I was tasked to supply the main cake and cupcakes for my bestie’s daughter’s birthday. Spent many late nights doing up the detailing after putting the kids to bed. Very very pleased that the cake turned out so well. And the fondant held up in the weather too. I couldn’t have pulled it off without Him. All Glory to Jesus!
close up shots of details – horses manes are covered with fondant and hand crafted. Carousel set is from Wilton. Snowflakes etc are dusted with snowflake lustre dust, Christmas trees are hand crafted from fondant. Figurines supplied by my bestie.
Cross section of the cake – earl grey and vanilla layers.
This is not your run of the mill snack. It is so easy to make yet so healthy. My kids and hubby love it.
I haven’t made it in a while now. So when I went to the market this morning, my eldest child reminded me to buy some tempeh.
Tempeh has its origins from Indonesia. It is made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans into a cake form. It has a firm texture and has an earthy flavour that becomes more pronounced as it ages. This is how it looks like being sold at markets in some parts of the world.
If you are living in a non- Asian country, chances are that you can get tempeh from your local health food store or a bigger Asian grocery shop.
To make the chips, all you have to do is slice it no more than 1mm thick. In a bowl, add salt, grounded turmeric powder and a splash of olive oil just to get everything to stick on the tempeh slices. Give it a good toss till everything is evenly coated like this.
Spread it out evenly onto a baking tray that is lined with parchment paper and bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees Celsius for around 20-25min, or till it reaches a fairly dry and crunchy texture. Let it cool before storing in an air tight container. It should keep for at least a week in room temperature.
My pre-schooler stepped through the front door, paused, took big whiffs of the aroma, shrieked in delight and rushed to the kitchen to check out what’s baking. That is the sort of reaction I received today when the marble cake was slow-baking in the oven.
There is something about old school bakes that just can’t be explained. I reckon it is the butter, the vanilla and the unhurried nature to how one approaches the bakes. No instructions about how you can melt something faster in a microwave (I am not a fan of the microwave oven and don’t have it at home!) or how you can make something ahead and warm it through.
I decided not to post the recipe for this as it is everywhere on the net. Instead, I just want to focus on the nostalgia such bakes exudes.
First bite, the moist and fluffy texture is akin to hugging a soft and comfy pillow. Next, the richness of the butter lends it that extra luxurious feel. Finally, the hints of real vanilla interspersed with the rich chocolate accents that has a slight hint of bittersweet in it. It is, simple (good quality) ingredients coming together to form an amalgamation of sensory pleasures.
I urge you to take a break from the contemporary recipes once in a while and rediscover the simple joys that life brings. À la bon vie! To the good life!
I had to use up the cream cheese sitting in my chiller very soon. Since I still had leftover matcha powder from my previous bake and frozen adzuki bean paste, I came up with the idea of a green tea cheesecake with a layer of adzuki bean paste and the biscuit layer typical of that in a standard cheesecake. Seriously, many of us probably enjoy the base more than the cheesecake itself. Right? At least I do.
The idea of a green tea cheesecake does yield a divided vote. Hubby and some friends think it is a strange combination. Whilst others say it rocks. The baker says the texture and mouth feel can be further improved. Note to self – thicker biscuit base next time.
The beauty of this recipe is that you can whip it up in no time. No baking required. Assuming that you have the adzuki bean paste made ahead of time, all that you need to do is blitz the biscuit base with softened butter together and press it down onto the base of your springform pan (or in my case, mini soufflé cases), then blitz all the cream cheese, matcha powder, some butter, cream and icing sugar together – voila!
Cream Cheese Filling
200g cream cheese
4 tablespoons matcha powder
150g icing sugar, sifted
100ml double cream or heavy cream for whipping
In a mixing bowl, cream everything together except the double cream till it is smooth. For the double cream, in a separate bowl, whip it till soft peaks form then gently fold it into the cream cheese mixture.
Adzuki Bean Paste
100g dried adzuki beans boiled with water till soft. Drain and mash or blitz with sifted icing sugar. Adjust your sugar levels to your taste. I say go with 50g first.
Blitz or crush 12-14 pieces of Digestive biscuits till it resembles bread crumbs. Add about 120 grams of softened butter and blitz till it clumps together. You can manually rub the butter into the crumbs with a spoon/fork. Press it into a 7″ springform round tin and let the sides come up a little.
Spoon the adzuki beans on top of the biscuit base and press down till you get a compact layer.
Next, spoon the cream cheese mix on top of the bean layer. Chill in the fridge for at least 3h or overnight to set.
Let it sit out for 15-20min before eating/serving.