Bittersweet Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt



Can i start off with a birthday song?? Happy bday to u.. happy bday to u.. happy bday dear hubster.. happy bday to uuuuuuuuu! hehe... yesterday was hubs bday.. he turned 34 and me? ahaks... u do the calculation urself ok.. i remember when i first met him more than a decade ago.. he was just 22yrs old and was smitten by this old lady hahaha.. oh well.. this is what we call "fated".. we fell in love and 2 yrs after we met.. we got hitched :op


Hi all.. how are my readers doing?? i know and i am sorry for not being able to reply to comments.. i hv been keeping well, tho at times there were signs of a little frustration (like yesterday.. tsk tsk) eventho there wasnt much that needed to be packed.. there was lots that needed to be done.. i hv packed like 30 boxes so far and the only thing that i hv to pack bef we move this weekend is our toiletries and the clothing that we are wearing this week.. our store room was a big headache.. i still had 8 boxes that were hidden for the past 3 yrs and when i opened them up... i found out that i still had all of Sonia's branded clothing and baby stuff... not forgetting the baby carrier which she didnt use.. the baby clothing that she got during her baby shower.. everything was still in the box and in very good condition... i repacked the whole thing and send it to the salvation army.. i hope it will be of good use to others.. there were boxes full of books... there were boxes full of old curtains.. i guess they were too pretty to be given away back then and now i will pass it on to my sister.. sometimes when it comes to moving house.. u just hv to close ur eyes and put aside things that u dont need .. or just give them a new home...


So ok.. enough abt packing and moving... i think this will be my one and only post for this week... i hope that we will be able to settle in quickly n nicely in our new home.. super mixed feelings actually but i guess thats how it is each time u move to new place.. u leave behind bad memories.. u take with u good ones... every single house that we have stayed in has history and am keeping it close to my heart.. Insyallah ..


Anyway since all my baking pans have been packed n yesterday was hubster's bday.. i thought i shud bake something simple for him..  i couldnt possibly bake him a celebration cake.. after much thought.. i decided to bake him this cookie.. the page that he bookmarked not long ago.... Sonia helped to prepare it and sang hubs a bday song bef she gave a pc to hubs and put aside a pc for herself lol.. love love love the taste of this bittersweet chocolate chip cookies... its crispy on the outside and a little chewy in the middle.. the sea salt that is added gives this cookies a two thumbs up.. love it!!


Notes fm Izy:
- The dough isn’t creamy and it’s not very soft, it’s quite dense and can be crumbly.
- Make sure you scoop the dough at the 1/3 cup size as stated in the recipe – the size of the dough ball contributes tonnes to the final texture of the cookie, so don’t change it!!!!
- It’s also important that the cookie dough is baked straight from the fridge- it needs to be cold and rock hard when it goes into the oven.

Bittersweet Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt
inspired by Delancey, adapted from Epicurious and Maury Rubin of City Bakery
makes 11-13 very large cookies

10 tbsp (5 oz / 140g) butter - i used unsalted butter
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup (230g) all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup + 3 tbsp (140g) light brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp kosher salt / fleur de sel* (plus more for sprinkling) - i used fleur de sel of cos!
1 egg
7 oz (200g) bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped - i used 66% valrhona

In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Continue to heat it on medium-low on the stove until it foams up and smells nutty then stir in the vanilla extract. Leave to cool for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, either in a stand mixer or a large bowl combine the next 6 ingredients (flour through to salt). Pour in the butter and mix until it looks like moist clumpy sand with no floury patches. Add the egg and mix in for a few seconds, then the chopped chocolate and mix until well distributed – but not for too long!

Using a 1/3 cup cookie scoop**, scoop up some of the dough and smoosh it into the scoop until it’s just full. Turn out onto a lined cookie tray, spacing each mound 3″ apart (I managed 4 per tray). Repeat with all of the cookie dough. Cover with cling film and refridgerate for anywhere between 1 – 72 hours (the longer you wait, the better the texture and flavour!!!).

When ready to bake preheat your oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). When ready, sprinkle the cold cookie dough with fleur de sel and shove into the oven immediately!! Bake for 8-11 minutes, until browned, with set edges, and a puffy, soft centre. Let cool on the baking tray for a minute before transferring to a wire rack. - i used 180C n baked it for 10mins

*You can sub the fancy salt for a scant 1/2 tsp of table salt in the dough, however you can’t use table salt for sprinkling so either use the fancy salt for sprinkling or just don’t sprinkle at all.

** You can just use a 1/3 cup measure (which equals just over 5 tbsp), then roll the dough into a ball with your hands and slightly flatten into a hemi-sphere on the baking tray.

Note fm me hehe
- i scooped 1/2 tbsp for each cookie.. my ice cream scoop is somewhere in one of my "kitchen" boxes plus i dont think i will ever bake a super huge giant cookie.. ever! i hate HUGE cookies hahaha


Thank you Izy fm TWC for sharing such a wonderful recipe.. shes 16yrs old and the pic that she took of this Bittersweet chocolate cookies.. arghhhh!! i cant stand it!! muahaha - ty for making me munch more than i shud.. its delish and both my kids and the bday boy.. love it!

Wish me luck dearies n i guess i see u next in my new abode!

Screwpine (Pandan) Chiffon Cake



I bake pandan chiffon all the time that i have lost count lol.. well not to this one tho... this is the first time that i've ever baked pandan chiffon using fresh screwpine aka pandan leaves.. was intrigued to try and do the squeezing myself after reading abt it at Anie's blog.. thought of using mortar and pestle but was too lazy to do it.. decided to just blend it instead.. i used more than 25pcs of pandan leaves and 6 tbsp of water to get an almost full 1/2 cup.. added a little coconut cream to fill up my cup.. one thing for sure.. i am ditching my pandan paste fm now on! ahaks


Pandan (Screwpine) Chiffon Cake

For the 1/2 cup pandan leaf juice:
10-12 pieces pandan leaves * - i used 25pcs
3-4 tablespoons water - i used 6 tbsp
2 tablespoons coconut milk (optional) **

For the flour batter:
180 grams self-rising flour
100 grams castor sugar
8 egg yolks
6 tablespoon corn oil - i used canola oil
1/4 tablespoon baking of soda - i used 1/4 tsp

For the meringue:
8 egg whites
100gm castor sugar
1/2 tablespoon cream of tartar - i used 1/2 tsp



Method
Pre-heat oven to 170°C and position a wire rack at the lower third rack. Prepare a clean 25cm chiffon cake tin, do not grease.

Wash and cut the spears of pandan leaves into ½ inch pieces. Place into a blender and add 3 tablespoons of the water. Blend to form a thick paste, add another tablespoon of water if it is difficult to blend. If you have a mortar and pestle, pounding the leaves will be easier and less water will be required. Remove and squeeze out all the liquid from the paste through a fine strainer. You should be able to yield close to ½ cup of liquid. To top up and make exactly ½ cup, you can either add some coconut milk, which will go nicely with the pandan flavor, or add more water.

Sift the flour and baking soda into a small bowl. In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the corn oil to form an emulsion. Add the pandan leaf juice or pandan leaf juice plus coconut milk mixture. Mix well before adding the sugar and whisk till sugar has melted. Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk well into a smooth batter, there should be no lumps. Set aside.

On high speed of a stand or hand held mixer, whisk together the egg whites and cream of tartar. Start adding the sugar once the egg whites begin to foam, gradually in 3 additions. Beat till the meringue is smooth and glossy, with stiff peaks. Be careful not to overbeat the egg whites.

Immediately stir in approximately 1/3 of the meringue into the flour batter. With a flexible rubber or silicon spatula, fold in the meringue gently and mix well. Once a roughly homogeneous mixture is achieved, add the rest of the meringue and repeat the gentle, light-handed folding process till the cake batter is well combined. Scoop from the bottom of the bowl to ensure no meringue or flour batter is left unmixed. Do not beat or overwork the batter as this will knock out the air you've put into the meringue.

Pour the cake mixture into the cake tin. Using your spatula, dip it into the batter right to the bottom and make circles around the tin twice. This is to remove any large air bubbles possibly trapped while pouring in the cake batter.

Bake at 170°C for 10 minutes. Lower the temperature to 160°C and bake for another 45 to 50 minutes or until cake is done. The cake tester should come out clean. Don't fret if the top of your cake cracks a little, this is normal.

Release the cake by running a sharp, thin knife along the sides of the cake tin and subsequently the bottom of the tube. The cake is meant to be served upside down as it is heavier on the top.

Cake keeps well chilled in an airtight container or cling wrapped up to five days (three if using coconut milk).

Source: Pickyin
Recipe is from Pickyin mother's friend, original source unknown, makes a 25cm 5-inches tall cake.

Below are PickYin notes that were copied from her blog. Tks!.

Notes: I didn't have any self raising flour as I don't often bake with it so I made my own by using 180 grams all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons baking powder and a ¼ teaspoon salt, based loosely on the conversion method at Deb's Smitten Kitchen. This recipe has over 80% of flour over liquid ratio so it is a very stable chiffon. It is kept soft and moist with the equal amount of egg yolks used as opposed to the whites.

I realized after speaking to a few friends wanting to make this cake that many do not own a 25cm bundt or angel food cake tin. There are two ways you can handle this situation without getting a bigger tin. The first is to make the entire recipe, pour enough batter into ¾ of your tin and bake the rest in lined muffin tin(s) for about 30 minutes. The muffin-sized cakes will be more dense but will still be great. Alternatively use the following tin size-number of eggs conversion to modify the recipe.

14cm tin - 1 egg
17cm tin - 2 eggs
21cm tin - 4 eggs
23cm tin - 6 eggs
25cm tin - 8 eggs

Traditional Mooncakes with Tiramisu Lotus Paste and Melon Seeds



Packing.. packing.. packing.. urghhhh!! its like a never ending story! on top of that.. there are a couple of things that i need to settle bef next week...


.... And when the stress level goes up.. i hv to bake... ya know.. just to get my mind off something.. thank goodness i hv some kinda avenue where i can run to.. anyway last weekend i decided to bake my first ever traditional mooncakes... honestly?? i hv never .. not even once.. tasted any mooncakes.. there were no halal mooncakes back then so it was natural for me not to hv the urge... nowadays u can get halal mooncakes easily and the only mooncakes that i hv ever tried were the ones fm Swensons hehehe.. who doesnt like ice cream mooncakes ey..


Ingredients
450g Hong Kong flour (sifted)
270g Sugar syrup/golden syrup
9g Alkaline water
113g Peanut oil

Filling
1kg Tiramisu Lotus paste
melon seeds

Egg wash - one egg yolk + 1 tbsp water mix well and pass through a sieve. Add little egg yellow coloring and mix well


Method:
Weigh lotus paste 60g.. mix with a little bit of melon seeds and roll into a ball.
Mix sugar syrup, alkaline water and peanut oil together - combine well.
Sift Hong Kong flour in a large bowl, make a well in the center and pour in the sugar syrup mixture.
Using a rubber spatula to mix and form to a soft dough. Cover and let it rest for 20 mins.
Lightly dust some Hong Kong flour on table and knead dough again till smooth. Measure dough to 35g each.
Wrap the lotus paste with the soft dough then dust some Hong Kong flour on it and place inside the mooncake mold, flatten dough so it takes the shape of the mold.
To dislodge the mooncake, gently push out the unbaked mooncake on the lined baking tray, about 10 pieces on one tray, not too close for even baking.
Bake in preheated oven 180C for 5 mins and rest to cool down (about 10 mins) before egg wash-ing mooncake with a soft brush and bake for another 10 mins at 175C.
Remove mooncakes from oven and brush some glaze on mooncake.
Leave mooncakes to cool and store in airtight container.

I still dont know how mooncakes taste like cos i still dont hv the urge to try one... maybe i shud bake traditional mooncakes using red bean paste or durian paste and will finally eat one? hmmm

Source: Anncoo Journal

Everyday Cake - Neapolitan Marble Cake



I heart baking.. so much so.. even when i am super duper busy, like right now... i will still find the time to take my butter out and whip something for my family.. an addiction that i can never seem to be able to shake lol.. anyway.. a few days ago hubs took me to Totts to look at a few kitchen things.. it was late by the time we got there and just as i was abt to go to the plates section.. they announced that the store was abt to close.. i quickly grabbed two serving plates and also a nordic bundt pan... why another nordic bundt pan? shrug .. bec i dont hv a kugelhupf bundt pan? ahaks


Buying things on impulse has never been my virtue .. am not a shopaholic.. i will think like a thousand times bef buying anything for myself but when it comes to baking things.. i gv up lol.. to hv a pantry full of baking stuff is a dream come true for me.. am blessed that hubs gv me all the freedom to buy just abt anything that i see.. :o)

Ok am not gonna stay long... i managed to pack like 5 boxes today.. my kitchen is empty now and am gonna start packing our clothing next... one things for sure.. my baking stuff will go last as i know for sure that i will still be baking away till the very last night huhu


Serves: 16
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour

You will need
For the sponge:
250g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing the cake tin
250g caster sugar
Pinch of salt
Seeds of 1 vanilla pod
5 medium eggs
250g self-raising flour, sifted
25g cocoa powder - i also added 1/2 tsp of black forest paste
25ml milk
Pink liquid food colour - i used wilton gel and also 1/2 tsp of raspberry paste
Plain flour for dusting
Icing sugar for dusting

For the sugar syrup:
150ml water
150g caster sugar

You will also need:
30cm (12 in) Kugelhupf or Bundt cake tin


Method
1. Preheat the oven to 175°C. Prepare the cake tin by greasing with softened butter and dusting with plain flour.
2. To make the sponge, place the butter, caster sugar, salt and vanilla seeds in a mixing bowl and cream together until pale and fluffy.
3. Beat the eggs lightly in another bowl and slowly add to the butter mixture while whisking quickly. If the mixture starts to separate or curdle, stop adding the egg and beat in two to three tablespoons of the flour. This will rebind the batter.
4. Once all the egg has been added and combined with the butter mixture, sift in the flour and stir until the batter is just combined.
5. Divide the batter into three even parts. Mix the first with a small amount of pink food colour to create a pale pastel shade. Mix the second with the cocoa powder and add the milk. Keep the third plain.
6. Pour the pink batter into the bottom of the prepared cake tin, followed by the chocolate batter and then finally the plain batter.
7. To ‘marble’ the mixture, gently fold through all three coloured layers with a fork or spatula.
8. Bake for approximately one hour, depending on your oven. If you are using a deeper cake tin, the sponge will take longer to cook. To check if the sponge is cooked, insert a clean knife or wooden skewer into the centre of each sponge; it should come out clean.
9. While the sponge is baking, prepare the sugar syrup for soaking. Place the water and the caster sugar into a sauce pan and bring to the boil. Simmer until all the sugar crystals have dissolved. Set aside to cool down slightly.
10. Once the sponge is baked, let it rest for approximately 10 minutes outside of the oven. Using a pastry brush, soak the tops of the sponges with sugar syrup while it is still warm; this allows the syrup to be absorbed faster.
11. Once just warm, remove the sponge from the tin and leave to cool completely on a wire cooling rack.
12. Dust the top of the cake with icing sugar before serving at room temperature.


I adore this kind of cake.. gv me pound cake/butter cake anytime and i will take it! :op
Have a good weekend!

Source: Lynara Cakes and Red online
Recipe fm Boutique Baking by Peggy Porschen (Quadrille)


Toffee cake with Hazelnut Praline


Ouch! its feels like a thousand years since i last pinned my thoughts in my blog... didnt realise that i hv not logged in for close to two weeks... was busy with visiting.. busy with orders and not forgetting the unplanned KL trip.. am not complaining.. really.. am enjoying my life right now... being busy keeps me going.. to be able to travel keeps me sane.. op


So we got home fm KL a few days ago.. was there for abt 4 days.. didnt even get to notify my Malaysian customers of my trip which made the whole trip a relaxing one (for me at least - hubby was his usual stressful self)... knew that the moment we got home.. i would hv to start packing our stuff.. true enough... i hv not stopped since... been throwing things... been donating things to the Salvation Army.. been busy selling some of our furniture that doesnt fit into the new home.. hubs has given me the green light to do some changes.. after close to 9yrs of living together.. he has agreed to get out of the simple colonial concept and go a little into country.. not like the "hardcore" country concept that i once loved n had.. but more on French country.. slowly but surely.. my dream of having a French country concept in my home will come to reality but first... lets just concentrate on packing hahaha - Vero.. this is all ur fault! hahaha

Anyway all is good... i still hv a few more orders to fulfill this week and come next week... my baking business will be temporary closed till i get my act together again in my new home.. huhu.. am praying hard that my new oven will fall head over heels in love with me and that we will get along just fine.. Insyallah :o)


Toffee cake with hazelnut praline will probably be the next permanent cake in our household.. u shud see how many times my son walked into our kitchen bef he cud finally have a slice lol.. he walked once into our kitchen when my cake was still in the oven... walked the second time when i whipped up a batch of toffee buttercream.. walked the third time right after I iced my cake.. walked for the fifth time when i was preparing my hazelnut praline and finally after 5 times of walking in and out of my kitchen... he got himself a slice of toffee cake lol.. he loves the toffee buttercream so much that i decided to create hazelnut toffee macs with toffee french buttercream just for him.. I also added a little praline in the center and voila... I got myself hazelnut toffee macs lol


Source: Carrie from The Patterned Plate

TOFFEE CAKE (serves 10-12 generously)
(by Fiona Cairns, from The Birthday Cake book)

280 g unsalted butter, really soft, diced, plus more for the tins
280 g self raising flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
5 eggs, lightly beaten
160 gm golden caster sugar
120 light muscovado sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180 deg. Butter three 20cm sandwich tins and line the base.
Sift in the flour and baking powder, into the bowl of your food mixer, or a large
bowl. Add the eggs, butter, sugars and vanilla. Beat until well blended and smooth,
Watch the mix, as soon as it’s lump free and smooth, stop beating.
Spoon and level an equal amount of batter in each tin. Place in the oven for 15-20
minutes. The cake is ready when it’s well risen, golden and a skewer placed in the
middle comes out clean. Turn out of the tin after a few minutes, then leave on a
cooling rack to cool completely.

TOFFEE BUTTERCREAM
(by Fiona Cairns, from The Birthday Cake book)

240g unsalted butter, softened
60g light muscovado sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
1tbsp double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g icing sugar, sifted.

Put 80gm of the butter in a saucepan along with the muscovado sugar and syrup and
place on a low heat.Cook until it is a deep, amber colour.Remove from the heat and
add the cream and extract while continually stirring. Leave aside to cool until
it’s room temperature.

In a mixer, beat the remaining butter till it’s lovely and smooth. Whisk in the
icing sugar, until it’s ivory white and fluffy, at least for five minutes. Add the cooled
toffee and beat until it’s perfectly amalgamated.

Carrie says: "This buttercream was very soft after I put in the toffee. So I placed it in the
fridge for 10-15 minutes, enough for it to firm up a bit. I gave it a gentle mix and
proceeded to layer the cake.
This icing is quite sweet, and I found this quantity just on the right side of
decadent. Any more and it would be cloyingly sweet. I think I had about half a cup
to spare after the cake was iced."

Note: I didnt use the toffee buttercream recipe here but instead used swiss buttercream and added toffee sauce into it.. i also added simple sugar syrup on every layer of my cake so that my cake will stay moist..
Also I used a 7" pan instead of 8" to get a taller cake. I devided my batter into 4 layers instead of 3..

HAZELNUT PRALINE
(from Rose Berenbaum’s Cake Bible)
1 cup roasted hazelnuts (or any other roasted nut)
2/3 cups cane sugar (I used Demerara Sugar)
1/4 cup water

Lightly oil one baking sheet, and set aside. Conversely, you can use a non-stick
baking sheet, un-greased. In a medium heavy saucepan on medium heat, add the sugar
and water, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved.
Put aside the spoon, increase the heat to medium-high and allow to boil, undisturbed (but not unattended), until the sugar begins to caramelize. You can swill
your pan around to even out the browing, but never stir as it will crystallise.
If you have a candy thermometer, you’re aiming for 180°C . A slight smell of sugar
burning is a good indicator. Once 180°C is reached, immediately turn off the heat,
add the roasted hazelnuts to the saucepan, stirring quickly to combine and pour the
entire mixture onto the greased baking sheet.
Once hardened (about 20 minutes), break into smaller pieces and grind in your food
processor to a powder consistency. Store in sealed jars in the freezer. This makes
a fair amount of praline. Consider sprinkling it over ice creams, fruits and cream
based desserts such as parfaits, for an indulgent crackly sweet hit.


Hope u will enjoy the recipe that i hv just shared... let me know if u manage to bake this lovely cake.. hv a fruitful midweek peeps...


Bef i go.. i wud like to gv my thanks to everyone that ordered my bakes.. be it in sg or in Malaysia... Alhamdullilah.. to those that hv been emailing me regarding my mac/whoopie pie sheets... they are back on pre order again! ... so hurry up and order bef its too late HERE... cheerios!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...