Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Chocolate Molten!

Blessed Christmas to all my friends! Remember, Emmanuel, God is with us.

I received Nigella's How to be a Domestic Goddess as pressie and was so pleased to find the Chocolate Molten Babycakes recipe in it! I had to try it, naturally. Besides, a friend gave me another recipe which came with step by step pictures. She said she had tried it successfully a few times.

It was easy enough to make, and I will definitely make this for next week's New Year's Eve party. Must find time to go and get some pans from Daiso as a friend said it may be better to make them slightly bigger. Something enough for 3 or 4 people to share. Good idea, as fridge space is a definite concern next week, on top of all the food to be prepared. Not a good judge of portions and variety...
Lesson learnt from today's try, I should either freeze the mixture longer or bake it less. The chocolate did not ooze out, as the cakes were 50% to 60% done. Also, there wasn't any vanilla ice-cream to go with them. I had even skipped dusting icing sugar on them. I used the muffin try for this attempt and there is another spare cup sitting in the freezer now. May just bake it for my son but he is on the verge of being classified fat, thankfully he is tall for his age.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

All Things Oreo

I was under the impression that nothing involving Oreo (original or mini) would go wrong. I was too complacent. I also found out that a certain brand of yogurt is NOT suitable for baking, as this batch of cakes turned out to be sour! Gosh! I had also reduced the amount of sugar and another complaint was the lack of taste, of Oreo, of course! This batch was a definite waste, all were thrown away. Kids seem less willing to try bakes lately, unless I had their "consent" prior to baking. Geez

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Cookies Galore

Finally, a recipe endorsed by my lovely daughter. She is rarely SO supportive of the results of my bakes, except for this recipe. Thanks to Happy Home Baking's recipe I had 2 successful attempts with the Disney cookie cutters. I was even brave enough to bake them for my co-workers and girlfriends' kids! This is how the packaging looked: The cookies have received rave reviews from all who tasted it, even the most discerning of palates. This recipe is another definite keeper!

Fruit Pastry, hmm...

I was very intrigued by good reviews from IK Forum members about this recipe (by Cuisinette, thanks!). I told myself that I HAD to bake it, no matter what. So, I went to get some fruits (grapes - green and red) to supplement the strawberries that have been in the fridge since a week ago. I found a can of mandarins in the pantry, I believe I bought that some time back at Sun Lit. Meant to use it for jelly sweethearts though, but what's the problem?
I felt a little stressed while beating the butter, sugar and later, eggs, "do no overbeat" was constantly on my mind. But the aroma of lemon was mesmerising, I kept wondering how it would taste... Finally, the mixture was done and poured into the tray. I laid the fruits gently on the mixture and popped the tray into the pre-heated oven.
I watched it raise as it baked, all the while wondering if I had done everything right. Eventually, the moment of truth, I wasn't as light as I had hoped and read. The lemony fragrance and taste worked for me but not for the family. They didn't like this cake one bit. There is much room for improvement and selection of fruits would have to be a lot different. Till the next time then, right.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Trustworthy Recipe

I was so eager to use the new moulds but didn't dare try any new recipes. Since the Marbled Banana Bundt Cake was popular with the family, I didn't give it a second thought. Went out to get eggs and cocoa powder this morning and started to bake. I have to admit that there is nothing else on my mind more often than baking. Am I in trouble?

Back to today's bakes, the cakes are moist and I am brave enough to share them with friends who are really critical. Waiting for them to give their comments. Anyone who enjoys banana cakes should try this, sure winner ;)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Of Dogs and Disney

Right, this is my second attempt at making the Doggie Cookies, using another recipe from my mom's collection. She had to secretly jot down these recipes as people back then weren't as keen to share. I wonder why... perhaps it's because they ran classes, teaching people to bake for a fee.

Anyhow, the dough was really really soft! I had to ditch the idea of using the Disney cookie cutters and used it to make Doggie Cookies instead. After one tray, my daughter decided to try using the mould and thanks to her, we had Disney cookies. I think I would need to bake these cookies for another 5 minutes or so. The cookies taste as they should, but the kids found them a bit dry. Will have to wait for comments from those who tried them though. Guess family is tired of being taste testers and I would have to find new ones! Thankfully friends have been very game. Come January, there should be more willing tastebuds... After reading some blogs today, slight moderations I have in mind right now would be to use some corn flour and to refrigerate the dough a bit before cutting. Will post recipe when I get it right.

Look at What I Bought!

Many thanks to Florence (Do What I Like) who helped me collect some of the above from Cake DIY in HK. The Hello Kitty moulds (2 of them) were also from her. I bought the other one years ago and have been using it to make ice cubes.

Bakewares are such as steal in HK and the variety! Too bad I didn't have a chance to scout for bakeware, but City Super in Time Square was enough to dazzle me as I knew there wasn't going to be enough luggage space. Fortunately, I didn't buy any more than these you see here. There was simply not enough space!

Cracking my head now as to what to use them for.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

It's Christmas Time!

Hello friends, thanks for visiting my blog as not many people know about its existence. Just wanted to let you know that I am away this week so there won't be any bakes nor posts! See you when I get back to baking again! Can't wait as I am awaiting more new toys from HK and BKK. I'm so excited!

But this is hardly the appropriate way to prepare for Christmas. This being the second week of Advent, Father Joe said something very thought provoking and this is what I heard. Let go of the hurt/hard feelings you have and make up with that someone. Only then will you be truly making preparation for Christmas. Advent is NOT about shopping, cooking or baking. Wow! Again, I have to emphasise that what Father said was a lot more profound but the message to me is crystal clear. How do I make up with that person? May be I'll bake that person something chocolately...

Chocolate & Yogurt Cake

Another fairly easy recipe to follow, but as the saying goes, what appears easiest may well be toughest to do! Recipe was really simple and I got it from Evan's Kitchen Ramblings, which you should visit if you haven't already done so. It features great bakes and the site itself is really really cool. It was one of the blogs that inspired this blog!

The instruction was to mix all the ingredients for 15 seconds or until mixture is smooth. Immediately I recognised the texture, it was somewhat similar to the Cocoa Fudge Cookies! I stole a quick shot of the mixture, you can see that the mixing bowl is fairly clean. The mixture was sticky, that's why. I reduced sugar from the original recipe, and since I had limited yogurt left, that was reduced too. I managed to bake (half) a loaf and 24 mini cupcakes. However, the cupcakes were a little hard, and without the frosting, was a little bland. I could have over-mixed the ingredients.

While they were baking, the aroma of chocolate filled the kitchen! I would need to find more people to sample or just consume the bakes as those at home are fast getting tired of eating my bakes! How to improve when nobody eats them? Besides, when the bakes turn out less than ideal, who can one feed them to? Any takers?

Monday, December 3, 2007

Rose Bundt

Look at what I have done! A cake baked in the rose bundt pan. What a sight, pretty isn't it? It was a real scare throughout the whole baking time. I used the marbled banana bundt cake recipe with slight modification. Yes, I am very experimental. I like to substitute this for that, I do the same when I cook too. Guess it's something I learnt from my mom who told me to be imaginative and not restrict myself to the same ingredients. Thanks mom!

As with the banana bundt cake, the mixture was a little too runny for my liking. But since I had substituted the mashed bananas with chopped pineapples, I had to add some pineapple syrup from the can. As I will be leaving for a week's holiday, I had to try to use up the yoghurt. From the IK Forum, I learnt that yoghurt and sour cream can replace one another.

I had always felt that the silicon is really soft, much softer than the catherdal bundt. So I tried to leave it on a biscuit pan but the pan slid off the rack as the tray started to rotate (I am using a microwave cum convection oven)! That was 20 seconds into bake time, I quickly removed the pan, boy, was the pan hot! When I looked at the bundt afterwards, I thought that the cake mixture looked loop-sided! Well, a very good looking bundt, but I may just use it for agar-agar in future.

Towards the final 10 minutes, the cake started to crack! OMG I wondered why ... but consoled myself that it would be the bottom of the cake anyway. When I did the skewer test, lo and behold, it didn't pass! As my microwave oven has set temperatures, I decided to use a slightly higher temperature (180 deg C) for this cake. Guess that was a wrong decision. In all, the cake took 75 minutes (instead of 45 to 55 mins at 350 deg F). I realised much later also, that this bundt was different from the catherdal bundt. Make a guess and leave a comment :)

It tastes rather good and due to the time spent in the oven, the edges are quite crispy! This recipe is a definite keeper!

Sunday, December 2, 2007


This may well be the easiest recipe I've tried so far! No wonder my Canadian friend, Jennifer, used to pack the dry ingredients in a bottle as presents for friends. If I were to pack them for friends, no, don't think this recipe works that way. May be after I had tried it a few more times.

This cookie has a different texture, not like those we are used to. It is a little chewy and my kids are not used to cookies with this texture. On hindsight, I should have trusted my hunch to reduce the sugar even more than just rounding up to the nearest 10g. Another thing to improve on would be the presentation. The mixture was so sticky, I'm not sure if putting them in the fridge for 30 minutes would make it easier to mould them. I will try but need to find willing parties to sample them first. Anyone interested? Recipe from Baking Bites again, Cocoa Fudge Cookies.

Catheral Bundt Pan

Wow! Thank God this cake turned out. I was uttering a prayer in my heart as I beat the butter and sugar. All went well, I must say until . . . I added in the final portion of flour, gosh! Was it lumpy or what? I kept checking the recipe to see if it says to expect lumps. So I persevered and stirred and added in choc chips instead of reserving one-third of the mixture to add with chocoa powder. I also reduced sugar by at least 40 gm. I followed the Marbled Banana Bundt Cake recipe from Baking Bite and the reviews are right, the cake is gorgeous. My family could not stop eating and it was 5 pm! Hope you'll have fun baking this cake too!

I took a bite, tasted really good and I didn't even add banana essence. When I looked at it after that bite, I was shocked! The skewer came out clean, what happened? Oh, it's just moist, I told myself. Then I realised, it was the banana as i didn't mash it completely. As I could not set the oven to 170 deg C, I had to settle for 160 deg C with an extra 10 minutes, that got me worried. Somehow, the crust was a little crispy when I cut it with a plastic knife. On the whole, it's a cake will be repeated, simple enough anyway.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Profile Picture 1

This is version 1, stay tuned for more :)

More Toys

Oops, went shopping again :P Could not resist buying these two, what do you call them? Bundts? Silicon moulds? Grey one is a catheral from Silikomart (available at PH) and the rose bundt is from Pantry Magic! Oh, Pantry Magic packs your purchases in a nice bag too! I paid only SGD22 for the rose bundt. I am so going to try baking a sponge cake and either the red bean or sweet corn pudding. Let you know later, ok?

Boy, this new hobby is costing a lot of money, I better persevere in it. I know a couple of friends won't allow me to let all these go to waste!

New Toys!

Went to Chong Trading at Adelphi yesterday and took a really long time to browse. Let's say it's NOT Pantry Magic and leave it as that. Look at what I bought though!

Heart-shaped silicon cups

Since it will be my colleague's bday tomorrow, I took the chance to bake some cupcakes. Thought I would just use the pineapple upside down cake recipe since that received good review early this week. As it turned out, I forgot to add milk and the cupcakes aren't as moist :( Hope bday girl likes it tho, I know my family could not stop eating *could be just due to novelty*

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thank God!

Yes, God is good! I uttered a prayer as I started the mixer that the cake will turn out alright as the bakes of the past 2 weeks had been anything but. Today, I had a book to check against as I creamed butter and sugar for the Pineapple Upside-down Cake.

A few other things were going through my head as well: should I make them as individual cupcakes or one big cake? I decided on using a 6-inch cake tin and had to line it before adding the flour to the creamed mixture of egg and sugar! Then I forgot to preheat the oven, omg! Fortunately, I'm using a microwave with convection oven function, so preheating didn't take long.

To cut the long story short, this is how the cake turned out. Fortunately, all my darlings agreed that it tasted good. Phew! I was so worried when I saw bubbles as the cake was baking, I called my mum to check. Anyway, with this result, I am confident that I can yield not too bad results with my trusty microwave oven! I'm so on cloud nine now! Too bad I can't eat all the bakes as I have to watch my diet. But the joy is in baking, so I'll let others enjoy!

Pineapple Upside-down Cake

Friday, November 23, 2007

Feeling Blue

Feeling a little discouraged lately as bakes are not turning out as I hoped. Perhaps I was over confident given the success with different versions of the jelly heart. Even usb is acting up on me and not cooperating so can't upload the photos.

To boost my confidence, I will make another tray of jelly hearts. I guess my lack of success recently is probably due to lack of experience and new to using my one and only microwave oven for baking. I will no doubt be attempting the Horlicks Doggie and cupcakes soon! Watch this space!

*Finally, pix of some good and not-so-good bakes:
Strawberry Sweethearts that worked twice so far, thank God
Another version featuring Mangoes and Philly cream cheese, yummy
Milo Doggies cookies that turned out hard

Peach and Mango Charlotte Cake, missing a base and sponge fingers stuck to the foil

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Welcome to Yuri's Bake Journal

Recently inspired to bake. Watch out!

My first attempt

Thanks Tiff for the recipe.
Thanks Aunty Yochana, Do What I Like, Happy Home Baker and too many other food bloggers for the inspirations! I am looking forward to join this fast growing community! Will someone please tell me how?