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Thursday, 31 January 2013

CRANBERRIES UPSIDE DOWN CAKE


I just wonder as CNY is drawing near, most of us are only focusing on baking cookies and cookies, but do we serve cakes to our guests too?  

I'm trying to clear some of the frozen berries in my freezer hence  this Cranberries Upside Down Cake is being baked.

 

Cranberries Upside Down Cake
Recipe sourced from Joy Of Baking

Topping:
70g unsalted butter
140g light brown sugar
227g fresh cranberries * (see below)

Cake Batter:
195g all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
113g unsalted butter, at room temperature
200g granulated white sugar (I used 170g only)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, separated
120 ml milk
¼ tsp cream of tartar

Method
Preheat oven to 170 degrees C and place rack in the center of the oven. Butter (or spray with a non stick vegetable spray) a 9 inch (23 cm) round cake pan.

Topping: Place the butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Continue cooking for a few more minutes until the sugar starts to caramelize. Then remove from heat, and pour into your prepared cake pan. Sprinkle evenly with the fresh cranberries.

Cake Batter:
In a large bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then beat in the vanilla extract.

Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Add the flour mixture (in three additions), alternately with the milk (in two additions), ending with the dry ingredients.

In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with the cream of tartar just until the whites hold a firm peak. With a large spatula gently fold the beaten egg whites into the cake batter in two additions. Pour the batter into the cake pan, smoothing the top.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 - 40 minutes, or until the top of the cake has browned, starts to pull away from the sides of the pan, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 15 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the pan and then invert the cake onto your serving plate.

 * Note:
Because of the moisture in the cranberries, and because ovens do vary, the baking time can vary significantly.
If you use frozen cranberries (do not thaw) the cake will take longer to bake than if you are using fresh cranberries.


I did not weight the cranberries to 227g as indicated in the recipe, but I just lay one layer evenly on the 9" round pan.
As cranberries are sour in taste, I suggest not to cut down the light brown sugar for the topping.




Well, another "Ang Ang" (red) cake for the New Year!  If you don't intend to bake this for CNY, would you consider it for Valentine's Day as a dessert after the romantic dinner at home?  Hee....hee....




* I am submitting this post to Chinese New Year Delights 2013 hosted by








Tuesday, 29 January 2013

BARAZEK (Pistachio & Sesame Seeds Cookies)

I loves to eat cookies that have a crunch and crispy...... because I like munching and munching!

When Wendy of Table for 2 ....or more posted her Barazek (well, I have not heard of what is Barazek before) and after looking at the pic, I guess this type of cookies is in for me as I can see it has that crunch for me!



BARAZEK
(Pistachio & Sesame Seeds Cookies)
Recipe from Wendy of Table for 2....or more 

Ingredients
150g sesame seeds
53g honey
65g ghee (clarified butter)
1 medium size egg
70g sugar
1/8 tsp salt
120g plain flour
160g semolina flour
1 tsp baking powder
120g pistachios

Method
1. Mix the sesame seeds and honey.  Set aside.
2.  Chopped the pistachios coarsely and place on a flat plate.
3.  Mix ghee, egg, sugar and salt; cream till smooth.
4.  Sift in flour, sugee and baking powder. Mix well.
5.  Take 1/2 tbsp level of dough (1 scoop out using a melon baller) and form into round.
6.  Drop dough onto chopped pistachios that has been placed on a flat plate.Lightly press dough 
     onto pistachios.
7. With the dough sticking on the back of the spoon, drop the dough pistachio nut side up onto the 
    sesame honey mixture.Lightly press the dough
8. Spoon out dough with generous amount of sesame sticking at the bottom.
9. Place dough sesame side up pistachio side down onto baking tray. Lightly press them flat.
10. Bake at 170C for 15 minutes
11. Cool on baking tray for 2 minutes before transferring to wire rack to fully cool down.

Please go over to here for tutorial pic



The difficult part of making this is.......messy!  The sesame seeds doesn't stick much to the dough and have to take some out to lightly press it down to stick.

Well, as indicate by Wendy, that this cookies taste better after 3 days, so I shall wait till 3 days to taste how good this shall be.  


On my last tray to bake this cookies, I use a small knife to make a slit .... just for fun ..... so it hang nicely to my cup!




                 I am submitting this post to Chinese New Year Delights 2013 hosted by
                                                           Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover






Sunday, 27 January 2013

Kumquat 'Nastar' Rolls

Everyone is making pineapple rolls or pineapple tart...... I wanted to make this too but I still have two punnets of kumquats in my fridge so I thought of using it to make Kumquat Nastar Rolls instead of the usual pineapple.   How's that for a change?





KUMQUAT “NASTAR” ROLLS
Pastry Dough from Sonia of Nasi Lemak Lover

Ingredients
175g butter
50g condensed milk
255g plain flour / all purpose flour
1 egg yolk

1 egg yolk, for egg wash

About 450g Kumquat filling
(blend & puree the kumquat and cooked with sugar and some water)

Method
1. Cream butter and condensed milk till light.
2. Add in egg yolk, and beat until combine.
3. Mix in flour, mix till become a soft and not sticky dough.
4. Put dough into a Nastar mould and press out into strips about 5-6cm long.
5. Place kumquat jam filling on the edge of a strip and make a small elongated roll.
6. Cut off excess dough, brush with egg glaze.
7. Bake in preheated oven at 170c for 15-18mins or till golden brown.
8. Cool on wire racks before storing.



 I love it......... taste so yummy....... because I just loves Kumquat!  


Because some of the kumquats going to get rotten in the fridge, it just gave me an idea of using it as the filling for this rolls as replacement for a change for pineapple instead.



   Good for a change, isn't it?




                    I am submitting this post to Chinese New Year Delights 2013 hosted by 





                                This is made in 2014....thought of upload this pic to this old post here.




Wednesday, 23 January 2013

The Best..RED VELVET CAKE

It has been so long I have not bake a cake to indulge in ..... I've been having my tea break everyday without a slice of cake and that is some emptiness in life for me.

As you can see lately from the food bloggers, most of them are busy baking cookies, and cookies only.  Well, what about having some cakes for Chinese New Year?

Have you bake Red Velvet Cake before?  This is my second time,  I am sure some of you do but some hesitate because of the red colouring putting in.  Well actually you can omit the red colouring if you are the health conscious person.  Once in a while having some colours it is alright and since Chinese New Year is drawing near, I thought of baking a Red Velvet Cake..... Red represent for Chinese New Year, right?

This is a very SPECIAL RED VELVET Cake....... the ingredients are slightly different from others.   It uses cooking oil instead of butter and with added half cup of plain hot coffee in.




THE BEST RED VELVET CAKE 
Recipe sourced from Adora'x Box 

Ingredients for the cake layers:
250g plain flour
1 tsp. of baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsps. unsweetened cocoa powder
280g sugar
1 cup (250ml) vegetable cooking oil
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2 tsps. vanilla extract
2 tsps red food colouring  (I used Wilton Red Red gel colouring)
1 tsp. distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup of prepared plain hot coffee (do not omit  this ingredient)

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 170° C.

Grease and flour two 9" cake pans. (I lined the the bottom pans only with baking paper)

In a mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt.  Set aside.

In another bowl, mix the sugar and vegetable cooking oil with a spatula. l. If using gel food colouring, add it in at this stage. You might want to temper the colour ).

Add in the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and food colouring; at this stage use your hand mixer to mix. Stir before adding the coffee and vinegar. Blend everything together.

Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients a little at time, mixing after each addition, just until combined.  (Do not overmix)

Divide the mixture equally between the two prepared pans.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or when a cake tester comes out clean. Do not over bake.

Invert on cooling racks. When the pans are just warm, run a knife around the edges to loosen the cakes. Invert onto the cooling racks, peel the lining paper off and leave to cool compl
etely.



Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients
150
g cream cheese
50g unsalted butter
80g icing sugar
1 cup fresh cream, whipped until stiff

1.  Beat cream cheese with butter until soft.
2.  Turn mixer to low speed, add icing sugar a little at a time, whisk until well
      blended.
3.  Add whipped cream, stir through with a spatula.


I guess I don't need to elaborate further after looking at the slice cake, it is indeed soft and moist.... so if you intend to bake this, don't skip or omit that 1/2 cup plain hot coffee.  It does make a difference in it.


The cake tastes much more better the next day.


You wanna bake this Red Velvet Cake for Chinese New Year?
A Red Cake to usher in the Snake Year!


 
 I am submitting this post to Chinese New Year Delights 2013 

 





 

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Almond Cookies

Every Chinese New Year, I will bake this Almond Cookies without failed as this is my favourite. 

I have posted this recipe last year but thought of sharing it here again as I highly recommend that you should try it out and who knows, it might get you addicted to it.

 



ALMOND COOKIES
Recipe from New Year Cookies by Alan Ooi cookbook)

Ingredients
A
120g almond meal (ground almond)
180g plain flour
120 caster sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

B
120ml vegetable cooking oil (sunflower, canola or corn oil)

For Glazing:
1 egg yolk (beaten)

1.  Combine Ingredients A and B in a mixer and mix to form a dough.
     (In this part, you may use your hands to knead till all combined well.  It look more like
     crumbs but it is ok or you may add a little more oil in).

2.  Scale the dough of about 7g each rounded portion.  
     (Scoop 1 tsp of the mixture out and shape it to round again)
 
3.  Arrange on a lined baking trays and glaze the surfaces with egg wash.

4.  Bake at a preheated oven at 180 Celcius for about 15-20 minutes until lightly browned.
     Cool well before storage.


At the bakery shop here, one container selling at $30.00!  
It is always economical to make at home though tiring but it is all well the effort because it is homemade!   And that is what I love to do.





I am submitting this post to Chinese New Year Delights 2013







Monday, 21 January 2013

Cashew Nut Cookies


My first baked for the Chinese New Year  ........ Cashew Nut Cookies.






Cashew Nut Cookies

Ingredients

250g butter

180g icing sugar

400g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

180g ground cashew nuts

1 egg yolk

1 tsp vanilla extract

100g half cut, cashew nuts, for garnishing



Egg Wash:

1 egg white

1 egg yolk



Method

Preheat oven to 150 Celcius

Sift plain flour and baking powder together

Cream butter and icing sugar till smooth and creamy.  Add in egg yolk and vanilla extract.

Add in flour and ground cashew nuts.  Mix well until it forms dough.

Roll dough to ¼” thickness and cut into your desire shape.

Light brush with egg white and place one cashew nut on top, thereafter brush again with egg wash.

Bake for 20-25 minutes till golden brown.


 Making cookies is very time consuming..... unlike baking cakes!




I am submitting this post to Chinese New Year Delights 2013 hosted by






Sunday, 13 January 2013

Gougères ~ French Cheese Puffs

I have been feeling all "blues" lately, I am just not to myself and I guess it is just normal to get this kind feeling sometimes.

On and off, we do want to get motivate but somehow or rather the past week nothing had made me get my butt up.   But when Hui of Butterfly Waltz posted her Gougères, I have gotten inspired again after reading the content of her post.   The way she described it, " ^^ WE SOOOO LOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE IT! ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^", I guess I shouldn't have anymore excuses to feel blues anymore.

Have you by the way heard of GougèresI think I have or maybe not, even though I might have come across it previously.  
Well, Gougères, is a French cuisine.  It is a baked savoury choux pastry made of choux dough mixed with cheese.  It is very similarly like cream puff but only thing is gougères does not need any filling in it.


Gougères ~ French Cheese Puffs
Recipe adapted from Hui of ButterflyWaltz

 Ingredients
1/2 cup (125ml) water
3 tablespoons (40g) butter, salted or unsalted, cut into cubes
1/4 teaspoon salt
Big pinch of chilli powder, or a few turns of freshly-ground black pepper
1/2 cup (70g) flour
2 large eggs

1 to 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme (I used dried parsley)
3/4 cup (90g) grated cheese (I used parmesan cheese)

1. Preheat the oven to 220C.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Heat the water, butter, salt, and chile or pepper in a saucepan until the butter is melted.
3. Dump in the flour all at once and stir vigorously until the mixture pulls away from the
    sides into a smooth ball. Remove from heat and let rest two minutes.
4. Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring quickly to make sure the eggs don’t ‘cook.’ The batter 
    will first appear lumpy, but after a minute or so, it will smooth out. (You can transfer the 
    mixture to a bowl before adding to eggs to cool the dough, or do this step in a food 
    processor or electric mixer, if you wish.)
5. Add about 3/4s of the grated cheese and mince herbs, and stir until well-mixed.
6. Scrape the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a wide plain tip and pipe the dough into 
    mounds, evenly-spaced apart, making each about the size of a small cherry tomato.
   * If you do not have a pastry bag, you can always scoop out with your small spoon.

7. Top each puff with a bit of the remaining cheese, then pop the baking sheet in the oven.
8. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 190C and bake for an additional
    20 to 25 minutes, until they’re completely golden brown.
    *  I baked the puff at 190C and adjust accordingly once the puff is brown on top.

For extra-crispy puffs, five minutes before they’re done, poke the side of each puff with a sharp knife to release the steam, and return to the oven to finish baking.
Serving: The puffs are best served warm, and if making them in advance, you can simply pipe the gougères on baking sheets and cook right before your guests arrive, or reheat the baked cheese puffs in a low oven for 5-10 minutes before serving. 

Original recipe from David Lebovitz

  
You may used grated cheddar cheese and top with parmesan cheese instead.






As this is a savoury puff, you can always serve with some chopped ham as filling



 I'm having it (oh, I almost finished all of the puffs by myself.....) with my frothy milk tea!


Thank you Hui..... for getting me back to my feet up and going in my kitchen again!


My dear Sister S, do try to make this for Tiffany and I am sure she will loves this too!


By the way, do you know how to pronounce "gougère" in French?  it is some like this 
                        "goo shel".  You may like to listen how it was pronounce here


Thursday, 3 January 2013

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork .... On Sandwich for lunch

I am not a good cook and sometimes I can be.... ahem.....lazy too.... 

Especially for lunch, sometimes I just do not know what to cook for lunch as I prefer light lunch rather than having a plate rice or noodles.   If I would rather, I like having lunch with savoury pies, sandwiches, or quiches that kind of lunches.
When I came across Bakingdom on the Slow Cooker Pulled Pork it just fascinates me that I don't need much attention how to cook it or tenderise the meat.  I only just dump the meat and add cider vinegar into slow cooker and that's it and slow cooked for 10 hours.  All I need to prepare in advance is the BBQ Sauce .



 Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
Recipe adapted from Bakingdom



Ingredients
1kg pork butt
1/2 cup or more apple cider vinegar (red or white wine vinegars work perfectly, as well)
  (I used the Balsamic Vinegar as I don't have the above as indicated).
about 2 cups BBQ Sauce *

Pour the vinegar into a large slow cooker. Place the pork in, fat side down. 
Cover and turn the cooker on to medium to medium high for at least 6 hours.

(I have cooked the meat at night time on slow and it was ready before noon, just the right time to have it for lunch)

Once the pork is cook and tender, use two large forks or tongs to pull or shred the pork, removing any large pieces of fat.
Place the pulled pork in a large bowl and stir in 2 cups (or more, to taste) of barbecue sauce, if desired.
Serve immediately.


*  You can use the ready mix of BBQ Sauce and mix according to your own preference.



I spread the sandwich bread with olive oil table spread, add in lettuce, sliced tomato and top full with the BBQ Pulled pork in.  Thereafter, I send it to toaster oven.....


This is delicious indeed...... do remember to toast your sandwich first.
I should have used my  Breville Healthsmart Grill & Press instead totally forgotten I have this...... duh.....