Friday, June 7, 2013

Bake Along #45 Chia Seed & Parmesan Crackers

It's rare that I baked savoury cookies, in this case, crackers
But my kids do not like anything with seeds, any kind of seed
So, I didn't put too many kinds of seeds, to make it not too obvious for them
I just used one type, chia seeds
And I added some grated parmesan cheese too, for extra flavour, which the whole family surely will enjoy

The parmesan cheese looks reddish in color in the photos I am quite sure people will think it's chilli LOL

Recipe is from Williams - Sonoma Essentials of Baking

What you need:

2 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for the work surface
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt (I used only 1 tsp)
1 tsp coarsely ground pepper (not used, I only used chia seeds)
1 tsp poppy seeds (not used)
1 tsp sesame seeds (not used)
1 tsp mustard seeds (not used)
1 tbsp solid vegetable shortening, at room temperature
1 tbsp cold unsalted butter (I added another tbsp)
1/2 cup heavy cream, plus more, if needed (I added another tbsp)
a handful of grated parmesan cheese (I added)

  1. To make the dough by hand, in a small bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, salt, chia seeds
  2. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the shortening and butter until the mixture forms large, coarse crumbs the size of peas. Add in parmesan cheese and stir well. Pour in the 1/2 cup cream and mix with a fork until a rough mass forms
  3. Using a plastic pastry scraper, scrape the dough out onto a clean work surface and gently squeeze it together. Add a few more drops of cream if the dough will not hold a soft shape. Gently press the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap, and let rest at room temperature for at least 20 minutes or for up to 1 hour (I kept in the fridge overnight)
  4. Preheat an oven to 180degC. Line 2 half-sheet pans or rimless baking sheets with parchment paper
  5. Unwrap the dough disk and place on a lightly floured work surface. Using a sharp knife or a bench scraper, cut the dough in half. Roll out one half of the dough into a rectangular sheet as thin as possible without tearing, dusting it with flour as needed to prevent sticking to either the work surface or the rolling pin. Trim the edges of the dough to fit the prepared pan, then carefully transfer the dough to the pan. Repeat with the second half of the dough. Alternatively, using a pizza wheel or a sharp knife, cut the sheets of dough into shapes and place on the pans
  6. Bake 1 sheet of crackers at a time until they are crisp and brown, 12 to 15 minutes Transfer to wire racks and let cool completely until crisp. If you have baked the dough in sheets, break each sheet into shards. The crackers are best when eaten fresh, but they may be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

The whole family agreed that this snack is indeed addictive, crispy and tasty
The kids munched on them without noticing the chia seeds :)

This post is for Bake Along, organised by Joyce from Kitchen FlavoursLena from Frozen Wings and Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids

Please view other bakers below making these yummy munchies :P

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Nutella Almond Cake (Nigella Lawson)

When Annie from Annielicious Food posted this cake, I knew this was the cake I would make for my sis' bday. She's a die hard fan of Nutella :)
Her bday was on June 1. Sorry sis for the late posting :P

I didn't decorate the cake, only poured the ganache on top and kept it refrigerated to set
Then the bday girl bought macarons from TWG for added kick. Yumz :P

The two pics below taken on the bday night during the singing and candle blowing :)

The rest of the pics below taken the morning after :)

Recipe originally adapted from Nigella Lawson's How To Be A Domestic Goddess book

What you need:

The cake:
6 large eggs, separated
pinch of salt
125g soft unsalted butter
400g Nutella
1 tbsp dark rum
100g ground hazelnut (I used almond)
100g dark chocolate, melted

The icing:
100g whole toasted hazelnuts - for decoration (I didn't use)
125ml whipping cream
1 tbsp rum
125g dark chocolate

How to make the icing:
In a saucepan, add the cream, rum and chopped chocolate, and heat gently under low fire
Once the chocolate's melted, take the pan off the heat, leave it cool down a bit and whisk until it reaches the right consistency to ice the top of the cake

How to make the cake:
  1. Melt chocolate using double boiling method. Once chocolate begins to melt, stir it gently with spatula. When almost all of the chocolate is melted, lift up the bowl from the saucepan. Stir continuously until it is shiny, smooth and completely melted. Set aside and leave it cool before use
  2. Prepare a 9 inch spring form tin, greased and lined (I used 8 inch and poured some of the batter in cupcake cases)
  3. Preheat the oven to 180 degree
  4. In a large clean bowl, whisk the egg whites and salt until stiff, but not dry
  5. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and Nutella together, and then add rum, egg yolk and ground almond
  6. Fold in the cooled melted chocolate, followed by a large dollop of egg white, stir well and then gently folding the rest of the egg whites in a third at a time
  7. Pour into the prepared tin and bake it for 40 mins or until the cake's beginning to come away at the sides
  8. Let the cake cool on a rack completely before you unmould them carefully. This is a damp cake, you might find it a bit difficult removing it from the tin
  9. The cake will collapse a bit once it's cooled
  10. Pour icing on the cake and keep it refrigerated to set
  11. Decorate as wished

Not only the bday girl enjoyed this cake so much, the whole family did!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Coco Pandan Cake

A very yummy cake, especially if you love coconut and pandan
I baked this cake last week for my wedding anniversary on the 29th May
Oh yes, I have been married for 9 years :)
Well, it's just an ordinary pandan butter cake, no decoration, nothing
But I did it on purpose. DH never likes to taste buttercream or any other thing used to decorate a cake. If there is, he will scrape it away
So, no point decorating it LOL

Pandan cake is one of his favourite, hence I decided on this cake
But unfortunately he didn't quite enjoy the cake, apparently he didn't fancy the crunch from the coconut in the cake
Well, in a marriage, we keep learning new things about our partner. Can you imagine, I only realize that he doesn't like cake with coconut only after I'm married to him for 9 years? LOL In fact I was quite surprised cos he always enjoys any snack I make using coconut. Apparently it's a different story when putting it in a cake hehehe...

Ian is a pandan cake lover too, but gave same response as his daddy
After a few bites, he said, I can feel pandan leaves in it
I said, Ian, I never put pandan leaves in the cake
He said, oh, well, I can taste something
I said, it must be the coconut
Then he said, oh I don't like coconut in a cake. He gave the remaining cake to me and walked away >.<

To look at the bright side, I do love this cake, so are my parents :)
So this cake was easily gone the next day :P

I saw this cake for the first time in Peng's Kitchen
Recipe is from WendyinKK

What you need:

200g self raising flour, sifted
100g fresh grated coconut (I used 125g)
75ml concentrated pandan juice (I used fresh milk)
75ml evaporated milk
1/2 tsp pandan paste (I used Koepoe Koepoe brand)
125g butter
100g sugar (I used 75g)
2 egg yolks

2 egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
50g sugar

  1. Preheat oven at 180degC Line two 20x10 cm loaf pan
  2. Beat (B) until stiff enough to defy gravity when overturned, but still has droopy peaks. Set aside
  3. With the same beaters, beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Put in egg yolks one at a time, beating well and scrape the bowl after each addition
  4. Mix both milk together and add in pandan paste, stir well
  5. Sift in flour and fold into butter mixture, alternate with milk mixture
  6. Put in grated coconut and mix well
  7. Put 1/3 of beaten egg whites into batter and fold
  8. Fold in the remaining egg whites gently
  9. Pour batter evenly onto prepared pans and bake for 40 minutes or until skewer inserted comes out clean

Yum yum... I love this cake :)



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