Friday, April 25, 2008

FHA 2008 ROX!

I've always wanted to go to the FHA ever since I knew about it but I just never got around to going for it, mostly because I was working full time then. So, now that I'm an unofficially unemployed bum, I pounced upon the opportunity to go to FHA 2008 when Gina, (hugs) had spare tickets.. Too bad, I could not get one for my hubby but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise as he would have probably nagged me to go back early!

Anyway, for a small fry like me, FHA is a great eye opener. Of course, there is no way I can afford majority of the stuff there but I gained a lot of knowledge about the types of pastry ingredients, equipment, etc. Of course it helps that I got to do a lot sampling especially ice creams...I got to try lime, tiramisu, pomegranate (yum!), lychee (yum!), black chocolate and a host of other stuff that was so rich that I'm swearing off ice cream for awhile! This post is basically gonna be a pictorial one... I snapped away until my batteries died... and I'm kicking myself for not bringing spares... So, here goes... Enjoy the pics!

Decadent Cakes and Desserts...

Works of Art...
Watermelon Cake, Anybody?

Crusty Golden Brown Bread

Vibrant Jars of Fruit Puree and Chocolates....

Colourful Creamy Display of Gelato

Heavenly Toppings... on Creamy Ice Creams...
Luscious Swirls of Ice Cream....

Glorious Mountains of Ice Cream

Revolving Ice Cream Display...

A Crime to Drink...

Tin Packaging - A Rustic Reminder of Yesteryears 

Luxurious Packaging for that Special Cookies...

Funky Plates...
Classy and Elegant...

Awww... Aren't you Cute!

Baking Containers for Your Every Needs... 

Cupcake Containers in all shapes and sizes...

Muffin Trays Big Enough to Feed A Village...

A sleek serving rack...

 The 'Big Momma'
And her Little Babies...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I'm Commitment free... but...

I handed up my last assignment for the semester yesterday and I'm finally free! I've been wanting to do so many thing BUT, now that I am free..... I don't know what to do... I just feel so aimless! Hahahaha!
Since, hubby and I pigged out yesterday at NIE (you can't blame us... where else can you find $2 chicken rice and $2.80 chicken chop?) Add to that mum made some delicious food, so dinner was rice... So to balance it off... I was thinking of getting some canned soup and making some toasted bread to go with it for lunch... But at Shop 'n' Save... it hit me that this is crap that I'm gonna make for lunch... And so I decided to pick some nice green veggie and fishcake and made a simple noodle stir-fry... It was quite delicious with oyster, light and dark soya sauce...

Of cos' I was still itching to bake and I just could not find any inspiration.. Somehow I hit on a good recipe for Wacky Jaffa Cake... turned out that it was vegan which was even more fantastic... So, I decided to try it because the reviews were good... and I must say that it turned out really good... it is still a little sticky on the mouth (I don't know why but most vegan cakes tend to be like that) but it was really tasty.. unfortunately, I could not really taste the orange in it... maybe I overdid the cocoa powder but since I added some orange zest there were bursts of orange in the cake.. So it was quite tasty... Hubby and I polished off about a quarter pan.... Of course, it helped that I made a chocolate sauce to go with it... Actually, the intention was to make chocolate mousse... something I saw in Kitchen Chemistry but it didn't turn out right... So, it became a sauce instead but it was still really delicious!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Post Exams Bananas!.... Errmm.. I mean banana cupcakes!

Finally my dreaded statistics exam is over! One more assignment to go... which I should be working on right now... but I have decided to bake instead....
I'm addicted to the KC forum and we have a banana cake challenge going on... So, I decided to use some of the ripen banana to bake a cake... Since, I like something more healthy and I baked a a near vegan cupcake.... it was suppose to be vegan but at the very last minute, I added a tablespoon of milk cos' it was a little dry. I suppose I could have used water...

Anyway, it turned out really good... even my hubby who likes the 'real cakes' was pleased with  it even though he did not care much for the cashews ( he's not a nut person)

I got the recipe online when I was just about to give up on looking for recipes.. The pictures looked inspiring and also the recipe is darn simple. So, I decided to go ahead with it. I made some of my own modifications to it.. So this is my version:

Cashew Banana Cupcakes/Muffins

3/4 cup sugar (I used a mixture of white and brown sugar)
1/3 cup oil 
9-10 small ripe bananas - mashed
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 to 1 tsp cinnamon 
1/4 to 1/3 cup cashews (chopped and roasted)
1 -2 tbsp milk/soy milk/water (in case it is a little dry)


1. Sift the dry ingredients
2. Whip sugar and oil for a minute or two. I also choose to add the salt here cos' I'm using sea salt.
3. Add in the finely mashed banana. Whip until light and fluffy
4. Fold in the dry ingredients using a spoon (so that too much gluten will not be formed)
5. Add the cashews (keep some aside to sprinkle on top).
6. Adjust the texture by adding a tbsp of milk. The mixture should not be too dry.
7. Dollop batter into cupcake cases about close to 3/4  and bake at 180 to 190 degree Celsius.

Makes 11 cupcakes. 

Saturday, April 12, 2008

My Shagadelic Marble Cake

Lately, I have been itching to bake... I think it could be partly due to the exam stress or something but I just can't get it out of my system... Last night, I finally decided to give in to my craving and since Hubby had been wanting one of the proper cakes again... I decided to do the  ubiquitous marble cake. By the time I found a recipe that allowed me to work with the ingredients at home, it was already pushing to 1 a.m.! So, I decided to  bake it in the morning... but what a torture... the anticipation and excitement of baking the cake... could not get a good sleep at all...

So, finally, I did it in the morning... Went a little crazy with the colours... hence the name... shagadelic Marble cake... reminisce of the hippie days.... I should not be saying this... but... I just loved the beautiful swirly design and the cake was really delicious....yum yum!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Eggless Double Choc Chip C.Cake Goodie

Yesterday was the last lesson with my tutor before the upcoming exams... So, I decided to bake him something as a show of appreciation.... I scouted around and found a nice recipe at Kitchen Capers posted by a very nice lady for an eggless double chocolate chip cupcake. So, I decided to try it... It turned out good... and after a very long time, I actually played around with frosting and the cake looked really pretty! I also got a recipe for caramel drizzle... and the yellow stuff you see there is a buttery caramel drizzle with a light tapping of coco powder on top! I'm really happy with the pics!

What happens when you can't go JB to have your fave seafood thanks to Mas Selamat?

Everyone knows how bad the traffic situation at the Causeway been, thanks to the complacency of some officers... 
So, going to M'sia for Hubby and me right now is kinda like out of the question... But, then I have been craving for some good seafood and we usually go to Pantai Lido in JB for cheap seafood... So, what do you do when you can't get cheap seafood... You cook it yourself!
But then there is a downside, cos Hubby is no seafood lover, unlike me, so I had to enlist the help of my brother to make it worthwhile to cook seafood... So, after a tiring Saturday of tuition, I came back to cook dinner.. but by the time I started cooking was already about 7p.m. and we only ate at about 9 p.m. So, I decided against taking any pictures cos' we were all hungry and I was really bushed!
However, hubby snapped some pictures... and unfortunately, it was just snapped without much thought of composing the pictures.. I'm ashamed to post them here... but... I think I should share the good and the ugly too! hahaha

Stir-Fried Vege with Belachan and Oyster Sauce

Mixed Vege Fried Rice

Sambal Prawns - Pretty Ugly Picture

Cockles - The Enticement for my brother!

I can safely that we were all quite happy with the dinner... The only complain was that there was insufficient cockles... my only complain was that I didn't have time to do fish and I also wanted some mussels... Well, like my brother says... there is always a next time... Of cos' I miss my younger bro the most! Would be fun if he was around to join in the feast... Well, he'll be back in June.. So, can arrange for another makan session! hahaha

Suji Cupcakes...

Ever since, I started doing vegan baking, my family has been my guinea pig.... Lately, my mum had been asking me to make suji cake for her.... Though I wasn't keen to do bake such a cholestrol laden cake for her, she hardly requests anything from me. Also, I know hubby loves Suji cake...I've been baking him suji cake for his birthday ever since we got married... So, you can imagine how much he loves it... 

So, I did make Suji cake and since I had some leftover, I made some cupcakes.. Sadly, the suji cake was systematically demolished, so, I only managed to grab a couple of shots of the cupcakes... before they do landed in someone's stomach...

The recipe for this suji cake has been with me for a near 10 years and has never failed me.... I got it off the back of a prima cake flour packet... I've been so lazy, that instead of writing down the recipe, I actually am still keeping the flour packet! Haha!

Recipe for Suji Cake (From Prima Flour)

120g Semolina (Get those fine milled ones)
100g Plain Flour
230g Butter
160g Castor Sugar (I just use fine sugar)
30g Ground Almonds
30g Almond nibs
4 Egg Whites
6 Egg Yolks
4 tbsp Fresh Milk
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Vanilla Essence

1. Sift flour, baking soda and baking powder, then add semolina
2. Cream butter and sugar until light
3. Gradually, add in the egg yolks and whites (It might start to curdle towards the end, I just add in a handful of flour to prevent curdling)
4. Fold in flour, ground almonds, almond nibs, milk and vanilla essence. Mix well (I usually let the paddle attachment do this for me. If you want, you can mix it with hand)
5. Pour mixture in a lined baking tin. Bake in preheated oven at 180 Degree Celsius and bake for an hour.

Points to note: 
*Do not reduce the butter and liquids. This is because, there are a lot of dry and coarse ingredients that need to be held together by the butter and eggs.
*Towards the end of the baking, you might find that the top is browning too fast, shield the top with aluminum foil.