and muffins top are slightly brown.
  9. Take the muffins out of the pan. When they are cool enough to handle, dip/brush the tops of the muffins with melted margarine/butter.
  10. Then dip them into the powdered sugar/cinnamon mixture.

* NOTE *
Make sure you use shortening, Not Margarine. The shortening gives this recipe it’s special texture.

Verdict?
1 word! YUUUUUUUUUMMMMMMMMY~ 😀

– .: Baker Lee :.

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Easter Special I – Hot Cross Oatmeal Cookies

March 21, 2008

“Hot Cross Buns are a seasonal yeast bread made especially during Easter. These pretty sweet buns are flavored with spices (such as cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves) and loaded with currants (or raisins) and candied fruit. What makes them very distinctive looking is that the tops of the buns are marked with a ‘cross’ which symbolically represents the Cross of Christ and the Crucifixion.” – JoyofBaking

 

Hot Cross Cookies? yes! That’s right! For my 1st Contribution to Easter, I have decided to borrow the concept of Hot Cross Buns and made some Hot cross cookies 😀 took a basic oatmeal cookie recipe, throw in spices, raisins and cranberries! plus the Cross. Key ingredients of the Hot Cross buns (^.^V) and we have a simple, healthy, wholesome and fruitful cookie!! *wink* eggless as well 😛 Started your Easter’s baking? So what’s your contribution?

 

Ingredients:

100g Butter (melted)
3 Tablespoon Honey
150g Plain Flour
90g Oatmeal
½ tsp baking soda
100g Brown sugar
2 tsp Cinnamon Powder
1/8 tsp Nutmeg Powder
40g Raisins
40g Cranberries
50g Almonds (slivered or chopped)

Melted white Chocolate (icing)

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 175 Degree C.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together melted butter and honey till well combine.
  3. Add in cinnamon and nutmeg, mix till combined.
  4. Followed by plain flour, oatmeal, sugar.
  5. Finally mix in raisins, cranberries and almonds.
  6. For each cookie, Scoop tablespoonful amount of dough, roll into ball and flatten slightly on baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned.
  8. cool on wire rack, pipe melted chocolate on top.

 

Verdict?
i always have a liking for crunchy, crispy cookies, i tend to bake my cookies slightly longer or till golden brown especially for oatmeal cookies. (Personal preference, as i find that soft oatmeal cookies, feels like they are being aired for a few days) 😛 wholesomely packed with oatmeal and chewy dried fruits. It is therefore a hard + chewy combi, definitely not a cookie for those who doesn’t enjoy chewing! :X

– .: Baker Lee :.

 

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Dorie’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

March 19, 2008

I have been eyeing on this book by Dorie Greenspan for quite some time. It has been receiving very good reviews from a lot of fellow bakers/food bloggers. 😛 Need to be really sure before I spend my allowance on it!:X Though with technology, we can easily get recipes shared by others online but nothing beats having your very own book! Flip through it before u go to bed, when u are bored, having meals and even in the toilet. (haha~ in case u are wondering! I do not do that! but i know of those who does that! :P) This will be the very 1st cookbook I get on my own (Yes, I have been blessed with a few cookbooks, by close pals. *grin* I love them~ but the more the merrier yea?), and I wanna make sure it is worth every cent! (close to 80bucks is kind of pricey for a schooling kid, don’t u agree? >.< )

“With 300 recipes covering everything from yeast-breads to quick cakes, brownies to cookies and beyond, this cookbook will earn a permanent place on your kitchen counter. Dorie’s voice comes through loud and clear in her directions and tips for a perfect product. There are recipes for any occasion, from an afternoon snack to the perfect dinner-party dessert.” – Sarah Jane

Reviews also states that it is a book filled with easy-to-understand directions and full-color pictures guiding bakers gently through. Woooh~ tempting isn’t it! 😛 I therefore decide to go hands on with a couple of her recipes, before I invest in it… 1st up, basic and (almost) everyone’s favorite! Chocolate chips cookies~ *wink* Taken from Technicolor kitchen, many thanks to Patricia for doing the metric conversion! (Recipes in the book are stated in cup measurements :X)

Ingredients: Makes 45

2 cups/280g all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks/226g/8 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup/200g sugar
2/3 cup/115g packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
12 ounces/335g bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or 2 cups/340g store-bought chocolate chips or chunks
1 cup/100g finely chopped pecans

Look at how clear and precise the instructions are! Indeed really helpful for novice bakers! 😀

Steps:

  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
  2. Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda.
  3. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed for about 1 minute, until smooth.
  4. Add the sugars and beat for another 2 minutes or so, until well blended.
  5. Beat in the vanilla.
  6. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each egg goes in.
  7. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients in 3 portions, mixing only until each addition is incorporated.
  8. On low speed, or by hand with a rubber spatula, mix in the chocolate and nuts.
  9. Spoon the dough by slightly rounded tablespoonfuls* onto the baking sheets, leaving about 5cm (2in) between spoonfuls.
  10. Bake the cookies – one sheet at a time and rotating the sheets at the midway point – for 10 to 12 minutes, or until they are brown at the edges and golden in the center; they may be still a little soft in the middle, and that’s just fine.
  11. Pull the sheet from the oven and allow the cookies to rest for 1 minute, then carefully using a wide metal spatula, transfer them to racks to cool to room temperature.
  12. Repeat with the remainder of the dough, cooling the baking sheets between batches.

*NOTE*
The dough can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen. If you’d like, you can freeze rounded tablespoonfuls of dough, ready for baking. Freeze the mounds on a lined baking sheet, then bag them when they’re solid. There’s no need to defrost the dough before baking – just add another minute or two the baking time.

Verdict?
I did 2 batches! Reduced the sugar by 1/2 for the 2nd batch as i find them too sweet for my liking. Freeze them into small balls and they are now sitting in my freezer~ =X This recipe is supposed to yield chewy centre cookies. Let me show u guys something~ >.< The following is the products of the 1st batch which i did… :X

Spot the differences between batch 1 and batch 2? *cover mouth* take a closer look here ->

I must be too excited! left out baking soda for my 1st batch of cookies~ *smack head* therefore they just wouldn’t spread~ >.< But they turn out even more chewy compared to the 2nd batch of cookies baked for the same duration. Baking is indeed a science! Since I have 2 batches of chocolate chip cookies, I decided to add a few extra mins to the 2nd batch cookies and turn them into crispy cookies hee~ variety! and also due to the fact that most of my friends are crispy cookie lovers! 😛 i need volunteers to help me trial out these cookies! *hunt*

– .: Baker Lee :.