Churros

This isn’t about baking but frying!! Churros dipped in milk chocolate is my most favourite in San Churro. But due to our ‘limited-income’ as students, we’re unable to go and eat the fantastic dish every time the eating-lust comes. And if we can, we absolutely cant afford to order the dish size that can totally shut down our desire from thinking about it. ehe 😀

Therefore, as usual, the solution is to make your own churros in your own kitchen and eat as many as you want! Sensation!!!!

Recipe from Nicko (you can watch the video too, yeay!!)

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup water
100g unsalted butter
2 cups plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
Vegetable oil, to deep-fry
1/2 cup icing sugar mixture, sifted

METHOD:
1. In a saucepan, add in the butter and water. Turn on the medium heat and stir until the butter has dissolved (~3-4 minutes).
2. Turn the heat off and add in the plain flour and a pinch of salt. Using a wooden spoon, mix it together vigorously. As it starts to really thicken up, keep mixing the dough until it pulls away from the side of the pan. Continue until the dough is coming away in one piece.
3. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and leave it for 15 minutes.
4. After 15 minutes, take the wrapping off.
5. Try to work quite quickly with the next steps: Put the first egg in and using the spoon, incorporate the egg into the dough and mix it really well. Repeat the same process with the next egg. You will get a smooth dough that you are really after.
6. Insert the dough in a piping bag with your desired shape of nozzle. You can also roll the dough into long strips and cut them up.
7. Into a large saucepan, add in the vegetable oil. Make sure the oil is hot enough. Pipe the dough straight into the oil and cut it off (after it gets long enough) using scissor or by scrapping your finger onto the nozzle. The churros will float up to the top (takes about 2-3 minutes). Repeat the same process until finished.
8. You will get a beautiful golden brown churros. After drying them off on a paper towel, sprinkle them in some icing sugar.

Chocolate dipped sauce

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup of thickened cream
Dark Chocolate bar (break into small pieces)

Method:
1. In a saucepan on a medium heat, add in the thickened cream.
2. Add in the chocolate bar. Stir the mixture until the chocolate has dissolved. Add the chocolate as much until the colour of the sauce has beautifully turn to dark brown. You may add some sugar if you like sweeter taste of the sauce.

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Blueberry Cheese tart

Personally I’m a big fan of blueberry cheese tart. Back in Malaysia, my eldest sister always ordered from her friend one whole tupperware just for me (heeee :D). Well, living far from hometown definitely will make the craving-storm comes and goes and when it’s affecting you, you have nowhere to turn except by looking for the remedy-making it yourself!! Probably I can go to any bakery to look for the tart but I think it will not be the same as this one; the one that have Malaysian-touched in it. aha. (a bit poyo isn’t it?)

Source: MamaFami

PASTRY
Source : Chef Anuar

INGREDIENTS:

160g butter
80g castor sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
a pinch of salt
1/2 egg
250g flour

METHOD:

1. Beat butter and castor sugar till well combined. Add in egg, vanilla and salt.
2. Add in flour and mix till a soft dough is formed.
3. Keep in the regfrigerator for about 30 minutes.
4. Press into the tart shells moulds and prick some holes onto the pastry.
5. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown in a preheated oven at 180 C

FILLING
Source : Chef Alex Goh

INGREDIENTS:

250g Philadelphia Cream Cheese
60g castor sugar
20g butter
1 egg (grade B)

METHOD:

1. Cream the above ingredients. Place in the piping bag.
2. Pipe the filling onto the tart shells.
3. Place a bit of blueberry pie filling on top and using a toothpick, make a pattern on top.
4. Return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes, using the bottom heat only.

Vanilla cupcakes with Glace Icing

The cupcakes are made for the ‘majlis solat hajat’ before the final exam, the last exam for me and my batch. Yeay!

Adapted from Exclusively Food.

Cupcakes

INGREDIENTS:

120g butter, softened (the softened butter should be easy to cut through)
150g (2/3 cup) caster sugar
1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
2 large eggs (we use eggs with a minimum weight of 59g)
188g (1 1/4 cups) self-raising flour
125ml (1/2 cup) milk

METHOD:

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (160 degrees Celsius fan-forced). If you are not using a fan-forced oven, adjust the oven rack to the middle of the oven.

2. Line twelve 1/3-cup capacity muffin pan holes with cases.

3. Using an electric mixer or electric hand-held beaters, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla together in a large bowl, starting on low speed and increasing to high once the sugar is incorporated. Beat until the mixture is pale and creamy, stopping the machine once or twice during beating to scrape down the side and base of the bowl with a spatula.

4. Add one egg to the butter mixture and beat for about a minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the side and base of the bowl. Repeat with remaining egg.

5. Sift about half the flour (about 2/3 cup) over the butter mixture. Stir with a spoon or beat with the electric mixer/beaters on very low speed until the flour is just incorporated.

6. Add about half the milk (about 1/4 cup) and stir or beat on very low speed until just combined. The mixture will probably look curdled at this stage. Repeat the process with the remaining flour and milk. Do not over mix the batter.

Divide the mixture evenly among the cases (about 1/4 cup batter per case).

7. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the cupcakes are light golden. When they are ready, a skewer or thin-bladed knife inserted into the centre of a cupcake will come out without any batter attached, and the cupcakes should spring back when lightly pressed in the centre.

8. Allow the cupcakes to completely cool before placing the icing.

Glace Icing

INGREDIENTS:
175g (1 1/4 cups) pure icing sugar, sifted
5g (1 teaspoon) butter, softened
22ml (1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon) boiling water

METHOD:
1. Stir icing sugar, butter and boiling water together in a small bowl until smooth.
2. Use icing immediately. If it starts to set before you have finished icing the cupcakes, stir in a few drops of hot water

Macarons

That was one time when everybody put colourful macarons photos in their facebook that they have just eaten. I was attracted to their shape and expensiveness that I decided to try to make it myself. I waited until the autumn break before spending my whole day working on it. My first trial was an epic fail. I used a totally wrong method of mixing the egg whites so I ended up having a ‘cotton-candy like biscuit’ rather than a perfectly crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside macarons.

Basically, the basic macaron recipe is relatively easy. However, there are few steps u need to consider to make perfect macarons. Mine is not perfect yet.

The recipe is from fr Chef Keiko.

The Basic Macaron Recipe
Gives 20 pieces

INGREDIENTS:
Egg white 80 g (~ two large eggs)
Sugar 110 g
Icing sugar 100 g
Almond powder 100 g

METHOD:
1. Whisk the egg whites in a large clean bowl with your electric mixer. When foamy, add 1/3 of the granulated sugar and continue whisking for a few minutes. Add another 1/3 of the sugar and whisk until the egg white is stiff. This takes a few minutes, so be patient. Add the remaining sugar and keep whisking until you have a perfectly firm and shiny meringue.

2. Next, sift the almond powder and icing sugar and gently fold half of it into the meringue. A rubber spatula is the right tool for this.

3. Add the remaining almond powder and icing sugar and fold them into the meringue, as well.
Then, mix more rapidly until the batter is smooth and shiny.

4. I just wanted to stress that the consistency is really important. There’s not much you can do wrong with macarons, but if you don’t get the consistency of the batter right, you will get chewy or flat, dry and crispy “cookies”. As described before, fold the dry ingredients into the meringue. Then, mix more rapidly. If you beat too much, the batter will be too runny and the result will be chewy macarons. If you stop too early, the macarons will have an irregular surface and may even tear during baking.
You can subscribe to Keikos website to watch the amazing macarons videos made personally by Chef Keiko.

5. Fill your pastry bag with the batter and pipe out the macaron shells onto a silicon baking sheet (6 mm = ¼ inch pastry tube, macaron diameter 2.5-3.0 cm = 1 inch). I recommend using a silicon baking sheet. If you don’t have one, use a non-stick baking paper, instead. Put the shells aside and let them dry at room temperature.
The shells are ready for baking, when the surface no longer sticks to the finger when touched. You can speed up this process by using a hair dryer if you don’t want to wait so long or if you live in a country with very humid air. If you don’t wait long enough and no skin has formed, the macarons will tear during baking. Another reason for this kind of “defect” is that the bottom temperature in the oven is too high (compared to the upper temperature).

6. Bake the macaron shells in the pre-heated oven for 13-15 minutes at 160°C (320°F). Let the macarons cool down and use a spatula to carefully remove them from the baking sheet. Sort the macaron shells into pairs of similar size.

NOTE: To make the pink macaron shells, mix food coloring into the meringue, i.e. before adding the dry ingredients, until you get the desired color.

To make the chocolate macaron shells you need to slightly change the basic recipe as below:

Egg white and granulated sugar (see basic recipe)
Icing sugar 90 g
Almond powder 80 g
Cocoa powder 30 g
Sift the dry ingredients together twice before folding them into the meringue

Macarons Filling

1. Jam
Spread your favorite raspberry jam on one macaron shell and sandwich with another shell of similar size.

2. Dark chocolate ganache

INGREDIENTS:
Dark couverture chocolate 50 g
Heavy cream 50 g
Butter 15 g

METHOD:
1. Bring the heavy cream to a boil, then gently stir it into the chopped chocolate.
2. Stir until the chocolate is fully melted. Next, add the butter to the chocolate and mix until fully incorporated.
3. Put the ganache aside for cooling.

Berrymisu

It was one evening after finishing class when I wanted to make this dessert. I have bought all the ingredients that I required on the weekend when me and my housemates went out for groceries shopping.

Adapted from anjelikuh

INGREDIENTS:

2.5 tsp un-flavored gelatin (must be HALAL!)
90mL sugar
75mL water
250g marscapone cheese (I used philadelphia cream cheese because I cant find the marscapone)
150mL whipping cream
Lady fingers biscuits
1/2 cup coffee
Fresh strawberries

METHOD:

1. Heat water, sugar, gelatin until dissolved.
2. Whip cream until 60% whipped.
3. Thaw marscapone cheese until room temperature.
4. Add the marscapone into the gelatin mixture and mix until well blended. (you may want to use a electric mixer)
5. Fold in the whipped cream.
6. Dip ladyfingers in coffee.
7. Layer the Berry-Mi-Su with cream, dipped lady fingers, sliced strawberries. Repeat until ingredients are used up.
8. Refrigerate for 3 hours or more until set.
9. Decorate the top with fresh strawberries, strawberry jam, chocolate syrup, or anything you like.

Cream Puff

I have made cream puffs so many times before from various sources of recipes but this is a perfect cream puff recipe from chef Keiko.

Cream Puff ‘Shell’

INGREDIENTS:
Milk 200 g
Butter 80 g
Flour 140 g
Eggs 200 g (~ 4-5 eggs) (must be at room temperature)
Sugar 2 tsp
Salt ½ tsp

METHOD:
1. Mix eggs well.
2. Next, cut the butter into small pieces and put it together with the sugar and the salt into the pot with milk. Bring the mixture to a boil.
3. While the milk is heated and the butter melts, sieve the flour once.

4. When the milk starts to boil and the butter is fully melted, add the sieved flour and stir rapidly. It is important to add all the flour at once. Flour soaks up the liquid quickly and the dough gets lumpy when you try to add more flour later. Keep mixing until the bottom of the pot is covered with a white coating. The paste forms a ball and should easily pull away from the sides of the pan.

5. Put the hot dough into a bowl and add the eggs a little at a time. Keep beating until the liquid of the egg is completely soaked up by the dough before adding more egg.

6. The paste is ready when you have a smooth batter.
Tip: If the consistency of the batter is not smooth enough, yet, you can add more egg until it looks like the batter in the picture.

7. Fill the paste into an pastry bag and pipe out round mounds of dough with 4 cm (1 ½ inch) in diameter onto the baking paper. If you have no pastry bag, you can drop the dough from a spoon, instead.

8. Preheat the oven to 200 °C. Bake for 30 minutes. When the puff shells turn brown, lower the heat to 170 °C and continue baking for another 20 Minutes. NEVER open the oven during baking. If you open the oven, the puff shells will fall down and you can start over again.

9. A perfect puff shell should looks brown and crunchy on the outside. Soft and hollow on the inside.

The Cream

INGREDIENTS:

Milk 500 g
Butter 30 g
Sugar 100 g
Egg yolk 100 g
Flour 40 g
Vanilla essence

METHOD:

1. Mix the egg yolk and 3/4 of the sugar in a pan until perfectly smooth. Add the flour and mix again.
2. Add 1/4 of the sugar together with the butter to the milk and bring it to a boil.
3. Pour half of the hot milk into the bowl with the egg / sugar.
4. Stir and then return the mixture back into the pot. Keep heating and stirring until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Remove from heat.
You’re finished when you spot big bubbles of air in the custard cream.
4. Finally, add vanilla essence.
5. Pour the hot pastry cream onto a baking pan or another shallow pan, so it cools down quickly.
Before using the pastry cream as filling, whip until it is smooth again.

Cut the top 1/3 of each puff shell and fill it with pastry cream. On top of that, add some whipped heavy cream. Put the top of the puff shell back and powder with icing sugar.

Red Velvet Cake

My sister ordered a red velvet cake for my mom’s 57th birthday. Of course I didnt take part in the surprise birthday ‘session’. After looking at the tempting-cake with my joyful mother in my sister’s facebook photo album, I decided to make the same cake. haha. Just wanna show off to my sister that I can make the same thing! Very bad of me isn’t it?

Amazing recipe from Pinch My Salt 🙂

INGREDIENTS:

2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour (I used just the plain flour with the same measurement)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder (unsweetened)
2 oz. red food coloring
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda

METHOD:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans or three 8-inch round cake pans.

2. Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside. In a small bowl, mix food coloring and cocoa powder to form a thin paste without lumps; set aside.

3. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla and the red cocoa paste, scraping down the bowl with a spatula as you go. Add one third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beat well, then beat in half of the buttermilk. Beat in another third of flour mixture, then second half of buttermilk. End with the last third of the flour mixture, beat until well combined, making sure to scrape down the bowl with a spatula.

4. Make sure you have cake pans buttered, floured, and nearby. In a small bowl, mix vinegar and baking soda. Yes, it will fizz! Add it to the cake batter and stir well to combine. Working quickly, divide batter evenly between the cake pans and place them in a preheated 350 degree oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Check early, cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

5. Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. To remove the cakes from the pan, place a wire rack on top of the cake pan and invert, then gently lift the pan. Allow cakes to cool completely before frosting. Frost with buttercream or cream cheese icing (recipe below).

Recipe Notes: *Sift cake flour once before measuring, then sift again with the other dry ingredients per recipe instructions. Wear an apron and be careful with the red food coloring–no matter how hard I try, I always end up staining something! As you’re mixing the cake batter, use a spatula to scrape down the bowl frequently throughout the entire process.

Cream Cheese Frosting

INGREDIENTS
16 oz. cream cheese (2 packages), softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter (one stick), softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
pinch of salt

METHOD:
1. With an electric mixer, blend together cream cheese and butter until smooth.
2. Turn mixer to low speed and blend in powdered sugar, salt and vanilla extract. Turn mixer on high and beat until light and fluffy.
Use immediately or refrigerate, covered, until ready to use. If refrigerated, the frosting will need to be brought to room temperature before using (after frosting softens up, beat with mixer until smooth).

Cookies and Cream Brownies

We decided to have a BBQ in hyde park, Northbridge but I have nothing at home to bring (the chickens and sausages are all prepared by my lovely juniors). Therefore, I quickly rushed to Mr Google to find brownies or cake recipe that is so easy to be made in less than 2 hours.

And they liked it!

Thanks to Baking Bites again 🙂

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup butter
6 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cups oreo-type cookies, coarsely chopped (approx 20-24)

METHOD:
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, and grease lightly.
2. In a medium-large saucepan over low heat, melt together butter and chocolate, stirring occasionally. 3. Whisk in sugar, salt and vanilla, then turn off heat. Whisk in eggs one at a time, waiting until each is fully incorporated before adding the next.
4. Stir in flour and cocoa powder until mixture is uniform. Fold in chopped oreo cookies and pour batter into prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Crush 3-4 additional cookies finely and sprinkle on top of batter, if desired.
5. Bake for about 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs, but not coated with batter.
6. Cool brownies in pan for about 20 minutes, then carefully lift brownies out of the pan using the aluminum foil as a handle and place on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

Rainbow Cake with candy bar filling

I made this cake for my usrah with my lovely adik2. The colour of the cake just brightened our day in kings park.

The Cake
from Whisk Kid

INGREDIENTS:
2 sticks (226 g) butter, room temp
2 1/3 c (426 g) sugar
5 egg whites, room temp
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 c (426 g) flour
4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 1/2 c (355 ml) milk, warmed for 30 sec in microwave to bring to room temp
Red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple GEL food coloring. Liquid will not be vibrant enough but I used the liquids because I cant fine the gel one in coles or woolies. My bad.

METHOD:
1. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Oil and line how ever many 9” cake pans you have (I have three and I just reused them).

2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

3. Cream the sugar and butter, then add the egg whites (I cracked them all into one bowl) and add them a little at a time. Add the vanilla and mix until fully incorporated. Then, alternating between wet and dry, add the milk and flour mixture in two parts.

4. Divide the batter amongst 6 bowls EQUALLY! Then, whisk a fair amount of the appropriate food color into each bowl. Keep in mind that the color of the unbaked batter will be the color of the baked batter. Pour into the pans and bake for 15 minutes each.

When you remove them from the oven, let them rest on the cooling rack, in the pan, for ten minutes. Then flip, cover, and stash them in the fridge to cool quickly.

Candy bar Filling
from Megan’s Cookin

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cup sugar
5 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups whole milk or half-and-half
3 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
8 ounces chocolate bars, any flavor (I used Hershey Bars but next time, Skor!!!

METHOD:
1. Combine all ingredients except vanilla and chocolate bars in a heavy saucepan.
2. Stir constantly until mixture boils. Boil and stir one additional minute. Do not leave unattended.
3. Remove from heat.
4. Add the vanilla and chocolate bar pieces.
5. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.
6. Pour into a bowl. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface (to prevent pudding-skin). Chill. Don’t fill your cakes until this mixture is completely cool throughout.

Cream Cheese Frosting
From JoyofBaking.Com (with slight alterations)

INGREDIENTS:
500gm cream cheese, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (115 grams) confectioners’ (icing or powdered) sugar, sifted
1 1/2 (360 ml) cups cold heavy whipping cream (double cream) (35-40% butterfat)

METHOD:
1. Beat the cream cheese with electric mixer until smooth.
2. Add the vanilla and confectioners sugar and beat until smooth.
3. Using the whisk attachment, gradually add the heavy cream and whip until the frosting is thick enough to spread. Add more sugar or cream as needed to get the right consistency.

Finally, stack the layers in your preferred order and fill and frost as you would with any other cake.

Sugar Donut Muffins

Here is an easy-breezy recipe from Baking Bites. Try it!

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking power
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (I replaced this with ground almond)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar, for rolling

METHOD:
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a muffin tin with cooking spray or vegetable oil.
2. In a large bowl, beat together sugar and egg until light in color.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Pour into egg mixture and stir to combine. Pour in vegetable oil, milk and vanilla extract.
4. Divide batter evenly into 10 muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full.
5. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

While muffins are baking, melt butter and pour remaining sugar into a small bowl.
When muffins are done, lightly brush the top of each with some melted butter, remove from the pan and roll in sugar. Cool on a wire rack.

Makes 10 muffins.