Friday, March 29, 2013

Cooking JAPANESE sweets: Dorayaki

I LOVE DORAYAKI!!! For those who aren't familiar with these delicious Japanese sweets, dorayaki is a red bean pancake consisting of two small pancake-like patties sandwiched together with sweet red bean paste. I would eat them more often but they are quite expensive to buy... however I have a hand written recipe from a friend that has been stuck on the fridge since last year! Had a craving for something sweet so I decided to give them a go!

Recipe adapted from Xena (thanks ^^)

3 eggs
140g caster sugar
2 tsp honey
5 tsp milk
180g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
400g red bean paste

1. Beat eggs and sugar in a bowl till thick and creamy.
2. Add sifted flour and baking powder and fold till combined.
3. Add honey and milk and mix well. Leave batter to sit for 10-30 minutes.
4. Heat a non stick fry pan (medium not high) and place a dollop of batter in. Cook until bubbles formed then flip to other side. Cook for a few seconds and remove from pan.
5. Sandwich two doriyaki together with red bean paste and enjoy!

I also made some green tea dorayaki by adding 1-2 tbs of green tea powder to the batter. It's a great combination! I love how these pancakes and crispy on the outside because of the caramelised sugar :) yet lovely, soft and fluffy inside! If only I had the special moulds they would look like the professional ones.

Crispy outside, fluffy inside pancakes with sweet red bean paste filling :)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Work catering #14: Peaches and Cookies and cream

Peach season is almost over so time to use up those leftover peaches in the fridge! Whilst looking up peach slice recipes, I came across many blogs and websites sharing this recipe. Bill Granger is somewhat a famous Australian chef and there were many rave reviews for this slice so what was stopping me from trying it out!? nothing! haha! It seemed very simple =) and used everyday ingredients!

Bill Granger's Peach and Raspberry Slice
Recipe adapted from Kitchen Delights

185g (1 1/4 cup) plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder + 1/2 tsp extra
125g chilled and cubed butter
115g (1/2 cup firmly packed) brown sugar
115g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
3 peaches, peeled and sliced
90g raspberries, fresh or frozen
2 tsp vanilla essence
1 egg, lightly beaten
185g milk

1. Preheat oven to 180oC. Grease and line slice tin (20x30cm)
2. Sift flour and baking powder into large bowl. Rub in the butter till resembles fine bread crumbs. Stir in both of the sugars.
3. Press half the mixture over the base of tin. Lay peaches over the top and sprinkle on raspberries.
4. Add vanilla, extra baking powder, egg and milk to the rest of the base mixture and stir well. Pour evenly over the top of the peaches and raspberries. Bake for 1 hour. Cool in tray, then cut into squares.
Ready for catering =D
Thin slices but packed full of flavour
The slice came out thinner than I expected....But it was still nice and sweet =) With the tang of the peach and raspberry.

I think I'm still in a cheesecake phase and needed a new cheesecake recipe. I've been sticking with the same Blackforest Cheesecake for a while because it's so easy but I think it's time for a change. While flipping through the Woolworth's catalogue I found this recipe for Cookies and Cream Slice! Essentially, it's an Oreo Cheesecake! Yum!

Cookies and Cream Slice
Recipe adapted from Woolworths

300g Oreo Classic Cookies
80g butter, melted
375g cream cheese
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup thickened cream
3 tsp gelatine, dissolved in 3/4 cup boiling water
200g white chocolate, melted, cooled slightly

1. Place 250g Oreo cookies in food processor and process into fine crumbs. Add butter and process to combine. Press mixtures into lined slice tin (20x30cm) and refrigerate.
2. Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with electric mixer until smooth.
3. Beat in cream until smooth. Stir through gelatine and white chocolate.
4. Roughly chop remaining cookies and stir through the filling, then pour over the base. Refrigerate for 3 hours or until set. 
Black and white squares
Can you see the Oreo pieces?? =D

I'm really happy with this recipe =) and got some good feedback from it! I think the only thing I would change would be to add more chopped oreos into the cheesecake mix but other than that.. super yummy =D

Monday, March 25, 2013

Marbled Green tea bread with Red bean filling

It's bread making time! I find Sundays are the best day for making bread as it needs a lot of time and usually takes a good half day. I don't own a bread maker so this loaf was made with 100% my hands! haha! Green tea and red bean are a match made in heaven! I don't normally like red bean but I think red bean paste is sweeter and has a nicer texture~ 
Marbled Green Tea bread with Red bean filling
Recipe adapted from My kitchen of love

300ml warm milk
60g caster sugar
1 packet of dry yeast (7g sachet)
500g plain flour + 50g for dusting
1 egg, lightly beaten
A pinch of salt
80g unsalted butter, at room temp
1 tbs green tea powder

1. Stir in sugar with warm milk then add yeast. Allow to rest for 10 minutes for the yeast to be activated.
2. Pour about 400g of flour into bowl and mix thoroughly. Add in egg and then salt and mix.
3. Dust working surface with flour then knead dough by hand for about 10 minutes until it starts to firm up. Add butter and continue kneading. The dough is quite sticky so you may need to continue to add more flour, just be patient with it. 
4. When the dough becomes smooth, less sticky and holds its shape, divide it by half. Add green tea powder to one half and knead until powder fully incorporated. Knead the other half for a few more minutes. Apparently if the dough is well kneaded, you can stretch it paper-thin without breaking....
the two balls of dough resting...
5. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling wrap. Leave in a warm place to rise for about one hour until doubled in size.
6. After one hour, take dough out and give several good punches to release the air. Knead for a few times and leave to rest for about 5 minutes.
7. Roll out dough into rectangular shapes of equal size. The thinner it is, the more swirl you can make.
8. Spread an even layer of red bean paste to the rolled out white dough, then place green tea dough on top and roll it up. Seal the end and carefully place into bread tin for a second proof. Leave in warm place for about 40 minutes until it doubles in size.
Red bean paste spread on white dough
Sandwich together!
9. Preheat the oven to 190oC and bake bread for about half and hour. For a shiny, golden crust, brush a thin layer of egg on top. Leave on rack to cool and slice.
Shiny loaf of bread!
I found that the top of the bread cooked very fast but when i sliced into it, the middle was not fully cooked. So don't be scared that the top is browning because you need to leave the bread in for the full half hour OR you could place a piece of foil on top to prevent it from browning so quickly. Also another tip is be patient with the bread! You actually have to knead it quite a bit... and although you may get sore hands/arms, it'll be worth it! Trust me!
the different layers~
You can see that the texture of my bread wasn't as light and fluffy but a bit dense and that is because I didn't take time to knead =p haha! But a lot of love was put into this bread! :)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Work catering #13: Beauty and the Beast

Strange title ey? haha! But its true! For this week's work catering.. one was very pretty.. while the other was not so =p Looks aside, both tasted nice!
I wanted to try something a little more fancy this week and saw these cute little cookies by DailyDelicious. The recipe said it made 40 however I could only make 25 or so... =S maybe that was my bad! anyways.. here is the recipe!

Chocolate Coffee Cream Fancies
Recipe adapted from DailyDelicious

60g unsalted butter
1 tsp Coffee extract (I just used instant coffee and boiling water)
1 tsp milk
2 1/2 tbs caster sugar
pinch of salt
100g plain flour

Coffee cream
200g icing sugar, sifted
2 tsp vegetable oil
1/4 tsp Coffee extract
1-3 tbs milk
60g dark chocolate, melted

1. For cookies, beat butter, coffee extract, milk, salt and caster sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Stir in flour. Dough should be firm. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 180oC and line baking traywith baking paper.
4. Roll dough out flat to about 3mm thickness.
5. Cut dough into 3.5cm rounds and place on prepared baking tray.
6. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly coloured. Stand cookies on baking tray for 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks.
7. For coffee cream, mix all ingredients together and add enough milk for the cream to be spreadable.
8. Spread coffee cream over the cookies, stand on wire racks until set.
coffee cream on cookies.. they look nude xD
9. Pipe melted chocolate over the cookies.
that's better! all covered up =)
My cookies didn't turn out as dark as DailyDelicious'.. I think its because I didn't use coffee extract, however the biscuit was nice and short and you could taste the coffee flavour. A friend of mine who doesn't like coffee flavoured things still enjoyed this ^^

Next up was a recipe with a promising title! How could I resist? hehe! And it lived up to its name~

Lemon Delicious Slice
Recipe adapted from teaforsix

Base + Topping
1 cup self raising flour
1/2 cup caster sugar
60g unsalted butter
1 egg, lightly beaten

Lemon Filling
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
60g unsalted butter
1 egg, lightly beaten

1. Preheat oven to 180oC and line slice tin (I used 20x20cm)
2. For the base, mix flour and sugar in bowl and rub in butter using finger tips until mixture resembles course breadcrumbs.
3. Mix through egg. Press 2/3 of base into slice tin.
4. For the filling, melt butter, sugar, and lemon juice in small saucepan over low heat.
5. Add the egg and whisk quickly until smooth. (Note: Don't let the filling get too hot before you add the egg as it may start to cook the egg - speaking from experience ><)
6. Increase the heat and continue to stir until mixture thickens and pour straight over the base.

7. Crumble over the remaining dough. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until just golden on top. Cool slice in tin before cutting and serving.

I found the filling to be DELICIOUS!! it was really lemony and just the right amount of sweetness. I had a little trouble with the base mix because it was a little too wet and hard to crumble over the top, hence the ugly looking lumps =___=". The base was also a little too dry but still delicious :)

Squares of lemon delicious slice =)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

High Tea at home and other (non)baking sweets

I had the opportunity to use my cake stand a few weeks ago =D I had some relatives over from Malaysia so wanted to make something special :) I've also always wanted to go to high tea ... but its always been so $$... so why not do it at home ^_^"

I made chocolate macarons and berry and nut brownies. Glad that my relatives liked them~ I even had to "replenish" the levels xD hahaha!!
Other non baking sweets I've made are Tiramisu and Blackforest cheesecake. The weather had been so hot lately to actually use the oven.. but thank God it cooled down and I could use it today for catering!
I've also just recently come back from Sydney for a friends wedding but also took a day off to explore and eat around Sydney! And I finally got to go to ADRIANO ZUMBO PATISSERIE: Balmain lab! YAY!!!! got to try Adriano Zumbo's yummy pastries and cakes!!! However I didn't get to meet him or see inside the kitchen because th glass was frosted due to renovations :(... next time next time... So I'll end off with some of his yummy pastries, cakes and ZUMBARONS!!!!
The famous graffiti!!! =D outside the zumbo lab~
delicious crossiants!
PEPTIO: Puff pasty filled with raspberry and white chocolate.. a healthy brekky =p
Mocha, almond crossiant and peach ice tea macaron
Berry brioche! Just exploding with berries!
Assortment of ZUMBARONS
CAKES!!!! so many choices~~
fancy tarts
Mr Tom Brown - milk chocolate coconut mousse, mango compote, milk chocolate ginger cremeaux, coconut ginger cake & milk chocolate glaze
Jun and Jill - pistachio & mint creme chantilly, apricot compote, apricot & saffron creme, pistachio dacquoise, pistachio crunch & pistachio glaze 
Eric is a bananaman3 -chocobanana mousse, lemon & banana creme, flourless chocolate cake, caramelised almonds, salted dark caramel plaque

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Work catering #12: no oven needed ^^

It seems like I am posting quite a bit on "NO EXCUSE FOR NOT BAKING" recently. For example no excuse that you don't have time because you can make a cake in 5 minutes! And no excuse when you say you don't have eggs because you can make an Eggless chocolate cake.

This week there are no excuses that you don't have an oven. These recipes are PERFECT for you ^^

It's been a week of days over 30 degrees!!! So hot! So didn't want to use my oven... so decided to make some "no bake" slices.

Strawberry Jelly Slice
Recipe adapted from Kidspot kitchen

1 packet (250g) sweet plain biscuits (I used Arnotts Nice)
100g unsalted butter
395g (1 can) sweet condensed milk
3 tsp powdered gelatin
1 packet strawberry jelly 

1. Line baking tray (20x30cm) with foil or baking paper. Dissolve jelly in 1 and 1/2 cups boiling water. Place in fridge for 45 minutes until cool.
2. Crush biscuits in food processor until fine. Mix in melted butter and press mixture firmly into prepared pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Dissolve gelatin in 1/2 cup hot water. Combine gelatin mixture with condensed milk in bowl. Pour over biscuit base and place back in fridge for 30 minutes until cool and nearly set.
4.Pour cold jelly carefully on top of slice and refrigerate until set.
5. Slice into squares and serve.

For thicker layers, you can use a smaller baking pan or double the ingredients. You can also use different flavoured jelly such as mango (YUM!) or raspberry. 
I like the layers ^^ 
The feedback I got for this slice was quite good ^_^" Who knew such a simple recipe could win over the hearts of others =)

Just for a chocolate fix I made rocky road. It's also super simple and you can add whatever you like! I found this recipe but changed it up to what I wanted in my rocky road ~Personalised~

Rocky Road Slice
Recipe adapted from
350g milk chocolate melts
350g dark chocolate melts
100g biscuits, roughly chopped
100g marshmallows, halved
100g raspberry jelly lollies, halved

1. Line a baking pan (20x30cm) with foil, allowing a 2cm overhang at both long ends.
2. Place chocolate in large heatproof bowl and melt over pot of simmering water (double boiler). Once melted, take bowl off heat and allow to cool for around 5 minutes.
3. Add in chopped biscuits, marshmallow and raspberry jelly lollies.
4. Press slice mixture into prepared pan, cover and refrigerate until set (~3 hours).
5. Cut into squares and serve.

Squares of rocky road!
You can see the biscuit, marshmallow and raspberry jelly lollies^^

Monday, March 4, 2013

Baking without eggs!!

I received an order to bake a birthday cake for a friend's work mate. She suggested for me to bake a chocolate cake. "Easy" I thought.. until I heard that he was allergic to eggs... and potentially gluten intolerant.. and maybe milk intolerant... and maybe even allergic to nuts!! >_< Maybe this wouldn't be as easy as I thought and I wouldn't want to be responsible... just in case my cake causes an unwanted allergic response >_______<

But... thank God in the end it was just eggs he was allergic too =p

Was looking up recipes on the net and found this recipe for Eggless Chocolate Cake which seemed quite simple...

So if you have anyone that is allergic to eggs.. try this cake out! (it also doesn't contain milk... if you don't add the ganache.. or just make a chocolate glaze out of chocolate and butter; and don't add the nuts if they are allergic)... OR if you just don't have any eggs in the house =p no excuse for not baking!
Eggless Chocolate Cake
Recipe adapted from Tori Hawthorne

100g butter
3 tsp golden syrup
300ml boiling water
1 tbs vanilla essence
300g self raising flour
100g brown sugar
30g cocoa powder
1 tsp bicarb soda
50g walnut crumbs (for decoration)

Chocolate ganache icing
100g dark chocolate
80ml thickened cream

1. Preheat oven to 160oC. Grease and line 20cm round cake tin.
2. Place butter, syrup and vanilla into heavy bowl or saucepan. Add 300ml boiling water and whisk with fork to mix.
3. Sift flour, sugar, cocoa and bicarb soda into large bowl. Pour in the butter mixture  and whisk until you have a smooth batter.
4. Pour into prepared tin and bake for 45-55minutes until cake is risen and bouncy to touch (I advise to check at 40 minutes because my cake was done. You don't want it to be too dry).
5. Cool in tin for 15 minutes before turning out onto wire rack.
Cake cooked... cracked a little ><
Chocolate ganache icing
To make chocolate ganache icing, heat chocolate and cream in a bowl (double-boiler) until melted and well combined. Pour into smaller bowl and leave to cool at room temperature (it will thicken when cool). If not using for a while, place in the fridge.

Cut cooled cake in 2 pieces. Spread half the ganache on the bottom half. Sprinkle with walnut crumbs. Place second layer on top and ice with chocolate ganache. 
Decorate as you like. I placed 2 chocolate macarons on top and sprinkled the border with walnut crumbs :)
Cake sliced, filled with chocolate ganache and walnut crumb
Finished cake =D
It's been really fun baking for others ^^ nearly feels like a real "business" hehe...

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Got 5 min to spare? Make a CAKE!!!

Yes that's right!! Now there is NO excuse to say that you don't have time to make a cake =p

Was at my cousin's new house and wanted to bake something for the first time in the kitchen! but we also had limited ingredients and time. So we were flipping through this collection of recipes made by her work place where everyone puts in their best and well tested recipes and found a recipe for 5 Minute Chocolate MUG Cake. It claimed to only take 5 minutes! :O Yes 5 minutes!!!!!

Amazingly... it worked a treat!!! The good thing about it is that it only uses 1 mug and 1 spoon (less washing) and you can get your chocolate fix in 5 minutes!! So give it a go~~ If you have guests coming over unexpectantly.. this is PERFECT! You just need a mug and microwave :)

5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake
Recipe adapted from Elizabeth ________ >< forgot who! sorry!

4 tbsp self-raising flour (if you only have plain flour, add 1/2 tsp bicarb soda/baking powder)
4 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 egg
3 tbsp milk
3 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
3 tbsp chocolate chips (optional.. we didn't have any but it would have been delicious with them!)

1. Add dry ingredients to mug and mix well. 
2. Add egg and mix well. Add milk and oil and mix to combine. Add vanilla and choc chips and mix.
Looks like hot chocolate XD
3. Place mug in microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts (high). The cake will rise over the top of the mug but DO NOT BE ALARMED
Cooking in a microwave~

Looks like souffle! haha
4. Allow to cool in mug a little, and tip onto a plate if desired (or just eat straight out of the mug!)
TA DA!!! =D =D

Tastes great with a spoonful of vanilla icecream =)
Looks like normal chocolate sponge cake! Very light and fluffy ^^
Mmmm icecream~~

Think about all the variations you could do!! Green tea... vanilla... blueberry... orange! the list is endless ^^ So go on! by the time you read this post you could have made this cake XD