Daring Bakers Challenge #1

Dec 31, 2009

The December 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to you by Anna of Very Small Anna and Y of Lemonpi. They chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ everywhere to bake and assemble a gingerbread house from scratch. They chose recipes from Good Housekeeping and from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book as the challenge recipes.

In one of my previous posts, I mentioned joining this community and, well.... I'll just let the pros explain what I've gotten myself into.

As taken from the Daring Kitchen website:

In November 2006, Lisa of La Mia Cucina and Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice decided to challenge themselves to bake pretzels for the very first time using the same recipe. They each went ahead and posted about it on November 18, 2006.

Having enjoyed that experience tremendously, they decided to try it again the next month, this time choosing to bake biscotti. And to make matters even better, they were joined by a few more food bloggers.

As the months went by, their baking group continued to grow, until it was finally decided that this "little baking group" had to have a name and The Daring Bakers were born!

Today, The Daring Bakers span the world as bakers of all nationalities come together once a month to try something new in the kitchen!

Alright, the official reveal date was actually supposed to be on the 27th of December, but I've been away in India for the past 2 weeks ( a little scary, but fun all the same). Oh well, better late than never right? ;-)

When I first found out about my challenge I was ECSTATIC. I was hoping 'the powers that be' would make us do a gingerbread house since I've always wanted to make one but never found the guts to do it. I really wanted to start immediately, but the challenge was released during SPM, and I don't think the parents would have been too happy with their baby girl building houses out of cookies when she should be cramming for chemistry and physics. So I waited. Impatiently. Newbie that i was, I had big plans to make a grand ol' traditional Malay kampung house complete with window carvings, balcony and STILTS. Yep, you read right. I wanted this baby to be supported by STILTS. In case you've never seen one of these before, youcan see a few here

So, I did my reasearch (maybe I did it during SPM, maybe not) and realized that all the houses I saw had one thing in common. They were all FIRMLY attached to the board. Not a stilt in sight. I was to be the pioneer on making gingerbread houses on stilts. Consultations with other DB members occured (these people are fantastic by the way) and my excitement grew. I started drawing rough sketches (maybe or maybe not on my Chemistry paper) and thinking of support systems (maybe or maybe not during my Physics paper). I figured that could support the bottom with a gingerbread structure and make the stilts out of Rice Krispee treats. All systems were GO and i couldn't see any problems that could possibly arise. I was ready to start building as soon as my last paper ended.

And end it did. But plain and simple, I procrastinated.

Prom was the following week and my India trip 2 days after that. The house was to be given to a lovely friend of mine who was having a Christmas party that I wouldn't be able to attend due to the trip. After my last paper, I hate to say it, but I got LAZY. I was going out, reading books, hardly spending any time in the kitchen. Before I knew it, it was 3 days till the house had to be presented. Despite this, i still tried to forge on wih my original kampung house idea. How hard could it be?



Eventhough I simplified my design, I still had trouble. My pieces kept shrinking during baking. then again, everyone in the DB forums seemed to be complaining about how their pieces shrank. A LOT. I'm not quite sure what i did wrong, but I'm guessing i worked the dough too much (dough these days.... You can't work em' too much or they shrink on you and bake hard and funny. Next thing you know, they'll be wanting healthcare benefits and paid leave).

My walls also kept breaking. Well, ok not just the walls. The roofs broke too. Infact, they all broke soo many times that I had to keep remaking new walls. If I'm not wrong, I think only one wall from the original batch made it to the complte house. The rest of the pieces (Broken and crumbling) were fed to my very grateful dogs.Eventually, I had 4 passable walls and to somewhat solid roof pieces that could be used. By now, it was evidet that I wouldn't have time to carry out my Grand Kampung house, so i setteled on making a traditional 4 walled strucure instead. Darling brother went out and bought me M&Ms to use as decor. I made a batch of royal icing, and proceeded to build my house.

Boy was THAT a doozy.

The walls kept falling over, regardless of how much royal icing I piped to hold it together and how many glasses I used to support it while it dried. By the time it was ready for the roofs to go on, it was 11 p.m. the night before delivery (Coincidently also the night before prom). Oh, and for all you prospective Gingerbread architects out there, word from the wise.

DON'T throw away your templates.

You might need to make more walls, and if your new walls don't match up, it's gonna be hard putting your roof on. Whenever I tried, the roof would push the walls apart and the whole structure would collapse in on itself. A couple of stressful hours later though, my house looked....passable.

Ok, so it's not my best effort, far from it even. I feel a little guilty actually, seeing as this is my first challenge and all. But I did the best I could given my time constraints. At any rate, Su (my friend) seemed to like it, and at the end of the day, it was gonna be eaten right? ;-D

I used Y's Scandinavean gingerbread recipe:

Scandinavian Gingerbread (Pepparkakstuga)
from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book by Beatrice Ojakangas http://astore.amazon.com/thedarkit-20/detail/0816634963

1 cup butter, room temperature [226g]
1 cup brown sugar, well packed [220g]
2 tablespoons cinnamon
4 teaspoons ground ginger
3 teaspoons ground cloves
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ cup boiling water
5 cups all-purpose flour [875g]

1. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until blended. Add the cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Mix the baking soda with the boiling water and add to the dough along with the flour. Mix to make a stiff dough. If necessary add more water, a tablespoon at a time. Chill 2 hours or overnight.

2. Cut patterns for the house, making patterns for the roof, front walls, gabled walls, chimney and door out of cardboard.

3. Roll the dough out on a large, ungreased baking sheet and place the patterns on the dough. Mark off the various pieces with a knife, but leave the pieces in place.

4. [I rolled out the dough on a floured bench, roughly 1/8 inch thick (which allows for fact that the dough puffs a little when baked), cut required shapes and transferred these to the baking sheet. Any scraps I saved and rerolled at the end.]

5. Preheat the oven to 375'F (190'C). Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the cookie dough feels firm. After baking, again place the pattern on top of the gingerbread and trim the shapes, cutting the edges with a straight-edged knife. Leave to cool on the baking sheet.

I decreased the cloves to 2 teaspoons and the flour to 625g, as suggested by some fellow DBs. I rolled the leftover dough out nice and thin and baked it. That tasted really good, kinda like the spice biscuits we used to get from IKEA.

And thus ended my first challenge.This is something I'm gonna be making into a annual tradition for sure. I wonder what my next challenge is going to be?

Oh, and by the way:


Je t'adore

Dec 3, 2009

The sizing is a little off, it's not quite even yet and there's too much filling.
But right now,
I'm DEFINITELY in love.

Big Bad Wolf Books

Dec 2, 2009


I love these people. I want to MARRY whoever it is who thought of this FANTASTIC idea. I don't know how they manage to sell HARD COVER books, BRAND SPANKIN' NEW to boot for RM8. It's sureal. It's incredible. It's...just.....WOW. I never liked the Big Bad Wolf as a kid (that bloody flea infested fur bag scared the SH** out of me I tell you. I grew up thinking he'd make a LOVELY fur coat one day) but I sure as HELL love him now.
So since Saturday, Ampcorp has been FLOODED with people coming to buy books. I'm so serious, it's being held in the old cinema and there are people walking around with HUGE cardboard boxes just josteling one another and collecting books. It's so magical... there are books EVERYWHERE! On the floor, on tables, on racks, in little nooks and crannies, like something out of the pagemaster. And the best part is, all the people there GET IT. You know what I mean? It's like, they don't look at you like your some kind of freakish nerd whose head is going to pop off and start rotating if you walk up to the counter with welts on your arms from carrying books. Chances are, they'll recommend a few more to you!! And when you're walking around the mall with your very own Big bad Wolf bag, and another Big Bad Wolf bag carrier sees you, they give you this secret little smile. Like the both of you know something the rest of the world doesn't. It's so totally RADICAL!!!

Ok, so i went a little crazy..... but 26 books isn't really that much is it? Ok, so thats alot of books, BUT THEY WERE CHEAP!! It's not like I bought stupid stuff like...socks or something. I went nuts buying books!! Ahhhhhh...they're so beautiful. I love just staring at the unread pile.

I bought :
~Simple Essentials, Chocolate (Donna Hay)
~2x Waitrose Food Illustrated
~Foreign Body (Robin Cooke)
~World Without End (Ken Follet)
~Inkheart (Cornelia Funke)
~Inkspell (Cornelia Funke)
~Inkdeath (Cornelia Funke)
~Vanity Drive (Yvonne Lee)
~Belly Dancing for Beginners (Liz Byrski)
~Breathing is Colour (Clare Jay)
~The Greedy Bastard Diary (Eric Idle)
~The Jamie Oliver Effect (Gilly Smith)
~Hook, Line and Homicide (Mark Richard Zubro)
~The Promise Land (David Hewson)
~Endgame (Andy Secombe)
~The Enchantress of Florence (Salman Rushdie)
~Hidden epths (Ann Cleeves)
~The Black Book of Secrets (F.E. Higgins)
~The Time Travellers Wife (Audrey Niffeneger)
~WAS (Geoff Ryman)
~Embryo Culture (Beth Kohl)
~Talking with My Mouth Full (Bonny Wolf)
~The Bones of Makaidos (Bryan Davis)
~Cast Not the Day (Paul Waters)

Not Pictured (they were for presents)
~Princess Diaries (Meg Cabot)
~Jane Blonde (Lord knows who)

My friends part 1 (The stephie)

Nov 27, 2009

One day, I was asked by a friend, 'If I was a cupcake, what would i be?' It got me thinking, this question. And so, I've decided to come up with a series of desserts (I'd love to do all cupcakes, but unfortunately, I'm not that creative. ^.^) inspired by my friends. And to kick off, I begin with 'The Stephie'.

So...Let me introduce you to Stephanie Boey, Assunta's resident Marilyn Monroe. A firm believer of partying hard, looking good and not letting people know how smart you really are, don't wanna fighten anyone off do we? A sarcastically witty street walker, she'll 'break your face' if you piss her off. The spunky lass may be Phillipino Chinese by birth, but anyone in the know knows that she's pure, passionate Indian. I've known Stephie for a really long time, about 6 years now I think. She's the kind of person you'd want with you if you got mugged in a dark alley. In exchange for 'protection', I ply her with baked goods. ;-)

Ladies and Gentlemen it's my pleasure to present,


The epitome of a Stephanie.
Moist chocolate cake, dyed a deep maroon topped of with a good wallop of cream cheese icing ( One of her vices CHEESE ) and a pair of gumpaste lips.
I chose this cupcake for Steph based on a number of reasons.
Let's take a look at Marilyn Monroe, THE sex symbol of her time. A curvy, gorgeous young woman who played a starring role in every man's (married or single) fantasy. Marilyn was always given the 'dumb blonde' roles, but, atleast I think, she was a really sharp woman. She knew how to get what she wanted, and she played the game just right.
Same concepts apply to Stephie.

She KNOWS things this little minx. Her street smarts and wit are bound to take her far. She'll wheedle her way to get what she wants, and nobody will have even noticed she wheedled. A loyal friend to have who'll make you laugh and will willingly beat up anyone who even attempts hurting you.
If you're wondering about the lips, check out her blog here
So Steph,
here's to you.

*If you're interested in the recipe, please check back soon. I've lost mine (BAD FOOD BLOGGER!! BAD, BAD FOOD BLOGGER!) But I WILL find it and post it up. *determined*

It won't be long now......

Nov 19, 2009

2 days down...... I don't even wanna know how many more till freedom.

By the way, this post is dedicated to a special friend of mine Wen 'Penguin' Yuin, who told me in school today that my blog was dead. ;-) Anyways, SPM has been really sapping me dry, and quite frankly, I can't wait for it all to be over. In the meantime however, I still have to slog at subjects I can't say I really like*coughmoralcough*. But I'm allowing myself a bit of blogging time today, so here's a recipe that I used a while ago and have been meaning to share.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

~200 g semi sweet chocolate
~2/3 cups sugar
~6 eggs
~100 g butter, softened
~pinch of salt
~1/2 cup cream, whipped to stiff peaks.

1) melt chocolate over a bow of simmering water and let cool.
2) beat together butter and sugar and salt till light and fluffy.
3)beat in eggs one at a time, the mixture should thicken by the time all the eggs are beaten in.
4)GENTLY fold in the whipped cream.
5) pour into an 8-inch round cake pan, that has been buttered and lined or floured. Cover this with a sheet of aluminium foil 6) put the set up into another bigger pan that will still fit in your oven. 7)carry the lot and place in a 160'C oven. 8) pour hot water into the 2nd pan till it fills up halfway.
9) bake for 1-1 1/2 hours.
10) when you take it out, the middle of the cake will be a wee bit jiggly, don't worry about that. Take the cake pan (the one with the cake in it) out and wipe the bottom dry. Let it cool on a wire rack.
11) chill for 3hours-overnight.
12) Turn out onto serving plate, and go straight to heaven. :-D

I know the purple part seems a bit fiddly, but don't worry, it's actually REALLY simple. You're basically just putting your cake pan, into ANOTHER cake pan filled with water. This helps everything cook evenly. And OH MY CUPCAKE is it worth it.

I took one bite out of this baby and I...oh.....I mean I......aaaahhh......I actually......oh yeeeesss..... I.....nearly......GOD....

Let's just say I had to have a moment alone after the first bite. ;-)
Happy baking!

So sorry...

Nov 13, 2009

Ok, this isn't an update, atleast not a proper one. Just wanted to let you all know that SPM will be over and done with soon, so I'll be back uploading recipes, just like old times ;-)
Also, I've just joined 'The Daring Kitchen'
and am waiting approval. Basically, it's a group of people all over the world who come together via the internet and bake/cook (depending if you're a 'daring baker' or a 'daring cook') using a particular recipe.
I think I'll be approved in December, so I bet it'll be Christmas themed!!

My 17th Birthday!!

Aug 7, 2009

Old much? LOL

It's a little late, but I turned 17 last Saturday!!!And since I'd been wanting to do it for AGES, I had myself a picnic. You know, just a few friends in the park with some good food....Ok...maybe not SOME good food, we had Quite a bit.

~ Mee hoon
~Tuna Sandwiches
~Cinnamon buns

~Chocolate chip cookies

~Prawn Wan tan
~Mashed potatoes
~COKE (by Sulu's request)

So, I rounded up a few people to come and makan with me at Taman Jaya. A big THANK YOU to:

XD XD Sorry you guys, you know that when you're my guest, you're BOUND to be stuffed. I'm just glad you all left full and bursting to the brim
Eventhough some of you could afford to eat dinner that day.

Thanks so much for taking the time to come and spend time with me. Anybody up for round 3 soon? I was thinking Pizza and creme brulee.....

Till we can do it ALL over again,

You CANNOT break up this set, they're like Wedgewood China. :)

*All photos courtesy of Kate Ng and Stephanie Boey,

I'm back ;-)

May 29, 2009

Holidays have started!!! I've actually been baking quite a bit, but haven't had time to post anything up. So, here's a recipe for you lot:

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

~100g brown sugar
~175g salted butter
~2 large eggs
~225g all purpose flour
~3/4tsp sodium bicarb
~1tsp cinnamon
~pinch of salt
~1/3 cup yogurt
~2 carrots, grated
~1 cup sultanas, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes and drained
~200g walnuts, roasted and chopped up.

~250g philly cream cheese
~1 cup icing sugar
~juice of 1/2 a lime

+ Beat the sugar and butter together till smooth then beat in the eggs.
+Sift the flour, sodium bicarb, cinnamon and salt into the mixture and stir till just moistened.
+Fold in the yogurt, carrots, sultanas and walnuts.
+Divide out into cupcake cases, filling them up 3/4 of the way.
+Bake in a 200'C oven for 15-20 minutes, or until cupcakes are done.
+ Cool.

=Beat the cream cheese till smooth.
=Fold in the icing sugar and lime juice.

*This icing is going to be soft and gloopy. Don't expect to be able to pipe roses with it. On the bright side, It's GOOD!


Apr 3, 2009

Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it.
~Salvador Dali.


~1 cup sultanas
~3 cups all purpose flour
~3 and 3/4 tsp Baking Powder
~3 pinches of salt.
~2 tbsp castor sugar
~100g butter (softened, but not melting)
~3/4 cup buttermilk (1/2 cup milk+ 1/4 cup yogurt)

~Soak the sultanas in hot water.
~ Sift the flour, B.P and salt together into a large bowl. Stir in sugar.
~ Rub in the butter. You know it's done when the mixture looks like damp sand.
~ Drain the sultanas. Make a well in the center of your dry ingredients.
~Pour the buttermilk and raisins into the cavity. Mix gently. Overmixing can lead to hard and tough scones. It's ok if not all the flour mixes in. Just use your hands to mush the dough as much dough in as possible. But don't work it too much.
~Tumble the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Form into a long log, Cut of wedges of the dough and place on a greased or lined baking sheet.
~Place the batch in an oven that has been preheated to 180'C. Bake for about 15-20 minutes.

*To be eaten with jam and whipped cream or butter. :-P

<= Isn't it adorable? I got it at the Jaya 33 flea market for RM8.90! Now I just need to find something to iron it onto... I was thinking maybe a vintage polka dot or striped print?

Peanut Butter cookies.

Mar 20, 2009

Ok, ok....I'm sorry, I know I haven't been around for a long, long while, but some peanut butter cookies to make up for it? ;-)

Peanut Butter Cookies
~ 1/2 cup butter ~ 1/2 cup peanut butter
~ 1 egg ~ 1/2 tsp vanilla
~ 1 and 1/4 cups all purpose flour ~ 1/2 cup castor sugar ~ 1/2 cup packed brown sugar ~ 1/2 tsp baking soda ~ 1/2 tsp baking powder
~ sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 190'C

1) Using an electric mixer, beat the first two ingredients together till smooth.
2) Still with that mixer, beat in the next two ingredients till well blended
3) Combine all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl ( except the extra sugar at the end) , you don't have to sift them if you don't want to. ;-P
4) Beat in as much of the dry mix as you can with the electric mixer. Just stir in the rest with a spoon, no biggie.
5) Dough, done. You can throw it in the fridge for a while if it's too soft to work with.

6) If using, spread the sugar out on a shallow plate. Get out your dough and roll it into 1 inch sized balls. roll these balls in the sugar first OR just plonk them onto a UNGREASED baking sheet with an inch of room in between. Flatten with the prongs of a fork in the usual crisscross pattern.
7) Bake for 7-9 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool, enjoy.

Gimme, Gimme, GIMME!!!!

Feb 19, 2009

........ Be still my heart.


Feb 17, 2009

I miss it sooooo much.
Actually made it to Semis this time round.
I had such a blast.
Made a lot of new friends.
We all also brought home,
THE RAFIDAH CUP!! (in your face VI!!)
I'm VERY, VERY proud of our juniors.
They did sooooo well.

Yes, yes, I do have a recipe for this post.

what?!? I had to make something to keep us going, didn't I?

~Melt the marshmallows and butter together.
~ Stir in your chopped up chocolate.
~ Stir in the cereal.
~Leave to set in fridge.
~Cut into pieces using a serrated knife.

I would've taken a picture, but... welll.... I was really, really tired. So, this is kinda what they're gonna look like.


Eat. Pray. Love

Jan 27, 2009

I love my pizza so much that, in fact, I have come to the belief in my delirium that my pizza might actually love me in return. I am having a relationship with this pizza, almost an affair..............Holy of holies! Thin, doughy,strong, gummy, yummy, chewy, salty pizza paradise. On top, there is a sweet tomato sauce that foams up all bubbly and creamy when it melts the fresh buffalo mozzarella, and the one sprig of basil in the middle of the whole deal somehow infuses the entire pizza with herbal radiance......... It's technically impossible to eat this thing, of course. You try to take a bite off your slice and the gummy crust folds, and the hot cheese runs away like topsoil in a landslide, makes a mess of you and your surroundings, but just deal with it.

~ Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat. Pray. Love ~

When Pizza like THIS exist out there, WHAT ON EARTH DO WE NEED MEN FOR??? This is just a small part of a passage that made me want to hop on a plane to Naples and head over to Pizzeria da Michele for their Pizza Margherita with double mozzarella. Unfortunately, plane tickets to Rome are reputed to cost quite a bit, so I did the next best thing, make my own pizza. I'm pretty sure it didn't come anywhere close, but it still was pretty good, so it'll have to do for now.
Pizza, makes 2 pies

(yes, I do notice it's been ever so slightly burnt)

~125 g all purpose flour
~125 g high protein flour
~1 heaped tsp instant dry yeast
~1 tsp salt
~1/2 tsp sugar
~approx. 150 ml warm water
~2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil/ unsalted butter, melted

~4 heaped tbsp tomato sauce
(out of a bottle, or use my tomato salsa recipe here)
~ Shredded mozzarella cheese
~Whatever floats your boat baby.

Mix together all the ingredients in blue in a large mixing bowl. Set aside. Mix together ingredients in pink in a measuring cup for ease. Gradually pour the wet ingredients into the dry, constantly mixing with your hands. You might not need all the water, so proceed cautiously. Knead the dough till it forms a smooth ball. Expect it to be a wee sticky. Take the dough out, oil the bowl, lightly oil the dough too, then leave to rise in the oiled bowl for about an hour, or until doubled in size.

Preheat your oven to 240'C.
Knock the air out of your dough, and shape it onto a baking sheet. Round, rectangular, abstract, whatever strikes your fancy. Spread 4 tbsp of the tomato sauce onto your now flattened dough. Let it prove for 20 minutes.

Bake the dough for 20 minutes, or until the bottom sounds hollow when tapped. Top of with your trimmings of choice, as well as the mozzarella. Bake again until cheese is ooey, gooey and golden brown in places.

Potato Birthday Wishes.

Jan 25, 2009

Ok, ok.. I know I haven't updated for a while. but I'm here now!! Better late than never, right?
So first of...

You're legal to drink........but may you not get drunk.

To a bat I've known my entire life (or at least it feels that way), This is a lil' late, but thanks for having me over. It was really good seeing you lot, and I had a great time.
Hope you liked your present, despite the fact it was devoured in 15 minutes.
Love you to bits, and hope you had a good birthday.


Now, I have a confession to make, with homework, studies, and the Fore
nsics coming up, I'll admit I haven't been eating as regularly as I should. On average, i think I would have a meal a day, usually in school. Sometimes, nothing at all. So, now that the CNY holidays have started, I'm gonna try getting my eating schedule back in track over the next week. So, to start off, we have,

Potato Cheese Bake, makes 2 ramekins.
~5 medium potatoes
~1 carrot
~2 cloves garlic, crushed
~3 tbsp butter
~3/4 cup milk
~1/2 tsp flour
~salt, pepper, oregano (to taste)
~1 tbsp sized dollop of
KRAFT cheese spread, cream cheese
~Mozzarella cheese, shredded for topping.

1. Peel and cube the potatoes. Rinse under cold water. Set aside.
2. Peel and finely chop the carrot. Rinse under cold water. Set aside.
3. Boil enough water to cook the potatoes and carrots. Heavily salt the water and throw in the crushed garlic. When boiling, throw in the cubed potatoes.
4. When the potatoes are just about done, give or take 10 minutes, throw in the carrots and boil for another 2 minutes. Drain the lot and get rid of the garlic. Set aside.
5. For the sauce, melt the butter. When that's melted, gradually pour in the milk and stir. Whisk the flour, salt, pepper and oregano. Let it simmer.
6. When it simmers, dollop in the cheese spread, whisking to mix.
7. When the sauce is smooth, pour in your carrots and potatoes. Let it simmer for a while, until the sauce is as thick as you wold like it to be.
8. Take off the heat and divide the mixture into 2 ramekins. Top with shredded cheese.
9. Bake at 180'C until cheese topping is melted and golden in places. Enjoy.

And to all my Chinese friends out there,

GONG XI FA CHAI!!!!!!!!!

Bun in the oven...

Jan 9, 2009

So, yeah, I've finished my first week of school, and come to the conclusion that our teachers are attempting to kill us. It' s a new record really, I only got as far as the fourth day of school before I was behind on my homework. Anyways, it's Friday night, and since I've got the weekend ahead, I thought I might as well release some stress. So, Here's the recipe for my
White Bread Loaf. It's not hard, and has just enough physical activity to make you feel like you're worth something. Oh, and the upside? Your house will smell like freshly baked bread for hours afterwards. ;-D

~500g of flour
~11g instant yeast
~1 tbsp salt
~1 and 1/2 tsp sugar
~approx, 300ml warm water
~1 and 1/2 tbsp butter, softened

makes 2 loaves.

1) measure out flour, yeast, salt, and sugar and tip into a large mixing bowl.
2) Clean your hands, then start mixing in a little water at a time till most of the mixture is clumping together It will feel rather coarse at this stage.
3) For want of a better word, massage the butter into the dough. Slowly build up your momentum and knead the dough. You don't have to turn it out, just knead it in the bowl itself.As for kneading, it's kinda like.... weighing down the middle of the dough with the heel of your palm, while pushing whatever dough that's in front of you forward, and then bringing it back in to the center. Give the dough a quarter turn, then repeat. Splash water in sparingly, you don't want this to be sticky. Just knead until it feels.....right. It'll stop being tired and kinda spring up a little.
4) Take out the dough, then wash and oil the big bowl. Plonk your dough in, turn around once to oil it, cover with a tea towel and forget about it for and hour.
5) Come back, punch it down, tear it into two portions. Line your baking pans or loaf pans with something, parchment, butter, flour.... whatever floats your boat.
6) Mold each portion ( I braided mine), chuck into vessel and cover with teacloth. Preheat oven to 200'C-220'C. Forget about the lot for 20 minutes.
7) Come back, brush your now proven dough with melted butter and chuck in oven for 30-35 minutes. To see it cooked, tap underside. If it sounds hollow, then Bob's your uncle.

Eat warm with whatever you fancy.


Jan 3, 2009

My new egg yolk yellow Tivoli saucepan. Ain't he darling? Got him over the holidays. The same holidays which are about to end in, like, one days time.
Although, it will be my last first day of school,
My first day as a senior too.


today we're making Chocolate Marmalade cake.
Recipe from Nigella Lawson's,
'How to be A Domestic Goddess'
'Store-Cupboard Chocolate-Orange Cake'

~125g butter
~100g dark chocolate
~300g marmalade
~150g caster sugar
~pinch of salt
~2 eggs
~150 self-raising flour*
~1 tbsp cocoa powder*
* sifted together

+Preheat the oven to 180'C
+Melt the butter and chocolate together in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.
+Take off the heat and whisk in the marmalade.
+Beat in the sugar, salt and eggs.
+Fold in the flour mixture. Pour into a 9 inch round pan.
+Bake for 45 minutes, or until cake tester inserted in middle of cake comes out clean.

Love Muffins

Jan 2, 2009

"What are you doing?" my father said one Saturday morning, lured out by the sweet smell of lemons and butter and golden batter rising in pans.
"Making muffins" Grandma Lynn said.
My father did a sanity check,staring at her. He was still in his robe and it was almost ninety degrees at ten in the morning,but she had pantyhose and makeup on. Then he noticed Hal in an undershirt out in the yard.
"My God Lynn," he said. "That boy is young enough..."
"But he's de-lec-ta-ble!"
My father shook his head and sat down at the kitchen table.
"When will the love muffins be done, Mata Hari?"

~ The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold~

Citrus raisin muffins

~1/2 cup golden raisins
~ 200g plain flour
~1 tbsp baking powder
~zest of 2 limes, grated
~150g castor sugar
~pinch of salt

~225ml yogurt
~100ml vegetable oil
~juice of 1 lime
~1 egg.

+Preheat the oven to 200'C. Soak the raisins in hot water, leave aside.
+In a medium bowl, sift flour and baking powder together. Stir in lime zest, sugar and salt. Set aside.
+In a large bowl, beat yogurt, oil, juice and egg together. Drain the raisins. Mix in flour mixture and raisins into wet ingredients. DON'T OVERMIX.
+Divide mixture into muffin cups, fill halfway.
+Bake for 15 minutes, or until cake tester inserted in middle comes out clean.