Showing posts with label Baking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Baking. Show all posts

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Plum and black cherry Tart

It's not plum season here, we are in the middle of winter but I wanted to try out this recipe from  I had gotten myself a new flan dish and was itching to use it. So I bought myself a can of plums and another of black cherry. The recipe is very easy to follow.

I drained my fruits from the can and set aside the liquid, This can cooked to reduce the liquid and used later as jus to serve. While I was waiting for my pastry shell to chill, I started to prepare the almond fillings. I think you have to chill the moulded pastry after handling it during kneading and moulding. I had watched on Youtube tutorial on making of shortbread pastry earlier and learned that chilling it before baking, gives it that extra crunch.

Don't forget the very important Step 5, OMG!! I forgot to put the weights down on the pastry shell, during the pre-bake and as a result, it ballooned up like an Indian bread :) Hahahahaha! Lucky I was able to rescue it by putting the weights in halfway thru baking. But I ended up burning it anyway when I removed the foil to allow centre to brown a little. Must watch the temperature..sigh!

Take 2 was done with the pastry in the pie dish. I was extra careful this time and was successful in not burning the pastry during prebake.

And here it is, my plum and cherry Tart... Pie whatever you want to call it :) You an eat it on its own or served with cream and the jus reduction.

P.S I think my next post should include bloopers :) hahahhaha..

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Cherry Blossom Macarons

Hi there all, it's spring time in Australia and I can't helped but be inspired to make some Cherry Blossom Macarons. I have been wanting to make these for quite some time, ever since I got hold of a cherry blossom flavouring last year. Now with the cherry blossoms in bloom, it's the perfect time to do this blogpost.

Now this recipe is a basic French Macaron recipe which I had learned from a Macaron making class. You can adapt this recipe to any flavours and colouring to suit you by flavouring the ganache and as for the shells, you can use any colouring. Do try to use gel or powdered colours as liquid colouring will change the texture of your shell.

One of the secret to a successful macaron making is, that you have to aged the egg whites. This means that you store your eggs whites up to a week in the fridge to liquify it, the breaking down of the albumen does makes a difference, to a pass or fail. :)


120g liquified egg whites
125g Almond meal
210g pure icing sugar (NOT Icing Mix)
90g caster sugar
  1. Pulse gently in a blender, mix icing sugar and almond meal till smooth, do not let it get hot.
  2. Then sift. Set aside
  3. Beat egg whites to a soft peak then add caster sugar till dissolved
  4. Fold thru almond meal mix with meringue
  5. Now pipe to a round shape button and tap tray to ensure no air bubbles trap inside.
  6. Let it sit for 40 minutes to form skin. 
  7. Bake at 130 degrees for about 15 minutes, check your oven, don't bake them too hot, adjust accordingly.
For the purpose of this post, my fillings will be a cherry flavoured ganache


  1. Place the white chocolate in a medium bowl. 
  2. Bring the cream to a boil over medium-high heat in a small saucepan and pour it over the chocolate. 
  3. Allow the mixture to rest for about two minutes, then stir until the mixture is smooth and the white chocolate is completely melted. 
  4. Allow to cool for about five minutes, then add a few drops of cherry blossom essence. Cover the bowl with foil and refrigerate it until the mixture thickens.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Chocolate cake

My little one is all grown up but he will always be my baby, even if he turns 21 this week. Prior to making his Chocolate cake, I had to get his approval as he is a tad fussy with his foods. I was not allowed to make buttercream frosting, use any fresh cream or god forbid that I put any fruits on it, even if it was choc coated strawberries. I did get an okay for salted caramel sauce. I was not allowed to use thick caramel from cooking sweet condensed milk. Who doesn't like sweet condensed milk? I secretly put this in his Milo and he loves it! Shhhhhh! So my revenge was, going overkill on the chocolate decorations, toppings, heheheh.

The salted caramel was prepared earlier, I always have a batch ready made for any occassion. I learnt to make this at a previous macaron class with FoodIam.

So here is the simpole recipe which I followed from There are loads of recipe there but I am sticking to the classic simple recipe for the fusspot ;),top-10-chocolate-cake-recipes


  • 1 1/3 cups (200g) plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa ( I used Organics Greens Cocoa, they are the best I know) 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 200g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
  • 225g unsalted butter, softened, chopped 
  • 1 cup (220g) caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) milk
  • Chocolates for decorations
  • 1 tsp of glucose (I add this instead of butter to ganache for shine)

1. Preheat the oven to 160C. Grease and line a 24cm round springform cake pan.
2. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl. Set aside.
3. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water (don't let bowl touch water). Cool slightly.
4. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. With beaters on medium speed, add vanilla, then add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Pour in cooled chocolate and beat until well combined. Beat in a third of sifted ingredients, followed by a third of the milk. Repeat until all ingredients are incorporated, beating until smooth.
5. Pour mixture into the pan and bake for 45-55 minutes until risen and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then invert onto rack to cool completely.
6. To serve, spread the ganache over the top and sides of the cake using a hot palette knife, then decorate with chocolates.
7. To make chocolate ganache: Melt 150g chopped good-quality dark chocolate with 125ml heavy double cream. I heat my cream, stop prior to boiling point and pour over chocolate melts and leave it for few minutes to melt. I then stir them up and added a teaspoon of glucose to make it super glossy. I have heard that you can also add butter. 

And there you have it! A chocolate cake! I even got a huge smile from the boy! Best pressie ever!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

FoodIAM French Macaron class

I have had so many fails at macaron making, that I stopped counting. At my last tanty tantrums cries, after yet another fail, I decided that I was going to enrol in a class. Never mind the costs, I was just going to do it!!

Much to my delight, I found that, there was a cooking school in Wagga called Foodiam and they have macaron masterclass in March. So I signed up, enrolled and paid up immediately to ensure my place. What luck! It saves me from having to go to Sydney or Melbourne, (flights and hotel) for classes. Bonus!! The extra money I saved, I can do another class. Thinking of Italian dessert class next.

I didn't think this day would get here, but it sure did, so I went this morning with my bells on! Okay, so I was just a little excited, I am going to learn from a professional! Tania promised me that Melina will have me making these babies like a pro, there won't be any tears!

About the class, for more info, click on the link.
  • Cost $129
  • Demo and hands on approach.
  • Printouts of recipe and instructions are given to attendees.
  • Coffee and tea and cold water are provided. 
  • Runs for 3.5 hours. 
Now, I don't want to give too much away on this blog, it is a very good class, you have to be there to experience it. I am a visual learner, I learn by hands on approach and from looking at demo by the instructor. I could never have made macarons from just recipe printouts alone. Hence why, this was really good class and it works out better for me. I can see now, where I had gone wrong in the past when I made my macarons at home. Sure, a lot of it was because I was just winging it and not following the technical side of recipe. :)

Chef MELINA PUNTORIERO from Manuelina Culinary Institute instructs and demonstrate in the fabulous shiny spacious kitchen. I am totally in love with that kitchen. Then we are paired off to work in a team in a small group. At the end of the class, we get to take home our macarons. I have learned so much this morning. I can't wait to try this at home.... but I have to wait, for the eggs to age, so that I can replicate these macarons at home.

Notes to myself:
  • Aged the eggs to liquify, never use freshly open ones. (Can freeze egg whites, to liquify later for use)
  • Use gel colors, not liquid.
  • Beat egg whites and gel colour first, then when small bubbles formed, add caster sugar, continue on medium speed, till peak and glossy.
  • Add flavours to ganache fillings, never to macaron shells. (My past mistakes) 
  • If ganache is too runny, add whipped butter.
  • After piping, set aside to form skin for 40 minutes before putting in oven.
  • Lower the oven temp (140 deg fan forced for 15 mins) 
  • Always do a wiggle test before taking tray out
  • Put in fridge to cool down faster, before peeling out of baking sheets.
Thank you so much Melina and Tania for an amazing class this morning. I'll be back for other dessert classes. First thing I did when I came home was to crack open some eggs to age. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Pineapple Jam

Chinese New Year is coming. Every year I try to make at least one Chinese New Year cookies, last year, it was peanut cookies, so yum..... the year before it was pineapple jam tarts. My household loves this jam tarts. So I try to make an effort to make this.  You would think that, one would find it easier as time goes by with the jam making. But strangely for me, not so much.

Pineapple Jam

This is my second batch of jam making this week. The one that I made last week was a tad watery, I think I shall have to use it for glazing or dessert flavourings or saucing. It was just not fibrous enough, to hold the shape of a round ball to put on top of my open faced tart.

I wanted it to be drier than the first batch. No tears this time, just a lot of determination. I must be getting old because I forgot to strain it last week. It works so much better if one follows the recipe and don't just wing it! :) I blame getting old... Thank goodness, the pineapples are not too dear to buy this time of the year. I would have cried if it was. Besides, there more to CNY than pineapple jam tarts, right? Errr, NO! Not for all the Ang Pows in the world :)

Pineapple Jam


3 - 4 Pineapples
2 cups of sugar ( you can add more but I don't like it too sweet.)
I cinnamon stick

  1. Remove pineapple skins, 
  2. Cut into pieces
  3. Process in a blender, I use chop instead of grind for coarser result
  4. Put mash pineapple thru strainer
  5. Collect the juice, you may need it for your Rum or if jam gets too dry. 
  6. Heat up pan or wok
  7. Put strained pineapple pulp into pan and leave alone to cook till soft
  8. Add two cups of sugar, mix and leave alone
  9. Check on cooking to ensure it is caramelising nicely and not burnt. Stir it as needed.
  10. When it nice and thick and golden hue, turn heat off
  11. Leave to cool. 
  12. Once cooled, put in a sterile jar and keep in refridgerator till you are ready to use it.
You can use it for toast. This jam is so yummy, you shouldn't restrict yourself to just having it on the New Year. As for my other batch... hmmmm I can still use it for icecreams, cakes, or meat glazing on the BBQ. Meanwhile, ahem... need to find some use for juice, Where's that rum??

See how much juice you collect, if you strain it? If you don't strain, that works too but it takes longer for the jam to reduce the liquid and I am sure, no one wants to spend hours on it. Not when there's rum to be drunk !!! 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Madeleine Cookies

It's winter now in Australia, so I usually hibernate till work day Monday on my weekends. I do my shopping straight after work on Friday so that I can get home and spend as much time watching korean dramas and do some pottering around the house and baking. Okay, not so much the baking part though.

Few weekends ago, I watched a korean drama titled "My name is Kim Sam Soon". It's an oldie, I was watching it for the Danny oppa fix but little did I know, that I was going to be more fixated with the baking in the drama and all the lovely cakes and pastries that was featured on that drama.

I just had to buy myself a Madeleine pan immediately after that. I love that drama, it's a light comical romance with enough soppy parts to make you reached for the tissues and yet with a sudden change of scene, it would have you drooling and pausing the show, just to admire the baked stuff. This drama is so evil! So, if you haven't seen this drama, please go watch it now for the drool factor!! OMO, Danny oppa, you do get my undivided attention though in your scenes!

And so it began, I needed to bake these babies to see what all the fuss is about. Last nite, I made the batter and chill it in the fridge as per the recipe instrution, you can find the recipe and video demo link from

I am hoping mine turns out edible at least. I do love Joy of Baking website. Stephanie has video demo which is a whole lot easier than reading a bunch of words. I am terrible at following manuals or word instructions, I need visual display. :) Yes, I am a bit special! LOL :)

Making Madeleines cookies

Making Madeleines cookies

Making Madeleines cookies

Baking Madeleines

Baking Madeleines

Err Mah Gerrd!!!! I have eaten two already, second tray is in the oven now.. they taste like lemon cakes, crunchy on outside, nice and warm buttery lemon inside! So good!! So glad I have enough batter for two trays. So simple, sinful and good for you! It's got lemons! That's Vitamin C, right?

Enjoy and have a great weekend everyone! Nomnomnom! Peace out!
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