baking fiends unite!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Almond biscotti

You may not believe it, but this is the 2nd time I've baked biscotti! My 1st attempt was very very long ago and I remembered that that biscotti I baked was very hard! My mom was complaining abt it and from then on, I've not attempted biscotti again. However, my opinion of biscotti changed when Elyn passed me some she baked. It tasted very different from the one I did! LOL....

So I was looking for something to bake after x'mas and biscotti came to mind. and I wanted to seriously try out recipes in the one-too-many baking books I bought on a wimp. Finally settled on the Almond Biscotti recipe in "Baking, my Home to Yours" by Dorie Greenspan. There's cornmeal in the recipe, which gave it a very good crunch. But me being me, I decided to use whole almonds instead of chopped ones, since I bought it whole (too lazy!)... I guess laziness had done me in this time. It was a huge mistake as I had such a hard time trying to cut the biscotti! Needless to say, many pieces cracked and I was so upset. :( Still I went on baking it the 2nd round, as I could feel that it'll turn out really good. I also added choc chips to it as it would tempt the kids to try it when they see chocolate.

Here's how mine turned out. Indeed it was really nice and crunchy. I'll bake another lot of these soon... and this time, use almond nibs! LOL...

ETA : Here's the recipe for those who are interested to give it a go.
Lenox Almond Biscotti
What you need
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 stick (113gm) of butter
  • 1 cup sugar (I reduced it to 3/4 cup)
  • 2 large eggs (I used 60gm eggs with shell)
  • 1 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds, blanched or unblanched
What to do
  • Preheat oven to 170C. Line baking sheet with parchment or silicone sheet.
  • Sift flour, baking powder, cornmeal and salt tog and whisk to blend. Set aside.
  • Cream butter and sugar tog till light, add in eggs one at a time. Scraping down the bowl as needed and whisk till mixture is light, smooth and creamy (abt 2 mins). Beat in almond extract.
  • Reduce mixer speed to low, add in dry ingredients and mix till incorporated. You'll have a sticky-to-finger dough.
  • Scrape half the dough onto 1 side of the baking sheet, work the dough into a log abt 12 inches long and 1 1/2inches wide. Form a 2nd log with the remaining dough on the other side of the baking sheet.
  • Bake for 15mins, or until the logs are lightly golden brown but still soft and springy to touch. Remove baking sheet from oven and leave it to cool for abt 30mins.
  • Cut the logs into 3/4in slices, line them cut-side up onto the baking sheet.
  • Bake biscotti for another 15mins or so, till they are golden and firm. Transfer to cooling racks and store only when completely cooled.
Recipe adapted from Baking From my Home to Yours,by Dorie Greenspan, page 141.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Birthday to my Baby

Ian was born 8 years ago. Being my 1st born, he's definately in a very special place in my heart, what's more, he was born on Christmas Day! My family do not celebrate Christmas, however, since he was born, we started having celebrations, but mainly is to celebrate his birthday. :P
DH and i debated for a few days what to cake to bake for his birthday this year. Initially I planned to try out modelling a cake and then covering with fondant. But the weather at this time of the year is too wet. The fondant will be sweating in no time. So I scrapped that idea and finally DH suggested a logcake instead. Then I realised that we had not had any logcake for the past 7 years! When Ian turned 1yo, we bought a logcake for him 'coz we could not find any bakery near my home that baked Birthday cakes during this period. So from his 2nd b'day onwards, I made it a point to bake him a cake on Christmas. I dun mind having a logcake this time 'coz I'm really out of ideas what cake to bake. So, here it is... a Birthday logcake for Ian...
Happy Birthday my Boy!


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

My dear friend ordered these cakes from me as her gifts to her colleagues at work. The christmas-tree shaped cake containers made it so easy! Furthermore, it came with a plastic cover! All I needed to do was tie ribbons on it.


Monday, December 22, 2008

It's Christmas Already!!?!?!

I was happily lounging at home when I overheard DS counting down to his b'day to his sister... That's when reality struck me! OH MY GOODNESS!!! We're 3 days to Christmas! Quickly scrambled off my bed and straight to the kitchen for some baking. I planned to bake some cookies for my friends and colleagues and had not planned to start anytime soon, thinking that it's still too early! LOL...
Still I was lamenting the indecisiveness of what cookies to bake when Elyn asked me on Friday. Finally settled on chocolate chips cookies and it's everyone's favourite. When I have sometime these few remaining days, I'll try out a biscotti recipe.
Thankfully I got my "packaging" for Christmas cookies sometime back, so it made the job easier for me when it comes to packing the cookies. The chinese take-out boxes are so cute for the occasion! Tho' I only managed to squeeze in abt 8 pcs of the cookies in each box (yes, it's THAT small), I'm still very happy that it turned out so presentable looking.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Wedding cuppies

It was my lil bro, Jason's wedding yesterday. The whole family were eagerly waiting for this day to come, especially the kids, who seemed to enjoy weddings more than adults! (and they sure had a jolly good time)
I decided to make some cuppies for the couple and added blueberries to the cake base. For decorations, I initially planned to make some rolled roses out of fondant but the fondant was so soft that the roses turned out totally out of shape. Threw that idea aside and settled on a simple design... and of course, I have to customize them! Printed the couple's names on the fondants. The cupcakes turned out wonderful. :)

I wish them a happy marriage...hope to hear sounds of little plattering feet soon!


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Food review 2008 #9 : Fook Hoi Curry Chicken Noodles

I was lemming for a bowl of nice hot curry noodles for many days. I remembered trying a stall along Upper Cross Street many moons ago. The stall, sadly had moved away, as the shop it was in was sold off. I did not managed to find out where it moved to. I was even willing to settle for a bowl of laksa instead! But still even laksa eluded me on my hunt! *sob sob*

On a leisurely Sunday morning, we were driving around town, looking for a place for b'fast when we came to the bugis temporary food centre. Decided to stop by there for b'fast when we saw crowds. where there's crowds, there shd be food!

Was happily browsing thru' the myraid of stalls there and finally spotted a curry chicken noodle stall rite at the corner! BINGO! It definately called out to me! LOL...

The stall seemed to be a very popular one. There are many photos of celebrities on the signboard too. So I went ahead and ordered a bowl with thick rice noodles....

The noodles ROCK! The broth was thick and creamy. And I could taste the chicken broth in it. The noodles was cooked just rite and there were many pieces of chicken meat in it. Also the stall owner was rather generous with the bean sprouts, which I love.

Having tasted this curry noodles.. i'm sure to tell u that i'll be back for more!


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Another quickie b'fast

I'm a sucker for quickie b'fast, if you still do not know it. I'm always on a look-out for simple and ez to prepare b'fast for my 2 kiddos. Doesn't help that they need to be reminded at least a dozen times every morning to finish their cup of milk asap so that we can leave the house on time (in between washing up!).

Anyway, I spotted this egg-in-toast method in a local mommy's forum and was sold on how fast and ez a b'fast can be ready. I'm definitely game to try! One more plus is that it's so pretty to look at too! LOL...

Here's how to make one of these...

First, you use yr cookie cutter to cut out the shape on 1 slice of bread. Do not discard that piece of cut-out. It can be toasted and eaten too. Next, place a 2nd piece of sliced bread onto yr baking tray. Then, divide a slice of processed cheese into 4 equal pieces and line them at the 4 sides of the bread, as close to the edges as possible, this acts as a "seal" for the 2 slices of bread. When the cheese are laid, place the slice of bread (with the cut-out hole) on the top. Align it nicely with the bottom piece. Finally, break an egg onto the cut-out area and send it to the oven! It's that simple. The original recipe called for a tiny piece of butter onto the uncooked egg but I left that out. Besides the butter, you can also sprinkle some pepper onto the egg. Bake it in the oven for ard 15-20mins... when you can see that the bread turns brown and the egg cooks..... b'fast is served!


Monday, December 01, 2008

Ham Bread

I'm been seriously lagging in my baking... and blogging lately. Somehow I feel that age is catching up with me...

Anyway, I decided that I really have to do some baking for the weekends, so early Sunday morning, I got up and made some bread.

I bought some ham shavings when I was doing some groceries shopping in the weekdays... I tot it's a good buy. If I din make any breads, I can fry it tog with rice.

So here's the bread after it's baked... yums!