Sunday, May 14, 2017

Tiramisu Crepe Cake

This is a beautiful Tiramisu Crepe Cake to make for Mother's Day or Birthdays of loved ones. I have a sudden craving for some decadent dessert and Tiramisu Crepe cake came to mind . I remembered that I have bookmarked one in my phone.  I have all the ingredients at home and thus making this is not a problem.  It is a very time consuming cake but WORTH every efforts as it taste really lovely. Perfect cake for Mother's Day.

I have an unopened bottle of Kahlua (coffee liquer ) bought two years back and it is time to use it now. What better time to use and it and make a tiramisu crepe cake for my Day..hehehe Mother's Day I mean.  I think I deserves a  lip smacking decadent dessert :)  The soft flavorful layers of crepe, sandwiched with flavorful cream filling and finished with a dusting of good quality cocoa powder...I called this Not-to-miss dessert for every Momsie . Every mouthful is a trip to heaven and back :) A lovely homemade dessert one should not miss ...yummz!

so happy with the bottle of Kahlua and Vanilla extract

I love my non-stick crepe pan, though dented at the edge I still keep it
as this is the perfect size and hard to find :)

sandwiching the crepes with the delicious flavorful cream cheese
makes me drool....just can't wait to savor them :)

I used homegrown Butterfly blue pea flowers and Mandevilla to decorate the cake
for a special Day..Mother's Day :)

this is a decadent dessert that on one should miss :p

finally after chilling a nite, the tiramisu crepe cake is ready to be served

when serving, pipe a rosette of cream cheese on top to add
character to the slice of tiramisu crepe cake...

Tiramisu Crepe Cake - adapted fromTatyanaseverydayfood with some adjustment

For Coffee Crepes:
6 large eggs
620 ml milk
90 ml strong coffee
80 melted butter
40 gm sugar
2 tablespoons  Kahlua
1 teaspoon vanilla
340 gm all-purpose flour

For Filling:
260 gm heavy cream
170 gm cream cheese
170 gm butter, softened at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tbsp of Kahlua

 Cocoa powder for dusting

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Chocolate Swirl Bread

I have been making buns and bread since the day my kids started high school.  I prefer to feed them homebaked buns as I was aware that  softener were added to the buns that were sold at the bakery and not wanting them to consume so much of this chemical stuff, I started to learn how to make bread and buns. Ever since my first sweet success in baking, there was turning back and  my kids enjoy homemade buns . From sausage buns to bacon filled buns.  Cheese buns are their all time favorite. Now , my kids are all married and working far from home but I am still making bread and buns for hubby and myself :) There is no stopping as I love making my own buns and bread. 

Hubby eats bread everyday. You can say he is a bread man. He loves plain bread. I love buns.  So we compromised.  We have bread and buns on alternate weeks.  Today I will share with you a simple to make Japanese Plain Bread recipe which I learned from YouTube. Bread Channel.  I tweaked it to suit my taste.  Turning it into a chocolate Swirl Bread instead .  I had so much fun making them. My hubby called it my 'play dough' time and he knows when to leave me alone unless he wants to be plastered with the dough LOL !

Making bread from the kneading to shaping them is so fun and so therapeutic for the soul. I love swirl breads as it gives me pleasure in stacking them in layers and rolling them into swiss roll.  One can never understand the joy of kneading a piece of dough manually unless he or she likes to make bread like me :p  Only a bread maker will understand another bread maker.

Both are chocolate swirl the chocolate swirl starts from the inside out
and the other one starts from the outside in

mmmm love the aroma of freshly baked bread

so thankful they turned out nice

soft and fluffy texture

soft and fluffy texture

once they have cooled down, use a serrated knife
 to cut them into desired thickness

I love the Tarocco Orange Marmalade Jam 
(Crab Tree & Evelyn London)
on my slice of homemade bread

Chocolate Swirl Bread - adapted from Bread Channel - Japanese White Bread

To make the Plain Dough

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp  instant yeast
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
25 ml milk
150 ml water
1 tbsp butter, melted

Put all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, give it a quick stir so that the ingredients are well combined.  Mix milk, water, melted butter together till well blended. Add into the flour mixture and using a wooden spoon, mix till a sticky dough is formed.  Take out the sticky dough and on a floured surface, knead till the dough become smooth . Shape into a ball and place on a greased bowl, covered with a damp towel and let it rest for 40 mins or till it rise double.

To make the Chocolate dough

2 cups all purpose flour + 3 tbsp of cocoa powder
1 tsp  instant yeast
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
25 ml milk
150 ml water
1 tbsp butter, melted

Put all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, give it a quick stir so that the ingredients are well combined.  Mix milk, water, melted butter together till well blended. Add into the flour mixture and using a wooden spoon, mix till a sticky dough is formed.  Take out the sticky dough and on a floured surface, knead till the dough become smooth . Shape into a ball and place on a greased bowl, covered with a damp towel and let it rest  for 40 mins or till it rise double.

To shape dough

Knock down the plain dough and chocolate dough - divide plain dough and chocolate dough into 6 equal portions each. Shape each portion into round ball and leave it to rest for  a further 10 mins.

To make the swiss roll, take one chocolate ball and one plain ball.  Roll them out flat and into a rectangular shape. Stack the plain rectangular on the chocolate rectangular and roll into swiss roll. Make three swiss rolls with the plain dough outside.
Repeat same process for the remaining balls but this time reverse, chocolate bottom and the plain one on top. So you will have 3 swiss rolls with chocolate on the outside and 3 swiss rolls with plain on the outside.  
 Grease two bread tins with butter and place  3 swiss rolls in one bread tin. Leave to proof for another 40 mins .  Bake at preheated oven @200deg C for 30 mins.  Knock the top surface and if you hear a hollow sound, it is ready to be taken out.  Turn out the bread and cool on a rack. Once cool, cut into slices of desired thickness with a serrated knife.

Enjoy !

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Hubby's friends are mostly great musician and are well verse with all brands of microphone and they can really enlighten us on music related stuff and the topic on neumann tlm 103 condensor microphone just pop out in one of our chill out sessions.  This is the microphone that can provides platinum quality sound on a bronze budget, a mic designed for everyone who does not want to do without the uncompromising Neumann sound .  And I know that one of hubby's friend is keen to get one :)  I could see the excitement on the face of one of them and I can guess that this friend is eager to get the mic for himself :)  I can bet before our next chill out session, he would have ordered the product and he will be using it for his own recording !  Hubby would love to have one too but now is not the right time as we are not into recording yet.  But I know he will get one for himself since his good friend is getting one now.  Hubby is easily tempted , we have two sets of microphones for our home Karaoke . We are not good singers but we love to sing :)

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Purple Sweet Potato Hot Cross Bun

This Sunday is Palm Sunday , the Sunday before Easter and it marks the start of the Holy week that encompasses Maundy Thursday which commemorates the last supper of Jesus ; Good Friday , when Jesus was crucified and Holy Saturday, the day Jesus was placed in His tomb after his death. He rose on the 3rd day and that will be Easter Sunday.  This is the time, we reflect on our lives, gives up our vices for Lent and remembering the sufferings and trials Jesus had to go through . My baking the hot cross buns has nothing to do with tradition or a must have but making them and looking at the cross reminds me of God's great sacrifice.He sacrifice His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall have eternal life .  

Instead of making the tradition hot cross buns using fruit peels ,  I used purple sweet potato for the natural purple color and it turned out fabulous.  The buns were soft and fluffy and the sweet purple color gave the bun its attraction.  I added some brandy soaked raisins  for extra flavor.  These hot cross buns were really delicious. A keeper for sure.

beautiful piece of purple dough
love the natural color dye from the purple sweet potato

 one recipe can make 9 pieces of buns

once the buns have proof and ready for the oven
pipe in the cross.. so fun piping on the cross
 this is symbolic for me as the cross reminds me
of the  Gift God has given to us. Eternal life through
His only begotten Son

 after baking for 20mins, the buns were ready for our tea snack

the buns turned out soft and fluffy

 waiting for the buns to cool down before serving :)

 you will know it is fluffy when you see this :)

Purple Sweet Potato Hot Cross Bun - adapted from Nasilemaklover

For the bread

75 gm mashed purple sweet potato
50 gm raisins soaked in brandy -optional
250 gm high protein flour or bread flour
30 gm caster sugar
25 gm sweetened condensed full cream milk
1 tsp instant yeast
120 gm milk
1/4 tsp fine salt
 25 gm unsalted butter

For Topping
40 gm high protein flour
55 gm milk
10 gm sugar

1. Mix all bread ingredients in a mixing bowl except butter, mix till smooth.
2. Add in butter, knead  till elastic and shining dough. Set aside to rest for an hour.
3. Divide equally into 9 portions, roll into round balls.
4. Grease a baking pan of 9" X 9" and place the round balls onto the greased pan. Leave to rise for another 30 mins.
5. Mix the topping ingredients together till you get a smooth paste. Put into a piping bag and pipe a cross on top of buns.  Baked at preheated oven 180C for 20 mins.


Saturday, April 1, 2017

Fudge Ribbon Cake

Love anything chocolatey and this is a gorgeous !  I managed to get some Valrhona cooking chocolate from Singapore and could not wait to use it and here is the most delicious fudge ribbon cake I have baked thus far. Googled and got the recipe from here.  It is moist , and so chocolatey that I just want to have the whole tray all to myself :) This is a keeper for sure. The ribbon swirl is cream cheese. Oh gosh! the waistline is getting broader :p  I omitted the frosting as I find this fudge cake is rich enough and I love it without the frosting.

this is so chocolatey cheesy good that my piggy daughter asked for more

Fudge Ribbon Cake - adapted from Grammy's Apron


Cheesecake Layer:
2 Tbsp. butter
8 oz. cream cheese
1/4 c. sugar
1 Tbsp. corn starch
1 egg
2 Tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Cream 2 Tbsp. butter with cream cheese, 1/4 c. sugar and cornstarch.  Add 1 egg, 2 Tbsp. milk and 1/2 tsp. vanilla.  Beat at high speed until smooth.  Set aside.

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar * I reduced to 3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. butter
1 1/2 cups milk (divided use)
2 eggs
4 oz. unsweetened Baker's chocolate (melted) * I used Valrhona cooking chocolate
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine 2 cups flour with 2 cups sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda in large bowl. 

Add 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup milk;  blend, and beat 1 1/2 minutes. 

Add 1/2 cup milk, 2 eggs, melted chocolate and 1 tsp. vanilla.

Spread 1/2 of batter into greased and floured 13x9" pan.  Carefully spread cream cheese mixture over to cover.  Top with remaining batter, and again, carefully spread to cover cream cheese mixture. 

Bake at 350'F for 50-60 minute. 

Cool and frost with Fudge Frosting. * I omitted the frosting

Fudge Frosting:
1/3 c. milk
1/4 c. butter
1 (6 oz.) pkg. chocolate chips
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

Combine milk and butter in pan; let come to a boil.  Remove from heat. 

Blend in chocolate. 

Stir in vanilla and sugar.  Beat until of spreading consistency.  Add a few drops of milk if necessary.  Spread evenly over cooled cake.

 Enjoy !

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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Bacon Epi Bears Recipe

I had so much fun making these Epi bear buns filled with bacon and cheese.  It is play dough time for me :)  This is my lastest addiction besides making plain bread for breakfast and our tea snack.  Shaping animal characters with the bread dough is so fun and I can't wait for the next play dough time.  There are many more characters that can be shaped with the bread dough and I feel like a kid again :p  And once again I say...practice makes perfect...these bear are not so beautiful as the one made by the original baker , a far cry in fact if compared with the original ones.  I did not have mini sausages at home when making the bears , thus I used the extra dough to make the ears and nose :p  .  Hubby said I am creative enough and he chomped down the row of bears in one sitting...LOL!  I am happy that he likes the taste of the buns ...of course, it is filled with bacon and cheese..his favourites ! Though the bears don't look cute but they taste good :)  Practice makes perfect...this is my first try anyway LOL!

I love kneading the dough because it gives me satisfaction
when it turned out nice :)  leave to proof for 1 hour

after 1 hour , poke a finger into the dough and if the dent remains
then it is then ready for use

visual steps

my epi bears are ready for baking :)

when they were taken out from the oven 
was " oh gosh ! they looked too cute to be eaten !"

they dont look like epi bears but more like grizzly bears
just the same, the taste delicious !

Bacon Epi Bears Recipe - adapted from


250 gm bread flour
155 gm lukewarm water
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp instant dry yeast

4 slices of bacon
some grated cheddar cheese ( or cheese of your choice )

For eyes
toasted nori seaweed * I use chocolate - melted

For ears
sausage  * I replaced with dough
dry spaghetti - to attach the ear

For noses
toasted nori seaweed, sausage * I replaced with dough

1.  Measure the ingredients . Sieve the bread flour into a mixing bowl.  Add water, salt, black pepper and dry yeast into the flour.  Stir till well combined and knead a little. Take the mixture out and knead on a floured counter surface and knead for 2 to 3 minutes just enough for the dough to become smooth.

2. Roll the dough into a ball and place in a bowl.  Cling wrap and place in a warm place and let it proof till double its size.

3. Floured a surface.  Gently take out the dough onto the floured surface and divide the dough into 2 equal parts.

4. Take one portion , roll out the dough and fold the dough, so that the top and bottom to meet at center of it.  Close it firmly as if you were pasting it together. Place the seam facing the bottom. Do the same with the other portion.

5. Leave the two pieces of dough to proof for another 15 to 20 mins . Cover with a damp cloth.

6. Roll out the dough into a 10cm X 24cm rectangular.  Make sure that both horizonally and vertically the size allows for two strips of bacon to be placed on it.  Wipe off water from the bacon and place 2 strips of bacon on top of the dough.  Place grated cheese on the strip of bacon closer to you.

7. Start rolling the dough beginning with the side that is closer to you towards the other side, as if you were pasting it together.  Place the roll with the seam facing the bottom on lined baking pan. Repeat same with the second dough.

8. Leave the rolls to proof a second time till it doubles in size. ( cover with damp cloth )Right before baking, mark the dough at 6 different spots with your fingers. Then cut the dough on those spots using scissors and pull them lto the sides alternating left and right. Preheat oven to 230 C and bake for 18 minutes.

Cut the sausages in round slices of about 0,4 inches and fry in a frying pan. While the bread is still hot, break the spaghetti in pieces of an appropriate length and use them to prick the sausage slices. These will become the bears' ears.
Please use the spaghetti without boiling them. If you prick the sausages when the bread is still hot, they will absorb some water, which will make them easier to eat.
let them cool down on a rack. 

Note: If using dough for the ear and nose, attach them to the bear face before baking. You can hop over here  for  clearer illustrations .

Enjoy !

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Homemade Extracts And Flavoring For Baking

When you have a bottle of Vodka and it has been sitting in your cupboard for sometime, what do you do with it? Yes, you can make your own extracts and flavorings for your baking. As for me, I bought a bottle of Absolut Vodka back from the duty free liquor shop at Changi Airport just for this purpose. I have been wanting to try making my own vanilla , lemon and orange extracts from the day I started baking, but never had the opportunity to do so until recently I was given some Madagascar vanilla beans from my brother who stays in the States and my dear friend Gertrude of My Kitchen's Snippets.  Homemade extracts taste much better than store bought ones and easy to make too. I just have to add a few drops of the extract into my cake batter and the aroma lingers .

Yesterday, I did a second batch of vanilla extract and I took the opportunity to also make some orange and lemon extracts  as I do not want to keep the already opened Vodka  for fear that the alcohol might evaporate or lost its taste if unused for a long period :)  A bottle of 1 liter Absolut Vodka ( Sweden made ) can made 4 bottles of extracts of these size as shown in the picture above.  To make good quality extracts, make sure to use good quality vanilla beans and a not too low grade alcohol as it will affect the taste of the end product. You can use Vodka, Rum or Bourbon.  Making your own extracts guaranteed quality extracts.  Not cheap as the price of vanilla beans and Vodka are expensive over here in this part of the world :p  So happy that I can make my own extracts and flavoring from home :) You can do it too !  Not hard to make and I will have a whole year supply of quality extracts for my baking !

 Soak and wash 2 Sunkist oranges (USA) and 3 lemons (Turkey)
to remove wax coating, wipe dry them with the kitchen towels
before using

Madagascar Vanilla Beans - split open extract more flavor
oranges/lemon- use the rind and try not avoid the pith

my measurement - I filled the bottles with 1/3 of rinds for fruit extracts
and 6 vanilla beans  and fill vodka to the neck of the bottle.

I bought the bottles from Daiso..just testing it out 
and see if they are air tight as claimed to be :)

I have 2 bottles of vanilla extracts and 1 bottle each of orange and lemon extracts
to last me a year or two :)

Some pointers when making your own extracts

Getting the Right Alcohol
 You don't have to buy the top shelf stuff, but it's important not to use low-quality alcohol as it affects the taste of the end product. For some extracts, you can choose from a few different types of alcohol based on your taste.

Steeping Your Extracts 
 hile your extracts are steeping, you need to store them in a cool, dark place and give them a good shake about once a week. After it's done, be sure to remove the ingredients and strain the extract before storing it so it doesn't keep getting stronger.

Vanilla Extract

Split 3 vanilla beans and cover them with about half a cup of vodka, bourbon, or rum. Let steep for about two months.

Orange And Lemon Extract 
Using the rind of the fruit, but it's important not to include any of the white pith because it's very bitter. Cover the rind of one large lemon or navel orange with half a cup of vodka and steep for 5 to 6 weeks. 

Enjoy and happy baking with your own homemade extracts
I know I will :)