Friday, August 29, 2008

Nephew's 4th Birthday

Today is my nephew's 4-year-old birthday. He has chosen another "vehicle-theme" cake for his birthday. Yeah, we know that he likes all sorts of vehicles since he was few months old. He had a train cake when he was 1, a construction-site cake when he was 3. (His 2nd year was a sesame street cake :) ). And this year, it is a Choo Choo Train Cupcake from PrimaDeli which is made of 24 cupcakes. I like the cake decoration but the cupcake doesn't taste as nice as last year's one.

Happy Birthday, Boy!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Easy Strawberry Ice Cream

I'm into ice-cream making again! :)

After my successful attempt in making the black sesame ice cream, I made another ice cream flavour upon my nephew's request. Erm... my excuse actually, I think I crave for the ice cream more than he does. But he has the privilege of choosing the ice cream flavour that he likes. I have a couple of ice cream recipes like green tea, red bean, cookies & cream, etc. In the end, he wants to eat strawberry ice cream, as simple as that. I told him, but we don't have strawberries at home. So I had to use strawberry paste to substitute the real strawberries.

Here's the strawberry ice cream for you. :)

Easy Strawberry Ice Cream (Modified from here and here)

3 egg yolks
80g sugar
200g fresh milk
1 tsp strawberry paste
250g non-dairy whipping cream

1. Whisk egg yolks and sugar till white and creamy.
2. Double boil the egg yolk mixture and stir constantly. Pour in fresh milk and continue stirring until mixture is hot but not boiling.
3. Remove the milk mixture from heat and set aside to cool.
4. Add in 1 tsp of strawberry paste.
5. Whisk non-dairy whipping cream till fluffy and fold in the cooled milk mixture.
6. Pour into container and freeze overnight or until firm.

* You can add fresh strawberries in if you like.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

I'm curious to try out this Cookies and Cream Cupcakes recipe from Crazy About Cupcakes. Firstly, it only uses egg whites, and not whole eggs, which is different from other cupcakes recipes that I have seen. You see, I have plenty of egg whites left after making the ice creams. :)

Secondly, it uses a different kind of mixing method. Instead the usual way of creaming the butter and sugar first, then adding the eggs and milk, then the flours and crushed cookies.
The method goes like this:
1. Cream the butter, milk and vanilla until fluffy (but I can't reach the fluffy stage).
2. Add the dry ingredients to butter mixture.
3. Add in the sugar.
4. Add in the egg whites.
5. Add in the crushed cookies.

Just as I was wondering about the result, the cupcakes came out soft and spongy. The surface did not turn brown. I was thinking could it be underbaked, but since the skewer came out clean, I shouldn't leave it to overbake. My only complaint is that it was overly sweet for me.

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes (Here's the original recipe from Crazy About Cupcakes)

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup chocolate sandwich cookies (about 10), lightly crushed

1. Preheat the oven to 350 deg F. Insert liners into a medium cupcake pan.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, milk and vanilla with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt.
4. Add the dry ingredients to butter mixture. Mix until integrated. Stir in the sugar. With an electric mixer on low speed, beat for 30 seconds. Turn the mixer up to medium speed and beat for 2 minutes. Add the egg whites. Beat for 2 more minutes. Stir in the crushed cookies.
5. Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 full. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of cupcakes comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in the pan.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Tried out 2 types of pancakes over the last 2 weeks.

This is from Elyn's Nigella's Pancakes. I like its premix method. You can prepare in advance by mixing large quantities of the dry ingredients and store them in an air-tight container. Whenever you need to make the pancakes, just scoop up 1 cup of the premix and mix with egg, milk, butter and vanilla essence to prepare the batter. These pancakes are SUPER soft and my nephew finished 6 pieces at one go.

This is another type of pancake from Korea called Hoddeok. The recipe is taken from My Korean Kitchen. It looks quite appetizing from the website's photos. I stuff the pancakes with sweet peanut fillings. But I did not do a good job when making the pancakes. The dough is kind of hard and dry. If only I had the chance to try the real Hoddeok from Korea, then I can compare how bad I did. ;)

Friday, August 08, 2008

Black Sesame Ice Cream

I recently become very interested in making my own ice cream after seeing Elinluv, Happy Mrs Kwok and Passion Baker's homemade ice cream.

Since I have plenty of black sesame seeds left from my last bake, I make the Black Sesame Ice Cream from this recipe. I modified the recipe a bit, substituting all coconut milk with fresh milk. The ice cream tastes absolutely yummy!

I didn't know that ice-cream making can be so simple and you don't actually need a ice cream maker to do it. :)

Monday, August 04, 2008

Black Sesame Buns

After reserving the book and waiting for almost a month, I finally got a copy of 孟老師的100道麵包 from the library. Several bloggers have tried out the recipes in this book and highly recommend it. I'm glad I got the copy as the DVD that comes with the book is very useful. It gives very detailed demonstration on the steps of making homemade bread. I'm eager to try out the recipes after reading the book.

As breadmaking is still very new for me, I decided to try out the Black Sesame Buns which is simpler to make. Unfortunately, I met a major problem when making the bread. The dough was simply to sticky to deal with. I suspected it was due to underkneading so I let the machine knead for more than 40 minutes. That did not improve the result too. So I took the bread out to knead myself, leaving the machine to rest as it was overheated and refused to start. After some time of "wrestling" with the sticky dough, I threw the dough back into the machine to mix the grounded black sesame in. Luckily the result became slightly better, much to my relief.

I left a message to Happy Homebaker for advice. She did not have the same problem. I suspect it's due to the heat in the bread machine. She mentioned that she always leave the lid of the machine open thoughout the kneading cycle to prevent the dough from heating up, which I did not do so. A reader of her blog also suggests that those who use bread machine to knead, to use ice water and cold eggs or milk or butter, which will help to keep the dough temperature low. I will keep this in mind during my next attempt.

Black Sesame Buns (From 孟老師的100道麵包)

Ingredients (makes 6 buns)
Ingredients A:
250g bread flour
25g brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp instant yeast
10g milk powder
160g water

Ingredients B:
10g unsalted butter
20g black sesame seeds, grounded

Ingredients C:
Egg white
Black sesame seeds, for topping

1. Mix all ingredients A until it forms a smooth dough.
2. Add in butter and knead until it forms a smooth and elastic dough.
3. Add in grounded black sesame seeds and mix until well-blended.
4. Place the dough in a mixing bowl, cover with cling wrap and proof for about 80 minutes (I proof for 60 minutes).
5. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions. Mould it round. Brush the top with egg white and cover the top with plenty of black sesame seeds. Place them on the baking tray and proof for another 30 minutes.
6. Bake at 180 deg C for about 15 minutes.