Sunday, December 5, 2010

Whoopie Pie!

Having done Lasik on friday, I'm out of action for a week. No running or cycling, no swimming for at least a month. What a waste of a clear sunny day. So am I glad I have a well-stocked cupboard of baking ingredients, that I can bake on a whim.

According to food historians, Amish women would pack these into the farmers' lunchboxes and when the farmers found these little surprises, they would shout - whoopie! They must have been right; I'm not sure what to call it either. Cake, cookie or pie?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I love breakfast!

I found the perfect way to cook scrambled eggs - over a double boil. The indirect heat ensures that the eggs do not get cooked too quickly, leaving you with a just done, runny texture. Topped with smoked salmon, on toasted bagel...awesome.

Serves 2
knob of butter
6 eggs
50g strong cheddar cheese, grated
70g smoked salmon, roughly sliced
2 tbsp Greek yoghurt
Salt and pepper
4 slices toast or English muffins
1/2 lemon, chopped in half

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mango Curd

Unbelieveably easy to make. Curd anything. Try it.
I had over-riped mangoes which were going to waste. What better way to use them than making mango curd.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Gateau a l'orange

Gateau a l'orange - Probably one of the simplest and most under-rated cakes in the french collection. Was looking for a quick, easy and yet delightful cake to bake for the church event and this fit the bill!

The cake turned out rather plain I must say... Thus the addition of mascarpone-cointreau frosting.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Classic Tiramisu

If you wanna make something, do it right. And because I so believe, I hunted all through town to find marsala wine. I finally hit jackpot at the China Square Mall Cold Storage outlet. What are the odds...

Marsala wine, is a fortified wine produced in Sicily. No, its not Indian and whilst the italians have a dish named marsala chicken, its not the same as the chicken tikka masala found at indian restaurants. These were the facts I found whilst nailing down the right recipe to try.

Short of making my own lady's fingers, or savoiardi as the italians may call it, I followed the recipe to the t. Made the zabaglione and pastry cream over a bain marie the night before, let it chill in the fridge, then continued the next day with the whipping cream, and layering the tiramisu. Whilst attempting to dip the lady's fingers in the rum/espresso concoction, I thought I had it ll figured out - I'll use chopsticks! so I wouldn't have to dirty my fingers. And I thought the chinese had got it all. Hah, my first piece of lady's fingers soaked up the mixture and crumbled into two. I went back to using my own fingers instead.

Much to my delight, the tiramisu turned out superb. Credit to the recipe!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Salted Caramel Cheesecake

Where sweet meets savoury.

First on the salt. Where the rest of us comsume common table salt, the french have Fleur de Sel. You'd wonder what's the big deal about salt. Oh, the french sure have their way of creating heritage and producing exclusivity, even for salt. Fleur de sel ("Flower of salt" in French) is a hand-harvested sea salt, collected by workers who scrape only the top layer of salt before it sinks to the bottom of large salt pans. Traditional French fleur de sel is collected off the coast of Brittany, most notably in the towns of Guérande. Fleur de Sel de Guérande, which is hand harvested from salt marsh water, it is the most revered. Due to its relative scarcity, Fleur de sel is one of the more expensive salts. It is usually sold in airtight jars as it is slightly damp.

And in the case of salted caramels, the influence came directly from France. When it comes to making salted caramel sauce, using Fleur de sel in a caramel recipe is different from using salted butter. The sea salt doesn’t melt into the caramel, so there are fine grains of salt that add texture and crunch.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Financiers start with a batter made by simply stirring together flour, toasted ground almonds, and powdered sugar with lightly beaten egg whites, vanilla extract and beurre noisette (brown butter). Don't be put off by the term beurre noisette. It's just clarified butter, which has been cooked until the milk solids have turned brown, leaving you with a fantastically rich fragrant nutty flavored butter. It is not hard to make. The other distinct ingredient used to make Financiers is almond flour (meal) which is just blanched almonds that have been finely ground. It has a wonderful sweet flavor and its texture is similar to corn meal. The beurre noisette and almond meal compliment each other perfectly, creating a pastry which is slightly crunchy on the outside but soft and moist on the inside.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Macarons from Sadaharu Aoki

I wish I could say I made these... but no, I didn't. Got them from Sadaharu Aoki's boutique in Tokyo.

Sadaharu Aoki. If you haven't heard of Sadaharu Aoki, you should now. Trained in the art of pâtisserie in both Japan and France, Sadaharu Aoki, broke through the ranks and made it big in France. Sadaharu Aoki applies the Japanese sense of detail and intricacy to his presentation and infuses traditional Japanese flavours like matcha, yuzu and adzuki beans to his line of pastries.

Stepping into his boutique in the swank Tokyo Midtown, the array of colours and intricately crafted pastries threw me into disorientation - I wasn't sure where to begin. I must have walked through the aisles a good 4-5 times, admiring the beautiful entrements, before stopping to consider what to buy. If only cost weren't a limitation to the dearly priced sweets, I'd have bought the whole store. Mind you, the box of 12 macarons which I finally decided on set me back $50.

It was definitely worth every penny though. Even the buttercream-filled ones, which I usually dislike, were lovely. Aaah... I still taste the wonderful morsels in my mouth.