Thursday, December 3, 2015

Berries Trifle in a Jar

It's the most wonderful time of the year again! Hello December! For some reasons December just seem to be the most "well-liked" month. And I wonder if Christmas is the main reason for that. For me, I love December not just because of Christmas, but because it's my birthday month. too ^_^ Well, do share with me if you happen to know of anyone who doesn't like December. I haven't been in the mood to do just anything (not literally) ever since I got back from my Korea trip. I was told it's "normal" since I haven't gotten, or rather, I am unwilling to get over the holiday mood. But since almost everyone around me is in their high-spirited festive mood, I bet I will get over with my holiday blues (soon). Haha! 

I have been cracking my brain on what's suitable to make during this festive season since we will be expecting quite a few gatherings and parties. As I was looking through my archives, I found this pretty dessert in a jar that I'd made for one of my high-tea sessions with my twinning friend. This was one taken from the personally autographed recipe book, Glorious Layered Desserts by Glory Albin which I've won through a contest on Instagram some time back. *Grin!

Berries Trifle in a Jar
This recipe is definitely a keeper for various occasions! I love the idea of being able to prepare them in advance and the individualised portions which look just so lovely and appetising. I hope you'll like them too! ^_^

Monday, November 16, 2015

Strawberry Cheesecake Mousse

Fancy a quick dessert recipe for a last minute tea session or party? Not sure what to do with the remaining bits of cream cheese and heavy whipping cream from previous recipes? Here's a delectable yet super easy and hassle free no-bake recipe not to be missed! I recalled trying out this recipe when I was clearing out the leftovers in my fridge in preparation of our relocation in August. Thankful to this no-bake and quick recipe which I have made with a twist by taking reference from Glory Albin's Glorious Layered Desserts, I was able to continue my last of the few high tea sessions with my "twinning" friend with more home-made desserts before I departed that beautiful Sunshine state!

Strawberry Cheesecake Mousse

How about chasing away your (Monday) blues with these pretty pink dessert?!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Our Growing Edge: October 2015 Round-Up

It's the second last month of 2015! It was a good start to November for me as my hubby and I spent our time in Seoul. The maple season in South Korea was such a beautiful sight! It was a quick two weeks and we're back again in this summer-all-year-round little red dot nation. But we are glad the haze condition has improved much! Yay! 

Earlier this month, I announced that I was given the honour to host the October 2015 Our Growing Edge, an event that aims to connect food bloggers and inspire everyone to try new things. This meaningful blog event founded by Genie of Bunny Eats Design brings out the part of us that is still learning and experimenting. It’s the part that you regularly grow and improve, be it from real passion or a conscious effort. This monthly event aims to connect and inspire us to try new things and to compile a monthly snapshot of what food bloggers are getting up to. I am extremely thrilled that we have a total of 12 blog entries for this month's Our Growing Edge (unfortunately one of the entries has been dismissed as it is a sponsored post which I have no obligations). 

Now let's take a walk through the amazing entries received for blog event Our Growing Edge in October 2015...

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Hot Milk Cake

It's been more than two months since I last shared a recipe. My husband and I have finally settled down well in our birth country. But I must say the hot and humid weather here is still unbearably hard to accept. With the haze from our friendly neighbouring country, I hope it's just a matter of time before we re-adapt to the weather and get some fresh air.

Every time I look out of the window, I can't help but miss the bright blue sky and clean breathing air back at the sunshine state. As I recall how reluctant I was when I was clearing up, especially the stuff in the fridge before we left for good, I realised I have this unpublished recipe which I had made out of my ever-lasting bottle of milk. For some reasons, I was never able to finish the bottle of milk lying in the fridge before its expiry. 

To prevent such wastage, I have been in search of a recipe that could use up my leftover milk. As the name of this recipe suggests, this cake is made out of heated milk. This cake is dense yet unusually soft and moist. Perfect to be enjoyed anytime during the day! ^_^

To celebrate the newfound usage of leftover milk lying in the fridge, I am pleased to share this Hot Milk Cake with Our Growing Edge (October 2015) hosted by me! Genie of Bunny Eats Design, founder of this monthly blog event that aims to connect food bloggers and inspire us to try new things has given me the honour to host this month's edition. October 2015's Our Growing Edge runs from now till 31st October 2015. Do head over to this link here and join us in sharing your food-related experiences!

In addition, I would also like to share this recipe with blog event, No Waste Food Challenge (October 2015) organised by Elizabeth of Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary and hosted by Kate of Veggie Desserts this month. Say No to future milk wastage!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Our Growing Edge: October 2015

It's coming to October and we are into the last quarter of 2015! Time really flies!

It has been hectic and unsettling over the past two months ever since my husband and I relocated back to our birth country and then shift from the west to the east. Things at home have been keeping me so busy to the extent of neglecting my blog. I feel so behind time now with so many baking experiments but not enough time to write about them. Sorry readers!

Here's a good news to share though and hopefully a good start to keep up with my blogging. I am honoured to be asked by Genie of Bunny Eats Design to host the October 2015 Our Growing Edge, an event that aims to connect food bloggers and inspire everyone to try new things. ^_^

According to Genie, founder of this meaningful blog event, Our Growing Edge is the part of us that is still learning and experimenting. It’s the part that you regularly grow and improve, be it from real passion or a conscious effort. This monthly event aims to connect and inspire us to try new things and to compile a monthly snapshot of what food bloggers are getting up to.

Who can join?

Our Growing Edge is open to anyone. It is not a competition and there are no prizes or winners, it is just a way to share new experiences. You do not have to commit every month, just when you have something to share. To enter, you must blog about achieving a food related challenge that you have meaning to do (or redo). It could be easy, like tasting a new food or difficult, like cooking a life long nemesis recipe. It could be building or growing something an edible garden, or successfully preserving food. As long as it is food related and new to you, you can share your newly learned knowledge with the group.

The Rules / Submission Guidelines
  1. Your post must mention the phrase, "This post is part of the monthly link up party Our Growing Edge. This event aims to connect food bloggers and inspire us to try new things. This month is hosted by Kerene of The Dream Baker." and include Our Growing Edge logo (on the right).
  2. Your entry must link to me, the host page at The Dream Baker and Genie, the founder of this event at Bunny Eats Design. If you are submitting an already published post, remember to update it with the phrase, logo and links.
  3. You can enter with any new food experience as long as it is new to you.
  4. You may submit up to two entries per month.

Let's all have a fun-sharing time together!

Dare to dream.
The Dream Baker

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Sorry, but I'll be back!

Hi everyone! 

My apologies for the lack of updates! I've had too much on my plate and time always seem to pass too quickly. August 2015 was a fresh new start as I relocated across the globe back to where I'd belong (since birth), and September 2015 is yet another brand new start as I moved from the west to the east of this "little red dot" nation. I have a list of recipes lined up and I'll try my best to share them with you as soon as I am well settled. Please do stay tuned! Cheers. ^_^

Dare to dream.
The Dream Baker

Monday, July 20, 2015

Homemade Granola

I was staring at the pantry basket which was given to me by a friend who had since returned home. It has been lying in the kitchen for a month or two and I'm just too lazy to sort them out. Amongst the assortment of tea bags, bottles of spices and sauces contained inside, I also found many half-used packets of dry ingredients including old-fashion oats, pecans, walnuts, sunflower seeds and dried cranberries. And I wonder what they had been used for before I realised the obvious combination that they would make up to. That's right - Granola!

A quick search online made me realised that there seem to be no "standard" recipe for making homemade granola. After studying the article from Buzzfeed, "How To Make the Best Granola Ever" and referencing the tips & techniques on "How to Make Homemade Granola" from King Arthur Flour website, I decided to come up with my own variation of Homemade Granola! ^_^

Homemade Granola

I am sharing this Homemade Granola with blog event, No Waste Food Challenge organised and hosted by Elizabeth of Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary.

I am also sharing this recipe with blog events Recipe of the Week hosted by Emily of A Mummy Too; CookBlogShare hosted by Lucy of Supergolden Bakes; and Bake of the Week organised by Helen & gang of Casa Costello


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Strawberry Chantilly Cake

It's officially Summer (or well it's been awhile) and we are into the second week of July. The hot weather is just making everyone (or at least me) feeling very lethargic. >,<

What's up for you in July? Now that the two-week long tournament, Wimbledon has come to an end, I wonder what will be hot in the news next... Though I'm not a tennis fan, it seems impossible not to know about the tournament given the substantial coverage. A quick search online showed that Wimbledon, or The Championships, Wimbledon is actually the oldest tennis tournament in the world. But what surprised me was the Wimbledon traditions include eating strawberries and cream by the spectators and royal patronage! While there's no definite answer as to why, but the likely explanation is that strawberries are in season during the time the tournament was played. Ok, how simple is that?! Haha!

And coincidentally, I made a Strawberry Chantilly Cake for a new friend who said she likes any cakes with strawberries. What a perfect timing to share this recipe!

Strawberry Chantilly Cake

Does looking at the picture makes you want a slice? Well I hope! ^_^ In fact, Chantilly, as many of you may know, is just a fancier way of calling whipped cream as it is. My Strawberry Chantilly Cake is none other than any vanilla sponge cake layers filled with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. *Grin! However, this is noticeably different from the Strawberry Shortcake which I'd shared in my older post. This sponge cake recipe yields a lighter and fluffier cake texture. In any case, try it for yourself and be your own judge! ^_^

Friday, June 26, 2015

Mini Hokkaido Chiffon Cupcakes

I was flipping through my recipes file when I found this Hokkaido Chiffon Cupcakes recipe from the one and only baking class I'd attended with my sister a couple of years ago! I recalled we attempted this recipe for a second time at our home's kitchen which didn't turn out quite well. Haha! I didn't know I would have the patience to bake then, and yet now, baking seems to be part of me. Hokkaido Chiffon Cupcakes are very delicate, and they are definitely ones that will not make you sulk when you see them shrink after they cool. In fact, these cupcakes are supposed to shrink so that they will puff up nicely after being filled with cream frosting piped into the cakes.  

Mini Hokkaido Chiffon Cupcakes

After almost two years of self-taught baking and experimenting, I decided to attempt this recipe again and I'm glad they turn out pretty well. These cupcakes certainly bring back beautiful memories....

I'm sharing this recipe with Best Recipes for Everyone (June 2015: BREE #10 Secret of Chiffon & Roll Cakes) organized and hosted by Fion of XuanHom's Mom; and

Tea Time Treats (June 2015: Muffins, Fairy Cakes and Cupcakes) hosted by Karen of Lavender and Lovage and Janie of The Hedgecombers.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Homemade Croissants (A 3-day affair)

Who can't get enough of croissants? Because I can't! Sorry if I'm boring you with another croissant recipe! But this is definitely worth it. Finally succeeded in baking these flaky crispy croissants. Yay! Subsequent to the success of my Pain au Chocolat, I've decided to make some classic croissants out of the same dough recipe so as to be convinced that the recipe is a keeper. And indeed! In fact, I made these classic croissants concurrently with my Pain au Chocolat. I mean, it's a three-days wait before the actual baking after all...

Homemade Croissants

I am sharing this recipe with blog events Recipe of the Week hosted by Emily of A Mummy Too; CookBlogShare hosted by Lucy of Supergolden Bakes; and Bake of the Week organised by Helen & gang of Casa Costello.


Friday, June 12, 2015

Pain au Chocolat (Chocolate Croissants)

I am so into making croissants this week! Right after the unintentional creation of Brioche-Croissants in my previous post, I immediately google and work on another croissant dough recipe which I couldn't wait to share the results! I must say the time spent and efforts really paid off. And I have come to terms that croissants-making is definitely one that cannot be rushed. This 3-day baking affair was certainly worth the wait. The flaky Pain au Chocolat were soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. Until now I still couldn't believe I actually did it! Yay!

Well, and the reason why I'd decided to try out another recipe (instead of the same recipe in my earlier post) is because I've noticed that most croissant dough recipes add butter to the making of the dough. However, the previous recipe I'd worked on (plainly due to the small quantity) didn't (although I might not have succeeded because I did not follow the instructions, and not because of the butter @_@). Not too sure if the addition of butter has any impact on the croissant dough until I re-make the previous recipe. But until then, I must say I am happily satisfied with the results from this recipe that I'm sharing below. Woohooo!

Pain au Chocolat

They might not be the prettiest looking Pain au Chocolat, but they are definitely a delicious one. Guess I have to work on wrapping the chocolates between the dough. But I'm glad that the decision to turn the classic croissant dough recipe into these Pain au Chocolat version worked just as I have hoped for. For those of you who have been intimidated by the making of these delicate pastry and still contemplating if you should give it a shot, hesitate no more! If I can do it, you can too! ^_^

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Brioche Croissants

Croissants, as defined by Wikipedia, "is a buttery, flaky, viennoiserie or Vienna-style pastry named for its well-known crescent shape. Croissants and other viennoiserie are made of a layered yeast-leavened dough. The dough is layered with butter, rolled and folded several times in succession, then rolled into a sheet, in a technique called laminating. The process results in a layered, flaky texture, similar to a puff pastry.". Even before knowing its descriptions, I was already intimidated by the making of this delicate pastry from eating one bought from a decent bakery. And that's just why I've put off the idea of trying to make croissants at home until now. 

I went through many recipes online before settling with this particular recipe given the small quantity which I thought would be more manageable. But I was caught in a dilemma at the results of my final baked pastry because a recipe meant to be homemade croissants turned out more like brioches. And Brioches, according to Wikipedia, "is a pastry of French origin that is similar to a highly enriched bread, and whose high egg and butter content give it a rich and tender crumb. It is light and slightly puffy, more or less fine, according to the proportion of butter and eggs.". 

Given the soft bready texture made out of a laminated croissant dough which doesn't contain eggs,  I'm not sure if they may well be a brioche alike or a failed croissant recipe. Or perhaps these could probably be the integration of brioches and croissants. I mean, Chef Dominique Ansel invented Cronuts, a croissant-doughnut pastry, then how about a new invention of brioche-croissant pastry? Haha! Anyway, I must admit that I did not follow the instructions of the recipe which I'd referenced. The impatient me tried to combine all the different methods of croissant-making that I read online using the specified ingredients, and reduced the originally 3-day making affair into a 1-day affair, twisting the steps here and there. Seemingly a smart-aleck right, I know. Haha! I never like to follow proper rules anyway, but I guess it's just a lesson learnt. Perhaps there's just no short-cut when it comes to croissant making. In any case, this may well be a blessing in disguise since the final baked product turned out edible (haha!), and in fact they were incredibly soft! So here's my Brioche Croissants...

And I'm not giving up, just yet. I'm going to experiment this recipe again, following the exact same steps and I'll share the results then. In case any of you have tried the same original recipe, do drop me a note in the comments section as I would love to share your results!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Mini Mango Charlotte

In my previous post, I shared the making of my Mango Charlotte Cake and I am thrilled to receive much likes and compliments from some of you! It was definitely encouraging. Thanks so much! And as mentioned previously, I would like to share with you in this subsequent post on how I'd transformed my leftover ingredients after decorating my whole cake. ^_^

I got to admit that on a few occasions of my whole cakes-making, I ended up discarding those leftover cream frosting I'd kept in the fridge for days. For the other leftover ingredients such as fruits if I'm using, and in this case there were also my homemade ladyfingers (sponge biscuits), I would have simply stuff them down my stomach without much thought. 

But the thought of making cute little versions of my mango charlotte cake came into picture, and the idea of using those extra sponge biscuits as the cake layers quickly came up as I was snacking them away. So here's my Mini Mango Charlotte made out of those leftover homemade ladyfingers, cream frosting and fruits!

Mini Mango Charlotte

With that, I got myself an extra serving of this pretty little dessert to savour, and the best of all, no ingredients were wasted! And in fact for those of you who dread making whole cakes or baking cakes in general, this may be one brilliant idea of a homemade dessert to serve to your guests! 

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Mango Charlotte Cake

Is it just me or is everyone feeling the same? The Summer's heat is getting unbearable. Although the humidity is low and it doesn't really makes one sweaty and sticky, the scorching heat makes me feel as though I will ignite anytime. @_@

To comfort and ease the grumpiness from the heat, I've decided to share this Mango Charlotte Cake to brighten everyone's day! This is my second charlotte cake after my first Vanilla Chiffon Mango Charlotte was a success. This time, I decided to have the entire cake mango-related and so I did a mango chiffon cake with mango whipped cream frosting stuff and topped with lots of fresh mangoes. I mean, who doesn't like mangoes? I love love love mangoes! In fact, I think it runs in the family. ^_^ 

Mango Charlotte Cake
Looks like this pretty and yummy cake has helped ease the discomfort I'm feeling from the Summer's heat to a great extend. Who wants a slice? :p

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Homemade Char Siu Buns (BBQ Pork Buns)

I'm not sure if most of you felt the same, but I often feel "lazier" after a long weekend. @_@ I managed to travel up to a bigger city nearby for a weekend getaway and got some of my food cravings fixed. There were bubble tea, Korean BBQ and Dim Sum which quite replicate the authentic taste. And speaking of Dim Sum, it reminded me that I've this recipe that I need to share with everyone. ^_^ 

Homemade Char Siu Buns (BBQ Pork Buns)

What could be better than to combine a successful bread dough recipe with a homemade Char Siu recipe? You know you just can't keep anyone's hands off these homemade Char Siu Buns although they may still be very hot from the oven. *_*

I am sharing these Homemade Char Siu Buns (BBQ Pork Buns) with Tea Time Treats (May 2015: Sandwiches, Wraps & Rolls!) hosted by Janie of The Hedgecombers and Karen of Lavender and Lovage.

I am also sharing this recipe with Bake of the Week organised by Helen & gang of Casa Costello; CookBlogShare organised by Lucy of Supergolden Bakes and guest hosted by Angela of Patisserie Makes Perfect; and Family Bakes and Makes hosted by Jenny of Modern Family Baking.


Friday, May 22, 2015

Oven-roasted Char Siu (BBQ Pork)

One thing about being miles away from home is the missing of mouth-watering delicacies that we grew up eating, especially when we are in a western country where South-east Asia cuisines become a rare find. But thanks to the internet, some (in fact most) of these food cravings can easily be satisfied from the abundance of homemade recipes shared online by many from all around the world.

One particular food my husband craves is this Char Siu, a type of roasted meat in Cantonese cuisine traditions. My husband is a typical carnivore and he cannot have his meal without a meat dish. The traditional cooking method for this roasted meat is having long strips of seasoned boneless pork skewered with long forks over a fire, slightly charring the outside of the meat. I must say it is the marinate that makes this meat so tasty and unique. 

This Char Siu recipe is definitely a winner because the ingredients required are conveniently found at the oriental food section in most western supermarkets, and if not, at the local oriental supermarket. And it's pretty mess-free and the distinct flavour of the meat can be replicated with just the use of an oven. 

Oven-roasted Char Siu (BBQ Pork)

I'm sharing this amazing and deliciously flavoured Oven-roasted Char Siu (BBQ Pork) with blog event, CookBlogShare hosted by Lucy of Supergolden Bakes;

and monthly link up party, Our Growing Edge (May 2015) hosted by Jordan and Cindy from My Daughter and I, an event that aims to connect food bloggers and inspire us to try new things.

This is also a prelude of my upcoming post as I continue with the fun of bread-making. Be sure to stay tuned! ^_^

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Chocolate Banana Cake

What's better use of over-ripe bananas than in baking? Though I'm not quite a "banana" person, I do like the combination of banana and chocolate, especially in cakes. So rather than wasting those over-ripe bananas that were sitting in the kitchen, I decided to look up new recipes on bananas and chocolates. I wanted to try something different though I have my heavenly Awfully Dark Chocolate Banana Cake and delicious Banana Chocolate Chips Muffins recipes ready on hand. And I came across this recipe for a chocolate banana bread. But a look at the ingredients and instructions suggest that it's more like a cake than a bread. And I wonder if it's called a bread because it's baked in a loaf pan? Anyway, I was curious how the recipe would turn out and decided to give it a shot.
Chocolate Banana Cake

I tried out in a square pan instead. And the verdict... it turned out to be everything in-between! The crust is somewhat similar to a soft french bread, and the bite and texture is somewhat similar to a brownie, yet it's not dense and gives a soft "cakey" chewy bite. I know this may sound confusing, but I really like this cake I'd call it, though I must admit I wasn't impressed (by the colour and appearance) when I un-moulded it from the cake pan. And the English idiom that goes, "Don't judge a book by its cover" definitely hit me hard here. After all, how wrong can banana and chocolate pair go, right? ^_^

I am sharing this Chocolate Banana Cake with blog event, We Should Cocoa (May 2015: Vanilla) organised by Choclette of Tin and Thyme and Chele of Chocolate Teapot and guest hosted by Karen of Lavender and Lovage for the month of May 2015;

I am also sharing this recipe with Best Recipes for Everyone (May 2015 Event: My Favourite Desserts) organized by Fion of XuanHom's Mom and co-hosted by Aunty Young

And last but not least, I'm sharing this new exploration from a bread-turned-cake recipe with monthly link up party, Our Growing Edge (May 2015) hosted by Jordan and Cindy from My Daughter and I, an event that aims to connect food bloggers and inspire us to try new things.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Sausage (Hotdog) Buns

Happy (belated) Mother's Day to all mothers out there! ^_^

Being raised in a traditional Asian Chinese family, (my siblings and) I were never used to saying "I love you" to our parents or heartfelt words of gratification to them for their selfless love and care that they have showered upon us. Until I was older, I came to realise that certain things just have to be said out loud although deep down in our hearts, we are truly appreciative of what they have done for us over the years. As a little warm-up exercise, those heartfelt words made their way through text messages on such special occasions. While we ought to show our gratifications everyday and not just on this day, I see it as a day for a grand sum-up of everything a mother has done over the past year since everyone across the globe celebrates the wonder of all mothers on this very day together.

This is the second year I am missing out on mother's day celebration for being away from home. Although it may seem like every other day, the mark of Mother's Day somehow just makes me think of my mother more than any other day. Perhaps this is its significance. And I suppose this is how I decided to share this recipe.

Back in the past when I was still living with my parents, my siblings and I used to have different variety of buns and bread for breakfast before school, and even later when we started working. My mother would make a trip to the nearby bakery to pick up the buns for each of us, and she makes an effort to pick up different flavours and variety on different days. Having said that, sausage bun, or otherwise called hotdog bun is the most common one that she would pick up since there aren't much selections to our liking. This naturally became a staple and I have no problem eating the same up to 4 times a week.

So when my bread-making turned out to be a success, sausage buns or hotdog buns naturally came up to my mind. And for a twist, I am using Chipotle hotdogs instead of the usual hotdogs. Is this one of your favourite buns too?

Sausage (Hotdog) Buns

I am sharing these Sausage (Hotdog) Buns with Tea Time Treats (May 2015: Sandwiches, Wraps & Rolls!) hosted by Janie of The Hedgecombers and Karen of Lavender and Lovage. Buns or rolls, they all belong to the bread family, right? 

I am also sharing this recipe with Bake of the Week organised by Helen & gang of Casa Costello; CookBlogShare hosted by Lucy of Supergolden Bakes; and Family Bakes hosted by Jenny of Modern Family Baking.


Friday, May 8, 2015

Chocolate Cream-filled Profiteroles (Chocolate Cream Puffs)

"No, egg yolks are bad and we should only eat the whites". This is what my husband always insist whenever I fry him an egg. All these years, I have long given up proving to him with health articles about the benefits of egg yolks, or at least the harmless of eating egg yolks and "coaxing" him into eating the yolks. I know very well that it's just his plain excuse for not eating the yolks, which he claimed has a funny taste, when he refuses to accept that egg yolk has its beneficial contents. That's also his way of refuting my claim that he behaves just like a big kid picking on his food. And for that reason, we always have leftover egg yolks which I sometimes have to throw away if he is eating eggs too often. >,<

But fortunately or unfortunately, the leftover egg yolks prompted this bake when I decided to turn the yolks into pastry cream. And my immediate association with pastry cream are these delicious cream puffs, a French dessert otherwise known as Profiteroles.

Chocolate Cream-filled Profiteroles (Chocolate Cream Puffs)

This French dessert may be delicate, but they are definitely not difficult to make. I have adopted the same pastry dough recipe that I'd used for my mini Chocolate Eclairs since it was an easy and successful recipe. Looking back at my post archives, I then realised that those were made almost a year ago. *Gosh~ how time flies! Anyway, I find it really interesting how two different desserts could be formed from the same recipe when they just appear in different shapes (and sizes). ^_^

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Chicken Curry Buns

I have always been intimidated by bread making as most bread making calls for yeast - a "formidable" ingredient that could very much determine the success or failure of bread making. @_@ Although I have attempted bakes using yeast for my Rainbow Flower Buns and Cinnamon Rolls in my past baking experiments, I still wasn't confident in dealing with yeast until after a considerable amount of time spent on researching and understanding about yeast and how it works. After plucking up my courage to attempt these Chicken Curry Buns, I guess I'm not "scared" (of working with yeast) anymore. ^_^

Chicken Curry Buns

And I realised that the happiest moment in bread making isn't when I could finally sink my teeth into these buns, but it is when I know that the yeast is working and I see my dough rising well. Hahaha!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Triple Chocolate Swiss Roll

The rainy weather over the past few days has made me lethargic and lazy. I was sitting in front of my laptop aimlessly going through my blog materials when I found this draft post amongst my few other long overdue drafts. I'm not sure how other bakers do, but I often find myself saving my draft recipes when I couldn't think of what to write. Somehow, I feel "obligated" to share something meaningful in my blog post, or at least the reasons behind each bake before I publish a recipe. Not that my other published blog posts are all that meaningfully or wonderfully written, but I find my mind blocked especially when my bake is kind of impromptu for no special occasions or planned intentions. And this is one of the times...

Triple Chocolate Swiss Roll

So amongst my few draft blogposts, I have decided to share this Triple Chocolate Swiss Roll which I have baked sometime back. Triple because it's a chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream coated with chocolate rice! *Grin* Anyway, it seems like my mood has been pretty much affected by the gloomy weather of late, and looking at this swiss roll just seems to bring back those good old memories of family and friends in younger days as this used to be my childhood sweets.

How does this Triple Chocolate Swiss Roll remind you of your good old memories?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Mini Cheesecakes with Blueberry Compote

I always felt intimidated by the thought of making cheesecake. But I guess not anymore, at least not by these cute little and delicious mini cheesecakes which I have decided to top off with the blueberry compote. This is a variation compared to the original source recipe which is served with fruit jam and whipped cream. And what I liked about this recipe is that it is quick and easy. In addition, there's no need to worry about having ugly cheesecakes when they sink in the middle after they have cooled, an inevitable fear that had kept me away from baking cheesecakes, because the blueberry compote not only helps "beautify" the appearance, but also add a touch of sweetness to these cheesecakes.

Mini Cheesecakes with Blueberry Compote

This is yet another one of the recipes that cannot go wrong! These mini cheesecakes with blueberry compote are just so pretty for tea parties, after meal desserts, coffee breaks and more... You just can't have enough!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Easter Cupcakes

It's Good Friday everyone! And Good Friday is a day I used to look forward to in the past (when I was schooling and then working) because it means a public holiday (at least it is in my home country)! But now that I'm neither schooling nor working, I'm kind of indifferent since every Friday (or rather every day) is a "public holiday". Haha!

Although I'm not a Christian, I have been quite overwhelmed with Easter, which is the Sunday following Good Friday since (almost) every places put out sales, decorations, food and themes associated with it. So this year I've long decided to execute a bake which I'd kept in my head for a year! How long is that, uh?! Despite having it "planned", I didn't think I would bake ahead of the weekend and I found myself lacking a couple of ingredients in my pantry based on the initial idea I had. >,<

But it may well be a "blessing in disguise" or a chance to think out of the box and come up with a creative combination. So to make do with all that's available, I decided on these lemon chiffon cupcakes with chocolate cream cheese frosting! You may think the combination tastes weird, just as I had initially thought too. Surprisingly not! The soft and fluffy lemony cupcake so refreshing cuts the sweetness from the chocolate cream cheese frosting which makes it a heavenly pair! Lemon and chocolate, simply the best of both worlds! Now that I come to think about it again, my original intention of a vanilla-based cupcake (with the same chocolate cream cheese frosting since I needed that to build my cupcake design) would have been "boring"! Haha!

Easter Cupcakes 
(Lemon Chiffon Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting)
Unlike most of my other blog posts, I've enlarged this photo of my cupcakes purposely. I mean, they are just too pretty not to be admired, right?! Haha! And this lemony cupcake recipe that yield such refreshing, soft and fluffy is definitely a keeper! The same goes for the chocolate cream cheese frosting, rich but not too heavy and sweet. Well, actually this whole recipe combination is a keeper! And since they were made for a purpose, I have named them Easter cupcakes! Yum~~

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

My Melody French Sablés (Cookies)

Photo source: Eugenie Kitchen
If you have been active on social media, Instagram for instance, I bet many of you would have noticed the overwhelming number of bakes on these Valentine Rainbow Heart Cookies originated by Eugenie at Eugenie Kitchen. These pretty-looking cookies first caught my attention on a youtube video featuring a detailed-making process of these cookies. With the power of social media nowadays, the video has been shared so widely that the whole world seems to be making these cookies now! How impressive is that?! In fact, Eugenie is not only behind the creation of these rainbow heart cookies, she has also made various impressive cookie designs, including the recent Instagram cookies, Facebook cookies, and her previous Mille Crepe Cake with Hidden Rainbow Heart was definitely a hit! Hands down to Eugenie and her incredible creations! So, whenever I see unique creations like that, I would think hard on how I could re-create them into the desired shapes and patterns I desire, which is none other than everything to do with the Sanrio© character, My Melody! Love love love to the max! ^_^

My Melody French Sablés (Cookies)
But I'm no way comparable to Eugenie's skills and creativity. So I'd decided to try out something really simple and easy. And here's my version of My Melody French Sablé Cookies inspired from the rainbow heart cookies! Not too bad uh? Honestly, I had no idea how French Sablés (cookies) taste like prior and how different they are from the Danish butter cookies or shortbread cookies which I had baked in my previous posts. But now I know. However, I don't really know how to describe it, except the texture of these cookies are somewhat between butter cookies and shortbread cookies. Oops... If I have to say, they are certainly crumbly and delicate, and has a salty taste in every bite (although there isn't a lot of salt in the ingredients), and it still has the crunch on first bite. Oh no, I hope I have not made you confused at this juncture. In conclusion though, these are definitely delicious, especially if you are not in favour of the buttery smell from the usual butter cookies. Now that I have made this possible, I hope there would be a day I could add on the features of My Melody into this cookie design and impress! Hee hee! Oh and if you have tried it before me, or work with other cartoon designs, do remember to share with me because I would very much love to share and admire, maybe taste too that's if you offer free sampling! Hahaha.. Alright, for now enjoy and till next time!!

Friday, March 6, 2015

TDB's Birthday (Chocolate Chiffon) Cake

Woohoo~ The Dream Baker is One! Happy Birthday (to my blog)! ^_^

I guess words simply can't describe my feelings now. Looking back at the past blog posts of all that I've done (or rather achieved), it's definitely consoling. Every little detail and contents on this blog is a great reflection of the amount of time and efforts that I've put in and built from scratch. Never would I have dreamed of having my own (baking) blog. And I can't help but wonder, "How would I've otherwise spent those time if I wasn't baking and blogging?!" Well, I guess that's life, never without uncertainties...

So to celebrate this notably significant anniversary of the birth of my blog, I've decided to bring my self-taught baking skills to greater heights by making a cut-out cake of my self-created logo! This birthday cake is a combination of my favourites - chocolate chiffon cake, strawberries, dark chocolate and cream frostings.

TDB's Birthday (Chocolate Chiffon) Cake

And my thoughts behind the creation and making of this birthday cake:
I was caught up with this cut-out shaped cake idea after I was inspired by a birthday cake idea which I learned from a friend. In fact this is my second attempt after I made myself a birthday cake last year. I decided to use a chocolate cake base after I posted my Milano® Cookies Chocolate Cake, and I decided to use strawberries to fill in between the layers of the cake since I needed chocolate frosting for the drawing of the outline and strawberries and chocolate are just a heavenly pairing. I personally preferred a lighter cake texture like chiffon cake as compared to the usual chocolate sponge cake, so instead I've decided and wanted to adopt the same recipe I had used for my Mini Chocolate Chiffon Cakes, only to realised that I was out of milk. Hence, I modified the recipe from a Green Tea Chiffon Cake which I came across during my research. Unexpectedly it turned out pretty well! In fact, the cake is deliciously chocolatey to be eaten by itself.

Then some friends asked, "why not use fondant?" To me, fondant is a "pretty-but-not-delicious" form of cake decoration (in my own opinion). Putting aside the skills level required to master fondant cake decorations, I'm very much in favour of presenting an equally pretty and yummy cake, both for admiration and savouring, than just a pretty cake that is better for admiration. Although I'm not a fan of cake frostings either, and often I would be "scrapping" away those thick layer of cream from store-bought cakes, I'm quite happy to be eating those cream frostings of my self-baked cakes since I am in control of the amount and thickness of the cake frostings that goes onto my cake. ^_^

And this feels like a dream (cake) come true...

P.S. Pardon me for my tiredness, I was oblivious to the abbreviations ("TDR") I've written on the cake (which was supposed to be "TDB") until I was going through the pictures. Instead of trying to photoshop those photos as my husband suggested trying, I thought I might as well take the wrong and make the best of it. So in this context, "TDR" (or correctly "TDB") shall stand for The Dream BakeR. Hahaha!