Cream Cheese Semi Spheres

Cream Cheese Semi Spheres
Cream Cheese Semi Spheres

Little elevensies treat that I baked today. I used the medium (labelled as light) Philadelphia cream cheese and 55% dark chocolate chips although the recipe suggested a 70% version. Tips: Take the cream cheese out from fridge just-in-time (JIT) before the creaming process.

Cream cheese + Unsalted butter
Cream cheese + Unsalted butter

I didn’t have any specific moulds for these so I decided to put my silicon cake pop mould to use (have not baked cake pops to date!)

Used the cake pop mould
Work in progress –> cake pop mould
cream cili
Chocolate marble effect…

Lovely cream cheese semi spheres with a pot of freshly brewed Darjeeling tea in my first ever bone china cup that I bought at a charity market for 50p…How I wish the lady at the stall had more to sell to me 🙂

I realise you do need these kind of micro moments to yourselves to just re-coup, re-energise and re-organise your thought process.

There is more to life than trying to increase its speed – M.K Gandhi

Darjeeling brew... :-)
Darjeeling brew… 🙂

Baking Lessons

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IMAG0176I recently trialled baking lessons run by experts.
Whilst on my extended stay in Malaysia few months back, I attended a baking school in Shah Alam, Malaysia which specialises in teaching Japanese and French patisseries taught by a lovely Mrs Tomoko Ueda.

The whole learning had been a great experience in her quaint and cozy baking school which I fell in love with almost immediately.
I logged my learning records making cakes, puffs and éclairs, everything so very droolingly creamy and downed so much free flowing fabulous fruit teas.

Learning to make caramelised walnuts highlighted one of my course days there. I so suggest ever avid learner to try out cooking or baking classes, definitely worth it!

Definitely a very different experience gaining knowledge hand-ons compared to learning via YouTube.

Oreo Cupcakes

This is one of the cupcakes I make regularly for family and friends. I call my cupcake moments as my cupcake adventures. Why? Because I am always fascinated by the level of sophistication undergone to create such beautiful and good tasting pieces of cakes.

I take my sweet time to taste the cuppy cakes I consume. Ever I fall in love with any parts of it (Mind it does not take much for me to fall in love with something foody), I will then engage the dissect experiment, and try tasting each parts of the cakes to understand their individuality and then wonder a lot at how these tastes or textures seem to work well with each other and conclude with hands on experiments.

It may seem easier to just ask for the recipe sometimes…

As you can tell by my blog name, I’m more of a cream person. Fondants are gorgeous but I prefer a nice tasting cream any day. The taste-o-meter almost always take rank above creativity.

Oreo cupcake was top on my ‘must learn’ list for a while hence I started dissecting all Oreo tagged cakes and cupcakes that I came across and consumed.

This particular recipe is an improvised version using Betty Crocker’s Devil’s Food Cake mix (I am yet to perfect my chocolate cake mix sadly!).

I must have made (and ate) buckets of creams in name of experimentation. Then one fine morning, I decided to listen to what the Americans suggest; use salted butter!
I have used a mix of both salted and unsalted butter to make the Oreo buttercream. I tested with some of my closest friends and I got the greenest signal from them.
These pictures are from last year when I baked these for my neighbours during Deepavali celebration…

Dragged my baby girl to do the distribution work :-)
Dragged my baby girl to do the distribution work 🙂

Green Peas Biryani

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This is what I cooked over the weekend for my hubby. I normally try and cook big meals after his week away from home to compensate for all the ready meals, breads and restaurant food he would have consumed.

Green Peas Biryani, a hands-on recipe I learnt from a good friend of mine last year, which I have since improvised. It’s an easy and simple rice dish to make. I use a rice cooker for most of my biryani dishes and I have used it too for this dish.

The ingredients + Salt & Turmeric
The main ingredients + Salt & Turmeric
Spices  Optional: Handful of raisins or currrants
Spices
Optional: Handful of raisins or currrants

I tend to reduce the water measurement when cooking biryani and soak the rice for a little while in cold water.

I used a heaped teaspoon of the Baba’s Brand Biryani Masala – one of the favourite brands in Malaysia. I have tried the same recipe with Double Horse brand too, which is from India. Feel free to experiment with your own choices….

Experiment, Fail, Learn. Repeat  🙂

French Inspiration…

French Patisserie; my latest discovery post my baking lessons. I decided to check out patisseries local to me to learn and enjoy those little elegances that mesmerize many. After visiting just one and seriously it was probably more like an ‘expat’ version of a French Patisserie. However I began to feel that mesmerism was an understatement.

I was in love!

cocorico patisserie

The flavours, textures, the praline cream; awe! I ended up gobbling chocolate and orange sables (first time I ever tried these) with pot of their lovely cinnamon spiced tea and taking home five of their elegances. The day couldn’t get any better 🙂

cocorico patisserie
Paris-Brest with Praline Cream

Cocorico Patisserie – French cakes in Cardiff. For every person looking for  ‘miniature elegances’ and a pastry shop a little French. They even bake fresh breads on site. cocorico patisserie IMAG0370

Christmas Chocolate Cookies

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Presentation: I filled these cookies in a clear jar bought from IKEA 🙂

Pass a plate of food to your neighbour‘ – A lovely gesture I picked up from my dear mother. She was always passing a plate (or a bowl, or containers, bags) filled with home cooked food around to our neighbours way too many times for multiple reasons.
It could be for a festival, celebration, experiment by products or simply because she would like to return a good deed.
Having grown up in a multicultural Malaysia, often my neighbours would be celebrating festivals very different to ours. During our Perak (a state in Malaysia) days, our family neighboured both Chinese and Malay families. Every Deepavali (Diwali) celebration, I remember how my mother would drag (teenage days=laziest time period!) both me and my brother along to carry plates of food to our neighbours’ houses.
Well I kinda carried that culture in me. I baked these Chocolate Cookies for my neighbours for Christmas last year. I deviated from the original recipe by using fewer chocolate chips (to avoid ‘death by chocolate‘ situation) and substituted them with toasted sliced almonds. I too generously dusted them with icing sugar mixed with lovely cinnamon powder to make them a lil Christmassyyy.