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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Japanese Cotton Cheesecake - revisited

Just unmould
Sides shrank away from the pan making it easy to unmould
I have recently been bitten by the baking bug of this Japanese Cotton Cheesecake after reading Dr Leslie Tay's (no relations to me) experiments on this cake.  He was on a quest to bake the perfectly smooth top cake and finally succeeded.  I, of course, being the great copy cat that I am (:P), quickly proceeded to try out his final successful method of baking this cake. It took me a whole kg of cream cheese before I managed to set the timing according to my oven! Well, I saw in his FB page recently that using the wrong (read cheaper) brand of cream cheese can also affect the result so make sure you get the better brand if you want a higher chance of success; although I must say, I still use the cheaper brand and still managed to get this beautiful cake:P

Beautiful fine crumb and smooth top at last!
Here's how I did it with some adjustments to the timing as I believe different ovens have different temperature settings.

Japanese Cotton Cheesecake adapted from Dr Leslie Tay's FB page

Ingredients:-

5 eggs
228g cream cheese
60g melted butter - I used cold butter
100g caster sugar, divided use
125mk milk
40g plain flour
10g corn flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon juice (1 add another tablespoon into the eggwhites to beat)

Method:-

 Prepare the an 8″ round baking pan. Line the bottom and grease the sides with butter, then dust with caster sugar (I'll just dust with normal flour next time as I find the side of the cake sticky as a result of the sugar coating). Get ready a 10″ round baking pan for water bath.

1. Melt cheese with butter and half sugar (50g) over waterbath. Whip using a whisk.  Remove from heat and add egg yolks and continue whisking.  Add milk,  vanilla, lemon juice, salt and whisk. Gently whisk in the flour. Set aside.

2. Next whisk the egg whites and add sugar half way till firm peaks. When you lift the whisk, the meringue should droop and hang about 4 cm down.  Fold the whites to the batter. You should end up with a batter that is quite runny such that you don’t need to smoothen the surface after you pour into pan. The batter should come up to 1.5cm from the rim of he pan. It should rise no more than 1cm.

Bake in water bath in preheated oven in this way:

200C – 15 minutes until top is golden brown

160C – 30 minutes with foil to tent the top to prevent further browning

Switch off oven but do not open the oven door. Allow the cake to sit for another 20 minutes.

Remove water bath and return cake into the oven still tent with foil.  If you oven has bottom heat function, use it. Switch on the oven again and set at 120C and bake the cake for the last 10 minutes.  The purpose I am doing this is to dry the bottom. This step is totally optional.

Open the oven door slightly and let the cake cool in the oven for 30 minutes before removing and unmould for complete cooling. To unmould, simply place a plate over the top of the cake mould and invert the cake on to the  plate. Remove the paper lining and invert the cake on to a cooling rack.  Cool completely before slicing. Better option is to chill it for cleaner cut.



So totally satisfying to see my cake did not crease even after it is completely cooled! :D


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Champion Garlic Bread


When I saw Zoe baked this garlic bread, I was so tempted as her bread looks so soft and delicious.  I know my sons love garlic bread too so I baked it as soon as I ran out of bread.  I cut the slit too deep and ended up with opened bread lol!  Never mind, the taste was very good still. Do give it a try!
One bite and I am in garlic heaven lol!
Champion Garlic Bread adapted from Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids

Makes 6
I am just putting in the bread maker method to shorten the recipe:P

For the roasted garlic butter:
1 head garlic, unpeeled
1 tbsp olive oil
50g unsalted butter, softened- I used salted butter
3 tbsp minced fresh parsley leaves - I used scallions
1/2 tsp salt - omitted

Preheat oven to 425°F or 200°C fan forced.

Cut top off garlic head. Place garlic on a piece of aluminum foil; drizzle with olive oil. Fold edges together to seal. Bake 30 mins and allow garlic to cool completely.

Squeeze cooked garlic into a medium bowl. Garlic will be soft and sticky. Add butter, parsley salt and pepper, stirring to combine. Set aside and wait for the bread dough to be ready.

For the champion bread dough:
300g bread flour
25g sugar
1 tsp salt
15g unsalted butter, soften at room temperature
3/4 tsp instant dry yeast
200ml milk, lukewarm* - I just use milk direct from fridge




*The milk in this recipe doesn't require scalding but need to be lukewarm or at least room temperature for efficient proving.

Using a breadmaker, mix all dough ingredients and knead into a smooth and elastic dough (should pass the window pane test) and allow it to prove for 1 hr. At this point, you can either store the dough in the fridge to use it on the next day or use it now.

After proofing, divide dough into 6 equal portions, then allow to rest for another 10 mins. Flatten each portion of dough, spread a thin layer of garlic butter and roll it into oblong shape. Repeat the same shaping method with the rest of the dough. Place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper and allow them to rise for another 1 hr or until doubled in size.

Chill the left-over garlic butter in the freezer until firm.

Egg wash for baking:
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp milk

Preheat oven to 180°C or 160°C fan forced.

Beat both egg yolk and milk roughly with a fork until combined.

Apply egg wash on the surfaces of the dough. Cut the center of each with sharp knife. Place 1/6 of the frozen garlic butter onto the slit. Repeat this step with the rest of the dough.

Bake at 180°C (or 160°C fan forced) for 17 mins or until golden brown. Transfer the breads immediately onto a wire rack to cool. Serve when they are slightly warm or at room temperature.


Soft and fluffy, very satisfying!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Chocolate Chips Cookies





It's been a while since I last baked chocolate chips cookies, two years to be exact when I tried out David Lebovitz's giant size chocolate oats/raisins cookies so when I got this bag of semi sweet chocolate chips with a recipe at the back, I just had to bake me some.  THis is how it's done:-

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ingredients:
170g butter, softened
60g caster sugar
100g brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
220g AP flour
2 cups chocolate chips (I used semi sweet)
1 cup (about 90g) rolled oats (my addition) ~ can substitute with chopped nuts of your choice


Method:

1.  Cream butter with both sugar until creamy and smooth.
2. Add eggs one at a time and mix until combined.
3. Add vanilla extract and mix on medium speed until well combined.
4. Sift baking soda and salt with flour and slowly add to the butter mixture with the mixer running on low speed.
5. Lastly add the oats and chocolate chips and mix until just combined.
6. Place spoonfuls of batter on a silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheets and bake at 170C for 12 minutes or until desired doneness.  If you wish to have crispy cookies, you can bake another 2-3 minutes.
7.  Cool on rack and store in air tight container.



These cookies certainly didn't last long in my house! Yummy dunked into milk or enjoy it with a nice hot cup of coffee!


I'm joining Best Recipes for Everyone September 2014 Event Theme: Chocolate Wonderland hosted by Fion of XuanHom's Mom.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Gong zai Mooncakes (Doll mooncakes)


This is my final post on mooncakes for this year :P  This recipe is different from the traditional mooncakes dough because lotus paste was added into it, thus yielding a very soft dough which can be eaten on the day it was baked.  I have wrapped red bean paste into mine to make it even more delicious:D A keeper indeed. I have left some unglazed for a mate finish.
Cooling after the first bake

Gong Cai Paeng (Doll biscuits)

Adapted from:Aunty Young who has adapted from Joceline Lor
Yields 33 pieces from the moulds used
Pastry weight: 25g
Red Bean paste: 20g

Ingredients:
350g plain flour,sifted
230g golden syrup
100g peanut oil
5g alkaline water
150g lotus seed paste

Filling:
660g red bean paste with melon seeds, divided into 20g balls

For surface :
1 egg + 1 tbsp milk, mix well and strained.

 Method:

1. In a mixing bowl, add in syrup,peanut oil.alkaline water and lotus seed paste. Stir mix until well combine.

2. Add in sifted flour and form dough. Cover the dough with a cloth and rest for 2 - 3 hours.

3. Divide the dough into 25g each. Mould into ball, flatten it and wrap a piece of red bean paste with it. Press the dough into mould to get the imprint and then unmould on to a baking tray.

4. Bake in preheated oven at 160'C for 10 minutes. Remove and leave to cool for about 10minutes. Brush the top with beaten egg.

5. Bake in oven again for another 10 - 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Note:

* Wait till the mooncakes are cooled before the egg is applied to get a more even coloring.

* Should this mooncake be done correctly, it should be soft, won't stick to your teeth, and can be eaten the next day.

* After allowing the mooncake to cool on a metal rack, it can be kept in an air-tight container. It can be kept up to weeks if it is dry enough after baking.

Soft and delicious even without resting for couple of days!

Wishing all who celebrates,  Happy Mooncakes Festival!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

French Apple Cake


Found this recipe on David Lebovitz's website..it sounds simple and I have all the ingredients and the theme for the next Little Thumbs Up event is Apple.  So I bake this cake and it is delicious. It's amazing that something so simple to put together could taste so good! You don't even have to use the mixer, just a trusty whisk and a big bowl and you are good to go!

So here's the recipe which I bake only half the recipe (in blue).
These are the apples I used

French Apple Cake take from David Lebovitz's website

3/4 cup (110g) flour ~ 55g
3/4 teaspoon baking powder ~ 1/2 tsp
pinch of salt ~ omitted as I am using salted butter
4 large apples (a mix of varieties) ~ 2 apples 
2 large eggs, at room temperature ~ 1 large 
3/4 cup (150g) sugar ~ 60g 
3 tablespoons dark rum ~ omitted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract ~ 1 tablespoon 
8 tablespoons (115g) butter, salted or unsalted, melted and cooled to room temperature ~ 60g salted butter

Minimal amount of batter, lots of apple chunks

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC) and adjust the oven rack to the center of the oven.

2. Heavily butter an 8- or 9-inch (20-23cm) (6 inches removable) springform pan and place it on a baking sheet.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

4. Peel and core the apples, then dice them into 1-inch (3cm) pieces.

5. In a large bowl, beat the eggs until foamy then whisk in the sugar, then rum and vanilla. Whisk in half of the flour mixture, then gently stir in half of the melted butter

6. Stir in the remaining flour mixture, then the rest of the butter.

7. Fold in the apple cubes until they’re well-coated with the batter and scrape them into the prepared cake pan and smooth the top a little with a spatula.

8. Bake the cake for 50 minute to 1 hour, (40 minutes) (or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edge to loosen the cake from the pan and carefully remove the sides of the cake pan, making sure no apples are stuck to it.  (I let mine cool to warm before unmoulding.)

I love the apples chunks in the cake

Served on its own or with creme fraiche or vanilla ice cream, as suggested 

I'm linking this post to Little Thumbs Up event, organized by Bake For Happy Kids and My Little Favourite D.I.Y. and hosted this month by I-Lost in Austen

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Snowskin Mooncakes

The box is just for prop, I did not buy these mooncakes from the place stated :P
Making mooncakes are so addictive when it is so simple to make:D  I am on a mooncakes  making spree and this time I am trying out the snowskin type.  All you need to do is mix the dough, wrap in filling, shape and unmould then chill it a few hours and you have snow skin mooncakes to enjoy with your cup of tea:D

Friday, August 29, 2014

Mixed Nuts Moonscakes




This mixed nuts recipe is taken from one of my blogger friends, Cheah of No Frills Recipe.  I really like this mixed nuts recipe of hers, it's not too sweet and full of nutty goodness.  So yummy I know I will be baking this every year.  One of the ingredients that I find so special is the preserved lime (kat paeng) that is added in the filling.  It gives the mooncake a very nice citrusy flavor which I love. I am posting this recipe here for easy reference next year:D