Wednesday, April 30, 2008

German Ring Bread - 4th Attempt



the greatest achievement in my baking adventures......
a soft textured German Ring Bread

This was my 4th attempt in making German Ring Bread and this time it came out as good as those made by my sifu. That means I scored an A for it…hahaha. Perseverance pays off at last. The buns came out soft and they were still soft the next day without any bread softener . Well, my greatest supporters of course, are my Piggies (",) . To me, this is a great achievement in my baking adventures . I remembered those days, my buns were hard and dry . And Daddy used to say to me those days… " Please don’t waste your time baking …. spend time with me better " . That was many years ago…today, he sings a different tune " hah…this is nice…bake more " Haha…dare I say that today my baking and cooking skills have indeed improved ???


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Monday, April 28, 2008

My 2nd Baking Lesson

26th April - 2.00pm was my 2nd baking lesson and I can’t tell you how happy I was to be able to attend this classes. The menu being Multi Grain Butter Cake , Diplomat Custard Pudding Cake and Spinach Spaghetti With Special Meatballs. Wheezzz.....mouth watering items..heehee

Haha…was telling my kids some time back that when I retired in a few years time I would like to attend baking classes to make meself a better baker . And before I knew how it happened , (GOD must have heard my wish and blessed me instant I guessed ^^ ) I was enrolled for this baking classes conducted by this special lady who is a well travelled and a very good teacher indeed. A very simple person…small in size but has a heart so big…haha a very generous lady in sharing her cooking and baking skills. The best thing I have ever done for myself was to get myself enrolled for her classes. The tips and techniques she shared during her classes are worth every penny I paid ;p . Looking forward to her next lesson.

I got good reviews from my three piggies at home. Daddy praised the Multi Grain Butter Cake and asked me to bake one for him *wink, wink and Piggy gal and Piggy boy showed the signs * thumbs up for all three items !!! Hahaha…. It will be no rest for me the next few weeks! ^_________*

Sharing pictures taken during class..haha Momsie busy snapping away…who cares …haha…Momsie enjoying herself to the dot.



Students helping out in the first cake - Diplomat Custard Pudding


Learning how to iced the cake ^^

Nice?? It tasted good too :)

Different design

A slice to take home - yummz 2nd cake - Multi Grain Butter Cake - still in the oven

Cooling time ...so aromatic..those are pine nuts on top

yummz....see the multi grains - best cake I have ever tasted

Preparing the sauce for the 3rd item - her special Bolognaise sauce

Preparing her special meatballs - with all the healthy fresh herbs ^^

Fried the meatballs with 'Amway"wok

Delicious and the fragrant scent from herbs....mmmm

Teaching us how to prepare the spaghetti...a lot of learn from here

The very very nice spinach spaghetti with the special meatballs
and wonderfully prepared bolognaise sauce ",


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Quote

" Cooking is a form of art & skill, which once acquired,
stays with one for life" - Amy Beh




Saturday, April 26, 2008

Beauty Lies In The Eyes Of The Beholder

These are Bear Bear lastest pictures. Just couldn't resist taking a few shots of her.


A Happy Bear Bear.... tongue sticking out!!


Bear Bear looking bored and what was she thinking about...??? :)

Bear Bear has grown so much...now a young lady...hmmmm...
Momsie to Bear Bear : " don't you dare think of making friends with the guy next door "
Bear Bear to Momsie : " don't worry Momsie.......crossed my heart" ;P


** Yay, yay...tomorrow I will be going for another baking lesson. Going to have lotz of fun there.
Will be sharing more on the lesson in my next post. Stayed tuned :)


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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Soon A Garden Full Of Veggies and Fruits :)

Barely 2 months ago, my dad’s maid had sowed some fruit seeds and veg seeds onto the ground ( a small patch of garden ) next door to me. It was amazing to see that the seeds had bloomed into healthy plants and the honeydew plants are already bearing fruits…, pumpkin plants , maize , chilli plants , mint ,and lotz of other plants which I can't identify at the moment...haha I guess tomato is one of them and watermelon...and we shall see soon what other veg she has planted when they are fully grown

Everyday , after chatting with my dad for an hour or so , I will definitely pay the garden a visit…the best therapy for me besides baking . It takes away my tiredness and my problems the instant I set my eyes on those green green plants …just like looking at my babies…seeing them growing up healthy…(“,)

I really salute my dad’s maid. Her sweat and labour are fruitful now and I can tell you how happy she must be to see her “ babies “ growing up well and fruiting. Her honeydew plants are all fruiting as we can see from the photos. We pray that the fruits will be honey sweet :) Thanks, Sulasih ,for your hardwork and God really bless you for your kindness and the care you have showered on my dad. Taking good care of him like your own papa. I believe God is kind to me …you have indirectly helped me to take care of my dad and I can’t believe that I have a gem like you in my father’s household . I pray that you will continue to be your true self throughout your service here .


thank God the birds have left the chilli plants alone :)

the pumpkin plants takes a longer time to fruit

Honeydew already bearing fruits :)
planted 2 mths ago

groundnut plants all over the ground and 4 maize plants in between :)

healthy looking mint plants sprouting all over-
my favourite ^ ^
Spotted some spinach plants ...haha... leave it to the maid
in no time I have a whole garden full of vege!!!

it gives me joy by just looking at the fruits of my maid's labour
hard work no doubt and she has green fingers :)



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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Spiral Curry Puff - Thumbs Up !

I had a wonderful time making spiral curry puffs. I love Amy Beh’s recipe on spiral curry puffs . I did it once before and knew it was good so I thought I want to treat Piggy boy to some nice curry puffs before he goes to college this coming May and surprisingly I had a wonderful time playing with the dough…(“,) and Piggy boy …ahem..by force , had to be my photographer last night , coz my hands were greasy…thank God he was obliging :) Otherwise , I won’t have any pictures to show you on the puffs.

Haha…I think lately I must be crazy baking and cooking stuffs I had not done for the past one year. I had this crazy feeling like I won’t be around much longer…huh…frightening thoughts though…so I baked and cooked for the family as much as I could. Or maybe becoz Piggy boy will be joining Piggy gal in KL soon and I won’t have my babies with me anymore. I know I am going to mizz them muchie. So, have to pamper them as much as I could with home cook food and knowing them, supper is what they enjoyed most…bad habit though but as we eat ,we chat just about anything….from personal to movies, actors to own real experiences . Supper is bad for health but the fellowship is good for the soul and it is fun and it is the only time we can sit together and have a time of chatting and sharing.




I added beef to the fillings recipe

The water dough and oil dough
to be divided equally to 24 portions

fun time making this sprial curry puffs :)

I haven't mastered the act of making the dough yet
so you can't see much spiral on the puffs but the skin
is fantastic. It is crispy and yet melts in your mouth :)

Every bite makes you yearn for more.....



Here is the recipe



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Monday, April 21, 2008

Fried Wanton

Fried wanton is Piggy gal’s favourite. I put together some prawns and chicken breast, chillies and some chopped garlic, a dash of pepper and salt…taadaa….I got a wonderful paste as fillings for the wanton. It is easy to prepare and yet delicious. Can be served as a dish for dinner or as a snack for the kids. Wasabi or chilli sauce as dippings….OMG it was fantastic. The ooos and arrs…are in order when taken with the pungent wasabi. Thumbs up for this wonderful fried wanton. :)

wanton skins can be bought from the supermarket or the wet market



chopped prawns and chicken breast meat
mixed together with chillies, dash of pepper and salt

wrapped wantons ready for frying

Ready for serving .....yummz


Fried Wanton With Prawn/Chicken Paste

Ingredients:

1 pkt of wanton skins

100gm chopped prawns meat
80gm chopped chicken breast meat
some chopped chillies
dash of pepper
salt to taste
a drop of sesame oil
a teaspoon of corn flour


a cup of oil for frying


Method:

Put all the ingredients together and stirred in a bowl till the mixture becomes sticky.
Wrapped the wanton with a spoonful of the paste . Spread out the paste fillings so that it cooked easily.
Heat up a cup of oil in a wok. Turn down the heat and put in the wanton and fry till light golden brown.
It can be served with wasabi or chilli sauce as dippings.


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***Note: After posting this up..I am off to prepare Spiral Curry Puffs for Piggy boy (",)
will post up the recipe tomorrow......stay tuned :)



Sunday, April 20, 2008

Apple Pie

The baking bug is still on. It has been a quite a while since we last had an apple pie . And since there were lotz of green apples left in the fridge which no one seems interested to eat, I cut them up and cook it with some brown sugar , add in some ground cinnamon and nutmeg….hmmmm the aroma of this fragrant spices filled the kitchen the whole evening. Prepared the pastry dough in a whiff and ta ta tada…the apple pie is ready for baking. I added in some sultanas into the apple fillings since I have lotz of them in the fridge. (",) This dessert is best eaten with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream….yummy yummz


Apple fillings


pastry dough for the pie


Line the pie dish with the first piece of pastry dough and
regfrigerate it 30 mins before baking to prevent shrinkage

fill to the top with the apple fillings

Cover with the 2nd piece of pastry dough
and crimping with a fork to seal the top and bottom pastry
Prick holes with a fork on the pastry top to allow
steam to escape during baking

Baked at 200C for 25-30 mins till brown

Cut the apple pie only when it is cooled completely

Best eaten with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream...hmmm yummz

Apple Pie

Ingredients for the pastry:

1 3/4 cups plain flour
½ cup self raising flour
1 tbsp castor sugar or brown sugar
125 gm butter- cut into cubes
4 tbsp cold water

Method:

Rub butter into the flour mixture until it looks like bread crumbs.
Then add in the cold water and knead lightly into a dough.
Divide dough into 2 portions. One portion slightly bigger than the other.
Refrigerate for 15 –30 mins. Roll the bigger portion into a round 5mm thk as
base . The other smaller portion is for the top.

Meanwhile prepare the apple fillings.

Ingredients for the apple fillings:

4 nos large green apples – cut into slices – *squeeze lemon juice over it optional
4 tbsp of brown sugar
1.5 tbsp of corn flour
¼ cup sultanas
½ teasp of ground cinnamon & nutmeg
3 tbsp of water
Method:

Put all the ingredients into a wok and mixed well.
- Cook to get a soft texture
- Uncook to get a crispy texture

Brush beaten egg yolk on the apple pie before baking at 200C for 25-30 mins .


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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

3rd Attempt



OMG…this is my 3rd attempt in making this German Ring Bread !!! You guys must think I am obsessed with this bread ! No, it is not that. It is just that I have to master it since I went for the class and have paid so much for the course, I have to prove to myself that I CAN DO IT!!!! Haha…. maybe the ‘ kiasu syndrome ’ is getting into me.

This time round…it was much much better . The buns came out much softer than the last time . I could hardly contained my joy and ecstasy and was shouting to Piggy boy to come and see the bun :) haha, luckily he was in a good mood so I could see him smiling and nodding his head in agreement that the buns were soft and light. He even taught me how to take a good photo of the buns (“,) I have to thank God for his willingness to share his photography skills with me… nay, he is helpful all the time..but just that sometime he can be moody. I could hardly wait till morning to phone my Piggy gal to share the good news… “ gal, from now you will have nicer and softer buns to eat ” . To which she replied “ Yay…. Piggy loves buns..oink oink . Mom…I have to study for my exam which is next week……….. ” haizz..sometimes , in my excitement I forget about her dilemma .

My buns are now 95% perfect so I have to practice a few more times and I know before the month is up , I will have a 100% perfect bun. I discovered that my old faithful mixer and tabletop oven did not let me down. I thought I would need a new oven and 4quart mixer like what my sifu has in order to be able to bake nice buns like her (“,) So , since I was able to produce buns 90% like her , I can shelf the idea of buying those luxurious items for the time being till I get my bonus…… :)

I cannot describe in words how happy I am, but I know I am still in cloud nine thinking of the soft buns. The only thing I remembered was , the first thing I see the maid in the morning , I told her that my buns came out very nice…haha and she was happy too coz I left some for her to eat. (“,)

3rd attempt.... 90% perfect


Half a recipe - makes about 12 buns :)

Soft and the fragrance from the rosemary, tarragon and oregano....yummz



fantabulous and yummilicious buns for my lunch :)

One tray for daddy & one tray for Piggy boy..their lunch



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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Perseverance Really Pays

I finally got it right !!! * skip , skip, skipping like a mad woman *** Perseverance really pays off. I made the German Ring Bread again and this time it came as close as 85% to that of my sifu ‘s baking. I would considered this an achievement (“,) I did a post-mortem on the previous buns and found out that I have either…

1. over knead the dough,
2. under knead the dough,
3. over proofed /not enough proofing time
4. temperature not right * each oven has its own character (“,)
5. over baked


Thanks to Ernest for telling me that I should try to increase the oven temperature to 190C instead of 160C as given by my sifu. ( her oven is different from mine ) :) and I did exactly that. I set the oven to 200C and baked the buns for 10 mins . I tried out on half a recipe this time . I realized that it worked better since I am new to bread making, it is easier for me to manage the dough. The buns came out soft and not so compact. The amazing thing was it remained soft till morning and Piggy gal took some back to college for her breakfast and lunch today . She is a bun gal alright :)

we exchanged smses at 12pm today and it goes like this …..

Piggy gal : “ Ur buns very nice ”
Momsie : “ Soft ? ”
Piggy gal : “Yup. Softer than the last time but still not as soft as hers. Haha ”
Momsie : “ Haha practice a few more times than it will be as good as hers ”
Piggy gal : “I’m eating d last of d three buns. Damn Gud!beta than chicken foldover.”
Momsie : “Haha, thank you. Your r always my strong supporter”



( I can feel my head swelling................) ;P


Haha…I love feedbacks as it will help improve my baking skill and boost my ego (“,) More practices means only one thing...the family will have to endure the torture of eating buns for the next one two months!!! * sniggering ** but it will definitely be much better after each practice .


oregano, tarragon and rosemary add flavor to the buns..yummz

My second attempt..and it turned out 85% as good as my sifu's ;p



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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Pie & Tart - Williams Sonoma

Geezz…I have a new addition to my collection of baking books. Pie & Tart by Williams Sonoma :) It is a hard cover book with 40 over pie and tart recipes that will inspire me to bake pies and tarts at any time throughout the year. It has beautiful, full-color photographs of each pie and tart making it easy for me to decide which to prepare. Thanks Daddy for such a wonderful book. (",)


A gift from Daddy ;)

Close-up of the front cover

My collection of baking books...can you spot the pie & tart book ?
;) :) :)


Quote of the day

" Simple and delicious, a freshly prepared baked pie or tart
represents home cooking at its best."


~~~ Chuck Williams ~~~



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