24.6.09

Love for Muffins

I have not been baking muffins for two months, the last one was on 18 April. I love to bake muffins just because it is so simple to do, yet so yummy. I have always used Happy Home Baking's muffin recipe and it does not fail to let me yield nice and fluffy muffins. Really thank her for her marvelous recipe.

I baked two batches of Chocolate Chips Muffins, today and the day before. Today's muffins were baked for my hubby's business friends. My DH said the muffins were very nice and wanted to let his friends try some. He himself who does not have a sweet tooth like me, "gobbled" down two at a go. <^~^>

I think the saying of "practice make perfect" is so true. My very first attempt of baking muffins was a disaster. However, throughout these years, I have improved and that's a comfort to me. Anyway, I will continue to explore more yummy muffin recipes. I can't just stop here, must move on.

FIRST BATCH
SECOND BATCH
For this batch, I used self raising flour instead of plain flour.

22.6.09

Blueberry Cheesecake

Prior to knowing how to bake, I have never tasted a piece of cheesecake before. However, once tasted it, I fell in love with cheesecake. Though I know is very fattening, still I can't resist the temptation. Thus, this cheesecake was baked to fulfil my "lust" for a piece of cheesecake ...



Try it with some blueberry light syrup. After tasting,
I still preferred to eat the cake plain without any sauce or syrup.

*A brief history of Cheesecake*

Ever since the dawn of time, mankind has striven to create the perfect cheesecake. The earliest history of the art is lost, but we know that cheesecake was already a popular dish in ancient Greece. With the Roman conquest of Greece, the secret fell into Roman hands. The Roman name for this type of cake (derived from the Greek term,) became "placenta." Placenta was more like a cheesecake, baked on a pastry base, or sometimes inside a pastry case. They were also called "libum" by the Romans, and were often used as an offering at their temples to their gods.

1st Century A.D. – Marcus Porcius Cato (234-149 B.C.) was a Roman politican. His treatise on agriculture, De Agricultura or De Re Rustica, is the only work by him that has been preserved. He wrote about farming, wine making, and cooking among other things. This is his recipe for libum, the small sweet cake often given as a temple offering:

Libum to be made as follows: 2 pounds cheese well crushed in a mortar; when it is well crushed, add in 1 pound bread-wheat flour or, if you want it to be lighter, just 1/2 a pound, to be mixed with the cheese. Add one egg and mix all together well. Make a loaf of this, with the leaves under it, and cook slowly in a hot fire under a brick.

Small cheesecakes were served to athletes during the first Olympic games held in 776 B.C. on the Isle of Delos.

230 A.D. - According to John J. Sergreto, author of Cheesecake Madness, The basic recipe and ingredients for the first cheesecake were recorded by Athenaeus, a Greek writer, in about A.D. 230:

Take cheese and pound it till smooth and pasty; put cheese in a brazen sieve; add honey and spring wheat flour. Heat in one mass, cool, and serve.

1000 A.D. -Cheesecake were introduced to Great Britain and Western Europe by the Roman conquering armies. By 1000 A.D., cheesecakes were flourishing throughout Scandinavia, England, and northwestern Europe.

1545 - A cookbook from the mid 16th century that also includes some accounts of domestic life, cookery and feasts in Tudor days, called A Proper newe Booke of Cokerye, declarynge what maner of meates be beste in season, for al times in the yere, and how they ought to be dressed, and serued at the table, bothe for fleshe dayes, and fyshe dayes, has a recipe for a cheesecake:

To make a tarte of Chese - Take harde Chese and cutte it in slyces,and pare it, than laye it in fayre water, or in swete mylke, the space of three houres, then take it up and breake it in a morter tyll it be small, than drawe it up thorowe a strainer with the yolkes of syxe egges, and season it wyth suger and swete butter, and so bake it.

19.6.09

Pandan Yogurt Cake

I was browsing thru some of my favourite food blogs and come across Little Corner of Mine's pandan yogurt cakes. It caught my attention and I decided to go ahead and bake it. She had done it in cup cakes form but I used a springform pan to bake the cake. That's the only big difference we have. Thanks for sharing this easy and tasty recipe LCoM. :-) The steps are so easy and I whipped up the whole thing in less than half an hour. The cake was fantastic. Moist and soft with a little crust on the top. My DH loves it quite a lot. :-)

Does it look like the earth?
That's why I called it "Pandan Yogurt 'earth' Cake".

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup Plain flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp. Pandan extract
1/2 cup sunflower oil

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 180*C. Grease lightly the sides of the pan and line bottom of cake tin with baking paper of easy removal.
2. In a bowl, sift flour and baking powder. Add in salt & sugar. Stir to mix.
3. Add in beaten eggs, yogurt, Pandan extract and oil. Stir until incorporated.
4. Lastly, scoop the batter into each papercups until 3/4 full.
5. Bake for 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.


15.6.09

Ondeh Ondeh

Made some Ondeh Ondeh yesterday night. This is a local dessert, whether is a Malay dessert or Chinese dessert, I really don't know the origin. Both Malay & Chinese foodstall do sell in local food market. I love to eat this rounded balls since I was a little girl. It is also my mum's favourite dessert. So arm with some Australian sweet potatoe on hand, I started making it at 9pm. I finished making at 11 plus. I was then very tired but fulfilled. The ondeh ondeh I made were a little on the mini size compared to those sold outside. But a mouthful of it, leaves a fragrant of gula melaka (palm sugar) on the tongue...

A simple meal

Hubby & me had dinner at my mum's place 2 days ago. It was a day after my parent's 48th wedding anniversary. My parents normally don't celebrate whatever occassion. Most of the old folks of their time don't like fanciful celebration like our younger generation. Their love for each other is so subtle. So are my parents. They knew each other through blind date, got married, gave birth to my older brother and myself, gone through thick and thin together, and there they are, clinging on to each other as they grow old together. 48 years of marriage, not an easy road to go through. Thus, I love them with every heart beat I have. To them, I salute and humble myself before them. I love you DAD, I love you MUM.

您们对我和哥哥的爱是无条件的,您们对我们的关怀是至诚至深的,我们永远也回报不了,但在我们有气息的当儿,我们要爱您们,尊敬您们。
For the dinner, I cooked a dish where my family had not eaten at home before ~ Marmite Pork Ribs. The taste wasn't to my expectation but my family said it was nice. I guess, to each his own taste. For me, it wasn't sweet enough, should have put a little bit more honey.

My dear mum cooked the rest of the dishes. She is a great cook. I have been enjoying her home-cooked food for the past 30 over years and will continue to do so. Before she married my dad, she has not cooked a single meal for her family before. It was only after marrying my dad that she picked up cooking and there she soared and soared in her cooking skills. She learned through hard way without any guidance from anyone. I really admire her. I hope to pick up her cooking skills as much as I can and pass on the skills to my next generation, if possible.
这就是爱的传承。

3rd attempt on Pandan Chiffon Cake

Am I crazy or not, within one week or so, I have baked this chiffon for 3 times!! Well, I believe practice make perfect. Each time I baked, I believe my skill has improved. Though my presentation of this cake is still not very nice (some of the skin came off when I unmoulded it), but I'm really happy that I made it! Once again, I adapted the recipe from Aunty Yochana. Thank you very much Aunty for this great recipe. Ok, long story make short, here are the pics.

9.6.09

1st & 2nd attempt of baking Pandan Chiffon Cake

Within 2 days, I baked 2 Pandan Chiffon Cake.

The first one was kinda flop :-( It looked quite tall initially. However, it shrank quite a bit after slicing, and I blamed myself for not being patience enough to wait for the cake to cool completely before slicing. Furthermore, I think I have used the wrong pan size. Thus, it looked like this: The second attempt was much much better. I had used Aunty Yochana's Pandan Chiffon Cake recipe. Besides not adding pandan juice, and didn't add too much artificial green colouring, I followed her recipe closely.

During the first attempt, I didn't adjust my oven tempt. and the cake came out kind of burned at the side. This time round, I adjusted my 19ltr oven to 160*C instead of 170*C mentioned in her recipe. I also turn off the fan in my oven. Thus, the cake came out not burned, with a pastel green surface. The cake itself was soft and fluffy. My niece, who is a cake lover, had 2 slices in one go :-).

The chiffon cake rose very high in the oven, near over the brim of the tube pan. After it was removed from the oven, it shrunk quite a bit, but still tall, about 3inches high (according to my standard). However, if you look at Aunty Yochana's chiffon cake, hers is a perfect flat top and very very tall. My cake top was slightly sunkened and my skill of removing the cake from the pan still need a lot of practice. However, I considered myself a successful attempt on making this challenging chiffon cake. Of course, my next round of chiffon cake making must be better than these 2 rounds. Practice make perfect and permanent. Agree?

Here are the pictures of my 2nd attempt:

8.6.09

Some of my "kitchen works" :-)

Cooked this 豆豉蒸排骨(Steamed Black Salted Beans Pork Ribs) few days ago. It was my first time cooking this dish. Results were more than satisfactory (according to my hubby :-p). These are the ingredients for the dish.
Baked this Spiced Chocolate Macadamia Cake a while ago. I was surprised my hubby like such cake. I added cinnamon, nutmeg and mixed spice powder to a normal chocolate cake and also sprinkled some macadamia nuts into the batter. The result was a crunchy and tasty cake.


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