Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Science of the Best Chocolate Cookies and Skinny Double Chocolate Muffins

So I've been wanting to make cookies again, but I was always too lazy to whip out the mixer and chop chocolate blocks into chocolate chunks.

But because my chocolate was about to expire, it is TIME!!

So, thankfully I found this recipe at Serious Eats. It turned out great (I LOVE soft cookies). I didn't change the recipe at all, except to replace  170g of the butter with margarine, and the rest with shortening).

The only problem was that Cyn said that there was an after-taste on the tongue. And I can't figure out why. :(
XY said it was nice tho. (I think she'll love anything with good chocolate in it. haha)

I've also been wanting to make these Skinny Double Chocolate Muffins. And since the yogurt I specially bought to make these were also going to expire in another week (laughs, I'm such a procrastinator), I decided to make it!

It was surprisingly good. Cyn actually said she preferred these to brownies, despite it having less chocolate and fat! :)  

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Chocolate Molten Cake

I used this Molten Orange Chocolate Orange Lava Cake recipe from Except I made it without the orange zest and used Olive Oil Spread on place of butter. I also halved the recipe since I only have 4 ramekins (recipe needed 6).

So, the batter could make only 3 little cakes.

I baked the first two at the same time as mom wasn't home (wanted to leave the last one for her).

Clearly my oven temperature isn't the same in the entire oven...the cake on the left was more wobbly than the one on the right after 8-10 mins (it was way too wobbly at 8 mins and I left them in the oven for a whole longer... Not sure how long though).

Although I turned the pan around to bake a little more, I felt like the more firm one was almost done after maybe another minute. So I took it out, and left the 2nd one to bake a while longer (maybe 2-3 more mins since we turned out and finished the first cake before I remembered to take the second one out of the oven :p)

The first one could have had a little more time in the oven. It was still wobbly, as the recipe said, and the top seemed to have a crust. But when I tipped the ramekin slightly to the side, the top started to crack and I could see the chocolate oozing out. So, when I actually used a knife to score the sides and tip the cake out, the chocolate oozed out. (Technically it should only ooze out when we cut into the cake).

First cake

The second one, on the other hand, was scarily firm when I took it out. Should have taken it out a tad bit earlier. Good thing was that the cake stayed in one piece when I tipped it out of the ramekin :)

2nd cake

And when I cut into it... it was still molten.

2nd cake cut

I felt it could have been more oozy though. 

A perfect one would be a texture that's in between the two cakes. ;)

And Cyn said it would be better to sprinkle coarse sugar in the ramekin before putting the batter in, so there's a nice crunch. (That's apparently how Morton's make theirs.)

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Japanese Strawberry Shortcake

Because I wanted to bake a Japanese styled cake, and this popped up in my research for Japanese sponge cake. :) I used the cake recipe from thelittleteochew

Except I used the olive-gold margarine instead of butter. I accidentally overbaked the cake a bit (guess baking for 20-23 minutes might suffice), so that cake's a little dry. 

But taste wise, perfect! 

 For the frosting, I used this white fluffy marshmallow frosting recipe. The cooked sugar hardened rather quickly (I might have overcooked it since the temp is higher than what my digital thermometer can measure). Guess I should have added it to whites a little faster. 

 It's a little too sweet for me. 

 It behaves something like 7-minute frosting, but less creamy, and is instead a little grainy (more like the Breadtalk Hello Kitty's frosting - the strawberry placed on too easily lifts the frosting off the cake with a bubbly look). 

Good thing is that it doesn't flow out when used as filling, or maybe cos the strawberries were tall enough to hold on to it.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Green Tea Chocolate Cupcakes / Biscotti

Out sick today. Woke up with the body unable to quite move, a huge headache plus felt feverish.

I had been craving for cake since Saturday. So in the evening, I decided to bake, since I had practically slept the entire day. And I should be eating something I have been craving, since I am unwell?

The result: a disgustingly bitter cake that was overbaked (and hence super dry).

I am really quite irritated now, as this used to be a recipe that was loved by all. What went wrong? I mean, I know why it's dry (overbaked). But why bitter?? I added the stated amount of sugar.. Unless I changed the recipe previously and forgot to note it down. Gotta experiment again!

Anyways, because the cake was so disgustingly dry, I thought to myself: maybe I can make it into a biscotti, since biscotti simply means "twice-baked" right?

So, I baked at 180C for 10 mins on one side, and 10 on the other (should reduce the time to 5 minutes on the second side as those came out dark brown and tasted slightly charred).

The biscottis didn't taste as bad as the cakes as biscuits are meant to be dry? Lol? But yea the chocolate was still way too bitter. But at least I managed to "save" the cakes! Didn't quite want to waste the ingredients by throwing everything out. :)

Monday, February 3, 2014

My Birthday Cake - Lemon Curd Filled Lemon Cake

So, this year, I decided that I should make a cake that I like to eat, since it's my birthday! I usually like it that others like what I make, so I rarely make this. 

Reason being: it's always too sour for everyone else's taste. 

Well, since I like to make others happy, I did get mom to taste it. I added another 3 tbsp sugar from the point that I felt that it was alright. In the end, mom said it was a bit too sweet. And it was weird cos it was sweet and sour all at the same time.

Ah wells! I loved it though. So that's good enough.

Thank God there was an additional mini cake (used 2 muffin tins (those bigger ones that are good for meat pies)) to satisfy my craving. :)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Kueh Bangkit

Made 3 batches this year.  This was batch 2, the most melt-in-your mouth batch! 

I'm not sure what caused the difference, but I used different brands of flour for all 3 batches since tapioca flour was out of stock at the supermart near my place.

This was the brand I used for batch 2, bought at the NTUC near Scape. 

One key difference in the dough was that batch 2 was a lot stiffer and harder to roll out. I recall that it was similar last year too - the harder it was for me to roll it out, the more melty the cookie. 

Another difference was that batch 2 had little designs on it. I forgot about them in the other batches. 

Gotta find some way to gain consistency! 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Pineapple Tarts for CNY

I absolutely LOVE mom's pineapple jam. Absolutely delicious. So much so, I've decided I just want to eat the pineapple, without the tart. .

Mainly because my tart is dairy free and super tasteless. It also gets crazy moist after a few days in an airtight box. I'm baking 2 batches per time this year, so I get to eat more non soggy tarts.

I'm guessing that happens because my pineapple jam is still quite moist (I like it that way) and hence the moisture seeps into the crust when stored in an airtight box. The thing is, I have no other way to store it, because I'm guessing the crust will get soggy even if just exposed to normal air (it's humid in Singapore). Then again, it may be better than keeping the base stuck in a confined space with the moist pineapples. 

Alright. (Hopefully I remember...) I'll test this out the next time. Heh. 

The funny thing about today's bake is I overbaked the 2nd batch. Luckily it wasn't too charred so I could still eat it. But honestly the base doesn't complement the pineapple jam well. :( The jam is just heavenly. I really want to eat it on its own. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Getting ready for CNY! - Kueh Bangkit

So, on the first day of 2014 (yay to public holidays!), I decided to make some Kueh Bangkit. CNY's just at the end of the month, so it's time to feast (on fattening snacks)!

This year, the Kueh Bangkit dough was less stiff and MUCH easier to roll out. I have no idea why.... I followed the exact same recipe. Maybe it was the weather. I think it may have been hot. Or maybe humid. Darn, I don't remember!

Anyways, dad prefers them made THINNER (sob, more work for me), as he said the thicker ones felt powdery on the inside. 

As always, I love to make it look like its store bought.... Points to anyone who can guess it was homemade!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bark - Take 2

For the second time, I practiced tempering the dark chocolate first. It worked! It set nicely at room temperature and had a not-too-bad crack. 

So the third time, I was ready. Tempered the dark chocolate, and decided to swirl the PB right in. 
I noticed something - the PB cracks easily (see the left piece of chocolate in the picture), so it's best to have mixed in some with dark chocolate, and a little bit on its own to give the swirled look. 

And off the chocolate went as Christmas gifts! :)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Peanut butter chocolate bark

I decided to make some peanut butter chocolate bark this holidays. 

There were so many recipes, but this one from Brown Eyed Baker jumped out at me as it looked simple, but pretty!

The only problem is that it used a little milk chocolate to mix with the peanut butter. So, I replaced that with the normal dark chocolate I use for baking. As expected, the peanut butter-milk chocolate mixture was do dark, you could barely differentiate it from the dark chocolate layer. 

So, I melted another ~55g of peanut butter (oh my, fat!), dropped blobs of it over the chocolate, and swirled. 

Still delicious!

The only thing was that I think I need to learn to temper the chocolate. The end result, albeit delicious, was a melty chocolate. Not suitable as gifts! 

I'm going to give it another go this week. Learning to temper chocolate first, then perhaps just directly swirling some peanut butter in, instead of mixing it with the chocolate. Or maybe half the pb mixed with the chocolate, with the other half blobbed around for decorative purposes. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Green Tea Jelly with Red Bean Paste

I had left over red bean paste from the Green Tea SoufflĂ© Roll 2 weeks ago, so made this other recipe. 

I was lucky as I had just enough agave syrup left. This gave me the chance to test out the recipe in its full glory. ;)

Wish my moulds were deeper though! The jelly was so flat, it looked like a bit of a joke. 

Taste test later on! My fridge can't seem to chill the desserts quickly enough. Though the jelly set, it still tasted like it was at room temperature. I think it may taste better cold. 

The jelly had a creamy feel to it. Not my cup of tea (pun not intended). I really love the red bean paste though (not the one with beet sugar. This was the one made with Jo Hakuto)

Grace Jie said it was nice (she loves green tea), but didn't eat much. 
Mom doesn't really like green tea (new thing I learnt about mom today!)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Black Forest Cake

It was originally a Swiss Roll recipe, but I made it into a 6 inch cake. 

Baking took about double the time. 

One cake was a little thicker so I sliced it into half. So it became a 3 layer cake. 

Grace Jie: liked the cherries filling (though it didn't look appetizing). Said it'd be good in the middle of an ice cream cake for Christmas.  

Dad: the cake seems a little denser than store bought cakes and the cream is lacking in fragrance (and I guess texture, but no choice, since I used 7-minute frosting, not buttercream :P).

I loved the cherry filling and syrup. Tastes great. 

I had a really hard time putting the cake together as the filling kept flowing out. Ok, I didn't quite cut the layers flat, but I think it's also because the frosting, though it looks firm, kept flowing out.

Wonder if the cake will be better if I made them into cupcakes instead, so the frosting doesn't quite have to fill the inner parts of the cake.  Or maybe cut a hole in the cupcakes and fill them with the cherry syrup + filling, then top with the frosting. 

 And maybe add some baking powder to the cake since dad says it's not fluffy enough. Hmm!
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