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Friday, December 24, 2010

Mawar's Famous Choc Chip Cookies.

I'm starting to think that maybe this world isn't a nice place after all.

It bewilders me why some people would do such awful things in life. Like stealing.

I was robbed a few days ago. They stole a couple of my mum's priced possessions and my beloved camera.

The camera that I use to express my passion for baking. for photography. for travelling. is gone.

If only they knew the consequences of their actions, they would dare not touch someone else's belongings. That's okay. Allah The All Mighty is Just. Every human being that has ever lived on this planet will get what they deserve on the Day of Judgement. Just wait and see. Until then, be mindful of every word you speak, every act you do, every word you hear and every thing you see as it could either act for or against you on that day. Make it count.

Unfortunately, this means that I will be going on a temporary hiatus until I get myself a new camera.
Not sure when that will be.

Hope to see you when I'm back, if God wills.

I shall leave you with a recipe from my dear cousin.
Pictures courtesy of the lovely Mawar.

Mawar's Famous Choc Chip Cookies



You'll need 250g butter. 



1 cup caster sugar



1 cup brown sugar


Mix well with a wooden spoon until it looks like this creamy goodness.



Add 1 tsp of vanilla essence


Add two eggs (lightly beaten beforehand). Mix mix mix it up.



Sift in 3 1/2 cups of self raising flour.



Then add chocolate chips. Milk, dark or white. and BE GENEROUS.



Drop teaspoonfuls of the dough on a greased cookie tray.



Make sure you leave a small gap in between each dough.



Take out of oven when it looks golden brown.



Eat it when it's nice and fresh out of the oven. It'll melt in your mouth, I tell ya.

Ingredients
250g butter, softened
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 eggs
3 1/2 cups self raising flour
1 bag of your favourite chocolate chips

Method
Preheat oven at 180C or 160C Fan Forced.

Mix butter, caster sugar and brown sugar until light and creamy. This can be done by hand or using an electric mixer on medium.

Add 1 tsp vanilla essence. Once combined, add eggs and mix well.

Sift in self raising flour, in batches, and mix until a dough is formed. Add chocolate chips.

Drop teaspoonfuls of the dough on a greased cookie tray. Then bake until golden brown. 

Done.

Once the cookies are cooled, eat like Cookie Monster. 



Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cuppacheesecake.




Consider the following:

Do you believe that life is based on trust?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Maybe
My answer: Definitely yes.

If you answered yes, then I ask you to trust me on this.

If your answer was no or maybe,...how are you surviving in life?! Oh do tell me. I'm curious.

For the rest of you, I need you to take my word for it when I say that this Cuppacheesecake (Cupcake + Cheesecake = Cuppacheesecake) is absolutely DIVINE. 

It's petite. And it melts in your mouth! Need I say more?

It didn't turn out the way I wanted them to but once I took the first bite...everything else was forgotten. Like how it was supposed to have blueberries instead of blackberries. and swirls on the top. Oh well.

Here's what to do:



Crush digestive biscuits either in a food processor or use a rolling pin like I did. Release that anger in you.



Arrange 14 cupcake cases in two separate muffin trays.



After combing the crumbs, sugar and butter, place a tablespoon in the cases and use a stand alone case to press the bottom.

...

Sorry, I missed a couple of steps.

I was, um, probably eating chocolates.



Can you blame me?

I got a whole basket full of my favourite chocolates. 



Next time I'll show you the best way to eat 'em.

Okay...back to the cheesecake.

 They taste so much better than they look.



I think I'm in love...



with Mr Philadelphia.



It's really good.




Cuppacheesecake
originally a Martha Stewart recipe, adapted from 6bittersweets
Makes 14 cupcakes

Ingredients
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs or Digestive biscuits
1 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar

1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 Tbsp sugar
or your favourite Jam.

450grams cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup PLUS 1 Tbsp sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temperature

Method
Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Line 2 cupcake pans with 14 paper liners (or use 1 pan plus 2 standalone wrappers).

To make crusts: in a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar. Stir together with a fork until well blended and all dry ingredients are moistened. Press 1 tablespoon of the mixture into the bottom of each cupcake liner. (A small glass or another standalone baking cup work well.) Bake until just set, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack. Reduce oven temperature to 300F/150C.

To make the fruit puree: combine the blueberries and sugar in a regular or food processor or using a stick blender in a measuring cup. Process until smooth, and set aside. If using frozen berries, boil the puree in a small saucepan for about 5 minutes to evaporate some of the water; then cool and set aside.

To make the cheesecake: beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer just until smooth. Blend in the remaining sugar until well incorporated. Mix in the salt and vanilla. Finally, beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

To assemble 
Option 1:  Pour cheese mixture into cases until 3/4 full. Dot a 1/2 teaspoon of the berry puree in a few dots over the cheesecake filling. Use a toothpick or a skewer, chopstick, or thin knife to lightly swirl and create a marbled effect. 
Option 2: Spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of the cheesecake batter over the crust in each cupcake liner. Add half a teaspoon of your favourite Jam in the middle and cover with a tablespoon of the cheesecake mixture until 3/4 full.

Bake until the filling is just set, about 20 to 30 minutes. (They will look puffed initially but will return to normal with time.) Transfer to a wire cooling rack and let cool to room temperature. Transfer to the refrigerator and let chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

Important tips from Mr Philadelphia:

  • To soften PHILLY: allow to stand for 1 hour at room temperature or remove foil from a 250g pack, cube PHILLY, place in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds.
  • For best results with baked cheesecakes: ensure the mixture is not over beaten. Bake cheesecake in the lower half of the oven; allow to cool in the oven for 1 hour with the door ajar before chillin in the refridgerator.
  • Baked cheesecakes prefer an oven without fan force so if possible turn off the fan force. If you cannot turn off the fan reduce the temperature by 20C for all recipes.
  • If cracks should appear on the surface of your baked cheesecake, do not despair. Simply top the cooled cheesecake with a mixture of 300ml sour cream, 2 tablesppons icing sugar and 2 teaspoon vanilla essence, bake for 10 minutes at 180C or until lightly set. Serve dusted with ground nutmeg.
  • Any variety of biscuit can be used from plain sweet biscuit, to coffee flavoured, coconut or chocolate biscuits.
  • Provide a moist baking environment for your cheesecake by placing a small bowl of hot tap water on the bottom of the oven. The steaming effect created helps prevent burning and the drying out of the cake crumbs.
  • Avoid over baking. A cheesecake is cooked when the edges are slightly puffed and the centre is slightly soft and custard like.


A big thank you to BraveChickens* for the lovely Love and Sugar badges and to Rubber Duck* for the Ferrero Rocher! You make me smile. 
Note: My friends are not farm animals. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Munch Munch

Dedicated to Aisha
Thanks for the lovely present!

Now let's check out the surprise...



Ooh suspense!



Ta-da!



I won a cookie box. I was so excited!!! Never won anything online ever - except on Ebay. heh.



 What shall we make? Let's open and see...




This was me sniffing the brand new unopened magnificent book. oooohh I can smell it 10 times a day. Yes, I have a fetish with new books and magazines. and petrol. and permanent markers. Let me be. 



Zebra Cookies?



Chocolate Chip Oates?



Nutty Drizzles?



 Cookies and Cream Sandwiches?
This is 'Something Special' indeed.


I couldn't decide. There were too many. So I made two different ones.




Let me introduce to you a new type of cookie. 

The 'Munch Munch' Collection.

It is unique. like none you've seen before. Never will you find them at Mrs Fields or Famous Amos. 

It's chewy.

It's crunchy.

It's no ordinary cookie.

It's...Mocha Munch!



Every shape is unique.



Don't judge food by it's appearance. That's racist. Or foodist?



I bet you want to bite this right now...
and it is oh-so-good.


Next up is...

Munchkin Squares.





Perfect little bite sizes.




Will these new shapes catch on?

Let's hope so...

Regular shaped cookies look so boring compared to these.



Don't you think?


Make 'em and decide for yourself.

Mocha Munch
Makes about 16

Ingredients
115g unsalted butter, softened plus extra for greasing
115g light muscovado sugar (I used light brown sugar, but if you have muscovado sugar then by all means!)
85g golden granulated sugar (I used caster sugar)
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp instant coffee granules, dissolved in 1 tbsp hot water
1 egg
175g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
55g milk chocolate chips
55g walnuts, roughly chopped.

Method
1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Grease 2 large baking sheets with a little butter. Place the butter, muscovado sugar and granulated sugar in a large bowl and beat together thoroughly until light and fluffy. Place the vanilla essence, coffee and egg in a separate bowl and whisk together.

2. Gradually add the coffee mixture to the butter and sugar, beating until fluffy. Sieve the flour and baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into the mixture and fold in carefully. Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts.

3. Drop dessertspoonfuls of the mixture onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing well apart to allow room for spreading. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, or until crisp on the outside but still soft inside. Remove from the oven, cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

4. Have fun breaking up the cookie into random shapes and sizes.


Munchkin Squares
Makes a lot.

Ingredients
225g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
115g walnut pieces
175g caster sugar
2-3 drops vanilla essence
225g plain flour
200g plain chocolate chips

Method
1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Grease a 20 x 30cm/ 8 x 12inch Swiss roll tin. Coarsely chop the walnut pieces to about the same size as the chocolate chips.

2. Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the vanilla essence, then stir in the flour. Stir in the walnuts and chocolate chips. Press the mixture into the prepared tin. Bake the mixture in the preheated oven for 20 - 25 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven, cool in tin, then cut into tiny Munchkin squares.

Tips:
Unsalted butter is always better for baking sweet treats. It is also idea for greasing because it is less likely to burn than salted butter. An alternative is to brush the sheet with a bland oil such as sunflower.

Muscovado sugar has a tendency to be quite lumpy, so it is a good idea to sieve it before use when baking cakes and biscuits.


Peace.


Friday, November 26, 2010

From Love to Sugar.

Dear Love and Sugar,

No, I have not abandoned you. I still love you. I still think about you. Even though I've finished all my assignments, I've been busy. Busy looking for a job. Because I'm hungry and I need to eat. Need money to buy ingredients so that I can bake yummy stuff. Yummy stuff with chocolates and a cherry on top. Take photos for the world to see and drool over. And make you look pretty, ain't that right Sugar? So you see, I haven't forgotten about you. Not at all. 

I'm always here...so wait for me, if you will.


Lots of love,

Your Baker. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

You've got mail.

I received something in the mail today.

It was addressed specifically to Love and Sugar.

How exciting!


IMG_7487


It's a secret.

For now.

I'm almost there...

One more. That's all I have left.

One more paper to write.

C'mon, you can do it...

Yes, you can!

In the meantime, I need to munch on some cake.

I shouldn't make cheesecakes. I have no self control...refrigerate it overnight?! Yeah, right.


IMG_7234


I had it there and then, while it was still warm. And it was oh-so-good.


IMG_7235


Slap me.


IMG_7239


I won't post up the recipe yet as it needs a little more work.


IMG_7241


To make it the-world's-best-coffee-cheesecake.

Oh yeah.

Be back soon.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A little bit Chinese.

Can I tell you a little secret?

I love being half Chinese.

Cause I'm crazy about deep fried dumplings. imitating funny asian accents. chopsticks. the colour red. Chinese New Year. cantonese. chinese food. dim sum. dim sims. yum cha. meat pau. kung fu movies. jackie chan. my dad. chinese calligraphy. chinese muslims. lanterns. nyonya food (found in Melacca, Malaysia), chinese tea. mock roast duck.

and I'm especially crazy about Moon Cakes.


Mooncake


and the boxes they come in.


Mooncake


I'm so keeping this one as a Jewellery box. 


Mooncake


It was Mid-Autumn Festival a couple weeks back...and my dad, being the world's most Awesome dad that he is, bought me this beautiful set especially for me. It's not cheap but you get what you pay for.


Mooncake


You can find them at your local Asian supermarket (although I doubt they are still selling them now, you might have to wait for next year!). But you must look for the ones with the Halal stamp on them...I wouldn't recommend getting a box without the stamp even if the ingredients look "safe". 


Mooncake


They come in so many flavours. The popular ones usually have egg yolks in them. Me being me, I always take it out - not quite a fan of the salty, yellow ball. The ones I tried were White Lotus, Jade Custard, Taro Pumpkin...and a few others. Too. darn. good. 

However, I must warn you, it is an acquired taste. 

You'll never know until you try.

(Sorry for the lack of posts, I been occupied with my final year assignments. InshaAllah, I will have a ton of new recipes when it's all over after November.)