Sunday 30 December 2012

Bingka Durian

I saw Yatie's post for her Bingka Durian this morning. The bingka looks sooo delicious. The only way to taste it is of course, bake it! All the ingredients, including  the durian, are in hand. So, in just over an hour, the kuih was ready! The taste & texture are just amazing! No kidding!

Binka Durian
(makes a 10-cup mixture)

3 eggs
1 cup thick coconut milk (I used freshly-squeezed coconut milk.)
2 1/4 cup water
2 cups plain flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter
1 1/2 cups durian flesh
yellow colouring
sesame seeds for topping

  1. Preheat ove at 200 deg C. Grease a 9 x 9 baking pan.
  2. Combine all ingredients except durian & mix with a hand whisk until well blended.
  3. Add in durian & mix well.
  4. Heat up greased pan in the oven. Take it out from oven & pour mixture into the pan. Sprinkle sesame seeds. Bake for about 1 hour or until cooked.
  5. Remove from pan & leave aside to cool. Cut into small pieces & serve.
What I did: I combined all ingredients, except sesame seeds, in a blender bowl & blend mixture until well mixed. Then I strained the mixture. I used NordicWare bundt pan & baked for half an hour. (I didn't preheat the pan.)

Saturday 29 December 2012

Chocolate-Glazed Shortbread Cookies

On Christmas Day holiday, my sister & her kids gathered at my place to bake. My 4- & 3-year old nieces had requested their mum to bake some cookies. Since all the ingredients & equipment for baking are available at my place, naturally my kitchen was the place of choice. I got to choose the recipe but it must meet 2 criteria. The cookies must be chocolate covered & have topping. So I chose a very simple recipe yet very delicious & addictive! When you start munching on one, you can't stop at one, two or even three.

The mixing, cutting, baking & decorating were all done by my sis & her girls & their bibik, of course. I just took out all the ingredients & utensils needed. I took out a few types of toppings. Not surprisingly, the girls chose the pink & colourful sprinkles. The recipe yielded quite a lot of cookies. I was quite surprised the girls actually stayed on to finish up the dough. I thought they would leave halfway through. They must have enjoyed themselves.

The girls hard at work... They chose 6 cookie cutters! They're really spoilt for choice.

'Ain & Izzati posing with their cookies. On the right is Izzati sprinkling the topping on the chocolate-covered shortbread.

Chocolate-Glazed Shortbread Cookies
Recipe from Mrs Fields Best Cookie Book Ever!

1 1/2 cups salted butter, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract (We used 1 tsp pure vanilla paste.)
3 cups flour (We used top flour.)

Chocolate glaze:
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
2 tsp. light corn syrup
(We didn't use the chocolate glaze recipe. We just melted compound chocolate (Selbourne brand) over double boiler.)
  1. Preheat oven to 325 deg F.
  2. Blend butter until smooth in large electric mixer at medium speed. Slowly blend in confectioner's sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add vanilla extract. Combine thoroughly. Add flour and mix at low speed until well blended.
  3. Divide dough into two roughly equal pieces, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 1/2 hours.
  4. On floured board using floured rolling pin, roll out disks to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into shapes. Bake on ungreased cookie sheets for 16-18 min. Don't let cookies brown. Transfer to cool flat surface
To prepare glaze:
Heat cream in small sauce pan until scalded:remove from heat. Stir in chocolate chips and corn syrup, cover and let stand for 15 minutes. With a small wire whisk or wooden spoon, gently mix until smooth being careful not to create bubbles. Dip whole or half of each cookie into glaze and transfer to a tray or cool cookie sheet covered with wax paper. Chill in refrigerator 10 min to set. ( sprinkle with coconut before refrigerating if desired)

Thursday 27 December 2012

Madeleines.... again.

I was pleasantly surprised  when I saw madeleine pans at Daiso, Petaling Jaya Bukit Indah in Johore.  I don't remember seeing it in any of the stores in Singapore. Come to think of it, I don't often go to Daiso because most of the things there are so pretty and cheap that I'm always afraid that I'll put too many things in the basket..... Usually, I would enter the store with something in mine & just focus on what  I need to buy. Otherwise, I would find myself overwhelmed ( & get headache, literally!) by the amazing range of stuff. Anyway, the pan looked pretty & it's made in Japan! Just look at it here if you've not seen it before. Besides, it's only RM5! That's peanut compared to the madeleine pans I've ever seen before. 

Actually, at first, I was hesitant to buy it as I was skeptical if such a cheap pan could do a good job, considering that, as I've mentioned in my previous entry,  they don't normally come cheap. But since it's just RM5, I decided to just grab 2 of them. And I'm not disappointed.... they are not too bad. I like the petite size of my madeleines when using the pan compared to the bigger gula melaka madeleines produced when using the moulds  from Sun Lik. Besides, the madeleines slid out quite easily from the moulds. My only complain is, the groove in the cavity is not deep enough. So the clam-shell pattern on the little cakes is not as distinct as I would like it to be. Well, am I allowed to complain for such a bargain pan....?

Lemon Madeleines
Recipe by Martha Stewart

3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), melted, plus more for pans
1 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted (not self-rising) - I used top flour.
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (2 to 3 lemons total)
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter two madeleine pans; set aside. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl; set aside.
  2. Put eggs, egg yolks, granulated sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest and juice in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and thickened, about 5 minutes. Mix in butter.  Using a spatula, fold flour mixture into egg mixture. Let rest 30 minutes.
  3. Pour batter into buttered pans, filling the molds 3/4 full. Bake cookies, rotating pans halfway through, until edges are crisp and golden, 7 to 8 minutes.
  4. Let cookies cool slightly in pans on wire racks. Invert, and unmold. Dust with confectioners' sugar, if desired.
Cook's Note:
Cookies can be stored between layers of parchment in airtight containers at room temperature up to one day.

I'm submitting this entry to Cook Like A Star (December 2012, Martha Steward) organised by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids, Baby Sumo of Eat your heart out and Riceball of Riceball Eats.


Saturday 15 December 2012

Chocolate Eclairs

It's been a long time since I participated in a blogger baking event. So far, I've only joined Aspiring Bakers. I think it's a good idea to be part of such event. Not only does it introduce me to more blogger friends,  it also  gives me direction to my next baking  project. Unfortunately, I've not been able to follow the event closely. I think I should resume...

Recently I saw Lena baked chocolate eclairs for Free & Easy Bake Along, an event she co-hosted. I thought this would be a good time for me to participate in this event since I also wanted to try Chef Yamashita's chocolate eclair recipe. It took me two days to prepare this sweet treat. I prepared the custard cream on Thursday, mixed the dough & baked the shells on Friday morning and finally assembled the eclairs after lunch. I know it can be quite overwhelming when you look at the recipe, but I can tell you that it's really worth it! The eclairs are just superb! 

Chocolate Eclairs
Recipe by Chef Yamashita Masataka in Tanoshii, Joy of Making Japanese-style Cake & Desserts.

1 portion (250g) pate a choux dough (see recipe below)
1 egg , lighly beaten

CHOCOLATE CREAM - I doubled this up.
30g dark chocolate buttons - I used Valrhona Equatoriale 55%.
100g custard cream (see recipe below)

Place chocolate buttons  in a microwave-safe bowl & heat in a microwave oven on High at 20-second bursts, stirring & checking each time, so chocolate does not burn. (Alternatively, the chocolate buttons can also be melted over double-boiler.) When chocolate is smooth & melted, fold it into custard cream & mix well. Transfer chocolate cream to a piping bag fitted with a 0.8-cm round tip. Set aside.

70g dark chocolate buttons
70g heavy cream
Place dark chocolate in a bowl. In a saucepan, bring heavy cream to a simmer until it reaches 90deg C. Pour over dark chocolate & whisk to combine.

100g heavy cream

Using a hand whisk, whisk heavy cream until soft peaks form. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 0.8-cm round tip. (I placed the bag of cream in the freezer while waiting to be used.)

72g pastry flour (top flour) - sifted
60g milk
60g water
60g unsalted butter
2g salt
4g sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1 egg white, if needed
  1. Preheat oven to 200 deg C. Line a baking tray.
  2. In a saucepan, stir milk, water, unsalted butter, salt & sugar over medium heat until mixture starts to boil. Remove from heat. Whisk in pastry flour until fully incorporated.
  3. Return saucepan to medium heat. Using a heatproof rubber spatula, stir until dough starts to stick together & pulls away from sides of saucepan. Transfer dough to a medium bowl.
  4. Using a spatula, fold in beaten eggs half portion at a time, ensuring full incorporation after each addition. The dough will be thick & elastic.
  5. Test by lifting half of dough with the spatula. It should fall off in 3 seconds. If it does not, mix in 1 tbsp egg white & test again. Repeat if necessary.
  6. Transfer choux dough to a piping bag fitted with a 1-cm round tip & pipe dough into logs about 10cm long & 1 cm high, spacing them 4cm apart. 
  7. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush dough with beaten egg. Using a wet fork, lightly shape dough to smoothen surface. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until dough has risen slightly.
  8. Lower oven temperature to 180deg C & bake for 20-30 minutes until puffs are risen & golden brown.
  9. Remove from oven & leave to cool on a wire rack before filling puffs. (Unfilled choux puffs will keep for up to 1 day in an airtight container.)
CUSTARD CREAM (makes about 260g)
10g cornflour
10g pastry flour (top flour)

200g milk
1/2 pod vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped (I used 1 tsp pure vanilla paste.)
10g sugar
30g unsalted butter
7g salted butter

45g egg yolks, at room temperature
43g sugar
50g milk
  1. Sift together cornflour & pastry flour. Set aside.. In a saucepan, simmer 200g milk, vanilla seeds & pod, 10g sugar & butters over medium heat until butter is melted & sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks with 43g sugar until pale. Add sifted flours & whisk until fully incorporated. Add 50g milk & mix well. Add mixture from saucepan & mix until uniform.
  3. Strain into another saucepan & place over high heat, whisking vigorously until mixture is thickened. The mixture will bubble at the centre throughout. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
  4. Prepare a large bowl of iced water & palce mixing bowl over it. Using a rubber spatula, scrape base & sides of bowl until custard cream is cold to the touch & the surface is shiny.
  5. Cover cream with plasticwrap, pressing down onto surface of cream. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before using. Custard cream will keep refrigerated for up to 2 days.
  1. Slice cooled choux pastry logs into half horizontally.
  2. Dip top layer of logs in ganache & arrange on a baking tray. Refrigerate for 10 minutes until ganache is set.
  3. Pipe a thick layer of chocolate cream onto choux bases, then pipe a layer of Chantilly cream over. Sandwich with top layer & serve. Consume within the day.

I'm submitting this entry to Free & Easy Bake Along event #37 (Chocolate Eclairs),  hosted by  Joyce from Kitchen Flavours, Lena from Frozen Wings and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids.

Sunday 9 December 2012

Madeleines..... with a Southeast Asian twist.

It's hard to  believe that I've not tasted madeleines until recently. I've always been tempted to buy some from the Delifrance express outlet everytime I drop by the petrol station. But the price tag just turned me off! I thought it couldn't be so difficult to bake them. Hence the urge to bake them & the start of the search for the madeleine pan. But I realized that madeleine pan is quite pricy.... maybe that's partly why madeleines are expensive. I was quite reluctant to spend so much for something that I wasn't sure if I was going to use more than once. So I shelved the idea of buying the pan & baking madeleines. 

Then, recently, when my cousin visited my father at the hospital, she brought some madeleines! And guess where she bought them from... yes, Delifrance! I love them. They were delicious! I decided that I would definitely want to bake some myself. I'm resigned to the fact I have  to spend quite a bit on the pan. So two weeks ago, I went to Sun Lik & when I saw the moulds, I decided to buy them. No more buts....

Instead of  a regular madeleine, my maiden madeleine is Coconut Gula Melaka Madeleine, a recipe by Chef Yamashita whose book I just bought on Friday. The madelines are so delicious!! You must try this recipe if you like madeleines & especially if you already have the pan.

Coconut Gula Melaka Madeleines
Recipe by Chef Yamashita Masataka from Tanoshii, Joy of Making Japanese-style Cake and Desserts.

120g pastry flour (aka Top flour)
2g baking powder - I used double-acting.
15g almond powder
5g cornflour
7g milk powder
35g desiccated coconut
17g honey
46g heavy cream
46g salted butter
46g unsalted butter
70g gula melaka (palm sugar), roughly chopped - I sliced thinly.
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 egg yolks, at room temperature
80g brown sugar
melted unsalted butter for greasing mould

  1. Preheat oven to 170 deg C. Lightly grease a madeleine mould with melted butter. Sift together pastry flour, baking powder,almond powder, cornflour & milk powder. Whisk in desiccated coconut. Set aside.
  2. Combine honey, heavy cream, both types of butter & gula melaka in a saucepan over medium  heat. Using a wooden spoon, stir until butter & sugar are melted & mixture reachers 80deg C. Set aside. (I also strained the mixture twice to remove debris usually found in the gula Melaka.)
  3. Using a handheld mixer, whisk eggs, egg yolks & brown sugar at high speed for 3 minutes until mixture doubles in volume & is pale. Using a rubber spatula, fold in dry ingredients.
  4. Lastly, fold in warm butter mixture. Scrape base & sides of bowl thoroughly. Pour batter into prepared mould & bake for 20-25 minutes or until top of cakes are golden brown.
  5. Remove from oven. Unmould cakes & leave on a wire rack to cool before serving or storing. These cakes will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Makes about 20 madeleines.

  1. According to Chef Yamashita, pastry flour is also known as top flour & is similar to cake flour or Hong Kong flour. They have low protein content, hence they produce light-textured cakes & cookies.
  2. I used the gula Melaka imported from Indonesia. It's dark brown in colour & when left in room temperature for a long period of time, it will turn very soft & melt. It's also more flavourful than the hard & light-coloured ones. It's also more expensive. I often buy mine from Geylang Serai market. Recently, I bought it from Larkin market in JB.

Monday 3 December 2012

Bingka Ubi Kayu Jagung (Adapted version.)

As promised, I'm posting the adjusted recipe of the Bingka Ubi Kayu Jagung. In case you have not read my previous entry on this kuih, I wanted to make adjustment to the top layer of the original recipe. So a week after my first attempt, I made the kuih again, making some adjustments. I'm happy with the outcome. This time the  sweet corn flavour was more intense, the way I like it.

Changes I made this time:
1. I used 1 cup of whole-kernel sweet corn instead of 3/4 cup.
2. I added 100g cream-style sweet corn & a tsp of sweet corn flavour, just like what I did for my  Sweet
Corn Chiffon Cake. Since I added the cream-style corn, I reduced the coconut milk by 45g. I think I'm not  going to reduce it the next time I make this kuih.
4. I  used my Nordicware quartet pan instead of a round pan. The mixture fits perfectly in the NW pan.

Bingka Ubi Kayu Jagung (Adapted version.)
(Sweet Corn Tapioca Traditional Cake)

Adapted from recipe by a Bruneian from 'Cooking from the Hearts'.

Bottom layer:
225 ml coconut milk (This time I used  Matahari coconut cream.)
5-10 pandan leaves
150g palm sugar (gula melaka)
1 egg
450g  fresh tapioca (grated)
30g plain flour
18g butter (I melted it.)
dash of salt
brown colouring

Combine coconut milk, pandan leaves & palm sugar in a pot & heat up until it boils. Strain & leave aside. Combine the rest of ingredients & pour in coconut mixture & mix thoroughly. Pour mixture into a greased 8 inch pan. Bake at 200 deg C for 15 minutes.

Top layer:
180 ml coconut milk 
5-10 pandan leaves
200g castor sugar 
1 egg
450g fresh tapioca (grated)
30g plain flour
1 cup canned whole-kernel sweet corn
100g cream-style sweet corn
1 tsp corn flavour
dash of salt
yellow colouring

Combine coconut milk, pandan leaves & sugar in a pot & heat up until it boils. Strain & leave aside. Combine the rest of ingredients & pour in coconut mixture & mix thoroughly. Pour mixture onto bottom layer. Bake at 200 deg C for 20-30 minutes.

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