Monthly Archives: March 2014

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