Sunday, April 29, 2012

Banana Choco Mousse Chocolate Layered Cake

Banana chocolate cake, a combination many can't resist
First time I sank my teeth in this delicious cake was a store bought one, from Awfully Chocolate and Secret Recipe
It's love at first bite LOL

I've tried to bake this cake long time ago, I think close to 3 years ago, for my sis' bday, way before I started this blog
The time when I thought I could bake, when I was still lack of knowledge, resulting in disastrous time in the kitchen preparing this cake, and a far from acceptable cake, in terms of the taste, texture and presentation

Now, I think I am pretty much equipped to retry baking this cake again :)
And this time I'm satisfied with the result, even though it's still not as pretty as the ones from the two bakeries I mentioned above
Recipe is from Aunty Yochana's site, mine is not as pretty as hers, either
It's not easy to compete with such a deco expert like her :o)

I'm using one 4" and 5" round pans
The pictures below is from the 4" round pan

I should have spread the mousse layers thicker, no complaint though...

What you need:

For the cake:
4 egg yolks (from 60g eggs)
100g castor sugar
120g self raising flour
1/2 tsp double acting baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
50g canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 1/2 egg whites (from 60g eggs)
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
60g castor sugar
30g cocoa powder
120g hot water
  1. Mix all A ingredients in a mixing bowl, stir with wooden spoon
  2. Mix together C and stir til smooth
  3. Add in C mixture into A mixture and stir til smooth
  4. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar from B for 2 minutes til frothy, pour in sugar gradually til egg whites become fluffy but not too stiff (soft peak)
  5. Fold in gently half of A mixture into B mixture
  6. Fold in the remaining A mixture into B mixture
  7. Do not overmix, if still can't well mixed, stop folding in
  8. Pour the batter into 9" round pan which has been greased, lined with baking paper and greased again
  9. Bake at preheated oven at 175degC for approximately 50 minutes or til the skewer comes out clean
  10. Cool and cut into 3 parts
For the mousse:

400g whipping cream
 1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp geatin powder, mixed with 4 tbsp water, microwave for 20 seconds (note: use when still hot)
50g cocoa powder - sifted
80g icing sugar - sifted
1 1/2 tbsp nescafe powder mixed with 1 1/2 tbsp water
1 tbsp kahlua

*3 medium size del monte bananas, thick sliced and soak in lemon juice to prevent it from browning
  1. Beat the whipping cream til stiff
  2. Mix all other ingredients together and stir in to the whipped cream 
  3. Keep in the fridge
For the chocolate ganache I used the same recipe I used here
I microwaved for 30 seconds til it melted, let cool
How to assemble the cake:

Lay 1 cake layer and spread the mousse on top. Arrange sliced bananas on top of the mousse
Top up with the second cake layer, spread the mousse on top and arrange sliced bananas on top
Top up with the third cake layer
Cover the whole cake with the balance of the mousse and keep in the fridge til set
Pour the chocolate ganache over the cake and keep back in the fridge til set


DH did, these are his hands wanted to grab the cake LOL

Also I'm linking up this post to:

Friday, April 27, 2012

Thai Tapioca Dessert

I love Thai food, and that doesn't exclude the desserts
This dessert is one of the favorite choice among many of them

Very easy to make, such a delight to end a meal with dessert like this
It  can be quite filling, so it's good to reduce a little of your dinner portion and save some space for this dessert :)
I'm using my pressure cooker to do the job, to make sure the tapioca turned soft (it's difficult to enjoy this dessert when the tapioca is dry and hard)

What you need:

1kg of tapioca, cleaned and cut as desired
enough water for the tapioca to submerge
3 pandan leaves, torn
3 tbsp sugar, salt

For the sauce:
200ml Kara coconut milk
100ml water
enough sugar as desired
1 pandan leaf, torn
tapioca starch mixed with water as thickener
  1. Put tapioca, water, sugar and salt in pressure cooker and let it cooked (meat/bean function)
  2. Once cooked, the water will be absorbed by the tapioca
The sauce:
  1. Put coconut milk, water and sugar in a pot and bring to boil over low heat, keep stirring
  2. When boiled, add in thickener and stir well'
  3. Off heat
Pour sauce over tapioca and serve

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

THB #2 Apricot Pistachio Lemon Coffee Cake

Second bake for The Home Bakers event, from the book Coffee Cakes by Lou Seibert Pappas
It's  quite simple to prepare, with ingredients I seldom use, apricot and pistachio
In fact, this is the first time I use pistachio in my baking, usually I would only munch this yummy nuts

While the first bake for this event was chosen by Joyce, this time is Chris from Yummy Bakes who chose this cake for this month's bake

Overall this is a nice cake, soft and moist, great as snack during tea time :)
I like it even better the next day!
Too bad I diced the pistachio too finely I couldn't really taste it
As I (still) haven't bought my own bundt pan yet, I used my mini baked donuts tray which I got quite sometime back but never used :)
And I think it's a good thing to use this tray, cos I didn't have to slice the cake :)
I made half the recipe and reduced the sugar slightly, just nice to my liking
Oh and I soaked the apricots with rhum :)

For full recipe, please view Chris' site site

Please visit The Home Baker, you'll see other members' bakes and really hope you can join in the fun too!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Steamed Stuffed Tofu

I like this dish steamed, deep fried, put in simple chicken soup
Nice and tasty, healthy too (not so when it's deep fried LOL)

Recipe is from Lidia's site

What you need:

8 blocks of firm tofu, halved each, scoop out the middle part

For filling:
200g minced chicken
12 pcs medium size prawns, peeled and cleaned
4 cloves of garlic
3 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
3 tbsp cornflour
1 egg
2 stalks spring onions, chopped
sugar, pepper
  1. Using food processor, chop shrimp and garlic until smooth
  2. Place it in a mixing bowl. Add fish and oyster sauce, egg, pepper and sugar. Mix well
  3. Add spring onion and corn flour and mix it well
  4. Take a spoon of it and stuff into the hole of tofu one by one until all is done
  5. Arrange on steaming plate, steam for 30 minutes over high heat
  6. Serve warm with soya sauce mixed with bird's eye chilli
I didn't mix the leftover tofu with the filling, instead I mixed with the remaining filling and shaped into balls amd steam together with the stuffed tofu

I also followed the original recipe, I deep fried some of the stuffed tofu
There is no need to steam first in this case

For coating:

3 tbsp rice flour
2 tbsp corn flour
1 egg
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garlic and seasoning
  1. Mix all ingredients above for dipping before frying
  2. Dip each tofu and deep fry til golden brown
Nice afternoon snack with some bird's eye chillies :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Fried Choux Pastry (Soes Goreng)

I don't think I ever see this snack here in Singapore
This is one of favorite snack loved by people of all ages in Indonesia
Fast and easy to prepare, taste delicious too!

It's basically using choux pastry dough but fried instead of baked, and no filling needed, just some icing sugar dust

What you need:

400ml water
150g butter
200g plain flour
7 eggs, beaten
a pinch of salt
  1. Bring to boil water, butter and salt over low heat
  2. Add in flour, keep stirring til soft dough formed and it doesn't stick on the pot
  3. Let cool
  4. Add in the cooled flour mixture, mix well
  5. Heat oil on frying pan, scoop dough each a tablespoon, drop on the heated oil and fry til golden brown both sides
  6. Serve warm with some icing sugar dust
For variation, you may add some raisins into the dough and mix well before frying

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Omu Rice (Japanese Omelette Rice)

I always love this dish, one of mostly chosen everytime I visited now closed down Shokudo in Raffles City, I'm one of the disappointed regular customer :(

Decided to give it a try after found the recipe that looks worth trying, it's indeed yummy, but I gotta train myself more to shape it more nicely, mine looked too skinny and flat, it should have been more 'rounder' LOL

Recipe is from Gourmet Traveller with some adjustment I made to suit my family preference

What you need:
(serves 1)

1 cup cooked cold rice
2 eggs, beaten
2-3 slices ham, chopped
4 button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 small carrot (about 2 tbsp), small dice
1/2 onion (about 2 tbsp), chopped
corn kernels from 1 corn
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp tomato ketchup (plus more to serve)
1/2 tsp chicken stock powder
salt, pepper, canola oil, garlic oil
  1. Heat a mixture of canola oil and garlic oil in a wok or large frying pan over a medium heat
  2. Throw in the onion and garlic and sauté til fragrant
  3. Add in ham, mushrooms and carrots and stir-fry until slightly coloured and fragrant
  4. Add in corn kernels, stir well
  5. Season with a little salt and pepper, also chicken stock powder, then add in the cold rice
  6. Drizzle over the soy sauce and cook for a further couple of minutes, stirring well to combine
  7. Add ketchup and stir again making sure the rice is heated through.
  8. If it's too dry, drizzle abit more garlic oil. Keep warm
  9. In a separate medium frying pan heat the remaining oil on a high heat
  10. Pour in the beaten eggs and coat the entire pan to make a large thin egg crêpe
  11. When the egg in the middle is almost set, spoon the fried rice into the center and fold both sides of the crêpe over to form an omelette (this part I need more practice wew...)
  12. Carefully invert the omelette onto a plate (this part too LOL)
  13. Serve immediately with more ketchup on the side, and bottled chilli sauce for my case :)
The next time I make this very tasty dish again, a slab of chicken katsu would be nice :)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Indonesian Style Grilled Chicken (Ayam Bekakak) (Happy Call) & Stir Fry Beansprout With Silver Fish

Indonesian has many kinds of grilled chicken, some are nice, some are not so nice
It all depends on the marinade mixture, and also the cooking process
One important factor also how long the chicken is marinated

This grilled chicken can't be considered as nice, that's not exactly how it should be described, cos it tasted fabulous!
Definitely will make this again :)

I'm not sure why they named it ayam (meaning chicken) bekakak
What is bekakak? I'm not sure and I haven't asked any of my Indonesian friend so far
Maybe I should, but for now, let's just celebrate how tasty this dish is :)

What you need:

1 chicken, split the back, crushed lightly to flatten it
2 lemongrass stick, crushed lightly
2 bay leaves
2cm blue ginger, crushed lightly
1 tbsp tamarind, mixed with 2 tbsp water, mixed and discard the seeds
2 lime leaves
5 tbsp dark sweet soya sauce (kecap manis)
500ml water
3 tbsp cooking oil

6 shallots
4 cloves of garlic
2cm old ginger
2cm yellow ginger
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp sugar
  1. Put all seasonings in food processor and blend til smooth
  2. Heat oil on frying pan, sautee the blended seasonings til fragrant
  3. Add in lemongrass, bay leaves, lime leaves, blue ginger and cook til fragrant
  4. Add in chicken, cook til chicken changed color
  5. Add in water, kecap manis, cook til seasonings thickened and water lessened, turn to the other side ocassionally
  6. Grill in the happy call pan over medium low heat, flip the pan til both sides golden brown
  7. Each time flipping the pan, brush more seasonings
Eat with chilli paste

To make chilli paste:
4 large red chillies, discard seeds and cut small
4 shallots, cut small
2 tsp prawn paste (belachan)
salt, sugar
  1. Put all ingredients in food processor, blend til smooth
  2. Heat a little oil on frying pan, fry the blended ingredients til boiling
  3. Off heat
Another dish which you won't be satisfied with only 1 bowl of rice! :)

And this is the companion:

What you need:

100g silver fish
4 handful of beansprout, cleaned and rinsed
5 shallots, slice thinly
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 large red chillies, discard the seeds and cut small
sugar, salt and cooking oil
  1. Wash silver fish well (to reduce the saltiness), and pat with kitchen towel
  2. Heat a little oil on frying pan, fry silver fish til crispy, golden in color, drain and set aside
  3. Using the same pan, add a little bit more oil, heat and sautee shallots and garlic til fragrant, add in chillies, and mix well
  4. Add in beansprout, mix well til well cooked, add in silver fish, mix well
  5. Add sugar and a little salt (you don't have to add salt if you feel it's salty enough with the silver fish), mix well
  6. Off heat
Simple but it made a great companion to the chicken :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Milo Agar Agar - Another Recipe

Made with another recipe this time, from Edith's site
You may view the other recipe I made HERE
This time I only made the chocolate layer, the first time I made the kids only ate the chocolate layer

 It's just as nice, this dessert is very easy to love anyway (unless if you don't like milo of course  LOL)

What you need:
(I modified a little)

12g agar agar powder (1 packet)
1200ml water
115g sugar
1 1/4 cup milo

Bring everything to a boil over medium fire, stir continuously
Pour to mould using strainer, let cool
Chill in the fridge

Wet the mould before pouring agar agar so it's easier to take out the agar agar from the mould

Again, the kids enjoyed it so much :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Japanese Strawberry & Raspberry Shortcake

I love this cake, my family love this cake too
Who doesn't?
Who can resist such a temptation?
A soft velvety sponge cake wrapped and layered in smooth light whipping cream with sweet tangy strawberries in between
Even before I started baking in my own kitchen, I always bought from bakeries :)
This heavenly cake I made was the second recipe I tried, you may view the first one HERE
I liked the first one I made, but this one...I looooovvveee!!!
Everything is much better, the taste, the texture, it has class I must say

Recipe is from Rima's site
Even though I couldn't make it as pretty as hers (it's a challenge to come close to it!), I was very happy and definitely will stick to this recipe, it's a keeper! :)
I added raspberries too while still using strawberries too, first layer at the bottom was with strawberries and the second cream layer was with raspberries
Arranged the remaining fruits on top of the frosted cake and that's it :)

What you need:

For the cake:

145g cake flour
15g corn flour
1 egg
5 egg yolks, whisk slightly with fork
150g unsalted butter
65g fresh milk
5 egg whites
100g castor sugar
1/4 tsp salt

250g fresh strawberries
170g fresh raspberries
  1. Preheat oven to 160degC
  2. Grease and line 8"square pan, wrap bottom with aluminium foil
  3. Heat butter and milk til melted and combined, do not boil
  4. Off heat and add in sifted flour, mix with wooden spatula
  5. Transfer to bigger bowl, add eggs, continue to mix til smooth
  6. In another bowl, beat egg whites on low speed til frothy, add salt and followed by sugar in 3 additions, beat til soft peak
  7. Pou 1/3 of egg whites mixture into egg/butter mixture, fold in gently, pour the rest and continue to mix gently
  8. Pour batter into pan, bake au bain marie for approximately 45minutes or til skewer comes out clean
  9. Remove from oven, after 5 minutes trasnfer to cooling rack
For the stabilized whipped cream:

2 tsp gelatin powder
8 tsp cold water
2 cups whipping cream, cold
1/2 cup ising sugar
1 tsp vanilla
  1. Chill mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer for 10 minutes
  2. Put cold water in small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over surface of the water and let stand for 5 minutes
  3. Place saucepan over low heat, stir continuously with wooden spoon just until the gelatin dissolves. Remove the saucepan from the heat and cool to room temperature
  4. Remove mixing bowl and beaters from freezer. In the mixing bowl, combine whipping cream, sugar and vanilla and whip til slightly thickened. While beating slowly, gradually pour the gelatin into the whipped cream mixture
  5. Then whip the mixture at high speed til stiff
For sugar syrup:

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tsp kirsch gel
  1. Combine in a small saucepan, bring to boil, stir in sugar til dissolved
  2. Let cool
To assemble:
  1. Reserve some strawberries for decoration (the pretty ones!)
  2. Dice the balance, mix with a little sugar, set aside
  3. Reserve some raspberries too for decoration and halve the balance
  4. Cut cooled cake into 3 parts
  5. Place 1 layer cut side up, brush with syrup, spread cream, arrange diced strawberries and spread again with cream
  6. Repeat with the 2nd layer (but this time with raspberries), put the 3rd layer cake on top, brush with syrup and layer thinly with cream
  7. Chill for 30 minutes at least
  8. Spread another layer of cream on top of the cake and chill for another hour, garnish with berries
This is in fact the first time I baked cake and decorated it with fresh raspberries, I have been wanting to do it for long, but always beaten up by the price so ended up with strawberries
But hey, once a while won't hurt huh? LOL

How I love this red bright sweet tangy full of antioxidant properties little fruits :)
I guess my once a while treat will be getting more often LOL

And I'm linking this with:

Monday, April 16, 2012

Indonesian Style Kangkong Noodles (Mi Kangkung)

I'm not sure what is kangkong in English, I googled and some said water spinach, some said swamp cabbage, details can be read HERE

I do not cook this vegetable too often, not that I don't like, but not many dishes using this ingredients, not that I know of
But for this typical noodles loved by many Indonesians, it has to use kangkong, no other vegetable, otherwise the name wouldn't be kangkong noodles LOL

Recipe is from an Indonesian magazine long time ago which the recipe page I torn and kept with me

What you need:

1 tbp margarine
1 stalk of spring onion, cut
1 1/2 l water
a few pinches of chicken stock powder
400g chicken breast
1 tbsp light soya sauce
1 tbsp dark sweet soya sauce (kecap manis)
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 1/2 tbsp sago flour, dissolve with a little water
300g egg noodle, prepare as directed
100g kangkong, cleaned and blanched
12 quail eggs, boiled and peeled
2 tbsp fried onion for garnish

To blend together in food processor:
1 tbsp dried prawns, soak in hot water for 15 minutes, drained
6 shallots, cut
3 cloves of garlic, cut
1 tsp peppercorns, fry without oil for 1 few minutes
1 tsp salt
  1. Put water in a pot and bring to boil with chicken stock powder and chicken breast
  2. Take out chicken breast from the pot and dice
  3. Heat margarine on frying pan, sautee blended ingredients and spring onion til fragrant, off heat and add into the soup, bring to boil
  4. Add in diced chicken, kecap manis, soya sauce and sesame oil, bring to boil over medium heat
  5. Add in diluted sago flour, stir continuously til boiling and thickened, off heat
  6. Arrange egg noodles and quail eggs in serving bowls. Pour over the soup with diced chicken over the noodles and eggs. Garnish with fried onion. Serve hot with chilli paste

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Bake Along #22 - Creme Brulee

Another challenging bake for Bake Along event. This is my first time  baking this rich dessert I haven't had for so long

I've been hopping to the fabulous creme brulees from all wonderful bloggers whom joined in Bake Along and very much inspired by them
Initially I wanted to bake it with additional liquour or coffee or chocolate, but after so much thinking, I decided to go back to basic for my first time :)

I was fascinated with the source of recipe Lena used - Hunger Hunger, I had my final choice on it, after all she has gone through so much in finding the best recipe for this dessert

I followed exactly the same recipe she shared, but to me, it's still too sweet to my liking, even though she has made some adjustment herself
The next time I bake this again, I'll reduce some more, perhaps to 3 tbsp

Other than that, the recipe made a heavenly indulgence! I like the consistency, I can not agree more, 1 egg yolk to 80ml heavy cream gives the best consistency!
But I prefer to bake it til the center only jiggles slightly when I shake the dish gently, otherwise, if it's too jiggly, it'll be too runny to my preference, I like it to be a little more solid

This time I guess I must have over broiled it a little bit, it's browned too much til the crust were too crispy, but it's really nice to be digged in, like finding treasure underneath :)
Yes I know, I will buy my kitchen torch soon, it's easier to control :P

DH said he prefers to eat just the custard, cos the caramelized sugar made the whole thing even sweeter, he is my non sweet tooth customer by the way :)
And look at below other customer whom had a great time enjoying this dessert
How I envy her so much, she's such a sweet tooth person, she can eat whatever she likes and yet able to maintain her slender almost skinny figure
She really makes me cracking my head to figure out how to make her gain weight
Now, I don't think I'm alone in envying her huh? LOL

Okay, here is the recipe...

What you need:

6 large egg yolks
4 1/2 tbsp caster sugar (I will reduce next time to 3 tbsp)
500ml heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
extra caster sugar for sugar crust topping
  1. Preheat oven to 140degC. Put tray in the middle rack of the oven and add about 1 inch water and place ramekins onto the tray. I used 2 ramekins and 2 small baking dishes
  2. Beat egg yolks and sugar til light and fluffy
  3. Bring cream and vanilla to a boil and pour into the yolk mixture, stir well and let sit for awhile to let the bubbles subside
  4. Place ramekin
  5. Strain the cream mixture into ramekins to 3/4 full, bake for 30minutes
  6. (I baked til 40minutes til the custard jiggled slightly at the centre when shaking the ramekins gently)
  7. Remove and let custard cool. Chill around 5 hours in the fridge
  8. Before serving, sprinkle caster sugar evenly over the top of the custard (level the sugar), wipe the edges and sides of the ramekins of any sugar, broil under hot grill / use kitchen torch to caramelize the sugar. Chill the custard in the fridge before serving cos the custard can melt during broiling
Please hop over to Joyce, Zoe and Lena - the hosts for this event, to view their wonderful creme brulees

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Grilled Chicken In Soya Sauce (Ayam Bakar Kecap)

Another nice chicken dish loved by my family

Recipe is from Ricke's site with slight modification

What you need:

1 chicken, cut (I didn't use chicken drumlets cos my family is not really into it)

To coat the chicken:
juice of half a large lime
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Seasonings: (I made 1 1/2 recipe as stated below)
6 shallots
3 cloves of garlic
1 1/2 cm old ginger
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
6 tbsp dark sweet soya sauce (kecap manis)
6 tbsp tomato ketchup
3 tbsp oyster sauce
3 tsp worchestershire sauce
3 tbsp margarine, melted
  1. Coat chicken with lime juice, set aside for 15minutes, rinse with water, tap with kitchen towel
  2. Add salt and pepper, set aside  for 30minutes in the fridge

  3. For the seasonings, put shallots, garlic and ginger in food processor and blend til smooth
  4. Mix with the rest of seasonings
  5. Heat oil in a wok, sautee  seasonings til fragrant, add in water, approximately 1.5L and add in chicken too, boil on medium fire til chicken soft and water lessened and thickened
  6. Arrange chicken on a lightly greased roasting pan, coat chicken with the remaining seasonings, and grill til browned
Very yummy dish, it's even yummier when you put the seasonings on hot rice and eat with the chicken! :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Honey Glazed Salmon (Happy Call) & Aglio Olio

Another great simple dish loved by me and DH
Still trying to make my kids love salmon
They'll eat any kind of fish deep fried / pan fried / steamed, but when comes to salmon, they'll say no no matter how it's cooked :(
I can't understand why they don't like a fish taste as nice as salmon... I adore salmon! :)
Anyway, I have done many things and is still doing anything to make them eating it, so far most of the time they eat salmon without knowing it LOL

Just like this dish I made...
They love pasta so much, so this time I was thinking to "hide" the salmon in the pasta. It worked :)
I made aglio olio pasta, one of pasta the whole family love, with honey glazed pan fried salmon using Happy Call pan

Here's the recipe for the salmon, it's from Martha Stewart site
I skipped the coriander seeds this time

What you need:

4 salmon fillets, skinned
1/4 cup honey
5 tbsp soya sauce
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp oil
  1. Mix well honey, soya sauce and lemon juice
  2. Brush fillet with the mixture and cook on medium low fire in Happy Call pan til golden brown
  3. Lower fire, flip the pan and cook the other side also, make sure it's cooked well
  4. Bring the remaining glaze to boil on medium fire til thickened approximately 1 minute and pour over the fish
 And this is the recipe for aglio olio pasta...

What you need:

300g spaghetti, cook as directed til al dente
a handful of garlic, peeled and minced
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (I used dried parsley)
enough olive oil and garlic oil (ratio 3:1)
  1. On a wok, heat olive oil and garlic oil, sautee garlic til fragrant and color turned golden
  2. Add in parsley, mix well, cook til it's soft
  3. Add in spaghetti and mix well
  4. If you find it's dry, add more garlic oil
I usually cook aglio olio with cut red chillies and chopped bacon
I will pan fry the bacon with a little oil til crisp
Then it will be added together with parsley and chillies

This time I skipped chillies so it wouldn't be too spicy for the kids
And I didn't use bacon since there's salmon as the companion for the pasta already, healthier choice :)
But to be honest, without chillies and bacon, I felt the pasta a little too plain, even with the salmon :)

Arrange pasta on a serving plate and put the salmon nicely on top, yum! :)

Btw, I found a very useful information and tips about aglio olio here that you may read :)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Gateau Africain 4 Mum's Birthday

Yesterday was my mum's birthday
I decided to bake one of her favorite cake, which I love too, Gateau Africain
It's a 3 layered soft chocolate sponge cake with creamy vanilla custard with a hint of rhum in between, really yummy!
My mum used to bake this cake for the family, now is my turn to bake for her :)

So here it is, with a simple decoration (you know I only can do simple deco right? LOL)
We had just a simple gathering last night, sang happy birthday, candle blowing and cake cutting :)

In case anybody wondering what is the meaning of the word OMA shown in the picture below...Oma is what many Indonesians call our grandmother, it's more to those influenced by Dutch background. My kids call my mum Oma, too so they requested to put the word on the cake :)


The cake was quite a huge one, so after the cake cooled, I halved and made it into a rectangle cake 10x20cm frosted by dark chocolate ganache and decorated the sides with Loacker dark chocolate wafers, tried to beautify the cake a little more with some little fondant decorations on top and wrapped the cake around with red ribbon :)


Somehow after I kept the decorated cake in the fridge for a few hours, the wafers were a little curled wew....


And the picture below were taken the next morning...
What you need:
(recipe is from my mum except the chocolate ganache is from Melly's site)
For the cake:
15 egg yolks
8 egg whites
160g fine sugar
175g cake flour
50g cocoa powder
100g butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 180degC
  2. Grease 22cm square pan and line with parchment paper and grease on top of the paper, set aside
  3. Beat on high speed eggs and sugar til it expands to doubled in size (mine tripled quite fast!)
  4. Add in sifted flour and cocoa on low speed
  5. Take 1/3 of the batter and mix with melted butter, pour back to the remaining batter and fold in gently til well mixed
  6. Pour batter into the pan and bake for approximately 30minutes or when the skewer comes out clean
  7. Remove from oven, wait for 5minutes before turning the cake to cooling rack
  8. Let cool completely
For the custard:
500ml fresh milk
100g fine sugar
50g plain flour
10g corn flour
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp butter
enough rhum
  1. Boil milk and sugar til sugar dissolved, until milk starts to bubble - stir continuously, off heat
  2. When it turns lukewarm, add in flour mixture and vanilla, mix well
  3. Add in egg yolks one by one slowly, and start to cook again medium low heat, keep stirring til thickened
  4. Add in butter and rhum, mix well and off heat
  5. Store in a container and let cool in the fridge
For the chocolate ganache:
250g dark chocolate, cut small
250ml whipping cream
40g unsalted butter
  1. Heat whipping cream in a pot over low heat til smooth and warm
  2. Add in chocolate and butter, mix well til all dissolved completely, off heat
  3. Keep stirring til smooth and thickened, let cool
  4. Store in a container and keep in the fridge
To assemble:
  1. After the cake is cool, keep in the fridge for a few hours (I kept it overnight) wrapped in clingwrap
  2. Take out from the fridge and cut into 3 parts
  3. Put one part on the cake base, spread with custard on top, top with the second part, spread another layer of custard on top, and then top with the third part
  4. Spread chocolate ganache all over the cake, make sure it's smooth at the top, the sides doesn't have to be so neat, cos it'll be covered with wafers
  5. Arrange wafers around the sides of the cake, and tie around with pretty ribbon
  6. Decorate the top of the cake as per you like
  7. I just made some shapes using my leftover fondant with cookie cutters
This is another all time favorite in my family and apparently very well known among Indonesians. If you google the name of this cake, those links appear are mostly from Indonesian bakers and/or bloggers
But I did see the recipe in All Recipes site too :)
So glad that mum enjoyed this cake as much as I do
Happy birthday to you mum, we all always love you *hugs and kisses*

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter! Chocolate Chips Hot Cross Buns

This is the chocolate chips version from the buttery pull apart dinner rolls I baked yesterday

I was tickled to bake hot cross buns for Easter after I say HHB and Zoe baked them beautifully. Different fabulous version from both of them
Since I had my pull apart rolls, I decided to get some of the dough and made my chocolate chips hot cross buns

Was it the dough or the weather or the chocolate chips...I'm not to sure, but the chips started to melt a little during the hand kneading which lasted only around 1 minute and it affected the rise of the dough after that
It turned out not so tall and a little wrinkly
Well, one thing for sure, it remained soft like cotton, so I wasn't so disturbed but still wondering why
Do you think I should have mixed the chocolate chips with a little flour to prevent it from melting? That's the only solution I have in mind right now. Any advice?

For these buns, I just mixed less than half from the pull apart buns dough with approximately 1/4 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips, hand kneaded for around 1 minute and let rise til doubled in size. Piped them with cross (I used melted chocolate, too lazy to make the flour paste LOL) and baked them. Glazed them with butter after out from the oven

Nothing's better than freshly baked homemade bread, whether it's tall or short, whether it's smooth or wrinkly, all those can be tolerated when it has perfect texture and taste, isn't it?
(comforting myself hahaha)

Okay, last but not least, Happy Easter to everyone!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

ABC April 2012 - Buttery Pull Apart Dinner Rolls

I'm so glad to be able to join in another fabulous baking event organized by Hanaa : Avid Baker's Challenge (ABC), which I got to know from Joyce
Finally I got the book with me, The Weekend Baker by Abby Dodge which will be used for this event for the whole year of 2012
If only I found out this event at the start of this year, I would have enjoyed the fabulous 3 suggested bakes for the previous 3 months
Well, now that I have the book, I can bake them anytime :P

For this month's bake, buttery pull apart dinner rolls, I thought I wouldn't be able to make it in time, so glad that I finally did :)

This rolls are seriously good, I mean it, really really good, cottony soft with a hint of butter
And it's indeed true, it stayed soft til the end of the next day!

I chose to bake the plain version since the others were not into my kids' liking, they're my first and best customers after all :)

I baked the rolls last night, and these pictures below were taken the next morning, still as soft especially after microwaved them for 10 seconds
What a great breakfast I had this morning, so good with a cup of coffee :)

Now these pictures below were taken just after the rolls out from the oven

Not to forget the pull apart pic :) Too bad this was the best I could get sigh...

I followed the recipe accordingly except theat I replaced half half with fresh milk and all purpose flour with bread flour, and I shaped each dough into 50g balls, a little smaller
Oh, and I used my breadmaker to do the kneading job :)

For reference, you may view the recipe HERE, or please get a copy of the book and join this fantastic event :)

DH loves it so much that he asked me if it's possible to make another batch since it's finished so fast :)
I quickly nodded and I just had another batch ready this evening and I mixed half of the recipe with chocolate chips, piped cross on each bun and I got my chocolate chips hotcross buns for Easter day tomorrow
I guess I must have mixed the chocolate chips incorrectly cos the buns were not as tall as the plain ones, and also they looked more wrinkly, but the texture remained the same, so I wan't really bothered :)

Please view this link for other ABC bakers links with their buttery rolls

I believe I will have another great breakfast tomorrow morning with these wonderful rolls
As for the hotcross buns, I'll post tomorrow okie.... :)


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