Making Puffs / Eclairs / Choux Pastry

By , March 31, 2009 11:44 am

I’ve been wanting to share this recipe but haven’t because I didnt have the right filling for it. The beard papa type of fluffy light custard filling would be ideal but that unfortunately still eludes me (not for the lack of trying). 

Recently however, I realised that many people go ooh and aah whenever I serve it (ie: good to impress your friends with), so here’s the recipe for the choux pastry. Fillings can be anything from regular custard, vanilla/chocolate pudding, ice cream, to even just whipped cream with a chocolate sauce (chocolate eclairs!).

125ml water
50gms butter
pinch of sugar
60g flour
2 large eggs

**Preheat oven to 190deg**
1. Over small fire, bring to boil the water, butter and sugar
2. Remove from stove and add sugar & flour in one go. Mix it all up with a wooden spoon- it’ll look like mashed potatoes.
3. Put back on the stove to cook out the flour mix – none should be sticking on the pan. Let it cool for 5mins.
4. Using a beater on medium, add the eggs one by one. (important!!!)
5. Scoop the sticky mix into a piping bag, and pipe them into circles the diameter of your pinkie. Alternatively, you can scoop tablespoonfuls on to a baking tray. They will puff up so don’t put them too closely together.
6. Bake at 190deg for 10mins (or when puff turns brown)
7. Remove from oven and mmediately poke every puff with a stick/knife else the puffs will deflate.
8. Put any filling of your choice and serve!

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The above is kahlua mascarpone cheese filling  – only cos it was going to expire else it’s a little extravagant for puff filling. 

Stir 250gm mascarpone cheese with 1 tbspn of icing sugar and 2 shots of kahlua. i was a little heavy handed on the kahlua. you might wanna use just 1 shot. oh and do your own taste test – if it’s not sweet enough, add more sugar 🙂

To set expectations right, this puff is nice and soft – not of the crispy variety. Also, you can give it a rectangular shape instead of circles to get the chocolate eclair ‘look’. Have fun!

the wronged rum & raisin cake

By , March 19, 2009 10:30 am

i brought the cake for my in laws and they liked it! family will always be biased and that’s great! 🙂 they also said that alcohol cakes are Supposed to be moist. now i feel like i’ve somehow wronged the moist cake. it’s a little strange but i also feel bad for not giving it any picture space to mark its existence and now it’s….. not here (*theatrical sobs*)

being corny aside, it’s funny the things that are tucked away in one’s memory because when i thought about it really hard, i Have tried a rum and raisin cake before.

during miss universe in puerto rico, one of the south/north american delegates (might have been miss jamaica… or miss trinidad & tobago?) gave everyone a rum and raisin cake as a meet and greet present that is representative of their country. it was a small square housed in gold foil and felt rather heavy for its size. when i took the first bite, two things hit me – the sweetness first and then the rum. the former isn’t so good for weight watching and the latter, for my alcohol intolerant body. in fact, when i was halfway thru, miss taiwan (my room mate) was laughing at how red my face was turning (i’m a lousy drinker).

anyway, the point of the entire recollection exercise, is to say that in future, i should make rum syrup and pour it in the cake so it tastes more like the real mcCoy. else i could find another recipe.

A New Blog!

By , March 18, 2009 5:59 pm

between cakes, i have also set up my own website!

food related entries will still be here, but feel free to pop by there as well 🙂

i’m at http://www.jaime-teo.com

Caribbean Rum & Raisin Cake

By , March 18, 2009 5:56 pm

that does sound appetising doesnt it? i was equally taken in when i flipped through my “One Cake, One Hundred Desserts” baking book. in essence, the book is about learning how to bake just 1 basic cake and then making 99 other variations of it. most of the other cakes deviate so much it’s hard to tell it’s the same basic recipe.

i’ve had this book for forever but never tried it because it requires 3 whole eggs and 3 egg yolks. i didn’t know what to do with the remaining egg white in the past (but now we can make macaroons!).

the recipe is for a 10″ pan but i only have an 8″, so i filled up my pan to 3/4 full and put the remaining in cupcakes.

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the above is the cupcake version. Very light, fluffy, full of carribean rum flavor and easy to eat. the cake version didn’t do so well cos i probably took it out of the oven too early. that explains why the cake didn’t get picture space in this entry 😛

two things you’ll need to have ready when the batter is ready : oven must be preheated to 175 deg and you’ll need a 10″ baking tin that is greased with butter and lightly coated with flour. Here’s the recipe!

1/2 cup dark rum
1 cup raisins
1. combine the two and soak for 30mins. Transfer to food processor and process til coarsely chopped. About 15s.1/4 cup milk
30gm butter
1 1/2 vanilla essence
2. heat milk and butter til butter melts. remove from heat and add vanilla.

1/4 tsp nutmeg (i substituted with cinnamon cos i didn’t have that)
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3. Sift and mix the above together

3 large eggs (room temp)
3 large egg yolks (room temp)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar.
4. Whip eggs and sugar at high speed for 6mins til volume triples.
5. Turn mixer to low speed, then sprinkle in 1/4 flour mixture. Mix til there’s no white residue. Repeat with remaining flour mixture.
6. Divide batter into half then slowly add warm milk/butter/vanilla mixture into any half. Gently stir in. 
7. Fold the mixtures, together gently and quickly then afterwards, fold in the raisin mix til just combined.
8. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30-40mins or til toothpick inserted in the cente of the cake come out clean.

Have fun!

I made the 5min chocolate cake!

By , March 16, 2009 11:22 am

It really only took 5mins!

How it happened, was that a chocolate loving friend came over yesterday and I shared with her just how amazing this recipe I got sounded. There was a moment of mutual understanding as we exchanged looks, before we headed to the kitchen to measure out ingredients.

First things first – we fussed over which mug to use cos regular isn’t as regular sounds. Mine all looked too small. But we took the leap of faith and started mixing the ingredients in my supposed regular mug. After mixing, the cup filled up to about 3/4 full. It was a relief to know that i have a regular mug. The thought mugshot also came to mind as i was stirring. A very random thought. Nothing to do, I’m sure, with how awful what’s in my mug and how a mugshot looks. Sorry I digress. 

Then when we put it in the oven, we stood watching,  fascinated as the brown concoction started to rise like the leaning tower of pisa. It almost looked like it would keel over some point. But it didn’t. It also didn’t look very appetising.

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I still didn’t have ice cream at home so we walked rather far out to buy ice cream (and 40dollars worth of other unnecessary groceries) then came home for this :

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The moment you must be waiting for – verdict on how it tastes.

Even though it looked very appetizing after we sat a glob of strawberry milk ice cream beside it, it wasn’t up to scratch for me taste wise. It felt a tad too hard and dry. That could also be cos i used lesser oil than it called for, plus we let it sit for too long after it was ready, walking up and down the supermarket aisles like we had all the time in the world.

The strange thing happened the next few bites. It progressively got nicer to eat!! I’m not sure why. My friend had the exact same thoughts. Maybe taste buds have a certain standard which they’ll drop if you feed it the same thing enough times. I also thought that this cake could be cut into three parts for three servings (i must be very virtuous – you have to read the previous post to get this).

The next time I make this, I’ll melt butter(about 40gm) and chocolate chips (microwave for 10s in the same mug), before adding the other ingredients(minus the oil cos we already substituted it with butter) like the recipe calls for. It should taste better.

This really is a pretty quick chocolate cake fix you can have anytime. woohoo!

THE 5-MINUTE CHOCOLATE MUG CAKE

By , March 14, 2009 1:33 pm

those words were in bold when i opened my inbox. i decided to share it here even without the usual threat of 7 years of bad luck if i don’t forward it to 7 people. there isn’t any ice cream in my fridge plus i’ve no craving for cake (yet), so please let me know if you try it k?

here’s the email forward :

THE 5-MINUTE CHOCOLATE MUG CAKE

4 tablespoons flour

4 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons cocoa

1 egg

3 tablespoons milk

3 tablespoons oil (**can substitute with 40gm of melted butter – melt butter with choco chips in the mug for 10s before adding other ingredients)

3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)

A small splash of vanilla extract

1 large coffee mug
Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again.

Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts (high). The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don’t be alarmed! Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.

EAT! (this can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous). And why is this the most dangerous cake recipe in the world? Because now we are all only 5 minutes away from chocolate cake at any time of the day or night!

You are going to print this out straight away, aren’t you??

Oh and there were attached pictures to this email but they didn’t look very nice. so i’ve put them in a montage – not fantastic still but it’s a marked improvement from what i received. plus my mouse died so i’m using the laptop standard touch pad – not the best tool for photo editing but it’ll hafta do. thank you sue!! (the recipe contributor!!)

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missed out 的东西!

By , March 10, 2009 12:43 pm

i think it’s a very singaporean trait to mix languages. i ought to stop doing that cos i’m beginning to sound like i can’t speak any language well.

that aside, i can’t believe i missed out on this outstanding meal we had at the wynn casino in macau. they served up the best peking duck and suckling pig (skin) with rice i’ve ever had – that it was reasonably priced for the standard of food made it even more delicious. if i don’t remember wrongly, it was 30SGD for half a duck (actually, i’m quite clueless about peking duck prices. it sounded reasonable to me…)

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my apologies for a blur pic. i usually try not to upload blur pics but this was the only one i had – i may be maligning dan, but i think he was rushing me to finish with the picture taking cos he wanted to tuck in. see how crispy thin the suckling pig skin is? it was uber yummy.

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the wraps came in bamboo containers which kept them soft, warm and chewy. the duck. oh the duck. *slurp i’m salivating thinking about it although i think i oughta be shot for still wanting more food after having had buffets the last two nights.

peking duck in macau rocks doubly!!! (cos roast duck in hk rocks. yar. quite lame.)

dinner 吃的东西!

By , March 5, 2009 12:04 pm

many people tell me that i mustn’t miss seafood in hongkong cos it’s very fresh. but isn’t that the case of any place that have their fishes/clams/lobsters swimming in a tank? how much fresher does it get?

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i liked the above meal for the simple reason that we didn’t over order, and that the dishes were all flavorful and yes, fresh. this restaurant is in kennedy town (hong kong island), very near the wharf – if you really get there, look for the tanks of seafood outside the shop. (i think i sound more informed?)

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back to meats. yung kee is supposed to be uber famous for their roast meats. it’s along lan kwai fong – ask around if you’re there. they’re so “big” they have their own lift within the restaurant.

i thought the meats tasted as good as the others i’ve had although the char siew does outrank any others i’ve tried before. the taste was Just Right. the texture was Just Right. hard to beat. dan was very impressed with their appetizer, the very soft century egg (last picture). i think century eggs are vile tasting and asked him what about it he liked. 

“don’t you think it’s amazing we can eat something like this and not get a tummyache?” 

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the above is a rather small stall we chanced upon at luei yan gai (women’s street), the ladies market. they had these newspaper clippings pasted outside so we decided to give it a try. there were only women working in there (might’ve been like a location theme. kidding.) and it looked like the food would be good cos.. how do i put this delicately?  ok, if they had a hygiene grading sign like in singapore, it would’ve been a C or D. you do know about the usually inverse relationship between hygiene ratings and taste of food right?

the shanghai dumpling soup had these flavorful juicy meat/veggies filled dumplings that satisfied with every bite; the beef brisket rice was very good cos the meat was oh so tender and tasty. the chicken wings were nothing to shout about; their signature noodles – a lump of dough goes into this machine that’s directly above a pot, and comes out as noodles, straight into the soup. quick and easy way to cook. pity i didn’t like the taste much cos the soup base was the ma la sorta spicy and i’m not a fan, cos the noodles felt like they were overcooked (or maybe it was intended to be that soft but i’m also not a fan) and cos it smelt funny.

that’s the end of my hongkong foodworthy report. there were many other pictures of roast meats (they all look the same after awhile), and also this half priced japanese restaurant that served very good sashimi (and we totally over ordered there). but we have good jap food here too. not at half price but let’s not rub our noses into our lackof shall we 🙂

tea time 吃的东西!

By , March 4, 2009 12:17 pm

disclaimer: this is a food travel entry. not a restaurant/cafe recommendation entry. (for those wondering why there are no addressses alongside the pics – i forgot to take them down)

tea time one of the days was at a pretty looking restaurant called ant (i have no idea where in hk this is).

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on the left is filo pastry with whipped cream and strawberries in between. simple combos sometimes work the best. on the right is bubur hitam with mango drowning in coconut cream. it was awwwright.

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on the left is beef steak which had too much sauce but the beef was super tender. on the right, is crispy soft chicken bone. i was surprised when it was actually crunchy soft chicken bone. i have no idea why i thought they misnamed it on the menu or why i expected to taste chicken tenders. suffices to say, that plate was mostly left uneaten.

another tea time another day, was along lan kwai fong. this cafe had pictures of goose and duck outside the shop (which is a fat lot of help given that many cafes have that. i just wanted to sound like i remember something about the cafe)

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dong leng mud – it’s one of my favourite drinks when in hk except that i just realised i am not sure what’s in there other than alot of lemon and something sweet. i like that hk cafes are very generous with their plump, juicy and fresh lemon slices.

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on the left is the supremely oily toast with peanut in between. since it’s already got so many calories, i decided to add alot of maple syrup to it. i dont understand that logic either. the phrase 一错再错 comes to mind (my translation: since it’s wrong already, let’s just go with it). and then there is this other bit i also didn’t understand – why i’d order yu dan fun, their version of low calorie fishball kway teow soup. a little like ordering diet coke with an upsized meal.

dan just wanted his meat :

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which he got of course. if it’s on their menu, it’ll be on our table. roast duck in hk rocks.

买东西!吃东西!

By , March 3, 2009 1:18 pm

i think this tag is one of the most successful ads run by the hong kong tourism board. it’s just so honest.

no prices for guessing that i was in hongkong last week and did just that. i shopped and i ate. all in excess of course because it’s a holiday! (my favourite excuse)

i diligently took pictures every mealtime to share here, but to put them all in one post would be a little excessive (to look at i mean). so here’s one of our meals.

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when in hong kong, do as the hongkongers – they yum char(drink tea) and have dim sum in the morning. before you think that ALL that food was consumed by just me and dan, it was actually me, dan and our brother in law. boys do eat alot more you know? (note to self : no one’s judging)

it tastes very much like dim sum in singapore, except that their xo sauce flour roll (second from top row) is very crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. the zhar leong(first on second row), which is fried you tiao wrapped in chee cheong fun, is very crispy on the inside and soft on the outside. the contrasting textures make these dishes especially good.

also their char siew bao (third from second row) is more salty than sweet and the outsides are extremely light and fluffy. like the tanjong rhu baos (i’m biased – that’s my favourite!).

other than that, i’m proud to report that i could have tasted the same dishes in singapore (maybe in two meals because i dont have the excuse of a holiday to binge).

oh oh i nearly forgot this dish that i left out in the montage cos it was so good it deserved its own 400pixels. 

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this is VERY good roast duck. the skin is crispy with a thin layer of fat underneath. the moment you sink your teeth into it, it’ll seem like you haven’t really tasted roast duck before. no i’m not kidding. hong kong does make superbly good roast meats. you’ll realise from the next few posts just how much we loved roast meats in hong kong. i’ll go make more montages now.

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