Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Chocolate bread loaf & Chocolate Ganache Buns

I realise it has been awhile since I posted something on chocolate. That is so unlike me! I guess I have been re-baking the old chocolate recipes and thus not looking out for new ones. Well, don't fret chocoholics (including yours truly), today I've just another yummy chocolate bread post, sure to quench your love for it. :) The main reason why I did this recipe was because of my younger kid whom love this particular chocolate bun which was sold in a bakery store in Malaysia. She would ALWAYS ask me to buy that chocolate bun for her. ;P So why not bake some myself?
Besides these yummy chocolate buns, I made a chocolate bread loaf as well. Both delicious!
This recipe was actually done a month back but only got to post up now. But I am already thinking of baking this again next week, heehee. :D I saw this recipe from here, but I made some changes to it. I added a pre fermented dough to the recipe to introduce better elasticity texture to the bread. I like the extra Q Q taste. :) Note that I doubled the below recipe which allowed me to bake a loaf (9x5x4) and 4 buns.

Ingredients for Chocolate bread
200g bread flour
50g cake flour
25g cocoa powder
50g pre fermented dough (refer here for recipe)
8g milk powder
5g instant active yeast
30g caster sugar
4g salt
1 large egg
130ml water
20g unsalted butter
25g dark chocolate, melted
some chocolate buttercream for the filling
  • Knead all ingredients of the main dough together, except the butter. Add pre-ferment dough piece by piece. Knead after each addition until soft and smooth. Add butter. Knead until stretchable consistency and pass the window panel test.
  • Put the dough into a big bowl. Cover with cling wrap and let it prove for 30minutes till double.
  • If making a loaf: Divide the dough into 3 equal portions. Flatten each portion with your hands to drive the air out. Roll it into square shape, cover and let rest for 20 minutes before shaping.
  • If making buns: Divide the dough into 50g per portions. Roll round and seal any edges. Let proof for 25 to 30 minutes till double in size.
  • Flatten the dough to drive the air out. Roll each out into a rectangular sheet with a rolling pin. Fold about 2cm from both sides towards the center and roll it out again. Roll the dough up like swiss roll (the width should be the same as the tin) and out them into the mould. Repeat for the rest of the dough portions. Cover with cling wrap. Let it prove for about 45 minutes or until the dough has risen to 80 to 90% of the depth of the loaf tin. You can either cover the lid or bake it open top like mine. If open top, brush with egg wash.
  • Bake in 175C oven for 12-13 minutes for buns and loaf for 30 to 35minutes.
  • At this point, you can pipe the chocolate buttercream into the buns once it has been cooled down completely. (Note that you can poke a hole on one side of the bun before piping in)
  • Then dip the filled buns into the melted chocolate and let cool. ( Oops I did the dip before the piping, haha)
Both the loaf and the buns were very soft. ;) And I was glad that I added the pre-fermented dough into this recipe. ;)
It goes with out saying that the happiest fellow in the house was my kid. She took one straight after I finished making the buns and say it's better then the bakery, OK my dear. ;)

Okay folks, gonna sign off now. Have a good day all!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Fluffy Pancake with Carmalized Apples

It's the weekend again, something I look forward to for the past 5 days, haha! For these 2 days I get to relax a little and spend more time with my family. Best of all, I don't have to wake up so early. :P But once in awhile, I'll still try to make a special breakfast for my kids and husband on weekend mornings. So this post, I would like to recommend you this simple but yet fabulous breakfast which will take you no time to prepare. A wonderful apple pancake that is sure to drag them out of bed and to the dinning table. ;)
This pancake uses the usual egg yolk and egg white separation method. Although this method is slightly more tedious compared to the usual whole egg method, but it yields a much fluffy and soft texture. So get whipping!

This recipe is extracted from "西點學習大百科",a book that my friend Grace recommended to me awhile back. It's in Mandarin book, but I'll just post up the English translation here:

Ingredients for Apple Pancake: (Serves 3-4 adults)
Caramelized Apple wedges
2 medium apples (any kind is fine, but preferably Granny smiths)
40g caster sugar
20g butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Peel and core the two apples. Slice the apples into 8-10 wedges each.
  • In a saucepan, add in sugar and a tbsp of water and on the fire at medium. Once sugar solution starts to turn amber, quickly add in the apple wedges and stir in well to coat.
  • At this point, lower the heat to medium low, add in the butter and stir well to thicken the whole mixture.
  • Lastly add in the vanilla extract and cook for another minute.
  • Let it cool slightly before use. In the meantime, prepare your pancake batter.
Pancake batter:
2 egg yolks
80g cake flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
100ml fresh milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp vegetable oil

2 large eggs
30g caster sugar
  • In a large mixing bowl, add in the egg yolks, vanilla extract, fresh milk and vegetable oil, stir well.
  • Now sift in the cake flour and baking powder to the egg yolk mixture. Mix well and no visible lumps.
  • In another mixing bowl, beat the 2 egg whites till foamy, then add in the caster sugar gradually and beat till stiff peaks.
  • Fold in the whites to the yolk mixture in 3 separate portions and careful not to deflate the white.
  • Place your pancake pan on the stove and add a little butter to grease the surface. On the heat at medium low. (I used my Happycall pan this time for easy flipping. :D)
  • Pour the batter into the preheated pan. Then start adding in the caramelized apples wedges, making sure the wedges are well distributed over the pancake. Drizzle in the caramel over the batter as well, you don't want to waste that golden nectar.
  • Flip the pancake after 5-7 minutes at medium low heat. If you are not using Happycall, just use a big plate to help yo. Simply slide the pancake out onto the place the cup it down with the toasted side up this time.
  • Cook for another 5 -7 minutes then check if the pancake is golden brown. Once done, remove pancake and serve while still warm.
Cookbook suggested dusting the pancake with cinnamon powder and powder sugar, I omitted that since my kids aren't fans of cinnamon and I find the sweetness of the caramelized apples were just nice pairing with the pancake. Delish!

Hope this recipe will motivate you to make it for your family's Sunday! It's delicious and much healthier then those hawker food or big breakfast at fast food chains. Best of all, it's made with TLC.

Have a fabulous weekend all! \(^o^)/

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Light Chedder Cheesecake

I love light cheesecakes. It satisfy a craving and yet less guilt involved. I have tried a few versions of light cheesecakes before, all light and creamy but still has a slight differ in texture if you ask me. The first Feather light cheesecake I attempted has a large amount of milk in the recipe, and so it has a more milky taste to it. As for the Japanese Light Cheesecake I tried, it is creamier with a higher ratio of cream cheese. However the lemon juice used in the recipe really "brightens up" the taste, makes it even easier to down. (吃了不会逆).

The light Chedder cheesecake recipe I'm posting today is also uniquely different in taste and texture. With the use of Chedder cheese gives this cake a slight salty taste instead of the usual tang from cream cheese....I like it. :)
This looks so ordinary, but it taste all so good. The slight bouncy texture of the cake makes eating it very delightful. I wouldn't say this is creamy texture, but rather a light creamy cheese after taste. The slight salty and sweet gives it well balanced taste, even my picky sister said it's perfect. :D
I got this great recipe from 星厨房, will re-post it here for easy reference. ;) Thanks hsling!

Ingredients for Light Chedder Cheesecake (makes 8x8 square pan)
6 slices of Chedder Cheese
100ml fresh milk
100g unsalted butter
6 egg yolks
6egg whites (preferably cold, place in fridge after separating)
100g caster sugar
100g cake flour
  • In a heatproof saucepan, place the butter, fresh milk and tear up the chedder chesee slices in.
  • Place saucepan over medium low heat and stir gently until all is melted and mixed in together. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool before use.
  • Ladle big spoonful of the milk mixture into the egg yolks. Mix well and then add in the rest of the milk mixture in. Stir well.
  • Sift in the cake flour into the egg yolk mixture and make sure no lumps.
  • Preheat the oven to 155C with a water bath. Grease and line an 8x8 square baking pan.
  • In another large mixing bowl, add the egg whites in and beat till foamy. Add in the sugar gradually and beat till stiff peaks.
  • Gently fold in 1/3 of the egg whites portion into the cheese mixture. And repeat with the other 2 portions and careful not to deflate it.Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the surface.
  • Bake the cake in the oven for 50 minutes or till the tester comes out clean.
  • Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan before removing and let cool completely before slicing.
Love this cake. In fact I have baked this twice and planning to bake it again next week, heehee. :D It's simple to whip up and it never disappoints. Main thing to remember for this recipe is to beat your egg whites to the right consistency. :)

Okay all, gonna keep this a short one. Will try to post again this week...since I have way too many backlogs...(*_*")
Have a good evening all. (^o^)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Red Wine Yeast Marbled Chiffon Cake (红鞠大理石戚风蛋糕)

Sometimes I feel pressured. Pressured to post something really good. Not only good, but has to be somewhat unique as well. Not sure if you feel the same...but I do. If I bake something nowadays, I will ask myself, is this good enough to be posted? It may sound silly isn't it? But I do feel that the readers nowadays have pretty "high expectations" considering that there are so many great bloggers out there. These "new age" bloggers have fantastic photographic skills plus ever trying new recipes that will wow the readers so often. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against them. In fact I love reading their posts! I just feel that my blog definitely needs a lot of work to get to that level, lol! Anyway, "人比人气死人", why make our life harder then it is right? ;))

Anyway, enough babbling, back to today's recipe. It's Red Wine Yeast Marbled Chiffon Cake (红鞠大理石戚风蛋糕).
After my previous attempt on using red wine yeast, I knew I had to try it again on a cake recipe. Since I did see some of the fellow bloggers using it for chiffon, I knew it will be an obvious choice. :)

Recipe was from 孟老师的100道小蛋糕 , a book that I owned but rarely use. *sigh* Anyway, I did slight modifications to it to fit into my 20cm tube pan. ;)

Ingredients (makes a 20cm tube pan)
4 egg yolks
45g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
50ml vegetable oil
100ml fresh milk
120g cake flour
1 tsp baking powder

4 egg whites
80g caster sugar
10g cornflour (original calls for 1/3 tsp cream of tartar)

2 tbsp of red wine yeast (already in liquid form)
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks with caster sugar till thick and creamy, about double in volume. Then add in the vanilla extract and mix well.
  • Add in the vegetable oil, followed by the fresh milk into the egg yolk mixture and stir well. Then sift in the cake flour and baking powder. Mix till no visible lumps.
  • In another large mixing bowl, beat the egg white until foamy, add in sugar gradually and beat till still soft peaks, add in the corn flour and continue to beat till stiff.
  • Preheat the oven to 170C.
  • Gently hold in 1/3 of the white into yolk mixture. Then repeat with 2 more portions till all is folded.
  • Take 1/3 of the batter and mix in the red wine yeast into it till well combined.
  • Pour the plain batter into the tube pan first. Then place spoonfuls of the red wine yeast batter into the tube pan. Then use a toothpick, swirl the batter to create a marble effect.
  • Place the cake into the oven to bake for 28-30 minutes till the tester comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and invert to cool completely before removing from the pan.
I had originally baked this for my brother since he was in Singapore for a visit. However the cake ended up eaten mostly by my dad! My dad loved it, claiming it was really soft and spongy and not too sweet, definitely his kind of cake, lol! :D The only down side for me was there was no evident taste or scent of the red wine yeast again. I felt the cake taste more like an ordinary vanilla chiffon cake. :P So I guess I have to either up the red wine yeast more or make the whole cake in pink (mix all the batter with it) next time. :P
Looks like the air pockets are still quite big in the cake. :P Anyway, taste is more important then looks right? *self comforting* Hahaha...

Red wine yeast pau, done. Red wine yeast chiffon cake , done. I guess that leaves us with red wine yeast...bread! Stay tune all. ;))

Thanks all for staying on with me. ;) Have a great evening all!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Creamy Avocado Ice Cream

Let's talk about ice cream today. :)) Who doesn't love ice cream? Sweet and creamy cold desert made from all sorts of wonderful flavors, which comforts and lifts you up on any bad day. I have been wanting to post up an ice cream recipe for a long long time now, but somehow it just always get postponed. Well not today! Today's Avocado ice cream was actually inspired by my recent visit to one of my favorite ice cream parlor, "The Daily Scoop". I got to taste their avocado ice cream that weekend and fell in love with it immediately! It was so creamy and not too sweet with a mild avocado taste. I kept telling my husband that I have to replicate this delicious ice cream at home...although I caught him rolling his eyes. :P Wasting no time, I bought some avocados the next day and got to work. And tah-dah! My very own avocado ice cream...
I got this nice avocado ice cream recipe from FoodNetwork, courtesy of Alton Brown. Although initially I was complementing whether to try out Eelin's Avocado ice pops recipe. But decided to go with Alton Brown's version since I've tasted the sinfully good version from "The Daily Scoop", plus I'm such a sucker for creamy stuff. Lol!

Ingredients for avocado ice cream (makes about 3 cups) 
12 ounces avocado meat, approximately 3 small to medium
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream

  • Peel and pit the avocados.
  • Add the avocados, lemon juice, milk, and sugar to a blender and puree.
  • Transfer the mixture to a medium mixing bowl, add the heavy cream and whisk to combine.
  • Place the mixture into the refrigerator and chill until it reaches 40 degrees F or below, approximately 4 to 6 hours.
  • Process the mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions.
  • Alternatively, if you don't own an ice cream maker, beat the mixture at high speed using your handheld mixer till it thickens. Then place in the freezer for an hour. Just as the mixture is going to freezes up, beat the mixture again, then chill again. Repeat this step about 2-3 times to reach a thick creamy consistency...something like soft-surf ice cream.
  • Pour the mixture into a container and freeze overnight or up to 4 hours.
Note that if you don't own an ice cream maker, doing the repetitive beating of the almost frozen cream mixture will help break up those ice crystals as much as possible so your final results will be as smooth and creamy as possible. Sounds like a hassle I know, why not just pay for it and get a tub. But once you get to taste your own home made creation, you will beg to defer. ;))
If you have tasted avocado ice cream before and love it as much as I do...I highly recommend you try this out. There's no raw eggs involved and yet it has this really creamy texture due to the avocado used, really yummy.

And guess what, I have a batch of pulut hitam (black glutinous rice) ice cream mixture chilling in the fridge right now. *excited* Hopefully it will turn out good. Will post it up once I have the time. ;))

Thanks all for dropping by! Have a great day. Cheers!