Category Archives: Desserts

Christmas Bake: Cherry Vanilla Pound

I know in Singapore it’s already Boxing Day today. Hope everyone had a fun time. Anyway it’s still Christmas here in Idaho. A tad boring for us since we have some travel restrictions and are still in the midst of settling down (so we’re kind of stuck in here at home).

Cherry Vanilla Pound Cake

Cherry Vanilla Pound Cake

This is my FIRST bake since I’ve arrived. I can no longer wait for my boxes. I have to start using the Kitchenaid that my hubby got for me as an early Christmas present. I just need to bake something………….

Early Christmas Pressie from Hubby :)

Early Christmas Pressie from Hubby 🙂

So I bought some disposable aluminium loaf-pan foil. Can’t imagine that I got so excited about it and was already wide awake at 5.30am.

CVP-2

Servings: 8 slices

Ingredients:

  • 150g Cake Flour (Sifted twice)
  • 150g Unsalted Butter (Room Temperature)
  • 100g Caster Sugar
  • 3 Egg Yolks
  • 1/8 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 120g Frozen Dark Sweet Cherries
  • French Meringue: 3 Egg Whites & 30g Caster Sugar

Preparation:

  • Sift the flour and baking powder.
  • Prepare 8″ x 3 3/4″ x 2 1/2″ Aluminium Loaf-Pan
  • Preheat oven to 170°C/335°F

Method (with step-by-step photo) 

  1. Cream the butter to incorporate air till pale yellow.
  2. Add sugar and salt, whisk till light and fluffy(mayo-like texture).
  3. Whisk in egg yolk one at a time.
  4. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  5. Prepare french meringue in a clean mixing bowl (To read up on how to whisked up meringue, click here).
  6. Fold in 1/3 meringue into butter mixture.
  7. Fold in the sifted flour & baking powder quickly till it just disappear into the butter mixture. DO NOT OVERMIX as you will end up with a tough & dense sponge.
  8. Fold in remaining meringue quickly.
  9. Mix in the frozen dark sweet cherries.
  10. Fill up the loaf-pan 3/4 full.
  11. Bake at 170°C/335°F for 60mins or when skewer comes out clean.
  12. Cool down before serving.

CVP-5

Oh and did I mention that I love baking in this winter because cakes and cookies can get so quickly cooled down just by opening a slight bit of the window. 🙂 A total natural cooler!!

Getting a blast of Cold Air

Verdict: Strong hint of vanilla (which I totally love) and the tanginess of the dark cherries balances out the sweetness of the cake. As usual the body of the cake moist and tender. 

Chocolate Chip Cookie-Top JUMBO Muffins

I always always have a soft spot for for huge top muffins or what my hubby calls it as ‘mushroom-top’ muffins because of its overflowing crown which resembles a mushroom.

Look @ the arrows pointing to the muffin caps. Don't they look like mushroom top?

Look @ the arrows pointing to the muffin caps. Don’t they look like mushroom top?

I mean seriously who can resist these delicious looking things, calling for us to bite into them.You must be wondering why I name it cookie top muffins. This is because the bird’s eye view of these muffins really do look like chocolate chip cookies. Also with those crusted crown, it does indeed really taste like a soft cookie, crispy at the edge. With the egg-separation method the body of the muffin is tenderly moist and soft (even till the next day).

Doesn't the top look just like chocolate chip cookies?

Doesn’t the top look just like chocolate chip cookies?

These cookie-top muffins were so seriously good that my boys actually made me bake them for 3 consecutive days. So…. I have decided to place this under our Family’s Signature.

Here is how to make these lovely munchies. Totally AWESOME with a glass of cold milk or a cup of hot flora white tea. 🙂

CCJumboMuff-4

Servings: 6 Jumbo Muffins

Ingredients

  • 150g Top Flour
  • 150g Unsalted Butter (Room Temperature)
  • 100g Caster Sugar
  • 3 Egg Yolks
  • 1/8 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt ( I use my favourite pink salt)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 120g Chocolate Chip (put aside 3 tsp for the muffin topping)
  • French Meringue: 3 Egg Whites & 30g Caster Sugar

Preparations:

  • Line the muffin tin.
  • Preheat oven to 170°C.

Method (with step-by-step photo) 

  1. Cream the butter to incorporate air till pale yellow.
  2. Add sugar and salt, whisk till light and fluffy(mayo-like texture).
  3. Whisk in egg yolk one at a time.
  4. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  5. Prepare french meringue in a clean mixing bowl (To read up on how to whisked up meringue, click here).
  6. Sift in flour and baking powder.
  7. Fold in the flour quickly till it just disappear into the butter mixture. DO NOT OVERMIX as you will end up with a tough & dense sponge.
  8. Add in chocolate chips.
  9. Fold in 1/3 of the meringue. Fold in the remaining meringue quickly.
  10. Fill lined muffin tin with batter to the brim. This will give you a beautifully crusted crown.
  11. Top off the batter with 1/2 tsp of chocolate chips on each muffin.
  12. Bake at 170°C for 35mins or when skewer comes out clean.
  13. Cool on cooling rack.

CCJumboMuff-8CCJumboMuff-9CCJumboMuff-10CCJumboMuff-11

Verdict by Clemens (my eldest boy with a picky tongue):

  • Best eaten after it has cooled off from the oven immediately because that’s when the crown is the crustiest and the body- warm, soft and moist. Totally deliciously.
  • Great on the day itself because the top still feels like eating cookie with a moist and soft body.
  • Second day- Still good but abit nah……… because the crown is no longer as crusty as the 1st day. but the body is till moist and yummy.

If there is anything I love to bake these muffins, it’s also the baking process. Watching the batter rise to have a glory crown is indeed truly fascinating. Watch the magic unfold:

CCJumboMuff-5CCJumboMuff-6CCJumboMuff-7CCJumboMuff-2

The box of muffins Clemens had requested me to make for a special lady and a little girl. 🙂

Zesty Double Chocolate Chewy Cookies

Teacher’s Day is just round the corner falling on the 1st Friday. As usual the boys asked me to make their favourite chocolate chip cookies for their teachers as gifts. I thought chocolate chips…. how boring??? So I started pouring through my newly bought “GU Chocolate Cookbook“. For those who have liked me on Facebook-Ange’s Kitchen (Like me NOW if you have not) will know that I have purchased another 2 cookbooks to add to my collection recently.

Anyway I chance upon the Chewy Double Chocolate Cookies and as I read on, it got me excited that I can add the zest of an orange for that little subtle citrus flavour. So this was it.

ODCCCookies-1(adapted from Gu Chocolate Cookbook: The trick to making delicious chewy cookie is to make the dough the day before as the longer you leave it, the chewier the end result. If the dough is used straight away, you’ll have a crunchier cookie.)

Servings: 75 cookies

Ingredients

  • 150g unsalted butter, softened
  • 220g light brown sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 220g flour, I used Top Flour
  • 4tbs cocoa powder, I used Valhorna
  • 1/2tsp baking soda
  • 3/4tsp baking powder
  • 1/8tsp salt (or a pinch), I used Himalayan Pink Salt
  • 270g chocolate chips
  • 1.5tbs orange zest, approx zest of 1 orange

Method (with step-by step photos)

  1. Cream the butter to incorporate air.
  2. Add sugar and salt, whisk till light and fluffy.
  3. Whisk in egg and vanilla extract.
  4. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
  5. Fold in flour quickly till the mixture is well incorporated. Take care not to overmix.
  6. Mix in the chocolate chips and orange zest.
  7. Scoop them into 1tsp heap of dough balls.
  8. Place them on a bake tray and chill for at least 24 hours before baking.
  9. To store the dough,  freeze the raw ball dough in a single layer in an air tight container. This way you can keep the dough for up to 3 months.
  10. To bake, place the dough balls o the baking tray evenly space allowing the cookies to expand.
  11. Preheat oven to 170°C for at least 15mins. Bake the cookies for 14mins till crisp on top but still soft in the middle. Remove from oven.
  12. Transfer cookies to cool on wire rack.

ODCCCookies-2ODCCCookies-3ODCCCookies-4

There you have it. Beautiful, chewy double chocolate cookies with a lingering zest.

ODCCCookies-5

ODCCCookies-6

Verdict: My mum who usually don’t fancy chocolate, totally loves this cookie because of the gooey chocolate each time she takes a bit into it. And the lingering fragrance of the orange zest. (See the pink little arrow).

My Kitchen Experiments

For the 1st batch of test bakes, I was a little light handed with the orange zest (3/4 orange zest)for the fear of the citrus bring too over powering. It ended up not bringing out the orange in the cookie unless you savour it really leisurely and slowly

For the 2nd batch of cookies, I decided I will add the zest of the entire orange. That made the smell of orange stronger but not overpowering.

Bake straight from freezer (12 mins @170°C): soft, creamy & dreamy with not much crispy edge

**Bake straight from freezer (14 mins @ 170°C): Texture was the BEST. Cripsy at the edge, soft & chewy in the middle even after the next day.

Bake straight from freezer (16 mins @ 170°C): slightly hard with a crunch. A bit dry. The least preferred of all.

Final Product 🙂 (with the boys’ hand-made cards)ODCCCookies-7ODCCCookies-8

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Linking to:
Daily Dish Magazine

BEST Fluffy Pancake Recipe Ever

As I am writing out this entry, I am really having a really hard time deciding if I will tag it under breakfast, brunch or dessert. But heck with it I will just tag it under all 3. For a recipe this heavenly good and simple to make, you really can just  have it at any time of the day and occasion. Sweet, savory and all, hot, warm or cold, the texture and taste is just simply divine that you will NEVER EVER buy frozen pancakes or pancake premix any more. Most importantly, the ingredients are mostly available at home or if not at the local supermarkets.

Pancakes-1Servings: 20 7.5cm in diameter pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 200g Flour (sieved)- I use Top Flour
  • 31/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tbs Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Salt – I use the Pink Himalayan Salt
  • 300ml Fresh Milk (slightly warmed)
  • 50g Unsalted Butter (melted)
  • 1 Egg (beaten; room temperature)
  • 1tsp Vanilla Extract (optional)

Method (with step-by step photos)

  1. Sieved the flour together with the baking powder. Mix well with the salt and sugar.
  2. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, pour in the melted butter and egg. Mix.
  3. Gradually add in the milk and mixing the batter at the same time. You will be able to draw a ribbon figure ‘8’ on the batter.
  4. Add in a teaspoon of vanilla if you like.
  5. Grease and heat the pan on medium-low fire.
  6. Scoop a ladle full of batter and pour it into the pan.
  7. Cook till you can see tiny bubbles & the edges firming up.
  8. Flip it over to reveal the beautiful golden hue & cook it for  a couple more mins. Repeat the process till you finish using up the batter.

Pancakes-2Pancakes-3Pancakes-4

Variations:

Chocolate Chips Pancake

Pancakes-8

  • Follow above instructions till point 4.
  • Mix in 200g of chocolate chips.
  • Cooked in greased pan on medium-low fire (as in above point 5-9).

Pancakes-9

Pancakes-10Verdict of chocolate chip vs original 🙂

Now that you are done, you can eat it any way you want.

Pancakes-5Breakfast or Brunch

Pancakes-7Dessert or just simply plain with a glass of cold milk.

Storing & Reheating Instructions

  1. To store, wrap the remaining pancakes in a cling-wrap and store it in the fridge. I do not recommend keeping it for more than 3 days.
  2. Reheat greased pan on medium-low fire. Place the cold pancakes on the pan and reheat till quite warm to touch.

Things To Note:

  1. You can use plain flour which is perfectly fine. However I like the use of top flour as it has a finer texture. 
  2. Sieving the flour is very important as it loosens the lumps of flour and helps with the lighter texture in your pancakes.
  3. Notice that the milk is slightly warmed and the egg is at room temperature rather than cold straight out from the fridge. This is to prevent the hardening of the melted butter which will form lumps in your batter.
  4. Baking powder is used to increase the volume and to lighten the texture of the pancake making it fluffier and lighter. And as with all flour, do not over mix the batter as this will produce gluten thus leaving you with a heavier and harder pancake. Just briskly incorporate the wet mixture well.

This is also an activity Great 4 Kids because, there is no need for them to get their hands all dirty with dough. Sieve, whisk and mix is all they need to do. 🙂 while mummy/daddy just needs to cook the pancake.

Damir in Action all Just Like a PRO.

Damir in Action all Just Like a PRO.

P.S: If you really want to know how good this is, my boys had actually asked me to make these for 3 days in a row already. My mum totally loves them and even my mother-in-law who doesn’t usually eats these things,even brought back some leftovers and nodded her head in approval.