Sunday, March 27, 2011

Melted Butter Flat Pineapple Cake

Close-up view- it's not that thick, though.

I loved the natural yellow colour from egg yellow, butter and pineapple- Pineapple Cake.

Pineapple is nature's best gift to us. It's a versatile fruit. It could be cheap and expensive as well, depending on the variety. You can eat it fresh, cooked it in gravy or turned it into mouth-watering desserts. It could be sweet, sour or even a cross between these two tastes. This entry is a long-postponed piece of writing. I kept delaying the post and did something else, or maybe I was so - into brownies lately. I love this pineapple cake- I've got this recipe from a Malay magazine aptly named SAJI (vaguely translated as SERVE). This cake is just what you need to kill off the blues, it's sweet, soft, milky and buttery. Just the right type of cake for everybody. Using melted butter and condensed milk, you will get a flat, fragrant and delicious cake. This cake will not rise high due to the melted butter added at the end of the mixing process. I brought this cake to work, and colleagues couldn't get enough of it. My friends say this is like bingka ( a type of kueh in Malaysia). Whatever it is, I definitely loved this cake very much and would bake it again, some other time. Here goes the recipe after several modifications.

The ingredients

1) 3/4 cup of condensed milk

2) 1/2 cup of brown sugar

3) 3 tbs of caster sugar

4) 1 tsp of baking powder

5) 1 can of pineapple- drain well

6) 2 tbs pineapple juice (from the can)

7) 3/4 cup salted butter ( I have used Australian Golden Churn butter- good aroma)

8) 1 1/2 cup of plain flour

9) 2 tsp of vanilla

10) 4 egg yellow (large eggs)


** Preheat oven- 150c for about 10 mins

1) Using blender -blend condensed milk and drained pineapple.

2) Sift flour together with baking powder.

3) Melt butter- low heat. Remove from heat.

4) Using electric mixer- in a bowl, beat egg yellow with sugar. Mix well, fully- incorporated for about 5 mins. Do not overbeat. Add in vanilla. Add in pineapple mixture. Add in pineapple juice.

5) Using spatula, fold in sifted flour in the egg mixture.

6) Add in melted butter. Mix well.

7) Transfer batter into well-greased baking pan - advisable to use a square 8 to 9 inch baking pan.

8) Put the baking pan in a pre-heated oven. Make sure after 5-6 minutes, you have lowered the oven temperature to 120C.

9) Bake the cake for about 30-35 mins. Check if the cake is ready by inserting a skewer. If it comes out clean, your cake is ready.

10) Cut into squares, serve them with a cup of black coffee, lay back and dream of nice things ahead. ;)

Happy baking, everyone.... have a nice weekend!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Chocolate Cheese Brownies

Ingredients - as you can see: plain flour, cocoa powder, salted butter, vanilla essence, cream cheese , chocolate and sugar.

The batter

Half of choc mixture- transfer to baking pan

Put slices/chunks of cream cheese

Cover with choc mixture

The baked product

Now, this is what we call indulgence

Chunks of cream cheese

And finally

Chocolate Cheese Brownies

Brownies are heaven. They are simply divine. I loved the idea of having brownies with hot chocolate. Sometimes I think brownies could be mistaken as chocolates. Chewable, delicious- eating chocolates. Who could argue on that? Everybody who is close to me, seemed to love brownies too. Afer the ever fabulous choc fudge brownies, my friends loved this Chocolate Cheese Brownies. This recipe is actually from the cook book The Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson. Yes, Nigella Lawson gives good and reliable recipes, and that is something that we could not deny. And here I am, sharing this recipe, after several adaptations to suit my taste bud.
1)5 tbs of salted butter
2)1/2 cup of brown sugar
3)1/2 cup of caster sugar
4)125g of bitter sweet chocolate ( you can use semi-sweet choc)
5)50g of unsweetened chocolate ( you can use normal baking chocolate -add another extra
3 tbs of cocoa powder)
6)2-3 tbsp of cocoa powder
7) 3-4 thin slices of cold cream cheese-from the fridge
8) 2 tsp of vanilla essence
9) 1/2 cup of plain flour (**plus 6 tbsp of plain flour too- optional)
10) 4 large eggs
1) Beat eggs, first - in a bowl. Add sugar bit by bit- until triple in volume. Add vanilla.
2) Melt butter, chocolates and cocoa powder in a heavy saucepan- medium heat.
3) Remove saucepan from the heat.
4) Sift flour.
5) Fold in flour into egg mixture. Whisk well. Lastly, put in chocolate mixture. Mix well.
Pre heat oven - 150C.
6) Put in half of the chocolate mixture into baking pan. Cut cream cheese in thin slices. You will end up with chunks of cream cheese.
7) Arrange chunks/ slices of cream cheese on the choc mixture.
8)Cover the cream cheese with half of the chocolate mixture.
9) Bake the brownies mixture for about 25-30 mins. Lower the temperature to 100c
once the baking pan is inside- so that your brownies will not crack.
Happy Saturday, everyone.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Love Is ~ Having Hot Chocolate On A Rainy Night

What do we have here- chocolate,
fresh milk, water and sugar.

Whisk vigorously

Now, we have-- 4 mugs of hot chocolate- just nice on a cold, rainy night

I love hot chocolate- especially on a cold, rainy night. I have this memory of having the best hot chocolate way back in 1999 - in a small, quaint, family-run cafe in the outskirt of Dublin, Ireland. Up until today, I have never come across a good, reliable recipe. Not until I have discovered a good, not-going to fail hot chocolate recipe adapted from the famous tea salon --Laduree, Paris, France. Originally a bakery found in 1862 by Louis Ernest Laduree, a miller from South Western of France, Laduree is famous for its desserts especially macaroons. The famous macaroons eclipsed other good things about Laduree. Now, I am going to share the recipe of one of the best-kept secrets of Laduree- not macaroons, but hot chocolate.
1) 3 cups of fresh milk (750g)
2) 1/3 cup of water (80g)
3) 1/3 cup of brown sugar (65g)
4) 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (175g) -you can also use semi-sweet
5) A pinch of salt
1) Put milk, water and sugar in a saucepan. Boil medium heat.
2) Put chocolate and salt. Boil for another 4-5 minutes.
3) Remove pan from the heat.
4) Whisk vigorously or use hand-held (immersion) blender or transfer the hot chocolate to a
traditional blender and blend on a high speed for 1 minute.
5) There you have it, hot chocolate served hot and frothy.
For further "sweets" please visit -
Happy Monday, everyone

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Hummingbird Over A Red Velvet ......

Hummingbird with vanilla beans and Cream Cheese frosting, topped with roasted pecan nuts, maraschino cherries and pale pink sugar flowers

Sideway- Hummingbird

Red Velvet- with cream cheese and mascarpone frosting, topped with sugar hearts, maraschino cherries, with fresh strawberries and blue berries

I just got the urge to design this red velvet in such a way
I have baked these two cakes in a marathon baking since Ms Zetty, a friend of my friend has requested these two cakes. In an actual fact, she wanted the cakes for the upcoming holidays back in her hometown. Ms Zetty had sampled my Red Velvet before and this time, she wanted a taste of my Hummingbird ever since she spotted a picture of the former in her friend's FB. So, my ever humble oven was working hard since Thursday evening up to Friday morning. I have baked the Red Velvet first since it took longer time for the baking process and then, proceed to the Hummingbird. Phew, with a few hours to prepare and frost the cake, I did a mental picture on how to organize the baking process. I needed to plan my baking procedures since the cakes needed to be delivered on time. For these two cakes, I have used unsalted butter, simply because I like the taste of it. Even though, the original recipe of Hummingbird required the use of vegetable oil- I still think that butter gives a different kind of pleasure to the Hummingbird. Whenever, I bake cakes, I have always imagined that these cakes are mine, and I would like the touch of home-baking designs. Sometimes, it is hard to give away cakes which are nicely decorated- it is like separating from your loved ones. The feelings are not to be described here...(he he he). My long-time friend recently asked me, how did I get involved in this baking vocation? I told her baking unstress my mind. Well, at times, when ever I feel that the world moves in another direction, or my world turns upside down- only baking seemed to save my day. Back to these cakes, after seeing the final designs- I couldn't help but felt happy. Really happy. Probably, I should have ventured into baking seriously one day.... Yes, one fine day.

Book Shopping

Kino- @KLCC, books' heaven, my heaven too

I gave up- I bought books and magazines anyway

A sneak preview of my shopping bag

No Chanel today- it's all about books

I have this weakness. I go nuts for book stores. To me, books are treasures. That is why when I don't want to buy books, I will stay away from book stores. I couldn't help it- whenever I spot a book store, I would always wanted to go in. Sometimes, it is hard not to buy a single book. There would always an excuse to buy a book- especially the one which contained a rare-different kind of recipe. So, last Saturday- I went to KLCC and guess what, I ended buying a couple books and magazines. Of course, there were definitely some recipe books and not forgetting work-related materials. By then, after spending some amount of money, (which I don't really like to reveal..hehe), I had discovered that Chanel cosmetics was having some kind of promotions on the concourse level. Well oh well, no time to browse around make -up counters that day, since my money had been spent on books. Thus, the reason to try the recipes and get the oven working full scale. Thank God for Kinokuniya, books are abound for bookaholics like me- especially in Malaysia ... ;)

Eating Out-@Delicious

Spaghetti Carbonara

Apple Pie and Vanilla Ice Cream

Red Velvet Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Sometimes it is nice to go around and sample food in fancy eateries. Two weeks ago, I went to Bangsar Village and hopped to Delicious. There was a wide variety of food and desserts. I was spoilt with choices, and finally chose two types of desserts- the Red Velvet Cupcake and Apple Pie. My sister has chosen the Carbonara and it tasted very light, not that so cheesy. The desserts? I would say that I really liked the apple pie, it was a sure winner to me. The apple pie was lip-smacking good with a hint of cinnamon, not overly done. Together with vanilla ice cream- it gave you a little bit of balance, one was earthy, one was sweet and milky. However, the red velvet was okay if you went really easy with it. That's red velvet- you must taste it bit by bit, savouring every little bite. Well, if you really want to be pampered with desserts- head to Delicious, where you can just pick and choose your kind of "sweets".

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Red As In A Red Velvet

Close-up view

A Red Velvet Cake with Mascarpone and Cream Cheese Frosting, topped with Maraschino Cherries...

It's "Happy Birthday Mama"- script written in Malay as requested by my friend.

I went red with the red velvet this time. I have just got this design in my mind. Last week, on Tuesday, my friend, Ms Siti Nor Siah gave me a call. She is celebrating her birthday on Monday- 28 February, 2011. She was actually in a confinement period. She asked me to bake a cake. A red velvet. I asked her again, "Are you sure you wanted a Red Velvet? It's cream cheese frosting". Well, in Malay culture, it's going to be a 100 day-confinement period after delivery. Nonchalantly, she replied- "It's okay. I am all right." (Well not exactly in her own words, it's just that I've summarised her answer..heheh). She requested no Hawaiian coconut and no candles with script written in Malay. So, I did as what she had asked. Tempting to frost the red velvet with my favourite Hawaiian Coconut. It took me nearly two hours to frost this cake. Being me, I wanted it to be perfect all the way long. I wanted the red velvet to receive the best treatment as it was always on the Red Velvet. I owed this cake a lot, I have baked this red velvet since the year 2008, perfecting the recipe as time goes by, and it has always been first love...My first ever client for this cake was my friend, Faraniza - ( Since then, I was hooked too on baking. Well, red means love, as in the red velvet baked with such enthusiasm and passion.

Happy Tuesday, everyone....

P/S : Red Velvet baked up to this day- 10....

Life as it is....

Masjid Kampung Kling, Melaka / Kampung Kling Mosque, Melaka

I often think that life is better when it is simpler. Life in a "kampung" or village is peaceful compared to life in the city. That is why when ever I go back to my hometown in Melaka, I marvel at things which the locals take for granted. Like the architecture of this mosque. It is unique in its own way. Or simple things like the way the Malaccans wrap up their "nasi lemak" or coconut rice with banana leaves or even things like narrowed roads lined with local shops. I miss the simplicity of life. Life which moves on its own pace of time. Life in the city is very hectic and we end up feeling alone and lonely even if we are surrounded by many people. There are many simple things in life that we always take for granted, we are wrapped up with the rat race and towards the end, we feel that nothing matters except for our family and children and even friends. We are so caught up with work that we forget to stop and have a look at our surroundings. We even forget to see the colour of the grass, is it yellowish, greenish or darkish brown.... The recent tsunami tragedy in Japan should make us stop and wonder-what is our priority in life? Is it the constant work load or loved ones waiting for us at home or is money important and not the hugs from little angels who are busy colouring their art pieces. I wonder if all materials are actually relevant in my life or just a simple little cottage in a village that matters. I miss all things which are simple .......

Note; The post was saved as a draft on 1/3/2011. This entry was written fully after the Tsunami in Japan. The Tsunami in Japan was on 11/3/2011.


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