Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye 2008 !

2008 has been a good year for me.

I started this blog.
We (D & I) made our 1st fondant cake.
We ventured into wedding cupcakes, cookies as both party & wedding favours .
We've made quite a number of 'themed' cakes for both adults & kids.

All these become possible after June this year, in fact after I started this blog. I think the timing is right, well I must have something to blog about all the time !

When I started this little bakery 2 years ago, I was always baking for the same few friends. I work really hard & my efforts paid off gradually.

I'm really grateful to the blessings & wisdom that God has given me.

I would like to say a big THANK YOU to all those who have supported me in my little bakery.

Talk about new year resolution, I used to tell myself that I need to do this or that in the coming year but by the time I realised it, it's end of the year ! Well, if you ask me what do I hope for in 2009, the same old thing, I wish I could have my own cafe/bakery one day......... I love to dream, day dreaming most of the time. But hey, I have a location in mind, D & I talk about the layout all the time & I've even got the name on my mind !!
I'll continue to dream about it in 2009, who knows my dream may come true one day......

I would like to wish every one out there a very Happy New Year........

Oh, I've ended 2008 with a Liverpool design cotton cheesecake.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Bunny Cake

Isn't this cake gorgeous ?

I'm so proud of my designer. Even though simple, this cake is so pretty !

Designer spent 1 1/2 hours making the bunny that is sitting on the cake. Laying on the fondant was much easier & faster this time, compared to the castle cake that we've done. I guess it's the experience we gained from our 1st fondant cake !

This is a dark chocolate cake, covered with fondant that has been tinted a shade of pastel blue. It's for Kylie's 21st birthday celebration. Why bunny, because she's born in the year of rabbit !

Christmas Baking

I hope everyone had a great Christmas this year !

Well, even though there's the economy crisis being mentioned everywhere, the town was still buzzing with shoppers buying Christmas presents & there was traffic jam everywhere the week before Christmas ! On Christmas eve, TH & Consfood were packed with people collecting their turkeys & other delicacies. We didn't have turkey. I didn't have time & it was not so convenient to be cooking at home this year ! Instead we had a simple dinner at Shikai restaurant, followed by coffee at SR.

I was baking non-stop from the time I woke up in the morning on 22nd. This went on for the next 4 days, even on the 25th. It was really tiring & I could still feel the fatigue now, even though I've just woke up from my nap ! But it was rather fun, getting everyone invloved in my Christmas baking, from washing up, to decorating & packing !

For the past 3 days, 72 Christmas cookies, 5 fruitcakes, 24 log cakes, 10.5 kgs of chocolate cake & 12 loaves of stollen bread were delivered from my little bakery. I'm really glad that my delicacies were able to grace the dining table of some people.

If not for the blessings & wisdom from God, this will not happen...........

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Jean & Hon's Wedding Cupcakes

It's Jean & Hon's wedding today, at the True Jesus Church.

This couple have a lovely website, do check it out.

I've been asked by Jean to bake some vanilla cupcakes for the lunch reception at the church. To suit the theme of the wedding, butter cream icing has been tinted a shade of blue. Their initials are written on little heart shape white chocolate cut-outs & placed on the cupcakes.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Birthday Log Cake

It's nice to have your birthday near Christmas, so you could have a log cake as your birthday cake ! Beatrice had a log cake for her birthday celebration, it's lemon log - lemon sponge filled with home-made lemon curd & frosted with butter cream. The cake is only adorned with holy leaves, with a sprinkle of chocolate shavings & dusted with cocoa powder & icing sugar.

Eva ordered this green tea cake for her Dad who is a doctor. I've baked the sponge in a round shape this time, still filled with whipped dairy cream & adzuki red beans.

When Eva ordered this cake, she even provided me with the cartoon doctor image, what a sweet & thoughtful daughter ! Hope her dad had enjoyed the cake......

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cookies Cookies !

CJ's cookies

JF's cookies

This post is supposed to be published last night after I finished baking. By the time I sat on the computer, it was 10pm. After uploading the image, I was already dozing off........

I've started my Christmas baking on Monday, mostly fruitcake & cookies. I love the aroma that lingered in the kitchen when the fruitcake was baking, once a year. Frankly, I do not fancy fruit cake but am falling in love with the aroma !!

Oh, talking about cookies, I baked over a 100 pcs & we (hubby, myself, CJ & JF) spent lunchtime on Mon & Tue decorating & packing them. I do not want the hardened icing to fall off so I've packed each cookie individually, that took me more than an hour, on my own, because hubby had to get back to the office & the girls were only interested in the decorating part !

I couldn't find any mini M&Ms in any supermarkets so I've got to make do with cachous. CJ's little fingers came in handy when sticking them to the cookies, mine were too clumsy.

From the start, the girls had been asking if they could have their own cookies for decoration so I put aside 2 cookies for each of them, JF was so excited when it was her turn. She must have used too much icing on the cookies because when she was eating them I saw her scraping the icing off !

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Tart au Citron

I love sourish stuff of any kind, even though I'll have a hard time after that due to my gastric problem.
This lemon tart is one of my favourite desserts. I've got so many favourites that if you ask me which is on the top of the list, I can't decide, I'm an absolutely dessert person, in fact a cake person !!
Hubby is not a fan of lemon. So each tiem I have extra almost drying up lemons in the chiller, I would whip up this tart but will make it into a smaller one because it'll be only CJ & I eating it.

Ingredients :

12 oz Pie pastry
Grated rind of 2 lemons
2/3 Cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 Cup caster sugar
1/4 Cup whipping cream
4 Eggs, plus 3 egg yolks
Icing sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 190C. Roll out the pastry thinly & use it to line the bottom of a 9" tart pan. Prick the bottom of the pastry. Line the pastry sheet with baking paper & fill with baking beans.
Bake for 15 mins, until the edges are set & dry, remove the baking paper & continue baking for another 5 mins, until slightky golden.

Place the lemon rind, juice & sugar in a bowl. Beat until combined & gradually add the whipping cream, beat until well blended. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then beat in the egg yolks and pour the filling into the pastry shell. Bake for 15-20 mins, until the filling is set. If the pastry begins to brown too much, cover the edges with foil. Let cool & dust with icing sugar before serving.

* I usually fill the pastry shell with soya beans when it comes to blind baking. I'll keep the same batch of soya beans so each time I make tarts I'll use them over & over again. When the sides of the filling have set & the centre still slightly wobbly, I'll remove the tart from the oven. It will be firm as it cools. The filling will crack upon cooling if it's over-baked. The taste is still good but will not be very presentable if you're serving it at a dinner party.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Spiced Beef Shank

Besides stewing our beef shank, this is another way of cooking it that all of us love.
Just like the way they serve at Chrystal Jade, where the portion is small & we can never get enough of it. In fact this can easily be cooked at home.

Ingredients :

1 kg Beef shank
1 Pc ginger, cinnamon stick, mandarin peel
2 Stalks spring onion
2 Star anise
6 Cloves
1 Tsp Szechuan peppercorn

Sauce :

3/4 Cup Soya sauce
3 Cups water
4 Tbsp Shao Tsin wine
75g Sugar
2 Tbsp Dark soya sauce

Boil beef shank for 5 mins. Remove, rinse & drain. Place the rest of the ingredients with the sauce ingredients into a saucepan & bring to boil. Add beef shank & bring to boil again, turn down the heat, let simmer for 2 hrs.

Leave shank in the sauce till completely cooled & refrigerate overnight. Remove shank from the sauce, slice thinly & serve.

Serve shank with some sauce from cooking, with chopped garlic, spring onion, dash of sesame oil & black vinegar.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Train Cake

This is another candy train done last weekend, July 18, 2009

It's Timothy 2nd birthday celebration today. He loves train sets so mummy has asked me to bake a train cake for him. So designer & I came up with this one.

She wanted a 1.5kg chocolate cake made into a train set, with an engine head & 3 boxcars. Instead of candies, mummy wanted fresh fruits as decoration on top of the boxcars. Since it's a chocolate cake, we frosted the boxcars with different very bright shades of yellow, blue & green. Mummy has wanted kiwi on green car & mango on yellow car but we thought there's no contrast in the colour so kiwi was on yellow & mango on blue. Just fruits on the cars will be too plain & may not attract kids that much so for the green car, we've topped it with skittles ! Different type of candies such as marsmallow, liquorice allsorts, jelly beans, etc. have been used in this cake, hope little Timothy had a great time at his party !

60th Birthday Celebration

It was Laily's mum's 60th birthday last Saturday.

She had 2 cakes baked for her mum, in numeric 6 & 0. The '6' cake was durian cake while the '0' was yam cake. Each cake weighed 1.5kg & due to her refrigerator space, I had to place the cakes onto 2 cake boards. Instead of cutting away the cake, I've piped buttercream in the centre of it to make it look like a 'hole'.

A Farewell Cake

The girls & I had a farewell party at the poolside of Radiant Tower last Saturday for the Korean family, Ryuks. They're going back to Korea after 3 years in KK.

It was actually a farewell cum Christmas party before the term ending next week. So the chocolate cake had a farewell message with a Christmas decoration. We ended the party with gifts exchange & probably dancing for the mums (we left early !).

JF with some of her friends by the poolside. CJ was in the pool enjoying herself. This little girl doesn't like swimming........

Boobs Cake

It was Denise's birthday last Friday & she got the boobies cake that she's always wanted !

This was a small cake, almost the right size for boobs (!!!) I guessed the only stuff missing was the tits, hahaha... She had me left them out, too naughty maybe because the cake was being cut in the office !
It was vanilla sponge frosted with butter cream.

I sent my sister the picture of this cake, she asked me if they were longevity buns (寿桃)?? Hubby & I had a good laugh about it. What do you think, ChicKyEgG ?

Someone else celebrated his birthday on the same day too. This is a mango cake that K ordreed for her partner. She has requested for picture of a muscle man to be drawn on the cake. Designer came up with this cute picture, there was a tattoo on the arm but I've forgotten to place it on the cake when I was taking picture of it.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas Cakes

For Christmas this year, I'll be baking the usual fruitcake, logcake, stollen bread & cookies.

This year, my logcake flavour will be chocolate dark cherry. It's chocolate sponge filled with chocolate fudge, studded with pitted dark cherries & covered in chocolate ganache. The weight of a logcake will be 1kg.

Designer & I spent our lunch time making some decorations using sugar paste. I've long wanted to make holly leaves & berries but couldn't find the holly leaf cutter until I saw it last year after Christmas, so I've waited 1 year for this !

Ball Themed Cakes

Chocolate Banana Cake

Chocolate Cake

Enough of meats & seafood at the moment, let's get on to some cakes.......

The chocolate banana cake was for a celebration dinner. Janice wanted to congratulate a friend for hole-in-one.

As for the football themed chocolate cake, it was for 13 year old Elie's party at a futsal court.

The grass for both cakes are piped with tinted buttercream.

Roasted Garlic Chicken

This is one of the mains on Friday night too. In case anyone wonders if I'm out of my mind, 3 mains in a meal !! Yes, I just love to cook & feed my guests well, I only get the chance to have friends over once or maybe twice a year !

The secret to a perfectly roasted chicken is to brine the chicken before roasting as brining makes the chicken so moist & flavourful even if roasted breast side up ! I get perfect crispy, moist roast chicken every time !

Roasted Garlic :

Preheat the oven to 200C. Peel the outer layers of 3 garlic bulbs, leaving the skins intact. Using a knife, cut off 1/2 inch of the top of cloves, exposing the individual cloves of garlic.

Place the garlic heads on a baking pan. drizzle a couple teaspoons of olive oil over each head, using your fingers to amke sure the garlic head is well coated. Cover the pan with aluminium foil. Bake for 30-35 mins, or until the cloves feel soft when pressed.

Allow the garlic to cool, use a cocktail fork or your fingers to pull or squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins.

Roasted Garlic Chicken

1/2 Cup roasted garlic cloves
2 Cups water
1 Tbsp salt
1/2 Tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 Lemon, cut into 4 wedges
2 Bay leaves
1 x 1.5 - 2 kg chicken

Prepare the brine by combining garlic, water, salt, pepper & olive oil in a blender. Squeeze the juice from the lemon wedges into the brine, bland. Stir in the bay leaves.

Place chicken in a large, resealable plastic bag. Pout the brine all over the chicken in thebag. Add the (already squeezed) lemon wedges. Squeeze out all the air from the bag & seal. Refrigerate overnight, for 12 hours.

Preheat the oven to 180C. Remove the chicken from the brine & pat dry with a kitchen towel. Sprinkle salt & pepper all over the chicken. Place the chicken on a rack, in a roasting pan, breast side up. roast for an hour or until the juices run clear from the thigh when pierced with a fork. Let the chicken rest for 10mins before carving & serving.


I love starchy rice, especially risotto & paella because it has plenty of seafood in it & the flavour is fantastic but the preparation & cooking time is tedious though !

This is not an every-day meal, too indulging even though deep in my heart I am hoping I could have this frequently & get an over dose of seafood, yummy yummy.......
The last time I cooked this was in March so I decided I should cook ourselves another pot last Friday. I planned my time well, was shopping for the seafood last Tuesday & I got Tina to chop all the ingredients accordingly after I've done the shopping.

Ingredients :

12 Mussel halves, scrubed (I've used frozen ones)
300g Prawns, peeled & deveined
150g Calamari, cut into rings
150g Fish fillet, cut into pcs
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 Rasher bacon, finely chopped
4 Cloves garlic, crushed
1 Small red capsicum, finely chopped
1 Can diced tomatoes in juices
1/2 Cup Frozen peas
90g Chorizo or pepperoni, sliced
1 Cup short-grain rice (calrose)
Pinch saffrons strands
2 Cups hot chicken stock
2 Tbsp chopped parsley

Infuse the saffron strands in the hot chicken stock for the flavour & natural colour to develop. I never use tumeric to cheat & I hate it. So I make sure I'll always have a little boc of saffron strands in my pantry.

In a large frying pan, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil or butter, add prawns, fish & calamari to the pan & cook for a min. Remove & set aside.

Add bacon, onion, garlic to the pan, cook for 5 mins or until onions are soft & bacon browned. Add the chorizo or pepperoni, salt & pepper to taste, add the tomatoes & capsicum. Add the white wine & rice, stir to mix well.

Add 1/2 cup of the stock to the rice, bring to boil, cover the pan & reduce the heat to low & simmer, stirring occasionally & adding more stock until it's absorbed & rice almost cooked. At this point, add the frozen peas. With the last addition of stock, place the prawns, calamari, fish & mussels on top of the rice, continue to cook over low heat until rice is cooked through. Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.

Slow-Cooked Lamb Shanks

I am not a fan of lamb but when you have friends over for dinner, you cook what the guests like not what you like ! Well, I did cook what I like but I'll start with the lamb shanks first.

The dinner was on Friday night & I had a cook-out session at a friend's house on Thursday, Friday was my girls' sports day so I had to cook these lamb shanks on Wednesday, let them cool down & into the fridge they went, so the flavour could develop.

Ingredients :
Serves 4

1/2 Cup Flour
Salt & pepper, to taste
4 Lamb shanks
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Large onions, sliced
4 Cloves garlic, crushed
1 Cup Beef consomme
3/8 Cup red wine
2 Tbsp maple syrup

1 Tbsp cornflour
1 Tbsp water

Preheat oven to 180C. Place flour, salt & pepper in a shallow dish. Lightly coat shanks with flour. Heat oil in a saucepan over high heat, cook shanks for 3-4 mins or until browned, transfer to a large roasting pan.

Add onions & garlic to saucpan, cook over medium heat for 2-3 mins or until soft. Add consomme, wine & maple syrup, stir ro combine & bring to boil. Season with salt & pepper, pour over shanks & cover pan tightly with foil. Roast for 1 1/4 hrs, remove foil, turn shanks & roast for another 45 mins or until tender.

Transfer shanks to a platter, cover to keep warm. Strain cooking liquid through a sieve & discard onions. Return liquid to pan. Mix cornflour with water in a bowl until smooth, stir into liquid & bring to boil, stirring, over high heat. Reduce heat to medium low & simmer for 5 mins or until reduced slightly. Serve shanks with gravy.

* I didn't strain the cooking liquid & kept the onions so the gravy will be chunky & more flavourful with the onions in it.


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