Monday, January 31, 2011

CNY Cornflake Cookies

 
Finally, it's my last cookie bake this year!  The cornflake cookies was in my to-do list last year but had no time for it since and I was to ambitious to churn out too many types of cookies last year.  I decided to make an attempt to bake it this year after I saw this post.  

I didn't make a full recipe since I wasn't sure how it would turn out.  Since I only used one block (250g) of butter,  I cut down the rest of the ingredients accordingly.  I didn't expect this cookie took a much longer time than expect, I thought I could finish within 1.5 hrs but end up, it took me more than 2 hours. I think the process of letting the dough to set has taken up 20 to 25 mins.  This step is very crucial  else it's too difficult to handle.

Despite the tediousness, I am very pleased with the result.  This cookie is really very yummy,  it is very crunchy, buttery and not too sweet.  I believe it'll be a big hit among the kids.  Since I didn't bake a lot and my daughter likes it so much, I decided to keep one jar at home and give the remaining jar to my mum-in-law.

Trust me, this is highly recommended as it's really yummy!  It's very addictive as well. 

Cheer!  Happy Baking!

Cornflake Cookies Recipe( Recipe adopted from No-fills recipes)

Ingredients:

  • 250g butter
  • 165g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 65g crushed cornflakes
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla essence
  • 310g plain flour               }sift together
  • 1tbsp baking powder     }
  • A pinch of salt                  }
  • 180-200g lightly crushed cornflakes for coating

Method:
1.    Cream  the butter and sugar till light and fluffy (3 mins)
2.    Add in the eggs, vanilla, mix well.
3.    Fold in sifted flour, baking powder and salt and then add in crushed cornflakes.
4.    Chill the batter in the fridge for about 20-25 mins.
5.    Lightly roll them into balls and coat them with the crushed cornflakes.
6.    Place them onto paper lined baking trays, about 1 inch apart.
7.    Bake in a preheated oven at 180*C  for about 20-22 mins., or till light golden brown.
8.    Let them cool on the  baking tray for about 30 mins  before storing in air-tight container.
9.    Makes 80-90 cookies.


** 180*C is the oven setting.  The inner temperature is about 170-175*C. 

CNY Mocha Chocolate Rice Cookies

After all the old cookies bake,  I decided to explore some new recipes this year, however, given that time was limited, I could only go for max. two.  I picked this Mocha Chocolate Rice Cookies because I wanted something different from nuts.  In fact, the original recipe doesn't add any chocolate powder but since a lot of kids don't like coffee, I decided to make some adjustment.

I was a bit disappointed of its turn out as it's nothing special, very ordinary.   I think I will give it a miss next year and give another new recipe a chance.

Here is the recipe for sharing... 

Mocha Chocolate Rice Cookies
Ingredient A:
- 180g butter
- 80g icing sugar
- 1/2 egg
- 1 tsp each of instance coffee and chocolate powder dissolved in 1 tbsp hot water

Ingredient B:
- 280g plain flour                 } sift together
- 1/2 tsp baking powder    }
- 70g chocolate rice

Decoration
- A little beaten egg mixed with some drop of oil and water
- Some chocolate chips for topping

Method:
1.  Cream butter until light and fluffy (3-5 mins).  Add egg and beat well.  Add in mocha mixture and stir well
2.  Fold in sifted flour and stir well.  Add in chocolate rice and mix into dough.
3.  Roll dough in between 2 sheets of plastic till 1 cm thick, cut into desired sharp using cookies cutter and place onto baking try.  Glaze with beaten egg and press a chocolate chip in the centre for decoration
4.  Bake in a preheated oven at 160*C for 18*C.  Remove and leave to cool before serving or storing. 


** the chocolate chip will take a while to harden.  I have to chill the cookies in fridge for 2-3 mins before storing.

CNY Cookies (II)


This Cashew Nut Cookie is an old recipe I baked last year.   As this is crunchy and very tasty, it's one of my favorite cookies.  One of my colleague  after tasted, she likes it so much and since then, she will definitely bake during Chinese New Year.   Since this year, my schedule was tight, I had to limit this cookie to one recipe.  Overall, the recipe only yield two tins , one of them I gave to my mum-in-law, the other to my mum.  In fact, I left nothing at home.

I followed my previous recipe exactly but for the baking time, this time round, I baked a bit longer (18-20 mins) since I prefer something more crunchy.   If you are interested in, pls click here for the recipe.

Initially, I didn't intent to bake another batch of Almond Cookies since after dinner,  I only had two hours in between before the next call.  Two hour was just nice for me to bake one recipe of the Cashew Nut Cookies.  There seemed to have a lot of calls rescheduled lately at last minute and given that the call had been rescheduled,  I decided to continue baking and therefore, baked another batch of Almond Cookies.    I was quite pleased with the turn out as the melt in the mouth effect for this batch was greater.  I gave the cookie to my neighbor as a return of her love letter.

Tempted to bake this Almond Cookies?  Clink this link for recipe.

Friday, January 28, 2011

CNY Honeny Cornflake Cups (II)

I wasn't very satisfied with my previous batch of the Honey Cornflake Cups  and decided to change another recipe after I saw this post

This recipe is similar to my previous' except the amount of sugar is replaced by honey.  Overall,  this turns out better as the sweetness is just nice and the cornflakes can glue better together.  A good try! 

Here you go.. Enjoy baking!
 
Honey Cornflake Cups 
Preparation  
- Preheat oven at 170*C for 15 mins. Makes about 100 cups.

Ingredients
- 90g butter
- 3.5 tbsp honey (abt 88g)
- 275g corn flakes
-some nonpareils colour balls  for topping

Method
1. Melt butter in microwave for 28 sec.
2. Add honey and stir till well incorporated.
3. Add in corn flakes and mix till even.
4. Spoon into small paper cup and bake at 150*C for 12-13 mins or lightly golden.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Chocolate Chiffon Cake

I baked another batch of Chocolate Chiffon but this round, I baked it in a tube pan and the baking took about 50 mins. 

Simple but delicious cake, it's an all time favorite treat especially for kids.  Enjoy baking. 

Recipe - please refer to previous Chocolate Chiffon Cupcakes post but don't forget  to extend the baking time to abut 50 mins.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Chocolate Cake

This is a simple chocolate cake.  It's supposed to be a chocolate chiffon coated with chocolate frosting.  This recipe enticed me just simply it's an easy cake and well recommended by the the cookbook's (美味糕點新主張) author.

The original recipe only called for chocolate frosting,  to make it more elaborate, I sliced the cake into 2 layers and sandwiched the chocolate cream in between.  In addition, I sprinkle some Valrhona chocolate pearl to create some crunch effect.

I made this into two small cakes (6" & 7").  Since the consumption in my family is very low, I gave the 6" to my brother and asked my elder daughter to bring the majority of the 7" to hall to share with her friends.

This is simply a rich chocolate cake, it's moist, dense and not sweet.  If you are a fan of chocolate lover, I trust you will like it.  However, for me and my family, we still prefer other chocolate recipes (eg.  Chocolate Fudge Cake, Moist Chocolate Cake, Hershy's Black Magic Cake, etc) that I baked before.   Cheer!

Chocolate Cake Recipe 
(modified from 美味糕點新主張)

Preparation:
-          Preheat oven at 170*C for 15 mins. 
-          Grease one  6” & 7" round pan (or two 6" or one 8") and lined with baking paper.

Chiffon Cake Ingredients
            - 80g fresh milk
            - 50g cooking oil
            - 15g cocoa powder
            - 100g semi-sweet chocolate (I used Valrhona choc)
            - 90g egg yolk
            - 180g egg white
            - 120g caster sugar
            - 75g cake or top flour } sift
 
Method:
1.  Use a heavy duty pot, heat up milk and oil till boiling.  Off fire.
2.  Add in cocoa powder and chocolate, stir till chocolate melt completely.
3.  Add in egg yolk and mix till combined.  Set aside.
4.  Whisk egg white and add sugar into 3 times.  Beat till 80% peak.
5.  Fold 1/5  egg white into the chocolate mixture from step 3, follow by adding in the flour and mix till combined.
6. Gently fold in the remaining egg white into 3 times.  Mix well. 
7. Pour the batter into two pans,  bake at 170*C for 35 mins or till cooked.  

Chocolate Frosting Ingredients
-          150g whipping cream (dairy)
-          120g semi-sweet chocolate (I used Valrhona choc)
-          12g butter
-          Chocolate pearls (optional)
Method:
  1. Double boil whipping cream and chocolate till melt.  Off fire.
  2. Add in butter and stir till combined.  Set aside till cool.
  3. Take 40% of chocolate cream, chill in fridge till thicken.  Remaining leave it outside.
To Assemble : 
  1. Slice the cake into 2, sandwich the thickened chocolate cream in between the cake layers and sprinkle with some chocolate pearl.
  2. Cover the whole cake with remaining chocolate cream and décor as desired.

Mocha Marble Chiffon Cake

 
The weather has been very cooling these days but I feel cold and need to cover with long pants and jacket.   Somehow, I find I get tired very easily lately, not sure whether it's the increasing of late night calls or getting older or sick...  

The weekend has been very routine, nothing excited even though the Chinese New Year is approaching.  I haven't got into the new year mood of getting myself busy with shopping and baking. I think I am going to take it easy this year and do less ...   

I was very pleased with the turn out of the Chocolate Chiffon Cupcakes and therefore, tried to bake another recipe from the same cookbook.  In comparison of the two, I prefer the chocolate's as it's tastier although this cake shares the same texture.  I think walnut goes better with butter cake than chiffon as it needs something stronger in taste to go with.  If I intend to bake this again, I will add some condense milk to the mocha as the black portion tastes a bit bitter as far as I feel.  Anyway, if you like something less sweet, this recipe suits you.

Mocha Marble Chiffon Cake Recipe  
(modified from 美味糕點新主張)
Preparation: 
- Preheat oven at 175*C for 15 mins. 
- Prepare 9” tube pan. Separate egg yolk and egg white. Sift flour. 

Ingredients: 
- 65g fresh milk
- 40g cooking oil
- 2 tsp rum or vanilla essence
- 100g egg yolk
- 100g cake/ top flour } sift
- 240g egg white
- 130g caster sugar
- 70g chopped walnut (toasted)
- 5g coffee powder + 5g cocoa powder } dissolve
- 10g hot water + (should add 1 tsp of condense milk) } in hot water

Method:


  1. Microwave milk and oil for 20 mins and then add in rum/ vanilla essence and eggs. Mix well.
  2. Fold in flour together and mix till combined. Set aside.
  3. Whisk egg white, add sugar into 3 times and beat till 90% peak.
  4. Fold in 1/3 egg white into the yolk mixture. Fold in the rest of white gently and stir in walnut. Set aside.
  5. Dissolved coffee and cocoa powder in hot water (I'll add in 1 tsp of condense milk or sugar next time). Take 150g of batter from step 4 and mix in. Blend well.
  6. Pour in some portion of white batter into 9" tube pan, alternate with black batter and use a spoon to creates marble effect.
  7. Bake at 175*C for 10 mins and then turn down to 150*C for another 35-40 mins or till cooked.
  8. Invert the baked cake during cooling process.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Chocolate Chiffon Cupcakes

My younger daughter was complaining to me about the problem she faced with her school recess  as she didn't have enough time for her breakfast and lunch because of long queue always .  Since promoting to higher secondary, she spends longer hour in school and therefore, it becomes a concern if she can't settle her meals in school .   I don't want her to starve herself every time because of long queue and therefore, I decided to bake some something for her so that she can bring to school as a snack.  

I wanted something healthier, not too buttery and rich, therefore, I referenced to a recipe from a Taiwanese cookbook with couple of modifications since I didn't have all the ingredients plus I got used to my own method.   The original recipe calls for a Chocolate Chiffon Cake but I baked into several cupcakes since it's more convenience to bring to school.  

I prefer Taiwanese and Japanese recipes than the Western's as the formal is lighter and less sugar.   The disadvantage is it's printed in Chinese and therefore,  I will have to do the translation and organize it before I can follow.  This cookbook promotes no chemical ingredients and therefore, there is no baking powder in this recipe. 

This indeed an excellent recipe, I was very satisfied as the cupcake turned out so yummy, i.e. cotton soft and moist!  My family members gave me a thumps up!  Trust you will like it.

Chocolate Chiffon Cupcakes  
(modified from 美味糕點新主張)
Preparation:
-          Preheat oven at 170*C for 15 mins.  
-          Prepare 12 cupcake cases.

Ingredients:
-          95g fresh milk
-          40g cooking oil
-          25g cocoa powder   }sift
-          100g egg yolk (5 big egg yolks)
-          2 tsp vanilla essence
-          100g cake or top flour     } sift   ** use cake flour for cupcake**
-          240g egg white (6 big egg whites)
-          140g caster sugar
      -          80g semi-sweet chocolate chip (amount just right)
      -          some desiccated coconut (optional) 

Method:
1. Microwave milk and cooking oil for 20-25 sec or double boil till slight boiling.
2. Stir in cocoa powder and egg yolk and mix till even.
3. Add in vanilla essence and flour and mix till incorporated. Set aside.
4. Whisk egg white and sugar till soft peak. Fold in 1/5 white into the chocolate mixture from step 3 to dilute  the mixture (less thicken).
5. Fold remaining of whites into 3 times gently and finally mix in chocolate chip.
6. Fill the batter into cupcake case till max. 70% and
sprinkle with some desiccated coconuts (optional). Bake at 170*C for 10 mins and then turn down to 150*C for another 35 mins.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Oreo No-Bake Cheesecake

New year new resolution ?!  I've been thinking hard about what resolution I want for 2011 but I guessed it's nothing special or unique this year, it's still the same old thing as last years.  

I believe health is the most important things in life.  Without a healthy body, I believe we will never achieve happiness.  Therefore, this year, I should keep myself fit and trim, do more exercise.  Since my last thyroid relapsed, I was on medication for past 2 and half years and only lately, my condition becomes stabilized.  In the past, I was a very ambitious person and always put work as highest priority.  Promotion and status were my driving force, although I had a bright career, I wasn't happy because of work stress. After encountering some career setback, I came to realize nothing is more important than my family and my health. That's why I have been trying to pursue a more balance work life in last few years. 

This year, I think I will continue my baking hobby but I will slow down as I want to explore something else.  I may take up some cake icing and designing classes to sharpen my skill in cake declaration, however, it all depends on whether time permits as most of my nights normally will be filled up with conference calls. Or I may spend more time in photography and traveling since I enjoy in these activities.  Not to mention, spending more time with my family continues to be one of my priorities.

 I think I have enough for new year resolution, let me get back to the baking topic.  I made this cake just because I wanted to explore a new recipe.  This recipe from Florence (Do what I like) fits the bill because it's easy to prepare.  It's a cold set cheesecake, no baking is required.   I personally don't really like coldset cheesecake as it's soft, I prefer baked version as it's harder and creamier.  Anyway, this cake gained a lot of support from my colleagues and family.   They like it a lot.  

If you are a big fan of Oreo, I believe you will like this cake.  Below is my version of recipe. 

Oreo No-Bake Cheesecake
Ingredients
Base :
-          110g digestive biscuits, chopped into fine crumbs
-          40g melted butter (used 50g)
          
Filling :
-          1tbsp gelatine powder  
-          10ml lemon juice
-          3 tbsp boiling water
-          250g cream cheese, room temperature
-          50g icing sugar
-          45ml milk
-          1 tsp vanilla essence
-          200ml whipping cream  
-          4 oreo cookies (finely chopped)
-          8 oreo cookies (coarsly chopped) 

Method :
1. Mix biscuit crumbs & melted butter together and press firmly onto the base of cake tin. chill for 30 minutes.  Put aside.
2. Double-boil gelatine, lemon juice & boiling water until totally dissolved. Keep warm and put aside.
3. Beat cream cheese, icing sugar till smooth and then add in milk and vanilla essence.  Mix well.
4. In another mixing bowl, beat whipping cream with electric beaters until 70% stiff or until mousse-like.
5. Add in cream cheese mixture (in step 3) and gelatine solution (in step 2).
6. Pour 1/2 the cheese mixture onto the base, sprinkle coarsely chopped cookies on top of the first half of cheese mixture.  Chill for 15 minutes and remove.
7. Stir in finely chopped cookies into the other 1/2 of the mixture. Mix well and pour onto the first half cheese mixture.
8. Chill for 3 to 4 hours before serving. decorate as desired.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Cheese Brownies

The original of this recipe is just a very simple and basic brownie.  Since I wanted something with additional flavor to enhance its look and taste,  I decided to add an additional layer of creamcheese on it.  I reckoned that many of the cheese brownie recipe online called for the similar ingredients and steps and therefore, I named this as Cheese Brownies.
The basic brownie was supposed to taste very yummy, it should be very moist (not dry at all) and fudgy and I recalled the last time I baked (more than 1.5 years ago), both mine and my hubby's colleagues liked it.  Somehow, the additional layer of creamcheese didn't achieve the result I was expecting. It's such a disappointment!  I believe I could have overbaked and reduced too much (> 20%) of the sugar for this batch as it's quite dry and not as tasty.  Sigh! It's such a waste :(

Since the creamcheese layer was somewhat superfluous to the overall taste of the cheese brownies,  I think it's pointless to share.  Below is the original/ basic brownie recipe I think it's worth trying.  Cheer!

Basic/ Plain Brownie
Preparation:
-    Preheat oven at  200*C for 15 mins..
-    Baking tray : 12” x 7” (use lighter tray to minimize absorption of heat).
-    Line base with foil (cover till the both the 12” slides, leave the 7” uncovered).  Grease on foil.    

Ingredients:
-    140g butter
-    140g unsweetened dark chocolate
-    225g demerera Sugar (reduce 10% if you want to coat a layer of chocolate frosting/ganache)
-    ½ cup (120ml) corn syrup
-    2 tsp vanilla essence  and 2 tbsp rum
-    4 whole eggs (60g each)
-    110g plain flour  +  1 tsp baking power     } sifted

Method:
1.    Heat up a heavy saucepan till hot. Off fire,  add butter and swirl till saucepan is coated with butter.
2.    Add dark chocolate and stir over low fire.  Remove from fire once in a while to ensure chocolate is not burnt.  Once the chocolate is melted, off fire.
3.    Add sugar and stir till well incorporated.
4.    Stir in corn syrup and then vanilla essence and rum till well mixed (1 -1.5mins).
5.    Beat in whole eggs, one at a time (1 min each).
6.    Mix in the sifted flour mixture till well incorporated.
7.    Pour into a prepared tray, use spatula to level the batter. Bake in a preheated oven for 20 -25 mins at 200*C top bottom heat.
8.    Test with skewer, if it’s almost clean, it’s considered as baked. 

P.S Make sure that the brownies are completed cooled before cutting them.  Else, the edge will not be straight and clean cut.  Look at my bake. It's so ugly!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year 2011 !!!

May the New Year bring everyone double dose of health and happiness topped with loads of good fortune!! 

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