Saturday, May 26, 2007

2007 semester One party!

All day at work yesterday I kept checking the clock. Time seemed to pass slower that way, with every minute under my close scrutiny and I eventually gave up, started talking to Jess and Alex and spent the rest of my time chatting with the customers (some were really awesome), clipping the clothes up and running mental debates on what I should buy at the store to reward myself. You see, SEMESTER ONE IS OVER-OFFICIALLY. =)

And that spelt for CELEBRATION, well it was a good enough an excuse as any other so Vee, Fred, Sling and Liz rocked up at my house bearing all sorts of amazing yummies and alcohol and what was supposed to end by maybe...4am ended up lasting a whole lot longer. By a whole lot longer I mean 8.30am. That was when I exclaimed that I have not had had any sleep for 24 hours and counting. But hey, with the amount of fun we had, I'm not complaining. What say we do it AGAIN guys?!=)

Decided it was also a good a time as any other to cook dessert and by that I mean creme brulee, two-layered deep chocolate cake and almond jelly (like my SHF entry). Decided to cook some tumeric curry chicken and sweet potato mash. But I haven't any photos of all of them except the chocolate cake. My proudest moment was when I cut into the cake and for the first time ever, I didn't have to exert strength to make it through two hard layers of chocolate sponge. I knew it was gonna be good. =)

The cake recipe was closely followed, I didn't feel like making any changes and I didn't feel like going through the exhausting rollercoaster ride where I worry endlessly that it might turn out bad, I don't know about you but most of my layer cakes have turned out promising when first taken from the oven but just ends up being a hard to swallow, hard to chew, not really tasty kinda cake, and that bugs me. This time, I took the cake out of the fridge as soon as people started arriving, giving it aout 4 hours to settle to room temperature and THANKGOD the weather in Australia allows me to do so. It was a smart move!=)

I made a creamy vanilla frosting to go with the cake but I used slightly salted butter and that wasn't good plus, I was meant to use half shortening and half butter, which I'm assuming is because 1) color (shortening won't produce a yellow frosting) and 2) flavour (I think a mixture of shortening and butter produces frostings with less pronounced butter-like taste which can be icky) so therefore, faced with both color and flavour problems oh-and plus the issue of the salt, I decided to whisk in 2 heaping tablespoons of cocoa and 1 tablespoon of icing sugar and TADA! Creamy chocolate frosting instead-still a little salty but a hell lot better. Frosted the cake, topped the entire cake with a basic icing made of milk, icing sugar and cocoa, and I was goooood.

Here's a link for a good creamy vanilla frosting, I've never made it but the recipe I used is similar. Sorry guys, I'm so tired from only 3 hours of sleep (I slept for 3 hrs after my friends left) I won't be typing the exact recipe I used because that means I have to walk to the kitchen. TRES FAR. And as for the basic chocolate icing, here's how it really went down.




Icing sugar

1) start with 5 tablespoons of milk, 1 1/2 tbsp of cocoa and 6 tbsp icing sugar. Stir madly until smooth, add more milk, 1/2 tbsp cocoa and 2 or 3 tbsp icing sugar. Stir insanely again. Adding more milk if too sticky, icing sugar if too wet or cocoa if too sweet, keep stirring and stirring and adding and adding until you're happy or it's off a consistency that drips from your spoon in globs. Then pour of the top of your cake and using the back of a spooon, spread it out lightly. It should get stiffer with time and if you need more icing, repeat that whole stirring, adding process.

YEAP! That's how you REALLY do it-coz I can't remember exact measurements. *grin!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Brownie Babe of the Month #2

My fudgey Neopolitan

For as long as I can remember, I've always associated passionfruit with my elder sister. Funny thing, I don't even know if she still loves it. It happened when we were kids and on a trip to the Gold Coast for the first time. She'd been there before with school, but it was my first time. And the most poignant memory of that trip was the Churros she insisted we ate, which I instantaneously developed a taste for and passionfruit icecream. Every single day, we had churros and icecream. I'd stick to vanilla or the rainbow colored ones and she would without fail have passionfruit. So there, my little story about how my sister became a passionfruit.
So today I went to the market to get more stuff for the get together on Saturday. And despite only have 50 dollars left in my back account, i just HAD to buy some passionfruits. 8 for $2. I thought i had a bargain...but the store down the aisle had them going for 10 for $2. Oh well, So I came home, de-pulped all of them and decided to use them in my entry for Brownie Babe of the Month 2!

I couldn't decide on whether I'd overcome my bad experience with blondies and try one or bake brownies... So I guess I baked browndies...? That sounds bad, like brown undies. I don't know, you guys can help me think of a name. I decided to make a pink cream cheese frosting just because I wanted them to look like neopolitan icecream! GEEENIUS. hehe. My original intention to follow this recipe didn't out because I measured the butter all wrong so I just changed the entire recipe and dare I say, it wasn't bad at all, not half bad at all...

You do want to eat the brownie at room temperature, as with most cakes actually, somehow it makes flavours stand out more. I like the fact that it feels dense and rich and you can really feel the tinge of bitterness of the cocoa on your tongue but the sweet and tangy cream cheese quickly cuts it before it can turn you off and I personally find the crunch of the passionfruit seeds veryvery interesting, adds a different dimension and texture to the otherwise chewy brownie. =) I might actually melt some of the dark chocolate into the batter next time to oomph up the chewy factor and use passionfruit pulp in the cream cheese instead of strawberry just coz I love passionfruit. And this brownie is probably the story of how I turned into a passionfruit too.
Recipe (Part One):
1 and scant 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
heaping 3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla

1) Mix the melted butter and brown sugar together until smooth, add in vanilla and eggs, whisk!
2) Add in flour and baking powder and mix, batter will be very thick
3) Split batter into 2 bowls

Part 2:
3 and half tbsp passionfruit pulp
1/2 cup chopped white chocolate chunks
1 tbsp milk

1) Mix 3 ingredients into one part of the batter

Part 3:
1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate chunks
2 tbsp cocoa
3 tbsp milk

1) Mix all together


Take a square pan (8 x8 I think) and place blobs of the two mixtures togetherand then slowly marble, Might be a little difficult because the batter IS very sticky but they'll eventually even out in the oven. Bake at 175 degrees celcius for about..25 minutes? I'm not sure I was washing the dishes. Until a skewwer comes out clean.=)

3/4 block Light Philly Cream Cheese
2 drops of strawberry food flavouring
2 tsp strawberry jam
2 tsp lemon juice
about 1/3 cup icing sugar*
2 tiny drops of pink food coloring

1) Whisk all in a bowl until smooth
2) Spread on the cooled blondie/brownie
* Add more if it's too watery or a little more lemon juice if too sticky

Going to Huiwen's tonight for dinner, we're cooking again! I'll definitely show you our aweeeeeesome creations and how FAT i'm getting coz of all these pent up baking frustrations. HOLYCOW and my mom's coming in like, 3 DAYS!!! goodbye gym, helloooooo couch potato!=)

If at first you don't succeed...

So remember the whole hoo-haa about my bread baking disasters? Well, I told you i'd give it another shot and I did, turned out better, meaning: edible. Was a little tough, but like I said, edible and it provided a little more encouragement. I won't be posting the recipe up because I made it taste yucky but feel free to look for 'soft white dinner rolls' by Nigella Lawson in her cookbook or june 2005's Delicious.

On a brighter note, I've finished my essays! Well, it's not perfect but by finish I mean, the bulk of it is done, what's left is the editing and referencing and all the bits and pieces which I'm losing concentration with... So today I took a day off, baked to my heart's content and shopped til I dropped. =) And I'm all good, albeit sleeeeeeepy.

Here's what I baked today...

Bloomin' Banana Muffins, they're for Daphne's birthday. I'm gonna top them with a swirl of chocolate ganache.

Gluten-free, dairy-free banana muffins, not as bloomin' beautiful but OMG I cannot have enough of them. I've had two...I'm working on reducing the oil although it's reasonably little already and TERRIBLY DELICIOUS. TRUST ME. (i know, gluten-free, dairy-free has the worst connotations sometimes...) BEST THING! there are no funny ingredients!

1 cup rice flour
1/4 cup almond meal
3 mashed bananas (I used 3 medium ones)
3 tbsp rice/soy milk
1 tsp glutenfree baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 oil (I'd use a little less)
dash of cinnamon
2 eggs

1) Whisk eggs and oil together, add in mashed bananas, honey, sugar, cinnamon and almond meal
2) Place the baking soda and rice/soy milk together and let stand for 5 minutes
3) Mix the baking powder and rice flour together and add into banana mixture, alternating with milk (i started and ended with the flour)
4) Pour into prepared muffin cups
5) Bake at 175 degree celcius for 12-15 minutes or until skewer inserted comes out clean (careful not to overbake)
6) ENJOY! =) Betcha can't stop at oneeeee!

Gula Melaka Steamed Sponge, not as light as the really awesome ones I've had but heres the recipe, pretty good but I'll definitely work on it. I was a little crushed actually...maybe it's my fault for steaming at such high you think it'll make a difference in texture? Suggestions? It was too dense.

Sorry guys, I know the photos aren't drool worthy, but today I was more concerned with scoffing myself silly with food. You understand right? =) and HIPHIP HOORAY, SCHOOL'S OUT (almost)!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Low-er fat Chewychocochuck Oatmeal Cookies

Everyone's got a favourite cookie. Some like the melt-in-your-mouth type of shortbread or like a huge flat crispy chocolate speckled cookie while others may like a beautifully colored buttery sugar cookie. I'm more of a chewy cookie kinda girl. Chewy and oaty. Something about oatmeal cookies make me wanna just eat more. Might be the fact that some of the un-softened oats provide a great workout for your tongue and you try to fish them out from the back of your mouth or maybe it's just that it lasts a little longer because you've gotta chew. Don't know and honestly, don't care. hahaha! I just know that when I crave cookies, it's usually this cookie and it's bad, because it'll clog my arteries and one day I won't be able to move or bake them ever again. So, I made them low fat. hahahhaha and they're not half bad.

But seriously, because I know they're lower in fat, I just wanna eat more. But judging by the fact that the entire batch of 30 over cookies has less butter than 12 of their fattier counterparts, I feel a whole lot lighter, no I meant, better =)

3 tbsp butter (use margarine if you want)
5 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 cup applesauce, I used sweetened (if using unsweetened, add more sugar)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp caster sugar
3/4 a.p flour*
3/4 almond meal*
1 tsp baking soda
1 egg (or 2 egg whites)
2 tbsp fat-free milk (I used fat-free soy milk)
1.5 tsp vanilla
3 cups wholegrain oats
1 cup addition of choice: chocolate chunks/ raisins/ white choc/ apricots/ nuts

1) Cream butter, p.b and sugars together
2) Add in applesauce, milk, egg and vanilla, mix well
3) Add in flour, almond meal and baking soda
4) Add in oats and your addition of choice (Mine's chopped up chocolate)
5) Drop by tbspfuls onto baking sheet and bake at 175 degrees celcius for 10 minutes or so
6) EAT alot of them and be happy. =)

*You can replace all of the almond meal with flour. I just prefer using almond meal

I obviously added in more peanut butter because I am a PB FREAK and next time, I'm adding in raisins and cinnamon and white choc chunks instead of dark&milk choc. So there, lower fat-not really. heh!

*UPDATE: I just ate these when they've cooled and they're alot tougher so it's not good but I suppose you could always toast them for a cookie thats crunchy and filled with melty chocolate bits. =)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

A little sad...

Just thought i'd post an update on my second attempt at the chocolate loaf. Didn't work out. I think me and the recipe just aren't good. So, anyone who wants to try and has better luck please teach me how to do it. Right now though, I just had a maccas burger and I feel slightly better. I know, i should be avoiding wheat but I'm sad, and I've been wanting a burger for AGES. Anyway, I'm going to try Nigella Lawson's recipe for dinner rolls tomorrow, maybe i'll have more luck yes?

On the bright side, I got to eat up all the icing off the loaves. Now I feel a teensy bit bad, but icing is goooooooood. =)

After reading a million and one sites on bread making and all things related I realized a huge possibility as to why my bread SUCKED was because I didn't knead it enough. I was worried that I might 'overwork' the mixture. Too much cake baking, the paranoia of over working a mixer is there. Tomorrow I will be more vicious and work it baby! heh, I'm totally psyched out now. I know I should be using spelt flour but I think I'll start with oragnic white flour first. I know, bad for me, but it's not THAT bad. I wanna succeed more than anything. =) WISH ME LUCK!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Chocolate Bread

I was supposed to go to work today but being labelled as 'casual', it meant that I didn't really have a 'permanent' shift, so since it wasn't busy today, work called up and said I needn't go. Which was good in a way, I had this teensy tiny niggling feeling that I really didn't feel like working today, I had other plans.

Being inspired and motivated of all sorts, I decided I could handle the task of baking bread. My first ever experience with YEAST. That word sounds so dirty, I honestly don't have much feeling for it but nonetheless, I decided to thread on icy grounds. I had mixed feelings about the recipe I was about to use, firstly because I think I'm a recipe snob of some sorts and I usually tend to steer towards recipes from 'known' sources. Might be the fact that I'm a uni student and wikipedia doesn't count as a proper reference, I usually go to the usual (meaning: allrecipe or epicurious or verybestbaking) but due to the fact that I don't have a bread machine and heaps of recipes from those sites require one, I decided to use this one . I don't know. I might have done something wrong, or maybe it was just the fact that I used half spelt flour and half all purpose flour, but the bread turned out, like a bread but a little crumbly like a cake. Moist but tough, but it was cooked I think, coz I just scoffed 3 slices just coz I was sad and thinking about the bread...

Maybe I will try another recipe since I've got a couple sachets of yeast sitting in my fridge. I'm a little sad, and a little bruised. =( But still, it's not too bad, pretty yummy when you eat it slathered with chocolate icing and peanut butter. You know what they say...EVERYTHING tastes better with peanut butter.

*UPDATE: I JUST REALIZED WHY, I missed the step that called for the second rising. I ought to be shot. I'll try this recipe again tomorrow. =) Or maybe tonight. Wish me luck!


2 tbsp water

1/2 tbsp cocoa

4-5 tbsp icing sugar*

1) Mix all together and if mixture is too stiff, add water by the drop

2) Pour all over the loaf and indulge

How to eat it:

1) Cut a thick slice (I might wanna toast it...), slather with peanut butter and drizzle with more icing.

I'm thinking of making it into a chocolate bread and butter pudding, what do you think? I'm in need of some cheering up. I might bake more chewychocochuck cookies just because...

SugarHighFriday! on a Saturday

Finally, I am on time with participating in SHF #31. I always seem to miss it or find out right after the due date for submissions. So this month's theme is Neutral Territory. So, naturally, I think of white chocolate, panna cotta, white angel food cake, bombe alaska? OKAY, so I was thinking they were things that were kinda 'been there, kinda done that'. I needed something that I have been been to try out, something that I was craving. I was really tempted to bake a lemon cupcake topped with a rich thick white chocolate frosting but I changed my mind.

So here's where I am with this whole 'white' thing. Almond Jelly. It's a Chinese thing (oooh it's one of those 'i wanna go home' days) and my mom likes serving it in thick cubes, swirling through some canned lychees and ice cubes, easy! Oh and it doesn't stop people from coming back for more. Normally ours comes from a packet-just add water. Most people's come from packets, it just seems alot easier.

Oh and I just remembered something funny. My sister loves all things under 'Chinese dessert' and so she bought heaps of the instant almond jelly and one day she decided that letting them sit in the fridge to set was wayyy too much torture to bear. she wanted to eat it NOW so she put it in the freezer. Not smart, we ended up with a block of almond ice sitting in the sink, slowly thawing.

OHWELL, Here's my sugar high! =)

2 cups cold water
1/3 cups caster sugar*
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1/2 tsp almond essence*
2 tsp agar-agar powder*

1) Place cold water and caster sugar in small saucepan
2) Sprinkle the agar agar powder over it and bring to a boil then simmer for 1 minute
3) Take off heat and add in the evaporated milk and almond essence
4) Pour into prepared container* and chill for at least 1 hour

*I used normal white sugar and because I only had 2 tbspoons under 1/4 of sugar in my ENTIRE HOUSE, I had to half the recipe
*I found that the almond essence wasn't enough so I added double the amount, well, I added enough to make sure that I could smell the almond more than the evaporated milk
*Agar-agar powder is from seaweed (i think) and it can be found in most asian groceries. I had no trouble finding mine!=)
*I poured it into those plastic take away containers just coz my mom always does that. It depends on how thick you want the jelly to be, I just mine substantially thick so I can sink my teeth in. YUMMMY!

I'm finally going for Vietnamese tonight. YAY! Damn these food cravings. I think I might bake me some Ciabatta tomorrow. Im a little skeptical about my baking skills...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Chewy Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies

Say 'chewy chocolate chunk oatmeal cookies' reallly quickly and it ends up sounds like chewychocochuck oatmeal cookies. Yeah, sounds pretty darn good still! Well, I was being all excited yesterday and decided to bake a batch of apple pie muffins for MuffinMonday03 so I used my new cookbook, the one I got for $2.95 on my way to uni. It's one of those small little books that doesn't have the face of a superchef celebrity or overly glossy photos that you could eat out of the page but it still held promise for me. Like it might contain some little secret this lady never told anyone and I got to find it out. Okay so maybe it's unfair to blame it on the author but the muffins tasted like CARDBOARD. I know it probably is alot due to my own fault, i DID substitute half the butter for applesauce, and i forgot to put the eggs in and did it right at the end. Okay, fine, I admit, it's my fault. The apple slices I placed on top and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar tasted really good though. So, thanking god i only baked a batch of 6 muffins (half the recipe), I picked all the apple slices off and threw the rest out. I'm not in an apple-y mood anymore. I might try Orange Poppy Seed muffins or Chocolate Cinnamon muffins instead. OOOH! I'm getting all inspired now. =)

So, faced with the disappointment and a stomach hungry for something buttery and bad for me, I decided I have had enough of wanting to eat chewy oatmeal cookies and decided to BAKE them. Oh and Cookie Madness doesn't really help and since I read the blog 10 times a day over and over again (god, I'm like a freaking stalker), I just needed and i mean, NEEDED to bake my favourite chewychocochuck oatmeal cookies. Funny, I tried baking them for Chinese New Year this year as gifts for people but they turned out less than perfect. Might be Australia or the fact that my modified recipe was here, but the cookies are just more Aussie inclined. I have had 12 of these cookies in the last 12 hours. thats 200 calories times 12. oh, I think I've exceeded my daily calorie intake. Might as well have one more...

My Favourite ChewyChocoChuck Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup spelt flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
3 cups quick-cooking oats*
couverture dark chocolate (chopped into chunks, i heart chunks)*
milk chocolate (chopped into chunks)*
2 tbsp creamy peanut butter*

1)Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy
2)Add in eggs one at a time, mix well, then add in extracts, mix well again
3)Add in baking soda, spelt flour and almond meal, mix well
4)Add in the chunks of chocolate and the quick cooking oats and mix until your arm falls off (kidding)
5)Finally, add in the peanut butter and swirl it around!
6)Bake at 180 for 12 minutes? I can't remember, until the edges brown and it cooks more on cooling. Don't wait until it's completely brown then you'll have a really hard cookie.
7) STORE IN AN AIRTIGHT CONTAINER. I love tupperware. I'm turning into my mom.=)

*You can use normal rolled oats, just not instant. Apparently, the difference between rolled oats and quick cooking is just the thickness of the oats. I can't find quick-cooking oats in Singapore, maybe thats why they weren't as yummy when I baked them there.
*You decide how much chocolate you wanna dump in, you can use white chocolate and almonds or add in some cocoa powder or raisins or get the picture.
*Peanut butter is optional but everyone loves peanut butter...=)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I am Chunky

There's always that question, are you chunky or smooth? Well, I thought I was smooth that's why I opened the smooth jar first. I've been pinching off that jar, dipping spoon after spoon in it, opening and closing the refridgerator door, then popping my head back in there again. And there it sits, in all it's smooth glory, right at the front of the second top shelf. Then today I decided I wasn't a smooth. After 3 months of peek-a-boo with smooth, I realize I am chunky. And that was what I had for dinner, on a warm thick fresh slice of wholemeal kamut bread. yeap, guys! I'M CHUNKY!=) and if I continue peek-a-boo-ing with chunky, I will be definitely chunky-in the other my-pants-are-becoming-too-snug sense.

and here's a very unflattering photo of my Plum Clafoutis. Trust me, it tastes alot better than it looks. Now I'm sad the photo doesn't do it justice and while I'm at it, Let me whine. I've been meaning to say this in a self-pity, slightly angry sort of way. I don't even know why I'm angry but here goes. WHATS THE POINT OF BAKING AND SELF-PROCLAIMING THE STUFF I BAKE TASTES GOOD WHEN, NO ONE EATS IT. mostly anyway. Okay, there I said it. Now I shall wallow in self-pity and eat more clafoutis. I'm not gonna ask anyone to eat it anymore, it's not a chore eating it anyway-is it?

*grumble grumble*
I will blog more about my clafoutis when I feel better. Today's not a good food day. I need more chunky.

Monday, May 14, 2007

a case of the munchies

I've been suffering from a seriously case of the munchies lately. Think: snacks. I know it's one of those 'but if you cut out on snacks you'll lose weight' things, but I NEED to tell you this. I LOVE SNACKING. Truth be told, I'd rather snack than eat a big full blown meal. But this plan backfired when Liz decided that we should all have dinner at this fusion Thai place for her birthday. That meal was not huge, it was huge. I think my skin stretched as far as it could bear yesterday and any further and I might have torn it. haha, i sound so morbid now. MOVING ALONG, the Thai food was fantastic, big claps to the soft shell crab with basil, the deep fried barramundi all the thai essentials (basil, peanuts, chili, mint), the roasted duck salad, the COCONUT rice (out of this world) and the coconut icecream. well, MY POINT OF THE STORY IS... after a Yum Cha buffet today, a huge-ass big fat dinner plus 3 course dessert and alcohol fest yesterday, I think I'm sticking to snacking for a while, my tummy really, can only hold that much food. oh and the waistline.. don't forget, the waistline.

Rice Krispie Treats, pictured above (recipe from here), only difference was that I used raspberry and vanilla marshmallows and I added in swirls of peanut butter and cocoa powder.

Balsamic Strawberries with Honey Yoghurt

1/2 cup plain, low fat yoghurt
swirls of honey

Balsamic Strawberries:
Handful of strawberries, washed and tops chopped off
tsp of balsamic vinegar
sprinkle of brown sugar
pinch of salt

1) Mix all together and leave to macerate for 10 minutes.
2) Mix it into the yoghurt and enjoy, sounds strange but the balsamic vinegar does this strangely wonderful thing to the strawberries. =)

Monday, May 7, 2007

Coffee and Chocolate Walnut Cake

This is probably one of those cakes I find hard to get sick of. Well, okay so I suppose it's unfair to say that since it's the first time I've baked it. But judging by the fact that between me and erm, me, we've almost finished half the cake. So I suppose it's a fair judgement to pass.

Originally called an Italian espresso walnut cake by the creator in Gourmet Traveller, I obviously did not have a cup of espresso lying around (someone tell me whats the difference between normal instant coffee and espresso?) so, I just used one heaping tablespoon of coffee dissolved in water equivalent to the amount I should've had of espresso. Also, figured mixing half the batter with melted chocolate wouldn't hurt so I did just that. Bought me some fresh yummy walnuts from the market and a good bag of organic Spelt flour (because wheat flour is the devil) and TA-DAH!

Let me describe the god-lyness of the cake pretty please...Okay! So the cake baked up beautifully, no lumps or sunken middles. I marbled the cake, so each slice would have ooey-gooey goodness of the chocolate and the lovely depth of walnuts and the scent of coffee. This was unexpected but the chocolate bits turns out chewy and moist, just like a fudge brownie, while the coffee parts were slightly crumb-like, moist still because of the oils from the walnuts but not fudgey. Perfect contrast since too much of either would've made it boring to eat. The top of the cake was brushed with honey so that made the edges of the cake crunchy and chewy, like...BROWNIES! Beautiful rhythmn of flavour, filled with the complementing flavours topped with fresh walnuts and a tint of honey to tease your senses and a slight, ever so slight hint of bitterness to remind you of the fresh walnuts you ground all by yourself. I reckon it'd be purrfect with coffee but you know what, I reckon it'd be perfect with just about anything.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

ice cream scones

Okay, so the title might be a little misleading since no, I didn't bake scones with icecream and no, there's nothing about icecream here. heh, But I thought it sounded...CUTE! Which, in my opinion, is a good enough reason to put it as my entry's title. =) whoopdeedoo!

I did, however, bake SCONES! I've never really had an urge to do so I just needed to use up the double cream that Vee and I bought for chocolate fondue and since I resolved to try my best to not waste ingredients, I decided I'd bake scones using whatever double cream I had left and make up the rest with full cream milk. Not too shabby I say!

My initial intention was to use the double cream during the EATING part of the scone, but then I realized that I could easily incorporate it into the PRODUCTION part of it. Besides, I got really excited knowing that I was trying something that I don't normally do. and MY MOM LOVES SCONES. So I guess that was good enough reason to bake me some scones=)

Took a recipe from Cuisine July 2005 (which is probably the most used recipe magazine I own, I baked their Irish Soda Bread the other day..MMMMMMM) and adapted it. Might be (and probably is) a mistake on my part because the scones didn't bake up quite as high as I hoped they would. My fault because I did roll them kinda thinly and I have no idea if using heart-shaped cutter might have affected it but yeap. Those which I did cut quite thickly did rise and looked more scone-like. and they were in the shape of HEARTS. HOW CUTE! =) The heart-shaped thing was purely out of laziness- I was too lazy to go buy a round cookie cutter. heh.

I did have a little trouble with the recipe, not because it was complicated but because I couldn't mix the flour mixture and milk/cream mixture to form a dough, seemed a tad too dry, so I just kept adding tablespoonfuls of milk until it stuck together. ALL GOOD! and the dough didn't stick to the table surface I was rolling it out on, which is why I KNOW I'm definitely baking scones again. They're clean to bake.=)

ANYWAY! here's the recipe:

Scones (by Julie Le Clerc)
3 cups self-raising flour
1 tablespoon caster sugar
large pinch salt
35g butter, cubed
1 1/4 cups milk (I used half double/thickened cream and half full-cream milk)
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
extra flour for dusting
butter or jam and clotted or lightly whipped cream to serve

1)Preheat oven to 220degrees celcius
2)Sift the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl
3)Rub in the butter to form fine breadcrumbs
4)Make a well in the centre and pour milk/cream in, using a dinner knife, mix quickly and lightly to just combine.
5)Turn mixture to lightly floured surface and knead to combine
6)Dust again with flour, and roll out to about 3 cm thick and cut into rounds with a 6cm pastry cutter (i used a heart-shaped cookie cutter, worked okay for me)
7)Gather any pastry scraps to make more scones.
8)Bake for 10-15 minutes or until puffed and golden
9)Cut in half and fill with butter, jam and/or cream. Makes 12

*The use of double cream makes for a richer scone. You could try using thin cream or whipping cream. For flavour variations you could omit the raisins and use chocolate chips or poppy seed and orange zest. I think this is a really good basic scone recipe and so forgiving, so feel free to add whatever you wanna!=) Maybe feta cheese and sundried tomatoes.

On another note! Fred and I cooked meatballs the other day. heh, It was fun and yummy and so easy. =)

OHWELLS! I'll update soon, when I get round to baking my Italian coffee and Walnut cake. CAN'T WAIT!=)