20100623

Pandan Chiffon Cake

Remember last week's Sunday Times Lifestyle? It's main cover was on Pandan Chiffon Cake! I got so excited, it was such a nice present to wake up to.

I tried the recipe and hey, lo and behold, it's GREAT. The texture of the cake is springy and there's a lot of bite to it. There is a very alluring fragrance to the cake since real pandan leaves were used. The only improvement I would make to the recipe would be to cut down the sugar. A little too sweet...



The article compared pandan chiffon cakes of all bakeries. But you know what, I think the best pandan chiffon cake is homemade!

Mango Cake

This was really last minute. Who would expect that I'll need to bake a birthday cake in the midst of intense mugging? Then again, who would expect North Korea to let in 7 goals for Portugal? Sadly, supplies are running low in the fridge, hence this was the best I could come up with in an hour.

It is really untidy. But it tasted pretty good. I made my own custard! However, I ran out of sugar and basic ingredients, so there was not enough custard. Which probably explained its sloppy appearance.

Sorry it's such a messy cake perry! But still, happy birthday, and I'm so happy to see everyone finish it up in 10 minutes. It really makes the stress worth it. What would I be without my dear primary school friends?



Like Teresa said,
"All of you have a special place in my heart. I'll reserve a table for you all at my wedding. I swear."
Here's to a decade of friendship!

20100612

Peanut Butter Cookies

Recently, someone posed a question to me. Why are some cookies as hard as a rock?

I was a little taken aback, because I didn't think that cookies could go so wrong. Cookies have very simple steps, but are yet the most versatile. Everywhere you'll find thousands of recipes for a single type of cookie. It is the best stepping stone for any beginner, or for last minute presents (especially to impress your other half!) So in any case, I thought about what could go wrong and decided to start:

Fionainthekitchen Lesson #01

Recipe: Peanut butter cookies

170g butter

105g brown sugar

100g brown sugar

100g caster sugar

185g peanut butter

280g plain flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla essence

80g raw peanut (chopped)

1) Whisk sugars and butters together.

2) Pour in beaten egg and vanilla essence and whisk.

3) Fold in sifted flour and then peanut.

4) Preheat oven at 180C and bake for till golden brown.

So firstly, prepare all your ingredients and make sure your work table is clean and tidy.



Whisk until the colour changes to a lighter brown. This is a very important step for incorporating air into the mixture. Whisk in a clockwise/ anticlockwise direction and the colour will fade because butter becomes lighter when creamed with sugar. In this case, due to the brown sugar and peanut butter, it is a little less obvious.

After the addition of the egg and vanilla essence, this is another significant step which will ensure that the cookies retain air holes, bringing about cookies that the teeth can handle! Folding in is a method that involves the use of a spatula which cuts and 'folds' the dough. It is done in a clockwise direction, and turning the bowl constantly helps to speed things up. To mix the flour in i.e. in a stirring motion, would be a big mistake. Remember to sift the flour as it incorporates air.

video

When done, roll into balls. Here's a tip, the smaller your cookies, the more addictive they are. Be careful, they're so addictive it can be lethal for those with a sweet tooth!

Use a fork and press down the balls.

How then do you know it's cooked? When you flip the cookie over, it must be golden brown. Don't worry if it feels a bit soft, it will harden once it's cooled.

Finally, fill the crunch when you bite into one of them!

Hopefully this helps in the creation of many delicious cookies. Remember, cookies like cake also require air to be incorporated inside. So folding in and whisking of the butter is very important. Lastly, bake with confidence and you can't go too wrong!

20100608

Chocolate Coffee Mousse Cake

Recently, there's just been this influx of ideas flooding into my head. Tough, especially since I'm supposed to be focusing on the upcoming common tests!

Hm but in any case, I made this cake sort of on impulse, with no purpose in mind. Figured I'll just deal with the cake when it's done.



There's 2 of them cause they're really small, serves 1. I didn't use any cake moulds, I simply cut out the circular layers of sponge cake from 1 long rectangular cake, using a cup to create the impression. Improvised! The layers of mousse was initially meant to be chocolate but I added too much of the coffee powder, and somehow it became coffee. And I added kitkat bits in the bottom mousse layer. (Not a good idea, cause they go soft... Sheesh,)



These are the layers... A bit untidy but hey they tasted really really good! Almost store bought tasty. Oh and rum was added to the sponge layers (brush it with rum and sugar syrup, it tastes much better). Next time, nuts would be good. And I'll make the layers more tidy. Wish I had the appropriate equipment though...



And one of it went to Limei's 18th birthday buffet! Eating cake with chopsticks is so romantic. The other got swallowed during a mugging session, as we sit and grow fat, with notes in hand.

Finally, I'm very proud to announce that I can make mousse cakes now! Or rather, I finally understood how mousse works, and hence I know how to manipulate it to my advantage. As they put it, Fiona UP LEVEL already!

20100601

23rd birthday

I'll keep it simple this time.

"What kind of cake do you want for your 23rd birthday?"
"I don't like cakes..."

But I insist. So I tried a durian cake.



It didn't work out well. I added too much of the durian paste accidentally and the whole thing was too... convoluted. To say the truth, terribly disappointing. It kept me up awake through the night, as I thought of another one.

Then I realised nothing will come to my mind, because I had other thoughts, feelings that were a little consuming the heart.

Simple, warm, love. Nothing could work more than a chocolate cake. Just a chocolate cake, nothing fancy nothing complicated.



I made the chocolate decorations by melting the chocolate and writing it with a piping bag on some plastic wrap before freezing it again.


Happy birthday my dear brother, thank you for being my best friend and my protective brother. I know that no matter what I bake, you'll still eat it and tell me it's good. I know that you'll never stay angry at me no matter what I do. I know that you'll always make an effort to spend some time with me no matter how busy you are. I know you're always there.
But now, I worry for you. It's why, for the first time, I had no inspiration. Without a clear mind and a light heart, I can't bake, it's terrifying.
I wish things were simple and easy, like the cake. When it's time to let go, and there is no other choice but to let go, can we really do it, or do we simply pretend that we've forgotten? If it hurts so much to love, why do some still love so uncontrollably, pretending that tomorrow will never arrive?
and you say, "happiness is a state of mind." Remember that darling, and remember that some kind of love is forever.