Category Archives: Cakes, Bakes & Desserts

Italian Breakfast Banana Bread

I absolutely adore banana bread! I was delighted when I found a banana bread recipe while I was flipping through Nigella’s recipe book (thank you Goon!). Initially, I was a bit concern that Nigella added a few teaspoons of instant espresso powder in the banana bread ingredients. I was afraid that the coffee would overwhelm the banana taste but luckily it didn’t. The espresso gives the bread a nice aroma yet not too overpowering and complements really well with the banana taste.

After letting it cool for 30 minute, I couldn’t resist and took a slice. I was so disappointed with it as I couldn’t taste any banana flavor. I was thinking to myself who is going to finish the rest as I don’t like to waste my stomach space on something that taste bad. The following day, I couldn’t find anything in the house for breakfast except for the banana bread that I baked the day before. I was hungry so I forcefully took a slice for breakfast and was glad that I did as it was surprisingly good. The banana flavor intensified over night and it was super moist. I brought some to my workplace to share with my colleagues and they loved it. So, it is important to follow Nigella’s advise, let the banana bread stand for a day after baking! IMG_7638 Continue reading

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Profiteroles with Lemon Cream Filling

Profiteroles/cream puffs are the perfect finger food for any parties or any functions as they are simple to make, use simple ingredients (doesn’t require anything fancy) but taste amazingly delicious. I love making these crowd-pleaser dessert whenever I have pot luck or gathering with my friends. The addition of lemon zest into the cream mixture exudes nice zingy lemon aromas that fill your mouth. It is crucial to cook the cream filling mixture until the right consistency is achieved. You can test the mixture consistency by lifting up the whisk over the bowl and the cream should flow down in a continuous ribbon fashion. Mixture that is too runny will make the puffs soggy and if it’s too thick, it’s difficult to pipe into the puffs and. it is also important to take note of the heat when cooking your cream mixture. To obtain silky smooth cream and to avoid curdle, always cook the pastry cream over low heat and stir constantly.

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Mango Sorbet

Our first homemade ice-cream attempt was lip-smacking good and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole ice-cream making process. This time, I decided to make my own mango sorbet since it’s summer here and it’s in season. I used Kensington Pride mangoes as they have stronger mango aroma and they are sweeter too. Sorbet is much simpler to make compared to ice-cream. It basically consist of 2 main ingredients, the fruit puree and sugar syrup. Citrus (orange/lemon juice) is added to bring out the mango flavor. I also added a little quantity of glucose to the sorbet mixture. I read that this helps to create a smooth texture sorbet rather than icy texture after being frozen for a few days. The trick worked as my sorbet was really smooth and creamy. However, Mr. D disagreed, saying that sorbet should be icy rather than smooth. Nevertheless, he still ate quite a lot of it. Haha…

IMG_6968The ingredients.

IMG_6984Puree the diced mangoes with the orange juice.

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Indonesian Layer Cake

Indonesian layer cake has been a favorite of mine since I was young. My aunt who used to own a cake shop would give my mom a square of this layer cake every Chinese New Year and it would be gone in no time (thanks to me :P). This cake has a lot of eggs and butter in it and therefore it’s very rich and moist. I never thought of baking this cake until my bestie, Mei asked me if I could make it as she loves it too. She did warn me that the process is extremely tedious and truthfully, IT IS. My advise is, do not attempt this if you do not have a whole afternoon to yourself. The cake needs to be grilled layer by layer and it’ll take at least 2 hours to complete. No doubt it is very time consuming but extremely rewarding in the end. 😀 This cake not only tastes delicious, it looks impressive as well. Hence, Mr. D and I decided to bake this cake to give it to our dearest neighbor and friends as a Christmas gift.

There are many different recipes available on the internet, each using different quantities of egg yolks and egg whites. Some of the layer cake recipes have condensed milk in them. After going through all of the recipes that I’ve gathered, I finally decided on Poh’s version as hers has the least number of egg yolks. Furthermore, I’m a fan of her cooking. I love watching her cooked in MasterChef Australia Season 1 and after that, she has her own cook show which shares a lot of great recipes. Her Indonesian layer cake recipe calls for five spice powder but I was not too comfortable using it in cake as five spice powder is normally used in savory dishes especially to season meat. Hence, I replaced it with all spice powder.

Our first attempt failed as we over beat the egg whites and under beat the butter causing the layers to delaminate due to incorrect batter consistency. We tried baking it again this afternoon making sure that we followed every step carefully. And, we were glad that it worked out well this time. We were extremely pleased and proud of the end result. The cake is just stunningly good, both flavor and appearance!

IngredientsThis cake consists of 9 simple ingredients.

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Super Creamy Dark Chocolate Ice-Cream With Roasted Slivered Almonds

I have been dying to try my ice-cream bowl which I got it free when I purchased the Breville stand mixer. Before that, I need to decide on the type; ice-cream, gelato, sorbet or granita. According to Breville’s booklet,  ice-cream has the highest percentage of  fat among them. It consists of a combination of milk, cream, sugar and eggs. There are also ice-cream recipes that do not require any eggs. Gelato is a milk based ice that is lower in fat compared to French and American-style ice-cream and are usually flavored with fresh fruits, syrups or coffee. Sorbet is a frozen dessert typically flavored with fruit while granita is an ice-based dessert. It took me forever to decide on both the type and flavor because being an ice-cream freak, I love almost every flavor that are out there. After a long long thought, I finally settled on dark chocolate ice-cream, a classic flavor.

I was busy with my work yesterday and I have to use up my opened bottle of cream ASAP. Mr. D kindly offered to help me to prepare the ice-cream mixture. Making your own ice-cream is not difficult at all especially when you have an ice-cream maker. It’s superbly fun and rewarding (in terms of taste). I am extremely delighted with the end result. Our homemade ice-cream is super creamy and I love the crunchy bits of roasted almonds in the ice-cream. The dark chocolate flavor is so intense that it feels like chocolate fireworks explosions in your mouth. This easily beats any ice-cream sold in the supermarkets.

IMG_6342Chopped dark chocolate

IMG_6368Roasted almonds

17Such great fun churning your own ice-cream!

IMG_6454Tadaa…Yippie!  \(^ ^)/

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Lemon Yogurt Cupcake With Cream Cheese Frosting

Mr. D and I love lemony desserts. One day I was searching for new recipes to try and came across lemon yogurt cake. We haven’t eaten yogurt cake before. So, I decided to try baking it and put a cupcake spin to it. I must say it tasted divine as it’s so moist, light and lemony. If you do not like frosting on your cake, you can eat it plain. I definitely love it with cream cheese frosting. They go extremely well together!

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