Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Black Sesame Chiffon Cake

Ever since I start baking, I become more curious and wonder how certain ingredients would taste in cakes and desserts. This time, the ingredient is the black sesame powder!

As the black sesame powder is coarsely grinded, it creates an interesting texture to the soft chiffon cake. I find it rather enjoyable to chew the small grainy sesame bits in the lightly flavoured cake. :)

Is it just me? I often find myself feeling heaty after a bowl of black sesame paste dessert or food with black sesame in general. Hmm...

Thanks to 袅袅烘焙香 for sharing the recipe. :)

Black Sesame Chiffon Cake
Adapted from: 袅袅烘焙香

Ingredients (Makes an 18-cm tube cake)
3 egg yolks
30 g sugar
30 ml vegetable oil
70 ml water
70 g cake flour
50 g black sesame powder
1 tsp baking powder
4 egg whites
30 g sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1. Sift cake flour, black sesame powder and baking powder together. Set aside.
2. In a bowl, whisk egg yolk and sugar together till pale and sugar is dissolved.
3. Add in oil and mix well, followed by water.
4. Add in the flour mixture and whisk well.
5. In a clean mixing bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar till foamy. Add sugar in separate additions until stiff peaks form.
6. Add the beaten egg whites into egg yolk batter in 4 additions and fold gently using a spatula.
7. Pour batter into an ungreased tube pan. Tap the pan lightly on a table top with both hands to get rid of any trapped air bubbles in the batter.
8. Bake in a preheated oven at 170°C for 40 minutes or until the cake surface turns golden brown, and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
9. Remove from the oven and invert the pan immediately. Let it cool completely before unmold.

- I omitted the cream of tartar.
- I did not sift the black sesame powder as it was too coarse for the sieve.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Blueberry Breakfast Scones

With some blueberries on hand, I baked these Blueberry Scones that I saw at Happy Home Baking. I totally agree with Happy Home Baker that the dough was very sticky, moist and difficult to work with and I began to have doubts whether I got the recipe right. Almost giving up, I chilled the dough in the fridge for half an hour, haphazardly rolled to the required thickness and sent it to the oven.

I know these scones are a far cry from Happy Home Baker's, but rest assured, the taste is not compromised. These warm scones are buttery, soft and flaky, perfect for afternoon tea. :)

Thanks to Happy Home Baking for all your generous tips and advice on scone baking. :)

Blueberry Breakfast Scones
Adapted from: LifeStyleFood and Holiday by Bill Granger

Ingredients (Makes 8 wedges)
250 g plain flour
1 tbsp caster sugar
3 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
100 g cold unsalted butter, cubed
2 eggs, lightly beaten
125 ml cream
85 g blueberries, frozen or fresh, tossed in a little flour
1 egg, mixed with 1 tablespoon milk, for glazing

1. Preheat oven to 200°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
2. Wash and drain blueberries, pat dry with paper towels and toss them gently with 1 tbsp flour.
3. In a bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt until combined.
4. Rub in the butter cubes with your fingers until roughly combined (there will still be lumps of butter).
5. Toss the blueberries in the flour mixture. Pour in the eggs and cream. Mix gently using a spatula (be careful not to crush the blueberries).
6. Once the dough starts to come together, turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and give it a light knead.
7. Press into a 15 cm (6-inch) square or a big round flat disc (around 2 – 3 cm thick). Cut into quarters and then cut each quarter in half.
8. Place on the baking tray and brush with the egg and milk glaze.
9. Bake at 200°C for 15 – 20 minutes or until golden. Serve warm.

- Use cold butter; otherwise the scones will crumble and appear short.
- Tossing the blueberries in a bit of flour prevents them all sinking to the bottom of the dough.
- I wrapped the dough with a cling film and chilled in the fridge for about 30 minutes before rolling out to the required thickness.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Pineapple Rolls

The Chinese New Year will never be complete without pineapple tarts/rolls! Most people whom I have known are great lovers of pineapple tarts/rolls. I am an exception, haha... These pineapple rolls are specially made for my parents' indulgence, as well as for friends and relatives who will be visiting in the next couple of days.

I used the store-bought pineapple paste. I have little confidence in my cooking skills, seriously. On top of that, this is my maiden attempt in making pineapple rolls. I spent one whole afternoon in doing these rolls all by myself. Tiring as it is, I am glad that these pineapple rolls are well-received by my family. :)

I hereby wish everyone a happy and prosperous Chinese New Year! :)

恭喜发财, 身体健康
步步高升, 心想事成

Thanks to 我的厨房乐园 for sharing the recipe. :)

Pineapple Rolls
Adapted from: 我的厨房乐园

Ingredients (Makes 85)
250 g unsalted butter
50 g castor sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
Pinch of salt
350 g plain flour
30 g corn flour
1 kg pineapple paste
2 egg yolks, for glazing

1. Divide the pineapple paste to 8 g each and roll into small balls. Set aside.
2. Beat butter and sugar until sugar is dissolved.
3. Add in egg yolk and beat until well-combined.
4. Add vanilla essence and salt and beat until fluffy.
5. Sift plain flour and corn flour together and fold into the butter mixture to form a soft dough.
6. Divide the dough to 8 g each and roll into small balls.
7. Flatten a piece of dough and place a piece of the rolled pineapple paste in the middle. Bring the edges of the dough together and press lightly to seal. Roll it in between your palms to shape it into a roll.
8. Place the rolls into paper casings and arrange on a baking tray. Brush the egg glaze on the pineapple rolls.
9. Bake in a preheated oven at 160°C and bake for 18 – 20 minutes or until the rolls are pale golden brown.
10. Cool on a wire rack before storing in an airtight container.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Cornflake Cookies

It will be an understatement to say that my family likes these cookies. They simply ADORE these delicious cookies to every single bit! My sister even asked if I can bake another bottle of these cookies, so that they can happily finish the first bottle without qualms before the start of CNY. Of course, I obliged to her request, happily as well. Hehe... :)

Thanks to Min's Blog for sharing the recipe. :)

Cornflake Cookies
Adapted from: Min's Blog

Ingredients (Makes 45 cookies)
110 g butter
50 g castor sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp lemon zest / orange zest, grated
125 g self-raising flour
1 tbsp corn flour
50 g corn flakes, crushed

1. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla essence till pale and smooth.
2. Add in egg yolk and lemon zest (or orange zest) and continue to beat till smooth.
3. Sift in self-raising flour and corn flour, mix well to make it into a dough.
4. Using one teaspoon of dough, roll into a ball and coat with the crushed corn flakes. Place the dough into small cases and arrange the cases on a baking tray.
5. Bake in a preheated oven at 150°C for 25 minutes.

- I omitted the grated lemon zest / orange zest.
- I substituted self-raising flour with 125 g plain flour and 1 tsp baking powder.