Category Archives: Recipes-Desserts

Brown Butter Pecan Brownies

It has been a while since i blog and it’s been a while since i baked . I was thinking about baking coconut cake , which i haven’t made for years by now .. but i changed my mind after seeing , i needed 3 sticks of butter just for the cake . Partly i was guilty because i had just finished my morning run and the thought of 3 sticks of butter .. made me re-think .

My solution .. well .. was brownies .. though it still uses butter .. but somehow i felt better with my choice LOL

brown-butter-brownies

This is brown butter pecan brownies , you can skip the nuts if you don’t like it , and it will still be yummy . But you def have to make the brown butter . Brown butter is easy , just melt the butter and let it boil for several minutes until it changes color , almost like caramel color , then you take it off the heat . The flavor of the brown butter makes this brownie special and much better than regular brownie .

Funny …. my friend said . ” who bakes brownies ? ” LOL .. well me .. it’s super easy and why would you want store brought brownies when you can make it super easy , quick and tastes much better ! Really , you don’t even have to own a mixer to make this !!

You will need :

10 tbsp. of unsalted butter

Melt this butter in a pan on a medium heat , once the butter is melted , do not take it off the pan , you need it to boil still until it is foamy and finally changes in color . It should look like this by 5 minutes and it should done , take it off the heat brown-butter

As soon as it’s off the heat , immediately add in :

1 1/3 cup of sugar

1/2 tsp. of salt

1 tsp. of vanilla extract

3/4 cup of cocoa powder

Mix it well with wooden spoon , then replace with whisk . Once it’s all blended , add in :

2 large eggs , add the egg one at a time and whisk well until combine .

The batter should look shiny at this point , then add in

1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp. of all purpose flour

Mix well and finally add in 3/4 cup of pecans if you’re using .

brown-butter-brownie-mix

Preheat oven at 325 F , line a parchment paper on a square pan 8x8x2 , and pour the batter into the pan . Bake for about 25 minutes .

 

Tres Leches Cake

Never heard of tres leches cake when we were back in Indiana . When we moved to Texas , our friend said tres leches was her favorite , so on her birthday , we had tres leches cake , but it didn’t do any good impression to me because to me the cake was overly sweet . It was just an okay cake , put it this way , i wouldn’t spend $25 for cake like that . It was .. yes .. store bought .

Fast forward , my mother in law came to visit over this past holiday , i was too busy to make dessert , so i ended up picking up this tres leches cake from grocery store . It was just a small cake , my son loved it , everyone loved it . The cake was so moist but to me .. again .. it was too sweet . I wouldn’t be able to eat more than 1 small slice nor that i wanted to .

So , then , this past time we went to Mexican restaurant , my son asked if he could have Tres Leches cake for dessert . This time it was really good and i liked it , we all liked the cake . It wasn’t overly sweet and was just perfect . I decided to try to make the cake the next day , turned out pretty well after a few adjustment . I think next time i will cut down the amount of sugar in the whipped cream and also the condensed milk to the milk mixture as well .

12540702_10153963775401812_2478923474440346880_n

Cake :

1 stick of unsalted butter , room temperature

slightly under 1 cup of sugar

5 eggs

1 tsp. of vanilla extract

1 1/2 cup of all purpose flour

1 tsp. of baking powder

pinch of salt

  1. Beat the butter with sugar until light and fluffy . Add in the egg one at a time , and the vanilla extract until well combined .
  2. Add the flour and baking powder and salt mixture a little at a time into the egg butter mixture .
  3. Bake at 350 F , on 9×13 inch greased pan . About 30-40 minutes , or until it’s done , depending on your oven . Let it cool and poke with fork all over .

The Milk mixture :

2 cups of reduced fat milk , or you can replace it with half and half , i don’t use whole milk , i used 1% milk

little less than the whole can of condensed milk

a whole can of the evaporated milk

Mix the milk and then pour over the cake , all of the milk mixture needs to be poured into the cake , the cake will absorb it .

Optional :

1 1/2 cup of whipped cream

1/2 cup of sugar or none

Beat the cream and sugar until stiff . Spread all over the top and refrigerate the cake overnight .

Coconut Cream Pie

Coconut cream pie is really yummy , although , for the longest time , i never had interest in trying them when we go out to a pie place , or even when i am in the mood of baking pies . I’ve done many type of pies , from classic apple pie , to pumpkin , all the way to blueberry pie or fruit pie . But never in my life i would try making coconut pie .. it’s just so .. coconut .. nothing really interesting in there .

When i was younger , living in tropical island , i had the advantage of eating fresh young coconut , yum , and then my mom used to buy fresh coconut , then grated it , and add some spices to it , and fry the coconut flakes , it was meant to be side dish .. it is called ” Serundeng ” I was never really into it , because i just didn’t like it ..

Fast forward years and years later .. i am still not a big fan but i don’t mind it .  I had coconut flakes in the granola bars i usually make . Until the other night , a friend of mine who happened to be a neighbor texted me ” do you have vanilla extract ? ”

Of course i do !! This is a baker and a cook you’re asking to !! So she came by and borrowed few tsp of vanilla extract , jokingly i said ” you have to call me when dessert is done , after all i contributed into the making of coconut pie !! ”

Then hours later she texted me ” do you want to come over for dessert ? ”

Of course i said YES ! LOL

It was a delicious coconut cream pie , i became a fan right away . Blueberry was my favorite pie after i made it .. then now .. i think coconut cream pie is the one !!

I tried looking at my pie book , found a recipe for filling , which is quite easy , just a custard filling , except i added shredded coconut so it’s very coconutty !! Then the crust , i used coconut flakes itself , instead of regular pie crust . It def takes the pie to another level !!

So here it is !!

For the crust

1 stick of unsalted butter

3 cups of sweetened coconut flakes

Melt the butter in skillet , add the coconut flakes , keep stirring , don’t stop until it’s golden brown , about 5-7 minutes . Watch so it won’t burn . Once it’s done , lightly butter the pie pan 9 inch pie pan , and press the coconut flakes onto the pan , press it firmly with the base of a glass , since it’s very hot you can’t use your hand !

Then chill in the fridge , while you prepare the filling

11220125_10153579256746812_8338924330041404005_n

Custard coconut filling :

1/3 cup of cornstarch

1/2 cup of sugar

1 tsp salt

Mix well , then add :

2 3/4 cup of milk , i used 2% milk

Stir well , turn the stove on , and keep stirring until it’s almost hot . Meanwhile beat :

4 egg yolks

When the milk mixture become hot , not bubbling yet , pour in steady stream into the yolk mixture , whisking while pouring into the egg yolks mixture . Then mix well , pour this milk egg yolk mixture back into the pot , and whisking constantly , until it’s bubbly and thick . ( this process is called tempering )

Once it’s done , turn stove off , add 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1/2 cup to 1 cup of coconut flakes .

11667337_10153579256921812_6042474435629563981_n (1)

Pour this coconut custard pie filling into chilled crust . Refrigerate for 4 hours , then make the whipped cream topping :

1 1/2 cup of heavy cream

1/4 cup of powdered sugar

1/2 cup toasted coconut flakes

In a chilled bowl , mix the heavy cream with powdered sugar , beat really high until stiff peak . This topping goes on top of the custard filling and sprinkle the top with toasted coconut flakes .

IMG_1362

Lemon Madeleines

I’ve made Madeleines few times before . And i remember the very first time i was skimping on buttering the mold and ended up ruining madeleines . But they all turned out nice as far as i can remember .

Fast forward , the other day i decided to try this recipe from Baking Chez Moi book that my hubby ordered for me around Christmas time . I did mention i wanted this book , i like Doris Greenspan’s cook book , so i figure i might enjoy her french baking book just like the french cook book . The first recipe i tried was the marble cake , it was good but quite heavy and a little on the dry side .

This time my choice landed on Lemon Madeleines , i barely have anything in the fridge so my ingredients were quite limited . Lemon madeleines doesn’t even need many ingredients just butter , flour , sugar , egg , and lemon . Funny thing , you don’t even use the lemon juice , just the zest !

I followed the recipe to the T , lemon madeleines that i made before this , didn’t take this long . Okay the batter didn’t take long to put together BUT .. the waiting period was total of 2 hours !! So after making the batter , i had to chill it for an hour in the fridge , guess you can always try to get the batter ready even a day before if you want to save time . Then i would spoon the batter into the molds and again i had to chill it for another hour in the fridge .

And how long to bake them ? Only 10 minutes in my convectional oven ! LOL .. all of the waiting .. and only 10 minutes baking time , oh and did i mention only produced 12 madeleines ? LOL .. but totally worth it ..

The madeleines was all puffed up i never seen it that huge ! I opened my oven and i was there .. scream in delight .. it is huge !!!!!! My husband laughed and laughed .. for me getting so excited to see my madeleines look so good .

madeleines1

But anyway here is the recipe :

1 lemon

1/3 cup of sugar

90 grams  of all purpose flour

1 tsp. of baking powder

a pinch of salt

1 tbsp. of honey

2 large eggs , room temperature

1 stick of melted butter , warm melted butter

1 tsp. of vanilla

2 tbsp. of whole milk ( i used 1 % since i don’t have whole milk )

1. In a small bowl mix the all purpose flour , baking powder and salt , whisk well , set aside .

2. In a larger bowl , mix the sugar and lemon zest , rub with your fingers until the sugar mix with the zest and becomes moist . At this point , basically the whole kitchen smells like lemon LOL

3. Once you’re ready , beat the sugar and 2 eggs vigorously , or use standing mixer , and about 2-3 minutes it will look very pale and double in size . Then add vanilla and honey , mix well .

4. FOLD in the flour , do not beat with mixer , use spatula or wooden spoon , carefully and gently , then add the warm butter , fold in carefully and add the milk .

5. Chill the batter in the fridge , cover the batter with plastic wrap directly onto the batter , chill an hour . Once you’re ready butter the madeleine mold and flour it , and remove excess flour . Spoon a dollop of the batter into the pan , chill for another hour .

6. Preheat oven to 400 F , throw in a large cookie sheet , once the oven is ready place the madeleine pan on top of the cookie sheet . Bake 10-12 minutes , you might need to bake it longer , my oven is convectional so it’s quicker , and to see if madeleine is ready , touch the puffy part , if it springs back then it’s ready to be taken out . Tap the pan into the counter and carefully remove madeleines immediately . Sprinkle with powdered sugar

madeleines

Spanish Chicken with Chorizo

This was our dinner last night .I think i’ve made them few times already , just forgot to blog about it . Although i don’t know how i forgot .. because this meal is totally awesome . Months back i borrowed a cooking book by Nigella Lawson from the library . She used to have a show on the cooking channel and i used to watch her show .

One of the recipe that attracts me in that book was this spanish chicken with chorizo . Me and my family are a big fan of chorizo . This spanish sausage is full of flavor that would burst out in your mouth and gives so much flavor when you cook it together with chicken . Not only that it has an awesome taste , it is super easy , everyone can cook this and will come our delicious ! Note one thing though , make sure you have the best tasting chorizo because that is where most of the flavor comes from . I adjust a little with the original recipe .

spanish chicken

 

Ingredients :

About 8 chicken thighs , i chose and always choose chicken thighs for braising and long cooking because they have the best taste and won’t dry out like chicken breasts , but it is your choice .

8 small shallots or 4 large shallots , or you can even use red onions if you’d like

2 packages of chorizo , or you can just use 1 , whatever you want

4 medium size of potatoes  , skin on

smoked paprika , kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

So all these are your ingredients , just rub the chicken with olive oil , skin side up , add the chorizo all over , crumble it with your hands , and add potatoes , and onions on top .In fact i was actually thinking maybe i should add brussel sprouts and bury it between the chicken , because an hour at 425 F cooking will totally smush and burn the brussel sprouts LOL . But anyway , throw them in the oven at 425 F and roast them for an hour or so , once in a while use turkey baster to baste the chicken with the juices that comes out .

Oatmeal – Raisin Cookies

After a month long full of sweet last December , to be honest with you , though i baked a lot of them , i hardly had any of them . So , last night suddenly , we had the urge to bake easy simple cookies , my choice landed on oatmeal raisin cookies . I always loved oatmeal raisin cookies . So here is easy simple recipe of oatmeal cookies , you can omit the raisin , it’s your choice  , but to me , it has to have raisins for me to like them !

Ingredients :

10 tbsp. of softened butter

3/4 cup of white sugar ( not heaping )

3/4 cup of light brown sugar ( don’t need to pack it )

2 large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. baking soda

1 1/4 cup of all purpose flour

2 3/4 cup of roll oats

1 1/2 cup of raisins

1. Preheat oven to 375 F

2. In a mixer , beat the sugar and the butter until combined and smooth . Add eggs , beat until fluffy for a minute or 2 . Then add vanilla , baking soda , pinch of salt and flour . Mix well , then add the roll oats , raisins and pinch of ground cinnamon if you like .

3. In a parchment paper lined sheet , drop the cookie dough by tsp. full , and bake for about 8-10 minutes .

Praline Rounds

When i first making this , i was quite excited , i love pecans ,  i like anything praline . So when i baked them and took a bite of it , i expected a great flavor . But i found something is missing . Granted i skipped the frosting that was supposed to be on the top of these cookies . I didn’t think it would miss a great flavor by skipping its frosting . After all , i am not really into frosting anyway .

But i was wrong , the recipe makes 2 logs of cookies . The good thing about this cookies was that you can make the dough few weeks ahead of time , esp. with busy christmas time , it’s a big help if you can make the dough way ahead of time . So with these 2 logs , i baked the 1st log and threw the other one in the freezer . Later on , i found out that i needed to make the frosting since the first batch i made , i didn’t add any frosting . Taste wasn’t the greatest .

On christmas eve , i let the dough thaw out in the fridge , and sliced them nicely , and while they’re baking in the oven , i decided not to skip the frosting this time . Made the frosting .. plenty of them , and had to throw away a lot since i only made for half batch . But my suggestion , when you make this cookies , def , make the frosting , it is very important !

praline rounds

 

Ingredients :

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup of shortening

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

1 egg

2 tbsp. of milk

1 tsp. vanilla

3 cups of all purpose flour

1 cup finely chopped pecans

brown sugar frosting

1. In a large mixing bowl , beat butter , shortening on medium to high speed for 30 seconds . Add sugar , baking powder , baking soda and salt . Beat til combine , add egg , milk and vanilla . Beat til combine , add flour as much as you can with mixer , and 1/2 cup of chopped pecan .

2. Shape the dough into 2-10 inch log , wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap , chill in the fridge or you can throw it into the freezer for future use . Thaw before using . It needs to be chilled at least for 4 hours before slicing and baking them .

3. When you’re ready , slice the dough into 1/4 inch thickness and bake on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet , about 10 minutes or so , 375 F .

Frosting :

In a saucepan , combine 1 cup of packed brown sugar , 1/4 cup of butter , and 1/4 cup of light cream . Bring this to boil for 1 minute and stir constantly . Remove from the heat , add 1 1/3 cup of powdered sugar  , stir until smooth and combine . Drizzle this on top of the cooled cookies .

praline rounds

Frosted Bourbon Brownies

During christmas time , we usually bake a lot of cookies , i did this time , but not as many as i used to . I was a little procrastinating this year , i even forgot to send some goodies to friends out of state . And on top of that i did not make butter cookies for my family to decorate . Yes , i was that bad , i was also sick for almost 2 weeks during the month of December . Actually was a really bad cold , and i started to feel better just days before christmas .

But anyway , to make up for it , that Christmas Eve morning , after coming home from working out , i told my son , who just turned 10 years old that he should pick out a recipe from this christmas baking book , and i will help him to bake it . He chose brownies recipe , maybe because it’s the first recipe on the first page or whatever his reason was .. he picked that one . Okay .. great no cookies , less mess , quick to make .

I let him do everything himself , i only helped measuring the ingredients , he would pour , stir , and mixed it all himself . Set the oven temperature , putting it into the oven ( nervously ) and took it out and even made the frosting . The brownies turned out really yummy .. so i decided to keep it here online , so anytime i want a brownie recipe , this should be my go to brownies !

DSC_0106

Ingredients :

1/2 cup of granulated sugar

1/3 cup of butter ( aboutt 5 1/2 tbsp )

2 tbsp. of water

1 cup of semisweet chocolate pieces ( we didn’t have 1 cup on hand , but we had very few , so we ended up mixing semisweet chocolate chips with heath bits )

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

3/4 cup of all purpose flour

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 cup of chopped pecan

2-3 tbsp. bourbon ( we didn’t have this either , so we used amaretto )

1 recipe butter frosting

1. Grease square dish 8×8 , line with parchment paper , grease with shortening , set aside . Set oven temperature to 350 F .

2. In a small saucepan , combine sugar , butter and water . Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture boils . Remove , and then , add chocolate pieces , stir with whisk until melted , add eggs and vanilla , whisk well until just combined .

3. Combine flour , salt and baking soda , stir into the chocolate mixture , stir until combine , add pecan . Pour into the baking dish .

4. Bake for 20 minutes or longer until edges are set and pull away from the pan . Might take a little more than 20 minutes .

5. Using fork , poke brownies all over , and sprinkle with the bourbon .

Butter frosting recipe :

In a small bowl , beat 3 tbsp. of butter with mixer high speed for 30 seconds . Gradually add 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar , 2 tsp. milk and vanilla . Adjust the consistency by adding more milk if necessary . Spread on top of cool brownies .

DSC_0095 DSC_0099

Chocolate Orange Loaf

It’s been a long time since i made something in the kitchen . Summer is here , and i am getting lazier and lazier to make a mess in the kitchen . Texas hot days is really not fun to be busy in the kitchen . I have spent much of my time outdoor , taking care of my garden . So , by the time i go into the house , i don’t feel like cooking anymore because i was too hot from outside LOL

But anyway , over this past week i borrowed a book from the library . I was actually looking for fish keeping book , especially Cichlid book . Then i ran into cookbook shelves , right by the animals . I landed on Nigella Lawson’s cook book . I used to watch her show , back when my son was little baby . And i love cook books , i collect cook books , but i don’t have any of her book . So i checked it out , and last night during my relaxing time , i went through it . Wasn’t a good idea , because it was late , around 10 pm , and i was getting hungry looking all those pages full of food pictures !

My choice for today’s dessert landed on something easy and quick , yet looks delicious . It was Chocolate Orange Loaf . It turns out really good , make sure you use a good quality unsweetened cocoa powder . And the rest , is really not complicated recipe at all .Have fun and enjoy !

chocolate orange loaf

 

 

Ingredients :

10 tbsp. of unsalted butter , room temperature

2 tbsp. of corn syrup

1 cup packed dark brown sugar ( i used light )

1 cup of all purpose flour

1/2 tsp. of baking soda

3 tbsp. of good quality cocoa powder

2 large eggs

zest of 1 large orange and juice of an orange

1. In a mixing bowl , beat the butter until creamy , add the corn syrup , mix well .

2. Add in the brown sugar , and beat until light in color for few minutes .

3. In a mixing bowl , mix the dry ingredients , flour , baking soda and cocoa powder . Add 1 tbsp. into the butter mixture , then add 1 egg , then add 2 or more tbsp. of dry ingredients into the butter mixture , and add in the 2nd egg . Adding the rest of flour mixture into the butter egg mixture , keep beating .

4. Add in the zest and the juice until mix well .

5. Grease 5×8 loaf pan , line with parchment paper , pour the batter in and bake at 325 F for 45-50 minutes .

Boston Cream Pie

I really don’t know why this dessert is called Pie .. while it really tastes , looks , just like a cake , a sandwich cake . Originally from Boston , this is really easy and delicious cake to make . I am a big fan of vanilla pastry cream , and who doesn’t love chocolate ganache ? In a way , this dessert is like Eclairs , filled with pastry cream , covered with chocolate ganache , except it’s not using pate a choux , eclairs dough , instead it’s being sandwiched in between 2 vanilla white cakes . Doesn’t really matter how it is assembled , but this dessert is really easy and delicious , and i am a fan of it . I made it for my husband to celebrate Father’s day this past sunday . And he thinks the cake is really delicious too .

To save time , you can cook the vanilla pastry cream a day ahead since it needs to be chilled anyway . I made it in the afternoon , it was easy and quick anyway . Didn’t take but max. of 10 mins to make the pastry cream . Then you can worry about the cake later on , while the ganache , obviously needs to be made after the cake is done and assembled .

boston cream pie1

Ingredients  for the Vanilla Custard  :

200 ml of generous 3/4 cup of heavy cream

1/4 cup of sugar

pinch of salt

1 tbsp. of cornstarch

2 large eggs

2 tsp. of vanilla extract or rum ( the custard has so much better flavor if you add rum instead of just vanilla extract , but if you’re non alcoholic , then you can just use the vanilla extract )

1. In a small pot , heat up the cream until edges started to bubbles , then add the salt and sugar to dissolve , stir , and remove from the heat .

2. Mix the large eggs with cornstarch , and whisk well , and then place the pot back on the stove , medium low heat , pour the cornstarch and eggs mixture in a steady stream while whisking at the same time , make sure you whisk whisk and whisk , keep whisking until the mixture becomes thick enough . You should be able to tell , once it’s started to thick , turn the stove off , and keep whisking , texture should be smooth , but if not , use a strainer to get rid of the curdles . Add the vanilla or rum and stir to mix , cover directly with the plastic wrap and chill in the fridge until ready to be used .

For the cake :

200 grams of unsalted butter , about 1 stick and 6 tbsp.

450 grams of all purpose flour

4 tsp. baking powder

300 grams sugar

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup of milk

4 large eggs

1. Line 2-9 inch round pan with parchment paper , and grease and flour both pans . Preheat oven to 350 F . Sift the flour , baking powder and salt together . Set aside .

2. In a mixer , beat the softened unsalted butter with sugar , until light and fluffy for high speed , for few minutes .

3. Add the eggs one at a time , and add the vanilla extract .

4. Alternately , pour the milk and the flour mixture into the batter . Until it’s all mixed well .

5. Divide the batter into 2 round pans , smooth the top using spatula and bake for about 30 minutes or so until tooth pick comes out clean .

6. Cool about 10 mins before taking it out from the pan , cool totally before assembling the cake .

At this point , once the cakes are totally cool inside outside , you can place it in a plate , and then pour the custard that you made earlier and spread the custard until about 2 inches from the edges . Then place the other cake on top , jiggle the cake smoothly while pressing it down . Set aside , now let’s make the chocolate ganache .

For the ganache :

3 oz real good quality of chocolate , break apart of chop

2 tbsp. unsalted butter

1/4 cup of heavy cream

1/2 cup of powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. In a small pot , melt the chocolate and the butter and add heavy cream . Heat up until it started to bubbles on the edges of the pot .

2. Remove from heat , add the vanilla and powdered sugar , whisk well until there is no more clumps from powdered sugar .

3. Let it cool , not totally , but sligtly , you want this to be thick a little bit still pourable . If you do it straight after making it , the chocolate ganache will be pooling on the bottom of the cake , your want it to be thick enough to cover the top and not pooling on  your plate . Smooth carefully with spatula .

Serve right away or you can chill it , before serving next time , bring it down to room temperature slightly before serving , it tastes so much better if it’s not too cold .

 

Japanese Chocolate Cornets

Another recipe that was actually my first time exploring japanese famous bread ( after the milk bread ) . Chocolate cornets reminds me of creamed horn that i grew up with . Creamed horn is made with puff pastry , while chocolate cornets are made from bread . Luckily both are using the same mold .. and i have them . So i decided to try this last week .

I have to say , though it looks really nice , chocolate cornets is just okay for me , i prefer the melonpan and milk bread better than cornets . For you out there who are chocolate pudding lover , might beg the differ , as for me , since i am not a big chocolate pudding fan , i think i’ll do okay without it . Now if you’re talking about vanilla pastry cream that was supposed to be in creamed horn , then , that’s another story .

Here it goes , another cooking show that i watched from youtube , called cooking with dog ( with some slight adjustment )  , and instead of using the food processor like the video showed , i used my own hands . It works just fine .

Ingredients for cornets : 

150 grams of bread flour

1 tbsp. of sugar

pinch of salt

1/2 tbsp. non fat powder milk

1 tsp. insteant yeast

1 tbsp. lukewarm water

70 ml of water

1 tbsp. of egg , beaten

15 grams of melted unsalted butter

1. Mix the lukewarm water with yeast until dissolves . Let it sit for 5 minutes .

2. Mix the bread flour , sugar , salt and milk powder , add in the yeast mixture . Mix with wooden spoon . Then add the beaten egg and water , along with the melted butter   . Knead the dough with your hands until smooth , glossy and elastic . ABout 8 minutes .

3. Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and then let it double in size . About an hour .

4. Once it’s ready , divide the dough into 6 equal size , and then roll it out and shape into rope , about a foot long , and grease the mold and then wrap the rope to the mold . Let it sit for 40 minutes to rise again .

5. Once it’s ready , bake at 390 F , for about 12-15 minutes .

cornets

 

For the chocolate custard : 

2 egg yolks

2 1/2 tbsp. of sugar

1 tbsp. of cake flour

1 1/3 tbsp. of cornstarch

1 tbsp.cocoa powder

200 ml milk

10 gram of butter

30 grams of chocolate

1. Beat the eggs and sugar , add hot milk just a little to smooth out the mixture .

2. Mix the cake flour and cornstarch and cocoa , sift really well .

3. Add to the egg and sugar milk mixture , keep whisking .

4. Gradually add milk and strain if there’s any lumps , if you it well you don’t need to strain it .

5. Put it back in the pan and cook , while whisking constantly until it’s thicken . Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge . Use when you’re ready to eat and serve the cornets !

cornets1

Japanese Melon Bread ( Melonpan )

Few days ago i was trying this japanese chocolate cornets , and then i ran into another recipe , called Melonpan . Curious , i watched the youtube video ( cooking with dog )  and thinking .. wonder what kind of flavor is melonpan . I would think it must have used melon extract as an ingredients . Well to my surprise , melon bread has NOTHING to do with melon flavor . Turned out the melon pan name comes from the way the topping looks , it looks like cracked skin , just like melon , or cantaloupe skin .

Another thing that i noticed , melonpan is very similar to Mexican Sweet Bread , called Conchas . They’re also bread with cookie topping . However , conchas is slightly different than melonpan . The difference lays on the cookie dough , the cookie dough that we use for conchas , are similar to a paste , while the melonpan’s cookie dough is similar to butter cookie where i can roll it out and shape it . Then with conchas , i only lay the topping on top of the bread , with melonpan i have to literally wrap the bread dough inside the cookie dough . Both i have to score the topping , with the japanese melonpan i only have to score it like diamond , while for the conchas , there is no limit to whatever you want to do , your imagination is your limit .

So anyway .. here is melonpan recipe , only for 5 buns , not many at all but they’re big . This amount of recipe is perfect for family of 3 like mine .

Have fun !

meloinpan

Ingredients for bread dough : 

140 grams of bread flour

25 grams of sugar

pinch of salt

5 grams of milk powder

3 grams of yeast

1 tbsp. of beaten egg mixed with 70 ml warm water

15 grams of melted unsalted butter

1/2 tsp. of vanilla

1. In a medium bowl , mix the dry ingredients together , bread flour , sugar , salt , milk powder , yeast . Mix well .

2. Mix the beaten egg with water , and vanilla and melted butter . Pour the ingredients into the flour mixture . Stir with wooden spoon .

3. Keep mixing until it’s hard to use the spoon , use your hand to start mixing the dough and kneading the dough ,add flour as needed , until it cleans the side of the bowl . .

4. Remove from the bowl , and keep kneading the dough on the counter top until the dough becomes smooth , glossy and elastic . About 8 minutes .

5. Grease the bowl and place the ball of dough in the bowl , cover with plastic wrap , place in a warm place to double in size . Takes about 1 hour .

6. Meanwhile make the cookie dough while waiting for the dough to finish rising . Ingredients for cookie dough : 

25 grams of softened butter , unsalted

35 grams of sugar

25 grams of beaten egg ( about half of an egg )

80 grams of cake flour ( 1 cup of all purpose flour – 2 tbsp. of all purpose flour + 2 tbsp. of cornstarch = 1 cup of cake clour )

1/4 tsp. of baking powder .

– Cream the softened butter and then add the sugar , beat until light and fluffy for few minutes .

– Add egg little at a time til combine . Keep beating until light and pale . Add the cake flour mixture with baking powder . Shape into a log and wrap with plastic wrap , and chill in the fridge until the bread dough is done rising .

7. Now that the dough has double in size , take it out from the bowl , and knead to release the gas , and divide into 5 small size balls , seam down . Rest for 20 minutes .

8. Meanwhile , you can take the cookie dough out from the fridge and like the bread dough , divide the cookie dough into 5 equal size , and roll into a ball , and flatten until it’s big enough to wrap the bread ball about 3.5 inches in diameter .

9. Line a parchment paper on cookie sheet . Reshape the bread dough balls , , then cover with cookie dough that has been flattened into 3.5 inch diameter circle . Roll into sugar , and place it on the cookie sheet .

10 . Score the topping with a sharp knife .

11. Let rise again for 40 minutes in warm place .

12. Preheat oven to 340 F , and bake for about 12-15 minutes , depending on your oven . It took mine for about 17 minutes actually to get done .Enjoy !!

Cake Pops and Cake Balls

Years ago when cake pops and balls just started to be a trend , i tried making cake pops . They sounded very easy to make , one problem i ran into , the candy melt cracked after it was chilled in room temperature . And i was not happy .. i forget about cake pops . I didn’t care at all whether i can make it or not since it was not my taste . It was too sweet and i just don’t care much about cake mix , and also the store bought frosting . So i am saving my body from adding his horrible unhealthy calories which i am quite sure with just a bite will make me sluggish the whole day .

So .. why is this entry ? Last month , my MIL sent my son cake pops , and many other goodies for his Valentine’s box . And my son LOVED the cake pops that nana made . Since then he’s been begging me to make cake pops .I tried to ignore it , i thought give it a month he’ll forget about it . But no .. he keeps asking , and i finally gave up . Let’s get this done and over with !!

Beside what’s so hard about making a cake from a box cake mix , my 9 years old already knew how to do it when he was only 7 years old . Bought the frosting , he chose vanilla frosting for his strawberry cake pops . So here we go ..

Ingredients : 

A box of cake mix from store , we picked strawberry cake mix

1 lb or regular size of any frosting of your choice ( you will only use 3/4 of this frosting or even less .. )

All different colors of candy melt , i used majority red and other colors to decorate

Lolipop sticks , you can get this from craft store

Bake the cake mix according to direction , let it cool on the counter for an hour or so , then i throw them in the freezer for extra 20 minutes . I took it out , and divide the cake into 6 big pieces . I removed the hard crust from the edges , you can remove the sticky part on top or bottom too , but just mainly remove the hard edges . Slice it thinly , eat them if you want or give it to the dogs like i did . 

Then get a large bowl , start crumbling the cake with your hands , until really really crumbly . This part was fun to do with your kids , crumbling the cake with both hands . Then add the frosting , i don’t think i used all 3/4 can of the frosting , i was close but not quite whole 3/4 , you just have to feel it . The mixture should be sticky , but not too wet , if it’s too wet too much frosting it won’t hold up its shape . Once you reach the right consistency by mixing the frosting with your spatula , i used my own hands .. guarantee sticky and gross LOL .. 

Now we can start rolling the ball , take the mixture , and start rolling it using your both hands , and then wash your hand and dry EACH TIME after rolling the ball . If you do not do this , guarantee , your next ball will be too sticky to shape and it won’t look as smooth . Take time and wash and dry your hands before shaping another ball . Place the balls into the parchment paper lined cookie sheet . Once you’re done , i have about 20 balls done . Cover it up with plastic wrap and freeze them for about 15 minutes or chill it overnight in the fridge . 

Get your candy melt ready , i used microwave to melt the candy melt , for every 30 seconds , stir it , and it will melt . It doesn’t take long to melt the whole bag , make sure your bowl is deep enough to dip in the balls . If the candy melt is too thick to dip the balls , ( i ran into this problem ) i added 1 tsp. of vegetable oil until the right consistency is reached . Which means , it should be thin enough to be able to cover up the balls . If it’s too thick your ball will be stuck in the candy melt . 

Now , it’s time to get the balls out from the freezer , dip the lollipop stick into the candy melt , and then poke the ball with the stick , just half way through , then dip into the candy melt . Took it out , and place it in a styrofoam , i used a shoe box .. my husband made holes so i can stick the lollipop sticks in there . It works just fine 

cake pops1

See  ? i just used the lid of the shoebox and had my husband poke holes all over for the sticks .

Once it’s all done , you can wrap them up individually with plastic wrap and store it in an airtight container , or displaying it if you’re doing it for a party or something . I also ended up making cake balls , just because i wanted to . I just dip the ball one by one in the candy melt , and scoop it carefully with spoon , then i would place it back on the parchment paper , and let it gets hard , and then feel free to decorate them with more candy melt , or anything else . 

This is how it looks like after i was done wrapping them all with plastic wraps and put little bow to keep the plastic together , and voila .. it’s done ! The whole process without baking the cake probably took about an hour . Not bad .. It’s just bad for your teeth ! LOL

cake pops2 cake pops and balls

Mexican Coffee Buns w/ Coffee (Rotiboy)

Last night i made Mexican Conchas , which is Mexican Sweet bread , then this morning on a conversation with my sister , she mentioned that Rotiboy is also a Mexican Sweet Buns . And it is very famous in Indonesia , as it turned out , it is very famous in Asia . Rotiboy is a Mexican Coffee buns , but it wasn’t from Mexico , instead it is originally from Malaysia . I don’t know the connection between 2 countries , but it is very much similar to Concha , which is Mexican Sweet Bread .

This morning i ended up experimenting with this rotiboy . I made the same bread dough for the Mexican Conchas , but i made a different topping . The base is also the same sugar , butter and flour , except i added coffee extract and also eggs in the mixture . It becomes very creamy , just like icing .

rotiboy

 

The dough for the bread is the same with Mexican Sweet Bread , here is the topping ingredients :

6 tbsp. of unsalted butter , room temperature

1 cup of powdered sugar minus 2 tbsp

4 tsp. of instant coffee granules

1 tbsp. of hot water

1 large egg

2/3 cup of all purpose flour

2 tbsp. powdered milk

1. Beat the butter , sugar and coffee mixture until smooth .

2. Add the egg , beat well .

3. Add the flour and powder milk until combine and smooth .

1. Prepare the bread dough as directed , once it’s done proofing for an hour , take the dough out , and divide the dough into 16 equal size . Then working on each ball , flatten slightly , add 1 tsp. salted butter or margarine . Then wrap it back up into ball shape , seam side down on parchment paper . And then proof 2nd time in about 45 minutes .

2. Once it’s done proofing 2nd time , place the icing in a piping bag , snip the end very small , and start piping the icing out in a circular motion covering every surface of the bread .

3. Bake at 350 F , for 15-16 minutes , rotate half way and switch racks half way .

 

 

Indonesian Coconut Steamed Cake (Putu Ayu)

Indonesian is rich with all different kind of snacks , yummy snacks . A lot of their snacks are made in steamer , unlike Americans , when we make cakes , we always bake them in the oven . During the old days , the indonesian didn’t have oven and stuff .. so that’s probably why most of the traditional cakes / snacks are made using the steamer .

This is one example where we use steamer to make a cake . It is yummy and made using coconut milk and fresh coconut . Since i don’t have fresh coconut , i had to settle with sweetened shredded coconut they sell in the baking aisle in grocery store . It could have been better if i had used a fresh coconut , but what can you do when you don’t have it but you miss eating this traditional cake ? Well .. you just put up with it ..

kue putu ayu

 

Ingredients :

250 ml of coconut milk

300 grams of all purpose flour

250 grams sugar

4 large eggs

2 drops of pandan paste

1/2 tsp. of salt

1. Bring water to a boil in a large steamer . Grease the putu ayu mold with Pam spray or grease it with veggie oil .

2. Packed down shredded coconut on the bottom of the mold .

3. Beat the eggs until foamy then add the sugar , beat about 10 mins until light and fluffy .

3. Then fold in the coconut milk carefully , you don’t want to deflate the air bubbles . Until just combine , and then fold in the flour and the pandan paste into the mixture and salt .

4. Pour into the mold , steam for 15 minutes , high heat .

 

French Macarons

Unlike the American version of macaroons , this French cookies are super cute and has nothing to do with coconut . They’re pretty in color and light and airy , though i can’t really say they’re low in calories , depending on the filling . But for the longest time , this cookies have been my arch enemy . I remember , the very first time i made this was back in 2008 .. or 2009 . I thought this was pretty good , the ingredients are only egg whites , sugar , ground almond and powdered sugar . How hard can this be ?

Well it is by far the HARDEST cookie i ever ran across . It was a pain to make because it took me many many trials and many many times i had failed . Not to mention ground almond isn’t cheap btw !! My macarons either had no feet or the top wasn’t smooth , or too burnt , or the batter too runny .. etc . Many problems .

So i decided to take it break from it , and i don’t even care to try it anymore . Until , today . I decided to give it another try . I have to say , i tried to do my research , and everything , all the tips and tricks that i need to know before tackling this macarons . There i was this afternoon after church , i weighed all the ingredients , except i needed more powdered sugar and i didn’t feel like run to the store just for that . I ended up grinding my sugar with cornstarch to make enough powdered sugar , then i let the eggs sat on the counter right before i left to church . Then i made some i weighed everything to T , and the sifted the ground almond and powdered sugar , and grind more sugar to be a little bit finer .

So , after all those tips that i kept in mind while making macarons .. i STILL ran into problems .. and you see , this is from the same batch of cookies i made . Yet .. the 2nd sheet , was a total fail !! The 1st sheet turned out well and the 2nd sheet was all cracked and no feet . See this picture ..

macaron

 

I really don’t know what the problem was .. although i guess .. it could be the ones with no feet and cracked , was because it was on the bottom rack and it might be too hot ? Next time i might have to try to double the cookie sheet , to protect it from the heat better . But anyway , i am pretty happy with how most of the turned out .. 90% have feet and smooth top . I ended up making lemon curd for the filling , it was quick and easy and i happened to have the egg yolks , from making the macarons , i didn’t want to waste it .

Here is the recipe that i use for macarons :

100 grams of egg whites  , save the yolks for lemon curd

200 grams powdered sugar

50 grams of super fine sugar

110 grams ground almond

1. Preheat oven to 280 F

2. Prepare everything , line baking sheet with parchment paper , if you need to make the circle to make sure your macarons are the same size , i suggest use a pencil on the back side of the parchment paper , so it won’t stick to your cookies once it’s done .

3. Sift powdered sugar and ground almond .

4. Beat the egg whites in standing mixer until it’s foamy , add the sugar little at a time , add the food coloring , keep an eye on the egg whites , keep beating until stiff peak reached .

5. Once the stiff peak reached , add half of the sugar almond mixture , and FOLD using wooden spoon / spatula , whatever works for you . I used wooden spoon and it worked . CAREFULLY  , until just combined . don’t over fold , your batter will be too runny . Your batter should be a thick enough , and not too runny . You want to test it by using a spoon and it should fall off your spoon slowly .

6. Transfer your batter into piping bag , use the round tip , about 1 cm . And start piping it on the parchment paper .

7. Once you’re done , bang the cookie sheet few times on the counter , and then let it sit for an hour . Or elss .. depending how humid your area is .. you can touch the top of the cookie , and if it sticks to your finger , you need to let it sit longer , if it doesn’t stick then it’s time to bake it .

8. Bake for 7 minutes then turn the baking sheet for even baking , and bake another 7-8 minutes until it’s done , but not brown on top . If you do this right , you should see the feet and smooth top . GOOD LUCK

macarons1

 

These are my macarons while waiting for an hour to get dry before being baked .

And these are my macarons , complete with its lemon curd filling

macarons2

Swiss Roll with Mocha Buttercream

So , i believe i had tried making this sponge cake a while back ago , few years ago to be exact . I didn’t think i was quite successful , mainly because the technique to fold the flour into the batter was wrong . And we all know that sponge cake batter is light and airy , and it’s because of the air in the batter , where we beat the eggs and sugar until it’s very light , white and creamy . Well , this morning i wanted to try it again .. it was sunday , we skipped church , and it was gloomy .. What better things to do than experimenting on a cake ?

There i was , with my dear hubby , helping me making the mocha buttercream , for the filling . I was thinking about strawberry jam , but i do not have any strawberry jam left . This time i was quite  sure that i will do it right , i learned from youtube for the technique how to fold the flour into the batter , and that’s all i need .

The funny thing though , my husband was helping me greasing the jelly roll pan , including adding parchment paper .. and then i said ” don’t worry about flouring them , i will do the flour later ”

Well .. i got too busy with the batter , and what do you know .. when it was ready to be poured , i didn’t even bother to look at the jelly roll pan , and i just poured it .. half way pouring it and i remembered .. i didn’t flour them !!! I was so worried it wouldn’t turn out .. but i am glad it did .. it came out just fine !!!

So here is my Mocha Swiss Roll

mocha swiss roll

 

Ingredients : 

100 grams of super fine sugar ( if you have regular sugar , just put them in coffee grinder and pulse few times , watch not to turn them into powdered sugar )

4 large eggs

100 grams of all purpose flour

1. Grease a jelly roll pan 9×13 , and line with parchment paper . Preheat oven to 400 F

2, In a mixer bowl , beat the eggs for a minute then add sugar , keep beating in high speed , for 10 minutes . The batter should be light , creamy and fluffy .

3. Sift flour into the batter , fold the flour into the batter with wooden spoon . Make sure you fold it carefully so you don’t lose air bubbles .

4. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 10-12 minutes . Let cool before inverting it .

To assemble : In a parchment paper , sprinkle some powdered sugar , then invert the cake carefully , peel off the parchment paper , spread the filling , either jam , preserves , or buttercream , roll carefully .

swiss roll

Panna Cotta w/ Strawberry Reduction

Panna cotta is italian dessert , it is really easy and needs to be made in advance . I like any dessert that can be made super easy and in advance . This will take nothing but 5-10 minutes preparation and you’re done .

panna cotta

Direction : 

4 cups of heavy cream

1/2 cup of sugar

2 tsp. of vanilla extract , or you can use 1 vanilla beans , scrapped

2 packets of unflavored gelatin , about 4 1/2 tsp.

6 tbsp. of cold water

1. In a pot , heat the sugar and heavy cream , until sugar dissolve , do not let it boil .

2. In a large bowl , sprinkle the gelatin into the water ( 6 tbsp. cold water ) . Let is sit about 5-10 minutes .Then pour the very warm heavy cream into the gelatin , and whisk until the gelatin dissolves .

3. Pour into ramekins , wine glass etc .

 

panna cotta with strawberry reduction

Strawberry reduction is pureed strawberry with sugar , then cook until it becomes very thick , almost like a jam consistency , this needs to be chilled .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Marble Cake

The other day , a friend of mine mentioned about marble cake .. and now i am hungry for it . When i was young , my mom , used to bake marble cake all the time . I remember helping her making the batter so that at the end, she would hand me the bowl or the spoon and i can lick it off ! It was childhood memories . Mom always made a good yummy and beautiful marble cake . Marble cake isn’t really that hard to make ,it’s quite easy .. just make a batter then you can always add cocoa powder to make marble cake , and you’re welcome to put any other color if you want to make it colorful .

Direction : 

225 grams of butter , about 2 sticks of unsalted butter , room temperature

225 gram of sugar

225 gram of all purpose flour

2 1/4 tsp. of baking powder

3/4 tsp. of salt

4 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3 tbsp. of milk

2 tbsp. of cocoa powder

1. In a mixer bowl , beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy . Then add eggs one at a time , mix thoroughly , then add the flour , baking powder and salt , along with the vanilla extract and milk . Mix together .

2. Divide into 2 bowls , if you like it even , divide half and half , if you like more vanilla , then leave more vanilla batter in 1 bowl and not so much chocolate batter in the other bowl . Then pour the batter alternately in the greased and floured baking pan , and tap the pan , so there won’t be air bubbles , and then use skewers , making swirl all over the batter .

3. Bake at 350 F ,about 40-45 minutes .

Champagne Sangria

This is recipe that i found on foodnetwork , i am not big of wine drinkers . In fact i don’t really drink wine , although i have some wine and liqour in my fridge , most of them are being used to cook or bake when needed . I don’t really care much about wine probably because i have sweet tooth and wine to me , isn’t sweet , they’re sour and sometimes it could be better .

The other day i decided to make sangria , all i know about it was , it’s mixed of wine with lots of fruits . I love fruits .. and so i happened to see this recipe for sangria and they’re incredibly easy to make . Just a little time to make the syrup and you’re ready for it .

My suggestion if you do have sweet tooth , just use all the amount mentioned for the syrup , but if you don’t really like it sweet , probably it will be best to cut down to half of the amount mentioned in the recipe . I myself think , that full amount was a little way too sweet , but our guests liked it that way 🙂

sangria

 

Direction : 

about 8 strawberries , quartered

1 lemon , sliced

1 lime , sliced

3/4 cup of orange juice

few sprigs of fresh mint leaves

2 cups of mint syrup ( 2 cups of sugar and 2 cups of water and 1 cup packed mint leaves , cook until sugar dissolves , boil , then simmer for 5 minutes and let cool for 20 minutes )

1 bottle 750 ml of prosecco or french champagne

In a glass pitcher , add the fruits , then the orange juice , the syrup ( using a strainer you don’t want the ugly looking dark mint leaves in the drinks ) , and refrigerate until ready to serve . Then right before serving pour the prosecco , i actually found 2 cups of mint syrup a little bit too sweet , though i have sweet tooth , i ended up adding few glugs of riesling , since that’s the only one i had on hand . Serve with crushed ice or ice cube .