Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Crunchy Chocolate Chips Cookies

I seldom bake cookies as most of my family members are not cookies monsters except my brother. Always, most of the cookies will go into his stomach. I am surprised that dear daughter doesn't fancy on cookies (I thought most kids will love cookies?) too, she will consume only when she can't find other food that she wanted to eat, when cookies are the best choice among limited selection.

I am thinking to bake some cookies for teachers' day so hunting for crunchy cookies recipes. I had shortlisted Williams Sonoma's recipe that I chanced upon at All That Matters since she had positive comment on it. I googled and found out that there are many raving about this recipe and commented that this is the best crunchy chocolate chips cookies, so how can I not baking it!

Williams Sonoma's recipe that adapted from All That Matters.

Ingredients : (for about 80 cookies, dough weighed of 10-11g each, baked cookie size approximately 5-6cm)
190g plain flour
30g cornflour (Rei tweaked the recipe by using this but since I can't find my cornflour so I followed the original recipe using all plain flour instead)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature (if using salted butter, omit salt)
125g granulated sugar (I reduced to 110g)
105g packed light brown sugar (I reduced to 95g)
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla essence
185g semi-sweet chocolate chips
125g walnuts, toasted and chopped [optional] (I dun ve walnuts so replaced with pink chocolate chips)

1. Preheat oven to 180 degree and have ready 2 ungreased baking sheets.
2. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt onto a sheet of waxed paper, set aside.
3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on high speed, cream the butter till fluffy and pale yellow.
4. Add the sugars and continue beating till mixture is no longer gritty.
5. Add egg and vanilla and beat on low speed until blended.
6. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed or stir with a wooden spoon until just blended.
7. Add the chocolate chips and the walnuts, if using, mixing or stirring until just blended.
8. With dampened hands, shape the dough into small balls and place on the baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
9. Bake the cookies until golden brown around the edges, about 12 minutes.
10 Let the cookies cool briefly on the sheets before transferring them to the racks to cool completely.

The cookies are crispy and crunchy, indeed very delicious. However the taste is too sweet for me even though I have cut down on the sugar, I need to further reduce the sugar next time. If not of the sweetness, I can definity gobble up many at one go (lucky for my waist :P).

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Fruits Pastry Cake II

I still have some canned peaches in the fridge, baked this fruits pastry cake again to use up the canned peaches. As the canned peaches were not sufficient to fill up the whole cake, I sliced one apple to fill up the edge of the cake.

I realised that I didn't dust the snow powder on the cake after 1/4 of the cake was gone. No wonder felt something is missing on the cake but just couldn't figure out, really old liao hahaha...

I think the cake is not as pretty when without the snow powder so I dusted it for the 3/4 of cake :p. Do you agree with me? Which one looks prettier, with or without snow powder?

100g butter, soften at room temperature
150g caster sugar
50g plain yogurt
3 eggs, lightly beaten, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange zest
210g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
some canned peaches and apples to fill up the top of the cake
some canned peaches (cut into cubes)

1. Wash, cut (chunks or slices, as desired) and drain fruits, toss with sugar (if desired) and set aside. (if using canned fruits, wash the fruits to remove the syrup, omit the sugar).
2. Grease (with butter) and flour the side of a 8" round pan and line the base with parchment paper.
3. With an electric mixer, cream butter, sugar and yogurt till light and fluffy.
4. Dribble in the eggs gradually and beat till incorporated in the batter. (The mixture may appear slightly curdled.)
5. Add vanilla extract and zest. Mix to combine.
6. Sieve over flour and baking powder and mix till smooth. (To avoid getting flour all over my work surface, I mixed the flour into the batter using a spatula, just a few strokes will do, then I used the electric mixer to mix the batter till smooth.)
7. Add in cubes canned peaches and fold to mix.
8. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth out the top with a spatula.
9. Arrange fruits on top, don’t press the fruits down into the batter. Decorate the fruits as desired.
10. Bake in pre-heat oven at 180degC for 60-70 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the cake. Cover the top with foil in the last 15 mins of baking to prevent the top from getting over browned.
11. Leave the cake to cool in the pan for about 5~10 mins. Unmold and transfer to wire rack to let cool completely. Dust the cake with some icing sugar if desired.

The cake is still as yummy as previous bake but the different was I used orange zest instead and added in the cube canned peaches in the cake. I prefer with lemon zest, I feel that orange zest is not as fragrant and tasty as lemon zest so for future baking, lemon zest will be my 1st choice.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Satay Drumsticks and Pandan Rice

Satay is one of the local delicate dishes that me and my family cannot resist, we love it so much that we will not get tire of eating. So when I saw this satay drumstick in My Little Space, I copied down the recipe immediately.

I am interested to try out the pandan rice as well so I decided to pair these 2 together for one of our weekend dinner in my mum's place.

Ingredients :
For Satay Drumsticks :
10 drumsticks
1 tsp tumeric powder
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp coriander powder (omit it cos can't find in supermarket)
1/2 tsp cumin powder
5 tbsp sugar (reduced to 2 tbsp)
1 tspn salt
1 tbsp sesame oil

Method :
1. Marinade drum sticks with all ingredients at once. (it's better to leave over night in the fridge.)
2. Preheat frying pan with a tablespoon of cooking oil.
3. Simmer drum stick over medium low heat until golden brown.
4. Bake the drumsticks in the oven for 15mins at 200 degree and and serve hot.

For Pandan Rice :
2 cups rice, rinsed thoroughly
water for cooking
2 tbsp concerntrate pandan leaves juice
2 drops green colouring (optional but I omit cos mum's place dun have)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp corn oil/olive oil (I used olive oil)
a few pandan leaves
a pinch of salt

1. combine all ingredients into the rice cooker and leave to cook.

The chicken drumstick is very flavourful, juicy and tender, simply delicious. I can eat 2 or even more if I didn't go with rice.
As we had omitted the green coloring, the pandan rice turned out to be white in color which I think it will look nicer if is in green. The rice smell fragrant with hint of pandan and buttery taste, if you are looking for something light and fragrant and not plain white rice, this will be a good choice.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Chicago-style Cheesecake and my 100th post

This is my 100th post, amazing that I have hit my 3 digits posting which I ever thought that I may not last that long. Hope my passion for baking and blogging can last till I hit 1000 posts hahaha... I am too ambitious! But if I ever hit 1000 posts, I will definitely bake a 3-tier cake to celebrate. Oh I am dreaming again heeheehee...

This Chicago-style cheesecake is not for celebrating my 100th posting :p, it was baked for my sister. She ever asked me whether I know how to bake Chicago cheesecake as she love this cheesecake from Coffee Bean. But I never eat Chicago cheesecake before, how is it taste like? Can't get much info from my sis so I was thinking of going Coffee Bean and check it out.

Before I remember to drop by Coffee Bean, my cream cheese is going to expire in 2 months time. Although 2 months is still a long way but I know myself, if dun use it now I will definitely forget about it. I love to buy and stock baking ingredients but sometimes will keep until over the expiry date that have to dump into the dustbin. I know I know, I shouldn't be so wasteful which I keep reminding dear daughter cannot waste food cos a lot of children in developing countries dun even have sufficient food to eat. I am setting a bad example, I am quitting this bad habit by checking stock and the expiry date periodically.

I googled to search for the recipe and I found 2 difference recipes, one is eggs separate method and another one is whole eggs method. I am not sure which is closer to Coffee Bean's but I decided to use this recipe, simply because I dislike to handle the folding of egg whites to the batter and also this recipe is just nice to get rid of all my cream cheese.

From the identical appearance and almost similar ingredients, I was wondering what is the different between Chicago Cheesecake and New York Cheesecake so I googled and found this from wikipedia:

The United States has several different recipes for cheesecake and this usually depends on the region the cake was baked in as well as the cultural background of the person baking it.

* New York-style cheesecake relies upon heavy cream. Usually, cheesecake is made from cream cheese, eggs and egg yolks to add a richness and a smooth consistency. It is baked in a special 13–15 cm (5–6 inches) tall springform pan in many restaurants. Some recipes use cottage cheese and lemon for distinct texture and flavor or add a drizzle of chocolate or strawberry sauce to the basic recipe.

* Sour cream-style uses sour cream instead of heavy cream. This makes the cheesecake more resilient to freezing and is the method by which most frozen cheesecakes are made.

* Pennsylvania Dutch-style cheesecake uses a slightly tangy type of cheese with larger curds and less water content, called pot or farmer's cheese.

* Philadelphia-style cheesecake is lighter in texture, yet richer in flavor than New York-style cheesecake.

* Farmer's cheese cheesecake is the contemporary implementation for the traditional use of baking to preserve fresh cheese and is often baked in a cake form along with fresh fruit like a tart.

* Country-style cheesecake uses buttermilk to produce a firm texture while decreasing the pH (increasing acidity) to extend shelf life.

* Lactose-free cheesecake may be made either with lactose-free cream cheese or as an imitation using vegan recipes combining non-dairy cream cheese alternatives with other lactose-free ingredients.

* Gooey butter cake is a St. Louis variant that has a layer of regular cake with a cheesecake top.

Someone might noticed and wondered why there was a hole (near to the cherry) on the cake, silly me used the skewer to test the doneness of the cake. Only when I poked the cake then I realised it was cheesecake, not tested by this way but too late hahaha...

Ingredients : (for 6" cake pan)
Crust :
64g unsalted butter, softened and cut into chunks
20g icing sugar
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
64g all-purpose flour
pinch of salt

Filling :
500g cream cheese, softened
100g granulated sugar
2 tbsp lemon zest
3/4 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup buttermilk (original recipe call for sour cream)
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 medium egg yolk
2 medium eggs

Method :
For the crust:
1. Beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy
2. Add vanilla extract and mix until combined.
3. Add the flour and the salt and beat on low speed until just combined.
4. Press the crust evenly into the bottom of the pan. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
5. Pre-heat oven at 175 degree.
6. Prick the chilled crust several times with a fork and bake until golden, about 20 minutes.
7. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

For the filling:1. Pre-heat oven at 175 degree.
2. Beat the cream cheese on medium-low speed to break it up and soften it.
3. Add half the sugar and the lemon zest and beat on medium-low speed until combine.
4. Beat in the remaining sugar, flour, and salt until combined, another minute.
5. Mix well the vanilla extra with buttermilk and add in to the batter to beat until combine.
6. Add the egg yolk and beat for one minute.
7. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat to combine after each addition. (I am not sure is it cos I used buttermilk that caused the batter to be very running)
8. Grease the side of the cake pan. Set the pan on a rimmed baking sheet or aluminum foil to catch any spill.
9. Pour the filling onto the cooled crust and bake for 50 - 60 mins or until the cheesecake is firm around the edges and barely jiggles in the center. (the recipe didn't ask for water bath method but I used another tray half filled with hot water and position at the last row and bake the cheesecake in middle rack)
10. Transfer to wire rack and cool for 3 hours then wrap tightly with plastic and chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours and up to 4 days.
11. Unmould the cheesecake and serve.

The cake is rich, smooth and creamy, sinful but absolutely delicious. I can't differentiate much of the taste between Chicago & New York cheesecake, both actually very identically. Whether is Chicago or NY cheesecake, it doesn't matter, most importantly, my dear sister love the cake, she said seem to be tasted alike with Coffee Bean's. This cake also well received by the rest except dear daughter, she told me to prefer to eat slice cheddar cheese instead of eating cheesecake :(.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Durian Custard Mousse Cake

This cake was meant for dear husband's birthday which supposed to be in early Aug. Due to I was very sick during that week and following week, beside not fully recover, all my engery was also dedicated to my 1st bloggers gathering that I had delayed the cake making until the past weekend :p.

I didn't have to crack my mind on thinking what cake to prepare for dear husband. I remember he ever told me a few months ago that he had tasted the american carrot cake in one of the birthday celebration and he was impressed by the taste. Since he likes this cake and I never taste it before and it has been in my baking list, I decided probably I should bake one for him.

I was a little fickle, since now is still durian season and I always wanna make a durian cake, I was thinking I should take this opportunity to make durian cake. The causing of delay was simply because firstly, not in durian season so hard to locate durian and lastly, think of the smell that will be stuck in the fridge for many days, back me off. But if dear husband choose to have durian cake instead, then I will have all reasons to make one. So I checked with him and he was delightful to have durian cake.

I can't think of an idea to decorate the cake and I was so lazy that just want simple out of it so I copied the design from A Table for 2 or more. And my skill is really sucks, Wendy's looked so much neater and nicer than mine so I am just a lousy and failure copier hahaha...

For sponge cake recipe, I adapted from Happy Home Baker.
For Durian mousse, I adapted from Kitchen Corner.

For Sponge Cake : (makes one 6" cake tin)
67g cake flour
2 eggs, room temperature
30g caster sugar
14g unsalted butter, melted
1 1/3 tbsp fresh milk
3/4 tsp vanilla extract

For Custard :
2 egg yolks
133ml milk
40g sugar (I reduced to 25g)
13g flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
6g butter
2 tsp rum (optional)

For Durian Mousse :
270g durian fresh (I increased to 450g)
200ml fresh cream (I used 180ml whipping cream)
1 tbsp gelatin
3-4 tbsp water

Method :
For Sponge Cake :
1. Sift cake flour, set aside. Line bottom and sides of 6” cake tin with parchment paper, set aside.
2. Pre-heat oven to 170degC. Position rack at the lower bottom of the oven.
3. With an electric mixer, whisk eggs and sugar on HIGH speed for about 5 to 7 mins, until the batter double in volume and is ribbon-like (the beater should leave a ribbon-like texture when the batter is lifted up). Turn to LOW speed and whisk for another 1 to 2 mins. Whisking at low speed helps to stabilise the air bubbles in the batter.
4. Add sifted cake flour into the batter. With a spatula, gently fold in the flour until well blended. Take care not to deflate the batter. (To ensure proper folding in of the flour, you can add the flour in three separate additions.)
5. Add the melted butter, fold with spatula until well blended
6. Add in fresh milk, vanilla extract and fold in gently with spatula.
7. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 20~25 mins, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Unmold and invert onto cooling rack, cool completely.

Recipe source: 点心达人, 轻松学 / 小川智美著

For Custard :
1. Mix the egg yolks with two teaspoon of milk in a bowl until well combined.
2. Then, mix in the flour and make sure there is no lumps.
3. Place the milk in a saucepan with vanilla extract and sugar, bring to the boil.
4. Once the sugar dissolve in the milk, gradually pour onto the eggs mixture and stir then pour back into the pan.
5. Return to the heat and using a whisk, lightly stir the mixture to thicken, do not boil. As the egg yolks warm, it will thicken to create custard. Keep stirring until it coats the back of the spoon.
6. Remove from the heat and keep stirring and add in the butter.
7. When the custard slightly warm add in rum.
8. Pour the custard into a shallow bowl and cover with cling wrap. Place it into the fridge when it completely cool down and ready to use.

For Durian Mousse :
1. Pour water into a bowl and sprinkle in the gelatin (without stirring with a spoon). Set aside to allow the gelatin grains to swell (10 mins) before setting the bowl over a pot of simmering hot water. Stir with a spoon and once the gelatin melts, remove the bowl from the pot and set aside to cool to room temperature.
2. Blend durian flesh and custard just to combine. Don't over blend the mixture.
3. Whip fresh cream and fold it into the durian mixture with gelatin solution and mix well

To assemble :
1. Trim the sponger cake to about 10-15cm smaller than the 6" removable base cake tin.
2. Slice the sponge cake into half horizontally and lay one slice on the cake tin as base.
3. Pour in half of the durian mousse on top of the cake then top up with another layer of the sponge cake.
4. Pour the balance mousse on top of the sponge cake and level it.
5. Leave the cake in the chiller to let it set for at least 3 hours. (I left it in the freezer as dear daughter requested for ice cream cake:P)
6. Remove the cake from the cake tin and deco as your desire.

The cake is rich, thick and creamy, very delicious indeed. All of us finished one big slice of it including my fil (he likes durian! He finished by himself the whole 2 big durian in the afternoon and at night, his serving plate for the durian mousse cake was totally clean). Dear husband praised on the cake but he commented that the layer sponge cake was a bit to hard since the durian mousse melted faster but sponge cake takes longer time to defreeze. I should have waited for 10 to 15 mins after removing the cake from freezer cos we had hard time slicing the cake as well :P. I didn't eat the cake immediately, I waited for another 5 mins as I find that the freezed durian mousse was a bit too icy for my liking. The sponge cake and durian mousse turned soft after 10 mins, yummy!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake

I have baked this cake many times, be it plain or coated with chocolate ganache as birthday cake, the feedback was always very very good. Everyone, yes everyone, even those not fancy on cheesecake, will be "wow" after 1st bite of the cake, then immediately shown me the impressive look and passed the remark "very nice leh" with a very satisfied expression and tone.

A is one of them, she love the cake so much that she wanna order from me. I baked this cake as a farewell gift for her since she is residing in JB that she hardly has chance to taste my baking in future unless she comes over to Singapore.

I am always impress by the swirl pattern, each cake will come out different swirl and I had baked one looked like crescent moon, there were the same cakes but with every few slices, the swirl pattern changed. So I am enjoying looking at the swirl pattern, beside tasting it ^0^.

I had baked additional one to bring office, everyone was so happy and welcomed the cake even was served right after lunch :).

Ingredients : Yield 2 cake tins size of 8" x 3.5" x 3"
Mixture ‘A’
300g cream cheese, softened
50g castor sugar
1 egg

1. Beat cream cheese with sugar until light and fluffy
2. Beat in egg until well incorporated and set it aside

Mixture ‘B’
250g butter, softened
165g sugar
4 eggs
4 tbsp cocoa powder
160g self-raising flour
1.25 tsp baking powder
1.25 tbsp chocolate milk

1. Sieve flour, baking powder and cocoa together and put aside
2. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy
3. Add egg, one at a time and beat until well incorporated into mixture
4. Fold flour mixture and chocolate milk alternatively into egg mixture.
5. To assemble, pour half of mixture ‘B’, then all of mixture ‘A’, then followed by the remaining mixture ‘B’.
6. Bake in preheat oven at 180C for 45-50 min or until skewer comes out clean.

The cake is so heavenly. The chocolate cake is so moist, soft and fluffy and with the rich and creamy cheese mixture added, both complement each other so well. The cake taste equally yummy if is refrigerated, I love the cake either in room temperature or chill in fridge.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Soft and Moist Banana Cake

Dear husband requested me to bake a cake for him to bring to his office. Initially he let me decide on what I wanna bake but next day, he came back with the requested by his staff. They want the banana cake that I baked for them 1 year ago when I just started baking. They still can remember how delicious this cake was even it had been a year and also after tasted so many of my baking :).

Even though I wanna explore and try new recipe but since the request came in, I just need to grant their wish so I went ahead to bake this banana cake.

So coincidentally, my brother also mentioned to me recently that this banana cake is still his favourite. Hmmm... may be he is hinting me to bake one for him? hee hee hee...

For this time, I didn't place the slice bananas on top of the batter cos probably due to the moisture of the banana slices, the small area of cake around the banana slices always being too wet. I do not wanna bake too long cos afraid might over bake the cake so just omit the deco of banana slices to solve the problem.

I baked the cakes into 2 cake tins, one for dear husband's office and one for own consumption.

( for one 8" x 3.5" x 3" & one 9" x 4" x 3")
250g salted butter
1 1/2 cups castor sugar (I will reduce the sugar depending on what type of banana that I used and how ripe the bananas are, normally 180g to 200g)
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
4 tbsp milk
1 1/2 cups mashed banana (about 3 del monte bananas, sometimes I put more)
2 cups plain flour (220g sift together with 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda and 1 tsp baking powder)

1. Cream butter and sugar in a mixing bowl.
2. Add in eggs, vanilla essence and milk and mix well.
3. Add mashed banana into the mixture and mix well.
4. Finally add in sifted flour and mix well and pour into a cake tin.
5. Bake in preheated oven at 160 deg C for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. If the top layer turns brown after 15 minutes, cover it with a piece of aluminium foil.
6. Cool cakes in the pan then remove. Use a sharp knife to slice and serve

The cake is still as delicious as what my memory can recalled, soft, moist and full of the fragrant of banana. Yummy Yummy!

Monday, August 9, 2010

My 1st Bloggers Gathering

When I started blogging, my intention was just purely to record down all my baking for future references. However after starting to visit other blogs and seeing the close relationship between some of the bloggers, not that they know each other in person but through leaving messages in each other blog frequently that started the friendship. I was amazed by such friendship and hope I can be one of them (perhaps cos I never have penpal b4 so such virtual friendship is so new and interesting to me :P) and also because I am always impress by their baking/cooking that wanna give my compliments that I started to leave messages. This is such good experience after receiving response and feel that you know the bloggers well and treated them as friends. I will feel lost if I didn't get to visit their blogs for a few days, I will miss them if they didn't have new post for a period of time.

When I 1st read about the bloggers gathering in Kuala Lumpur during early this year, I was envy and thinking how nice if I can be one of them. Never that I know this could happened, all thanks to Pei Lin of Dodol and Mochi. If not cos of her, I think this blogger gathering might not be happened so soon. When she planned to visit Singapore during National Day period, she started to organize this gathering. The response was so good, most of us immediately agreed with this meet up.

And for me, I was very looking forward to this event. Even my sister inlaw had planned a short holiday trip that she invited us to join in, I immediately told dear husband that I cannot make it as I MUST attend this blogger gathering :P.

Although I was very look forward to this gathering but I still have worry deep in me cos I have a shy character that not chatty at all towards "stranger". I was afraid myself or others might feel awkward due to my quietness and hard to break the ice. Some might say hey, how can be possible that you are shy since your job need to meet a lot of people. Yes, for job, I have no choice as since company pay me, I have to do a good job so I will force myself to mingle around even with strangers. But in personal, I just wanna be my true self. Even towards friends, I can be chatty and yak non-stop but sometimes I can be very quiet to be an audience just sitting there listening to others.

However, this gathering ended up to be beyond what I can imagine. Although this was the 1st time we met up with each others for most of us (some have met and known each other for years) but it seem like meeting up with long-time friends that we were chatting non-stop. It is so amazing that we have so much to yak and the topics cover are so broad, not just about baking and cooking. Of course for such gathering with most of us are women, we gossiping a lot too hahaha...

Too bad that I need to leave earlier at 3.35pm to send dear daughter to her 1st swimming class, I almost wanted to just let dear husband do the job. When I was in the cab, I already missing so much about the gathering. I reached the swimming pool 10 mins earlier than expected time since I was able to hail a cab immediately when I left Edith house, I was still thinking that I should leave her house at 3.45pm instead so I can have 10 mins more spending with my new friends :P.

Yes, the gathering was not in one of the restaurant. So nice of Edith from Precious Moment that she suggested to host the event in her place. This is a potluck party that each of us suppose to bring one homemade dish to the event. I had headache to decide what to bring to the party since I am not good at cooking so I better dun torture their stomach :P. Some of the bloggers decided fast on what food to bring and that helped on my decision, to make cold dessert.

I intended to make Mango Pamelo Sago dessert since I saw a lot of mangoes recently but I had worry that I might not be able to get pamelo. Little did I know that I was able to get pamelo easily but it was mangoes that gave me hard time. I was not available during weekday so I planned to buy the ingredients on Saturday that I can prepare the dessert in the night after I come back from my mother's place.

I was not able to get the mangoes at NTUC supermarket and fruits store nearby my mum's place. So nice of my buddy who stay upstair of my mum, she and her husband drove me around to hunt for mangoes. We were so surprised that there were mangoes everywhere 2 weeks ago but for now, I have difficulty finding mangoes. Finally, I got the mangoes from Giant. Though the mangoes cost has gone so much higher than 2 weeks ago, I still grabbed 4 giant mangoes.

However, when I was preparing to make the dessert then I realised the mangoes are not ripe enough and was hard and sour. I was so upset, since it was so late at night that I am not able to go shop for backup plan :(. I just threw everything aside and visited blogs to release my stress. I saw the new posting from Baker Tan of Baking Library and Jane of Passionate about Baking on the food that they are bringing, I left message to them and shared my stress. Thanks to Baker Tan that he was still online and he suggested to make sour mango salad instead.

Although I had used the sour mangoes to make salad, but I still wanted to make the mango pamelo sago dessert so I decided I shall go hunt for mangoes again the next morning. I made peach flavour konnyaku jelly as well so at least I have 2 dishes to bring to the party.

I was lucky to get the ripe mangoes on Sunday morning at my 2nd stop of hunting. My whole morning just non stop rushing for all the chores, send dear daughter to her Chinese class, hunt for mangoes, fetch her back, made the dessert. I dun even have time to sit down taking a breath, no time for my breakfast as well. My dessert was ready only just before the time that I need to leave my house to Edith's place. Phew... luckily still manage to churn out the dessert on time :).

Pei Lin, thanks for organised this gathering and Edith, thanks for lending out your beautiful place. And my blogger friends, thanks for making this a success and fruitful gathering, I truely enjoy this yakking and makan session so much and is really honour to know all of you in person.

The food that you had prepared, simply delicious. I was hoping that I have bigger stomach so that I can indulge more, even I was so full but I still managed to taste all the food. I told dear husband that I had a buffet spread that even tasted so much better than 5 star hotel.

Edith @ Precious Moments : beverages & bandung drink
Shirley @ Kokken69 : mee rebus
Pei-Lin @ Dodol & Mochi : durian tart & chocolate chips cookies
Zhuoyuan (Baker Tan) @ Baking Library : assorted chocolate truffles
Josephine @ Sugar & Everything Nice : curry chicken
Yan Ee @ Sweeter Side of Life : wholemeal sandwiches & wholemeal cookies
Jane @ Passionate About Baking : almond cream (& mixed nuts for us to bring back)
Bee Bee @ Honey Bee Sweets : ban kuang kueh
Grace @ Kitchen Corner : mini burger & blueberry bakewell tarts
Aimei @ My Baking Cottage : Pork-floss Swiss roll (& cookies goodie bag for us to bring back)
You Fei @ Loving Baking : as she can made it to attend only last min so she didn't prepare food

I have missed out photographed some of the food e.g. almond cream and ban kuang kueh, even the mango pamelo sago dessert and konnyaku jelly that I made, please hop over the above blogs for more photos. We were so busy chatting and eating that we also forgot to take a group photo too! Hope we won't miss out again during our next gathering :).

Mango Pamelo Sago Dessert

Recipe adapted from Happy Home Baker but I triple up the ingredients which basically can serve about 20 bowls and more.

300g sago pearls (I only used up 3/4 of the cooked sago)
450g mango puree (I used more than that but I didn't weigh exactly)
4 fresh big mango, peeled and diced
3/4 fresh pomelo, peeled and separated
600 ml fresh milk
750 ml evaporated milk
150g white granulated sugar (I cut down about 60%)
600 ml marigold mango juice (original recipe used water)
500g ice cubes

1. To make the mango puree, remove the flesh of mangoes and blend it in a blender. If you do not have a blender, simply mash the mango (use very soft and ripened mango) with a fork.
2. Soak sago pearls in water for 5 mins, drain and set aside. Place about 2 litres of water in a large pot and bring it to a full boil. Add the sago pearls and cook until translucent (about 5 ~ 10mins). Keep the water at a rolling boil all the time, stirring occasionally to prevent the pearls from setting to the bottom of the pot. Remove from heat, cover the pot and set aside for about 5 mins. Drain and rinse the sago pearls under running water until cool (this helps to remove any excess starch), drain and set aside.
3. Mix fresh milk, evaporated milk, sugar in a pot. Heat over low heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add the ice cubes. When the ice cubes are melted, add in fresh milk, mango juice and mango puree. Stir to combine. Mix in the sago pearls.
4. Allow the mixture to cool completely and chill it in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
5. Serve with diced mango and pomelo.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Red Pitaya (Dragon Fruit) Yogurt Mousse Cake

Hi blogger buddies, I am not sure did anyone realise that I actually MIA (Missing in action) from blogosphere for many days. I was sick, actually I should say that I am sick cos still not totally recover yet. Since last thursday, during my 2nd day of business trip, I started with high fever then follow by cough and flu. The sickness got real bad from Friday (my colleague nearly need to lug me back to Singapore hahaha...) and I slept throughout most of the times until Tuesday, I was too sick to do anything else except sleeping :P. I supposed to travel again on Wednesday but have to cancel the trip.

I miss blogging, can you imagine that even though I was so sick and in the dreamland most of the times, I was still able to blog, I blogged in my dream. My friends, I had actually visited your blog in my dream hahaha!

Back to the cake, this was made for my younger sister inlaw's birthday which was last Thursday. I made the cake the night before my trip and initially, I was planning to send her the cake before heading to airport. However I didn't make it due to some delays so I had to get her to collect the cake from my place.

My sister inlaw is quite a health consious lady, she doesn't have sweet tooth, she is not dessert and cakes kind of person. So I had some head cracking on what to bake for her birthday. I decided that I should bake her something with fruits, definately is a better choice than chocolate or cream cake.

But what fruit? Although she eats lots of fruits but I remember she still has some restriction on certain fruits e.g. mango (she was on some chinese medication that she said have to avoid mango), pineapple (she read from book that pineapple is not so good for our body but I can't recall what is the reason) etc, there might be other restricted fruits that I am not aware.

I remember she had shared the benefits of dragon fruits with my mother inlaw before and there was a period, my mother inlaw got influenced by her that she drank blended dragon fruit juice with some other health supplement almost everyday. I scanned through my memeory and I remember this Red Pitaya Mousse Cake from My Birthday Cake by Kelvin Chai. Freezed red pitaya mousse cake is just perfect since my sister inlaw do eat ice-cream occasionally :).

There are generally 2 types of dragon fruits selling in supermarket, one is white flesh which is more common, another type is red flesh which is more juicy, sweeter and expensive than white flesh dragon fruits. The nutritional benefits of dragon fruits include help to lower blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetes and its high antioxidant amounts and vitamin C levels. (info extracted from http://dragonfruitpitaya.com/dragonfruit_health_benefits/)

A few weeks before her birthday, whenever I went to supermarket to buy fruits, I will surely search for red pitaya in red flesh, just to ensure this fruit is easily accessable. Without fail, I was able to spot it everytime. However, when it was time for me to purchase this fruit, I was not able to find it. I went to a few NTUC and Shop N Save, Giant, all the supermarket that nearby my office and home, only white flesh dragon fruits are available but I want the red fresh dragon fruits!

I nearly give up, I have to find for back up plan. During my last try at another Giant, I found it, the last one at the fruit counter. The uncle told me that was the only one they left cos the stock didn't come in that day. I forgot how much red pitaya that I need for the recipe but I just grabbed it and I bought hami melon as my back up plan.

I was lucky this time, the fruit was just enough for the recipe YEAH! I cut down the whipped cream and replaced by non-fat yogurt so to make it more healthy. I cut down the sugar as well for both the sponge cake and mousse to make it suitable for my sister inlaw's taste bud.

And since my sister inlaw has changed her diet to vegetarian (she still consume fishes) about 2 years ago for healthy reason, I dare not use gelatin for the mousse. So I googled and used aga aga powder as subsitution. Luckily, the cake was still able to set nicely.

I spared some red pitaya and cut into cubes wanted to add in the mousse but I forgot! I only realised it after I covered the mousse with the last layer of sponge cake and saw a bowl of cubes red pitaya! Argh, why am I so forgetful!!!! I wanna salvage the situation, I removed the last layer of sponge cake slowly from the mousse and added all the cubes red pitaya in the 2nd layer of mousse. So there will be only one layer of mousse comes with cubes fruit but better than none right.

Another hiccup was the red pitaya glazing to cover the cake. I bought the decogel from Phoon Huat a few weeks ago and when I opened it that night, I realised there was a layer of mold at the center of the decogel. Hello, that was an unopen bottle that I just bought a few weeks ago, how come so fast got moldy? I am so regretted now that I had threw the decogel away, I should bring back and question Phoon Huat about it:(. I tried replacing the decogel with aga aga powder but the glazing was very watery instead of jam texture as per the picture shown in the recipe book. I dare not take the chances so I decided to omit the glazing.

So sweet and thoughtful of my sister inlaw, she email me the photos of the cut out cake
to share with my readers after she saw my posting. She also posted the cake in her blog as well, if you are interested on vegetarian food, you may drop by her blog to take a look :).

I didn't use the sponge cake recipe from Kelvin Chai but used this instead.

Ingredients :

For Sponge Cake : Adapted from Foodhouse88
70g plain flour
2 eggs
15g milk
50g caster sugar
1 tbsp glucose
1 tsp vanilla extra
salt 2g
15g oil
1/2 tsp baking soda

Method :
1. Sift flour and baking soda.
1. Beat eggs, sugar and salt on medium speed till foamy.
3. Add in glucose and continue beat till 5 times in volume and ribbon-like.
4. Add in sifted flour and baking soda, beat on LOW speed till mix well.
5. Mix oil and milk and pour 1/3 of the batter and mix well.
6. Pour the milk batter to the remaining flour batter and mix well
7. Pour batter in a round pan and bake for 20 - 30mins at 180c.
7. Remove from the oven and invert the pan immediately. Let cool completely before unmould.

For the Filling : Adapted from My Birthday Cake by Kelvin Chai.
Red Pitaya Sauce :
200g red pitaya fresh (chopped)
100g caster sugar (I reduced to 50g)
2 tbsp lemon juice

Red Pitaya Mousse :
2 tsp gelatin powder (I replaced with 2 tsp aga aga powder)
2 tbsp hot water
200g fresh cream (whipped) I reduced to 100g & replaced by 150g non-fat plain yogurt
2 tbsp kirsch (I replaced by vanilla extract)

Red Pitaya Gel : (I omitted it)
50g red pitaya sauce
100g decogel

To make sauce : bring chopped red pitaya, sugar and lemon juice to boil for 5 mins until mixture slightly thickens. Remove from heat and leave to cool.

To make mousse : stir aga aga powder into hot water or stirring over simmering water until melt. add in 150g of red pitaya sauce and mix well. Fold in whipped cream, yogurt and vanilla extract.

To make glaze gel : stir red pitaya sauce with decogel until mix well. Glaze over the cake.

To assemble : Line cling wrap inside a big bowl. Pour in half of mousse, cover with a slice of sponge cake. Pour the balance mousse and cover with the last slice of sponge cake. Wrap well and freeze for 4 hours or over night.


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