Monday, February 17, 2014

Marina Bay Sands Hotel MBS

My family booked a room at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel during December last year. So I dropped by, if not dunno when will have the chance to visit this expensive hotel. Haha!

This is the hotel lobby with a large Christmas tree.

Past by a cafe and spotted this Christmas tree made of cookies and candies.

The room.

View of Gardens by the Bay from the room.

Got up to the Sands SkyPark observation deck at 57th Floor for the beautiful view of Singapore City. It is free access for hotel guests. It was noon time, skies was clear, weather was good!

We went for lunch and planning to come back later for the Infinity Pool. But the weather turned bad and started raining. :(

The infinity pool was awesome right! Looks scary, like going to fall over anytime? Haha!

Look at the side view of the pool. Nah, you are not entirely at the edge of the building. No worries at all!

Back to room for rest as the rain was getting heavier and impossible to swim.

The view of Gardens by the Bay as the sky darkened.

We drove to Satay by the Bay. A lot of local food over there, steamboat, BBQ... Think we got BBQ chicken wings, popiah, pizza and of course SATAY!

Ordered satay from 2 different stalls, this was our preferred one.

Back to the hotel. We went up again to the Sands SkyPark for the night view. Still drizzling at that time and couldn't take much photos.

While my family went back to their room, I returned home. It was a great experience!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Hidden Heart Chiffon Cake

I should have posted this yesterday, but just too lazy.

Few days ago, I did something that nobody has ever done before, or at least I have never seen anywhere online. Hidden heart in a cake is not something new. You probably have seen hidden hearts in pound cakes and cupcakes. But in a chiffon cake, it is just me daydreaming about it! So I daringly TRIED!

There's a HEART in my chiffon cake! It looks amazing right? But I can't say I succeed cos not every slice has a nice heart shape. Haha!

This is how I do it. I just use a chiffon cake recipe for a 17cm tin - 4 eggs (or any recipe that you like). Prepare the egg yolk batter as usual. Divide the batter into 2 portions. One portion I add strawberry powder to make it pink. The other I add cocoa powder to make it a chocolate chiffon cake.

Then beat half of the egg whites, for my case I beat 2 egg whites to peak first. Mix egg white to strawberry batter and bake in a square or any flat pan at 180 deg C for about 8-10 minutes until the top brown evenly. Set it aside to cool down, then cut the cake into as many pink heart shapes as you can. (Aiya, I should have used a smaller heart cutter.)

Next, I continue to beat the other 2 egg whites to peak. Another wrong estimation, I should have used extra white cos I end up not quite enough batter to cover the pink hearts. Then, mix the egg whites with the chocolate batter. Pour some chocolate batter into the chiffon tin. Place the pink hearts inside the tin all around - remember to place hearts upside down cos the chiffon cake will be turn over after baked. Try to place them as close as possible to avoid too many large gaps. Cover the hearts with the rest of the chocolate batter, then bake as usual.

And that's how I got the heart shapes in, although not perfect. My daydream comes true! LOL!

Thursday, February 06, 2014

CNY Cookies 2014

After baking for the charity bake sale, I managed to bake a few more types of cookies for my family just before the New Year.

The Chinese Peanut Cookies that I already bookmarked very long ago and I needed to use up the peanut oil leftover from the mooncake making few months ago. I went for the easy way of using readymade peanut powder. Maybe next year, I shall blend peanuts on my own.

I'm going crazy about flower design this year. Just so in love with the cutter!

The recipe is taken from Do What I Like. I wonder why I took so long to try making peanut cookies, cos it is so easy, just mix, roll and bake and only need a mixing bowl that's all! And it just crumbles in the mouth full of peanut fragrance. I like!

200g ground peanut powder
200g flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
100g icing sugar (I reduce to 90g still a bit sweet)
1/4 tsp salt
100g - 150g coarsely chopped peanut bits (or more)
100g peanut oil or more/corn oil (I added more than 100g)

Egg wash:
1 egg yolk lightly beaten with 1 tsp water

1. Put 200g peanuts in a wok and dry fry over low heat till crunchy. Remove the thin membrane and put into a blender and blend till powder form.
2. Mix flour, baking powder, ground peanut powder, icing sugar and salt in a big mixing bowl till well combined. Toss in the chopped peanut bits and mix well.
3. Add in 100g peanut oil or more and mix till a piable dough is formed.
4. Shape as you wish. (I make 10g each, I feel a bit too big as I prefer small bite size)
5. Apply egg wash.
6. Bake on a lined tray at 165C for 20 minutes or till golden brown.

1. Don't add in all the oil in one go. If dough is too dry, you can add more oil. If dough is too wet, you can add more flour.
2. For the shaping, you can do it in the round balls style or use a bottle cap instead. Put a piece of glad wrap over the bottle cap and press in enough dough - about 9g for this Watson's cap. Lift up the glad wrap and release the shaped cookie onto the baking tray.
3. Use corn oil if you are a "waist-watcher".
4. Use icing sugar instead of castor sugar to get a finer textured cookie.

Recipe is taken from Do What I Like

Next, I made the egg white crisps using the extra egg whites. I made them few years ago. They are originally called Almond Crisps posted by Elyn. I just made the plain version. They are paper-thin and very crispy! Super addictive to eat!

1 egg white (about 40g)
25g fine sugar
1/8 tsp vanilla essence
20g self-raising flour (or plain flour with a pinch of baking soda)

Almond flakes for decoration.

1. Mix egg white, sugar and vanilla essence till sugar is dissolved.
2. Add sifted self-raising flour and mix well.
3. Spread a small amount of batter on the baking paper using the back of the spoon as thinly as possible (almost see-thru). Thinner, crispier.
4. Sprinkle a few almond flakes on top.
5. Bake at 170 degrees for 5 mins or until golden brown.
6. Remove from baking paper immediately. Once it’s cool, keep in air-tight container.

1. Do watch the oven during the last minute as it may burn fast.
2. If it burns too fast, lower the temperature according to your oven.
3. Please use non-stick paper, if not your cookies will be stuck (Use Glad baking paper).
4. Please store as soon as it cools, or else it will turn soft.
5. Feel free to add anything u like. Almond, sesame seeds... I tried green tea powder before, also nice!

Playing with different colours for German cookies using the strawberry powder, yam powder and charcoal powder from my Hong Kong trip.

Lastly, my favourite cookies that I have to make every year.

Feeling quite sad. I lost my mini cashew nut cookie cutter after baking this batch of cookies. Left it beside the basin after washing. And it was dinner time, I think someone accidentally throw it away with the rubbish. Couldn't find it anymore. Super sad. This cutter was more than 20 years from my mum. Now I lost it. Don't know where I can find same shape and same size cutter again. My cashew nut cookies will never look the same anymore. :(