A few days ago, I just remembered this blog and planned to revive it. I've already forgot my password here LOL Good thing I still remember the URL :)
Since my last post in April 2009, so much have changed in my baking journey. I have created a new blog which displays all my creations since 2010. But I have decided to keep this old blog to document things like testing other recipes, classes I attended etc. Though I know that there's no one following this blog HA-HA! LOL
I still haven't considered myself as professional. I still have this long time wish of taking a certification course in baking and decorating :( I have missed many opening of courses here, oh well... the perfect time will come, I know :) One thing's for sure, I have improved a lot and for me, that's a great achievement! Don't you think so? Yes? Please agree with me hehehe
In the meantime, I have a lot of posts to create here :) If anyone is reading this (lol), please do visit my other blog.
**Doing the happy dance now!**
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Note: You can skip the blabbing in the next 3 paragraphs and go straight to the recipe *lol*
Finally, I was able to use my oven :) It wasn't used since 2007. When I was renting a flat then, I bought an oven coz I wanted to learn baking. Then I realized, well, I thought renting a flat on my own is quite costly. So after a year, I gave up the flat and moved to another flat (much nearer to my workplace) and shared the rent with friends. I didn't think it's fair to use an oven because the electric bill is shared between me and my other flatmates. So I decided to keep it and let it acquire a lot of dust *lol*
Just last week, I had this urge to search from the web on the calculation of the consumption of an electric oven. Well, an urge? Hmm.. maybe because I'm really itching to use the oven hehehe I found this consumption calculator. It turned out, that if I use a 2000-watt Electric Oven, 30 hours/month (1 hour per day) and with the current rate (here in Singapore) 18.03 cents/kWH, then I will be paying $10.82 per month! wooo hoo not bad eh?
And here's what happened last night when finally, I was reunited with my oven.
We were watching American Idol 8, and I was also doing all the preparations for the brownie and dough. When it was time to pre-heat the oven, the power went off! I mean, really, it was gone! My flatmate who's in the toilet, screamed my name coz she thought I've mistakenly turn off the toilet's light *lol* (oh, thats very funny hahahhaha) The couple-flatmate went out their room and was asking me what happened (they're also watching tv). *sighs* turned out that it has short-circuited :( So, I told them, after American Idol, I'll switch off the tv, fridge and other lights in the living room then use the oven. Heheheh Jeez, I've been using my oven before and I didn't encounter such as this. But thinking back, I think it's just funny hehehhee.
So...... Here's the recipe. It's a combination of 2 of Betty Crocker's famous ready-mix products: Chocolate Chip Cookie mix and Original Supreme Brownie mix.
Betty Crocker's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies
1 box Betty Crocker® Original Supreme brownie mix (with chocolate syrup pouch)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® chocolate chip cookie mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
Heat oven to 350ºF. Spray bottom only of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray, or grease with shortening. Make brownie mix as directed on box, using oil, water and 2 eggs. Spread in pan.
Make cookie mix as directed on pouch, using butter and 1 egg. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls evenly onto brownie batter; press down lightly.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted 2 inches from side of pan comes out almost clean. Cool on cooling rack 30 minutes. Frost with frosting. For brownies, cut into 8 rows by 6 rows.
And please follow this valuable tip from Betty Crocker:
Cutting brownies or any bar with a chewy and dense texture is much easier when you use a plastic knife.
1 bar of Cadbury's Old Gold Dark Chocolate 70% cocoa (220g)
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
6 Tbsp butter
Combine cream and butter in a heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Heat the mixture until it's smooth and almost going to boil. Pour over the chopped chocolate. Let stand for about a minute and stir.
The 1st photo below is showing the combined mix: cookie dough randomly dropped in the brownie mix. I should've created a country map or something *lol* Hey, it doesn't have to be perfect coz it will be covered later with Chocolate ganache. Speaking of which, that's the photo beside it. After the brownies have slight cooled, I poured the ganache on top :)
And here is the finished product :) rather, the sliced product hehehe
It's slightly burnt on the top so covering it with ganache helped a lot :P
My flatmate and colleagues loved it! The short-circuiting is well worth-it *lol*
Monday, March 30, 2009
A little background of myself before going to the recipe but you are free to skip this part *lol* I've been working and living in Singapore since 2001. From 2001 to 2004, weekend is the time for me to rest and do household chores. Then came 2005, which requires me to provide support even on weekends :( I didn't complain at that time as I admittedly being a workaholic! But my health suffered that I have to choose whether to find a new job and live longer, or stick with that job and die sooner *lol* Additionally, I have to leave my guineas, err, rather colleagues and friends hehehe
So, now that I have a not-so-stressful job, I've got nothing to do on weekends *grins* Thats when I stumbled to the website of Filipino Overseas Workers in Singapore where they offer Sunday courses in just a minimal fee :) Hence, I took up the Basic Baking class. Well, unfortunately their kitchen is under renovation *sighs* The teacher opted for no-bake as the first recipe. She printed the recipe and did the demo (no hands-on yet).
Last week, I was thinking about what to prepare to bring to a friend's gathering. Thats when I thought of trying the no-bake recipe.
I did the research and found the exact recipe and followed the reviewers comments (thanks to them!). So here it is....
BEST NO-BAKE CHEESECAKE
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese (I used 2 Philadephia cream cheese)
2 teaspoons lemon juice (I only used 1 tsp of lime juice)
1 pint heavy whipping cream (I used 2 cups of MILLAC 38% DAIRY WHIPPING CREAM)
1/3 cup white sugar (I used 2/3 cup white sugar)
1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling
1.) In a small bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar and cinnamon. Add melted butter and mix well. Press into the bottom of an 8 or 10 inch springform pan. Chill until firm.
2.) In a medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese and lemon juice until soft. Add whipping cream and beat with an electric mixer until batter becomes thick. Add the sugar and continue to beat until stiff. Pour into chilled crust, and top with pie filling. Chill several hours or overnight. Just before serving, remove the sides of the springform pan.
What I did: Before doing the 2nd step above, the bowl and beaters were chilled for a few hours before using. After it was chilled, I beat the heavy whipping cream first until its stiff. On a separate bowl, I mixed the soften cream cheese, lime juice and sugar. Oh, and I added 2 tbsp of vanilla essence and 1 tsp of unflavored gelatine powder to the mixture :) Then fold the whipped cream onto the cream cheese mixture using the rubber spatula. Then pour into chilled crust (yummy). I also used the whipped cream-cheese mixture to pipe the sides using the 1M tip. Chill for 2 hours. Then cover it with strawberry pie filling!
**Next time, I will try using the oreo cookies as the pie crust and probably use the chocolate ganache as the topping.. wooo hooo!!
I was able to make 4 extra cheesecakes in cupcake size:
Oh, hi there mother & daughter cheesecakes!
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Though I've not been blogging my baking adventures, I still keep on doing the Steamed Moist Chocolate Cake :) According to my colleagues, each week is getting better and better hehehe But I became tired of doing the same recipe :( I miss the oven!! wahhhh.
To do something different, two sundays ago, I attended a workshop on the basics of cupcake decoration.
It was 3-hour workshop by Anna Chan and assisted by Fiona . It started with baking the non-fat yogurt cupcakes by group and then followed by the individual cupcake decorations using the 3 types of icing: royal, buttercream and chocolate ganache. I enjoyed the workshop (especially the flower and leaf-making using sugarpaste) and wished it a longer time hehehe
If by chance you're reading this, thanks Anna and Fiona!
PRETTY FLORAL CUPCAKES @ CSC Club Baking Studio
Date: 22 Mar 2009
Time: 3pm - 6pm
By Anna Chan (with Fiona)
It's just fair not to post the recipe and instructions.. Sorry. It's better you attend the workshop and surely you will enjoy it too! :-)
And here's my masterpiece :) Hi there cute cupcakes!
Oh.. pretty and yummy!!
Thursday, March 5, 2009
I'm now an avid follower of Ms Suanne's steam recipes :) You should try one of her recipes.
The instructions comes with photo so it's easier to follow especially for a newbie like me :)
I woke up earlier today to make the Steamed Moist Chocolate Cake.
It turned out wonderful as expected except that there's a crack in the middle LOL.
Before I brought it in the office, I sliced the cake so they won't notice the crack shhhh.
Okay, taste matters most.
It's not too sweet and it's healthier coz its steamed.
Hmmm.. wonder why there's a crack.. maybe because the steaming time should be shorter?
There's always a next time to try :)
Anyways.. my colleagues loved it! And they have requested me to bring it every Friday LOL.
Steamed Moist Chocolate Cake
1 & 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 cup water
1 cup sugar (I substituted with 1 & 3/4 Icing sugar)
1/2 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon white vinegar
4 tablespoons oil
a handful of semisweet chocolate chips
1. Sift the dry ingredients (i.e. flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder) in a medium bowl.
2. Whisk the sugar and wet ingredients (i.e water, vanilla, vinegar and oil) in a large bowl until the sugar is dissolved.
3. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix well.
4. Pour the batter into a greased and floured or parchment lined pan.
Sprinkle a handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips on the batter for garnishing.
5. Steam for 30 minutes in high heat.
Okay.. I know my photos are crappy LOL but the top of the cake is not burnt! It's just dark heheheh
Monday, March 2, 2009
For the reminiscing part, in my childhood days, adults will advise the kids to eat bananas to avoid pimples! If you ask them 'why', they will always philosphically reply 'Tell me, have you seen any monkeys with pimples?' .... yeah, yeah, corny! hahahaha! But when you're a kid, of course you'll believe them ah! :P
On the serious side of bananas, since I read this article about the health benefits of eating bananas, I see to it that I eat one or two in a day and then let others turn ripe so I'll have the reason to do the steamed banana cakes! :D
Health Benefits of Bananas
Bananas consist mainly of sugars (glucose, fructose and sucrose) and fiber, which makes them ideal for an immediate and slightly prolonged source of energy
Bananas contain tryptophan, an aminoacid that can be converted to serotonin, leading to improved mood
AnemiaBananas are relatively high in iron, which helps the body's hemoglobin function
Constipation and Diarrhea
Due to their content in fiber, they help restore a normal bowel function. In addition, diarrhea usually depletes your body of important electrolytes (of which the most important is potassium, contained in high amounts in bananas). They also contain pectin, a soluble fiber (hydrocolloid) that can help normalize movement through the digestive tract.
Research published in the Archives of Ophthalmology has proven that adults consuming at least 3 servings of fruit per day have a reduced risk (by 36%) of developing age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), the primary cause of vision loss in older adults, compared to persons who consume less than 1.5 servings of fruit daily.
Bananas are an exceptionally rich source of fructooligosaccharide, a compound that nourishes probiotic (friendly) bacteria in the colon. These beneficial bacteria produce enzymes that increase our digestive ability and protect us from unhealthy bacteria infections. Thanks to fructooligosaccharides, probiotic bacteria can increase both in number and functionality, increasing our body's ability to absorb calcium.In addition, green bananas contain indigestible short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) that are very nutrient to the cells that make up the mucosa of the stomach. These cells, when healthy, absorb calcium much more efficiently
About 190,000 cases of kidney cancer are diagnosed each year.Research published in the International Journal of Cancer has shown that daily consumption of whole fruits and vegetables, especially bananas, is highly protective to kidney health. The results show that, over a long timeframe (13.4 years), women eating more than 2.5 servings of fruits and vegetable per day cut their risk of kidney cancer by 40%. Among the fruits, bananas were especially protective. Women eating bananas four to six times a week halved their risk of developing the disease compared to those who did not eat this fruit. The conclusion of the study is that frequent consumption of fruits and vegetables, especially bananas, cabbage and root vegetables, may reduce risk of kidney cancer. This is because bananas and many root vegetables contain especially high amounts of antioxidant phenolic compounds, while cabbage is rich in sulfur, necessary for effective detoxification of potential carcinogens.
Bananas are extremely high in potassium (about 4673mg), yet very low in sodium (1mg), thus having a perfect ratio for preventing high blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.
Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.
Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood-sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.
Smoking Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. They contain vitamins B6 and B12 they contain, as well as potassium and magnesium: these substances help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.
Ulcers This is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicle cases. It also helps reduce acidity and reduces irritation. Bananas stimulate the cells on the internal stomach lining to produce a thicker mucus (which protects against acid). Additionally, bananas contain protease inhibitors that help eliminate bacteria in the stomach that have been pinpointed as a primary cause of ulcers.
Nerves Bananas are high in B vitamins that have been shows to improve nerve function
Many people report that rubbing the inside of a banana peel on a mosquito bite is very effective in reducing itching and swelling
Bananas are high in potassium, which helps normalize the hearthbeat and regulate the body's water balance. During periods of high stress, our body's potassium levels tend to be rapidly depleted: eating bananas is a healthy way to rebalance them without using drugs
According to a study in The New England Journal of Medicine, eating bananas as part of a regular diet can reduce the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%
Bananas anyone? :D
Friday, February 27, 2009
I tried another steam recipe today from Ms. Suanne's Chow Times . And it turned out wonderful! So easy! I dont have to beat any eggs until its ribbon-like or stiff *lol* With this recipe you can just combine them all in 1 bowl!!
Im really thankful to have found this recipe :) You can check the website for her step-by-step instructions :) It's soo easy.
Steamed Banana Cake
1 ripe banana, mashed
1 egg (can be substituted with 50ml of milk or water)
1 teaspoon oil
2 teaspoons water
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup icing sugar
100g (2/3 cup to close to 1 cup) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons of semi-sweet chocolate chips or raisins, optional
1. Place all the ingredients in a small mixing bowl.
2. Mix the ingredients with a fork until well blended.
3. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Steam the cake on a rack for 15 to 18 minutes until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
4. Remove from the steamer and let the cake cool for a few minutes. Use a knife to loosen the sides of the cake and pop the cake out of the bowl. You may add some chocolate chips if you prefer.
I only used 1-1/2 tsp of baking powder :)
I'm using an electric food steamer and steam it for 30 minutes.
I tried one batch with chocolate chips and one batch without :) Yumm-O!