Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Take a look at the pic and you might see why the title is 'Hairy'.

Actually the brown bits you see on and in between the cake are chicken floss. Yes, this is a sponge cake, and a savoury one at that. Thanks to Connie, a member of KC, who directed me to this Pork Floss Steamed Cake recipe at Jo's Deli & Bakery.

I would say my attempt is a half-flop. The cake is supposed to be very fluffy, but mine, while soft, is not fluffy. In fact, it didn't really rise much while steaming. I was kind of expecting this because I am not skilled in make whole-egg sponge cakes. I would somehow end up deflating the whipped up egg mixture while adding in the flour and liquids. However, the positive side is, my hubby loves it very much. He told me he used to love this when he was young, and have not had this in ages. So according to his suggestion,I added in fried shallots as well. He told me this is the exact taste he loved so much, and had two pieces. Well, efforts not wasted after all.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


...what these are?

Anyone got it right? Just some simple buns, flavoured with coffee. Yes, I had to make something successful, so went to get my tried-and-tested recipe and altered some of the ingredients and viola, soft and fluffy Coffee Milk Buns (recipe follows).

On hindsight, I should have used expresso instead of the usual coffee granules. Although the coffee aroma during baking is enough to make my house smell like a cafe, the taste is not as strong as I had wanted it to be. But nonetheless, delicious with a cup of coffee(yes, double dose of caffeine).

Also attempted to make scones. I've never had any luck in making scones. When I came across this Cream Scone recipe by a KC member, it reminded me to re-attempt this again. Not as tall as I wanted them to be, but really one of the best tasting scones I've eaten. It's simply buttery and melt-in-the-mouth. If I could get them to rise more then they would be perfect.

Two different shapes, round and mini triangles.

Recipe for Coffee Milk Buns

Ingredients (A) – mix well
240g bread flour
60g TopFlour/Cake flour
5g bread improver
7g milk powder
60g sugar
3g salt

Ingredients (B)
7g dry yeast – dissolve in 30g tap water
2 tsp instant coffee granules, dissolved in 10g water
80g cold milk
80g cold water
20g melted butter or canola oil

Extra melted butter for glazing

1)Dissolve yeast in 30g water and wait for 5 mins to become frothy. Stir well
2) Mix the yeast with the remaining ingredients in A and B(except butter/oil) together to form a dough. Then add butter/oil and knead into a smooth and elastic dough. The dough should not be sticky.
3) Round the dough, cover and ferment until double in size, about 45 mins to 1 hour.
4) Punch down the dough to release some air. Shape (see below)*
5) Cover with greased plastic wrap and prove for 45 mins to 1 hour.
6) Bake in preheated 180C oven for 20 to 30 mins or until cooked. Brush the top immediately with melted butter. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

*For shaping:
Divide dough into 10 equal pieces and arrange in a greased or lined 9-inch round pan.
You can also make them into individual buns. Just note that the baking times will differ accordingly.

Note 2: A good coffee will help in the aroma of these buns. I used the usual granules this time, the fragrance is not as strong as I had wanted it. Expresso would probably be the best, but the sugar amount may have to be increased slightly to offset the bitterness. I have not found the balance as this is my first attempt at coffee flavour.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Intentional and Accidental

After my two-week hiatus, I came back to find my kitchen top covered with a thin layer of dust. Armed with my table cloth, it’s wipe-down time to prepare for the ‘re-opening’ of my kitchen.

What I didn’t expect is my baking skills to be also covered with a layer of dust, or rather, rust. Or probably I should not have tried out new recipes so soon.

This Cranberry Bread is made using the recipe from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, one of the few ‘straight-dough’ recipes in this book. It’s supposed to be formed into a braid. Alas, my shaping was so poor that I had to use my tube pan to give it some shape. The texture is also not satisfactory as it is quite dense, most likely due to my over-zealousness when shaping.

Not willing to succumb to my failure, I got hold of a brownie recipe. Brownies are generally easier to do right? Right. But I still failed. After adding in eggs to the butter-chocolate-sugar mixture, the mixture started to look ‘wrong’. It has clumped into a big brown mess. Dilemma: should I dump the whole mixture, therefore wasting my dark chocolate, or continue adding in the flour and risk getting something totally inedible and destined for the bin eventually? I chose the latter. The batter became more like a cookie dough and I knew I cannot bake it as a brownie. So cookies they shall be.

These ‘accidental’ cookies do not taste so bad after all, they had a very intense chocolate flavour due to the 72% chocolate. I had a piece after it cooled off a bit, not the super-crispy type, but crisp edges with chewy centre. Although they had gone soft after one day(to my disappointment), I am not surprised because the ingredients proportions are not meant to produce a cookie. But they crisped up nicely again if I pop them into the oven toaster for a few minutes.

Looks like I’ve got to brush up my skills a little. Morale of the story: better not go on long trips away from my kitchen and oven *lol*

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

What I Ate in Europe

As promised, these are food pics of my trip.

In Denmark, I stayed in a hotel and these are the breakfast items. Strangely, I didn't get 'sick' of them even though I ate them for 6 days, because there's always fresh breads and rolls from the oven.

As our hotel is at the surburb area(close to the training centre, but not the city), dinner became a problem. I had yogurt on some days and salads on others. Finally had a feast at the hotel restaurant on the last night.

A stunning presentation for the appetizer, consisting of Italian sausage, cheeses and pasta 'sticks', served on a slab of..... granite!

Next up, the fish starter resting on a bed of olives, sundried tomatoes and capers. The portion is so big, could have passed off as a main course.

My first time eating veal, very tender and cooked to perfection. See the slightly pink inside?

Finally, dessert time. I had the following: Passionfruit, raspberry, black berries and rhurbarb sorbet.

My friend's choice: refreshing and light sorbet with a pudding and cake base.

I had only one-and-a-half days in Sweden. Staying in a Bed & Breakfast cottage, we were treated to a sumptious Swedish breakfast the following morning.

The breakfast corner

Once again, we have various types of cereals, to pair with different-flavoured yogurts.

Different types of rye breads and crackers, to go with the spreads and cheeses.

Isn't this egg holder cute? The lady owner of this B&B also sells knick knacks and souvenirs like this. Not cheap though, so I didn't buy.

Went walking in the city area and popped into a restaurant called Restaurant C&C for lunch. Look what we had:

This place is famous for their wild game, so my friend ordered a 'exotic' starter, reminds me of Rudolph(Santa Clau's reindeer)

Her main courseMy meatball meal

We had dessert at another cafe, this is recommended by the staff, the 'Dessert of the Cafe'. It consists of three layers - biscuit base, caramel and finally chocolate mousse and dusted with cocoa powder and topped with passionfruit.

That's all for my 'food journey. Hope you all enjoy feasting your eyes on them as much as I enjoyed eating them.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Dear Folks

I'm back from my trip. Will try to update my pics from the trip soon. Stay tunes ;p