Tuesday, 30 July 2013

My birthday cake - Tutorial on how to do a dartboard or checkered cake

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Today is my birthday and I feel really special as this year my 5-year-old son helps in baking my birthday cake. Few days ago, he came to me and said, "Mummy, I have no money to buy you a present. Can I bake a cake for you? Ok?" I was very touched by his sweet thoughts and agreed that we shall bake the cake together. So I asked him if he has any cake in mind that he would like to bake and he said, "Let's do something that you have not baked before." So, we looked through my long list of to-do bakes and settled for a 'dartboard' layered cake. Not sure what is the correct name for this type of cake, each layer does resembles a dartboard though.☺

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Tapioca Sesame Buns 树薯面包

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Tapioca Sesame Buns is the first recipe which I tried in 周淑玲老师 's latest recipe book. What attracted me to this recipe is, it does not use any yeast at all in this bread making. With the right technique in making the dough, the buns will rise and expand during baking. The dough is really sticky and seems impossible to handle by hands thus using a stand mixer with the flat beater attachment is the best. I am happy to bake it successfully on my first attempt by following the instructions to a T. The result is a tasty bun with a crispy outer layer and QQ texture inside. Black sesame seeds also contributed to the fragrance of the buns.


Homemade Nama Chocolate

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Royce Nama Chocolate Versus my homemade ones!
   
Royce Nama Chocolate is well known in Japan and it's overseas outlets in Singapore, China, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Brunei, Indonesia, Taiwan and South Korea. This Japanese delicacy is so rich, moist, delicious and addictive that you can't stop at one! I love it's melt in the mouth texture and the secret ingredient is Hokkaido fresh cream. 

Pineapple buns, Bo Luo Bao, 菠萝包

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The pineapple buns, more well known as the Bo Luo Bao (菠萝包) does not contain any pineapple at all. This popular Cantonese bun has a golden, sweet, crunchy topping which resembles the pineapple due to the crackling patterns on the topping caused during baking when ammonia powder is used. As I prefer not to use the ammonia powder, I scored the top pastry with a knife to make crisscross pattern instead. This bun is one of the Hongkongers favourite breakfast bun and I believe most of us would not give this tim sum a miss when we go for Yum Cha (饮茶) too .


Light Cotton Yogurt Cake

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We have often heard of the Japanese light cotton cheesecake but this is the first time that I have come across a light cotton yogurt cake. So I baked it out of curiosity, the result indeed is like the more well known cake, soft and light. If you want to try something different, I would recommend this recipe to you.
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Cantonese Egg Tarts 港式蛋塔

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Don't they look like Sunflowers?

Egg Tarts is one dish which you will find on the menu or on the push-carts at any Chinese restaurant serving Tim Sum. I grew up eating these tarts that look like Sunflower which can cheer one up instantly.  My mum used to buy it often from the Tong Heng confectionery in Chinatown in my younger days and I always look forward to it. Biting into each mouthful of smooth, wobbly custard with flaky pastry crust is a pure enjoyment for me. :)

Healthy Mango Yogurt Ice-Cream

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Ice-cream are great desserts with the young and old especially on a scorching hot day! I just love to make ice-cream even though I do not have an ice-cream maker at home. In fact, you do not need one to churn out the ice-cream if you have a good recipe to follow. I will often think of making ice-cream whenever I have left over heavy whipping cream from making cakes. This is a fast way of using it up without having to discard it as the shelf-life of an opened pack of whipping cream is 3 days. This mango ice-cream recipe which I am sharing with you uses the thick and creamy Greek style yogurt to replace half a portion of the heavy whipping cream used originally, so it is definitely healthier. :)

Chocolate Fudge Cake

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I love anything chocolate especially dark ones with at least 70% cacao. As you can see, dark chocolate is used very frequently in my bakes and it sure lift me up whenever I sunk my teeth into these delectable chocolate cakes!

Baking Taitai's Breadmaker Wholemeal French Loaf 全麦法式面包

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法国面包是我老公最爱吃的面包, 自我烘培开始,他就说有一天你一定要做给我吃。但是我有太多太多的蛋糕食谱都想尝试,所以就渐渐的把这事给忘了。直到有了面包机,看到有法式面包的程式,才想起一直都没满足他的要求。所以就做了这个健康的全麦法式面包。 我还记得当天面包做好时,拍了照片,马上用Whatspp传给他. 他非常高兴,还让同事看呢!

French Loaf is my husband's favourite bread. He would often buy it from bakeries that sell artisan bread. He has long expressed his wish for me to bake this bread for him but I have too many cakes which I want to try on my very long list of to-bake items so this was not my top priority. Until, I got the breadmaker and saw that it has a French loaf function that I came up with this healthy recipe and bake for him. Immediately after the loaf was out of the breadmaker, I took a photo of it and whatsapp him on his mobile. He was on cloud nine and showed off to one of his colleague!


Baking Taitai's Healthy Pizza Dough Recipe

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My family loves pizza and it is fun making pizza at home especially when you have kids around who are very excited to sprinkle their favourite toppings on the pizza dough. The pizza dough compared to the bread dough is easier to make and and handle as it only requires one stage of proofing. Being a health conscious me, I came up with my own healthy pizza dough recipe as follow and hope you will like it.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Baking Taitai's Black Sesame Buns with Cranberry Cream Cheese Filling

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This is another recipe which I use the Tahini Black Sesame Spread. This spread was first used in making Black Sesame Cupcakes in my earlier post here. When black sesame is used as one of the ingredients to make the bread dough, the nutritional value will increase, so why not give it a try?

Banana Cake 香蕉蛋糕 (中英食谱)

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This recipe adapted from Richard Goh is my favourite banana cake recipe as it yields a soft, moist and light fluffy cake. I would highly recommend it to anyone who are looking for a banana cake recipe to bake!

Hershey's Cinnamon Chips & Raisin Loaf

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Few weeks ago, I brought my kids to Resort World S.E.A. Aquarium and we had a great time discovering the many sea creatures which are found in the mysterious underwater world. My boy was especially excited as he went there with a purpose, to look for the bottlenose dolphin as he was given a project to work on this sea creature in the June school holidays by his kindergarten teacher. Before we head home after the end of our educational and exciting outing, as usual we will pop by Candelicious which is just a stone's throw away. Candelicious is the world's largest candy store. Any kids ( let's include the adults) who step into the store will go 'Wow' or I should say 'Wild' by the large collections of candies and chocolates!


Black Sesame Cupcakes with Matcha Cream Cheese Frosting 黑芝麻小蛋糕抹茶奶油乳酪霜(中英食谱)

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Black Sesame & Matcha are great combinations

I love the fragrance and taste of black sesame and the many health benefits it provides for our body. As you can see from the chart below, it not only lowers blood cholesterol level and helps to maintain strong bones too.

Baking's Taitai's Signature Dark Chocolate Banana Cake

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Chocolate and Bananas compliment each other very well. This is my very first dark chocolate banana cake which I made and it's for 2013 Valentine's Day. The other half who seldom gives praises actually said. "This cake has got Standard!" You should have seen the big grin on my face! :p

The following are orders of this cake which I have done for my friends. Want to thank them for being so supportive of my baking interest and entrusted me to bake the cakes for their special occasions. :)

* Sorry that I am unable to share this recipe as it is a secret recipe from a very dear friend.

2013

 







This one was made specially for my friend Ginny whose boy turned 9 years old. I wanted something different other than the usual strawberries as decoration., so I handmade these white chocolates to decorate the cake and was pleased with it.





2014






© Copyright 2013-2014 bakingtaitai.blogspot.sg

Easy 30 minutes Chocolate Yogurt Muffin 简易酸奶巧克力玛芬(中英食谱)

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My friend Emily shared this simple muffin recipe with me and I have modified it to make it healthier. This recipe is so simple that preparation and baking time are all done within 30 minutes.


Chocolate Candy Theme Cake (2)

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My secondary school friend ordered the chocolate candy cake for her son's birthday after seeing the first cake I have done. This time I used the Savoiardi Ladyfingers biscuit as the borders and load it with M&Ms candies. It's a great cake for any kids who will go all excited seeing the colourful candies and can't wait to lay their hands on it. :p








© Copyright 2013 bakingtaitai.blogspot.sg

Baking Taitai's Breadmaker Multigrain Loaf

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Can you see every piece is filled with loads of goodness?

This is another one of my experiments with the breadmaker. This time I wanted to create something more wholesome so I bought the usual organic ingredients like the high protein 12% flour, wholemeal flour and raw sugar (you can find the photos of how the packaging looks like in my earlier post here) and a new ingredient - Organic raw wheat germ to add to turn it into a super healthy recipe !

Chocolate Candy Theme Cake (1)

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This is my first cake order which I received from a college friend. He wanted a chocolate cake, so I proposed a chocolate candy cake theme for his 4-year-old son's birthday celebration in his childcare. He likes the idea as both KitKat and M&Ms chocolate candies are his boy's favourite.  

Cupcakes with thousand & hundred sprinkles to go along with the birthday cake






I am happy to find a nice carrier to hold the cake and even made my own special label to stick on the cover. Must give credit to my hubby who took time to design the logo for me. Thank you dear! :)


© Copyright 2013 bakingtaitai.blogspot.sg

Lemon Yogurt Cupcakes

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My first attempt of these cupcakes was more than a year ago.


I like to use Greek yogurt in my baking and I prefer this type of thick, creamy yogurt than the normal plain ones. I first fell in love with the Greek yogurt when I visited Greece many years ago. It can be used to replace the heavy whipping cream which is often used in making non-bake cheesecake for a healthier choice and reduce calories.


Charlotte Cake

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When my good friend Annie ordered a birthday cake from me for her son's one-year-old birthday in May, she specifically requested that no chocolate be used at all. As almost all the cakes I have done before for special occasions uses chocolate (my favourite ingredient in baking), I had to think hard of what type of non-chocolate cake to make as she has informed me one week just before the birthday celebration.

After my friend whatsapp me her order, within half an hour, I came up with this Charlotte cake idea (thank God for the inspiration) of using Marshmallows as toppings instead of M&Ms chocolate which I have done previously and proposed a 4-layered vanilla sponge cake with peach fillings. I have not done this cake before prior to my friend's order, so the actual birthday cake will be my first attempt.  (Don't you think I am taking a risk? ;p)

I am really blessed to have friends who trusted me and leave me totally to design the cake for them as I do not have any sample cake photos to show them how it will turn out since I only started taking cake orders from friends in February this year. I started to take orders upon encouragement from my friends who wish to enjoy healthy homemade cakes. Like to thank them again for such great support they have given me so far.




I like how the cake turned out and it's exactly what I had in mind. My friend was also very pleased with the design and thought it looked even nicer than the Chocolate Candy cake I have done before.  She has also given me feedback after the celebration that the cake was perfect. This is what she says, "The cake is light and soft. Not too sweet which is good. Thumbs up for both the look and taste!"

Isn't this a great encouragement to me? :)









Photo updated on 20 April 2014 - Charlotte 3 layer mango cake

© Copyright 2014 bakingtaitai.blogspot.sg



Non-Bake Matcha Tofu Cheesecake 免烤抹茶豆腐芝士蛋糕

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Made this cake for this year's Mother's Day and my 90-year-old grandmother loves it. As she is on a soft diet, this cake was easy for her to swallow as it literally melts in the mouth.


Ombre Rose Cake for my 13th wedding anniversary

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This is the second year that I have made a wedding anniversary cake for myself and hubby. Last year, I made a red dragonfruit non-bake cheesecake for the occasion as I had just started baking not long and could only do something simpler.

Ombre Petal Cake

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Shortly after my friend Annie ordered a birthday cake for her son's birthday, if you could remember that I did a Charlotte cake for that occasion. She ordered another birthday cake from me, this time for her daughter who was turning 4 years old. Again, she specified that no chocolate to be used.


As I have just attempted an Ombre Rose Cake, I wanted to challenge myself further by doing an Ombre petal cake this time. This is definitely more challenging and takes a longer time to do. To be able to concentrate doing this without any disturbances from my kids, I chose to decorate the cake in the wee hours after they have gone to bed.

I am happy to be alone doing something which I enjoy even if I have to sacrifice my sleep. The piping of the petals is not as straight forward as the rose design. After each single pipe, I have to use a small spatula to swipe across horizontally before I pipe again. This is more tedious and I was also racing against time as the cream was melting fast due to the extra step and becomes difficult to pipe. I had to run to the fridge to chill the cream time after time. Felt a sign of relief when I finally completed the cake hours later. However, I do need to improve in this piping skill as you can see it was not done perfectly.




I chose an orange theme as it is the birthday girl's favourite colour. A little unusual as I always thought pink would be the choice instead. :p








Am glad that it was well received again and scored high on its look and colour. Most important the birthday girl was very happy with the cake and I was glad to make her day special. :)



© Copyright 2013 bakingtaitai.blogspot.sg

Red bean paste steam buns & Char Siew Bao (Roasted pork steam buns) 豆沙包 / 叉烧包

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第一次做包子,还可以吗?

喜欢烘培的我,偶尔也想尝试做些中式点心。之前在网上看过大同小异的包点食谱,但都有使用白油。 我本身比较不喜欢用白油,所以至到最近看到不用白油的包子食谱,就把之前收集的食谱拿来比较一下。参考之后,混合一些部份,就做了以下的食谱。第一次做,选择了比较容易包的豆沙包, 也是我女儿最爱的包子,味道还不错!可是,喜欢叉烧包的小儿子,就在一旁呱呱叫,说妈妈不公平,只做了姐姐喜欢的口味。所以为了安抚他,就说妈妈下一次一定会做叉烧包给他吃。为了不让他等太久,一个礼拜后就履行我的诺言。叉烧包不比豆沙包容易,因为豆沙馅我是买现成的,叉烧馅就要自己准备了。还有包法也比较有挑战性。 我觉得这次不是包的很美,需要多加练习。你们可以上youtube找一找‘如何包包子’的视频,看着学习。

Besides baking, I like to make Chinese Tim Sum too. I have wanted to make steam bao for long but those recipes which I had come across use shortening. It is one ingredient which I prefer not to use. Recently, I saw a bao recipe which does not use shortening at all. I refer to the bao recipes I have on hand and came up with the following recipe. My first attempt was Tao Sa Bao (Red bean paste steam bun) which my daughter loves and the second attempt was my son's favourite Char Siew Bao. 


Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Digestive Cake with Cranberry & Chocolate Chips

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As I have a packed of opened McVities Digestive biscuits in my fridge which was expiring soon, I decided to make a cake out of it. I  recalled a Digestive cake recipe which my friend Joyce shared with me some time ago. This cake has a drier texture, my girl likes it but I prefer a moist cake, will try adding more milk if I bake this again.

Baking Taitai's Breadmaker basic loaf recipe 烘培太太面包机的基本面包配方 (中英食谱)

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I got my Kenwood breadmaker two months ago and it's a wedding anniversary gift from my the other half. Actually, I was the one who requested for it and was gleaming with joy when he agreed to buy for me. Well, you see I have a really small kitchen at home and there is simply no more space for another 'toy' as the counter top sits other 'toys' like the KitchenAid mixer and Philip's Airfyer which I have added over the two years since I picked up baking.  So, this breadmaker have to make do with a space on my dining table. (update: It is now sitting on my newly built Dry Kitchen top :) ) I am happy with this new addition as it has helped to churn out healthy homemade bread for me without much effort. Especially on super busy days, I have no time for conventional oven baking, I just let the breadmaker do all the job for me and I still get to enjoy a freshly homebake loaf without any preservatives. The heavenly smell of the bread lifted my mood too.

Homemade Matcha (Green tea) Ice-Cream Tutorial Recipe 抹茶冰淇淋 (中英食谱教程)

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You can easily make ice-cream at home without owning an ice-cream maker. I chance upon this Chinese translated ice-cream recipe book written by a Korean who owns a patisserie - BaQueen.
The first recipe which I tried from the book is the Matcha ice-cream as my daughter and I love Matcha desserts. This dessert turns out to be superlicious and if you are a matcha lover like me, you must give this a try! No regrets!

Japanese Cotton Cheesecake 日式芝士蛋糕 (中英食谱)

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This is another popular Japanese dessert which my family loves. Before I picked up baking, we used to buy it from Breadtalk or Ichiban Sushi outlets which sells the Fiesta Japanese Cheesecake. I remember during my younger days, I love to eat the all rage 'Miki Ojisan No Mise Cheesecake' (also known as the cheesecake with an imprint of the cartoon chef with closed eyes) from Paragon. Back then, this light cheesecake was so popular that there was always a long queue to buy it. Somehow, this brand has not withstood the test of time and has faded into the background. Now to get a fix of this childhood favourite, one would have to head down to Jason’s Market Place in Raffles City. Since I can bake my own now, I can bake it anytime when I have a craving for it. :p

My 2013 Chinese New Year Bakes

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Blogging is something new to me and I know it takes time and effort to maintain it. Being a stay home mum with two active kids and without any helper, I have put the idea of starting a blog behind me due to my busy schedule. However, I have received constant encouragement from my friends to start one to share my bakes and recipes. In February this year, I started my Facebook baking page to share my bakes and experiences. It has been well received and in just five months, it has more than 800 likes. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my friends and readers of my baking page who has been supporting me all this while. Recently, I have received feedbacks that finding my shared recipes on the baking page is not so easy as one have to scroll down to earlier posts to search for it and it is quite cumbersome, hence the birth of this blog. I hope you enjoy reading my blog and trying out the recipes which I will be sharing as I experiment in my humble kitchen. :)

Like to start off by sharing the Chinese New Year bakes which I have done for my family and friends this year and it is also the first year that I have attempted to bake instead of buying from the store. As it is the year of the snake, I made some 'snake' Danish butter cookies which I am very pleased with the look and taste. Each piece is unique on it's own and they differ in look and shape as they are done with free hand piping. Don't you think some are quite cute-looking? ;p

The photo below shows my first attempt of pineapple tarts. I must say it is hard work. No wonder the hefty price you have to pay especially for homemade ones. My friend Emily has generously shared her recipe with me and I love the melt-in-the-mouth texture!






More variations of pineapple tarts 

 




 


Click here to see the Danish Butter Cookies recipe which I have used to make these snake cookies.  

As my daughter is born in the year of the Snake, these snake cookies were made specially for her. Not forgetting my little boy who is born in the year of the Pig, I made some 'pig' pineapple tarts for him. Now nobody says I am unfair. ;)



Click here to see the German Butter Cookies recipe. 


Upon seeing my friend, Lai Yong, who posted her homemade Bak Kwa on Facebook, I was tempted to try it out at home. She was really kind to share the recipe with me and thanks to her advice that I managed to produce tasty and healthy homemade bak kwa for my family.


Click here for Homemade Pork Jerky (Bak Kwa) Recipe. 


Don't they look like store-bought ones?

 
These almond cookies are my mum's favourite and she couldn't stop eating at one.  

© Copyright 2013 bakingtaitai.blogspot.sg    



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