It is all about sesame seeds in this tart!

Freshly and Lovingly Baked on : 4th Oct 2014

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OMG! There is a lizard in my sink! This really startled me. My heart jumped and it took a while for me to settle down. I mentally will it to leave but it did not. I called my uncle and he sped down in minutes. This man has been a pillar of support to my family. He is loving and he loves us all like his own children. I remember that he used to peel grapes, took out the seeds and put it in a tupperware for me to enjoy. He knows I am a lazy gal and he loves me enough to do that for me. As he gallantly use his bare hand to remove the lizard, all I felt was relief. It was a tense 15 to 20 minutes as I peeped over the sink to ensure that it does not crawl elsewhere. Its stare was that of challenging me while I am no wish to participate in this staring game.

He loves sesame seeds. What I can only do for him is to bake something that he loves to eat. Thank you and I hope you like these “packed with sesame seeds” tarts!

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Black Sesame Tart Crust

140g Unsalted butter
100g Confectionary Sugar
225g All Purpose Flour
20g Almond flour
60g Ground Sesame Seeds (as finely as you can)
A pinch of salt
1Tsp Pure vanilla Extract
1 Egg

Directions :

Sift the flours, finely ground sesame seeds and salt together and set aside. Cream the confectionary sugar and butter together until well mixed before adding the egg and vanilla extract. Then add in the powder mixture in batches and ensure that it is well incorporated before adding the next. Wrapped it in a clingwrap and refrigerate for a couple of hours before using.

Once refrigerated, roll it into a thin sheet on a well floured surface. Use a cookie cutter and cut it out. Position it onto the baking pan of your choice. Use a fork and give it a few pokes before refrigerating it for 15 to 20 minutes before piping in the fillings. I use a dome shaped baking pan. It can made about 10 of such cute tarts!

While waiting so, work on your fillings.

Sesame Seeds Fillings.

125g Unsalted butter
125g Icing Sugar
3 Eggs
1 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
35g Ground Black Sesame Seeds
35g Ground White Sesame Seeds
60g Almond Flour
30 Cake Flour

Directions:

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy before adding in the eggs and vanilla extract . Add in by batches and ensure each batch are well incorporated before adding the next. Add in the almond flour and cake flour and mixed well. Then once that is done, divide up the batter into 2 portions. Add in the white sesame into one and black sesame seeds into the other. Beat till incorporated.

Pipe the frangipane in alternate batters into the tart crust. This batter does not flow. So once you alternate it you can use a tooth pick and mix it up. Bake it in a preheated oven of 180 degree for 20 to 25 minutes.

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Instant Gratification: I need the “only 4 ingredients” chocolate cake NOW!

Freshly and Loving Baked on : 28th Sept 2014

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I titled this post instant gratification not because I am a magician and can bake a cake instantly. It is titled as such because this cake can be bake in under 45 minutes from preparation to finish and requires only 4 ingredients.

I am really tired after a few weeks of limited alone time to unwind properly. While I have a tedious bake concept in mind, I have decided not to overstretch myself. There are 2 ingredients in my pantry that is going to expire in the next 1 week ie chocolate chips and fresh milk. I have decided to clear these 2 ingredients to prevent wastage. That leads to this bake. It is an “anyhow think of ” of bake. The amazing thing is that it actually works. It is relatively low in fat since I used dark chocolate chips and low fat milk.

So here goes. For the dieters, it is perfect to satisfy that chocolatey cravings. The only downside to this cake is, it is rather sticky to the teeth. If you do not mind it, then lets get on with it!

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Ingredients:
1.5 Cups Low Fat Milk
1.5 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Cup Cake Flour
1.5 Cup Dark Chocolate Chip

Directions :

Heat up the milk to a boil before pouring it into the dark chocolate chips. Let it sit for a while before stirring it. Ensure that it is well mix before pouring it into a big glass bowl. Sift the flour and baking powder together. Add into the chocolate batter the floour mixture batch by batch. Ensure that the flour is very well incorporated with no lumps.

Grease the cake pans. Spoon the batter in and baked it in a preheated oven of 170 degree for 26 to 28 minutes. De pan and let it cool completely once done. ;)

I made my own Cultured Butter and then I bake the Japanese Cultured Butter Cake

Freshly and Lovingly Baked on : 27th Sept 2014

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I toyed with that idea for weeks and finally decided to get it done today. The original method requires fresh cream and yoghurt to be fermented for 48 hrs. I am  not keen to wait so long. After researching, I realised that Creme Fraiche is basically fresh cream combined with a bacteria starter. It is exactly the same as if I am going to ferment fresh cream and yoghurt together for 48 hours.

This finding gave me much relief to know that I do not need to wait so long before I can make my own cultured butter. Once you get the substitute, the subsequent step is a breeze. I simply whip up the creme fraiche at high speed. Not only do I have fresh cultured butter to bake this Japanese Butter Cake but also fresh butter milk for my subsequent bake!

For the Cultured Butter

Ingredients :
800 ml Creme Fraiche ( get the best quality that you can find)

Directions :

Whip the Creme Fraiche at high speed. For the initial 5 minutes or so, it will looks like stiff cream. As you keep whipping, it will start to curdle.

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Keep whipping it until you see that the butter has been separated from the buttermilk.

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At this point, I basically took it out and wrapped it in a muslim bag. Twist it tight to get rid of excess buttermilk. I will dunked it into a bowl of ice water and keep “washing” it until the water becomes clear. Twist it dry and leave it in a big bowl. All the goldeny goodness will remain.

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At this stage, you are able to add in any flavors that you like. I like the flexibility of being able to add in anything to my little heart desires. I keep some for times when my imagination can run wild. You can add salt, herbs, garlic etc and use it for your cooking.

In this case, I leave it in its original version because I want to use this to bake the Japanese Rum Butter Cake that requires cultured butter.

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Ingredients:

100g Cultured Butter
215g Cake Flour
250g Granulated Sugar
30g Rum
4 Eggs
5g Baking Powder
120g Fresh Cream

Directions :

Sift flour and baking powder together and set aside. Combine eggs, rum and fresh cream together. Cream cultured butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Alternate between the flour and liquid mixture. Combine well after each addition and end with the flour mixture. It will work out to be 3 parts flour and 2 parts liquid.

In this bake, I basically just use muffin cups.

Bake it in a preheated oven of 170 degree for 30 minutes.

Yes, I baked another batch of Piggies again. This is adult version of Milky Bread with Rum and Raisin Cream Cheese Fillings

Freshly and Lovingly Baked on : 21st Sept 2014

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There are still quite  a fair bit of cream cheese leftover from the cookies charity bake.  Let’s not waste it.  I am happy to say that my dowager is really happy with my Zebra Cake experiment. She happily took the utensils needed, the ingredients and recipe and skipped home in glee. Okie, I am joking about the skipping part. I should be the one skipping around as the family is happy with the taste of my Zebra. Of course, the dowager is happy with the idea of using bottles to pipe the batter and she unbashfully took that home as well. Sigh….. my pantry is her playground and shopping centre.

I like the idea of baking bread on Sunday so that I can have it for breakfast. Munching on my own bake at the desk reading news is such a joy or its a routine that I will never want to give up.

The bake today will only be suitable for adult since I added Rum into it. If you like to bake for the kids, you can simply omit the rum.

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Ingredients:

210g Bread Flour
20g Granulated Sugar
90g Milk
50g Egg = 1 small egg
5g Instant Yeast
3g Salt
20g Unsalted Butter

Rum & Raisin Cream Cheese Fillings.

4 oz Cream Cheese
1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1/4 Cup chopped raisins
1 Tbsp Good quality rum

Directions :

Mix the bread flour, sugar, salt and yeast in the mixer. Mix it up well before adding the egg and milk into it. Stir to wet the dry ingredients. Cut in the butter and stir it to combine.

Then knead it for about 10 minutes before letting it proof until double in size.

While waiting for the dough to proof, start on the filling. Basically mix all ingredients together. Actually, it is also a matter of taste. You can taste it and adjust according to your own taste. Once done, leave it in the fridge while waiting.

Once the dough has double up in size, flatten it before dividing it up to 6 dough of about 65g each. I made 5 of it using the last one as a dough for the ears, nose and tail.

I round each up, flatten it and then wrapped in the cream cheese filling before pinching it closed and round it up again. I did not weigh each individual dough for the ears, nose and tail. Let it proof for 15 to 20 minutes before baking it in a preheated oven of 180 degree for 12 minutes.

I tent the bakes 6 minutes into the process to prevent excessive browning. I like to have a whiter looking piggies. ;)

Texture!

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They called it the Zebra Cake.

Freshly and Loving Baked on : 20th Sept 2014

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The Empress Dowagar is at work again. “I wanna bake a zebra cake, go find me one good recipe and teach me.” Zebra cake was one of my earliest attempts when I first started baking. I attempted the neapolitan version. I still remembered that my level of proficiency in cakes was almost nil. I have no food colouring at home nor do I know where to get it. My pantry was really pathetic. So I decided to used beetroot juice to create the pink. The raw batter looked a very fabulously pink but the baked product was sadly lacking the pink beauty. So instead of 3 colours, I only see 2 visually. It is a sad day.

Fast forward to today, my pantry is very well stocked. I can bake something on impulse knowing I have all the ingredients in my pantry to feed the sudden urge. But I still remembered the early failure and tedious attempt. I cringed at the thought of making one. But since the decree has been handed down, I shall gladly attempt it.

Let me do the normal traditional version of the Zebra Cake to test out the recipe.

Ingredients :

2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1.5 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Cup Organic Coconut Oil
1 Cup Milk
2 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
5 Eggs
3 Tbsp Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder

Directions :

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside. Beat the eggs and sugar together. Whisk at high speed till thick. To test it, see if you can draw a number 8 using the batter and the 8 stay for a few seconds before disappearing.

Once that is done, scoop up 5 tbsp or more into the oil, milk and vanilla extract miture. Mix it up before pouring it into the egg/sugar whipped batter while the mixer is still running. This ensure that the oil does not sink to the bottom of the mixer.

Then slowly add in the flour mixture batch by batch and incorporate it into the batter.

Scoop up 2 and 1/4 cup of the batter and set aside. Add the cocoa powder into the remaining batter in the mixer and mix it up well.

Then you are ready to make your zebra cake.

It is very difficult to use spoons to alternate the cocoa and plain batters. So I use plastic bottles instead. Then there is this question of how much to squeeze. I use a mental counting method. As I squeeze from 1 bottle, I counted 1 to 5 and alternate. The longer u squeeze, the bigger the stripes will be.

Tada! This is the raw version.

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I bake this in a preheated oven of 175 degree for 55 minutes or until the cake tester came out clean.

While baking:

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Once it is taken out, let it cooled down before slicing into it.

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