Friday, December 26, 2008

Blessed Christmas

Here's wishing all my friends a happy and blessed Christmas.

I promised a friend photos of what I served at our cosy family Christmas Eve dinner. I am happy with the result of the honey plum roast pork, finally. I made Oxtail Stew at my sister-in-law's request and they loved it.

I brought the items below to our office gathering on Tuesday. I completed the crustless quiche in record time! Those who tasted it enjoyed it and I intend to keep practising. Hubs brought one bottle of Cornflakes Minicups to his office party. He had asked for another bottle of it for his colleague. As for peanut butter fans, guess which item appealed to them most?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Steamed Glutinous Rice

This is one dish the 2 guys at home really enjoy. My son loves anything made with glutinous rice but I have to limit his intake as old people would say that kids are not able to digest it well. Besides, he will soon be obese if we don't start to control his food intake. As for hubs, he totally loves the steamed glutinous rice from a certain stall at the Tiong Bahru Market & Food Centre.

After tasting Gina's version at the KC Hi-Tea recently, I told myself that I had to try it out again. While there is nothing rocket science about this dish, practice is the key to success. I used the recipe from here.

I remembered that my first attempt at it did not yield any memorable results as there were some uncooked rice. This time around, there wasn't any uncooked bit but the rice could be a little softer. I'll have to add slightly more water to it. As I wanted to have a "white" version, I omitted all the dark sauces and used oyster sauce instead. That yielded a somewhat brownish appearance. Guess I would have to leave oyster sauce out as well if I want a totally white version.

I thought that I could also increase the taste quotient of this next time. However, my boy said this worked just fine for him. Hubs still misses that version from Tiong Bahru... a taste of childhood, maybe?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Madeleine, oh Madeleine

This is worth every effort in making. For the first time since I began baking, these babies were consumed all within 6 hours! I baked them this morning so we would have some light snacks while the children enjoyed themselves at Wild Wild Wet. My little niece was the biggest fan of these chocolate lemon madeleines, she kept asking for more.

The recipe is taken from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herme by Dorie Greenspan. I had to wait a few weeks after reserving the book online. I must say that it is an interesting recipe that I would definitely try again soon. Besides, the madeleine trays are screaming for attention.

I would also need the practice of rubbing the sugar with lemon zest as I kept wondering if I had done that step well. There wasn't much hint of lemon, or that could have been over-shadowed by the varlhona cocoa powder... Overall, I would say that these are really chocolatey, yum!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Apple Sauce & Cinnamon Cupcakes

Aren't they so cute? The tiny donut-shaped cakes are made with the same batter as the cupcakes. They are made with a simple recipe which my sister-in-law gave me long ago. She has been eating my bakes and she wanted to share this really simple recipe with me.

It's really simple, equal amounts of sugar, self-raising flour and butter; with some cinnamon, 2 eggs and a bottle of apple sauce (I used baby food!). Beat all together till smooth and bake. I didn't have a particularly easy time trying to fill the donut tray, though. Next time, I'll try piping definitely.

I suspect that I could have over-compensated for the slightly "old" flour as the cupcakes turned out a little too wet for my liking. However, my friend S said they were perfect and she liked the texture of the cupcakes! Well, since these were done especially for her, that should be considered a success. Besides, my children kept popping the mini donuts into their mouths. If I didn't stop them to take photo of the mini-donuts, they would have been gone in under 15 minutes. I hope S tries to bake it ...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Of Quiche and Good Times

It's not true that I MADE this quiche, well at least not entirely. All I did was prepare the shortcrust pastry and laid it onto the pie pan. The custard and filling were prepared by Gina and that was what gave flavour to the whole dish. She made it look so easy or perhaps I had not bothered to find out previously.

I had tasted quiche but don't remember liking what I had tasted. So I never bothered to look up recipes for quiche. This was one of the dish presented at the first Hi Tea Buffet held by Kitchen Capers and Chef's Secrets Cooking Studio.

When I knew that Gina and Amy, co-owner of Chef's Secrets, were going to prepare and cook a day before the buffet, I volunteered to help. I had been taking a break from baking for too long and thought this would end the drought of not baking. It sure did!

I rubbed butter into flour and kneaded till it was pliable. Without guidance from the two teachers, I would not have learnt one important thing. The crust which I made previously were too dry! That explained why I was unable to roll the dough, even after chilling it for 30 minutes! Now I know...

Below is a picture of some of the food served, just a few of the many yummy items served.