Monday, 31 December 2012

Harmonie - closure of 2012

The dessert I've chosen for the closure of 2013: chocolate tart with caramel mousse & caramel pear compote.
One that includes all my favourite flavours over the year.
Chocolate, caramel & pear.
Wishing you all a very Happy New Year & hope to see you next year.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Chocolate Cake Pops

Can't believe Christmas is one week later, it felt like times had gone so quickly.
When I think of last year Christmas, it's almost like it's yesterday.

Before Christmas, I've finally made some cake pops which I always want to try.
I wrapped the cake pops & macarons baked by Jenny with cellophane & ribbons, & turned into nice little Christmas presents :)

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Passion - Passionfruit & Mango Entremet

This was the birthday cake I made for myself last week.
I was planning to make a mousse cake with honeydew melon, coconut & pineapple.
But I didn't have time to get all the ingredients so I changed my plan at the last minute.
I flipped through piles of cookbooks cosily on the sofa.
I can't find the combo I like so I took a few recipes from Le Goût Authentique Retrouvé by Hidemi Sugino & that's how I got to this cake.

"Passion" has 4 layers: genoise, passionfruit creme, mango mousse & lemon cream cheese mousse.
The recipes I took from the book are passionfruit creme & cream cheese mousse.
There're less gelatine in Hidemi's recipes for a smoother & lighter texture.
The cake is light & fragrant with fragrant mango mousse, refreshing lemon cream cheese mousse & exotic passionfruit creme layer.
For the decoration, I simply used white chocolate shards & tied with a red ribbon for a festive look.

I made this into a 6" square entremet & a few cups of mousse.
I think with this recipe it's better make in a 8" round cake.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Caramel Cafe Noix

Well, I made this cake 2 weeks ago & I should have updated the blog last week.
But I just couldn't get in the mood to write.
I get overwhelmed with my thoughts lately, mainly because I'm stress about my work.
A lot of tasks to be completed, experiments to be carried out, parties to attend, cakes to be baked…

Back to my obsession with cake & caramel.
Yes, another caramel entremets.
This cake has coffee genoise as a base, caramel coffee mousse & crunchy caramel hazelnuts.
The bitterness of coffee blended well with the sweet & rich caramel flavour, finally with the nutty crunchy hazelnuts.
A lovely combination of different textures & flavours.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Be Jenny's Guest at Le Cordon Bleu

This post isn't about me, it's about my sister, Jenny.
I was invited to be her guest to the afternoon tea party at Le Cordon Bleu in London.
A place where she has trainings to become a superb patisserie one day.
On that special day, I went to Le Cordon Bleu with my mum & brother just for the tea party.
Indulgent entremets, lovely pastries & freshly baked scones with home-made jam & clotted cream were offered, along with a selection of teas.
Apart from enjoying the cakes, I had also taken some photos showcasing those pretty cakes made by the students on the day. 

Gateau a la Pistache prepared by Jenny
Chocolate & Coffee Bean Macronade prepared by Jenny

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Galette Bretonne

I'm totally in love with these classic & elegant French shortbreads.
It is originated from Bretagne (Brittany) in France.
This is not a traditional recipe which just uses butter, egg & flour.
This recipe from cakechef is much more sophisticated with a thoughtful consideration of taste & texture.
The ground almond makes it even more flakier & crunchier.
I baked this recipe once without cooking rings & the biscuits turned out so crunchy & delicious.
I couldn't resist to bake again with rings so I've bought 20 cookies rings just for these buttery cookies.
I can assure you will love these cookies. 

For a little variation, I also whipped up whipping cream with lime & orange to make the syllabub.
Serve as a simple tart with the syllabub & any fruits you like.
 Enjoy with a cup of coffee :)

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Rosy - Rose & Lychee Entremets

On the train back home, I was thinking of baking rose & strawberry streusel bars.
But, when I got home I realised my mum had throw away my rose jam.
So, I changed my mind & made these rose & lychee entremets.
You might have noticed I've already made few lychee entremets.
Yea, this is another one :P

It's a little difficult to see from the pictures but there're 5 components:
1. almond pate sablee
2. lychee jelly
3. rose white chocolate mousse
4. lychee mousse
5. lychee milk glaze

Rose & lychee is always a perfect couple & the result is satisfying.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Earl Grey Poached Pear Entremets

I realised I haven't made entremets & mousse cakes for a few months now.
Making delicate & pretty entremets is one of my passion in baking.
It feels amazing the moment I finish the decoration, take a photograph, then taste it, and of course to share the joy with you here.

Have you noticed whenever I make entremets I like to combine different flavours & ingredients?
The most recent one was poire vin blanc using white wine poached pears & caramel, then chocolate & passionfruit.
I'm lack of inspirations recently, instead I like to bake some simple & delicious snacks.
Last week I was craving for pear mousse cake & pear is certainly one of my favourite fruit.
 I decided to bake these earl grey poached pear entremets using the recipe of oolong & asian pear entremets.
It's simply delicious, the mousse is light yet fragrantly rich & the taste nicely balances with the rich chocolate brownie base.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Sweet Potato Cheesecake with Streusel

Can't believe it's the 5th year of this blog.
In the beginning, the blog was begun as a journal for my handmade jewellery.
Then, I started to bake & soon addicted to it.
After getting a micro 4/3 GF1 camera, I had learnt a lot when I used it & so did the baking.
However, after getting the expensive Fuji x-pro 1 camera a few months ago, I haven't been taking photographs & baking very often.
Mainly because my Ph.D is now in final year, I get busy with research & feel more stress.
At weekend, I prefer to rest & not doing anything... but I bake sometimes, then I will update the blog.

Happy weekend :)

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Cranberry Caramel Madeleines

Hi all, I have to apologise for my absence for the last few weeks.
I was injured on a hiking trip in Wales & took a week resting.
After that, I'm busy with my Ph.D project so I don't really have time for baking & I'll do my best to keep this blog running.

I've never used a madeleine pan to bake madeleines… because I didn't think there's a need for it.
However, when Jenny baked some vanilla madeleines at home, I couldn't forget the moist & crumbly madeleines when they're freshly baked.
So, I decided baked some myself & continued my obsession with caramel I've baked some caramel madeleines using Pierre Hermé's recipe.
The recipe requires inverted sugar which retains moisture & softness.
However, I didn't bother with that & used honey instead.
Also, I didn't have dried apricot so I used dried cranberries soaked in Kirsch.
The madeleines are tender & moist. Yummy!

Monday, 30 July 2012

Pudding Cake, Rose or Caramel?

Continuing with my favourite flavour--caramel, I baked a 6" caramel pudding cake but I didn't take photos of it as I wasn't really satisfied by the look.
I love it very much so I baked it again in the weekend.

The roses are blooming in the garden so I also made rose petal jam.
The colour was gorgeously vibrant, just like a red jewel under the sun.
To some variations, I made some pudding cakes with rose petal jam.
Both taste fabulous after chilling, it's a yummy treat in the summer.
What is your favourite flavour? Rose or caramel?

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Guest Post - Bake without Breaking the Bank by Frugal and Fun

Cooking can be an inexpensive hobby, but we all know those cooks who can spend a fortune on exotic ingredients and fancy kitchenware. You can get some lovely deals using internet discount sites, but it also helps to know have some fun and frugal recipes in your repertoire.

Make your own baking mixes.

  • Pancakes, and biscuits, and muffins, oh my! All of these goodies use inexpensive ingredients, but you might be tempted to go to the bakery and buy muffins or to purchase those expensive biscuits that come out of the can.
  • There are plenty of recipes on the Internet and in your home cookbook for these treats, and the Thrifty Mama says you can make up mixes and store them on the shelf to make the recipes convenient. Just mix all the dry ingredients together, and throw them in a labeled jar. Now you’ve just got to add the wet ingredients when you cook. You won’t have to grab for the baking powder and baking soda every time, and you’ll get your items in the oven much more quickly.

Corn meal is not just for corn bread.

  • Although corn bread is a delicious staple that responds well to the mix idea above, cornmeal is a tasty and economical addition to other recipes, too. The Frugal Girl has a Wednesday baking column, and she suggests making a nice loaf of yeasted bread with this versatile ingredient. Her site has step-by-by step instructions, and the yeasted bread you bake will accompany more dishes than cornbread.

Don’t forget dessert.
  • Bread is very nice and useful, but we all love our treats. The Thrifty Crafter has a lovely recipe for festive pink cupcakes that would be fabulous for Valentine’s Day, but fun any time of the year.
  • The cupcake instructions are illustrated with photos, and this is pretty common for Internet recipes. It’s almost like having your Mom teach you to bake, so there are no excuses not to save!
  • If you cook a lot of desserts that have vanilla in them, you can even save on that by making your own high-quality vanilla at home. The Thrifty Travel Mama explains how to concoct it using vodka and vanilla beans. This one recipe could save you loads of money during the heavy baking season.

Grab those pans and tie on that apron! It’s time to whip up a batch of savings, and your friends and family will enjoy what you produce. Sit back with a cup of coffee and get ready to have a treat fresh from the oven.

Guest post from Frugal Dad

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Carrot, Salted Caramel & Macadamia Nuts

In my last post, I made the salted caramel frosting for chocolate cupcakes.
I really like the frosting so I decided to bake a carrot cake for that.
After frosting, I also made some spiced caramel macadamia nuts for garnish.

On a rainy day, enjoy the cake with a cup of coffee for an enjoyable tea time :)

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Salted Caramel & Chocolate Cupcakes

Went food shopping & picked a few pots of double cream as they're on sale.
I decided to whisk up a quick & easy chocolate cake but soon changed my mind & baked them in small muffin tins.
Once I baked the chocolate cupcakes, I thought I should frost them.
I don't always frost cupcakes, in fact I avoid doing so.
I find frosting & icing are overly sweet for my personal taste.
So, the question was what flavour?
Dark chocolate?
Hmm, not very inspiring.
Sound great.
Salted caramel?

I brought the cupcakes to my college & I had one then.
It's amazing, not overly sweet for my taste.
The caramel is gorgeous with a hint of saltness, so irresistible with chocolate.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Barcelona & A Recipe for Poire Vin Blanc

Last week, I went to Barcelona for a short  break with my sister.
I walked around the city just exploring & taking photos.

After the break, I made these pear & caramel entremets.
I saw the red wine pear entremets posted on Evan's Kitchen Ramblings & that reminds me of this recipe which I've designed a while back.
Finally got the chance to make these & it tastes absolutely gorgeous!
I really love the white wine poached pears & the caramel mousse.
Refreshingly tangy, fragrant yet rich & creamy.
I was regret that I didn't have another piece before heading back to London...

Monday, 21 May 2012

Chocolate & Passionfruit Mousse Cake

I have to apologize for abandon this site for a month…
Things get a bit hectic in my work & I got a bit demotivated recently.
Of course, one of the reason was that my new camera was sent back to Fuji for servicing.
I got my camera back so there was no excuse not to bake & photograph.

Last weekend, I went to Basildon & took the chance to make this chocolate & passionfruit mousse cake.
Since I hadn't baked for a while, I thought I would make something easier to get starting again.
I love passionfruit & chocolate combo, passionfruit is tangy & refreshing, taming down the richness of chocolate.
For the decoration, I simply copied from the previous cake design & used white chocolate pieces.
I also tied it with a red ribbon & it looks great & delicious after all :)


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