Final chapter for this year - Opera Cheesecake


This will be my last entry for this year.. this year?? haishh it feels like yesterday that i wished everyone a Happy New Year..

Year 2011 in particular has been pretty challenging for me.. the year where i started my online store.. the year that i started taking orders again (after not doing so for 10 years).. a year that saw a lot more laughter in my family .. a year that gave me the opportunity to get to know alot more ppl than during my schooling times.. a year that my hubs had to be hospitalised... my dear son having two bike accidents.. and at the same time a year of a few disappointments.. i am not gonna dwell abt the disappointments cos really.. they are not worth a second of my thoughts.. what matter most is that I know by now who is who..who is sincere and who is not..

Anyway lets sum it up by saying.. it has been an eye opening year for me.. i look forward to a brand new year .. am praying for good health.. good piggy bank.. may the new year bring happiness and may Allah bless all of us.. Insyallah...



What is ur new year resolution?? same like last year?? hehe... me too! bake more?? hehe certainly! I dont think i will ever stop? the urge to keep on trying new recipes is like a burning fire.. I am so looking forward to next month cos hb said he has a surprise for me and it involves baking.. hmmm cant wait!

This Opera Cheesecake will be my last bake for this year.. err not really cos tmrw morning i hv to bake lapis legit prune for an order but yeah.. basically this cake is my last bake for my family.. it took me a total of 4hrs to get it done and lemme warn u.. this cake has a lot of steps that u need to follow carefully.. follow the steps properly and i am pretty sure u will get it right..

The Joconde Sponge Cake recipe is adapted from Dalloyau from Paris Sweets: Great Desserts from the City's Best Pastry Shops by Dorie Greenspan (Broadway Books, 2002) and the cream cheese layer recipe is fm a book called Cheesecake Seduction by Catherine Lau which i bought like 4yrs ago.. combined them together and i got a yummylicious Opera Cheesecake..



Ingredients
The cake:
6 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 tablespoons (30 grams) granulated sugar
2 cups (225 grams) ground blanched almonds
2 1/4 cups (225 grams) confectioners sugar, sifted
6 large eggs
1/2 cup (70 grams) all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons (45 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled briefly

The coffee syrup:
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons (7 grams) instant espresso or coffee

The chocolate ganache:
8 ounces (240 grams) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup (125 grams) whole milk
1/4 cup (30 grams) heavy cream
4 tablespoons (2 ounces; 60 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature

Filling
80ml milk
90g castor sugar
4 egg yolks
3 tbsp instant coffee powder mixed with 1 1/2 tbsp hot water
1 tbsp powdered gelatine dissolved in 80ml water - next time i will use 2 tbsp of powdered gelatine

2 egg white
1/8 tsp salt
40g sugar dissolved in 30ml water

250g cream cheese
500ml thickened cream - i used dairy whipping cream

Glazing
150g dark couverture chocolate
115g butter



Instructions
To make the cake
:
1. Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Line two 12 1/2-x15 1/2-inch (31-x-39-cm) jelly-roll pans with parchment paper and brush with melted butter. (This is in addition to the quantity in the ingredient list.) - i used one 40x30cm pan and bake it at 200C for 8 mins.
2. Working in a clean dry mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Add the granulated sugar and beat until the peaks are stiff and glossy. If you do not have another mixer bowl, gently scrape the whites into another bowl.
3. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the almonds, confectioners sugar and whole eggs on medium speed until light and voluminous, about 3 minutes. Add the flour and beat on low speed only until it disappears. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the meringue into the almond mixture, then fold in the melted butter. Divide the batter between the pans and spread it evenly to cover the entire surface of each pan.
4. Bake the cakes for 5 to 7 minutes, or until they are lightly browned and just springy to the touch. Put the pans on a heatproof counter, cover each with a sheet of parchment or wax paper, turn the cakes over and unmold. Carefully peel away the parchment, turn the parchment over and use it to cover the exposed sides of the cakes. Let the cakes come to room temperature between the parchment or wax paper sheets. (The cakes can be made up to 1 day ahead, wrapped and kept at room temperature.)

To make the syrup:
Stir everything together in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Cool. (The syrup can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 week.)

To make the ganache:
Put the chocolate in a medium bowl and keep it close at hand. Bring the milk and cream to a full boil, pour it over the chocolate, wait 1 minute, then stir gently until the ganache is smooth and glossy.

To glaze the cake:
Bring the butter to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove the pan from the heat and clarify the butter by spooning off the top foam and pouring the clear yellow butter into a small bowl; discard the milky residue. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over—not touching—simmering water, then stir in the clarified butter - i used ganache for the topping.

To make fillings
Bring milk and half the sugar to the boil. Remove fm heat. Set aside. Beat egg yolks till foamy. Pour in hot milk mixture while stirring. Whisk over simmering water till thick and smooth. Stir in coffee mixture. Remove fm heat. Mix in gelatine mixture. Leave to cool.

Beat egg whites until foamy. Add remaining sugar and heat till stiff. Set aside. Bring syrup to boil. Pour onto beaten egg whites while beating. Mix until mixture has cooled. Set aside.

Beat cream cheese till smooth. Stir in egg yolk mixture. Blend in thickened cream. Fold in egg white mixture. Set aside.

Assemble:
Line 10x10" cake ring or a false bottomed cake pans with plastic sheet extended abv the rim of opposite sides. Tape down extended sheet onto outside of pan. Place a layer of sponge cake in each pan. Brush with some coffee syrup and top with some ganache. Brush again with coffee syrup and top with cheese filling. Place third layer of cake on top and brush with remaining coffee syrup. (After cheese filling I placed my cake into the freezer for half an hour before placing my third cake layer - to improve stability) - i used 7" cake ring

Heat remaining ganache and pour onto cakes. Leave to set at room temp. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove cakes fm pans and peel off plastic sheet. Decorate as desired bef serving.

Glazing - which i didnt use
Lift the chilled cake off the parchment-lined pan and place it on a rack. Put the rack over the parchment-lined pan and pour over the glaze, using a long offset spatula to help smooth it evenly across the top. Slide the cake into the refrigerator to set the glaze and chill the cake, which should be served slightly chilled. At serving time, use a long thin knife, dipped in hot water and wiped dry, to carefully trim the sides of the cake so that the drips of glaze are removed and the layers revealed.

Note: will only make half of the filling recipe if i am using 7" cake ring.



Pheeww finally am done! hehe.. do bake it if u feel like challenging urself cos its worth the effort.. ty Rossyn for the macs, apple pie, chocolate caramel cheesecake and also fudgy brownies order.. hope u girls have a wonderful time tmrw.. to Ima .. ty for the macs order.. dont forget to sms me ok and ty Latiffah who will be my first customer in 2012 for the lapis legit prunes order..

Last but not least.. to all my beloved readers... thank you for your support and...

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! ALL THE BEST FOR 2012!

Black Cherry Muffin aka Buttermilk Chocolate Muffin


This is gonna be a quick entry.. as quick as preparing this muffin.. i did it twice.. the first one i totally forgot to add sugar and after taking a bite i was like.. blahhhh.. knew something was not right.. thought i had added too much salt or maybe i didnt mix my baking soda properly.. just didnt know whats wrong with it..



Bef i had a bite.. hb and our helper Lisa took one muffin each and they gave me that look lol.. Sonia, Hairi and Naim (Hairi's childhood friend) ate it like there was nothing wrong with it.. apakah??!! hahaha

After taking pics and all that while updating my blog i realised that i had forgotten to add sugar to my batter geeeshhh.. quickly went to my pantry.. took all the ingredients out and voila.. i hv a new set of muffins in my kitchen.. Lisa took my unsweetened muffins home and I am now enjoying it with a cuppa with dear hb.



So ok.. originally the recipe calls for black cherry.. if u hv black cherries u can stick to the original recipe.. i didnt hv any and subbed with chocolate chips instead.


Ingredients
100g unsalted butter
125g dark cooking chocolate - i used 55% and 64% valrhona chocolate
100ml buttermilk
2 eggs - whisk lightly with a fork
175g all purpose flour
15g cocoa powder - i used valrhona
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
50g light brown sugar
50g caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
100g black cherry - i used chocolate chips

Method
Melt butter and pour into dark chocolate - set aside to warmish
Add buttermilk to ur butter/chocolate mixture and continue to stir.. add whisked eggs and stir again - set aside
In a big bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa powder.. add brown sugar, caster sugar and salt to ur flour... mix
Once mixed add ur "wet" (butter/chocolate) mixture into ur "dry" ingredients
Stir it lightly - DO NOT OVERMIX
Pour batter into ur fav muffin cups
Bake in a preheated oven of 175C for 20mins
Serve warm!


Recipe is fm Primarasa

Xmas Get-together

As promised... Xmas family gathering at our place...


Every year without fail we will try to gather everyone for a little xmas/bday get together.. this year we decided to have a BBQ.. not in a big scale but enough to fill up everyone's tummy..mum wasnt feeling well so she was wrapped up warm lol .. i cooked Bee Hoon Taucu, Baked Potato and salad as side dishes.. we had chicken wings, beef, prawns and also chicken sausages on the BBQ side..

Right after magrib we gave away all the prezzies that were bought especially for each and everyone of my family.. dad's reaction - priceless!!

This year was all abt books for Sonia .. Kinokuniya bookstore was our choice since Borders is no longer around.. mom's reaction - priceless!

Sonia and her toys... adults and their prezzies!


Thanks to Wati and her kids for helping out in the kitchen.. even my little Sonia knows how to help .. am happy to see that in Sonia.. to instill that in ur child is important.. plus it doesn't take a lot of effort to lift a finger...


This is the Berry Pavlova that was prepared as main dessert.. instead of using limoncello cream.. i did passionfruit cream instead!

Ingredients
300ml eggwhites
2 cups sugar
2 tsp white vinegar
3 cups of pouring cream
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/4 cup limoncello - I used passionfruits juice
350g mulberries
250g blueberries
200g raspberries - i added

Method
Preheat oven 150C. Place eggwhites in an electric mixer and whisk on high until stiff peak form. Add sugar a little at a time whisking for 30sec bef adding another tablespoon. Once all the sugar has been added, whisk for a further 8 mins or until the mixture is stiff and glossy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the vinegar and whisk for a further 2 mins or until glossy and combined.
Draw a 22cm circle and a 15cm circle on sheets of non stick baking paper and place 2 baking trays. Divide meringue mixture between the circles. Bake the 22cm pavlova for an hr and the 15cm pavlova for 50mins. Remove the 15cm pavlova fm the oven and allow to cool. Turn the oven off and allow the 22cm pavlova to cool completely in the oven. - i baked mine at 110C
Place the cream, icing sugar and limoncello in a bowl and whisk until stiff peaks form. Top the 22cm pavlova with 3/4 cream and berries. Top with the remaining pavlova, cream and berries. Dust with icing sugar to serve. Serve 8-10.

On my bday hb helped me build up this gingerbread house.. err well its a family effort actually.. Sonia helped to place all the candies on it..

Brrrr its snowing here! hehe

A small Santa wont harm.. hehe


Tadaaaaaaaa .. Sonia was ecstatic after everything was done..


Last but not least.. ty sis Nasyita and also Zaharah for the mac orders..


Berry Pavlova with limoncello cream recipe is fm Donna Hay magazine

Christmas Bake - Chocolate Truffle Cake


6 days in total since i last updated my blog.. whats up with me??! after a short hols i simply got no time to do anything else.. i still hv tons of emails to reply.. i didnt even get to blog walk let alone say hi to my fellow food bloggers.. sorry peeps.. will do that when time is on my side again cos it looks like for the next couple of days i will be busy with this weekend's orders.. an order which i confirmed 4 months ago for 31st of December 2011.

Anyway i will do a separate entry on whats going on with our daily mundane life... i celebrated my birthday two days ago with my family.. didnt do anything big and didnt want any prezzies either cos i can foresee a couple of new things for my wardrobe when we go to Europe next month.. we got back fm KL last Thursday.. hb had wanted to stay longer but i couldnt cos i hd two orders which were confirmed even bef we decided to do our KL trip.. i guess that KL trip was a must as it involved mom and dad's year end road trip which we try to fulfil every year with them..





Anyway besides baking macs for my orders.. i also managed to bake Berries Pavlova, a Gingerbread House and also Chocolate Truffle Cake for our Xmas day gathering.. i did all that within two days and to top it up we also did our last min xmas shopping.. now that was an easy task since it involves shopping lol

So ok.. i will post the recipe for this super delish cake.. u can bake it in ur 7" cake pan and use a 8" cake ring for it OR u can bake it in ur brownie pan and turn it into several small cakes (for easier distribution and packaging)


Chocolate sponge cake
Ingredients
4 eggs
60g sugar
1 tsp emulsifier
1/2 tsp vanilla
55g flour
15g cocoa powder - i used valrhona
10g corn flour
1 tbsp milk powder
50g butter
35g dark cooking chocolate - i used valrhona
1 tbsp black forest paste

Truffle Cream
250g dark chocolate couverture - i used Manner Couverture
125ml dairy whip cream - i used double cream
250ml non dairy whipping cream - whipped
1 tsp gelatine
2 tsp cold water

Method
Preheat oven to 175C.. grease ur 8" pan
Melt ur butter and add it into ur dark chocolate.. stir and put it aside
Whisk eggs, sugar, emulsifier, sifted flour, cocoa powder, corn flour and milk powder on high speed till ur batter is double in size..
Fold in ur melted butter/chocolate carefully
Pour batter into ur baking pan and bake it for 20 to 25 mins

Truffle Cream
Mix ur gelatine with cold water.. set it aside for 5 mins and microwave it for 30sec or till u see a clear mixture - set aside
Heat ur dairy whip cream (dont let it boil!) and pour it into ur couverture chocolate
Whip ur non dairy whipping cream till soft peak and add ur chocolate couverture mixture into it.. stir till it incorporates together..
Add in ur gelatine and stir it well..


Note: I used a double shot of espresso coffee syrup for my cake.

Assembling
Divide ur cake into two layer.. place one layer of ur cake into ur cake ring.. drizzle espresso coffee syrup.. pipe in half of ur truffle cream onto ur cake.. spread it evenly .. stack another layer of ur cake.. drizzle with coffee syrup and pipe in another half of ur truffle cream.. place ur cake into ur freezer for an hr .. take it out and leave it for a couple of mins.. dust it with ur fav cocoa powder - ready to be served!



Source: Bunda Nadhifa

Malacca - Done! KL - Watch out! :)


Good morning ppl! Alhamdullilah we are now in KL and enjoying some R&R.. am having a blast with my parents so far and Sonia's been playing lots with Nyayi.. when i say lots.. i meant LOTS hahaha.. kesian lah mom! hehe.. Hairi came with us after two years of not being able to tag along cos of his NS.. so i guess hes having a blast too..

We stopped over at Malacca for a night and stayed at Casa Del Rio once again.. was nice to see Mat Noor again at the hotel.. anyway here are some pics taken yesterday bef we drove up to KL.. enjoy peeps and i will try to update again soon.. meeting Sue later at 1Utama.. cant wait!

Wet floor - cooling weather ... ahhhh winter in Malacca ahaks

Stayed for the second time.. the best there is in the heart of Malacca!

Different concept of brekkie served there.. Hairi couldnt make up his mind on which one to choose .. u hv to choose ur table served main meal and u hv an array of finger food/side dishes at their buffet area..

Right after brekkie we went for a walk at Jonker Street.. no one was complaining cos the weather was simply gorgeous.. windy and body not sticky at all lol


Hehe u think u can only find red walls in Beijing?? u can find one too in Malacca! Great Wall of Malacca op

Sonia was adamant on taking a trishaw ride.. mom had to gv in to her request :o)


Along Jonker Street.. there was this small lane.. i love how this pic turned out!

Last but not least.. I managed to bake CPAB and also CB bef our Malaysia trip.. ty Shidah for sharing this simple recipe with us and to all that have tried baking CPAB - good choice indeed!


Bef i head out to 1Utama i wanna gv my thanks to Shaz, Hidayah, Aina, Farhana, Puspa, Mazlina and also Nurazian for their orders... to Shaz.. hope to see u someday and I am so glad u liked the lapis legit prune.. to Hidayah .. ty for all the mac orders.. to Mazlina.. it was so nice to see u and ur hb.. enjoy ur macs! To Farhana.. hehe i hear ya.. if tinggal setengah box.. harus makan pelan pelan ok hehe.. to Nurazian and the rest.. i see u girls soon!

All good - Lapis Legit Durian


Alhamdullilah.. everything went smoothly yesterday.. at first we thought hb had to hv laser surgery on his right eye to improve his sight there (the operation two weeks ago caused his eye sight to deteriorate).. but as it turned out the difference was only 0.5 diopters and the Dr suggested to correct that with a new set of glasses... but they did go ahead and do laser surgery on his left eye to fix his retina wall... his left eyes retina is also quite thin and to prevent a tear just like in the right eye they fixed all the pinholes he has on his left retina... final issue was that the pressure in his right eyes was high and right now hes on medication to level it out.. haishhh if things didnt happen i probably wud be clueless to things associated with our eyes..

I remember when i was preggie to Sonia at 6mths.. One morning.. out of the blue i lost control of my right side face.. went to see my gynae right away and found out that i had Bell's Palsy.. i read so much abt it that hb started to call me Dr Rima lol.. oh well... the bottom line is.. alhamdullilah.. after much effort (and $$$) and positive thinking (tks to hb!) my face went back to normal within 3 months.. arghhh u dont want me to get started on how i must hv felt back then :o(



Today i woke up pretty early.. managed to bake 600 odd mac shells.. tmrw morning i will hv to start baking layer cakes for all my KL orders.. yes yes.. finally we are set to go on a short hols.. a much needed one for all of us.. no work for him and no work for me hahaha.. taking along my parents and not forgetting Hairi since hes on his pre exam break till 2nd of Jan.

This layer cake was baked last night.. mom gave me a pack of durian and i didnt wanna keep it as i hv a big tupperware of frozen durian in my freezer.. took out my butter instead and whipped lapis legit durian.. didnt take too long for this cake to be baked as this recipe only uses 15 egg yolks... love the moistness, softness and the sweetness of this lapis legit.. everything abt this cake is two thumbs up hehe and i know of someone who will be happy when i gv her a pack of lapis legit durian ahaks



Ingredients
300g butter - i used unsalted Tatura butter
80g sugar
90g condensed milk
300g durian meat - blend
35g flour - i used HK flour
15 egg yolks
2 egg white

Method
Preheat oven to 170C.. grease ur 8" round pan
Cream butter and sugar till creamy
Add in ur condensed milk and blended durian meat - (i blended durian with condensed milk)
Add in ur egg yolk one at a time and continue to whisk - set aside
In another bowl.. whisk ur egg whites till soft-stiff peak
With a rubber spatula, fold in 1/3 of egg white into egg yolk mixture gently.. add the rest of egg white and continue to fold thoroughly..
Bake layer by layer using grill mode (upper fire).. bake each layer for 7mins yah.. last layer u bake using lower fire and bake a further 8 mins.
Pls refer to my old post abt layer cake if u need a clearer method on how to bake ur layer cake yah.

Recipe by Dodi Padmudgi
Source: Elly

Oh...and guess what appeared in the 15th December edition of Malaysia's LISA magazine... kwang kwang kwang.. wasn't expecting this but thank you Atiqah for the shoutout!




Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake - Heaven!



I cant stay.. sending hb to hospital for his laser surgery in half an hr time.. wish us luck!



Oh bef i go.. if u do hv one dessert that u wud wanna try today or for this weekend.. this is the ONE!! heaven on earth! superb taste.. superb recipe! am in cloud9!




Method
Chocolate cake
Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30-second intervals. Chocolate burns easily, so stir between every zap. Mine took about 60-90 seconds to melt. Set it aside for the moment.
Beat the butter, sugar, and cocoa powder together on medium high speed until smooth, creamy and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add the eggs, one at a time, until each one disappears into the mix. Be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Pour in the melted chocolate into ur butter/sugar mixture
Combine the milk and the water and microwave until hot, about 45 seconds.
In a medium bowl, stir together the dry ingredients and add to ur butter/sugar mixture and mix using lowest speed.
Lastly with the machine still running, pour in the hot water/milk mixture.
Pour it into a 18″ x 13″ sheet pan that’s been first sprayed with nonstick cooking spray and lined with parchment.
Bake in your preheated oven of 175C for about 20 minutes
Let it cool to room temperature. (Cake layer can be made a day ahead, if you’d like to break up the labor of this recipe. Wrap the whole thing, sheet pan and all, with plastic very well, and refrigerate.)
Cut a cake circle with each ring mold, regardless of which size you’ve decided to use.
Prepare a tray with patchment paper.. Place ur cake circle into ur cake rings - set aside

Dark Chocolate and White Chocolate Mousse
Bloom ur gelatine by sprinkle ur gelatine powder evenly over a small bowl with the water... within 5 mins ur mixture will thicken
Next heat up the milk to a simmer in a small sauce pan. Stay close so it doesn’t boil all over.
Turn OFF the heat (This is important. When subjected to high heat, gelatin deteriorates and turns grainy) and then scrape the gelatin blob into the hot milk. Swirl the pan around until it’s completely dissolved. It’ll look like there’s nothing more than milk.
Pour milk/gelatin concoction over the finely chopped chocolate… Whisk it up into a smooth pool of goodness. Set it aside and let it cool to lukewarm. Don’t let it reach room temperature or the gelatin may start to set up.
In ur stand mixer.. whisk the cream till soft peak.
Scoop about a third of the whipped cream into the chocolate. Since the chocolate is kind of dense and heavy, this will help lighten it up. When we fold in the rest of the cream, it won’t deflate as much.
Once combined.. add the rest of ur whipped cream.
Pour chocolate mousse into pipping bag and pipe into ur cake ring (i sprinkle my cake with espresso syrup bef piping in my chocolate mousse)
Place ur tray into freezer and prepare white chocolate mousse.
Do the same method for the white chocolate mousse ok.
Lastly once ur white chocolate mousse has set.. pour chocolate glazing.. (make sure ur glazing is cold bef u pour it over ur mousse as to prevent ur mousse fm melting)

Chocolate Glazing/sauce
Heat up ur cream - not to boiling stage ok.. pour warm cream into ur chocolate and let it sit for a minute.. stir and add in ur corn syrup and also ur oil.. lastly add in ur vanilla.

Garnish
Melt the chocolate in a medium sized bowl by nuking it in a microwave. Start with 30 seconds, stir, then continue with 20 second intervals until it’s completely melted.
Throw in ur cereal.. (I used milo cereal) mix and spread it all out on a parchment-lined sheet pan, keeping it in little flat clusters. This way, the cereal bits touch each other, and can dry in chunks. Pop it in the fridge to set up.


Note:
- U can use any of ur fav dark chocolate cake for this recipe.. i found a chocolate cake stashed in my pantry freezer.. took it out and let it sit for a night.. sliced my cake into two and used it as base.
- I used dairy whip cream -38% fat - either Millac or Lescure
- I sprinkled espresso coffee mix with sugar on my cake circle.
- I used Valrhona chocolate and also Marmer white chocolate couverture for my mousse
- I decided not to use my cake ring but instead bought a plastic type of cake ring.. easy to peel hehe
- Keep ur triple chocolate mousse cake in ur freezer all the time.. take it out and place it in ur fridge an hr bef serving..
- Don’t let them sit in the fridge for more than a day. The longer a gelatin-based dessert sits in the fridge, the more rubbery it becomes.

Enjoy!


Source: Recipe is fm Pastry Pal and step by step pic fm here.


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