Thursday, February 25, 2010

Strawberry Light Cheese Dessert

Somehow, I felt very tired this Chinese New Year as if I was occupied every minute and second consciously and unconsciously.. I guess I must be overly stressed! However, overall, I enjoyed the time spent with family, relatives and friends as it's not easy to catch up with so many people at one go. ..

This year, the Chinese New Year coincided with Valentine's Day, with this in mind, I made some strawberry heart desserts to share with my extended families. It has the same appearance as my previous recipe but this dessert is lighter as there is no whipping cream added and less cream cheese content.

I didn't intent to post this recipe since I was too busy with the Chinese New Year and also preparing for the upcoming business trip but since there were couple of requests from those who tasted this and liked it, I am delighted to share with everyone.

Many of them asked me about the Jelly I used in this recipe, since I have bad memory for product brand, I have pasted the photo here.  You can get it from any supermarket.

Here you go.. below is the Strawberry Light Cheese Dessert recipe.

Preparation- Tray: Two 9” x 6” x 1” tray for cold set. Lined with foil.

Based Ingredients
- 320g digestive biscuits
- 160 melted butter (microwave 20 sec)
1. Crush biscuits with a rolling pin and stir in melted butter. Mix well.
2. Divide and press onto the base of two trays till firm. Freeze for min 30 mins before use.

Jelly Topping Ingredients:
- 2 pkts strawberry flavored Tortally
- 300ml boiling hot water

- 300 cold water
3. Dissolve Jelly powder in boiling water. Add cold water and stir well
4. Put aside and let it cool down completely.

Filling and Assemby
- 20 medium-sized strawberries (can replace with other fruit except pineapple and kiwi)
- 1tbsp gelatine powder (1/2 tsp=> 1 leaf) } mix together first
- 70g sugar }
- 150 ml boiling water
- 250g cream cheese (take out 30 mins before use)
- ½ tsp vanilla essence
5. Using a small heart-shaped cutter (1”), cut hearts out of the strawberry halves. Place on plate lined with paper towel.
6. Place gelatine and sugar in a bowl. Pour boiling water over and stir until gelatine dissolved (about 10 mins). If not dissolve completely, double boil it.
7. Cream cheese (abt 1.5 mins) and then add in vanilla essence. Add gelatine syrup gradually and cream till smooth.
8. Prick base with holes (step 2) and pour filling (step 8) into the trays. Rest for 10-15mins.
9. Place 20 hearts (4*5) on each tray partially submerged in cheese. Leave it in freezer for 1-1.5 hrs or till cheese set.
10. Pour jelly(step 4) into tray as topping and return it to freezer for another 1-2 hrs till set. Best to chill overnight.
11. Remove foil and cut into 20 pcs each. Pack nicely with paper case.

Monday, February 8, 2010

2010 CNY Cookie Baking Wrap Up

It has been a busy month for me with all cookie baking for the coming Chinese New Year couple with stepping into a new role. I'm amazed with the no. of the types of cookies I had baked in past few weeks, certainly, I need to thank my maid for giving a helping hands, without her doing all the washing and cleaning plus rendering with extra hands, I doubt I could produce all these. Because of baking, I've no time for shopping and exercise, all my past weekends (and some weekday late night) were burnt. Therefore, my resolution this year is to regain my exercise regime. Relax and slow down!

Out of all the cookies I baked, pineapple tart is still my best favourite cookie, 2nd is almond cookies and 3rd is cashewnut and almond sugee cookies. However, I am no longer able to eat too many, firstly, I worried about my waistline, secondary, somehow I am no longer having such craving for all these cookies. The most fulfilling and satisfying part for me is the praises I received from those who tasted my cookie.

Here is the list of cookies I baked this year - 2010.
  1. Almond Cookies (3 batches)
  2. Almond Shortbread Cookies (1 batch)
  3. Almond Sugee Cookies (2 batches)
  4. Cashewnut Cookies (2 batches)
  5. Closed Pineapple Tarts (4 batches)
  6. Coconut Crisps (2 batches)
  7. Crunchy Walnut Cookies (1 batch)
  8. Honey Cornflake Cups (2 batches)
  9. Open Pineapple Tarts (1 batch)
  10. Peanut Cookies (1 batch)
  11. White Almond Cookies (1 batch)
I  see a challenge for me to bake after Chinese New Year as there are couple of business travel trips lining up. I might need to stop for a while till the travel slows down but nevertheless, whenever possible I will !

Sunday, February 7, 2010

CNY Open Pineapple Tarts

I found this Nastar Pineapple Tarts recipe from the "Do What I like" blog and I wanted to give it a shot. Because of this, I bought the Nastar cookie presser but somehow I couldn't manage it,  the dough was difficult to squeeze out from the mould, I had no choice and change it to open tarts. 

How did it turn out? I wasn't sure whether this recipe only fit for Nastar type or my skill problem as it didn't turn out as what was commented. I found the pastry wasn't buttery enough and less the melt-in-the-mouth-effect. In fact, I have a recipe for open tarts which was given by my sis-in-law, I used that recipe last year and it tasted very well.    I believe if I will have to bake the open tarts next year, I will stick with my sis-in-law's recipe.
If you don't mind less buttery and melt-in-the-mouth effect, this recipe in fact tastes alright.

CNY Coconut Crisps (I) & (II)

I had been trying to search for a recipe that called for egg white to get rid of the left over egg white after egg washing the pineapple tarts and other cookies. This recipe just fit into this bill. As this was my first attempt, I wasn't sure how the cookie would turn out, therefore, I took a conservative approach to make a small amount.  Surprisingly, the cookies tasted pretty good and it's very crispy as well.

I found a bit difficult to spread the batter to the size that I wanted to sicne it was my first attempt. Another thing to take note is it's quite time consuming to bake this cookie, therefore, you need to prepare to spend more time if you decide to. Join the club if you are interested in . Here you go for the recipe ...

Group A - 100g butter, 96 g icing sugar
Group B - 100g egg white
Group C - 120g plain flour, 40g toasted grated white coconut shreds (ready pack from bakery shop)

For decoration:  50g white sesame seeds (toasted at 180 fan forced for 10 mins)

1.  Beat ingredient A in a mixer until fluffy.  Add in ingredient B and mix well.  Fold in ingredient C.
2.  Spoon the mixture of step 1 into piping bag.  Pipe the mixture onto lined baking tray.  Well-space apart.  Use metal spoon to spread it thin. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.   Repeat process with remaining ingredients.
3.  Bake in a preheated oven at 170*C (top bottom heat) for 10 mins or till golden.  Cool well and store immediately as the cookies could go soggy rather quickly.

2nd Batch on Feb 7: Since this cookie tasted quite well, I decided to bake another batch on Feb 7. For this round, I increased 50% more of the coconut shreds (from 40g to 60g) as I wanted a stronger coconut taste. It did turn out as expected but less crispy as compare to earlier batch. I still prefer the formal as since it's crispier. If I've chance to bake another batch, I will remain 40g of coconut shred but add in 20g of coconut powder. I believe this cookie will remain stronger coconut taste and not compromising its crispiness.  


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