Oct 9, 2013

Ok, I know I said I'd start blogging again and I will...just not here. 
It's a little sad really... This little corner of the internet has been my food diary for soo long. I've abandoned it twice, but it's always been there for when I feel the urge to start blogging again. I would just continue here... But having to juggle 3 different e-mail accounts is a bit of a hassle. That... And maybe it's time for something new. A proper restart. 

So in case you happen to be an old reader who just wandered by, thank you for giving me that support and I hope the posts here made you smile a bit. If you'd like to follow up on what I'm cooking next, here's my new address:

Take care, and I hope to see you all very soon. :)

I'm baaaaaaaaaack!!!!

Sep 12, 2013

So here we go again. 
It's been years since I last posted anything here and soo much has changed since. I've finished my IB diploma, gotten into University, and am now a second year psychology student at the University of St. Andrews. I spend 9/12 months a year in Scotland. 

And now that I'm going to be cooking for myself full-time, I thought I'd restart my little blog to keep track of what I'm making and how I'm eating. 
Here's to a brand new adventure.
Stay tuned!!


Jun 30, 2010

The June 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Dawn of Doable and Delicious. Dawn challenged the Daring Bakers’ to make Chocolate Pavlovas and Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse. The challenge recipe is based on a recipe from the book Chocolate Epiphany by Francois Payard

 This month's challenge was TOTALLY AWESOME.
Chocolate Pavlova with Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse.
Could anything sound more extravagantly lush than THAT?

Since I was too lazy to complete the challenge earlier in the month one of my closest friends, Shekinah, was turning 18 on the 24th, I made the pavlova quite late. I thought that being the stingy-poker that I was since there wouldn't be too many of us celebrating (it was a small dinner celebration at this TO DIE FOR steamboat place) I would make half the recipe. I had it all figured out, I'd make all the components the day before and assemble them in the morning before leaving for her house. The mousse and mascarpone cream didn't give me any trouble, but I probably should have remembered it was my VERY FIRST pavlova, and there were BOUND to be hiccups along the way.
And a hiccup there was.
A BIG one.

THAT my good readers, was what the pavlova looked like the next morning. I could BARELY get it off the baking paper, and the parts that DID peel off cracked and crumbled to bits. Looking  back, I probably should have baked it for longer to allow the pav to dry out more. Truth be told though, I was actually quite happy it didn't turn out. It looked a bit TOO SMALL to be given as a present. So, I scrapped it, and tried again. This time making the full meringue recipe. As for the one above, I didn't want to waste it (It tasted REALLY GOOD) So I crumbled it up even more and made 2 little parfaits.
Quite decent, no? And SO YUMMY MY GAWD!!
Anyways, after quickly putting together the stuff for the 2nd meringue (luckily I still had a decent amount of time on my hands) and baking it for 2 and 1/4 hours, I got a BE-YOU-TI-FUL looking pavlova.
I thought about it, and decided to add the finishing touches at her place. So I packed the mousse and cream into piping bags and took the lot to Kynah's house. We had a good long gossip (haven't seen her since she started college) Had a shower, got dressed and dressed the pavlova so it was ready for dinner.
Doesn't it look ADORABLE? I cheated a bit and bought to sugar roses, so the whole thing was dead easy to put together. Kynah and her parents oohed and ahhed over it, the we packed the pav up and headed to the restaurant.

This is where things got a little messy. The pavlova was sitting next to the HOT steamboat stove for about 15 minutes before we thought of moving it to a chair so it would be away from the heat. AND it was about 2 hours (the steamboat was REALLY GOOD,k?) before we got around to eating it. So by the time the pavlova came out of the box....
Let's just say it tasted a lot better than it looked.
Honestly. However, all said and done Kynah LOVED IT.
She thought it was fantastic (and quite frankly, it bloody was). I'll definitely be making this again. Although, I'll probably not subject it to heat next time!
As usual, if you'd like to try the recipe for yourself, it'll be found on The Daring Kitchen's website
And do try to go through the blogroll to see what other Daring bakers thought of the challenge. Bye!


May 27, 2010

The May 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Cat of Little Miss Cupcake. Cat challenged everyone to make a piece montée, or croquembouche, based on recipes from Peter Kump’s Baking School in Manhattan and Nick Malgieri.

Hello, it's that time of month again!
I was really really REALLY stoked  when I found out what this months challenge was. Been wanting to make a croquembouche for a couple of YEARS now, but never plucked up the kahoonas to try. Another upside to the Daring Bakers, I guess I'm a wee bit more Gryffindor than I thought I was. ;-)

Alright, for those who are out of the loop, a piece montée, or croquembouche is a tower of creampuffs held together by a glaze, usually chocolate or caramel. People in France traditionally make this instead of the usual wedding cake. A professional one is supposed to look like this :

Ok, so mine didn't quite turn out as a tower.
More like a lopsided molehill really.
I made only half the recipe, because there aren't too many people at home and there was NO WAY a full sized croquembouche  was going to be finished, especially considering that this dessert has to be served ASAP. I filled the cream puffs with a coffee pastry cream and for the glaze I used caramel. It looked really pretty up close, but was really difficult to eat. The caramel made it almost impossible to pick an individual cream puff off without either:
a) ripping it in half, OR
b) ripping its immediate downstairs neighbour in half.
I think my pastry cream was a bit too sweet too, would cut down the sugar next time I do this. The best part about making the piece montée was the caramel strands surrounding the cream puffs. Sure, I got burnt a couple of times (OUCH, by the way) but that didn't stop me from flicking sugar like mad all over the thing.
and on myself.
and the kitchen table.
and the floor.
and maybe a little on my kitchen scale.

All in all, I had fun with this challenge. It may have seemed overwhelming in the beginning, but once I broke it down, it was a relatively enjoyable task. Albeit a rather long one. It you'd like to try to make this ( and you should. It's one of those things everyone should try before we get sent off to that big bakery in the sky ) then the recipe and instructions are here on the Daring Kitchen website.
Also, try to check out the creations of the other Daring Bakers on the blogroll. There are some that'll blow your mind!
Till next time, Ciao!


May 4, 2010

The April 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Esther of The Lilac Kitchen. She challenged everyone to make a traditional British pudding using, if possible, a very traditional British ingredient: suet.

Boy am I LATE huh?
*brushes dust off blog*
Sorry bout that folks, I couldn't find my pictures until 2 days ago (they were still in my camera). But all hiccups aside, atleast I'm FINALLY posting, right?

So, let's get started.  Steamed English Pudding. This is going to be quite a short post, cause I don't really have much to say about it. The challenge was easy enough but quite frankly we weren't too nuts about it, infact the pudding was still sitting in the fridge 3 weeks after I made it. It tasted a bit odd really, but then again that's probably the recipes fault. I did like steaming the pudding, it came out nice and moist and a little spongy too. wasn't too hard to do either, but that's probably cause I have an actual steamer. I used chinese bowls to steam the sponges in, so they came out in really cute domes. As for using suet, the only one I could find was made from beef and due to religious issues, that's a bit of a no no for me. I used shortening instead. Also, for the fruit I threw in a little something special. For the past 4 months, I've had a container of fruitsoaking in brandy in my fridge. And when I say soaking, I mean SOAKING. I don't even remember what fruit I have in there anymore, but I do know it smells strong. Funnily enough, the pudding didn't taste very alcohol-ly when it was done. I served the cooked pudding with custard sauce on top. On the whole, a very -meh- tasting challenge. I will do it again, but I'll be wanting a different recipe to use. I have NO IDEA where this one came from ( I was searching and printing out a lot, OK?), Heck, I don't even remember what it's CALLED. So if anyone DOES know, just give me a shout. :-)
~ 90g self raising flour
~ pinch of salt
~ 90g breadcrumbs
~ 90g shreaded suet (again, I used shortening)
~ 90g raisins
~ 160g currants
~ 30g candied peel
~ 60g brown sugar
~ 1 egg
~ 6tbsp milk

Mix everything together, divide into molds and steam for 1 and a 1/2 - 2 hours. (OMG this has got to be the SHORTEST set of instructions I've EVER written on this blog.)

Please head on down to the Daring Bakers blogroll to check out what the others have done. It'll look pretty damn amazing! =>


Mar 28, 2010

The 2010 March Daring Baker’s challenge was hosted by Jennifer of Chocolate Shavings. She chose Orange Tian as the challenge for this month, a dessert based on a recipe from Alain Ducasse’s Cooking School in Paris.

 I learnt something new this month. Thanks to Jennifer, I now know what a 'tian' is. What? Never heard of em'?
You can thank later :
Well known in some cultures as a prepared dish with layered ingredients, the tian can be thought of as a casserole with a specific arrangement of components. From this perspective, a tian can be a hot or a cold dish.

So, an orange tian.....

Frankly I was a little sceptical. I mean, it looked like a lot of work for whipped cream piled on top of a piece of shortbread then topped with fruit. But I'm glad I made it all the same. It was a very light dessert, and because I reduced the sugar, it wasn't too sweet either. I decided to make it family-sized just to make life easier for me. So, down to business then. There were 5 components to this dessert, as broken up below.

~Pate Sablee
From what I gather this is basically like shortbread....or, atleast it's suppossed to be. I'm not sure where I went wrong but it came out cake-like and VERY crumbly. I made the recipe twice and had the same result both times....any ideas? Not to say it wasn't good though, it was like a cross between a butter cake and shortbread. My dog agrees too, judging from the way she gobbled up the first batch. Very yummy.

Again, not too much trouble. It came together fine and tasted a little tangy. The one thing I SHOULD have done, was blend the blanched oranges to make it finer, but I didn't want to wash the blender later (SO ANNOYING) so I just minced it all by hand. The resulting marmalade was a little chunky, but I didn't really mind, it still tasted good.

~Orange Sements <3
OMG. I LOVE segmenting oranges!!! It's totally ZEN!! I'm not joking, you could put me in a corner with a bowl of oranges and order me to segment them, and I would be HAPPY. I don't know WHAT it is, but I was having so much fun, it was actually a little dissapointing when all the oranges were done. Anybody in Malaysia need an orange segmented? Pretty please??

Now THIIIISSS..... was a little bit funky. Again, not too sure where  messed up, but it turned out tasting bitter. And the thing is, the caramel was JUST STARTING to colour when I added the orange juice (And boy did that start to sputter. I feared for my life, I kid you not). Didn't think too much of it and just went ahead with the rest of the recipe. Could hardly taste anything bitter in he finished dessert, so YAY!

~Whipped Cream
If after 5 years of blowing up stuff in the kitchen I didn't know how to whip cream,
I would just shoot myself.
I really would.
But now I know how to stabilize my cream. All you have to do is whip in a bit of gelatine and the cream won't collapse so fast. However, I really don't like the smell of gelatine, so I'll try out something else. Maybe unflavoured konyaku jelly powder?

So with all the stuff prepared, I was ready to assemble the Tian. And again, I dissobeyed the first rule of Bakingdom. Again. Because I didn't read the instructions, I didn't notice we were supposed to DRAIN the orange slices (That had been sitting in caramel overnight) on paper towels.
Oops no.1
Luckily I wrapped my tin in alluminium foil. If I hadn't, the tin would have leaked wattery orange caramel all over the kitchen.
 Ah well, lesson learnt. I moved on and piled on the whipped cream, then proceeded to place the pate sablee on top. Problem was, the biscuit broke clean into 2.
Oops no.2
Nevermind, I thought to myself. It's at the bottom, no one will notice. So brushing the crumbs off the kitchen table, I set the Tian in the fridge to set for 1/2 an hour.
Oops no.3
I barely had time to drizzle the remainder caramel sauce over it and take a picture.This is what it looked like 5 minutes after taking it out of the fridge:

Not pretty.
I didn't get a chance to take cross section picture, which was a pity cause I bet that would've looked really nice.It's alright though, the shot of the whole thing came out pretty all the same. Next time, I'll just
make individual portions.


If you'd like to try this recipe out for yourself, just follow the link and it'll take you to the daring kitchen 'Orange Tian' page. =>

Have fun, and happy baking!


Mar 19, 2010

I love that :
1) This recipe is SUPER easy.
2) It has very few ingredients (practically FOUR if you wanna skip the fruit and liquor)
3) It's non-bake ( for those days you just CANNOT set up the oven )
4) It's so ORGASMICLY GOOD. I can't even begin to tell you.

Just make it.
Then eat and weep.

Chocolate Mousse
by Alec Kearns of Glebe Point Diner
~300g dark chocolate, chopped
~9 eggs, seperated
~2tbsp brandy (opt)
~30g castor sugar
  *my addition
*5 tbsp sugar
*8 ripe bananas, sliced

Melt the dark chocolate over a double boiler and whisk in egg yolks and liquor (if using). If mixture become very stiff, add 1 tbsp water to loosen it. Whisk eggs whites to soft peaks, then gradually adding sugar whisk to stiff peaks. Fold egg whites into chocolate mixture in three batches till combined. Divide among 8 X 250ml glasses and refridgerate 3-4 hours till set.

*caramelized banana topping
Melt 1 tbsp of sugar in heavy bottom saucepan and cook till very light golden colour. Add sliced bananas and stir to coat. Top mousses and refridgerate to set.

The original recipe called for rasberries macerated in balsamic vineger. I opted out and used the caramelized bananas instead and removed the brandy element too. I also made only 1/3 of the recipe, as there weren't too many people at home to eat it ( although, I SUPPOSED I could have FORCED myself to polish off a full recipe on my own. You know, if  ABSOLUTELY had to)

Oh, and don't worry. This is a healthy dessert.
It's got whole eggs in it, that's protein.
And chocolate, so that's your antioxidants.
*recipe courtesy of Vougue Australia, Entertaining and Travel.