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Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Snowskin Mooncake part 2

Posted by lovelyloey on September 30, 2009

The mooncakes I made on Tuesday were seemingly disappearing at an immeasurable speed. So I had to make more, and today I decided to try if I can make mooncakes out of silicon bakeware. And boy could I. So no more tosh about flying women, just pictures:

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Rose-shaped mooncake. The brown snowskin is supposed to be chocolate coffee flavoured, but the taste didn’t come out very well. I have actually baked muffins with these before, if you want to look, it’s here.  The mooncake looks so much better than the pitted muffins the other time round.

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Mickey Mouse. Feel free to call me goddess now. Don’t hold back, it’s a work of art ain’t it. So what if other people have embossed Mickey and Hello Kitty mooncakes? I have it in 3D. I win. Woohoo.

And just before you think the ears are just skin, nope. To do that is beneath me.

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Interior’s of Mickey’s ear – green bean paste.

Now, isn’t this amazing or what? Humbly speaking, I have once again outdone myself. :D

Posted in Food | 1 Comment »

Snowskin Mooncake

Posted by lovelyloey on September 29, 2009

Mid-Autumn Festival is on Saturday. Actually I’m not even sure what mooncakes have to do with mid-Autumn, or why the Chinese people are valourizing a woman who stood up against the husband (seeing how traditional Chinese culture is male chauvinistic). Isn’t the story of mooncake about some spies passing spy notes embedded in mooncakes right under the enemies’ nose? Or was it the one where they hurl mooncakes at the moon in hope that it’d feed moon aliens so they don’t feed on that Ms. Chang who flew to the moon? Oh well, no one really cares. Festivals are all about food. And Mid-Autumn is all about mooncakes. And probably children’s lanterns with awful high octave cheenapok music.

Anyway, ’nuff said. Picture of my snowskin mooncakes.

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Yummy.

Recipe acquired from here.

Posted in Food, Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

Cheesy herb biscuit

Posted by lovelyloey on September 15, 2009

Remember how I was saying that the biscuit at Red Lobster is the best I’ve had in my life? It still is, and because of that, I cannot eat other biscuits. Not like there’s a lot over here in Singapore (frankly I think only Popeye’s Chicken sells them and it’s SUB-PAR), but you get the idea. So I was just talking to Angela, who’s going to LA for grad school, that she must must must go to Red Lobster even if it’s just for the biscuit. It’s one of those life changing things. It’s like once you eat those, your tastebuds instantaneously becomes atas and reject all other crappy food.

So anyway, when we were talking I had this intense craving for those biscuits. So intense I was seriously considering running out to the 24-hour supermarket across the street to get the requisite ingredients and break out the baking pan at 12 midnight. Alas, that did not happen. I held out till this morning. *applause*

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I researched a couple of recipes online, both for normal buttermilk biscuits and the Red Lobster imitations. I combined a couple of recipes to make these. I didn’t have powdered garlic or garlic salt stated in the recipes, so I omitted that. Which on hindsight was a debacle. See, the garlicky cheesy taste is what made the Red Lobster ones taste good. Not the butter, not the herbs, but that quintessentially garlic and cheese combination.

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While mine looks good on the outside (I love how this picture turned out), it just doesn’t hit the spot. I expected it to taste a lot nicer. Not that this is hard to stomach, oh no, it is in fact really delicious, but it just lacks something. And hence I hereby promise not to leave out the garlic salt the next time I attempt these biscuits.

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An interior shot. When I saw that the biscuits grew flat while baking (due to the baking soda), I was quite disappointed and I thought the inside would be goopy (for some reason). I broke open one of it take the picture and boy was I surprised to be greeted by a warm fluffy white interior that looks oh-so-inviting.

Yummy.

Posted in Food | 1 Comment »

Carrot Cake

Posted by lovelyloey on September 13, 2009

You probably know how much I like the Carrot Walnut Cake from Cedele. I have made a few of my friends order it each time we go to Cedele, and none has had bad review of it. Of course, since I love the cake so much and I love to bake, all the more I should try to recreate the cake at home. I did some online research and found a recipe for it from ChinChaiChef. The recipe makes cupcakes, but I baked it in an 8 inch cake tin. On hindsight, the batter does not seem to be sufficient for an 8 inch cake; perhaps it would work better with 7 inch or smaller. My cake was soft and fluffy, the consistency I so love, but thin.

It’s so thin I had to stack two together for this photo. So  I reckon if you wanted to make double-layered cake, you should double the recipe for two 8 inch tins. And yes, maybe you can work with less butter. The cake wasn’t exceeding oily, but reducing the amount of butter might not be a bad idea. And the sugar. I didn’t use the full 1 cup; I had about 3/4 cups. There isn’t a lot of carrot fibre in the cake to my surprise. The orange zest added a winning touch to the cake and I really loved the way it turned out. Oh, and I added a pinch (or two) of ground ginger; I find that ground ginger really goes well with cinnamon, so I added some in for more zing to the cake.

And I simply love taking pictures of food with the sunlight coming in through the window – there’s that instant ethereal glow that makes everything extra appetizing.

Posted in Food | 5 Comments »

Day out with the girls

Posted by lovelyloey on September 4, 2009

I forgot to blog about my day out with the girls, must be because I was sick the past 2 days. Was down with some strange bug that caused me to run a fever and diarrhoea.

Anyway, I went out with QL and KL to town on Teachers’ Day! I met KL first to watch Coco Avant Chanel (utterly boring and not gripping at all, please watch with caution) and then we wet QL at Cedele Wheelock for high-tea. We love the carrot cake there! Apart from the carrot cake, the espresso banana cake is fantabulous as well!

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The espresso banana cake. I love the over-ripe banana layer. The layer with the oatmeal, not so much.

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My portobello salad. I was terribly hungry and KL could hear my stomach growling. I should have eaten popcorn during the movie. Oh well. The salad is nice! I love the sauteed mushroom mix. The dressing was a vinaigrette I think.

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The famed carrot walnut cake. Yummmmmmmy. My favourite thing from Cedele ever.

And we went to shop around. I wanted to buy a pair of shoes but couldn’t find any suitable ones. KL bought a pair from the Itti and Otto sale at Isetan Wisma though. I thought they were nice! KL – must wear ok!  After shopping around for a while we went for dinner at Sushi Tei. I’ve never been to Sushi Tei. I always thought it’s very expensive, but it’s actually not. And the food is good. No wonder there’s always a queue outside the Sushi Tei outlet at Vivocity.

We went to the branch at Takashimaya, you know, the outlet next to the taxi stand. Which is really bizarre. When I was young(er) I never knew that was Sushi Tei and I always wondered what kind of sad Japanese restaurant it was – next to a taxi stand. Now I know, heh heh.

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KL’s sashimi salad. Sashimi on a bed of iceberg … give me my portobello salad anyday. Am not a fan of raw fish.

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QL’s seaweed salad. Which is also served on iceberg lettuce.

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Some vegetarian soup noodle thingy. :P

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My oyakodon! I think one sure way of seeing if a Japanese restaurant is good is to eat their oyakodon. If it sucks, chances are everything else sucks too. The oyakodon at Sushi Tei is not too bad, the egg is thick and fluffy and nice. I think I will be back for more~

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And KL and I shared a collagen hotpot. See the white block on the right hand side? That’s a block of collagen. It gradually melted into the miso soup base. I don’t know if it’s just a psychological effect, I did feel that I woke up with nicer skin the next day.

Because it’s so fab, I must put up another picture of the hotpot:

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Yippee!

Now I like Sushi Tei!

Posted in Food | 5 Comments »

Cream Puffs

Posted by lovelyloey on August 28, 2009

Cream puffs have been one of those things I never dared to bake. It feels like so many things can go wrong – burnt surface, deflating puffs, uncooked centres… the list goes on and I’m sure you know what I mean. Besides, I’ve never been a fan of cream puffs to be honest. Walking past Beard Papa does not excite my palate. Sometimes I even find the smell repulsive (just like how I find the smell of Famous Amos repulsive, don’t ask why).

However, I’ve been following a discussion on cream puffs on a forum thread and I thought, why not give myself the challenge? I admit that I’m not known to be a meticulous baker (as you can see from my temperature debacle for the meringue kisses). So all the more I should challenge myself to follow instructions. Yes, I’m masochistic in that manner, don’t ask.

I followed a recipe I read on Baking Mum, which I like because it’s a small portion and hence most suited for first-time baking. It turned out that baking cream puffs is so much easier than I thought.

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I was really excited watching it rise in the oven. It wasn’t dramatic, and frankly, nothing much happened within the first ten minutes they were sitting in there. I left the oven for a while and caught a whiff of the distinct Beard Papa-ish smell. I ran out to the kitchen to check, and was pleasantly surprised that they had risen and were looking good! When the crunchy surface started to crack and release some gas, I clapped. It looked really professional.

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An interior shot of the airy hole – a real indicator that my cream puffs have succeeded.

I didn’t make any custard or cream filling for my puffs. I ran out of whipping cream and milk, so I made do with inserting yogurt ice-cream in my puff. And the result was beyond amazing. For a person who doesn’t like custard or cream-filled cream puffs (like those from Beard Papa), I fell in love with my ice-cream cream puff. The puff was still slightly warm from the oven, the ice-cream was cold, the combination was divine.

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A shot to shot the ice-cream in the puff, and my fingers for scale. These are 2-bites sized cream puffs. I yielded 15 puffs of this size from the recipe Baking Mum posted.

I am so excited about my cream puffs I just can’t stop smiling.  My only gripe?  The shape. The conical top is just … reminiscent of my previous baked goods ya? And I’m not sure that’s a good thing. Anyway, there’s about 12-13 puffs left and plenty of ice-cream to fill them. Those in the vicinity can come over and grab some if interested, while stock lasts!

Edit: All 15 puffs add up to about 600 calories, making each puff about 40 calories. Hmm.

Posted in Food | 8 Comments »

Matcha Kisses/Nipples

Posted by lovelyloey on August 25, 2009

As usual I was looking at Tastespotting on a bored weekday afternoon and I saw a post on Matcha Kisses. They look so cute and inviting, and since I had matcha powder sitting in the cupboard, why not? So I separated the eggs, measured the ingredients, and started whipping the egg white while watching The Happening on HBO. (Seriously, I like that movie much more than Lady in the Water).

I don’t own an electric mixer. I always whip eggs by hand and I think my new whisk rocks. It felt like I need less effort than usual. Anyway, so I followed the procedure to the dot until … I misread fahrenheit as celsius. This time round it’s especially confusing because it’s 175 degrees fahrenheit, or about 80 degrees celsius. I don’t have 80 degrees celsius on my oven. And I’m used to seeing fahrenheits in the range of 300-400, so, there you have. I happily baked them at 175 degrees celsius. They turned brown like their lives depended on it. Not on that, the humid weather today made them deflate so fast I thought they were born that way.

So my first batch turned out looking like nipples. Really dark pointy nipples, I might add.

Oh yes, another thing is that I forgot how large the original ones were piped so I happily piped mine to the size of Hershey Kisses. So I got about … 200 kisses out of my batter.

So I quickly lowered the temperature to 100 degree celsius (the lowest setting on my oven, I think). And the subsequent batches started looking better, but still brown. I think I definitely need a lower temperature than 100.

Here they look less nipple-like and more kisses-likes. But some resemble mounds of turd. You know the ones that appear in cartoons that spiral upwards like a soft-serve cone. Oh well. I should really stop painting unsavoury images of my meringue. At this rate no one will want to eat them.


Another shot of them in a box. They tastes of matcha, but looks nothing like the ones in the original recipe. Blame my oven. :P When I was piping them, they were really green! But the sugar had to caramelize, oh well. Better luck next time! If I can get the colours right, I think these might make good cupcake toppers. Cupcakes for a stag party, at least (if you’re thinking what I’m thinking).

Posted in Food | Tagged: , | 10 Comments »

Curry beef pie

Posted by lovelyloey on August 23, 2009

I have been watching Rachel Allen on TV and each time I watch her teach I will be inspired to bake. I like the way she makes baking seem so easy and fuss-free. I’ve also learnt a few techniques from her, one being pastry making and blind baking. Blind baking refers to baking the bottom crust of a pie or tart first before adding the filling. It’s important for wet pies. From her shortcrust pastry recipe I’ve been able to make my thinnest pie crust yet. However, it’s too flakey for my liking and not flavourful enough. That’s one shortcoming of her recipe.

Yesterday I tried her shortcrust pastry and from 125g of butter and 250g of flour I had enough pastry to fill an 8-inch pie pan, with covering.

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I blind baked the bottom crust first, and while that was going on in the oven I quickly whipped up a curry beef and potato filling. I used Japanese curry cubes and added cubed potatoes, carrots and minced beef. I reduced the beef filling to a viscous consistency and since there is already roux in those Japanese cubes, I didn’t have to add additional. Then I filled the blind baked pan with the filling and covered with another sheet of pastry. As can be seen from the picture, I didn’t do the crust very well. I should not have cut off that much excess, and hence it resulted in gaps where the crusts meet but not joined.

On hindsight, I’m not so sure if blind baking is completely necessary in this recipe, but I guess no harm done. I was happy that I could lift the entire pie out of the pan after it semi-cooled. And here’s a shot of the interior:

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I love the filling the most! The minced beef, albeit from frozen beef, is still flavourful and goes really well with the Japanese curry. However, my mum ate some of the pie and commented it resembles a non-deepfried curry pok, a local Malay savoury snack that’s also pastry dough encasing curried potatoes. Oh well. But now I’m not so afraid of making pastry anymore! I used to think the Singapore weather and my very warm kitchen isn’t suited for pastry; they melt so easily, but I realised it just takes some chilling and clingwrap to make the process a breeze. Perhaps I should try making some 729-layer puff pastry next!

At this point I am suddenly reminded of Azuma’s 300+ layer croissant in Yakitate Japan! – I am so smitten with that anime it’s not funny anymore. What if one day I became a famous baker (hoho) and people asked me where I picked up my skills and I blurt out the title of an anime? Not a lot of street cred, huh. Alas, that’s just a silly fantasy, no biggie. :)

Posted in Food | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Inle Myanmar

Posted by lovelyloey on August 22, 2009

Another food post – I’ve been eating out a lot this week. Well, this was a pretty busy week, if you consider hanging out with friends legitimate reasons for being busy.

Today I went to Inle Myanmar at Marina Square with Angela. She’s been kinda raving about this place since the last time she went and I thought I might give it a try too. There aren’t many Burmese restaurants in the shopping malls in Singapore, so it’s quite refreshing. Supposedly. However, I was more disconcerted than refreshed after I was seated. The food items were so foreign. Even though the ingredients are Southeast Asian, they are combined in ways I never imagined. Too bad for me, since I’m such a picky eater, I didn’t try the more, for the lack of a better word, exotic things like the tea leaf salad. I stuck to familiar options. I took the rice set meal, which includes a main dish, rice, a side dish and a drink for $12.90. Affordable!

And I know we all like pictures:

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Curry chicken. Which tastes nothing like the curry chicken I’m used to. It’s not spicy at all and I commented to Angela that the sauteed onions on top taste vaguely like nonya rice dumpling filling – and she agreed. I suspect this tastes like one of the nonya chicken dish.

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Angela’s fried kway teow. Since she can’t eat seafood, the seafood is mine. :) I love this kway teow! I like it more than the pat thai from Thai Express! There’s a vague sour zing to it, and it’s a little spicy, it’s nice! Highly recommended!

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Angela’s century egg salad. I don’t like century eggs, so I didn’t try. I guess if you’re a fan of that preserved black piece of crap you might like this salad. (As you can see I’m not terribly good at pimping things I don’t like.)

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My seafood glass noodle salad. I know, I can get it at Thai Express too. But this has a more liquid dressing, and it’s not as crazy spicy as the one at Thai Express. So it’s good for people who can’t take too much spicy food (like me)!

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Angela’s rose syrup dessert. The egg pudding in there is nice, but everything else is just like … chendol with bandung?

It was a nice dinner. I didn’t take a picture of the drinks, but I got myself a sour plum and calamansi drink while Angela had a Myanmar milk tea.

After dinner we shopped a bit and adjourned to Starbucks to just hang around. We doodled a bit on the napkins and I just had to take a picture of this amazing mythical creature Angela drew:

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It’s a creature with the head of lemur, neck of a giraffe, shell of a tortoise and legs of a chicken. In Chinese mythology they would have called it the 四不像 (four-unlike, meaning a creature that’s made up of four other creatures and hence not totally resembling any of the four).

Alternatively, it’s simply Angela’s version of a tortoise, adorned with her famed chicken legs.

Anyway, if you are interested in Inle Myanmar, this is the official website.

PS: THIS IS WHAT YOU MISSED, SUHUI! :P

Posted in Food | 6 Comments »

Baking Bible

Posted by lovelyloey on August 21, 2009

I think I think I haven’t showed you my Baking Bible. It’s essentially a notebook filled with recipes and pictures compiled by myself over the past two years (or so) of baking. I only put in tried-and-tested recipes, and most of the failed recipes are chucked out.

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I got this adorable note book from Artbox in Tampines Mall (I think they have a new branch in Bugis Junction now). The paper is beige-orange, not the best when it comes for handwritten things because correction fluid, which is white, is even more jarring on the coloured paper, but I like it nonetheless. The pages inside are unlined, which I like too! I feel like stocking up on these notebooks each time I enter Artbox, but seeing how I have way too many other notebooks in my collection, these will have to wait.

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A look at the interior – two pages featuring Stained Glass Cookies and Cranberry Orange Bread. As you can see, all the recipes are handwritten and the pictures were printed on photo paper, trimmed and stuck in. They are the same pictures I post on the blog too. I sometimes copy the original recipe and add notations on how I tweaked the recipe, what works better and general commentary. Below is an example of one such notation:

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And I quoted Yakitate Japan! on my bread recipe. For those who don’t know, Yakitate Japan! is a Japanese anime about a boy on a mission to invent a quintessential national bread for Japan. Throughout the series I picked up many tips on bread baking, and they sound pretty legit. :P

There’s currently only about 18 recipes in this bible and I’m about 1/3 into my notebook. I look forward to adding more recipes! And there’s just something particularly heartwarming to have a handwritten recipe book with me, especially when I refer to the book to recreate some of the items.

Too early to say now, but if this book stands the test of time, I’m so going to put it in my will.

Posted in Food | 2 Comments »

 
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