Friday, February 13, 2015

酥碎水蜜桃芝士蛋糕 Crumble Peach Cheesecake....... My distant love


I started baking several years ago with only a couple of baking books as my baking bible. Today I have collected more than 40 books on bread, cakes, pastries, cook books bought through various places and some from a dear old buddy friend Junie from Singapore who went around places to get me the requested books. All thanks to this old time buddy of mine whom I got acquainted while working in Singapore more than 20 decades ago. Although she is a proclaimed non supporter of sweet food nor cakes, cheesecake is something she couldn't add to her 'Dislike' list.


Cheesecake, for some people, is an acquired taste food. You either love or hate it.  I grew up in a pretty traditional environment and my exposure to cakes were mainly birthday sponge cakes dressed with thick layers of cream, chiffon cakes, 发糕, 马来糕, roulette cakes. During then, the most 'happening' cake was Black Forest cake.  Ever since I had my first bite of what cheesecake was like, I never stopped eating them whenever I patronize places or eateries which also serves such wonder. After converting to a full vegan, my love for the taste of cheesecake has slowly ebbed away like a distant memory. Even so, I still got to brace myself to avoid reliving back the old memories whenever I had to bake one. It's one of the very few type of cakes which would ever get neglected when I made one. So far, no one has turned down when I offer them cheesecake.

Yesterday while going through my book shelf, I randomly leaf through some of my older cake book collections and this cake recipe caught my attention. Mainly because I still have a new 500g block of cream cheese bought from my last trip back from KL and with Chinese New Year holiday looming around the corner, I decided to make good use of this cream cheese and turn it into another photography project for my new blog.

Unlike most cheesecake recipe, this recipe called for the making and baking it own biscuit base layer instead of crushing store bought ones. Doing everything from scratch allow you to create your preferred flavor / taste biscuits. Eg. You may add cinnamons, ginger, lemon, chocolate, green tea etc etc while doing your own biscuit layer.

Be prepared to slough an hour or two doing the preparation works. Lots of washing up of measuring cups, equipments to do after that. And when the cake came out well, then you will realize all the hard work paid off.  Go ahead and try it and you will know what I meant.


酥碎水蜜桃互芝士蛋糕
Crumble Peach Cheesecake
(Recipe adapted from Alex Goh's 'In Love With Cakes'

Ingredients 

Biscuit Base (A)
200g Plain Flour
138g Butter (softened, I used salted due to preference)
50g Light Brown Sugar

Cheese Filling (B)
500g Cream Cheese (softened)
100g Icing Sugar (sifted)
20g Corn Flour

(C)
3 Grade B Eggs ( I used Grade A weighing between 65-70g each)
100g Top Whipping Cream 
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice ( I replaced with 1 tsp  Vanilla extract & 1 tbsp orange juice)

(D)
1  Can of canned Peach (drain and cut quartered) 

Crumble Topping (E)
120g Plain Flour
60g Walnut (chopped)
60g Almond (chopped)
78g Butter (softened, I used salted ones)
60g Castor Sugar


Method

Cut out 2 pieces of 9" x 17" aluminum paper and line the sides of the 9" Square baking pan by overlapping each other horizontally and vertically.  This is applicable if you do not own or do not wish to bake using the springform type of baking pan, the extra lengths from the sides will allow easier removal of the cake later on.


Biscuit Base : Preheat oven to 180C. Mix (A) into a smooth dough and press it onto the 9"    baking pan. Press evenly. Poke with fork and bake in the middle rack for 20 minutes.



Cheese Filling : Whisk (B) till fluffy, add (C) and combine well. Pour batter onto the baked biscuit base and arrange the canned peaches (D) onto it.



Crumble Topping : Use fingers to mix (E) till it turn into crumbles. Sprinkle the crumbles on top of the cake. Bake the cake at 150C in oven for 60mins.  I baked for another 5mins as my cake was on the moist side. Remove from oven and allow to the cake to cool down before storing it in the fridge (min 6 hours) or preferably overnight before consuming. 





Note : I did not remove the cake from the pan to  
          help it stay in shape. You may cover the 
         top pan with aluminum wrap to prevent 
         the cake from hardening.

                    

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Dragon Fruit Chiffon Cake......another of my random baking experiment





I eat practically most vegetables and fruit, however, dragon fruit somehow didn't get to catch my attention, particularly the red ones. This is also my first time buying the fruit hoping to develop the liking for it. Sadly, after keeping the neglected fruit for several days, I decided to use to for baking rather than allowing the poor fruit to waste away in vain.




Most recipes I searched usually use it for cheesecake, desserts or cake frosting, I was not prepared to spend too much time on making a cheesecake today. Neither do I intend to turn it into cake frosting or dessert when my maid is no longer my lab rat as she has been diligently dieting for the past few months. I can totally understand her reasons since I was the culprit who put her in the inflated state ever since I started baking fervently.

Luckily I still have a group of regular fans from my husband's workplace who used to place order for my previous baking projects. Why projects and not products? Because, I only offer to make them whatever pastries or bakes I never tried making and menu was totally up to me to decide. I am grateful towards their support when they periodically place weekly order and pay with no questions ask. I miss those times :(


Looking back, those were wonderful times. They still ask me when I am reverting back to my mass baking projects every time I visit my husband's office. I politely turn their offer down by occasionally dropping my impromptu cakes or kuihs to the office for their light sampling, I just don't have the time as I did before. 

Nevertheless, bread baking and cooking is still taking place at home, I just don't share my bread recipes nor pictures as regularly as I did on Facebook a year ago. In my opinion, its less time consuming to post and share recipes on Facebook than through a blog, and now after starting updating my blog I couldn't agree more on that. Indeed it is taking much more pictures and time writing and sharing one posting.

Anyway, enough of my lengthy talk. Here is the recipe of my never attempted before cake. The cake is moist and fluffy. Worth a try!


Dragon Fruit Chiffon Cake
( Recipe enough for 2x 20cm Chiffon Mould)

(A)
100g Corn Oil
120g UHT Fresh Milk
20g Castor Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
160g Red Dragon Fruit (Cut and blend into paste)
180g Cake Flour 
1 tsp Red yeast rice powder
144g Egg Yolks (Lightly beaten)

(B)
280g Egg Whites
100g Castor Sugar
1 tsp Cream of Tartar
70g Dragon Fruit, Diced (Was 90g, I suggest to cut 
         down to 70g as I had to extend the baking time longer 
         as the fruit the ripen towards soft and mushy)


Directions: 

  • Using a hand held whisk,  mix (A) corn oil, fresh milk, castor sugar, salt and dragon fruit paste together until thoroughly blended. Fold in the sifted cake flour, red yeast rice powder followed by the egg yolks until evenly mixed. Set aside.

  • In a separate mixing bowl, (B) beat the egg whites until frothy. Add sugar and cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks (ribbon stage).

  • Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into (A) batter until well combined. Fold in the balance egg whites, using light and quick strokes fold mixture until fully incorporated. Drop in the dragon fruit cubes.

  • Pour the batter onto the prepared mould, give it a lightly drop to release the air bubbles. Transfer the mould into a preheated oven of 155C degrees and bake in the second lowest layer of the oven for 35-40 mins (depending on your oven temperature and size of mould). Move the cake to the middle rack and continue to bake for another 5 minutes or until the tester comes out clean.

  • Remove cake from oven. Invert the cake pan. Remove the pan once the cake has cooled.

















Monday, February 9, 2015

Pandan Kaya Layer Cake



Following my first successful attempt in making this cake, I only posted a photo of the finished product in my blog without further elaborating upon the process of the making the cake.  Last weekend my god sister from KL came over to visit us and she specifically requested for the recipe for this cake.

Instead of baking her the cake,  we decided to jointly bake the cake together. A great way for her to practice and good company for me when there are too many ingredients to prepare and cleaning works hereafter.

We used the same recipe as per my previous from Kitchen tigress with adaptations in pan size, ingredients quantity and process.

Pandan Kaya Layer Cake
(Recipe for one 22x22cm Cake)

Cake
30g Castor Sugar
135g Egg Yolks
150g Corn Oil
135g Full Fat Milk
24 drops Pandan Paste
150g Cake Flour
3/4 Tsp Baking Powder
1/4 Tsp Salt

315g Egg Whites
1/2 Tsp Cream of Tartar
40g Castor Sugar


(To Make Cake)
  • Line bottom and sides of a 22x22cm square baking mould with parchment paper.
  • Preheat oven to 160C degrees.
  • In a mixing bowl filled with 30g castor sugar and egg yolks, whisk (using hand whisk) the mixture until dissolved.
  • Add corn oil. Whisk till evenly combined. Add milk and continue whisking in circular motion till just thoroughly mixed. 
  • Add pandan paste ( I used Larome' brand), between 20-24 drops until the mixture's color look like emerald colored mangoes. Mix thoroughly.


  • Sift cake flour and baking powder into mixture. Add salt and gently whisk till just thoroughly mixed.
  • In a separate clean and oil free bowl, whisk egg whites with a electric mixer till frothy. Add cream of tartar and continue whisking till thick foam forms. 


  • Gradually add 40g castor sugar whilst still whisking and continue whisking till firm peak stage.
  • Transfer the beaten egg whites to the egg yolks batter in 3 batches. Mix with hand whisk till almost even after each addition. Scrape down and fold with spatula till just evenly mixed, while occasionally banging bowl against work top 2-3 times.
  • Slowly pour batter from a height of 30cm into a 22x22x8cm baking pan. Jiggle pan to level the batter. Tap pan against worktop 2-3 times to release the air air bubbles.
  • Bake in bottom 2nd or 3rd level of oven till middle of cake doesn't squish when pressed gently, 45-50mins.
  • Remove pan from oven. Drop pan from 30cm high onto the table top, once.
  • Invert pan onto wire rack. Leave for 5 mins before unmoulding the cake and parchment paper. Allow cake to cool before slicing.



Kaya

900g Water
3/4 Tsp Agar Agar Powder
120g Sugar
75g Unsalted Butter
8-12 Drops Pandan Paste

1/4 Tsp Salt
360g Coconut Milk ( 1 Box 200g concentrated coconut milk + 160g Water)
105g White Hun Kwee Flour
10-15 Drops Pandan Paste
3 Drops Egg Yellow Food Colour


(To Make Kaya)

Wash and dry the earlier 22x22x8cm cake pan. Line pan with 2 layers of aluminum foil with 4 sides overhang.

Slice cake horizontally with serrated knife into 3 layers.

Place water in a pot and sprinkle agar-agar powder into it. Add sugar, unsalted butter, pandan paste and salt. Set aside for 30 mins or longer.

In a separate bowl, stir in hun kwee flour into the coconut milk mixture until thoroughly mixed. Refrigerate until ready to use. 

Heat and stir agar agar mixture till dissolves. Remove from heat. Add coconut milk mixture and continue stirring till combined. Add pandan paste and yellow food color. Stir thoroughly.

Transfer the pot back to stove and heat up the mixture on medium low heat. Cook and stir until the mixture is thick enough to coat the sides of the pot thinly. Turn off heat.  Continue stirring the mixture to dissipate the heat.  





(To Assemble The Cake)


Arrange the first layer (the cut side facing up) of the slice cake into the 22x22x8cm pan. Pour 1/3 of the kaya into the pan and over the 1st layer. Tilt pan from side to side for even distribution of the layer. Allow the kaya layer to thicken for a minute or more. While waiting to apply the 2nd layer of kaya, soak the pot in hot water and continue stirring the mixture.

Once the kaya layer thickens, place the 2nd layer of the sliced cake over the slightly set kaya layer. Pour another 1/3 of the kaya over the cake layer.  Tilt the pan from side to side for even distribution of the layer. Allow the kaya layer to thicken for 3 secs to 1 minute. Repeat the entire process as per the first layer until the 3 layers of cake and kaya been used. 

Leave assembled cake pan on wire cake to cool down.  Cover and refrigerate till kaya is firm.

To serve, unmould cake and trim 1 cm from all edges. Transfer to serving plate. Cut and serve. 





Vegetarian Tom Yum Fried Rice

Hi there,

  


Being a diet conscious enthusiast, rice and many other carbohydrate rich foods were generally not within my food radar albeit I have been a huge fan of them. Unlike many other people, my body just love to keep the extra starch into my body converting it to 'lemak' and then piling onto the most stubborn part of my body ..... hips and heavy bottoms ...ouch! But as age catches up, I learn to let go of the need of preserving my already unredeemable waistline and saggy parts. Ever since then my bodyline happily blooms with every intake of carbo / starch rich food.
It's been almost 3 years since I became a full vegan and stopped consuming garlic, onion, chives, milk, eggs, meat or animal by products. I still cook and bake regular food for the family with the exception that every Monday, 1st and 15th day of the lunar calendar my hubby will observe full day vegetarian diet. He is doing very well so far and even brought packed lunch to work on those days. Reason being, the difficulty in finding eateries selling vegan food within that location .
After trying cooking numerous types of vegan fried rice, yesterday I decided to combine additional sauce and seasoning to the vegetarian Tom yum paste bought from Malaysia.
Here is the recipe.


INGREDIENTS:

8 cups cooked and chilled overnight rice ( I use 1/2 brown rice with unpolished organic white rice)
1 yellow capsicum (chopped into small cubes)
1 red capsicum (chopped into small cubes)
50g Vegetarian Pork / Char Siew (Chopped into small cubes)
150-200g red cabbage (sliced into thin strips)
1 cup of frozen peas / vegetables / carrots / corns
1/2pc fresh pineapple fruit (cut into small cubes)
3 tbsp of yellow sultanas
3 tbsp of vegetarian anchovies
4+1 tbsp sesame oil (you may add more for flavor)
2-3 tbsp minced ginger
Red Chili Powder to taste (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste


Seasoning (To premix and blend together, set aside to use during cooking)
3 Tbsp vegetarian Tom Yum paste
1 Tbsp fermented soy bean paste
3 Tsp Mushroom sauce
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Lemongrass powder
1/2 Tbsp Dark Caramel Sauce (Optional)




Directions :
  • Drop 1 tbsp of sesame oil onto the overnight rice, use hand to loosen up the rice while coating it with some oil. Set Aside. 
  • In another pot with simmering water, cook the frozen / defrost vegetables for 1 min to soften it. Remove, discard the water and set aside. 
  • Mix the above mention seasoning together into a fine paste. Set aside. 
  • Heat a wok or a large non stick skillet over high heat. Add sesame oil to the pan followed by minced ginger and sauté under medium heat until fragrant. 
  • Toss in the vegetarian pork and stir for a minute followed by the purple cabbage, frozen vegetables, vegetarian anchovies and continue quick stir fry for another min under high heat. Add in the premix seasoning.
  • Add rice, capsicums, pineapples, sultanas and continue to stir fry for another 2-3 minutes, reducing the heat to medium / medium low whenever necessary.
  • Continue to stir fry until rice is evenly coated and fragrant.
  • Salt, pepper and red chill powder to taste.

Tangerines ..... Orange Muffins


 There is a saying 'Time and Tide Waits for No Man' and indeed, the first month of year 2015 just breeze past and now after thinking back, I just don't remember what did I do the past month.  Contrary of what I used to think, the daily life of my non working housewife role has never been as idle as I visualized when I quit my working life of more than 20 years.

Since then I immersed myself completely into learning baking and experimenting lots of recipes shared by many generous bloggers as well as the abundant recipe sharing websites. As of today, I must have tested more than 200 recipes and so far 97% of them rendered good outcomes. But as I ventured further, I began adapting and creating my own recipes with the intention of utilizing whatever ingredients I have on hand, and, also with the intention to have my food photography collection.

With Chinese New Year looming around the corner, mandarin oranges or easily available in all supermarkets as well as the local fruit / grocery store, I decided to try out something orange.......





This recipe is sufficient for an 8 - 9" round cake pan but I opted to bake in muffin cups instead. Reason being, shorter baking time and ease of distributing.

Ingredients :-

250g Cake Flour
3g Salt
15g Baking Powder
150g Castor Sugar
100g Low Fat Milk
140ml Tangerine / Mandarin Orange juice with pulp
Zest from 2 orange
113g Butter (melted and cool)
3 Grade A Eggs


Directions


  • Preheat oven to 175 degrees C. Prepare 14-15 medium size muffin cups.
  • In a measuring cup, combine milk, orange juice, melted butter, beaten eggs, and orange zest. Set aside.
  • Sift flour, salt and baking powder into a large bowl. Mix in sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in the orange mixture. Stir until thoroughly combined.
  • Pour batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.


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