Friday, February 29, 2008

Cotton Sponge Cake

Cotton Sponge Cake, Gina taught this recipe last week, courtesy of Baking Mum. Wow, this cake is almost weightless! However, as I was cracking the eggs, 6 in total, I knew this cake is laden with cholesterol. Very little flour, and butter, these two add up to equal the amount of sugar though. Somehow, these egg yolks were really yellow. These gave the cake a yellow tinge :)

Oh, how could I? I had forgotten to take a photo of the egg whites! I wasn't sure till I turned the mixing bowl. Hmm, didn't move, should be about right. I remembered Gina's instructions to not over-stir the egg and flour. I guess I had under-stirred! I could see specks of flour in the cake *shy* As the square pan was too small, I had to use another loaf pan.

Somehow, the loaf pan mixture cracked. I wonder also if it was due to cooling in the pan inside the oven, the bottom of the cake looked weird. Also, I'm not sure if the waiting had caused some layering at the bottom. I had given both pans a bang or two prior to putting them into the oven. Oh yeah, small oven, so loaf pan had to wait.

I love the taste of this cake, I ate one piece too many! There goes my daily dietary limit for the whole week! Well, to console myself, I thought about the small amount of flour used. But the sugar... hmm, as they say, if you want to be on a diet, eat steamed dumplings instead. Back to the look of my cake, it's way off what it's intended to be, lots of room for improvement. LOTS.

I also got adventurous and marinated some bacon to make BBQ bak kwa. I've also soaked some glutinous rice. Also on my to bake list this weekend, Meyer Lemon Tart ok, for us, just simply Lemon Tart. I remember my mom talking about some lemon pie long ago. I hope this is close to what she has in mind, albeit my very first attempt. We'll see. Busy busy weekend, *sigh* have to work all weekend next week, sux!

Tagged Again!

Well well, haven't been updating this space and haven't baked since Sunday as well. It's CA1 week, that's why ... What a special day for this to happen, thanks Rei! I agree with you about doing this on 29 Feb, absolutely, so thanks for including me.

MEME Survey

1. Name one person who made you laugh last night?
That's gotta be hubs, and some of the most weird things he says to me only.

2. What were you doing at 0800?
Stuck somewhere along AYE when I should have been at the office.

3. What were you doing 30 minutes ago?
Working, of course!

4. What happened to you in 2006?
So many, er probably had a promotion. Wow, this has been circulating for such a long time?

5. What was the last thing you said out loud?
I don't have such good short term memory, so would have to say, I forgot...

6. How many beverages did you have today?
A cup of kopi O kosong, plus a cup of french rose infused water probably.

7. What color is your hairbrush?
Don't own one, sorry.

8. What was the last thing you paid for?
A cup of kopi O kosong

9. Where were you last night?
At the gym, before getting home.

10. What color is your front door?

11. Where do you keep your change?
A purse.

12. What’s the weather like today?

13. What’s the best ice-cream flavor?
Vanilla, I'm simple when it comes to ice-cream.

14. What excites you?
For now, it's gotta be baking.

15. Do you want to cut your hair?
Trim to get it in shape, yes. Cut, no!

16. Are you over the age of 25?
Yes, obviously.

17. Do you talk a lot?
Only when necessary or when I'm with friends.

18. Do you watch the O.C.?
Nope, not among its target audience, probably.

19. Do you know anyone named Steven?
Common name, isn't it?

20. Do you make up your own words?
Not really, not so creative

21. Are you a jealous person?
I would say I'm possessive.

22. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘A’.

23. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘K’.

24. Who’s the first person on your received call list?

25. What does the last text message you received say?
Prob some HSBC sms

26. Do you chew on your straw?

27. Do you have curly hair?

28. Where’s the next place you’re going to?
Lunch, and PH Bencoolen!

29. Who’s the rudest person in your life?
Don't keep account of that, waste of precious time.

30. What was the last thing you ate?
An egg.

31. Will you get married in the future?
Married for a long time ...

32. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the past 2 weeks?
None, haven't watched movies in a long while.

33. Is there anyone you like right now?
Yes, more than one.

34. When was the last time you did the dishes?
Last night.

35. Are you currently depressed?

36. Did you cry today?

37. Why did you answer and post this?
No post for a long time, and also to signify 29 Feb 2008.

38. Tag 5 people who would do this survey.
Since I don't have many cyber friends at the moment, I shall pass this to 4 bloggers I know:

Pure Enjoyment
Mimosa's Diary
Small Small Baker
Baking Cottage

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Cranberry Yogurt Cake

Just learnt this yesterday from Gina's basic baking class. It's a recipe which she had modified and done well. I reduced sugar by 10g as the yogurt I used was very sweet. However, I did not try the dried fruits (cranberries and apple) and presumed they would be sweet too. Perhaps I should have just used the original amount of sugar. Nonetheless, this time I broke all the conventions and followed what Gina had taught us yesterday.

It happened to me again, when I added the yogurt to the butter+egg mixture, they cuddled! :S Perhaps the yogurt was still cold. But remembering what happened yesterday, I went ahead and added the flour, with a prayer that everything would work. I thought I had stirred the flour a few times too many. Upon ensuring that there were no more visible specks of flour, I poured the mixture into the pans. Too much for my new reduced sized round pan. So I made two smaller ones for two sweet people who had given me gifts.

I was so happy that there were NO cracks on the cakes! After doing the skewer test, I took the 3 pans out. At the back of my mind, I was thinking "strange, the big pan cooked at the same time as the two smaller ones?" But didn't think too much of it, until 15 mins later when I saw a dent in the round pan. To my dismay, it wasn't completely done yet. I quickly pre-heated the oven and put the pan back in for another 15 mins (with a piece of foil covering the top). Finally, it was done. Phew, not much damage, taste-wise, could do with a bit more sugar. My husband commented that this is not his type of cake. Well, he likes traditional cakes such as banana cake, butter cake and pandan chiffon. Chiffon will be my ultimate challenge. May be I would try that after I master the Cotton Sponge Cake, something I learnt yesterday as well.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Double Yolks!

I'm very tickled... I didn't know that one would be able to find double yolks but I found it today. Ok, I had read about it on Aunty Yochana's blog on 17 Feb 2008. And I opened an egg with 2 yolks this morning and I thought, hey, I finally see it with my own eyes today. Hmm, sign of good things to come? Well, simple pleasures that make my day. In case you are wondering, I bought this RANDOM pack of eggs from the supermarket. This is the FIRST incidence in my xx number of years meddling in the kitchen :D

I'm going for a baking class at Chef's Secrets later and the instructor is none other than Gina, from Kitchen Capers. *Ok, all the links to KC are still outstanding, will have to find time to do it* I am very happy that this happened today, the eve of my bday...

Friday, February 22, 2008


I've been tagged by Small Small Baker and Mimosa's Diary do a meme for the first time in my blog life. Thank you so much. The topic is - Five facts about myself. I shall see this positively as a chance to make more cyber friends with people who share the same interest.

The Meme rules:
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
2. Share 5 facts about yourself.
3. Tag 5 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).
4. Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs.

Five facts about myself:
1. I started this blog in November 2007 after reading about all the wonderful bakes of those who inspired me, they are tagged below. Thanks for the inspiration.
2. Like many girls, I attended home economics class in lower secondary, and tried baking then. My mom enjoys cooking and baking too.
3. I have been reading and following recipes. Thank God for the ability to do that. I'm going for my first baking class in many years tomorrow, by Gina of Kitchen Capers.
4. I bake using a Sharp microwave cum convection oven. I use a small Technogas mixer which belongs to my mom.

5. To date, I am still unable to make a good water chestnut cake (ie, one with the famous QQ texture).

Five bloggers I would like to tag:
Aunty Yochana
Do What I Like
Baking Mum
Mad Baker

Pure Enjoyment

Steamed Cakes Yay!

I'm getting adventurous lately, steamed some cakes today and nope, not asian kuehs. Its a popular and moist chocolate cake that have been raved about by many Kitchen Capers members. I'm glad I took the challenge and tried it. As I used an electric steamer, I could not find any cake pans that could fit into the steamer! So I used disposable cups instead. I must have under-estimated the timing as well, as they turned out like the chocolate molten cake! Even then, the cake was really moist and soft. I am sure to make this again, but need to find the right utensils: steamer or cake pans. Been meaning to get the bamboo steamer, or the stainless steel steamer I saw recently costing S$30. Or the traditional ones which my mom uses. So many choices, what should I pick? Guess I'll stick to the electric steamer for now.

OMG, i've been tagged. Thanks Small Small Baker and Mimosa's Diary. It's my first time, please excuse the tardiness as I need to figure out how to do it :P

Monday, February 18, 2008

It's a First!

It's a first for Yuri's Bake Journal, to not have anything to do with eggs, flour or butter. Yes, it's Roast Pork Belly (or siew yoke, in Cantonese or sio bak in Hokkien). I got to know the recipe via Kitchen Capers (KC), a forum for like-minded people who enjoy cooking or baking. I've always enjoyed cooking even as a child, and having a mom who cooks well makes a lot of difference. Mom only need to verbally tell me the ingredients and method and I would imagine it in my mind. She always encourages me to be creative and work with whatever ingredients available on hand. That I can do with cooking, but baking, that's a different game altogether.

Anyway, back to the roast pork belly. Several KC forum members raved about this recipe and indeed, it was really easy. However, cleaning the oven is quite a nightmare. I don't suppose I'll be making this again without any assistance in cleaning up. How about a self-cleaning oven? Thank goodness I'm using a Sharp mircowave cum convection oven. It has served me well and I'm thankful for finally knowing how to make full use of it. Afterall, I have had this model for close to 10 years :S

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Apple Cinnamon Cupcake

In exchange for the strawberry sweetheart recipe, my SIL shared her favourite Apple Cinnamon Cupcake recipe with me. Since she swore by using baby food, I thought why not? Saved me the trouble of making my own apple sauce, besides, there isn't instructions on how to do that, as well. Finding a can of apple sauce at Sun Lik didn't change my mind to get the baby food. In all, it was my first success at making moist, soft and delicious cupcakes! Guess the proporation of butter and flour has to be almost equal to yield a succulent cupcake huh?

As I was browsing through Alex Goh's Fruity Cakes, I found a simple apple cinnamon cake recipe! With it, there is also instructions to DIY apple sauce. Although deep down I suspected that Granny Smiths should be the right ingredient, I didn't bother getting any. I used 2 Royal Gala and a Red Delicious to make the apple sauce. Let's just stick to gut feeling in future, will have to try using Granny Smith before I can conclude. The red apples took a long while to be tender and didn't yield much apple flavour in the cake. The sauce gave off a wonderful fragrance of apple and cinnamon, though. I also had to blend the apples as they refused to be mashed. But it was well worth the effort and I do need more kitchen gadgets, such as the handheld blender, yes!

I gave away more than half of the two days' bakes, and whoelse but SIL got one of the apple cakes. She just has to try this one, the texture is really good too. I hope I won't make a mess of this wonderful recipe like I did with the banana cake. I used canola oil in place of melted butter, either I had over-mixed tremendously, or oil is just not good for banana cake. So much for trying to get a healthier version.

My New Year Bakes

Let the pictures do the talking. Most baked item: Pineapple tarts of course! Much room for improvement though, especially with the look. My fave look, would still have to be version 1
Pix (top and bottom row): Pineapple Tarts; (centre) Chocolate Chip Cookies