#ForAGoldenHome

Giving back to the society has always been something really close to my heart. As a volunteer, I see so many people from all walks of life, especially elderly who needs immediate attention to their living environments. When I was contacted to be part of this project,#ForAGoldenHome, I was more than happy to contribute whatever I could.

As a pastry chef, the bake sale could not be more appropriate. I could make use of whatever baking skills I have to be raising funds for the needy. There wasn’t a second thought when I was contacted to be part of this project. Coming from a tightly knitted family, I could understand the values and warmth of having a really close family and how much I could appreciate my folks and my grandparents. But, I’m sure there are many elderly out there who are living alone in a not so desirable environment and it really means a lot to be able to give them a place they could call home. A home where they can spend their retirement or twilight years in a comfortable and clean environment.

For a Golden Home is a fundraising campaign that aims to help the needy elderly community. This community, who are often destitute, stay alone in unhygienic and cluttered one-room flats that easily gives rise to health and safety problems. In our ageing population, the number of these elderly poor is at high risk of rapid increase, along with the need for a strong support network.

With a goal of S$25,000, For a Golden Home will channel funds to enable volunteers in reaching out to this community in partnership with Project HomeWorks, an on-the-ground initiative that assesses and cleans up their homes to restore basic living conditions.

i had a bake sale held @Hive last weekend and was really glad by the immerse response from my fellow instagrammers and friends. i could not have raised $700 without the help of all of you. Thank you so much!

These are some of the items that were made for sales at the bake sales. All of them included beenut butter, with courtesy from Second helpings!

GS9A9623Beenut Butter Macarons GS9A9653

A specially requested color theme for a birthday party! Although it required me to do another batch of macarons, i was more than willing!

Beenut butter macarons

More Macarons!

Cocovan coconut chocolate bar

Love this beenut butter with coconut, raw oats, coconut flakes, coconut oil as well as a really good chocolate to tie everything together! AwesomeCocoa beenut butter w chocolate and caramel truffleLastly, i made some truffles. These were so so so good i kid you not. Just imagine, salted caramel, beenut butter and 75% chocolate! Spells genius man! A sprinkle of gold dust just because it makes it looks more classy to be sold at a higher price :D

Moist & Fluffy Banana Cake

GS9A9766Fluffy and Moist Banana Cake

As usual, it’s crazy week at work and finally a weekend that i do not have to work! But that also means no more procrastinating. No reason not to get posts up. i have so many post i want to issue, but i just couldn’t get down to penning it. Let’s hope i can complete a couple of post and schedule them.

Now back to this banana cake. i absolutely have no intention to bake this weekend. Reads: I want up get some post up

BUT….. i woke up to my dad telling me “i knew you would like to bake something banana so ï kept some bananas for you in the fridge. The ripeness is just nice for a banana cake.” Hint hint. And of course i got the hint. i’m just glad it’s an easy cake, something that could be done in less than hr from preparing to baking! Awesome time saver and also means less things to wash up. Which i HATE! Seriously, i’m not a fan of banana to be honest. :x

i’m glad i tried this recipe though. A really moist and fluffy cake, a hint of sweetness from the ripen bananas and what’s better, it’s light on the palate as well! A great after dinner treat.

Recipe

Adapted  from RG’s banana cake

Bakes well in a 10 cup bundt tin

ingredients

  • 225g Eggs
  • 195g Castor Sugar
  • 300g Ripen Banana (Cubed)
  • 225g Cake Flour, Sifted
  • 6g Baking powder
  • 3g Baking soda
  • 150g Corn oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 160C
  2. Spray and flour pan. (i’m using a nordic bundt so i paid more attention to flouring the pan)
  3. Sieve flour, baking powder & soda together.
  4. Whisk eggs, sugar & banana till ribbon stage (Thick and fluffy)
  5. Fold in flour & mix well
  6. Add in the oil till mixture is homogenous
  7. Bake for 60mins

GS9A9689Love this pan! The Nordic Ware Bavaria Bundt Pan. i was initially afraid of the cake sticking to the mould, but all the worry seems invalid. i had no issues unmoulding it from the pan at all!

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Check out the design~isn’t it awesome?!

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i actually topped it with some left over salted caramel sauce i had! Awesome pairing i would say :D

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So much love for the fluffiness! You do not need so much caramel sauce for the cake to be honest! i had to do a reshoot for some of the pics thus explaining the overflowing amount of caramel! But, who would say no to the salted caramel sauce :D

Broccoli Cheese Soup

4Broccoli Cheese Soup

The lovely people at Mayer sent me the BaMix and a breadmaker not too long ago and of course, who could resist making these creamy soup? The Bamix is really easy to use and clean up, almost effortless i would say! it comes with a couple of blades which works very well with smoothies, soups, sauces or even non churn ice cream! Let me try to get the reviews up as soon as possible. Got a couple of product reviews which i have been procrastinating forever!

Now, back to the soup. i would say it’s pretty effortless to cook this soup and the end product was really what i was looking for.

Recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 40g Butter
  • ½ Cup Chopped Onions
  • 1 Glove Garlic, Minced
  • 225g Broccoli, cut into florets
  • 2 Cups (500g) Chicken Broth
  • 115g Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 115g Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 cup (250g) Milk
  • ¼ TBSP Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 Cup Cornflour

Directions

  1. Melt butter over medium heat in a large stockpot
  2. Add onion and cook till translucent, then add in minced garlic
  3. Add chicken broth and broccoli and simmer until broccoli is tender
  4. Reduce heat to medium low and add in cheese. Continue stirring till cheese is fully melted
  5. Pour milk, garlic powder and cornflour into a microwave safe cup, whisk till it comes together and heat it till lukewarm, set aside
  6. Using the Bamix immersion blender, puree soup till desired consistency
  7. Pour cornflour mixture into soup and stir till thicken (Add a little hot water if soup is too thick for your liking)
  8. Serve hot with toasted bread

 

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Ain’t that awesome?! No more paying for over priced soup and you get to adjust the consistency of you soup to your desired chunkiness. What’s better? You know what goes into your soup, no more thickener, extra starches or whatever that is not needed :D PERFECT!

Orange Chocolate Chiffon Cake

Orange Chocolate Chiffon CakeCottony Soft Orange Chocolate Chiffon Cake

First thing first, Happy Lunar New Year to all Chinese readers out there! i hope you all enjoyed the celebration as much as i do. As usual, i’m still trying to find time to update the blog as much as i can. There’s just so much going on, more than what i could handle at the moment. That being said, i know a common issue with everyone now, TOO MANY mandarin oranges at home! i have the same issue and thus this chiffon cake post! This is a really simple bake and it does get rid of the oranges and who could resist such cottony soft cakes?

i have to admit, i prefer the mandarin oranges rinds more than regular oranges. i kinda feel it perfumes the cake better :D

Recipe

Yields a 21cm or 2 17cm

Egg Yolk Batter

ingredients:

  • 7 Egg Yolks
  • 28g Castor Sugar
  • Rind of 2 Mandarin Oranges
  • 112g Orange Juice
  • 56g Corn Oik
  • 98g Cake Flour, Sifted
  • 15g Cocoa Powder (i used valrhona)

Directions:

  1. Whisk egg yolks and sugar till light and creamy
  2. Stir in oil, orange juice and rind. Whisk mixture till combines
  3. Add in sifted flour
  4. Set aside 1/4 of the batter for the chocolate mixture
  5. Sift in cocoa powder into the batter and whisk till combined
  6. Set both batters aside and get going to prepare the meringue

Meringue

ingredients:

  • 7 Egg Whites
  • 126g Castor Sugar

Directions:

  1.  Whisk egg whites on medium speed till foamy
  2. Gradually add in castor sugar and whisk till medium stiff peak
  3. Separate the meringue into 4 portions, 3:1, of which eye ball 3/4 of the meringue into the orange batter and the balance 1/4 into the chocolate mixture (Do not worry about being exact at this point)
  4. Fill the batter into the chiffon tin in any order you prefer
  5. Bake in 170c preheated oven for 45 mins or till stick comes out clean

 

GS9A9270-001i choose to do mine in swirls. You could do it any way you prefer!

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Isn’t that really easy?! Now get going and bake this really awesome chiffon cake!

Best Melt in the Mouth Pineapple Tarts

GS9A3554These are the best melt in the mouth pineapple tarts!

WARNING: THIS POST IS NOT FOR THE FAINT HEARTED AND THOSE WHO ARE ON A DIET! MASSIVE BUTTER AND SUGAR COMING YOUR WAY!

ok.. Just kidding. Eye feasting is a form of feasting as well i believe! Now back to the pineapple tarts…

it has taken me forever to get a pineapple tart post up and i finally gotten rid of my lazy bug and gotten down to it! Not so much the blogging part, just that it takes me awhile to edit the photos and having to juggle between work really makes it tiring. i’m trying my best to get as many lunar new year recipes up on the blog this year.. i hope :D

Pineapple tarts is something i have been baking for ages and the fact that the family loves it makes it all worthwhile. Honestly, it’s not easy to find a good pineapple tart from my previous experiences. Every year when i do the annual chinese new year house visiting, as much as i do not really like eating all these new year goodies, i make it a point to try pineapple tarts and kueh bangkit! These 2 snacks are what i consider a benchmark for a good snack. it’s isn’t easy to get good ones, thus even the tedious work every year, i still insist on making some home baked ones. Most that i tried either have a really hard crust or a ridiculously sweet pineapple jam which is :x

i would definitely define a good pineapple tart which has a nice buttery, melt in the mouth pastry as well as a pineapple jam that is slightly tart, just to balance the flavors a little more. And of course, i much prefer the wrapped up version which keeps the pineapple really moist!

Recipe

Makes 100-150 tarts depending on the size you prefer

Pastry Dough

ingredients:

  • 400g Plain Flour
  • 50g Corn Flour
  • 10g Milk Powder (You could omit this if you do not wish to get milk powder just for such a small portion)
  • 280g Cold, Salted Butter (Add in 10g salt if using unsalted butter)
  • 3 Egg Yolks
  • 3 tbsp Cold Water
  • 47g Icing Sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean pod (slit pod into half and scrape vanilla beans out) or you could replace with 1/2 tbsp vanilla paste/ extract
  • 1kg Premium Pineapple Paste (Rolled into 10g balls)

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, sift flour, milk powder, icing sugar and salt together.
  2. Cube chilled butter into small cubes.
  3. Rub in cubed cold butter into the flour till It resembles fine bread crumbs.
  4. Beat together egg yolks, iced water and beans from vanilla pod. Add it into butter mixture.
  5. Gently coax all crumbs into a large dough. But remember not to over knead the dough
  6. Divide dough into 2 portions and chill in chiller till ready to work on it
  7. While dough is chilling, roll pineapple jam into 8-10g portions
  8. Once dough and jam are ready, start wrapping and preheat oven till 180c
  9. Bake for 15-20mins or till pastry looks golden brown
  10. Cool tarts before packing

Egg Wash

ingredients:

  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk + a dash of milk

Directions:

  1. Mix the above items together

 

pineapple jamThe most tedious part of pineapple tarts making! i’m so lazy i just eye ball these. Given the amount that i’m doing, i bet i would smash the weighing scale if i have to weigh them individually.

stepsA really easy way to wrap these babies!~Just remember, when working with dough, less is more. Do not overwork your dough!

egg washi cannot emphasize how important it is to have a good egg wash. Do not attempt to do a sloppy job as it would reflect exactly on the baked goods!

GS9A3379After a nice glossy egg wash bath, we now have shiny pineapple balls waiting to go into the oven!

GS9A3400Now i hope you get the picture of what i mean by doing a proper egg wash. In another words, if you randomly brush your egg wash, you do not get uniformed glossy egg wash. i’m quite pleased with how all these looks like!

ready tartsThese are just 1/30 of my actual production! :D

Cross seci love it when there’s equal portion of tarts and fillings! Yummylicious at its finest! Love how melt in the mouth this pineapple tart is!

i always believe homebaked goods are the best and i do hope some of you would try to make these. Feel free to drop me an email or leave a comment should you have any enquiry. Happy Baking

Now, back to editing more photos and stealing some sleep before i head back to the kitchen to complete a macaron order for a wedding reception later today!

 

 

Swan Choux Pastry with Durian Whipped Cream

Swan chouxSwan Choux Pastry

Ain’t these swans pretty?!!

Swan choux pastry is something that i have always wanted to do, but put it off till now all because i was too busy. Finally found some time to get this done and did it with the family’s favourite durian whipped cream filling. The alluring smell and creamy taste of the durian is perfect for us durian lovers.

i would say this is a pretty simple dessert to whip up and stores pretty well. You could just bake them, cool and freeze the pastry to use another time. Ok! Now to the recipe.

Recipe

Makes 35-40 Swans depending on piped size

Choux Pastry

ingredients:

  • 70g Pastry Flour
  • 60g Milk
  • 60g Water
  • 60g Unsalted Butter
  • 2g Salt
  • 5g Sugar
  • 2 Eggs at room temperature (I use 65g eggs)
  • Mist Spray with water

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 200C
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper
  3. In a saucepan, stir milk, water, unsalted butter, salt and sugar until mixture boils
  4. Remove from heat and sieve in flour, whisk until fully incorporated
  5. Return to saucepan on medium heat and stir with a rubber spatula till dough starts to stick together and pull away from the saucepan
  6. Put dough in the mixing bowl and beat it with a paddle attachment till slightly cool (if you are not using a mixer, just let it cool in a bowl before adding eggs)
  7. Add eggs 1 at a time till fully incorporated. Dough should be thick and elastic
  8. Test by lifting dough with a spatula, it should fall off in 3-5 seconds
  9. Transfer to a piping bad with desired tip and pipe
  10. Lightly spray puff with water and bake for 10-12 minutes
  11. Lower temperature to 160c and bake for 15-20 minutes till golden brown
  12. Remove from oven and cool on cooling rack before filling
  13. Fill with desired fillings

 

Durian Cream Filling

ingredients:

  • 250g Durian Puree
  • 100g Whipping Cream

Directions:

  1. Whisk whipping cream till soft peak
  2. Add durian puree and mix till combined

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Swan Choux

That’s really easy right?!! Now get going and bake some of these babies up!

Happy Baking