Friday, 4 September 2015

Totoro Black Sesame Chiffon Cake

It's quite a happening week over here in Singapore as our General Election are upcoming. And my boys are having a one week school holiday, happy to have a break so I can sleep a little longer every morning. I will be taking a break from making cute food next week, but you will probably still see me posting both on the blog and on Instagram, as I still have things on backlog to share.

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It's been so so long since I last made a chiffon cake. Chiffon cakes are one of my favourite, love the light airy texture. And looking at the ingredients used as compared to other cakes, it also seems slightly healthier. This time, I tried making a black sesame chiffon cake, and then I decorated it into Totoro. :)

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I love black sesame and IT does not mind it. However, black sesame bakes can be a hit-and-miss thing with LT. He does not really like the taste of black sesame, if it's too overpowering, he'll probably refuse to eat anymore after the first bite. But he is fine if the taste is more subtle, and I guess the taste of this cake lean more towards subtle, as he was okay with eating the cake. I think the whipped cream helped too.

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LT started singing the song from Totoro when he saw the cake. -_- My boys loved the bottom half which was covered with whipped cream, I regretted not keeping some of the leftover whipped cream to serve with the top half.

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I'm sharing the recipe of the cake below. Hope you like it. :)

BLACK SESAME CHIFFON CAKE

Ingredients:
3 egg yolks
20g caster sugar
30ml fresh milk
20ml corn oil
30 g black sesame paste
48g cake flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder

Meringue Batter:
3 egg whites
40g caster sugar
5g cornflour

Whipped cream:
50g heavy cream
5g castor sugar

Method:
  1. Beat egg yolks, caster sugar, and salt over a water bath until the sugar and salt have completely dissolved, and the egg yolks are creamy. 
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  3. Add in black sesame paste and milk to the egg yolk mixture and continue to mix them well over the water bath. Leave to cool down, stir in oil.
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  5. To make the meringue, beat the egg whites with a mixer on low speed until they become white and frothy. Gradually add the sugar and cornflour in intervals and beat until stiff peaks have formed. 
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  7. Add 1/3 of the meringue to the egg yolk mixture and mix well. 
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  9. Sift in the cake flour and baking powder and mix to combine. 
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  11. Fold in the rest of the meringue. 
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  13. Transfer to a 5 inch chiffon cake mould. Tap against the table to allow air bubbles to escape.
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  15. Bake in a preheated oven at 170C for 20-25 minutes. Remove and rest the cake tin upside down. Make sure it is completely cool before unmouldng.
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  17. For decoration, beat the heavy cream and sugar until soft peaks form. 
  18. Frost bottom half of chiffon cake. 
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  20. Place a little whipped cream in pipping bag and pipe out Totoro's eyes.
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  22. Use melted chocolate to pipe on eyes, nose, whiskers, and details on its stomach. 
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  24. Make small incisions on the side of the cake for its ears. Use almond and dip the ends in as 'glue' and attach the ears.
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Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Garfield Pasta & Burger

Are you familiar with Garfield? You probably are, if you are, ahem, as "young" as me. Garfield used to be very popular then, I remembered seeing him often in comic strips and television. My boys have not seen him in either of these, they have only seen Garfield the movie.  Come to think of it, there are quite a few characters popular during my time, but they seemed to have lost their appeal now. Maybe I should dig out those characters from my memory and incorporate them in my creations, lol.

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This is my second time making Garfield, the first Garfield bento I made was way back in 2012. I also made Odie then. This time, I only made Garfield.

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Garfield was made from a meat patty, covered with cheese, other ingredients used were egg, ham and nori.

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Served the meat patty with lettuce and tomato mushroom pasta.

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I used the same idea and made Garfield again out of cheese and meat patty. However, I served it as a ramen burger and changed Garfield's expression here.

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My first time cooking ramen burger, always wanted to try out this dish because it looks so interesting. My boys saw me cooking this and asked me why don't I just use Mamee snack to make this dish directly. -_-

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I guess it's not exactly healthy but it's quite yummy. Only thing is this doesn't taste good when cold, you have to eat it warm when the outer crust is still crispy.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Baymax Snowskin Mooncake

It's the time of the year for making mooncakes again, actually still a little early to Mid-Autumn Festival, but I see them popping out in stores already and was tempted to start. I first tried hand moulding snowskin mooncakes into characters last year and I've been waiting for this year to try out more designs. :) You can take a look at the designs I did last year here.

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I made a few characters on Tuesday, and the first character I'm sharing for today's post is Baymax. Love how easy it is to make him, lol. For the benefit of my readers who aren't familiar with mooncake, mooncake is a traditional Chinese pastry, eaten during the mid-autumn festival. The one I'm sharing today is a spin-off from the traditional baked mooncake and it's called snowskin mooncake. There is no baking involved, it's heathier and it's really easy to make. Snowskin mooncake is a little like the Japanese mochi.

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I made two designs for Baymax, I only showed the steps to make the simpler one. For the full body version, I added fillings for both the head and the body, the hands and legs are just moulded using the snowskin. I'm using back the same snowskin mooncake recipe I shared last year, it's the simplest I've found. Not the tastiest recipe I've tried but still acceptable. Feel free to substitute with your own recipe.

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The mooncakes were filled with passion fruit paste. I did not make the paste from stratch, the paste was store-bought. I remembered a few people asking me where I bought the paste last year. My reply then was I would not recommend the shop I bought from but I would recommend them to get the paste from Kwong Cheong Thye instead. This year the paste I'm using is from Kwong Cheong Thye, they have quite a few interesting flavours, in addition to the traditional ones.

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Hand moulding the mooncakes does take a little longer than using a mould, but these Baymax ones are still relatively fast to make, as compared to the other characters I've yet to share.

BAYMAX SNOWSKIN MOONCAKE

Ingredients:
150g Gao Fen (cooked glutinous rice flour)
150g Icing Sugar
50g Shortening
180g cold water
1/2 tsp charcoal powder
Mooncake filling - I used green tea white lotus paste

Method:
  1. Sift Gao Fen and icing sugar together in a bowl.
  2. Add in shortening to the mixture and combine. 
  3. Slowly add in the cold water, you might not need to use all. You can stop once you are able to knead into a dough. Take out 1 small portion of dough and add on 1/2 tsp of charcoal powder, add on more charcoal powder if needed.  Knead till colour is evenly mixed. Cover with cling wrap and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
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  5. Weigh white dough and fillings, I used 30g of fillings to 25g of dough. Flatten dough with rolling pin, roll fillings into a ball and place on top. 
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  7. Seal and wrap mooncake using your hands. Mould into oval shape.
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  9. Take some dough, mould two hands for Baymax. This step is optional, if you want it to be even simpler, you can leave out the hands. 
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  11. Using black dough, mould two circles for Baymax's eyes. For his mouth, you have to roll out some dough using your hands till you get a long thin strip, then cut to the required length.
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Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Cat Onigiri & Quail Egg

A new routine for me starting this week, an additional commitment so I'm busier in the morning. I'm trying to sleep earlier at night, so I'm finding it a little tough to update the blog, since I usually update at night after my boys have slept. Never mind, I'm sure I'll find another timing to do it after I settle down in the routine.

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Since I already have these photos in my draft folder, I thought I'll do up a post before I sleep. This cat onigiri turned out totally different from what I had in mind. I came across pictures of this cat with gravity defying whiskers, attempted to craft it out of rice, but it turned out disastrous. In the end, I just changed it to the one you see in my picture above.

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Made this for lunch with a quick side dish of nuggets, lettuce and cherry tomatoes.

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The cat was made out of rice, I coloured parts of it with dark soy sauce. Other ingredients used were nori, olives and ham. The fish you see in the picture is a chopstick rest.

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Another cat creation, this time the cats were made out of quail eggs. I dyed the quail eggs pink and blue in beetroot and red cabbage respectively.

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Cats are lying on teriyaki chicken pitas.

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I also dyed some noodles in beetroot and used them as yarn for the cats to play with. :)

Friday, 21 August 2015

Cat Bread Bun

This recipe is a rather back dated one, I think I made these cat bread buns around a year back. I had the intention to update the recipe then, hence I took some step-by-step photos, but somehow I forgot to blog about them, lol.

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These kitty cat buns were filled with Japanese curry. The cat buns were actually a combination of two of my recipes, I used the white milk bun bread recipe from here and the Japanese curry fillings recipe from here. So which bread bun recipe goes better with the Japanese curry chicken fillings? I've not conclusion, they both are good.

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I shaped the dough in these cupcake boxes and allow them to proof in them. They are then baked in the oven in the boxes.

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The kitty cats look like they are stuck and trying to get out, lol.

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Just another picture, because I took too many. -_-

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Sharing the recipe to make these below.

CAT BREAD BUN RECIPE

Ingredients:
Bread Dough:
250g bread flour
3g instant yeast
200g milk
10g sugar
10g butter
3g salt

Japanese Curry Fillings:
½ yellow onion, cut into small cubes
½ carrot, cut into small cubes
300g chicken, thinly sliced
75g Japanese curry roux
400g water
40g butter
40g plain flour


Method:

Japanese Curry Fillings:
  1. In a frying pan, pan fry chicken till they are no longer pink.
  2. Heat up cooking oil in a small pot, sauté onion and carrot till aroma, add in water. 
  3. Add cooked chicken slices into the pot, continue to cook over medium low heat for about 15mins. 
  4. Add in curry roux and mix well.
  5. In another frying pan, melt butter over low heat, then add in plain flour, stir to combine well. Add into curry mixture. When the mixture started to turn thick, dish out and cool it completely.
  6. Roll into balls and set aside.
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Bread Dough:
  1. Mix all the ingredients, except butter, in a large bowl to get a dough. Add in butter and knead until dough is springy and soft, this takes around 10 minutes. If you have a bread maker, you can just use the dough function for this step, as well as step 2.
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  3. Cover the dough with cling wrap and keep in a warm place for it to rise. This takes around an hour and the dough should double in size. Do a finger test to check if it's ready.
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  5. Take dough out and punch out the air from the dough with your fist. 
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  7. Divide the dough into 9 portions. Roll them out and form them into balls. Cover with cling wrap and let the dough rest for 15 minutes. 
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  9. Set aside one ball of dough. Roll out the rest using a rolling pin.
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  11. Wrap dough around curry fillings and seal, place them in cupcake boxes. They should be around half the size of the boxes, as they will double in size after proofing.
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  13. Using the ball of dough set aside, shape into cat's ears and hands. Cover with cling wrap and let the dough proof for 40 minutes.
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  15. Preheat oven to 190 degrees celcius, turn it down to 140 degrees before placing in the bread at middle rack. Bake for around 15 minutes. If you want the bread to remain white, you can dust on some flour before baking and use an aluminium to cover halfway through baking. I did not do so, as I wanted the buns to be lightly browned. Draw on details using a food marker.
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