Brown Butter Wonderment

August 27, 2010 - 4 Responses

First and foremost, Selamat Berpuasa to everyone. Today marks the 16th day of the fasting month. Soon, it’ll be time to bake Raya goodies and hopefully that will mean more posts!

Before that though, it is time to reveal the Daring Bakers’ challenge.

The August 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Elissa of 17 and Baking. For the first time, The Daring Bakers partnered with Sugar High Fridays for a co-event and Elissa was the gracious hostess of both. Using the theme of beurre noisette, or browned butter, Elissa chose to challenge Daring Bakers to make a pound cake to be used in either a Baked Alasa or in Ice Cream Petit Fours. The sources for Elissa’s challenge were Gourmet magazine and David Lebovitz’s “The Perfect Scoop”.

This month, I was introduced to brown butter and oh my, was I glad I signed up as a daring baker. Just the memory of the aroma of the brown butter is enough to make me salivate. On top of that, I had to overcome my nonsensical fear of making custard-based ice cream. I tweaked David Lebovitz’s chocolate ice cream recipe to churn out this marvelously creamy roasted almonds mocha ice cream to go into my bombe Alaska. Overall, this month’s daring bakers’ challenge was absolutely fun and a wonderful learning experience. Plus, I finally had a reason to invest in a blow torch.. Crème brûlée here I come!

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Black and White II

August 5, 2010 - 3 Responses

I’m in my final month of vacation and work will start in September. In the meantime, I am learning how to drive and boy does a manual car (stick shift) require good hand-eye coordination, which I think I might lack. Luckily enough, baking does not require any hand-eye coordination.

The fasting month will soon be upon us and for the first time in a long time, I will have ample time to plan and bake Raya goodies. And thus, being the forward thinking person that I am (not) I have been searching for new recipes to try. That was when I stumbled upon this recipe. The cookies looked cute and sort of resembled the rice cakes we serve during Eid. Mine turned out kinda wonky and the weird thing was that I did use a ruler to measure but that didn’t matter once you taste them.

And what do you do if you have extra dough pieces left behind? Roll them together and make black and white spiral cookies!

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Black and White

July 27, 2010 - Leave a Response

It has been too long, non? Not that I have not been baking – just that I have not been baking anything different. I have dabbled with candy making but my homemade marshmallows flopped, literally – taught me the importance of the candy thermometer – and my torrone/ nougat came out just alright, not a good recipe to share. Today, I will be posting my first daring baker’s challenge!

The July 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Sunita of Sunita’s world – life and food. Sunita challenged everyone to make an ice-cream filled Swiss roll that’s then used to make a bombe with hot fudge. Her recipe is based on an ice cream cake recipe from Taste of Home.

We were given the creative freedom to choose the flavors of the roll and the ice cream. I attempted to make mint chip ice cream, cookies and cream ice cream, hot fudge and just the basic chocolate swiss roll with vanilla filling. Somehow, the mint chip ice cream did not set and I decided to not add it to the bombe so that I’ll be able to slice the bombe. Seeing that the mint chip ice cream did not set, I used my own recipe to make the cookies and cream ice cream. So, everything turned out black and white.

The recipe for the swiss roll, hot fudge and ice cream can be found at The Daring Kitchen website. The recipe for the cookies and cream ice cream is as follows (no ice cream maker required):

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Father’s Day

June 19, 2010 - 4 Responses

It’s Father’s Day weekend here in Singapore and what’s a celebration without cake. What with the lack of temporary employment, the funds are low but time is in abundance. It has been some time since I last made something chocolatey and my father does have the impression that a good cake must be a chocolate cake. So out came the Complete Book of Chocolate and 200 Chocolate Recipes.

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North Indian Cuisine

June 5, 2010 - Leave a Response

What happens when you are craving for garlic naans and tandoori chicken and have too much time on your hand? You D-I-Y! As it is apparent on this site, I’m not fond of cooking. I prefer baking with its approximately precise ingredient quantities. Maybe it is just the way my mother is trying to pass down her recipes, what’s with the random throwing of ingredients into the pot.

Back to the food, naans and tandoori chicken are traditionally cooked in a tandoor – a cylindrical clay oven. Now, most of us will not have a tandoor in our kitchen – if you do, wow! So the chicken was cooked in the oven and the naans were pan-fried with the lid on. It might not taste 100% authentic what with the lack of the smokey taste but it is still “Yum!”.

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From Sweet to Savoury

May 24, 2010 - Leave a Response

Here’s another introduction to a more local kuih (malay cake). This is called Kuih Bakar Lauk (literal translation: Savoury Baked Cake). I love this little mini tart-like kuih. It consists of a mixture of egg, flour and milk with a filling made up of spiced minced beef, Chinese parsley, spring onion, chili and fried shallots. It has a slight custard like texture when hot and tastes oh-so-good.

It is usually “fried” in its flower like mould placed onto a gas stove. Lacking this special gas stove thing that my aunt uses to make this kuih, I baked mine in mini muffin trays in my humble convection oven.

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Tarts!

May 24, 2010 - One Response

I have been lazing around a lot these days. Temp jobs are hard to find these days and when there is time to spare, I tend to spend it in the kitchen. I have been meaning to try baking tarts – either chocolate or fruit- but somehow or the other I ended up with these egg tartlets. The dough for the tart was versatile enough that I could bake the remaining tartlets and fill them with dark chocolate ganache.

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Ondeh-Ondeh

May 17, 2010 - Leave a Response

It’s time to go traditional people! These little green balls of pure fun is a traditional Nyonya kuih (cake) called ondeh-ondeh. It is basically balls of pandan flavored glutinous rice flour filled with melted palm sugar (gula melaka) rolled in grated coconut. The best way to enjoy it is to pop the entire ball into your mouth and enjoy the explosion of sugar as you savor the pandan flavor.

There are two variations of this kuih. I made the simpler glutinous flour balls while the other variety is a mixture of both glutinous flour and sweet potato. Both are just as good.

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Opéra

April 28, 2010 - Leave a Response

April has not been a good month and I am pretty glad it is ending. One post? That’s it? What with all the thesis submitting, problem sets, tests and presentations, I’m pretty happy that I managed this one post.

So, April is my dad’s birthday month. It’s a weird family thing. Our birthdays fall in separate months, one after the other. So we’ll have birthday cakes from December to April and no cake for the rest of the year! Yeaaah… Read the rest of this entry »

Matcha Macarons

March 27, 2010 - 5 Responses

It’s been more than a week since the last post. I’m actually still swamped with work although I only have 3 official school weeks left. It is as though the system is doling out as much stress in these last few weeks to make sure I get my money’s worth. I even considered taking a short hiatus from baking and posting but evidently I can only last slightly more than a week without touching my oven.

So I whipped out my macaron recipe and quickly mixed a batch of matcha macarons. Matcha, otherwise known as finely milled green tea powder, is rich in antioxidants and goes really well with azuki beans. Since I had azuki bean paste (red bean paste) lying around in my fridge having bought it 2 weeks ago, I was set to bake.

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