Monday, August 29, 2011

Black Sesame Brownies

Original recipe is here, from Pig Pig's Corner. Don't be intimidated by the soya sauce...well, I was. It actually turned out to be really fragrant and almost non detectable. I was expecting the texture to be fudgy, it turned out pretty cakey though.

We're so hungry

Adorable pup at CTC market

Godly Krispy Kreme!!!

A quick update on my recent Bangkok trip. It was fun!! ...I guess it was enjoyable because I had the right company. Some of you may know that I've recently started seeing someone new. The trip was initially a wreck because it was booked way early last year with my not-worth-mentioning-ex. Somewhere along the way he died, so I initially decided to proceed with the trip alone, then my boyfriend decided to join me impromptu. We hit it off straight away, we never run out of topics and laugh at the same gags. The chemistry is superb and he dotes on me a lot. And of all places, we met at a Workers' Party rally hahahah Will fill you guys in on the details when I'm feeling more romantic.

Black Sesame Brownies (adapted from Pig Pig's Corner)

150g unsalted butter, melted
100g black sesame seeds
125 g caster sugar
1/2 tsp light soy sauce
2 eggs
100g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp black sesame seeds, for sprinkling

1. Pre-heat oven to 160°C (fan).
2. Combine melted butter and sesame seeds in a food processor or blender and blend until a paste is formed.
3. Add sesame paste to a pan, add sugar and soy sauce, fry for a few mins until fragrant (oil will start to separate). Remove from heat and leave this to cool.
4. When sesame mixture is cool to touch (warm is fine), mix in eggs one by one.
5. Gently fold in plain flour until just combined.
6. Pour batter into a lightly greased and lined square tin.
7. Sprinkle black sesame seeds on top. [Don't omit this step, as the sesame seeds add a nice crunch to the cake!]
8. Bake for about 25 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Peanut Butter Pie with Cookie Crust

My heart cringed after reading this heartbreaking yet inspiring blog entry on In Jennie's Kitchen. It's a post tribute to the loss of her dear husband. I'm kinda late for this, but better late than never. It was meaningful cutting this particular pie and sharing it with the others, knowing that it's made for a special reason. It also gives a new meaning to our baking doesn't it?

Random thought - If you pass away one day, what would you like to be made in commemoration of you?

Knowing the typical Baked recipe will be superbly flavorful and heavy-handed on the sugar, I reduce the sugar a little. And since this is a no bake recipe, I don't think it's going to affect the texture or lightness of the cake in any way. Ultra creamy and smooth, it reminds me of a Hershey's Sundae Pie, in peanut butter form. I love the cookie crust, but it's pretty crumbly so it shatters everywhere, can use a bit more butter to bind every crumb together.

I am submitting this to Aspiring Bakers #10: Easy as Pie (August 2011), hosted by Janine of Not the Kitchen Sink.

Peanut Butter Pie with Cookie Crust (adapted from Matt Lewis & Renato Poliafito's Baked: New Frontiers in Baking)

For the chocolate cookie crust:
170g chocolate wafer cookies (I use chocolate Marie biscuits)
1 tablesp sugar
85g unsalted butter, melted

For the peanut butter filing with chocolate bottom:
85g semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon light corn syrup (skipped this)
225g cream cheese, at room temperature (250g for me)
240ml creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
163g firmly packed dark brown sugar (125g for me)
360ml heavy cream

Make the Chocolate Cookie Crust:
1. In a food processor, grind the cookies to a very fine powder. You should have about 1½ cups. Put the crumbs in a bowl and stir in the sugar.
2. Pour the butter over the crumb mixture and mix until well combined. The mixture will feel wet. Turn the crumb mixture out into a 9-inch pie plate and press it into the bottom and up the sides. You can use the back of a large spoon to even out the crust.
3. Put the crust in the refrigerator while you make the filling.

Make the Peanut butter filling with Chocolate Bottom
1. Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave oven or in a double boiler. Add the corn syrup and stir to combine. Use a spatula to spread the chocolate in a thin layer on the bottom of the chilled pie crust.
2. Put the crust back in the refrigerator while you make the peanut butter filling. Put the cream cheese, peanut butter, vanilla, and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until well combined and completely smooth. Set aside.
3. In a clean bowl, use the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment to whip the cream until soft peaks form. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, with a rubber spatula, gently fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture until the mixture is uniform in color.
4. Pour the mixture into the prepared crust and freeze for at least 4 hours. Once the pie is frozen, you can cover it with aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 days.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes

An ice cream sundae version in cupcake form! Frosted them with my usual swiss meringue buttercream and topped them off with a cherry. Think they look really cute and pretty standing next to one another hehe.

Mom commented the cakes taste tad alkaline-ish. Must be the dutch processed cocoa I guess. But nevertheless they're fluffy and soft, and good for those who hate washing up...all you need is just one bowl ya.

One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes (adapted from Martha Stewart's Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook)
(Makes 24 standard cupcakes, 60 mini for me)

350g all-purpose flour
115g unsweetened cocoa powder
500g sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large whole eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
300ml milk
120ml plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
300ml warm water

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line two standard 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners.
2. Into a bowl of an electric mixer, sift together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Attach bowl to a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; add the eggs and yolk, the milk, oil, vanilla and warm water. Beat on low speed until smooth and combined, about 3 minutes; scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
3. Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool slightly. Invert cupcakes onto rackl then reinvert and let them cool completely, top sides up.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Tres Leches (Three Milk Cake)

My close friends will know I like anything milkish tasting, from vanilla being my favorite ice cream flavor to savory cream pasta. Needless to say reading up about this cake caught my attention.

THREE GODLY TYPES OF MILK! Four actually, with whole milk making up part of the cake. I really like the milkiness! The bottom part of the cake was so well soaked that it almost resembles pudding like texture. Received feedback that it was too sweet, but I thought the sweetness level was just right for me.

Was kinda sad because I only had a bite of it to taste in the morning before storming out of the house to work. When I got home, there was none of it left. Mom took the whole tray to work and it was wolved down by her colleagues. Original recipe is here, for those who would like to incorporate icing and fruits.

Tres Leches (Three Milk Cake) (adapted from Emeril Lagasse's Emeril's Live)


6 large eggs, separated
400g granulated sugar (I use 350g)
280g all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
120ml whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream topping:
398ml can evaporated milk (I use 350ml)
240ml heavy cream

1. To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly grease and flour a 9 by 13-inch baking dish and set aside.
2. In the bowl of a mixer, beat the egg whites on low speed until soft peaks form. Add the sugar gradually with the mixer running and peak to stiff peaks. Add the egg yolks 1 at a time, beating well after the addition of each.
3. Sift together the flour and baking powder and add to the egg mixture, alternating with the milk. (Do this quickly so the batter does not lose volume.) Add the vanilla. Bake until golden, 25 minutes.
4. To make the cream topping: In a blender, combine the evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream and blend on high speed.
5. Remove the cake from the oven and while still warm, pour the cream mixture over it. Let sit and cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Red Velvet Cupcakes III

Check out the cupcakes sediya-ing in attention to our nation's special day tomorrow.

A tribute to our lovely country. Happy 46th Birthday!

A comparison between the 3 velvet cupcakes I've made. I think I still like Hummingbird's best. Though moist, and I wash the least bowls for this one, I think I still prefer butter in my cupcakes. I replaced the frosting with sprinkles, original recipe is here, so you can check out the original zesty cream cheese frosting.

Red Velvet Cupcakes (adapted from Chuck Hughes' Chuck's Day Off)
(makes 24 standard cupcakes)

300g sugar
2 eggs
360ml canola oil
240ml plain yogurt
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
350g flour
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

1. For the cake: Preheat the oven to180°C.
2. In a food processor, mix the sugar with the eggs, oil, yogurt, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla. Add flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Blend until just incorporated.
3. Place paper cupcake liners into a muffin pan, and divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners, pouring only halfway so the batter doesn't overflow. Bake, rotating halfway through, for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the cupcakes and let cool.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Durian Muffins

Hey all! Am back from my little getaway. Kinda sick from all that eating and shopping now hahah Back to work and school :(

Got this from a magazine Mama bought me last year during durian season when I randomly chirped that I want to bake durian goods. But it became just a read because I was too lazy to do anything.

So a year later, I dug it out from the book shelf and didn't regret making them. Honestly this is really good. Luxurious durian filling oozing out in the middle. What more can I say?

Durian Muffins (adapted from Oriental Cuisine Issue No. 95 August 2010)

160g cake/plain flour, sifted
1 1/2 tsp baking powder, sifted
1/2 tsp salt
90g butter, cold
40g margarine, cold
100g caster sugar

1 egg, lightly beaten with a fork
50ml evaporated milk
50ml water
1 tsp vanilla essence

250g durian flesh mixed with 1/2 tbsp sugar

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 12 paper cups on cupcake tray.
2. Combine (A) into an electric food processor & pulse until it forms bread crumbs
3. Pour in all ingredients of (A) into (B) and stir until just mixed. Do not worry if there are lumps as if beaten too much the muffin will become hard.
4. Spoon a tablespoon of the mixture into paper cups, top up with a teaspoon of durian meat and then top up with another tablespoon of batter. Remember to place the durian meat in the centre of the batter. Repeat till process finish.
5. Bake in pre-heated oven for 20 to 25 mins or until cooked tester inserted in the centre of the muffin comes out clean.