Thursday, October 30, 2008

Strawberry Pizza

When I was making the cotton cake, I had leftover batter. So I made it into s strawberry pizza! I feel like decorating tonight, so I thought that I'd make something simple that doesn't require washing dishes. :p

I'm also practicing taking good pictures of my baking. I'm not very good with camera, but as they say, practice makes perfect. :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Strawberry Cotton Cake

Work has been taking a LOT of my time this past couple of months. This past couple of weeks, however, had been quite a challenge for me. I had a lot to do with so little time and not much experience. But I know that in all things, God will work for the good of those who loves Him. On top of that, I know that in my weakness, He is made strong. :) I'm really thankful for my job and my coworkers who've been so much fun to work with. I'm also very thankful for Alvin; he's always there to cheer me on! :)

Anyways, tonight I just had to bake. Even though it's late at night and I have to go to work tomorrow morning (or in the next few hours), I really feel that I should do something outside of work for myself. And here is what I did:

It's a strawberry cotton cake! The texture of the cakes are really soft and they look so adorable! I used my Bertha's Blueberry Cotton Cake recipe and made it pink. :)

After all that waiting (40 minutes in the water bath), I just had to take a bite! Some of you may know that I don't usually eat my own cake. I feel more satisfied when others try my baking and tell me how they feel about it. But Bertha told me that I should at least take a bite to find out how the cake(s) taste like to see if I actually like the cake. It's true that people have different preferences.

I really think I'll make this cotton cake more often (and with more variations) but with less sugar. It's a little on the sweet side for me. :) I thought of decorating it by putting icing on the cake, but the cake is so light that I think butter cream would be an overkill to the cake.

I'll definitely bring this to the office tomorrow for a test drive. :p

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Creme Brulee

I've been wanting to make creme brulee for a while now and I finally got the chance to. This whole thing started with a 20% off coupon for Bed, Bath & Beyond, which I used to buy the blow torch used for creme brulee. Since then, I've been dying to use it for creme brulee.

I used Dorie Greenspan's recipe for this:

1-1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
3 egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
6 tbs sugar for crust

It's really simple to make. First boil the cream and milk in a saucepan. In a medium bowl, mix sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract with a whisk to blend. When the cream-milk mixture has boiled, slowly pour 1/4 of the liquid to the egg mixture while continuously whisking it to temper the egg mixture. Then pour the remainder of the liquid into the egg mixture, stirring constantly until well blended. Strain the mixture into 6 ramekins and bake on top of a cookie sheet for 50-60 minutes at 200F.

When done, cool to room temperature and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Once cooled, sprinkle 1 tbs of sugar on top of the custard and use a torch to melt the sugar.

Ta da! It's done!

I tried modifying one of them by sprinkling green tea powder on top of the custard. I don't know how it turned out cause I haven't had a bite of that one. :p

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Chocolate - Chocolate Chunk Muffins

We've had to work hard this month and I really want to make something nice for my team at work. They've been fun to work with and very willing to help one another out. :) I feel really blessed to have such nice friends at work. So, I decided to bake some muffins for them.

This one is from Dorie Greenspan's Baking From My Home to Yours.

6 tbs unsalted butter
4oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/4 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 375F. Line muffin pan with paper cups.

Melt the butter and half of the chocolate in a double boiler and then remove from heat. In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt). In a large glass or measuring cup, whisk together the milk, eggs, and vanilla extract until well combined. Pour the liquid mixture and the chocolate-butter mixture into the dry ingredients and with a spatula or whisk, gently but quickly stir to blend. Stir in the remaining chocolate.

Divide equally between the muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes.

I'll be bringing this to work on Monday. I hope they'll enjoy this breakfast as a way to ease into Monday. :)

Green Tea Cream Cake II

It's been a while since I bakes a "new" cake. Even this is really not a new cake but I thought it would be different enough to post. :)

I've been putting pictures of my cake in facebook and since then, people have been asking me about my cakes. Some even ordered cake from me. For all of you, I really thank you for your support and feedback.

This one is a surprising order because I don't really know the person personally (i mean, we're not very close) but somehow through his wife's fb account, he messaged me. The cake is also for no special occasion. :) It's definitely a blessing from God. The last time I made a green tea cream cake, I got the feedback that the cake was a little too dense. So, on this one, a new and improved (hopefully) version of the cake that's lighter. I also played around with tinting white chocolate (to green in this occasion).

I don't think I'll be able to taste this cake, but I'll definitely ask for feedback from them. :) I'll update the blog when I get the answer.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Lidah Kucing (a.k.a. Cat's Tongue)

As promised, I tried making my mom's Lidah Kucing on my own. Since this is a family recipe, I can't post the recipe here. But if you're in town and you're craving some, just let me know! :)

This cookie is a favorite in my family. Whenever my mom bakes a batch, it'll be gone in no time! I learnt to be quick to snatch some before my bro and sis ate it all. :) The same thing happened when she baked a batch here. My sis ate almost half of it herself! My little sis also ate quite a few :p As for me, of course I helped myself to some as well!

I brought this to Nicky's bday party and I think the crowd likes it too! I came home with an empty container. :)

His and Her Petite Cakes

What do I do when I have leftover mousse from a cake order? Yep! I made mini his and her cakes.

I had bought 4" mini cake rings before and I've been dying to use it. I thought that this was the perfect time to use it! I had baked two 6" and two 4" sponge cakes for a cake order and I had also made more mousse than I needed to make the cake. So I took the 4" cakes and I made myself some petite mango and strawberry mousse cakes. :)

Alvin was the one with the idea of signing our cakes. I thought it really turned out adorable. Don't you think?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Baking with Mom: Chocolate and Cheese Bread

My mom bakes the best bread ever! She can make her breads be so moist and soft even after a few days!! Amazing!

Let me tell you about me and bread. I have always wanted to try baking breads. I've read a lot of recipes on it and have bought bread flour and yeast for quite some time now. But I have not baked any bread yet. I'm very scared of failing. What if my bread didn't turn out good? What if the dough won't relax? What if it tastes awful and tough?

Anyways... I thought that with my mom by my side, teaching me step by step on how to make bread, I'll be able to pull it off! I made these together with my mom and I haven't had a chance to bake it on my own. But I promise I will... sometime later. :)

This is the chocolate one...

And this is the cheese one...

Baking with Mom: Bolu Kukus

One of the gifts that my mom brought for me was Steam Cake (a.k.a Bolu Kukus) Pan! I had watched my mom made these when I was a little girl and I've always wonder how the cakes can bloom so pretty. :) I had the honor of learning how to make these from her this past weekend. Here's a picture of the ones we made together.

After she left, I had to try making it on my own just to be sure that I had learnt it right. Here they are! :)

I thought that mine blooms pretty well too! I shared these with the girls from my bible study :)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Baking with Mom: Tiramisu

I just had the most wonderful weekend ever! :) My parents and sisters came over for a visit!! It was a short one but I really cherish the times we spent this weekend. My mom is an awesome baker! She started baking when she was 18 and by the time she's 20, she had taught baking classes from her home. This past weekend was the first time I saw her since I started baking (my family is in Indonesia, which is about 20 hour flight away from here), and I just had to use the chance to learn from the master!

We had started by making Cat's Tongue (Lidah Kucing), which is a favorite among everyone who knows my mom (she knows a lot of people). I didn't take any pictures of the Cat's Tongue but I promise I'll post an entry soon. Then we moved on to making Tiramisu. My mom had always wanted to make a Tiramisu but she still hasn't found a good recipe yet. So I shared with her my Tiramisu recipe (tailored to use less alcohol).

I really enjoyed spending time with my mom in the kitchen. I don't quite know how to explain the feeling, but it gives me a sense of bliss and joy. I was very happy to have the chance to spend time with my mom doing things we both enjoy: baking.

The comment that I got from my mom: "I can't believe my daughter can make cakes now!" My dad said that the cake was okay but it's a little on the sweet side for him. :) My dad also likes dark chocolate with 70-80% cocoa content. I think going forward, I'll make the Tiramisu less sweet and use stronger coffee for better flavor.

Strawberry and Mango Mousse Cake II

Yay! Another cake order! I'm very honored and happy and excited and nervous about this cake order. First of all, it's for my friend's mother. Secondly, it's the first time they are going to taste my cake. I had just made this cake earlier for another friend's birthday and so the cake itself is familiar. But remembering the slight tragedy over the other cake's decoration, I was very nervous about this one. I know that less is more (for me at least) and therefore I wanted to make a simple yet elegant cake. I don't know if this came through in the cake, but i tried. :)

Of course, I had to make the box special for the occasion. :)