All posts by janeywwong

Happy Chinese New Year

Gong Xi Gong Xi! A blessed year of the goat to all my Chinese readers.
Let ‘s see what was cooking in my kitchen earlier on for reunion dinner.

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Left column, top to bottom – roast pork belly (sio bak), fried Nonya ngoh hiang ( meat & prawn rolls), mixed vegetables with fish maw (hee peow), prawns and black moss (fatt choy).

Right column, top to bottom – stir fried Chinese leek with firm bean curd, braised double fish with yam, itek tim aka kiam Chye ark soup ( salted vegetable and duck soup)

All made from scratch. Recipes will follow. Time to hit the sack. Happy Year of the Goat everyone. Wishing you more awesome food adventures this year!

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Big Hero 6 Cake

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“Hi, I am Baymax. I am your healthcare provider…..are you satisfied with your care?”
I love Baymax. This big marshmallow looking robot that is a gentle giant with a loving heart. What caught me by surprise is how much the girls love this show as much (if not more) as the boys.

My own kids were swooning (yes the older one was literally swooning) over Tadashi and squealing in delight over Baymax.

So it came as no surprise when a soon to be 6 yr old girl requested for a BH6 cake.

Made a 3-layer checkered cake (wanted to do 4 layers but it was getting very tall and I don’t want the figurines to topple over), crumbcoated with vanilla buttercream. In between layers are coated with choc buttercream. Covered in fondant. Figurines supplied by the little girl’s mummy.

Backdrop of SanFrantokyo with microbots creeping in from behind.

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Added a little fondant butterfly on Baymax’s hand. There was this scene in the movie where he was gentle to a butterfly in the middle of his karate practice.

IMG_2510The only picture of the cross-section that I have.

Doggie Birthday Cake

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This is a belated post. Made this earlier this month for my youngest child’s birthday party. He just loves dogs.

Chocolate sponge cake sandwiched with dark chocolate ganache and covered with salted caramel buttercream piped using a Wilton 233 tip to create the shaggy fur look.

I made a 9″ round cake as well as a 7″ round cake. I sculpted the cake as per below pic.

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Then crumbcoated with a thin layer of buttercream and letting it set in the fridge before I started the artwork. It was a painstaking effort. Having a non air-conditioned kitchen and living in the tropics added to the already challenging task. Took me a painful 4 hours to decorate the cake (including making the fondant pieces) with numerous trips to the freezer for a quick firm up of the melting cream.

‘Twas a heartwarming masterpiece. Will I do I again???? Hmmmm…..

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Lemon and Raspberry Cheesecake

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Wishing all my readers and followers a Blessed Christmas. May the good Lord bless you abundantly in all that you do and desire. 🎄🎁🎅

It’s been a hectic month leading to Christmas and I didn’t want to accept any cake orders this season. However, as this request came from a dear friend, I thought, why not. Just this one (and one more in a few days) to end the year (not to mention, to satisfy my baking itch!!!)

This is similar to my previous post raspberry cheesecake with chocolate cake except that I used a classic biscuit base this round, added fresh lemon juice and pure lemon essence to the cream cheese and stirred in fresh raspberries into the cream cheese mix.

In a nutshell, this is a pure lemony cheesecake made from Philidelphia cream cheese peppered with tangy fresh raspberries topped by a layer of pure raspberry purée gelatin sitting atop a classic digestive biscuit base that has grinded dried rosemary infused in the biscuit mix. I couldn’t help licking off the remnants from the mixing bowl. It was SO GOOD! Creamy yet light, tangy, a balanced mix of sweet and sour. Now, I wished I made extra for myself!

Raspberry Cheesecake with Chocolate Cake

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I have been contemplating for the past few hours how to name this cake. To call it a raspberry and chocolate cheesecake is not quite right. To call it a raspberry cheesecake with chocolate cake is possibly technically correct, but hardly a snazzy name.

I was inspired whilst combing Pinterest for some inspiration to make my love a birthday cake that is not the standard chocolate number. With a tight schedule at home and at work this week, I concocted something that wasn’t too difficult to make.

The end result is a beautiful layer of Varlhona chocolate sponge cake as my base, followed by a no bake lemony cheesecake (I tweaked the recipe slightly from a cherry cheesecake by Nigella. This is topped by a raspberry gelatin. I added some fresh raspberry finish the look and dusted some icing sugar on it. Icing sugar is to me like magic dust. Just a sprinkle of it will bring a blah looking cake to a chi-chi looking dessert.

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Recipe

Chocolate sponge cake – any of your fav sponge will do. I got mine from a good friend and it is her specialty so I have been sworn into secrecy not to share the recipe. Sorry about that.

Cheesecake – from Nigella
Tweaks made – cream cheese was upped to about 400g. Cream reduced to about 120ml. Lemon juice was upped to the juice of 1 whole lemon. I basically wanted a lemony cheesecake that was still a tad dense but not overly dense. I reduced sugar to taste as well.

Raspberry gelatin
200g fresh raspberry
80-120g sifted icing sugar
2-3 teaspoons of gelatin powder
1/4 cup hot water

Purée the raspberry with the icing sugar in a blender. I added around 120g of sugar as my raspberries were really tart.
Once done, sieve it to separate the seeds and pulp. Pour half the purée into a saucepan and warm it through.
Add the gelatin powder into the hot water and stir quickly before adding the warm purée. Once mixed well, add the balance of the purée.

Assembly
I made a 7″ round chocolate sponge cake, about 1″ thick. Once cooled, I placed it on a cake base.

Using a 7″ round springform ring, I fenced it round the cake. This will be my “biscuit” base for the cheesecake.

After making the cheesecake mix, I poured it on top of the choc cake, making a smooth even finish with a spatula or the back of a warm spoon if you like. All this while, keep the ring on. Leave it in the fridge to chill for at least 3h or overnight.

Once the cheesecake has formed up, prepare the gelatin and pour it on top of the cheesecake. Leave to set in the fridge for at least 3 hours.

Once it is firm to the touch, it is time to remove the ring, something that I do with bated breath. It will be easier to use a thin plastic spatula to loosen the sides of the gelatin first before you actually open up the catch of the springform ring.

I topped my cake with fresh raspberry and dusting some icing sugar on it. Serve and enjoy!

Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pão de Queijo)

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Been wanting to try a savoury bake for the longest time. Chanced upon this recipe online and thought it looked simple enough.

I poured the batter into mini soufflé cups instead of the muffin tray mentioned in the recipe. This yielded 24 mini bites.

When it was sufficiently cooled, my kids and I just couldn’t stop eating it. We were left with just 12 pieces in less than 15minutes. I can just imagine that it will pair beautifully with freshly cracked black pepper. Mm….shall try adding that the next round.

Recipe can be found here Brazilian cheese bread. I didn’t change anything in this recipe apart from the baking cases.

By the way, tapioca flour is gluten free, so this is a gluten free recipe.

Frozen Themed Carousel Cake

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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!

IMG_5981.JPGclose 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.

Tempeh Chips

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. IMG_5713.JPGThis 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.

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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.

Old School Marble Cake

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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.

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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!

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(No Bake) Green Tea Cheesecake

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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!

Ingredients

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.

Biscuit Base
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.

Assembly
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.

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