Jo & Sam’s Wedding 14th April 2012

The day FINALLY arrived! We’ve been working on the dessert table since last year. What a fateful partnership it was. It all begun when i brought some green tea macarons to bible study one evening and met Jo and Sam for the first time. I shared one with her and BAM! I became her wedding baker. šŸ˜€ We started out having quite a variety of things, then we simplified to cake pops, then we finally settled on… Ah, i’ll let the photos do the talking as usual. šŸ˜€

Green Tea and Red Bean cupcakes

Earl Grey Cupcake with Condensed Milk Glaze

Chocolate Cupcake (I really enjoyed this one! )

The Morning Wedding Favours. My fiance and I took such a long time to figure out the packaging design. But it was so worth it. Simple but functional and rustic looking. Just what we were going for.

These were the treacle and horlicks biscuits in the packet. I'm glad for the positive feedback it got. Photo credits go to Love Stories Weddings!

Mini red velvet cupcakes. You might not be able to tell, but there are really tiny!

Orange and Cranberry Cake Bars

Green Tea and Red Bean, Orange-Chocolate and Rose+Raspberry Macarons

Lemon and Strawberry Cake bars

I really thank God that despite all the drama that occurred during the baking process, everything turned out well. Made everything with a lot of love and I really wanted the bride to have what she had envisioned.

Wondering if there will be more of such projects, and if there are, I’m looking forward to more! Teehee. Much thanks to Love Stories Weddings and the partnership that we had to make it happen. šŸ˜€ Check out the webpage to see the beautiful decorations that wereĀ done!

Feeling very accomplished! Now… if only I could do this full time. Quit my day job, get me my dream kitchen fitted with the best equipment…

InĀ other news, I’m now planning for my own wedding and it’s been so fun… Stressful at times, but it’s been quite a ride so far. I’m wishing that time would pass by faster but I keep telling myself to enjoy the process, to enjoy the last few months of this phase of my life.Ā It’s been 7 years since weĀ embarked on this journey together and we are now moving on! FINALLY!

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a rather brown meal

A friend posted a bunch of ingredients to a dish she made and when i read it, it piqued my tastebuds’ interest. Brown rice (texture!), roasted carrots (nice with herbs and spices), and chicken (moroccon? teriyaki? anything!),Ā  caramelized onions (hello deliciousness…) and i was SOLD! I had the intention of following the recipe but instead created something of my own. Partially because i had to clear from stuff from the fridge too.

So here we’ve got store bought chicken (we didn’t want to take the extra time to fry up chicken. so we got something quick, tasty and all ready), red rice cooked with tomato paste and chicken stock, creamy caramelized onions, and herby roasted carrots.

Overall, the dish looked quite brown and unappetizing, yet the varied flavours on the plate kept the dish quite unusual. My favourite elements has to be the chicken and the caramelized onions. Mmm.

Post MacCookyn

Having tasted triumphĀ at Cookyn, I really wanted to recreate the sameĀ successful macarons at home. So it was a good thing that a friend had a request for macarons for a party. So here we go again! I made the same chocolate-orange ones, together with my usual green tea and red bean macarons and earl grey macarons. I’m STILL trying to find the perfect earl grey macaron filling. These were too soft for my liking unfortunately… Havent hit gold yet. Hmm.

So how did they turn out? I’d like to think that they were a success. šŸ™‚ The shells were of a wonderful crisp texture, weren’t hollow (my MAIN bugbear) and they matured beautifully. Ever so happy. šŸ˜€ Pardon the harsh lighting… It was my last minute attempt to capture the macs before being given away.

I be very happy! I found that leaving them in the coldest part of my fridge made them a little dryer on the surface, which resulted in a greater contrast in texture between the shell and the chewy interior. So you get the delicate first crunch, and then the chewy tasty insides. Divine.

Next up, more chocolate-orange macs (this one seems like a popular flavour) and raspberry white chocolate macs. Yeehah!

I’m getting a couple of baking projects coming in and I can’t tell you how stoked I am. It’s been occupying a great part of my mind in the day so much soĀ that at night, I literally am dreaming in my sleep about baking all the cupcakes and macarons that I need to.

MacCookyn

This really isn’t the best combi. Ragh. Had a good post-work jog around the neighbourhood (FINALLY AFTER ALMOST 3 WEEKS to 1 MONTH of slacking at home) and a good post-dinner tea. Now I can’t sleep and it’s 2:17AM. Roar! Well, it just means that I’m going to update you on last weekend šŸ™‚

Some time ago in January, the fiance and I signed up for a macaron class together at Cookyn Inc. I’m always on the lookout for hands-on macaron classes because I love to find out what recipes and recipes thatĀ different people subscribe to. I had a good time learning some new techniques and I took the liberty to pick the brains of the chef tutor we had that day. Had many burning questions since I’ve been on this macaron quest for close to 2 years already. I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

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That’s all folks for this post! I really enjoyed the class. My only gripe was that we didn’t get to do a hands-on on ALL the steps as we don’t have our own work stations. The all important meringue making part was done by the tutor. All we did was measure the portion of meringue that we needed and work on getting the batter to the right consistency.

But yes, I’m honestly thinking of investing in my cooking and baking interest by going for more classes. Truly enjoy learning from people who know their stuff!

Gah. It’s 3:00AM. Not sleepy but I need to hit the sack.

Dark Liquid Happiness

I made this for New Year’s and it’s probably the best version of it yet. With the help of 2 others who helped to butter and powder the sides with cocoa powder, these lovely desserts were created. They are chocolate lava cakes, butĀ enhanced with a fragrant orange flavour. The zest from a large navel orange did the trick. Oh, they were so good! To up the ante, we added a dollop of ginger ice cream. Mmmmm.

Ā (more photos after the cut!)

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Blueberry Streusel Cupcake with a milk glaze

I did promise posts on cupcakes, so here’s my first experiment since then. Admittedly, I did make an earlier batch but they didn’t turn out looking like they should because I didn’t follow the instructions to a T. Sorry Martha, I tried. And then IĀ tried again. And well, got really good results! Here you go:

Pleased as punch, yo. šŸ™‚ The only changes I made was to reduce the sugar level in the cupcake itself. Otherwise, the recipe works like a dream. I really love the crunch from the streusel and the cinnamon flavour in it, and the texture of the cake was so tender and moist. Oh and yes, the original recipe didn’t have blueberries but I decided to add them in for an extra dimension of flavour. Imma very happy with these. šŸ™‚

I’m hoping to next make lemon cupcakes. So… to my usual guinea pigs, hope you guys are up for some lemon curd (and grapefruit) cupcakes!

And I’m back!

Take.eat isn’t dead! Just so you know. And maybe even more so for me to know. Ha.

I’ve just begun my full time day job and I guess you can tell that my days have already been very filled, leaving little time and space for my baking and cooking expeditions. BUT! I have made some macarons lately, but just didn’t have the time to upload photos. Meh.

Having said that though, i’m very PLEASED to say that I’ve addedĀ 2 NEW flavoursĀ to the macaron family here at take.eat. They are… (i wish i had fancy names for these creations because naming them via theirĀ ingredients is just too long), chocolate+nutmeg shells with milk chocolate ganache infused with a special spice mix! I’ve listed the spices in the Mac flavours page so you can take a look. Also, I’ve added a new filling, milk chocolate ganache with passionfruit. Not extremely exotic or anything, just that I’ve managed to get the ratio right. šŸ™‚

Personally, I really like the milk choc and spice filling. They were so perfect for Christmas… Sadly, I didn’t quite have the time to talk about this earlier. Hmph.

OfĀ late, my italian meringue macarons have been HOLLOW and it’s driving me ABSOLUTELY BONKERS! I’ve had non-hollow macarons in the past so I don’t know what it is that i’m not doing right this time. It’s so frustrating. It’s my personal motto to give my best so because of these hollow macawrongs, a friend whom i owe macarons hasn’t received her long awaited box of 25. Gah!

Anyway, you can expect to see some cupcakes and cake pops to come! ;D

(and… back to work)

Wedding Dessert Table: White Chocolate Passionfruit Cheesecake

First time’s a charm!

Excellent recipe from allrecipes for the said cheesecake. This is my first attempt at a baked cheesecake and it came out beyond my expectations. Of course, there are some improvements to be made, like making the biscuit bottom firmer and crunchier. Other than that, it’s pretty amazing. The sweetness is just right, the passionfruit flavour is light yet significant enough to be refreshing and flavourful. The only thing i noted was: Where is the white chocolate? šŸ˜¦ But, small matter.

As forĀ the texture, it’s the dense kind that I like. Not the light cakey sort. There were no cracks, no collapsing, no drama. I had feedback that it was a little on the wet side while others didn’t seem to detect this. Perhaps I might reduce the liquid content justĀ a tad, and bake the bottom first and seal it with egg white. Here it is!

Took. Ate. Yum. šŸ˜€

Good Tip: Bake your cheesecake in a WATER BATH! That is, wrap the bottom of the tin (i’m assuming you are using either a springfoam/removable bottom types) with foil till it reaches all the way up the sides of the tin. Put the whole thing into a roasting pan, fill the pan with water (i tried using existing hot water from the flask and it seemed to work fine) all the way upĀ to where the cheesecake batter is. Ensure that the foil does NOT have any holes.Ā Bake!

Wedding Dessert Table: Creme Brulee Tartlets

Wanting to have bite sized creme brulee tartlets, I decided to get a little help from Phoon Huat (ready made tartlets) while I do the filling from scratch. I figured that it would be more reliable and less stressful using these than having to deal with homemade pastry.

The first attempt was quite a laugh. Partly my fault anyway. I walked off to do my own thing while theyĀ baked and returned to the oven to see egg omelettes in my tartlets. *grumble* The filling became overcooked, dried and wrinkly. I was quite annoyed with myself and the choice of recipe.

The great thing about failure in baking for me is that it makes my brain buzzĀ toĀ come up with solutionsĀ and i try harder. Initially thinking that i had 20 wasted tartlets, i realized having wrinkly and dried filling was a blessing because itĀ meant thatĀ i could scrape out the filling easily and reuse the tartlets. So i did.

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Wedding Dessert Table: Strawberry and Lemon Cream Cheese Pound Cake Bars (with Lemon Icing)

Sounds complicated but it isn’t! This was a success! Lovely texture: moist, soft, tasty.

For this cake, I tried out a recipe i found on the web (but added my own twist) but used the One Bowl method. Usually, cake making uses the creaming method which creates a taller, more voluminous cake because of the air that is beaten into it during the creaming stage (butter and sugar whizzing about in the electric mixer bowlĀ before everything else comes to jive together).

But i thought, why not make cake bars? The one bowl method produces a moist cake, albeit a flatter one which is good for my purposes anyway. I thought of doing a cake loaf but thought: Nah, easier for people to pick up a small bar to savour the flavour before moving on to the next piece of dessert. I asked for opinions and the cake bar won.

So yes, I’m really pleased with this one! The lemon flavour shone through without being overpowering, the fresh strawberries added slight tartness and smelt of jam, and the cake’s texture wasĀ tender, and i’m guessing it’s all thanks to theĀ use of good quality unsalted butter (golden churn), cream cheese and the method choice. This is going on the list for the bride-to-be.

I thought of colouring the icing to fit it into the Summer/Pink theme but figured that it would make the cake look… pretty scary. But we’ll see. šŸ™‚