All posts filed under: Bakes

Muffins

Strawberry, Apple and Almond Muffins

Before I write more about these big, juicy and delicious muffins, this was a delayed post.  I admit that I was supposed to share this recipe last week because this was a Mother’s Day breakfast surprise for my family. To be a little more honest here, I’ve never attempted muffins.  Normally I would conveniently buy from the neighbourhood breakfast cafes because they always have the “buy 1 coffee and free muffin” promotion.  But for this special day, I want my family to wake up to the smell of something’s baking in the oven. “The combination of sweet strawberries, apple and crackling almonds are a WOW-ZER! Not only it’s easy to make, it’s pretty and yummy”   Thanks to Katie Quinn Davis’s cookbook What Katie Ate – the recipe is easy and instructions are straight forward – making it simple for an inexperienced baker like me to follow.  Katie also mentioned that if fresh blueberries or blackberries are in season, throw them in too. These muffins make such great gifts for house parties or to serve at your own tea parties, with …

Pineapple tart

Buttery & Crumbly Pineapple Tarts (凤梨酥)

I’m into my second week of Chinese New Year (CNY) baking, woot! woot! and I’m loving it.  With containers of cookies (with red plastic caps) in the living room and CNY decors all up, it all looks like we’re ready to celebrate and welcome the new year.  Feels good to keep the tradition alive, at least, when we’re far away from our beloved home. Last week, I made Chinese Peanut Cookies  and it was so delicious that my family wiped out almost all of it.  This week, I made yet another of my favourite cookie – Pineapple tarts (凤梨酥), that I grew up with.  They’re so addictively tasty with a good balance of buttery melt-in-your-mouth pastry and sweet tangy pineapple jam – thank you Nasi Lemak Lover for sharing the recipe! With CNY around the corner, the Chinese will go all the way out to buy pineapples to cook/bake or display as decor.  To the hokkiens, pineapple is called ong lai.  Ong means “prosperous” and lai means “to come”. Let me start by saying that pineapple tarts are not easy to …

CNY peanut cookies

Chinese Peanut Cookies (花生饼)

Chinese New Year (CNY) is the biggest event in a Chinese calendar.  The celebration takes 15 days where we gather with family and friends – paying our respect to the elders, feasting and playing card games, mahjong. According to tradition, a red packet (angpow) is also given to non-married people during this 15 days of celebration. I love CNY because it’s always full of life, colours and emotions. In 3 weeks time, the Chinese will bid farewell to Horse 马 year and welcome another year of prosperity and good health with the Goat 羊 year.  The Chinese believes that the Goat depicts a symbol of peace, auspicious and good luck.  If you are new to the Chinese zodiac, allow me to enlighten you more … The Chinese zodiac is a repeating 12 year cycle with each year symbolising an animal and its characters.  The 12 lucky animals that made it to this recognition are rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.  There has also been many legends and stories on how these 12 animals are chosen.  I remembered my grandparents jokingly …

Cream puffs with chantilly cream

Cream Puffs with Chantilly Cream

Baking to me is a scary thing.  Maybe because I’m totally hopeless with measurements and have a limited capacity of patience. Ha Ha.  That’s why I have a very strong admiration and respect for bakers.  To all the bakers out there, “Continue what you are doing because baking is great!” This is my third attempt at baking with the first on Japanese Chiffon Cheesecake, then followed by Red Velvet Cupcake. So far, I have been a good girl by following the cardinal rules of baking and the results have been satisfactory. Cream puffs have been my favourite shopping centre snack.  Never missed giving them a bite because of the delicious cream that goops out when bitten into.  But why pay when you can make this at home and enjoy with tea and coffee 🙂 So, it was from the addictively superb cooking show, Masterchef Australia, that I found Choux pastry or classically known as Choux bun is the culinary challenge du jour and a very technical skill to perfect at home! I think this is a myth that all pastry chefs …

Red Velvet Cupcake with Sprinkles

Red Velvet Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Today, I attempted to bake cupcakes.  I’m not a baker material because I don’t follow measurements to the exact and I’m not patient.  For baking, the cardinal rule no 1 is follow (repeat: follow) the measurement! My first attempt a year ago was a total flop.  Wait a minute *flashback time*sad background music*, due to the mistake of not following measurements, my cupcake tasted horrible and looked terrible.  Yes, those cupcakes were made to kill.  So, after that horrendous experience, I stopped baking. Since I started this blog, I have learnt to cook and have had more hands on experience and knowledge with food and techniques.  So, naturally, baking is the next course that I wish to attempt. Again 🙂 The fun part about baking is the decorating.  Baking, to me, is like art and a blank canvas that is waiting to be decorated 🙂  No doubt, the texture and taste is important too but if it doesn’t look good, it wouldn’t taste good too. Since I’m just a beginner baker, I followed this video …

Japanese Chiffon Cheesecake

Japanese Chiffon Cheesecake

Aaahhhh….soft, melt-in-mouth Japanese Chiffon Cheesecake.  It’s the first decent cake I’ve ever baked in my entire life and it was well worth the effort.  We finished the entire cake after refrigeration the next day!  Yes, it was damn good and it’s heading straight into my family favourite recipe list.  This recipe (thanks to Bing Cooks and all the step-by-step photos) hits the right notes to achieve that super delicious home-made good quality Japanese Cheesecake. The ingredients are relatively easy to get.  Just follow the recipe and measurements as indicated and you’ll get a light, fluffy and “not-too-cheesy” Cheesecake.  Can be enjoyed 2 ways – right out from the oven for the sponge cake texture or chilled for the cheesecake texture.  We absolutely love love love the chilled. Japanese Chiffon Cheesecake (adapted from Bing Cooks)  Serves up to 12 slices Ingredients: 1 block of cream cheese (I use Philadelphia cream cheese) 3/4 cup pouring cream (I use Bulla pouring cream) 70g butter 5 large eggs (separate yolks and whites) 4 1/2 tbsp plain flour 3 tbsp …