Saturday, June 28, 2014

Mango Cheesecake 2



It's mango season and everywhere you see mangoes. So needless to say I will make full use of it to make cakes and refreshing dessert . I have a few pieces of cream cheese still sitting in the fridge and before they expired on me I better use them up to make cheesecakes.  I flipped thru Alex Goh's Fantastic Cheesecake and found this mango cheesecake which looks * I am a sucker for good cakes photos *  GREAT and uses mangoes for the recipe. Bought 1 kilogramme of Thai mangoes...some for after meal fruit dessert and some I use them for this mango cheesecake.  There are 155 cheesecake recipes in this book....which will take me a year to bake them all. :p 

The cake turned out delicious. This was my first time making mango cheesecake and I was happy that it turned out great. After many failed tries from different cookbook , I have become sceptical to cookbooks with great photos :p  The mango cheese filling was great and I tweaked it a bit , gave it a thicker jelly topping....love the great combo of cheese, mango and jelly together with the buttery biscuit crust. The mango taste was not over powering thus you get to taste the cheese more and then the after taste of the subtle blended mango flavor.  For me, this is one great cake from the book.  I have a few of his books and I like them all.  I will try out a few more of his recipes before I retire them :p


I tweaked it a bit , thicker jelly topping....love the great combo of
cheese, mango and jelly together with the buttery biscuit crust..
mmmmmmmmm delish !



















I can finish this heavenly slice of cheesiness in 5 minutes.....who cares about 
the calories ...eat first and worry later :p


Mango Cheesecake  - adapted from Alex Goh's Fantastic Cheesecake


Cake Base 
Digestive biscuit base:

200g Digestive Biscuits finely crushed
100 g melted butter

Filling:
(A)
500g cream cheese
120g sugar 
30g cornflour

(B)
1 tbsp of lemon juice
1 lemon zest- grated
150g mango

(C)
3 eggs

(D)
150 g whipping cream

(E)
some mango slices

Decoration
toasted almond flakes

Glazes
Instant jelly

Method:

1. Press the digestive base onto the bottom of a greased 20 cm springform tin. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
2. Cream (A) until light and smooth.
3. Place (B) in the blender and blend until smooth. Add it into (A) and mix until well blended.
4. Add (C) one at a time and cream until smooth.
5. Add (D) and cream until well combined . Pour the cheese filling voer the prepared biscuit base.
6. Bake in water bath at 160 deg C for 60-70 minutes or until firm.
7. Remove the cake from the oven and set aside to cool. Refrigerate the cake for 5 hours.
8. Remove the cake from  the tin. Arrange mango slices on top and glaze it with instant jelly glaze. Coat the sides with toasted almond flakes.


* For those who wants to have a thicker jelly top. Don't remove the cake from the tin. 

Boil 1 cup of water with 1/2  tsp of agar agar powder. When the liquid boils add in 1 tbsp of sugar to it. When the sugar has melted, off the heat and let it cool down for  ten minutes. Gently pour the agar agar mixture over the mango slices and let it set overnight.  Remove from the cake tin when the jelly has set. Serve it chilled.


Enjoy !




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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Mango Cheesecake



















I was fascinated by SSB Peach Cheesecake and I have to bake this delicious peach cheesecake she shared on her blog. Other then I had overbaked it by 5 mins , it came out perfect. The sweetness of the cheese filling was okay and the thickness of the cake was perfect too . The steps in doing the cake was simple and easy. Guys can bake this cake even if they know nought about baking. I used mango instead of peach since I have some mangoes at home :)



















Close-up



















It must chilled before cutting

Mango Cheesecake  - taken from SSB

Ingredients
Base:
60g digestive biscuits
30g butter, melted

Filling:
125g cream cheese, softened
30g caster sugar
1 egg
200g canned peach slices (leave some for topping, but I accidentally added all into cream cheese!)
100g peach yogurt

Method
Base:
1. Crush biscuits in a food processor or with the end of a rolling pin.
2. Add melted butter and stir well to combine.
3. Press into the base of a 6 inch springform cake tin. Refrigerate until set (I chill for 30 minutes).

Filling:
1. Beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
2. Add egg and mix well.
3. Chop half of the peaches into small pieces and fold into cream cheese mixture together with the yogurt.
4. Pour into chilled base and bake at 180C for 25-30 minutes or until firm. Allow to cool in oven with door slightly ajar. Refrigerate when completely cool.
5. Top with peach slices and serve.


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Use Family Tree Wall Decals to Give Your Nursery a Different Look


If you want to brighten up the baby’s room with a quick and easy way, then family tree wallstickers are the best idea. Kids always love to have colorful and bright things around them. Hence, every parent wants to make the nursery of their baby lovely and beautiful. If you are going to paint a room, it will be more expensive. There is also a problem that when a kid will grow up his or her taste will also change rapidly. Then you have to change the color every time on a regular basis as the taste of your child changes.

Family tree wall decals are designed in such a way that it can be transferred to another wall or tiles whenever you want to do. So it is the most useful among these types of stickers that if you want to move the stickers from one wall of the room to another wall of a different room, you can change it easily without any wastage.

If you think that the whole tree sticker will be a little big for your wall, you can give some great effects with the part of tree stickers. If you can position the tree at the corner of the wall extending horizontally across the wall, they would look very effective and beautiful. This also will give your room a special effect and funny look to the room.

There are several colors available in the market. Pink, green, blue, black are the common colors available. Mixtures of some pretty colors are also available if you want so. These all colors are perfect for baby’s nursery. If you want to add some more decorations in the room to give it a beautiful and loving look for your kid, you may use some matching accessories, like, throw rugs, pillows, plush animals, bedding set to provide a complete look to the room.




















This is not true that tree wall stickers are only used in the baby’s room to decorate; today these types of stickers are used into the walls of the drawing rooms and living rooms also. Though there are several types of tree wall stickers available, the most beautiful choice among them is family tree wall decals. Here anybody can incorporate the photographs of their family members.

These family tree wall stickers will give you the satisfaction to keep the photographs of your family members. You can incorporate the photographs starting from the old aged family member of your family distributing the photographs of the young generation into the branches of the tree will give a special look to your home.
It’s not only kids who love to have Tree wall decals and murals. There are many such wall decals available which are classy enough for other rooms. They would resemble just like paints, after they are applied properly. You may think that setting up a family tree wall sticker in the wall may be a very tough task to do, but it so easy to set up the entire tree into the wall. You can find out different types of family tree wall stickers in different shops. You can also search on the internet to choose and purchase these stickers from different dealers who sales online. But before going to order them you have to be sure about the design of the same and also the size of the sticker that will be set up into your wall. You can also customize your order by giving them the ideas you are thinking. They will easily customize the stickers as per your requirement. But before giving such idea you should have to be clear about the view of the family tree wall art decals  otherwise it may look odd to your wall.

You can easily make family tree wall decals into your home by giving few of your precious time. Through this, you can apply your full idea to make the same. Below are some instructions how you can incorporate these stickers into your home.
Drawing
Find out a drawing of a tree as you like. It should make sure that the drawing is showing both a brown trunk and some branches from it and also some green leaves. If needed tape some more papers together to enlarge the drawing by copying the picture with a marker pen. Today you can also take a large printout of the same from different copy shops available in the market.
Cutting
Carefully cut out the enlargement parts of the tree. Use some straight pins to attach it into green and brown felt.
Use Glue
Glue the part of the tree with green and brown onto the background of the parts. Let it dry totally.

Cut the photographs
Measure each photograph of your family members that you want to use on the tree. Use black felt and scissors to make little frames into each photograph. Use normal scissors to cut inside the frame and cut outside edges with scalloped scissors. Glue the frames of the photos and let it dry.
Arranging photos onto the tree
Arrange all the photos of the family members onto the tree. Adjust the spaces you want between photos. If you satisfied with the setting, then you have to glue them onto the place.
Hanging
Hang the family tree on the wall with the photographs with the help of pushpins. If required use sufficient pushpins to attach the tree securely. But be sure that you are choosing the colors exactly matching the theme of the room. If you complete the total work with full satisfaction, you can obviously give surprise to your family members with a lovely decorated room containing family tree wall stickers.
So this is up to you whether you want to make this by ordering to some professionals doing the same or you can make it by yourself if you can give some time and patience onto it. Both will be looking very good. But if there is some touch of professionals then that should be looking good. As the professionals have the idea on the same more than you and they are doing the job with efficiency on regular basis, it is better to give them the order depending upon your budget to give a complete look to the room. 



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Friday, June 20, 2014

All American All Delicious Apple Pie



















Baked this apple pie using Dailydelicious’s all American Apple Pie recipe. I like the texture of the crust and the apple filling tasted good too. I realized that it tasted better if leave over night. The apple filling is more flavored with the cinnamon and nutmeg spices. Hmm..a keeper for sure.  I fancy making it into small cutie pies . I made them into small individual pie-let for easy handling and it was much easier to serve too...not so messy :)

For the fillings, I  diced the apples into smaller bite size . The addition of lemon zest adds tanginess to the apple fillings and put in currants since I have lotz of them in the fridge. I realised I have lotz of ingredients to be used up before their expired date...meaning more baking to be done :)



Love apple pie with ice cream....mmmm yummy!  It is easy to prepare and it tastes delicious too



Cute little apple pie



All American, All Delicious Apple Pie   - adapted from Dailydelicious

For a 9" inch double crust


3 cups
all-purpose flour
¼ cup
sugar
1½ tsp
Salt
10 oz
very cold (frozen is fine) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces
⅓ cup
very cold (frozen is even better) vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces

About ½ cup ice water


Put the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor fitted with a metal blade; pulse just to combine the ingredients. Drop in the butter and shortening and pulse only until the butter and shortening are cut into the flour. Until you have some pieces the size of fat green peas and others the size of barley. Pulsing the machine on and off, gradually add about 6 table spoons of the water add a little water and pulse once, add some more water, pulse again and keep going that way. Then use a few long pulses to get the water into the flour. If, after a dozen or so pulses, the dough doesn’t look evenly moistened or form soft curds, pulse in as much of the remaining water as necessary, or even a few drops more, to get the dough that will stick together when pinched. Big pieces of butter are fine. Scrape the dough out of the work bowl and onto a work surface.
Divide the dough in half. Gather each half into a ball, flatten each ball into a disk and wrap each half in plastic. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour before rolling.

Apple fillings

4 pounds (about 6 apples  large)

¾ cup
sugar

Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp
quick-cooking tapioca (or potato flour)
¼ tsp
Salt
½ tsp
ground cinnamon
⅛-¼ teaspoon
freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons
graham cracker crumbs (or dry bread crumbs)
2 tablespoons
cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
FOR THE GLAZE (optional)


Milk or heavy cream

Decorating (coarse) or granulated sugar



GETTING READY: Butter a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate (I use a square pan).


On a well-floured surface (or between wax paper, or plastic wrap), roll out one piece of the dough to a thickness of about ⅛ inch. Fit the dough into the buttered pie plate and trim the edges to a ½ -inch overhang. Roll the other piece of dough into a ⅛-inch-thick and slip it onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat. Cover both the circle and the crust in the pie plate with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 20 minutes, while you preheat the oven and prepare the filling. (The crusts can be well covered and kept refrigerated overnight.)


GETTING READY TO BAKE: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. 

Peel, core and slice the apples into slices about ¼ inch thick. Put the apples into a large bowl and add the sugar, lemon zest, tapioca (or potato flour), cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Toss everything together really well. Let the mix sit for about 5 minutes, until juice starts to accumulate in the bottom of the bowl.
Remove the pie plate and top crust from the refrigerator and put the pie plate on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat. Sprinkle the crumbs evenly over the bottom of the crust and then turn the apples and their juices into the crust. The apples will heap over the top of the crust. Pat them into an even mound. Dot the apples with the bits of cold butter.

Very lightly moisten the rim of the bottom crust with water, then center the top crust over the apples. Either folds the overhang from the top crust under the bottom crust and crimps the crust attractively, or presses the top crust against the bottom crust and trim the overhang from both crusts even with the rim of the pie plate. If you’ve pressed and trimmed the crust, use the tines of a fork to press the two crusts together securely.
Use a sharp paring knife to cut about 6 slits in the top crust. Use the wide end of a piping tip to cut a circle out of the center of the crust as a steam vent. If you’d like, brush the top crust with a little milk or cream and sprinkle it with sugar.

Bake the pie for 15 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees F, and bake the pie for another 50 to 60 minutes (total baking time is between 65 and 75 minutes), or until the crust is gorgeously browned and the juices bubble up through the top crust. After about 40 minutes in the oven, if the top crust looks as if it’s browning too quickly, cover the pie loosely with a foil tent.
Transfer the pie to a rack and let it rest until it is only just warm or until it reaches room temperature.



Enjoy and have a great weekend !


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Fringed Jute Burlap Tablecloth For Christmas

Okay, I know Christmas is still a long way to go and do you know why I am so excited about Christmas? Because a month after that I will be retiring.  LOL!  There are so much to do and I don't like do things last minute. The first thing I need to do is to look for new curtains, new tablecloths and new cushion covers for my hall set :p  WB will hit the roof when the bills comes.

I saw this fringed jute Burlap tablecloth that comes in two colors , natural jute and cream white . I am so in love with them but I can't decide which to order for my dining table. I have to show Jo the website and ask her to pick the color for me :p .  You can check out burlap-tablecloth.com if you are keen in jute material tablecloths. Actually this jute material is the hottest textile and is trendy since 2013. It adds a rustic and elegant touch to any special event...mmmmm perfect for my christmas dinner when my Piggies comes back to celebrate with us :)   Can't wait for Christmas to come as it means I will be nearer to retirement!


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Oreo Chocolate Doughnut


I love doughtnut in its simple form but I also like it frosted or dip them in chocolate and coated with ground oreo biscuits :)  My piggies love them with frosting and covered with chocolate :)  they used to say these are like Dunkin Donut hahaha I love every compliment from them :) Children say the darnest thing but mine say the cutest thing about my donut :) This recipe is taken from the Cadware Baking Cookbook which I bought sometime back and it is really good.  Soft and fluffy and those to die for oreo chocolate coating ...Yum!

easy to make and taste good with or without any coating/frosting

love decorating the doughnut...I consider it pure joy icing the coated top

look so pretty with the white chocolate drizzles :)


















Oreo Chocolate Doughnut - adapted from Cadware Baking Cookbook
Basic doughnut
ingredients:
(A) 
130ml  fresh milk
4 gm instant yeast
1 (60gm) egg  - Grade A
(B)
250 gm high protein flour
50 gm plain flour
20 gm custard powder
4 gm salt
35 gm caster sugar
25 gm anchor butter

Method:

 1.      Dough : Mix ingredients A. Place ingredients B in a CW electonic Food processor & Blender ( I used Philips food processor ). Use double-bladed steel knife to blend. Add ingredinets A, blend well until a soft dough is formed (takes about 2 minutes )
 2.      Cover dough with a damp cloth, leave it and let it rise in a warm place for 20 minutes before cooling it in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
 3.      Flatten chilled dough to 1cm  thick.  Press into identical doughnuts with a mould. Line them on a tray and leave them to prove for another 30 minutes. ( I left it to  prove for more than 50minutes for I was busy watching American Idol  :p )
 4.      Deep fry the doughnut rings in preheated oil until golden on both sides.

Orea chocolate coating

Ingredients:

( A   150 gm – cooking chocolate ( I use semi-sweet )
( B   120 gm – oreo cookies ( finely crushed )
(     60 gm - white choclate

Method:

1.      Melt chocolate ( semi sweet ) and white chocolate respectively over hot water.
2.      Coat the cooled doughnuts with melted chocolate(  semi sweet ) , then coat crushed oreo cookies on top.
3.      Decorate doughnuts with white chocolate lines.

Enjoy !


Automobile Engineer Cum Businessman

My colleague's son has graduated . He majored in automobile engineering and he has no intention to work for companies. Young people have their own dreams.  Dreams of becoming their own bosses ! My colleague was complaining to me that her son should gain some experiences first before joining venture with another graduate friend.  Well, as far as I am concerned, I have the same  think that young graduates should be exposed to some working experiences in the field they graduates before starting their own businesses.  Anyway , my colleague can't do much as the son has already made up his mind and as parents, she and her husband have to support his plans.  

He is opening an automobile workshop in the city with the lastest auto equipments from www.bestbuyautoequipment.com . He managed to get some of the best automobile equipments from this website with the financial help from the dad :) and hopefully the equipments will arrive in time for his official opening of his workshop early next year.  He is trying hard to get some experienced workers from reputable to come over and join his workshop.  Well, I guess with just 7 months to go, he has to really offer a good salary or those experienced workers may not be keen to join him . 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Creme Caramel Custard



















I could pinched myself hard for not paying attention to the baking of this crème caramel custard. The recipe said one hour of baking time but I should have check the progress instead of depending on the oven timer….haizz the crème caramel turned out to be slightly burnt . Those on the inner side of the oven got slightly burnt on top thus making the texture not silky smooth as it was supposed to be. Over all it was okay. I should have known that every oven has its own characteristic and should have paid more attention to the progress of the baking then it would not have got burnt on the top . Haha …lesson learned.

This is a nice crème caramel custard. The sweetness is just nice for my family. This recipe can make about 6 ramekins of size 3" diameter. Make a good after-dinner dessert .






















Creme Caramel Custard..... yumz



Creme Caramel Custard

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar – divide into two portions
5 eggs - size A
¼ tsp salt
3 cups fresh milk
1.5 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

Butter 6 ramekins.
In a small skillet over medium heat, melt the first half of the sugar,
stirring until it is a light brown syrup.
Pour syrup into the buttered ramekins.
Place ramekins in shallow baking pan for easy handling.
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
In a large bowl with mixer at low speed, beat eggs, salt,
and the second half of sugar till lemon –colored.
Gradually beat in milk and vanilla extract.
Pour mixture in ramekins, put hot water in pan to within 1 inch of top of ramekins
Bake 1 hr until knife inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool in wire racks, refrigerate , with a knife,loosen custard from ramekins and invert onto dessert dishes, letting syrup down side onto dish. Serve chilled.



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Monday, June 16, 2014

Invitation To A Birthday Party Next Door :)

My left side neighbor is hosting a buffet party at their home tomorrow night.   They feel that it will be much more fun to have their close friends and relatives gathered together at their home instead of having the party held at some restaurant.  My neighbour has a bigger compound than ours because theirs is a corner house with a big side garden. They have invited us to join their family celebration. We found out the party is for their second son's 18th birthday .

The caterer came to arrange the tables and chairs for the party in the morning.  I was doing my gardening at that time and I as usual my curiosity make me peep over the wall to see the workers at work.  The workers are very good at their job and in no time, they have the tables and chairs set up. I was surprised that their tables are covered with premier table linens  and with skirting around the tables.   I am sure the party will be a great success and I look forward to the buffet dinner ...mmmm I am a foodie and of course I love food whether they are served at home or at the restaurant.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Crispy BBQ Siu Bao




















I love Saturday...a day to relax and enjoy my bakes.  I dug out the stack of To-Do lists from my file and I picked this yummilicious ' siu bao' to bake . I woke up early to put the marinated meat in the oven to roast while I went about doing my house chores. The usual stuff, put the clothes out to dry etc etc. Mmmm the meat while roasting does brings out the hunger pang in me.  I made myself a cup of oats drink after all the house chores are done and this baker must be fed before she.start work :)

I get very excited each time I make something new and this is the first time I tried my hands at making Crispy Bbq Siu Bao. I am very intrigued by the layers and layers of flaky pastry skin of the bun....and as usual I can't wait to see the end result , whether it will go straight into the Piggies' stomachs in seconds or it will go to my two , four legged pets - Bear and Chaco...lucky creatures! ^ *














1.Wrapped Dough 1 with Dough 2
2. Roll it flat into rectangular shape
3. Roll it from the short end into a swiss roll
Repeat 2 times steps 2 & 3













4. Flatten and roll into a disc













5. Put filling in center , wrap and pleat into a bao shape
(pls don't look closely at my pleats ) it sucks :)))





















6. Place on greaseproof paper and brush the baos with
egg wash and sprinkle sesame seeds as garnish and bake
at 190 ̊ C for 20 -25 mins until golden brown




















I heart these tiny little mouth watering siu baos for their
light , crispy and flaky layers ..mmmm delicious




















I made the pastry skin a little too thin....next time I will
try making them a bit thicker , other than that
the pau was absolutely delicious...

Crispy BBQ  Siu Bao

Ingredients:

Dough 1 (Oil Dough )
240 gm superfine flour
120 gm shortening

Dough 2 ( Water Dough )

240 gm all purpose flour - sifted
60 gm icing sugar
60 shortening
120 ml water

Prepare the dough 1 and 2 separately.

Mix all the ingredients of Dough 1 together and knead till you get a soft dough. Leave it aside for 30 mins.

Mix all the ingredients of Dough 2 together and knead till you get a soft dough. Leave it aside for 30 mins.

Dough 1 and 2 - Divide into 24 equal pieces . Wrap dough 1 with dough 2.

The rest of the steps pls refer to my pics above.

Bbq pork Filling


Ingredients for the BBQ meat

500 gm strips of pork ( ask butcher for the part for making bbq meat)
3 tbsp of Hoisin sauce ( for marinating the strips of pork)

Ingredients for the cooking BBQ meat filling

1 tsp thick sauce
1 tbsp of olive oil
2 big onion- diced
1 tbsp Hoisin sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp of sugar * add more if you want it sweeter
1/2 tsp sesame oil
dash white pepper


thickening
150 mls water
1.5 tbsp corn flour
salt to taste
( mix together )


Marinate the meat for at least 4 hours before roasting it in oven at 200 ̊ C. Bake for 1/2 hr to 3/4 hour till cooked.
Diced the bbq meat.

Heat olive oil in a pan. Saute the onions for 1-2 mins. Add in diced bbq meat and the rest of the ingredients except the thickening and stir fry for 1 - 2 mins. Add in the thickening and simmer till the gravy has thickened. Dish up and cool it and divide the filling into 24 portions. Set aside for use later.


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A New Timepiece For WB

WB 's watch has been with him for 35 years and it is showing sign of retiring...ahem the time is no more accurate.  It is not the battery fault as he has sent it for repair a few times since last year. It will read 10 minutes slower compared to the actual time.  I am thinking of getting a new timepiece for WB as I think it is about time to change to a newer and more fashionable one . I know he prefers one with a big face . Now what am I do with his old timepiece ? 

I heard that www.photowrist.com  will buy up old watches that is functioning and those not functioning ones too.  They have their own certified watchmakers on site who can repair any used watches that are not functioning or working properly.  All I have to do is to go online fill up their online form and wait for their experts to reply our inquiry with a free prelimnary quote .  After that we can request for a secure easy ship box + shipping instructions for risk free fully insured delivery. And the third step is to wait for a final quote and upon receipt of our timepiece, photowrist will inspect the timepiece and upon confirmation , a price will be quoted and payment will be made immediate either by Fast Cash, Bank Wire or Check.  Sounds great.  I will discuss with WB on this.  His timepiece still has value despite the fact that it is not in good working condition. Buying him an expensive new timepiece will materialise with this good deal :)