Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I just thought you should know

Last night, I went back through all of my posts, to when I first started this in January 2009. I can't believe it has been almost 6 years. I apologise as this blog is inactive.

There were certain things in some posts that I just don't recall ever happening, and others that I still remember and perhaps wished things have never changed. I think a part of me has already erased certain things/people which/who are no longer important to me.

This blog started as a bored uni student, who procrastibaked her way through her degree. Yes, it is true that I have finished my studies 4 years ago and have been looking into the souls of thousands across Australia and deciding, advising and recommending what they should or shouldn't be doing. I've met many strangers, who remain strangers. Strangers who become familiar faces. And I've had the weirdest conversations with many.

I guess as we progress through life, you reach different stages.
Let's talk technology. When I was in primary school, the home phone would be the way of interacting with friends or just plainly talking to them in person at school. By highschool, there was internet (dialup ! Haha), mirc (lol) and MSN.. and slowly those 2G mobile phones and digital cameras! Towards the end of highschool I discovered Xanga as a platform to vent as any teenager does. And then by uni, there was Facebook, and of course, this blog. Smartphones came out and then I later discovered Instagram about 2.5years ago.

I think it's time to close this chapter of my life on blogspot. Thank you to all who have been reading, to all who have been force fed my baking at uni, and at work. I apologise for trying to fatten you all :P. I am leaving this blog as an archive of my recipe collection, and finally, as a memory of my youthfulness.

I just thought you should know.

Goodbye :)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Edible gardening

I've been wanting to make an edible potplant for the past year. I'm not sure where it came from, but I recall seeing photos of potplant desserts popping up. Perhaps it started from Heston Blumenthal and his amazing edible garden? I'm not really sure. I just really wanted one..

Instagram is a wonderful thing. It's one of the things I use as a "to do", "to go", "to eat" wishlist. Okay.. call me Asian (well actually, I think it started off being an "Asian thing" to do, but now it's just a "foodie thing"), but I love taking photos of food. Food is meant to be seen by the eyes, smelt by the nose and tasted by the tastebuds. For me it's smell, see and then taste. And because you can't preserve smell and taste, you can at least capture how it looks. Hehe :P

When I was in Sydney this year, I wanted to get a potplant dessert from Blackflower Patisserie. Thanks to Instagram, I saw a photo of it whilst I was in Sydney and decided to go find it. (I love how Instagram tells me where to go.. instantly. It also happened in Tokyo when I saw a photo of a really cute cafe with the cutest matcha latte art. So I went there on my last day of my holiday). But when I got to Blackflower Patisserie, I found out that it was only served during the evening. I was quite disappointed because I had to fly back that evening.

But... as I was browsing Instagram for any cute (I really am a sucker for cute things..) or interesting things in Seoul before I went again, I found out about Banana Tree. They served potplant desserts and potplant bingsoo! I saw it. I wanted it.. and I got it! Hehe. They didn't serve the bingsoo during winter though, so I was a tad disappointed.

The potplant looked great! I think I was more in love with the shovel spoons though. The dessert itself was just a small patty case of cream and cake. A tad disappointing for the price, but definitely cute! I eventually decided that I had to find those shovel spoons for myself and found them on ebay. :)

I decided that I'd make my own pot plant desserts. I tried looking for mini terracotta pots but couldn't find any. So I ended up with plastic ones.

Edible potplants
Makes about 10

Matcha genoise (see recipe below)
Matcha mousse (see recipe below)
Black sesame crumble (I made mine with blacksesame, butter, sugar and a little flour)
Matcha cookie crumble (I made mine, but I don't have a recipe for you)
Chocolate mushrooms (I made mine)
Chocolate rocks (I bought a packet)

This was how I imagined it:

Matcha genoise

2 eggs
40g sugar
40g plain flour
8g matcha
20g butter, melted and cooled

Cream the eggs and sugar. Add in sifted flour and matcha.
Fold in melted butter.
Pour into a lined slice tray.
Bake in a preheated 180C oven for about 15mins.

Matcha mousse

100ml milk
10g matcha
1 egg, separated
40g sugar
80ml cream
1 tsp gelatin powder

Beat egg yolks and 20g sugar until pale.
Heat up milk and matcha on low heat. Take off from heat.
Gradually pour the eggs into milk, constantly mixing.
Add the gelatin.
Sieve the mixture if needed.
Add the cream.
Whip egg whites with 20g of sugar until stiff peaks.
Gently fold into matcha mix.

To assemble:

Make sure your pots are clean firstly.
I double lined mine with some IKEA cupcake patty casings as they're taller than the average patty case. Stickytape it at the bottom so it stays.

Cut rounds of cake out. I used the back of a piping nozzle.
Layer one round of cake. Half fill with mousse. Add another piece of cake. Fill with mousse to the top.
Refrigerate overnight.

Sprinkle black sesame crumble.
Gently twist a toothpick into the mushroom chocolate stalk (This will keep it steady). Stick the mushroom into the cake.
Sprinkle some matcha cookie crumbs. Add a few chocolate rocks.
Refrigerate when not consuming.

Great for gifting ;)

I love my shovel spoon! It also came with a shovel fork. Hehe.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Chubby Pocky :)

Everytime I'm back here, I say, it's been a while. Haha.. I'm sorry. I'm still here, but not here us much as I used to be. :( I've been baking/cooking, but I just haven't been blogging about it. I thought it'd be worth me blogging this post though, seeing as I'd probably want to make these again. :)

I thought to myself the other day.. "how hard is it to make my own Pocky?". I actually wanted to make giant pocky (I bought a box of matcha and a box of melon ones from Japan earlier in the year, but I don't have anymore). But seeing as I've never tried making these before, I didn't want to get my hopes up on such a big scale. So I made something in between. I call them chubby pocky. :P

I made two batches: purple sweet potato (using the purple sweet potato powder I found at Bangsan Market in Seoul a few months ago) and matcha (I have lots of matcha. Hehe).

My house has been smelling really nice over the past few days with all the baking. I have heaps of chocolate and caramel chip cookies that I made earlier this week too. I think it's time for me to stop..... until next week. Next week or so I shall start my Christmas baking! :)

Homemade pocky
Makes about 33-34 medium chubby sticks (~15cm)

100g skim condensed milk (1/4 cup)
20g water (2 Tbsp)
200g plain flour (1 1/2 cup)
1/2 tsp baking powder
30g sugar (2 Tbsp)
a pinch of salt
* some cinnamon/nutmeg (for plain biscuit sticks)
* 18g matcha powder (for matcha biscuit sticks)
75g butter, softened.

Mix condensed milk and sugar.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and *cinnamon/nutmeg OR *matcha.
I used my BEM800 stand mixer for this.
Add in butter until you form fine crumbs.
Then add in condensed milk and mix until a dough forms.
Wrap in clingwrap and refrigerate for about 30mins.

Weigh out 14gm of dough.
With your hands, firmly mould out a small sausage like shape. Place onto a smooth stable surface like a pastry board or chopping board that won't move. Using a thinner flexible chopping board, gently roll the sausage shaped dough until it thins out to about 15cm in length.

Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper.

Bake in a preheated 160C oven for 15-20mins.

Allow to cool.

To make chocolate dipping:

2x250gm white chocolate
4-5 Tbsp purple sweet potato powder
3-4 Tbsp matcha powder

Over a double boiler, heat 250gm of white chocolate with either of the powders until completely combined.
*Only do one flavour at a time.
Allow to cool slightly.
With a spoon, spread chocolate over the biscuit stick. Shake off excess to smooth out the chocolate.
Stand upright (I used a cookie cooking rack) and allow to set at room temperature. Do not refrigerate immediately.

Store in an airtight jar.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Mooncakes galore! :)

Happy Mid-Autumn Moon Festival!

This year I made my usual snowskin mooncakes with taro lotus, green tea lotus and mung bean fillings, baked red bean mooncakes and matcha and durian ice cream mochi mooncakes!

This ube flavouring gives such a nice smell and colour! Love it! But I seriously am desperate in finding taro flavour or powder still! :( This is the 5th year of making snowskin mooncakes (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012), my 2nd year of baking mooncakes and the first time making mochi icecream mooncakes! Hehe. I'm kinda getting sick of my mooncake designs now though.. I really need to look for different ones.
Before baking
Baked then eggwash applied.

And the end result? (I stole this off C's instagram :P)

Anyway, getting back to the mochi icecream mooncakes or daifuku as the Japanese call it. :)
A few weeks back, I made matcha and durian ice creams.

Durian icecream
Makes about 700ml

5 pieces of durian flesh (each seed)
350ml milk (I used Physical No Fat, as I couldn't be bothered going out to buy normal milk)
300ml cream
4 Tbsp sugar
4 egg yolks

Blend durian into a paste.
In a saucepan, heat up milk, cream and sugar until dissolved. Heat till near boiling and stir in durian.
Turn heat down.
Add egg yolks and mix until combined.
Use icecream machine as per instructions.
Place into a container, cover with cling wrap and close lid.
Freeze overnight.

And.... I can't remember my quantities for the matcha icecream anymore :( (I seriously feel like I'm getting dementia). There were no eggs involved in the icecream.

Anyway, back to making the mochi ice cream mooncakes. What you need to do is scoop the icecream and set it first. I used 2 scoops of icecream (combined into one ball) per mooncake. Must work quickly to prevent melting and freeze these overnight.

For the mochi skin:
Makes enough skin for about 4-6

100g glutinous rice flour
120g sugar
200ml water
(matcha powder or durian flavouring)

lots of corn/wheat starch (~100-150g)

*I halved the quantity of each ingredient for each flavour.

Cover a baking tray with baking paper and lots of corn/wheat starch.
Mix all other ingredients until combined. Cover lightly with cling wrap.
Microwave for about 2mins. (I did 1.5min each)
The mixture should be cooked. Mix it again.
Cover lightly with cling wrap again.
Microwave for another 30 secs.
Mix again until smooth.

Place onto baking tray. Cover with more corn/wheat starch.
Push the mochi out into a rectangular shape.
Refrigerate for 30mins to an hour.
Cut mochi into about 4 sections (I ruined mine by stretching out a bit too much in some points, so only managed to get 2 usuable pieces per flavour)
Get a pieces of cling wrap.
Dust off excess corn/wheat starch from the mochi piece, place onto cling wrap.
Place ice cream ball on top, and gently wrap. Twist cling wrap tightly and freeze immediately.

Once hardened, carefully push into a mooncake mould.

Wrap into cling wrap and freeze until ready to eat.
Enjoy. Remember to drink lots of yummy tea with your mooncakes! :)