Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...


& since we have no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Christmas is near and the mood is jolly :) One of my favorite months of the year :)

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Chocolate Rolled Cake



Do you have problem using the whipping cream before it expires?  It happened a few times for me as I usually use very small amount e.g. 100g each time, and the smallest pack is 200g. Yesterday, I baked these lovely Chocolate Rolled Cake. Next week, I will bake some for my niece as per her request, so this is a practice batch and helped used up the remaining whipping cream I had from making the Matcha Azuki Beans Rolled Cake.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Matcha Rolled Cake with Azuki Beans 2


It's been raining in Singapore lately. It's actually quite nice as the rain cools the sunny island down. We only get to enjoy cool weather (< 30 degC) this time of the year.

One of my nieces is interested in baking and came over to my place to "borrow" my kitchen a few times now :D I am happy to share what I have learned so far. One evening after baking, I asked her if baking is tiring (because it is for me), and she said it's not. I was surprised with her answer and quickly realized that she was not tired because I had been the one doing all the washing! :D Thus, I told her that I would let her do everything next time, including washing :D This is important so she will realize that it is in fact quite tiring to work in the kitchen, especially in our kind of weather!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Matcha Rolled Cake (with Strawberries filling) & Oreo Cheesecake




My friend saw my posting on Matcha Rolled Cake and messaged me immediately to book a date to come down to my home to try :D I think the photo must have looked pretty good. I customized the rolled cake for her as she does not fancy Azuki beans. After cracking my head and researching online for about a week, I decided to go with strawberries. Strawberries with matcha is perhaps the safest bet.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Matcha Rolled Cake (Swiss Roll)

My first rolled cake!


Hi everybody, my name is Baking Scientist. Today I am going to make Matcha Rolled Cake (^v^) hehe.. Do you like Cooking with Dog? I simply love to watch their videos. It's amazing that the dog is able to sit still throughout the time its master is cooking - so cute! :D Same time, the step-by-step video is perfect for beginners in baking like me :)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Crossing over a hurdle


For a person like me who is more of a "doer" than a "planner", getting my hands at things works better for me. Yesterday, I finally completed the fondant cake for my daughter. Since last month, I have been planning and practicing on the fondant toppers - hello kitty, doraemon, roses, flowers, ribbon bow, angry birds, etc... Finally, I did Blossom from Powerpuff girls :p The only reason is, it is easier to make 2D Powerpuff girls with the tools I have :D Originally, my girl requested for a My Little Ponies cake, which was too challenging for me :D We negotiated and she requested for any cartoon, and if I could make Powerpuff girls, she would be very happy.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Chocolate Sponge Cupcake with Chocolate Ganache




Lately, I have been practicing decorating cupcakes with fondant, as well as finding the ultimate cupcake recipe  to prepare for my daughter's birthday at the end of this month. It may be too exaggerating to say that the preparation has been "nerve-wrecking", but sometimes it does feel that way! :p I have not done fondant for more than a year.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Banana Chocolate Chips Cupcake


I baked this banana chocolate chips cupcakes for breakfast this morning. This is a simple recipe to follow. Thanks to Carol 自在生活 for sharing this wonderful recipe :) Carol is a 大师级的博客喔 :)

In order to make the cupcakes more appealing to my daughter, I added chocolate chips to the batter together with the mashed bananas. And she likes the cupcakes! :)

The recipe can be found here.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Crunchy Chocolate Chips Cookies - One piece is not enough!


It's been a while since I last baked cookies. The other day, my niece offered me a piece of chocolate chip cookie, I was expecting it to be crunchy - no special reason but because that has always been my ideal kind of cookie :D but it turned out to be soft :p After that, I could not stop thinking about crunchy cookie. The only way is to bake them myself :)

Thanks to this recipe shared by Dodol & Mochi. This is exactly the kind of crunchy cookie I love. You know how some cafes serve a tiny cookie next to a cup of coffee or tea? :D I always think that one piece is not enough to go with my coffee :D Finally, I can have 2 or 3 or more pieces of cookie to go along with my tea on a lazy afternoon :)

Happy baking!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Chocolate Snowskin Mooncake

Chocolate snowskin with lotus seeds paste + chocolate chips filling

This will possibly be my last batch of mooncakes this year. It has been a wonderful experience making mooncake. This is the first time I make mooncake and I am glad that my family and friends like some of them. Not all of the moonies I made are popular. So far, I received the best review for the Taiwanese Style Mooncake, which is very unique and yummy.

As this is the first time I make mooncake, I wasn't confident enough to give away to friends. I gave my good friend some pandan snowskin mooncakes and the Taiwanese Style mooncakes last week. Two days ago, I finally found enough courage to make some Chocolate Snowskin Mooncakes for my Zumba instructor and gym friends. I did not have any mooncake boxes to hold them, so I used muffin liner and cookie plastic bag to hold them. I spent more time packaging them rather than making them :p

Mooncakes for gym friends

One of the ladies at my gym sent me a message that night to tell me that she enjoyed eating the mooncake despite the fact that she does not like snowskin mooncake, as she often find them too sweet. I am happy that she liked the mooncake :)

Chocolate snowskin with lotus seed paste + diced almond filling

The recipe for this chocolate snowskin mooncake can be found here. Thank you to Precious Moments for sharing this delicious recipe :) I first saw the recipe from I Love. I Cook. I Bake.

Here's the recipe, I made very little modifications according to the ingredients I have onhand. Please hop over to Precious Moments for the original recipe.

Adapted from Precious Moments

Ingredients
- 130g water
- 50g melted chocolate (I used Cadbury Dark Gold 70%)
- 10g cocoa powder
- 64g fried glutinous rice flour
- around 50g icing sugar (can't remember exactly how much I used)
- 9g extra virgin & sunflower oil

- stored-bought lotus seeds paste
- mini chocolate chips
- diced almond (toasted)

For the filling, I added chocolate chips to one batch of the store-bought lotus seed paste, and diced almond to another batch. I toasted the diced almond briefly before using, which gave a nice crunch to the mooncake.

I have enjoyed and learned so much about making mooncakes this year, thanks to the many mummies out there who share their recipes.

:)



Friday, September 13, 2013

Pandan Snowskin Mooncake


This lovely green color is from the pandan leaves juice I extracted. The recipe is over here. Just replace the freshly squeezed orange juice with pandan juice. The fragrance of the pandan leaves is not very apparent in this mooncake, I think it is best to use very fresh pandan leaves - the ones I used were in my fridge for 2-3 days.
 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

台式奶香月饼 - Taiwanese Style Milky Baked Mooncakes


This is not the usual Traditional Baked Mooncakes.

I had never imagine myself to be baking traditional mooncakes. The steps are troublesome. This year is the first time I am making mooncakes. I started off with snowskin mooncakes, which only remain soft for 2-3 days. After reading more recipes shared by fellow bloggers, I decided to try this one, and am glad I did :)

Many thanks to 鲸鱼蓝蓝小窝居 for sharing this recipe. The best part of this mooncake is, you don't have to wait for 3 days before you can eat it :D This recipe uses butter instead of the usual peanut oil.
She mentioned this is like the Taiwanese pineapple tart - wow! my favorite, there it goes, I must bake these :p

The only headache I have is, I don't have milk powder at home. My girl is going 8 years old this year, and we have stopped feeding her with powdered milk. I went to the nearest supermarket but could only find milk powder for kids and adults. They are very big tins, not something I want to invest in as the recipe only requires 10g :D Then, an idea pops up - how about using condensed milk instead, and reduced the egg yolk to 1? :D Ok lah, bo chap already, I must make these today... :p



Here's the recipe from 鲸鱼蓝蓝小窝居 with minor modification. Please refer to her blog for the original recipe.

Ingredients (makes 9 x 5.2cm diameter mooncake plunger mould)
50g butter (soften at room temperature)
30g golden syrup
30g icing sugar
150g cake flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 egg yolk
Store-bought mango lotus seeds paste
10g condensed milk

Method
1. In a mixing bowl, mix butter, golden syrup, icing sugar and condensed milk together.
2. Add the egg yolk and mix until fluffy (I used my handheld mixer).
3. Sift cake flour and baking soda. Add mixture into the butter mixture. Combine to form a soft dough.
4. Rest dough at room temperature for 30mins.
5. Divide dough into equal parts. Divide lotus seeds paste into equal parts. Wrap paste in dough. Shape using a mooncake mould. Line in a baking tray lined with baking paper.
6. Bake at preheat oven at 170 degC for 5 mins. Then remove from oven, apply egg wash over the top of the mooncakes.
7. Return to oven and bake for a further 15 mins or until the top is golden brown (I baked for 10 mins as my oven temperature was 180 degC - my oven temperature is not stable).

My mooncakes were a little bit cracked, and the print was not very visible. I suspect it's because the temperature of my oven was too high. Also, the mooncakes expanded a bit, I think they need to be spaced apart for at least 2cm. My mooncakes kind of stick to one another :D  I think if milk powder is used, the mooncakes may smell more fragrant. Nevertheless,  the mooncakes smelt pretty good when fresh out of the oven.

These mooncakes really taste like the Taiwanese pineapple tarts 台湾凤梨酥! Wah, it is one of my favorite. I like these 芒果酥 hehe :D

This is a refreshing change from the traditional mooncakes :)

Friday, September 6, 2013

Snowskin Mooncake Part II




Today, I tried using freshly squeezed orange juice to make snowskin mooncake with lotus seeds paste. The recipe I used is the same as this.

Ingredients
- 37g fried glutinous flour
- 40g freshly squeezed orange juice
- 20g warm water
- 7g olive oil
- 40g icing sugar
- store-bought lotus seeds paste

This time, there is no hint of orange juice :D I am not sure why, maybe the orange is not very sweet...

The color of this mooncake is same as the mango mooncake as I did not use any coloring. I would like to try using pandan leaf as it will give a nice green color and it is very fragrant.

I like this recipe very much as it uses very little oil and no shortening. Hope you like it too :)



Wednesday, September 4, 2013

First Mango Snowskin Mooncakes :)


Have you started preparing for Mid-Autumn Festival? I started my mooncake making early (as usual) so that there is time for improvement :p

Since last month, I have been searching for an easy snowskin mooncake recipe and watched many videos on how to make mooncakes :p I see "Shortening" in almost all the mooncake recipes. Apparently, based on what I read on the web, shortening is "any fat that is solid in room temperature" (Source: Wikipedia) . It can refer to either lard or hydrogenated vegetable oil. Which means it contains trans fat and is not heart-healthy. Since I am making the mooncakes myself, I might as well make it healthier (does not mean that my mooncakes are healthy :p).

I stumbled upon this recipe, which uses only 10g of olive oil. Wow, fantastic! Just what I am looking for. Thanks to Sugar & Everything Nice for sharing this wonderful recipe :) Take a look at her mooncakes, so pretty with the strawberry in the centre (& the strawberry sliced right in the centre beautifully)! Wow.

As the strawberries did not look very fresh at the supermarket,  I bought mangoes instead. Prior to this, I had my SIL to buy ready-made mango and original lotus paste for me :)

While, I did attempt to make the paste myself... but ended in failure :p My lotus paste was not smooth enough, and tasted nothing like the store-bought ones. Last week, my friend came to my house and we made red bean paste together, but somehow, the paste did not taste right. I guess not enough "kungfu" :p

After last week's failure, I finally confirmed that making your own paste is really not easy, and not for me yet :p Store-bought is the safest :)

I made these twice - first time, I made a few adjustments: replaced the strawberry puree with mango puree; omit strawberries in the middle; used lotus seeds paste instead of red bean paste); reduced the amount of sugar to 40g as the mangoes were sweet. The skin was very soft, so it can go out of shape easily when you handle it.

The second attempt, I  made a bigger portion. Also reduced the amount of olive oil (previous batch looked a bit oily). The skin was soft and in my opinion, tastes more like mooncake :)

(Adapted recipe from Sugar & Everything Nice. Please click here to view the original recipe and method.)


Ingredients:
75g fried glutinous flour
80g icing sugar
90g mango puree (increased the amount of puree and reduced water)
30g warm water
15g olive oil (reduced)

Store-bought mango lotus seeds paste


I guess if you like mango, you will love these. The mango lotus seeds paste has strong mango flavour, and the skin this time is not too oily.

Both my kid and I enjoyed using the plunger moulds :D There is a kid in everyone I guess? :)

Will attempt other flavours soon, hope to experiment with more fruits, such as kiwi :)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Kuih Bakar Pandan

Apologies for the lack-of-visual-appeal photo. It was 8pm when I finally had time to take a photo as I baked this while preparing dinner.

Last week, I made some pandan juice, quite impromptu actually. I searched on the web and read many tips on how to extract pandan juice. Some bloggers used a blender without water, and there are some who used a food processor and added some water. I do not own a blender so the method that I used was with my chopper. Thank you to all the ladies who shared their tips generously :)

There are many useful tips that are shared by the bloggers. I've gathered some of the tips here if you would like to try the chopper/food processor method:
- trim off the tip of the pandan leaf, as it is the one which will cause itch on your hand
- trim off the white parts at the end of the leaf, as it can be bitter
- cut the leaves into as small parts as you can in order to extract the most out of the leaf
- drain the juice with a strainer and discard the leaves

Instead of a strainer, I put the leaves inside a soup pouch and squeezed the juice out with my hand. While I was doing that, the fragrance of the pandan leaves filled the kitchen, making the task quite enjoyable :D Same time, my hubby walked pass the kitchen and asked what I was doing (training arm power? hehe)

With the fresh pandan juice, I made pandan agar agar the same day. It is a very easy and yummy dessert using pandan juice, water, agar agar powder, and sugar. It's a very popular dessert when I was young, all the mothers would make this every now and then.

After making the agar agar, I still have about 1 cup of pandan juice left in the fridge. I read that it has to be used best within 5 days, and had been searching for recipes that use pandan juice. This morning, I made some pandan sponge cupcakes. I did a blunder as I added too much pandan juice, and tried to make amends by adding less oil. Surprisingly, the cupcakes turned out ok, just not as soft as the usual sponge cake, and there are big air pockets inside some :p As I was almost losing hope, despaired with my lack of baking skill, another idea popped up soon after. What to make next for the remaining pandan juice?

With about half a cup of pandan juice left, I wondered what I could make. There is always Google :D Found this really easy recipe on M2rNi3. Thanks to M2rNi3 for sharing the recipe! I was glad that all the ingredients listed were found in my kitchen :) But what is Kuih Bakar Pandan? I have no idea actually.. :p I tried to recall if I have seen this kuih at Bangawan Solo, but I doubt I had. So prior to this, I had no idea what is Kuih Bakar Pandan, or how it should taste like :D that can be fun! Seems like it is a popular Malay kuih as there are many recipes available on the web.

I made half the portion and made very minor adjustments. Please refer to the original recipe here.

This time I used a measuring cup to measure the ingredients, no weighing scale needed!

Ingredients
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 0.5 cup pandan juice (about 10 pandan leaves, blend using chopper with about 1 cup of water)
- slightly less than 0.5 cup dry demerara sugar (adjust to your taste)
- 2 eggs
- canola oil to grease the pan
- lightly toasted sesame seeds
- 200ml coconut milk

I think you may want to mix eggs and sugar first, then add flour, followed by pandan juice and coconut milk. Or, perhaps put all the ingredients together, then mix. For some reason (blur sotong in action? haha), I whisk eggs, then I added flour - the batter became lumpy and dry! Silly me! But I think the key is to sieve the batter to ensure that the is no lump at the end, before pouring into the baking pan.

Bake in pre-heated oven at 175 degC for 45mins.

The kuih smells very good because of the pandan juice. After this, I will not want to use bottled pandan essence anymore :p

Surprisingly, my girl ate some and said it's nice. She doesn't fancy kuih so much.

This is the first successful kuih I made! And I have always thought that kuih must be steamed :p

Happy baking! :)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Ma La Gou (马拉糕) Steamed Cake



It's Ma La Gou, or Ma Lai Gao, or Malay cake? I am not sure what is the actual name of this cake. This is a common Chinese cake being sold at hawker centers or bakeries in Singapore. I usually see the dark colored ones, although I saw many recipes on the Web for light colored Ma La Gou. Apparently, it seems to be popular in HK dim sum restaurants/shops.

My girl loves this cake and my mom would buy her sometimes.

The recipe I followed is from singapore shiok! Thank you singapore shiok! for sharing this recipe :) I chose this recipe as it is the easiest I can find, and the photos of the dusky cake look so tempting :)

I made some slight adjustments due to the ingredients I have on-hand. Please refer to the original recipe here.

Ingredients:
150g cake flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp double-acting baking powder
75g milk (UHT milk)
75g oil (canola oil)
4 eggs (as I ran out of fresh eggs, 3 tbsp egg whites thawed from freezer and 1 egg)
3 tsp vanilla essence (2 tsp vanilla bean paste)
1 tbsp dark soy sauce (1 tsp)
150g soft brown sugar (120g dry demerara sugar)

I followed method from singapore shiok!, except that instead of greasing the pan, I layered it with aluminum foil and baking paper. The cake did not stick to the baking paper and could be removed easily.

The cake turns out very soft that I had problem cutting it nicely.
 
Ma La Gou fresh after steaming.
I find that the cake is not as fragrant as the Ma La Gou I bought from Tiong Bahru Market once. Probably it will smell nicer if palm sugar is used? I really like to try that but first, I need to find the recipe :)

Happy steaming! :)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Matcha Mushi pan with Chocolate Chips


I baked these Matcha Mushi pan (steamed cake) yesterday, following the recipe from Peng's Kitchen. Thanks Peng for sharing the recipe :) I chose this recipe instead of Nami's recipe as I do not have yogurt on hand :p

Here's my modified recipe, I have halved Peng's recipe to make smaller portion, and replaced raisins with chocolate chips. Please check out her blog if you would like to follow her original recipe.

Ingredients:
- 100g Top flour
- 3/4 tsp double-acting baking powder
- 1 tsp matcha powder
- 1 egg
- 50g dry demerara sugar
- 40g fresh milk
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- some chocolate chips

My daughter did most of the work this time, she always volunteers whenever she sees me bake nowadays :p

Don't they look cute? :D

Once again, I steamed the cakes in my rice cooker, it is just so convenient to use that instead of wok :p This time, I filled the cups slightly more than half, to prevent them from rising too high and stick to the cover like last time :D

Tested steaming the cakes in small sturdy paper muffin cups.

 I steamed the cakes for approximately 10-15 mins. This time, I did not set the timer, instead I tested with a toothpick after about 10 mins of steaming.

I think replacing chocolate chips with red beans should be nice :)

If you like matcha, I think you can put a little more matcha powder. The matcha flavor is light.


Happy steaming! :)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Chocolate Chips Steamed Cupcakes (Mushi pan)


It has been a while since I updated this blog :p Past month has been busy, and also, I think I lost my momentum in baking then.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Chocolate Torte - Happy Father's Day!



 Happy Father's Day!

Last Friday, I baked this Chocolate Torte for Father's day. Well, actually it was another excuse for the kids and ladies at home to feast on cakes :D The kids and ladies enjoyed the cake most in the end haha :D

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Cream Puffs



This is the only photo I managed to take of the cream puffs I made today :p As I was rushing out :p

I split up the work today - made the pastry cream, baked the choux, and assembled separately due to my awkward schedule today.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The first Birthday cake I baked for an old pal... me the gan cheong baker


Don't you find that the strawberry shortcake look like Snow White? :)
"Gan cheong" is a Cantonese term and it means anxious/nervous. I won't deny that I am a gan cheong baker, often clumsy in the kitchen, spilling ingredients on the table top, fumbling through the ingredients, running back to my laptop to double check the ingredients, measurements and steps :p But I enjoy baking nevertheless :)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Chocolate Chiffon Cupcakes


Yesterday, I felt like baking chiffon cake again. I guess chiffon cake is the least sinful cake as it does not contain butter :p

You are my Spring...

This isn't a post about food hehe. Yesterday, our family made a trip to Gardens by the Bay. The Flower Dome is very impressive. There are many different types of flowers. If you love flowers, don't miss this :)

Here are just some of my favorites :)


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Chiffon Cake Again!


Since my last Matcha Chiffon Cupcake attempt, I had been wanting to try baking chiffon cake again. It is better to try asap as the not-so-successful attempt is still fresh in my mind. I decided to follow HHB's Mango Chiffon Cupcake recipe closely, especially the bake time. Yesterday I was itching to bake this, but as we were out almost all day, I couldn't. So this morning, as soon as I woke up and washed up, I dashed into the kitchen and started working.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Matcha Chiffon Cupcake


It is exam season in Singapore, and although my little one has no exams as she is in Primary 2, there are tests spread over May. She is no doubt a smart little girl, but she needs a little push and reminder to study (and nagging) :p I hate nagging, really :p

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!


Unconditional love, selflessness, endurance.. kinda relate to what a Mother is. Happy Mother's Day to all the loving mothers!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Steamed Moist Chocolate Cake


If you are living in Singapore and around my age, you may have heard of Lana cake. I've never been to the shop before, but I was lucky to have tasted the legendary Lana cake at least twice :D Lana cake is as I remember, rectangular in shape. The texture of Lana cake is very soft and fluffy. The chocolate glaze is rich and heavenly.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Back by popular demand..


.. demand from my nieces :p They seem to really love the strawberries tart I made the other day, and have been asking me to bake more :D I didn't expect the tart to be their favorite item, as it was the first time I attempted. It is always a great feeling to see them enjoying my bakes :)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Strawberries Tart


I've always like the fruits tart at Delifrance :) The crust is the best - crunchy :) I've been staring at tart recipes for some time, but did not have the courage to do it cos there are so many steps. I have never make custard before, neither have I bake a tart :p so I was also apprehensive about the outcome. Finally, 2 days ago, I gathered enough courage to bake strawberry tarts after finally purchasing 2 11cm diameter removable bottom tart pan :p

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Quest for the Yummiest Sponge Cupcakes :D

Earl Grey Sponge Cupcake
Chocolate Sponge Cupcake

After yesterday's Sponge Cupcake, I couldn't resist baking the variations following the same book :p I baked chocolate and Earl Grey sponge cupcakes this morning.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Sponge Cupcakes


What kind of cakes do you like? I prefer the sponge cake as it is light and fluffy :)

Friday, April 5, 2013

Sweet potatoes chips

Looking for healthy snack ideas? How about sweet potatoes chips?

Thanks to food4tots for yet another great idea! It's yummy and guilt-free :)  And best of all, it's yummy! :)