Sunday, 24 August 2014

Plum Tartlets - Bake Along #67


I'm quite excited for this bake along theme ... cos rather curious on this tart somewhat not tart ... a cake-like crustless tart...  a cross between cake and shortbread texture.  Yeah, wondering how it will taste like. I'm also very delighted that Zoe of Bake for Happy kids has halved the recipe ... reduced the butter .... much easier for me to zoom in and started the "bake along" right away! Thanks Zoe !

Plum Tartlets : Bake Along #67
Back in the Day Bakery here
Zoe of Bake for Happy kids

Makes 4 ramekin moulds or 6 cups of a muffin tray (my slight modification in blue)
Ingredients:
150g all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground cardamom (omitted)
1/8 tsp fine sea salt (omitted as I used salted butter)
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature (salted butter)
1 large egg yolk
40g caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla paste (or extract)
lemon zest from 1 lemon
2  plums, pitted and sliced (fresh or frozen)
2 tbsp brown sugar
icing sugar for dusting

Method:
Preheat the oven to 350°F or 160°C fan forced. Lightly butter 6 cups of a muffin tray and line each base with a circle of baking paper. (I used 4 ramekins).

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 mins. Add the egg yolks, caster sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest and continue to beat until the mixture is light in color. In a separate mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cardamom and salt.

Reduce the speed to low and add sifted flour mixture in thirds, mixing just until incorporated; be careful not to overmix.
Divide the dough evenly among muffin cups. Place plum slices in each cup, lightly pressing the slices into the dough with your fingers. Sprinkle the tops with brown sugar.

Bake for 25 mins, until the tartlets look set and the tops are bubbly and caramelized to a golden brown (mine took 35 minutes to bake). Dust with icing sugar and serve.

These are best served warm, but they can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Serve the tarts with a light dusting of confectioners' sugar and a scoop of your favourite ice cream, if desired.

When my hubby took the ramekin on cooling rack ... I was shocked .... cos he just had a big packet of roasted duck and pork rice for lunch. I baked these tartlets for our afternoon tea time and he gladly have it as his after meal dessert ^-^!

I realised that my big kids are picky and don't really like most 'stone fruits' like nectarines, plums, and cherries.
My big boy liked the tart .... but ... he said "if peach would be nicer ... like the peach tarts you made".

At least my boy finished all ... but my princess is more picky ... "mommy,  I don't eat plum ... I dig out the plums for you ya ..."


When I took the first bite, it reminded me of my first attempt on peach tart ... the pastry filling tasted soft, buttery and sandy (but without the ground almond). I like the aroma of the butter and lemon zest ... and the warm sweet juicy plums. Yummy!



I am submitting this post to  Bake Along, an event organised by Joyce from Kitchen FlavoursLena from Frozen Wings and Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids

And
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This post is linked to the event, Little Thumbs Up : August 2014 - Flour organised by Bake for Happy Kids and My Little Favourite DIY, and hosted by Diana from the Domestic Goddess Wannabe




Friday, 22 August 2014

Sunflower Sultana Scones





Not knowing what to do with the half pack of sunflower seeds. Since I've got some leftover yogurt in the fridge, this baked scones recipe just comes in handy as the big kids had requested a few times.

Sunflower Sultana Scones
(Recipe adapted from Cakes and Bakes 500 by Martha Day, with slight modification in blue)
Makes 10 - 12
Ingredients:
225g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
25g soft sunflower margarine
2 tablespoons caster sugar (cut down to 1.5 tablespoons)
50g sultanas (golden raisins)
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
150g natural yogurt
About 2 - 3 tablespoons skimmed milk

Method:
1) Preheat the oven to 230°C (I adjusted my oven to 200°C). Lightly oil a baking sheet. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and rub in the margarine evenly.

2)Stir in the sugar,  sultanas and half the sunflower seeds, then mix in the yogurt, with just enough milk to make a fairly soft, but not sticky dough.

3) Roll out on a lightly floured surface to about 2cm thickness. Cut into 6cm flower shapes or rounds with a cookie cutter and lift on to a baking sheet. (I have a 6cm flower shape cookie cutter, yielded 13 pieces)

4) Brush with milk and sprinkle with the reserved sunflower seeds. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes,  or until well risen and golden brown.  Cool the scones on a wire rack. Serve split, spread with jam or low-fat spread.

The sunflower seeds gives the extra crunch to the these scones. Enjoyed with some strawberry jam spread.

Have a nice weekend & happy baking !



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This post is linked to the event, Little Thumbs Up : August 2014 - Flour organised by Bake for Happy Kids and My Little Favourite DIY, and hosted by Diana from the Domestic Goddess Wannabe


Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Mini Snowskin Mooncakes - Part 2




Hee hee! It has been a very very long time that I've not played with Playdoh. When my kids were kiddies, they liked to play with Playdoh ... made colorful shapes, fruits and animals like fish, pig, dog ... anything ... some aliens cos really don't know what they had made. And mom had to play along kneading and forming shapes with them, and also to ensure that they won't end up eating the "food".

Well, I got to finish off the leftover snowskin premix anyway. So, it's time for "play dough" ... hee hee! handmade some animals mooncakes.

In the past, the kids will ask and seek confirmation with mommy ... now it's the reverse ...  

Mom: how ? Ok? Looks cute or not?
Girl: looks cute... but what has dolphin associate with mooncakes?
Mom: nothing ... I don't have fish jelly mould ... only got this cute dolphin jelly mould!
Boy: ha! cute little white mouse !
Mom: mouse ? mouse?! I made rabbits!
Boy: ha ha ! Looks more like mouse.
Mom: 无言 (speechless)

Recipe source: Ann of Anncoojournal Koi Fish Snowskin Mooncake here and piggy tutorial here. With some modifications and references adapted from my 1st mini snowskin mooncake attempt here
Thanks to Ann for recipe sharing. I find the texture of this batch of snowskin mooncakes tasted better than my 1st attempt.

Ingredients for dough
50g Kao Fen or *Cooked glutinous rice flour
230g Snowskin premix (Redman premix powder)
50g Icing sugar (sifted) (I reduced to 35g)
46g Crisco/shortening (I used margarine 40g)
300g Water (boil 500g water with 4 pandan leaves, leave to cool) and measure 300g water.
some extra Kao Fen or cooked glutinous rice flour for dusting

For filling: 270g Pure Lotus paste (or your preference)

Method:
1) *To cook glutinous rice : in a clean frying pan, cook 50g of glutinous rice flour. Don’t use any oil or water. When you see some smoke and flour turns a bit yellow, it’s cooked.
(I did not buy Kao Fen, but if you have a pack of Kao Fen, you can omit this step completely)

2) Combine cooked glutinous rice and snowskin flour (Redman Premix Powder) in a big bowl and set aside.

3) In a pot, add water with icing sugar and shortening together and bring them to boil until shortening melted, stir with a hand whisk.

4) Pour the hot liquid mixture to the flour and use spatula to stir mixture to soft dough and leave dough to cool (you'll find the dough is quite oily at this time) then knead dough again to smooth, add more cooked glutinous flour to it if the dough is still too sticky.

5) Add different colour dough (I roughly divided the dough into 1:3 portion, use pink food coloring for the smaller portion). Knead dough to even out the colour.

For the pig and rabbit:
Dough 30g each / pure lotus paste 25g each

For the dolphin:
Dough 40g each / pure lotus paste 35g each

6) Roll each lotus paste portion a little to form a ball.

7) Knead dough into a ball and dust with some cooked glutinous flour. Flatten it and place a ball of paste in the middle and slowly wrap it up using the snowskin dough to form a mooncake ball. Press and shape to your desire. I used some chocolate chips as eyes.

8) For the dolphin jelly mould - press the wrapped dough firmly and evenly into the lightly dust (with kao fen or cooked glutinous rice flour) mould to obtain the shape.  Use the tip of a fork to gently unmould the tail and use hand to slowly unmould the body.

9) Store in an airtight container and chill the snowskin mooncakes before consuming.
Made the shapes with these
simple "tools".

Hee hee ... the tail
has dropped down slightly

Ha ha ! These handmade mooncakes has brought me back to some fun 'art & craft' lessons ... "where creativity has no boundary and it is beyond one's imagination" ....LOL! But it takes time and practice to make nice and beautiful handicrafts ... Well, at least my kids commented that they looked cute ... LOL !
My girl has requested me to make some animal mooncakes for the actual occasion in September ... looks like mom has the chance to 'play dough' again ^-^!


I'm submitting this post to Best Recipes for Everyone August 2014 Event Theme: Mooncake hosted by Fion of XuanHom's Mom.


Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Mini Bacon & Cheese Quiche

Other than Pizza, another savoury cheesy pastry that my teens love would be Quiche. Using the recipe that my 'master' (师父) an old friend once shared, I've baked quiches few times, big pie or mini ones. With the basic recipe for crust dough, I love to make some variations to my choice ingredients with whatever I could salvage from the fridge.

Mini Bacon & Cheese Quiche
(makes about 12 muffin foil case)
Crust
Flour 190g (multi-purpose plain flour)
Cold butter 90g
Cold ice water 35ml

Method:
1) Sift flour & a pitch of salt in large bowl.
2) Cut cold butter in small cubes or pieces, pour into flour.

3) Rub the butter with flour (rub in method using fingers not palm) till crumbly consistency.

4) Add in water to desired consistency.

5) Mix into dough - a light smooth paste and rest it at least 30 mins before cutting/dividing the dough into smaller portion.
Meanwhile, prepare the *choice ingredients and set aside.

6) Divide and weigh dough into smaller balls. {25g each for muffin foil case}

7) Fill dough into foil case. Rest 5 - 10 mins before tidying the edge.  While waiting, prepare the **quiche filling**.

8) Preheat the oven at 180°C
Fill the case base with grated Cheddar cheese and choice ingredients (slightly 3/4 full).
Pour Quiche filling into case 3/4 full. Top with some Parmesan cheese and bake about 35 mins.

**Quiche filling**
1 egg
Fresh milk 75ml
Whip cream 60ml
Beat egg, liquid and strain. Set aside.
Note: if making mini quiche, strain the liquid into a water measuring jar for easy pouring into the mini case.

Some grated Cheddar or Mozzarella cheese
Some Parmesan cheese

*Choice ingredients [do adjust to your preference]
Bacon (pan-fried till slightly crispy)
Onions
Chives
<cut in small pieces for above>
Some frozen mixed carrot, corn & peas (thawed)


Yummy pipping hot Bacon & Cheese Quiche ... perfect weekend treats together with a cup of hot or cold beverages !

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I'm linking this post to Little Thumbs Up event and the theme for August 2014 is Flour.
Organised by Bake for Happy Kids and My Little Favourite DIY, and hosted by Diana from the Domestic Goddess Wannabe

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Kuih Seri Muka (Nyonya kuih)

Some packed banana leaves caught my eyes in a mini mart. I immediately thought of making some Nyonya kuihs over the weekend.  So, I just grabbed a pack first and to decide what kuih to make later ... either Pulut Inti or Kuih Seri Muka. In the end, I've decided to try Kuih Seri Muka.

My girl saw the pack of banana leaves , she asked "is mom gonna make Nasi Lemak ?"
Mom replied: not gonna tell you but you can make a guess.
My boy saw the soaked glutinous rice and asked "oh is mom making mango sticky rice?"
Mom : did you see any mango in this kitchen? ... LOL!

I wanna give them a surprise .... cos so far, I've never made any Nyonya kuiks for them.


Thanks to Sonia for her recipe sharing. Recipe source : Nasi Lemak Lover kuih seri muka. Replicated below with changes and adjusted the quantity to suit the size of my Pyrex dish and our taste.

Kuih Seri Muka
Bottom layer
200g glutinous rice soak for at least 4 hours and drained
100ml thin Coconut Milk (50ml thick coconut + 50ml water)
1/2 tsp salt
A few pieces of pandan leaves

Top Layer (pandan custard layer)
2 eggs (large)
80g Caster Sugar
100ml Pandan Water (Blend about 12 pandan leaves (screwpines leaves) with 100ml water)
150ml coconut milk
80g All-purpose plain flour
20g Tapioca flour
Pinch of salt
Green Colouring (optional), I use artificial pandan paste a few drops

Method:
1.Bottom Layer: Mix the ingredients well in a heatproof plate (except the pandan leaves). Place the pandan leaves on glutinous rice and steam about 30 minutes. Rest for about 10 minutes. Line the 750ml rectangle Pyrex dish with a big piece of banana leaf. Discard the pandan leaves, transfer and press the steamed rice evenly onto a bottom of the Pyrex dish.

2.Top Layer: Whisk eggs with sugar until sugar is dissolved. Add in pandan water, coconut milk, salt and pandan paste. Mix well.

3.Sift in flours and whisk till well combined. Strain the mixture and rest for 10 minutes.

4.Cook the flour mixture in a heavy saucepan on low heat,  using a wooden spoon to stir constantly until the mixture has slightly thickened. Ensure it doesn’t burn. Remove from heat.

5.Pour the mixture on top of cooked glutinous rice, smooth the top and steam over medium heat for 30 minutes (do not steam over high heat). I cover the Pyrex dish top loosely with a piece of banana leaf to prevent steam from dripping on to the custard layer.

6.Cool completely before serving.

Use a plastic knife to slice it in order to get smooth cut out.


Realised that I didn't smooth the steamed glutinous rice evenly resulted in small 'hump' in the center of custard layer.

Overall,  I like the texture of both the rice and pandan custard and the taste is not overly sweet as compared to the ones bought from confectioneries.

A sweet surprise for my big kids as they thought mom could only bake some muffins, cakes or make mango sticky rice. My big boy commented it tasted very nice with rich coconut and pandan fragrance.

Enjoy ! Hope you have a great weekend too!

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This post is linked to the event, Little Thumbs Up organised by Bake for Happy Kids and My Little Favourite DIY, and hosted by Diana from the Domestic Goddess Wannabe

Friday, 15 August 2014

Pear and Crunchy Granola Muffins (Gordon Ramsay)


I have not used pears in baking muffins. Well, there's always a first time and didn't want to give this Gordon Ramsay’s recipe a miss.

Baked a quick batch of muffins for brekkie with some finely chopped pears and crunchy granola with raisins.


Pear and Crunchy Granola Muffins
Recipe by Gordon Ramsay Lifestyle
(slight modification made in blue adjusted to our taste)
Ingredients:
300g self-raising flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt
125g light muscovado sugar (I reduced to 85g)
250ml whole milk
2 free-range eggs, beaten
100g butter, melted (I used unsalted butter, reduced slightly to 80g)
2 small ripe pears, peeled, cored and cut into small pieces
100g crunchy granola

Method:
1) Preheat the oven to 180ºC/Gas 4 and line a couple of muffin trays with paper cases.

2) Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt into a large bowl, then stir in the sugar. Whisk the milk, eggs and butter together in a large jug, then pour into the dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in the pears and half the granola.

3) Divide the batter between the muffin cases, and sprinkle the top of each one with the remaining granola.

4) Bake for 25–30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the muffins comes out clean. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before serving warm or at room temperature.


These succulent and sweet pear bursting with flavour in the muffin. The added crunchy granola gives the moist texture some crisp and chewy bites. Yummy-licious! My big kids like these warm muffins alot ! As usual ... 2 on the go plus a cup of freshly brew coffee for my brekkie ^-^

Have a nice weekend and happy baking! 

I am submitting this post to 
Cook Like a Star (August 2014) : Gordon Ramsay
organised by

And I'm linking this post to Little Thumbs Up event and the theme for August 2014 is Flour
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Hosted by Diana of  Domestic Goddess Wannabe

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Baked Pasta with Cooking Cream And Thyme


Baked Pasta with cooking cream & thyme
I've got some thyme in the fridge and when I saw Lian of cooklovegod uses thyme in her baked pasta, I know I could add some thyme leaves for extra fragrant.

Other than jars of store bought pasta sauces, I like to use the cooking cream for my usual pasta cooking too.

I like to whip up quick & easy pasta meal ... as I can always salvage or 'mix & match' whatever ingredients in the fridge besides the grated cheese.


Baked Pasta with Cooking Cream And Thyme
Ingredients
150g large spiral pasta
1 chicken breast fillets, diced (100g)
2 slices Honey Baked Ham - roughly sliced
1 small can of button mushrooms,  halved (you can use fresh mushroom)
2 tablespoon Olive oil
200ml Cooking Cream
3/4 teaspoon salt & ground pepper
Some thyme leaves & some parsley
Some grated Mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese

Method:
Preheat oven to 180C.
1) Boil the pasta in a pot of boiling water for about 10 - 12 minutes (or refer to the cooking time stated on the packaging). Drain and set aside.

2) Heat the frying pan with olive oil, brown chicken and ham. Add mushrooms, stir until cooked. Pour in the cooking cream, add salt and some ground pepper.

3) Pour in the drained pasta and cook a few minutes that pasta is coated with cooking cream. Add thyme and some parsley.

4) Divide the pasta in the oven-proof baking dish.

5) Sprinkle top with grated cheese and bake for about 15 - 20 minutes or till golden brown.

*please adjust the ingredients and sauce to your preference and taste.



My big kids really enjoyed baked pasta because when I asked them 'baked or non-baked pasta?'  They replied 'baked!' ^-^!

So, here's another sharing in Bake-Along theme Baked Pasta.

Bake-Along #66 : Theme - Baked Pasta

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Linking this post for Bake-Along event linking direct to the hosts' post (JoyceLena or Zoe)