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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Oreo Condensed Milk Mini Cheesecake

The first 2 pics were first attempt. I broke up the oreos and stuffed them into the batter.
The one below with one whole Oreo is my 2nd attempt.

There's a cafe here in KK that makes yummy cheesecakes. I am thinking of recreating them.
Altho I know that they use whipping cream in their cheesecakes (a leak from a baking supplies shop), I am thinking of using condensed milk.

I saw a post on using condensed milk for cheesecake, and so, I adapted this recipe from there.

250gm cream cheese
150gm sweetened condensed milk
2 eggs, separated
1 small pinch of cream of tartar
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tube of Oreo (137gm)

*everything be at room temperature when u're ready to start.

1. Separate Oreos, leaving 12 pcs w/o cream intact and round. Put the rest of the biscuits together with the filling into a food processor and pulse til fine.
Remember to preheat ur oven (150C) and boil water after this.
2. Line big muffin tin (100ml capacity each) with 12 paper cups. Place 1 heaped teaspoon of oreo crumbs onto paper cups and smooth out with a teaspoon, lightly press the crumbs to flatten.
3. With a mixer, beat egg whites until frothy, add in cream of tartar continue to beat until soft peaks. Add in sugar and beat til stiff (as long as egg whites don't fall when overturned, it will be fine, no need to be pointy stiff). Set aside, and quickly do the next step.
4 Cream cream cheese on low speed until smooth (a minute or 2), put in condensed milk and egg yolks and continue to beat on low speed for another minute until well combined. Fold in egg whites.
5. Spoon (4) into prepared paper cups. Top with an oreo biscuit or u can break it up and put it where ever u like (middle, top)
6. Bake for 20 minutes in a waterbath.
7. Leave to cool in oven, door ajar. Cool completely before chilling.
8. Best chilled for 3 hours or more before serving.

*note: Malaysian Sweetened Condensed Creamer and Condensed Filled milk is generally sweeter than Condensed Full Cream Milk than can be purchased from out of the country. I made this recipe with Condensed Full Cream Milk, and so far those who ate what I made said it was just nice.

**Deflated egg whites will create a shorter and sweeter cake. Be careful when you fold in the egg whites. Don't deflate the batter.

I love this cheesecake. The beaten egg whites makes the cake soft and fluffy, unlike my marble cheesecake.

Really nice to eat, serious!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Avocado Chilled Cheesecake

Avocadoes... they can grow here. Only lately I knew that.
I used to think that they only grew in California... Muahahahaha!!!!

The avocadoes above were given to me by my children's nanny. They were grown in Sitiawan by her relative. I used them to make the tempting Avocado Cheesecake on the cover of Alex Goh's Fantastic Cheesecake cookbook. The recipe calls for yogurt in the cheese filling, of which I find the smell to be oh so unsuitable. I like the smell of milk with avocado in Vietnamese avocadoes milkshake, so next time, I'll omit the yogurt and sugar, and put in equal amounts of condensed milk.

The recipe in Alex's book:

Vanilla Sponge Cake (any variety, u can just use this recipe to make one)

Avocado Cheese Filling:
250gm cream cheese
60gm sugar
100gm avocado flesh (I used 200gm )
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp gelatin (I used 1 1/2 Tbsp)
50ml Water
100gm yogurt
200gm whipping cream

1. Place gelatin in a heatproof bowl and put in water. Leave for 2 minutes and microwave on high for 30 secs, or u can double boil it until the gelatin dissolves. Leave to cool to room temperature.
2. Cream cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
3. Combine lemon juice with avocado flesh and stir (or use a food processor) until smooth. Put this into (2)and mix until well combined.
4. Add (1) to (3) and stir until well combined. (I do all the mixing with a hand mixer). Add in yogurt.
5. Whip whipping cream until soft peaks and fold it into (4) until well combined.
6. Pour cheese filling onto sponge cake and level the surface. Referigerate for 4 hours or until set.

I like my chilled cheesecakes to be in 2 layers.... so it looks different than what is in the book.

I still have so many backposts................ Takes time to type them out... Those of u who've eaten this cake, u know how old this cake was :)
MIL's coming back from US next week, so it means, baking season is back...
More cheesecakes coming up soon......

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Strawberry Mirror Cake 2

Actually I made this sometime ago... back when I made the strawberry icecream.
This is for my so called "catalog". I'm taking orders for cakes in Kuala Kangsar.
Not to say I'll earn lots from it, but just some pocket money now that I'm a full time housewife.

Some have told me to quit my job(Well, I'm still employed with the government, just on 3 yrs leave) and venture full time into this. I brush this off totally, cos with the amount of time spent to decorate cakes, and with the amount of money that I earn from it, it's better to stick to my Metal Rice Bowl(FYI:It's a direct Cantonese translation that means, a job that will forever feed u, but won't make u rich)

I'm only baking per order, rather than having a bakery with baked stuff waiting to be sold. Plus, I'm really not up to par to own a bakery. It's just that where I stay, there's no bakery that offers cakes that are not regular (regular cakes means, cakes made from sponge mixes smothered with either "shortening/margarine" icing or Non dairy cream) I won't say that I'm really good, just that I offer something different.

Currently my best sellers are my egg tarts and my butter cakes. I don't really ask around for orders, I'm just taking orders from my neighbours of whom, my husband is asking "Aren't they afraid of diabetes or heart attack?", cos it's weekly, sometimes, twice in a week. These neighbours are in search of proper cakes that they can be rest assured that I only use good ingredients, and of course, they cme with good taste, especially my eggtarts, that they claim them to be the best they have ever tasted. Well, it's just that I use real butter for the egg tarts and not margarine, and they are flaky, not soggy. I do not claim to bake the best egg tarts in town, but it's just the feedback that I get from my loyal customers


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Banana Cake--upgraded :)

This is my left neighbour's favourite cake. She orders quite often from me.
I'm worried she might get sick of this soon, so I always delay her orders, telling her I didn't get good bananas. Haha!!

This is an upgraded version of my banana cake, with added raisins and walnuts.

U can get the recipe here. But if u want to put in raisins, remember to coat them with some flour before u put them in to prevent the raisins from sinking. The walnuts are fine w/o flour dusting.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Homemade Fish Cakes 自造鱼饼

Who says making fish cakes is tedious….
Who says u need some cleaver work???
Who says u need biceps to do it??

I learnt to make this from my friend's mom when I was 15, not exactly learnt... but she just told me how to do it, roughly.
I used to do this agak-agak method, with lots of errors until these few years, I could finally do it better. I've even taught my Selancar students how to make this back when I was teaching there.

This fish cake is good for kids, at least u know what goes into them.
The paste is done in less than 5 mins… with a food processor, plus some manual work.. stirring.
That’s all. You can fry it, or even make yong taufu with it.

Mackerel is nice when making fried fish cakes, very sweet and nice texture, easy to work with and easy to remove flesh. But if u want to make boiled fishballs, skip mackerel.
To make boiled fish balls, use these fishes:
i) Yellowtail fusilier (ikan taufu)
ii) or ikan parang (freshwater, and pricey, hard to come by)
iii) or even malong (eel like, very sweet flesh, but full of long fork bones)

250gm mackerel flesh (no skin, no bones), or other suitable fishes
150ml water (u can put more water if u like, if u find this too hard for ur liking)
1 ½ Tbsp tapioca starch/corn starch
1 tsp sugar
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp MSG (optional, but it makes the fish cakes more bouncy)
Dash of White pepper

1. Combine water, starch, sugar, salt, MSG and pepper.
2. Place fish into a food processor or blender. Pour in (1). Blend until fish turns into a fine paste.
3. Scrape fish paste from food processor into a deep bowl.
4. Stir fish paste vigorously for 2 minutes (or u may want to do it longer).
5. Shape fish paste with wet hands or spoon (if u want, if not, it’s fine. If making yong taufu, stuff ur taufu at this stage) and chill fish paste to set it.
6. Pan fry fish cakes until golden.

*You can do it in a blender, just that cleaning is more tedious and it might smell for some time. You can try removing the smell with pulsing the blender with vinegar or lemon juice mixed with some very warm water, and put it out to dry properly.

The fish paste

The more irregular ones, I was lazy to shape all, so I just placed on tablespoon of the paste onto the hot oil, and pressed it flat with my oily hot spatula, and fry.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cheezy Baked Pasta

I did this in 2 variations, tomato sauce and béchamel sauce. It was my first attempt at making béchamel sauce, and it was easy and tasty!!

I first tasted béchamel sauce at Pizza Hut when they had this Baked Chicken Spirals few years back, and I tot making béchamel sauce was difficult… no it wasn’t. It’s much much easier that I thought.

What u need to make 3 portions:

200gm pasta of choice (macaroni, spirals or whatever short pastas)
- Boil pasta according to instructions together with some salt. Drain and rinse with some cold water to prevent sticking.

- 300gm chicken thigh meat marinated with ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp black pepper, 1 Tbsp honey abd 1/3 tsp ground oregano. Marinate for 1 hour and fry in a bit of oil until chicken is browned.

Bechamel Sauce
- In a saucepan, on medium heat, heat 2 heaped Tbsp butter (abt 30gm) until butter starts foaming, put in 2 Tbsp flour and cook, stirring for 1-2 minutes. Put in 2 cups of milk and stir until mixture boils and thickens. Season with ½ teaspoon of salt. Remove from heat.

Tomato Based pasta sauce
- Any brand of bottled sauce that u like.

Baby tomatoes, Capsicums, onions, mushrooms, and 250gm mozzarella (sliced or grated, as u like)

Divide cooked pasta into 3 portions into foil pans, or any bakeware u prefer.
Put in enough sauce to cover. Put some chicken and preferred vege, and lastly top with cheese.
Grill pasta until cheese melts and turns golden brown.

Yummy and so so cheesy.........

Half eaten.... half to go.........

Verdict: With Mike and me both being cheeseheads, we love the bechemel version...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

German Chocolate Cake

It's Mike's birthday tomorrow, and I made him this cake to cut at midnight today :)

There was once I had few orders of Chocolate Moist Cake and made some goeey chocolate topping on top, and he asked me, why I never make this type of cake for him. Okok...

Few days back, I still haven't decided what cake to do.. Was thinking of a cheesecake. But then while surfing on the net, I saw this cake. German Chocolate Cake. Well, I had this recipe in one of my baking books, but there was no pic, and I didn't know what a German Chocolate Cake looked like. It's important to have pics in cookbooks, and I wonder why this book doesn't have much pics. I don't do recipes that I do no know what it looks like. BTW, I didn't buy it, the recipe book was a Christmas present.

Okok... the looks of it were tempting.... and the bloggers who made this from David Lebovitz gave rave reviews. Hmm..... I'll make this one then :)

Having most of the ingredients at home, I didn't hesitate. Had coconut flakes, called angel flakes here, and I toasted them, hmm.. tasted heavenly. Munched on quite a lot. Taste like Kuih kapit bits :) Actually I toasted 3 batches. The first batch, I toasted half cup, cos I have half cup of "already toasted coconut flakes" bought from bakery supplies shop.

While the first batch was toasting, I tasted the "already toasted coconut", duh! Better throw them away. They were the left overs from my latest Strawberry Shortcake. So, with the half cup of "already toasted coconut" down the bin, I had to toast another half cup t replace the discarded ones.

While I was toasting the 2nd batch, I looked at my first batch, the first batch were very toasted, so I hesitated, should I use them or should I not.... Duh!!! Not!!!
Then I toasted a 3rd half cup.... Hahaha! what a lot of toasted coconut. Did I get ur head spinning?

I baked the cake yesterday and filled it today. Made the filling in the morning and the icing too, and left it to cool at room temp. When I came back from lunch, I checked, the filling thickened, and the icing did not thicken at Malaysia's room temperature. Had to put in the fridge. So I filled up the cake and chilled it while waiting for the icing to solidify a bit.
Still, to pipe that is a task... my warm hands melted the icing at the upper part of the piping bag. You can see all those drooping curls by the side of the cake and the patternless drops of icing at the base.

Ok, let's stop talking and look at the recipe.

I've halved the original cake recipe, and made some minor changes (type of chocolate used and changing buttermilk to yogurt), made only 2/3 of the filling, and half the icing. Yet, it is a nice 8 inch cake. Suitable to be served to 8-10 persons.

The Cake
60gm bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
3 tbsp. water
2 large eggs, separated
115gm. unsalted butter, at room temperature
100 +50gm sugar
150gm all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
125gm cup plain natural yogurt, at room temperature
½ tsp. vanilla extract

1. Butter an 8 inch cake pan, then line the bottoms with rounds of parchment or wax paper. Preheat the oven to 350°. /175C
2. Melt chocolate with the 6 tablespoons of water. Use either a double-boiler or a microwave. Stir until smooth, then set aside until room temperature.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, or by hand, beat the butter and 120gm of the sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the melted chocolate, then the egg yolks, one at a time.
4. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
5. Mix in half of the dry ingredients into the creamed butter mixture, then the yogurt and the vanilla extract, then the rest of the dry ingredients.
6. In a separate metal or glass bowl, beat the egg whites until they hold soft, droopy peaks. Beat in the 30gm of sugar until stiff.
7. Fold about one-third of the egg whites into the cake batter to lighten it, then fold in the remaining egg whites just until there's no trace of egg white visible.
8. Divide the batter into the prepared cake pan, smooth the top, and bake for about 45 minutes (I did 40 mins on 170C), until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool cake layers completely.While the cakes are baking and cooling, make the filling, syrup, and icing.
:) The cake's surface is flat. No dome in sight... very pretty :)

For the filling:
80ml heavy/ whipping cream
80ml milk
100gm sugar (original recipe called for more, I reduced almost 30% and it's still slightly too sweet for me)
2 large egg yolks
30gm butter, cut into small pieces
¼ tsp. salt
70gm pecans, toasted and finely chopped
3/4 cups unsweetened coconut, toasted*, I used angel flakes (that’s what they call it here, it’s lightly sweetened coconut)

1. Mix the milk, cream, sugar, and egg yolks in a medium saucepan. Put the butter, salt, toasted coconut, and pecan pieces in a large bowl.
2. Heat the cream mixture and cook, stirring constantly (scraping the bottom as you stir) until the mixture begins to thicken and coats the spoon (an instant-read thermometer will read 170°F.)
3. Pour the hot custard immediately into the pecan-coconut mixture and stir until the butter is melted. Cool completely to room temperature. (It will thicken.)

For the icing:
120gm. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 tbsp. light corn syrup
20gm unsalted butter
125ml heavy/whipping cream

1. Place the chopped chocolate in a bowl with the corn syrup and butter.
2. Heat the cream until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate. Let stand one minute, then stir until smooth. Let sit until room temperature. Chill it if u're in tropical climate.

To assemble the cake:
Remove the cake layers from the pan and cut cake into 3 layers in horizontally, using a serrated bread knife. (The cake is very soft, almost like an emulsified sponge cake, so fragile when I cut it into layers, so better chill it before u cut.)
Set the first cake layer on a cake plate. Spread ¾ cup of the coconut filling over the cake layer, making sure to reach to the edges. Set another cake layer on top.
Repeat spreading ¾ cup of the coconut filling over each layer, including the top.
Ice the sides with the chocolate icing, then pipe a decorative border of chocolate icing around the top, encircling the coconut topping.

The original recipe called for moisting with syrup, but I usually never do this to any of my cakes :)

Verdict: Mike loved this cake. He said, this is how cakes should be..... chocolatey :)
I've never expected any cake besides sponge cakes to have such a soft texture. It's really soft and fluffy. When fresh out of the fridge, it's really a bit hard, but leave it at room temperature a while, it'll be alright. The filling is slightly too sweet for us, even when I've reduced some of the sugar. Feel free to put in less. The chocolate icing really makes it really good and very chocolatey. Overall, we love this cake.

The candle blowing session , well, the filial daughter is doing it for her papa... Lydia loves blowing candles :)

Another shot, a bit too warm (could be from my pink wall).. but it's the best shot from the top, dark coloured cakes are hard to photograph! I'm no good at editing :)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Creamy Mushroom Soup

A recipe at the request of Riche, my net friend.

I searched on the net and adapted the recipe to local ingredients… Half and half is not easily available and it costs the same as cream itself. So, why not use cream and milk, anyway, half and half is also half cream half milk. Milk is a lot cheaper than cream.

This is my first time cooking with Portobello, and OMG, it’s darn good! It smelt like chicken when I was sautéing it. You can get mini portobellos at Jusco or Tesco and they cost less than the big caps.

This soup is really easy, and really yummy. You can dilute it more if u want, it’ll still be flavourful.

This recipe yield abt 5 cups of soup, nice to be served with hot garlic bread.

200gm Portobello mushrooms, sliced
200gm leek, thinly sliced
1/3 cup chopped onions
2 Tbsp butter (abt 30gm), or u can use olive oil, or a mixture
1 cup water
1 pc chicken cube/bouillon
2 heaped Tbsp flour + 1/3 cup water
200ml whipping cream
1 cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat butter in a pot until melted and put in onions. Cook until onions softens and put in leek. Cook until the leeks softens too. Put in mushroom and cook until mushroom softens and it smells good!
2. Put in water and simmer until everything turns soft, really soft. It takes about 10-15 mins.
3. Blend (2) in a blender or just use a pot blender and blend until fine.
4. Return it to heat and put in chicken cube, milk and flour mixture. Stirring all the while. Bring to a boil and put in cream. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and keep warm until serving time.

And we couldn’t finish the soup, we used it as gravy with pasta the next day. Yummy!!


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