Cheesy Quiche Tart

Awesome Quiche TartUndoubtedly the easiest and most flavorful quiche tart! i’m loving it! ♥♥♥♥♥

Alright! i’m back again. Realized i’m super productive when i’m busy. Besides studying, i managed to whip up this quiche in less than an hour. it’s those random thought after dinner and i was staring at my bottle of heavy cream in the fridge. Been wanting to get rid of it since i won’t be baking anytime soon. At the back of my head, i was chanting “no desserts, no desserts!” & since i was craving something savory, i’m like, why not quiche? And off course when something so random like this happens, you obviously have no time to make the tart shells. Who has time for tart shells anyway?! Not unless i’m making a dessert :D So i cheated and puff pastry to the rescue!

Raided my fridge to see whatever i could find and TADAH! Magic happens! i managed to get smoked sausage, smoked bacon, spinach, some eggs, heavy cream and an onion to throw in! Done deal! That was fast right? :D

i would definitely do this tart again! So fast and flavorful. Wished i had some mushroom in the fridge, but oh well! These are great for party snacks as well. You could do really mini ones, or even into a large 8 inch tart! The best thing about this tart, you could fill them with almost anything you like, any sort of cheese that you fancy. There’s really no standard filling for this!

Recipe

Yields 12 cupcake size tarts

ingredients

Fillings

  • 6 rashes of Bacon, Diced
  • 1 Smoked Sausage, Diced
  • 1 medium size Yellow Onion, Diced
  • ½ cup of Wilted Spinach
  • ½ Cup Aged Gouda Cheese (Shredded)

Cream Sauce

  • ¾ Cup Heavy Cream
  • 4 Eggs + 2 Egg Yolks
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped Thyme Leave
  • Puff Pastry

Method

  1. Thaw puff pastry
  2. Preheat oven to 200℃
  3. Whisk up all ingredients in the cream sauce and set aside
  4. Fry up diced bacon till crispy and golden brown, set aside
  5. Saute onion in remaining bacon fat till caramelized
  6. Line baking mould with puff pastry (i used cupcake tray)
  7. Layer in bacon, sausage, handful of cheese and spinach and fill the tart with cream sauce till full
  8. Bake on bottom heat for 10 mins followed by top heat for another 10 mins
  9. it’s ready when the shells are golden brown and eggs are firm

photo1Check out those flaky layers from the puff pastry! Adds a nice rustic touch to the tart!

slice up You could never go wrong with those ingredients in it! This tart that i slice up happens to be loaded with bacon! i’m sure the sausages are hiding somewhere in that custard! ♥♥

photoMade some into ♥♥♥♥ too!

This is so so good! Try it! A really easy dish to wow you family or guest! ♥♥

Happy Baking.

xoxo

Five Thousand Dollar Starter Dough Wholemeal Bread – 五千元的老式面包

BreadThe infamous 5000 dollar dough starter bread

The dad requested for some bread this morning and since i was on the roll on finding a good bread recipe, woke up and did some research on recipes found online! i know of many who swear by tangzhong, (which is actually a water roux cooked till 65℃ than added to the actual bread dough before kneading), but i personally do not find it as soft as i would like it to be. Thus the search continues till i found this recipe yesterday!

i was actually pretty reluctant to get started on this recipe, firstly, because it requires a starter dough *regular readers would have known by now patience is never one of my virtue* and secondly, i would take hours (literally took me about 6 hours) before i actually get to taste the bread.

A bit of history on this starter dough, it was said that this person actually spent like 5000RMB in order to obtain this recipe and, before her friend shared it, it was never found online. Which also explains why the search for this recipe returns almost close to no results on the internet.

i made a wholemeal version of the adapted recipe and oh my, it produces this really soft and fluffy bread, so fluffy i could die! :X i love tearing bread apart and seeing those strands of bread hanging on one another. *You will get what i mean when u see the pictures below.

Recipe

Adapted from 爱和自由

Yields 7 155g Dough

ingredients

Starter Dough

  • 210g Bread Flour (High Protein Flour)
  • 90g Cake Flour (Low Protein Flour)
  • 24g Caster Sugar
  • 6g Instant Dry Yeast
  • 240g Water (i use lukewarm to speed up the fermentation process)

Method

  1. Mix all the starter dough ingredients together and let it proof in a warm environment till they resemble honeycomb. (i left it to rise in the oven with the oven light on, took me about 2 hours)

Bread Dough

  • 120g Bread Flour
  • 90g Organic Whole Wheat Flour (if you would like to omit the wholewheat flour, just use 210g Bread Flour)
  • 90g Cake Flour
  • 96g Caster Sugar
  • 1½ tsp Salt
  • 24g Milk Powder
  • 90g Egg (about 1½ 60g eggs, whisk before measuring)
  • 54g Water
  • 72g Unsalted Butter (Room Temperature)
  • 10g melted butter for brushing after the bread is done

Method

  1. Mix all ingredients from bread dough (excluding butter) to the starter dough and knead till it’s not sticky (if you are doing the wholemeal version, expect your dough to be sticky, it’s absolutely alright, do not over knead!)
  2. Add butter and knead till windowpane stage (You will not get a super shiny dough if you are using wholemeal, but you need to pass the windowpane test)
  3. Let dough proof till doubles in size
  4. Punch out the air and without resting, divide the dough into the number of portions you would like
  5. Shape the dough and put into greased baking pan for 2nd proofing
  6. Bake in preheated oven of 180℃ for 30 mins
  7. Apply melted butter the moment it’s out of the oven for that shine!

The whole recipe might seem a handful, but it’s basically just different steps to be done at different stage of proofing, so while waiting for the bread to proof, you could get ahead with whatever you are busy with. That’s one reason why i love making bread because the actual handling time is actually less than 30 mins. For the rest of the time, the heat and the yeast takes care of themselves. :D

fluffyCheck out how fluffy it looks!

photo 1This is the string of bread strands i’m talking about! i absolutely love it!

i hope you enjoy this recipe as much as i do. Just drop me a comment if you have any enquires on the process.

A really quick update and i’m back to my books!

Happy Baking

xoxo

Pistachio Raspberry Mini Cakes

Pistachio Raspberry CakePistachio Raspberry Mini Cakes

Hello people! What a hectic week i had! Was revising for my prelims, baking, doing interviews and off course preparing some desserts for a potluck party! i was thinking really hard what should i make for the photoshoot and BAM! Saw some pistachios (leftovers from chinese new year) laying around and i was thinking, why not something pistachio? Googled and adapted recipes from a couple different sources & made this pistachio cake and BOOM, it was an instant hit in the family! Everyone loved it. :D Thank goodness! Speaking about my potluck party, the friends requested that i brought some along for them to try. So glad they really loved it too, thus the almost instant blog entry since the whole world (not literally) is asking for the recipe!

This is a really flavorful cake which consist of 3 layers. The bottom layer is a pistachio cake perfumed with a little orange liquor and on top of that cake is a smooth velvety layer of crème au beurre au pistache *read: pistachio buttercream* and i topped it off with fresh raspberries and a sprinkle of icing sugar. i used cake rings for my cakes, but if you do not have them, you could make it into a whole 8 inch cake as well. i was trying to make the cake look dainty on camera :x

Recipe

Adapted from :Frombatoparis

Yields 10 6cm ring mini cakes OR an 8 inch whole cake

ingredients

Pistachio Cake

  • 100g Pistachio
  • 200g Butter (Room Temperature)
  • 120g All purpose flour
  • 180g Sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Orange Liqueur
  • 1 box of Raspberries
  • icing sugar

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 150°C
  2. Put the pistachios and half the sugar in a food-processor and pulse until the pistachios are finely chopped (Do not process them continuously else you would end up with a pistachio butter :D)
  3. Whisk the butter with the remaining sugar
  4. Fold in the eggs, the flour, the orange liqueur, followed by the pistachio/sugar mix
  5. Grease your sheet pan or whichever pan you are using
  6. Bake for 35-40mins
  7. Let cool before removing from the mold

crème au beurre au pistache” (pistachio butter cream)

  • 125g Butter (Room Temperature)
  • 25ml Water
  • 70g Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Egg Yolks
  • 1 tsp Pistachio Paste

Method

  1. Whisk the soft butter till it gets a creamy texture
  2. Put the water and sugar over low/medium heat & heat it till it reaches 118°C
  3. In the meanwhile, whisk the yolks and eggs, preferably in a stand mixer till they whiten
  4. When the syrup has reached the right temperature, pour on the eggs (with mixer at high speed)
  5. Lower the speed, and mix until the temperature lowers (they should be slightly warm)
  6. Add in the butter gradually
  7. Mix until you get a smooth cream
  8. Add in pistachio paste

Assemble

  1. Once the cake is cool, cut it using the 6cm ring molds
  2. Put some foil under each mold
  3. Fill the mold with cake and topped with buttercream (i use a piping bag)
  4. Refrigerate for minimum of 2-3 hours before removing them from the mold
  5. Decorate with any kind of fruits ( i use raspberries) and give it a sprinkle of icing sugar

topped with raspberriesLook how pretty these looks & they tasted really delicious too!

♥You could literally use any kind of ring molds you have. i sprinkled this ♥ with a handful of chopped pistachio, raspberry and a sprinkle of icing sugar!

Hope all of you enjoy this recipe and happy baking :D

**Back to my study land**

Tie Dye Macarons with Marshmallow Buttercream

tie dyeTie Dye Macarons! This is just my usual base recipe just that i add some color to my piping bag! These babies are filled with marshmallow buttercream with a sprinkle of dark cocoa nibs just to cut down the sweetness a little. These were made for a bunch of children and marshmallow was requested and children always get their way around!

Anyway, i had couple of first for this set of macarons! i have not tried making tie dye macarons before and that filling was a rather interesting one to make. i actually had fun adjusting the recipe and was really glad that the children loved it!

Recipe

Yields 30 macarons (Depending on the size you pipe)

Macarons Shell

ingredients

  • 100g egg whites (about 3 egg whites)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 200 grams icing sugar
  • 110 grams ground almonds
  • 25 grams granulated sugar
  • Color as you desire (NO LIQUID COLORING!!) Use paste or powdered

Methods

  1. Sieve ground almonds and icing sugar into a bowl
  2. Whip room temperate aged egg whites with cream of tartar till soft peak and gradually adding in granulated sugar till you get a stiff peak! (Remember we want stiff peaks, not dry meringue)
  3. Incorporate dry ingredients in 3 additions into the meringue and fold in till you get a smooth moving lava
  4. Color your piping bag with strips of colors that you want to create the tie dye (i forgot to take a picture of this. Will try to remember the next time)
  5. Pipe and dry shells till they are not tacky to the fingers when touching
  6. Bake at 150C for 15 mins (Every oven temperature differs & i would strongly suggest getting an oven thermometer)

 

Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

Recipe Adapted from bakedbree

ingredients

  • 1 cup room temperature butter
  • 1 (7-ounce) jar marshmallow creme
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 vanilla bean (optional)
  • Sprinkles of cocoa nibs (optional)

Methods

  1. Cream the butter until it is light and fluffy. Add the marshmallow creme.
  2. Whip for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the confectioners sugar and continue to beat for 2 minutes.
  4. Add vanilla extract and vanilla bean.

 

GS9A3704

These are how the shells look! The interesting part about this is, no 2 shells are the same.

GS9A3702

Piped MacaronsPipe the shells generously

fluffy marshmallowi love how fluffy this marshmallow frosting looks! Totally like a fat cloud :D Sprinkle the top with a little cocoa nibs

Sandwiches shellEnjoy these tiny morsels of sweetness!

Till then

Happy Baking!

i hope to be back here asap. Let me first settle the interview i have next week. Have yet to think of the bakes i need to prepare for tasting :/

Chocolate Macarons with Salted Caramel Chocolate Ganache

Chocolate & salted caramel macaronsChocolate Macarons with Salted Caramel Chocolate Ganache!

Hello People! So sorry for no updating in a long long while. Been so busy after the Christmas preparing for the Lunar New Year. For my international readers, Chinese New Year is an important traditional Chinese holiday celebrated at the turn of the Chinese calendar. Chinese New Year celebrations traditionally run from Chinese New Year’s Eve, the last day of the last month of the Chinese calendar, to the 15th day of the first month, making the festival the longest in the Chinese calendar. Because the Chinese calendar is lunisolar, the Chinese New Year is often referred to as the “Lunar New Year”.

And Yes, today, Valentine’s Day is the last day of the lunar new year. There will be a big gathering going on at my place later and here am i stealing some time to update my web ridden blog! Alright, enough of the Lunar New Year! Here we go with the macarons. To be honest, i have been baking thousands of macarons lately all thanks to customer and friends who placed their trust in me, allowing me to play around with flavors, letting my creativity run wild. Been really blessed with the opportunities given to me and not to forget bloggers and reporters who have requested to conduct interviews with me regarding my little home bakery that i run. Yes, i have a couple of interview lined up this coming months :D :D and i’ll be really busy preparing for my prelims and finals coming up in March and May respectively. That said, i hope i will still be able to update my blog more often. i have actually a couple of post i want to put up, but…. Never mind. Let’s settle this post first.

i have been toying with the idea of making salted caramel chocolate ganache for the longest but obviously i didn’t get around doing it. So when i decided to have a small bake sale, i thought let’s do it! I love the combination of the salty caramel with silky smooth chocolate ganache ( i used 72% dark chocolate).

For the macarons shell, i’m using my trusty base recipe which never fails me! You have to try it to believe it. Many others who have tried my recipe left me encouraging comments stating how foolproof this recipe is and totally got rid of the fear they had for macarons. *These are not scary! Try it and you will be hooked! :D

Recipe

Yields 30 macarons (Depending on the size you pipe)

Macarons Shell

ingredients

  • 100g egg whites (about 3 egg whites)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 200 grams icing sugar
  • 110 grams ground almonds
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder (i used valrhona)
  • 25 grams granulated sugar
  • Color as you desire (NO LIQUID COLORING!!) Use paste or powdered

Methods

  1. Sieve ground almonds, cocoa powder and icing sugar into a bowl
  2. Whip room temperate aged egg whites with cream of tartar till soft peak and gradually adding in granulated sugar & colorings till you get a stiff peak! (Remember we want stiff peaks, not dry meringue)
  3. Incorporate dry ingredients in 3 additions into the meringue and fold in till you get a smooth moving lava
  4. Pipe and dry shells till they are not tacky to the fingers when touching
  5. Bake at 150C for 15 mins (Every oven temperature differs & i would strongly suggest getting an oven thermometer)

Salted Caramel Salted Ganache

Adapted from simmerandboyle

ingredients

  • 225g chocolate (i use 72% dark chocolate. Try not to go any higher than 72%. You need the fats from the cocoa to make a smooth ganache. )
  • 115g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp glucose syrup
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 190ml cream
  • 1/2 tsp fleur de sel, or any other flaked sea salt

Methods

  1. Chop the chocolate and put in a heatproof bowl
  2. In a small pan combine the sugar, syrup and water
  3. Stir over low heat to dissolve the sugar, increase heat and bring to boil (Do not stir  use a wet pastry brush to dissolve any crystals that form on the sides of the pan)
  4. Boil until the caramel is medium amber color, swirl the pan occasionally but no stirring!
  5. Remove from heat, add the cream and fleur de sel, prepare for frantic bubbling & stir till combined
  6. Pour caramel over the chopped chocolate & leave it for 5 mins then stir until smooth
  7. Allow to cool completely and thicken to a piping consistency before filling the macarons

piped chocolate MacaronsCheck out these shiny chocolate shells! They have to be dried till it looks dull before you send it into the oven.

FeetsThese are the feets we are all crazy about! (this looks abit blur cos it was taken thru the oven door. DO NOT attempt to open the oven door when your macarons are baking!)

chocolate macsPipe them generously with that decadent ganache

Chocolate macsSorry i do not have a nicer pic of my sandwiched macarons. Will replace it once i make another batch! But that’s how your macarons should look sandwiched!Check out those feets! :D i still do a little dance every time i see these feets!

Couple MacsNow get to the kitchen and get your macarons going!

Happy Baking people!

xoxo

Nigella Lawson’s Traditional Christmas Fruitcake

Fruit CakeTraditional Awesome Fruit Cake!

Alright! Traditional fruit cake! Many people have been requesting for this recipe! Nigella’s recipe is my favorite by far for that intense flavor and this recipe really packs a punch! So flavorful and if you give it some time to mature, showering it with a little love of whiskey everyday for a week at least, i’m sure you will love this cake! i have been faithfully baking this exact same recipe for a couple of years now and i’m always getting raving comments from family and friends who have tasted it. it’s really to die for! Fruit cake has always been a favorite of my dad and grandpa, and naturally i have to bake it all the time.

This works as a perfect gift as well! I made a couple of small ones (like the picture above) and packed them up for friends and it also acts as a door gift for my home Christmas party. Just stick on a couple of ornaments, dust with a little powdered sugar and you are good to go. You do not have to be fanciful like me, packaging them in boxes and all. it looks as good if you wrap them in aluminum foil and just tie a ribbon over it!

Recipe

Recipe Adapted from Nigella Lawson

** You may use the table below as a guide to how big a cake you need and bake accordingly from there.

recipe

Method

  1. Place all the dried fruit in a saucepan, and add the bourbon or brandy. Bring to the boil, then take it off the heat, covering once cooled, and let it steep overnight, covered. (i soaked my dried fruits in a glass container for 3 weeks as opposed to cooking it) And make sure you take your eggs and butter out of the fridge so that they will be at room temperature for the making of the cake tomorrow.
  2. The next day, preheat your oven to 150C, and prepare your tin, (see below).
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together, then beat in the grated lemon zest.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in the black treacle and almond extract.
  5. Sift the dry ingredients together, then mix the soaked fruit alternately with the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture, combining thoroughly. Fold in the chopped pecans.
  6. Put the cake mix into the prepared tin and bake in the oven, following the table opposite, or until a cake-tester or skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
  7. When the cake is cooked, brush with a couple of extra tablespoons of bourbon or brandy or other liqueur of your choice. Wrap immediately in its tin – using a double-thickness of tin foil – as this will trap the heat and form steam, which in turn will keep the cake soft on top.
  8. When it’s completely cold, remove the cake from the tin and rewrap in foil, storing, preferably in an airtight container.

Preparing your tin

  1. To prepare your tin, line the sides and bottom of a deep, round, loose-bottomed cake tin with a double layer of greaseproof paper or baking parchment. The paper should come up a good 10cm higher than the sides of the tin; think of a lining that’s about twice as deep as the tin. Cut out 2 circles of paper, and 2 very long rectangles that will fit along the sides of the tin and rise up above it like a top hat. Before you put the 2 rectangular pieces in the tin, fold one long side of each piece in towards the centre by about 2cm, as if turning up a hem, then take some scissors and snip into this hem, at approx. 2cm intervals, as if making a rough frill.
  2. Grease the tin, lay one paper circle on the bottom and get one of your long pieces and fit it down one side, with the frilly edge along the bottom, then press down that edge so it sits flat on the circle and holds it in place. Press the paper well into the sides, and repeat with the second rectangular piece. Now place the second circle on top of the 2 pressed down frilly edges, to help hold the pieces around the edge in place.

Dried fruitsI soaked my dried fruits in a dry glass container for 3 weeks before baking as opposed to Nigella’s method of cooking the fruits with bourbon. That’s 5kgs worth of dried fruits that i soaked in whiskey, rum and orange cointreau.

Soaked fruitsDrain the fruits about 1 hour baking baking. You do not want too much excess liquid in the cake batter.

FruitcakeCheck out how much fruits and nuts are in there! i also added a handful of cherries here and there for a little surprise. **Tell your guest they must be extremely lucky to have a cherry in their slice of cake. :D

That’s all for now people! i need to head back to the kitchen for more baking. Next up, the big xmas party at my place! i have yet to come up with the menu for the night. Time to put on the thinking cap.

Happy Baking people!

xoxo

Granola Clusters

GranolaGranola cluster with mixed fruits & nuts

HO HO HO! it’s the season to be JOLLY & MERRY! it’s my favorite season of the year and you have guessed it right! it’s the CHRISTMAS!!

Every year, i try to think of something new that i have not gave to people around me and to me, nothing spells Christmas more than the spirit of giving and sharing! This year i have decided to go bottle style. One main reason is definitely because i hate working around plastics mainly because some items are so small and delicate and my fat hand almost won’t fit into the plastic bags! What a bummer :/ BUT, that’s not going to stop me! Bottles to the rescue. So happy i managed to get these bottles from Daiso, which are almost out of stocks every single time, so when i saw it, all 40 are mine! HAHA

i was browsing thru pages and pages of recipes and decided that granola would be a fantastic idea! Firstly it’s healthy! What a better thing to eat for breakfast or snack on before feasting on Christmas meals! Secondly, it’s really easy to make and i could always whip up a batch anytime i have a meet up and lastly it’s a really versatile recipe where you can almost put anything you like into it! What’s better than having your own customized granola where you only have your favorite fruits and nuts and not forgetting only adding spices that you like?

So, if you are all about customizing your own granola, this is the right recipe for you!

Recipe

Yields 3 bottles, roughly 6 cups

Recipe adapted from Let’s Feast

ingredients

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup raw nuts of choice, chopped (if nuts are already toasted, toss them in only after baking) (You could mix different kind of nuts as well)
  • **1 cup shredded or flaked coconut (you could bake them together with the oats or you could just toss them in at the end)
  • ¼ cup maple syrup or honey
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup light flavoured oil such as grapeseed or canola
  • 1 egg white

Spices: You may use a combination of these or any others that take your fancy

  • ¼ tspn cinnamon
  • ¼ tspn nutmeg
  • ¼ tspn allspice
  • ¼ tspn ground ginger
  • Pinch ground cloves

Add in at the end just before packaging

  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup dried fruit of choice
  • ** Shredded coconut

 

Method

  1. Heat oven to 150c.
  2. Mix together the oats, nuts (although don’t add these now if you are using nuts that are already roasted … add them at the end with the dried fruit), spices, salt and coconut.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the maple syrup or honey, brown sugar and oil. Now pour this liquid mixture into the dry ingredients and thoroughly stir to make sure it’s all coated.
  4. Give the egg white a quick whisk until it’s just foamy and add this to the mix. Spread the granola out on an oven tray and bake for 35-45 minutes until it’s light golden brown, keep an eye on it towards the end of cooking time as it burns quickly.
  5. Remove the tray from the oven and leave it to cool. At this stage, the granola will feel soft
  6. Just leave it alone until it’s completely cool and has magically turned crunchy, then break it up into bite sized chunks and then gently toss through the dried fruit (and roasted nuts if you haven’t already added them beforehand in their raw state).
  7. Store in an airtight container. Lasts for a couple of weeks.

 

GranolaThese are really great as gifts! All i did was to fill the bottles and add a tiny ribbon and a sticker and you are totally good to go!

Enjoy baking them people!