Tuesday, November 29, 2011

iPhone owner

We got ourselves iPhones over the weekend. Finally ending our time being extremely backward, while everyone around us migrated to smartphones over the years :)

The first photos we took were profile pictures for each other on the phones and then of course some of Pixie bunny! She does not look too pleased at more new weird devices planted in front of her face. She is trying to glare dangerous rays at me here.

Double chocolate loaf cake

Someone said recently that I bake lots of cookies but not cakes. So I decided to show him and since he is always after chocolate cake, I found this recipe. I also added a heap of craisins that I found in my pantry :)

Ingredients: -
175g softened butter , plus extra for greasing
175g golden caster sugar
3 eggs
140g self-raising flour
85g ground almonds
½ tsp baking powder
100ml milk
4 tbsp cocoa powder
50g plain chocolate chips or chunks

Method: -
Heat oven to 160C. Grease and line a 2lb/900g loaf tin with a long strip of baking parchment. I used my square tin because I wasn't sure if my loaf tin was large enough.

Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, flour, almonds, baking powder, milk and cocoa until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips, then scrape into the tin. Bake for 45-50 mins until golden, risen and a skewer poked in the centre comes out clean.

Cool in the tin, then lift out onto a wire rack over some kitchen paper.

Pineapple Upside Down cake

Had friends coming over last Saturday and thought of a pineapple upside down cake for dessert while flipping through a magazine. I always look around for a simple recipe because if it is not simple, I probably wouldn't try it. Found this one from Nigella Lawson. It turned out great although I used a square tin instead of the round one.

Ingredients: -
Butter for greasing
2 x 15ml tablespoons sugar
6 slices pineapple from a 425g can, plus 3 x 15ml tablespoons of the juice
Glace cherries for decorating
100g flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
100g soft butter
100g caster sugar
2 eggs

Method: -
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Butter a tarte Tatin tin (24cm wide at the top and 20cm diameter at the bottom) or use a 23cm cake tin (neither loose-bottomed nor springform).

Sprinkle the 2 tablespoons of sugar on top of the buttered base, and then arrange the pineapple slices.

Fill each pineapple ring with a glace cherry, and then dot one in each of the spaces in between.

Put the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, butter, caster sugar and eggs into a food processor and run the motor until the batter is smooth. (I mixed by hand so it is the usual order of butter and sugar until light and fluffy, eggs, and then flour, baking powder & bicarbonate of soda sifted in.) Then pour in the 3 tablespoons of pineapple juice to thin it a little.

Pour this mixture carefully over the cherry-studded pineapple rings; it will only just cover it, so spread it out gently.

Bake for 30 minutes, then ease a spatula around the edge of the tin, place a plate on top and, with one deft move, turn it upside-down.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Attempting macarons

Thought I'd give this a try and I think it has turned out better than I expected, given my fear of not being able to get egg whites to the required consistency without a cake mixer. Also had no food colouring so this is not coloured but it is rosewater flavoured :)

There are only a couple that actually look like how it should but at least there are some...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Vanilla Ice Aji Caramel Corn

Even though I just came back from Japan, I saw this in the Asian grocery here and still had to get it. Don't know where you actually get Caramel Corn in Japan itself (apart from the giant one that I found in a funky bookstore!). Don't really see it in supermarkets, drugstores, or even snack shops!

Giant caramel corn!

I found the most amazing Caramel Corn in the last trip to Japan - Giant ones. These are huge! Each piece is approximately 5 times larger than the normal ones. Very cute but you really cannot eat that many at one go.

The flavour is a matcha dessert of some sort but I cannot tell what it is.