Friday, October 26, 2012

Caramel Macadamia Nut Cookies

These cookies are one of the best tasting cookies I have ever baked! You can taste the caramel goodness and the sweetness is just right. The Macadamia nuts are crunchy and go very well with the caramel taste. At first the recipe looks like it is going to taste extremely sweet because it uses both light muscovado sugar and golden syrup. But hey! It is really just nice, believe me.

My daughter was at home, so she wanted all the fancy shaped cut outs. Or else I would just use plain old round cookie cutters.

They are considered luxe cookies and it is a real treat. I imagine I have a large glass cookie jar and fill it up to the brim. Let me warn you, it is really hard to just stop at one! Be prepared.

Caramel Macadamia Nut Cookies
Yields 35 to 40 large cookies

120 g unsalted butter, softened
150 g light Muscovado sugar
160g golden syrup

220g plain flour
1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
150g ground almonds
80g Macadamia nuts, chopped

Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt together.
Put butter and sugar in a stand mixer and cream till soft.
Add the golden syrup, beat the mixture until well combined.
Now add the ground almonds, beat well.
At a low speed, add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, mixing until just combined.
Fold in the nuts by hand till evenly distributed.
Roll the dough in parts between cut out plastic sheets/bags to about 1/2 to 3/4 cm thick and put the dough in the fridge to chill for an hour, for ease of handling.
You might need to divide the dough into a few bags/sheets
Switch on oven to 180 C with fan mode.
Working with one sheet of dough at a time, (the rest of the dough remains in the fridge) remove the top piece of plastic, stamp out the dough using cookie cutter of about 5 to 6 cm in diameter.
Put on a lined baking sheet or tray, better yet use silpat if you have one.
Bake in batches for 10 to 12 minutes until golden. Cool on wire racks.


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Cupcake with Durian Mousse Frosting

It was my mom's Birthday, I was cracking my head on what kind of birthday cake to bake for her. Her favourite kind of cake is fruit based. She simply loves fruits. My whole family loves Durian and bingo, it shall be durian then!

I made it into cupcakes so that we did not need any plates and cutleries and therefore no washing up!
I was searching for recipes and adapted my cupcakes from two websites. (Joyofbaking & Munch Ministry) Put them in pretty cupcake liners, and added some fondant flowers to pretty them up.

Happy Birthday Mummy!

Durian Mousse Cupcake 

Vanilla Cupcake Recipe
Adapted from

Durian Mousse Frosting Recipe
Adapted from

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Black Sesame and Bamboo Charcoal Chiffon Cake

The last round I made this cake, it tasted great but looks wise, it wasn't great. It turned out looking grey and dull, my friends commented it looked mouldy even. Of course it wasn't mouldy but the look turned him off and he refused to eat it.

I looked in the net and most of the black sesame cakes all look greyish and not black. Does it mean, I need to put colouring in the chiffon cake? No way! I like it black but I don't want to put in colouring. I would like a natural looking black cake without colouring. Just like the pandan chiffon cake with pure pandan juice that turns it green without colouring.

So I improvised and experimented and added in some bamboo charcoal powder. Yes! It looked much better this time round. It was black instead of grey and still has a strong sesame flavour. It was a hit with my family.

 Black Sesame & Bamboo Charcoal Chiffon Cake

Using a 23 cm Chiffon cake  tube pan

Cake batter
100g Plain Flour/Top Flour
7 Egg yolks
30g Brown sugar
40g Black Sesame powder or paste
85g Water
60g Canola Oil
30g Black Sesame seeds (you can use white sesame seeds)
14g Bamboo Charcoal powder

7 Egg whites
125g Castor sugar
14g Corn flour
1/4 tsp Cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 160 C.
Sift the flour.
Put egg yolks, brown sugar, black sesame powder/paste and bamboo charcoal powder in the mixing bowl and mix well until sugar is dissolved.
Add water and canola oil and mix well, making sure it is well blended.
Add flour and mix till batter turns sticky, then fold in sesame seeds. Put aside.

Making the Meringue
Using the mixer with the whisk attachment, put the egg whites in the bowl and beat it until it is foamy.
Add the cream of tartar, half of the castor sugar and half of the corn flour and continue to beat for a few minutes.
Then add the remaining sugar and corn flour and beat till egg whites are smooth and glossy and with stiff peaks. Taking care not to over beat it. Checking it in every few strokes.
Using a spatula, add one third of the meringue into the egg yolk mixture and fold in very lightly, then add in the rest of the meringue and fold to incorporate completely. Do not over mix as the sesame paste in the mixture will cause the air bubbles in the meringue to deflate, thus making it heavy.
Pour batter into an ungreased chiffon cake tube pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes.
When cake is done, remove from the oven and turn the pan over on a rack leaving it to cool completely.
When it is cooled, turn it back up and using a knife, go round the pan to remove the cake from the pan.
Chiffon cake tube pan with legs. Turn it upside down like that when cooling the cake.

Stiff peaks, smooth and glossy.

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