Monthly Archives: March 2013

Vanilla Cup (cakes) w/ Frosting

Nothing beats home made cake , although you have to admit , those box cake mix , makes our lives a lot easier , not only they’re easy , they’re soft and yummy too . But i really don’t like using a cake box mix for some reason , to me , it’s not really a home made when you all have to do just throw in oil , water and eggs . The past few years i’ve been searching for a good vanilla cake recipe , or as you call it , white cake . I think i finally found one …

This recipe is easy to throw together , super easy when you have all ingredients on hand . The one that takes up most time is to mix the cake flour if you don’t have cake flour on hand . I don’t always have cake flour on hand . But i do have all purpose flour , cornstarch on hand 90% of the time . So , how do we make cake flour out of all purpose flour ? Easy for every 1 cup of all purpose flour , take 2 Tbsp.out from the measuring cup and replaced with 2 Tbsp. of cornstarch . There you have it .. and then you have to sift then for 5 times back and forth . That’s all !! The rest of ingredients are very basic , butter , eggs , sugar and sour cream . I suggest you always have sour cream on hand too , because they do make a cake moist , as long as you put the right amount .

The good thing about home made vanilla cake too , you can always choose your own glaze or frosting . The first time i made it , i used vanilla frosting also , this last time , i used chocolate glazed which i added a little vodka and topped it with toasted coconut . Or just plain sprinkle .. whatever .. it’s endless !!

Direction : 

1 1/3 cup of cake flour

1/2 tsp. of baking powder

1/2 tsp. of salt

3 egg whites

1/3 cup of milk , whole milk or 2%

2 tbsp. of sour cream

1 tsp. of vanilla extract

1 stick of unsalted butter

1 cup of sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 f , Line 12 cupcakes pan with the cupcake liner .

2. In a mixing bowl , beat room temperature butter with sugar , high speed for about 8 minutes until very light and fluffy .

3. Mix the egg whites with milk and vanilla and sour cream with whisk , until it’s combine well .

4. Alternately , pour the flour , and then milk in 2 additions .

5. Pour the batter into the cupcakes liner .

6. Bake about 18 minutes or until it’s done .

vanilla cupcakes lady bug

vanilla cupcakes flower

cupcakes

vanilla cupcakes

vanilla cupcake1

 

Obviously , with vanilla cupcakes , you can always try different kind of frosting . Above pictures showed you whipped vanilla frosting , and also chocolate glazed with coconut frosting . They are delicious .

Vanilla frosting recipe :

1 stick of room temperature unsalted butter

3 cups of powdered sugar

1 1/2 tsp. of vanilla extract

About 6 tbsp. of heavy cream

Mix them all together until frosting is smooth . You can add food coloring or just as is . This frosting will be harden in room temperature .

vanilla cake

 

Strawberry – Rhubarb Crunch w/ Vanilla Ice Cream

I had never tried rhubarb before . From what i heard they go great when cooked with strawberry , and people said it has quite similar taste with strawberry . So it is full spring down south , and i figured it should be easy to find rhubarb , and it should be widely available . So yesterday when i went grocery shopping , my eyes was set to find rhubarb . I found them , those long red stalk , not to be mistaken with swiss chard by the way 🙂 But it happened , when i was about to pay for my grocery , the girl didn’t know it was rhubarb , she thought it was swiss chard . I should have said yes , because i would have been getting a lot cheaper price as a chard than a rhubarb . They cost me $6.99/lb , i don’t know if this is normal price or considered quite high . I highly pay that kind of price of vegetables or fruits .. i thought it was expensive . The strawberry on the other hand was quite cheap , it was about $2.00 for a pound .

My husband’s grandpa loved rhubarb , my husband never had rhubarb . So we both were excited to try it . The recipe doesn’t call too many ingredients , lots of strawberries and rhubarbs , oatmeals , sugar , flour and brown sugar , butter and all you’re all set to make a yummy delicious crunch .. or should i call it crisp ? I love this dessert , perfect amount of sweetness and tart . And i happened to make my home made french vanilla ice cream the day before , what a perfect combination !!

Direction : 

About 4 cups of sliced strawberries , i used about 1 1/2 lbs of fresh strawberries , rinsed , and hulled , then sliced .

5 stalks of rhubarb , about 4-5 cups of diced rhubarb .

1 cup of sugar

4 tbsp.heaping , all purpose flour

Mix them all well , then transfer to a baking dish 9×13 . Preheat oven to 375 F , while you make the topping

rhubarb1

rhubarb2

rhubarb3

rhubarb4

 

The topping :

1 cup of brown sugar

1 stick of cold unsalted butter

1 1/4 cup of all purpose flour

1 cup of oatmeal

Pulse in food processor , until slightly crumbly . Then spread on top of the fruits . Bake for 40-45 minutes until the topping is golden brown .

rhubarb5

rhubarb6

 

Serve warm with home made vanilla ice cream .Recipe follows :

Home made vanilla ice cream :

2 cups of milk

3/4 cup of sugar

1 tbsp. of good vanilla extract

2 cups of heavy cream

Mix these ingredients together , then chill overnight in the fridge . The next day , pour all ingredients into your ice cream maker , for about 18 minutes . Store in the freezer .

strawberry rhubarb crunch

DIY Tiered Flower Pot

Few days ago as i was browsing and wasting my time on Pinterest , i ran across this cute idea of making tiered flower pot . I thought why have i never thought about this before ? Of course we’ve seen in the a huge green houses , beautiful pots on top of pots with beautiful colorful impatiens or petunias or allysum . It’s just pretty !!

So , yesterday i set my mind to this , i knew i had that 1 huge pot laying around doing nothing , then a small pot in the back porch that used to have basil before winter last time , now it was just sitting there doing nothing . And super small one that had my thyme ( i eventually had to remove the thyme somewhere else ) . The only thing i had to get was a medium pot , which i got from the grocery store as i had to do my grocery shopping earlier that day .

Basically you just need 4 pots , the biggest one goes on the bottom , then the medium pot on top , small and finally the highest one would be the smallest pot . You will need a rod too , now if your pots don’t have holes in the bottom middle part , you might have to get your dremel tools out and make a hole in each pot . Make sure the rod is small enough to go through that holes too . I found a stick from my neighbourhood since there are lots of houses being built , my problem was 2 pots don’t have holes , and for the clay pot in the middle , the wood stick was too big , so i had to have my husband get his saw and cut it smaller .

Here you can see from the picture , the pots that you will need and of course , do not forget the dirt !!

1. Get your pots ready , check the bottom , if they’re made from clay usually it has holes on the bottom , if it’s plastic like some of mine ,chances are you might have to make holes on the bottom . Fill in the biggest pot with dirt , then insert the wooden rod / stick in the middle ( just like making tiered cake )

 

tiered pots1

2. Fill in the dirt as you go .

tiered pots2

 

3. Let’s start planting our flowers . I used petunias , impatients and allysum .

tiered pots3

4. And it’s done !!! Once they grow fuller , it will look so much prettier , impatients will be bushy and petunias will be trailing and allysum will spread just like what it supposed to do , as a ground cover . Be wise in choosing the type of flower you want to plant in this tiered pots . For example , you do not want to put geranium on the bottom pot , i can see on the highest one it should work , Look for something that will spread horizontally for the bottom pots .Have fun !

tiered pots4

Chocolate Stout Cake

I have been dying to bake a cake !! I haven’t baked for a while , with my husband’s office place is holding a weight loss competition for the next 8 weeks , i haven’t cooked and baked as much . I guess it is good for the money and the waist too . But i couldn’t stand it anymore and it was like i am having a withdrawals . To me , cooking and baking is a place where i can focus my mind just on it , having fun doing it , not having to worry about other stressful thing in life . Just like running , when i bake , cook or run , or working out , i can focus only on that and my mind doesn’t wonder anywhere else , esp. to the area where it bothers me much . So , i had that need , to bake ! My husband said that i should make a cake with chocolate ganache , he left it at that .

My son said that we should make doughnuts , he likes doughnut holes . And they’re easy to make anyway , so i told him i will make him that . Although i was set to make a cake . Eventually i did both of them . My kitchen was busy .. luckily i didn’t have to cook dinner , since we had leftovers of the spaghetti bolognese i made the day before .

My choice of cake landed on Chocolate Stout Cake , i wanted to try something that i never done before . It’s always fun trying new things , although i ended up having to buy 6 packs of beer !! We don’t drink beer , and when we buy them we only use it for cooking , such as chili . So this was another recipe that requires beer ,hence the name stout . And apparently , it requires a dark beer , and i didn’t have that kind on hand . And they didn’t sell just 1 bottle either .. i had to buy the whole thing .

I have to say , the cake turned out better than i thought it would be . I like chocolate but i am not a chocoholic , i am okay without it , and i can live without chocolate . It’s not something that i was like .. WOW .. But the cake itself was WOW .. it was moist , it was chocolaty , but it wasn’t overly sweet or overly rich . It was just great balance overall , and i believed the sour cream in the cake made a huge difference !! And always used that particular dark beer , i used Guiness .

If you feel intimidated by this , don’t .. DON’T .. there is no reason to be intimidated by this . This was quite an easy cake to make with a max. result . It is HUGE .. that was for sure , 3 layers of 8 inch cake , will serve more than 12 people i think . I ended up having to send half of the cake with my husband to work so he can share it with office people !

 

Direction : 

4 sticks of butter , unsalted

2 cups of dark beer , such as guiness

1 1/2 cups of cocoa powder , unsweetened

In a medium pot , mix the butter and beer , under medium heat . Whisking the butter until it melts and add the cocoa powder , whisk until it’s mixed well . Remove from the heat , cool to lukewarm temperature . 

4 large eggs

1 1/3 cup of sour cream

Beat this together in a large mixing bowl until combined . Then add the beer chocolate and butter mixer into the sour cream egg mixture . Mix well until combine . And add : 

4 cups of all purpose flour

4 cups of sugar ( yes .. 4 , seems a lot i know !! )

1 tbsp.  of baking soda

1 1/2 tsp. of salt

Beat on low about 15 seconds until the flour just combine . Stop the mixer , using spatula to fold the flour evenly . And pour into 3 -8 inch parchment paper line baking pan ( buttered and floured the pan before lining it with paper and again after lining it with paper , butter it again )  . Bake at 350 F , for about 35 minutes . Insert toothpick to see if it’s done or not . 

When it’s done , let the cake cool about 20 minutes on it’s pan , and remove the cake from the pans . Let cool completely .

For the icing : 

2 cups of heavy cream

1 lb of semi sweet chocolate chip ( not exceeding 61% cocoa )

In a medium pot , simmer the heavy cream until it starts bubbling on the edges and then remove from heat , whisk in chocolate chips until melted . Refrigerate for about 2 hours until you reach spreadable consistency to work as icing .

This is the picture step by step how to ice your cake : 

1.Line a cake stand with parchment paper , not too big , just enough to line up the edges where you will work on .Then place the 1st layer of the cake on top the paper , and start working on the icing . Add the 2nd layer of the cake , ice it , and top it with the final layer of the cake .

stout cake1

2. Start icing the top and the side of the cake . Be generous . Using your spatula , smooth the top and the side of the cake .

stout cake2

 

stout cake3

 

stout cake3

 

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3. Once it’s smooth enough , you can remove the parchment paper on the bottom , pull it out carefully .

stout cake4

 

chocolate stout cake

chocolate stout cake1

 

 

 

Kimchi Fried Rice with Bacon and Shiitake Mushroom

When i made my kimchi , i made a big batch of it , so sometimes i felt like what should i do with this ? It’s like a kimchi overload happened in my fridge . My husband’s favourite dish with kimchi is kimchi stew , that was also my favorite . One morning i decided to try to throw together kimchi omelette , and that worked pretty good too , nothing to it , just beaten eggs , salt pepper and rice wine . This time i tried to make kimchi fried rice . As always my guidance is the korean food website Maangchi . Fried rice is everywhere in asia , but you have so many different kind . Being from Indonesia , my favorite is Indonesian Fried Rice , i think nothing can beat that . But nothing wrong with trying new stuff .. so there it goes my kimchi fried rice . As long as you have leftovers rice , and kimchi and hot pepper paste , you’re set to go . That’s about all the ingredients going into kimchi fried rice . I happened to have bacon on hand , so i cooked the bacon ,used some of the bacon grease to saute the chopped kimchi , and added the sliced shiitake mushroom . Then i added hot pepper paste and finally the rice itself . The result was delicious , although it was a little sour , until i added a little sugar . I also added scrambled eggs into the fried rice .

kimchi fried rice