Saturday, October 29, 2011

My Battle with D Mac....

OK. This post I'm not giving out any recipes but rather share with my readers on my battle with the Mac. Not McDonald but rather the Macarons....

A 'macaron'  is a sweet confectionery made with egg whites, icing sugar, granulated sugar, almond powder or ground almond, and food coloring. The macaron is commonly filled with buttercream or jam filling sandwiched between two cookies. Its name is derived from an Italian word "maccarone" or "maccherone". This word is itself derived from ammaccare, meaning crush or beat, used here in reference to the almond paste which is the principal ingredient. It is meringue-based: made from a mixture of egg whites, almond flour.

The confectionery is characterized by its smooth, domed top, ruffled circumference (referred to as the "foot"), and flat base. It is mildly moist and easily melts in the mouth.

Then again, do not be confused by 'macaroons'. A macaroon  is a type of light, baked confection, described as either small cakes or meringue-like cookies depending on their consistency. The original macaroon was a "small sweet cake consisting largely of ground almond similar to Italian or Moroccan amaretti.
I think anybody who has attempted to bake macarons must have tried few times before succeed (except for few lucky ones who managed in 1 attempt.) For me, I think nobody has my record of more than 15 attempts. Some were edible and some went into the bin. I did manage to take some shots of the first few tries and after that I gave up.
It wasnt until my friend, Cynthia of started to bake them that my interest to try this cute & colourful french 'cookie' once again. With help and some troubleshooting from my bro, Moses who came home for a short break from US that I managed to bake the macaron. With daily practice, I managed to master the art of baking macarons!!! Yay!!!!
Here's some pix of my first few disasters..(Pls dont laugh...:-((
                                                                       This one was more like a meringue.....               

Perhaps the temperature was too hot, it cracked...

Tried to add some 'sprinkles' to make it more attractive...

Thought this mac was going to have the 'feet' didnt happen...:-((

And successful macarons...(^.^)...

                                              This one is with Green Tea Buttercream Filling

                            I added some ground hazelnut to make 'Hazelnut Chocolate Macaron'

                                                Assorted Macarons packed into a box as gift

                                                     Or make it into Macaron Lolipop...

And I can only say that the battle has been won!!!! Will post some more pix and my recipe for the macarons...


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cranberry Pecan Cookies

I have been diverting away from baking Cakes & Cheesecakes these few days so, another type that I seldom make is ...Cookies which I would make only during festive season like Chinese New Year. Last month, a customer gave me a box of Cranberry Pecan Cookie made by her sister. My family loved the cookies so much that it was all gone in 2 days time after I opened it.

I was a little hesitant to get the recipe from her sister as we're not so acquanted, I googled the web for a cranberry recipe and found this one that looks easy and interesting as it had chocolate chips added. This recipe is taken from the web

I would suggest to make smaller pieces so it will be crispier. The crunchyness of the pecan nuts and chewiness of the cranberries plus the chocolate chips given by my brother from US makes the cookies taste soooo good. I would definitely make this for Chinese New Year.....:-))

125g Butter
1 Egg
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
1 1/4 cups Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
1/3 cup Castor Sugar
3/4 cup Dried Cranberries (chopped to small pieces)
1/2 cup Chopped Pecan Nuts
1/2 cup Chocolate Chips

1) Preheat oven to 375 degree F.
2) Beat butter, egg & vanilla till fluffy.
3) Add remaining ingredients and mix by hand till well blended.
4) Drop heaoing teaspoonful of mixture to cookie sheet.
5) Bake for 8 -10 mins or till edges slightly brown.

                                                            (Before Baking)
                                                             (After Baked)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Kueh Keria

Hmmmm I seldom make traditional kuehs but I love to eat them. If I go to the morning market, there sure will be lots of varieties and I go 'gaga' over them and ended up buying lots of them. Alas, my family is not an avid fan of kuehs so rather than go to waste, the kuehs will be my breakfast, lunch, tea break  sometimes thrown into the bin as some of the kueh has coconut milk and it will go bad towards the evening.

As this month (October) Aspiring Bakers theme is Traditional Kueh, I gave this recipe a try. I remembered making this when I just got married and stayed together with my in-laws. They always have lots of sweet potatoes/ tapiocas as we stayed in a kampung and they plant fruits and rear pigs, chickens, geese, etc - A typical kampung life. My sis-in-law always made them into keropok (crackers) and while I made kueh keria out of it. I never measured the ingredients used so for my fellow readers, I try to give the weight of the ingredients.

                                                             (This one is before glazing)


600g Sweet Potatoes
60g Plain Flour
60g Tapioca Flour
120g Castor sugar
45ml water
Oil for deep frying

1. Boil sweet potatoes till tender. Peel the skin and mash till fine.
2. Add flour little by little to the mashed potatoes & knead together to form a dough. Add water if its too dry.
3. Roll dough on a floured surface to 5 cm thick. Use a donut cutter to cut.
4. Heat oil in wok & deep fry the kueh. Drain & set aside.
5. Put sugar & water in a pan to make a thick syrup. Add the kueh to pan and glaze completely.

   (This was after the glaze but I realised I didnt wait until the sugar syrup crystalized a little before dipping the kueh in. It would have been much nicer...:-))

I am submitting this post to Aspiring Bakers #12: Traditional Kueh (October 2011) hosted by Small Small Baker.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Orange Baked Cheesecake

My daughter was telling me the other day that I have not been baking Chocolate cake for quite sometime. My daughter is a chocolate lover so I obliged her request but was just too lazy to try a chocolate ganache cake for her. Since she loves cheesecake as well, I made this Baked Cheesecake for her temporary...:-)) and promise to bake her a chocolaty chocolate cake for her birthday in December..(^.^)

This recipe is taken from 'Alex Goh's Baking Code. I find that his recipe is quite reliable and easy. I hope to meet him in person or attend his class one day...

 Prepare a 23 cm Chocolate sponge cake about 2 cm thick. You can use any sponge cake recipe that you like or if you're lazy like I did, use a sponge mix..:-))

Ingredients A:
250g Cream Cheese
20g Castor Sugar
1 Orange Zest

Ingredients B:
3 Egg Yolk

Ingredients C:
30g Orange Juice
80g Sour Cream (I used Natural Yogurt)

Ingredients D:
25g Plain Flour

Ingredients E:
3 Egg White
55g Castor Sugar

1. Grease & line the sides & bottom of a 23cm round mould. Wrap the outside with aluminium foil.
2. Cream ingredients A until light. Add in ingredients B, cream until smooth.
3. Add in ingredients C, cream until well blended. Add in ingredients D, mix until incorporated.
4. Whip ingredients E until soft peak stage.
5. Mix the whipped egg white with the above cheese mixture until well incorporated.
6. Place a layer of sponge at the bottom of the mould. Pour the cheese mixture over the cake.
7. Bake in water bath at 160 degree C for 1 hour.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Durian Cheesecake

I had some durian flesh frozen in my freezer and decided to use it up so I dug out my collection of recipe books in search for interesting recipe that calls for durian and found this. I made a chilled durian cheesecake last year but didnt find it appealing so I thought of giving this baked durian cheesecake a try.

This recipe is taken from the book 'Baking Code' by Alex Goh. I found the texture to be quite dense initially but after overnight in the fridge, it was much better. The aroma of the durian cannot be described...:-))

Ingredients A:
150g Milk
60g Durian Paste (I used durian flesh)
30g Butter

Ingredients B:
125g Cream Cheese

Ingredients C:
30g Plain Flour
20g Corn Flour

Ingredients D:
2 egg Yolk
1 tsp Vanilla Essence

Ingredients E:
2 egg White
1/8 tsp Cream of Tartar
60g Sugar

1. Grease & line bottom of a 18 cm round mould.
2. Cook Ingredients A until it boils. Cream Ingredients B until smooth. Add in Ingredients A, mix until well blended. Place over double boiler, stir until thick. Remove form double boiler.
3. Add in Ingredients C, mix until well combined. Add in Ingredients D, mix until evenly blended.
4. Whip the egg white in Ingredients E until foamy. Add in the remaining ingredients, continue to whip until soft peak stage. Add it into the above cheese mixture, mix until incorporated.
5. Pour the cheese mixture onto the prepared mould.
6. Bake in water bath at 160 degree C for 50 -60 mins or until set & golden brown.
7. Remove cake from the mould immediately when baked. Set aside to cool.