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Kuih Sarang Semut

22 Jul

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My all time favourite eid kuih! Though the grating was super tiring cause I am a slow worker.

Anyway the ingredients:
250gm butter
200gm sugar powder/icing sugar
300gm plain flour
200gm custard flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
Chocolate rice as ants

Standard procedures. Beat butter and sugar till they are totally mixed. Then add vanilla into the mixture. Lastly, add the dry ingredients slowly. You can mix the dry ingredients first also. Grate the dough into the papercups. Try not to scoop the grated dough cause it will stick and will not look nice! Sprinkle chocolate rice on top. Bake it and you are done! 👌

Nutella Cups

17 May

Nutella Cup (1)

One of the bakes that I would definitely put under the FAIL category. I’m sure nothing is wrong with recipe I used. It was just me. The cookies were underbake-overbake, if there is such a thing. You know it’s underbake when you eat it then after sometime you decided to put it back in the oven (I know! I know! What was I thinking?!) and then it became overbaked cookies. Haha!

Nutella Cup(2)

But as usual, with nutella everything will be slightly better right? 🙂 Will need to try again! But I have been very lazy lately. Hence the lack of bakes and updates.

Congo Bars & VSC

7 Dec

Last Saturday I have decided to try out baking Congo Bars. I saw them on Kitchen Guardian’s instagram.

But mine turned out to be more cakey then what I imagined them to be:

Congo Bar

I made them using the recipe from Bisous À Toi here.

Ingredients
2 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
150g butter, softened
320g light brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
320g chocolate chips

I was reading through Bakerella’s and I have decided to mix the ingredients by hand. Probably why mine was cakey.

Methods
Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Set aside.
Stir brown sugar into softened butter in another large bowl until butter disappears. You can use the back of your spoon to help incorporate the two together.
Add eggs one at a time to butter mixture and stir well after each egg.
Add vanilla, chocolate chips and nuts. Mix well.
Add dry flour mixture and stir until well combined.

Mine is also a little taller cause I used 10 x 10 pan instead of the 13 x 9 recommended pan. hee. I was lazy to dig and find the 13 x 9 pan. I like how this congo bars taste like cookies. Indeed it is true! Brownie + cookie! Will try to do it again using mixer and 13 x 9 pan. Want mine to be a little similar to Kitchen Guardian’s! (here, here, here, here)  Not satisfied with mine that’s why I didn’t bother to take more pictures.

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Told you my family (or rather my mum) loves Victoria Sandwich Cake. She made them again & again.

For my aunt’s and uncle’s anniversary:

VSC anni

Cute version:

VSC cupcake

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie

27 Sep

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I haven’t been baking for quite awhile. Baking used to be an outlet for “stress”. I used to enjoy baking over the weekends. At least once a month. heh. Once a month is good enough by my standard. Now that I’m back working full time, my level of laziness increase. So far, I’ve only baked this delish chewy chocolate chip cookies! The best. (Even better that subway’s I must say! hehe I’m just lying of course!)

IMG_2491

I love it so much that I baked them twice over a short period of time. But my oven is not working now. The first time I baked these cookies, I had only used 2.5 big trays. Now, with my aunt’s small working oven (that we gratefully borrowed), I had to use 10 small trays. Really taxing. Took a lot of time! Imagine 10 x 13 minutes, staring into the oven while nibbling on the  just-come-out-from-the-oven-cookies. Not worth it cause I ended up eating a lot of cookies while waiting.

Recipe from I Love. I Cook. I Bake here. The only thing I changed was the quantity of chocolate chips. I used 1 bag of Hershey semi-sweet chocolate chips. I googled for you. hee.

The recipe is a total keeper! 🙂

 

Pink Macarons with Caramel filling

6 Feb

I had the sudden urge to bake after lazing around for far too long! I have my own set of rules before baking – must not be too late in the afternoon cause I hate staying up late, cannot be on a Sunday’s afternoon/night or weekdays cause I want to be alert in the office (hah!), kitchen must be in order cause I am usually lazy to clean up, and more. So much more, you’ve no idea how hard it is to be me. I kid, I kid!

So yesterday’s mission was: Macaron. And Caramel filling. Or was it Salted Caramel? But how “salted” is Salted Caramel anyway?

 “Army of macarons”.  Not yet perfect but I’m still trying. 🙂

I used the same Macaron’s recipe I did the first time. I added in red colour powder cause I was thinking of cute red Macarons with oozing yummy caramel-ish cream. Some sort like red and yellow, red and yellow. But hey, things don’t always go as planned and I have come to terms with this somehow. I can’t make perfect dainty flat shiny top and bottom macarons but my macarons is still a macaron because they have feet and they are crunchy on the outside with goey texture inside. (Well I chose to believe it that way.)

For the filling, I googled for the recipe and found this website: You can do it at home! The name says it all! 😀

Ingredients
100 g caster sugar
165 g thickened cream (minimum 35% fat content)
15 g salted butter
70 g soften salted butter

Method

1) Place cream in a saucepan and bring it to the boil. Put it aside and keep it warm.

2) Add 30 g of caster sugar to a heavy-based small saucepan over medium-high heat. Let the sugar melt and shake the pan every now and then to help the sugar to melt. When the sugar is melted, put another 35 g of sugar into the pan and let it melt. Repeat with the rest of sugar.

3) Leave the sugar caramelised until it turns dark amber. Remove the pan from the heat and add 15 g of butter.

4) Add warm thickened cream to the sugar mixture. Be careful as the mixture might spatter. Quickly shake the pan to help blending cream and caramelized sugar.

5) Put the saucepan back to medium-heat and let it boil until it reaches 108°C. Remove from heat and pour the mixture into a bowl. Cover the mixture surface with cling wrap to prevent the skin forming. Set aside to cool down and won’t melt butter in the next stage.

6) When the sugar mixture is cool, beat butter on medium-high speed until it is light and fluffy (approx. 8 – 10 minutes). Mix the sugar mixture into the butter in two batches.

Chill the mixture until ready to use to fill macarons.

My first batch of caramel was a disaster! I did it accordingly but everything went too fast and by the time I get the hang out of it my caramelized sugar had reached to a point of no return. Black caramel for you:

Smells nice but taste bitter. Too bitter!

p.s. I need more colour powder please!

p.p.s. My Mastrad macaron baking sheet is on the way home. 😀 Exciting!

p.p.s. I had fun playing with photoscape as you can see. ❤

Baking Class: Macarons

19 Dec

After my first try on French Macarons , I have been trying to find Macarons class cause mine was still slightly (yes, only slightly)imperfect. Found one though facebook. (You might want to check out Macaron Clazz!)

So colourful!!

This time round, we made these macarons using the Italian Meringue technique. A little different from my first try which was using Swiss Meringue technique. Basically, the main ingredients are all the same.

Anyway, I can’t post the exact ingredients or steps cause it’s not ethical. Was that the right word? Heh.

So I’m only posting the standard pictures:

The 90 deg piping.

 Drying process. (Perfect circles OMG.)

Common knowledge on these temperamental Macarons to note on:
1. Measure all ingredients exactly to your recipe. I dare not edit cause I’m no expert.
2. Liquid content to be at the minumum. That explains the aged egg – to let all water content evaporate. And the colouring powder and not liquid or gel.
3. From the class, I learnt that if it’s raining and you’ve no choice but to bake macarons, close all doors and windows to control the humidity. But then again, it depends on luck I think.
4. Oh yah, this should be number 1. Always prepare everything before you start doing. Once you start, you do not have the time to pause cause everything depends on the timing – eg. Boiling of sugar – must take note of temp/timing. Beating – cannot overbeat or underbeat. Folding – same as beating. Where got time to pause you tell me!! So prepare your trays with parchment paper on, the piping bag all ready, all utensils out in the open.. I always have this problem though.
5. Once done piping, must tap the tray hard to let the air out. In the class, the teacher taught us how to pop air bubbles after tapping the tray.

My new found motto: If you can’t make them, you buy them! hehe 🙂

French Macarons – Swiss Meringue Technique

29 Nov


If I’m not wrong, it all begins from Carousel at Royal Plaza on Scotts. Or maybe earlier. Adek and I have this certain fascination or rather, interest on French Macarons. Adek’s first try in baking them was a, uhm, success. (Well, that’s according to her. hehe.) Second try was done together with me and it was horrendous. Third try was okay but no feet! Can’t believe these small goodies can be so hard to bake! See here for more info on these troublesome cookies.

Mama always told us to bake only when we’re not tired or in a rush. I think she is just annoyed at us for wasting her ingredients when we failed (miserably). So after much “research”/googling on this tiny, delicate macarons, I chose to follow Bisous À Toi‘s recipe. Probably because Mama has been reading her blog religiously everyday and probably because her blog has the prettiest pictures!

Here’s the ingredients (recipes from Bisous À Toi):-

Swiss Meringue
80g egg white (at room temperature and it’s aged egg white)
65g caster sugar

80g ground almond
140g icing sugar
1/2tsp lemon juice

Method:-

1. Line 3 to 4 baking trays with baking sheet. (or was it parchment paper?)

2. Blend icing powder and ground almond together in a food processor to get a fine texture. Then sift icing sugar and almond together and set aside. (I find almond powder difficult to sift so blend it thoroughly.)


3. Pour sugar and egg white into a heatproof pan and place it over a saucepan of simmering water.

4. Stir constantly until sugar has dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch (about 50 to 55C).

5. Pour the egg white and lemon juice into the mixing bowl with the whisk attachment and beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks then add in the powder colouring. (I did not add in any powder colouring cause I did not have any at that time. Bought a small bottle of red colouring powder yesterday! Can’t wait to try it!)


6. Continue to beat until the egg white has cooled down and it look smooth and shiny. (By this time I was already afraid I might either under-beat or over-beat!)

7. Fold in the sifted mixture in 4 portions into the meringue. Do not over fold batter until it turn watery, batter should be slightly thicker than cake batter. (I throw the sifted mixture in 1 shot as I did not want to over fold the batter.)

8.Spoon batter into a piping bag and pipe it. (I did not make any circle imprint cause I was lazy hence the different sizes of circles above.)

9.Let the macarons  rest for 45mins to 1 hour. (Initially I thought the feet will grow during this rest period but I was wrong! Anyway, I increase the rest time because my 1st tray was ugly – see below and it’s 15 mins different from 2nd tray.)

10.Preheat oven to 150C. (Chose heat from above and on the fan inside. This is for my oven.)

11.Bake a tray at a time for 20-25mins, depend on individual oven. (Mine was baked for 20 mins.)

1st tray in

1st tray: Did you see that!! Volcanoes! I found out that the feet grow upwards!

1st tray: My heart broke into pieces. Adek said that this is the worst ever! (compare to her 3 tries!)

1st tray: Down the drain. 😥

2nd tray in: Oh wow did you see the feet! The feet!!! (Who cares if it’s lopsided.)

2nd tray: Lopsided and funny shapes macarons. But hey, feet!!

2nd tray: Still jumping up and down. Full of excitement.

3rd tray in: With confidence now. Sprinkle my glitter. Can you see the glitter?

3rd tray: There’re two volcanoes erupting but hey look, perfect circle with pretty feet!

3rd tray: 😀

12.Remove macarons and cool on a wire rack. (I didn’t cool them on a wire rack though. If you’re having difficulty removing the shells, spray a little water (mist) under baking sheet.. let it sit for a few sec and peel it off.)

Instead of making chocolate ganache, I just put nutella as the filling. Equally yummy I believe! Here goes my ugly pictures of macarons:-

With glitter on the baking sheet.

Lonely macaron with slight bump.

A group of imperfect macarons representing us humans. Hee.

Into the container you go!

Last picture.

These macarons last for a day. All is gone now. 😦 This recipe made around 50-60 shells depending on their sizes. The smaller the better! 🙂