Thursday, May 5, 2016

Bake Along Final Post - Bundt cake



I think by now many of you already knew that Bake Along is coming to an end and this will be our final post for our 5 year event. This was not anticipated earlier as we have already lined up the baking theme for the next coming months but due to some unexpected circumstances, we decided to end it.

Well, it is not a sad thing after all i believe that we have spent 5 good years baking together with fellow bloggers throughout the event and i want to thank all of you who has been supporting the event and baking along with us in regardless just once, two times, three times or many many times. Thank you so much!!  ...and to my 2 cooperative baking buddies cum co hostess,  Joyce from Kitchen Flavours and Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids, thank you very much to both of you. It has been good and wonderful baking with both of you, trying out recipes and trying out something which i have never baked before . Cheers to Bake Along and Happy 5th Anniversary! We shall end this event with our final theme, Bundt Cakes, good bye bake along.


i have baked these same marble butter cakes in one of our previous theme, Marbled Butter Cakes, only in minis this time, You can view everyone's marbled butter cakes here on that theme. If you would like to participate in our final theme, bundt cakes, kindly post from today up till May14 and drop us a comment so we know. Happy Baking!


Recipe
115gm salted butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
156gm  all purpose flour
3/8tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
12 cup milk
2 oz semi sweet chocolate /bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Directions
1. Lightly grease and flour the mini bundt pan.In a heatproof bowl over simmering water, melt the chocolate.
2.Preheat oven to 175C . Sift together flour, baking powder and salt
3. Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar till pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, making sure each egg is properly mixed in before adding the next one. Add in vanilla.
4.Add in the flour and milk in alternate batches. Flour first and then milk and so on.
5. Pour half of the cake batter into the melted chocolate. Fold in gently till well mixed. Drop large spoonfuls of chocolate batter, then plain batter into the pan hole.
6. Bake for 30 mins .Remove from oven and let cool for about 30mins in the pan before removing.





Thursday, April 21, 2016

Chocolate Cranberry Muffins ( Williams Sonoma )




Want some stress free baking? Think muffins. They are probably one of the easiest thing to bake , we do not need to worry if we will get a nice flat top surface unlike cupcakes,no frosting required, some dont even require a hand mixer to make muffins and they are quickie bakes too...and here we have this chocolate muffins which the recipe was adapted from Williams Sonoma. There isnt much changes i made to the recipe itself except to replace the dried cherries with dried cranberries, used yogurt instead of buttermilk and omitted the nuts. Oh yes, and also the chocolate itself. I cant remember if i have come across unsweetened chocolate bar but i used what i have at home. The original recipe can be found here



At the same time, Bake Along would like to inform that due to some unforseen circumstances, we are unable to proceed with the linking tool . Those who have baked and wished to link with us can drop us a comment below or at Joyce or Zoe 's blog and provide a link back. Sorry for the inconvenience caused for the time being!




Recipe ( from the book Williams Sonoma Essentials of Baking )
makes 6 muffins, half the original recipe
Ingredients
30gms unsweetened chocolate , chopped ( i used 40gm 70% cocoa dark chocolate )
140gm cake flour/ all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
65gm butter, slightly softened
110gm golden brown sugar ( i used 80gm)
1/2 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk ( replaced with yogurt )
50gm dried cherries / cranberries
30gm toasted, skinned and chopped hazelnuts ( omitted and used a handful of choc chips to sprinkle on top of the muffins )

Directions
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 190C. .Grease the muffin pan cups.

Place the chocolate in a small saucepan over another pot of simmering water. Heat and stir often until the chocolate melts. Set aside to cool slightly.

Stir together the flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl . In another large bowl, beat the butter on low speed until creamy. Gradually beat in the sugar till dissolved. Beat in the egg, vanilla and chocolate. Add the dry ingredients in 2 batches alternately with the buttermilk or yogurt and mix on low speed just until smooth.

Fold in the cherries and nuts. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each cup about 3/4 full and bake for 20-25 mins or util when a cake tester inserted into the center of the uffin come out clean. Let cool in th epan on wire rack for 2 mins, then turn out onto the rack. Store in airtight container up to 2 days.


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Herby Roast Crispy Chicken 香草脆皮燒雞




We are sharing roast chicken recipes this week at Bake Along. I was not well prepared for this post as i just came back from a trip days ago and all i wanted to make is a simple, with not much ingredients needed to make a roast chicken and i too do think sometimes with just some salt and pepper will also make a good roast chicken.

Anyway what i am sharing here today is a recipe from a video i have bookmarked quite sometime back. It is simple and what prompted me to try is the marination that i hv not tried before. It is a garlic mash or garlic paste mixed with some mixed herbs, salt and olive oil and leave them to marinate overnight. After that, just another step before baking, we pan fry the chicken to enable them to look more golden and also crispy, splash with some wine and roast them in the oven. You can watch the video if interested, it's in cantonese with english subtitles.

Recipe ( reference from here ) with estimated amount of ingredients
Ingredients
1 chicken, quartered
- mine is a small kampung chicken, after cutting is about 800gms

Marinate:
10 cloves garlic, minced finely
3 tbsps olive oil
1 tbsp of Italian Mixed herbs
1 tsp salt
some cut chilli ( optional )
dash of ground black pepper

1/3 cup of white wine

The video at the link actually blend the garlic with olive oil to make a garlic paste but because what i am using is a small quantity, i just minced the garlic very finely and uses the flat blade of the knife to press to make so called 'paste'. Otherwise just chop very finely which is just as fine.Then add in the olive oil, herbs and salt and mix them all together in a small bowl. This is how it looks like.

the marinate which consists of garlic, Italian mixed herbs , salt and olive oil

Make sure the cleaned chicken parts are pat dry before we put in the marinates. Then sprinkle with some black pepper over the chicken . Cover with plastic wrap and marinate it overnight in the fridge.



Next day, take it out from the fridge. Heat up some oil in a frying pan and pan fry the chicken till golden brown on both sides. When they have turned golden brown, pour in 1/3 cup of white wine, put on high heat and let it simmer for about half a minute. Remove from heat

Pan fry the chicken on both sides till golden brown . Not only they give a nice colour after roasting, it also helps to make the skin crispier. 

Put the chicken parts as well as the gracy or juices from the pan and bake them in a preheated oven at 200C or 180C with fan turned on for 25-30 minutes.



Cant help to post this..LOL! Delicious!
If you would like to join JoyceZoe and myself for this roast chicken theme ( can be parts or whole ), post it up on your blog by March 31, 2016. Thanks!


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Chocolate Chip Cookies ( Back in the Day Bakery )




This chocolate cookie recipe is taken from the Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook and for our information, Back In the Day is actually an existing bakery located in Savannah, USA. I guess many of us staying here may not know cos it is located at the other side of the globe but those around the neighbourhood and have travelled to this town i bet surely know of this famous bakery.  I read there are quite many good  reviews on this bakery for those who have been there and i believe that those regular customers of this bakery were more excited when the owners shared some of the favourite recipes from the bakery in this book!   This is what the owner said in the book introduction, " with this cookbook, we are inviting those who cant make it to our bakery to slow down and taste the sweet life in their own kitchens" How generous and sweet of that!


these appear flatter and larger compared to the ones which chilled before baking

Their chocolate chip cookies recipe is not anything extraordinary but comes with some sprinkling of some fleur de sel before baking. Please note that that these cookies really spread a lot so leave about 2 inches apart between these cookies for baking. I made them in 2 pans and i refrigerated the first pan while i was shaping the 2nd batch of cookies and the non refrigerated ones came out flatter but both textures were the same, They were soft crispy and tender but i failed to get the chewiness in the center which is the way it supposed to be. I guess i would have to adjust the time and perhaps up the temperature a bit the next time. I would suggest chill the cookies before baking if you do not want them to spread so much.

these cookies dough were chilled before baking, appeared thicker. 


Glad to be baking these chocolate cookies for our bake along with Joyce and Zoe, If you like to bake and link with us, get hold of your favourite or trusted chocolate, start baking and  post it up by March05, 2016. Thanks!

Recipe ( from Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook )
this half the recipe, makes around 20 plus large cookies
Ingredients
156gm all purpose flour
1/2+1/8 tsp baking soda
1/2+1/8tsp fine sea salt
113gm unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
100gm granulated sugar
100gm  brown sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 cup semisweet choc chunks( i used roughly 11/4 cup NESTLE®  TOLL HOUSE  semisweet choc morsels )
Fleur de sel for sprinkling

Directions
Position a rack in the lower third of oven and preheat to 177C. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment.

Sift together flour, baking soda and sea salt. Set aside.

Using electric mixer or handheld mixer, cream together butter, both sugars and vanilla on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to5 minutes. Add egg and mix no more than 1 min, the egg will not be fully incorporated, turn the speed down to low and add dry ingredients, in 2 batches, beating just till combined. With the mixer running, sprinkle the choc morsels or chocolate chunks, beating until just combined.

Use a large ice cream scoop or 1/4-cup measuring cup ( i used 1/8cup ) to form the cookies and place on the prepared cookies sheets, leaving 2 inches apart between the cookies to allow for spreading. Sprinkle the cookies with fleur de sel. Bake the cookies , one sheet at a time, for 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time for even doneness. The cookies should be golden brown around the edges but still light in the centers, ( I baked 2 trays at a time, 18mins ) Let cookies cool on a wire rack.


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Strawberry Shortcake




When i googled strawberry shortcake, i can see that there are 2 types of strawberry shortcake. One is in a biscuit form ( looks like a scone) which is filled with cream and strawberries and the other type is in a cake form. All along, i only know the cake type of strawberry shortcake until   when Zoe suggested this theme and mentioned it's cookie like or biscuits. Anyway what i have chosen to make is the cake type of strawberry shortcake. It is a 2 layered sponge cake that is filled with cream and strawberries. Just that and from what i just read from Nami's  blog, strawberry shortcake is probably one of the most popular and classic cake in Japan and no wonder some called it as Japanese Strawberry Shortcake, the type that its sponge is soft and fluffy



If you have a favourite sponge cake recipe, you can use it and here i'm just trying out this sponge recipe and isnt disappointing, the fact that i like is there is no egg separation. Well, with 2 eggs recipe, it came out rather a short cake with a 7 inch pan but after filling it with cream and strawberries, it looks just right. If you want a taller and bigger cake, you can double the sponge recipe and use a 8 inch pan as what Nami did.

So this is my strawberry shortcake cake and baking along with Joyce and Zoe. You can choose to make the cake or biscuits version, the link will be up till Jan30, 2016. Cheers!


Recipe ( from Ochikeron and with reference from Just One Cookbook )
makes one 7 inch cake

Ingredients for sponge
2 eggs
60gm caster sugar
60gm cake flour, sifted
20gm melted butter
1 tbsp milk

Syrup for brushing the sponge
Add 1/2 tbsp sugar into 20ml hot water and stir. Add 1tsp liquor of your choice ( i used rum)

Filling
1 cup of whipping cream plus 2tbsp of sugar and whip till soft firm peaks or spreadable consistency
( i have used non diary whipping cream)
Strawberries, cut into half or sliced

More whipping cream for decorate the cake

Method for sponge
Preheat oven to 170C. Line the base of the baking tin. Prepare a basin of hot water, not  boiling..Lightly whisk the eggs in a bowl. Add in the sugar and put the bowl over the basin of hot water and using hand whisk, whisk till sugar melts and mixture is warm to touch. Remove the bowl and using electric whisk, whisk on high speed till the mixture is pale and thick and glossy. This will take several minutes. Reduce the speed to lowest and beat for another minutes to set the texture.

Gradually add in the flour in 2 batches. Using a hand whisk, gently fold in the flour ( you can watch the video here how to fold in the flour by pointing the whisk downwards and fold in ). Then sprinkle in the melted butter and milk using a spatula and carefully mix it in as not to deflate the batter,
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Drop the pan onto the counter to release air bubbles and bake for 25 mins.

When sponge is ready, remove from oven. Drop the pan onto the counter one more time . and turn the pan upside down onto the wire rack and let it cool. When it has cooed down, wrap the cake in plastic and keep in the fridge for few hours or up to 2 days

Assemble the cake
Slice the cake horizontally into 2 layers. Brush one layer with syrup and apply a layer of cream all over the base layer. arrange the cut or sliced strawberries onto the cream and apply another layer of cream on top of the strawberries. Cover with the remaining sponge layer that is also brushed with syrup. Frost the entire cake with cream if desired.




.





Thursday, January 7, 2016

Ruby Jewel Cookies




Happy New Year everyone! Soon, another few more weeks a lot of us here will be celebrating Chinese New Year, i am already hearing some restaurants playing chinese new year songs..i think those guys already in the mood..:) i believe that many of my blogging friends are going to start baking chinese new year cookies soon too. Well, these ruby jewel cookies i tend to believe that they are almost similar to thumbprint cookies which its name are more common being used and although these cookies are quite popular for christmas baking, i think they are just as good for chinese new year baking. We can use kumquat jam , add a little orange zest to the dough as another variation of this for chinese new year.


These cookies are buttery and a little tender and if you like something buttery for cookies apart from our favourite traditional chinese new year cookies, you can try this.




Recipe ( from Williams-Sonoma Baking Book )
makes about 20+ cookies in a miniature muffin pan/ baking pan
Ingredient
1 large egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
180gm all purpose flour
70gm granulated sugar
125gm cold unsalted butter, cut into small piece
about 50gm raspberry jam or other thick jam ( using strawberry jam here )
Icing sugar for dusting( optional)

Directions
Preheat oven to 180C and get ready the miniature paper muffin liners. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolk and vanilla , set aside.

In a food processor, combine the flour and sugar and process briefly to blend. With the machine running, add the butter 2 or 3 pieces at a time and process until mixture looks crumbly. With the machine still running, add the egg yolk mixture and process until blended and the dough begins to pull away from the sides of  the bowl.

Turn the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and shape into flat disk, wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. ( i did not chill as the dough is quite firm, i shaped right away )

with lightly floured hands, shape the dough into 2 cm balls and place each ball into the liner, if using.
Place the cookies 1 inch apart if on the baling sheet . Using the end of the wooden spoon handle dipped in flour to prevent sticking, make an indentation in the center of each cookie but do not press all the way through the dough. Using a spoon or a pastry bag with plain tip, fill each indentation with about 1/4 tsp jam. If your jam is not seedless, then use spoon.

Bake for about 20 minutes until the edges of the cookies are golden, let the cookies cool on the pans on the wire rack. If baking on pan without paper liners, use a thin spatula to loosed the cookies carefully while they are still warm. Transfer the cooled cookies and dust with icing sugar if desired.


Our next bake along will be 2 weeks from now, on jan21st and strawberry shortcake is the theme. Feel free to join me, Joyce and Zoe for our bake along together!