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Friday, June 29, 2012

A wedding request

             I was on a Chocolate cake marathon - had to bake 4 Chocolate cakes on 4 consecutive days & then I received a request from a dear friend to make her wedding cake!!! Initially it took my breath away just a little as, besides baking a 3 tiered Chocolate wedding cake last year, I had no experience in decorating; much less baking a wedding cake!!! Then it slowly kicked in.  She told me that I would have ample time for practising as the wedding would be a year plus away; so the old heart kinda of settled down to its normal breathing pattern!!! 

           I sat up straight as even though I have learnt some cake decorating 2 years ago; I never really got down to really put it in practice as I have always been a late bird; always trying to find the spare time to "get down & dirty" from my everyday routine & my cake orders. So perhaps, this was my wake up call??? If you were to ask me, I would tell you that I have bought quite a lot of the tools for same; just needed to be jostled & always had the penchant to jump with my head first as the legs would then follow suit!!!

         So when I had to bake 4 Chocolate cakes this week; two were cake orders & two for the family; I figuratively rolled up my sleeves & forayed into unchartered waters; just to get the feels of things.  My maiden attempt at Fondant daisies 2 nites ago resulted in some decorated Chocolate cakes & the feeling was good but I have got to polish up by practising more :) Some time later this week, I would delve into trying to make Calla Lilies; need to go buy some wires first :) & then check for my assorted tools!!! I love Calla Lilies & although I have not had the pleasure of learning them; I have been goggling on Youtube for more than 2 years & inspite of buying the tools then; never got down to it; hybernating again; story of my life!!!

                                  We were taught to put the little daisies in a foil former but am a little disappointed as it folded a little too much!!! 

                             This was my first wedding cake.

                            Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Bars - Pecan & Black Date Bars

             Making these bars brought back so many happy memories of years gone by!!!  How swiftly they have flown!!! I remember when we in school, during the breaks how we used to rush to the tuck shops to queue & buy something wholesome to tuck in with the little pocket money we had & sometimes when we had a little bit balance, we will buy something sweet. I also remember that the auntie used to sell something like these bars, though of course there were no pecans or walnuts just toasted sesame seeds, & then these were wrapped in colourful plastic like the ones I wrapped my Pecan & Black Date Bars & wrapping my bars in these colourful wraps, reminded me that when we were in Primary 1, the Head of the school had assigned each student a colour; ie we were either in Yellow house, Red, Green or Blue & we were to remain in this "house" till the day we left school!!! And come Sports day, all the students, if you are in the Primary; all the students from Primary 1 to 6 will combine in their assigned "coloured house" & of course in the Secondary it will be the same; all the students from Form 1 to 5 will house together & it was great fun meeting our older sisters, will be yelling in support to their fellow house mates when the race began; whatever it may be!!! And not only that, we tags like "Yellow, yellow, dirty fellow!!!" I was in Yellow house thus I can remember this well but sorry have forgotten what other tags for the other colours!!!

         Sorry for digressing from the subject matter.  

                                Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Durian Cheese cake

             Wow can you image how a Durian Cheese cake would taste like? Image the king of fruits being "married" to a Cheese!!!

             I asked the Hubs to buy some Durians from his favourite Durian vendor as I wanted to bake the Durian Cheese cake.  Told him to estimate how much to buy & that I needed about 800 gm of Durian meat, he came back home with 4 1/2 kg net weight!!!  Haha, as he wanted to eat some & couldn't estimate how much to buy!!! 

             I baked the Durian Cheese cake & the next day ie today I made a Durian Topping for the cake. In the cake itself, it had 300 gm + of Durian puree & 100 gm of Durian puree for the topping. Cut a sliced for the Hubs & he told me that it was lovely!!! 

             I just had a slice of the cake & to make it even more evil, haha, I scooped a tablespoon of the balance Durian puree & piped a rosette & it was heaven on earth.  

             Real glad too that after posting these photos in FB, a friend ordered my Durian Cheese cake :) & both her children & her mum loved it. Haha, she also said that it finished in one day!!!  She asked me to use my cake separator & divide the cake; half for her family & half for her mum, which I did. 

                                             Baked Durian Cheese cake

                                        Made a Durian topping to heighten the intensity of the Durian flavour.

                                       This picture was the first Durian Cheese cake that I made for my own family & piped a Rosette on the top with the balance of the Durian puree & served this to the Hubs!!!

                                      Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Pumpkin Pie - recipe


                   Let's start with the filling first as it does take time to strain the Pumpkin puree.

                  Ingredients for Pumpkin filling

                  500 gm              *Pumpkin puree [Please read No.1 carefully with regard
                                                                       to purchase of pumpkin]
                  150 gm                Castor Sugar
                     1/8 teasp          Fine Salt
                  150 ml               *Whipping Cream
                     50 gm                All Purpose Flour/Tepung Gandung, sieved 
                     1/2 teasp          Ginger Bread spice OR ground Cinnamon
                     2"A"                   Eggs approximately 120 ml Eggs weighed without shell 

                     Method for Pumpkin Filling

  1. Buy a Pumpkin that weighs 1.2 kg [after skinning, removing the seeds & steaming, you can can 500 gm Pumpkin puree].
  2. Use a Potato peeler & remove the Pumpkin skin then cut it into wedges & remove the seeds &, for lack of a better word, the "fizzing stuff" :)
  3. Boil water in a steamer.
  4. Wash, drain & then cut the Pumpkin into uniform 1" cubes. Place the cubed Pumpkin in a stainless steel colander & raise it up so that the water does not touch the Pumpkin, cover the steamer & steam the Pumpkin till it gets soft probably 15 - 20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile sieve the flour & the spice together & set aside.
  6. Place eggs in a bowl & beat it with a hand whisk. Set aside.
  7. Once Pumpkin soft, let it cool completely, place it in a big bowl & mash it fine.
  8. Pour the dairy Whipping Cream into the mashed Pumpkin & stir it for a short while.
  9. Add half the flour mixture into No.6 & stir less than a minute [most imp don't over mix].
  10. Just before adding the beaten egg into No.9, give it a quick whisk then pour the beaten egg into No.9 & stir for less than a minute.
  11. Add the balance of the flour mixture & stir short while working on the lumps. Place a siever over a big bowl & gradually pour the mixture into the siever & use a spoon to press the mixture through the siever in order to get a smooth filling. Once it has been done, set aside & let's do the short crust pastry.  

                             Ingredients for the short crust pastry

                  250 gm                Butter
                  410 gm                All Purpose Flour/Tepung Gandung, sieved
                  110 gm                Icing Sugar, sieved
                     *1"A"                Egg
                     10 gm                Milk powder, opt

  1. Sieve the Icing Sugar into a bowl.
  2. Sieve the Flour into the mixing bowl.
  3. Remove butter from fridge & thaw for 20 minutes.
  4. Break the egg into a small bowl & beat it till slightly frothy; keep aside then b4 you pour in, give the egg a slight whisk :) 
  5. Once the butter is quite soft, put it into the sieved flour.  Then use a Kenwood machine [sorry as I have not used any other machine I don't know the appliance to use for other machines] & fit it with a K-Beater.
  6. Beat it till it resembles bread crumbs.  [Please remember for pastries, you Cannot over work the dough]. Then add in the sieved Icing Sugar & beaten egg & beat it shortly till it clings like a dough.
  7. Remove dough to a bowl, cling wrap & put in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to *180 degrees Centigrade for 15 minutes.
  9. Then scale dough to 27 gm & mould it into a fluted 7.5cm egg tart mould, working the dough from bottom to top.
  10. Prick holes with a fork.
  11. Bake blind in preheated oven for 15 minutes.
  12. Remove & let it cool for 5 minutes.
  13. Spoon your pumpkin filling in the tarts & continue baking for 10 minutes OR till filling sets [if you are unsure once yr alarm rings after 10 minutes, give the oven door a slight shake; the filling should not be giggly & the centre should be Set. [If you over bake, the filling would not have the lovely, soft texture.
                Tips & Comments:-

                 (a) Most imp, you should know your own oven heat.  Sometimes your best result for this could be a 175 degrees Centigrade.  When my good friend taught me this pastry, she told me to use 190 - 180 degrees Centigrade but I found that 180 degrees Centigrade was just right for me.

                 (b) If you are new to my blog, welcome.  Please note for all my baking & cooking recipes, I use baking spoons & cups unless specified otherwise.

                  (c)  You can get 15 short crust pies from this recipe & there will be a little bit of balance of the pastry. 

                   (d)  This short crust pie has a lovely & soft crunch; if there is balance just keep it in a tupperware & next day you can have them for tea, just eat it straight from the fridge :)

                                          Cooling the steamed Pumpkin

                                           My girl does not like any spices to the filling, so after spooning her share onto the pie crust ...

                                  ... I then add Ginger Bread spice to the balance of the pumpkin mixture as I simply
                            love Ginger Bread spice.

                                 Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia