Monday, April 28, 2014

Mini (Glazed) Orange Angel Food Cakes

A home return with a great bargain from my impromptu visit to Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores and a cake flour brand awareness during my grocery shopping yesterday topped with my "anyhow-click" web browsing this afternoon came together and led to this baking post. Although I've always been telling my husband that baking is about investing (in good bakeware and tools), which is also my way of coaxing him into buying things I need for my baking, I don't "splurge" for practical considerations. One obvious consideration is about fitting into my luggage when I am returning to Singapore and another basic consideration is the variety of uses. But the bubbles of considerations were immediately burst by a 40% discount on any single regular-priced item, which also made my wish come true. (Oh yes, I have simple wishes.) Now I finally have a (4-cavity mini) angel food cake pan, also known as chiffon tube pan. And what I actually meant by my "anyhow-click" web browsing was my aimless clicking through blogs for no particular search of recipes when I chanced upon a cooking/baking family-oriented event named, "Little Thumbs Up"organised by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids and her friend, Doreen from my little favourite DIY. So here's what I have made from my one day old bakeware for Little Thumbs Up April: Orange!.

Mini (Glazed) Orange Angel Food Cakes

I am submitting this post to the event, Little Thumbs Up (April 2014: Orange) organised by Bake For Happy Kids, and My Little Favourite DIY, hosted by Ann of Anncoo Journal.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies

It was my plain excuse of "fighting" with the lazy bug for not baking lately. The fact is ever since I started watching my first Hong Kong drama show online, I have been so addicted.  In a period of less than a month, I have completed three drama series plus the fourth one with the last four episodes to finish. It was then I thought to myself that I have to pause because this is so horrible and unacceptable of me. Although I'm as eager to finish the remaining episodes of my fourth drama show, I've decided I should (at least) bake one recipe this week. To regain my momentum, I thought I would try out something easy which doesn't take quite as much time and so I've settled with the so-claimed Famous Amos® Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe which my brother had tasked me sometime ago. And what I thought was "easy" turned out to be a disaster (at least it didn't work out for me)! @_@ I'm not sure if there was a typo in the recipe since it was posted in 2011 but I am quite certain that the amount of butter stated in the recipe might not have been accurate from the result of the cookies I'd made (regret my impulsiveness of deleting the pictures because the cookies were just too ugly to look at, otherwise I could have shared here). Although I ended up spending two days instead of one as planned in my cookies baking, I was satisfied with the results of my chocolate chip cookies after my own trials and errors. With that, I have completed my "mission"! ^_^

Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies

Monday, April 14, 2014

Shortcrust Egg Tarts

I enjoy watching TV programmes on cooking demonstrations since young. I never fail to dream about owning all those fanciful kitchen tools and baking essentials whenever I see them at the departmental store. Even till now, I felt I can never have enough of them though I have most of the (basic) required baking tools. I can't recall when and what I first baked, but I do have one clear memory and that was (together with my sister) helping my Mummy when she was making fruit egg tarts. I somehow recollected we tasted and disliked the custard filling in usual fruit tarts (which were not
as tasty as these days) and my Mummy had made her own version of fruit tarts by baking her usual homemade egg tarts and topping them with our favourite fruits. I remembered her version as the only and tastiest fruit egg tarts I've ever had. To date I don't think I have seen anywhere selling fruit tarts with egg tart as the base. In my later years when I learnt about blogging, I remember the very first food blog I stumbled upon was the blog of Wokking Mum (although I cannot remember how I discovered the blog). I even kept a file of the recipes I'd printed from the blog which I was interested and thought of making someday, recognising my lack of trust in online information  because I feel that the website might just collapse or become unavailable. Haha! The file "grew" eventually with lots of other recipes I'd collected from web sources and cut-outs from magazines. I decided to try my hands on these egg tarts when I was sorting out my recipe file and found that the required ingredients are readily available in my pantry. The only essential which I lacked was the egg tart moulds with the flower ridges. That's when I thought I could use the muffin pan instead. Although I did not top these egg tarts with fruits, they were good enough to reminisce the memories of baking with my Mummy and sister during my childhood days. ^_^ Does homemade egg tarts bring back fond memories of yours too? Try out this recipe someday!

I am re-sharing this post for the event, AphaBakes (May 2014: Letter "E") hosted by Ros of The More than Occasional Baker and Caroline of Caroline Makes. The letter "E" represents the star ingredients, Eggs!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Pandan Chiffon Cupcakes

Yay, my oven has finally "fully recovered"! Just can't wait to put it into use after taking 1-1/2 weeks' break. The oven feels like new after it has been replaced with a computer board and a new bulb. For its first mission, I have decided to experiment my pandan chiffon cake recipe, baking them in cupcake size instead of using the traditional chiffon cake pan (simply because I don't have one). I have been in search for the "best" pandan chiffon cake recipe because my husband is a lover of the pandan chiffon cake from the famous bakery in Singapore.

Although there are many pandan chiffon cake recipes available online, I haven't found one to my comfort because most of the recipes bake using the traditional whole cake pan and most importantly, almost all recipes call for fresh pandan leaves and freshly squeezed coconut milk. Nope, you have not heard me wrongly. As ridiculous as it is, I am trying to make a pandan chiffon cake without using pandan leaves and
Pandan Chiffon Cupcakes
using canned coconut milk (or cream) as substitute. This is simply because these two key fresh ingredients are just no where to be found in this small city in the west of Florida. Then, how is it even possible to make a pandan chiffon cake as the name suggests? Thankfully, Man made pandan essence. Though the substitutions are not as fragrant as compared to freshly extracted pandan juice and coconut milk, it is consoling enough to be able to use a similar substitute to mimic its taste. With that, I was possible to work on experimenting my soft and fluffy pandan chiffon cupcakes. This is not my first attempt in making pandan chiffon cupcakes. In the past, I would half the ingredients for a whole cake recipe and the batter amount were usually slightly too much for a standard 12-cup muffin pan. With that, I had to bake a second batch of only three to four cupcakes which often turned out denser, possibly because the batter had been left to sit for as long as the first batch was baking. After my trials and errors, I am quite satisfied with my own version of pandan chiffon cupcakes. Though not as fragrant as it would have been had fresh ingredients been used, the chiffon cupcake texture was soft and fluffy. They were tasty enough to satisfy one's craving for pandan chiffon cake while being away from home!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Rainbow Smoothie

It's been a while since I bake and blog about my baking experiment. After my oven gave up on me for overworking it last month, I have been occupied with a Hong Kong drama titled Triumph in the Skies. Well yes, I know it's quite an old show. I've wanted to watch it long ago but found it tiresome to try to understand the plot without English subtitles since I couldn't understand Cantonese and I'm slow in reading Traditional Chinese characters. It was until recently that I found the show with English subtitles on a website,, which my bestie had recommended. There are two series to this drama and I actually managed to complete the first series of 40 episodes in less than a week; 4-1/2 days to be precise. Overall, I thought it was a light-hearted show which taught a great deal of life philosophy, although I still prefer if Isabelle and Sam Tong could become an item. For those who have watched, you should know who I'm referring. I wonder if you feel the same? Anyway, now I felt that I've overworked my lasik-ed eyes! @_@

Though time seems to pass slower when I'm not baking, I still can't wait to get my hands into some baking fun. Hopefully the oven will "recover" soon…To keep my hands busy, I've been into blending all sorts of smoothies to go with my Tostitos®, my favourite drama companion snack. In fact I have been blending almost everything I could possibly find in my pantry ever since I got hold of a blender.

Rainbow Smoothie
What's more, I've also discovered a great way to salvage my leftover fruits by freezing them before they turn bad and turning them into fruity ice blended smoothie later. This is also a great money-saving tip because I have good reason to buy a punnet of strawberries on sale without worrying about not being able to finish up before they turn bad. 

To spice things up, I made a multi-layer smoothie instead of blending all the fruits together like I usually did. Though preparation was quite a hassle, it's certainly an unique way of drinking enjoyment. Especially a great trick to get kids to "drink" up their fruits too.

Unlike nutritionists or diet-watchers, I don't follow any specific "guidelines" in deciding what goes into my smoothies. I simply add whatever I like to eat and don't like to eat and whatever's available. And yes, including whatever I don't like to eat including raw carrots, tomatoes and cucumber. I was convinced they wouldn't have the raw taste which I dislike after they have been blended with the fruits altogether. This is indeed a great way for multi-nutritional intake without a fuss. While I have no specific "guidelines" for my blended smoothies, I am pleasured to share my Rainbow Smoothie experiment for any first timers out there. ^_^

Bear in mind, once you start making your own smoothie, you can't stop making your own smoothie. They are just so goooood…

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

April Fools' Day - (Unofficial) Aspiring Bakers #40: Rainbow and Ombre Party Roundup

My sentiment for April 1st used to be "those were the days", referring back to the times when I was still schooling in the younger days. I don't recall much memories of jokes and pranks that were played upon since I started out to work about 10 years ago. However, this April 1st could probably be something memorable because I have actually made a joke and a fool out of myself. @_@

For those who have been reading or had read my blog, you would probably know what had spurred me to set up this blog. Yesterday (based on Singapore's local time) was the roundup for the Aspiring Bakers' last theme event. As eagerly as I have been waiting for the roundup post to be published, I was almost disappointed when I did not see any of my posts in the Aspiring Bakers #40: Rainbow and Ombre Party Roundup post. Unfortunately, none of my baking posts have made it to the roundup because I'd been such a "sotong" (a dialect similar to being a muddlehead). It was until I re-read the guidelines on "How to join" that I realised I had all the while overlooked the last step, which required an email to be sent to the host of the theme event in the prescribed format for every post submission. This explains why none of my post made it to the roundup despite my eager participation. -_-!!!

Albeit all my baking posts did not made it to the roundup, I wouldn't say that my efforts have gone to a waste. After all, I have proved that I can do it! For my own consolation, I have created my very own version of the (unofficial) Aspiring Bakers #40: Rainbow and Ombre Party Roundup. ^_^

Polka Dots Swiss Roll with Nutella® Buttercream
M&M's® Cookies
MultiColour Checkered Cake coated with Dark Chocolate Frosting
Kueh Lapis a.k.a. Steamed Nine-layer Cake
Colourful Checkered Butter Cookies
Four-flavour Spiral Mántóu (a.k.a. Chinese Steamed Buns)
Ice-cream Cone Rainbow Cupcakes
Rainbow Flower Buns
Rainbow Flower Butter Cookies
No-bake Rainbow Yogurt Cheesecake
Microwave Rainbow Vanilla Mug Cake
MultiColour-Striped Swiss Roll with Vanilla Buttercream
Just another lesson learnt! Haha~

Happy April Fools' Day!

Dare to dream.
The Dream Baker