Sunday, 19 February 2017

Lemon Almond Cake

I would crave for almond cake occasionally …  This lemon almond cake is light and fluffy with a hint of lemon tangy.  Simply love the sweet nutty aroma while the cake was baking in the oven.

I halved the recipe for a 6-inch size cake, just perfect for the 3 of us to enjoy our afternoon coffee/tea break.



Recipe adapted from :Simply Recipes Flourless Lemon Almond Cake
Below my slightly modified version

Lemon Almond Cake
6-inch springform pan or pan with removable base

Ingredients
For the yolk mixture:
2 eggs yolks
1 tablesppon lemon zest
35g caster sugar
80g ground almond flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder


For meringue:
2 cold egg whites
1 teaspoon lemon juice
35g caster sugar

Icing sugar to dust (optional)

Method:
1) Preheat the oven to 170ºC. Position the rack in the middle. The temperature of the oven may vary, do adjust the temperature and timing to suit your oven.

2) Grease the sides of the 6-inch springform pan with butter or spray.  Line the base of the pan with lightly greased parchment paper.

3) In a clean mixing bowl, whisk the cold egg whites and lemon juice till foamy using the electric hand mixer. Add in the caster sugar in 3 additions.  Beat till soft peak.

4) In another large bowl, beat together the egg yolks, lemon zest, and caster sugar with electric hand mixer until smooth.

5) In a separate bowl, combine the almond flour and baking powder. Add the flour mixture to the egg yolk mixture and beat until smooth (about 30 secs to 1 minute).

6) Using a spatula, gently fold in the meringue into the almond mixture in 3 additions.

7) Scoop batter into pan, level the top with spatula and bake in preheated oven 170ºC for 25 minutes.  If the top gets browned too quickly, tent with aluminium foil in the last 10 minutes of baking. Check for doneness with a skewer inserted into the center of the cake if it comes out clean.

8) Remove pan from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the cake, release the springform pan sides, and gently move the cake (on parchment) to a cake serving plate.

To serve, dust with some icing sugar & some fresh berries if you like.



From the look, thought it would be dense.  But the texture is light and soft. Enjoy !

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Dark Chocolate Soufflé with Strawberries

My first try on souffle here  a basic Vanilla Soufflé. Since then, I've not baked any soufflé though I've promised my girl to make a chocolate flavour.

Chance upon this decadent yet light and airy chocolate with filled berries soufflé recipe. Glad that this recipe is not too sweet.



Recipe adapted from : Foodfulife
* as I've left with 2 eggs in the fridge, hence used 2 whites instead of 3.

Dark Chocolate Soufflé with Strawberries
Serves 2-3
Ingredients
For chocolate / yolk mixture:
15g unsalted butter
45g honey
2 egg yolks (at room temperature)
60g fresh strawberries, washed, hulled, pat dry and diced.

For meringue :
2 cold egg whites
1 teaspoon lemon juice

About 1-2 tablespoons butter for greasing the moulds.

Method.
1. Grease 4 ramekins (8 cm in diameter) with butter, chill them in the fridge.

2. Fill a #saucepan with water and place on low heat. Place chopped chocolate in a heat proof bowl and place on top of the saucepan allow it to melt. Stirring occasionally with a spoon. Do not cover.
#use a double boiler if you have one.

3. Add the butter and the honey to the melted chocolate, gently stir till combined. Let cool a little.

4. Add the egg yolks and then the diced strawberries. Use a fork to lightly crush them. Mix well and remove from heat.

5. Preheat the oven to 160ºC. Position the rack in the middle. The temperature of the oven may vary, do adjust the temperature and timing to suit your oven.

6. In a clean mixing bowl, whisk the cold egg whites and lemon juice till foamy using the electric stand mixer. Beat till soft peak.

7. Using a spatula, gently fold in the meringue to the chocolate / yolks mixture till combined.

8. Lightly grease the chilled ramekins again with some butter. Spoon the mixture into ramekins, fill up to 2/3 and wipe the inside edges with your thumb. Bake at 160°C for 20 minutes.

9. Souffles are best eaten hot. To serve, place on a plate because ramekins are very hot. Serve immediately with some strawberries. If you like, dust some confectioners’ sugar.

They rose high to the rims when baked inside the oven.  But the height of the souffle will tend to deflate as it cool down a bit.  By the time I snapped few pictures "like speed lightning" ... they have deflated.

I'm sure this light and airy dessert is a perfect way to treat your loved ones on any special occasions, not just on Valentine's Day.


Enjoy ! Have a lovely weekend !

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Almond cookies II ( CNY2017 #2)

I made these soft and melt in the mouth kinda almond cookies for CNY two years ago.  My family liked it very much.  When I chance upon another almond cookies shared by some group members in FB that the texture is crispy and crunchy type, I have to give it try. Like the buttery crunchy texture with a hint of almond fragrance.



Below my slightly adjusted version
Almond cookies 
Ingredients
186g unsalted butter, softened
100g caster sugar
265g all purpose plain flour
70g almond meal
1 egg yolk

Some almond flakes or nibs for decoration.
Egg wash : 1/2 egg yolk + 1 teaspoon water as I preferred lighter colour.

Method:
1. Position the rack in the middle and preheat oven to 170°C.  (The temperature of the oven may vary, do adjust the temperature and timing to suit your oven).  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. (Need not grease).

2. In a big mixing bowl, cream butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy with electric mixer. Add egg yolk and mix well.

3. Next, mix in almond meal till combined.

4. Fold in plain flour with spatula till combined.

5. Turn over on a lightly floured surface, roll the dough evenly (about 0.5cm thickness) and cut to desired shape using cookie cutter.



6. Brush with egg wash then spinkle some chopped almond nibs or flakes on top. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned.

7. Cool on tray for 2 - 3 minutes before transferring them to cool completely on wire rack.

Well, glad another yummy homemade almond cookies for CNY.
Happy baking!

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Chocolate Chips & Peanut Butter Banana Bread




When I saw these quick bread baked by Phong Hong and Veronica of Peng's Kitchen ... I know I have to bake this.  Why? My big kids' favourite ingredients … not one but three in there:  chocolate chips, peanut butter & banana.  Mash the bananas and simply mix all the ingredients with a whisk and it's done within 10 minutes. Sprinkle with more chocolate chips and I sent three mini loaves into the oven. 


Recipe source/adapted from:
Peng's Kitchen
Phong Hong Bakes & Cooks

Chocolate Chips & Peanut Butter Banana Bread
Makes one 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan or 
3 small loaves (I used a heatproof paper pound cake mould 7.5cm x 17.8cm x 5cm)

Ingredients :
240grams self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
60grams butter, softened
80grams caster sugar
180grams creamy peanut butter
4 - 5 medium size bananas, mashed
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
240ml fresh milk
100g mini chocolate chips (I reserved about 1.5 tablespoons to sprinkle on the batter)

Method:
1) Position the rack in the center and preheat oven to 160°C.  Line the base of loaf pan with parchment paper.

2) Sift flour and salt together in a bowl.

3) In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until combined with a manual whisk. 

4) Beat in egg. Mix in peanut butter and vanilla and whisk till creamy.  Mix in the mashed bananas.

5) Add the flour mixture (in three additions) and milk (in two additions) alternately, starting and ending with the flour. Whisk until just combined and the batter is smooth.

6) Fold in chocolate chips with spatula. Pour batter into loaf pan, scrape down the sides of the bowl for no waste of batter. Spread out evenly. Sprinkle with the reserved chocolate chips (or more if you like).

7) Bake in preheated oven for 40 mins. Check for doneness with a skewer inserted into the center of the cake if it comes out clean.

8) Remove pan from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes before removing the cake from pan to cool completely.





I like it warm … A hint of banana fragrance and the peanut butter gives it a rich, full flavour with a soft and moist crumb to satisfy our afternoon break and morning brekkie.  Delicious!  Enjoy !

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Crispy Honey Oat Bak Kwa Cookies (CNY2017 #1)

Although I'm not really obsessed with Pork floss or Bak Kwa, they are delicacies especially during the Chinese New Year (CNY) festive celebration.

I saw a box of Honey Bunches of Oats® with Almonds cereal on the table. The crispy flakes and crunchy oat clusters plus a hint of honey and savoury Bak Kwa bits will surely be a hit ! Whatmore, these super cruchy & crispy cookies are super easy to make.


Recipe source/adapted from: rice and bread
Below my slightly adjusted version.

Crispy Honey Oat Bak Kwa Cookies
About 33 - 35 pcs
Ingredients :
125g unsalted butter, softened
60g brown sugar
1 egg
113g self-raising flour, sifted
Pinch of salt
80g Post Honey Bunches of Oats with Crispy Almonds lightly crushed
1 slice of bak kwa (pork jerky) - chopped coarsely

Method:
1) Position the rack in the middle and preheat oven to 170°C.  (The temperature of the oven may vary, do adjust the temperature and timing to suit your oven).  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. (Need not grease).

2) In a big mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy with electric mixer. Beat in egg till combined.

3) Using a spatula, fold in the flour, salt, 20g crispy almond cereal and chopped bak kwa into the mixture till combined.

4) Scoop about 1.5 teaspoon full of mixture and roll into balls then roll into the remaining lightly crushed crispy cereal. Place on baking sheet leaving some space in between.  The cookies will spread out a little. ** if you find that the dough is too soft to handle, you can either:
a) drop the spoonful directly on the crushed cereal and briefly roll and coat.
OR
b) put the dough in freezer for about 3 - 5 minutes.




5) Bake cookies in preheated oven at 170°C for 15 - 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on tray for 5 minutes before transferring them to cool completely wire rack.  Store in air-tight container.

Note:
a) I will make smaller rounds (about 1 teaspoon) in the next batch for easier "1 mouthful" consumption.

b) My big boy "complained" not enough Bak Kwa. So will increase abit more.

These crispy cookies are super addictive.



Another easy to make Pork or Chicken Floss Cookies is also one of our favourites CNY homemade cookies !

So, start now to make some savoury CNY cookies ! Happy baking!

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Lemon Curd Cookies



My first bake on the first day of the new year ! 2017 ! Citrusy tangy flavour lemon curd cookies !

I've made some lemon curd last night and was thinking to bake some cookies with it. So ... here it is ... a batch of citrus tangy sweet cookies to kick start the first day of the year.

Prepare the lemon curd in advance.
Recipe source : Joy of Baking Lemon Curd
Below my adjustment made - scale down to 2/3 recipe.
Lemon Curd 
Ingredients (A)
2 eggs
80g granulated white sugar
55ml fresh lemon juice (do not use the bottled lemon juice)

Ingredients (B)
40 grams unsalted butter (cut small pieces) at room temperature
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Method:
Combine the ingredients (A) into a heatproof/stainless bowl. Half-fill a cooking pot with water and bring to a simmer. Set the heatproof bowl in the mouth of the pot and cook with low flame. Whisk the mixture until blended. Cook, stirring constantly (to prevent it from curdling), until the mixture becomes thick (like sour cream or a hollandaise sauce). This will take about 8 -10 minutes.

Remove from heat and immediately pour through a fine strainer to remove any lumps. Whisk butter into the mixture until the butter has melted. Add the lemon zest and let cool. The lemon curd will continue to thicken as it cools. Cover immediately (so a skin doesn't form) and refrigerate for up to a week.

Recipe source : Happy foods
Below my slightly adjusted version.
Lemon Curd Cookies
Ingredients
Makes about 45 pieces with cookie cutter
1 egg at room temperature
110g unsalted butter, softened
50g caster sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (optional)

240g all-purpose plain flour
Pinch of salt

Method:
1) Sift the flour together with salt in a clean bowl, set aside.

2) In a mixing bowl, combine caster sugar and butter; beat until creamy with electric mixer.  Add the egg and lemon zest and beat well.

3) Fold in the flour to the creamed mixture with a spatula briefly (about 1 minute). Then use your hand to bind, briefly knead to form a dough. Dough should stick together in a soft ball. If the dough is too difficult to work with, chill for about 15 minutes before continuing. Wrap in in a cling film and chill in the fridge for about 30 - 45 minutes. (*note: as I intended to use cookie cutter, I flattened the dough slightly in wrap)

4)  Preheat oven to 180°C and position the rack in center of oven. (the oven temperature may vary, do adjust accordingly).

5) Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. (do not need to grease).

6) Prepare 2 tablespoons of flour in a small bowl for dipping of cookie cutter and the tip of small wooden roller.

7) Take the dough out from the fridge. Flatten it slightly to about 5mm thickness.

8) Dip the cookie cutter lightly with flour when necessary. Cut the dough with cookie cutter and spacing them about 1/2 inch apart onto the prepared lined baking sheet. Use a measuring spoon or tip of small roller (or your floured finger) to press lightly to make indentation in center for the lemon curd.




9) Fill the lemon curd in piping bag and pipe a dollop of lemon curd onto each dent.

10) Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 10-13 minutes or until the bottom of the cookies are nicely browned.

11) Once baked, transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely before storing them in an airtight container.

To serve, simply have them as they are or dust with some icing sugar if you like.
Here, we are enjoying our LEMONY DAY with lovely baked yummy tangy lemon curd cookies and a cup of honey lemon tea !


Enjoy & happy baking !
Wishing all a Blessed New Year 2017! 

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Strawberry Yoghurt Chiffon Cake

The cottony chiffon texture couldn't hold the two birthday candles, swaying like 'dancing left & right'  ... hee ... hee... :)

It has been almost two years that I'd last baked a so-called decor chiffon cake here with extra making of chiffon sheet for cut-out designs.

Finally! Baked a simple decor chiffon cake with some cut-out flowers.  So glad that it turned out fluffy tall, pretty sweet looking and the texture is so cottony soft.  Baked this for a dinner event and blessed it was served as a birthday cake.



Recipe source and adapted from :
Loving Creations for You ( Susanne)
Below my slight adjustment made.
Strawberry Yoghurt Chiffon Cake
21cm chiffon pan
Ingredients:
Yolk batter
6 egg yolks
40g caster sugar
78g vegetable/corn oil
95g strawberry yoghurt drink
120g cake flour, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 - 2 drops of pink food colouring (optional)

Meringue
7 egg whites
75g caster sugar
¼ tsp cream of tartar

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Place a tray of water under the lowest rack for steam baking.

2. Separate the eggs into yolks and whites. (the size of my egg is 60g each with shell)

3. In a clean mixing bowl, whisk the cold egg whites and cream of tartar till foamy using the electric stand mixer. Gradually add in caster sugar in 3 separate additions and beat till stiff peak, formed into a firm meringue. Transfer to a big bowl and chill in the fridge.

4. In the same mixing bowl, cream together the egg yolks and caster sugar until pale and thickened using the electric mixer (about 3 - 4 minutes). Add in canola oil, strawberry yoghurt drink and vanilla extract and whisk till combined.

5. Sift in cake flour and whisk again until mixture is well combined. Add in 1 - 2 drops of food colouring and mix well.

6.  Using a *hand whisk or a spatula, gently fold in the egg whites to the egg yolks mixture in 3 batches until it looks evenly mixed (no streaks of meringue).
{*First time I tried out using hand whisk instead of spatula to fold in the meringue to yolk batter, references Cookpad and Zoe from
Bake For Happy Kids}

7. Pour the batter into the un-greased chiffon pan. Smooth the top evenly with spatula. Lightly tap the pan  2 - 3 times on a table top to get rid of any trapped air bubbles in the batter.

8. Bake the chiffon cake for 15 min at 160°C and then at 150°C for 10 mins and 140°C for 30 mins.  Test with a skewer inserted into the centre if it comes out clean.

9. When the pan was removed from the oven, I used the suggested technique to drop the pan at a height of 20~30cm onto a table top. This action helps to keep the springy texture of the cake when it is left to cool.

10. Immediately invert the pan to cool completely before unmoulding the cake from pan. To unmould cake by hand, gently pull cake from the sides of the tube pan. Turn the cake pan over and press down on the bottom firmly to dislodge. Gently pull the cake from the base around the edge and around the whole cake. Continue to lift up the cake and moving inwards until you reach the tube.


Cut-out flowers strawberry sheet cake adapted from: Loving Creations for You, with modification made from the pandan sheet cake.

Strawberry sheet cake for flower
Ingredients :
1 egg yolk
10g castor sugar
20g vegetable/corn oil
20g strawberry yoghurt drink
¼ tsp vanilla extract
30g cake flour, sifted
1 - 2 drops of food colouring

Meringue
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
25g caster sugar

Method :
1. Lined a 25x25 inch baking sheet with parchment paper, need not grease and set aside.

2. Preheat oven at 160°C and position the rack in the center.

3. Separate the eggs into yolks and whites. (the size of my egg is 60g each with shell)

4. In a clean mixing bowl, whisk the cold egg whites and cream of tartar till foamy using the electric stand mixer. Gradually add in caster sugar in 2 separate additions and beat till stiff peak, formed into a firm meringue. Transfer to a big bowl and chill in the fridge.

5. In the same mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and caster sugar until pale and fluffy with manual whisk. Add in canola oil, strawberry yoghurt drink and vanilla extract and whisk till combined.

6. Sift in cake flour and whisk again until mixture is well combined.  Divide the batter into two portions. Add 1 drop of red food colouring in one portion and mix well.

7.  Divide the meringue into 2 portions. Gently but quickly fold in the meringue into the 2 batters with a manual whisk in 2 batches until it looks evenly mixed.

8. Pour the two batters on the prepared baking sheet, briefly made few marbling effect with the spatula. Bake for about 15 mins at 160°C  (do not over bake).

9. Flip over onto cooling rack, remove the parchment paper to cool completely.

Cut out some flowers with floral shape cutter.

10. To assemble, melt a few pieces of marshmallows with small amount of water, mix until cream like texture with spoon.  Apply small amount and "glue" the flowers onto chiffon cake and decorate as you like. I'd forgotten to sprinkle some sparkling sugar as rushed for the event.

When box it up, the height of the cake almost reach it's cover.

Happy that it was very well received.



A simple decor chiffon cake with some flowers in pastel colours to usher into the new year..  Goodbye 2016  .... Welcome 2017 !

Here's wishing you and family a Blessed and Happy New Year !