Friday, 31 December 2010

The End of 2010


It's hard to believe that it's the end of 2010 & a new year is coming.
I'd started a new course in October 2009, I felt that I wasn't able to complete it as I changed to a new field.
So, I had a stressful & busy study life in from spring to autumn.
I managed to graduate & now carry on with my study, I hope I can manage for another 3 years.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Snow, Whisky & Cheesecake


There was a blast of snow across the whole Britain before Christmas.
Although it caused a lot of chaos, I really enjoyed the snow as I made a trip to Swansea visiting my brother.
It was a brief but a fruitful trip, we went to Rhossili and Brecon Beacons National Park.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Passionfruit & Chocolate




Last week, I posted about mini cheesecake to serve with luscious passionfruit curd.
I really like the tangy tropical aroma of passionfruit, I thought it would go well with chocolate, & yes it did.
I made a chocolate mousse cake with a melting layer of passionfruit curb.
I always use the same recipe for chocolate mousse as it's rich & smooth, perfect & simple.
Perfect for taste yet simple to make.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Passionfruit & Cheesecake


Snow finally arrived in London this week.
I woke up earlier that morning & took my camera with me on my way to the college.


Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Belated Birthday Cake + Giveaway




I was expecting snow over the weekend when I was back to Basildon.
But I was disappointed as there was no sign of snowing even it's freezing cold.
As I usually do when I'm home, I spent sometimes in the kitchen baking.
I never mention that I've subscribed epapers from PChome which is a chinese website from Taiwan.
There's a great selection of free epapers you can subscribe, that's how I got the recipe from.
When I read the epaper, I was so tempted to try that.
It's also the perfect time now as it's the season of chestnut, plus it can be my belated birthday cake.
The recipe uses Grand Marnier to increase the depth & favours.
I didn't follow the recipe fully as I didn't have the chestnut sauce directly translated from chinese.
I think it's not the same as chestnut puree so I decided to take the caramel apple but use another recipe for the chestnut mousse.
I was absolutely satisfied with it.
Chestnut is earthy & rich but the caramel apricot & apple is fruity & tangy, so the combo gives a subtle & intense favour.


Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Orange Ricotta Cheesecake


It is the season of citrus fruits, no wonder there're a lot of recipes making use of it. 
Here comes another cheesecake, I'm not bored yet with cheesecakes & I hope you're not too. 
This time I used ricotta cheese instead of cream cheese which I always use, the texture is different as expected but the cheesecake is soft & heavenly smooth, topping with sweet yet tangy caramel oranges.  

What this recipe attracted me the most was the caramel orange with Grand Marnier. 
Ever since I pickled cherries with red wine, I've been attracted in using alcohols & wines for cakes. 
I'm also craving for caramel recently, so I thought this is a wonderful combination when i read through 'Food & Travel' magazine. 
I don't always buy food magazine as I prefer books with great photographs.
It doesn't mean that those magazine is not good, actually they're great, it tells you what's in season & certainly many inspirations indeed.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Spice, Carrot & Honey


Autumn is the perfect time for warm & rich desserts, so I baked a spiced carrot & walnut cheesecake served with warm spiced honey syrup.
Yes, another cheesecake!
This is my 20th recipe for a cheesecake in this blog :)
I'm obsessed with cheesecake recently, all down to the simplicity to bake them. 
And yet the most challenging & interesting is to be creative & adventurous with flavours.
The flavours with cheesecake are endless.
When I came across this recipe from another fabulous cookery book from Australian Women's Weekly, I was thrilled not to try this.
A chewy carrot cake with a creamy, spiced cheesecake filling & a refreshingly warm honey syrup make this cheesecake so special.
It definitely fulfils my craving of autumn taste, warm, fragrant & rich with tangy & refreshing honey.


Friday, 5 November 2010

Jewellery & Muffins


I haven't been very productive recently, especially in making jewellery.
I don't know what to make & bake, sometimes simply not in the mood to.
But I keep up with making muffins as I have muffins for breakfast.
I don't always post the recipe for muffins as I use the same recipe again, with a little variations, like using different fruits, spice, tea, coffee or cocoa.
I just have to post these raspberry & apple muffins, it's soft, moist & sweet.
I got inspired by a new book I bought from WH Smith, it was on sale for only £6.
I was stunned by the price & I quickly grabbed one before it sells out.
It's a great book, packed with great photos & lots of inspirations!
I couldn't wait to try out the recipe of coffee & caramel muffins for my next week breakfast :)


Friday, 22 October 2010

Chocolate Unwrapped at Vinopolis + Giveaway


I'm sure all chocoholics know about the chocolate week.
There're a lot of events throughout the week but unfortunately I didn't have time to join the other except Chocolate Unwrapped at Vinopolis in London.
Because I just moved to a new flat a week ago so I was busy unpacking all my luggage & getting everything organised.


Back to Chocolate Unwrapped, it's held in Vinopolis & featured chocolate makers from all over  Britain.
You can eat as much as you like at the stalls & I got sick of chocolate at the end so you can tell I'd eaten too much :P
There're talks with chocolatiers & chocolate tastings during the talks.
The talks in this event were fantastic, lots of fun & information.
My favourite talk was by Paul A Young, he was so talented & charming.
I tried his best-selling marmite truffle during the talk, it's tangy & rich, a bit unusual for me as I don't really like marmite.
He also featured his award-winning book 'Adventures with Chocolate' & was signing the book at the stand.
I had a pecan & sea salt brownie at the stand after the talk & he was there wrapping brownies for customers :)
One of his tips was adding a pinch of sea salt to your chocolate dessert when you bake & it will 'transform'.
The current trend is salted caramel chocolate, salt adds flavours to chocolate.


Thursday, 7 October 2010

Chocolate & Cheese Marble Brownie



It had been raining for days in London, it's really demotivating.
I've officially started my PhD & I have problems getting myself to focus.
Hmmm, I think I need comforting food.
It's time to have some chocolate desserts,my favourite one is fondant au chocolate.
Brownie is great but I made these lovely brownies a while ago.
As you can see from the recipe, with the cream cheese, butter & chocolate, it's quite heavy.
To avoid eating it all by myself, I shared with my colleagues on my 1st day back to the college :P  


Friday, 1 October 2010

Giveaway


I mentioned about a giveaway couple of weeks ago.
A bit late, but here it goes.
I'm giving an adorable perfume bottle charm made of sparkling Swarovski crystal & freshwater pearl, finished with a phone strap (all components are of sterling silver).
It can also be worn as a necklace, chain not included though.


To enter, simply leave a comment from now until midnight on Wednesday 6th October (UK standard time).
Only one entry per person & the winner will be drawn randomly.
Please leave an e-mail address so I can contact you if you win :)
I will ship worldwide so this is opened to anyone.


Good luck!

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Autumn & A Caramel Cheesecake


It's the end of my 2-week holiday with my family.
My brother has already moved to Swansea for his study while I'm starting my course in London very soon.
Before going back to London, I made a caramel cheesecake with sweet osmanthus poached apple.
I have used sweet osmanthus in my other recipes, it might be quite difficult to get it in London.
Jasmine or earl grey tea works fine too.
The cheesecake is lushly sweet & creamy while the apple topping is refreshingly tasty. 


Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Trip to Cornwall


I had a short break in Cornwall with my mother & brother last week.
My brother drove all the way to Penzance from Basildon & it took about 6 hours.
I can't drive because I don't have a license, felt lucky that I didn't need to drive.
When we arrived in Penzance, we're exhausted.
We unpacked everything at Shoreline guest house on the seaside & went out for a lunch in the town.


Monday, 30 August 2010

Cheesecake & Update



It has been a long time since the last post.
The main reason is that I'm extremely busy with my study as I'm writing up report and finishing my project.
This is a great excuse but part of the reason is it seems like I've less & less to write about.
I'm not inspired to write nor bake recently, well I'm not a great writer after all.
However, I did bring my camera with me for a short walk, I did work on jewelry & I also baked.


Tuesday, 10 August 2010

UK Handmade Wedding Gift Guide 2010


The wedding gift guide of UK Handmade is out now!
It can be read online here.
I'm so excited about it as one of my lovely necklace 'Blue' is in it :)

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Baileys Irish Coffee Cheesecake with Lavender Mousse


After having a great trip to Paris, I was so tempted to make something like the cakes I ate in Paris but when I thought twice, 'No, it's too complicated'.
I enjoyed eating them but not so to make them, maybe I'll take the challenge one day.


Thursday, 5 August 2010

Paris

Everyone knows about Paris, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Louvre Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral are all world-known landmarks of Paris.
We've been to all these places, just like all other tourists, to see the beauty & romance of this city during our 3-night stay. 


Thursday, 29 July 2010

Lemon Cheesecake with Cherries in Red Wine


I made this cheesecake before I went to Paris on Sunday.
This was the first time I have made a lemon cheesecake, the recipe is simple & easy but the result is satisfactory.
The cheesecake is light & refreshing, coupled with the subtle taste of cherries.
This wasn't my original idea, I was inspired by Dear Pig (chinese) & used a simple yet delicious recipe for the lemon cheesecake.

The trip to Paris was great, we stayed there for 3 days & the weather was nice & sunny, not too hot though.
Although I have already been there once with my friends in the winter, this time I went in summer & I'd enjoyed French foods & cakes over there.
I'll post some photos later after my brother has sorted them out.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Matcha Mont Blanc


I wanted to join the Matcha Madness held by Catty, so I made these Matcha Mont Blanc.
Matcha Mont Blanc is the one I always like to try, I have to say I need more practice with my icing kit as I made a mess with the chestnut puree.
I realised my family don't fancy matcha flavoured desserts after I made these.
Although we drink green tea every day, I think we prefer matcha for beverage only.
It's rich in chestnut & azuki bean flavour, & also a subtle sense of matcha blended nicely with chestnut.


Saturday, 17 July 2010

Apple Chocolate Crumble Tarts


This week, I was craving for apple desserts, especially tarts.
I have some low-fat sweet short pastry left in my fridge, so I was looking for a simple recipe to fulfil my urge for apple tarts then I came across this blog post (Chinese).
The apple chocolate crumble tart is a perfect combination to me as I'm a chocoholic & I love apples.
There is no need to make custard filling, just chopping apples & chocolate.
I adapted the recipe slightly mainly because I didn't have some ingredients & I didn't want to go shopping for them.
The tarts are great, I ate two soon after it's out of the oven.
I think it's best served when it is hot, a crispy tart base coupled with a melting centre, yummy!


Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Low-Fat Chocolate Cherry Muffins


With the cherries, I baked some chocolate cherry muffins.
I called it low-fat because it has less butter compared to the recipe I always used.
I always bake muffins for my breakfast so now I can have healthier muffins.


Sunday, 11 July 2010

Cream Cheese Tartelettes with Cherries in Red Wine


It is the cherry season!
I've seen baskets of cherries in Portobello market where I now routinely shop for fruits & vegetables.
Since I made my 1st jar of blueberry jam, I love the ideas of preserving fruits without additives.
So, when I came across the brilliant post (Chinese) in preserving cherries in red wine, I bookmarked it & told myself I must try this.
Although I don't drink wine, I still like the subtle & fruity taste of the cherries & red wine.


Saturday, 10 July 2010

Pearl Necklaces


I have been busy with my study & baking, so I haven't worked on my jewellery recently.
Finally got some necklaces done during the week & also finally joined twitter, please follow me on twitter :)
I also managed to join a giveaway event held by UK Handmade in November.
I will announce more detail closer to the date.
Beside the giveaway, I'm also thinking of joining made4aid to raise fund for the charity, but I have no idea what to donate at the moment.


Saturday, 3 July 2010

Strawberry Yogurt Cheesecake


A lovely birthday cake for my flatmate to celebrate her 21st birthday.
As she loves strawberry, a strawberry cheesecake was perfect for her.
The decoration is simple but yet eleagant, like the one I made last week.


Sunday, 27 June 2010

Once more~ Pears & Earl Grey


Summer has finally arrived in UK.
The weather is so hot & I can't stand the heat.
Honestly, I don't like summer because of the heat & the worst thing is I have hay fever.
I didn't have hay fever back in Malaysia but I do have sensitive nose & eyes.


Thursday, 17 June 2010

Sister's Birthday - Chestnut Mousse Cake


Last Sunday was my sister's birthday.
I made her a birthday cake, a chestnut mousse cake.
I wasn't happy with the decoration so no picture of the birthday cake was taken.
The cake is delicious with an intense aroma of chestnut, & the texture is very smooth.
To satisfy myself, I made a few petit ones & also try out the new silicone mould I bought a while ago.
I really love making petit ones, much easier to decorate with.


Monday, 14 June 2010

Cake au Caramel


I saw the recipe (Japanese) online months ago & never attempted to make it.
I never like caramel as it gave me an impression that it's so sweet.
But soon after I made the caramel coffee mousse cake, I feel in love with it.
This tastes so good, it's sweet but with a hint of bitterness from the caramel.
The texture is chewy & moist, it's quite different from other cakes I've made so far.
A great addition to my breakfast menu.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Bank Holiday Weekend IV ~ Blue Caribbean Cheesecake

Photo taken by Sei-Him Cheong


This cheesecake with a summer blue ocean is the final recipe of my Bank Holiday Weekend baking series.
Blue is my favourite colour, so when I came across the blue sea yogurt mousse cake from a blog (Chinese), I told myself I must try this.


Sunday, 6 June 2010

Bank Holiday Weekend III ~ Osmanthus & Pinepple Squares

Photo taken by Sei-Him Cheong



Pineapple cake is so popular in Taiwan, almost every tourist is sure to get them as souvenirs, at least I did.

I have travelled to Taiwan twice, I bought boxes of pineapple cakes every time.
I wrote boxes, one for myself & couples for my family & friends.
People call it cake but actually it's more like a biscuit to me, not crispy but soft with a chewy pineapple filling.
I would rather call the ones I made pineapple squares, even though there're not perfect squares.


Saturday, 5 June 2010

Bank Holiday Weekend II ~ Osmanthus & Coconut Jelly

Photo taken by Sei-Him Cheong

I have finally got all the photos & recipes sorted.
I mentioned the new silicone moulds I bought in my last post.
I was eager to try out the rose one to make elegant & gorgeous desserts.
I made osmanthus & coconut jelly, simple but yet tasty!
This is a simple version of traditional chinese osmanthus cake made of water chestnut flour.
Traditional chinese cakes or kuihs are often steamed rather than baked, so does the osmanthus cake.
I never try traditional osmanthus cake myself, so I can't tell which one is better but this tastes great.

I rarely make chinese cakes but my mother does so I often just eat & enjoy at home.
I never ask my mother for a recipe as I bet she will say just add this & that together then steam it.
She never measure any ingredient when she makes those chinese cakes, she just make & see if the consistency of the batter is right or not, if too hard, more water or if too runny, more flours.
See, that's why I never ask my mother for a recipe.


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