Archive for Baking

My coffee affair: Macademia Brownies


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As featured in  TastespottingFoodgawker


I’m going to stick to the recipe I know works, the one I got from Bakerzin’s Dessert Book by Daniel Tay, founder of Bakerzin. Those brownies are so heavenly moist, chocolatey, perfect sweetness and keeps well in the fridge. I still have a bag of fresh macademia nuts bought from the market a few days ago, sprinkles of chopped macademia creates a whole new flavours with touch of nuttiness to this perfect chocolatey bites.

Perfect for my morning coffee and afternoon tea!


Reposting recipe

MACADEMIA BROWNIES
Ingredients:
* 325 gr all purpose flour
* 5 gr baking powder
* 150 gr cocoa powder (I use Droste & Van Houten)
* 225 gr cream cheese
* 860 gr sugar (a bit too sweet for me, I use 660 gr only)
* 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
* 10 gr salt
* 450 gr unsalted butter (softened)
* 400 gr eggs
* 300 gr chopped macademia
* butter for greasing


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Cooking Direction:
1.) Preheat oven 180C or 350F
2.) Sift flour, baking powder, cocoa powder into a bowl
3.) Separately mix sugar & butter till fluffy, then add
vanilla essence, salt & cream cheese till well blended
4.) Fold eggs into cream cheese mixture, then gradually
fold in flour mixture. Add chopped macademia nuts
5.) Lightly grease the pan you’re going to use
Level the batter and bake for 20-25 mnts
(for shallow square pan I use baking sheets)
6.) Unmould & cool brownie. Top with warm chocolate melt
and sprinkles of chopped macademia


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** Recipe Source: Just Desserts by Daniel Tay


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New Year Celebration, Nuts & Breads


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Last chinese new year we managed to get away to Beijing. Unfortunately this year, Mike had to stay babysitting the hotel, as he sent all of the managers to take a few days leave. The city’s life is practically put on hold. Everywhere is so quiet, shops are all closed for more than a week (some would stay close for 2-3 weeks even), the hotel’s occupancy dropped significantly during these days. Food is getting scarce – *lucky that we live in a hotel where getting food is not really a problem* – unless one stocks up well prior to the celebration. The shopping frenzy happened 3 days before the celebration. Food stalls, street vendors, supermarkets were all packed with thousands of people and everything would be sold out instantly.

I’m not sure if I want to go out for the next coming few days, partially because of the weather that stay below minus two digits everyday, the other reason is that there isn’t much to do and see out there.

A few days ago, I experimented on the no-knead bread recipe. Thanks to Dita for her inspiring photo that makes me drool,  I peeked the recipe from Steamy Kitchen.  It’s amazing how one’s palate can change completely during pregnancy. I used to be more of a savoury person, but now I drool over things that’s super sweet, gooey, sticky caramelly with sprinkles of chopped nuts. A few months ago, I thought pickled cornichons was food from heaven. I must’ve gone mad!!!


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No-knead Sticky Pecan Caramel Cinnamon Rolls
Click here for recipe
Modification: We’re not a big fan of walnut,
so we use pecans instead. The filling is made without nutmeg &
black pepper (yuck!) I added chopped brazilian nuts & dates.
Double yums!!!


PhotobucketNo-knead Gruyere Cheese Rolls
to view recipe click here
This is another modification I made, just by replacing the filling
with crushed garlic, sprinkles of oregano, sprinkles of basil,
grated vintage cheese and Gruyere cheese


All of the nuts I bought from the local market next door, literally, it’s a small alley located next to our place. On regular days this market is so full of vendors selling every unimaginable things. One day I spotted a guy walking around in the market with a live bull tied around the neck, he was selling it for the meat. Great little place to walk around and find little surprises. I bought a bag of fresh brazil nuts, macademia, pecans and roasted almonds  (about 500 gram each)  for 75 Yuan only – that would be about US$11 total.


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From almonds, macademia, walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds,
chestnuts, brazilian nuts, pistachios….
and some unidentified nuts. Take your pick!


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Warm chestnuts is a beautiful snack in wintertime
This cost about 5 Yuan/bag – less than a dollar


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Scrumptious Strawberry Cheesecake

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My kind of strawberry cheesecake –
as featured in TastespottingFoodgawker
(This image is also submitted for CLICK Photo Event)


Another baking trial day. Just a quick fix of sweets, I didn’t feel like following a complicated recipe. I just want something perfect to go with my fresh sweet strawberries bought from the market yesterday, along with fresh strawberry jam as a quick subs in case I need to make any sauce or glazing.

Guess what, it’s so perfectly silky and melts in the mouth. The smoothness creamy cheese blends in nicely with the sweet strawberry. I think I fall in love…


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STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE

Ingredients:
* 4 pcs of eggs
* 1 3/4 cup of sugar
* 24 oz cream cheese
* 1 tsp vanilla extract/crystals
* 2 cups of cracker crumbs for cheesecake
* 1 stick butter, melted
* 1 cup sour cream

Cooking Directions:
1.) In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter.
Press into a 9-10″ springform pan, pushing about an inch
of the mixture up the sides of the pan.
2.) Mix cream cheese, eggs, 1 cup of the sugar & vanilla.
Beat for about 20 minutes
3.) Pour filling into pan. Bake for 40 minutes at 325.
4.) Cool in oven for 35 minutes with door open

FOR TOPPING:
1.) Beat together the remaining 3/4 cup sugar & sour cream for
about 10 mnts until it gets fluffy.
2.) Pour over cooled cake and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.
3.) Cool cake completely before slicing and serving.


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Thanks to all my food buddies for the support, I am also submitting this image to CLICK Photo Event – Red for January 2009, hosted by Jugalbandi.


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For more information & participation have a look HERE